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whistleblower

My frustration with Hughton - ignoring the winning formula

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We went 10 matches unbeaten including 5 successive home wins.  The team was largely but not exclusively:Ruddy, Garrido, Bassong, Turner, Whittaker, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, HoltRuddy and Pilkington are injured but Tettey and Whittaker are both fully available.  Given the dire performance at Wigan why weren''t they immediately reinstated into the team? Holt is a different question - mentally, fitness, attitude - I don''t claim to know where his head is at for the momentWe had a winning formula  - we have components of that formula available but we stick with a team selection who have proven incapable of breaking out of relegation-form points collection.  However, we came across that formula and it worked quite impressively so - why would we not revert to it as soon as we had the pieces available again?  This is what is struggle with regarding Hughton - I just dont understand his logic when it worked so well in the past.Whittaker in for Russell Martin, Tettey for Howson and if Pilkington is fit this week he should be in for Elliot Bennet. Similalry, if Ruddy comes through unscathed get him in for Arsenal too...

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Playing with width is the winning formula! Saturdays game wasn''t for Hoolahan. Should have had someone else up front with Kamara. The goals both came from balls out wide. Holt and Kamara up front from the start. In the first half Swansea dominated the pace and we had no outlet ball.

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I take your point about the ten-run-unbeaten side and selection. I am not sure how far restoring that side is possible immediately and whether it would produce the good results we need.

 

1) Our problem seems to be partly or even largely one of confidence - we played so much better when we went in front on Saturday, and even the stars of last autumn seemed to be lacking. How else do we explain the misplaced passes, poor crosses, and the fact that the back four probably have scored more goals between them than the strikers? In some games Wes has looked innocuous, probably due to a lack of confidence. How near is he to being dropped?

 

2) Replacing Martin with Whittaker, like for like, would probably not change much as Martin has been one of our better players in 2013, which may not be saying much. Some of us would like both to play, perhaps with Whittaker in the midfield where he has experience.

 

3) Ruddy may come through the development match unscathed, but is he ready for a full 90 minutes yet? The keeper must be fit in order to maintain concentration and readiness for immediate action. Same for Tettey and Pilks. Perhaps they need to play half a game first.

 

4) Benno has played few games. He is a confidence player and needs game time. After last Saturday his confidence may be mounting. Is this the time to discard him? If he can produce only two or three of those excellent crosses each match against teams weak at the back, our scoring problems could be over.

 

5) The lone striker is a difficult one. Holty has not played well - remember the poor touch when bearing in on goal, being late on crosses and missing with his head? Perhaps he is not as fit as he should be, perhaps his head is all wrong, perhaps the system does not suit him, perhaps he has had back luck. It could be mixture of all. It would be great if he could change things while starting a match, but are the matches too important now? We really are in difficulty. Jackson seems to have been overlooked, and is not a great striker in any case. Morison has gone and Martin as good as. So we are left with Kei and Becchio to replace or substitute Holt. Kei seems to lack the technique to be a Premiership striker, and Becchio........?

 

I suspect that CH will not want to change much for the trip to the Emirates, which is probably a hopeless cause anyway, so perhaps those returning could have a reintroduction then and play part of the game. The real test for us is in the home games, and if all are fit and raring to go some change/substitutions could be what is required. My own preference would be to play two strikers, or play one with Benno''s pace behind him, or Whittaker in the midfield with Tettey and Johno. Or is it time to play Howson where he is most effective, in a forward position, and where he seemed so useful last season?

 

Perhaps this is not the right time to make big changes, but somehow to rekindle the enterprise and confidence of "the run".

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Yes of course, he is deliberately ignoring an obvious winning formula, just for comedy.

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[quote user="Salopian"]

Perhaps this is not the right time to make big changes, but somehow to rekindle the enterprise and confidence of "the run".

[/quote]
Agree Salopian.
An on song Tettey was a key element of our run. I thought he did well when he came on on Saturday. Is he ready for a start? Hopefully so.
Wes looks low on confidence and is possibly being targeted by the opposition with early pressing. Still an important player for us but perhaps a few games as an impact player from the bench. That would then allow Howson to play in a forward role or a second striker.
I like Whittaker but then again I like Russ. Russ brings more leadership on the field and is now the de facto captain so I would stick with him.
A few random thoughts but it does remind me just how difficult these decisions are for Hughton. Particularly when all of us armchair managers could do a so much better job!!!
One thing I am convinced of though is that if you keep doing the same thing you should expect the same result. So find a way or a change he must to rekindle enterprise and confidence.
OTBC

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