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Canary On The Wire

A Swedish sort of seriously slower Sturridge

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Watching Liverpool today was all too reminiscent of our struggle to provide RvW with the support he definitely needs. Without his Daniel Sturridge to link the play, Luis Suarez was an absolute pussycat. Sure, Liverpool had plenty of the ball (As will they against us) but the wingmen could not push high enough to plug the gap between the midfield and Suarez. This is because with no one to hold the ball up in the way Sturridge does, Liverpool were unable to bring Moses and Sterling into play. In much the same way, with no Elmander, Hooper/RvW do not get any real support from Snodgrass/Redmond/Pilkington because there is no willing focal point in the attack. Teams like Arsenal get away with this tactical model because Giroud is a decent finisher with good movement, but phenomenal hold up play- which does not facilitate a need for two up front. Teams like ourselves and Liverpool (dare I compare us) need someone supporting their Suarez/RvW/Hooper...or else no matter how much ball they get they will create precious little. I have long been an advocate of two up front, but never the RvW + Hooper combo some fans long for. This is because neither of those players have enough ability in terms of the target man- both need someone to feed off. I am convinced that playing Howson behind a front two of RvW and Elmander would be the answer to our goalscoring frailty. Howson could burst onto any ball won by Elmander and either feed it out wide to a winger/overlapping full back to cut back to another forward or have a shot himself. The only problem is that we would negate Fer''s strengths by forcing him to sit deep- we could get away with him pushing up if we had a sweeper keeper like Lloris, but Ruddy will never be that type of keeper. Against Liverpool, we must forget this talk of Hoolahan being a luxury and play him again as a narrow left winger  with Hooper and Elmander up front with Howson and Fer in central midfield.  This means Olsson must get forward and create overloads to link up with Wes (as I''d rather Martin sat back a bit as he isn''t quick enough to get back quickly enough, and if we play Redmond on the right he will need a bit more defensive support than Wes who is more experienced in terms of defensive positioning and tracking back). Do this, and Olsson and Redmond should get a lot of crossing opportunities through either overlapping Wes or Redmond''s own ability to get to the byline. Elmander can win those headers, Hooper can feed off him- and we can get a shock result away at Anfield with Elmander the key man- our Swedish sort of seriously slower Sturridge.

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