Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The defence begins here!

Okay…so having won this one and with ‘progress in the Champions League’ high on our owner’s agenda perhaps we might not exactly plough too much effort into this competition this time round. I can sort of understand that but for me that would be a shame really.

So a few things to think about:

1.    Are we ‘there yet’ as a club that we can dismiss this cup?

2.    Is it not disrespectful to a long-standing English competition?

3.    Have we not seen so-called ‘top sides’ rue their missed opportunity to add this one to their shelves; when concentrating their efforts elsewhere eventually fails to yield any trophies?

4.    Does it not give ‘fringe’ and EDS players a real taste of action and possible success?

5.    Do the players and Management Team not have an obligation to the ‘paying fan’ (no matter how “cheap” the early round ticket might appear to be)?

6.    Is it really in Pellegrini’s nature not to want to win every single game and competition?

Well I’m not going…

Just hang on a second! I’m not contradicting myself here - I simple had to make a financial decision back in May / June to drop out of the both the League and F.A.Cup schemes; ‘buying into’ just the Champions League this time round.

As I ‘prep’ this Blog posting on Tuesday afternoon, I’m already getting itchy feet and that hollow stomach feeling that I won’t be there tomorrow evening. I’d love to see various combinations of new players being tried out but with, as I’ve alluded to, enough about the team to see off the Yorkshire side in one, 90-minute effort.

I’d hate, I continue, to miss out on seeing an EDS player’s debut and one, perhaps, where they have a blinder of a game. I’m going to try to find a way of viewing the game somehow…

So, with the almost impossible task of trying to predict a League Cup starting 11 and subs bench for a League Cup 3rd round game just 3 days after a ‘tough one’ against Chelsea and before a 3:00pm (BST) KO away game in the Premier League just 3 days later; here goes…











* Rumours are growing that Samir Nasri has picked up a groin injury...

I could be COMPLETELY wrong here…and that’s what makes it sort of fun.

Right then…

The ‘no brainer’ is, of course, Willy in for Joe.

Similarly Clichy got a rest, as did Sagna, against Chelsea and so Gael & Bacary ‘in’ for the rested Aleks and suspended Pablo.

Tricky one in the middle of the defence - I think Kompany will get a complete rest and I think Pellegrini would see it as being wise not to start Mangala two games in a row and just before a ‘must win’ / tricky away Premier League game at Hull. Demichelis to definitely / surely start; Boyata, I’m sure, the preferred choice over Nastasic.

Personally I wouldn’t go for Dedryck over Matija but it’s quite obvious that ‘The Engineer’ doesn’t find him a useful tool to have in his defensive box.

Although I’m sure he’d like to rest him if possible; the season-improving & energetic Fernandinho should get another ‘nod’…and next to him for this fixture, unlike the Arsenal game, might be a good one for “Soupy Super Frankie” to start.

Sinclair is another highly likely starter and with Navas perhaps on the other flank, it should prove to be a dangerous wing-combo against the Championship side.

‘Neck out’ for this one – Jordy Hiwula to start up front alongside Edin Dzeko! I told you I could be well off here with this one…

Richard to get a rare spot on the bench and SURELY our manager will at least give Nastasic a go on the side for this one? Mangala might get another small run out to keep him ‘ticking over’ and Milner ‘in there’ just in case we need him to ‘fill in’ and do some more ‘nitty gritty’.

Then some ‘big guns’ in case we need some pulling-out-of-the-fire ‘game changers’; and they come in the form of Yaya, Samir & Sergio; with Joe, Aleks & Vinny in-being given a full & optional night off. David & Sergio apparently have ‘knocks’ and will miss this one.

Jose Angel Pozo to at least make the bench and, in fact, there are rumours that he may start and so perhaps a switch with Hiwula there.

Result? Unbeaten in 3, sitting 6th in their league with only 1 defeat and with a big & noisy following I’m sure; then perhaps we’ll have a scare at some stage (I’m almost certain of it). But it’s a ‘within 90-minutes’ home win for me…IF we don’t take them for granted and play with commitment.

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