Friday, April 24, 2009

Long weekend ahead

With the whole weekend's football to endure before we entertain Pompey on Monday night, I'd just like to point you to smoggy writer Harry Pearson's article in today's Guardian, which certainly struck a chord with me.

As far as our squad is concerned, Shearer is reportedly toying with the idea of allowing ASBO off the leash to play some part in Monday's dogfight, with the player finally due back in training on Saturday.

With Martins delaying surgery on his groin injury until after the season finishes, presumably he'll be restricted to appearances off the bench, and with Captain Pasty emerging from his winter hibernation but appearing to still be carrying some added insulation, our options up front (at least in terms of starting players) probably remain a choice of Little Saint Mick and one from Shola and Andy Carroll.

At the back, the fitness of Jose Enrique appears to be the determining factor in whether we revert to a flat back four, or persist with the wing backs we've employed in recent weeks. With Steven Taylor injured again, and Coloccini's fitness uncertain (and form distinctly lacking) we could end up with Habib Beye in the centre and Ryan Taylor remaining at right back.

However, regardless of the permutations at the back, or upfront, the bottom line is that we need to create some opportunities to score, which seems to have been our biggest problem all season. Hopefully Shearer has spent all week teaching the likes of Duff, Taylor and Spiderman how to hit a decent cross. If not, then Monday night's game against a defensively solid Pompey could be a long old slog.


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