Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crunch time

So the Lone Ranger isn't the only player to get a ticking-off from the Silver Fox of late. He's also had stern words with Mr T about his disciplinary record following Sunday's red card down at the Dark Place: "It's not a laughing matter because he's one of our big players and I can't have him not playing. It could be costly and he needs to understand that." Of course it has already been costly - we already had the lead and, with a full complement of players, we should have comfortably seen off a desperately poor Mackem outfit.

Mr T's ability to break up attacks is second to none, and that does involve a certain amount of aggression in the tackle - something the Silver Fox also acknowledged, complaining about "the sanitisation of the game". But he does risk becoming a liability, and it's incredible to think that, having been booked in half of his games for the club (29 times in 59 appearances), he hasn't ever gone on to collect a second in the same match.

Looking to the positives, his three-match ban only applies domestically, so we can give him a run-out tonight and in the return fixture over in Bruges if we want. In terms of the Premier League, though, it'll give us experience of how to cope without him - good preparation for January...




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