Let’s look now about how to get this squad firing, because it can be done and we are seeing very good signs of it being done and coming together. We are not far off.
I love Mauricio Pochettino as a manager and think he is one of the best man-managers around. I think for a young squad, he is one of the best managers we could have. The players love him and have a real belief and trust in him.
But, and there is always a but because I like to be as balanced and open as possible here, some of his selections continue to be questionable.
I’m not going to dive back into the Ben Chilwell as a winger thing, but that was obviously one of them.
The next one is playing Levi Colwill, our best current centre back for me, as a left back. It’s painful.
Colwill’s best attribute is his distribution and forward passing. He can literally setup an attack with one pinpoint through ball from centre back. At full back, he isn’t getting the chance to do that. Also, he brings nothing that a full back should bring. Malo Gusto on the opposite flank is overlapping, being another attacking outlet, and creating more space inside for the other attackers. Colwill is not doing that, through no fault of his own.
Play players in their ACTUAL positions, PLEASE!! It’s literally basic stuff to me.
We don’t even need to do it, we had Ben Chilwell on the bench on Sunday. Drop Axel Disasi or Thiago Silva. Play with a balanced back four!
Then ahead of them we had the midfield balance all wrong again on Sunday. Enzo Fernandez looks completely lost playing as an advanced 8, or a 10. To me, on Sunday he was an 8, and he was playing as a left 8. We don’t want to see Enzo driving with the ball wide on the left trying to get into the box. Let him do what he does best a bit deeper, getting on the ball and having players ahead of him and seeing the whole game. He’s a 6/7 for me, but not a lone 6. I think he can play as an 8, but it has to be a deeper 8.
It’s hard to see how we will setup in the best way when Romeo Lavia is back fit, because he is also best as a lone 6. I don’t want to see Moises Caicedo and Enzo as two 8s, no way.
But for me, this is the best possible setup we can play:
For me, Noni Madueke is playing with confidence and can make something happen from nothing. So assuming we have him back fit for next weekend as well as Moises Caicedo, this is what I’d go for.
And when everyone is fit, that is when things become very difficult and I honestly do not see the vision for it. I think Caicedo and Enzo are two pivot players ideally, so where does Lavia come in? Christopher Nkunku comes in either on the left or in the 10 role.
And then Benoit Badiashile comes in for Silva, James for Gusto, and you let Madueke, Mudryk, Sterling, and Palmer battle out for the rest of the attacking positions. I’d also be looking to get Ian Maatsen in there from the start because he is quality. I think he would be a genuine contender for Chilwell.
I just want to see us setup positively rather than negatively. No matter how you want to look at it, starting three centre backs is more negative than starting two, which is what we need to be doing. Caicedo provides the defensive stability, and Enzo can get on the ball deeper and create. Palmer centrally can get on the ball as well and look to thread passes through to the front three.
It’s just logical to me, but again, I’m not the qualified coach here and I must keep my faith in those who are.