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Silver Lining
Written by SpiritOfJohn on Sunday, 13th Sep 2015 10:39

Sometimes one has to look long and hard for the silver lining and the bluebirds in the sky.

Watching the team on Friday night was akin to seeing one’s favourite pullover being snagged and slowly unravelling while being powerless to arrest the destruction. Truly horrific stuff.

Reading away has not traditionally been one of those fixtures that Town fans look forward to with delight at the prospect of three easy points. It is the type of venue where we are used to seeing Mick McCarthy’s blue bus parked between the sticks, where we keep our shape and defend in numbers, and try to nick a breakaway goal in the dying seconds.

After the goalless fare had been served up we would hear the gruff Yorkshire tones exclaiming that there was no such thing as a bad away point. Long suffering supporters would yawn and shake their heads thinking how different things might have been if only they were in charge of team selection and tactics.

We are only six games into the new league season but it is already plain to see that this season is going to be different. When the team was announced on Friday hardly an eyebrow was raised at the inclusion of four forwards in the starting line-up.

Last season on our travels we frequently had Daryl Murphy on his own up front. The only murmurs of dissent at this new attack-minded set up were reserved for the choice of goalkeeper. Christophe Berra was back at centre-back so the defence would be rock solid as it was for most of last season.

If the game had been played on paper we would have romped home 3-1. But life is not like that. It tends to deliver a swift kick to the seat of one’s pants at the most inconvenient times. Friday night was one of those times.

Much has already been written about the individual and collective errors that cost Town goals, but one recalls what the (visibly shocked) opposition manager said on Sky after the game: "It did not feel like a 5-1."

So what has been learned from the Brighton and Reading games? We all know we have exciting attacking options this season and we will score lots of goals but our defence looks pedestrian and needs greater protection.

Our squad is incrementally better than last season and we have been congratulating ourselves regarding our shrewdness in the transfer market but recent results have shown that other teams may have strengthened exponentially.

Has McCarthy allowed himself to get carried away with our embarrassment of riches in the forward department and will he continue to give them free rein as part of a new bold attacking philosophy for the season? Is this the silver lining one has been looking for? Or, now that we have seen that it can go horribly wrong, will we go back to packing the midfield and sticking Murphy up front on his own? Time will tell and we will probably see a more conservative line-up on Tuesday at Leeds. Up the Town!

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MattinLondon added 14:35 - Sep 13
It doesn't matter if it didn't feel like a heavy defeat the fact is that it was.

We do have excellent attacking options but in my opinion the trouble is that Berea, Smith and Chambers are all poor on the ball and cannot pass for toffee. Therefore putting the midfield under a lot more pressure than what is needed.

There was no link up play between defence and the middle of the pitch. Dare I say we need a Tabb type of player who can hassle and tackle in the centre. If not Tabb then maybe young McDonnell.

There are silver linings but that doesn't mean that we should gloss over the failings.


BlueKush added 14:36 - Sep 13
That third goal killed it and Gerken's to blame - the whole team lost it after that. We stopped being competitive. Hopefully Mick doesn't go too mental with the changes, just bring Bialkowski back in and only play 2 strikers in his 442. Murphy a shoe-in, probably with Sears.

Bru/Bishop coming back from injury and Tommy Oar's debut to look forward to.

Garv added 15:17 - Sep 13
Don't think we need drastic changes. We can still play attacking options. Just because we made mistakes and got punished it doesn't mean we should abandon all attacking threat, because we have a fair amount of it. It would help if the midfield could be a little more disciplined than they were the other night!

We do However need to sort central midfield out. Whether it's Coke or even Tabb I'm not sure, but for me Douglas isn't worthy of a place at the moment. You would assume Coke is ahead of Tabb in the pecking order, but I don't know how much of a difference Coke would make. Tabb has never done too badly as a central man, especially in a three.

Personally I'd go 4-3-3 with Skuse, Fraser and one other in the middle of the pitch with Fraser perhaps taking a more defensive role, while still being able to create. McGoldrick, Sears and either Pitman or Murphy up top.

Parr should be a consideration at full back also. Either side.

tractorboybig added 16:23 - Sep 13
a silver linning or exposure of fatal fundamental floors?
I fear the second, and mick does not have the personnel at his disposal to change it?
Lets see what Leeds do to us. Reading and Brighton are two teams that will be there at the end, both have put us to the sword.

Garv added 22:59 - Sep 13
That team was just for Leeds by the way.

RegencyBlue added 20:36 - Sep 14
Whilst our squad is undoubtedly stronger than last year your point about other teams also being stronger is a valid one.

I think it was mentioned in the commentary that Championship clubs spent a total in excess of £100 million during the summer. MM has done well recruiting but I don't think he can compete with teams who are spending to that extent by shopping in the bargain basement all of the time.
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