Date:Friday March 12 2010
Cardiff City face two tricky away games and must pick up points to cling onto the final play-off spot. The team has been in poor form of late after injuries ripped the heart out of our midfield. Our plight was not helped by a stupid booking picked up by a frustrated Michael Chopra resulting in a 2-match ban.
With Joe Ledley and Kelvin Etuhu out and Peter Whittingham and Steve McPhail only just returning from extended lay-offs - our midfield is obviously weak. Ross McCormack has filled the left-wing berth un-convincingly and would love a chance to partner Bothroyd up-front in Dave Jones' preferred 4-4-2 formation. That would rely on Whittingham returning on the left or, the unlikely decision to employ Tony Capaldi or Mark Kennedy in midfield.
Leaving aside Jones' inability to change fomeation, there is an option which appears to suit our needs perfectly:
1) McCormack is not a midfielder. He can operate in wide areas but offers little support to McNaughton and looks lost when playing deeper.
2)We are weak in central midfield. Gavin Rae is out of form, Darcy Blake is new to the position and we are missing the creativity offered by Ledley and McPhail.
A 4-5-1 fluid 4-3-3 system would solve both these problems allowing McCormack to push further on and employ a free roaming role. He could play on the shoulder, or come inside to pick up possession. Additionally, the three men in midfield would give extra cover to our under-pressure defence as well as offering more hope in controlling central midfield - when was the last time we dominated ?
Other sides utilise this formation against us to brilliant effect, and few of those teams can boast an attack of the quality of Bothroyd, McCormack and Burke. Jay could easily cope with the rigours of being a lone striker, while Chris Burke would also cause havoc in a more advanced position.
A further benefit is that the third central midfielder (alongside Blake and Rae) would be given far more license to get forward - a very rare occurance for our midfield and either Peter Whittingham or Aaron Wildig would love that creative and positional freedom.
Obviously it's hypothetical because Dave Jones won't switch. However, it seems to me that this formation is made for McCormack and Burke - two highly destructive players and would be extremely effective playing away from home.
What are your thoughts, could this formation work? What changes would you make?
Date:Friday March 12 2010
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