R’s fan and legendary Smiths and Blur producer Stephen Street gave his thoughts on the season so far to IndyR’s this week…
Coming away from the recent game v Man City I was buzzing with excitement despite only drawing a game we could/should have won. More than any other season I can remember, the international calendar has played havoc with our fixtures. It has been so stop/start that it has been difficult to find momentum. But I feel now that we are starting to gel and so, as the late great Ian Dury would say, “Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3)”.
Charlie – Charlie, Charlie – Charlie Charlie – Charlie, Charlie AUSTIN! For the first time since the hey-day of Kevin Gallen we have a natural striker who knows where the net is and ‘scores when he likes’! The heart-warming story of Charlie’s ascension through the league tables is testament to a hard working ethos. I really do believe that Charlie will one day wear an England shirt and I for one will be busting with pride that he is ours!
At last Harry has cottoned on to what supporters have been saying for months. Yun Suk-Young is a natural left-back with pace, ability and most importantly, DESIRE! Not since the days of Gino Padula have I felt that this position has been covered well by a player. Long may he hold his place in the team and become a firm favourite of the fans.
Bobby Zamora has managed to continue the good form that he finally found at the end of last season and form a great relationship with Charlie as a strike partner. A stroke of genius by Harry to make him captain has certainly worked as his work rate has shot up. However, I don’t want to see us return slavishly to old ways of 4-4-2 with two upfront for every game. I believe in the 4-2-3-1 strongly.
In fact I used to use that system for a youth team I coached ten years ago, way before its current popularity in the professional league. With two ‘holding’ midfielders and three midfielders given license to get forward as much as possible. I feel this formation can be just as attacking as 4-4-2 and there is no reason why Austin should be left isolated especially with the likes of Vargas, Fer and Hoilett in our midfield. Now for a couple of concerns:-
The Rio signing has not worked. Despite Harry’s protestations that ‘he’s a t’riffic lad’ I have heard from a reasonable source that his presence has upset the dressing room balance. It was obvious he would return to London after leaving Man Utd as he is building a new home down here.
But, after a summer of punditry in Brazil did anyone really believe that he would be at the top of his game for us this season? No, he is here to squeeze one more year out of making money as a Premiership player whilst he overlooks his other projects and I for one believe we should get rid in the January window. However, who will be interested?
Too many chefs kill the broth? (or something like that)! I am beginning to lose count of how many coaches we have been giving their ‘tuppence worth’ to our first team. Tactically, at set-pieces we are usually awful. I really don’t know what they practice sometimes on the training ground.
In the Premiership we have to be more productive at every set piece we take. Someone please sort it out!