Neil Lennon, speaking to the press today, has said that he has watched the Sevco game multiple times and realises he might have to change his tactical approach for these matches. I am sort of surprised, even dismayed, at these comments.
Did he not watch the cup final? If he had he might have realised a few things a lot sooner than he did and we might not be here.
Look, one of the things I refuse to do too much of here is criticise Lennon. I didn’t want him in the job but I won’t pretend that I have not been impressed and supportive of the guy since the season started. I am delighted with how well we’ve played and how many games we’ve won. We’re still top of the league, we have won the first domestic cup and Europe has been a great highlight. We have more points than we did this time last season.
We have improved and I’d dismiss anyone who tried to claim otherwise.
But as with under Rodgers we’ve become predictable because we play one system nearly all the time. Lennon’s idea about changing up against Sevco is a good one, but in fact we need to vary our play more from game to game, and to adapt it against other clubs too and especially away from home where teams just pack the penalty area and midfield.
The one-man upfront system is a particular bug-bear of mine. One striker cannot possibly find space when there are five men around him. It is madness to persist with this; it will cost us points, and it will cost Sevco points as well, if we don’t alter it.
We have three strikers in the squad, but because of injuries and other things we’ve not really had much of a chance to experiment with a two man forward line. Another problem is that we’ve got so many top midfielders.
I sometimes look at our squad and think it has been designed to specifically accommodate a single formation; that is just daft if you ask me.
We are inviting trouble by persisting with it.
I would hope that one of the reasons we want another front man is that we want to try a two up top system
. I think it would work well for us.
If we’re going to spend big money on someone – and it does seem as if we’re looking for a decent striker – it makes good sense not to have him sitting on the bench but to try and see how well he plays alongside Eddie.
There’s also a little forgotten fact; Eddie can play out wide, and in particular on the left. With a potent scorer in the middle Edouard could be an even more devastated weapon than he is right now. There are options galore if we bring in that quality second front man.
Lennon is right to be re-evaluating the approach. It has been successful, but if you play in one dimension it doesn’t take teams long to figure you out, and we can’t afford that. Sevco has been able to predict our style, and that’s what’s cost us against them.
I am glad that Lennon wants to shake things up.
The team could use it as much as the system.
I am only sorry he didn’t do it a few weeks earlier, after Hampden.