Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this moment, for the moment when Ange stopped indulging the lax and disinterested Odsonne Edouard and showed his teeth.
He has picked one Hell of a game for it too, a match we have to win, a match with a lot at stake.
The decision to go up front with our Japanese and Israeli bhoys and James Forrest at the tip of the spear is a brilliant, though controversial, decision. But without a shadow of a doubt it is a decision with merit.
Forrest may well play wide right with Furuhashi through the middle, or the three might all change and float about interchangeably … but whatever he decides, he’s no longer willing to wait on the Frenchman turning up to finally put on a show.
This is a manager asserting his power and control.
Nobody should think that this guy will simply select people based on their reputations; that’s clearly not going to happen.
The other big news is that Starfelt partners Bitton in central defence.
I hate that we play the Israeli midfielder in that position; its costly and stupid and should be jettisoned. But Starflet is a cut above what we had to work with last season and so it’s all to the good.
Both Bain and Barkas make a bench that looks a sight better than it did when the manager arrived, and which doesn’t even include our new midfielder James McCarthy.
Today is all about his decision to relegate Edouard to the status of sub.
It is a bold decision, a brave decision and without a doubt the correct decision.
I am glad that he’s sent this kind of message to the rest of the team.