We’ve been doing well of late, but since the injury to Tom Rogic a little of the buzz, a little of the snap, a little of the flare has gone out of our performances.
Those of us who thought having two out and out attacking midfielders in the team was a bad move are already re-thinking it. We’ve seen, in the last few weeks, what happens when we don’t.
Don’t get me wrong; we won yesterday and we deserved to.
We won in Hungary and we deserved to.
But Tom Rogic’s absence has been keenly felt these past few weeks.
He has been a great player for us in this campaign and we don’t look the same without him.
The manager has spotted this of course; Ange wants to bring another attacking midfielder to the club in the window, and it’s definitely needed when you consider that a few short years ago we had Christie, Rogic, McGregor and Armstrong competing in a position where we have become weaker even for the signing of David Turnbull.
Of course, Ange has repurposed McGregor as our defensive midfielder and Christie is no longer with us.
The area of midfield where we looked weakest – defensive midfield – now, ironically, looks far stronger with Bitton, McGregor, McCarthy and Soro in the squad not to mention some of the fringe players who can deputise there at a pinch.
The style lends itself to two out and out attacking players, and we’ve been deprived of that with the injury to Tom and although there are some games when a little more cautious an approach is needed the overall balance doesn’t seem right without them.
Apart from the injury to Rogic, we plainly can’t rely on playing the same two footballers over and over and over again, every week, for a whole campaign, and especially not one which is this long, so we do badly need reinforcements in this area.
Tom has been brilliant for us, and the manager has done something a lot of folk thought was unthinkable; he’s turned him into a 90- minute footballer. At the start of the season I’d have thought he was certain to go … now he seems like one of the indispensible cogs in the wheel, so much so that we just don’t look the same force without him.
January will strengthen this critical area … and not before time.