At today’s presser, I asked Ange to explain the thinking behind the decision to play David Turnbull through the middle instead of someone like Abada. His answer, unsurprisingly, is that he saw it in fairly straightforward terms; to play Abada or Forrest through the middle would have meant moving someone else out to the wing.
Which is two changes to the shape of the team instead of one.
Ange says that he chose Turnbull because it was the “least disruption route.” Which I suppose makes sense, even if you think that there were other options. Ange is aware of that, but he chose what he thinks was the least bad one.
It’s when you look at it this way that you really start to get a sense for how bad this injury crisis is up front.
At the time of writing this the whole front line is out. The attacking wingers, where we seemed to have some strength in depth, are down to one; Abada. And possibly Adam Montgomery on the other side of the pitch.
So if you move Abada into the middle, who goes out wide? Turnbull? Rogic?
You’re now weakening the midfield and playing another player out of his natural position.
I mean, it makes sense.
And whilst he didn’t address directly the issue of promoting an academy prospect there is an obvious issue with doing that which is that you’re basically putting the campaign on some very young shoulders. Careers have been set back years doing stuff like that.
I wouldn’t play Turnbull through the middle.
I said that earlier in the article this morning. But I’m not paid to make those calls, and Ange has given us his thinking on why he’s done it and the logic of it is unarguable even if it’s not ideal, even as a stopgap.
In his defence, as he pointed out, the team didn’t unduly suffer for it in terms of the chances we created at the weekend. If Motherwell had been able to shut us out and stop us finding our rhythm that would have been a real concern, but they didn’t.
In spite of Alexander doing a power of moaning, we thoroughly deserved our win, by every available metric that you could study. As nervous as the idea makes me, the numbers don’t lie.
And neither do the results, and they are still going our way.