This morning’s friendly saw us do what we’ve been doing all season long; playing excellent football. It also saw us do something we’ve tended to do in Europe, but also in the occasional SPFL game. We missed a lot of chances.
I would be more worried if we weren’t creating so many, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s the reason we’ve got no continental football to look forward to for the rest of this campaign.
When we played against Sydney one of the things that was most obvious was the lack of striking options on the bench, with the slight injury to Giakoumakis ruling him out. Maeda is off with the Japanese national team. We looked, for one game, threadbare.
We’re not, of course. With Maeda in the squad we have three recognised strikers, and Abada, Haksabanovic, Forrest and Abada can all deputise up front at a push. There is firepower in this team even if Kyogo, Giakoumakis and Maeda were out at the same time, which would take phenomenal bad luck and poor squad management.
The question remains though; are we still short in this area? Would one more recognised striker provide us with the last piece of the jigsaw? When you look at our goals to games ratio it sounds daft and a little like overkill, but our goals to shots ratio is the giveaway.
We do still need something extra, some additional cutting edge. The manager has to be thinking about this for the January window. He has to have targets in mind, the kind of people who will be content to wait their turn but good enough to make it.
That’s not easy to find, but we believe in Ange because his record at spotting players is exceptional. Of course, the media will try to say that too big a squad creates issues of its own but they’ve been saying that he started building this one, and those issues still haven’t arisen. I don’t expect that they will if he signs one more front man.