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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Is Diawara the Key man?

Hunting around for clues to the outcome of todays clash, I settled on our potential debut boy Souleymane Diawara. Brought in to strengthen our defence late in August, we haven't seen him play yet but everyone seems to think highly of him. He'll need to be at his best today and whoever he partners, El Karkouri or Faye, lets hope they gel immediately.

But of course, it'll take more that one new head to get a result against Chelski and a lot will depend on the team that ID sends out. Although Monica seems up for tomorrows game, there does seem to be a little anxiety in the camp, something that was never obvious in Curbs day, except among the fans of course.

Perhaps that's down to our new management being more open and available and more willing to be quoted. Yesterdays piece of coaching advice was "When you're out of possession you have to be set up in a way that makes it difficult for them to hurt you, but when you're in possession you have to play."

This does sound much like an invitation to adapt the "Curbs Plan A" to swamp midfield and prevent Chelski the space to work. But its unfortunate for Monica that the game comes at a time when he can't put out his best team.

With Omar Pouso away all week getting his "visa", it seems that his debut will have to wait a while unless he manages to make the bench. And with one "hard man" sidelined Monica has the question of where to play Amady Faye. Faye was bought in to add some much-needed bit to the midfield but it has been in central defence that he looks more at home. Instantly moving back into the position vacated due to the Herminators early bath against Bolton he never put a foot wrong for the following hour and the whole team played better. Was it Kish's presence instead of Faye in midfield that did it?

Monica may therefore be tempted to include Faye at central defence once again in the place of HH. However this will leave the midfield a little light-weight against the strengths of Essien and Ballack. And there's even the possiblity that Young may not be fit, requiring Kish to move into his old full-back position.

This need to beef-up midfield will possibly see the return of Kish and a midfield of the Bulgarian, Reid, Faye and, dare I say it, Hughes is more than a possiblilty.

Some people even want to see us go back to the tactics used last year, when with a 4-5-1 formation, we had a midfield of Rommedahl, Holland, Kish, Hughes and Ambrose. The thought has obviously occurred to Monica but these numbers don't come easily to our Coachs' mentality. It'll be a 4-4-2 with Jimmy-Floyd against his old club alongside Darren.

So the key to getting any sort of result today will depend on Monica's use of his available resources and on all the team playing to their potential. And, of course, Chelski falling asleep again.

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