Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Winged wondering

Whilst the transfer window cranks itself closed, the news that Gavin Johnson is to be out for a month as a result of his hamstring pull against St Albans highlights a key concern in the squad's composition. Johnson, in some ways, is one of the weak links in the squad. Not because his play has been poor, on the contrary, he's been excellent. It's more because of his age - which could hamper his recovery - and the specialist nature of his position.

The wing back role is a tricky one; knowing when to bomb on and when to hold back and tuck in. It's a skill in itself and there's no one with Johnson's ability to slot into the position without changing the balance of the side. Matt Day took Johnson's place on Friday, but despite his wonder goal, he appears more suited to a back five than a wing back system.

Eddie Anaclet has struggled with the system this season and he's admitted as much. He was excellent on Friday but he was given quite a bit of freedom to forage forward and link up with Yemi where, at times they bombed about like dogfighting fighter planes, bewildering and exhausting the St Albans defence. In the main, however, Carl Pettefer has been the unsung hero mopping up after Anaclet when he gets it wrong; a weakness exposed against Northwich, who scored through via a fast left wing break when Anaclet was left bewildered on the half-way line.

One of the characteristics of the side this season is the level of sophistication in its tactical play. It's bamboozled the opposition, and obviously, paid fantastic dividends. It would be a shame to see that upset through injuries.

No comments: