Originally Posted by Meridio
Seems like Ricki Herbert has settled on our first choice lineup, with Christie replacing Brown in midfield, and Reid and Smith replacing Vicelich and Sigmund at the back. I'm in favour of the latter - been quite impressed with those two, and Vicelich and Sigmund are both slow and a bit clumsy imo - but not a fan of the first. Don't rate Christie at all, and with Elliott already playing as a deep midfielder I don't see why we have Christie in there as well - he's too similar, except his passing's worse. It also leaves us with a big gap between our strikers and midfield, because they're both slow to get forward.
Reckon we should have McGlinchy in there instead. He's more creative, and has a better touch than Christie. Would have liked to see Aaron Clapham get a game in the friendlies - what was the point in taking him at all? After there was that talk about him being something of a creative midfielder, we haven't seen him at all, even with Brown injured. Seems odd.
A number of players, Clapham included, only went as cover if other players got injured. And nothing against the guy, but expecting someone to step up from amateur NZFC football to the world cup is ridiculous. Still, with a practice game against Chile coming up he might yet get a run. Agree about Christie, the guy is an awful passer, although he's not bad at floating in teasing long balls from the halfway line. Mind you, Reid, Smith and Elliot have already all shown a good ability to do that, so Christie just seems superfluous.
The other problem with the team is that while officially we're a 3-4-3, we're playing more like a 5-2-1-2. Bertos and Lochead are playing so deep that unless it's a set piece, they're almost never there on the attack, making anything but lobs in for Fallon far to easy to defuse. The side is really missing Brown and his willingness to get forward and provide an extra option.
Still, I don't think we played that badly last night, and if Killen had been on the left post rather than Wood, and if Paston hadn't had a local aneasthetic injected into his hands before kick-off, I think we could've gotten a 2-2 result. All in all, I think we've shown enough in these three games to show that, if nothing else, we won't be an embarrasment. Though anyone who thinks that we'll make the second round will be in for a rude awakening when the cup starts.