Luton, Boro and Reading Games
By Red Army
September 18 2020
The Luton and Boro games were two very different games in terms of performance and personnel so what does that mean in terms of team selection for our trip to Reading?
In Both games the system made us pretty solid again but in the Luton game I felt we were poor with the ball and in terms of creating chances.
Middlesbrough was much better in this respect despite the gaffer seeing the Luton selection as his first team.
The performances mid-week have given him a bit of a selection headache and I would take both games in to consideration when selecting for our game this Saturday.
Goalkeeper wise, both Walton and Collins look well but he has got to stick with Walton with the way he played at the back end of last season.
At the back, my back three would be Sollbauer, Helik and Andersen. I thought the new lad looked solid and commanding in the middle of the three and the ever improving Andersen looked just as comfortable on the left.
Jordan Williams played well at both left wing back and right wing back and he would be the player I would choose to play at right wing back ahead of Ludewig.
It was interesting to see how much Ludewig came in from the right to sort of make an extra midfielder on Tuesday when we were in possession at times. Very Man City esque. We are used to Styles or Ritzmaier doing it from the left but Ludewig usually stays much wider. I felt he was too uncomfortable on the ball when doing this and I just think Williams is a better player at this moment in time anyway and we no longer need him to play in the back three.
In midfield and at left wing back I am going to contradict what I want to see long term and base it on the last two games only as I’m a firm believer in that if you play well you keep your place. For this reason I am selecting Thomas in the number ten position. I felt he had one of his best games for us in the first half on Tuesday. His running is always good but he lets himself down with his passing usually. On Tuesday his passing helped create the goals. He went back to normal a bit in the second half but for me what he did in the first half deserves a start.
Long term in midfield I want an out and out defensive midfielder alongside Mowatt with Styles in the number ten, I think he is made for that role. Odour at left wing back in this scenario.
Before I continue with who I would pick, I’d just look to say that I don’t think Ritzmaier has been bad these last two games but still nowhere near good enough to warrant a start.
I have criticised the use of Styles as a left wing back as a bit of a waste but that is where I would select him this week in the absence of Odour and also partly because I am picking Thomas and also pairing Styles and Mowatt deep in midfield together is a bigger waste than Styles at wing back.
When Palmer came on against Luton the midfield looked better, Mowatt looked better (he hasn’t been quite himself so far this season) and Styles was involved in a few decent moves/run from left wing back.
This was partly because Ritzmaier was no longer on the pitch but also I feel that Palmer’s game compliments Mowatt’s. Palmer is comfortable on the ball and moves it well and simple and also isn’t afraid to get stuck in, Mowatt also seems to get on the ball more and it seems to free him up to get forward a bit more. So I would pick Palmer and Mowatt as my midfield two.
Up front I would pick Woodrow as I just feel he is our best striker. Alongside him I think Schmidt deserves to start. Chaplin has been very hit and miss for a while now. The goals Schmidt scored at the back end of last season seem to have given him some confidence. To me he seems to be our most natural finisher and I think he touched the ball more on Tuesday night than he did for the entirety of last season and did quite well with it at times too.
My criticism of him last season was that he was a passenger when he came on but a few goals have hopefully addressed this problem.
I know my team will be slightly different to Struber’s as he will definitely pick Ludewig and Ritzmaier but these are just my thoughts based solely on the first two performances of the season.
Anyway, whoever is selected gets my full backing and hopefully we can come away with three points.