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Papa Smurf is the missing piece

Papa Smurf is the missing piece

Papa Bouba Diop will take up the final berth in the middle of the park! Not my vote, yours - although these findings from stillthewhizz's poll are thoughts that I would probably agree with now to be honest - if we keep the 5 man midfield... going on HR's 'power' in midfield theory, and apparent liking.

Clearly it is not a 'given' that we will stick with the 'tried and trusted' 5 man midfield, even more so after the arrival of Jermain Defoe - who you cannot really see furrowing the forward line on his own? - but if we do then Lassana Diarra and Sulley Muntari are nailed on, with Bouba Diop likely to take the final place.

I would love to see Pedro Mendes as part of our midfield, and Sean Davis has been fantastic this season, but it would seem most likely that Bouba Diop would get the nod, although I am not convinced we will stay with the 5 man midfield to be honest...

What the poll asked - After the ACN who will get the final midfield slot in the 4-5-1?

How you voted - Papa Bouba Diop 53%, Sean Davis 24%, Pedro Mendes 13%, Richard Hughes 4%, Arnold Mvuemba 3%, Other 3%

Current Poll - We finally signed Jermain Defoe this week, but it came at a cost... or might have, with Benjani 'ruthlessly sacrificed'.

This is all 'hypothetical', or at least could be, but would you send Defoe packing if it meant Benjani would return and his 'proposed' transfer was void, or would you rather we kept Defoe even if it meant losing Benji - this is what - well I think this is what - storagematt wants to know with this - 'If you had to pick Defoe/Benjani?' Let the poll do the talking before we do when it finishes.


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Date:Sunday February 3 2008
Time: 8:00AM


Thing is now we probably won't play 5 across the middle, what with Baros and Defoe up front... The interesting thing is who is the 'other' midfielder in a 4 man set-up ? Lassie will obviously hold his place as will Niko, Muntari will play next to Lassie so that leaves the right open .... Umm Can Diop fill that position ?... Obviously in a four man middle it won't necessarily be as much as an attacking role as it would be in a 5... maybe... but could Mendes, Hughes or Davis play on the right ?.... The next couple of weeks are going to be interesting and I think Harry will be forced to play Niko on the right to accomodate Defoe and Muntari.... Think about it.. Defoe cuts in from the left the same as Niko.. Muntari plays 'naturally on the left too... with Niko there we will be too lopsided ....the right side is the problem.... I think we'll see Diop and Diarra in the middle, Muntari on the left of a four and Niko on the right.... That way we can still use Davis, Mendes & Hughesie should we need to... Next point is about Benjani... If he doesn't go (although he'll only be here until the summer) he is gonna have to play too keep his value high ... Now Harry may alternate between him and Baros but if the long term aim is to keep Baros he'll want him to form a partnership with JD.. so no place for Benjni... unless we play him on the right and tell him he is a midfielder (that'll work fine) .. but in my formation that would mean leaving Niko out.... I'm not sure how it will work but I think the debate we have on this one is similar to what is spinning around in Harrys head and keeping him awake at nights... What a lovely problem to have.. !!
03/02/2008 09:06:00
Oh what a lovely problem. Never in our lifetime have we had suchan abundance of talent to pick from. When you think of the dire teams we've had over the last 40+ years, these are exciting times. With Baros & Defoe it may offer 4 midfiels places. Nico, Muntari & Diarra for sure. I agree Diop but who plays exactly where is the interesting point. A few injuries & suspensions will jiggle them about but a least at home we can go 4 4 2 or 4 3 1 2.
03/02/2008 09:09:00
Latest saga to emerge; reports going around. Defoe isn't a permanent signing just a loan and Man City now don't want Benji even though Sven still wants him. Perhaps they think they offered too much. This transfer stuff has got way out of hand
03/02/2008 09:12:00
Where' Utaka goin to fit in.He's one of HR'S boys so he will get a jumper. I don't think Davis will fit the style of play as well as Mendes or Mvuemba so he will be on the bench.It's a real jigsaw puzzle.
03/02/2008 09:15:00
I have nothing against Baros. He's no Defoe but his full on charge approach rattles defences and will leave the door open for Defoe. But I think Nugent can do the same job with a bit more finess and we already own him.
03/02/2008 09:19:00
I think is a jigsaw puzzle but with too many pieces. Interesting to see how it works out. At United on Wednesday however we were too nice sitting back and watching them ping the ball around. With Diop and Muntari in the side they would not have been allowed to do that. I think the midfield conundrum withh be solved on a match by match basis depending on the opposition and the venue (home or away).
03/02/2008 10:37:00
Yeah I think you are right Dave.. Harry has the luxury of changing things around and keeping things fresh.. but we do now have 6 or 7 that should and probably will play every game...
03/02/2008 11:16:00
frattonaussie - I've been a big supporter of Nugents since he came and would love to see hinm do well.. and I think you are right about hm working with/off Defoe..... but Baros showed yesterday just how far Nugent has to step up to become that player... I'd never noticed it before as we've had nothing to compare to week in week out .. but boy Baros is a clever player he's not just all huff and puff... Hopefully Nuge can learn from Milan and he can become the player we all want him to be..
03/02/2008 11:19:00
I agree dave, personally i dont think Baros brings much to us that we havent already got and i would like to see Benji along side Defoe but it is not going to happen. Im really curious to see what is going to happen, as niko is not particularly a right sided player. Distin, Herman and Glen do caught out of position and Sol, pamarot, and even linvoy are too immobile to play 3 at the back these days.
03/02/2008 11:22:00
im glad im not the manager that is all i can say, its easy for me from here but when it comes down to the crunch god knows who i would leave out - knowing me i'd be all out attack, but that doesnt always work does it - ask keegan he'd 'love it if we beat 'em'...
03/02/2008 12:09:00
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