There are some fascinating opinions floating around just now concerning the ramifications of our comfortably beating by what by all accounts was a very poor Birmingham side.
I was not one of the 900+ hardy souls at the game so will not incriminate myself on a fraud charge by saying that I saw every cough and spit of it. I ostensibly didn’t. But from that slightly shaky position I will occupy one side of the fence rather than the other.
One of the biggest moans in this transitional season is that we cannot perform against the poorer sides to the degree that we get results – and therefore points. Well, now we have and I’m grateful for it. The nearer we get to 50 points and the summer transfer window, the more opportunity Daniel Farke will have to experiment and introduce some younger players, and the better I will feel.
For heaven’s sake, it was our first Championship double of the season and something to be celebrated for that alone as it’s still December. I hope we don’t have to wait for Ipswich to “rock up” for the next one.
Farke’s choice to deploy Josh Murphy in front of virtual debutant Jamal Lewis on the left flank appears to have worked out very well indeed. There are some lovely quotes from Josh online about how they talk, prod and probe, help each other out and thus communicate to full effect.
I completely agree with Gary’s comments yesterday regarding Marco Stiepermann. By his own admission he isn’t a natural left back (we can all see that) but he has always given it his best shot, and such is his versatility (and, to be fair, wage requirements) that he will have a part to play in this squad for the foreseeable.
As will Christoph Zimmerman.
So, the return of the TTs – you could refer to them as Trytey, but Gary has coined ‘Tetbull’ so thus it must be – was not before time. When Alex T goes at the end of the season (as he will) we have Ben Godfrey and very hopefully the almost tragically unfortunate Louis Thompson as replacements.
So, has Farke only just now hit on his best line-up? After all he’s been waiting all season for his favoured, natural left back in Jamal Lewis to regain finess. And Alex Pritchard is only just truly back at full blast from one of those injuries no professional footballer wants.
I will keep my powder dry on that “topic” until hopefully I see this particular outfit in action against Millwall on New Year’s Day.**
But for those bemoaning the downsizing (sorry, restructuring) and I am certainly in that category: guess who wasn’t involved yesterday?
Cameron Jerome, Steven Naismith, Russell Martin, Wes Hoolahan and effectively Michael McGovern.
As Daniel said in the Bible: mene mene tekel upharsin*** I feel it is for the quintet above, at least in terms of regular squad selection if not the continued receipt of their wonderful wages.
So hopefully just like some of those old Biblical prophets, we have seen a glimpse of the future.
If we can keep the bean counters locked away and retain the core of Madders and Pritchard (maybe even an interested Nelson too), next season may be a lot more exciting than this one. Especially now we know a prospect like Jamal can get a game.
If we can repeat this result against Burton we’ll be on 33 points at the end of 2017 and then Farke can really start to do his stuff by introducing a couple more prospects and building something with a little less pressure on him.
Off the field my attitude towards the Board and investment has not changed but on the pitch it might be “only a win against a poor bottom side” in MFW colleague Andy Head’s correctly-called damp squib of a season, but even the 1992 vintage couldn’t despatch the original Wimbledon!
**Watch out for a cracking MFW Millwall preview courtesy of the return of Nick Hart of CBL (I left my heart at Cold Blow Lane). Including a bit of footy politics that affects all fans of all clubs outside the top end of the PL everywhere.
*** “The writing is on the wall.