Hodgson and the Future.
How ironic Roy Hodgson's words were yesterday? He talked about the importance of Blues letting us know as early as possible about their intentions regarding Ben Foster's future. That's all well and good, he is vital to our future hopes, but Roy can't have failed to have spotted a little double standards here given his own cards being kept so close to his chest.
This isn't a big dig at Roy. I can understand his own reluctance to commit just yet. Its obvious to everyone that he would take the England job if the Twitcher doesn't end up with it and Roy was offered it instead. He has also publicly stated that he wants us to show that horrible 'ambition' word in future planning as he doesn't want to be firefighting all the time at the Albion. My gut feeling is that he won't be here next year. Even if he doesn't get offered the England job. I cannot see our chairman ripping up the blueprint of financial prudence just because Roy asks for more investment. We will continue down the same path, investing in the infrastructure as well as adding to the squad in certain areas. Slight improvement here, tweaking there. Will that be enough for Roy? I doubt it, and if this is the case then he will be gone. Although you never know, even Scrooge saw the light once. Our chairman might surprise us all.
Looking forward to tomorrows game. Games against the Toon have been crackers for a few years now. They are always open games and we don't have too bad a record over all. Much will depend tomorrow on how Roy approaches it. Hopefully we will see the pressing game with lots of energy and movement. Whenever we play this way, we look a match for most in this division and results back this up. Its when we look to contain and play with a rigid formation that results are hard to come by.
It looks like we have an almost full squad to choose from. However, I feel that not playing two of our best players will give us a better chance. As much as I like Chris Brunt and Shane Long, I believe we look a much better team with Thomas and Odemwingie attacking down the flanks with pace with Fortune playing a lone role. Fortune may struggle for goals, but an attack minded 451 formation is served better when you have a strong centre forward on hand to hold the ball up whilst the midfield bombs on to support with pace. It din't work last week with Brunt on the wing and Long on his own, I would like us return to the side that wiped the floor with Sunderland a few weeks back. Harsh on Brunt and Long but its all about the results and points making prizes from here on in.
An extra few places will pump up the budget for next season, which might allow us to keep Hodgson and Foster.