Friday, 2 January 2015

Our Cup match

Tomorrow marks our annual entry into the world's oldest knockout football competition. The opposition for our third round tie in the F A Cup will be Blackburn Rovers who I assume will be fairly confident of leaving SE7 with a result having rolled us over with something to spare only a few weeks ago at Ewood.

The Valley won't hold many fears for Rovers tomorrow. The crowd will be well down on league matches and, I suspect, very subdued. We are also carrying injuries and it's very possible that Bob Peeters will take the opportunity to rest a few and we may well even tinker again with formations. 

The most obvious question for me is "will Tony Watt play?" The answer to that would appear to be "no" on the basis that I don't believe the transfer window opens until tomorrow. Not sure how this is working and why we needed to wait until January on the basis that we could have taken him on loan last week? All that suggests that stumbling George will get another home game. He certainly deserves one after his efforts against Cardiff. I suspect Igor Vetokele could be rested if he is still carrying his calf strain. That would allow Joe Piggott a start in an unusual partnership of two bigger men.

Johnnie Jackson is warmly rumoured to be heading north to link up with Chris Powell and there will be knowing nods around the ground if he is omitted from the starting eleven. It should be an opportunity for Lawrie Wilson but Bob Peeters appears unconvinced by our Lawrie and instead perseveres with Gudmundson on the wrong side. I like Johan but he isn't and out-and-out winger and tends to drift inside. With no natural width from Cousins on the other side, we end up playing a narrower midfield which is easier to defend against and results in less crosses from wide - think Vetokele's last goal at Reading.

The back four should pick themselves but we could see a back three again if Peeters wants to persevere to find a winning formation. It worked well enough in the second-half against Cardiff but they were sitting back defending against ten men. I am not so sure it's as good an idea when our opponents have two lurking forwards in the shape of Rhodes and Gestede, and when they can gamble in a cup game. It would, however, allow Solly to be rested having played in the week.

We really need a confidence booster before we face a Brighton side who may be revitalised under Chris Hughton. With tough road trips this month to Watford and Wolves, it could be a hard start to 2015 unless we get off on the right foot tomorrow. 


Anonymous said...

UEFA dictate that the transfer window cannot finish on a weekend, so runs to 2nd Feb. It can only last for 31 days, so starts at 00.01 on Jan 3rd. Player registrations for a Saturday 3pm FA Cup game have to be completed by midday on Friday, so no new signings can play in the FAC 3rd round. Don't think we could sign Watt on loan last week - training with us is not the same...

Ketts said...

The various loan options are a Mastermind subject on their own Dave.

We can only take players from overseas clubs on standard loans, & these can only go through in the summer & January windows.

Emergency loans can only be brought in from domestic clubs. The emergency window opens 7 days after the summer window closes, so circa 7 September & closes on the fourth Thursday in November. It re-opens circa 7 February & closes on the fourth Thursday in March.

I believe this is why Watt will not appear tomorrow.Clears as mud eh?!!

Dave said...

Thanks Pedro.

Dave said...

Thanks Ketts - as you say, clear as mud. By the way, I tried you at half-time at Ewood but not sure I had the right number or maybe you couldn't hear me?

Kets said...

Yup, I got a call towards the end of the break at Ewood Dave but couldn't hear. We must reschedule mate.