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Selection yesterday
#1
It was mentioned elsewhere that the line-up looked good yesterday. In terms of big names and choosing the best individual players, I'd agree. But where, how and even why they were deployed as they were yesterday, I thought it was shite, and it caused us problems from the off.
 
There were unnecessary changes to the back line. Nyom looked like he'd never put a pair of boots on before, and struggled all afternoon. Why did he swap him over? Awful defending for the first goal from him, but when you make changes like this you risk that. 

Evans looked very uncomfortable right of centre. I'd have left the backline unchanged, but if it was TP's burning desire to get Evans back in, why not just a straight swap for Hegazi?
 
Dropping in a potentially unfit debutant in midfield was a questionable decision in itself, but worse still was that the result of this meant we had too much of the same in the middle. OK Barry must play when fit, TP clearly loves Livermore, but these two and Greg doesn't add any creativity or support for the fragile Rondon, who looked inept and unable to hold up anything yesterday. In fact, all our attacking threat was pushed out to the flanks by this selection, and to his credit Hughton spotted this and so doubled up on both straight from the off. Phillips in particular struggled, but got very little back from our hard centre who at times were simply static in support. It's understandable that playing two talented wingers merited a target man up top, but Rondon was shite. He doesn't look worthy of a start on yesterday's showing, and I'm surprised that he got one given the international break.
 
We only really showed any attacking threat when - quite rightly - we put some flair in the centre with the introduction of Mozza. Yes the line up looked strong at 3pm yesterday, but there was no chance of developing anything through the centre as a plan B yesterday, other than Barry occasionally marauding. But doing so from quite so deep gives rise to what we saw just after HT (how can someone be given that much space to pick his spot with three holding CMs in the side). And given the defensive changes, a hard midfield matters little if its built on sand.
 
The West Ham line-up will be telling. Our squad looked really strong yesterday, and even though he was said to be slightly injured the fact that Chadli didn't travel and that we didn't look patched up as a result illustrates that it was a good window. But, on yesterday's showing against a side yet to score a goal beforehand -  I remain to be convinced that this side is quite ready to trot out on matchdays without somehow accommodating Mozza or Brunt in it somewhere. Just yet.
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#2
Great post Hawks.
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#3
Spot on with those opening post comments.

There's nothing much wrong with the squad (bar a striker to replace Rondon). It's how it is deployed which is the issue.

I'm sure Rondon only played yesterday because of HRK being suspended.
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#4
TP bemoaned Hagzi and Rondon traveling back late from far reaches of the globe after international duty and then picks them both with alternative options at his disposal! Raving madness

Cuzer
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#5
Great post HH. I have just posted similar but less eloquently.
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#6
It will be interesting to see how tony manages the 3 'star' holding midfielders seeing as realistically it should only be two of them playing. This doesn't even take into account Claudio.
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#7
+1 on OP.  Pulis can no longer make the excuse of a paper thin squad. He's been backed this summer.
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#8
Totally agree with the OP.

The lack of attacking threat until the last few minutes was shocking.
It's all well and good setting up to be defensively strong but, if you're not even defensively strong, it turns into a bit of a pointless task.
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#9
(09-10-2017, 11:45 AM)Baggie66 Wrote: Totally agree with the OP.

The lack of attacking threat until the last few minutes was shocking.
It's all well and good setting up to be defensively strong but, if you're not even defensively strong, it turns into a bit of a pointless task.

There was no need to be defensively paranoid against a team who had yet to score until yesterday afternoon. Take the game to them and put them on the back foot. With the same back line as against Stoke, and Mozza or Brunt in instead of any of the middle trio, and the outcome would have been totally different. 

Cuzer's point also valid. Simply swap Evans for Hegazi if Captain 'Focus on my Football' has to start, and give Rondon a rest to get over his DVT. He certainly looked like he had a nasty bout of it yesterday.
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#10
Pulis had a selection nightmare and realised we didn't have any forwards or attacking midfielders as an after thought imo.
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