Cup Magic.
By Japandy.
Monday 23 Feb 2009 10:22:00
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Cup magic.

As every parent will tell you, and every teacher preaches 'it is all down to the individual'. How we live life. How well we take our chances when they come along. How much we believe in ourselves. These are things our bunch of happy warriors are now asking themselves.

For the first time in memory teams are actually starting to fear us. In one year, under the careful management of Ranson and Coleman, we have gone from 'dog-fight certs' to 'threat', and it has little to do with 'on the field of play'. It is more to do with psychology like Fergie has been doing for years and had no competition until Wenger and then 'the chosen one' appeared on the scene. Yes, and I'm sorry about my snobbery, but it also to do with intellect. Possibly three young managers possess this quality, Coppell, Martinez and Coleman.

Ranson saw Coleman's ability years ago and he had him earmarked even before he owned a club. Ranson helped to develop the present 'in' mode of training by using data relating to players' performance level. It's okay getting the data but it takes a brain to use it, and that is what we have with our backroom staff. It's not favouritism that has Coleman picking Doyle every game, it's data and seeing the unseen. It's also not coincidental that Coleman has trained Doyle to use the findings to his advantage and so now Doyle is scoring goals and getting into positions he didn't do before.

Sam is frightened. Yes, he will say the league is more important. Yes, he will say he will field a weakened team but then field his strongest. We, in fact, possibly fielded a more weakened side than they did last time out and still we do not have all bodies back. If you notice Coleman rarely states our poor display was due to injuries because he likes a small squad of 23 or 24 and ALL players can play on a Saturday and no players are left out of the equation.

And so we move on to our FA Cup replay with possibly a crowd of about 18 or 19,000. That should still be enough for the atmosphere to be good and with few Blackburn fans likely to make the trip our supporters vocal talents could bear fruit.

We can look at the possible team from start to finish and see that we have adequate cover in all positions. I think Marshall has been wrongly criticised in some qusrters and I was saying to a friend after the game the their pitch was made for bouncing balls. The bounce was unbelieveable and obviously the grass had been cut for that purpose. Big Sam has come into Blackburn mid-season so he cannot stamp his talents on to his charge so he will resort to anything as he has always been a fighter. Diving players (same again at ManU), bouncing pitches, all part of the Sam Circus that hits town Tuesday night.

Will we be up for it? Our players will because they are starting to believe in themselves and trust each other. The question is are we fan up for it? At present I doubt it as there has been so many false dawns, but I say to them 'we have never had the likes of Ranson and Coleman at our club before'.

The game will be a fierce contest but hopefully without possible injuries suffered. I think the game will be slightly different from the last and it was interesting that Coleman focused so much on defending against Birmingham. We kept a clean sheet then and I'm sure coleman will be saying to the players that is the root of success, a clean sheet. We must defend in numbers and our midfield of Doyle and Gunna have to keep the defence covered. With the loss of the Duke and Bell for this game our natural width has been undermined but we still have Henderson who posed so many problem in the previous game and possibly Simpson on the other flank we could still find that is our main threat.

As all fans do, we have our own ideas of team selection and I am no different.
I believe the FA Cup games are one offs and normal systems aren't so important and in fact I believe experiments often are the key to Cup success. Therefore, I'd like Coleman to put Clinton out wide. He is a similar player in many ways to Sheff who used to drift in from the left wing. I think having Best/Simpson or Best/Eastwood in the middle and Clinton drifting in would pose threats to the Blackburn defence and allow more a more physical presence of Simpson/Best to do some damage at the back.

In our defence we seem to have cover in all positions now and with Ozzy really buzzing at the moment competition looks healthy. Turner has recovered, and you all know how much I rate this young man on and off the field, so he should come back in to partner Ward. So my team would be;

Westwood
Wright - Turner - Ward - Fox
Henderson - Gunna - Doyle - Clinton
Best - Simpson

If any are injured or become mysteriously sick then we have Marshall, Hall, Boozy, Eastwood, and others to come in.

I'm not going to predict this game as I think it would be unfair. I hope the players enjoy it for all they are doing for us fans and I HOPE and PRAY they get their reward of a Cup game at the Ricoh against Chelsea. For me they deserve it and I'll leave it up to them if they want it.

©2008 The West Terrace

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