Who'd have thought our best XI wouldn't include GH
Before the start of the season there were a whole host of articles around what City`s best starting eleven would be, who should be starting up front etc. Almost every single one of them - or every one I read at least - assumed one thing. That Grant Holt would feature heavily. There was no way that our top scorer for each of the last two seasons, our captain, our leader would be out of the picture.
And of course he wasn`t. Or at least he wasn`t initially.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Holt was left on the bench for the Bolton game but the performance of Morison and the result itself more than justified the decision, and I would imagine made the call to stick with the same eleven against Sunderland fairly straight forward.
Morison again put in a good shift against the Black Cats on Monday night and took his goal very, very well. He worked tirelessly all night in a role that for the most part is going to have your striker running backwards and forwards trying to create space and chasing down long clearances.
Holt replaced him for the last 12 minutes but looked like he was almost trying too hard -throwing himself to the ground, giving away needless free kicks and generally reminding me of Taz (the Looney Tunes character, not the guy from ECW). He looked a little out of it up front on his own but with the game stretched and City down to ten-men that is hardly surprising.
However it does call into question one thing about the diamond formation. As much as we have all hailed the impact Wes Hoolahan has in that position just behind the front two, is it possible we have under-estimated just how much the same formation plays to Holt`s strengths as well?
Lambert has moved away from the diamond for the last couple of games, and while it will more than likely be used again it is becoming increasing clear that the boss has specific personnel in mind for specific formations, and he isn`t afraid of putting anyone`s nose out of joint in applying those systems. And why should he?
Of course for all anyone knows Lambert could revert to the diamond at Old Trafford on Saturday, partner Holt and Jackson and leave us all guessing again. But that`s exactly why you can have nothing but absolute respect for him. Because not only is there a Plan A, there`s always a Plan B, and even a Plan C.
For years you could name City`s best starting eleven without having to even draw breath. Now there are options all over the shop and no untouchables, and that can only be a good thing.
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