Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday December 21 2007
Martin O'Neill has urged the team to take advantage of any marking slip ups Man City may make this weekend, as at points they will invariably end up with more than 1 man watching Ashley Young.
In most games this season, for large periods of the game Young has found himself with at least two watchers as he travels around the pitch owing to his obvious talent and the speed and skill to which he can get forward.
O'Neill thinks that this may be the best way we can overcome a flying Man City this weekend by taking advantage of the gaps that will open up.
Speaking on SSN, O'Neill said:
'I'm delighted with him and all the things he is showing; I always thought he was capable of producing.
'It is getting to the stage where people are definitely keeping an eye on him, definitely double-covering him.
'People are making changes to combat him. Sunderland changed their squad around last week to accommodate him.
'That is great credit to Ashley. But it is something we have to try and utilise to our advantage, with the extra space that may become available elsewhere.'
Again this also ties into the comments and thoughts of most, that our frontline can and is too static at points. One of the joys of seeing Maloney on the pitch is like Young, he wants to take people on and sees willing to make pointless runs simply because it may work, or at the very least can pull somebody out of position.
All the great teams create most of their chances through running a defence ragged, way back in pre season this was what we were doing with our forward line all playing off each other and keeping the ball on the ground. We need to get back to that.
The game against Man City, a team we have won only one game against in our last 12 matches, is the perfect place to start, especially given the football they have been playing off late. If we can turn in a performance akin to the Arsenal fight then we should walk this match.
'We'll have to try and do something about that record, our aim is to try and win this match.
'We can't do anything about what has happened in the past, but this is an important period of the season.'
Date:Friday December 21 2007
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