Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday September 18 2009
For for all you statos, do you realise we have never lost a game that Steve Sidwell has started.
Waits for the cries of 'what about Boro?'
Yes we lost on his debut, but I'm ignoring that considering not only has it not happened since, but far more importantly it doesn't sound quite as good does it.
Matt Kendrick of the Birmingham Mail picked up on this and decided to question our Ginger Ninja about the stat, but there is a little more to it than just Sidwell.
The record also shows the main difference between using 442 and 451.
Playing 451 with Sidders we always avoid defeat, this coincided with last season's 10 on the trot and our 3 back to back victories this season.
The only defeat with Sidders in the team was when we played Boro, and we were playing 442, last term.
'Someone should tell the gaffer that!' responded Sidwell to the accusation we don't lose when he's in the team.
It didn't really come as a surprise to Sidders as he already knew, but admits himself:
'You can't read too much into that. Stats are quite important but I don't get too carried away by them.'
Sidwell is however reticent to be typecast as a 451 type of player only, saying he doesn't believe the formation brings out the best in him and points towards his spell at Reading as proof there is more to his game than that.
'It's just that 451 seems to suit the team with the personnel we've got here.'
That's certainly true, defensive we get over run in midfield when we only have two players there, the addition of the third gives us more strength and allows us to soak up the pressure before counter attacking at pace which is our tactic.
Sidwell hasn't really found the form that made him a star at Reading, we are yet to see the storming attacking play we know he is capable of but he's slowly getting there. A few goals would do his confidence the world of good and then maybe we'll see the player we expect.
Our downfall is we don't really have a midfield general which is why 442 doesn't work.
You choose tactics to suit the strengths of your players, overall 451 suits our players. We'd probably see more from Sidders in a 442 to be honest if we had a midfield general that allowed him to drift a little, until that happens packing the defence and stifling the oppositions midfield with numbers is the best way forward.
Date:Friday September 18 2009
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