Lisa Simpson: “Look on the bright side, Dad. Did you know that the Chinese use the same word for ‘crisis’ as they do for ‘opportunity?’”
Homer Simpson: “Yes. ‘Crisitunity!’”
Homer has it right. The fact that our options are limited this week might just turn out to be a good thing after all.
Why bother rotating your squad for the “congested Christmas fixture list” (© Sky Sports News) when they can help you out by rotating themselves? It must be tricky to plan for a run of matches when you players are constantly getting suspended and injured!
Jay Harris, Dean Keates and no doubt dozens more weren’t available at Welling, and Andy Bishop, Joe Clarke and Steven Wright all ended the game having put themselves out of contention somehow or other. Adrian Cieslewicz must be starting to wonder what he needs to do to get a game. Hell, I’m starting to wonder what I need to do to get a game!
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The need to shuffle the side in Kent brought its rewards, as our reconfigured midfield trio looked good. Robbie Evans is the sort of precocious talent who looks like he’ll benefit from more pitch time, and he certainly showed at Welling that he won’t shirk away from a tricky assignment. Johnny Hunt, meanwhile, was given a slightly different role from his usual slot when played in midfield, looking to get into the box from behind the strikers a bit more than usual, and it worked. He got the goal, but he also looked lively and threatening.
I sometimes worry that his versatility will ultimately count against him as managers opt to keep him up their sleeve to fill any gaps that appear in the side rather than allow him to make a position his own, but this might be the spot in the team he could make his own.
Leon Clowes shouldn’t be forgotten either. It was obvious at the end of last season, when he played some dead rubbers alongside Dave Artell, that he’d come along massively, those matches might have been an audition for a new contract; whether they were or not, he certainly showed that he’s a player Andy Morrell can trust at centre back, and he’s only built on that impression this season.
So maybe we should embrace the liquid nature of our first eleven. We seem to have a few players capable of turning a crisis into an opportunity.