People still don’t seem to grasp it, we have to set the side up to protect the likes of Wheater, Bevers, Dervite and the young West Ham lad because most of them have been found wanting at Championship level.
This in turn as meant two defensive midfielders playing to protect the space in front of them and restrict the opposition directly attacking our goal through the centre. The idea being that the opponents will instead attack down the wings and throw crosses in that Wheater, Beevers, etc can cope better with.
Non of the centrebacks we have possibly apart from Burke have the skill to play the ball out of defence which in turn means the escape ball is often the hoof up field, irrespective of if it goes to one of our players or not.
We therefore have seven players basically committed to defensive duties (keeper, back four, two defensive mids) whether we want to or not (and whether Parkinson is the manager or someone else is).
So we are left with just four players to provide any sort of attacking mid field and our striker force.
We don’t have a playmaker of any description to drive us forward from midfield with killer passes so we have to attack down the wings and/or making the best of winning and controlling the hoofs from the defence.
That’s why a big target man who could hold up play until one or two of the midfielders could get up to support them was/is crucial to how we have to play.
Hence why Madine worked for us and Wilbraham is thrown on so often as sub because that’s all we have in the squad in that mold and why playing Alf or Clough there simply doesn’t work so well.
If we have one of the kids who can play that role then I’ve no doubt he would have been given a try by now but I strongly suspect we don’t and that is why they haven’t. Do people seriously think Wheater with his lack of mobility and the touch of a cart horse could do the job because I don’t.
What I’m saying is we could have Messi playing up front for us but we would still struggle to score if the rest of the team can’t deliver the ball to him in such a way as he can use it effectively and get up the pitch to support him and give him options.
We are stuck with the players we have, if you forgive me for stating the obvious.
Yes we could play a more attacking side with say Morais, Vela, Karacan and Noone playing midfield and Ameobi and Alf (or Clough) up front but we did more or less that for our first nine games at the start of the season and managed just two points because Wheater and Beevers simply were not good enough to cope in defence without having protected cover in front of them.
It’s not really difficult to grasp why we play like we do with the lack of quality of players that we have, which in turn leads to our lack of creating goal scoring opportunities, and consequently the reason we don’t have the flexibility to shift our tactics about much.
It seems to me having Pratley fit and alongside Henry in the team gives us more energy and movement to the side when we attack is a big thing for us that we have missed in our last two games. Possibly swap Noone on the left wing instead of Buckley and maybe tinker about to bring Morais in and that is about as good as it gets for us.
Perhaps Parkinson might go back to having a back three for away matches to fit Morais as the right wing back and maybe have Robinson as the left one but we will still need to have the bulk of the side concentrating on defence because Beevers, Wheater, Burke etc can’t hack it without two defensive mids shielding them.
It’s all fairly easy to see and understand really.