|What I.Saw - Accept No Substitute!|
Sun 19th Aug 2012 14:12 by I.Saw
Substitute: a person or thing that takes the place or function of another.
Substitutions during matches in the English Football League were first permitted in the 1965-66 season. During the first two seasons after the law was introduced, each side was permitted only one substitution during a game. Moreover the substitute could only replace an injured player. From the 1967-68 season, this rule was relaxed to allow substitutions for tactical reasons.
If only this season was played under the rules of forty years ago.
Yesterday at Pride Park we started in a commendable 4-4-2 formation. It was good enough to forge forward, to score goals. Nathan Tyson with his first league goal the Rams, it was arguably his best ever performance in a white shirt, you could even forgive him on the odd occasion he gave the ball away.
Alongside him Jamie Ward, hated by the Sheffield Wednesday fans behind the goal, in the Marston’s Upper and the Marston’s Lower purely for being an ex-Blade, was a thorn in the Owls side.
Will Hughes, Craig Bryson, Jeff Hendricks and Paul Coutts looked the business in midfield although you had to feel sorry for Michael Jacobs relegated to the bench despite creating four of the five goals against Scunthorpe midweek.
Clough said afterward that Jacobs was dropped because they wanted to accommodate Hughes in the side, before adding a further insult that they didn’t bring Jacobs on late in the game because he’s a young lad. The left winger is of course older than Hughes who was playing on the left wing and went off.
Clear as mud isn’t it.
Jake Buxton became our top scorer with three this season in all competitions when he bravely put his head amongst the Owls boots to add a second and John Brayford although beaten for pace stuck to his tasks.
All this and the sun shone brightly too.
Even a wonder turn by Chris O’Grady swivelling past Roberts and firing into the top corner of the net couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm.
Twenty minutes to go and the wheels whilst still turning began to slow. Tyson who had been reduced to chasing long balls over the top so often in the second half was the first to depart absolutely knackered, James O’Connor came on. O’Connor, a defender by trade wondered lonely as a cloud in front of the back four.
If the ball came back quickly with two strikers, then with just Ward upfront on his own it now zoomed like when your Hot Wheels cars went through the turbo charger on the oval track.
Next to go was Ward himself, Theo Robinson at least adding a bit of height. At 4-1-4-1 we held on.
But wait, 86 minutes, and we bring on central defender Gjokja for his debut taking off Will Hughes. It’s now 4-2-3-1 or 6-3-1 or god knows because it didn’t look like anybody had a clue as to who was doing what.
The theory of two Full Backs, four Centre Halves, and the rest is beyond me. Perhaps if the oncomers had been told to man mark somebody. Perhaps if they like Miles Addison could play in midfield and defence. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps!
It mattered not, four minutes later Reda Johnson in the penalty area nodded home the equalizer to a chorus of “Two Nil and You Cocked It Up”. The whole ground shook with bouncing Owls.
On Tuesday Clough took off Midfielders and brought on attackers, yesterday Clough took off attackers and brought on defenders. On both occasions we lost our shape. Seeing out a victory, holding onto a lead requires everybody to know their task, shape is the key to that. The manager should dictate the shape.
By the end on Saturday our shape resembled a cowpat. And afterwards Clough blamed Hendricks for not clearing the ball to the corner flag, just another male cowpat comment from our manager.
Oh for the days before substitutions. We could have won, we should have won and if only he would stop these stupid inane substitutions we might actually achieve something.
Then again he might play Connor Doyle so we probably wouldn’t.
I’m giving Bolton and Wolves a miss; it’s not good for my blood pressure this.
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