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Some really nice problems ahead

Two points from our first two games wasnít what we wanted, but weíre still unbeaten in what looks a very competitive division.

We wonít know whether our first two results were good or bad until much later in the season, but a win against Scunthorpe next week would take probably take City back into the top ten and, after three games thatís OK.

Dilemmas to come?
GJís biggest dilemma could come when all our squad is available. Murray is in fine form and looks sharp, so will GJ start him in place of his signings Sproule & Wilson?

When McCombeís available, will GJ stick with Fontaine after the big manís exploits last season?

Steve Brooker, when fit & on form is arguably the best striker at the club - Without argument, heís the second best, but will he compliment Trundle in a 4-4-2?

We can play any system with the variety of players in our squad, but how do we get Lee Johnson & David Noble in the same midfield in a 4-4-2 formation?  I donít think you can.

Only one number one
We already know that we have three very capable, indeed excellent, keepers - however, as with The Highlander, there can only be one!

Looking at formations, we played some of our best stuff last season when GJ introduced Noble into the hole between a lone striker and midfield in a 4-4-1-1. If we played that at present it might look something like this:

Basso

 

 

 

 

Orr

Carey

McCombe

McCallister

 

 

 

 

Murray

Johnson

Elliott

McIndoe

 

 

 

 

Noble

 

 

 

 

Trundle

 

 

 

 


We can play 4-1-4-1 against teams like Man City who play with a man in the hole. A flatter midfield would still provide attacking threat:

Basso

 

 

 

 

Orr

Carey

McCombe

McCallister

 

 

 

 

Elliott

 

 

 

 

Murray

Johnson

Noble

McIndoe

 

 

 

 

Trundle

 

 

 

 


But surely we need Brooker & Sprouleís goals in any starting XI?

Whilst Sproule could replace McIndoe who hasnít hit top form, play up front or even replace our top goal scorer (so far) in Scott Murray, including Brooker, unless you drop Trundle, would mean playing two up top, which we can do in a 4-4-2, a 3-5-2,  a 4 -3-1-2 or even a 3-4-1-2.

We beat Barnsley 4-1 away a few seasons back playing 3-6-1, then never played it again!!

We have the players to play wing back on both sides in Wilson & McAllister, and Bradley Orrís form has convinced some doubters that he could take on the role, although he lacks the quality of distribution of, for example, Brian Wilson, as well as his pace. For me heís a better defender Ė and heís improving all the time.

Brooker & Trundle seem like a quality strike force, both are goal scorers, but letís face it; neither are blessed with terrific pace.

With all the players fit:

4-4-2

Basso

 

 

 

 

Orr

Carey

McCombe

McCallister

 

 

 

 

Sproule

Johnson

Elliott

Murray

 

 

 

 

Brooker

Trundle

 

 

 

 

3-5-2

Basso

 

Carey

McCombe

Fontaine

 

Wilson

Johnson

Elliott

Noble

McCallister

 

Brooker

Trundle

 

3-4-1-2

Basso 

 

Carey 

McCombe 

Fontaine 

 

 

 

Sproule 

Johnson 

Elliott 

McCallister 

 

 

 

 

Noble 

 

 Brooker

Trundle 

 

 

Of course, itíll be rare that all of our players are available for selection at the same time, as the first four games of the season have demonstrated. The real strength of the teams above can be judged by looking at the players who miss out in each of the starting XIs.

In that last team, thereís no Murray, McIndoe, Betsy, Skuse, Keogh, Orr, Jevons, Showunmi or Weale.

A strong squad?
Question is, does that make our squad one of even strength or is it of average strength without enough outstanding players?

I havenít even mentioned our up and coming players in Plummer, JMW or Artus.

If GJís successful in signing a pacey striker, that will just add to the mix.

As always, itís never dull at AG. 

The views expressed in this 'Soapbox' section are those of the author of each article and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bristol City Supporters Trust

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