Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday October 2 2010
In our latest poll, we asked you whether Ian Holloway should throw youngster Matt Phillips in from the start tomorrow against Liverpool.
And an overwhelming 90% believe that he should.
Phillips has of course only made one appearance for the Seasiders since arriving from Wycombe in the summer; his superb 10 minute cameo from the bench against Blackburn last weekend.
The youngster's superb goal looked to have earned the 'Pool a point against Rovers until Brett Emerton's late winner, but it wasn't just his goal that caught the eye; his all round play was genuinally superb during the short time that he was on the field.
It's very hard to judge a player's ability and potential in such a short time frame, but equally impressive displays for the reserves against West Brom and Arsenal suggest that this was no flash in the pan and that the Seasiders have got a player with real potential on their hands.
The advantage of throwing him in against Liverpool is that there would be no pressure on him; we're not expected to get a result tomorrow and the game would undoubtedly be great experience for him.
On the flipside, Matt Phillips is the name on everyone's lips right now. There's a danger that after his cameo against Blackburn that fans expect similar performances every week from him, and that the pressure of expectation could be too much for the 19 year old and he might freeze on such a big occasion. Let's face it, just a few months ago he was turning out for Wycombe in the lower leagues... Liverpool is a big step up from that.
Personally I would have him on the bench again but look to give him a run out. As great as I thought he looked against Blackburn, this game might have just come a bit too soon for him.
Sometimes you need to wrap a player in cotton wool to prevent a case of 'too much, too soon, too fast', and this weekend might be a weekend for cotton wool for Matt Phillips.
Date:Saturday October 2 2010
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