Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Friday April 8 2011
Below we have posed twenty questions that we believe Ian Holloway must answer before the end of the season if the Seasiders are to remain in the Premier League.
You can give your own replies to our questions, or even suggest your own on our forums.
1. What formation does he want to play? Are we going to adapt the new 'Spanish formation' he's raved about or stick with what we've been using this season? If he wants to introduce the new formation, is now the best time to do it?
2. What has happened to our tempo from earlier in the season? We used to really get at teams, but now we allow them to get at us. Why?
3. Why do we not press the opposition despite Ollie constantly saying how important it is?
4. Why are we passing the ball square/backwards so much? Does he not realise that pretty passing triangles in our own half followed by a hoof upfield is getting us nowhere?
5. Will he accept that he has blundered with his team selections over the past few months i.e. dropping Jason Puncheon after his performance against Blackburn, constantly selecting James Beattie when he's not scoring (and brings little else to the side)?
6. Will he also accept that he was wrong to verbally attack the fan who asked him at Fulham 'What went wrong?', and that a lot of the coherent and considered fan criticism of him and the team is perfectly justfied at the moment?
7. When will he realise that our system only works when you get the basics right (such as players creating space and actively looking for the ball), and will he work on these in training? We were getting the basics right at the start of the season, why aren't we now?
8. What is he going to do to get the players to play for both the shirt and the fans (who were superb at Fulham) over the coming weeks? He did it at this stage last season, can he do the same again?
9. Does he have in his mind who he wants as our first choice keeper, and will he verbally back him, therefore giving him confidence and the defence as a whole stability?
10. Why don't our full backs close the opposition down at key times and allow them to cross the ball with ease, therefore putting pressure on the rest of our defence?
11. Why do we allow the opposition to do so much damage to us in the strip of the pitch just outside our eighteen yard box?
12. As much as Elliot Grandin might link play between midfield and attack, would we be better off playing a more defensive midfielder alongside Charlie Adam and David Vaughan like last season i.e. Keith Southern?
13. When will he realise that to be a succesful winger at this level, you need pace? The likes of Brett Ormerod and Gary Taylor-Fletcher aren't pacey enough to play on the flanks, although there are other roles for them in the team.
14. When we do play with pacey wingers, why aren't they running at the opposition as much as they were earlier in the season?
15. If the reports of Matt Phillips 'blowing out of arse' in reserve games are true, why does he continue to play him at right back, a role that requires him to run up and down the flank all game? Will he accept that this may be damaging his progression, even if the thinking behind it is good?
16. Why hasn't Andy Reid been playing in reserve games to build his fitness up? Little cameos are not of use to us at this stage; we can't afford to be carrying players.
17. Is he going to recall Marlon Harewood from his loan spell at Barnsley, and if not, why not? Would his experience and potential for goals not be key to our survival hopes?
18. When will he realise that due to our defence's lack of pace compared to opposition strikers and wingers at this level, that a high line of defence is suicidal?
19. What is he doing to help the team mentally to grind out results and stop conceding last minute goals? If it's not a mental issue, is it a fitness issue and why hasn't it been worked on?
20. Has he developed a 'Plan B' for games where our 'Plan A' is not working?
Don't get us wrong; we love Ollie dearly, but he's under pressure now like he's never been under pressure before and it's time to either sink or swim. Can Ollie swim? We certainly hope so - and in this article we hope we've given him a pair of armbands...
Date:Friday April 8 2011
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