Problems In The Engine Room?
As we embark upon on a new season at Bloomfield Road, Simon Grayson has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal in the centre of the park; but four won't go into two, so who should start in the centre of midfield this season? Keith Southern, Claus Jorgensen, David Fox and Michael Flynn are the four vying for the two spots - but with the pace and extra skill in The Championship, do we posses the quality to succeed from midfield?
One player who overlaps into both an attacking and defensive category is Michael Flynn. The former Gillingham captain possess all the qualities in my opinion to be a huge hit in our division this season, with his all action style of play. 'Flynny' was a huge hit at The Priestfield last term, with his driving runs from midfield, range of passing, shooting and defensive attributes - mainly bone crunching tackles. Flynn notched up 12 goals last season for The Gills, and many fans down there we angered when he left for nothing. His ability to deliver freekicks is something we need desperately, with no Robbie Williams around.
The player most similar to Flynn is probably Claus Jorgensen. Signed from Coventry City last August, 'Jorgi' after having waiting a while for a starting berth, took League One by storm, and his attacking prowess gave us extra options, which had been lacking all season prior to his introduction to the middle of the park. Claus made 21 starts last season in the league, and managed to assist five goals in that spell - that's five times more assists than his predecessor David Fox who made 33 starts.
Moving onto Foxy, the former Manchester United man is a favourite amongst many supporters and widely tipped to take control of the playmaking role after an encouraging pre season where he found the net a couple of times, most notably at Carlisle with a screaming volley. His start to the league campaign has been pathcy however, and my two gripes with having Fox in the side are that as a freekick 'specialist' his delivery is poor, and that he's too lightweight; if Hoolahan's transfer (a topic investigated into deeply by Vital over the summer) goes through it does mean we'll have two very light players in the midfield, add Taylor-Fletcher possibly on the right, and the midfield severely lacks balance. With his physique, Foxy has to be deadly on the ball, with a killer pass, and for me at the moment, he lacks this; he's still only young and I`m sure it`ll come in time however.
The mainstay in the 'Pool midfield for years has been Keith Southern. 'Gnashers' being the main defensive player in the often four man midfield and I doubt he'd be anywhere but the football pitch cum Saturday afternoons, and this could be his season to shine.
Looking at the five possibilities in midfield, my two to start would be Keith Southern and Michael Flynn. I pick Southern for obvious reasons - the man's a mountain in our midfield. Flynn is a tougher choice however. The quality of Jorgi and Fox is not something you can ignore, but going on my past experiences of Flynn, he's the one to complement Southern for me. His engine and quality on the ball means he ticks too many boxes for him to be left out. Including Flynny would seemingly allow us to play with two out-and-out wingers without being worried about the build of the midfield. Flynn (my tip for the season) and his attacking drives with Southern's tackling, means wingers Hoolahan (assuming…) and Taylor Fletcher gives a fantastic blend in the middle and gives us every chance of winning games this season…