It's A Funny Old Game

Last updated : 09 August 2004 By Andy Green
Pre-season did little except reinforce many fans not so favourable opinions of Lewis, and to a lesser degree, Joseph. How typical then that our opening game of the season saw both of these lamented figures vying for the man of the match award.

Lewis is never going to court the approval of football's purists with his awkward action and limited technique, but his work rate, disruptive skills and organisational ability should not be underestimated.

Joseph, until his enforced withdrawal with a bloodied face, was probably coasting the man of the match award after making countless, blocks, tackles, parries and interceptions. How many shots did Myhill have to deal with? The answer: Very few, and this in main was down to the towering performance of the vice captain. Delaney, Dawson and Hinds more than played their part in a solid defensive display, but it was Joseph who stood out.

Don't get me wrong though, I still think we had the wrong line-up. For all that Lewis did right he is too similar to Ashbee and as a result we got very little possession and creativity in the middle of the park. For me (no, I'm not taking the Michael) Green has got to play in the middle with Ashbee and you can choose anyone from a plethora of candidates on the right of midfield.

I don't go along with the argument that we would lose out because Green wouldn't do enough tracking back, getting his foot in, etc. I like to think that you have to do less of that anyway, if you have someone who can use the ball wisely in the first place.

Like I said at the start, it's a funny old game. In fact I doubt I would have even bothered to write this piece if Barmby and Allsopp had slotted their one on one's, Green had converted his second penalty and Elliott's pile driver had been an inch to the right.

Ah well, that's football, and why we love it.