What with Sir Paul doing his best Ranieri impression, he’s being courted as not knowing his best eleven and/or picking as per the opposition. The three points collected yesterday has gone some way to vindicating his newest philosophy but has also shown his disdain and no time for sentiment.
And I for am all for it.
Dropping Holt on the face of it ‘took a lot of bottle’. But The Big Man hasnt got off to the bruising, gut-busting best we all know and love. His effort can’t and never will be questioned, but it hasn’t quite happened for him yet, regardless of how vague and unspecific that sounds.
We know what he can produce and so do Messrs Terry and Ivanovic, but the use of CMartin with him plainly hasn’t worked. Arguably, the dropping of CMart was the crudest. But the fact that Holt has “been brilliant for me” as Sir Paul never ceases to tell us, he hasn’t allowed the last two seasons of machine-like prolifacy impact his choice of starting eleven.
Quite simply, there is no place for sentiment in football if you’re to succeed at this game. Lappin has fallen foul of it. Since he’s one of the few remaining from previous reigns, some have a special place in their footballing-heart for him. “He played more in League One than anyone else” they argue. Wonderful as that must have been for him, League One this aint.
Now this is no sleight at The Spanish One, despite my views of the guy. He’s merely my example. The same went for Rusty, he returned gloves-on-hands and we lauded it because a little part of us rememebered him from green-gloved years gone by. We’re fickle and easily won over. Doherty was a chief recipient of this, although thankfully not from us all.
He was here for a good/bad few years and this somehow led people to overlook his patently obvious deficiencies. If he was on a season-long loan and played the way he did for the majority of his ill-fated Norwich career, he would be mentioned in the same breath as Koroma and Leijer.
Worthy would never have dreamed have dropping a player like Holt. Neither would Roeder or Grant. Gunn would have filled in every teamsheet with Holt’s name on it in about July. Lambert knows what we need to do to both restrict the opposition and to impose ourselves.
He also can’t help but put himself well ahead of scores of our previous managers.