Meet the fine men of Santa EulaliaBy: Tom B | March 18th, 2009
Now it’s time to meet some of the characters in this drama which will see unfolding digitally into the future.
Here is my squad:
As you can see, there is a lack of width, a massive lack of quality in width. Jordi Gonzales is the only player with sufficient dribbling and crossing to make any kind of claim for a winger position. This is a problem which I will deal with later.
However, I have a few gems amongst altogether too much rough.
Manuel (I) (because I have 2 defenders called Manuel, the other, obviously, is Manuel (II)) will be the rock on which I base my defence, first name on the teamsheet. He can tackle, mark and head, and he is reasonably quick off the mark.
The wise old man of the team, Nieto, is the beating heart of the team. He’s not overly gifted, but can pick a pass and can break up play. This is exactly what he will do. He is to be my pivot. The general leading the troops into battle, the leader, who will stop an otherwise young team from marching naively forward only to be destroyed on the counter. The other thing I like about him is that he can probably manage to be a ‘going forward’ or a ‘going backward’ midfielder if the need for either arises.
It is said (notably by former Colombian manager Hernan Dario Gomez) that in an old style midfield “three have to run and carry the piano in order that one can sit down and play it.”
Valdes is my pianist, he can dribble, he can pass (OK), he can drift wide and cross, he has an OK first touch and a very good technique, but most importantly (especially at this level) he has a football mind, and he is a leader, he has flair and creativity, he is determined and influences his colleagues, and he works (and works hard) for the team. What happens if he gets injured? I wait until he is no longer injured.
Up front, I really have one option, my token Swede, he is small, he is weak, but he is quick has a good first touch, decent capacity to spot and make runs and he can finish. Full stop. If ever there was a one trick pony this is it.
Finally my assistant manager, he is not great, but he is no Walter Colombo, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I will be stuck on my own for many decisions though, as I don’t feel I can really trust a football coach who has a tactical knowledge of 4. Hmm, at least we have the same preferred formation…
Plan A: The tactic I believe most likely to lead us to glory.