Creative needs highlighted in Reading defeat
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We were not up to scratch and for me that was down to a couple of key misses in personnel - Michel Kightly and Jonathan Hogg.
Kightly is clearly an excellent player and has quickly got back into the swing of things with Wolves, starting both their games since he returned to the Black Country. His spell at the Vic` took some pressure off Mark Yeates as 'chief wideboy` but now that pressure is back on, with the unimpressive Craig Forsyth as his partner in wing crime.
The 'wing crime` in question on Saturday was Forsyth`s tackling, he was incredibly lucky to stay on the pitch and if the foul on Yeates earlier in the game hadn`t have escaped a red then the Scot would surely have got his marching orders too.
Forsyth is only young but his quality versus that of Kightly only highlights the broad difference between the two. I remain convinced Forsyth is not a winger. On the showings we`ve seen so far he looks more like a striker - for one thing, he`s too gangly to be an out-and-out winger. Another thing is he scores more goals than Chris Iwelumo (that`s not a dig Chris, just a fact). Furthermore, he`s actually decent in the air and could well be added to the roster of big forwards to partner Marvin Sordell.
Yeates flatters to deceive a lot of the time and with Prince Buaben equally hit-and-miss there`s a lot of pressure on both men to perform. So we need a winger and someone to take the pressure off of Buaben who is at the moment un-drop-able by virtue of the fact he is the only attack-minded central midfielder.
Or is he? There`s a wee Scottish lad making tracks to get back to match fitness at the moment by the name of Stephen McGinn. And, not to put too much pressure on a man who`s been out for circa 11 months with a serious knee injury, but McGinn will relieve that pressure on Buaben and offer us another genuine creative central midfield option.
Next to Buaben, Hogg was sorely missed. John Eustace didn`t play badly, but he does not have the same 'bucket-load of heart` that the diminutive former Villa man possesses. At 32, we might have to accept that Eustace is no longer the midfield lynchpin that holds everything together but more of a rotational option to be managed like Ledley King or Ryan Riggs. Clearly (to my mind anyway), a career of bad knee injuries and throwing himself into bone-crunching tackles is catching up with John. His experience does remain invaluable however and let me make clear, he is not finished yet.
I maintain that we are basically a couple of players off being the same team we were during our impressive unbeaten run toward the tail end of last year. I`m sure Sean Dyche, Ross Wilson (who has been linked with a move to Derby County to become Director of Football) and Laurance Bassini have identified these issues and will be looking to rectify them during the remainder of the Transfer Window.