I'm not one to put pressure on an individual when it comes to the team, for the very reason it's a team game, but individuals do make a difference. It could be that they inspire others, but more often than not it's because they see things others don't.
It's why you need to build a team around Jack. Jack has the ability to control the ball and keep it at his feet better than any player in the Premier League today. The thing is, Jack doesn't have the players around him working as a team that create the space or the channels whereby an opportunity comes. As a team we move too slowly for Jack and by the time he can play a pass the other side has all their men back behind the ball.
No tune change with that!
And I've made my views quite clear on what we need to happen tomorrow and for that there should be pressure on the manager, coaches and players. We lose and we might as well give up. I'm sure we wont just give up if we do lose, but if we don't win, many will be thinking nothing has changed and we're doomed. But that is another post.
But tomorrow, we have McGinn and he's been missing since about 10 minutes in to the match against Southampton in December. I think it's important to look at what happened with McGinn in the side and with him not in the side. I think it could be interesting. And as I write this it's just a hunch, I hope it plays out. I'll be back in ten minutes.
So, here goes and seeing as we lost McGinn so early in that match against Southampton, I've on purpose used that match as the first one we didn't have him.
With Super John McGinn
We had played 17 matches and were sitting 17th with 15 points, essentially 29.4% of the points we could have had. We had scored 23 and conceded 30. We were 17th on goal difference with the team below us (Southampton then) conceding 11 more goals. All things sort of equal and based on needing 35 points to stay up (an average of the last three seasons 35, 34 and 35) we would have stayed up on goal difference.
But that as described above, is sort of equal. Our goal difference saved us because essentially us and Southampton would have ended up on the same points because we would have both ended up with 29.4% of the 114 points available.
Without Super John McGinn
We have played 11 games without McGinn and have picked up 10 points. This is actually 30% of the points we could taken. My hunch didn't play out and I've come back to this post after a few beers to put all the pressure on the manager.
I didn't expect that. I hope McGinn acts as a catalyst though, in a similar way that Grealish did last season. But that I think is a little too much. Tomorrow is now down to the manager. And we all know it is.
It's about Dean Smith
It's about how we approach the game. Right now and since the manager became manager, we've essentially played a counter attacking game. Our problem is and I mentioned this above earlier today for me, but just a minute ago for you, is we're too slow.
If you are going to counter, it's about attacking when you get the ball back. You could even argue to be an effective counter attacking side, you have to be pushing high up and chasing everything down. Leicester did it, Liverpool are doing it. We do half, we sit back and wait to get the ball back and then most of the time, nonchalantly stroll up the other half and wait for everyone else to catch up with us.
And that is why we need to have a plan. We have to not only go out there and play at 100% for 90 minutes, we've got to know what we're going to do the instant we get the ball back based on where we are on the pitch.
But with McGinn, things can be better. If we can defend just 10% better that we have done this season and create 20% more chances, we're going to be fine. It's do we really want that and by that, I mean can the manager clearly communicate how we achieve that. Tomorrow is going to be interesting. Consider this the match post!