martedì 11 settembre 2012

Scotland - Macedonia preview

The World Cup qualifying week 1 is in the box and Scotland manager Craig Levein is already facing a storm of criticism following his goalless draw with Serbia at Hampden Park. Levein’s detractors pointed their fingers against his 4-1-4-1 formation, it was thinking to has been too much defensive in a to-win game. But Levein's 4-1-4-1 is not necessarily a defensive formation. All depends on the midfielders' skills. All is about supporting the forward. Lining up Steven Naismith, Charlie Adam, James Morrison and Robert Snodgrass, means the possibility to have upcoming midfielders able to provide nice balls and to attack the box. The only real issues Levein deserves to face is the Steven Fletcher issue after forward refused the call for a friendly match and denied his availability. Levein opted to start with Kenny Miller as team's lone forward up top. You could point that Sunderland striker would have been un upgrade and that he had earned the right to play after his latest performances. Although Miller played recently down the expectations, he's still a fans' favourite. So, after Scoltand struggled to score, people started to talk about how much a 4-4-2 with both Fletcher and Miller high up could work better. This point deserves credit but still this isn't the right way to made the question. Everyone knows that managers have an edge if they can line up several players that are among the football's players elite. Miller and Fletcher are two good players but not elite ones. Neither among the elite are Jordan Rhodes, Jamie Mackie or even James Forrest. So when you can't reach the highs with your players you have to put more emphasis on fitness shape and tactics. Is playing with two guys up top the best solution for Scotland? The defence played well against Serbia, exploting the work of the five-men midfield. The Scots began dangerous when Snodgrass was involved. But Serbs looked dangerous on the fast-breaks so how much would Levein's benfit be playing higher and more offensive? Levein can hint at some changes against Macedonia, although he would have to think whether they could be tactically or in line up. The Scottish could play without a key player such as the injuried Adam so Levein could shuffle the midfield. Macedonia left Zagreb without a point despite a good display against Croatia. Under new Chedomir Janevski's regime, Macedonia's players showed some discipline, and tactical intelligence. So Macedonia at Hampden is going to be a much tougher test than Serbia for Levein.

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