→ Yesterday’s piece on Phil Brown using Jozy more.
Well, first, a big thank you to our readers. I had the luxury of reviewing all your comments before this evening’s Hull City-Manchester United replay on FSC. If you must know why I’m watching the 2nd showing, I was in transit back to the Left Coast via a frisking at JFK–sure was fun.
Here are some off-the-cuff bullets having just finished the game:
♦ Steven Hunt and Rafael missing ridiculous gimmes…at the 33rd, are you kidding me?
♦ “Berbatov hits the side of the net” — let’s just make that permanent saying once a half. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
♦ It’s about time they start calling #10 for Manchester United, Rooneyaldo, no? Exquisite day, minus the back pass, for England’s main thoroughbred.
♦ And if you watched Hull’s pitch personality, you’re pretty damn sure that they have done the exact opposite of quitting on Phil Brown. That’s a team with some serious fight in them.
Now on to Big Jeezy
First, it’s important we reset the stage for this game and Jozy’s last month or so.
Hull City comes off an away loss at Arsenal where they has absolutely nill in the way of offensive play, especially in the 2nd half. As we mentioned in our last piece, Manager Brown went with a 4-5-1 with Fagan as the ball tracker up top. The Tigers attempted to strike from the corners, but as soon as Geovanni and Hunt tired, Hull had nothing and in case defensive replacements.
Altidore for his part wasn’t in the 18 at Emirates and previously didn’t lift himself off the bench in the game before that. Prior to the most recent two games, JZA was a late game sub in a draw at Blackburn going about 30 minutes in that one and was excused from the pitch at the 54 min in the game that Jimmy Bullard got injured in.
Speaking of Bullard, without him–and Ian Ashbee mind you–Manager Brown has went with a highly defensive midfield of Olofinijana and Boateng in the middle. You could argue that the pairing of Rico and Mikey Bradley are better overall and better offensively then those two. (Boateng was a player in his day.)
Which now leads us to Jozy’s role for the day.
Minus the midfield service, Brown mixed up both his strategy and tactics. Gone was Geovanni on the wing-point forward role for the day. With Carrick and Fletcher in the middle the smaller Geovanni would have been beat up by the Red Devils central midfielders on the day.
Instead Brown employed Altidore in the Emile Heskey target role and ran Craig Fagan off him, relying on Altidore to play in a reserved striker role for up-and-over play to him up the pitch.
Manchester United had to be constantly aware of Altidore receiving and distributing, but also Craig Fagan sneaking in behind them or making a long sprint up the pitch. Want to challenge a disorganized defensive line (Rafael in, Brown returning and manning the center), how about having them choose speed or strength on every offensive possession against them.
So Jozy’s role was target man. In this role, Jozy is not required, nay, instructed not to make the long runs or run willy-nilly all over the field. In fact, that’s precisely Craig Fagan’s job. I don’t think Jozy had too little energy today. I think he was playing the role that Phil Brown gave him–middle of the field, receive the ball. In the first half, he played the part fine.