Crunch Time For Latics
How is Steve Bruce going to turn around from a perfomrance lacking in passion, commitment and effort agaisnt a Newcastle team in front of their home fans?
Several players last night were apparently under the weather and questions must be asked as to why they played and why the squad players were not brought in.
The obvious answer is that the squad players are not deemed good enough.
A quick analysis of the squad shows the problems.
Zaki doesn't look fit and the fact that he is having a medical examination shows the concerns re his fitness are valid.
Heskey appears to have a constant battle with his fitness and Camara doesn't appear to fit in Bruce's plans.
Midfield is crying out for a creative midfielder to give Zaki and Heskey some quality ball. Too often they either recieve high balls or balls with their back to the goal.The last creative midfielder we had was Bullard.Palacios, Cattermole and Brown are all defensive midfielders
At the back things appear even worse, last night the experienced foursome were totally humilitated. The policy of mixing and matching the centre backs isn't working and an injection of quality is required.
The only area where we currently appear strong is with the keepers, Kirkland and Pollitt although Kirklands back is a cause for concern.
So thats the problems , what's the solutions?
A small squad doesn't leave much in the way of tinkering. Taylor and Scharner must be pushiong for a start along with Brown in midfield but in all honesty it is debatable whether they are better than the incumbants.
The January transfer window is seven weeks and nine games away and we desperatley need to accrue some points before then.
This means Bruce has to find the solution to motivating the players and creating the combative unit that secured Premier League survival last season.
If he can't,then another relegation battle( one which we might lose this time) looms.