In a new feature, @findfoy and 7500toHolte’s @JamoRushton debate a hot topic from the previous match day. This week, it’s regarding the performance of Anwar El Ghazi against Tottenham Hotspur.
A tale of two blogs. The great debate. 7500toHolte and Under A Gaslit Lamp.
Following every match day, the editors of the two blogs, Regan and James, will debate a hot, and hopefully interesting topic regarding the game.
For this game, the topic of conversation was:
After a poor game against Tottenham Hotspur, should Anwar El Ghazi be dropped against Bournemouth?
James Rushton: I’d say yes. I think it freshens up the team and gives us some opportunities to try new things on the wing.
El Ghazi does have the quality, but I think rotation is key here.
Sometimes a 6/10 performance isn’t going to cut it.
Regan Foy: I disagree.
JR: I think the players who were shown some loyalty by Dean Smith – Elmohamady and Taylor – stepped up a bit.
Did El Ghazi? It’s questionable.
RF: I agree, he didn’t step up. His performance was poor and I was shocked that he stayed on the pitch for the full 90. But as we’ve seen, he’s a confidence player – and after a run of games last season he was on fire.
Is it not too early to drop him after a bad performance against Champions League level opposition? Perhaps if he performed that way against Bournemouth, I’d agree.
You run the risk of acting too early and potentially a return to the Anwar we’re used to.
JR: Here’s the thing. Do we trust him for another game or rotate?
Anwar is a great player and he’s going to do big things for us – but I really think we’ll be opting for Jota and Trézéguet against Bournemouth.
As for it being too early – I think you’ve got a point but we’ve got fewer games this season and thus changes will happen far more often and far more brutally.
That being said, I wouldn’t at all be upset to see El Ghazi on that wing against Bournemouth.
RF: Jota makes sense – but in the same breath, he also performed poorly against Tottenham, albeit over a shorter period of time and after being thrown from the frying pan into the fire as it were.
I think brutal changes will be there for all to see, but I think in both Trézéguet and El Ghazi, we’ve got two players who thrive on confidence and nothing but.
For me, it would be counter-intuitive to drop on the basis of one game – perhaps a 45 minute change if he’s not performing?
JR: Yeah. The line-up and formation isn’t that important.
It’s how the team plays as a unit and how the roles gel. This team will evolve and the catalyst for that could be half time changes.
RF: I think we’ll see more of El Ghazi this season than Jota or Trézéguet, for one reason or another.
But then again, we’ve had a whole year to gather thoughts on Anwar.
JR: My mind isn’t completely made up, but I know one thing – he can come up with some magic.
RF: That’s for certain. Moments of magic can be few and far between for newly promoted sides in the Premier League.
He’ll know he can do better, and we’ll see it soon enough.
What do you think, though? Does Anwar El Ghazi’s poor performance against Tottenham Hotspur merit a change ahead of Bournemouth? Or does he start for you?
Let us know in the comments below.
3 thoughts on “The Debate: Should Anwar El Ghazi Be Dropped for Bournemouth?”
Although El Ghazi wasn’t that good, Jota was catastrophic – turtle levels slow, didn’t win any balls, didn’t do anything. He’s a good player against your Shrewsburys and Wallsalls. Stick with El Ghazi and Trezeguet, let’s keep some pace in the side until we find out how much of the ball can we actually have against midtable opposition.
El Ghazi had a bit of a mare at the weekend, it’s true. He couldn’t find a way past his man, gave up possession at some key moments and one more than one occasion looked as though he was struggling with injury/fitness. Trezeguet looked far more comfortable in possession, dangerous and capable of creating something.
But that said, Spurs was truly a baptism of fire for our players, and Jota didn’t look his influential pre-season self when he came on either. While Trezeguet benefited from his partnership with Elmo down the right, Taylor didn’t support El Ghazi going forward anywhere near as much. And when our central midfileders started to tire, all three of our forwards became increasingly isolated.
I’d suggest keeping faith with El Ghazi for the moment for the game against Bournemouth, but maybe subbing in Targett to see if that helps our creativity down the left. While that seems to harshly punish Taylor after a very solid display for 75 minutes against Spurs, we need to be scoring goals, so El Ghazi needs additional support. Until all the new players fully bed in I’d expect us to go with these partnerships on the flanks:
I gather Trezeguet can play just as well on the left, but having him play alongside his compatriot clearly worked for the most part against Spurs. Until he’s fully settled into his new surroundings, El Ghazi gets the nod.
I think DS and Co have their own thoughts on what is best for the squad. I was surprised at the line up based on pre season but they did OK as a unit. Are they going to rotate or stick with performers? That is the question. From what I have seen I wouldn’t have started him against Spurs but they have seen the full picture. I would start him against Bournemouth because he had the green light at the season opener but I would be telling him he has 45 minutes to prove himself before changing it.