Manager Paul Lambert may think I’m a football pleb but it is not just bloggers and journalists who think that too much rotation is not such a bright idea. Almost as vindication for the Blues narrow and rather fortuitous one goal victory last night in the cup at Lincoln, he lambasted people who dared to suggest that rotating his team was not always advisable. Lambert was enraged, in his interview with the East Anglian Daily Times and said fiercely, “All this crap that people have turned around and said about ‘a strongest team’, a lot of sh…, that’s what it is, sh…!” People who don’t know the game and don’t have a clue about keeping people fit… That’s what annoys me.”
Well, of course, he has a point. Fringe players get rusty if they are not involved in competitive football on a regular basis so it is indeed important to ensure that the whole squad is involved – either in the FA Cup or the EFL Trophy when league matches are not been played. But that is the plus side. There is, however, a major downside too. It is a staggering seventeen days since our 1-0 win at Rochdale and that means his ‘chosen few’ may be a bit ring rusty when the march out on Saturday afternoon to face Blackpool, at Portman Road.
Cole Skuse, Will Norris, Luke Chambers, Flynn Downes, Jon Nolan, Luke Garbett and strikers Kayden Jackson and James Norwood have indeed been well-rested but will this come at a cost to their match sharpness? Previous periods of inactivity suggest that Town underperform after international breaks so be warned Mr.Lambert. Be warned! The next two matches may be at home but they are against a side who lie in fifth and then the table-toppers Wycombe Wanderers themselves! Yes, we have games two games in hand on them, but if we don’t hit the ground running we may struggle to win either match.
Now, I do like Paul Lambert and I do want him to succeed but there really is no need for him to go down the Mick McCarthy path and start slagging off supporters. After all, it is not just supporters and journo’s who think like this but former Town players too! Mick Mills has said on many occasions on Radio Suffolk that he believes that there is no need to swap and change quite so much as Lambert does, and I am inclined to agree. I understand that Lambert wants to give everyone a game but at the end of the day, the team he picks to win on Saturday has to remain fully fit and training sessions alone won’t do this, as of course, Lambert has alluded to on previous occasions.
I will leave the last word to Paul Lambert himself, in his interview with the East Anglian Daily Times ” I changed the whole team. As I’ve said before, I don’t have a ‘strongest team’. I don’t have a ‘strongest eleven. I have belief in everybody to perform, I talk with the medical team, who are experts on fitness and muscle injuries, and I pick a team that I think lads can get around the pitch. And that’s what we’ve done. I’ve said before, football’s changed. It’s not just 18 guys, it’s everybody!”
F.W. – Editor of Vital Ipswich