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Saturday, 12 December 2015

What Lamela must do against Newcastle

Erik Lamela is now our all-time leading goalscorer against French opposition in European competition with 4 goals, his hat-trick, the only on ever scored against French sides, took him past former great Jimmy Greaves and recent star Gareth Bale who both had 2 to their name.

His goal, the first hat-trick of his career, will boost his confidence further, which in turn may push him to produce better football. He is started to show what he can do and seems to excel in European competition, which we will need, given the strength of the competition this season.

There was a significant difference in the performance of Lamela against WBA away and Monaco at home, one that I first highlighted when he was on his poor run of form during his second season. It came to the fore again against WBA and was rectified with telling success against Monaco. We need to see it continue aginst Newcastle United.

I'm talking about his running into the box and putting himself in scoring positions. When he stays out on the wing and doesn't drift into the middle he offers no goal threat and we become a less potent side, easier to defend against. When Lamela is cutting in off the ball he becomes dangerous, either for a pass or simply to score an opportunistic goal. 

He seems to drift central when he is confident so hopefully he'll continue his off the ball running into dangerous areas at the weekend. Alternatively, has he been asked to stay wide away from home to make us more difficult to break down? I wouldn't have thought so which means he has to find a way of doing so, he needs to find the happy medium.

If there is one area of his game that determines how effective he is in a game then this is it. His games in the Premier league where he has started to turn the tide of public opinion are when he puts himself in goalscoring positions, it isn't generally dribbling round three opponents to have a shot from outside the box. Equally, his best passes are when he has drifted central so interchanging with his fellow attackers is essential.

I do wonder whether Dembele restricts that, he is playing well himself, but it isn't about individuals it's about the team and finding the right combination for all the players. It is early days but something to keep an eye on.

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Training - which type of trainers do we have, vanity or appeasement?

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