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Always keep Pritchard in the middle to get best out of him
3:18pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Latest Sport
ADDICKS columnist MATIAS GREZ this week urges Chris Powell to play Bradley Pritchard in the centre of his midfield as opposed to out wide.
SUNDAY’S 0-0 draw against Wigan was another result and performance to be proud of, even if it did not set an almost full Valley alight.
There was barely a single clear-cut chance in the entire 90 minutes, the only opportunity which comes to mind being Bradley Pritchard’s miss from 12 yards.
The Zimbabwean continues to excel and frustrate in equal measure.
His all-action style in the midfield is so crucial to the way the team works.
However, he so often fails to deliver when in a shooting or crossing position.
I can count four times from the first half alone when he was positioned perfectly to create a goal scoring opportunity yet failed to produce something of any significant quality.
Twice he found himself with the ball at his feet to the right of the box, but both times his crosses were hit straight at Lee Nicholls, and a few minutes later his weak shot after cutting inside rolled comfortably into the young keeper’s arms.
On top of this, his miss from around the penalty spot after the ball was cut back to him perfectly by Cameron Stewart really is inexcusable.
These missed opportunities and poor deliveries are exactly why I think he should be playing in the centre of midfield, as opposed to on the right hand side.
No matter how defensively positioned and tucked in he is from the right, he will always find himself in advanced wide positions because that’s just what happens when you play right midfield.
If Chris Powell were to play somebody who has played as a winger for their whole career, and whose natural ability allows him to cross a ball well, then there’s no telling how many more goal scoring opportunities could be created.
Plus we’re not exactly scoring for fun at the moment.
It’s not as though Powell is short on options to fill this role - Callum Harriott, Cameron Stewart, Danny Green, Lawrie Wilson and Jordan Cook have all played as wingers for all or a lot of their careers.
Not only is Powell depriving the team of more opportunities to score, he is also denying a winger in his squad a place in the starting XI and depriving Pritchard of the chance to play in his best position.
I could understand if Powell played a left midfielder in the same position as he plays Pritchard on the right, but playing with one out-and-out winger and one tucked in winger doesn’t make sense to me as it unbalances the midfield.
At Birmingham this weekend I’d love to see a midfield four of Harriott, Dale Stephens, Pritchard and Stewart, but somehow I don’t see it happening.
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