Gimme some Mo'?
Oh dear, oh dear. We've seen this story before, haven't we? Little injury that just seems to grow and grow. But while Benny may be shelved for a while, the karmic balance is restored by the return of Maurice Edu, who achieved legend status by poking home a stoppage time winner in the latest Old Firm donnybrook after a (pardon the mixed-sport metaphor) scrum in the crease. Observe...
What goes unseen here is an earlier, prettier strike (volley from the edge of the box into the bottom corner) called back for a teammate's handball. So... Mo and Junior in the middle against the Oranje, yes? Considering Clark and Feilhaber are out and the other camp options are Torres and Holden, I'm guessing that's what we'll see.
Ware the Wolves of the Net
So how long will it take for the Landon-haters to emerge from their tortured silence? For the last month they've had to dine of steaming piles of crow a la mode. But yesterday saw Mandon waning and Landycakes waxing as he missed a far-post tap in (perhaps a more difficult angle than it seemed on first blush, but still one you'd expect him to finish) and got in the way of a cross that was heading for a goal-bound teammate. Here's hoping for a swift mid-week recovery against the Dutch.
Killing Virtual Time
Sadly, I've grown a bit bored with the idea of continuing my DCU|FM Challenge, as always seems to happen after a season or two in virtual MLS. For some reason, the game is less addictive and enjoyable when you don't have youth-teamers to groom and ladders of league structure to climb. That said, I'm probably still going to give United 2010 a go when the next patch drops with the January transfers. But in the meantime, I've decided to pass the time with a little adventure in the depths of the Coca Cola League 2 with Grimsby Town, who the in-game media predict will finish 21st in the 2009-10 season.
My immediate instinct, confirmed by the positions of the players I had inherited was to go 4-4-2. But the first three pre-season contests, including a humiliating loss to our own reserves, pounded it into my head that I'm just not a 4-4-2 man. On further observation, the fact that I only have two decent wingers and both are right sided should have been a clue. Instead, I've gone with my old favorite, the "true" 4-3-3 (not some bastard 4-5-1/4-3-3 hash). We got disciplined, got direct, and started causing problems. Loans for one quality centerback and two speedy wing-forwards later, and we're in business, turning over favored opposition in their own park and getting our pride back by finishing the pre-season run by thumping the reserves in a rematch.
Icing on the cake? Destroying Cheltenham Town 5-0 away on the opening day of the season. There's no way we can keep that pace up (and the game was decidedly more even than 5-0 would imply), but there's nothing like seeing that three-pronged attack panicking a back four.
Speaking of which... sure hope we don't see too much of that on Wednesday...