Bale & Lennon Version 2.0
Bale was seen as overrated at the end of last season and Lennon was(is) seen as inconsistent. Both became predictable. Oppositions started marking Bale with 2 players. Second half of last season, Bale & Lennon switched wings and tried their luck. In some games it worked, but in most it was a failure. We were a unbalanced XI when Lennon was out injured. VDV was played in right side of midfield until the Arsenal game, which clearly didn't work. Lennon played his full 90min after recovering from his injury against QPR. Bale & Lennon have improved this season on 2 aspects. Lennon : i) Lennon has started cutting in from the left side and shooting more at the goal. When shooting the ball, he generally goes for placement rather than power and rarely misses. In my view, only VDV is better than him in shooting accuracy. Problem is, Lennon doesn't shoot much at goal which reflects at his goal stats for the club (never passed 5 goals in his 7 PL season with us). But this season, he is shooting more and has already got 3 goals and 3 assists. ii) Lennon has started delivering better crosses. This, I would put down to the confidence level. In last few games, he is playing at his best and we see him making good runs and crosses. Shame Adebayor couldn`t make much out of them. Bale : i) He has massively improved his set play abilities. Last season, he got couple of goals from near posts. It seems that Harry has worked with Bale and he is already showing his goal threats from set plays. Bale has created 2 assists and scored 1 from corners this season and its mainly down to his movement inside the box. Look out for more goals & assists from Bale in set plays. ii) Bale was marked out of some games with 2 defenders. Bale himself said this last month. 'Having two people on you blocking a pass is frustrating. It annoys me, I'd rather have a one-on-one, but it's kind of a compliment. If they are developing tactics to try to stop me, it shows that I'm doing well. But it is annoying.'.. o, what did Bale & Harry do ?. Bale has started dragging the defenders to the middle and created space for likes of Lennon & BAE to move into.Once Lennon got fit, Bale and Lennon started interchanging the positions in the wing. One subtle change was made. Instead of switching wings, they started playing on the same wing for a short time. In Fulham the game, Lennon switched to left flank and Bale instead of moving to right , remained there and played a give and go with Lennon, which resulted in a superb Lennon goal, started from the half way line. Similarly, Bale started playing give and go with Modric and Adebayor in the middle. When the opposition double teams, they are found out, as Bale moves into pockets in the middle of the pitch and drags the defenders with him. In the Bolton game, this almost resulted in a Penalty for BAE who got more space to move. Just to summarize, we have improved our set play abilities. We also have improved the individual abilities of our pacy wingers by some simple positional play. In the last 6 games Bale and Lennon started, Bale has scored 4 goals and 5 assists, while Lennon has scored 2 goals and 3 assists. If we have any hopes of challenging for the title, we need another utility player who can play in either wing and also have ability to cut in and score. If either one of them gets injured, we lose a key component of our goal creation/scoring. This is why we need a player like Hoillett. He has the ability to fit into our XI, if Bale or Lennon get injured. I personally, believe he can be a good back up to Modric too with his low centre of gravity and vision in passing. I hope the duo are fit for the entire season. But in case, if we lose them, we need to have a ideal replacement to sustain our challenge. One thing is clear- Harry & his team have definitely done some work in off-season and is paying off now.Written by sydqcb5
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