Pompey opinion: Time for Plan B?

Pompey have a philosophy under Paul Cook that is well known and, up to a point, fairly successful.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 10:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 12:07 pm
Pompey defender Jack Whatmough Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Jack Whatmough Picture: Joe Pepler

A leap from 16th spot the season before he arrived to sixth – and play-off heartache – last term underlines that.

His way has been built around a 4-2-3-1 possession-based system as the Blues look to dominate the ball and carve open their opponents.

And sitting in fifth place in the League Two table ahead of tonight’s crunch clash at Luton suggests there is no need to panic with 29 games still to play.

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But having seen a few flaws in Pompey’s play at Cheltenham on Saturday, I do wonder if there may be an alternative system, a Plan B if you like.

My humble suggestion is for Cook to switch from 4-2-3-1 to 3-5-2 if the former is not having the desired effect.

In Gareth Evans and Enda Stevens you have ready-made wing-backs who can provide pace down the flanks and can both cross a ball.

An extra body in central defence will also allow the Blues to be stronger against the set plays that seem to be plaguing their season, with someone like Jack Whatmough, who has also played in defensive midfield, given license to bring the ball out from the back.

And a second man up top will mean Pompey may be able to actually make something out of their long, hopeful balls upfield which Conor Chaplin, who is suspended for tonight’s game at Kenilworth Road, has failed to capitalise in recent week.

Chaplin, when he’s back, could then gobble up the scraps provided by his strike partner and allow his predatory instincts to do the talking, rather than pestering referees into more needless yellow cards!