One big question dominates my thinking as we head to Southampton this afternoon: Will Slav be brave enough to give Declan Rice his full first team debut.
That he was ready to throw him on for half an hour against Manchester United at Old Trafford is encouraging but I can’t convince myself he will do it although the boy’s form insists he should.
It was interesting when asked in his Friday presser about the boy, Slav immediately started discussing the midfeld implying that’s where he saw the teenager if he was to get a start.
So if it’s to happen then Fernandes looks the one set to make way and the youngster can slip into the role he played so well in pre season sitting in front of a back three four before making those penetrating runs into midfield whilst being able to cover Zabaleta’s runs forward.
I believe that should Slav do it, and in my world it’s not even the remotest gamble, this is the team he should play today with Michail Antonio fit again. FINGERS CROSSED.
Hart, Zabaletta, Reid, Ogbonaa, Cresswell; Rice; Antonio, Noble, Obiang Arnutovic, Hernandez
Subs: Adrian, Fonte, Collins, Fernandes, Ayew, Sakho
Good for you Hugh; I agree that Rice is ready for first team play!
That said, I’m also hoping that the following U-23 players will follow Rice’s pathway..
Samuelsen, Makasi, Quina, Holland, Haksabanovic, and Martinez
What do you think Hugh; perhaps, Quina needs another year, but this kid has some enormous potential!
If you add to this list the likes of Josh Cullen, and the two Reece’s, the future looks great for our beloved team (provided they don’t get lured away by big money..)
I agree he should be given a start, I also think that as much as I like Fernandez it’s time he put in some top quality performances to ensure he keeps his place.
All of the logic great but the end result totally wrong …. Rice and Fernandez must start . Noble can cut up the oranges . Should manage that slow as he is in 45 minutes . He must not start or we will be overrun in midfield again .
Don’t knock the Captain he bleeds claret and blue and we never win without him 😆😆😆
so slow he couldn’t even bleed to death !!
Sorry but he needs a transfusion !!!!!
I like your team Hugh but Oggy or Reid need dropping unless we play three at the back they haven’t put in a decent performance in the same team as far as I can recall, if Slav can’t see that both of them are only good as left sided CB’s he need to go to specsavers, perhaps all his new hair is getting in his eyes, he even played Reid at right CB with Collins at left CB last season god only knows why… play players in their proper positions please Slav and give Rice a start, if he plays poorly substitute him buy but start him again in the next few matches he is the future of the club and needs the opportunity to develop in the PL.
If we are to play him today, it must be as part of a back 3 – he is not yet ready to play in the middle of the park.
He’s dropped obiang and playing no legs ! He’s lost the fekin plot bilic 😈