The 4-1 hammering at the hands of a depleted Manchester United side once again proved the tactical limitations of Steve Bruce – and, for me, it’s imperative he makes three changes for the Wolves game this weekend.
The pressure is building on the manager and his strange selection decisions are starting to frustrate the majority of fans. Performances are deflating to watch and results aren’t enough anymore.
But Bruce has another chance to brighten up the side at Molineux on Sunday – and there’s a few players he surely has to start.
Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser are the first two – they simply have to play. I mean, why aren’t they already? Bruce has persistently used the excuses of fatigue and sharpness but both look bang in form and their exclusion is baffling.
Almiron started the season off on fire. Assist against West Ham and two scintillating performances against lower league opposition had fans begging for his inclusion. This hasn’t happened, and he’s still confined to cameo appearances.
The Paraguayan has to come in for Joelinton in on Sunday. The Brazilian’s performances have improved, but Almiron is a far more direct threat and sadly, we can’t wait around forever for Joelinton to set the world alight. Bruce certainly doesn’t have the time – especially if he’s going to put him on the right when he’s clearly more suited to playing just behind Wilson.
As for Fraser, Bruce could be excused for using him sparingly earlier in the season – as the winger hadn’t played since March. However, he’s looked sharper every game and looked completely re-born when playing for Scotland in the international break, winning the man of the match award in one and scoring in the other.
Hendrick has done a fairly decent job so far, but he’s more of a defensive workhorse and doesn’t enough of a threat going forward – which I think we can all agree is our main problem at the minute. The Irishman will eventually lose his place to Fraser, but it’s got to happen now.
The final change would be Manquillo in for Krafth – who got torn apart in that 1-4 defeat to Man Utd on Saturday night.
This change isn’t nearly as desperate as the two mentioned previously, but I find it a little odd that Manquillo’s lost his place when he’s undoubtedly become our most reliable and best right-back with his performances over the past 18 months.
I’m not writing this to criticise Bruce, or to join the Bruce out bandwagon – but it’s clear for anyone to see that we need an attacking injection and we’ve got two talented players wasting away on the bench in Almiron and Fraser.
If they’re not playing against Wolves, and we’re again terrible going forward, I’ll start to seriously question Bruce’s ability in our dugout.