I wrote the other day that it’s nigh on impossible to guess how we will line up in games. Bow said yesterday that it was the first time the team had played to that formation. It looked like (from watching on Valley Pass) that we were 5-4-1 with Solly and JFC advanced wing backs and a flat midfield. That put a lot of trust in Bonne, but he did not disappoint, despite the fact a year ago he was playing in a FA Cup qualifying tie at Maidstone.
Whilst Jacko and Marsh are drilling the players on set-pieces, Bowyer must spend hours in a room studying opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Derby and Phillipe Cocu are no slouches but yesterday we picked them off at a corner and targeted the £10m Krystian Bielik. Teams appear to be obsessed in playing out from the back pedestrian like believing they are playing for Man City.
Bowyer has said a thousand times how much his players take onboard what he is explaining on the training field, and when Steve Gallen’s picking a player this is clearly an attribute they look for. After the arrogance of Pardew, Peeters, Luzon, Slade and Robinson, I’m loving Bowyer’s burgeoning tactical ability and flexibility in team selections, which also demands very good man-management and communication skills.
Bowyer was lucky enough to get to see yesterday’s outstanding win from a main stand seat, although he made it pretty obvious that he doesn’t want to make a habit of not being down with the action, which he won’t be until the next game at The Valley in a few weeks against Preston.
After the Swansea game Bow alleged that referee Peter Bankes was looking after his mate Steve Cooper and was “horrendous.” N f’in and blinding, and much more politely put than his slagging off of fattie Steve Evans and his more expletive filled rant against AFC Wimbledon last season.
We’ve all been surprised by Bowyer’s thoughtful and almost pastoral personality as a manager. Although his going after a reporter at yesterday’s post-match press gathering tells us that he is still no wallflower.
The one downside to yesterday was the injury to Jonny Williams. He’s one of those players that where they go down you fear the worst. It looked innocuous but the Welshman, who was simply brilliant in the half hour he played, hurt his knee. Fingers crossed.