Moving on Up?
Leighton Baines: Going to go a little bit off-ball here and propose a sea-change. Things really aren't working out right now on both sides of the ball, certainly not the results (even if we call it 3-1-1 against the teams we can beat & the fact that next eleven games only contains one highly-likely-to-lose fixture with a visit to The Emirates) but here's the thought. Give it the next three games (Wolves & Stoke at home plus a winnable trip to Bolton) and if things don't improve (at least 6 points say) we need to regroup after that tricky game to Arsenal and change things around, dramatically. Here's that idea! Move Leighton Baines into the left-sided berth in the midfield & draft in either Bidwell (risky) or Neville (less so) at left back. The positive, forward contribution of Baines is being thwarted in two ways - firstly our porous defence is putting us at a disadvantage from the start - we're basically conceding ground & the score far too often before we're in the game and secondly the undoubted talents he has in assisting the attack is partially being negated by both the opponents blocking his progress (example - using Ji Sung Park to keep him very busy in the game versus Man U) or simply we're too busy hoofing it up to the single man up front & not retaining possession.
So, some of the midfielders need a kick up the proverbial. We need a midfield line up something like Royston - Fellaini - Rodwell - Baines with a front TWO (Saha with Cahill or Vellios) - the option to use the likes Osman, Billy or Coleman as back up remains. Come January we might secure Landon but in the meantime we're woeful in many areas of the pitch. Baines offers us at least as good an option as Spurs have with Bale, himself a converted left-back.