Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tinkering's a Tough Call and You'll Only Know If Works Once the Final Whistle Blows; Talking Point

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tinkering's a Tough Call and You'll Only Know If Works Once the Final Whistle Blows; Talking Point

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Vickers' big match lowdown MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2015 Follow us on Twitter @EGAZETTESPORT Anthony Vickers' big match lowdown

WELL, hands up who called that team.... not you Aitor.

We all know by now there's no point trying to second guess the Boro boss when it comes to the team sheet.

Every week he produces a selection curve ball. Who saw Ben Gibson's return at Derby? Get a reshuffle right and you are a tactical genius and hailed a hero.

Get it wrong and sections of the crowd immediately declare you a numpty.

The post-match muttering was about the Teesside Tinkerman getting every decision completely wrong, dropping his best three players and fielding a defence that was useless.

Even though the same defensive unit kept a clean sheet against a Bolton side playing a similar shape a week ago.

In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposition.

And every decision is predicated on the result. The boss is always hostage to fortune.

A manager can pick the best possible team and be theoretically correct in every aspect based on the tactical problems posed by the other team, the fitness levels of your own players, the skill-set and blend, the demands of fixtures to come, the mentality of individuals going into the game... but if the game goes against you, a bobble, a deflection, a decision, a missed sitter then you must carry the can.

That is the risk that always hangs heavy over the dug-out.

Aitor made three changes for Bristol. Early season goal-getter Kike and ex-Robins man Albert Adomah have been mainstays so far this term while Diego Fabbrini has been so eyecatching he has claimed cult status and even has his own song.

All three were dropped. Or rested. Or rotated. Or whatever terminology you want to use for the inevitable rejig midway through August's seven-game fixture flurry. …

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