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MINORITY REPORT - Could Holt be a Playmaker at Midfield?



Go on. Laugh.

I have heard all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the signing of "Another Striker!?? OMG What About Jordan Bowery???" Well, friends, from what I've seen of Jordan Bowery, he does not quite qualify as one of our strikers. He's slow and he gives the ball away a lot.

What I have seen is this - and I offer this well outside the box - a guy with good attacking instincts who wins 91% of his tackles (while he only completes 53% of his passes, sure, but that's running up top.) with a proven track record in the Prem. Yes. He's old. But, if he can still run... Well... I seem to remember Emile Heskey.

What struck me on one of the highlight reels I looked over was that you typically see Holt dishing to a good attacking area and then drifting into a good, oftentimes secondary, shooting area.

I wonder if, using the setup Lambo used at the beginning of the Arsenal match, you could do something like this:

Back 3: Clark / Vlaar / Lowton

Sitting Midfield: Delph / Westwood

Attacking Midfield: (from left) Gabby / Holt / Weimann

Strikers: Bentekers and Helenius

Would that not give the Villa an imposing (at least physically) attack at the middle front?

Would that not place Gabby and Andi where their pace does the most good? On the edges? I mean, that's a handful of beef in the middle with a side of lightning sauce on the wings, is it not? Back line is still "meh," but it was good enough to frustrate Arsenal in the middle.

I thought what I saw from the first 10 minutes of the Arsenal game was zero Villa possession, but zero looks inside from an Arsenal side that would have liked more room. I also saw Villa get two good looks at the Arsenal net in those first ten minutes despite the lack of possession. I also saw the Big Benteke taken by Arsenal's big defender and the speedy Gabby taken by the speedy Arsenal defender. I think such a lineup, if Holt is capable of playing in that role (and I have nothing to go on that he can except watching his movement in his highlight reels), would be hard to defend.

At least in this way Benteke is not the only target man. You've got three big men who can win an air ball instead of only one. That could have a profound effect on the Villa's counter-attacking style.

Go on. Laugh. I bet Lambert isn't creative enough to try it. What does he have to lose in a trip to Liverpool anyway?

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