Peter Swan: Hull City's formation is fine - it just needs Elmo and a striker
THERE’S no question that the Tigers are going through a sticky patch.
I’m not sure, though, whether a change in formation to 4-4-2 is the answer.
On Saturday, Steve Bruce again opted for the 3-5-2 formation that worked so well up to the New Year.
Barnsley mirrored that with their own 3-5-2, as have a number of clubs to cope with City.
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Having sold their top striker Craig Davies to Bolton in the transfer window and with their second top scorer missing through injury, Barnsley were hardly a potent attacking threat.
Although limited, they battled hard and basically looked as though they wanted it more.
City created chances, particularly in the first half, and had they taken any one of them, would surely have gone on to win.
Instead, Barnsley took their chance and got themselves a goal.
After that they shut up shop, often defending with five or six at the back.
The fact they scored on 70 minutes through Chris Dagnall and five minutes later took him off and put on a centre-half says a lot. Once that happened, even with Bruce changing formation, the Tigers couldn’t break Barnsley down. And how many times have we seen that familiar pattern in recent weeks?
I still believe 3-5-2 is the right one for City as it does suit the team, unfortunately it’s short of a couple of pieces of the jigsaw.
To work at its best it does need a wing-back who can provide ammunition from the right. It also requires at least one striker to turn those chances into goals.
On Saturday, Bruce tried teaming Nick Proschwitz with Robert Koren up front.
Unfortunately, it didn’t really work as it was a bit too “pretty”.
I do worry, though, when I hear Bruce talking about bringing Aaron Mclean back from his loan spell at Ipswich.
With all due respect, I don’t think he is the answer to getting the Tigers ticking again.