Considering the transfer window we have just had, initially, this seems like a really daft comment to make, however, I feel the midfield players Pulis now has at his disposal has quite the negative feel to it.
The biggest concern I have is with the central three, two of which will be holding and one more advanced. He now has Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Grzegorz Krychowiak available to him. All three of those players you would say are expected starters and I personally think that’s the three Pulis will play.
The problem lies in that all three are very similar in terms of their playing style. They all like to sit in front of the back four, breaking up play and quickly moving the ball onto the more attack minded players within the team. I feel if you were to play these three together our wingers and striker could find themselves very isolated.
Even if he gives license for one of those three to play a more advanced role, you then aren’t playing to that player’s strengths while simultaneously leaving a very good player out who specialises in that position.
If Pulis is to continue with his 4-2-3-1 formation then I personally feel only two of those three can start to get the best balance through the team, with someone like James Morrison, Nacer Chadli or Oliver Burke playing in ‘the hole’ to offer that support to the lone striker and wide players.
Undoubtedly it would be a tough call to make. Livermore has performed admirably since his arrival from Hull in January, so much so that he forced himself back into the England international team set-up.
Barry has looked every inch a player who has over 600 Premier League appearances to his name, producing some super slick performances already in his short time at the club.
Then you have Krychowiak. The fact that the footballing world was in shock when we secured his services for a season on loan from Paris-Saint Germain, suggests that this is a guy who won’t be warming the bench much in his time in the West Midlands.
He could rotate them I hear you say? It’s a valid point but again I just feel with the calibre of those players, none of them will want or expect to be rotated, and this is where the problem will lie.
Pulis now suddenly has some big decisions to make when it comes to the starting XI. He has arguably two good options vying for every position now. It’s a good headache to have but the new signings now bring with them added impetus on Pulis to start implementing a more aesthetically pleasing brand of football and if I’m being brutally honest I’m unsure as to whether it will.
If I was a betting man I would put my money on those three starting Saturday with the likes of Morrison, Chadli and Burke resigned to a spot on the bench. I hope I’m proven wrong but I honestly think Pulis will want to play all three.