Grigor Pasha writes: Down here at Neftochimic 1962 on the Bulgarian coast we’re 8 matches in. The board’s expectation is top half. In fact,we’re second.
So far, so good, you might think.
Except I have been unnerved by the problem at left back. We haven’t got a good one.
And if I can see it, so can our competitors. Which is how are arch-rivals, Chernomorets 1919 Burgas came to dump us out of the cup, despite being a league below us.
Here are the options. There’s Dzhuneyt Ali.
But he’s right-sided, weedy, and prone to switch off.
Besides, he’s started to show a little promise on the right wing. Nice turn of pace.
Then there’s Dimov.
More of left-fielder, but I’ve reckon I have enough of those already.
Should be a decent option. Left-footed. Reasonable defensive skills.
But I don’t like this guy. Resists criticism. Trains poorly. Seems to be going backwards. Not as determined as I’d like. Overall, this is not someone I want to rely on. Thank you, Galen, but we won’t be renewing.
And then there’s the boy Zemyarski, in on loan.
He’s had a tough initiation. He gifted Chernomorets their winning goal. I’ve had the Bulgarian Football Gazette asking me whether I really think he’s going to come good.
But I played him in the very next fixture, in the league against Strumska slava, and the boy done well.
I think that shows character.
Terrible in the air. A bit clueless about where’s he’s supposed to be. But he’s training well — in fact Milen Hristov tells me he’s training better than anyone.
So he gets my vote.
But I’m thinking of switching the midfield over, so that the defensive midfielder plays on the left instead of the right, to provide young Gabriel with some support. Like this.
That, though, would mean tinkering with a formation that’s working.
In football management, there always seem to be knock-on problems.