Grigor Pasha writes: Mid-November, 2020. Mid-table. Playing mostly a narrow diamond — though not excessively narrow, since I’ve briefed by two in the middle to go wide.

I went for the narrow diamond simply because i had the depth and blend in midfield to make it work.

23 Dec 19 DonnyAt the base of the diamond is ‘Donny’ Donchev, whom I picked up on a free (I never pay!)

To date, I’ve been underwhelmed. But the good news is that the boy trains like an angel — and the combination of training and playing time is helping him to develop. I intend to stick with him despite his lack of flair. Recently I’ve switched his role from defensive midfielder to anchorman (on the advice of Dictate the Game) and then to half back, so I’m not sure the lack of flair matters too much.23 Dec 19 Tsenov

In the middle I have Tsenov. It’s handy that he’s left-footed. And he’s a player I trust: he was almost ever-present for us last season, when he was the most defensive in 4-2-3-1. Every team needs a Mr Dependable.

The other player in the midfield pair is our only non-EU player, Wiris Gustavo de Oliverira.

I brought him in on loan with the intention of converting him to a right-back — I couldn’t find any other good value option. 23 Dec 19 DollyThen I bottled it and brought in a specialist full-back, Beysim Beysim, as the club’s highest earner.

In the event, ‘Dolly’ has played mostly as a box-to-box.

He hasn’t really brought in the kind of star performances I was hoping for. Less than stellar decision-making and concentration has led to a red card and the concession of penalties.

Disappointing yet adequate.

23 Dec 19 GeorgiAt the apex we have Georgiev, who I guess also qualifies as ‘disappointing yet adequate’. The main problem has been inconsistency. If only he responded more constructively to the efforts of our coaching staff, he’d be a fixture. But I think I’ve seen enough now to know that he’s never going to make the very most of his potential.

That saddens me. I had high hopes for him.

Though each of the four look good enough, the diamond hasn’t produced the sort of silky, seamless, football I was hoping for.

Do I persevere — I mean I guess it takes time for the style to gel — or do I play just one in the centre and move the other of the pair out to the wing? What do you think?

The boy Parashkevov (a natural winger) s itching for a game-time and did well for us last season. I’m leaning his way.

 

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