Addressing the issue of wide players yet again (let’s snag one or two already), I think it’s worth pointing out a few things.
First of all, Kuyt possesses a solid attacking sense for us regardless of where he plays. What he doesn’t have is the ability to create for himself. He thrives off chaos on the pitch, whether it be a deflected pass or an overstretched defensive line. Regardless of what it is, if you give him just a moment he can be exactly what need from time to time.
Thnk about his goals against Inter, Arsenal, and Chelsea last season in the CL. Each time the ball worked it’s way over from the left and he found a little room moving in behind the defense. He is a suitable player running in from behind as a supporting winger from the other side. I”d even say it fits him well when you put it together with his work rate and ability to defend from the front.
Our problem is we simply don’t attack down the left flank. It allows the defense to remain much more stationary and to save energy for the latter stages of matches. Every time Kuyt finds himself with the ball it’s with a defender already stationed right in front of him.
My point mostly is that whether Riera turns into Gonzalez or a world class winger, just his presence will be enough to squeeze some more goals out of our attack. Even Riise would have been a welcome addition at this time just so we actually use the entire pitch. We have gobs of talent in the center of the park, but we’re going to have to work those edges and pull apart defenses rather than attempt to batter them down (although Carra did superbly with that).
So I’ll take just about anyone at this point, it beats not having a left sided attack at all.
Also, I would be remiss not to congratulate Jamie on his equalizer. Deflection or not, that was a well struck ball from a position he got himself into because he knew the club needed every possible body up front. Excellent job and what wonderful desire to collect all three points.