The Belgian Impact

Before a ball had been kicked this season, I remember thinking that if we were to have a successful campaign then we would need Kev Mirallas firing on all cylinders on a regular basis.

As it turned out, we then added to our Belgian contingent with the arrival of Lukaku and both Belgians have subsequently been key players for us at various parts of the season to date.

However, looking at the performances of both players in recent games, I can’t help but feel that both, particularly Lukaku are not firing at the moment and in serious need of a breather.

I find Mirallas an interesting player. There is no doubt that he is capable of brilliance, but I just don’t think that we see it on a regular enough basis. Granted, I think he is working extremely hard and cannot fault his effort in games, I just feel that for the attacking ability which he has, then we could/should be expecting more in terms of goals from him. I’d keep him in the team for the time being, yet when Gerry returns in the new year his starting spot will be under increased threat.

As for Lukaku, he has generally been a revelation and was an inspired bit of business from Roberto and Bill in August. His performances over the course of December though have looked jaded and off the pace.

For me, this was possibly always likely to happen and made the loss of Kone early on a bigger blow than perhaps first thought. The lad is 20 years old and is being tasked with leading the line on his own at a top class level week in week out. His talent and potential is undoubtedly superb, but there are several raw parts to his game – notably his touch and decision making at times.

Rom could certainly do with a breather at the moment and be used off the bench like he often was at WBA last year. Jelavic is an option of sorts, but then again his most recent appearances have looked more akin to a league 2 striker.

So the question up top is do we stick with a tired Lukaku or try Jelly. For me, I’d stick with Lukaku, certainly until we can hopefully bring in another front man in the window.

If Roberto can work his magic in January again and get a bit more out of Lukaku up until then, then I have no doubt that Lukaku will start terrorising defences before long.

As the half way point of the season looms, the impact of the 2 Belgians, along with one or 2 additions in January will be key to determining our final placing at the end of the year.


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