Preparing for West Brom and reflecting on the Everton game, Steve McClaren has made a baffling comment about Florian Thauvin.
The Head Coach is hoping that Aleksandar Mitrovic makes today’s game as he is the ‘focal point’ of the team, the striker suffering with an ankle problem that almost saw him miss Everton.
McClaren says that he wanted to get Florian Thauvin onto the pitch against Everton, so he could supply the crosses for Mitrovic, with the Head Coach claiming that this plan then nearly worked against the scousers.
The problem with this bizarre claim is that Florian Thauvin was only give the last three minutes on Saturday, despite the team looking knackered on the rain sodden pitch.
To be honest I can’t even remember Thauvin touching the ball in his few minutes on the pitch and certainly can’t remember any near misses with crosses into Mitrovic.
Both fans and pundits expressed surprise that, especially with West Brom less than 48 hours later, McClaren didn’t use his substitutes – Everton having all three of theirs on the pitch before McClaren made than one very late change.
As McClaren points out, Florian Thauvin had looked lively when given over 20 minutes against Villa, putting in some decent crosses, so it is very strange why he didn’t give him that chance to follow up against Everton.
Of course the problem on Saturday wasn’t actually the quality of service to Mitrovic, rather it was the failure of the Serbian to finish off two glorious chances.
The first half saw him glance a great cross from daryl Janmaat wide when he should have done better, whilst he should have burst the net when Sissoo teed him up perfectly in the second.
“Aleksandar Mitrovic had an ankle injury and struggled to make the (Everton) game but made it and he was our focal point.
“I still think he was causing them problems with his physicality and we wanted to put Florian Thauvin on and get crosses into the box as we did last week and it nearly worked.
“He had the opportunity and in future games hopefully he takes them.
“A few walking wounded, so we will have to see (who’s available v West Brom) but I can’t ask any more of them.”
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