These percentages look great, but according to those stats we've only played 8 games without Holden this season (which isn't really a representative sample compared to 29 games with him) and the teams we lost to without him are Burnley, City and Liverpool away.At best Tom we don't know how big a loss it will be. It could well be as "drastic" as those figures suggest because simply we don't know. I mean it could very feasibly be that the whole difference between our season this time and our very consistent 1ppg but ultimately pretty rubbish season last time out.
So yeah, he's a loss, but it's nowhere near as drastic as those figures would suggest.
I think the worry is Coyle wants to play 4-4-2, without Holden IMO we still have lots of good players, but I don't see a 4-4-2 balance there.
Davies and Muamba for me are not good enough together to keep the midfield under control. And Cohen just isn't sharp or clever enough either. Its hard to see where we'll go really. I hope he doesn't use LCY in the centre as for me that takes away his best attributes and also I think he's not really suited to that role.
We're in a little bit of a catch 22 as we've looked good with 2 up front this season and we're struggling to fit all our forwards in anyways, but then we're now struggling in behind that.
Well.... yes, without the ability to see the future, we don't know. Maybe Holden was holding us back all this time and Tamir is going to fire us to Cup glory? Maybe we'll not win a game for 6 months? Maybe Stoke would beat us regardless? Maybe we'll beat Stoke regardless? Maybe LCY will fail a drugs test and we'll be kicked out of the cup? Maybe the stadium will collapse? Maybe, maybe, maybe. There is nothing to say either way, except a fairly ropey set of statistics, why be so unequivocal that we're doomed?
If anything, none of the above scenarios are more ridiculous than the idea that one little pea-headed American single handedly dragged us from 18th to 7th through sheer force of will.
All that I do know for a fact is that if we don't win the Cup outright, 'we'd have won it if Holden was fit' is going to be the new 'we'd have won it if Deano wasn't a useless, slick haired, poncy tw*t'. At least, until Elmander misses an open goal against Stoke...
As for losing the 'midfield battle', Stoke's central midfielders are currently Dean Whitehead and Glenn Whelan.
Don't think Whitehead is playing for em much now. Isn't it that Marc Wilson (who used to play for Pompey and is a decent player) in there?