On the back of two disappointing draws against West Brom and Stoke, does Dean Smith need to fresh things up a little? Is it time to bring back Birkir Bjarnason or does another midfielder deserve a chance in the side?
Jack Grealish was ruled out of the weekends draw against Stoke. It is unclear if he will be back for the Leeds game but it was clear the weekend that we lacked something. Grealish has a shin injury and Smith has stated that he hoped his star player would be available for the festive period.
If he doesn’t return, who should fill his boots? We lacked any real attacking threat with Glenn Whelan in the side. I take a look at the two options I believe Smith should consider.
Many people on Social media are crying out for Cal O’Hare to get his opportunity in the first team. He has been named on Smith’s bench recently but is yet to make his mark under the former Brentford boss.
If he is named on the bench, then one can only assume that he isn’t far off an appearance. I personally wouldn’t play O’Hare. Let me explain why.
I am all for the youth being given an opportunity, however, I feel that it is too much of a risk to play someone so inexperienced. Especially while we are trying to drag ourselves up the table. Grealish has had to adapt his game to play in a more central midfield position. I feel that O’Hare is too lightweight to play in the same role. Cal’s time will come eventually but I am not sure he should be risked just yet.
If fit, my option would be Bjarnason. It would allow us to play Conor Hourihane in a more attacking role and our Icelandic midfielder would slot back in the role he had before his injury.
Hourihane has proven he can score and create in this league. Bjarnason would allow him that freedom in a more attacking role.
The Icelandic midfielder has missed part of the season through injury but was one of most consistent performers before his injury. For me, it is a no-brainer but to bring Birkir back into the mix. Smith seems to appreciate his high energy game and we know he is more than capable in this league.
Who would you start in replacement of the injured Jack Grealish? Would you go for O’Hare – high risk, high reward, or reliability in Bjarnason? Have your say in the comments section below.