I thought his pre match comments showed a real reluctance to try 4 - 4 - 2 but that he had been talked into trying it. This would indicate to me that he now has to either admit we play better with that formation or he sticks to his guns and reverts back to 4-5-1 at the weekend. It will be a shame if he does that as it will show that his ego is bigger than his abilty to see what is in front of his face.
By playing two up front he made the whole back 4 work hard to try and hold us back whilst with little Defoe on his own it allows at least one defender to support the attacking midfielders thus putting our MF and defence under more pressure.
Bale and Lennon played well and I was particular glad to see how well Lennon tracked back - a side of his game that he has been criticised for previously.
I thought Carroll was a bit lightweight but once again I saw nothing at all from Hudd that made me change my mind about him. I lost count of the number of long passes that got cut out and I also lost count of the number of times he was lumbering around inbetween Dawson and Vertoghen passing the ball 5 yards sideways or backwards. The only thing he did right all night was the one final pass to release Bale for the third goal. Not exactly a great return for a whole games play.
Dawson hit several very long crossed field passes which against a PL side would have got cut out but against this poor side they found their man. Hudd was not quite as successful, and thats supposed to be his strong point, and even Vertoghen hit a couple that succeeded.
Naughton is a good player but what happened showed why you shouldn't play a right footed player at left back.
BUT, lets get this in perspective - Maribor were bloody poor really. The silly goal got their hopes and chins up whilst at the same time deflated our passion and made us nervous but still, we should have beaten them 5 or 6 nil IMO.
Still, the good news is we won and we played 4-4-2 which clearly suits us better, the team like it, the fans prefer it and it worked. My only hope now is that AVB is man enough to admit his tactics and formation is not right for us. Not holding my breath on that one.