Anthony Pilkington’s injury has seemingly opened the door for Elliott Bennett to claim his place in the Norwich City side. It’s difficult to read too much into Chris Hughton at the moment in terms of his formation of choice. He has been lately using different systems away as he has in home games, so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues.
Bennett will be particularly intrigued by this because it may determine how big of an opportunity he is likely to have. When the 4-2-3-1 system is used, he is the obvious option to deputise for Pilkington. This is an especially relevant point when we consider the awkwardness of playing a certain Wes Hoolahan on the wing.
Of course, that particular system best utilizes the Irishman in the role just behind the central lone striker. Things do get a little bit more complicated when the 4-4-2 system is used, many people think of our dynamic Irishman as a vital part of the team, especially after notching his latest goal in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland.
However, he is not ideally suited to playing in a classic 4-4-2, mainly because he can’t get into those central areas and has defensive responsibility. All of which leads me to believe that Hughton will stick with the 4-2-3-1 system for the foreseeable future.
But an important point will be the individual performance of Bennett that will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to make things happen. And while Pilkington is injured, there will not be a viable alternative. Therefore, the Norwich boss will be hoping that he will get what he needs in an attacking sense from the player. But he will also know that he is a hard worker and will offer some decent defensive qualities.
I don’t think the player has had a decent opportunity to impress this season with a decent run of games. However, when he has had the chance, I don’t think he has hit the heights of the form he was showing towards the end of last season. Therefore, he will want to take the bull by the horns and really show what he can do for the remaining games this season.
There is always the danger that if he can’t do that, then he could be looking for a new club in the summer. But he is the sort of player that should fit into Hughton’s plans and hopefully he can create a problem when Pilkington is back fit.