LOPEZ! LOPEZ! LOPEZ!
When Edgar Davids sat down with pencil in hand to pick his team for the game against Morecambe his options up front were limited.
Almost every squad member who has experience playing as a striker is out injured; the latest name to be added to this roll call being top-scorer Jake Hyde who left the pitch at half-time at Plymouth last weekend.
When Luke Gambin replaced Hyde last week, Dani Lopez moved from the left to play the more central role and in the end the Head Coach opted in favour of the Spaniard for the game against Morecambe.
A hat-trick rightly attracts headlines and Dani is getting his due. However, few accolades were coming his way during the half-time interval.
“I was not pleased with Dani Lopez at half-time,” said the Head Coach in a post-match interview. His displeasure stemmed from the fact the player was coming too deep and whilst he clearly has quality on the ball his job description had him placed further forward.
The three second-half goals from Lopez gave the Bees the win and it was his deft chip which cut open the visitors’ defence to set-up Gambin for the Bees to draw level.
And it had been this vision which set up a good opportunity late-on for Iffy Allen at Home Park which almost secured the Bees an undeserved point.
In the second-half, now with Lopez much higher up the pitch, he began to present a clear danger to the Morecambe rearguard.
In the final analysis he had too much guile for them, he read the situations better than they did and got to the ball first.
However the next time Lopez is on penalty duty it would be preferable if the ball could go straight into the net rather than via the woodwork; it’s just too nerve-wracking!