Get ready for Hudson bingo
OPINION: Get your markers at the ready – it’s time for another round of Hudson bingo.
We won’t find out who the All Whites coach has picked until next weekend, officially, which means there is plenty of time to get your guesses in order.
The biggest bombshell has already been dropped, and that’s the return of Rory Fallon and Jeremy Brockie, two experienced strikers who have not been seen in a while.
They both appeared to be well out of the reckoning, especially after they missed the trip to Japan last month, but Anthony Hudson seems to have gone back to them for the World Cup qualifiers against Peru, continuing his streak of offering some sort of surprise with every squad announcement.
You wouldn’t have had them on your bingo card at the start of the week, that’s for certain, but it sure sounds like they’re in, and that means there is likely to be bad news for a few incumbents.
Chris Wood and Kosta Barbarouses will be in the forward ranks, so something’s going to give. Myer Bevan will probably be unlucky, as the most recent addition to the mix, and he could feel hard done by.
Will Monty Patterson and Shane Smeltz both make it? A betting man would say yes, but to get them both in will mean making a call or two elsewhere, and it is in midfield that the tea leaves are the hardest to read.
Lock in Michael McGlinchey, Marco Rojas, Ryan Thomas and Bill Tuiloma, and then get to speculating, with Moses Dyer, Clayton Lewis, James Musa, Matt Ridenton and Alex Rufer the five names in the mix.
Musa, like Bevan, could suffer from only returning to the fold in September, while Ridenton has probably left his run too late.
Dyer was involved last time out, against Japan, having pushed past Rufer, who was in the 23 for the Confederations Cup in June, but there is a decent chance neither will be this time.
Lewis is now firmly ensconced in a professional environment in England, and given how he shone the last time he played, back in June, he should return to the fold, no questions asked.
One of those five names will be in for sure. But if two or three make it, something funky is happening elsewhere.
Perhaps in defence, where Hudson has tended to carry more bodies than he has really needed, and where a cut is probably coming regardless.
The man most likely to receive bad news is Tom Doyle, who couldn’t even get a start at left wingback against Japan last month when Deklan Wynne was injured.
Kip Colvey got the nod instead, making the most of his versatility, and Dane Ingham, another Hudson favourite, was over on the right. Storm Roux missed that trip with a back injury, but has started every game for his club since, and should be back, as should Wynne.
The five centre backs – Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Michael Boxall, Andrew Durante and Themi Tzimopoulos – pick themselves, as long as they’re all fit.
Stefan Marinovic will be there as the No 1 keeper, and he will probably be joined by Glen Moss and Max Crocombe.
Anthony Hudson has always offered a surprise with his squad announcements.