Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:17 pm

Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:29 am
Oh, is it: began a period of probing controlled possession?
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Peter Thompson wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:46 am
And this has to do with Parkinson's coaching / tactics....he must be telling the players to play this way

If he (Parkinson) wanted the midfield, and wing backs to get forward quicker and support the front two when we have the ball then he would be coaching this in pre season & every week in training, and giving them instructions before the game and from the touchline.
I'm not as certain as you (but then, few people are). Parky is never going to be Rinus Michels (not that I want that anyway) but I note that he said we had things to work on and improve upon, so let's see how it develops. We did at times play some good football last season, confidently passing through midfield, so I don't think he's didactic and dogmatic enough to ban things (like, say, Allardyce banning short corners or long-distance shooting). I think he'd like his players to have a bit more confidence, and hopefully it will come.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:28 am
You're confusing me, BWFCi, because earlier on this very thread you said this:
BWFC_Insane wrote:I think Taylor and Derik would use the ball from the back better and provide a little more balance either side of Beevers. Both are a bit quicker by CB standards. Millwall will be physical I guess, but think we'd cope.

Dervite hasn't done much wrong, but for me his only real "out ball" is chipping cross field to Madine. Away from home that may squander more possession than is ideal.

Additionally we have to find a way to get proper wingbacks in the side. (…) Wing backs with pace to get up and down. Taylor is ok when you've got a more attacking right wing back. If Darby plays there and Taylor at left back that is too.....back 5. And the midfield are left without outlet and without support from the wing backs all too often. (…) I just want to have centre halves on each side more comfortable on the ball. And also more mobile. Plus I strongly think in this league we need a proper outlet out wide especially away from home.
You seem to want ball-playing centre-backs, and outlets out wide, yet you disagree with the notion of "pass and move", which seems to me the entire point of having ball-playing centre-backs and willing wide outlets.

Maybe it's a question of terminology. You seem to think we're incapable of playing "pass and move" as if it's Fermat's Last Theorem. I'm not asking for intricate Arsenalesque triangles and gasping applause from opposition fans. I'm just asking for a system in which players want the ball and seek to build with it by passing diagonally forward 10/15 yards to a mate in a better position.

Let's walk through a typical situation, like Bobby Robson used to with Barcelona. Centre-back Burke finds wing-back Morais just inside our half; Morais plays give-and-go with holder Cullen, who sends him up the line; another midfielder (could be Karacan, could be Buckley) is in support for one option, while ALF/Arma comes toward Morais for another and Madine gets between the posts for a third. It's neither rocket surgery nor brain science. We hardly ever try it, and I think it's down to coaching: presumably an overcautious paralysis in the central midfielders, because I can't imagine a managerial diktat that nobody can pass forwards except the big lumps at the back.

To be clear, I don't mind passing sideways and backwards to retain possession if there's no such pass on - keep circulating the ball until a gap appears. But the gap appears by people finding space, preferably but (not necessarily) at speed while the oppo is out of shape. At the minute, we circulate it round the back five (and the odd midfielder dropping deep) then a big-ass centre-back clonks it forward and we turn over possession.

I knew this was a habit last season, but I couldn't check have the stats because they weren't covered in the third tier. Now we've moved up, it's analysable, and it's showing how often we're gifting the opponents the ball. Last season we could do that relatively comfortable in the knowledge that they'd either gormlessly bang it back to Wheevers or we'd snuffle it out of them in midfield. Now we have to be cleverer, more subtle. It's hard enough in this division without shooting ourselves in the foot.
We're in danger of getting a bit internet binary here. End of the day if we leave players forward and lose the ball, teams in this league will hurt us. We're playing currently a less than ideal first team, due to injuries. We are putting players on who've had no minutes pre-season. The team is far from being balanced. I think we're doing what any team with a sensible manager would do in this scenario. Try and scrape through and grind out what you can.

I do think there is scope to change it up at the back so we "hoof" it less. Burke seems capable which is good. But until we have the likes of Morais, Ameobi starting (and god knows what system they fit into - not this one) I do struggle to see us doing much else. We won't hurt teams around the box because nobody has the extra bit of magic or a great delivery. Taylor cannot cross a ball. Little hasn't looked like he's much better. Give them the ball and they will go back into midfield. Midfield will then need an outlet, which will generally be back to a wing back who is unable to go past his man or create space for a cross.

We lack pace. Pace would help us greatly. Because we'd be able to hit teams on the counter and also get around the pitch more capably than we do. I do think we've recruited to two systems. 3 at the back and 4 at the back (either a narrow 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1). I think injuries have dictated we use 3 at the back. However, our issue is we haven't been playing wing backs. One might make a case that for this system Robinson and Morais are our best options. I fully back Parkinson though for going with the team he has.

We could always enjoy the results of the "pass and move" high tempo, get forward lads football Lennon introduced here. Frankly we're miles off most teams in this league. Miles off. Our best bet is to defend for our lives and scrape what we can. At least for now. IMHO.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:35 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:28 am
You're confusing me, BWFCi, because earlier on this very thread you said this:
BWFC_Insane wrote:I think Taylor and Derik would use the ball from the back better and provide a little more balance either side of Beevers. Both are a bit quicker by CB standards. Millwall will be physical I guess, but think we'd cope.

Dervite hasn't done much wrong, but for me his only real "out ball" is chipping cross field to Madine. Away from home that may squander more possession than is ideal.

Additionally we have to find a way to get proper wingbacks in the side. (…) Wing backs with pace to get up and down. Taylor is ok when you've got a more attacking right wing back. If Darby plays there and Taylor at left back that is too.....back 5. And the midfield are left without outlet and without support from the wing backs all too often. (…) I just want to have centre halves on each side more comfortable on the ball. And also more mobile. Plus I strongly think in this league we need a proper outlet out wide especially away from home.
You seem to want ball-playing centre-backs, and outlets out wide, yet you disagree with the notion of "pass and move", which seems to me the entire point of having ball-playing centre-backs and willing wide outlets.

Maybe it's a question of terminology. You seem to think we're incapable of playing "pass and move" as if it's Fermat's Last Theorem. I'm not asking for intricate Arsenalesque triangles and gasping applause from opposition fans. I'm just asking for a system in which players want the ball and seek to build with it by passing diagonally forward 10/15 yards to a mate in a better position.

Let's walk through a typical situation, like Bobby Robson used to with Barcelona. Centre-back Burke finds wing-back Morais just inside our half; Morais plays give-and-go with holder Cullen, who sends him up the line; another midfielder (could be Karacan, could be Buckley) is in support for one option, while ALF/Arma comes toward Morais for another and Madine gets between the posts for a third. It's neither rocket surgery nor brain science. We hardly ever try it, and I think it's down to coaching: presumably an overcautious paralysis in the central midfielders, because I can't imagine a managerial diktat that nobody can pass forwards except the big lumps at the back.

To be clear, I don't mind passing sideways and backwards to retain possession if there's no such pass on - keep circulating the ball until a gap appears. But the gap appears by people finding space, preferably but (not necessarily) at speed while the oppo is out of shape. At the minute, we circulate it round the back five (and the odd midfielder dropping deep) then a big-ass centre-back clonks it forward and we turn over possession.

I knew this was a habit last season, but I couldn't check have the stats because they weren't covered in the third tier. Now we've moved up, it's analysable, and it's showing how often we're gifting the opponents the ball. Last season we could do that relatively comfortable in the knowledge that they'd either gormlessly bang it back to Wheevers or we'd snuffle it out of them in midfield. Now we have to be cleverer, more subtle. It's hard enough in this division without shooting ourselves in the foot.
Precisely. This all over. If they get a bit panicky, they can always lump it backwards to a defender/GK. They have shown they're pretty good at that. Sometimes from reasonably attacking positions :-)

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:16 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
We're in danger of getting a bit internet binary here.
I'm not sure we are. Both of us are suggesting a balance. You suggested it before the game, I expanded upon it after.
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
I do think there is scope to change it up at the back so we "hoof" it less. Burke seems capable which is good. But until we have the likes of Morais, Ameobi starting (and god knows what system they fit into - not this one) I do struggle to see us doing much else. We won't hurt teams around the box because nobody has the extra bit of magic or a great delivery. Taylor cannot cross a ball. Little hasn't looked like he's much better. Give them the ball and they will go back into midfield. Midfield will then need an outlet, which will generally be back to a wing back who is unable to go past his man or create space for a cross.
Our relative lack of expertise man-v-man is precisely the reason we should be passing more. Moving the ball helps a lot because it asks more questions, drags opponents around and creates opportunities. As Prufrock noted, you don't have to be Xaviesta or a needle-threader to play a ball forward. And "nobody has the extra bit of magic or a great delivery" might be somewhat underselling the Postman. If all we do is clonk towards him, he'll get double-marked. If we pass the ball around, that will either make them stop double-marking or create an overload in our favour somewhere else.
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
We lack pace. Pace would help us greatly. Because we'd be able to hit teams on the counter and also get around the pitch more capably than we do. I do think we've recruited to two systems. 3 at the back and 4 at the back (either a narrow 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1). I think injuries have dictated we use 3 at the back. However, our issue is we haven't been playing wing backs. One might make a case that for this system Robinson and Morais are our best options. I fully back Parkinson though for going with the team he has.
We don't lack effort, but yes we do lack a bit of pace. However, there's no use having that if there's little forward intention. And, again, the ball moves faster than the man – and it can do so in 15-yard increments as well as 60-yard clonks which are statistically proving themselves unreliable.

I agree that wing-backs are a part of the problem but I don't think Taylor and Little are lost causes: they just need to be a bit more prepared to move forward, as should the midfielders. Not all at once, it's not British Bulldog.
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
We could always enjoy the results of the "pass and move" high tempo, get forward lads football Lennon introduced here. Frankly we're miles off most teams in this league. Miles off. Our best bet is to defend for our lives and scrape what we can. At least for now. IMHO.
The Lennon comparison is a terrible straw man and I suspect you know it. Again, I'm not suggesting we play gung-ho, just that we use possession more wisely and less predictably.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by boltonboris » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Not sure there's anything in the midfield to say we can't pass the ball, because we don;t have the quality... Players 2 divisions down can pass the ball.. We don't work on it. We don't work on creating space to receive the ball.. That's not because we have shit midfielders.. It's because it's not how the manager wants to play.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:49 pm

DSB - I've been watching BWFC for longer than I care to remember. I don't remember more than a few seasons in that time where we were what I'd call "an effective possession" side. We've mostly found success in a direct high tempo game. Especially in relatively recent times where we've managed to upset the odds against bigger spending clubs. I'm struggling to envision what we'd do passing through midfield with this group to hurt teams. I mean we can keep possession at times, but rarely does it go anywhere.

I wonder if the issue is more one of tempo. We always look better when we're pressing and playing at tempo - most sides do. We do desperately miss Vela in that regard as his running often dragged the midfield up.

What I'd say is like the Allardyce sides, the Parkinson ones, do not look great when they aren't on form or miss key players. But both had an ability to scrap when it mattered. I respect that ability more than all the passes in Barcelona. Honestly. And whilst as ever there has to be some degree of balance, I think even if we retained the ball better we'd do it slowly and sideways. At the Stoke friendly other than going to Madine, our only real outlet was a neat triangle on the right between Vela, Darby and Le Fondre. Vela went beyond Darby and it got us some good positions. We miss that. I'd say Karacan is neat, but nowt else (possession wise). Cullen is possibly the one we've got to make it happen, but Pratley is, limited in that regard.

I also suspect we'd be a lot better in possession if we took the lead and held it for a while as there would be more patience generally. I don't think we've had the resources (by a long way) to significantly evolve from what we were last season. So I suspect if we are to manage to survive it will be similar in style to that.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:51 pm

boltonboris wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:46 pm
Not sure there's anything in the midfield to say we can't pass the ball, because we don;t have the quality... Players 2 divisions down can pass the ball.. We don't work on it. We don't work on creating space to receive the ball.. That's not because we have shit midfielders.. It's because it's not how the manager wants to play.

If you don't do it at the training ground, you won't do it on a match day
They worked extensively on short passing drills pre-season. Fact.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Prufrock » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Do you mean they warmed up playing piggy in the middle?
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Prufrock » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:05 pm

It's not my favourite way to set up but think flat 442 is the best way for us. We aren't going to score enough goals playing 1 and we don't remotely have the wing backs for a 352.

Two hard working midfielders who win it back and play simply, wide to the wingers if they can, square to the full backs if not. Big man up top for when you need to go long, little man working off him, either dropping deep like Sheringham or in behind like Owen. Flat back four set up to defend first and foremost.

Currently it's wilfully ponderous. There's no width so we go slowly backwards till one of the oafs nice people it at Nadine.

You're fond of saying you can't play like that anymore. Well bollocks. It's how plenty of teams recently have had success with smaller budgets. It's how Leicester won the league, it's how Burnley beat Chelsea the other day. Neither dominated possession but unlike your straw man no-one is expecting us to have 75% possession and teach Guardiola a thing or two.

We will defend first, we will play on the counter, but we absolutely do have players capable of more than aimless shunts at Nadine.
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:07 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
We're in danger of getting a bit internet binary here.
As in, we can only pass it if Ameobi is on the pitch and if not we should punt it to Madine?

That sort of binary?

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm

Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:05 pm
It's not my favourite way to set up but think flat 442 is the best way for us. We aren't going to score enough goals playing 1 and we don't remotely have the wing backs for a 352.

Two hard working midfielders who win it back and play simply, wide to the wingers if they can, square to the full backs if not. Big man up top for when you need to go long, little man working off him, either dropping deep like Sheringham or in behind like Owen. Flat back four set up to defend first and foremost.

Currently it's wilfully ponderous. There's no width so we go slowly backwards till one of the oafs tw*ts it at Nadine.

You're fond of saying you can't play like that anymore. Well bollocks. It's how plenty of teams recently have had success with smaller budgets. It's how Leicester won the league, it's how Burnley beat Chelsea the other day. Neither dominated possession but unlike your straw man no-one is expecting us to have 75% possession and teach Guardiola a thing or two.

We will defend first, we will play on the counter, but we absolutely do have players capable of more than aimless shunts at Nadine.
We don't have good enough wide men currently to even contemplate that. Not until Morais is fit enough to start. And no left sider either. So it will be unbalanced.

Burnley didn't play 2 right up front either.

Neither did Leicester most of last season. Okazaki dropped in and left Vardy on his own. Vardy's pace helped that work. As did having the best midfield player I've ever seen in Kante.

It is possibly worth a try when Morais and Ameobi are back.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by boltonboris » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Kante over Zidane? I pity your outlook on football, foo
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Prufrock » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:20 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:05 pm
It's not my favourite way to set up but think flat 442 is the best way for us. We aren't going to score enough goals playing 1 and we don't remotely have the wing backs for a 352.

Two hard working midfielders who win it back and play simply, wide to the wingers if they can, square to the full backs if not. Big man up top for when you need to go long, little man working off him, either dropping deep like Sheringham or in behind like Owen. Flat back four set up to defend first and foremost.

Currently it's wilfully ponderous. There's no width so we go slowly backwards till one of the oafs tw*ts it at Nadine.

You're fond of saying you can't play like that anymore. Well bollocks. It's how plenty of teams recently have had success with smaller budgets. It's how Leicester won the league, it's how Burnley beat Chelsea the other day. Neither dominated possession but unlike your straw man no-one is expecting us to have 75% possession and teach Guardiola a thing or two.

We will defend first, we will play on the counter, but we absolutely do have players capable of more than aimless shunts at Nadine.
We don't have good enough wide men currently to even contemplate that. Not until Morais is fit enough to start. And no left sider either. So it will be unbalanced.

Burnley didn't play 2 right up front either.

Neither did Leicester most of last season. Okazaki dropped in and left Vardy on his own. Vardy's pace helped that work. As did having the best midfield player I've ever seen in Kante.

It is possibly worth a try when Morais and Ameobi are back.
I'm not suggesting our two take stools and sit down on the half-way line when we don't have the ball. ALF is capable of dropping in and doing a shift off the ball. Leicester played 4-4-2 when they won the league. Burnley played a proper two up top all last year (I hadn't seen they didn't on Sat). If you think Burnley's wingers are "good enough" relative to the standard vs ours you're off your rocker.

Certainly Phil and Ameobi being out blunts us. In the meantime I'd probably play Buckley right and Pratters left. No idea if Little or Antonee could do a job.

Also, Kante is a cracking player, no doubts, but if you think he's even in the top 10 midfielders you've ever seen I despair at what you watch football for. You could replace Kante far easier than you could replace Modric, say.
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by boltonboris » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:45 pm

Aye - Nowt wrong with a 4411 and dare I say, young Armstrong's pace and willingness (aswell as low centre of gravity) could see him be pretty useful on the flank - but we know you''re not allowed to play anybody under 6ft, or 25 years in this league, especially away from home.. Apprently
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:20 pm
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:05 pm
It's not my favourite way to set up but think flat 442 is the best way for us. We aren't going to score enough goals playing 1 and we don't remotely have the wing backs for a 352.

Two hard working midfielders who win it back and play simply, wide to the wingers if they can, square to the full backs if not. Big man up top for when you need to go long, little man working off him, either dropping deep like Sheringham or in behind like Owen. Flat back four set up to defend first and foremost.

Currently it's wilfully ponderous. There's no width so we go slowly backwards till one of the oafs tw*ts it at Nadine.

You're fond of saying you can't play like that anymore. Well bollocks. It's how plenty of teams recently have had success with smaller budgets. It's how Leicester won the league, it's how Burnley beat Chelsea the other day. Neither dominated possession but unlike your straw man no-one is expecting us to have 75% possession and teach Guardiola a thing or two.

We will defend first, we will play on the counter, but we absolutely do have players capable of more than aimless shunts at Nadine.
We don't have good enough wide men currently to even contemplate that. Not until Morais is fit enough to start. And no left sider either. So it will be unbalanced.

Burnley didn't play 2 right up front either.

Neither did Leicester most of last season. Okazaki dropped in and left Vardy on his own. Vardy's pace helped that work. As did having the best midfield player I've ever seen in Kante.

It is possibly worth a try when Morais and Ameobi are back.
I'm not suggesting our two take stools and sit down on the half-way line when we don't have the ball. ALF is capable of dropping in and doing a shift off the ball. Leicester played 4-4-2 when they won the league. Burnley played a proper two up top all last year (I hadn't seen they didn't on Sat). If you think Burnley's wingers are "good enough" relative to the standard vs ours you're off your rocker.

Certainly Phil and Ameobi being out blunts us. In the meantime I'd probably play Buckley right and Pratters left. No idea if Little or Antonee could do a job.

Also, Kante is a cracking player, no doubts, but if you think he's even in the top 10 midfielders you've ever seen I despair at what you watch football for. You could replace Kante far easier than you could replace Modric, say.
Kante is a freak, a one off. Totally irreplaceable as Leicester found out last season. Here's an opinion I'm so certain of I will call it a fact. If you'd swapped Kante for Modric in Leicesters team. They'd not have won the league. Not have come close in fact. Same with Zidane in his absolute prime.

You can argue it if you want, but you know it is true. Kante covers so much ground he is in effect two players.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:01 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:18 pm
On Saturday he had a miserable 43% pass completion rate (stats per Squawka): more than half the times he got the ball, he gave it away, generally with a flat waft forward. Between the 1st and 81st minutes he successfully completed just one long ball, and even that was a crossfield switch to the left flank rather than a through-ball.
Just having a look at "Squawka".

Against Leeds, Madine won 11/15 headers. That worked really well, he got my MotM vote.

Vs Millwall he won 4/16. That didn't work really well.

Sometimes, you just have to try and change it.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by LeverEnd » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:12 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:07 pm
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:30 pm
We're in danger of getting a bit internet binary here.
As in, we can only pass it if Ameobi is on the pitch and if not we should punt it to Madine?

That sort of binary?
Exactly. I double lolled when I read that comment BWFCi.
Oh, but surely just for one day, we could fight and we could win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible...

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:16 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:01 pm
Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:18 pm
On Saturday he had a miserable 43% pass completion rate (stats per Squawka): more than half the times he got the ball, he gave it away, generally with a flat waft forward. Between the 1st and 81st minutes he successfully completed just one long ball, and even that was a crossfield switch to the left flank rather than a through-ball.
Just having a look at "Squawka".

Against Leeds, Madine won 11/15 headers. That worked really well, he got my MotM vote.

Vs Millwall he won 4/16. That didn't work really well.

Sometimes, you just have to try and change it.
Precisely. Partly horses for courses but also, the ability to switch it up.

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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Prufrock » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:48 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:34 pm
Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:20 pm
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:45 pm
Prufrock wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:05 pm
It's not my favourite way to set up but think flat 442 is the best way for us. We aren't going to score enough goals playing 1 and we don't remotely have the wing backs for a 352.

Two hard working midfielders who win it back and play simply, wide to the wingers if they can, square to the full backs if not. Big man up top for when you need to go long, little man working off him, either dropping deep like Sheringham or in behind like Owen. Flat back four set up to defend first and foremost.

Currently it's wilfully ponderous. There's no width so we go slowly backwards till one of the oafs tw*ts it at Nadine.

You're fond of saying you can't play like that anymore. Well bollocks. It's how plenty of teams recently have had success with smaller budgets. It's how Leicester won the league, it's how Burnley beat Chelsea the other day. Neither dominated possession but unlike your straw man no-one is expecting us to have 75% possession and teach Guardiola a thing or two.

We will defend first, we will play on the counter, but we absolutely do have players capable of more than aimless shunts at Nadine.
We don't have good enough wide men currently to even contemplate that. Not until Morais is fit enough to start. And no left sider either. So it will be unbalanced.

Burnley didn't play 2 right up front either.

Neither did Leicester most of last season. Okazaki dropped in and left Vardy on his own. Vardy's pace helped that work. As did having the best midfield player I've ever seen in Kante.

It is possibly worth a try when Morais and Ameobi are back.
I'm not suggesting our two take stools and sit down on the half-way line when we don't have the ball. ALF is capable of dropping in and doing a shift off the ball. Leicester played 4-4-2 when they won the league. Burnley played a proper two up top all last year (I hadn't seen they didn't on Sat). If you think Burnley's wingers are "good enough" relative to the standard vs ours you're off your rocker.

Certainly Phil and Ameobi being out blunts us. In the meantime I'd probably play Buckley right and Pratters left. No idea if Little or Antonee could do a job.

Also, Kante is a cracking player, no doubts, but if you think he's even in the top 10 midfielders you've ever seen I despair at what you watch football for. You could replace Kante far easier than you could replace Modric, say.
Kante is a freak, a one off. Totally irreplaceable as Leicester found out last season. Here's an opinion I'm so certain of I will call it a fact. If you'd swapped Kante for Modric in Leicesters team. They'd not have won the league. Not have come close in fact. Same with Zidane in his absolute prime.

You can argue it if you want, but you know it is true. Kante covers so much ground he is in effect two players.

I could maybe stretch to the first one (though if you swapped Schmeichel for Messi in Leicester's team I'm so certain you could call it a fact they wouldn't have won the league either, so I'm not sure what you think that proves) but if you think putting Kante in almost any team over Zidane is a good idea you're off your tits.

There's a type of football fan, and you're one, who rightly recognised that graft is often underrated, but instead has wilfully fetishised it to the extent that any technical player is a luxury.

If you took Modric's technical abilities away, made him as good on the ball as Kante, he'd still be a champions league player. His engine it's incredible, he's tenacious, reads it incredibly well, puts himself about, he also happens to be a genius on the ball. 3 Modrics would run rings around 3 Kantes. You can call that a fact if you like.
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Re: Now Den: Millwall (a), 3pm Sat 12/08/17

Post by Worthy4England » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:57 pm

The conversation around "formation" in this context is pure tosh. There may well be some formations that work better for us than others. The whole conversation is around whether footballer can hit a pass to a team mate, more often than not. Doesn't matter what formation it's in.

The notion that we can only play it longball through Madine when he's clearly losing the heading battle is just stupid. In the same Millwall game, Le Fondre won 2 of his 5 headers. Also Le Fondre got 14 out of 17 passes to a white shirt, whereas Madine only got 13 out of his 20, means they were both equally viable, yet we need to drop Le Fondre?

The long ball stats from defenders also support that we only have at best a 50/50 chance of winning them. Whereas the general pass it to a nearer player has a much greater chance of getting there. So we seem to be saying our very best and only chance of attacks is to give it a punt that we'll lose at least as often as we win. It's all a bit strange.

Beevers - longball 5/18. general pass 36/39
Wheater - longball 1/2, general pass 13/13
Dervite - longball 17/40, general pass 30/39
Burke - longball 3/7, general pass 24/26
I put Darby in, but the internet broke.

I'd just like to say at this juncture, unlike last year when we couldn't win without Madine, this year, we've not won a game he's started in - 100%. (stupid statistics will always be stupid statistics) :-)

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