We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:18 pm

nicholaldo wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:15 pm
Evatt, post-match: "I changed shape in the end and longer term I think that’s the way I see it, I was just trying to get us through to this ten-day window where I can get bodies in, some training in."
In the summer he told us repeatedly they’d recruited to position specific ideals...so that’s out the window then....

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Worthy4England » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:19 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:13 pm
Can you imagine years ago if we had lost for the 3rd successive home game in Div 4 to Crawley - the worst thing though is how acceptable it has become to the fans - how shit and apathetic is that (is that a word ?). As fans we now just accept absolute mediocrity & failure by successive owners & managers week after week, season after season - it just shows how shite we have become as a fan base that we accept constant bullshit.

What is his (and FV's) excuse going to be when he brings in 2 or 3 players in January to improve us but we are still shit & make the same mistakes and still can't play his Guardiola football - who will Evatt blame then ?
FV have plenty of leeway for me. We'd have been bust without them.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by nicholaldo » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:29 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:16 pm
nicholaldo wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:15 pm
Evatt, post-match: "I changed shape in the end and longer term I think that’s the way I see it, I was just trying to get us through to this ten-day window where I can get bodies in, some training in."
He is so full of shite.

I thought you liked him for his honesty and it was all the players' fault for not being passionate enough?

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by LeverEnd » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:38 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:57 pm
Reis looks like what he is - someone with some talent but not enough of it to bother a serious league. I'd like see Taft again at LCB.

Another loss. More hair pulled out. Some promise, but still so so much to improve on.
I've no hair to pull out, so smashed the shit out of my fireplace with a lump hammer instead.
Was therapeutic and felt proper manly.
...

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Bertie Wooster » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:42 pm

nicholaldo wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:29 pm
Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:16 pm
nicholaldo wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:15 pm
Evatt, post-match: "I changed shape in the end and longer term I think that’s the way I see it, I was just trying to get us through to this ten-day window where I can get bodies in, some training in."
He is so full of shite.

I thought you liked him for his honesty and it was all the players' fault for not being passionate enough?
I did pal, but I'm now unfortunately changing my mind as I cant see any progress whatsoever I'm sorry to say.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by officer_dibble » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:52 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:19 pm
Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:13 pm
Can you imagine years ago if we had lost for the 3rd successive home game in Div 4 to Crawley - the worst thing though is how acceptable it has become to the fans - how shit and apathetic is that (is that a word ?). As fans we now just accept absolute mediocrity & failure by successive owners & managers week after week, season after season - it just shows how shite we have become as a fan base that we accept constant bullshit.

What is his (and FV's) excuse going to be when he brings in 2 or 3 players in January to improve us but we are still shit & make the same mistakes and still can't play his Guardiola football - who will Evatt blame then ?
FV have plenty of leeway for me. We'd have been bust without them.
Agreed but decisions so far:
Keith Hill / Flitcroft / Irfan “Made in Bolton”. Very rushed just as they bought the club so forgivable.
Tobias Phoenix - wtf?
Evatt / Atherton / Gilkes
Furlough/ having no other coaching staff for the first team (again understandable given squeezed budgets - but maybe some budget should have been held back for another first team coach?)
Seemingly no scouting set up.

I’d be genuinely intrigued as to what ambitions are - are we shit or bust for promotion this season or next?

Don’t get me wrong I’m full of thanks and appreciation of what they have done given the mess they inherited from Holdsworth and Anderson. Some things are curious (and probably can be blamed on the pandemic).

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:00 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:52 pm
Worthy4England wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:19 pm
Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:13 pm
Can you imagine years ago if we had lost for the 3rd successive home game in Div 4 to Crawley - the worst thing though is how acceptable it has become to the fans - how shit and apathetic is that (is that a word ?). As fans we now just accept absolute mediocrity & failure by successive owners & managers week after week, season after season - it just shows how shite we have become as a fan base that we accept constant bullshit.

What is his (and FV's) excuse going to be when he brings in 2 or 3 players in January to improve us but we are still shit & make the same mistakes and still can't play his Guardiola football - who will Evatt blame then ?
FV have plenty of leeway for me. We'd have been bust without them.
Agreed but decisions so far:
Keith Hill / Flitcroft / Irfan “Made in Bolton”. Very rushed just as they bought the club so forgivable.
Tobias Phoenix - wtf?
Evatt / Atherton / Gilkes
Furlough/ having no other coaching staff for the first team (again understandable given squeezed budgets - but maybe some budget should have been held back for another first team coach?)
Seemingly no scouting set up.

I’d be genuinely intrigued as to what ambitions are - are we shit or bust for promotion this season or next?

Don’t get me wrong I’m full of thanks and appreciation of what they have done given the mess they inherited from Holdsworth and Anderson. Some things are curious (and probably can be blamed on the pandemic).
I don’t criticise FV. They’ve kept the club afloat and earned the right to do what they want. I don’t think Evatt is right...I’d love him to prove me wrong. But he just has not inspired any confidence in me and I don’t see a desire in him to win. He seems too ready to accept not winning and blame it on external factors. I hate that.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by LeverEnd » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:01 pm

I'm largely with BWFCi on this, although not as angry or trigger happy.
I think if we keep him we're not going up, sack him tomorrow, we're not going up.
As they've gone to relatively great lengths to get him, and appear to believe in him, then give him the opportunity to change things around in January, then til the end of march to show a marked improvement. At that point bin him if it's not there, giving the next manager a chance to assess the squad before getting players in.
He's just got no pragmatism or flexibility. I think he genuinely thinks relentless positivity and self belief will just win the day. As BWFCi says, it's coyle all over again.
He's rubbed me up the wrong way since the start to be honest, so if they binned him tomorrow I'd be ok with that.

On a more positive note, the old firm result today suggests a former manager may be available again soon. I can but dream that my ginger prince shall return.... 🥰
...

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Bertie Wooster » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:14 pm

FV are winging it as much a Evatt is - Auntie Sharon comes out with nice regular updates and the odd pic of her celebrating the very rare goals we score & some fans think she is the best thing since sliced bread.

Yes they saved the club and we have some stability and for that I'm eternally thankful, but that doesn't mean that they are 'football knowledgeable' or have a 'proper' realistic football plan to get us back up the football ladder - personally like Evatt I think that they have a 'head in the sand', 'fingers in their ears' approach just hoping that somehow we can turn this around....hoping for luck more than judgement.

Evatt may succeed & I really hope he does, but fcuk me it will be down to pure luck than judgement with him hoping that out of tons of players a few may hopefully come good - he's outsmarted week after week in Div 4 by managers who have far less talented squads but who's teams know how to maximise their ability and win by working hard & playing to their strengths - Evatt is a chancer.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by LeverEnd » Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:39 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 9:14 pm
FV are winging it as much a Evatt is - Auntie Sharon comes out with nice regular updates and the odd pic of her celebrating the very rare goals we score & some fans think she is the best thing since sliced bread.

Yes they saved the club and we have some stability and for that I'm eternally thankful, but that doesn't mean that they are 'football knowledgeable' or have a 'proper' realistic football plan to get us back up the football ladder - personally like Evatt I think that they have a 'head in the sand', 'fingers in their ears' approach just hoping that somehow we can turn this around....hoping for luck more than judgement.

Evatt may succeed & I really hope he does, but fcuk me it will be down to pure luck than judgement with him hoping that out of tons of players a few may hopefully come good - he's outsmarted week after week in Div 4 by managers who have far less talented squads but who's teams know how to maximise their ability and win by working hard & playing to their strengths - Evatt is a chancer.
I suspect that they have come in with lots of positive ideas and think that they can do things differently having been successful in other areas but it isn't working out. They can't have envisaged the protracted takeover or the pandemic though.
I just hope we have a team and manager we can properly get behind next season. Happy enough if it's Evatt and he's proved me wrong, but I can't see it.
...

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Worthy4England » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:05 pm

Michael James is a lifelong fan who's been part of a bailout more than once. I'm sure most owners in that mould want the very best for their Club (as opposed to an Anderson or that tube at Bury)...

I'm fairly sure Evatt said something the lines of "there'll be less available in Jan unless it looks like we have a shot", so they're certainly not just going to punt money in by the sounds of it.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by officer_dibble » Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:55 am

Still laughing at Greenidge - his attempts to throw a football and how he fell over the ball trying to turn. Are we sure he’s not just won a competition?

I think Evatts a bell end for putting 3 centre backs on the bench and neither Hickman or Mascoll. What if one of the ‘wing backs’ had been injured? He may have had to change his system!

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by nicholaldo » Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:32 pm

For what it's worth, he did literally change it after they scored yesterday. Brockbank played as a full-back and Isgrove moved further forward, in what ended up looking like a lop-sided 4-3-3. It was the formation we played during the spell where we dominated late on.

A couple things stood out to me, the first is just how natural it felt. The players seemed to instinctively know what their roles were and we looked more balanced as a result. The second is that with Isgrove an almost permanent presence high up the pitch on the right flank, it meant Doyle played more central instead of pulling wide in a desperate search for possession. That can only ever be a good thing.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Bertie Wooster » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:31 pm

nicholaldo wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:32 pm
For what it's worth, he did literally change it after they scored yesterday. Brockbank played as a full-back and Isgrove moved further forward, in what ended up looking like a lop-sided 4-3-3. It was the formation we played during the spell where we dominated late on.

A couple things stood out to me, the first is just how natural it felt. The players seemed to instinctively know what their roles were and we looked more balanced as a result. The second is that with Isgrove an almost permanent presence high up the pitch on the right flank, it meant Doyle played more central instead of pulling wide in a desperate search for possession. That can only ever be a good thing.
Aye its only took Evatt 21 x league games to realise that with the players we have they can't play his 3-4-1-2 or 5-3-2 wing back formation whichever it is - the man is a genius, perhaps I / we are being too harsh on him ?

“I changed shape in the end and longer term I think that’s the way I see it, I was just trying to get us through to this 10-day window where I can get bodies in, some training in.”

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by officer_dibble » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:44 pm

If it isn’t a tactical stubbornness then I think his issue, worryingly, is that he can’t motivate the players. Our standard approach to a game is to go out and look likely for 10 minutes, take our foot off the pedal and go behind, and start chasing the game when two, three or even six goals behind.

Iles talks about the players on the bench going through a “vanilla” warm up at half time (I’m guessing standing around doing kick ups whilst having a laugh) and quite clearly he had no intention of bringing anyone on. He’s completely failed with Ali Crawford, Sarcevic only turns up when we are behind, all of the defenders are regularly beaten in the air despite being 6 foot plus and rarely seem to attack a corner or free kick with any success. I’d say Jones gets his head down and tries but looks increasingly lost. Delfonso has just disappeared since October.

I think Brocky and Greenidge played yesterday because they give their all. Suspect Taft, Hickman, Mascoll have been bombed out and he can’t motivate them - maybe it’s the Crellin episode, maybe it’s because he talks nonsense half the time. The more I think about it and how games keep going the same way and how regularly we are out battled at home I think it’s an issue with him.

He gets one chance to change it - not all his signings etc. we’ll see.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:43 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:44 pm
If it isn’t a tactical stubbornness then I think his issue, worryingly, is that he can’t motivate the players. Our standard approach to a game is to go out and look likely for 10 minutes, take our foot off the pedal and go behind, and start chasing the game when two, three or even six goals behind.

Iles talks about the players on the bench going through a “vanilla” warm up at half time (I’m guessing standing around doing kick ups whilst having a laugh) and quite clearly he had no intention of bringing anyone on. He’s completely failed with Ali Crawford, Sarcevic only turns up when we are behind, all of the defenders are regularly beaten in the air despite being 6 foot plus and rarely seem to attack a corner or free kick with any success. I’d say Jones gets his head down and tries but looks increasingly lost. Delfonso has just disappeared since October.

I think Brocky and Greenidge played yesterday because they give their all. Suspect Taft, Hickman, Mascoll have been bombed out and he can’t motivate them - maybe it’s the Crellin episode, maybe it’s because he talks nonsense half the time. The more I think about it and how games keep going the same way and how regularly we are out battled at home I think it’s an issue with him.

He gets one chance to change it - not all his signings etc. we’ll see.
Interesting thoughts. As you say, there are definite peaks and troughs - there are times when you can almost see the mentality crumble.

But here's what's weird. I've seen many teams - some of them in this shirt - who start off well but something goes wrong and it's game over. That's repeatedly not been the case with this lot. At Barrow they were shit and went two goals down (twice!) but fought back to draw. At Carlisle they were awful and went three goals down but fought back to draw. Yesterday they started well, lost their way, all too predictably went behind - and then had 25 minutes of kitchen-sink attack v defence. If it was truly, truly a mental disease then surely they'd have just crumpled into insignificance or, more likely, regular hidings.

I don't think he's doing well. I do think he can do a lot better, but he will need better players. The summer trolley dash was never going to be 100% successful - name me any manager whose hires are, let alone one trying to sign two dozen under embargo - but Evatt has certainly cut some of them off far too readily considering his self-belief in his coaching powers.

In truth there may not be a Football League player in Liam Gordon or, I dunno, a professional attitude around Jamie Mascoll – but some seem to have been cut adrift on very little pretence (what did Taft do wrong compare to others?), narrowing down Evatt's options considerably. Some might say that's decisive management, which all the greats have on the right occasion; others might say it's face-spiting nose-cutting.

For instance, I know I've done a bit of devil's advocacy regarding the wingback formation – and I still genuinely think it can work, but not with the squad as it is – but Evatt appears to have cast aside three of the four wingbacks we signed in summer, and the other one's more of a full-back really. It would seem more than a bit crap that Evatt feels he can't get a tune out of any of them in a position that's absolutely crucial to the system he evidently prefers.

I think we're in for an interesting month. I hope we're in for one that makes us more likely to get promoted, although it's looking like next season at best. For all Evatt's second-season success at Barrow (they finished 11th in his first campaign, up from 20th but with decidedly mixed reviews), the comparison I keep coming back to is Pompey, who I'm sure as a nautical lot had their own HMS PissTheLeaguers when they reached this division – but finished 13th, 16th and 6th before winning it. I hope and think it won't take that long here, because we're less crippled financially. But we are still in embargo after two successive relegations and very nearly going bust. It's not an easy job for anybody - and constantly ripping up plans is hardly a sustainable development strategy.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:02 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:43 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:44 pm
If it isn’t a tactical stubbornness then I think his issue, worryingly, is that he can’t motivate the players. Our standard approach to a game is to go out and look likely for 10 minutes, take our foot off the pedal and go behind, and start chasing the game when two, three or even six goals behind.

Iles talks about the players on the bench going through a “vanilla” warm up at half time (I’m guessing standing around doing kick ups whilst having a laugh) and quite clearly he had no intention of bringing anyone on. He’s completely failed with Ali Crawford, Sarcevic only turns up when we are behind, all of the defenders are regularly beaten in the air despite being 6 foot plus and rarely seem to attack a corner or free kick with any success. I’d say Jones gets his head down and tries but looks increasingly lost. Delfonso has just disappeared since October.

I think Brocky and Greenidge played yesterday because they give their all. Suspect Taft, Hickman, Mascoll have been bombed out and he can’t motivate them - maybe it’s the Crellin episode, maybe it’s because he talks nonsense half the time. The more I think about it and how games keep going the same way and how regularly we are out battled at home I think it’s an issue with him.

He gets one chance to change it - not all his signings etc. we’ll see.
Interesting thoughts. As you say, there are definite peaks and troughs - there are times when you can almost see the mentality crumble.

But here's what's weird. I've seen many teams - some of them in this shirt - who start off well but something goes wrong and it's game over. That's repeatedly not been the case with this lot. At Barrow they were shit and went two goals down (twice!) but fought back to draw. At Carlisle they were awful and went three goals down but fought back to draw. Yesterday they started well, lost their way, all too predictably went behind - and then had 25 minutes of kitchen-sink attack v defence. If it was truly, truly a mental disease then surely they'd have just crumpled into insignificance or, more likely, regular hidings.

I don't think he's doing well. I do think he can do a lot better, but he will need better players. The summer trolley dash was never going to be 100% successful - name me any manager whose hires are, let alone one trying to sign two dozen under embargo - but Evatt has certainly cut some of them off far too readily considering his self-belief in his coaching powers.

In truth there may not be a Football League player in Liam Gordon or, I dunno, a professional attitude around Jamie Mascoll – but some seem to have been cut adrift on very little pretence (what did Taft do wrong compare to others?), narrowing down Evatt's options considerably. Some might say that's decisive management, which all the greats have on the right occasion; others might say it's face-spiting nose-cutting.

For instance, I know I've done a bit of devil's advocacy regarding the wingback formation – and I still genuinely think it can work, but not with the squad as it is – but Evatt appears to have cast aside three of the four wingbacks we signed in summer, and the other one's more of a full-back really. It would seem more than a bit crap that Evatt feels he can't get a tune out of any of them in a position that's absolutely crucial to the system he evidently prefers.

I think we're in for an interesting month. I hope we're in for one that makes us more likely to get promoted, although it's looking like next season at best. For all Evatt's second-season success at Barrow (they finished 11th in his first campaign, up from 20th but with decidedly mixed reviews), the comparison I keep coming back to is Pompey, who I'm sure as a nautical lot had their own HMS PissTheLeaguers when they reached this division – but finished 13th, 16th and 6th before winning it. I hope and think it won't take that long here, because we're less crippled financially. But we are still in embargo after two successive relegations and very nearly going bust. It's not an easy job for anybody - and constantly ripping up plans is hardly a sustainable development strategy.
I genuinely don’t understand the need to try and make a system work that isn’t. What we need is results not to keep trying to play a system that we aren’t capable of and have demonstrated that fact time and time again.

Now if your argument is genuinely that the players we’ve got aren’t capable of any other system then I do disagree, but if that is the case then you have to start fearing relegation if our squad genuinely cannot play any system at this level. I don’t think that’s the case, it’s just clear we aren’t a 352.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by officer_dibble » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:20 pm

I suppose the one thing we can’t do (yet?) is buy all the players from Forest Green, Newport etc that turn up here and play like it’s their cup final. I said at the start I was happy we had signed big physical players as they would need to bully, but how often has Santos, Delaney, Sarcevic won a big 50/50 or rose highest at a corner? I dont like being outbattled!

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:18 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:02 pm
I genuinely don’t understand the need to try and make a system work that isn’t. What we need is results not to keep trying to play a system that we aren’t capable of and have demonstrated that fact time and time again.

Now if your argument is genuinely that the players we’ve got aren’t capable of any other system then I do disagree, but if that is the case then you have to start fearing relegation if our squad genuinely cannot play any system at this level. I don’t think that’s the case, it’s just clear we aren’t a 352.
Judging by Evatt's post-match comment yesterday, it seems he may wish to change the system. I assume this will be taken as either flexibility or weakness, depending on entrenched viewpoint.

The benefit of the wingback system *when* *played* *well* is that it affords the option for more players in more forward positions. This helps with overloads – I know you don't like the word, but football managers do because football is at heart a matter of players v players in any given space.

Put more simply, we aren't going to get the best out of Doyle playing one up top. (It's what's known as the ALF Paradox, and one of the reasons Parkinson won promotion playing a back three for most of the run-in.) He needs players round him. Now I will note freely – if with a little less relish than some – that right now the system isn't doing that, but it should, and far more easily than a 4-5-1/4-3-3 (which is one striker with two wingers, essentially taking Delfouneso further away from the action), while a 4-4-2 requires incredibly busy central midfielders and overlapping full-backs.

Again, it will be interesting to see which players he signs this month, and how well they fit into one or other system. To me, Isgrove was a slight panic signing when he briefly flicked to a back four in autumn (and oh how we all remember the fun at Colchester). I don't expect him to sign doughty full-backs who can only play in a back four. But again, it's not like he has a blank cheque, an empty roster, a lack of embargo and frankly a successful football club to sell. What he wants and what he gets are likely to be different things. How he copes with the differential is likely to decide his legacy.

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Re: We've all come a long way: Crawley (H) Sat 2 Jan @ 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:32 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:18 pm
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:02 pm
I genuinely don’t understand the need to try and make a system work that isn’t. What we need is results not to keep trying to play a system that we aren’t capable of and have demonstrated that fact time and time again.

Now if your argument is genuinely that the players we’ve got aren’t capable of any other system then I do disagree, but if that is the case then you have to start fearing relegation if our squad genuinely cannot play any system at this level. I don’t think that’s the case, it’s just clear we aren’t a 352.
Judging by Evatt's post-match comment yesterday, it seems he may wish to change the system. I assume this will be taken as either flexibility or weakness, depending on entrenched viewpoint.

The benefit of the wingback system *when* *played* *well* is that it affords the option for more players in more forward positions. This helps with overloads – I know you don't like the word, but football managers do because football is at heart a matter of players v players in any given space.

Put more simply, we aren't going to get the best out of Doyle playing one up top. (It's what's known as the ALF Paradox, and one of the reasons Parkinson won promotion playing a back three for most of the run-in.) He needs players round him. Now I will note freely – if with a little less relish than some – that right now the system isn't doing that, but it should, and far more easily than a 4-5-1/4-3-3 (which is one striker with two wingers, essentially taking Delfouneso further away from the action), while a 4-4-2 requires incredibly busy central midfielders and overlapping full-backs.

Again, it will be interesting to see which players he signs this month, and how well they fit into one or other system. To me, Isgrove was a slight panic signing when he briefly flicked to a back four in autumn (and oh how we all remember the fun at Colchester). I don't expect him to sign doughty full-backs who can only play in a back four. But again, it's not like he has a blank cheque, an empty roster, a lack of embargo and frankly a successful football club to sell. What he wants and what he gets are likely to be different things. How he copes with the differential is likely to decide his legacy.
See I don’t think a system matters massively, it just depends on the players you’ve got the the roles they can perform.

I’ve just watched Man City play De Bruyne up front in a 4231 or whatever you call it and didn’t see them struggle to get players round the striker now have to play long ball. Sheffield United surprised many with their wide CBS providing an extra attacker last season but towards the end started getting found out in similarish ways to how teams exploit our system.

The majority of teams play a 4231 or variation of it and that is because it’s the most flexible system that suits a variety of player types and roles that doesn’t get overloaded easily in midfield and is flexible on and off the ball. I suspect the 3-5-2 we are playing needs proper wing backs and that is a highly specialised role. Only Kioso for me is close to being a wing back. It also needs wide centre backs who create overloads and thus far the only one I think we’ve got in that mould is Brockbank. Santos is good on the ball but he’s more of an occasional swagger type and the rest look decidedly uncomfortable in that sort of a role I guess bar the odd snippet from Baptiste who in younger days may have been quite a good wide CB.

Our midfield is overrun and we have no natural width. Doyle and Delf provide the width and leave us without options in the box. I don’t think the players understand it either. We aren’t a side that presses, nor do we look to keep the ball and play in triangles, nor are we great counterpunchers. I think we need to find a way to get better service into Doyle.

I also take issue that you can get more players round the striker. If you think currently we are reliant on two wing backs and then a centre mid getting forward that often leaves you with the rather basic Gethin Jones and Sarce supporting Doyle with Delf raiding the other side....whereas in a 4231 you can get 3 attacking mid types behind a striker and a full back on the overlap....and you aren’t emptying the centre of the park to do it or stretching your team out....my main issue with what we are trying to do. The gaps between players are too large. So we are constantly having to play longer passes and cover space rather than shorter passes and shorter bursts to close down the space...we are probably allowing 3 or 4 yards extra to accommodate an extra CB who are not really filling the middle of the pitch at all. And frankly are liabilities down the sides in many cases.

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