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Petriix

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Petriix last won the day on July 12

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  1. I think Normann and Gilmour could ultimately work as a midfield 2 once they get their tactical discipline sorted, but that's a hypothetical future. For now I'd probably put Rupp in next to Normann as a double pivot and then coach the wide AMs to defend the wide areas when we lose the ball. The midfield 3 is simply not working.
  2. He was good in the first half and got progressively worse as the match wore on, making a calamitous error for the second goal before getting substituted. If that's a positive then it really shows the depths of the despair we're experiencing. I see a potentially good player, but he's not even close to being able to replace Skipp.
  3. I was quite forgiving of Williams today but, having watched the highlights and looked at the stats I actually think he was probably the weakest player today. 66% passing accuracy is simply not good enough and probably a significant part of why we were struggling to keep a handle on the game. He really needs to learn how to stop the ball coming in from his wing and react quicker when the ball rebounds. It doesn't look great from him in the replays.
  4. They got my support until the second Watford goal, then I lost my Sh*t. Normann's abject failure to track his man was simply unacceptable to me when I'd put my hopes on him being the CDM we needed to steady the ship. There very little to support on the pitch by the end of the match. Then the realisation that we'd been resoundingly beaten in our easiest fixture of the season made it pretty hard not to let those frustrations out.
  5. We have changed our style of play dramatically since last season, massively to our detriment. I keep banging on about how I'd like us to go back to the system that was working so well.
  6. I've made my feelings clear about wanting to play the 4-2-3-1, but let's take a look at why the 4-3-3 is failing. They're pretty similar systems - both effectively 4-5-1 so what's the big deal and why does it matter? It all comes down to the roles in midfield both when we have the ball and when we defend, and in particular how we deal with the transitions between the two. Our offensive transitions have been the source of many of our goals in our two Championship successes and our defensive transitions have proved our downfall on countless occasions in the Premier League. Our defenders are the ones who look exposed when the final ball comes in, but they have to be protected by the midfield. Right now (as well as looking pretty toothless in attack) the midfield are simply not providing the cover for the defence. That means covering the wide areas when the opposition double up on one fullback, and tracking the runs from midfield into the box. Two jobs that they're failing to do. In the 4-3-3 the two wide AMs are the focal point of our attacks. They pick up the ball in wide areas, drive into the channels and whip the ball into the box for the striker and anyone who bursts forward from midfield to attack. Crosses from wide areas are not Pukki's strength and we don't have a great deal of aerial ability in the midfield so it's a baffling strategy in this team. For the system to work to our strengths, the AMs would need to work narrower and look to play more intricate football on the floor. This doesn't seem to be Rashica's strength although, to his credit, Sargent seems to have some versatility in this regard. Defensively, the 4-3-3 is deficient in wide areas. Because the AMs are the attacking outlet, they are often far too high up the pitch when we lose the ball to be able to provide defensive cover to the fullbacks. That means the CMs need to be very disciplined and read the danger in those wide areas. They obviously have a hugely important role in the central areas to stop us getting overrun and they need to read the game exceptionally well to figure out where the overloads are and close them off. They aren't doing this consistently enough. When we build up from the back, we need our CMs to be the creative part of our team. They have to receive the ball in tight areas under pressure and quickly move it on to the attacking players so that they can use their movement to cut through the opposition. With the AMs already high, there is an emphasis in the 4-3-3 on pinging the ball out into the channels, often where the fullbacks will be overlapping and in space. Again this tends to result in crosses into the box rather than keeping the ball on the floor which has been so much more effective for us. This brings us on to Gilmour. As far as I can tell, he's supposed to be highly creative, have excellent vision and be able to pick out passes to open up the opposition. He's actually not terrible at this although he seems a little hesitant to turn if he's facing his own goal and he isn't quite finding the pockets of space from which to create openings, but at least he's trying. However, he is failing to show the positional discipline when we lose the ball. Whether it's a lack of pace or a lack of awareness is unclear but he is not providing cover and he's not tracking runners from midfield. He doesn't seem to understand the concept of a tactical foul where it would stop a breakaway. I just don't think we can carry a player like this while he learns his job. Not that McLean or Normann were particularly effective defensively either. Normann inexplicably failed at either pressing the ball or tracking the runner from midfield who, ultimately, ran in behind him unchallenged and cut the ball back for the goal. And Kenny gave the ball away horribly for the third. The three of them as a group left the defence exposed. So, why would a 4-2-3-1 be any different, isn't there one less defensive player? Well, yes there is one less CM for the addition of a number 10, but that's only part of the story. The two CMs in the system we played last season were both much more tactically disciplined, acting as a double pivot of two CDMs. Their defensive discipline gave license to the number 10 to stay further forward and create a problem for the opposition midfield: if they left him then he would draw the defenders creating space for Pukki - a tactic we exploited countless times - and if they track him then it creates space for the CMs to move into. It also allows the fullbacks to get forward while one CDM drops between the CBs and the other covers any gaps left by the marauding Aarons. And, in the 4-2-3-1, the wide AMs play a little deeper and have a greater responsibility to track back and defend. That's ok though, because the number 10 is the outlet in central areas so the wide players can look to play throughballs from deep rather than having to attack the channels; the former being our biggest strength.
  7. You seem to fundamentally misunderstand the difference between the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1. In the former, the wide AMs play a much more advanced role leaving the FBs more exposed with the defensive cover coming from the CM on whichever side the attack is on. In the latter, the wide AMs must play deeper so as to provide the defensive cover to the FBs; the more vertical midfield then has a dedicated CDM who can drop between the CBs (allowing them to defend wider where necessary) or provide cover in the wide areas. In the 4-3-3 most of our attacks will come in wide areas, hence the tendency to cross the ball, which really isn't Pukki's strength. In the 4-2-3-1 we have an extra central attacker so are more likely to be able to create incisive balls through the middle on the floor which is how we tend to score our goals (or tended, when we actually used to score).
  8. I'm not going to call for his head. But that was a really poor performance and the team selection was a catalyst. The midfield 3 is simply not working - they aren't covering the wide areas and we're being exposed. Gilmour is nowhere near a Premier League footballer and neither is McLean. The jury is out on Normann after his first game but he was 100% at fault for the second goal. The trouble is, who the hell do you replace them with? Rupp? PLM? People can bang on about the loss of Buendia but it's Skipp that we failed to replace and we're paying for it big-time. And the bizarre switch to 4-3-3 and belligerent perseverance with it are absolutely compounding the issue.
  9. How on earth can you blame him for being exposed. It was the abject failure of the midfield to provide suitable cover that let us down. Rashica was awful and none of the 3 CMs took responsibility for filling the gaping hole.
  10. You'd probably be surprised how successful it has be for us. Not so much this season, but there were definitely good signs against Arsenal (aside from Krul's poor kicking at times). Of course we have the option of going long when teams overcommit to the press. But there's no sense in hoofing it up for Pukki to try to head it. It has to be weighted balls for our pacy players to run on to.
  11. Surely Skipp played exactly that role? I don't see why Normann couldn't be asked to do similar.
  12. Think more ****-and-balls than a vertical line: sometimes the tip might be further up than others, depending on the situation and sometimes one might hang lower than the other. Maybe that's a poor metaphor... What I'm seeing on the pitch is that none of the CMs are getting far enough forward at the crucial moment in our transition to really influence the game. Loads of our goals last season came from rapidly cutting through the opposition made possible by the dynamic movement of the 3 AMs pulling the defending team out of shape and creating space for each other and Pukki ahead of them. With one less man, there simply isn't the same threat: Pukki is well marked and the space only opens up for the AMs in wide areas where the main option then becomes crossing the ball, which plays to our weaknesses. And I'm seeing the CMs being bypassed by balls into the channels to exploit the space behind our high up fullbacks, then compounded by a total failure to track the central runners. A feature of the goals we are conceding is our CMs jogging back having been left for dead by whoever is bursting through. It's really not working. What I want to see is a decent CDM who knows that it's their job to track the runs from midfield rather than the vague hope that one of the three will do so, while also hoping that one of them will get forward at the crucial moment. We're obviously missing Skipp but we need to move on. Let's play Normann as that CDM, Gilmour or PLM as the box-to-box playmaker and one of the AMs in the number 10 role.
  13. That's a reasonable counter-argument and certainly appears to be Farke's tactical thinking. But I'm not satisfied that it's really working as intended. The midfield three had a good enough first half against Arsenal and actually looked to be dominant at times, but that all fell apart in the second half. In my opinion the extra AM would be more effective than the extra CM: I've not seen enough from PLM yet and Rupp (see his whole own thread) is definitely lacking in goal threat, which is unfortunate when most of our 25-yard openings seem to fall to him. I'd rather have a dedicated number 10 who can drop back where necessary. I'd argue that, with 11 goals conceded and 1 (penalty) scored, the balance isn't quite right yet. And Watford will likely be a tougher test than Arsenal right now. I hope you're right, but I fear we may be disappointed.
  14. ... Or play a proper CDM and ask the wide midfielders to take slightly more defensive responsibility, then play a number 10 instead of the extra CM. Normann, Gilmour and Dowell in a vertical line rather than the horizontal line of Rupp, McLean and PLM.
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