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ged in the onion bag

If we’re going to play our way…….

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Posted (edited)

It was hot and we’re playing a top side, Chelsea have been unlucky with results until today.     Pressing in such conditions is always going to be difficult especially if it’s isolated and not controlled as a unit…. It wasn’t.  

Hopefully, we won’t play that badly too often, we didn’t turn up for the final 65 minutes, excepting for Ben Godfrey – simply magnificent.   The team has plenty of development in it.  Sure, we will get better.  

We want to play out from the back, but that relies on us having options, our midfield have to be available and they weren’t, that was torrid for the defenders…. Alternatively, we need Godfrey to bring it forward through the press but that leaves us exposed, especially with Hanley’s lack of pace through the middle.   We ended up having to kick the ball long (Krul kicked long regularly second half) and that’s definitely not good (or our way!).    Pukki will win nothing in the air and we need him running in dangerous areas, not chasing balls all day long.    Even if he then gets the ball, the rest of the lads are too far back to support.

We play controlled possession based football with players in the right positions to receive the ball and pass / move…. When we’ve broken the press the interchanging is then possible.   Unfortunately, we lost our shape mid-way through the first half we started playing more direct passes forward when players weren’t in position (Buendia, Cantwell and Steipermann having been forced too deep), they were out of position and so it broke down, the options weren’t there.   What we needed to do was pass sideways, more often just to gain some control and retain the shape and from there we can then start to work the intricate passes with our forward 3 in position like we did for the goals.    

We lost that as a collective but too many players were off form.   Buendia, particularly is not up to speed and looks to be struggling.    Great pass for Pukki, but overall not enough and some passes were very odd today.    No doubt, Emi will come good but unfortunately, Marco is not Premier League level, he definitely deserved his chance but sadly he neither has the anticipation or most crucially the touch for this level.   Examples being his silly pull back that should have earned a booking, constant mis-control and loss of possession… also conceded a penalty we got away with.   It’s argued he gives us presence in the air but does he?     We play on the deck generally but when forced long as today, Steipermann was deep doing defensive work so wouldn’t be an outlet anyway.

Godfrey was immense but Hanley is costing us.    It’s far too easy to get by him, he doesn’t get close enough and it’s hard to see how he is leading by example…. Godfrey evidently carries that role.   If there was anything to get in the way of, it was Godfrey’s body, not Hanley.    In both home games, the opposition have scored when the assist has been played whilst Hanley was facing Krul, not the ball.  

Our central players today Trybull and Leitner are crucial to this way and they had very little influence.   Losing shape across the park made it impossible.    Think it’s fair to say we got lucky with VAR today, a number of decisions could have gone against us.    

They said we were naïve at Liverpool, we’ll take that knowing it was a free hit but a good performance today and we could have won that game.  A free hit wasted!    If we’re going to play our way, (the way we did in small parts early on) we have to keep the shape, we have to play with more control and intensity, giving less respect.   We have to react immediately when we concede free-kicks, we were slow at recovering, we have to be concentrated in the fine margin moments…. and we have to select the best team.   Being so open with Hanley’s lack of pace (and probably Klose similarly), we can’t afford to get exposed regularly like today.   The sooner Klose and Zimmermann are fit the better and what’s happened to Amadou!     

We looked tired and given the heat, it made sense to make some changes much earlier, especially as we were not that competitive anyway and the changes may have had some affect.    

We didn’t play our way, Chelsea just took advantage and the victory was comfortable.    We’d have struggled against any EPL opposition on that showing.   Bad day in our Lounge, no doubt they’ll put it right against West Ham and Man. City.  

Edited by ged in the onion bag
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Sometimes you play as well as the opposition lets you ... we’ll be fine; not too many teams as good as Chelsea. (Liverpool, Man City, Spurs) 

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We lost 4-1 at Liverpool and Arsenal have just lost 3-1 there.

In a nutshell I think that puts into perspective most of your points.

Yes there are things to improve upon but 3 games in with a young and inexperienced squad, we're doing ok and we will get better.

 

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To lose by the odd goal against one of the top sides in Europe is hardly a disaster, or a reflection on how good or bad the team is. In my opinion this forum was going way over the top during the week regarding on chances against Chelsea and for the rest of the season. Quite ridiculous expectations following a very good performance against a pretty shocking Newcastle. Therefore we should not draw too many conclusions from the games so far, good or bad.

Someone on here said the "acid test" was Chelsea. It wasn't, but West Ham will be. There are lots of positives to draw from the performances so far, a few negatives too. We are going to have to learn how how to attack and defend as a unit, how best to play the new goal kick rule, and make better use of substitutions. 

I love the way we play, we just need to be a bit more savvy when we do have the chance to attack in numbers and when we have goal kicks and play out from the back!

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16 minutes ago, Capt. Pants said:

 

Someone on here said the "acid test" was Chelsea.  It wasn't, but West Ham will be.

I’m don’t think they meant the Chelsea game will define our season (nor will West Ham). The point was surely that we didn’t learn all that much from the Liverpool game (we got stuffed, but most teams will get stuffed by them this year). We didn’t learn all that much from Newcastle either as they were woeful (and I think most teams will take points from them this season).

Chelsea though was a good chance for us to see where we are. Yes we lost and we didn’t play our best for large periods, but we weren’t stuffed and could have got something on another day. We looked like a decent premier league club playing against slightly better opposition. We didn’t look like relegation fodder completely outclassed and stuffed by three or four goals, nor did we look like one of the “best in Europe” as somebody claimed on here in the last week!

It wasn’t the ideal result, or performance, but I’m actually fairly confident and positive after today.

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Time for a bit of realism. We've just come up with an inexperienced team with loads of young talent who have been thrust into the PL and having to learn as they go. The same squad that took us up. Our main objective is to stay in the division if we can.

So a long negative post pointing out how our young stars and forth choice centre half fell one goal short of a multi million pound top six teams is singularly unhelpful and totally counterproductive. You'll need to get used to it OP as, surprise surprise, it's going to be a tough season.

We have enough quality to survive in my opinion and I think we will we improve as we go along but it's going to be tough and we will need luck with injuries if we're going to succeed. What we could do with though is some recognition of how well we have done with the resources we have and support that cuts the team some slack while they are on this learning curve. 

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1 hour ago, Hairy Canary said:

Time for a bit of realism. We've just come up with an inexperienced team with loads of young talent who have been thrust into the PL and having to learn as they go. The same squad that took us up. Our main objective is to stay in the division if we can.

So a long negative post pointing out how our young stars and forth choice centre half fell one goal short of a multi million pound top six teams is singularly unhelpful and totally counterproductive. You'll need to get used to it OP as, surprise surprise, it's going to be a tough season.

We have enough quality to survive in my opinion and I think we will we improve as we go along but it's going to be tough and we will need luck with injuries if we're going to succeed. What we could do with though is some recognition of how well we have done with the resources we have and support that cuts the team some slack while they are on this learning curve. 

Appreciate the realism and this isn't meant to be negative.   I'm as proud as everyone else with what our club is up to,     You say it's going to be a tough season, I actually think we have enough quality in the squad that it might not be that tough if we can learn quickly.

Fact today though is we didn't play well at all and there were reasons for that.  Some were avoidable.   As we know they are learning.    So is Daniel.    I think he should have made changes earlier, it doesn't seem DF's way but perhaps he needs to be more responsive in situations.   Perhaps he is too trusting and loyal sometimes.... no doubt he has those dilemmas himself.    

Theres plenty on here criticise certain players, at least I offer some reasoning whether you agree or not.    For me Steipermann and Hanley will lose there places for the reasons stated.... playing ineffective players might be the difference between us gaining some points....or not.  Harsh, but now were in this league, we have to give ourselves the best chance.

The main point of the post is we've been criticised for our naivity.... I'm fully on board with everything this club is doing, especially the playing philosophy (not that it is entirely naive).  What it tries to imply though is, if we are going to play 'our way' we cant go long like we did today, (Chelsea forced us into that and so will other teams), we cant allow that, or lose shape and some (2) personnel might not have the wherewithal for this level.     

If we are forced to go long like today, that's effectively changing our philosophy just like 'parking the bus' would be.     

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We have played 2 sides that will finish up in the top 6

The crunch time is Nov/Dec when we should pick up a few wins if not then its going to be tough

The football has so been as exciting as last season and I applaud the Manager for sticking to his system

Think he should have changed the team earlier with the conditions today

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53 minutes ago, ged in the onion bag said:

What it tries to imply though is, if we are going to play 'our way' we cant go long like we did today, (Chelsea forced us into that and so will other teams), we cant allow that, or lose shape and some (2) personnel might not have the wherewithal for this level.     

 

(2)?... don't be shy, say what you mean, which 2? Marco and Hanley?

Funny that last season it was Todd and Krul, crucified by some on here even though we went on to win the title. 

You may ultimately be proved right, but we've just played 2 of the best sides in Europe with a Team of kids, freebies and journeymen and you're picking holes. 

...a little perspective please. 

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We all have our own ideas on team selection etc but the whole club and supporters have got us to where we are,  it's very early days just sit back and enjoy the season we will get better we weren't that far from a result against Chelsea. 

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Having watched the first three games I’m convinced we will be fine this year.

There is enough in this team to have a good chance to beat most sides and give the top sides a scare.

It’s a young side with virtually no PL experience, yes there will be losses playing our way, but we will learn and continue to improve.

I remember football under Hughton and I’m personally in the camp of I’d rather we give it a go and lose than play negative dross. History suggest that playing positive goalscoring football is more likely to get the points we need to survive anyway.

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Here’s some realism 

This side was built for an assault on the championship this year. From what I am seeing we would have destroyed the championship this year, instead we are going toe to toe with the likes of Chelsea a year early. 

Quite strange having Chelsea supporters goading us at the end saying our players such as Pukki will be gone in January and we will be relegated. Put the other way they obviously think our current squad is really good.

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What an utterly bizarre OP.

Player-for-player, Chelsea's squad is most likely much superior to ours. Losing by 1 goal having scored 2 against them is commendable.

...and the comment "We’d have struggled against any EPL opposition on that showing." is equally as absurd considering scoring two goals against a team with less fire-power (probably the other 13 teams who will end up outside the top 6) would probably have got us at least a draw.

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Thought the OP was completely reasonable; I couldn't find anything to totally disagree with, though I would argue that Emi is rapidly becoming acclimatised to the step up, Cantwell has become a phenomenon & the overall performance wasn't that bad - not every PL side would have finished as clinically as Chelsea did today.

The game started hell for leather & I think we simply underestimated how energy sapping the heat would be; I didn't see Teemu making any 80 yard runs to help the defence yesterday! He looked pretty shot after half time, as did most of the team. Personally I'd have been tempted to bring subs. on earlier.

It's a young team with mostly little or no experience of the PL. Personally I think they'll improve, & will enjoy watching them do so.

 

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Lampard saw us twice last season and knew exactly the way we would play. We think we have good players and we have but they had better. Azpilacueta's pace caused us no end of problems and Aarons and Lewis just couldn't get in support so Buendia and Stiepermann looked for passes that weren't there. And the longer it went on the more we rushed our passes and the ball kept coming back.

But we were a crossbar away from taking a point so I don't see where the pessimists are getting their ammunition from. 

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Kovacic deserves some credit too, thought he was immense bringing the ball out with driving runs which negated our press and cover tactics. Really not disheartened at all by yesterday.  West ham are somewhere between Chelsea and Newcastle, should be interesting.

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I find myself reluctantly agreeing with the OP. Chelsea had done their homework on us and their press was a quantum leap ahead of Newcastle’s. 

The long kicking wasn’t something anyone had expected and hopefully the coaches can give us a better plan B for teams who do what Chelsea did.

Hernandez was a big miss as he might have revitalised our attacking threat late on as was Drmic, Pukki had played well but as a sole striker in that heat and let’s not forget he’s from Finland -ideally he’s hooked off for a rest in the last 10 if we had a back up. 

Great performances from Godfrey, Cantwell and Pukki. Krul played well overall but I can’t help thinking he should have got something on the last goal. 

It seems that we ultimately ran out gas and ideas against a side that had worked us out. Hopefully this experience makes us stronger.

We played some beautiful football in parts and on another day might have taken something from the game.

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Posted (edited)

Chelsea had players not normally in their first starting 11 trying to impress the manager yesterday. Players who would in all honesty get into out team and many others in the PL.

Overall, apart from a few lower than expected performances from some of our team I felt we performed well against them in the heat, and on another day we may have come away with a point. However, they were the better team for most of that game.

Onwards and upwards. 

Edited by East Rider

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I felt really proud of our performance yesterday, we gave it a real go in that heat. It has to be said that Chelsea paid us the ultimate compliment, by playing the way they did towards the end of the game - wasting time and the trivial game halting 'injuries'. I can't believe their fans will be gloating too much about beating last seasons Championship winners by one goal with a team, several of whom cost more than our entire squad.

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7 minutes ago, Duncan Edwards said:

Two defeats in three and joint 19th in the table. At least there’ll be no scramble for tickets back in the championship. 

Apparently there have been more goals in our games than anyone else in the Country..... are you not entertained?

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yep Hanley did look a bit out of sorts at times - but did anyone expect him to be 'automatic choice' as he has been

for your Hanley I will give you Cantwell

Krul certainly kept the score down, and will keep us in the PL

Pukki has already hit 5, which if continued would give 63 come May... yep, 63

there's a fair few yet to be seen or tested in the PL and if last season was anything to go on they will improve no end

and some on here may be able to cast their minds back 12 months when this forum was clogged up with the whining willies demanding the head of Farke, prophezing relegation and generally making Private Frazer appear as joyful as Tigger on speed

finally as KG said we were a crossbar width from a point

we'll be ok

 

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On 24/08/2019 at 20:21, Capt. Pants said:

To lose by the odd goal against one of the top sides in Europe is hardly a disaster, or a reflection on how good or bad the team is. In my opinion this forum was going way over the top during the week regarding on chances against Chelsea and for the rest of the season. Quite ridiculous expectations following a very good performance against a pretty shocking Newcastle. Therefore we should not draw too many conclusions from the games so far, good or bad.

Someone on here said the "acid test" was Chelsea. It wasn't, but West Ham will be. There are lots of positives to draw from the performances so far, a few negatives too. We are going to have to learn how how to attack and defend as a unit, how best to play the new goal kick rule, and make better use of substitutions. 

I love the way we play, we just need to be a bit more savvy when we do have the chance to attack in numbers and when we have goal kicks and play out from the back!

Yes, this was the 'acid test' as I said.   It gives us a marker for the rest of the season and I'm sure that we will be ok.  One of the pundits on Talksport had us down to lose 1-7.... LOL

 

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