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Making Plans

We need a Plan B

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1 hour ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

 

Last year, there was a regularly used plan B. It was another attacker (often Rhodes) come on for Lewis, and a change to three at the back. Aarons and Hernandez played as attacking wing backs and the holding midfielder dropped into the defence when needed to make a back three. This didn't compromise on our style of play, but simply a change in formation and two pacy players running from deep gave the opponent something else to think about.

Obviously we haven't been able to do this so far in the Premier League as Hernandez has been injured all season and Aarons is out now too

But Farke is an excellent coach and no doubt has lots of tactical knowledge. So why doesn't he develop a slight change to the existing system to use for the final 15-20 minutes when plan A hasn't worked? 

 

You’ve kind of answered your own question. As I said, Plan B is a lot like Plan A but possibly with subtle changes in formation and different faces. 

 

Farke did this again yeaterday; we went 3 at the back and employed wing backs as confirmed by Michael Bailey on Twitter:

 

FTR, Norwich are now in a back 3: Amadou, Godfrey, Lewis. McLean and Byram wing-backs.

 

⏱️81 | 🍷 2-0 🔰

 

#NCFC #BURNOR #Burnley

 

So there you have the subtle changes that you’re advocating. 🤷‍♂️

 

Of course it isnt perfect and we are hampered by injuries but I think the only real criticism that can be levelled is perhaps the timing of these changes. Even then, I think it’s because of the belief in our Plan A and wanting to give it as long as possible to work. Given what I’ve seen. I’d struggle to argue against that philosophy either. 

Edited by Duncan Edwards
Typo
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There is an almost breathtaking arrogance of some on here to presume that they have greater tactical knowledge and awareness than Farke. Or indeed Guardiola!

Edited by Beefy is a legend
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9 minutes ago, Beefy is a legend said:

There is an almost breathtaking arrogance of some on here to presume that they have greater tactical knowledge and awareness than Farke. Or indeed Guardiola!

So just to confirm you have to be a Premier League manager to have an opinion on here?

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4 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

Preferably with a European pedigree. We don't want Pulis or Dyche posting on here thank you very much....

*cough* both have taken their teams to Europe *cough*

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4 minutes ago, CDMullins said:

*cough* both have taken their teams to Europe *cough*

Easyjet flights to Benidorm don't count.😉

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19 minutes ago, CDMullins said:

So just to confirm you have to be a Premier League manager to have an opinion on here?

Not at all. Anyone can express an opinion. It's just a little humility and a basic recognition that managers understand the nuances of the game more than the vast majority of casual viewers/posters wouldn't go amiss. 

 

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3 hours ago, hogesar said:

I think Farke has briefly mentioned our plan B and we saw it last season...3 at the back and wingbacks. We turned several games because of it. The reality is we dont have the personnel right now for us to use it. I imagine the belief is opting for that with our current set of available players would weaken us further.

Exactly Hogesar. Think of the Bristol City away game last year when we were 2-1 down. Hernandez came on as a 76th minute sub and at the same time Aarons moved to left wing back. Our equalizer came when Hernandez crossed from the right (he more commonly plays on the left) to Aarons who headed home at the far post.

I know that both Aarons and Hernandez are injured at the moment - you know that both Aarons and Hernandez are injured at the moment - since it's been widely reported I assume that the whole world knows that Aarons and Hernandez are injured at the moment.  And yet still people come on here saying that we haven't got a Plan B. Our Plan B is injured!!!!

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I think the whole world know that we had to replace Tettey and that Krul wasn't expected to last the second half. That along with the injured players we all know about severely restricted sub options.

 

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I'd conclude by reiterating that our plan B options are currently limited by injuries. But also that Farke has consistently, throughout his entire time in charge, left substitutions way too late. It'd be my one criticism of him, and I made it last season too. He rarely gives players enough time on the pitch to make a difference; I can't remember him ever making a tactical substitute at half time, for instance, in a match where a particular player was having an ineffective game. 

Edited by Grando
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Farke doesn’t employ a Plan B because he doesn’t want to. 

He doesn’t want to because - over the whole season - the best odds of success are achieved by a clear, repeated methodology.

An inflexible repeating methodology is necessary when you have inferior resources and need to amortise the differential by specialising more intensely at very specific pattern of play and movement principles. 

We do not have to guess at this. We have seen it very clearly over the last 18months. 

Some games -  Burnley Away with low-rent-but-effective and well-drilled 442 as an example - will disrupt our unorthodox orthodoxy. So be it. It might have worked the other way around and they could have spent 90 minutes chasing our fluid shadows. 

We have to play the odds as outliers. Change is a dangerous thing in that context. The calculation is that the overarching methodology is more valuable and more likely to win us points - at this stage in our development - than mixed messages and a more horses-for-courses approach. It is the price we pay. 

I fully endorse it. 

Parma

Edited by Parma Ham's gone mouldy
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58 minutes ago, Beefy is a legend said:

Not at all. Anyone can express an opinion. It's just a little humility and a basic recognition that managers understand the nuances of the game more than the vast majority of casual viewers/posters wouldn't go amiss. 

 

Agreed. This forum would be a lot better if every post started with “I’m not a professional footballer or premier league manager and my opinion below is of course only my opinion, so please do not take this as a suggestion that I am actually more qualified to be doing Daniel Farke’s job than he is and I’m sure our coaching staff and management have already identified this and are most likely already acting up on it, but...”

That would be much better than readers of posts just taking that sort of thing as a given.

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9 minutes ago, Aggy said:

Agreed. This forum would be a lot better if every post started with “I’m not a professional footballer or premier league manager and my opinion below is of course only my opinion, so please do not take this as a suggestion that I am actually more qualified to be doing Daniel Farke’s job than he is and I’m sure our coaching staff and management have already identified this and are most likely already acting up on it, but...”

That would be much better than readers of posts just taking that sort of thing as a given.

How on earth did you get the name  Aggy, Aggyo ?🤭

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Is it short for...

A. Aggrieved 

B. Aggressive 

C. Aggravated

D, Agricultural 

E. Aggravating 

F. None of the above. 

 

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9 hours ago, Hairy Canary said:

Because once Tetty went off we had no other fit midfield players! Who do you suggest would take his place or were you thinking of not having a holding midfielder at all?

The only observation I would make is that Grant could have come on & Amadou moved to DM, which id his preferred position & would have injected some pace & power into MF.

 

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2 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

Farke doesn’t employ a Plan B because he doesn’t want to. 

He doesn’t want to because - over the whole season - the best odds of success are achieved by a clear, repeated methodology.

An inflexible repeating methodology is necessary when you have inferior resources and need to amortise the differential by specialising more intensely at very specific pattern of play and movement principles. 

We do not have to guess at this. We have seen it very clearly over the last 18months. 

Some games -  Burnley Away with low-rent-but-effective and well-drilled 442 as an example - will disrupt our unorthodox orthodoxy. So be it. It might have worked the other way around and they could have spent 90 minutes chasing our fluid shadows. 

We have to play the odds as outliers. Change is a dangerous thing in that context. The calculation is that the overarching methodology is more valuable and more likely to win us points - at this stage in our development - than mixed messages and a more horses-for-courses approach. It is the price we pay. 

I fully endorse it. 

Parma

Yep, as I said earlier, becoming better at executing plan A is preferable to a plan B.

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10 hours ago, Duncan Edwards said:

You’ve kind of answered your own question. As I said, Plan B is a lot like Plan A but possibly with subtle changes in formation and different faces. 

 

Farke did this again yeaterday; we went 3 at the back and employed wing backs as confirmed by Michael Bailey on Twitter:

 

FTR, Norwich are now in a back 3: Amadou, Godfrey, Lewis. McLean and Byram wing-backs.

 

⏱️81 | 🍷 2-0 🔰

 

#NCFC #BURNOR #Burnley

 

So there you have the subtle changes that you’re advocating. 🤷‍♂️

 

Of course it isnt perfect and we are hampered by injuries but I think the only real criticism that can be levelled is perhaps the timing of these changes. Even then, I think it’s because of the belief in our Plan A and wanting to give it as long as possible to work. Given what I’ve seen. I’d struggle to argue against that philosophy either. 

It's far easier to see tactical tweaks from a panoramic view in the stands than on a screen, so I'll take Michael Bailey's word for it. I have to be honest though, the change in formation wasn't noticeable to me whilst watching the game.

Assuming this was indeed the case, then Farke was right to do it. There's a famous quote that's usually attributed to Einstein that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results, so if 4-2-3-1 produces nothing for 80 minutes then switching to a back three and wingbacks for the final ten minutes makes sense. 

The philosophy and style cannot be changed, that is clear. We don't have the players to go direct with high crosses into the box and everything over the past two years has been done with our current style in mind. But you have to be reactive to some degree, and the best coaches always make slight tactical tweaks when plan A isn't working.

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6 hours ago, Parma Ham's gone mouldy said:

Farke doesn’t employ a Plan B because he doesn’t want to. 

He doesn’t want to because - over the whole season - the best odds of success are achieved by a clear, repeated methodology.

An inflexible repeating methodology is necessary when you have inferior resources and need to amortise the differential by specialising more intensely at very specific pattern of play and movement principles. 

We do not have to guess at this. We have seen it very clearly over the last 18months. 

Some games -  Burnley Away with low-rent-but-effective and well-drilled 442 as an example - will disrupt our unorthodox orthodoxy. So be it. It might have worked the other way around and they could have spent 90 minutes chasing our fluid shadows. 

We have to play the odds as outliers. Change is a dangerous thing in that context. The calculation is that the overarching methodology is more valuable and more likely to win us points - at this stage in our development - than mixed messages and a more horses-for-courses approach. It is the price we pay. 

I fully endorse it. 

Parma

Parma gets it.

This team has enough to consolidate it's position this season by playing consistently to it's strengths.

We will have some wonderful highs and some frustrating lows but will put enough on the board before the end of April.

 

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I have been away so I have no idea what happened to go wrong with the Burnley match, apart (cheap debating point) from losing away to a side sort-of (certainly better than us) establised in the Premier League. And I have not ploughed through the arguments here.

But I would say (and this point may have been made) there are two different kinds of a Plan B. One is to tweak a set style and to tweak the personnel within that style, based on the opponents that day and/or how the game is going. This might include earlier unforced substitutions than Farke is prone to making.

The other is to try to play a different kind of game altogether.  There is a almost a moral point here, that for Norwich City now that alternative type of play would be a regression from enlightenment, and should be avoided on moral/aesthetic grounds. But the practical point is that a squad has been built up with players who can play a certain way, because that will probably yield result against most PL teams, will struggle to regress to a more elemental style, even if it wanted to.

Crudely, and exaggeratedly, you only beat Man City by being liable to lose to Burnley. Sort of. This does Burnley a dissevrice by making it sound like a team of clodhoppers. In fact Burnley sound as much as anything like a team able to score from a badly-defended set-piece.

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13 hours ago, king canary said:

There is a difference between conceding a few and conceding over two a game as we are currently.

I accept the point that our goals against is a concern, I'll raise that by pointing out that we've played the European Champions, last year's treble winners and the Europa Cup Winners. No other Team has had a harder start and when you factor in our injuries, especially at the back, I think we're not doing too badly......

That said, if we're still as leaky as a colander once they're all back I'll take a different view. 

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Our worst spell was undoubtedly the first 15 or 20 minutes when we could hardly get hold of the ball or get it out of our half. Burnley started like a proverbial train. Was it their specific game plan or do they always do that? I don't know, not having watched them.

What we will have known is that if you get the right ball in to Chris Wood he will score goals. He always has done (except for when Mick McCarthy couldn't get a tune out of him at Ipswich, teehee). So that was what cost us the game.

As for thinking that playing two up front, or pushing a defender up, or bringing Patrick Roberts on sooner, would have made a difference, I actually think it would have made us worse.

My impression was that Daniel's plan to recover the game from the two goal deficit was to get the full backs into the game in attacking situations. if that was the plan, then it just didn't happen. It's no one's 'fault', although perhaps we missed Max's attacking thrusts.

My biggest frustration as we tried to recover the game was that we were not brave enough in getting the ball into players who are already tightly marked, notably Cantwell and Buendia. That to me is the next progression, as they are good enough to make it work.

I understand the cries for making substitutions sooner, but they are borne out of frustration, not knowledge of how the game works.  

 

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We do have a sort of plan B and C etc in that we have tactical variations that we use. Three at the back is an obvious one that we have seen City use on numerous occasions. When fit, we have used the running power of Hernandez to "get us up the pitch" etc.

What I think that a few on here want is a totally different approach - "go long and pick up second balls type of thing." This would be disastrous for our playing squad as it is not what they were assembled to do. The logic of it is curious - "stop doing what you are good at and do something that you are bad at instead" - in the hope of securing better results?

BTW - what do long ball teams do when their plan A stops working? If the Stoke of old, or Burnley find that they are losing, are we suggesting that they should launch plan B of going "tikka takka?" Or do you, like me think that the idea is stupid because they don't have the players for it?

If it is stupid for them to go tikka takka, why is it sensible for us to go long ball?

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39 minutes ago, Badger said:

We do have a sort of plan B and C etc in that we have tactical variations that we use. Three at the back is an obvious one that we have seen City use on numerous occasions. When fit, we have used the running power of Hernandez to "get us up the pitch" etc.

What I think that a few on here want is a totally different approach - "go long and pick up second balls type of thing." This would be disastrous for our playing squad as it is not what they were assembled to do. The logic of it is curious - "stop doing what you are good at and do something that you are bad at instead" - in the hope of securing better results?

BTW - what do long ball teams do when their plan A stops working? If the Stoke of old, or Burnley find that they are losing, are we suggesting that they should launch plan B of going "tikka takka?" Or do you, like me think that the idea is stupid because they don't have the players for it?

If it is stupid for them to go tikka takka, why is it sensible for us to go long ball?

Exactly!!

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4 hours ago, Pugin said:

Our worst spell was undoubtedly the first 15 or 20 minutes when we could hardly get hold of the ball or get it out of our half. Burnley started like a proverbial train. Was it their specific game plan or do they always do that? I don't know, not having watched them.

They are a strong robust no nonsense sort of team with a self belief in the way they play and a togetherness that is admirable and goes a long way to explain why they do ok in the PL.

They did a job on us without a doubt, but all we had to do was weather the storm - and we couldn't do that - a sucker punch for the first goal in failing to pick up Wood's movement from back post to near post - and an unecessary mistake which led to the second. 

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10 hours ago, splendidrush said:

I accept the point that our goals against is a concern, I'll raise that by pointing out that we've played the European Champions, last year's treble winners and the Europa Cup Winners. No other Team has had a harder start and when you factor in our injuries, especially at the back, I think we're not doing too badly......

That said, if we're still as leaky as a colander once they're all back I'll take a different view. 

What worries me is that Klose is unlikely to play this season and Zimmermann is unlikely before January, leaving us with Godfrey and Hanley and Amadou as a stand-in CB.  Aarons, Trybull and possibly now Tettey are out until mid-October.  Our defence and midfield is torn to shreds by injuries.  Whatever our 'first choice' back four and central midfield is, we won't be seeing it until January at the earliest.

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1 minute ago, Woodman said:

What worries me is that Klose is unlikely to play this season and Zimmermann is unlikely before January, leaving us with Godfrey and Hanley and Amadou as a stand-in CB.  Aarons, Trybull and possibly now Tettey are out until mid-October.  Our defence and midfield is torn to shreds by injuries.  Whatever our 'first choice' back four and central midfield is, we won't be seeing it until January at the earliest.

I agree with this. The big concern is lack of height in the team in general - would love to know the average height of the current starting 11, but I'm guessing we have very few players even over 6 foot. This is going to make it very difficult against physical and direct teams - as exemplified by the first goal against Burnley.

I guess playing Hanley will help a little, but ultimately we really need to keep possession of the ball better to limit the opportunities direct teams have to play long balls. Makes it even more important we stick to our playing style in my opinion, and against Burnley we really struggled to beat the press and keep hold of the ball.

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To answer Ian and for anyone else who's interested, according to WhoScored, the average height of the outfield City players who started Saturday was 180cm, so just shy of 5'11". Obviously that went down slightly when Leitner replaced Tettey. Burnley's outfield 10 had an average height of 6', and nobody on the pitch was taller than Chris Wood, including the goalkeepers.

More generally, the average height of our squad minus goalkeepers is about 5'11" 1/2.  Our tallest outfield players are (tallest first) - Zimbo, Klose, Stiepi, Srbeny & Idah, who are all 6'2" or above. Our other 6 footers (again from tallest down) are - Hanley, Vrancic, Drmic, Godfrey, Heise, Amadou & McLean.

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