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Samwam27

Our defence

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For all the money we keep thinking Godfrey, Aarons & Lewis might be worth, one has to ask why is our defence so poor.

Yes they're young, and great talents, but in Championship we leaked goals for fun last year, more than any other champion winning team, and we've continued to do so again this year.

We haven't learnt how to defend at all this year, and gift majority of goals from mistakes in crazy defensive positions.

Even if we keep this talent I cant help thinking we'll ship loads of goals again. So do we need a better defence next year?

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Failure to sign the quality anchor man that it was so obvious we needed in the summer to act as a screen to the defence and allow the other midfielders to play.

We didn't sign one because we didn't want to spend any money. 

That simple. 

 

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14 minutes ago, Samwam27 said:

For all the money we keep thinking Godfrey, Aarons & Lewis might be worth, one has to ask why is our defence so poor.

Yes they're young, and great talents, but in Championship we leaked goals for fun last year, more than any other champion winning team, and we've continued to do so again this year.

We haven't learnt how to defend at all this year, and gift majority of goals from mistakes in crazy defensive positions.

Even if we keep this talent I cant help thinking we'll ship loads of goals again. So do we need a better defence next year?

Whas gorn on in treynun Neyall?

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I think it's the same for all of our younger players. They're a talented group as individuals, but the team (and defence) as a whole lacks experience and physicality, so they all suffer. I'm sure all of the three defenders you mention would function better if they were put in a more experienced, defensively solid team.

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

I think it's the same for all of our younger players. They're a talented group as individuals, but the team (and defence) as a whole lacks experience and physicality, so they all suffer. I'm sure all of the three defenders you mention would function better if they were put in a more experienced, defensively solid team.

I agree. We need a solid, experienced anchorman to help sure it up, and then I suspect they'd thrive.

I've always been of the opinion, and it won't change, Godfrey is the box to box midfielder we've been crying out for, for several seasons, and he should be tried there (sorry but Trybull, Maclean etc aren't the answer) and Zimmserman, Hanley, Klose and a n other should make up our central defensive unit.

Shame our manager is too short sighted to see that   

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4 minutes ago, Samwam27 said:

We need a solid, experienced anchorman to help sure it up

 

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In short, because a lot of their value is in potential, multiplied by the fact they're home-grown.

The marketed image is that Ben Godfrey looks great on highlight reels with his raking crossfield passes and lung-bursting recovery sprints, Max loves a dramatic flying block and Lewis can match any PL winger for pace. In reality BG is usually right next to the action (not a good thing for a centre back), Aarons goes missing a lot of the time and Jamal seems to have a pretty big confidence issue.

All three of them are very good for their age, but that doesn't translate directly to 'very good at PL level'- yet.

TvB has the other issue marked- the team ahead of them has neither the tactical nor technical abilities to contribute properly from a defensive perspective. So what we have is a perfect storm of a midfield that can't defend a defence that can't defend, so the goals against column shouldn't really come as surprise to anyone.

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If they are not good enough as a unit at PL level then either they are not as good as we think, although many pundits seem to think they have it, or the sum of the parts isn't as good as the individual.

Why does Godfrey have to make last ditch tackles so often? Sometimes because he is out of position but sometimes because the midfield is nowhere to be seen.

Southamptions first attack last night was on the break and when it went to Redmond they outnumbered us. Why? Southampton always had someone to cover. 

So is it tactics or a poor midfield at tracking back?

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2 hours ago, keelansgrandad said:

If they are not good enough as a unit at PL level then either they are not as good as we think, although many pundits seem to think they have it, or the sum of the parts isn't as good as the individual.

Why does Godfrey have to make last ditch tackles so often? Sometimes because he is out of position but sometimes because the midfield is nowhere to be seen.

Southamptions first attack last night was on the break and when it went to Redmond they outnumbered us. Why? Southampton always had someone to cover. 

So is it tactics or a poor midfield at tracking back?

Our fullbacks were missing so many times last night, it was cringey to watch! Lewis especially for me. I’d imagine we will he cashing in on him in the summer, as he isn’t the high prem level that people believe he is

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4 hours ago, Samwam27 said:

For all the money we keep thinking Godfrey, Aarons & Lewis might be worth

Add Cantwell & Buendia to that list.

They are young & inexperienced but crucially they have talent and they have lots of ambition.

Norwich City cannot match that ambition and take them to where they want to be and where they deserve to be.

Having played in the EPL, frequently with great credit, they will not want to take a backwards step and spend another season in the Championship.

Another season in the Championship could ruin their chances of progression for good.

For all of them, the time to move is now.

Some Club or Clubs, with more ambition and a far better coaching set up than we have, will buy them in the very strong belief that they can develop them into high class Premier League players.

 

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Having had a chance to mull over yesterday's performance, I've had a look around the forum this evening. There's no doubt that last night was as bad, if not worse, than Villa at home, either Man United game, Wolves and probably worse than any of the handful of the demoralising 0-2 defeats where we looked out of our depth this season. For the majority of the season we have at least been competitive and been in the mix for at least a point.

While the back 4 certainly didn't cover themselves in glory last night, I still don't believe that the main issues lie there. It's unlikely DF wanted to launch Klose straight back into the starting 11. What choice did he have? The other 3 all have potential but are very much learning at the sharp end. What they learn this season will probably benefit other clubs in the not too distant future. I certainly think Aarons will be gone this summer. I think he's the most likely of the 3 defensive "starlets" to become a regular at this level. Godfrey is a bit loose & has to improve his anticipation & positional sense, but he has a bright career in front of him. Jamal has the raw materials to be a solid & reliable attacking-minded full/wing back. 

When the team was announced, I was surprised to see a departure from the tried & trusted DF framework. I assumed that Drmic must have been showing well in training but I raised the proverbial eyebrow at a Trybull & McLean central midfield. Was Tettey not fully fit? Or being kept in reserve if Klose went off injured or for general backup? Or for games still to come? For me, central & defensive midfield is where we have been found wanting all season. I love Tetts but if he's still the best we can put out to compete at the top level, particularly now where we supposedly want to foster & play a passing & possession-based philosophy, then relegation is what we deserve. The cynic might say that the club has been preparing for an inevitable relegation since Villa Park just over a year ago!

Our midfield options have been Tettey, Trybull, McLean, Vrancic & Leitner. Amadou was signed in the hope of being our Kante/Ndidi/Makelele screener and as emergency backup at CB. Rupp arrived in January. Without using too much hindsight, we simply haven't had the personnel to compete in the engine room. Again. For me, this is the primary reason why we end up under the cosh as games develop. Better midfields probe & suss us out. We cough up cheap possession in dangerous areas. We get caught out of position. We're too easy to counter. Frustrated forward players come deeper to help out & try to make something happen - we lose any threat up top. I think in all other areas of the pitch, we have the players of a quality to just about avoid relegation. The defensive injuries all year have made an already hugely difficult challenge virtually impossible. Senior recruitment last summer didn't work out. 

There's no doubt that the news about Hanley, Zimmermann & Byram was morale-crippling. Still, last night was especially hard to stomach. Form had been reasonably good in 2020 before the curtailment and the Cup games were a welcome distraction. For me, whatever small glimmer of hope that remained was extinguished early in the second half. It could be seen on the players' faces & in their body language. The general performance was flat, it lacked belief, it lacked confidence, it lacked composure. The ease Southampton cut through to hit the bar in the first half should have rung a warning bell. Instead, without providing any real pressure or raising the tempo in any serious way, they were permitted to canter through at will in the second half and looked like scoring almost every time. Arguably as shoddy as we've looked at any time this season. We're entitled to question and wonder why it went so awry last night. Hopefully we can raise morale, be competitive and win a couple of games or next season's proposed promotion push will get very hard very quick.

Perhaps a trip to Wembley might help us forget! OTBC!

Apologies for length of post. Just read back there!

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@paddycanary I agree with much of that and I would also like to highlight that the midfield have a key role to play in our defensive performances. Most reviews have pointed out that Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse dominated KM and TT and, as you mentioned, something is wrong with our squad if we are this reliant on Tettey. It is with the benefit of hindsight, but our summer recruitment let us down badly.

I would also say that it was naive of Farke to play 4-4-2 - removing a midfielder, when we have such an inexperienced back four, was a huge risk.

Unfortunately, the rest of the league has realised that we aren't good enough to pass our way through a press and will give away a few chances every game. We just lack the required quality in both boxes, which is no surprise when it was considered a miracle that we got promoted with virtually the same squad this time last year.

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3 minutes ago, Yellow and Green said:

@paddycanary I agree with much of that and I would also like to highlight that the midfield have a key role to play in our defensive performances. Most reviews have pointed out that Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse dominated KM and TT and, as you mentioned, something is wrong with our squad if we are this reliant on Tettey. It is with the benefit of hindsight, but our summer recruitment let us down badly.

I would also say that it was naive of Farke to play 4-4-2 - removing a midfielder, when we have such an inexperienced back four, was a huge risk.

Unfortunately, the rest of the league has realised that we aren't good enough to pass our way through a press and will give away a few chances every game. We just lack the required quality in both boxes, which is no surprise when it was considered a miracle that we got promoted with virtually the same squad this time last year.

Exactly- defending is a team game. We've got two fullbacks who like to attack (clearly encouraged by our tactics) so that means others in the team have to offer cover. 

Southampton seemed to be able to get 3 on 2 or 4 on 3 situations with ease on Friday, in part because Trybull is about as mobile as an oil tanker so if you run at him or turn him the defence has no cover. 

To make the most out of Aaron's and Lewis you have to ask for more positional discipline from the rest of the team at times.

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13 hours ago, Making Plans said:

Add Cantwell & Buendia to that list.

They are young & inexperienced but crucially they have talent and they have lots of ambition.

Norwich City cannot match that ambition and take them to where they want to be and where they deserve to be.

Having played in the EPL, frequently with great credit, they will not want to take a backwards step and spend another season in the Championship.

Another season in the Championship could ruin their chances of progression for good.

For all of them, the time to move is now.

Some Club or Clubs, with more ambition and a far better coaching set up than we have, will buy them in the very strong belief that they can develop them into high class Premier League players.

 

Agreed - but I thought Farke was / is the best manager we've ever had by a country mile (according to most)?? The coaching set up has zilch to do with the owners and everything to do with Farke and Webber. Farke does not know how to coach a team to defend. We couldn't defend last season and that has carried on this season. Would this have happened this season with Allardyce in charge? Of course not. The football may have been less attractive at times but sure as hell he would have taught the team how to defend. A few months back on Talk Sport he said.................'the best way to defend is to keep the ball as far away from your own box as possible. If you always try and pass your way out of defence and try fancy tricks in your own box, don't be surprised when the ball finds it's way into the back of your net'! 

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2 hours ago, Yellow and Green said:

@paddycanary I agree with much of that and I would also like to highlight that the midfield have a key role to play in our defensive performances. Most reviews have pointed out that Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse dominated KM and TT and, as you mentioned, something is wrong with our squad if we are this reliant on Tettey. It is with the benefit of hindsight, but our summer recruitment let us down badly.

I would also say that it was naive of Farke to play 4-4-2 - removing a midfielder, when we have such an inexperienced back four, was a huge risk.

Unfortunately, the rest of the league has realised that we aren't good enough to pass our way through a press and will give away a few chances every game. We just lack the required quality in both boxes, which is no surprise when it was considered a miracle that we got promoted with virtually the same squad this time last year.

Back in August, I hoped that Amadou would be the long-awaited CDM enforcer, with Tettey as experienced back-up. I visualised Leitner alongside him having the quality to dictate the tempo against bottom-half teams, with Vrancic, McLean & Trybull giving alternative options off the bench and in time of injuries. Sadly Amadou never really looked the part, nor did he get the opportunity for a proper run of games to try and find his feet. Leitner showed some promise at the start of the season, but then the defensive injuries really started to bite, limiting flexibilty & options. He had a couple of poor performances, and for reasons we might never be sure of, he seems to have been frozen out and is probably on his way. Maybe he just doesn't have enough in his locker for this level. Tettey has been the best of a mediocre bunch, has amazingly almost always been available for selection and has played more games then anyone would have expected last summer. He's probably in 3rd place for the Barry Butler after Krul & Pukki. And there-in lies the problem and why we're once again facing a Champo slog. Looking at the other 19 teams' central & defensive midfield options, I think it's hard to argue that our league position is unfair.

The team looked shot against Southampton and bereft in midfield. The defenders were left hung out to dry. Perhaps all the talk of 'little miracles', 'preparing for relegation/20th', 'unable to compete financially', 'lack of quality', 'forced to furlough' etc. has been detrimental to squad morale. Perhaps they'll come out and show a huge improvement against Everton. Perhaps DF was forced into some late tactical switches which backfired, although within the camp, surely the news about Hanley, Zimm & Byram was well flagged privately. I might be suffering a bit from "one-game-itis" but it really was a deflating performance in a game of huge importance. 

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The fact that Leitner has played more games for us than any other club he’s been at should be telling us something 

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3 minutes ago, FenwayFrank said:

The fact that Leitner has played more games for us than any other club he’s been at should be telling us something 

He played more games for Dortmund than he has here.

However, your point has some validity. We knew when we signed him that he had had some issues with his character so the rumours surrounding his exile may well carry some weight.

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1 hour ago, king canary said:

Exactly- defending is a team game. We've got two fullbacks who like to attack (clearly encouraged by our tactics) so that means others in the team have to offer cover. 

Southampton seemed to be able to get 3 on 2 or 4 on 3 situations with ease on Friday, in part because Trybull is about as mobile as an oil tanker so if you run at him or turn him the defence has no cover. 

To make the most out of Aaron's and Lewis you have to ask for more positional discipline from the rest of the team at times.

I watched the highlights again today and the general themes were:

- Weak tackling - the first goal in particular, we lost a series of 50/50 challenges, along with a weak clearance header from Godfrey. We seem to have forgotten about the value of a tactical yellow card.

- Poor positional play - for me, Lewis gets caught ball watching and is out of position for the first goal. At the moment Ings receives the ball (2:31), you can see that 90% of our area is free. 

For the second goal, Mclean is in the right back position (3:22), leaving a huge gap in our midfield and exposing our defense when they counter.

For the third goal, Godfrey is caught in the right wing position, leaving McLean and Klose at the back (5:47)! I can't remember the events before that highlight, so there may be a good reason for him being there, but again it creates a huge space where the midfield should be.

- Getting caught in possession - So many times we lost the ball, leaving a 3 vs 2 situation. When we are at our best, we can pull it off with one touch link up play, like we did against Man City. Our shortcomings were a mix of the Saints keeping it tight, pressing us and our players not being alert enough. You need to have the vision to see your pass and execute it straight away. One touch football. If we don't get this right then we're screwed, because we don't have a plan B.

- Line up and tactics - 4-4-2 didn't work. Buendia and Cantwell did their usual and drifted inside, whilst Aarons and Lewis pushed up as wingers, essentially transitioning into a 2-2-4-2 formation. No surprise that we were exposed 3 vs 2 on a number of occasions.

- Tracking back - there were a number of times in the highlights where we would lose the ball and some of our players would jog back. The most obvious example wast for the third goal - Ings passed it and ran forward, leaving Lewis, who is known for his pace, and Vrancic trotting along behind him. I don't know if it is a fitness issue or not but it was clear to see that Ings had more desire.

 

I sympathyse  with Farke because our recruitment was shocking and he's had horrendous luck with injuries. On the other hand, he had 2 months to analyse our games and reflect on the season and it's worrying that our problems seem to have gotten worse. 

 

 

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Our defenders are not the problem in my opinion. Our midfield consistently put them under pressure by giving the ball away in their own half. It must feel like the Alamo 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Yellow and Green said:

I watched the highlights again today and the general themes were:

- Weak tackling - the first goal in particular, we lost a series of 50/50 challenges, along with a weak clearance header from Godfrey. We seem to have forgotten about the value of a tactical yellow card.

- Poor positional play - for me, Lewis gets caught ball watching and is out of position for the first goal. At the moment Ings receives the ball (2:31), you can see that 90% of our area is free. 

For the second goal, Mclean is in the right back position (3:22), leaving a huge gap in our midfield and exposing our defense when they counter.

For the third goal, Godfrey is caught in the right wing position, leaving McLean and Klose at the back (5:47)! I can't remember the events before that highlight, so there may be a good reason for him being there, but again it creates a huge space where the midfield should be.

- Getting caught in possession - So many times we lost the ball, leaving a 3 vs 2 situation. When we are at our best, we can pull it off with one touch link up play, like we did against Man City. Our shortcomings were a mix of the Saints keeping it tight, pressing us and our players not being alert enough. You need to have the vision to see your pass and execute it straight away. One touch football. If we don't get this right then we're screwed, because we don't have a plan B.

- Line up and tactics - 4-4-2 didn't work. Buendia and Cantwell did their usual and drifted inside, whilst Aarons and Lewis pushed up as wingers, essentially transitioning into a 2-2-4-2 formation. No surprise that we were exposed 3 vs 2 on a number of occasions.

- Tracking back - there were a number of times in the highlights where we would lose the ball and some of our players would jog back. The most obvious example wast for the third goal - Ings passed it and ran forward, leaving Lewis, who is known for his pace, and Vrancic trotting along behind him. I don't know if it is a fitness issue or not but it was clear to see that Ings had more desire.

 

I sympathyse  with Farke because our recruitment was shocking and he's had horrendous luck with injuries. On the other hand, he had 2 months to analyse our games and reflect on the season and it's worrying that our problems seem to have gotten worse. 

 

 

Agree with a lot of what you say. 

Leitner has his drawbacks but one thing he does is follow the play and always make himself available for a pass. A real killer for us at the moment is our attacking players spend a lot of their time getting in dangerous positions, but positions where there's a real low percentage chance of the pass being good enough to reach them. Possession is then usually turned over with 4-5 of our lads ahead of the ball and effectively taken out of the game. Look at the amount of times Teemu has to come 10-20 yards into our half to try and offer an option.

I'd like to see Leitner back in a central midfield 3 to help connect everything back up again. We didn't lose the ability to do it when he was out of the team, but we certainly have now.

Edited by Mason 47

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It's a good question. As good as Lewis and Aarons are going forward, I don't necessarily think they're great defenders, at least not yet. Too often caught out of position. I don't think Godfrey has learned his trade yet. His positional sense isn't great and he can be quite leaden footed - look at the ease with which Redmond went past him for the goal. Collectively, they often don't play as a unit, with at least one of them pulled out of position, the other don't move to cover appropriately. The two CBs are often way too far apart and don't seem sure of what the other is doing. The ease with which teams can move up the pitch, particularly in transition, is deeply worrying.  Often, there is no challenge made until the opposition is on or near the edge of the box. I don't know who our defensive coach is but to me it looks as though we don't know the basics.

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Posted (edited)

The passage of play that highlighted our issues all in one go against Southampton was when they hit the bar in the first half.

We were in possession coming out of defence.  When Trybull (I think) plays it into Cantwell who is dispossessed, our two centre halves are 25 metres behind Trybull, Cantwell is 25 metres ahead of Trybull. Aarons is thirty yards out to the right and further forward than Cantwell - not only ahead of the ball but ahead of the player who is likely to receive the ball. I can’t see Lewis, I can only guess he’s about 30 yards out to the left in a similar position to Aarons but on the other flank, otherwise he’d be on screen. Buendia is about 20 yards from Cantwell. McLean isn’t on the screen but as Southampton break, you see him virtually playing at left wing back and jogging to get back in. So that’s our entire midfield and two full backs and they are all 20/25 yards apart in some sort of random star formation, one player is around 25m from the centre backs and everyone else is pretty much 40 metres away or more from the centre backs. This is at 0-0 in the first half - we’re not chasing an equaliser in the 85th minute.

Yes we’re in possession but there’s just no shape. There’s no moving up through phases. Top sides move in units until the final third. If Aarons and Lewis are ten yards deeper, they’re still ahead of the ball offering an outlet for Trybull, but can get back in more easily if Cantwell loses it - they can still bomb on if Cantwell doesn’t lose it but you’ve reduced the risk. Instead they’re isolated and caught out of position. If McLean and/or Buendia are fifteen yards closer to Trybull, then we are more likely to break up the counter. If the defence is ten yards further up the pitch and Cantwell (and Pukki or Drmic) is/are ten yards deeper then we squeeze the space and make it much harder to break through.

That’s all down to the manager and coaching staff - it’s not enough work on team shape moving up through different phases. 

 But the players aren’t faultless. It’s a “nothing” pass through the middle of the pitch into Cantwell where he has nothing on. Even if he shields the ball well, he can only play it backwards or turn into serious trouble. Trybull should be able to see the danger - his team are hopelessly wide open, you can’t play nothing passes - you need to play a proper pass or make sure it’s out wide so you have a better chance of defending it. Cantwell should be stronger. Trybull and Buendia just let the attackers stroll past. McLean jogs back in. 

Neither the set up from the manager or the players themselves are prem quality. It’s that simple.

Edited by Aggy
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8 minutes ago, Mason 47 said:

Agree with a lot of what you say. 

Leitner has his drawbacks but one thing he does is follow the play and always make himself available for a pass. A real killer for us at the moment is our attacking players spend a lot of their time getting in dangerous positions, but positions where there's a real low percentage chance of the pass being good enough to reach them. Possession is then usually turned over with 4-5 of our lads ahead of the ball and effectively taken out of the game. Look at the amount of times Teemu has to come 10-20 yards into our half to try and offer an option.

I'd like to see Leitner back in a central midfield 3 to help connect everything back up again. We didn't lose the ability to do it when he was out of the team, but we certainly have now.

I agree with the midfield three idea, for a few reasons:

1) Duda and Stiepermann haven't had the desired impact in the number 10 position. Canwell and Buendia can drift into that position.

2) It gives our defense more protection. It also allows Max and Jamal better cover when they bomb forward. 

3) None of our midfielders are all-rounders; they all have specific strengths and weaknesses. Leitner can pass but is lightweight. Tettey offers a defensive shield but is limited on the ball, etc. Having three in the middle enables us to have a wider range of talents. Leitner, Tettey and Vrancic could work well, for example. 

 

"A real killer for us at the moment is our attacking players spend a lot of their time getting in dangerous positions, but positions where there's a real low percentage chance of the pass being good enough to reach them".

If you pause the highlights video at 3:29, you can see how teams are keeping it tight and restricting our ability to play those passes. There are nine Saints players within a relatively small area, compared to our four. 

 

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22 hours ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Failure to sign the quality anchor man that it was so obvious we needed in the summer to act as a screen to the defence and allow the other midfielders to play.

We didn't sign one because we didn't want to spend any money. 

That simple. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Aggy said:

The passage of play that highlighted our issues all in one go against Southampton was when they hit the bar in the first half.

We were in possession coming out of defence.  When Trybull (I think) plays it into Cantwell who is dispossessed, our two centre halves are 25 metres behind Trybull, Cantwell is 25 metres ahead of Trybull. Aarons is thirty yards out to the right and further forward than Cantwell - not only ahead of the ball but ahead of the player who is likely to receive the ball. I can’t see Lewis, I can only guess he’s about 30 yards out to the left in a similar position to Aarons but on the other flank, otherwise he’d be on screen. Buendia is about 20 yards from Cantwell. McLean isn’t on the screen but as Southampton break, you see him virtually playing at left wing back and jogging to get back in. So that’s our entire midfield and two full backs and they are all 20/25 yards apart in some sort of random star formation, one player is around 25m from the centre backs and everyone else is pretty much 40 metres away or more from the centre backs. This is at 0-0 in the first half - we’re not chasing an equaliser in the 85th minute.

Yes we’re in possession but there’s just no shape. There’s no moving up through phases. Top sides move in units until the final third. If Aarons and Lewis are ten yards deeper, they’re still ahead of the ball offering an outlet for Trybull, but can get back in more easily if Cantwell loses it - they can still bomb on if Cantwell doesn’t lose it but you’ve reduced the risk. Instead they’re isolated and caught out of position. If McLean and/or Buendia are fifteen yards closer to Trybull, then we are more likely to break up the counter. If the defence is ten yards further up the pitch and Cantwell (and Pukki or Drmic) is/are ten yards deeper then we squeeze the space and make it much harder to break through.

That’s all down to the manager and coaching staff - it’s not enough work on team shape moving up through different phases. 

 But the players aren’t faultless. It’s a “nothing” pass through the middle of the pitch into Cantwell where he has nothing on. Even if he shields the ball well, he can only play it backwards or turn into serious trouble. Trybull should be able to see the danger - his team are hopelessly wide open, you can’t play nothing passes - you need to play a proper pass or make sure it’s out wide so you have a better chance of defending it. Cantwell should be stronger. Trybull and Buendia just let the attackers stroll past. McLean jogs back in. 

Neither the set up from the manager or the players themselves are prem quality. It’s that simple.

Completely agree.

I'd actually also highlight that it was a poor decision from Krul to give it to Trybull there. He was actually quite fortunate to skip pass the two players who were pressing him.

The positioning of the players was baffling and, as I mentioned previously, I can't believe that was the best Farke could come up with after 2 months of reviewing our season. 

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4 minutes ago, Yellow and Green said:

I agree with the midfield three idea, for a few reasons:

1) Duda and Stiepermann haven't had the desired impact in the number 10 position. Canwell and Buendia can drift into that position.

2) It gives our defense more protection. It also allows Max and Jamal better cover when they bomb forward. 

3) None of our midfielders are all-rounders; they all have specific strengths and weaknesses. Leitner can pass but is lightweight. Tettey offers a defensive shield but is limited on the ball, etc. Having three in the middle enables us to have a wider range of talents. Leitner, Tettey and Vrancic could work well, for example. 

 

"A real killer for us at the moment is our attacking players spend a lot of their time getting in dangerous positions, but positions where there's a real low percentage chance of the pass being good enough to reach them".

If you pause the highlights video at 3:29, you can see how teams are keeping it tight and restricting our ability to play those passes. There are nine Saints players within a relatively small area, compared to our four. 

 

They're compact, but this is just a basic level of structure comprehension at this level. And sure enough, the high-risk low percentage pass gets played with Pukki, Drmic, Cantwell, Lewis, Buendia all individually isolating themselves under the guise of 'getting bodies forward' and McLean for some reason at right back.

Ball is turned over, Redmond only has to beat 1 man and boom- Saints have a 5 on 2 counter. You'd expect 90% of those situations to end in a goal at PL level and we must have allowed it to happen 10 times on Friday!

I'm glad I'm not the only one pulling my hair out about it. The real question is how does Farke still not see it?

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Posted (edited)

I'm all for passing out from the back, in principle, but doing it for it's own sake is ridiculous. We often seem to try it when the opposition is applying a high press. They don't even have to win the ball off us, we'll just cough it up. We don't have the quality to pass round teams, that has been demonstrated endless times, and the high risk passes are usually low reward in any case, just passing to someone else under pressure. 

Edited by Tootingyellow

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12 minutes ago, Mason 47 said:

They're compact, but this is just a basic level of structure comprehension at this level. And sure enough, the high-risk low percentage pass gets played with Pukki, Drmic, Cantwell, Lewis, Buendia all individually isolating themselves under the guise of 'getting bodies forward' and McLean for some reason at right back.

Ball is turned over, Redmond only has to beat 1 man and boom- Saints have a 5 on 2 counter. You'd expect 90% of those situations to end in a goal at PL level and we must have allowed it to happen 10 times on Friday!

I'm glad I'm not the only one pulling my hair out about it. The real question is how does Farke still not see it?

Surely. I can only assume he's desperate for the points and possibly, naively, thinks that we can outscore teams. 

This season is gone - not only due to the lack of points, but because the players' confidence is shot and they seem to have lost their way tactically. I just hope we mange a few results and avoid a drubbing.

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

He played more games for Dortmund than he has here.

However, your point has some validity. We knew when we signed him that he had had some issues with his character so the rumours surrounding his exile may well carry some weight.

You mean after the Brighton game he questioned Farke's tactics?

So Farke freezes him out.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Some good analysis and comment on this thread. It's been mentioned a few times that we lack physicality as a whole team. Arguably, Pukki holds the ball well and Zimmerman has strength yet our whole midfield (barring the great old man, Tettey) is lightweight.

 

I naively felt we could pass our way neatly through the PL and cement a place at the end of last season. But ... watching Burnley, Palace, Sheffield Utd, even Southampton, let alone the big teams, we are a long way off making for a decent midfield. If we did, it would release pressure on our young defence. Lewis and Max have not been able this season to give of their attacking best because they've been needed at the back, spending far more time trying to quell attacks (I'm sure somewhere there will be analysis of our two FBs to compare last season with this). So we have not been able to load and strengthen the midfield. Kenny, Emi, Tommy and Todd just looked so at sea. 

 

We need a couple of big fellas in centre mid next year as our top priority. Another CB or two might not go amiss. We have a great depth in youth coming up into the team and I just don't know what their strengths are. The last year or two, we have been gifted to watch lots of attacking mids and young talent. Now, I'm of the view that a couple of old timers (and read here, I mean experienced not ageing players) are needed for the campaign next year.

 

Edited by sonyc

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