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norfolkngood

Zonal Marking has to Go

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Posted (edited)

As the Title said the Players are Marking spaces instead of Man marking players 

The Defenders are never close enough to the attackers ,

touch tight  then the player has to beat the defender which may well happen but the Attacker has to work for it 

But so many times  not being even close to the player instead  marking a space in the EPL is asking for a disaster 

Edited by norfolkngood

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I understand why Farke thought zonal is the way we had to go. Done right it is fine.

But PL teams instantly worked this out, so simply don't put their best headers in the 'killzone' in front of the keeper and inevitably our smaller satellite players either don't (e.g. Duda) or can't (e.g. Lewis) do enough to stop the runs.

You need to be able to mix zonal and man-marking in-play to really be effective and we have lacked a defensive leader most of the year. A massive problem for us has been an inability to adapt on the pitch in-play. There's a reason we looked more solid from set pieces when Hanley returned.

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7 minutes ago, norfolkngood said:

As the Title said the Players are Marking spaces instead of Man marking players 

The Defenders are never close enough to the attackers ,

touch tight  then the player has to beat the defender which may well happen but the Attacker has to work for it 

But so many times  not being even close to the player instead  marking a space in the EPL is asking for a disaster 

We won the Championship with zonal marking.

I must admit it doesn't sit well with me tactically, but if I could change one thing about Farke's approach it would be to make game-changing substitutions earlier in matches, and/or being proactive in introducing fresh legs even if we're ahead or level in a game.

Farke explained at length why he uses zonal marking, and his logic was sound enough. I don't like it, but I don't have a UEFA Pro Licence, so I'll bow to his better judgement on it.

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Zonal marking done correctly allows for quick counter attacking play from an opponents set piece. Trouble is you have to be very very good at it, which we're clearly not. 

I get why Farke wants to use it, but until he has the correct tools at his disposal to utilise it correctly then it needs to be ditched. 

This summer is massive, the club clearly want to persist with Farke, so back him with the players who can play this system 

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1 minute ago, Feedthewolf said:

We won the Championship with zonal marking.

I must admit it doesn't sit well with me tactically, but if I could change one thing about Farke's approach it would be to make game-changing substitutions earlier in matches, and/or being proactive in introducing fresh legs even if we're ahead or level in a game.

Farke explained at length why he uses zonal marking, and his logic was sound enough. I don't like it, but I don't have a UEFA Pro Licence, so I'll bow to his better judgement on it.

 

2 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

We won the Championship with zonal marking.

I must admit it doesn't sit well with me tactically, but if I could change one thing about Farke's approach it would be to make game-changing substitutions earlier in matches, and/or being proactive in introducing fresh legs even if we're ahead or level in a game.

Farke explained at length why he uses zonal marking, and his logic was sound enough. I don't like it, but I don't have a UEFA Pro Licence, so I'll bow to his better judgement on it.

i Think what we did in the Championship and what works in the EPL is clearly different 

Fine start off as you did last season but learn to adapt if it is not working like it clearly did not 

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I don’t think we should be suggesting our defending in the championship (and in particular defending of set pieces there) was good enough. We still conceded too many. We out scored sides so it didn’t matter but it needs sorting out. 

The main problem we have with using zonal marking is that the players don’t attack the ball. They just stand in their zone and wait for the ball to sail past them, meaning the attackers always have a run and we’re flat footed. You have to attack the ball.

Antonio’s second I think it was yesterday - they basically had a free header for the flick on and then Antonio was also free at the back post.  Either we need to be attacking the first ball better so we cut out the goal there, or we need to be man marking so we can at least make it difficult for the strikers in each of those situations.

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1 minute ago, norfolkngood said:

i Think what we did in the Championship and what works in the EPL is clearly different 

Fine start off as you did last season but learn to adapt if it is not working like it clearly did not 

Farke has acknowledged that set pieces are a weakness, but his argument was that he believes we'd be even weaker if we man-marked, because of the height advantage opposition teams tend to have over us.

I totally accept we have problems defensively, and particularly from set pieces. You'd hope that Farke has some plans in place to try to mitigate that weakness, even if it doesn't involve switching to man-marking.

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Does anyone see evidence of defensive drills being done in training?

That is the coaches fault.

 

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If we’re going to persist with zonal marking (which I think we should), I think we need to just make sure when we’re buying players that we’re buying players that are suited to it. I.e. they are well versed in its principals from their previous clubs. It seems to be a system that requires faith in your team mates and a system that you have to really believe in to make it a success. One player in the team uncomfortable with it will cause a massive problem.

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Just now, Aggy said:

I don’t think we should be suggesting our defending in the championship (and in particular defending of set pieces there) was good enough. We still conceded too many. We out scored sides so it didn’t matter but it needs sorting out. 

The main problem we have with using zonal marking is that the players don’t attack the ball. They just stand in their zone and wait for the ball to sail past them, meaning the attackers always have a run and we’re flat footed. You have to attack the ball.

Antonio’s second I think it was yesterday - they basically had a free header for the flick on and then Antonio was also free at the back post.  Either we need to be attacking the first ball better so we cut out the goal there, or we need to be man marking so we can at least make it difficult for the strikers in each of those situations.

Pretty much this.

The idea is you have you best aerial players in the 'killzone' on the 6 yard line and front post (statistically where the majority of goals from corners are scored) whose only job is to attack the ball, and the rest of the players are basically blockers. 

The problem being that our blockers let their man go way, way too easily and our aerial guys on the 6 yard don't ever attack the ball. Be honest, can anyone remember the last time Godfrey stepped into the ball and 'won' a header?

In fairness to Farke, it is a rock and a hard place. Me personally, in lieu of having defensive leaders available, I would have had our best headers marking their best headers. But I don't think it would solve much because you would still have your Duda or Vrancic mismatching with a Diop at this level quite regularly.

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5 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

Farke has acknowledged that set pieces are a weakness, but his argument was that he believes we'd be even weaker if we man-marked, because of the height advantage opposition teams tend to have over us.

I totally accept we have problems defensively, and particularly from set pieces. You'd hope that Farke has some plans in place to try to mitigate that weakness, even if it doesn't involve switching to man-marking.

Height and physicality are the problem. We are too short and even our full backs are useless in the air. Every team in the bottom half is bigger and stronger than us. We got away with it in the Championship because the standard is quite poor but a good big un will always beat a good little un. Especially in the Premier League. 

I still think we'd have gone down but if Zimmerman and Hanley had been available after the restart I don't think it would have been quite as bad. 

The lesson to be learned is that any new players must be 5ft 11 minimum and/or physically strong 

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Just now, dylanisabaddog said:

Height and physicality are the problem. We are too short and even our full backs are useless in the air. Every team in the bottom half is bigger and stronger than us. We got away with it in the Championship because the standard is quite poor but a good big un will always beat a good little un. Especially in the Premier League. 

I still think we'd have gone down but if Zimmerman and Hanley had been available after the restart I don't think it would have been quite as bad. 

The lesson to be learned is that any new players must be 5ft 11 minimum and/or physically strong 

A good analysis. I don't think all players need to be six-footers, but it'd certainly help us to have taller defenders. Sam Byram is 6'0", and both Lewis and McCallum are 5'10". Interesting to see that of our other new signings, Sitti, Soto and Sorensen are all six-footers, and if we did splash out on him, Dennis Man is six foot despite being a winger.

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It's been clear to anyone, with or without a coaching licence, that set-pieces have been a fundamental part of this year's downfall. And to a lesser extent some of the defensive frailty in the Champo last year. It seems to me unlikely that any fans of the other 19 teams in the division get the same level of jitters when a corner or a free kick around the box is conceded. I called it for Antonio's second to my son watching, and lo & behold...

How many times have we seen some patches of good positive play undone by basic errors in dangerous areas and/or the simplest of concessions with little or no periods of real pressure, quite often from set-pieces? The confidence of the squad has ebbed away gradually, since those chastening September defeats to Burnley & Palace. We would quite probably have been a few points better off & still in the mix for 17th with a bit more luck around CB injuries, but set-piece vulnerability looks to more 'endemic' in this group of players, beyond who plays at CB. We've also been very poor from offensive set-pieces. Some of the blame for these crucial & consistent failures surely lies at the door of the coaching team. We can pass the ball around all we like and talk about possession stats, but Norwich are all too easy to score against. 

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It's not necessarily zonal marking that's the problem. It's being static when the ball comes in. 

Apart from 2 CBs, and to some degree Lewis and Stiepermann if he plays then we are a small side. So man marking is difficult with the lack of height.

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Exactly. It’s not the system that’s the problem, it’s our execution of it that’s the problem.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

I've read before that statistically, zonal marking actually concedes fewer goals than man-marking. The main issues here seem to be that we don't seem to be very good at zonal marking and we're a very small team who is likely to concede plenty of goals whichever system we adopt anyway.

I can believe it - if you lose your man then you’re in trouble. In theory attacking a ball if it comes into your “zone” is much harder to mess up than tracking a player making winding movements in a congested box, keeping your body shape so you can watch the man and attack the ball and not fouling the striker.

We probably would concede still as a result of our lack of height and physicality. But we’d concede fewer because it would be harder for the opponents. You haven’t got to (and won’t) win every single header. But if you’re challenging and putting off the attacker then they’re less likely to get the header on target.

People talk about small margins and us being unlucky - I don’t think the flick on for Antonio’s second yesterday was an intentional header to Antonio, so in that respect we were “unlucky” that it went straight to him. But were we unlucky? If we are challenging better for the flick on (which was basically a free header) then chances are it goes somewhere else and not straight to Antonio. If we’re a yard tighter to Antonio then maybe we get a block in. Maybe it still goes in, but it wouldn’t have been quite so easy.

Edited by Aggy

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And zonal does not mean you dont mark men at all. In the end, you of course take the men out from clear scoring positions. I think in all of the goals we conceded last match we had our player in marking distance. In all of those, we just did really poor in holding them. 

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14 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

 it'd certainly help us to have taller defenders. Sam Byram is 6'0", and both Lewis and McCallum are 5'10".

 

9 minutes ago, Move Klose said:

Apart from 2 CBs, and to some degree Lewis and Stiepermann if he plays then we are a small side.

Lewis, despite not being short, is quite weak physically for his height. Height and physical strength are not always linked.

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6 minutes ago, Aggy said:

 

People talk about small margins and us being unlucky - I don’t think the flick on for Antonio’s second yesterday was an intentional header to Antonio, so in that respect we were “unlucky” that it went straight to him. But were we unlucky? If we are challenging better for the flick on (which was basically a free header) then chances are it goes somewhere else and not straight to Antonio. If we’re a yard tighter to Antonio then maybe we get a block in. Maybe it still goes in, but it wouldn’t have been quite so easy.

It isn't unlucky. Vrancic does a 'try' as the man marking Diop, Klose goes absolutely mental at him for it as he did Duda again Everton.   

Having now looked back I can't honestly say anybody was marking Antonio. He's standing on Kruls toes then is just allowed to wander about. That's a lot more worrying. 

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As others have said, I think the lack of attacking the ball when it comes into the box is the main problem. Its not just zonal marking.  Our defence has been poor for many seasons and a quick review of goals conceded (over the last few seasons since our best defensive record) supports that:

2014/15 - 48 Championship (lowest conceded goals was 37)
2015/16 - 67 Premier League (lowest 35)
2016/17 - 69 Championship (lowest 40)
2017/18 - 60 Championship (lowest 39)
2018/19 - 57 Championship (lowest 41)
2019/20 - 67 Premiership (so far - heading for a new low)

Farke has been in for the last 3 years but has not chosen or been able to sort the defence out. Perhaps the lesson will learned for next year but the signs are not good.

 

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Over 3 seasons we have conceded 184 goals under Farke in 127 games (1.45 per game)

Most of those have either been crosses, corners or giving the ball away in our own half.

Zonal marking can work but the players need to be good enough to execute it and believe in it.

I don't think they do really believe in it and all season it's been a disaster waiting to happen, and it usually does.

It is the same with tippy tappy around our penalty area, we can be good at it for 85 minutes of a game but it only takes one mistake and it's a goal.

The bottom line is that Farke has been unable to find a way of winning games and neither has he beed able to find a way of not losing them.

 

 

 

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We all have seen managers go into struggling sides and they immediately stop conceding goals. It's not rocket science. 

Let's face it, if the squad spent an hour a day being coached to defend set pieces we would see a difference come the following weekend. 

It's obvious that Farke doesn't spend enough time coaching defending set pieces. 

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2 minutes ago, Number9 said:

We all have seen managers go into struggling sides and they immediately stop conceding goals. It's not rocket science. 

Let's face it, if the squad spent an hour a day being coached to defend set pieces we would see a difference come the following weekend. 

It's obvious that Farke doesn't spend enough time coaching defending set pieces. 

Well I don’t think we can say (unless you’ve been watching the training sessions) that they don’t spend enough time doing it. That’s the preferable option in many respects. The less preferable option is that they do spend enough time doing it, just not very well. 

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1 minute ago, Aggy said:

Well I don’t think we can say (unless you’ve been watching the training sessions) that they don’t spend enough time doing it. That’s the preferable option in many respects. The less preferable option is that they do spend enough time doing it, just not very well. 

I've watched the games, the clue is in the abysmal defending from last season right through this season, not improving at all as the weeks go past.

 

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Just now, Number9 said:

I've watched the games, the clue is in the abysmal defending from last season right through this season, not improving at all as the weeks go past.

 

So what bit of that tells you whether it’s that we don’t do enough or we do enough but just not very well?

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7 minutes ago, Aggy said:

So what bit of that tells you whether it’s that we don’t do enough or we do enough but just not very well?

That'll teach me to try and do two things at once. 👍

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