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shefcanary

How have we beaten the Press?

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Earlier in the season we were struggling against teams who pressed high and forced mistakes from us.  In this unbeaten run it seems the opposition aren't using this tactic any more.  It got me to thinking why.

• the managers of recent opposition sides are crap and haven't spotted this tactic;

• the opposition players aren't up to the job;

• the opposition players are just too fatigued after the relentless slog of the championship to expend that much energy; or finally

• we're just so damn good and confident at the moment even the best attempts at a press are blown away.

COYY!  Let's make it Ten!

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Spot on shefcanary.I personally think Daniel has been more tactically clever than the other managers otbc

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Maybe, as you say, most teams in this division haven't the fitness levels to keep it going for long enough for it to be effective so they have to think of other tactics to keep us at bay. Which aren't working.

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I'd say a mixture of 2 and 3, confidence plays a big part and 10 wins on the spin will help. We're coming to that time in the Season where some Clubs are looking towards the beach, there are Clubs, especially those with smaller squads, who may be struggling with injuries and fatigue in what has been a demanding and compacted Season....... I guess we won't really know how far we've come until we start playing the big boys next Season. 

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Earlier in the season just about all the victories were by 1 goal margins, and I think the reason why we’re doing better now is down to us improving against defensive sides as most teams still regularly park the bus when playing us. As splendidrush has said, this long winning streak will help as it will boost our confidence and put more pressure on the opponents 

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I couldn't disagree more. We've never struggled against teams who press, it's just an illusion because we sometimes *looked* in trouble. In fact we've consistently beaten teams who press us because we're so good at passing through them and, with their players high in our half, they're caught short at the back.

The teams who've caused us the most problems are the ones who sat deep and defended then hit us on the break. By pressing, teams play into our biggest strength which is our accurate and incisive passing. Think of all the times Pukki gets in behind the defence from a through-ball; that's only possible because the opposition are too high up the pitch.

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Sheff Wednesday were very aggressive in the first half against us, and through a kind deflection got a goal ahead too. As most on here described we were shambolic. Farke didn’t change anything mid half to play round that or mix it up, we kept playing our way. And 2nd half they tired badly while our off the ball runs were devastating.

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We actually play best against teams that press us. When on it we are very good at moving and passing around it - I mean we done it to Man City last season.

All I can think of is to some people it looks like the opposition are doing more and therefore we are doing less. When the opposition presses extremely well then of course you will have some difficult moments but then they run out of steam and we tend to dominate the final third of any match.

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Posted (edited)

This is a good thread because it brings out analysis about the way  we play. I found Mowbray's piece here very interesting:

 https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/19173115.rovers-boss-no-secret-formula-topple-norwich-city/

He explains from his coaching perspective how we deal with different formations and talks about just how well we are coached and also our undoubted quality. It was a breath of fresh air to read more depth in his analysis of us as a team rather than the usual stuff you read.

He talks about how his team will set about their work today and I reckon Blackburn will give us a lot to think  about today. They are definitely in a false position and recent form in terms of results has been poor and yet watching their performances you wonder why. I 'could' see an upset today happening and it wouldn't surprise me even though it's not my prediction. Who would back against us?

I liked reading that we are who Blackburn strive to be.

Should be a very open game and will be interesting to see how they deal with our attacks and shape. At Blackburn they had 57% possession. Think the only time another team has beaten us in that stat all season?

Edited by sonyc
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Spot on Shefcanary. To give some more detail:

1. We're much more fluid as a team. All nine defenders and midfielders drop deep for the ball (e.g. see against Forest when Skipp and McLean were being marked, Rupp (our #10) would drop for the first ball out of defence). Few teams in the champs have the disclipine and ability to press our entire midfield.

2. We're much more disclipined. Not to pick on players, but Cantwell, Buendia and McLean all had a tendency to want to do the hollywood pass or dribble past players in our own half. They have become more disclipined and rarely try that kind of stuff, leaving it (where it should) in the opposition third (e.g. think about how few times we've given the ball away in dangerous areas recently - last time I can remember was versus Stoke(h)).

3. Teams are struggling with squad depth now. At the start of the season we were seeing teams use four or five subs early which allowed them to press for longer. When the first XI got tired they'd swap out around the 50-60 min mark. That's why it took late goals to beat a lot of teams. Now teams are missing lots of players to injury and the bench is filled with more limited, out of form, or returning from injury players. Asking those players to play 50 minutes is harder and managers are less able to do it.

4. The Hanley-Gibson partnership is excellent for bringing the ball out. Gibson is a great passer, he is perfectly capable to pass long, straight to Pukki (who rarely gives the ball away). More importantly he passes with speed. His passes have a real snap to them. When we are passing around the back it's not slow, lazy passing (compare to the opposition and how easy it is for Pukki alone to push a team towards one side of the pitch). The opposition really have to run to cover the outballs. Similarly, at this level, Hanley has the speed and power to break though the press with a run, usually with a safe outball to Aarons ready or a pass to Buendia.

5. Farke is a better coach. We tend to forget, but Farke is (still?) a relative newcomer to management. He's more tactically aware and we're better able to deal with the opposition throwing us off with their tactics (although not perfect: see Luton (a), Middlesbrough (h)). He's improved at reading when we have to adjust things slightly, and more importantly the players have been coached well to adapt their gameplay and keep their disclipine to do that.

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Unfortunately, the reasons why we are doing well this season are unlikely to persist if/when we go up. Fitness for one - last season we seemed to be the team that was flagging before the ninety minutes were up. Still a lot to do before we can have a decent shot at staying up. But nevertheless in Farke and Webber we trust!

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Fact is we have beaten everybody except Watford this season so there isn't any system that we haven't overcome.

Another reason is the skill of our players. Whether its press or park the bus, our players have great ball control and are quite willing to take the ball while marked. And those who can puck a pass then have more time.

At times it looks like we are strolling but its because our players have that extra time to look up.

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8 minutes ago, Nuff Said said:

Unfortunately, the reasons why we are doing well this season are unlikely to persist if/when we go up. Fitness for one - last season we seemed to be the team that was flagging before the ninety minutes were up. Still a lot to do before we can have a decent shot at staying up. But nevertheless in Farke and Webber we trust!

We were also the less physically robust team though, and naturally less athletic. Compare the athleticism and general sprightliness of a McLean or Rupp with a Leitner or Trybull and that's also a large part of the puzzle.

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14 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

Fact is we have beaten everybody except Watford this season so there isn't any system that we haven't overcome.

Another reason is the skill of our players. Whether its press or park the bus, our players have great ball control and are quite willing to take the ball while marked. And those who can puck a pass then have more time.

At times it looks like we are strolling but its because our players have that extra time to look up.

Not quite KG. We haven't beaten Bournemouth, Derby, QPR or Preston (although hopefully we will have done before the end of the season). And we drew twice with Millwall. 

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To be fair even earlier in the season we created so many chances even when we were pressed, but fell to a lat goal against Derby!

What I’ve seen is as said we’ve become patient in the play, keeping control even when pressed we utilise the space behind now by moving the ball quicker through the press! Good management, great fitness but also very solid recruitment, players like Sorensen & Giannoulis who are definitely a step above those replaced.

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38 minutes ago, Thirsty Lizard said:

Not quite KG. We haven't beaten Bournemouth, Derby, QPR or Preston (although hopefully we will have done before the end of the season). And we drew twice with Millwall. 

🤔 Oops

What have the Romans ever done for us kind of error.

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6 hours ago, TheGunnShow said:

We were also the less physically robust team though, and naturally less athletic. Compare the athleticism and general sprightliness of a McLean or Rupp with a Leitner or Trybull and that's also a large part of the puzzle.

Yeah but... McLean played most of the PL season and Leitner didn’t. I don’t think Tommy T played that much either.

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1 hour ago, Nuff Said said:

Yeah but... McLean played most of the PL season and Leitner didn’t. I don’t think Tommy T played that much either.

Trybull certainly played a fair bit of that season. We really were scuppered by losing so many centre-halves, but McLean was pretty much our best guy in the middle, which wasn't saying too much - but at least with him there we could actually compete a bit, in physical terms.

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