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hogesar

Midfield balance

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Who do people think should be our best midfield 3? Again, yesterday didn't work in midfield and Gilmour is a bit of an enigma still. 

I said elsewhere he looks better playing deeper, he has a good passing range and is comfortable taking the ball from defenders under an opposition press. But as a deep player he isn't physical enough, doesn't read the game well enough. Possibly he could play deep with Normann if he's good enough?

@Bethnal Yellow and Green did show somewhere about PLM being our best midfield presser (I may be too simplistic there) and wonder if he could play the box to box role in front of them.

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I'd like to see Normann and Sorensen as the 2 in front of the defense and Dowell or Cantwell as number 10. 

4 3 3 isn't the answer 

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It's an interesting question. Firstly I would say that it's quite possible that our best midfield 3 may differ on a match by match basis depending on who we are playing.

Norman generally looked promising yesterday before he ran out of steam. There was a lot of good stuff from Gilmour too, but of course it will be totally overlooked because we lost. A prime example was the sublime pass he put in to Pukki (very similar to Emi's brilliant pass for Teemu's 2nd goal against Huddersfield) - unfortunately Teemu totally fluffed the chance. If Teemu had stuck that one away they would have been drooling about it on Match of the Day and we'd be getting treated to a week long Gilmour love fest. 

In answer to your original question - I would go Normann, Gilmour, McLean for most games for now. However I would like to see Sorenson get a run out against Liverpool on Tuesday night. He did reasonably well against Bournemouth but we were under so little pressure in that game that it was difficult to make any sensible judgement. Against Liverpool would give us a far better idea about his capability at this level. 

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Kenny was probably our least effective player yesterday and responsible for a terrible loss of possession in our half that cost us the 3rd goal. Not EPL material defending and doesn’t offer enough going forwards.

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2 minutes ago, Canary Wundaboy said:

Kenny was probably our least effective player yesterday and responsible for a terrible loss of possession in our half that cost us the 3rd goal. Not EPL material defending and doesn’t offer enough going forwards.

And then again when Krul made a save which would've made it 1-4

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2 minutes ago, Canary Wundaboy said:

Kenny was probably our least effective player yesterday and responsible for a terrible loss of possession in our half that cost us the 3rd goal. Not EPL material defending and doesn’t offer enough going forwards.

Kenny was poor defensively and didn't do near enough to help Williams.

However nearly all our dangerous moments came from well played passes over the top from McLean.

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We need to ditch the 4-3-3. We’re too open.  Go back to 4-2-3-1 and play two defensive midfielders. 

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Was discussing this with the lads before the game. The midfield is always where we lose the game from. We never control the midfield battle. Always second best.

I noticed yesterday Gilmore who you can see has some talent was constantly being rushed, having to play the ball under pressure and frankly he’s just to lightweight to really pull the strings in there and get away from his man.

Norman had an ok debut. Hardly the powerhouse man mountain I feel we were lead to believe he was. 
 

Kenny didn’t have one of his better games. 
 

The thing is strength and pace are really the defining issues here. Our footballing ability is ok but can we compete with strength and pace. And really you need them both! Look at players from the past. Wes with pace is not playing out his career at Norwich but at top top team. Vrancic with some pace and strength would be/have been a top draw player. 
 

Yesterday we saw Watford full of big strong quick athletic players. We were bullied and the bullies can play a bit as well result second best and well beaten. 
 

Personal I don’t think it matters much what combination you go for there. None of then have enough to the required attributes to cut it constantly at this level. (Yet at least. Where the youngsters are involved)

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5 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Who do people think should be our best midfield 3? Again, yesterday didn't work in midfield and Gilmour is a bit of an enigma still. 

I said elsewhere he looks better playing deeper, he has a good passing range and is comfortable taking the ball from defenders under an opposition press. But as a deep player he isn't physical enough, doesn't read the game well enough. Possibly he could play deep with Normann if he's good enough?

@Bethnal Yellow and Green did show somewhere about PLM being our best midfield presser (I may be too simplistic there) and wonder if he could play the box to box role in front of them.

4-3-3 just not working for me. 

4-2-3-1 with the midfield as follows:

                   Sorenson  Normann

 Lees-Melou    Sargent     Rashica/Tzolis

I've gone for the full beef option; in your face and nasty (well, as nasty as we can get).

Give Sorenson his shot; the worse that could happen is we lose. Again.

Gilmour could be swapped for Sorenson if you want more creativity ala the successful Tettey - Leitner combo from the Championship.

OTBC

 

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6 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Kenny was poor defensively and didn't do near enough to help Williams.

However nearly all our dangerous moments came from well played passes over the top from McLean.

We know you Kenny’s biggest fan but he still isn’t up to this level. 

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1 minute ago, Hardhouse44 said:

Was discussing this with the lads before the game. The midfield is always where we lose the game from. We never control the midfield battle. Always second best.

Spot on.

OTBC

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14 minutes ago, Midlands Yellow said:

We know you Kenny’s biggest fan but he still isn’t up to this level. 

Eh?

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14 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Spot on.

OTBC

Although,  for large parts of the Arsenal game we did control the midfield. But that was with the much maligned Rupp so maybe doesn't count. 🤣

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22 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Although,  for large parts of the Arsenal game we did control the midfield. But that was with the much maligned Rupp so maybe doesn't count. 🤣

And apparently Gilmour is "undropable" - but he was dropped for the Arsenal game - go figure.

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The midfield is the biggest area of concern to me. We have plenty of options in there, but I agree with other comments about us never seeming to win the midfield battle.

What concerns me the most is the lack of an outright destructive DM. If you're going to sign a lightweight playmaker such as Gilmour, it's imperative that he has a bodyguard in there to protect him and help him play his game. We were trying to find the right guy for that role right up until the end of the window, and ended up with Normann who doesn't really seem to tick those boxes at all (although it is early days, of course).

We have Gilmour, Sorensen, Rupp, McLean, Lees-Melou and Normann to play in the midfield three (or two, if we revert to 4-2-3-1), but none of them are the physical, disciplined defensive screen we needed to replace (and upgrade) Tettey.

Gilmour in a midfield two in a 4-2-3-1 wouldn't be likely to work as we'd get overrun, but the 4-3-3 really doesn't seem to be working either. One suspects that if DF felt Sorensen was good enough to start as a DM in the top flight we'd have seen him there already, although maybe he'll get a chance in the coming games as we seek to find a decent balance in the centre of the park.

Edited by Feedthewolf
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19 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Although,  for large parts of the Arsenal game we did control the midfield. But that was with the much maligned Rupp so maybe doesn't count. 🤣

Did we really have control for 'large parts' of the game? Some parts yes (last 10 minutes or so of the 1st half for instance) but never enough to look like we were going to win it. We could have easily lost that game 2 or 3 nil in the end which would seem to indicate a distinct lack of control (Arsenal had 30 shots).

OTBC

Edited by Disco Dales Jockstrap

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9 minutes ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

Did we really have control for 'large parts' of the game? Some parts yes (last 10 minutes or so of the 1st half for instance) but never enough to look like we were going to win it. We could have easily lost that game 2 or 3 nil in the end which would seem to indicate a distinct lack of control (Arsenal had 30 shots).

OTBC

Some like to kid themselves. 

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13 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

The midfield is the biggest area of concern to me. We have plenty of options in there, but I agree with other comments about us never seeming to win the midfield battle.

What concerns me the most is the lack of an outright destructive DM. If you're going to sign a lightweight playmaker such as Gilmour, it's imperative that he has a bodyguard in there to protect him and help him play his game. We were trying to find the right guy for that role right up until the end of the window, and ended up with Normann who doesn't really seem to tick those boxes at all (although it is early days, of course).

We have Gilmour, Sorensen, Rupp, McLean, Lees-Melou and Normann to play in the midfield three (or two, if we revert to 4-2-3-1), but none of them are the physical, disciplined defensive screen we needed to replace (and upgrade) Tettey.

Gilmour in a midfield two in a 4-2-3-1 wouldn't be likely to work as we'd get overrun, but the 4-3-3 really doesn't seem to be working either. One suspects that if DF felt Sorensen was good enough to start as a DM in the top flight we'd have seen him there already, although maybe he'll get a chance in the coming games as we seek to find a decent balance in the centre of the park.

Yes Normann looks good but I’ve always felt that alongside Gilmour we need a genuine holding midfielder and I’m not sure that’s what he is. 

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I think Normann and Gilmour could ultimately work as a midfield 2 once they get their tactical discipline sorted, but that's a hypothetical future. For now I'd probably put Rupp in next to Normann as a double pivot and then coach the wide AMs to defend the wide areas when we lose the ball.

The midfield 3 is simply not working.

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This is a very good question. But first a few observations.

1. Watford’s goals yesterday came from first Kabak and then Hanley allowing their man to come across and in front of them. The third from an horrendous miscue. No midfield formation or combination is going to stop that, save for a midfielder not skying a clearance!

2. Last year we considered ourselves more solid defensively, largely because we conceded less goals than two years before. But we still did concede, actually quite regularly, but this was disguised by scoring more than the opposition. There is no way that we are going to suddenly become that team that is impossible to break down and churns out clean sheet after clean sheet. We need to balance up the likelihood that we will concede at least one, by having more attacking threat.

3. We have sold a diamond in Buendía and bought semi precious stones. No critiscism of that it reflects where the club is financially. It also means we are not suddenly going to be severely weakened by injuries. However we are not going remain in this division with semi precious stones. So do we have any potential diamonds that can be polished? I would suggest Cantrell and although early days Tzolis, with judgment reserved on Normann. So a way needs to be found of playing these as starters, much like Lambert found a system to get the best out of Wes. 

4. 4-3-3 has yet to work and more worrying has shown no indication that it may work. As suggested above a formation needs to be found to allow our best players to start. Stubbornly sticking to a preconceived system that is not working is not going to cut it, even if your recruitment has been with this in mind. 

So to answer the question posed:

For me 4-2-3-1 is a better system for getting our best players on the pitch and providing a greater attacking threat.

So a top 4 ( the 3-1) from Pukki, Sargent, Cantwell, Tzolis, Raschica with Idah and Dowell as back up.

The 2. Well Normann although I accept too early to really know and then one off Lees-Melou, McClean, Gilmour, Rupp. Possibly also Sorensen, although he is one of those players whose ability and reputation seem to have improved by not playing. 

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Couple of posts on here about us lacking a bit of identity/idea about how we’re approaching games and I think a lot of that is the midfield balance.

The thought process is obviously that with two holding midfielders we don’t really have the players to keep it tight, so need to go with three. But with 3 in midfield all of them need to be able to do a bit of everything - you then end up with “all rounders” like Rupp or McLean who wouldn’t be your first choice out and out attacking or defensive midfielders, or your more attack minded midfielders have to curb their attacking instincts/your more defence minded midfielders aren’t quite good enough in advanced positions.

Sorensen is the one it seems a shame to me is not rated/isn’t good enough. If he was, I think you could play a 4123 type formation with Sorensen holding, Normann and Gilmour in front but not being too expansive, and then a combination of three attacking players (most likely two wingers and Pukki, but perhaps Cantwell/Lees Melou plus Pukki and Sargeant/Idah in a sort of old school 442 diamond).

If we don’t find the balance soon, then I think you probably have to roll the dice and either go for it (accepting you’ll concede) or go really tight. If we “go for it” (which I think we’re much better set up to do), then I think you probably go 4231, Normann and Gilmour holding and a combination of three in front, with a focus on the attacking side.

Edited by Aggy

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1 hour ago, Disco Dales Jockstrap said:

4-3-3 just not working for me. 

4-2-3-1 with the midfield as follows:

                   Sorenson  Normann

 Lees-Melou    Sargent     Rashica/Tzolis

I've gone for the full beef option; in your face and nasty (well, as nasty as we can get).

Give Sorenson his shot; the worse that could happen is we lose. Again.

Gilmour could be swapped for Sorenson if you want more creativity ala the successful Tettey - Leitner combo from the Championship.

OTBC

 

I like the idea of two tough, technical, Scandinavians playing in the CDM roles. Working very well for Brent... you know. 

I think Sargent could be an effective 10 too. In a similar way Steipermann was. Technically shouldn't work, but through industry and awkwardness, makes a big impact in dangerous areas.  

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As I said on another thread, GIlmour is fast starting to look like Scottish Vrancic to me. Technical superiority and will absolutely do the running but his little legs just don't keep up with bigger, faster players.

For me, if we play 3 in the centre it's PLM, McLean, Normann; if it's a 2 in the middle, it would be s u i c i d a l for BG to be one of them. By all means try him as the '#10' hook to link the midfield and attack, but relying on him to keep up with opposition counters just isn't going to work.

Hoping to see Sorenson play against Liverpool- if he can prove that he can even half cut it against a side like that in a defensive midfield role, I think he goes straight into the league side IMO

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I think we need 4231 

So..

                    Normann  Sorenson

Cantwell           McLean          tzolis

I'd hope sorenson will help make us more solid but also offer good cover for the LB

 

 

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Like it or lump it Gilmour will play in the majority of league matches.

Rupp and McLean are above Sorensen in the pecking order and Normann already gives us the bite and edge others don't have.

 

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