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birchfest

Would you drop Hanley?

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Before this descends into a scapegoat style argument, I personally don't hold any single player as the sole reason for the Watford match.

However, just looking at the season so far and the changes to the back line (Gibson in then out, Omobamidele in then out) we still haven't been able to cut out the errors despite changing the CB partner of Hanley. Its a big call to drop the captain, and I do believe he is capable at this level (though isn't performing at it currently) but 5 losses in a row with Gibson, Kabak and now Omobamidele all in the picture, could it be time to try something else?  

 

I still think Gibson is capable of being our best centre back and has only been looking a little off the pace due to a long injury lay off and then a disrupted pre-season. Perhaps start him with Kabak against Liverpool to see if we could get a partnership going? What say you?

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No but i'd consider playing him in a back 3 which is the system he seems to thrive in for Scotland. I think Gibson is too slow.

Both would probably benefit from having the quicker Omobamidele alongside them.

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After Watford, I'm absolutely convinced Farke will go 'three at the back' (which we all know is actually five in reality). Gibson will come back in. If AO comes in and Gibson is still left out then we have just wasted EIGHT MILLION £'s!!

I'm not a fan of 'three at the back' unless as a unit and individually, they are of sufficient defensive nous and quality (at PL level). Kabak looked seriously impressive going forward but we need to start keeping clean sheets and focusing 100% on cutting out / competing for crosses played into our box. 

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Hanley is one of our better experienced players - he gets everywhere, but he cannot do it all, he needs a solid regular alongside him - whether that's Kabak or Omo i'm not overly fussed.  But whoever it is they need to sort out positioning between them and playing as a unit - so it needs to be a well made decision that's stuck to.

Gibson is physically incapable at this level, lovely guy and wish he had either some decent pace or ability to head the ball out - but he has neither.  He's very good on the ball as a CB, but we're not making runs off the ball to even utilise that aspect of him either.  So just can't be considered as a player to build defence around (for me personally).

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I can't fathom out why Omobamidele did not play yesterday, except maybe it might have meant too young a back line. For me the best combinations are going to be Hanley and Gibson who did so well las season together, Omobamidele and Gibson or Omobamidele and Kabak.  Read what you want into that, but they are all good players and pretty equal in ability - but we need to settle on it soon as you can't keep changing a back cb pairing.  

I agree with the above post - a back three looks to be the best bet.

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It depends if someone else is going to take the responsibility of organising everyone for set-pieces and general defensive phases, he seems to be the only one who communicates.

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Just now, hogesar said:

It depends if someone else is going to take the responsibility of organising everyone for set-pieces and general defensive phases, he seems to be the only one who communicates.

There was one moment were Kabak stood out for me, he turned to the crowd and was pumping his arms shouting "come on".  Maybe I'm looking for flickers of light in the shadows but that was good to see.  As you say communication is quite awful, we lack a true leader on the field.

There's a few players who like to fling their arms up in disgust after we've conceded, but they need to be doing that when someone is in a poor position or fail to take the lead when there's 2 or 3 on 1 moments.  Can't have so many defenders ball watching and expecting the others to step forwards.

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Isn't is obvious that he's not up to Premier standard?

I know he's a big character ' in the dressing room', but the simple fact is that he's not mobile enough at this level.

 

Keep him as a squad member maybe, as and  in the Championship, but really need to improve on this important position.

Also Kenny same as above.

Rupp also not offering enough at this level.

Tough decisions Mr Manager

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In a heartbeat, everyone keeps going on how good he is, but the reality is he’s not very quick at closing down, switches off defensively and just shown that he’s not a premiership quality player.

Trouble is we have an inexperienced youngster who looks a better choice or a loan player to sit alongside Gibson who is a little prone to injuries.

I’d like to think by the end of October Kabak & Omobamdele might be the natural partners who could compliment each other. I’m not keen on three at the back nor three in the middle as we’re trying now, it’s inviting too much pressure and slow build up. I’d much rather go with two holding covering players then three behind either Pukki / Idah or Sargent. Back to the system we’ve always played under Farke. It was certainly working last time up here till injuries Covid killed our chances even with a less prepared squad.

For the record McClean great squad player who can pull a great performance out the bag, but at this level he really looks out of his depth, no stain on his willingness just that premiership is too good for his level.

Just my opinion and I’m sure most won’t agree. I’d be looking to finally play the best side we can put out, for me it has to be!

Krull,

Aarons, Kabak, Omobamdele, Giannoulis

Normann, Gilmour

Rashica, Cantwell, Tzolis 

Pukki.

Risk at the back with youth, but counter that with mobility and enthusiasm. More threat to make other a little more uncomfortable.

As a addition, shows just what a great job Skipp did for us last year, we really miss him this season.

Edited by Indy
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His performances haven’t surprised me, it’s the same as we’ve seen from him at this level before. I would also like to see us trying a back 3, Liverpool would surely be as good a time as any time try it. Hanley alongside two more mobile players in Kabak and Omobamadele it could work.

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Personally I'd drop Williams for Gianoullis and Gilmour for Sorenson. 

I don't think it will happen but I'd play a settled side for the next 3-4 games and try to grind out some results.

                     Krul

Aarons Hanley Kabak Gianoullis

          Norman Sorenson

    Cantwell Sargent Rashica

                    Pukki

 

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I would keep playing Hanley. The back line is supposed to play as a unit and it needs stability. Singling out Hanley is ridiculous. 

Farke picked what he thought was his best side on paper to play Watford. In some regards this was a very brave call as he usually only makes small incremental changes when he selects his sides.

Presumably this call was a little bit of a "Hail Mary" for Farke because he has all these new players and he has to integrate them and there isn't time or an easy way to do this without exposing himself and his players to the inevitable criticism which comes from losing the first half of a six pointer at home.

You can't make an omelette  without breaking some eggs.

If Farke hadn't done this the whingers on here would all be bemoaning the fact that he'd not got the guts to play his new players.

In the end I think Farke got the call right. He went with the brave option and he needs to do that again at Everton.

Hanley to start. 

 

 

 

 

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No, play Hanley plus Omo and Kabak.
Aarons Normann and Gilmour . Dimi 

     Sargent    Pukki.  Tzolis  


                       

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Hanley for me is more a old fashioned CB

More a Stopper and row Z type than a Ball Playing CB 

if Farke Wants all this Passing about at the Back i do not think Hanley is the man 

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If we're sticking with a back 4 then we need to settle on a partnership and stick with it for a few games. 

If I was picking just on ability I'd say Omobamidele and Kazak but like many I'm squeamish about the lack of experience. 

So it feels like its one of them combined with one of Hanley or Gibson. I've been quite vocal that I just don't think Hanley is up to it at this level, so instinct in Gibson and Kabak. 

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I would go with Omobamidele and Kazak tomorrow night. I liked a lot of what I saw from Kazak on Saturday, although obviously he was badly at fault for their first goal. We need to get him up to speed as soon as possible - and maybe I'm getting carried away, but I honestly think that Omobamidele looks the most promising central defender of his age that I've ever seen at the club. 

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Omobamidele and Gibson for me . 

Gibson the only organiser / talker at the back . 

All centre back choices this season dragged all over the pitch due to full backs going AWOL .

Sadly Saturday's defensive display was an absolute car crash .

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Dean Coneys boots said:

Hanley is one of our better CBs. But we haven't got a spare 20 million down the back of the sofa to go out and buy a better one. This is part of our problem. 

Fixed it for you.

 

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17 minutes ago, Thirsty Lizard said:

Fixed it for you.

 

I entirely agree. Hence I don’t just happy clap and rejoice that nephew Tom will soon be running the only self sustaining model in the top division. 

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9 minutes ago, Ward 3 said:

Id drop Hanley for AO and kabak

Could park it in front of the goal, like your thinking I'm down with this idea too!

image.thumb.png.cf9ca42c08d0f3fc4ea079fc62340280.png

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13 minutes ago, Google Bot said:

Could park it in front of the goal, like your thinking I'm down with this idea too!

image.thumb.png.cf9ca42c08d0f3fc4ea079fc62340280.png

OK (see what I did there?).

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15 minutes ago, Dean Coneys boots said:

I entirely agree. Hence I don’t just happy clap and rejoice that nephew Tom will soon be running the only self sustaining model in the Championship. 

Good grief - are you ill today?  (Fixed it for you again). 

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At this moment in time I would be incredibly nervous to play three at the back. Farke never ceases to surprise me so as is usual, he'll probably start three at the back Vs Liverpool now...

Reasoning?
Every game we have been comfortably beaten this season has seen the opposition target our flanks. Usually our left wing. Usually by overloading and pushing up their wide players quite high. Against Watford their full back had the freedom of their right hand side to waltz forward and then pick out a cross. Dennis then came inside from the left to nod it home. The 2nd goal was similar, only instead of a cross a ball played to King in the right hand channel to stretch our defence and then pull it back for Sarr to cut across and finish at the near post.

I was one of the ones who had suggested Farke was "naive" to play a system that surrendered width out wide against top opposition who have the likes of Mane, Salah, Greilish, Sterling and attacking full backs in their ranks. Perhaps naive was harsh, but IMHO, I wasn't wrong with the assessment.

Playing 3 at the back doesn't help that situation necessarily, if anything, it has the potential to leave the full backs even more exposed as you are going to need them to bomb up and down the pitch.

So in short, I feel that 3 at the back is essentially asking for more of the same as we have been seeing.

What would I do?
Revert back to tried and tested. 4-2-3-1.
Krul/Gunn
Aarons/Williams, Hanley, Omobamidele, Giannoulis.
PLM, Normann.
Rashica/Dowell, Sargent, Tzolis.
Pukki.

I would get Sargent to do what he does best in similar role to Stiepermann. Push and pull the defence around. Drop into midfield, burst through to support Pukki. Throw yourself in the box and get your head on things and make things happen. Pukki to continue his intelligent runs and hopefully be able to ghost in on the back of distraction from Sargent. Tzolis and Rashica to give more and better protection to their full backs - though Tzolis appears better of the two at this. And to put balls into Sargent or balls behind for Pukki.

PLM and Normann to get stuck in. Help cover against breaks and support the attackers when we are more comfortable. Mix up the short and the long passing. Like we did Vs Bournemouth in the cup. Pass it around nicely but every so often, pump one up to Sargent just to remind them he is capable of that and can hold it up. If it works, do it more. Keep the opposition guessing.

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