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2 wingers. Are we going 4-5-1 ? Or covering all options ?

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With the signings of Pilkington and Bennett we now have the ability to play on both wings.  If you try that in a 4-4-2 against most sides in the Premiership, the chances are you''ll get outnumbered in the middle, and struggle to win possession.  Have Bennett and Pilkington been bought with a view to going 4-5-1 ?  And if so, why have we also bought Vaughan and Morison ?  Seems to me that we now have the tools to go 4-3-3, 4-5-1, the diamond, or a traditional 4-4-2.With the current attacking options at our disposal, what would be your chosen formation ?  I reckon we''d go for a 4-5-1, packing the midfield against the stronger teams, with the diamond or 4-4-2 being used against your Wolves, Swansea, Wigan and QPRs.

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I must admit to being slightly concerned that we are going to play 2 wingers, which as you say, will leave us limited in midfield. What does these signings mean for Surman and Wes? They both deserve their chances imo, but they can''t play with Pilks and Bennet. It does mean though, that we can change the formation during games when things are going tough, which will be very helpful in the PL!

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It''s another option.

I''d imagine we''d stick to the diamond. but if mid game, the diamond isn''t working, chuck the wingers on and change formation.

Gives us another attacking formation which we kinda lacked last season due to McNamee being a bit hit and miss.

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To be fair I think PL is just using the cash to strengthen our squad both in terms of ability, depth and flexibility.

In the Championship and L1 you could regularly play the diamond against rigid 442 but the Premier League will offer a far more variable test.

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If we want to play with wingers next year would need more than 2 to cover injuries and tiredness. But if we weren''t going to play with wide men in every game why would we need 2 not 1? Lambert is certainly giving nothing away with potential formations so far with his signings, but by bringing in an additional 2 strikers you have to think he isn''t just going to play 1 up front. It could be a varience on the 4-3-3 with either Jackson or Vaughan being used wider due to their pace, but coming more central to get goals when needed - Chelsea sometimes use to do this I think with Anelka going wide.

 

The pre-season freindies will be very interesting to watch just to see if any clues are given regarding the formation.

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[quote user="Joanna Grey"]We will probably see more of Johnson than Pilkington or Bennett this season.[/quote]

 

If we go with a 4-2-3-1 you may well see all three of them at times. Interestingly (well I say interesting but when I raised it before nobody seemed that interested [:''(][;)]) both have had experience of playing as inside out wingers which would suit our attacking full backs.

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[quote user="Cantiaci Canary"]To be fair I think PL is just using the cash to strengthen our squad both in terms of ability, depth and flexibility.

In the Championship and L1 you could regularly play the diamond against rigid 442 but the Premier League will offer a far more variable test.[/quote]

Absolutely agree, CC!I think you put it better than I could.

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Both Bennett and Pilkington are goal-scoring wingers, rather than the run-down-to-the-bye-line-and-square-the-ball type, that we always hoped Croft would be. If they play regularly, expect them to score goals in the premiership, especially Pilkington who has a good shot with either foot.

Both are quick, and both hitherto have been able to beat or hold-off defenders, even in the centre.

Their roles among others are:

Provide crossses.

Provide a threat which requires other teams to keep their fullbacks back, in case.(Take some weight off our defence)

Cause trouble by attacking defences.

Score goals.

Wether they will both play in every game depends on many things, among them how well Wes and Surman are able to play, how successful the strikers are, the strengths of other teams, the state of the game, etc.etc.

With so many new players, I suspect that PL will be observing things very closely in the pre-season games. He has to learn quickly

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I like that Shack. 4-2-3-1 with Croft and Johnson providing an extremely combative sheild for the back four, then Bennett, Wes and Pilks across the middle and, well, take your pick up front. Holt or Morison you''d suppose.I think our strikers and our midfielders are going to have to get very used to being rotated. I can''t see any one outside the back 5 and a striker being able to tie down a permanent place on the team sheet.

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                      Holt

Vaughan       Hoolahan       Bennett

               Fox         Crofts

 

That would be how I would imagine us to shape up for our first game in the Prem and away from home.

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In terms of how we line up for the first game, i actually think Lambert will kick things off with the players who got us up, so the familiar diamond, possibly with Bennett or Pilks to the right, Crofts or Fox at the base and Surman left. Then Vaughan up to with Holt rather than out left.

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[quote user="a1canary"]I like that Shack. 4-2-3-1 with Croft and Johnson providing an extremely combative sheild for the back four, then Bennett, Wes and Pilks across the middle and, well, take your pick up front. Holt or Morison you''d suppose.[/quote]I would rather see Fox in that midfield with either Johnson or Crofts. He is not as combatative but he is technically superior to both of them and, I believe, more tactically disciplined than Crofts. People tend to get a little obsessed with ''adding bite'' to the midfield but there''s no point in having a ball winner if they get dragged out of position too easily. Also Fox is very comfortble receiving the ball from the defence which is key to our patient build up and allowing our attacking players to rest following their latest bout of pressing. That agressive pressing high up the pitch has been key to our success over the past couple of years and one would imagine PL will want to continue playing that was. Indeed I suspect that one of the reasons he is so keen to get players in early is so that they can be conditioned to be able to play this way. So Fox is the first name in that midfield for me with the second pick depending on the opposition. At home we could go with Fox/Crofts and Pilkington/Wes/Bennett or Pilkington/Wes/Vaughan. If you wanted to tighten things up a bit you might go with Fox/Johnson and Surman/Wes/Crofts. You could even go Fox/Johnson and Bennett/Crofts/Pilkington. It is a very adaptable system which presumably is why it is used so much these days.Who starts up front? I would imagine it will be Holt to start with but we have spent an awful lot of money on Morison to leave him on the bench. I don''t know an awful lot about what type of striker he is to be honest.Away from home I can see us playing this kind of formation at times. I think PL might stick with the diamond at home to start with but the addition of two wide players certainly gives us other options.

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"I think our strikers and our midfielders are going to have to get very

used to being rotated. I can''t see any one outside the back 5 and a

striker being able to tie down a permanent place on the team sheet."Arguably another good reason to shun "name" players and go for up and coming players.  People will get a name on the team sheet if they''ve earnt it and most suit the circumstances.  I don''t think we''ve ever had the strength in  depth that we have now.

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As the article on the Pink''un suggested this morning, it''s all about options. Sometimes the best form of defence is attack. Lambert is not naive enough (a la Holloway at Blackpool) to think that we can outscore everyone in the league as we have done for the past two seasons and just paper over the defensive cracks.

However, I would guess that Lambert is broadening his options and allowing himself the most amount of room to manoeuvre during matches. In the past he has made positive, attacking substitutions and by bringing in more wing talent, he will only increase the strength of his bench/options.

We were fortunate last season in that Hoolahan stayed fit (until the very end) and was able to pull the strings from midfield and when he wasn''t, a Crofts or a Surman would step up. If we look back, there wasn''t really the option to play with more width - McNamee wasn''t/isn''t pulling up many trees. I''m glad that we now have some real pace/skill in the wide areas and it allows us to be much less predictable in terms of tactics/formation.

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What formation we''ll play will be dependant on who we''re playing. Against the top 6 plus Everton/Villa i''d expect us to play 1 up top. Against the teams around us I beleive we''ll revert to the diamond.

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