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Joanna Grey

Shutting up shop and playing for a point

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Lambert has often said that he goes out to win every game but do you think that on occasions he may go for a truly defensive team against the ''better'' teams? He has messed around with the defense a bit in the friendlies playing Naughton at LB and bringing Drury and Martin into the centre, as we are not really short of bodies at the back (but lacking in experience at PL level) do you think that we will ever see five across the back?

 

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I don''t think Lambert would ever send a team out to play for a point, he will send them out to win. However, after the draw against Southend, Lambert said that he always tell the lads that if they can''t win, don''t get beat, so if we are up against a stronger team and are not creating chances, towards the end I think he would send out the message not to get beat and will therefore make the necessary changes for a more defensive system.

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It''s not in Lamberts mentality to do so, we play football right to the death to try and win, and look where it got us last season!

I do think, however, in this league, sometimes you do have to play it safe, and with the players brought in, Lambert could easily switch the system to be more defensive. I think Johnson coming on for Fox in the second half will become a common substitution.

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I hope to god we don''t try to ''shut up shop'' against the more successful teams. That is a TOTAL disaster waiting to happen, and I truly believe that - You aim for a draw, you create nothing and 99 times out of a 100 the invited pressure backfires and eventually they get their deserved goal. Aim for a win - and you have a great chance of a draw at the very least. I would put money on it that we''ll get more points overall off the ''big'' sides next season if we actually go for it, than what we would by trying to nick a draw each time.

When on top of our game, we can pass the ball around fast enough and intelligently enough to give ANYONE trouble this coming season - and this is exactly the attitude we should have everytime we step out onto the pitch. How many times last season did the unbeatables i.e Chelski, Man Utd etc look very beatable against the ''lower'' sides? - It was surprisingly frequently, Blackpool for instance didn''t get those wins by ''playing for a draw'' - they bloody well WENT FOR IT. Yes, there''ll be days when it doesn''t come off but I for one would be totally pi55ed watching our side playing in fear and for a draw - There is no way a Lambert side will do that in my opinion.

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You get as many points for losing 4-3 as you do losing 1-0. The only difference is you have no hope when you don''t score. Very few teams in the world can successfully defend for 90 minutes (96 in Man U''s case) against the top half a dozen teams in the Premiership not allowing them to score at least once. Unless we attack we will have no hope.

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"I for one would be totally pi55ed watching our side playing "

most folk have had a few before the game as well,

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Some interesting points, let''s switch it around a bit - do you ever think we will play a defensive team but with two or three pacy guys up front (perm any from Jackson, Vaughan, Morison and Bennett), sitting back and hoping to catch the opposition on the break?

In the Championship we established a way of playing, did it very well and it was always the onus on the opposition to find a way to counter it. I just think that with the players he has brought in and the tinkering in pre-season Lambert is looking at each indivual match rather than just playing the (effective in L1 and Championship) diamond. The danger is though if you switch it around too much the players may not settle but he has already said that all of his squad would get a chance (game or two?) at some point.

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I certainly think PL will be more ready to change formation during a game if things aren''t going well, but I also  think he will tailor his starting formation to the opposition on the day. Whether we use the diamond or not will depend on whether the opposition have fast, wide players. If they do, I can see a conventional 4-4-2 or even a 4-5-1 to widen our midfield. One thing I can''t see a PL team doing is "parking the bus" to hold on to a draw. He might do it if we are winning, but if scores are level I think any PL team will keep pressing for 3 points, whoever the opposition are.

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I think at times, even with the diamond, we played defensively if the other team had the momentum (although, thats fairly obvious i suppose). I''m not sure about playing 5 at the back, but having two CM/DM in the 4-2-3-1 formation, certainly seems to give the team a more solid foundation. And with Fox/Crofts/Johnson being the players playing there if we go for that formation, that gives a defensive and creative midfield base to build upon.

Maybe if we have the lead going into the last 10/15 minuets against a much stronger side, then a 5 man defence could be installed, but i would worry about doing that, because they would have less practise in doing so and maybe are more likely to make a mistake by getting in each others way?

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I don''t think Lambert will ever tell his players to "settle for the draw". However, I believe he and his team will have put a lot of effort into making the team capable of dealing with large periods of defending, as this is more of a likelihood against some of the better teams. But this won''t be a matter of ''playing for a point'' though, this is more a matter of "When the other team have the ball, don''t let them score" as I''m certain our approach to playing teams will not change all that much, with regards to when we have the ball at least. Many of the teams will be wary of us as an unknown quantity in the Prem this year and Lambert will want teams worrying about us, not the other way around.

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Norwich City have been notoriously bad when trying to hold on for a lead for many years. We very rarely defend a 1-0 winning position.

That is why you still play the way you believe and your ethos. Yes a little bit of time wasting is good but never, never go away from your true roots. Play to score and put that final dagger in.

I can see us playing a slightly more defensive style and possibly more defensive midfielders, but actively going out for a draw I think not.

The big boys are an opportunity to test our players for the big prize of playing those teams and for those on the fringes to prove a point. But for those teams we will be battling with we should never take our foot off the pedal.

But most important thing and why I think there is no debate - I don''t think Lambert will go against the ethos he has built up. It would be the biggest way to lose our momentum over the years and quickly lose confidence in our ability.

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[quote user="Joanna Grey"]

Lambert has often said that he goes out to win every game but do you think that on occasions he may go for a truly defensive team against the ''better'' teams? He has messed around with the defense a bit in the friendlies playing Naughton at LB and bringing Drury and Martin into the centre, as we are not really short of bodies at the back (but lacking in experience at PL level) do you think that we will ever see five across the back?

 

[/quote]

 I wondered this as well.

Especially when I heard that Wilbraham was playing up front as a lone striker.

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