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Wesley Hoolahans Ludicrous Turn

We will not have a settled 11 this year- and it's the RIGHT thing to do.

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How many times is Lambert going to have to say ''I will pick a team for the occasion'' before some of you get it into your skulls that you quite simply cannot approach the Premier League with the same 11 every week, it just doesn''t work. If our players settle into a system and a routine it will not take long for it to get ruthlessly exposed by most sides in this league who, like us, are flexible and able to change shape at will in order to counteract any formation.

 

The Prem is much more fluid than the Championship, and I fully expect to see the odd change or formational shift against Sunderland. Lambert has said he is training these players to basically not be able to be pinned down to any one particular playing style, and keeping the opposition guessing will be key to our survival.

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It''s surely becoming more settled. In the absence of injury Ruddy, Naughton and Tierney surely pick themselves. If De Laet can maintain concentration and cut out mistakes, surely he is our best CD.

Oherwise Johnson seems to be approaching "undroppable" status, if he is not there already, and probably Morison, if he can convert more chances.

For the rest, much depends on formation. With two wingers we have to go down to a single striker to accommodate Wessi. Fox seems to provide something that no-one else can, but when we play a top side he may have to give way to Crofts.

By my reckoning we have four or five who will be the core, and the others play when formation and tactics require it. The fact that PL can make so many changes and not lose cohesion suggests that we have an excellent squad who are felixible and can adapt easily to the manager''s tactics.

This is great!

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I actually thought Martin slotted very, very well into the centreback position and would prefer him to stay there for the time being. He was quick and controlled and dealt better than I thought against the aerial threat from Davies and Krasnic.

I think Lambert is adapting as he''s going along and there won''t be too long before he does settle on a side. I can''t see a back line performing better than we did against Bolton, despite conceding another penalty

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i think it''s more a case that for the last 2 years we have made the opposition play our way and so far this season we have at times looked like we are accomodating the opposition instead.  it''s not what fans are used to and with the added pressure to win it''s going to cause people to doubt the tactics we have employed.

 

clearly the opposition are better than previously and there are plenty of valid reasons for doing this, as you''ve pointed out, but there are downsides as well - such as players form and confidence in being picked and dropped, inconsistency, danger of being less prepared than normal, etc..  for example, i don''t think it was right to play 5 at the back against Chelsea as it invited them to attack, which they did, and made it hard to release the ball upfield.  it took an injury to change the formation and make us better for it.

 

the biggest problem is time ,or lack of it - we have no time to settle in, and no time to experiment in the Premier League as you get punished for even the slightest mistake (or mostly, if the ref is just sh*t) and as Saturday''s results proved you have to get points on the board straight away or else you''ll be left behind.

 

i have a lot of faith and confidence in Lambert for reasons obvious to everyone and i think we have started the season with some good performances.  i do hope the formation stays roughly the same against Sunderland but 3 points is all that matters!

 

OTBC

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Good post, and some sensible replies.

I think we have shown through our performances this season that we have a squad of players who are capable and willing to play in different formations, different line-ups using different tactics against different teams.

Its probably fair to say that this season, we won''t be able to just stick to one formation. We are the underdog in most games this year, and because of that we do have to play to the other sides game plan a bit more than we have been doing the past couple of years. You couldn''t imagine Man.U coming to Carrow Road and just sitting back trying to counter the way we play, we will be trying to counter the way they play. I think its probably the only way to really win games. Against Bolton we really took advantage of their instability and weaknesses in the first half, before they decided to step it up a gear a bit in the second half, and thats how the ''lesser'' teams win games.

I''m personally happy for Lambert to play what ever formation and line up he sees fit for the occasion, and although in the spur of the moment, I might not think the formation/line up is right (Bolton for example) I will still know that Lambert knows what he is doing, or at least is doing what he thinks will work best, and he has definatly earned our trust.

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[quote user="Cookieace"]Good post, but I would like to see Lambert go wioth the same formation and team against Sunderland, Sunderland may not even expect the same formation to be played. Worked very well for us. Bring on the Sunderland! :)[/quote]

I would strongly disagree there, we simply MUST play 2 strikers at home. If we concede the first goal at Carrow Road it would be extremely hard to braek anyone down with one up front

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GJL, I agree with so many of your posts, but I don''t understand this idea that two strikers is always more attacking than one striker. Surely the more attacking formation is the one that creates the most chances. I would argue that a team with two wide men and Wes is likely to create much more than a 4-4-2.

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[quote user="Robert N. LiM"]GJL, I agree with so many of your posts, but I don''t understand this idea that two strikers is always more attacking than one striker. Surely the more attacking formation is the one that creates the most chances. I would argue that a team with two wide men and Wes is likely to create much more than a 4-4-2.[/quote]

Succesful who play with one central striker have goals in them from other areas of the field i.e Chelsea. Not being blessed with a 20 goal a season midfielder such as a Lampard (or at least ,I don''t think we have) in our particular case the course of action most likely to bring goals, especially when playing at home is, in my opinion 2 strikers.

  Can you imagine if we were to go a goal down in a home match as early as we did vs WBA when playing with one striker?, the frustration at a lack of players in the box would be palpable especially if that away side were then intent on sitting back with men behind the ball !

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I agree that with each team we face there are different threats and opportunities. Hence I am happy for squad rotation and as menioned earlier I also believe there needs to some continuity in certain positions.

The two centre halves and I believe in a striker partnership. Whatever way you look at it you need an understanding between your strikers and other attacking players. I personally agree with GLJ that 2 strikers are needed for almost all our games, especially this one, but that also we have options for so many oppositions.

Titus Bramble would not like a tricky forward or one with strength hence Holt or Morison upfront with Vaughan is ideal. One lone striker is not going to work, I personally was not as impressed as others are with us as an attacking threat with the system against Bolton.

We do need to mix it up but the core of your team does need to remain pretty stable and I would hope we are working on a centre half pairing and hence a strike partenrship.

Defenders and midfielders can almost pop in and out when injuries, suspensions or tactics occur.

But if we were to play with one striker upfront and he got injured then we would have to rely on strikers who had not been in any form. At least when you have two if one gets injured, then the other one can carry on with his new strike partner.

We have a nice break for good preparation for Sunderland, I hope we get it right. I have no interest in the man u game in regard to our season. I will watch it, but this game and the Swansea game are games where we can push on and dent a rival for that 17th position in the table at the end of the year.

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

[quote user="Robert N. LiM"]GJL, I agree with so many of your posts, but I don''t understand this idea that two strikers is always more attacking than one striker. Surely the more attacking formation is the one that creates the most chances. I would argue that a team with two wide men and Wes is likely to create much more than a 4-4-2.[/quote]

Succesful who play with one central striker have goals in them from other areas of the field i.e Chelsea. Not being blessed with a 20 goal a season midfielder such as a Lampard (or at least ,I don''t think we have) in our particular case the course of action most likely to bring goals, especially when playing at home is, in my opinion 2 strikers.

  Can you imagine if we were to go a goal down in a home match as early as we did vs WBA when playing with one striker?, the frustration at a lack of players in the box would be palpable especially if that away side were then intent on sitting back with men behind the ball !

[/quote]

I totally agree. It''s no good creating masses of chances if your best goalscorers are on the bench, so two strikers at home is essential.  

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

Succesful who play with one central striker have goals in them from other areas of the field i.e Chelsea. Not being blessed with a 20 goal a season midfielder such as a Lampard (or at least ,I don''t think we have) in our particular case the course of action most likely to bring goals, especially when playing at home is, in my opinion 2 strikers.

[/quote]

 

It does amuse me how people refer to Lampard as a "20 goal season" player.

 

Only once in his career has Lampard scored 20 goals or more in a season. It''s usually more like 10-12 goals from him.

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[quote user="smooth"] Titus Bramble would not like a tricky forward or one with strength hence Holt or Morison upfront with Vaughan is ideal.  [/quote]

To be fair Bramble is an established Premier League defender who knows how to handle himself in that league. He won''t be easy to play against no matter who starts upfront.

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[quote user="GJP"][quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

Succesful who play with one central striker have goals in them from other areas of the field i.e Chelsea. Not being blessed with a 20 goal a season midfielder such as a Lampard (or at least ,I don''t think we have) in our particular case the course of action most likely to bring goals, especially when playing at home is, in my opinion 2 strikers.

[/quote]

 

It does amuse me how people refer to Lampard as a "20 goal season" player.

 

Only once in his career has Lampard scored 20 goals or more in a season. It''s usually more like 10-12 goals from him.

[/quote]

SeasonClubDivisionLeagueFA CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
AppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssists
1995–96Swansea City (loan)Second Division9100000000091
1995–96West Ham UnitedPremier League1000000000010
1996–97130102000160
1997–983156154004210
1998–99385102100416
1999–200034710431044914
2000–0130714131003791
2001–02ChelseaPremier League37538104004105373
2002–0338625103002104882
2003–0438106410200124056156
2004–053813162006201240581916
2005–063516852110092051209
2006–073711107626311212632115
2007–0824108121341142402011
2008–093712108332211135572019
2009–10362217631101711512720
2010–112410433100040132136
2011–12512000000100612
TotalSwansea City9100000000091
TotalWest Ham147241132169104186391
TotalChelsea349116874822928113852111515171110
Career total50514188622444209525711211

 

Courtesy of our good friend "Wikipedia"

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Yeah that''s my fault for not being specific because I was talking about league goals. But then I suppose it is being a bit harsh on Lampard not to count cup goals etc but I just tend to see the league goals as the hard currency.

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GLJ/Paul Moy:

But we did go one down early vs WBA, playing two strikers, and in my opinion we never looked like getting back into the game.

I didn''t see the Bolton game, but it sounds as though we created more chances in that game than we have in any other.

I would argue that if the other team are sitting back, having two strikers up front (which probably means no Wes in the side) is more likely to result in us just playing it long to them, which the other team will soak up all day.

In such circumstances we have to be patient (players and crowd), keep the ball, and look to create decent chances. If the opposition are sitting back, it''s easier for our midfielders to get forward in any case.

I agree about the lack of a goalscoring midfielder - but I really don''t think it''s as simple as saying that the more strikers you put out the more attacking you are. The only time we''ve scored twice this season we were playing with one up front. And I know that both goals on Saturday were scored from set-pieces, but, had we been playing 4-4-2, Fox would not have been in the team to deliver those balls...

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I would suggest the reason we couldnt get back into the WBA match wasnt down to the system, rather the people who were on the pitch within it (Surman/Martin) and just as crucially who wasn''t on the pitch (Hoolahan) aswell as intervention in no small part from an M.Halsey, who gave us nothing all afternoon.

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Fair enough. But how do you get Wes on the pitch and two strikers? The diamond was our answer to that last year, but I feel in the Prem that it puts far too much pressure on the guy at the base of it.

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I''m okay with shuffling the midfield and forward line, but I would like a consistent back line who are drilled as a unit re: pushing up, keeping the line, marking duties etc.  I don''t think shuffling the back line helps the keeper or midfield particularly.

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Whilst I agree we need to change our tactics and formation depending on who we are playing, I believe the spine of the team should be kept the same. There seems to only be me that was shocked Crofts and Holt were left on the bench on Saturday.

 

Ruddy

 

I know injuries and suspensions have not been kind to us this season but we need to find our preferred 2 centre halfs and stick with them.

 

This combined with an impressive Naughton and Tierney, would give us a gelled and solid back 4.

 

Unless injured/suspended or having a real bad dip in form (not one game) I would always start Crofts and the same applies to Holt.

 

 

 

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To many changes will not work either. There are fewer games to play this season. Only 38 League games compared to 46 in the rest of the League. We are out of the Carling Cup and history of the last two decades tells us that we are not going to have a long Cup run in the FA Cup either.

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"][quote user="GJP"][quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

Succesful who play with one central striker have goals in them from other areas of the field i.e Chelsea. Not being blessed with a 20 goal a season midfielder such as a Lampard (or at least ,I don''t think we have) in our particular case the course of action most likely to bring goals, especially when playing at home is, in my opinion 2 strikers.

[/quote]

It does amuse me how people refer to Lampard as a "20 goal season" player.

Only once in his career has Lampard scored 20 goals or more in a season. It''s usually more like 10-12 goals from him.

[/quote]

SeasonClubDivisionLeagueFA CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
AppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssistsAppsGoalsAssists
1995–96Swansea City (loan)Second Division9100000000091
1995–96West Ham UnitedPremier League1000000000010
1996–97130102000160
1997–983156154004210
1998–99385102100416
1999–200034710431044914
2000–0130714131003791
2001–02ChelseaPremier League37538104004105373
2002–0338625103002104882
2003–0438106410200124056156
2004–053813162006201240581916
2005–063516852110092051209
2006–073711107626311212632115
2007–0824108121341142402011
2008–093712108332211135572019
2009–10362217631101711512720
2010–112410433100040132136
2011–12512000000100612
TotalSwansea City9100000000091
TotalWest Ham147241132169104186391
TotalChelsea349116874822928113852111515171110
Career total50514188622444209525711211

 

Courtesy of our good friend "Wikipedia"

[/quote]Not sure what column you are looking in, but the column that I am looking in shows this for the past 8 years:132720202120191587I know that you are about to say "I was talking about league goals".... but to expect any player in any position to score 20 goals in this league is simply mental. The two top scorers last year were Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov on 20 goals each. To compare Lampards goals from last year would be unfair because he spent a long time injured, but his 22 goals the year before put him at 5th in the goalscoring charts!Even if we do limit ourselves to league goals, Lampards 116 goals in 349 games for Chelsea is astronomical, it makes him by far the best goalscoring midfielder in the best league in the world over the past decade. People used to call Paul Scholes a goalscoring midfielder, but he only managed 102 goals in 466 league games for Man Utd. He scored some important Champions League goals too of course, but we aren''t counting those right? Then there is Ryan Giggs, 110 in 616. Our best goalscoring midfielder is Hoolahan, who has scored 24 in 114. To question Lampards goalscoring ability, or indeed the title as a 20 goal a season midfielder, is just silly. If there is one thing that Lampard can do it is score goals.I can''t stand Lampard, but even I can''t find a way to question the simple fact that he is an incredible goalscorer who has been a legend for Chelsea and has no doubt won them silverware during his time there. He doesn''t just score goals either, he sets up a lot too.

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I don''t mind Lambert changing the team around, a lot of teams do it in this league, as simple as.What those teams don''t do however is leave their best players on the bench if they are playing a game that they won''t win easily. Seeing as we are Norwich and not Man Utd, no game is easy. As a result, I just don''t want to see Hoolahan sitting on the bench again, especially at home. We played a defensive formation at home to West Brom, and then went all out attack at Bolton, it made little sense to me.I don''t want to see the same XI every week, just so long as Lambert chooses the right XI for the day. Sorry if it offends anybody but Lambert simply got it very wrong against West Brom.No hard feelings, he got it right against Bolton, and got it right against Stoke. He is still learning at this level, and it won''t be the last time that he gets something wrong. Teams like Man Utd and Chelsea tinker with their teams all the time, but they always have the spine of their team. They don''t take a decision to leave a Rooney or a Lampard on the bench very lightly. Hoolahan is our Lampard, we look a lot worse with him out of the team.

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