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The difference between success and failure or whether we seem to be an attacking team or a defensive team is  small.   To me, having seen a lot of games on line this season as well as having been to a few games, the difference is quite simple - its in the decision making of one or two players. 

Split second decisions.   They make the difference.  We have some good players on the ball, but they very often delay too long in their pass.  Hoolahan and Snodgrass are the main culprits.  Our two playmakers.  Pilkington and Bennett both have a good delivery and when on form are good crossers.  Snodgrass and Hoolahan can appear to be on form but then just don''t deliver anything.

We need these two to be at their positive best to do well - and that means they have to deliver better crosses and final balls.  They can do it, but don''t do it often enough.   We''ve seen it from Russell Martin - good quailty crosses at the right time lead to goals.   I''m not saying they are rubbish, but we do get in good attacking positions - I''ve seen Grant Holt on a lot of occasions making runs or waiting to make a run into the box, only for the ball to be held up, held up some more, defenders getting back etc etc.     We are too near the bottom for comfort - and yes there have been some difficult matches to watch - but I have been encouraged by some of our recent performances.  Not all have been no-shots on target in a match.   On that front did anyone see MU against Chelsea?  MU struggled to get a shot on target.   Saturday was an encouraging performance.  Still that final ball needs to be put in earlier, but there is hope in the Hughton way of playing.   If we get to stay in the division next season, the small difference between success and failure, attacking football and defensive football could be improved quite easily.   One or two more players of the right quality and we will see a big difference.

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I''m sorry but imo you are so wide of the mark that it''s laughable. To suggest that the difference between success and failure this year is purely down the decision making of two of our best players is ridiculous.

These two players have not provided the balls from open play, but that is not purely due to poor decision making, it is because of the lack of options available to them in the final third.

The formation isn''t necessarily the issue, but the players instructions/what is practiced in training has resulted in a team devoid of options in the final third. That doesn''t then mean the poor guys who have to create something from nothing are then totally at fault for our lack of success.

How often have you seen our CM busting a gut to overlap Hoolahan or to get in the box to provide another option for Snodgrass? You can try to scapegoat who you like to justify your own opinion but the buck stops with Hughton, he sets that team out and instructs them and gets them to train to play in a certain way. I''m sorry but you can''t look any further as to why we have not achieved "success" and whether we are defensive or not.

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I don''t mind the 4231 as per say.

It''s a solid formation and not necessarily defensive in nature. But the play needs to be quicker when it gets to the final third, it''s ok being slow upto the final third as long as we change some gears... we don''t.

More often we are attacking with just the 4 and maybe an overlapping fullback. So if 2 of the 4 are making bad decisions... that''s 50% of the forward line.

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[quote user="Monty13"]

I''m sorry but imo you are so wide of the mark that it''s laughable. To suggest that the difference between success and failure this year is purely down the decision making of two of our best players is ridiculous. These two players have not provided the balls from open play, but that is not purely due to poor decision making, it is because of the lack of options available to them in the final third. The formation isn''t necessarily the issue, but the players instructions/what is practiced in training has resulted in a team devoid of options in the final third. That doesn''t then mean the poor guys who have to create something from nothing are then totally at fault for our lack of success. How often have you seen our CM busting a gut to overlap Hoolahan or to get in the box to provide another option for Snodgrass? You can try to scapegoat who you like to justify your own opinion but the buck stops with Hughton, he sets that team out and instructs them and gets them to train to play in a certain way. I''m sorry but you can''t look any further as to why we have not achieved "success" and whether we are defensive or not.

[/quote]

 

Agree with every word.

 

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[quote user="Monty13"]I''m sorry but imo you are so wide of the mark that it''s laughable. To suggest that the difference between success and failure this year is purely down the decision making of two of our best players is ridiculous.

These two players have not provided the balls from open play, but that is not purely due to poor decision making, it is because of the lack of options available to them in the final third.

The formation isn''t necessarily the issue, but the players instructions/what is practiced in training has resulted in a team devoid of options in the final third. That doesn''t then mean the poor guys who have to create something from nothing are then totally at fault for our lack of success.

How often have you seen our CM busting a gut to overlap Hoolahan or to get in the box to provide another option for Snodgrass? You can try to scapegoat who you like to justify your own opinion but the buck stops with Hughton, he sets that team out and instructs them and gets them to train to play in a certain way. I''m sorry but you can''t look any further as to why we have not achieved "success" and whether we are defensive or not.[/quote]

Laughable, eh?    It wasn''t laughable on Saturday watching Snodgrass run into blind alleys, overhit crosses and free kicks, demand the ball and then fail to do anything with it.  Hoolahan I thought did well on Saturday,  but if you have two or more players in the team whose instinct is to hang on to the ball, you are not going to get many crosses, through balls played because the defence has time to get back.  Laughable? You''re having a laugh.  

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I think the fact that we play with two holding midfielders yet still expect our two wingers to cover the full backs means that we leave too fewer players up field and are therefore slow and cumbersome going forwards. It then makes it a tiring job to get into the box.Make Tettey or Johnson cover respective full backs and keep Snodgrass and Pilks on the half way line with the striker and we''d have far more options and cause the opposition to be more cautious going forwards as we have more people up top.We''re really just setting up 2 banks of four and hoping to draw every game 0-0.

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That was one game LDC, not the entire season. If your point was about that game then fair enough you have that opinion, but it wasn''t your blaming are entire season on those two players.

Hoolahan did ok but as I have said once again suffered from a lack of options ahead of him. Snodgrass had a bad game.

Neither is Hoolahan''s natural instinct to hold onto the ball, have you not watched him play for the last nearly five years? He looks to play quick balls into options ahead of him, the issue is he doesn''t have options this year.

I''d also suggest Snoddy''s natural game is to get the ball and drive into the box or cut inside and cross, not hold onto the ball, but what''s the point of crossing when their is only one player in the area (if he is even there) and he is being marked by two CBs? No wonder he appears to you to hang onto the ball needlessly.

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[quote user="Monty13"]That was one game LDC, not the entire season. If your point was about that game then fair enough you have that opinion, but it wasn''t your blaming are entire season on those two players.

Hoolahan did ok but as I have said once again suffered from a lack of options ahead of him. Snodgrass had a bad game.

Neither is Hoolahan''s natural instinct to hold onto the ball, have you not watched him play for the last nearly five years? He looks to play quick balls into options ahead of him, the issue is he doesn''t have options this year.

I''d also suggest Snoddy''s natural game is to get the ball and drive into the box or cut inside and cross, not hold onto the ball, but what''s the point of crossing when their is only one player in the area (if he is even there) and he is being marked by two CBs? No wonder he appears to you to hang onto the ball needlessly.[/quote]

I''ve been watching Snodgrass all season and I''ve been watching Hoolahan since he came to the club.  Snodgrass frequently holds on to the ball too long when there are options in the penalty area.   Hoolahan at his best is excellent but at his worst is ineffective, and slows the play down.   

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[quote user="Vanwink"]And yet strangely Snoddy and Wes our our two best players.[/quote]

Yes, strange isn''t it.  The two players most likely to be able to create chances.  So if they don''t create enough chances, who is supposed to?  Our two most creative (I wouldn''t say best) players. There is a lot of responsibility on these two players.    

The other members of the team of course are important too, but when players like Snodgrass and Hoolahan get the ball a lot - and they do - they have to provide - and quite often they don''t.

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[quote user="Vanwink"]And yet strangely Snoddy and Wes our our two best players.[/quote]not this season. wes is well down the order of best players, but as those ahead of him are mostly defenders/defensive it shows just where our problem lies.

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Its not just about their creating chances though is it? Players have to be in decent positions, make decent runs and get the advantage on their defender otherwise it doesn''t matter how good the ball is if there isn''t anyone on the end of it.

Thats where we have fallen down, we have failed to attack teams as a unit and in numbers.

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A dismal original post given Snodgrass has been our best midfield/forward player this season.  Simple fact is, Hoot plays a defensive formation, and picks central midfielders for their tackling ability.  Hence we play rubbish football, our passing accuracy is near worst in the division, and we create very little.  Hoot also plays for draws in the vast majority of games.

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[quote user="Monty13"]Its not just about their creating chances though is it? Players have to be in decent positions, make decent runs and get the advantage on their defender otherwise it doesn''t matter how good the ball is if there isn''t anyone on the end of it.

Thats where we have fallen down, we have failed to attack teams as a unit and in numbers.[/quote]

That''s really the point.  There are not the quality balls going in - even when players are in good positions.   I remember two occasions when Holt lost his defender and would have had a tap in in recent matches - but for a simple ball across the goal face.   Easy chances to create but gone begging.   To be fair one of those was from  Johnson, but he is not supposed to be that good at passing anyway.  Snodgrass and Hoolahan are. 

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It''s easy to be wise in hindsight, but it looks to me that Hughton has got things badly wrong by over playing Snodgrass and under using Bennett.

This is Snodgrass'' first season in the PL, yet he has played more minutes than any other player bar Johnson. His quality has got worse as the season has moved on, both in his crossing and his set-pieces.

This is borne out by the fact that he has scored just one goal since Christmas. It is also worth noting that up until Christmas he wasn''t booked. Since Christmas he has received eight yellow cards....something that is quite bizarre from an attacking midfielder.

Bennett''s delivery is very good, and I believe with more game time he would have contributed more than Snodgrass has over the past four months.

They were a perfect pair for rotation, giving plenty of opportunity for rest and recuperation, and keeping the opposition guessing as to who would be starting games.

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No the point is the players are very rarely in good positions and in sufficient numbers whether amazing deliveries/through balls were being produced or not.

Thats my overwhelming opinion from this year, we have failed to get players in dangerous areas and sufficient numbers to stretch opposition defences. That is not the only reason, final ball delivery has been a factor among many others.

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There has been countless times when the players have been in good position.

Also what people are forgetting as well, Martin as fb isn''t in the same league as Naughton when it comes to getting forward.

For game we are the better side, having more attacking Whittaker has to be an advantage.

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I agree with you LDC in respect of the difference between a win and defeat being so small, not all the time but many times......and the bottom half of the table clearly supports this with so many teams in the mix so late in to the season.  As for Snodgrass and Hoolahan..........can see where you are coming from, BUT with Snodgrass I feel he contributes so much more and is invaluable in terms of energy and movement.As for Hoolahan, he does seem to waste the final ball a lot (although I know many will disagree) and also, like on Saturday, does seem to fade out of games, its a shame as in the first half some of his touches were sublime. If he can produce for more than an hour then he would I guess be playing at a bigger club orf at least not substituted...and its this fact that in the bigger picture I think makes the difference too, that is having players who can keep the consistency for 90 minutes, game in, game out......something that several other clubs clearly also have problems with....and only a few top teams dont have a problem with and they are challenging for Champions League places.

Incidentally, I think we would have kept Kamara if he had the ability to play an earlier ball and link up more intellegently as he clearly has plenty of general footballing ability but so often his decision making was slow or wrong for the level required in the Premier League.    

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[quote user="unique"]It''s easy to be wise in hindsight, but it looks to me that Hughton has got things badly wrong by over playing Snodgrass and under using Bennett.

This is Snodgrass'' first season in the PL, yet he has played more minutes than any other player bar Johnson. His quality has got worse as the season has moved on, both in his crossing and his set-pieces.

This is borne out by the fact that he has scored just one goal since Christmas. It is also worth noting that up until Christmas he wasn''t booked. Since Christmas he has received eight yellow cards....something that is quite bizarre from an attacking midfielder.

Bennett''s delivery is very good, and I believe with more game time he would have contributed more than Snodgrass has over the past four months.

They were a perfect pair for rotation, giving plenty of opportunity for rest and recuperation, and keeping the opposition guessing as to who would be starting games.[/quote]I completely agree, and it has nothing to do with hindsight.  People were worried about Hoot''s inability to use the squad a long time ago.  Snodgrass has not been the same player for a while now. Bennett should have been getting more games with Snod given the chance to come off the bench earlier in the season.  The lack of squad rotation has cost us this second half of the season.

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