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Parma Ham's gone mouldy

History will treat Hughton kindly

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Yesterday''s game could reasonably be considered a typically average performance from Hughton''s Norwich. Many repeated and repeating elements were evident.

Hughton has carefully constructed a drilled methodology that grinds out points based on repeated coaching positions. He is keen to control the controllable.

In a league where 26-28 games are not won, it is logical to coach a side to defend well. The current premier league has 11 sides that need to do this for the majority of the season as they are faced with superior quality, firepower and finances. Such sides not only gave better players, but key weaponry that needs to be nullified. "We look after our own game" is a luxury exclusive to the superior. For everyone else it is a journalistic soundbite that cannot - and should not - be executed in practice.

"Defending" should not be confused with "defensive". If you are mostly inferior, you inevitably do a lot of the former. Over time fans conflate it with the latter. Often the team - and the manager - do not have the luxury of the choice. Fans are naturally - and necessarily and admirably - biased. Religious faith is a prerequisite of support. Players are invested with abilities beyond their range, the favourite have the luxury of their best moments leaving a mental imprint, others less fortunate gave their errors or undesirable characteristics noted - often to the exclusion if any positives they may bring. Many of the difficulties Hughton faces - and much of the criticism he receives - are a product of the premier league, financial disparity, wages to turnover ratios and could be applied to almost any if the bottom 11 and any of those managers. The manager simply does not have that much influence over results, points and club success.

The game yesterday wrote large some of the polemic elements that characterise views on Hughton and which appear repeatedly on this board however.

Hughton is a good coach. He has drilled a clear, repeated, repeatable pattern of play and methodology on the team. The players know what is required of them, they do their best to enact it and carry it out with diligent effort. They work for the team and - by extension - the manager. His methodology is to ensure that Norwich are hard to score against by tightening the spaces between and in front of the defenders. He is particularly concerned about conceding via transition turnovers and counter-attacks. Our slow, deliberate forward progress in possession is to ensure that we are less vulnerable to the counter thrusts of sides winning the ball from us as we make - or try to make - penetrative passes to score. If players are not out of shape at this strategic point, it is far more difficult for opponents to score or create chances without gambling with their own shape. Like a boxing counter- puncher we are willing teams to do this so we can exploit their subsequent structural weakness.

Learning to defend strongly and teaching players in all positions to quickly revert to a specific shape when out of possession, requires discipline and work. It is not random or "clueless", it is entirely the opposite. It is also something that requires constant repetition to drill and become natural when under pressure. If you have a side that is (mostly) inferior in resources to the opposition, it is a coaching theory to maximise your odds by drilling your side to a scheme that they can always fall back on and which requires something out of the norm for the opposition to score. You are forcing the opposition To demonstrate their superiority in a way they may not always be able to do. The calculation is that you will always be able to repeat your chosen tactic.

This approach is designed to maximise your odds over the long term (say a season). In order to reinforce it, the logic is to repeat it to some degree regardless of circumstances. The belief is that this will accumulate more points - on average - over the course of a season. It is an inflexible - and arguably ruthless - approach that (almost) deliberately ignores circumstance.

Inverted wingers cut inside and deliver balls to a single striker. Odds of a goal are low, but equally opposition full backs have to attack on the outside or long way round, maximising defensive recovery time. These wide players are also stepping into or attacking the weaker side of the full back, allowing for low risk shooting opportunities. These wide players return to a narrow midfield without the ball and remain connected to their own full back, doing man-and-a-half defensive cover. As with yesterday, they are not encouraged to run beyond the lone striker and often gone short to receive the ball with backs to goal. Hoolahan connects well and offers options, but is not a player who lays the ball early. He will also not run beyond the lone striker. He looks tidy in possession, but makes his choices in leisurely fashion. The above factors ensure we do not counter or stretch teams. We lack pace and the pace we do have is constrained by the methodology that requires careful positioning by the wide players. Redmond''s pace would be better used going beyond RVW and his dribbling better used In the 10 position, where risk of (his) tactical compromise is far less. RVW cuts a forlorn and frustrated figure. Analysing his movement and counterpointing it with footage of his previous career goals and inherent style and playing strengths, it is a legitimate question to ask whether his particular skills match the precise requirements of Hughton''s structure. He is a willing worker now, but stretching teams on The counter by moving wide into space to receive the ball, then driving angled runs towards and into the Box for shooting opportunities (his modus operandi) are not seen or likely to occur with our set up. Playing on your own up front is a thankless task and it was hard not to reach the conclusion yesterday that Crouch''s predictable, repeated, hard-to-combat structural play is what would suit Hughton''s way better. Many a defender-turned-manager has a view that strikers create and score goals in an alchemists moment and are the (separate) cherry on the (main) cake. In coaching and managerial terms I am not convinced that Hughton knows what strikers need. He has bought an expensive toy and expects it to perform something out-of-the-ordinary once a game to exploit the clean sheet that has been religiously worked on. In coaching terms I see far less methodology in the phase between midfield possession and chance creation.

Hughton''s rigid philosophy will continue to garner points on a regular basis. We are often hard to beat via his coaching structures. Keeping Norwich up - even only just or via 3 worse teams each year - is a scenario that would have been the dream one only a couple of years ago. We should not underestimate it now simply because of (artificially) raised expectations.

Our full backs are however over-protected and Hughton''s methodology simply does not allow for altered circumstances (and are typically influenced by the position a manager played as a player). Indeed he has the coaches (as opposed to the manager''s) autistically repetitive patterns even when 4-1 down after 37 minutes or 1-1 against a deep-defending 10 men. It was noticeable in the last 15 minutes that Olsson was repeatedly allowed the ball by the opposition, but he was still conscious that he was the pace entrusted with watching opposition breakouts. He was somewhat paralysed by what he has been drilled to do and the circumstances. The manager displays the same (deliberate) inflexibility. He is reinforcing his one-card-trick methodology.

Yesterday Olsson could have played more centrally in the last 15 minutes, in a sweeping defensive role, to counter counters with his pace (even though Stoke showed no real appetite to do so). Johnson had a good game, but in the last 15 minutes his deep midfield area was where the ball was in the space the opposition conceded. Howson sensible dropped in here to play the Gerard generalissimo role and a further player could have replaced Johnson, with perhaps a Becchio central target-man cameo a la crouch to bounce off. Elmander is tactically clever enough to have dropped into midfield spaces, to the yards outside the box where the shooting opportunities inevitably occurred against a tightly packed defence. Hughton perceived a danger from 10-man Stoke that I did not see.

Hughton does not have a plan B because he does not want one. This is unwavering belief in his coaching method being enough to keep Norwich up. The odds are (just) that he is correct. It is a recipe for repeated, narrow survival, not seat-of-the-pants entertainment. There is less action at higher levels anyway and this is inevitable and (mostly) more professional. It is not boring, but if goalmouth action is your criteria, it is not entertaining either. We are a much more professional, organised side than we have been for many years, but not winning 28 games a season is hard for all fans. You can only win every week in League 1. There is too much (money) to lose for pleasing the masses to be the priority (blame Murdoch not Hughton)

Hughton would (arguably) not have been able to have engineered the miracle that Lambert produced. It could also be argued that Lambert could not (either via temperament, ambition, ability or belief In his resources moving forward) have achieved the more prosaic and pragmatic miracle of repeated safety. The odds are that Norwich will again (just) stay up this season. It will likely be the case that Hughton will be replaced regardless, this now appears both an inevitable and pragmatic option. History will judge him more warmly than many currently do. Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you get what you need.

Sent from my iPhone

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I worked my way through this, and I think it generally makes sense. There does seem to be one basic problem with your logic, though. If there are 11 teams in a league of 20, for ''the majority of the season'' they cannot face ''superior quality, firepower and finances''. 11 out of 20 IS the majority. This is even more true if we factor in Southampton and Newcastle, who are much more vulnerable and closer to our level than Chelsea or MC. That means there are 24 games a season which even a lower team can reasonably target without having to become as dour as we have.Having said that, your overall analysis of why Hughton plays the way he does seems sound. It begs the question, though, do we want it? I know that wasn''t the point of your post, but it seems the natural next question. Do we care that much about being in the Prem that we are willing to more or less write off a game as soon as we go 0-1? Is the game worth the candle?I''m sure many on here would say yes. Some would say no.For me, football is meant to be fun at some level. Frustration can sometimes be part of the overall fun. At the moment it isn''t. It''s like going to the dentist''s.

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[quote user="Parma Hams gone mouldy"]1) In a league where 26-28 games are not won, it is logical to coach a side to defend well. Hughton...has drilled a clear, repeated, repeatable pattern of play and methodology on the team.2) His methodology is to ensure that Norwich are hard to score against by tightening the spaces between and in front of the defenders. He is particularly concerned about conceding via transition turnovers and counter-attacks. Our slow, deliberate forward progress in possession is to ensure that we are less vulnerable to the counter thrusts of sides winning the ball from us as we make - or try to make - penetrative passes to score. If players are not out of shape at this strategic point, it is far more difficult for opponents to score or create chances without gambling with their own shape. 3) Like a boxing counter- puncher we are willing teams to do this so we can exploit their subsequent structural weakness.4) The calculation is that you will always be able to repeat your chosen tactic.

This approach is designed to maximise your odds over the long term (say a season). In order to reinforce it, the logic is to repeat it to some degree regardless of circumstances. The belief is that this will accumulate more points - on average - over the course of a season. It is an inflexible - and arguably ruthless - approach that (almost) deliberately ignores circumstance.[/quote]1) So far so unexceptional.2 Absolutely. In the sense that this is Hughton''s plan.3) No. this is where Parma''s arguments (and presumably then Hughton''s tactics) make no sense, because this is a flat-out contradiction of  Point 2). If our "counter-punching" - our counter-attacking - is "slow, deliberate" then it isn''t really counter-attacking at all, which is pretty much by definition fast.And there won''t be any "structural weaknesses" in the opposition to exploit. There are only structural weaknesses if you attack quickly. If you attack "slowly, deliberately" then the opposition defence has time to regroup into shape. Making "penetrative passes" harder.For real counter-attacking you only have to look back to the recent Villa game when, at 2-1 to them, we lost the ball in their penalty area. Four passes later the ball was in the back of our net, with the scorer being one of FIVE Villa players in our penalty area. With our defence structurally weak. But we - as Parma admits - just don''t do that kind of counter-attack. Because? Because we are scared of a counter-counter-attack.4) And the other flaw in the plan. I have made this point before but will repeat it. Hughton''s idea, as explained by Parma, is reminiscent of what Inter Milan did under Helenio Herrera in the 1960s. To be essentially defensive, to be virtually impossible to score against, and to win games with one goal.Various problems with that. Firstly, Herrera was a Machiavellian-genius coach, and Hughton is not. Secondly, Inter WERE virtually impossible to score against, and we are not. They could successfully repeat their chosen tactics and we cannot. Thirdly, Inter, when they did attack, attacked with some pace amd width on both flanks, through Jair and Facchetti, and had a near-genius playmaker in Mazzola. Which also we lack.In other words Inter could, most of the time, implement their game plan. Because they were good and had the players. Usually (until they met the Celtic hordes) they were in control of circumstances.But, as Parma effectively admits at the end, if you are not always in control of circumstances -and Norwich City under Hughton often are not - then the strategy is likely to come unstuck. It is essentially based on not conceding, on not making defensive mistake. But we do screw up. Better teams than us do. Most teams do. "It is an...approach that (almost) deliberately ignores circumstance." Quite. As the stark, unspun figures (with last season''s in brackets)  demonstrate:Goals scored per game: 0.75 (1.0789).Goals conceded per game: 1.517 (1.526).We are as near as dammit letting in as many goals as last season (to blame individual error as some kind of aberration is to miss the point) and scoring significantly fewer. In practice Hughton''s decision to emasculate the attack is based on the absurdly optimistic assumpton that the defence will never make a mistake. Of course it will. And has. Hughton is indeed ignoring circumstance.We may stay up (I have made a small wager that we will) but - as Parma explains it -  Hughton''s strategy has an awfully large flaw running through it.

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As history has proven, defensive football CAN be effective - but only if the opposition don''t have enough quality and guile to deal with it.Teams like Herrera''s Inter, or Rocco''s Milan managed to play ''Catenaccio'' to great success for a few years, but came totally unstuck against more focused attacking sides (such as Michel''s ''Total Football'' Ajax).As Purple correctly points out - we don''t have our own Mazzola to inspire the attacking play (and anyone who compares Wes to him should be shot), and even Olsson who''s probably been one of our best players this season, can''t hold a candle to the likes of Fachetti, who was a integral part of how Inter attacked (before then defending for the rest of the game).Chelsea showed that slower defensive play can work (as they did against Bayern), similarly the Inter side under Mourinho totally stifled Barca''s "tika-taka'', but bear in mind that both of these teams had world class players whilst still holding the capability to attack quickly and effectively if they wanted - we don''t.We all too often have a lack of creative quality in the centre of midfield, a lone striker who''s simply not suited to a target man role (be this Hooper or RVW), wingers and full backs who aren''t slow (but are told to slow play down), and defenders who are decent overall but have been guilty of individual costly errors (part of which is down to the amount of pressure we allow ourselves to be put under). The whole system simply doesn''t work with the players we have at our disposal, and in truth Hughton would have done FAR better at somewhere like Stoke than he would here.I have no doubt that Hughton has a good understanding of the game and particularly how to coach the players in the methods he wants to use, the problem is that he appears utterly blind to the situation that it''s NOT working, that the players DON''T like playing this way, and in many cases he''s completely and disgracefully misusing the talent available (RVW being the most obvious).History at best will see him as a nice guy who just about managed to keep us up DESPITE the god awful football on display, at worst it will see him as a narrow-minded, inflexible defender, who robbed a team full of self-confidence and belief and replaced it with rote, defensive displays which jarred the fans and sent the club backwards instead of forwards...

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If he comfortably keeps us up for a second season, then I''d agree that history will generally look on his time here in a favourable light.If he doesn''t, then despite having the biggest transfer budget ever given to a Norwich manager , the fact will be that his controversial brand of football was a failure, and in football, failure is not looked on kindly.Simple as that, really?

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Some really good points on here.  Some of the criticism Hughton gets is understandable because of the way he wants to play is not working well enough - yet - but he is restricted because of the quality of the creative players to play his way.   It justifies the view that the development is a long haul and that time is needed to get to the position where this style of play works at its best - in other words it takes time and money to get the right quality of players in sufficient numbers. 

Football is not a cut and dried process - it doesn''t just happen - and if we can get three or four players in who can help us get the right balance to get this system to work better and more consistently, we will get the results, the goals - and we as fans will he much happier. 

It does require patience on our part and that is difficult when things aren''t working as well as we''d like, but for me the bottom line is staying in this league so we can kick on again next season, get those extra players in and see the success of this system come to fruition. 

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One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.

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[quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game. Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem. This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism. This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome" Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

 

This.

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Hughton apologist alert. Will never be able to play this way with our best defender from last year constantly losing concentration and making mistakes that are costing us dear.

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[quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.

Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.     

The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad. 

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[quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.

Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.     

The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad. 

[/quote]The quote was mine, and it you have the meaning correct.

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[quote user="morty"][quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.  Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.      The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad.  [/quote]The quote was mine, and it you have the meaning correct.[/quote]

Its not clear who you mean is correct, Morty,  Brienne or me?

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[quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="morty"][quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.  Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.      The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad.  [/quote]The quote was mine, and it you have the meaning correct.[/quote]

Its not clear who you mean is correct, Morty,  Brienne or me?

[/quote]You.Apologies for vagueness, I haven''t finished my first coffee yet.

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[quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game. Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem. This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism. This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome" Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]


That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.


Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.     


The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad. 


[/quote]

 

Agreed Troll, proven for failure.

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[quote user="Jimbo Canary"]

[quote user="lake district canary"]The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad.  [/quote]

Agreed Troll, proven for failure.

[/quote]

Your disrespect does you no credit.   The system is a proven one by many clubs. We are trying to make it work for us.

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[quote user="lake district canary"][quote user="Brienne"]One trick pony with no ideas outside his box, if it dont work unable to change philosophy or react to immediate changes in a game.

Lack of ability to change something that doesnt work is a real real problem.

This inflexibility is so obvious and yet apparantly accepted by some with little critisism.

This was summed up for me by a post from a regular contributor to the board "but lets face it as soon as Stoke went down to 10 men there was only going to be one outcome"

Thats where we are, a recognition and almost acceptance by some that this is all we can expect, that really is not good enough.[/quote]

That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop.   The point was that if they had kept 11 on the field it would have been easier to find gaps, not that we had accepted a draw.

Also, you say that some of us are almost accepting of the situation is not strictly true.   Any apparent acceptance is only because what we see is an ongoing development of a system that at its best will provide the balanced football team we all want to see.  I would argue that the four match spell from Cardiff away to Spurs at home is more like what we should expect week in week out.  The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.     

The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad. 

[/quote]You fail to grasp the point (although the contradiction at the end suggests you are not entirely missing it). The system, as Parma explains it, is not intended to score many goals. It isn''t meant to create loads of chances. Which would be fine if we had a genius goalscorere. If we had  an in-form van Persie or an Ibrahimovic. But we do not (as you say for that the squad would need to be better) so we will not take a high proportion of the few chances that get created.What you descrbed as "the only thing missing", as if it is some kind of aberration, is in fact something that by definition will normally be missing. Look at the statistics. We are on course to score only 29 goals this season, That would be fewer than the lowest total in the Premier League last season, which was QPR''s 30 goals. And they finished rock bottom.

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="lake district canary"]The only thing that was missing from those games was one or two more goals - and that is just down to strikers finishing their chances.      The system is a proven one - but it needs the players to implement it well enough - and that needs confidence and more depth in the squad.  [/quote]You fail to grasp the point (although the contradiction at the end suggests you are not entirely missing it). The system, as Parma explains it, is not intended to score many goals. It isn''t meant to create loads of chances. Which would be fine if we had a genius goalscorere. If we had  an in-form van Persie or an Ibrahimovic. But we do not (as you say for that the squad would need to be better) so we will not take a high proportion of the few chances that get created.What you descrbed as "the only thing missing", as if it is some kind of aberration, is in fact something that by definition will normally be missing. Look at the statistics. We are on course to score only 29 goals this season, That would be fewer than the lowest total in the Premier League last season, which was QPR''s 30 goals. And they finished rock bottom.[/quote]

I think I have grasped the point.  What I was trying to convey was that if we get that quality striker (or if the ones we have find their scoring boots) we would be scoring the goals sufficient to win matches.   The system requires a standard of player that in the past we haven''t been able to afford.  If we stay up and are able to upgrade further, a Benteke quality player or two is what we need - or as I say - the ones we have start delivering.

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[quote user="lharman7"]Wow, the idea of ''Total Football'' at Carrow Road! Lol, some of you really do make me laugh![/quote]

How old are you?  If you remember the late 1980''s you will remember the quality of football was just what you describe - total football - and it led to one of our best achievements ever in the early 90''s.   Imo what we are trying to do is build a way of playing that is sustainable and effective. It is obvious we are not there yet, but that does not mean we should stop trying.

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[quote user="lake district canary"]   Imo what we are trying to do is build a way of playing that is sustainable and effective. It is obvious we are not there yet, but that does not mean we should stop trying.

[/quote]Candidate for understatement of the year, that, Lakey.OK....you''ve raised this issue, so what , precisely, would be your remedy so that our efforts would be more successful, and we would be ''there''. ?

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How many of our strikers have failled under Hughton?

All of them is the answer.

Is there a clue there, just somewhere?

Yes is the answer!

Why is it so hard for people like LDC to see this?

....................... is the answer!

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LDC

"That quote was an indication that Stoke were going to bring everyone back and shut up shop."

Thats exacetly how I interpreted it as well and it illustrates exactly what i mean about being unable to adjust to even a most obvious change in the game.

We all knew that we had no chance of breaking down 10 men because the players do not know how to do it or had been given instructions which were not wrong tactically.We constantly went down the middle and messed about on the edge of the 18 yard box. We should have a strategy to deal with these situations but there was nothing. What makes it so bad is we all know but nothing changes.

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[quote user="lake district canary"]What I was trying to convey was that if we get that quality striker (or if the ones we have find their scoring boots) we would be scoring the goals sufficient to win matches.   The system requires a standard of player that in the past we haven''t been able to afford.  If we stay up and are able to upgrade further, a Benteke quality player or two is what we need - or as I say - the ones we have start delivering.[/quote]Hang on a second.It''s been pretty clear since Hughton took over that he''s had a specific game plan and style of play in mind, and knowing his he went out and spent the money on RVW, Hooper and Elmander - none of whom fit into this style of play ffs!Both Hooper and RVW are more than capable strikers who could easily hit double figures each season - if they are allowed to play to their strengths, and not hobbled in the ridiculous roles that Hughton keeps asking them to.As Brienne points out (and I myself have said before on a number of occasions), it''s no coincidence that every single striker we''ve had under Hughton has either dropped their performance or failed to find it to begin with! Holt said he hated the system and that it affected his goal tally, Moro clearly wasn''t happy, and now more players in RVW and Hooper who''ve scored freely before joining us are having problems as well. When so many strikers are struggling to score despite performing well beforehand it''s a clear indication that it''s the manager and their system that''s at fault, NOT the players skill/ability levels...

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What I dont understand is why we dont play quick counter-attacking football when we have the players to do it. Both Olsson and Redmond have serious pace. Play Olsson at left midfield and Redmond at right midfield we have two players who can break at pace and if not find the net themselves, play in RvW, which, as said on another thread is his main strength. If Hughton wants a resiliant well drilled defensive unit, then thats fine, have a a defensive unit (back four and central three) who soak up play, but release the ball as soon as it is won to the two players capable of exploiting the space behind their defence, who have presumably pushed up. I cant imagine there would be too many defenders who would fancy a race with Olsson or Redmond, but at the moment our wingers are too shacked by defensive responsibility. When we have a player like Redmond in particular, not trying to get him running in one on one outpacing the defenders seems madness, it seems the obvious way to capitalise on the defensive solidity you hope to achieve, whilst also worrying the defence about pushing up, thus taking some pressure off our own defence. But Hughton seems to hope that the ball will go in on its own as long as the back door is shut. Redmond could be sensational if used properly, but we make him ineffective for the opposition without them having to

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I will try and stay OT, I can’t read all of it as I will lose the will to live, but I will take the headline as clear.

 

That CH will be smiled upon in future days is a bold statement. I suggest that he will ONLY if we stay and up, and even then, I’m not totally certain that CH will be our manager next year.  

 

The technical attributes of the employed system do not, stand up to much scrutiny. A fear , as has been mentioned to be out of shape in transition / turnover still prevails. This fear leads to us having few chances in positive areas of the pitch – the areas where statistically you have more chance of scoring. These chances are created in the penalty area .

 

The fear leads to narrow , space denying positions being taken up. A back four, at least two protecting midfield players, Snodgrass being called inside with a hope that this leaves space for the right back to get forward.  

 

Passes are short. Many passes are not forward. Midfield players are not encouraged to break forward even when we win possession, so no longer passes are available. Our forward player is encouraged to move away from central positions presumably so that the number 10 player can invade the space left.

 

But our forward players are isolated. It happens every week. And it must be so, because of the paucity of chances these players have.

 

Under this system, the most obvious example was Holt, and how his effectiveness apparently became less. We can blame his age for that if we must.. But Hooper? RVW? Pilkington? Why have they scored so few goals?

 

But still we leak goals. Every week we see an “individual error” . How do we explain this? Is it that the players again become worse than at other stages of their  career, or does the system invite other teams to play in our half, in front of our retreating back 4/6/8 ? We can’t point to the one chance our system gave Stoke from which they scored, but the 4 in the first 30 minutes.  

 

I thought saturday was a dire performance. No tempo, few chances, players looking drilled to the point of despair. A goal from a deadball, an opposition that should of been 3 up at half time .

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Good post GPD. Particularly take your point about players being drilled to dispair, it used to be called over coaching, results in the loss of ability to play whats in front of you, the making of clever and intuitive decisions is replaced by fear. Has been evident ever since Hughton took over and has crept through the squad like a terminal disease, so sad to witness players losing or lacking the confidence to acces their inate skill set.

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