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Thread: Back Four vs Back Five

  1. #1

    Default Back Four vs Back Five

    Is there an argument that a back four is the way to go as it means only needing to select two out of our pool of mediocre CBs?

    Or, because they aren't individually very good does the safety in numbers help, despite meaning an extra one is on the pitch?

    A back four would also mean we could pick Romeu, Hojbjerg and JWP in the same team, and crucially, wouldn't have JWP as one of two central midfielders - which has worked in his entire career.

    Big decisions for Ralph as the five defenders has been his preferred approach, but why pick one more CB than we need to?

  2. #2

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    Has to be 4 at the back. Bednarek or yoshida with the new guy and Bertrand and Valery or soares.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by hypochondriac View Post
    Has to be 4 at the back. Bednarek or yoshida with the new guy and Bertrand and Valery or soares.
    The problem with a back four is you need a commanding centre back and a fast one. You also need a good covering defensive midfielder which we don’t have.
    He goes 5 sometimes because he knows how **** our back four are.

  4. #4

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    Why play 3 sh*t centre halves and 1 average midfielder when we can play 2 and 2 average midfielders?

    Said a few times a decent defensive midfielder is just as important as a decent centre back

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    5 at the back vs Burnley takes me back to Puel days.

    Ralph ****ed up yesterday and will resolve it.

    #haunting

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilchards View Post
    The problem with a back four is you need a commanding centre back and a fast one. You also need a good covering defensive midfielder which we don’t have.
    He goes 5 sometimes because he knows how **** our back four are.
    One of the big problems with the back of yesterday is they ‘jocky’ with attackers and don’t engage the ball.....
    This could be coached but isn’t here for some unknown reason. Having said that we are clearly being over run in midfield which, as the game progresses means we run out of puff and don’t control the game...
    Again this really Ralph’s department so he now needs to step up to the plate..

  7. #7

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    I thought at the Koln game we were lacking in midfield and Koln actually created some decent chances which should have resulted in a goal.

    Danny Ings has not started off this season too well and if Ralph persists with 3 central defenders, who looked all at sea, at times then I suggest midfield needs to be bolstered to 3 with only 2 upfront.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    5 at the back vs Burnley takes me back to Puel days.

    Ralph ****ed up yesterday and will resolve it.

    #haunting
    This is a very lazy comment on so many levels.

    Firstly Puel achieved good away results, it was home form that cost him his job. Secondly he always played a back four, who were well drilled (look at the goals conceded stats) and had at least three and sometimes four midfielders initially in a diamond before going to 4231.

    I don’t think there is a perfect formation, Chelsea won the title under Conte playing 343 which was really how we were set up yesterday. It’s the quality of defending that was so poor at Burnley, not so much the formation, albeit I do think that when you have someone as athletic as Kante he can help cover the gaps that just two central midfielders face. I don’t think we have anyone that good

  9. #9

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    well five at the back still sees us leak goals so you might as well try four, it cant be any worse and if it frees up JWP from a deep midfield role then all the better.

  10. #10

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    Think we should just go for a back 10 to be honest.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    This is a very lazy comment on so many levels.

    Firstly Puel achieved good away results, it was home form that cost him his job. Secondly he always played a back four, who were well drilled (look at the goals conceded stats) and had at least three and sometimes four midfielders initially in a diamond before going to 4231.

    I don’t think there is a perfect formation, Chelsea won the title under Conte playing 343 which was really how we were set up yesterday. It’s the quality of defending that was so poor at Burnley, not so much the formation, albeit I do think that when you have someone as athletic as Kante he can help cover the gaps that just two central midfielders face. I don’t think we have anyone that good
    He knows that, best not to bite in future.

  12. #12

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    Either will work if they communicate well and cover each other. Otherwise it’s chaos, like yesterday.

  13. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester View Post
    This is a very lazy comment on so many levels.

    Firstly Puel achieved good away results, it was home form that cost him his job. Secondly he always played a back four, who were well drilled (look at the goals conceded stats) and had at least three and sometimes four midfielders initially in a diamond before going to 4231.

    I don’t think there is a perfect formation, Chelsea won the title under Conte playing 343 which was really how we were set up yesterday. It’s the quality of defending that was so poor at Burnley, not so much the formation, albeit I do think that when you have someone as athletic as Kante he can help cover the gaps that just two central midfielders face. I don’t think we have anyone that good
    Didn't specially mean formation. Meant more the approach of setting up very defensively / negatively. We had this week in week out with Puel

    I think just now we can all agree that our back 5 or 4 is pretty weak? So for me our best form of defense is attack just now.

    That was Ralph's M.O. I thought? High press, good quick passing, emphasis on attacking sides? We saw non of that yesterday

    If you can't apply that against Burnley then we will struggle.

  14. #14

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    5 at the back, or 3 plus 2 wing backs if you like, leaves us open to the diagonal ball in behind the wing back. Personally, I'd rather see our full backs defend first and attack second; let the wingers we have attack. The 3 at the back are left covering the whole width of the penalty area, and when the opponent plays 2 up front it's easy to get in between the gaps; no one seems to know who's marking who. One of the goals yesterday saw a simple ball in and yet out of our 3 cbs, only 1 was marking!

    I think, and I hope, that when we have the players at his disposal, Ralph will go with a flat back 4, 2 cm's, 2 wingers, and 2 up front, or 1 deep and one forward; 42211 if you like.

    Could also play 4141, with Romeu a cdm sitting deep in front of the 2 cbs, Hojbjerg and JWP in front, Redmond and Djenepo/Boufal/Ings wide and Adams up front??
    Last edited by Webby; 11-08-2019 at 01:07 PM.

  15. Default

    Going with a back four has been terrible for us every time we have tried it with the current defenders we have at the club. Danso may be good enough to play with Yoshida in a back four, I have absolutely no idea as I don't know enough about him.

    We achieved much better results with Ralph when using a back 3/5 last season, when those defenders included Yoshida and when Stephens didn't play. If we had been able to consistently play that formation and lineup under Ralph for an entire season we would have probably ended up somewhere comfortably midtable.

    We dropped the back 3/5 under Hughes after half a game last season and then went on a huge losing/drawing run with a back four.

    It's not just about the formation, its about who plays in it. I am still unsure that we have the quality in the team to play four at the back.

  16. #16

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    not that long ago our defence was one of the very best in Europe.

    those were the days

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Didn't specially mean formation. Meant more the approach of setting up very defensively / negatively. We had this week in week out with Puel

    I think just now we can all agree that our back 5 or 4 is pretty weak? So for me our best form of defense is attack just now.

    That was Ralph's M.O. I thought? High press, good quick passing, emphasis on attacking sides? We saw non of that yesterday

    If you can't apply that against Burnley then we will struggle.
    Burnley are one of the hardest teams to press because they are happy to be direct and you have little opportunity to actually press.

    Whilst clearly Liverpool are miles better rhan Burnley, they will play in a style that allows us to press and really the majority of PL sides do, apart from Burnley and probably at times Watford, who also have big, physical strikers to look for.

    Yesterday was a horror show, but our pressing game will match up better against most other opponents than it does Burnley.

  18. Default

    Calum Chambers started for Arsenal today.

    Fonte starting for Lille.

    VVD ballon d'or?

    It's sad seeing the "defecters watch" thread not being bounced daily anymore

  19. #19

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    Has to be a back 4. We have tried the back 5 for so long now and it just doesn't work.
    We need more bodies up the pitch to help keep the ball and start more attacks.

  20. Default

    Textbook

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusic View Post
    Burnley are one of the hardest teams to press because they are happy to be direct and you have little opportunity to actually press.

    Whilst clearly Liverpool are miles better rhan Burnley, they will play in a style that allows us to press and really the majority of PL sides do, apart from Burnley and probably at times Watford, who also have big, physical strikers to look for.

    Yesterday was a horror show, but our pressing game will match up better against most other opponents than it does Burnley.
    Agree with this. Add yesterday’s weather into the equation too and I think that explains why we were so bad.

    No need to panic (unless the year turns out to extremely rainy and windy).

  22. #22

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    4-1-4-1 for me with OR sitting in front of the 4 and Adams up top

  23. Default

    After watching Maguire's United debut I have to conclude that Stephen's isn't better than Maguire.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusic View Post
    Burnley are one of the hardest teams to press because they are happy to be direct and you have little opportunity to actually press.

    Whilst clearly Liverpool are miles better rhan Burnley, they will play in a style that allows us to press and really the majority of PL sides do, apart from Burnley and probably at times Watford, who also have big, physical strikers to look for.

    Yesterday was a horror show, but our pressing game will match up better against most other opponents than it does Burnley.
    Agree x 2
    Early days and all that.....

  25. #25

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    Wasn't the rule under Koeman that we would play four at the back against one forward and three at the back against two forwards, and that generally worked.

  26. #26

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    I think the problem is that it’s not as simple as working out who are 2 or 3 best centre halves are and picking them. It’s about the best combination.

    Ralph mentioned that he likes Stephens because ‘he’s a talker’. I assume that’s why he always picks one of Yoshida or Stephens.

    I think we need our 2 or 3 centre halves to be a combination of an organiser, a good passer, a big strong tackler/header and someone quick.

    Ideally we’ll get 2 players who encompass all of these qualities (like Claus & Killer or Fonte & Lovren - or Van D*** on his own), but otherwise we need 3.

    In the longer-term, I hope that a Bednarek Danso combination will become the answer.

  27. Default

    We need to press just like Heisengow Face is doing in this thread, high energy...relentless!

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Didn't specially mean formation. Meant more the approach of setting up very defensively / negatively. We had this week in week out with Puel

    I think just now we can all agree that our back 5 or 4 is pretty weak? So for me our best form of defense is attack just now.

    That was Ralph's M.O. I thought? High press, good quick passing, emphasis on attacking sides? We saw non of that yesterday

    If you can't apply that against Burnley then we will struggle.
    We saw none of that yesterday because Burnley give us no chance to press, just hoofed the ball upfield as early as possible.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  29. #29

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    No point playing five at the back if we're just going to haemorrhage goals anyway - all we're actually succeeding in doing is weakening our attacking options.

    Only Yoshida and (supposedly) Danso can run, and of the rest only Bednarek is s somewhat competent defender periodically. The manager needs to settle on a pairing from those three and run with it. Bolster the midfield instead. Sit Romeu in front with a limited holding role.

    Vestergaard and Stephens are a write off.

    Sent from my F3311 using Tapatalk

  30. #30

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    Valery - Bednarek - Danso - Bertrand
    Romeu - Hojbjerg

    Has to be.

  31. #31

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    By going with five instead of four, the implication is that we're giving up more of the ball in the middle to improve our 'last line of defence', especially if it is a 5-3-2 (not a 5-4-1). Against Burnley that is perhaps understandable, because they are a side known for bypassing the middle anyway (assuming the reasoning is based on thwarting the opposition).

    With three CBs, there are certain things you would expect to see less of due to the extra man for either marking or covering - two obvious examples are unmarked attackers from crosses and strikers getting behind the defence and having a clear run on goal.

    Unfortunately yesterday it seems the goals came from these exact situations, so you have to wonder what the point is if we're still going to give away chances like that. Of course it could be due to personnel too, I can't believe Stephens still gets a game - he seems to be in last chance saloon (according to most of the fans at every week!

  32. #32

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    Personally i’d Go with whichever depending on opposition.
    Against Burnley I thought a4 would be better and definitely 4 is needed against Liverpool.

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon3737 View Post
    Ralph mentioned that he likes Stephens because ‘he’s a talker’.
    As in "sorry i slipped ass over tit boss", "sorry i didnt see their striker before i passed it to him boss", "sorry i missed that header boss" etc etc

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shroppie View Post
    We saw none of that yesterday because Burnley give us no chance to press, just hoofed the ball upfield as early as possible.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
    So did we to be fair; I don't remember a short goal kick.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baird of the land View Post
    Personally i’d Go with whichever depending on opposition.
    Against Burnley I thought a4 would be better and definitely 4 is needed against Liverpool.
    Just out of interest, why would a 4 be good against Burnley AND Liverpool? Aren't they completely opposite in terms of how they play? Fair enough if you think 4 is always better, but if you're going to change it from match to match I'm intrigued to know why those two games require a back 4

    I'm not sure a back 5 was the wrong decision against Burnley, but I am a bit perplexed why Stephens was one of the CBs when everyone knows his heading skills are non existent.

  36. #36

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    So out of interest, how many of the other sides are playing similarly to us? We’re not going to pull of a variant of 4-3-3 but it’s so negative. It’s not like we carve out many chances playing like this


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  37. #37

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    We’re not going to do this (but hey it’s a forum!! ��). How about thinking about this differently and deploying Romeu as a sweeper. Tall, good on the ball, leadership, positional sense. Bednarek, Romeu, Danso as a back 3.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snwilliams10 View Post
    We’re not going to do this (but hey it’s a forum!! ��). How about thinking about this differently and deploying Romeu as a sweeper. Tall, good on the ball, leadership, positional sense. Bednarek, Romeu, Danso as a back 3.
    Could work -he played there for Chelsea. But we need an out and out defender rather than someone who’s good on the ball and gives us a bit more flexibility. And he offers little in terms of pace and mobility.

  39. #39

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    Im surprised no one has brought up the possibility of a front sweeper yet. It was all the rage c2012

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