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verlaine1979
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We're on target to score 35 league goals this season if we maintain current form (and since we haven't looked like spanking anyone since the WH and Burnley games, there's no guarantee our scoring rate wont actually get worse instead of getting better.) We created three decent chances today and took none of them, but failed to lay a glove on either Liverpool or Chelsea, and only sneaked one against City with a gift. Likewise we struggled to create against Hull and failed to press our advantage against Everton. Some will say we just need a clinical striker, while I think the problem lies in the speed and bravery of our build up, but surely either way, nobody can look at 35 goals and feel confident that there's no chance we'll get sucked into a scrap at the bottom end of the table?

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If you compare the goals to last season, the top scorers look like:

Pelle - 11

Mane - 11

Long - 10

 

So far we have:

Austin - 6 (PL only)

Redmond - 3

Long - 0

 

So if we just take 1-for-1 replacements, Austin looks like he should beat Pelle's production hopefully getting 15+ goals (they are roughly the same type of player)

Redmond is falling behind Mane's production, although he's still within striking distance. Long is way off.

 

So overall the issue is where do Long's 10 goals come from? I think we need to play Long and get him going, because I see no other outlet for that many goals. I think Boufal will add some, but that will make up for the rest of the midfield's lack of scoring. I also think Austin getting to 15 or so will make up for Redmonds Mane production gap. I would play Long, Austin, and Redmond upfront, and always keep Boufal in the midfield somewhere. To me Boufal is the Mane replacement, due to his ability to create and I do expect him to score some. A midfield of Tadic, Boufal, Romeu, and Davis/ Hojberg works for me and should add some attacking. Then we have Sims, McQueen, JWP, and others to fill in.

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If you compare the goals to last season, the top scorers look like:

Pelle - 11

Mane - 11

Long - 10

 

So far we have:

Austin - 6 (PL only)

Redmond - 3

Long - 0

 

So if we just take 1-for-1 replacements, Austin looks like he should beat Pelle's production hopefully getting 15+ goals (they are roughly the same type of player)

Redmond is falling behind Mane's production, although he's still within striking distance. Long is way off.

 

So overall the issue is where do Long's 10 goals come from? I think we need to play Long and get him going, because I see no other outlet for that many goals. I think Boufal will add some, but that will make up for the rest of the midfield's lack of scoring. I also think Austin getting to 15 or so will make up for Redmonds Mane production gap. I would play Long, Austin, and Redmond upfront, and always keep Boufal in the midfield somewhere. To me Boufal is the Mane replacement, due to his ability to create and I do expect him to score some. A midfield of Tadic, Boufal, Romeu, and Davis/ Hojberg works for me and should add some attacking. Then we have Sims, McQueen, JWP, and others to fill in.

Redmond has already scored as many as Mane did for the whole of the first half of the season last year.

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Yeah I think you have got it right and the issue is Long being way off his game. He can be so much better than anything we have seen from him this season.

 

Redmond is doing fine so far, he has good spells and quieter spells in every match but so did Mane in the early days. Charlie is going to pitch in. We really need our other players to start contributing more to the goals department. So many decent chances going wide that you'd expect a professional midfielder in most other teams to bury. Although what the solution to that problem is I have no idea.

Edited by Mallagroth
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Yeah I think you have got it right and the issue is Long being way off his game. He can be so much better than anything we have seen from him this season.

 

Redmond is doing fine so far, he has good spells and quieter spells in every match but so did Mane in the early days. Charlie is going to pitch in. We really need our other players to start contributing more to the goals department. So many decent chances going wide that you'd expect a professional midfielder in most other teams to bury. Although what the solution to that problem is I have no idea.

 

Long is off his game but the rotation system is undermining players like him who need a good long run to find their form. (Excuse the pun)

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Long is off his game but the rotation system is undermining players like him who need a good long run to find their form. (Excuse the pun)

 

In Long's case I absolutely agree with this. At some point put Long and Austin out there and just leave them alone. If we need goals that's where they are going to come from upfront. If Long picks it up we should be fine, but he needs to be on the pitch. The others will pitch in as they can.

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We can get goals against teams who come to play, the better teams. We struggle to break teams down who have all players behind the ball. Boefal does well with his tricks but he can't get past 6 players. We cross and cross but rarely have the height or skill to beat defenders in the air with the exception of Long and we can't seem to find Austin's head.

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The happy clappys won't like it but last seasons side would destroy this seasons side.

We're only 7 points adrift of where last season's team were in January, with 6 games to spare. Based on that, I would say last season's team and this season's are fairly evenly matched overall. (I may reassess that of course if we don't get 2 wins and a draw out of the next 6 games :) )

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In Long's case I absolutely agree with this. At some point put Long and Austin out there and just leave them alone. If we need goals that's where they are going to come from upfront. If Long picks it up we should be fine, but he needs to be on the pitch. The others will pitch in as they can.

 

Long is an average player. Playing him and Austin in Puel's formation is not a recipe for success, as proven earlier this season. Long struggles out on the wing with the ball played to feet just as he did to an extent under Koeman. He needs to be played centrally with the ball played early and more directly but that's difficult with Austin taking up a similar position and our possession-based philosophy.

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You must have an incredibly short memory. It was last season's team which got us into the group stages of the Europa League.

 

What are you talking about last season we got knocked out by Midtjylland in the play off round, they were brilliant in the league last season and qualified for the EL but this season team has gone one stage further in the EL and got into the group stage and I have loved being in It.

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What are you talking about last season we got knocked out by Midtjylland in the play off round, they were brilliant in the league last season and qualified for the EL but this season team has gone one stage further in the EL and got into the group stage and I have loved being in It.

Er, we qualified automatically for the group stages because last season's team finished sixth.

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You must have an incredibly short memory. It was last season's team which got us into the group stages of the Europa League.

 

Having epically screwed up their first attempt followed by crashing out of the league cup!

 

Last seasons side against this seasons side is a close run thing and anyone saying otherwise is clearly deluded the margins in football are tiny and I really wouldn't use totemhams transfer policy as a guide to a players quality signings at the lane tend to be a little hit and miss!

 

Given our resources, European commitments and increased focus on the league cup I think we are having a pretty decent season and I'd happily take mid table if we give both cups and the europa a real go this is the best spell the club has had in years and we should be putting some silverware in the cabinet so when things aren't so good which one day they won't be we have something to look back on!

 

People seem to forget the years we spent scrapping survival or wallowing in lower league obscurity enjoy this spell while it lasts all football clubs rise and fall and currently we are riding the crest!

Edited by a1ex2001
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Having epically screwed up their first attempt followed by crashing out of the league cup!

 

Last seasons side against this seasons side is a close run thing and anyone saying otherwise is clearly deluded the margins in football are tiny and I really wouldn't use totemhams transfer policy as a guide to a players quality signings at the lane tend to be a little hit and miss!

 

Given our resources, European commitments and increased focus on the league cup I think we are having a pretty decent season and I'd happily take mid table if we give both cups and the europa a real go this is the best spell the club has had in years and we should be putting some silverware in the cabinet so when things aren't so good which one day they won't be we have something to look back on!

 

People seem to forget the years we spent scrapping survival or wallowing in lower league obscurity enjoy this spell while it lasts all football clubs rise and fall and currently we are riding the crest!

That is fine. But why are we so shyt going forwards in attack?

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If you compare the goals to last season, the top scorers look like:

Pelle - 11

Mane - 11

Long - 10

 

So far we have:

Austin - 6 (PL only)

Redmond - 3

Long - 0

 

So if we just take 1-for-1 replacements, Austin looks like he should beat Pelle's production hopefully getting 15+ goals (they are roughly the same type of player)

Redmond is falling behind Mane's production, although he's still within striking distance. Long is way off.

 

So overall the issue is where do Long's 10 goals come from? I think we need to play Long and get him going, because I see no other outlet for that many goals. I think Boufal will add some, but that will make up for the rest of the midfield's lack of scoring. I also think Austin getting to 15 or so will make up for Redmonds Mane production gap. I would play Long, Austin, and Redmond upfront, and always keep Boufal in the midfield somewhere. To me Boufal is the Mane replacement, due to his ability to create and I do expect him to score some. A midfield of Tadic, Boufal, Romeu, and Davis/ Hojberg works for me and should add some attacking. Then we have Sims, McQueen, JWP, and others to fill in.

 

Mane and Pelle didn't only play in league games last season. Mane was our top scorer last season with 15 goals followed by Pelle with 14.

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Let's face it with the 'right' formation we have a pretty decent squad, at the moment it's to square pegs round holes, coupled with several out if form players possibly not getting to grips with Puels system, training methods, A new guy could come in and completely change the way we are but with same squad. I don't rate Puel but I guess he has to do his best with Les's purchases

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Mane and Pelle didn't only play in league games last season. Mane was our top scorer last season with 15 goals followed by Pelle with 14.

 

I was just trying to do an Apples to apples comparison, because once you get into other games the teams played an uneven amount. If we include all games Austin has 9 already, Boufal has 1, and REdmond I believe has 4 (but I'd need to check)e

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You must have an incredibly short memory. It was last season's team which got us into the group stages of the Europa League.

 

Er, we qualified automatically for the group stages because last season's team finished sixth.

 

Of course, I had a bit a Fraser Forster moment there. Still it remains to be seen if this years team worse than last years.

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It seems to me in midfield and attack, apart from Long, Romeu, Reed, Austin and Hojbjerg there is a lack of aggression and tempo. Redmond, Boufal, JWP, Davis, Tadic and Clasie slow the tempo. It's all very well having two thirds possession but if it's mainly in our own half in front of eleven opponents it invariably ends up being passed back to the goalkeeper and half the time punted up field. Boufal shows signs of being good on the ball but that needs to be in the opponents final third. Sims looks very natural with a real grasp of running the channels.

 

If we are to score more goals other than dead ball situations we have to pressure the ball in our half and pass it up to the forwards quickly and then get the midfield players up in support immediately. The midfielders plus especially Redmond, Tadic and Boufal don't attempt to rapidly get into the six yd box mostly watching Austin or Long rather than getting in amongst the defenders.We get our best results with less than 40% possession often losing with 70% possession or not scoring. We need to speed up our whole game when we have the ball. I'm not advocating lumping it onto the heads of big defenders, rather fast movement and delivery of the ball into the path of our runners early enough to avoid running offside and exploit the maximum space behind defenders.

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It seems to me in midfield and attack, apart from Long, Romeu, Reed, Austin and Hojbjerg there is a lack of aggression and tempo. Redmond, Boufal, JWP, Davis, Tadic and Clasie slow the tempo. It's all very well having two thirds possession but if it's mainly in our own half in front of eleven opponents it invariably ends up being passed back to the goalkeeper and half the time punted up field. Boufal shows signs of being good on the ball but that needs to be in the opponents final third. Sims looks very natural with a real grasp of running the channels.

 

If we are to score more goals other than dead ball situations we have to pressure the ball in our half and pass it up to the forwards quickly and then get the midfield players up in support immediately. The midfielders plus especially Redmond, Tadic and Boufal don't attempt to rapidly get into the six yd box mostly watching Austin or Long rather than getting in amongst the defenders.We get our best results with less than 40% possession often losing with 70% possession or not scoring. We need to speed up our whole game when we have the ball. I'm not advocating lumping it onto the heads of big defenders, rather fast movement and delivery of the ball into the path of our runners early enough to avoid running offside and exploit the maximum space behind defenders.

 

I've thought for a couple of seasons that we're weak in transition. Romeu is more likely to drive forward from midfield than any of our other midfielders (Hoj does sometimes, though I suspect VVD makes more runs towards the opposition penalty area than most of our midfield in the course of a game). Because our midfield prefer to pass rather than run, their movement also suffers - for a team that passes an awful lot, we play very few one-twos, because its not in most of our midfield's nature to keep running forward after laying off, but rather than retreat back to space in order to guarantee the high percentage retention pass.

 

No movement & no midfielders backing up the striker in the box = no (or very few) goals.

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I've thought for a couple of seasons that we're weak in transition. Romeu is more likely to drive forward from midfield than any of our other midfielders (Hoj does sometimes, though I suspect VVD makes more runs towards the opposition penalty area than most of our midfield in the course of a game). Because our midfield prefer to pass rather than run, their movement also suffers - for a team that passes an awful lot, we play very few one-twos, because its not in most of our midfield's nature to keep running forward after laying off, but rather than retreat back to space in order to guarantee the high percentage retention pass.

 

No movement & no midfielders backing up the striker in the box = no (or very few) goals.

 

That's a fact.

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