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Summer Transfer Window 2021


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13 minutes ago, The Curse of St Mary's said:

I'm interested to know from others on thoughts as to why we are so bad defensively therefore can we address it in this window?

Some questions I have asked myself to try and figure it out.

Is it Ralph's tactics and in game management the main problem?

Is the root cause being both keepers are very average if not below average? Do we have the worst goalkeepers in the league?

Are the centre backs better than our relegation rivals CB's?

Is the defence lacking protection from midfield therefore a true CdM would help ?

Are the team so scarred from the 0-9 matches that there is a huge psychological barrier involved ?

For me it's a culmination of the all of the above so no quick fix having said that weve had 4 windows since the first 0-9 to try and at least find some solutions. 

 

2 Crap keepers, no leadership, organisation or experience or communication. Centre back and keepers who cannot concentrate for 90 minutes often making basic errors and lapses in concentration. Soft as shit losers mentality.

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18 minutes ago, TWar said:

The two attacking midfielders (Armstrong/Djenepo/Walcott/Redmond/Tella/Ely) are called 10's by Ralph as they often line up more narrow than the strikers/CMs. Last season we would often play with an asymmetric formation of Armstrong centrally as a true 10, Redmond/Djenepo wider as a winger and then have KWP push forward and Bertrand sit back to account for this. Sort of like a 3412. Not sure if the same thing is true this season, in the opening game Walcott and Djenepo played very wide and it looked a lot more like a traditional 442 with overlapping fullbacks. I suspect this change in shape is why Armstrong was benched.

You're talking in riddles mate. 

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12 minutes ago, Turkish said:

You're talking in riddles mate. 

I can see why you'd think that. I'll make it simple for you:

1) 10s are attacking mids who play in the middle

2) Wingers are ones who play wide

3) In a 4222 our attacking mids often play closer to the middle of the pitch vertically than the forwards and midfielders behind them

4) Therefore we call them 10s

5) Last season we often had one wide on the left and the one on the right in the middle, not always though sometimes we did use two "10s" as Ralph says

6) This is called "asymmetric" as the roles of the two attacking mids are not the same (but mirrored)

7) In order to facilitate this, our fullbacks also were asymmetric in that one of them pushed on (on the right to provide the width vacated by our right attacking mid) and one sat deeper, making almost a back three

8 ) Contrary to this, on the weekend both our attacking mids played wider, more like wingers and less like 10's

9) This made our formation a lot more like a 442 (or even a 4231 as Adams played much deeper, see the average position chart at the end of this post)

10) This is likely the reason why KWP and Armstrong saw themselves dropped as we didn't use a 10 and wanted a more conservative fullback.

I hope this helps decode the riddles. Sometimes there is a bit more to football than leadership skills and passion, it has some tactics involved too, and not just on the playstation!

n7xnopw5ooh71.jpg?width=750&auto=webp&s=f971f840ddc569bd9bfbd50cc8842866dc1f83ff

Edited by TWar
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8 minutes ago, TWar said:

I can see why you'd think that. I'll make it simple for you:

1) 10s are attacking mids who play in the middle

2) Wingers are ones who play wide

3) In a 4222 our attacking mids often play closer to the middle of the pitch vertically than the forwards and midfielders behind them

4) Therefore we call them 10s

5) Last season we often had one wide on the left and the one on the right in the middle, not always though sometimes we did use two "10s" as Ralph says

6) This is called "asymmetric" as the roles of the two attacking mids are not the same (but mirrored)

7) In order to facilitate this, our fullbacks also were asymmetric in that one of them pushed on (on the right to provide the width vacated by our right attacking mid) and one sat deeper, making almost a back three

8 ) Contrary to this, on the weekend both our attacking mids played wider, more like wingers and less like 10's

9) This made our formation a lot more like a 442

10) This is likely the reason why KWP and Armstrong saw themselves dropped as we didn't use a 10 and wanted a more conservative fullback.

I hope this helps decode the riddles. Sometimes there is a bit more to football than leadership skills and passion, it has some tactics involved too, and not just on the playstation!

yeah i know mate, i've played football at a decent level. If anyone started going on about asymmetric formations they'd have been laughed out the dressing room. 

 

See the source image
 

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1 minute ago, Turkish said:

yeah i know mate, i've played football at a decent level. If anyone started going on about asymmetric formations they'd have been laughed out the dressing room. 

 

See the source image
 

Alright mate, you tried your best to get it, wouldn't worry any further.

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3 minutes ago, Turkish said:

yeah i know mate, i've played football at a decent level. If anyone started going on about asymmetric formations they'd have been laughed out the dressing room. 

 

See the source image
 

No one laughed at SAF when united used an asymmetric formation and became one of the most successful teams in his time at the club.... 

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7 minutes ago, Mosin said:

No one laughed at SAF when united used an asymmetric formation and became one of the most successful teams in his time at the club.... 

Turkish has probably seen a tonne of asymmetric formations as they've been prevalent for about three decades. He just didn't understand what he was looking at beyond "put the ball in one goal and keep it out the other".

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21 minutes ago, TWar said:

I can see why you'd think that. I'll make it simple for you:

1) 10s are attacking mids who play in the middle

2) Wingers are ones who play wide

3) In a 4222 our attacking mids often play closer to the middle of the pitch vertically than the forwards and midfielders behind them

4) Therefore we call them 10s

5) Last season we often had one wide on the left and the one on the right in the middle, not always though sometimes we did use two "10s" as Ralph says

6) This is called "asymmetric" as the roles of the two attacking mids are not the same (but mirrored)

7) In order to facilitate this, our fullbacks also were asymmetric in that one of them pushed on (on the right to provide the width vacated by our right attacking mid) and one sat deeper, making almost a back three

8 ) Contrary to this, on the weekend both our attacking mids played wider, more like wingers and less like 10's

9) This made our formation a lot more like a 442 (or even a 4231 as Adams played much deeper, see the average position chart at the end of this post)

10) This is likely the reason why KWP and Armstrong saw themselves dropped as we didn't use a 10 and wanted a more conservative fullback.

I hope this helps decode the riddles. Sometimes there is a bit more to football than leadership skills and passion, it has some tactics involved too, and not just on the playstation!

n7xnopw5ooh71.jpg?width=750&auto=webp&s=f971f840ddc569bd9bfbd50cc8842866dc1f83ff

Have a day off mate

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19 minutes ago, TWar said:

I can see why you'd think that. I'll make it simple for you:

1) 10s are attacking mids who play in the middle

2) Wingers are ones who play wide

3) In a 4222 our attacking mids often play closer to the middle of the pitch vertically than the forwards and midfielders behind them

4) Therefore we call them 10s

5) Last season we often had one wide on the left and the one on the right in the middle, not always though sometimes we did use two "10s" as Ralph says

6) This is called "asymmetric" as the roles of the two attacking mids are not the same (but mirrored)

7) In order to facilitate this, our fullbacks also were asymmetric in that one of them pushed on (on the right to provide the width vacated by our right attacking mid) and one sat deeper, making almost a back three

8 ) Contrary to this, on the weekend both our attacking mids played wider, more like wingers and less like 10's

9) This made our formation a lot more like a 442 (or even a 4231 as Adams played much deeper, see the average position chart at the end of this post)

10) This is likely the reason why KWP and Armstrong saw themselves dropped as we didn't use a 10 and wanted a more conservative fullback.

I hope this helps decode the riddles. Sometimes there is a bit more to football than leadership skills and passion, it has some tactics involved too, and not just on the playstation!

n7xnopw5ooh71.jpg?width=750&auto=webp&s=f971f840ddc569bd9bfbd50cc8842866dc1f83ff

Re your last point about passion and leadership, I think it is more important than you give credit for. I can't remember if it was Alan Ball or Gordon Strachan who said it, (they are not the only ones to say it) you need to earn the right to play football,  ie do the ugly stuff, this is where passion and leadership com into play, also not rolling over as we do. I don't pretend to understand Ralph's tactics and respect your in depth knowledge, however in my view it looks a shambles and we can see the results that speak for themselves. It may work with much better players than we have available, who knows, but it no longer works for us.

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11 minutes ago, Millbrook Saint said:

Have a day off mate

Have a day off discussing football on a football forum? No idea what you object to, this is completely on topic (tactical deficiencies and how signings could solve them in the transfer thread).

Edited by TWar
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1 minute ago, Toussaint said:

Re your last point about passion and leadership, I think it is more important than you give credit for. I can't remember if it was Alan Ball or Gordon Strachan who said it, (they are not the only ones to say it) you need to earn the right to play football,  ie do the ugly stuff, this is where passion and leadership com into play, also not rolling over as we do. I don't pretend to understand Ralph's tactics and respect your in depth knowledge, however in my view it looks a shambles and we can see the results that speak for themselves. It may work with much better players than we have available, who knows, but it no longer works for us.

Yeah leadership is important and players who aren't trying their best obviously exist and are obviously a burden but in the modern game it is rarely that which is causing losses. It's a lot more likely to be tactical or due to individual errors based on lack of skill.

Macca isn't good enough, so he makes a lot of mistakes. Djenepo and Walcott aren't good enough at passing so it puts us under pressure due to high fullbacks who can't get back when the ball turns over quickly. Ralph is too conservative with subs, therefore our players tire and by the time he notices that it's too late as they've made tired mistakes. Things like this are much more likely to be the issue than just "soft attitude" which, for me, is just an outdated truism like when lazy commentators say "well they wanted it more". It's almost always tactical or skillbased and rarely effort based imo.

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47 minutes ago, TWar said:

Our poor defending is due to:

A) Truly crap goalkeeper who is poor at many things including commanding his box and filling CB's with confidence

B) One bad CB (Stephens), one average CB (Bednarek), and one with a tonne of potential but needs to sharpen up and learn the prem a little more (Salisu)

C) Sloppy passers in midfield (Djenepo, Walcott, Romeu) who put us under pressure when we are attacking as the fullbacks get caught out of position by the quick turn over

D) High pressing actions which get steadily less effective as legs tire coupled with a seemingly unwillingness to use our bench by the manager

Pass accuracy for Everton and Saints midfielders:

image.png.0f951e239b7e7288de994c039232aec0.png

Ways to fix it:

A) Better keeper (not happening)

B) New first choice CB (hopefully happening)

C) Giving Salisu some game time and hoping he develops fast!

D) Bench Walcott for Armstrong

E) Potentially bring in Diallo for Romeu after he has gotten a bit more used to the pace of the league as he is a much stronger passer

E) Coach Djenepo into being more safe with the ball, he is exciting and combines well with Perraud so I don't want to bench him but if he can't make better decisions then we will need to see Redmond/Ely considered

F) Ralph needs to use his bench. Judging by his post match comments hopefully he has noticed this was an issue last week and will internalise that going forward.

All sensible. 
 

You mention coaching which is, from what I understand and observe, a huge weakness. Ralph may well be so stubborn and high on himself that he can’t work with excellent subordinates but bringing in a genuinely highly regarded coach would help him no end. Someone else who could influence his thinking during matches would be good too; there are far too many examples when his reading of the game has been way off and he clearly doesn’t have strength on the bench in that area to support him.

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Few points from me...

  • Other teams play with 3 in the middle, we play with 2 and get completely over run. 
  • We don't change it when we are struggling.
  • The "tens" give the ball away far too much, and get caught up the other end of the pitch.
  • The 2 full backs also rocket up the pitch, leaving us completely open at the back
  • Playing with the two CB's (none are particularly great), and a keeper who doesn't make saves hurts us massively.
  • We get cut through so easily due to the CB's not pushing up with the rest of the team, or the rest of the team too high leaving the CB's competely unprotected.
  • We leave it far too late to make subs.
  • We're playing with 4 or 5 players who wouldn't get in many other premier league teams.
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1 minute ago, Daft Kerplunk said:

All sensible. 
 

You mention coaching which is, from what I understand and observe, a huge weakness. Ralph may well be so stubborn and high on himself that he can’t work with excellent subordinates but bringing in a genuinely highly regarded coach would help him no end. Someone else who could influence his thinking during matches would be good too; there are far too many examples when his reading of the game has been way off and he clearly doesn’t have strength on the bench in that area to support him.

Yeah I think Ralph's biggest weakness is he is quite bad at noticing when a game is going sideways in real time. It would be good to have a second in command who can give him a kick up the arse when our attacking mids start to tire and tell him to use the wealth of attacking mids sat on his bench.

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25 minutes ago, Turkish said:

yeah i know mate, i've played football at a decent level. If anyone started going on about asymmetric formations they'd have been laughed out the dressing room. 

 

See the source image
 

If our manager started going on about automatism in our team talk we would of all thought we were being replaced by a robot.

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10 minutes ago, Toussaint said:

Re your last point about passion and leadership, I think it is more important than you give credit for. I can't remember if it was Alan Ball or Gordon Strachan who said it, (they are not the only ones to say it) you need to earn the right to play football,  ie do the ugly stuff, this is where passion and leadership com into play, also not rolling over as we do. I don't pretend to understand Ralph's tactics and respect your in depth knowledge, however in my view it looks a shambles and we can see the results that speak for themselves. It may work with much better players than we have available, who knows, but it no longer works for us.

Leadership and team spirit are as low as I’ve seen for some time with this team and it is an issue. Better coaching and leadership off the pitch would help; demands in training and match day performance need to be far higher. No player should feel satisfied with themselves if they’ve not played at their best. It seems to easy in the camp to get away with lacklustre matches. 

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1 minute ago, Daft Kerplunk said:

Leadership and team spirit are as low as I’ve seen for some time with this team and it is an issue. Better coaching and leadership off the pitch would help; demands in training and match day performance need to be far higher. No player should feel satisfied with themselves if they’ve not played at their best. It seems to easy in the camp to get away with lacklustre matches. 

Too easy!

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4 minutes ago, northam soul said:

If our manager started going on about automatism in our team talk we would of all thought we were being replaced by a robot.

My captain for 11's has been banging on about "pressing triggers" for a while. Basically just "if someone makes a bad touch, charge them". I think that's been a part of football for a while but calling them "automisms" and planning what every player does in the event of a trigger is quite high level and reasonably modern I think.

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1 minute ago, TWar said:

Yeah leadership is important and players who aren't trying their best obviously exist and are obviously a burden but in the modern game it is rarely that which is causing losses. It's a lot more likely to be tactical or due to individual errors based on lack of skill.

Macca isn't good enough, so he makes a lot of mistakes. Djenepo and Walcott aren't good enough at passing so it puts us under pressure due to high fullbacks who can't get back when the ball turns over quickly. Ralph is too conservative with subs, therefore our players tire and by the time he notices that it's too late as they've made tired mistakes. Things like this are much more likely to be the issue than just "soft attitude" which, for me, is just an outdated truism like when lazy commentators say "well they wanted it more". It's almost always tactical or skillbased and rarely effort based imo.

Have to agree to differ really, you require both, but passion and effort are a great leveller, of course you need to have the tactics right, and be prepared to adapt. ( I really admired Glenn Hoddle in his brief tenure, he'd hook someone after 20 mins if it was required) But Ralph will not change, Isee nothing wrong with grinding out results against superior opposition (most of the league), go 4 5 1 away from home for example, then you wouldn't have to witness our headless chicken defending so often,  as well as "sticking it up 'em" in the words of corporal Jones. We are trying to play, vastly more talented teams, at their own game, it doesn't seem to pay off.

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6 minutes ago, Saint Garrett said:

Few points from me...

  • Other teams play with 3 in the middle, we play with 2 and get completely over run. 
  • We don't change it when we are struggling.
  • The "tens" give the ball away far too much, and get caught up the other end of the pitch.
  • The 2 full backs also rocket up the pitch, leaving us completely open at the back
  • Playing with the two CB's (none are particularly great), and a keeper who doesn't make saves hurts us massively.
  • We get cut through so easily due to the CB's not pushing up with the rest of the team, or the rest of the team too high leaving the CB's competely unprotected.
  • We leave it far too late to make subs.
  • We're playing with 4 or 5 players who wouldn't get in many other premier league teams.

nailed it 

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1 minute ago, Toussaint said:

Have to agree to differ really, you require both, but passion and effort are a great leveller, of course you need to have the tactics right, and be prepared to adapt. ( I really admired Glenn Hoddle in his brief tenure, he'd hook someone after 20 mins if it was required) But Ralph will not change, Isee nothing wrong with grinding out results against superior opposition (most of the league), go 4 5 1 away from home for example, then you wouldn't have to witness our headless chicken defending so often,  as well as "sticking it up 'em" in the words of corporal Jones. We are trying to play, vastly more talented teams, at their own game, it doesn't seem to pay off.

This is a good point, I think it is important to not be too bothered with your own "identity" and to sometimes try and grind a result by any means needed. I think Ralph has done that before with our respective victories at City and liverpool 1-0 in the last two seasons where we pretty much parked the bus and absorbed pressure for most of both games.

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12 minutes ago, TWar said:

Yeah leadership is important and players who aren't trying their best obviously exist and are obviously a burden but in the modern game it is rarely that which is causing losses. It's a lot more likely to be tactical or due to individual errors based on lack of skill.

Macca isn't good enough, so he makes a lot of mistakes. Djenepo and Walcott aren't good enough at passing so it puts us under pressure due to high fullbacks who can't get back when the ball turns over quickly. Ralph is too conservative with subs, therefore our players tire and by the time he notices that it's too late as they've made tired mistakes. Things like this are much more likely to be the issue than just "soft attitude" which, for me, is just an outdated truism like when lazy commentators say "well they wanted it more". It's almost always tactical or skillbased and rarely effort based imo.

Problem is you could be accused of a bit of confirmation bias on this one.  When we concede a goal you're looking for a tactical error and so you find it.  It assumes there's a perfect set of tactics that would eliminate any goal (unless as you mention, it's down to individual error).  It's only an opinion but I think motivation, man management and fitness are just as important as tactics.  

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1 minute ago, TWar said:

This is a good point, I think it is important to not be too bothered with your own "identity" and to sometimes try and grind a result by any means needed. I think Ralph has done that before with our respective victories at City and liverpool 1-0 in the last two seasons where we pretty much parked the bus and absorbed pressure for most of both games.

Unfortunately in those instances it was motivated by the fear of further humiliations, we set up not to get beated too heavily. We could for example try it against the middling (Evertons) teams, especially away, and maybe we would come away with something more often. Ralph could then revert to crazy Ralphball when the opposition are running out of puff, instead of burning us out in the first 45. 

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14 minutes ago, Saint Garrett said:

Few points from me...

  • Other teams play with 3 in the middle, we play with 2 and get completely over run. 
  • We don't change it when we are struggling.
  • The "tens" give the ball away far too much, and get caught up the other end of the pitch.
  • The 2 full backs also rocket up the pitch, leaving us completely open at the back
  • Playing with the two CB's (none are particularly great), and a keeper who doesn't make saves hurts us massively.
  • We get cut through so easily due to the CB's not pushing up with the rest of the team, or the rest of the team too high leaving the CB's competely unprotected.
  • We leave it far too late to make subs.
  • We're playing with 4 or 5 players who wouldn't get in many other premier league teams.

Some good points. I think we concede far too many clear chances to opposition. Our CBs aren't very good so being constantly exposed due to our only way of playing is completely counter productive. Yet there is no plan B or C. Teams work us out and steam roll us typically in the second half of games. 

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1 minute ago, revolution saint said:

Problem is you could be accused of a bit of confirmation bias on this one.  When we concede a goal you're looking for a tactical error and so you find it.  It assumes there's a perfect set of tactics that would eliminate any goal (unless as you mention, it's down to individual error).  It's only an opinion but I think motivation, man management and fitness are just as important as tactics.  

This is a fair point, although I think it is definitely worth noting we make the same tactical/individual error very often in that one of our midfielders/10s gives the ball away and then our high fullbacks can't get back in position as they were pushing up for the attack. You are right that if you look for a tactical error you will probably find one but I think the fact it is often the same errors means this is probably an issue.

I agree with fitness and man management being big factors for avoiding individual errors too. Tired legs make bad passes and poorly managed players often make bad decisions.

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5 minutes ago, SuperSAINT said:

Football insider…. But… would be very much like the Livramento signing…

https://www.footballinsider247.com/sources-southampton-make-move-for-everton-wonderkid-small-as-potential-price-revealed/

Highly rated in youth team football.

Why does this article call him "Thierry Small" in the title and opening line but spend the rest of it calling him "Henry"? Reckon they had an ex-Arsenal striker on the mind?

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We have thrown away more points from winning positions than any other team - a table we are top of!
 

But why?

We are too nice, too soft, too easy to get through.

We have no game plan (or if we do, it’s well hidden). We get in front - great. Then we just carry on as before, get weary, make errors, concede. Once one goes in, more are sure to follow. Why though? Ralph I’m afraid has to take the criticism for this. We don’t evolve to the situation going on on the pitch. Nothing. No response, no tactical changes, no personnel changes until it is too late to matter.

Everton at half time. Should have been obvious we are going to come under pressure? We do nothing. We should get another CB on - Everton’s style is get crosses in for DCL to attack. Make it hard for them. Go 5 4 1. Leave Armstrong up front, drop deeper, make it difficult for them to play through you, make it hard for DCL - man mark him. Play horrible shit football - waste time, niggly fouls, stop the flow of the game, take ages with throw ins, get the crowd angry at our slow play, get the keeper to take his time with goal kicks, play it long - don’t piss about at the back trying to play it out, we are crap at it and don’t have the right players to do it. We concede so many goals by us giving the ball away at the back…

teams know we try and play out so they press us and we give them the ball in dangerous areas. I’ve lost count of how many times watching us I utter the “stop pissing around at the back” phrase.

yeah it’s the hip way to play football - if you’re  City or Barcelona or another top team who have players comfortable on the ball at the back, but we don’t, so if we are 1-0 up, don’t do it. Play for the 1-0 win. Win ugly. Win Burnley style. Bore the crowd, get them on your backs, foul them, but above all be hard to beat. Take some yellow cards, let them know you mean business and you won’t be a walkover…

Not us. Soft as shit, soft nice underbelly, no beast in CM to get amongst it and give the fragile defence some cover.

Won’t win fans for pretty. But it may help win points.

Go play ugly, play dirty, play to bloody well be difficult to beat. Over to you Ralph - get rid of the nice Saints and get us being horrible nasty bastards who run the clock down, piss the opposition off and get us the points. 

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41 minutes ago, TWar said:

Turkish has probably seen a tonne of asymmetric formations as they've been prevalent for about three decades. He just didn't understand what he was looking at beyond "put the ball in one goal and keep it out the other".

Yes you're right mate. Get it in the mixer, get stuck in, stop messing about with it get it Fooooorwaaaard!! Are the only instructions i know.

 

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1 minute ago, vectraman said:

We have thrown away more points from winning positions than any other team - a table we are top of!
 

But why?

We are too nice, too soft, too easy to get through.

We have no game plan (or if we do, it’s well hidden). We get in front - great. Then we just carry on as before, get weary, make errors, concede. Once one goes in, more are sure to follow. Why though? Ralph I’m afraid has to take the criticism for this. We don’t evolve to the situation going on on the pitch. Nothing. No response, no tactical changes, no personnel changes until it is too late to matter.

Everton at half time. Should have been obvious we are going to come under pressure? We do nothing. We should get another CB on - Everton’s style is get crosses in for DCL to attack. Make it hard for them. Go 5 4 1. Leave Armstrong up front, drop deeper, make it difficult for them to play through you, make it hard for DCL - man mark him. Play horrible shit football - waste time, niggly fouls, stop the flow of the game, take ages with throw ins, get the crowd angry at our slow play, get the keeper to take his time with goal kicks, play it long - don’t piss about at the back trying to play it out, we are crap at it and don’t have the right players to do it. We concede so many goals by us giving the ball away at the back…

teams know we try and play out so they press us and we give them the ball in dangerous areas. I’ve lost count of how many times watching us I utter the “stop pissing around at the back” phrase.

yeah it’s the hip way to play football - if you’re  City or Barcelona or another top team who have players comfortable on the ball at the back, but we don’t, so if we are 1-0 up, don’t do it. Play for the 1-0 win. Win ugly. Win Burnley style. Bore the crowd, get them on your backs, foul them, but above all be hard to beat. Take some yellow cards, let them know you mean business and you won’t be a walkover…

Not us. Soft as shit, soft nice underbelly, no beast in CM to get amongst it and give the fragile defence some cover.

Won’t win fans for pretty. But it may help win points.

Go play ugly, play dirty, play to bloody well be difficult to beat. Over to you Ralph - get rid of the nice Saints and get us being horrible nasty bastards who run the clock down, piss the opposition off and get us the points. 

Totally agree. Hassenhuttl is blind to all of this, obstinately sticking to a game plan of all out attack that only works for elite teams. Is it just him trying to get a plum job? Or is he so unaware of key tactical changes that are required as a result of other teams adapting? Have to say after a few seasons I fear that he just isn't very capable as a football manager. Certainly not one that knows how to close out a game. When did we last do that properly?

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8 minutes ago, vectraman said:

We have thrown away more points from winning positions than any other team - a table we are top of!
 

But why?

We are too nice, too soft, too easy to get through.

We have no game plan (or if we do, it’s well hidden). We get in front - great. Then we just carry on as before, get weary, make errors, concede. Once one goes in, more are sure to follow. Why though? Ralph I’m afraid has to take the criticism for this. We don’t evolve to the situation going on on the pitch. Nothing. No response, no tactical changes, no personnel changes until it is too late to matter.

Everton at half time. Should have been obvious we are going to come under pressure? We do nothing. We should get another CB on - Everton’s style is get crosses in for DCL to attack. Make it hard for them. Go 5 4 1. Leave Armstrong up front, drop deeper, make it difficult for them to play through you, make it hard for DCL - man mark him. Play horrible shit football - waste time, niggly fouls, stop the flow of the game, take ages with throw ins, get the crowd angry at our slow play, get the keeper to take his time with goal kicks, play it long - don’t piss about at the back trying to play it out, we are crap at it and don’t have the right players to do it. We concede so many goals by us giving the ball away at the back…

teams know we try and play out so they press us and we give them the ball in dangerous areas. I’ve lost count of how many times watching us I utter the “stop pissing around at the back” phrase.

yeah it’s the hip way to play football - if you’re  City or Barcelona or another top team who have players comfortable on the ball at the back, but we don’t, so if we are 1-0 up, don’t do it. Play for the 1-0 win. Win ugly. Win Burnley style. Bore the crowd, get them on your backs, foul them, but above all be hard to beat. Take some yellow cards, let them know you mean business and you won’t be a walkover…

Not us. Soft as shit, soft nice underbelly, no beast in CM to get amongst it and give the fragile defence some cover.

Won’t win fans for pretty. But it may help win points.

Go play ugly, play dirty, play to bloody well be difficult to beat. Over to you Ralph - get rid of the nice Saints and get us being horrible nasty bastards who run the clock down, piss the opposition off and get us the points. 

You're right, we have thrown away points from winning positions again and again. Most pundits on this forum bemoan the fact that we 'go all defensive' and play too deep, that we don't go for the second goal that would seal the win. Now you are recommending the opposite 'get an extra CB on, play deeper' etc. Poor manager! What ever he does he will upset half the fan base. I doubt 'play ugly' will win any matches, I am still hoping to play as Poch played, and that was anything but ugly.

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2 minutes ago, Dellman said:

You're right, we have thrown away points from winning positions again and again. Most pundits on this forum bemoan the fact that we 'go all defensive' and play too deep, that we don't go for the second goal that would seal the win. Now you are recommending the opposite 'get an extra CB on, play deeper' etc. Poor manager! What ever he does he will upset half the fan base. I doubt 'play ugly' will win any matches, I am still hoping to play as Poch played, and that was anything but ugly.

The response depends on the game and opposition. If we are 1 up and clearly on top then no, of course I wouldn’t want us to shut up shop.

But away at Everton where we were definitely not on top or looking likely to score more, we definitely do need this conservative approach. Playing a high pressing game against decent teams will always leave you stretched at the back if they break against you. Why invite a quick break when you can play difficult to beat? 
Poch had us playing great football, but he had a far better quality selection of players to choose from than Ralph has. We are playing with distinctly poor and fragile players all over the pitch. Really not much quality in our side, really not much leadership on the pitch or from the sidelines. Got to play to your strengths, not the weaknesses, and our defence is a massive weakness sadly.

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14 minutes ago, Viking Saint said:

I love Ralph to bits but i honestly think he has lost the plot if he thinks Ely can cut it in the Premiership. I watched every preseason game and Ely was shit in all the ones he featured in. He's too slow, he is not physical enough and he should bugger off back to Scotland where he found his level.

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1 hour ago, SuperSAINT said:

Football insider…. But… would be very much like the Livramento signing…

https://www.footballinsider247.com/sources-southampton-make-move-for-everton-wonderkid-small-as-potential-price-revealed/

Highly rated in youth team football.

Sounds like a goer - 2nd left back - lots of potential and will get minutes - i like it.

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13 minutes ago, Convict Colony said:

Sounds like a goer - 2nd left back - lots of potential and will get minutes - i like it.

He’s very likely to leave and there’s lots of interest — but we could def offer a quick route into the first team as you say. 

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4 minutes ago, Turkish said:

Like the idea of him but football insider is about as reliable as the Beano for football news

Completely true.  I’ve been hoping we’d be in for him so It’s a shame it’s them reporting. I thought Leeds / Villa would get him.

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2 minutes ago, Convict Colony said:

Tino has set the bar for debuts now i reckon - other youngsters will see him come in, perform in training and then start over the established right back.

That is all these younger players want as most of them are already on good money.

That’s the hope, mate.  We literally don’t have another natural left back around until you get to last years scholar group.

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I think we so play a isometric rotational formation with a deep lying number 6 to call out the automations and triggers. In front of him a number 8 and number 4 who can play slightly narrower than their traditional roles to ensure quick transitions enabling us to use Adams in a false 9 with our number 2 and 3s providing the width and our number 7 playing as a inside 11 to confuse the opposition. All of those is irrelevant of course if our glovesman constantly let in 70% of shots at them so I’d suggest using our number 5 as a false second glovesman to cover the angles where they are weak. We can easily flip to a flexible intersymetric formation should the opposition switch to a outersymertrical 3-1-6 formation 

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