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Is it time for Ralph to change our fomation?


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Ralph seems very stubborn and set in his ways but I wonder if it's time for him to try out a different formation. The definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing and expect something to change. Or is he a one-trick pony with very limited vision?

Edited by Teddeer
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He won't change. He's thinks he's reinvented football. Written his own handbook. Preaching his impotent gospel right throughout the club.

It's farcical really. Our midfield two is always overrun in the second half. Always. Our hybrid wingers/10s are all shite, with the exception of Stuart Armstrong (not selected), and create fuck all. Our only mode of chance creation is pressing high and hoping the opposition defence make a huge mistake. That's it - that's plan A through Z. Nothing else up our sleeve. Can't break down nine men. Can't even create a chance against them if they steadfastly refuse to try and dick around at the back.

And I'm too tired to delve into the chaos that is our defensive "system", that has thus far involved playing a high line with defenders who can't run, playing wingers out of position at full back, and swapping equally crap goalkeepers in and out of the XI on a whim.

There's no future playing this way other than dropping out of the division. We're so easy for the opposition to pick off these days, they must be laughing their arses off.

 

Edited by qwertyell
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8 minutes ago, qwertyell said:

He won't change. He's thinks he's reinvented football. Written his own handbook. Preaching his impotent gospel right throughout the club.

It's farcical really. Our midfield two is always overrun in the second half. Always. Our hybrid wingers/10s are all shite, with the exception of Stuart Armstrong (not selected), and create fuck all. Our only mode of chance creation is pressing high and hoping the opposition defence make a huge mistake. That's it - that's plan A through Z. Nothing else up our sleeve. Can't break down nine men. Can't even create a chance against them if they steadfastly refuse to try and dick around at the back.

And I'm too tired to delve into the chaos that is our defensive "system", that has thus far involved playing a high line with defenders who can't run, playing wingers out of position at full back, and swapping equally crap goalkeepers in and out of the XI on a whim.

There's no future playing this way other than dropping out of the division. We're so easy for the opposition to pick off these days, they must be laughing their arses off.

 

A fair summary of how I view the situation with Ralph in charge.

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7 minutes ago, Baird of the land said:

No i don't think so. We've played very well at times in his formation. We were excellent in the first half today playing it. He's somehow got to get the team to switch on after half time and then he's got to learn how to use subs to effectively freshen things up as the second half progresses.

When you think about it that’s actually an awful lot he needs to learn after being here nearly 3 years! 
 

His substitutions are poor and he rarely seems to change the style of play when we get under the cosh. If he weren’t such a nice guy he’d probably have been sacked already. The 4 year deal he signed will end up costing us 100 million if we go down on top of his pay off (still can’t get my head around paying a managers contract up when they fail to do the job well!)

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6 minutes ago, Baird of the land said:

No i don't think so. We've played very well at times in his formation. We were excellent in the first half today playing it. He's somehow got to get the team to switch on after half time and then he's got to learn how to use subs to effectively freshen things up as the second half progresses.

But isn't one of the problems with his system that we expend too much energy in the first half and haven't enough left in the tank for the second half? These collapses are a recurring theme and that cannot be a coincidence. His methods are not sustainable for much more than 45 minutes.

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1 minute ago, Teddeer said:

But isn't one of the problems with his system that we expend too much energy in the first half and haven't enough left in the tank for the second half? These collapses are a recurring theme and that cannot be a coincidence. His methods are not sustainable for much more than 45 minutes.

This is bollocks it’s not like they’re charging around like madmen for 45 minutes. Plenty of other clubs play a high energy press and don’t end up capitulating every week. 
 

it’s quite simple that when the opposition change systems he doesn’t react, we’ve got quite a few shite players still getting picked despite making the same mistakes week after week and we are soft, when things go against us we go to pieces. It’s nothing to go with the players being knackered by half time

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3 minutes ago, Teddeer said:

But isn't one of the problems with his system that we expend too much energy in the first half and haven't enough left in the tank for the second half? These collapses are a recurring theme and that cannot be a coincidence. His methods are not sustainable for much more than 45 minutes.

Don’t agree we were very much in today’s game in the second half. the difference Rafa brought on fresh legs in 70th, whilst we didn’t. 

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15 minutes ago, Baird of the land said:

Don’t agree we were very much in today’s game in the second half. the difference Rafa brought on fresh legs in 70th, whilst we didn’t. 

You must have watched a different 2nd half to me (that’s all I watched). In my opinion we were never in it. Completely outfought and outthought. Yeah there was a little spell but we never looked like scoring. 

Anyway, in answer to whether we should change formation. Absolutely.
 

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32 minutes ago, revolution saint said:

You must have watched a different 2nd half to me (that’s all I watched). In my opinion we were never in it. Completely outfought and outthought. Yeah there was a little spell but we never looked like scoring. 

Anyway, in answer to whether we should change formation. Absolutely.
 

That’s what I saw too. We came back out half asleep, conceded a very preventable goal and most of the players and Ralph said, “oh well, not our day, not much we can do about it..”.

Only one result after that. 

In ice hockey, when one team has all the momentum like that and look certain to score again the coach will call a timeout to try and break the momentum. In football we could have say on 55- 60 minutes, brought on Stu and wasted a bit of time subbing Theo and getting him on to break their momentum and let our players reset and readjust.

Edited by OttawaSaint
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I don’t have a problem with his tactics or formation. The problem I have is that he seems happy with Djenepo, Redmond and Walcott in the attacking mid role. None of them suit that position, they play too wide to be effective there, it totally ruins our shape in the 4222 and critically none of them are creative enough.

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2 minutes ago, Jeremy Corbyn said:

Does anyone know why Ralph doesnt make subs? It backfires constantly so I assume it's some sort of mental block.

Last season the excuse was we had no depth on the bench. Today we did and he still didn’t make any so who knows

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1 minute ago, Turkish said:

Last season the excuse was we had no depth on the bench. Today we did and he still didn’t make any so who knows

Yes. MLG is adamant that the results we got were due to this but I don’t buy it at all. Full strength today and that second half looked every bit as bad as our worst run last season.

We have good players but they are not so good that we can get away with Ralph’s stubborn inflexible approach that borders on pure arrogance.

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21 minutes ago, Jeremy Corbyn said:

Does anyone know why Ralph doesnt make subs? It backfires constantly so I assume it's some sort of mental block.

I think it's as simple as he doesn't know what to change tactically. Benitez switched things up 2nd half and Rakph didn't react. 

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I think he is too indecisive for his own good. My take is that he sits on his hands - he probably knows the game is getting away, the tide is turning and he should bring on a sub or two but has a mental block and a little voice in his head tells him things might get better on their own so don't make a change. Then, bang, it's too late and his hand is forced and he has no option but to bring on a sub. He is rarely first to the punch so is forever being reactive rather than proactive. I think that's in his DNA.

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3 hours ago, Nemi said:

I don’t have a problem with his tactics or formation. The problem I have is that he seems happy with Djenepo, Redmond and Walcott in the attacking mid role. None of them suit that position, they play too wide to be effective there, it totally ruins our shape in the 4222 and critically none of them are creative enough.

If none of them suit that position then that is a problem with Ralph. Competent managers adjust their style to suit their players, they don’t just say we are playing this regardless of how bad it suits us

 

personally I dont think the formation works as with the full backs getting so far forward to create width and attacking options, it renders the Walcott / Djenepo positions almost redundant, so in effect we almost play with 9 on the field. 

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8 hours ago, Turkish said:

This is bollocks it’s not like they’re charging around like madmen for 45 minutes. Plenty of other clubs play a high energy press and don’t end up capitulating every week. 
 

it’s quite simple that when the opposition change systems he doesn’t react, we’ve got quite a few shite players still getting picked despite making the same mistakes week after week and we are soft, when things go against us we go to pieces. It’s nothing to go with the players being knackered by half time

Is it totally this though? 
 

It isn’t like the opposition don’t know all week before the game how we are going to start, so they should be more prepared for that, yet a lot of first half’s we are more than ok. 
 

Im not sure I have the answer as to why or how, but more concerning is it doesn’t look like to chap we pay millions to know and fix it has anymore of an idea than any of us on here. 
 

Dies anyone recall the formation of the Chelsea game when Tuchel first joined them, I think we drew and we played pretty decent the whole game. I thought he changed formation for that. 

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Imo the single biggest issue is that we do not change how we play during a game from a defensive standpoint. We get on top, cause problems, maybe take the lead etc... And then we wait, and we give the opposition time to make changes, counter the system, get on top - always at the start of the second half - and then only after we are behind or have sacraficed our lead does he make changes!?

This is where he is bad, he needs to make a change to how he tactically manages a game when we are in front and when we know the opposition will make a reaction. 

Just switch to a 4-2-3-1 for a period with Adams up top and A.Armstrong and a tella/redmond/walcott on the wings, S.Armstrong as the Cam, and romeu and JWP in the defensive spots etc. It doesn't have to be a change of personnel, just change the system to throw the opposition off and retain the ball a bit. 

We are also a mess in defence, always when we concede its mistakes and a shambles, like the players are too rushed / overwhelmed. Part of that is a quality issue - I do not think we have two CB's that can play his system for 90minutes without gifting goals - and part of it is tactically not being solid enough or well enough well drilled. 

And above all. The goalkeeper situation is an absolute mess. 

But if we do not sort out the defensive tactics, or the CB / GK situation we are in trouble imo. We cannot continue to be this soft and stay in the league. Maybe a bit of a gutshot reaction to the first game, but I can see united thrashing us and we've got tough opening fixtures which could lead to us getting into a very bad start and headspace morale/confidence wise. 

Worrying as well, was the the players didn't really react vs Everton. The second half Everton came out and were in top, the first goal was a mistake and inevitable. The second goal was a bit of a wonder strike for doucore, but the players seemed demoralised, almost like an acceptance that it was going to happen. Not a good sign! After that, with Ralph, the game is gone more often than not. We routinely chase games late on and get beat by a few more goals - he needs to react before this all happens! 

Anyway, onto the next one. Let's see if he makes any changes. 

 

Edited by Saint86
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7 hours ago, egg said:

I think it's as simple as he doesn't know what to change tactically. Benitez switched things up 2nd half and Rakph didn't react. 

This is it exactly, it's not about him not making subs, even when he does he just puts new people in the same formation that is being beaten, and ends up with Djnepo at left back.

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I still think the subs are part of the problem, Ralph appears not to be proactive in seeing games slipping away, he is famed for making changes far too late. 
 

Yesterday was another example of this, and he doesn’t use the subs to change the shape or impact in the game. 
 

KWP was an obvious choice, as was getting our 2 attacking midfielders changed as both were so poor. Djeneppo occasionally got into good spaces, but far too often failed to play the over lapping Perraud in and lost possession and Theo failed to do anything of note. 

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12 hours ago, Baird of the land said:

No i don't think so. We've played very well at times in his formation. We were excellent in the first half today playing it. He's somehow got to get the team to switch on after half time and then he's got to learn how to use subs to effectively freshen things up as the second half progresses.

Yes we know all this and have done for a very long time now…

it is evident that by now that Ralph is incapable of fixing the many detriments he has, second half performances being the stand out issue but also bizarre team selections which must be so demotivating to the team in general…

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The high press 4-2-2-2 seems to works when we play a team set up in a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 who play out from the back.

If a team goes long and direct against us - like Burnley will - we seem to have no answer.  We also seem unable to play long and direct ourselves when we are under pressure and get caught playing out from the back.

We need a striker who is tall and good in the air who can drop deep and wide to receive the long balls and then make the play from there (just like Rickie Lambert used to to do)

Against the 4-3-3 we seem to run out of steam in the second half and the 2 in the middle get outnumbered by the 3 and then our defence gets overloaded by constant attacking pressure and collapse. 

With the 4-2-3-1 the opposition drop one of the 3 back to overload the midfield and the same thing happens.

If a team play 2 upfront against us our it seems are centre backs aren't good enough to cope with 2 strikers at the moment.

If we are going to keep playing the 4-2-2-2 we need to play an attacking midfield and a winger in the No10 role - so that the AM can drop back in to midfield to help out the CMs when we are under pressure.  When we play 2 wingers like Djneppo and Walcott this isn't going to happen.  

When a team plays 2 upfront against us we probably need to go 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-1-2 to cope in defence - but we still need an AM who is capable of dropping back to in to midfield to help out the CMs.

Or a DM that can drop back to make it 3 at the back.  

Playing Stuart Armstrong as one of the No10s  gives us the ability to do that.  Livramento looks like he could do a similar job as well.   Walcott, Djneppo, Redmond probably can't.  (I was hoping we'd sell Djneppo and Redmond and buy a decent No10 - and I don't really know why we signed Walcott other than nostalgia. Same with Long and his 2 year contract extension).

We need to sign 2 CBs, a LB, DM/CM, and another Forward before the end of the transfer window.  Problem is we simply don't have the money.  Maybe we need to sell a few like Obafemi, Valery, Djneppo and Redmond so we can bring some different players in.

 

 

 

 

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I wondered this, whether the back 3 needs to come back.  We would need to sign another centre-back anyway but might give us a bit more protection at the back.

Plus our wide players are an inconsistent mess, and with KWP, Peraud and Tino I think we have some more dynamic fullbacks who could offer a lot as wingbacks, whereas Bertrand just couldn't really do it. 

Play a midfield 3 of JWP, Romeu and Armstrong, with Armstrong bursting forward, keeping the front two who already look like they could cause a decent threat. 

 

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20 hours ago, Baird of the land said:

No i don't think so. We've played very well at times in his formation. We were excellent in the first half today playing it. He's somehow got to get the team to switch on after half time and then he's got to learn how to use subs to effectively freshen things up as the second half progresses.

You would expect a 3 season Premier League coach to understand when to make a substitution. He’s clearly learned nothing and should be under massive pressure from above now, what worries me is that he’s Teflon for some reason. The definition of stupid, is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. 

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I have two thoughts, either:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu

Tella - Armstrong - Armstrong

Adams

Or:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu - Diallo

Redmond - A. Armstrong - S. Armstrong

 

I’d say they were both much harder to break down than what we’re currently trying to do.

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13 minutes ago, Lighthouse said:

I have two thoughts, either:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu

Tella - Armstrong - Armstrong

Adams

Or:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu - Diallo

Redmond - A. Armstrong - S. Armstrong

 

I’d say they were both much harder to break down than what we’re currently trying to do.

It looks more solid but we’ve still got the fundamental issue of goalkeepers that can’t keep goal and defenders that can’t defend 

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15 minutes ago, Lighthouse said:

I have two thoughts, either:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu

Tella - Armstrong - Armstrong

Adams

Or:

Forster

KWP/Liv - Bednarek - Salisu - Perraud

JWP - Romeu - Diallo

Redmond - A. Armstrong - S. Armstrong

 

I’d say they were both much harder to break down than what we’re currently trying to do.

I think I'd sit Romeu in front of the back four with a seriously limited brief. Just sit. No more ambition than that. Two of Prowse, Diallo and Sarmstrong either side of him to provide the legs and pressing.

The trouble is, our wingers are absolutely appalling. So coming up with a formation that relies wholly on wide attackers for its creativity is doomed to fail.

What a mess of a squad. Doesn't really suit the manager's tactics, isn't much use in any other configuration.

Still, apparently we've had a great transfer window...

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4 hours ago, tajjuk said:

I wondered this, whether the back 3 needs to come back.  We would need to sign another centre-back anyway but might give us a bit more protection at the back.

Plus our wide players are an inconsistent mess, and with KWP, Peraud and Tino I think we have some more dynamic fullbacks who could offer a lot as wingbacks, whereas Bertrand just couldn't really do it. 

Play a midfield 3 of JWP, Romeu and Armstrong, with Armstrong bursting forward, keeping the front two who already look like they could cause a decent threat. 

 

No way can you play two up front against Man U….

We have to get hold of the ball before we can create anything for a front two and we won’t ! Ralph has to be creative about having periods where we can control midfield, the luxury of two up front will not cut it against Everton let alone a world class team… 

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17 hours ago, MAY-Z said:

If none of them suit that position then that is a problem with Ralph. Competent managers adjust their style to suit their players, they don’t just say we are playing this regardless of how bad it suits us

 

personally I dont think the formation works as with the full backs getting so far forward to create width and attacking options, it renders the Walcott / Djenepo positions almost redundant, so in effect we almost play with 9 on the field. 

Yeah it’s definitely a problem. I just think the best way to solve it was to try and bring in a player or two who can play in the CAM role, who are comfortable playing a bit more centrally, and suit the formation. 
 

The best way IMO is to bring in players who suit what is ultimately Hasenhuttl’s strongest way of playing. But it’s probably not going to happen as there’s no rumours at all about signing a CAM, so the same problems will probably persist. 


Then whether or not the he can adjust to the squad he has is another question. I’m not holding out much hope tbh.

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5 hours ago, tajjuk said:

I wondered this, whether the back 3 needs to come back.  We would need to sign another centre-back anyway but might give us a bit more protection at the back.

Plus our wide players are an inconsistent mess, and with KWP, Peraud and Tino I think we have some more dynamic fullbacks who could offer a lot as wingbacks, whereas Bertrand just couldn't really do it. 

Play a midfield 3 of JWP, Romeu and Armstrong, with Armstrong bursting forward, keeping the front two who already look like they could cause a decent threat. 

 

Exactly this. If you look at our strongest and weakest points then 532 makes sense. Koeman did when we were in a rut. Plus would mean the back of redmond who hasn't had a good game in 6 months.

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15 minutes ago, Teddeer said:

Against Man Utd I'd go for;

FF

KWP Bednarek (or New Centre Back) Salisu Peraud

Tino JWP Romeu Dialo S.Armstrong 

A.Armstrong

Is the correct answer.

Accepting that Livramento is unlikely to last 90 minutes, given his age, so replacing him on 60 minutes (not 88, Ralph...) with Djenepo or Redmond if needing to be defensive, Tella if chasing a goal.

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1 hour ago, Turkish said:

It looks more solid but we’ve still got the fundamental issue of goalkeepers that can’t keep goal and defenders that can’t defend 

Well, yes but this is a thread about formation so it’s about as good as we can do with what’s available.

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14 hours ago, Billy the Kidd said:

I still think the subs are part of the problem, Ralph appears not to be proactive in seeing games slipping away, he is famed for making changes far too late. 
 

Yesterday was another example of this, and he doesn’t use the subs to change the shape or impact in the game. 
 

KWP was an obvious choice, as was getting our 2 attacking midfielders changed as both were so poor. Djeneppo occasionally got into good spaces, but far too often failed to play the over lapping Perraud in and lost possession and Theo failed to do anything of note. 

I think you are right in part, but I'm certain it's a combination of Ralph having no ability to manage the game as it happens (subs are a part of this) and him having a blind spot for certain players who are simply not good enough.

Every time an opposition manager makes a small change to address a problem Ralph fails to react - not even as much as a tactical change.

He continually persists in selecting players who undermine what he is trying to achieve - McCarthy is a good example as our tactics require quick decision making and good distribution from our keeper - McCarthy just doesn't have these in his locker.

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  • 4 weeks later...

4-1-4-1 today. Interesting, 

Dont think you get the best out of Prowsey in that position, and Armstrong looked completely isolated, but Blackburn fans always said he can’t play up top on his own. looked a far better side once Broja came on, 

Nice to have another option, but restricts attacking effort, feel like we need to get Tella more involved, he’s such a talent 

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17 minutes ago, Jeremy Corbyn said:

Who would be the midfield 3 in today's formation?

 

lineup.png

Stuart Armstrong would be a good option in the role Elyounoussi played today. Diallo was also more effective than Elyounoussi when he came on playing in that role when Ward-Prowse replaced Romeu as the deep player.

Edited by Matthew Le God
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2 minutes ago, Matthew Le God said:

Their job wasn't to be close to him, they were to stay wide and double up with the fullbacks, it was Ward-Prowse and Elyounoussi who were close to Armstrong. 

So the opposite of what you just posted in your formation picture?

it was 4-1-4-1. Hence why Armstrong was isolated for pretty much the entire time he was on the pitch.

Edited by ErwinK1961
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1 minute ago, ErwinK1961 said:

So the opposite of what you just posted in your formation picture?

it was 4-1-4-1.

I didn't say it wasn't a 4141, I said "it could also be called a 433". Formations are flexible in and out of possession, so both can be applied to what we did today.

'Also' doesn't mean instead of.

Edited by Matthew Le God
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