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Found 18 results

  1. There's been quite a lot of discussion about our current tactics, especially surrounding the fact that we've just started to trial a 3-5-2 formation. Personally I think it's a terrible idea for our current set of players and I feel we're wasting time trying to use it in pre-season, I can't help but feel within a game or two we will be abandoning it and trying something different. With the current set of players we have, and assuming everyone is fit, what formation would you play? I'd go for a 4-3-3 with the following. Steer Elmo - Sulliman - Chester Hutton Thor Hourihane - Grealish Green Albert Davis When out of possesion i'd keep the formation really rigid like the above, however when it possession I'd give Grealish license to roam forward and get the wingers bombing forward whilst staying close to the touchline to open up space across the pitch. Davis has the ability to bring other into play even though he doesn't score much, I feel it's the most balanced side.
  2. sexbelowsound

    Defence

    With 3/5 of our Centre-backs seemingly in and out of the treatment room what are the options going into next season? Who would you replace? Would you give Vlaar a new deal? Do we have any youngsters that are waiting in the wings like Donacien? Okore and Clark seem to have formed an excellent partnership which I think will flourish given time so for me we need an experienced back up centre half or two who aren't injury concerns and another young up and comer.
  3. villanwesty88

    Best eleven?

    What is our best eleven with the new recruits? I'm finding it hard to pick and also to work out our best formation. It is nice to have options though! Seems to be pretty good competition in each area. 4-3-3? ---------Johnstone---------- Bree Terry Chester Taylor -------Jedinak-- Whelan------ -----------Lansbury-------- Green -----------------Elmohamady --------------Kodjia 3-5-2? ------------Johnstone--------- -----Chester---Terry---Samba----- Bree----------------------------------Taylor -------Hourihane---Lansbury----- -----------McCormack--------- ------Kodjia-------Hogan------- 4-4-2? ---------Johnstone---------- Bree Terry Chester Taylor Green Jedinak Whelan Elmo ------Kodjia----Hogan---
  4. I'm a little bit excited about our squad. Think we have the strongest squad and team we have had since MON's first season. Gollini Bacuna - Elphick - Chester - Amavi Jedinak Tshibola - Westwood Grealish - McCormack Gestede Add to that: Bunn, Baker, Okore, Veretout, Gardner, Green, Traore, Cissokho, Hepburn-Murphy. Of course: Lescott, Hutton, Richards, Kozak, Steer, Bennett Possibly: Bamford, Diawara. That's not a bad core for a squad, is it?
  5. Mic09

    Our midfield problem

    Just a little notice before we begin, no Lambert/Lerner hating please! After Bayern lost their game against Wolfburg and drew against Shalke, a lot of the German media suggest that one of Bayern's problems this year is the midfield partnership of Shwainsteiger & Alonso. As we all know, a few months back Paul Lambert had a little trip to germany to discuss football with Guardiola, and since then we have noticed a Bayern/Barca caricature of football being performed by the Claret and Blue; a lot of passing, keeping possetion and playing from the back. Shwainsteiger has only come into play recently after the injury earlier in the season, and since then Bayern hasn't clicked the way the used to (another example being their loss to Man City). It seems to me that as much as I love Sanchez and Westwood, we should learn from other peoples mistakes and never play with two holding midfielders. Adding to that, Cleverley is almost non existant and Delph has not impressed this season so far. We are playing our midfield way too deep, which of course has improved our defence (since there is no space to crack open a 6/7 person defense) but has limited us going forward. To add to my argument, Benteke, our shining star has become a little bit like... Lewandowski. Amazing player, but something just went missing all of a sudden. In my opinion, it's the deep lying midfield which does not supply him as much as they did at Borussia. Cleverley is not a bad player, neither is Delph, Sanchez, or any other of our CM. It's just the football that we are trying to play is limiting them What are your thoughts on this? Have we fallen into the trap of trying to imitate the best in the game and forgetting that even Guardiola can make mistakes?
  6. kurtsimonw

    Tactics

    This was the most frustrating thing for me yesterday. A flat 4-4-2, with a forward at left mid, hurt us. Especially as Wednesday played with Abdi wide who was always going to play a bit more centrally, meant we were completely dominated in the middle. The most annoying thing is, he didn't even need to make subs and could've easily just moved the personnel around. a 4-3-3 with Gardner/Westwood/Bacuna and Ayew/McCormack of gestede would've packed the middle a bit more, given better protection to the full backs and meant that Ayew/McCormack could drift around a bit. Hope it's not a sign of things to come, because RdM got it very wrong IMO.
  7. Van Gal tried a "3 @ the back" system with ManU but for whatever reason it didnt come off. Conte has changed the formation @ Chelsea to a 3-4-3 with some astounding success I think the secret behind this (not ignoring the calibre of players available) system is that Chelsea have 1 - "ballplayers" capable of building attacks up from the back 2 - 2 Dominant central Midfielders who can be disciplined under pressure and protect the back 4 but also able to pass and move the ball on up the pitch 3 - The 2 wide MF-ers not only track back but can both tuck in keeping a compact 4 in MF and support the attacks 4 - The 3 forwards are not only class but are not one dimensional players capable of pulling defenders out of position Conte always emphasises the word "work", something Chelsea players have been very cultured into from Vialli to Mourinho and back again. Fitness, work-ethic, positional sense and tactical awareness are absolute in implementing such a system. On paper it all seems very logical and fesible for an organised team to be able to implement a system that has the 3-4 part as the defensive wall with the front 3 prepared to work back and be available to get on the front foot quickly when they dont have possesion. Then the 3 forwards supported by the 2 "wide" MF's - a back 3 being enough for cover for counters pushing up allowing the 2 CM's to be feeders for the creatives. This way of playing obviously requires players with the afore mentioned traits plus good movement, strength, mobility and ability on the ball to get it to work. But it seems possible at that level. I wonder if this Conte system will catch on in the PL. Maybe we can adapt the 3-4-3 formation so that is more like Elphick Chester Baker Adomah Jedi Tish Amavi McCormack Ayew Kodjia Defence - Maybe our lack of passing quality from Elphick/Chester/Baker could be excused at Ch level Midfield - Jedi holding/breaking up play, Tish doing the running Adomah & Amavi with a lot to do - Tracking back/Wide MF'ers/Winger Ayew dropping deep to pick the ball up/Floating across the "off the front-line" taking players on Mc Pressing when not in possesion License to roam in possesion Kodjia - being Kodjia scoring for fun. Maybe we could dominate games more (not stat-wise), condense play to our advantage (more skillfull attacking line of Adomah, Amavi, Ayew, Mc & Kodjia) push teams back and control the pressure. If it worked and got us up we may be a step further going into the PL (By then maybe a few teams will going 3-4-3) We have to upgrade anyway so maybe we would have a basis of Chester, Adomah, Tish, Amavi, Ayew, Grealish & Kodjia (plus Gollini) for our 1st 11 Elphick, Baker, Bacuna, McC as Squad players capable of playing the system We would have to buy anyway to survive in the PL, good buys would make our 1 season back more comfortable 1x GK (Gollini proving himself + a back up/or a proven PL GK) 2x Central defenders (L&R) 2x CM's 2x Wide players 1x CF I have feeling Conte has something going. Bruce is experienced enough to not lose his nerve trying something scaled down if it showed some signs that it could work. Opinions?
  8. Grasshopper

    Left Back

    Rather than have to flip between player threads I thought I'd start a LB thread where we all can Discuss Amavi, Richardson, Lescott, Kinsella, Clark, N'Zogbia, Baker, Cissohko and possible loan options. regarding the "Emergency loan rule - due to extreme circumstances" the Options of having Richardson and Lescott at LB, isn't that extreme enough? that should surely take us to the front of the queue shouldnt it?
  9. http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/aston-villa-expected-change-formation-10033043 Thoughts?
  10. Thought I would start this thread, as it's pretty hard to post in every individual player thread as presently this team is a work in progress and as exciting as that is it's also quite frightening to think how we don't genuinely know enough about any of our new signings to predict how the upcoming games will pan out - even if we know their attributes and potential. It's too early to jump to too many conclusions. But presently it feels like we lack leadership up front and at the back. Things break down as soon as the ball goes forward, I know Gabby has played as a lone striker but he has been pretty poor in that role so far. Richards has been as good as he has been bad at the back, I don't think he should be captain even if I feel he could still be a great signing for us. I feel we desperately need Gil and Grealish in the side as an attacking outlet to drive us forward, and hopefully Traore will feature soon. Gestede maybe limited but he needs to start and stay in the box. I remain cautiously hopeful about Ayew and Vertout, hopefully time they will get confidence and gel as it feels they are trying to hard or being far too cautious. Amavi and Gana have showed enough to tell me they are the real deal even if the latter still needs to sort certain things out. What are your main worries/hopes? Do you think anyone's face doesn't fit at the moment?
  11. There are some comments in the Grealish thread about tactics. I am starting a new thread for people to talk about how they feel we set up/play. The statement was that we are tactically poor. dn1982 (no relation) said: Tactically? We beat Liverpool because of good tactics. Don't let the last 4 results take away from the first 4. Now we have nearly finished the run from hell. (Spurs next week) I hope to see Jack getting more game time and hopefully a couple of starts. Having to play the top 6 in 7 games is unheard of and not games where you can throw him in. He needs to be in the bench at least every game. And my thoughts are; In reality there are probably 6-8 teams we could/should beat over the rest of the season (not including points we have now, also including home/away games - so although there are 6-8 teams, we are looking at double that in games (roughly). You'd hope we would also get a few lucky results too. We will be safe - but for me that is not enough now. We should be aiming to be further up the table. The thing that worries me is how impotent we look. Gabby, N'Zog and a few others are being carried by the team - and it shows. Also we seem naive in many ways and we seem to have one answer - the same answer - for every question. We need to expand the way we play and stop being so predictable. To add to this - I also feel that although we kept Liverpool quiet and won the game, this tactic will not work against a) the teams who sit deep against us and teams who work out how to play against us - when put under lots of pressure (ex: Man City, Chelsea) who have very good attacking players, we do crack. This narrows down the teams this will work against to those who are struggling up front. - Can we expand? Are we really only able to play one way?
  12. maqroll

    Midfield

    With Praet looking a real possibility, and Gil looking like hes staking a real claim in Portugal, we would seem to have a very strong midfield with good depth. Delph Gueye Grealish Sinclair Gil NZogbia Westwood Sanchez Gardner Cole Some of these might be sold or loanec, but its gonna be hard to keep them all happy... Good problem to have i guess Praet
  13. AndFos

    XI

    So, what is your best XI at the moment? Here is mine: Bench: Bunn Hutton Baker Bennett Westwood Gardner Sinclair Nzogbia Gil Tonev Robinson Kozak Agbonlahor Of course, there will be new left back. All of a sudden, the midfiels looks quite good!
  14. lapal_fan

    Off the ball

    Does it drive anyone else absolutely bananas? I honestly, truly, cannot conceivably understand how or why we are so fundamentally terrible at not moving when someone else has the ball. The players run about 10 yards in a forward line and if they don't receive it by then, they're utterly useless because they're picked up by a defender and just continue to stand and wait for something to happen. It's been something that has annoyed me since Gareth Barry left. We had a short spell in Houiller's reign when off the ball, we weren't too bad, but I think, for a professional football team, we must be one of the worst at it. The complete lack of movement off the ball makes us so easy to work out, easy to defend against and it's maddening. Watch Chelsea, Arsenal or Man City, their players are constantly making little runs, not always in straight lines either. Obviously teams like Madrid or Barca are the masters of this, but it's such a simple concept that we haven't got right in years. The one thing that annoys me is that we can only run forwards, never backwards when we have the ball. It's so rare when you see a midfielder dropping deep to collect the ball from a defender.. I think Delph's probably the best at it, because he always wants the ball, but even he can sometimes be accused of it. I don't know, I just needed to get that off my chest. Oh, one last thing, the options given to our fullbacks to pass to someone on the floor are laughable. Cissoko and Lowton last night had 2 choices for passes consistantly yesterday, pass to the closest CM inside, or hit it up the line and hope Gabby or Wiemann get to it and retain possession.. Maddening.
  15. dakid007

    Formation, System & Tactics

    I think we need to find a formation and system that works and stick to it so all the players understand what needs to be done. We should pick our best players Guzan delph gabby benteke and make sure these players are in positions were they can affect game the most. We don't have the players for a midfield 2, attacking wingers or a no.10 3-4-1-2 is the formation that suits our limited players Guzan (continue being awesome) Bacuna Vlaar Clark (back 3 sit and only join in on set plays)(bacuna takes all free kicks,corners) Gabby Sylla Westwood Luna (gabby&luna provide width&defensive cover)(sylla&westwood sit defensively) Delph (has ability to dribble past players should be moving around and dropping into 'space' and driving towards goal Benteke Weiman (put ball into goal as much as possible)
  16. ForeroGabe

    Strongest Line Up?

    Starting to wonder what our strongest line up would be if we sign our targets. I'd say a line up like this would get me very excited for the season. ------------------Guzan----------------- Hutton---Vlaar-----Okore---Cissokho ------Sanchez------Delph------------ Gnabry--------Ki----------N'Zogbia --------------Benteke
  17. villa4life

    Our problems with heading

    This is just a quick post about something I have observed that would improve our team immeasurably if it were fixed When we make clearing headers between the 18 yard box and the centre circle, pretty much all of our players have a tendency to head the ball back in the direction it has come, as hard as they can. Particularly frustrating is on occasions when our player has an opposition player near them but is not being physically challenged for the airborne ball Whilst this is a no-nonsense safety first approach, we rarely keep possession of the ball and in many cases allows the opposition to get the ball back far higher up the pitch than we could potentially be allowing If you watch the better defenders (Rio Ferdinand is a good example) and midfielders in the league, the clearance header is not the de-facto choice and they often look to find a teammate who is either in space or is strong enough to control or challenge for the cleared ball This isnt a Lambert criticism as this is something we have been awful at for years now (Same as our throw-ins) What do our players lack that mean we arent doing this. Is it general composure, confidence in teammates, heading technique or oversights by successive defensive coaching staff? Thoughts?
  18. Notes: I've added up the minutes played for every player this season. I've included additional time in these figures on the logic that although no more than 90 minutes is in theory played per game, players have to retain their concentration and focus for the entire duration of the match, whether it is 93 minutes or 99. That statistic was not available at Squawka or Whoscored so I researched it myself, every match for each player. The record of minutes played enabled me to go through each match and log goals scored and conceded for each player, creating what in Ice Hockey is known as the "+/-" stat. I don't think I've made any errors but it's always possible (feel free to double-check the Bannan statistic). I've not researched the statistics for all squad players, just the regulars plus Sylla and Bowery (I thought people would want to know those). During the 2012-13 season Aston Villa scored one goal once every 80 minutes and conceded a goal once every 54 minutes. Player (minutes) Conceded/Scored (Goal difference) Passing percentage (chances created) Defence Lowton (3350) 64/42 (-22) 79% (21) Played the most minutes of all the outfield players this season. Our most effective attacking defender who frequently had most touches of the ball of all our players during the match. Lowton made tackles and interceptions at a higher rate than all other Villa players during the season. To show his importance to the team and his progress, at the beginning to the season people said Who? at the end the talk was Arsene Wenger was going to buy him for Arsenal if we got relegated. He also scored THAT goal against Stoke, which I think was Gary Neville's goal of the season, possibly the single most important goal that saved us from relegation. Vlaar (2528) 46/39 (-7) 82% (3) Statistics show that our defence was stronger with our most experienced defender in it. Ron Vlaar, Netherlands international and team captain, had a difficult first few months but came back strongly after 9 matches out through injury. From January to the end of the season Vlaar's record was: W6 D4 L4. He contributed two goals and when he was playing the team scored once every 65 minutes (15 minutes better than the team average). Clark (2673) 54/30 (-22) 81% (0) Very important to the team when the manager was still new, very inexperienced and kept switching systems; and Ron Vlaar, his partner in defence, was still getting used to the Premier League. The 5 clean sheets the defence achieved this season were all with Clark at centre-back. However, like most of the defence he was guilty at times of some embarrassing errors. As captain when Vlaar was out, there was an incredible amount of pressure on Clark to lead the youngest ever Villa team. While Vlaar was out for 9 games between November and January the team averaged 1 point per game: enough for survival (W2 D3 L4). Baker (2164) 40/28 (-12) 78% (7) The youngest defender became one of the most important toward the end of the season gaining valuable experience along the way. Whilst we could not keep clean sheets, Baker was solid enough and composed enough to do just enough to give our forwards the chance to win every game. When we were weak at set pieces Baker made us stronger: over the season winning 64% of his headed duels, slightly higher success rate than Vlaar and Clark. At times Baker was clumsy, scoring two own goals - although one of them was unavoidable - and conceded a penalty for a schoolboy challenge on Suarez. Bennett (1960) 45/29 (-16) 84% (10) The weakest link in the defence this season. The team conceded one goal every 44 minutes when Bennett was playing, worst rate for all players listed here, 10 minutes more frequent than the team average. On the plus side - perhaps the explanation why Lambert continued to play him - the team scored (a very impressive) 13 minutes more frequently than the team average when Bennett was on the pitch. The most accurate passer of all the defenders, Bennett's defensive game did improve slightly during the season but fans will no doubt have polarised opinions about this player's future in the team. Lichaj (1167) 15/16 (-1) 75% (5) Had a good season as a back-up player, being defensively solid. The defence conceded a goal once every 68 minutes when Lichaj played, compared to worse than once every 54 minutes when he didn't (although it helped that he was subbed when the score was 0-3 during the Christmas stuffing at Chelsea). Midfield Westwood (2578) 45/40 (-5) 86% (33) Recruited from Crewe in League Two, Westwood had a fantastic season and proved to be the "Carrick" type of player he suggested he was. Although he didn't do anything spectacular - the archetypal "water carrier" - he was mature beyond his years and did not let any occasion or any level of pressure get to him, a consistency which was incredibly vital to the young team. Westwood deservedly ended the season with 6 assists - the most in the team - which suggests even more room for improvement next season, and it's worth noting he achieved an 86% passing accuracy whilst passing backwards only 36% of the time. Delph (1803) 32/23 (-9) 88% (13) A loose bolt of electricity in the midfield, Delph helped recharge our season campaign after the Christmas stuffings (he was only involved in the Tottenham defeat). Delph tackled and made vital interceptions to give the team ball possession to create attacks, and frequently carried the ball forward to start attacks. Also showing Delph's importance to cleaning up our midfield, his passing percentage of 88% was the highest in the team for the season. He did not manage any goals or assists but his take-ons were successful 71% of the time and given improvement this unique aspect to his game may in future result goals and key passes. Sylla (615) 13/15 (+2) 84% (9) Not many games to really judge his performance. From what we do have, does not look like we took him from French Ligue 2. His starting record since his arrival is not at all shabby: W4 D1 L2. Bannan (1705) 34/21 (-13) 82% (34) Bannan was our most creative midfield player this season, in both absolute (comparative) and relative (per minute) terms. When Bannan played he was responsible for many of the set pieces (although he took less than half all corners taken this season) and gained of his 17 key passes from corners. His most consistent attribute was his accurate crosses and was unlucky not to get an assist when Baker headed on to the bar against Southampton. On the negative side, the team conceded more goals with Bannan on the pitch and while his set pieces were top class, he never appeared fully "settled" with the pace of the Premier League. El Ahmadi (1256) 23/10 (-13) 85% (13) A difficult first season, getting used to the pace of the Premier League. El Ahmadi did not bring our defence rating down but the attack was much less productive - we scored only once every 125 minutes when he played this season. Attack Benteke (2964) 61/40 (-21) 65% (51) Benteke played the second most minutes of all outfield players, scoring 19 goals during the season. His role as central striker and target man in part explains his low passing percentage of 65%: he was usually given the most difficult balls to control and the fewest passing options. The gif below shows my personal favourite Benteke goal of the season. Who would have thought he would score from 8 yards out when he received possession 45 yards from goal with a defender in front and one closing in behind/ This is Benteke in beast mode - direct, fearless, powerful and lethal. Agbonlahor (2274) 37/31 (-6) 81% (23) Gabby came on strong when the team needed him most, scoring vital goals at the end of the season against Reading, QPR and Nowich. His absence for 5 games through injury at the same time as Vlaar was surely one of the reasons for the Christmas Stuffings. This season showed he has still got the pace that defenders hate, and is the key player that makes Villa the most feared counter-attack team in the Premier League, along with Arsenal and Tottenham. Weimann (2336) 43/35 (-8) 79% (23) The third key element of the attacking line up which scored enough goals to keep us in the Premier League. When Weimann played the team scored every 67 minutes, which on paper made him a more influential attacking player for minutes played even than Gabby and Benteke (with whom we scored once every 73 and 74 minutes, respectively). This incredible fact is probably explained by Weimann's excellent movement which draws defenders out of position and creates attacking shooting and passing opportunities for his team mates. That requires a lot of hard work though and by the end of the season most fans thought his performances tailed off a bit, which is understandable because by then he must have been totally shagged. N'Zogbia (1053) 20/17 (-3) 80% (22) With the effectiveness of the Agbonlahor-Benteke-Weimann line up, N'Zogbia's opportunities were limited this season. When he did play it's fair to say his form was usually good. He scored a game winning free kick against West Ham and a goal that earned us a point against Fulham. Holman (1506) 32/12 (-20) 74% (24) Played early in the season when tactics were constantly changing and the new boys were still getting used to the Premier League. Scored a goal that gave us a point away at QPR and a couple of assists in the famous away victory when we destroyed Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson's favourite team. Bowery (333) 5/2 (-3) 85% (2) Not much data to go on. Our record when he starts is: W2 D1, which be bad.can't