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Grinding out results...


Dodgyknees
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I very good post Dodgy and I think you could well be right.

 

An interesting point I saw somebody make, although I can't remember who or on which forum, was that this more defensive, less attractive play has come in since Okore got injured. The three games before that we were playing a much different, more attractive, style, possibly because Lambert had faith in Okores ability to not make the defensive mistakes which plagued us last season.

 

After three seasons of relegation battles it will do the squad the world of good to remain out of that battle this season and as you say as the season progresses more teams will be less inclined to park the bus because they will need victories.

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I think you're right about the way we are playing. Crowding out teams in midfield at home and defending in depth away. Our forward play is more set up for counterattack than building on possession-based midfield dominance. That is probably why we do better away than at home - teams away play more in our half so we are better able to counterattack. We haven't found a way yet at home to convert "midfield stifling" into effective attack.

 

I also see no real basis, apart from hope, to think we will change our style of play in the second half of the season, unless we buy some new players capable of making a significant improvement in quality and effectiveness of the squad. But, what do I know? I'm just a dumb fan who probably doesn't grasp the sublime nature of this "project".

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For the first time in years, we can have a real good run over Xmas/NY.

 

If we have an end to the season like last year, we'll be right up in 7th/8th.

 

I'd take 12th though if you offered it me now.

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I think it may show Lambert learning from last season. It was great for the neutral and at times great for us, but our defence was pish poor last year. I don't see anything wrong with a steady, steady approach this year as a club we need a bit of stability. Perhaps we may get more fluid later in the year. I have heard a lot of journos saying that getting Scott Marshall as a coach this summer has really sorted the defence out.

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I think you're right about the way we are playing. Crowding out teams in midfield at home and defending in depth away. Our forward play is more set up for counterattack than building on possession-based midfield dominance. That is probably why we do better away than at home - teams away play more in our half so we are better able to counterattack. We haven't found a way yet at home to convert "midfield stifling" into effective attack.

 

I also see no real basis, apart from hope, to think we will change our style of play in the second half of the season, unless we buy some new players capable of making a significant improvement in quality and effectiveness of the squad. But, what do I know? I'm just a dumb fan who probably doesn't grasp the sublime nature of this "project".

 

But at least we have the bare bones to add those creative players too.....I think we have to give lambo a while longer to start adding some flair....to be fair he has answered most question of himself. I doubted he could organize a defence - but he has - even with one of key signings only playing 3 games before injury......the question now is can he add panache ? - he is an ambitous bloke - so don't see him settling for villa being the next stoke......

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When I heard the commentator say last night "Villa's unbeaten run stretches to 5 games" my initial reaction was 'That can't be right!'.  I still needed to convince myself after looking back at the results!!

 

I was the same when someone mentioned we've only lost two out of our last ten games and also when it was noticed we're the only team in the Prem to have not conceded more than two goals in a league game.

 

Considering how bad we were defensively last season that shows how much we've improved that area of our game.

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Thoughtful post OP. I think you are right. Still no excuse for some of our passing mind but tactically Lambert seems to be doing what you suggest. He does change though, usually four times a season at least (he did with Norwich he did with us last season) so he could change yet again on Sunday for all we know.

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Good post.

 

For now it's all about points on the board, in whatever way is most effective. We need to make absolutely certain we will not be in another relegation fight. Once we have established a stable position, maybe bought a couple of players that can help our possession game and break teams down, then we can look to be more adventurous.

 

It's not like these players are incapable of keeping the ball when the manager wants us to. We had 56% possession in our game at home to Southampton last season, for example. We might not have any brilliant attacking midfielders that can carve open a defence, but from a technical point of view this squad is more than capable.

 

I have been saying for a few weeks - Lambert and the coaching staff are teaching this squad how to play football, 1 part of the game at a time. Right now they are learning how to be tough to beat, how to defend well as a unit. The rest of it will come later.

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I think you're right about the way we are playing. Crowding out teams in midfield at home and defending in depth away. Our forward play is more set up for counterattack than building on possession-based midfield dominance. That is probably why we do better away than at home - teams away play more in our half so we are better able to counterattack. We haven't found a way yet at home to convert "midfield stifling" into effective attack.

I also see no real basis, apart from hope, to think we will change our style of play in the second half of the season, unless we buy some new players capable of making a significant improvement in quality and effectiveness of the squad. But, what do I know? I'm just a dumb fan who probably doesn't grasp the sublime nature of this "project".

But at least we have the bare bones to add those creative players too.....I think we have to give lambo a while longer to start adding some flair....to be fair he has answered most question of himself. I doubted he could organize a defence - but he has - even with one of key signings only playing 3 games before injury......the question now is can he add panache ? - he is an ambitous bloke - so don't see him settling for villa being the next stoke......

Agree with this mostly, but I do think he needs to do a bit more work on how we play at home, to get the midfield and forwards working better together.

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