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Sideways passing at the back


Kiwivillan
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This is utterly pointless and is doing my head in. Fulham a team that hadn't won in 6 straight games were either trying to and almost intercepting a la the Bacuna back pass that led to Shlong goal or catching there breath and letting us fill our boots before pointlessly launching it to Benteke to head to Fulham defender. His this actually a plan that is supposed to improve the team because it's shit. 

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

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a lack of midfield movement and a lack of options to pass to.

 

Delph moves around a lot, but the other two midfielders just aren't on his wavelength, I think.

 

There was one moment in particular, around the 80-minute mark, that, for me, was symptomatic of this. We were in our own half of the pitch, and Delph passed the ball to Westwood and immediately started making a run into the Fulham half. A simple one-touch return pass from Westwood would have set Delph off and put us on the attack, but for some reason (lack of ability, lack of confidence?) we ended up passing the ball back to Clark.

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

Who exactly is Westwood supposed to pass to? Barkley and ozil have tons of options, constant movement, villa are very stagnant. Hence Westwood doesn't have a place to go. At least he looks forward when passing, more than can be said for other players in the side.

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

Who exactly is Westwood supposed to pass to? Barkley and ozil have tons of options, constant movement, villa are very stagnant. Hence Westwood doesn't have a place to go. At least he looks forward when passing, more than can be said for other players in the side.

 

 

True - although, as I said, Delph is an exception.

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

 

Westwood's actually the only one in our squad capable of that. He just had a very bad day at the office yesterday.

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

 

Westwood's actually the only one in our squad capable of that. He just had a very bad day at the office yesterday.

 

 

I've always had the impression that he's a good passer - he just takes too damn long on the ball.

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Our players don't move and there is often an enormous gap between our midfield and our forwarda. Here is what our build up play usually starts out as against Fulham

------Herd---Clark--Baker

------------Westwood-----

Bacuna-------------Delph--

---------KEA--------------

--------------------------

-----------Weimann--------

-------Agbonlahor--Benteke

It's no wonder we can't create anything. We can't play anything down the left. Bacuna has no one to link up with on the right. The forwards are all clumped together and Delph and KEA are usually playing with ttheir back to goal. It's an absolute mess

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Our players don't move and there is often an enormous gap between our midfield and our forwarda. Here is what our build up play usually starts out as against Fulham

------Herd---Clark--Baker

------------Westwood-----

Bacuna-------------Delph--

---------KEA--------------

--------------------------

-----------Weimann--------

-------Agbonlahor--Benteke

It's no wonder we can't create anything. We can't play anything down the left. Bacuna has no one to link up with on the right. The forwards are all clumped together and Delph and KEA are usually playing with ttheir back to goal. It's an absolute mess

 

If had got into any of those positions my U-11 football manager would have told me to stop holding hands.

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If you go to whoscored and go through all of Villa's fixtures and go to the "player positioning" tab, you can see the complete regression in terms of keeping our width. Against Arsenal, Chelsea, and London, Gabby and Weimann both take up good wide positions not too close to Benteke and spread out the opposing defense. As the season goes on, our "wide" forwards gravitate more and more towards the middle until there are almost no options out wide in terms of average positions. It's no wonder the back four shuttle it amongst themselves before passing it back to Guzan. They have no one to pass it to!

 

It's quite stunning how easy the problem is to see. Who are you supposed to pass it to when your forwards are within 5 meters of each other?

 

When I get home I'll try to photoshop all of the images together just to show exactly how problematic it is.

Edited by Kwan
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If you go to whoscored and go through all of Villa's fixtures and go to the "player positioning" tab, you can see the complete regression in terms of keeping our width. Against Arsenal, Chelsea, and London, Gabby and Weimann both take up good wide positions not too close to Benteke and spread out the opposing defense. As the season goes on, our "wide" forwards gravitate more and more towards the middle until there are almost no options out wide in terms of average positions. It's no wonder the back four shuttle it amongst themselves before passing it back to Guzan. They have no one to pass it to!

 

It's quite stunning how easy the problem is to see. Who are you supposed to pass it to when your forwards are within 5 meters of each other?

 

When I get home I'll try to photoshop all of the images together just to show exactly how problematic it is.

Last season there was a nice fluidity about the front three too. The were all on the same wavelength and engaged in some intelligent interchange which most defences they faced couldn't cope with.

This season the front-three are shockingly static, predictable and one-dimensional.

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If you go to whoscored and go through all of Villa's fixtures and go to the "player positioning" tab, you can see the complete regression in terms of keeping our width. Against Arsenal, Chelsea, and London, Gabby and Weimann both take up good wide positions not too close to Benteke and spread out the opposing defense. As the season goes on, our "wide" forwards gravitate more and more towards the middle until there are almost no options out wide in terms of average positions. It's no wonder the back four shuttle it amongst themselves before passing it back to Guzan. They have no one to pass it to!

 

It's quite stunning how easy the problem is to see. Who are you supposed to pass it to when your forwards are within 5 meters of each other?

 

When I get home I'll try to photoshop all of the images together just to show exactly how problematic it is.

Last season there was a nice fluidity about the front three too. The were all on the same wavelength and engaged in some intelligent interchange which most defences they faced couldn't cope with.

This season the front-three are shockingly static, predictable and one-dimensional.

Completely agree with this. On Sunday we had a very brief period where Benteke seemed to move out to the left and Gabby was in the centre, and it led to a couple of our better passages of play.

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Our midfield is useless, that's the problem, they are no where to be found at the best of times.

 

Maybe this is completely irrelevant but Whoscored has Delph, KEA, Westwood, and Tonev 2nd, 10th, 12th, and 18th for average scores this season. Benteke, Gabby, Kozak, and Weimann are 7th, 13th, 15th, and 17th. I would suggest Gabby and Weimann have been really underperforming this season and Benteke has just not been at the races since return from injury.

 

Herd is 1st by virtue of being our best player in 1 game and one could argue the forwards have low scores from lack of possession but I think as others have addressed our forwards are not making themselves available and we are resorting to long ball hopefulness.

 

The Man City and Soton results are possibly covering up a problem in our play that could see us in a relegation battle again before the season is out. 

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The likes of Westwood just aren't good enough if we want to break down relatively packed defences like Fulham's one today. If we want to stop playing it sideways we have to be just that bit sharper in the pass than the opposition, but watching Westwood take 3, 4 touches before thinking about the pass and then watching the likes of Barkley and Ozil play slick one-touch forward passes without so much as looking up made me realise just how limited our squad is.

 

Westwood's actually the only one in our squad capable of that. He just had a very bad day at the office yesterday.

 

 

I've always had the impression that he's a good passer - he just takes too damn long on the ball.

 

 

thats mainly down to a lack of options for him. players dont have intelligence in front of him to move into space

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Another thread and another that is simply answered by the fact we don't have a link up man. We need a creative spark.

 

Also what's wrong with passing it at the back?? you build from the back. I thought we wanted hoof gone? so now we don't want our defenders to pass the ball??

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Another thread and another that is simply answered by the fact we don't have a link up man. We need a creative spark.

 

Also what's wrong with passing it at the back?? you build from the back. I thought we wanted hoof gone? so now we don't want our defenders to pass the ball??

 

Against Fulham they passed it around at the back, sometimes forward a bit... then back, sideways some more...then HOOF

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Another thread and another that is simply answered by the fact we don't have a link up man. We need a creative spark.

 

Also what's wrong with passing it at the back?? you build from the back. I thought we wanted hoof gone? so now we don't want our defenders to pass the ball??

 

As much as I agree that we need a creative midfielder, I don't buy that it will solve all of our problems. Spurs, for example, have a boatload of creative midfielders - Holtby, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Paulino, Lamela, Chadli (plus Erikson, who's injured) -- and they're not scoring either, we've actually scored one more goal than they have this season. A creative attacking midfielder is not going to be the panacea we all are hoping for. Though we do definitely need one because our midfielders all seem to have approximately the same strengths (and weaknesses) and none of them are great at filling this creative role.

 

I agree with your second point, though. When we beat Southampton the prevailing complaint was our low possession stat. Against Fulham we kept possession better, now the complaint is sideways passing at the back. How are we supposed to build possession without passing sideways and playing it out of the back? The problem isn't the sideways passing at the back, the problem is not having anyone to pass it out to. And this is a much bigger problem with Luna absent, as he is often a focal point for attacks down the left side. Last season Lowton was often an outlet down the right-hand side; Bacuna has done that to some extent this season but his passing and crossing are not as accurate and those attacks often break down.

 

Anyway, all of it points to the same problem that's been noted again and again - no movement in our front three. And lack of width. We can't pass it out to three guys standing still, a few yards from each other, surrounded by defenders.

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