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First 20 minutes


Mantis
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Why on Earth do we seem to have these periods at the beginning of games where we self-destruct? I know our defence can be dodgy at times (especially without Vlaar) but we look noticeably worse in the first 20 minutes or so. For me this is our biggest problem right now because by we always seem to be at least 1 goal down at the half hour mark, meaning we don't really give ourselves the chance to grow into the game. It's strange because last season we kept on taking leads but couldn't defend them whereas now we keep on conceding early goals and giving ourselves a mountain to climb. It's shocking how many of our goals this season have come in the first 20 minutes or so.

 

Arsenal away - 6 minutes

Chelsea away - 6 minutes

Liverpool home - 21 minutes

Newcastle home - 18 minutes

West Brom - 3 and 11 minutes

Fulham - 21 minutes

Man United home - 15 and 18 minutes

 

Not only do we concede early goals, we also seem to concede our goals very close together. I just don't get it.

 

It'd be nice to get to the bottom of this and I was wondering if anyone had any idea what goes on. Is it the tactics? Lack of concentration?

 

P.S. simply saying "The manager is shit" or "The players are shit" or "The owner is shit" doesn't really answer the question.

Edited by Mantis
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I think it may be that we want to start quickly, so we expose ourselves at the back when we're pushed up?

 

Or it's just a lack of concentration, and our defenders don't position themselves correctly because they don't know what to expect.....but that can't be right because the team probably analyses what the opposition is going to do during match preparation.

 

Maybe we need to let the opposition to score so that the team gets the kick up the arse they need to get themselves into gear. No wonder we've rescued points from losing positions this season.  

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I think it may be that we want to start quickly, so we expose ourselves at the back when we're pushed up?

 

Or it's just a lack of concentration, and our defenders don't position themselves correctly because they don't know what to expect.....but that can't be right because the team probably analyses what the opposition is going to do during match preparation.

 

Maybe we need to let the opposition to score so that the team gets the kick up the arse they need to get themselves into gear. No wonder we've rescued points from losing positions this season.  

Yeah maybe it's that. I think perhaps in the next few games we should start games with the sole intention of slowling things down and keeping possession. May be a bit boring but it'd give us a chance to grow into the game at least.

 

That said, I don't agree that going a goal down necessarily helps us. We looked brilliant at the beginning of the game today but those two goals completely took the wind out of our sails.

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How about this:

 

We have no idea how to construct attacks because our midfield is not creative. Only way to create is to get an extra-man forward for an overlap i.e. a full-back run.

 

At the start of the game it is 0-0 and we attack and try to do this. We get defensively out of shape. They counter-attack and score.

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How about this:

 

We have no idea how to construct attacks because our midfield is not creative. Only way to create is to get an extra-man forward for an overlap i.e. a full-back run.

 

At the start of the game it is 0-0 and we attack and try to do this. We get defensively out of shape. They counter-attack and score.

 

if only lambert realised this

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How about this:

 

We have no idea how to construct attacks because our midfield is not creative. Only way to create is to get an extra-man forward for an overlap i.e. a full-back run.

 

At the start of the game it is 0-0 and we attack and try to do this. We get defensively out of shape. They counter-attack and score.

 

This would explain why a team concedes goals, not why they keep conceding them so early in the game.

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This would explain why a team concedes goals, not why they keep conceding them so early in the game.

 

 

Surely it does. Early in the game it's 0-0.

 

To win the game we need to score a goal.

 

0-0 is not good enough (and rightly so).

 

So early in the game there are periods where we set out to attack, and we get defensively out of shape and punished on the counter attack.

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Did anybody notice the way we started the game today? Kick-off that is?

 

For me it seemed strange but basically Benteke and Gabby braced themselves on the flank and we tried to punt the ball over the top for them to sprint onto. Didn't work mind.

 

I don't know what it is about the opening minutes for us, maybe it is indeed the fact that we come out of the blocks wanting to score and in turn leave ourselves open. The thing is a lot of the time I see silly mistakes, like Baker's pass today. He had time on the ball, Clark (who is arguably a better passer of the ball than Baker) was wide open for a pass if needed. Instead, Baker tried to pass the ball to Sylla who was surrounded by about 4 players. Logically it made no sense to try and make this pass, but he did it anyway. There was no urgency needed and nobody closed him down, yet he made this mistake by himself for no apparent reason.

 

My guess is that the lads are eager, being young and inexperienced they want to try and play in a way that maybe they aren't quite good enough for yet. Baker trying to play it out from the back like that showed this, it was a pass he was not capable of completing yet he took that option over many easier/better options which in turn cost us a goal because he strained himself whilst kicking the ball. 

 

I know we all hate the hoof, it isn't pretty, but if our players aren't capable of performing certain actions then they should probably be deterred from doing them. It is a learning process still for a very young squad, so we have to expect mistakes, it just seems to be that they are made out of eagerness to get forward or to play in a certain way, to impress you could say.

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This is a problem. Our aggregate "score" for the first twenty minutes of the matches we have played so far this season is 1-7. And for the first 30 minutes it is 3-10. Only Fulham and Norwich are as bad as this. Fortunately, we have a much better record in the last 30 minutes of matches, so that helps to restore some balance and is why we are not floundering near the relegation zone.

 

Seems to me it's part of a wider problem which also includes the weakness of our attacking play early on. We've only managed 4 first half goals all season and at home we have not scored a goal in the first half at all.

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This is a problem. Our aggregate "score" for the first twenty minutes of the matches we have played so far this season is 1-7. And for the first 30 minutes it is 3-10. Only Fulham and Norwich are as bad as this. Fortunately, we have a much better record in the last 30 minutes of matches, so that helps to restore some balance and is why we are not floundering near the relegation zone.

 

Seems to me it's part of a wider problem which also includes the weakness of our attacking play early on. We've only managed 4 first half goals all season and at home we have not scored a goal in the first half at all.

It's the reverse of last season. Funnily enough, when we have taken the lead we've been good at hanging on to it this season.

 

I think this annoys me more though. We don't even give ourselves chances in a lot of these games. It's not fun going into a game knowing that we'll probably be behind after half an hour.

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This is a problem. Our aggregate "score" for the first twenty minutes of the matches we have played so far this season is 1-7. And for the first 30 minutes it is 3-10. Only Fulham and Norwich are as bad as this. Fortunately, we have a much better record in the last 30 minutes of matches, so that helps to restore some balance and is why we are not floundering near the relegation zone.

 

 

This makes sense. At the end of the game we are defending because the other team is trying to win. That means we can use the counter-attack.

 

Our first 20 minute problem is directly linked to our lack of ability to retain possession going forward, creativity, movement, attacking positions our players get into ... when we are taking the game to the opposition.

 

When the score is 0-0 in the first half of games we do take the game to the opposition when we can - we did this even today against Man Utd. That's right we should do that we just aren't very good at it.

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