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Inner Flight


blandy
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It's one of the strange facets of life that if you know you have to get up early - to catch a flight say, you're not gonna be able to get a proper kip in, even if you go to bed early, because you subconsciously know you dare not oversleep.

So it was that last night, on the day that it was reported Villa and West Ham had agreed to swap Nigel Reo Coker for a bag of dollars, I was due to fly early the this morning.

Unable to sleep, my mind wandered onto the long anticipated signing. I can't say as I've got an opinion on him. I don't remember noticing him stand out any time I've seen Villa play West Ham (perhaps he wasn't in the team - I wasn't going to get up and scour the interweb for confirmation), but it occurred to me that managers tend to pick players they sign, especially when they cost a bundle.

So I was thinking - next season's midfield.... Last season's midfield.....got to get up at 6.... Barry and Petrov looked good together in the middle.... is the alarm set?. Gardener developing nicely, but can't be expected to play every game. Luke Young really came on a bundle - where's NRC going to play?

It didn't add up in my sleepy head.

I mean put Petrov and NRC in the middle and Barry has to go left, and Ashley Young right, but Barry is better in the middle. So if Ash goes on the left, then Barry is in the middle. Turn off brain, and go to sleep. Gah, dammit.

Basically, I was confused. Where is the shape?

Villa found some form when Gav dropped out and we had more creativity in the middle, but somehow, good as we looked at times, I felt that a strong midfield (i.e. a top 4 midfield) would win out over our 4. The signing of Nigel Reo Coker by MO'N would be to address that, I was sure.

Suddenly it's 1 am and I'm still awake.

Maybe, we'll play 3-5-2. That way it all fits together.

3 at the back from Olly, Martin Laursen, Gary Cahill, Ridge, Freddie Bouma, Mark Delaney, - defenders all. Mmmm. Seems possible.

5 in midfield centred around NRC as the ball winner, with GB and Stan Petrov either side, and then 2 of Ashley Young, Craig Gardener and a new player to provide the width (GB could go left Young Right and Gardener into the middle as an option).

Then up front we've currently got 2 from Big John, Luke and Gabby.

That kind of fits.

So we need as a minimum another winger/wide player, for the right side, and another forward (please not Germaine Defoe, I can't stand him. Too London for me, too cocky for his ability).

And then I fell asleep.

The plane was delayed, and I might as well have had a lie in.

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Ah the joys of choice!

Maybe:

Petrov - Barry- NRC- Young

Or:

Young - Petrov - NRC - Barry

Or:

Young - Petrov - NRC - Barry - Berger

The first one seem to work best to me.

Oh and Blandy, get some sleep on the plane, you're going to need it if we sign SWP!

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Hello, I've only gone and invented a new formation. 3-2-3-2. Go with me for a sec (unless St Martin reads this. In which case, give serious thought to anything you may read in this post, St Martin. I'm an actual idiot).

Mellberg Laursen Bouma

NRC Barry

Young Petrov Maloney/Berger

Carew Agbonlahor

I recognise the (many) possible flaws in this, not least the lack of a GK, but I credit most of you with some imagination! It looks weak in defence but if, when we're under pressure, Barry and NRC drop back and Olof and Bouma take up full back positions then I think it reinforces it a bit. And going forward...well we'd sure as hell score a goal or two.

Enough of my wittering. I hope you had a good flight, Blandy.

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Who knows what MON is thinking, 4-3-3 looks good on paper.

.....................................Sorensen..................................

RB?................Mellberg...............Laursen..........Bouma

........................................NRC.......................................

......................Petrov....................Barry.......................

.......Young.....................Carew...........Berger/maloney

But then again how could we drop Gabby/possible new striker MON says he wants?

4-4-2 then maybe?

....................................Sorensen...................................

RB?.................Mellberg...........Laursen...........Bouma

Young...............Petrov................NRC...............Barry

..........................Carew..............Gabby.......................

Hmmm...better, with Young on the wing, but Barry will have to move out wide and MON seems to prefer him in the middle. Will Petrov make way for Barry with Berger/Maloney playing out wide left?

Who knows.

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I'd expect a 4-5-1 formation with Carew as the target man.

That leaves room for NRC, Petrov and Barry in central, with Young/Gabby/Maloney in the wide positions.

I just dont see MON getting adventurous and playing any less than 4 at the back or any more than 1 at the front... sadly.

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Luke Young really came on a bundle - where's NRC going to play?

It didn't add up in my sleepy head.

MON really is the man.

He has signed Luke Young in Blandy's sleep AND converted him to a midfielder

:winkold:

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I think whatever formation the Manager decides to play, whether a back three or four, Reo-Coker will be sitting in the whole in front of them. I would question a back three though, as you need wingers who will be dropping back in defence. I don't see Wright-Phillips, if thats who where looking at fitting into a back three. But there are a few players who we we have been loosely linked too, who can perform that job with a back three, time will tell.

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IF we sign SWP, the answer is simple IMO.

4-4-2.

Petrov will not start in the first string 11. CM of Barry and NRC.

Ash and SWP wide.

For me, it's that simple.

although obviously we will rotate more this season as we'll have a stronger pool of first team players.

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The chances of villa playing 3-5-2 next season are slim to nil IMO. The reson for this is that 3-5-2 is in essence 5-3-2 as its usually attack minded full backs that will play the wing back role. We have no player that can do this. Fat freddy is too fat to run the line all day and is too poor in the final third to provide any decent service to big john. De La knee will be injured and our current wide players (young,berger, barry,SWP?) would all lack the defensive ability necessary to play as a wing back.

I think we will see the 4-3-3/4-4-2 formations in virtually every game next season IMO.

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I was also thinking 3 5 2 but with Bouma who WAS a centre half playing on left of back three laursen centre and melberg right. Boruc in goal. The addition of both Defoe or Utaka and Shaun Wright Wright Wright Phillips would in turn help us to challenge Tottenham/Arsenal, Newcastle and Everton for that Fifth spot. Ive just had it on good advice that were in talks with robbie fowler, wages not an issue just how often he will play.....

Boruc

Melberg Laursen Bouma

SWP Petrov Reo Coker Barry Young

Defoe/Utaka Carew

Subs; Fowler

Gabby

Maloney

Sorenson

Cahill

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IF we sign SWP, the answer is simple IMO.

4-4-2.

Petrov will not start in the first string 11. CM of Barry and NRC.

Ash and SWP wide.

For me, it's that simple.

although obviously we will rotate more this season as we'll have a stronger pool of first team players.

Great post and echoed my own thoughts exactly.

I must admit that I have been underwhelmed by Petrov to date and believe the NRC has been bought in to do the job that Petrov has failed to do.

NRC is a good tackler but he is more than a holding player that sits in front of the back four. What he brings is a great ability to carry the ball with pace and power from his own half of the pitch, turning defence into attack. With the speed of Gabby, Young (and hopefully SWP or someone of his ilk), this could potentially make us extremely dangerous next season.

Can't wait to see who comes in next!

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can't see us playing 4-3-3 because carew is not the right man to be the main striker

It works if you have someone like drogba or bent, players who can hold the ball up but also score you plenty of goals. I think Carew is a fantastic player but i don't think he is an out and out goal scorer and for us to do well we need a goal scorer to partner carew.

I can't see us playing 3-5-2 because i don't think we have the players that can do the wing back job.

I think our best formation is 4-4-2

We can partner carew with a goal scorer

If we sign swp he can play on the right and young on the left, with nrc and barry to play in the middle. We also have flexible options if players perform poorly or get injured, petrov and gardner can come into the middle, barry can go out wide, young can play either flank and we also have berger and maloney also who can play out wide.

hopefully we will see

a rb

a cb

swp

a cf

possibly a keeper as well.

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I think there is every possibility that he has 4-3-3 more in mind than 3-5-2. Or maybe we will stick with 4-4-2 in the majority of games and, presuming Barry stays in the middle, then one of him, Petrov & NRC will be left out.

I think that may well be the case, and with the games where 3 central midfielders are needed (ie against Arsenal, even at home - yes at home, it's just the way to play against them) then NRC, Petrov & Barry will all be in there, helping us to try & win the territorial battle. With Carew as the figurehead up top, and Ashley Young as one of the wide men alongside him, that is starting to look very strong. Now, the other 'wide man', could come from Maloney or Berger, also Luke & Gabby both performed fairly well in that formation (or, as well as can be expected from them) but obviously we are all hoping we will see an SWP or a Sneijder come in. Maybe even Bellamy. Whatever happens, that looks pretty solid.

Now with NRC, Petrov, Barry, Gardner, Young, Maloney and Berger already in place for the midfield battle, and Carew, Gabby & Luke up front, we definitely have the basis for a 4-4-2 with a couple of additions. We all know we need a right-back, and that a new keeper is likely to come in. If Ridge stays, we are arguably fine for central defenders (I say arguably in case Laursen has another injury) and all in all, with the additions that surely we know are likely to come in (eg GK, RB, RW, CF) that's a pretty fine squad.

It has options, and some people will be left disappointed on some occasions, and so be it. That's what big clubs do. But if we play 3-5-2, a formation that can do ok but is unlikley to win us anything ny time soon, I will be hugely, hugely disappointed.

I do not believe it will happen though.

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There are many permutations which could develop in midfield.

We could play a three player midfield of Petrov-ReoCoker-Barry covered by Gardner, Berger and Maloney. with Young and Agbonlahor as Deep lying forwards alongside Carew who float out onto the wing when required with Moore and probably Maloney as back up.

Or

In a 4-4-2 Petrov could be Demoted to squad player. We could play Reo-Coker and Barry in the Middle with Young moved to the left and a new signing(hopefully SWP or Milner) on the right. With a New Striker to partner Carew, Agbonlahor who may not start every week next season will provide cover and competition for the strikers and the wingers.

I think the latter is more likely, but the Signing of Reo-Coker is positive as it keeps our options open and beefs up our midfield.

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