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Line Up - Weaknesses/Strengths - Hopes


VillanousOne
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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?

 

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From the new signings:

Gana & Amavi will be class this year - enjoy them while we can. Hopefully Traore will fit into this category too.

Richards, Gestede and Sinclair know the English game and will be good for us.

Veretout & Ayew will take the season to settle by the looks of things - don't expect too much.

Bunn and Crespo were bought as back up and I'm sure they'll be fine for this purpose.

Overall I think we need a new striker, and either a centre mid or centre back depending on what formation Sherwood plans on playing the most. For what's it's worth I think we'd suit a 4-2-3-1 best.

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For me strengths last night were Richards, Clark & Amavi...Bacuna is great if only he could learn to defend better!

 

Midfield i thought Westwood gave the ball away in good positions far too easily especially 1st half as did Gana, Veretout & Sinclair..they all need to gel with each other and the strikers. I did like the look of them having said that and i thought they competed well with Utd overall..if only they would cut out the daft passes!...It'll come though!

 

Strikers..in a word..awful! This is the big area of concern for me and Tim desperately need a main man up top, even if you combine Gestede, Kozak, Ayew & Gabby they are no match for Beneteke and we will badly struggle for goals as things stand in my view. I would be amazed if that lot muster 15 goals between them this season.

 

So main weakness is striker... If only we'd had an Adebayor yesterday or a Charlie Austin i don't think we'd have lost that game.

 

Just to add on the keepers. For me Guzan has his strengths and Bunn looks ok but both lack that ability to get their finger tips to something heading into the corner..just like yesterday. Maybe it's a size thing? our keepers always seem short to me & there's a difference between a 6ft 5" keeper and a 6ft 1" & those extra 4" can go a long way ..if you know what i mean  :mrgreen:

Edited by danceoftheshamen
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Bacuna looked better last night as RB, with Traore in front of him he'll look even better I think.

Amavi speaks for himself, oozes class.

Gana looks to be a great signing, doing the same if not better job Delph did and this is after two games, yes he tired last night but the fitness will only improve.

Been impressed with Richards although he needs to maintain concentration and shouldn't have gone to ground for the goal last night.

Westwood proving his worth, people say he's a weak link but I wonder if I'm watching the same player?!

Front three needs improving. Would rather Ayew was drip fed in a bit more. Sinclair looked good in build up play but no end product.

Looking forward to having Jack and Gil fit again.

Think Gestede will terrorise lesser teams.

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Even ignoring that we've played only two games, I wouldn't judge the strikers yet. As VillanousOne said, we desperately lacked the link between midfield and attack that Grealish or Gil would provide.

That said, my biggest concerns are Ayew and Veretout. We desperately need 8-9 goals from Ayew. But we need to play him centrally and out wide. As for Veretout, he looked about as bad as he could've looked yesterday. He needs time, obviously. But we--especially Gestede--need his creativity and service.

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--Snip--

 

Just to add on the keepers. For me Guzan has his strengths and Bunn looks ok but both lack that ability to get their finger tips to something heading into the corner..just like yesterday. Maybe it's a size thing? our keepers always seem short to me & there's a difference between a 6ft 5" keeper and a 6ft 1" & those extra 4" can go a long way ..if you know what i mean  :mrgreen:

 

Oh i know what you mean, alright ;) But it is worth noting that Guzan is just shy of 6ft 4" and he does make some pretty top drawer reactions saves to be fair.

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i worry a little as even if Traore, Gil, Grealish - drive the ball forward or into the box I don't think we have a natural finisher amongst us to take advantage of those most exciting players we've had in decades.

 

Gestede is good for set pieces, Gabby is good for tit all. Ayew isn't a prolific striker and it seems that Kozak isn't going to feature a great deal and even if he did i'm not sure he's a goal poacher either.

 

I don't want Adebeyor, but i hope the n010 shirt is reserved for a striker.

Edited by VillanousOne
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We'll look a lot better with Grealish, Gil and Traore in the side. In fact, it's conceivable (and pretty mouth-watering) to imagine all 3 of them behind the striker. 

 

Veretout looks like he might take some time to adapt. Ayew I just think will always be a bit of a mixed bag. 

 

For me we still need a first XI quality striker, and some back up in central midfield.

 

If we can get a quality centre half as well then great but I've been impressed with Richards in these first two games and we have Okore coming back in a few weeks too.  

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It appeared to me in the game yesterday that we were clearly missing the creative MF to link play between the MF and ST.  Huge hole there all game.  I'm of the opinion that Gil and Grealish will fill that slot- once they are healthy and playing- our attacking presence will improve greatly.

 

I can see the front 3 from last night being completely different when Gil/Grealish are back.  One of Gil/Grealish will start behind the strikers, with a target man striker and a pacy striker.  I guess when I look at our team- it appears right now we are best suited for 442<> formation with Westy or Sanchez at the bottom point, and Gil/Grealish at the top point.

 

The players who are wingers/wide forwards (Traore, Sinclair, Ayew, Gabby) I think will all rotate with a target man pairing (Gestede or Ade-if he signs-).  I think against lesser teams we can sit one of the MF 3 and play a more common 4231 with wingers.

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I'm all for giving players time, but do we have that luxury?

We finished 17th last year and we've bought replacements who 'need time'. Worrying.

 

Based on the two games we do have that luxury. We did was needed at Bournemouth and we contained a Man Utd side that will likely come close to winning the league this season. Yes we lost the latter but we would have lost more convincingly a season ago and they would have had a lot more than 2 shots on target as well. We will be fine..

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When Gil, Grealish, and Traore are healthy/fit we will have more creativity and flair than we have seen in a LONG time.

 

442<>

--------------------Guzan--------------------

Bacuna-----Micah-------Clark-----Amavi

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

-----Gana--------------------Veretout-----

--------------------Gil------------------------

-----------Ayew------Gestede-------------

 

4231

--------------------Guzan--------------------

Bacuna-----Micah-------Clark-----Amavi

----------Gana------------Veretout---------

---Traore-------Grealish-------Sinclair---

------------------Gestede-------------------

 

neither of those two formation are regulation fodder imo.  That is comforably mid-table and deep cup run quality.  With a top class ST this is an even better side.

 

UTV!

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I'm all for giving players time, but do we have that luxury?

We finished 17th last year and we've bought replacements who 'need time'. Worrying.

 

Based on the two games we do have that luxury. We did was needed at Bournemouth and we contained a Man Utd side that will likely come close to winning the league this season. Yes we lost the latter but we would have lost more convincingly a season ago and they would have had a lot more than 2 shots on target as well. We will be fine..

"but we would have lost the lost more convincingly a season ago" But we didn't - we drew 1-1 at home with ten men. I agree we need to give the new players more time but your comments don't make sense.

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I fear our biggest problem is going to be scoring. By any stretch of the imagination neither Gestede or Kozak will do "a Benteke" even with support from Gil, Grealish and Troare.

I think Sherwood has done well from a defence/midfield perspective and that we will be raving about some of the new players in these positions over the next few months but the lack of PL quality striker could make it all for nought. My hope is that he brings another striker in.

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Think we need another striker who guarantees goals - the only one I can think of with proven Prem experience is Charlie Austin. I think Ayew will come into his own with a creative player behind him (such as Grealish or Gil), although while I don't believe Gil will suddenly be the answer to all our problems, I think Ayew has the potential to make clever runs and they will work well together. It will certainly be a gamble going into the season with the current strikeforce though.

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Weaknesses - Lack of width on the right, Amavi has highlighted the flaw in Bacuna at RB, particularly with three very narrow forwards, we're crossing 50% less balls by not utilising the right wing.

Not being able to hold a ball up. I thought we played very well yesterday until the ball reached the final third, and then the move the collapsed every time.

Everything else I'm quite content with at the minute.

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I think we've put in two poor performances so far and most of the problems are coming from the lack of fluidity between midfield and attack. Hopefully with players getting fitness & getting used to each other, that will improve.

 

Hopefully Grealish/Gil will add to this. I am sure they will.

 

Weaknesses - Lack of width on the right, Amavi has highlighted the flaw in Bacuna at RB, particularly with three very narrow forwards, we're crossing 50% less balls by not utilising the right wing.

 

Add Traore to the mix on right wing and hopefully we have a bit more going forward.

 

Southampton for example have another dimension when Mane plays. I'm hoping Traore can be that type of player for us (albeit not straight away)

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Striker, Midfielder, Central Defender, in that order. Need for a goalscorer is obvious, midfielder perhaps less so, but for all the different guys we have, there isn't really depth to cover suspensions/injuries/fatigue without changing shape or shoehorning people into roles they don't really suit, defender would be nice but I think we're *probably* ok until Jan barring horrific luck. No idea who to consider for a striker, for mid Praet to me seems a no-brainer, he can play central, right, left, want to come here and 7M is nothing, would be ok with Lescott for a defender on a short term deal, Balanta long term if that interest was at all real. 

Edited by the_eristic
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