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5 hours ago, MaVilla said:

We don't need two strikers playing, we just need to get the wingers, midfielders and full backs etc supporting the lone striker better and offering options and late runners, backup etc.

If we can get 2 or 3 (or more) players in and around the box etc then our attacking play/options would look very different.

The issue is that we currently aren't doing that consistently, for whatever reason.

Not opposed to your point but.......If you play wingers they have to do what it says on the tin, that means beating their man on occasions and generally causing problems, for the opposition.....if they don't they are in danger of becoming passengers and it burdens the work load of the others.

for me, one good pass or good cross, is not enough to dine out on.....they have to make a significant contribution to the play.

Kent Villan made a good case for them.....but they have to do their job.

The other observation is, that when you are a player who has to create as opposed to seeing the ball come on to you, i.e defenders its much more difficult to catch the eye in terms of work rate.....It might sound a bit obvious, but when defenders just clear their lines and boot the ball away, some will say, we secured a  clean sheet they have done their job, and largely they have......but its much harder to create, hence some offensive players,go missing,too easily, if they are unable to create or master their opponent.....its much easier to appear industrious as a defender.....unless you play for the top teams of course.

Edited by TRO

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17 hours ago, Dave-R said:

Oh yes that's for deffo, there was determination to try get something, really 10 men down most teams cave in, we had spirit, yet all that doesn't get us a point or three especially when we get robbed by that ref.

Still annoyed with the ref now, seriously needs a slap for a wake up call. Linekar didn't half lay into his refereeing and so have many, why on earth on incidents like that are games not corrected by the league, they should be researched and disallowed goals should be overturned.

As it stands I felt like we was in an episode on the WWE where we were fighting the champion for the belt,it's a great match then all of a sudden abit of dodgy refereeing and a cheating opponent has basically got the match thrown out and you come away with nothing.

 

Whilst I understand and indeed feel the same annoyance at the standard of refereeing particularly on Saturday, I don’t agree with changing anything once the final whistle has gone. Sure Friend should be investigated and sanctioned and the PL should be working hard to improve the standard of refereeing. But once the game is over, it’s over. We can’t have situations where we could be enjoying a post match pint having thought we’d won, only to find out that, for whatever reason, we hadn’t. 

Imagine we’d just won at Anfield 3-0 only to find out an hour later, that all our goals had been disallowed, 3 men sent off and Saido Mane had scored a hatrick? Dean Smith would explode! (He added trying to keep it on topic...). 

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On 02/09/2019 at 09:51, MaVilla said:

We don't need two strikers playing, we just need to get the wingers, midfielders and full backs etc supporting the lone striker better and offering options and late runners, backup etc.

If we can get 2 or 3 (or more) players in and around the box etc then our attacking play/options would look very different.

The issue is that we currently aren't doing that consistently, for whatever reason.

The midfield isn't balanced. He has to change the McGinn and Grealish combination. 

Grealish spends too long in areas where he doesn't have an impact .

I'm not convinced Luiz is a good DM and I am yet to convinced by Jota,El Ghazi or Trezeguet at this level.

I think Smith need to reconsider things, or be willing to make changes sooner when it's clear things are not working.

 

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I'd be seriously considering a switch to 3-4-3, 3-5-3 or 4-2-3-1. Just to allow us to get more cover in midfield and close the gaps between our lines. However, I trust Smith when it comes to tactics and subs. Even against Palace he made really attacking changes that nearly got us the point.

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9 minutes ago, omariqy said:

I'd be seriously considering a switch to 3-4-3, 3-5-3 or 4-2-3-1. Just to allow us to get more cover in midfield and close the gaps between our lines. However, I trust Smith when it comes to tactics and subs. Even against Palace he made really attacking changes that nearly got us the point.

It was a pretty bold move. Rather than park the bus for a point he went for the win and until we got caught on the break we looked ok and still a threat.

Most would have shut up shop. 

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49 minutes ago, KHV said:

The midfield isn't balanced. He has to change the McGinn and Grealish combination. 

Grealish spends too long in areas where he doesn't have an impact .

I'm not convinced Luiz is a good DM and I am yet to convinced by Jota,El Ghazi or Trezeguet at this level.

I think Smith need to reconsider things, or be willing to make changes sooner when it's clear things are not working.

 

I think this could be the problem. Where these 3 are going to be consistently good enough at this level. 

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4 hours ago, KHV said:

The midfield isn't balanced. He has to change the McGinn and Grealish combination. 

Grealish spends too long in areas where he doesn't have an impact .

I'm not convinced Luiz is a good DM and I am yet to convinced by Jota,El Ghazi or Trezeguet at this level.

I think Smith need to reconsider things, or be willing to make changes sooner when it's clear things are not working.

 

I totally agree with this.
I thought our midfield 3 of Mcginn, Grealish and Luiz would be the strongest part of our team this year but I'm not sure it's working. We're also fairly ineffective in the wide positions. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slighlty concerned.

If I was Smith, I'd seriously consider playing Nakamba, Luiz/Hourihane and Mcginn in the middle and push Grealish out to the left and ask him to play further forward. At the moment, Mcginn and Grealish both playing further forward through the middle and trying to get into goalscoring positions is leaving us overrun in midfield. Teams are creating A LOT of chances against us. If It weren't for Mings and Engels I think we could still be pointless this season. 

Based on his form last season, it's no real surprise El Ghazi has struggled at this level and Trezeguet has been poor apart from a few nice touches down at Spurs. Jota is a decent player but looks knackered after 60 mins and is more of a player you want when you have plenty of the ball.

We desperately needed another winger/striker in the summer and it's beginning to show after only 4 games. We've spent however many millions on new players and we are still playing Taylor/El Mohamady/El Ghazi and potentially Davis in the next match. I must say, I'm a bit underwhelmed by it all at the minute. 
 

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41 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

I recall this exact discussion last season then all of a sudden we won 10 in a row.

Don't think the formation or system is the issue. We are still trying to find our feet in a new league and a bunch of new players. We also have a fairly young squad so in consistency is expected. Need to be patient and trust the coaching staff.

This. 

If anything switching up formations will lead to worse results. We need continuity and let the team settle down in the league. We knew losses would come, and it's not even bad atm. We could have done far worse against spurs, were unlucky against Cherries, won against Everton. This kinda ups and downs are to be expected. Anyone talking about formations changes, I wonder what you really expected. 

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There's that stupid saying, "the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results".

It's wrong.

In sport, sometimes you have to keep doing something consistently for a while before it clicks. Four games with loads of new players isn't long enough to find out if something will work. We have to keep faith with Dean Smith and his ideas for as long as possible, because it's losing your nerve that results in "doing a Fulham".

If we were getting bossed in every match this season, I would be worried, but we were only outplayed in the Spurs game. There's a lot of nonsense being talked about the Palace game. A lot of their shots were from outside the box and easily dealt with. The Ayew goal came from a very lucky bounce as Mings tackled him. We played 30 mins with 10 men and (morally) won the final phase of the game.

There just isn't enough evidence to support all this panic, nor this desire to completely tear up our tactics. Why don't we have any faith in Dean Smith when he has already proved he has the cool head and leadership skills to turn a season around?

Some of the most critical voices on VT are the same people who were tearing into Smith last season - kind of hoped they'd learnt their lesson. If we're still deep in the relegation zone come end of October, I'll start to worry. At the moment we're 4 points off a Champions League place. Calm down.

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1 hour ago, KentVillan said:

There's that very true saying, "the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results".

Fixed for you!!! I do understand and agree with your points though.

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Some going on about Trez, Ghazi and Jota being good enough, I think they are but they are not the Borg who can adapt straight away. Some players need a second season and many say it's what you give to a player who is in a new environment.

Ghazi- His main problem is he holds up the ball to much after beating his man instead of sending a cross at first opportunity to cause maximum problems. Ghazi allows the opposition to regroup and when he passes the ball the defence's area is properly congested which is no good for Wesley or other incoming attackers. Ghazi needs to be more precise with his crossing and faster at sending it into the 18 yard box playing it in front of our runners precise, low and very fast away from the keeper.

Jota- Isn't fast, he has trickery on his side but it isn't up to speed of the premier at the moment. Like Ghazi he needs to send them in fast, precise, low and at speeds Wesley and attacking midfielders can get onto. None of this seems to be happening and crosses are always being sent high, it's wasteful. Alot of our crosses float over the back, wouldnt be a problem if we sent two tall lads in at the time but its not supposed to be happening. Jota has to try get his speed up more, his trickery can help him cut inside as we've seen but he's not looking for Wesley and it often results in some one touch with another player on the flank, or playing it back to our defenders or cdm again because the enemy has regrouped and congested the box.

Trezeguet- Has speed, hardly any trickery, by the time he gets the ball, he's closed down at mostly by at least a midfielder and defender, we have to make it so Trez is already running when the ball is passed to him and he sends it in soon as he gets to the side of there box. Again if Trez gets the ball and has to build his speed up, he's cut out fairly easy and the opposition regrouping and filling up the area before he's crossed.

As you can seen its a common thing with all three wingers, we need to get them playing to there strengths and stop holding the ball up on the flanks so much. If our attacking players are not there to meet our wingers crosses, then that's really another problem that needs sorting because they should be there to receive the ball. Get the wingers firing there crosses as soon as possible regardless, it is then on the striker and midfielders to be there in time and they then have to adapt to the wingers.

The info I'm building here is basically telling me this is not just a winger problem but in fact a timing problem of wingers being held up because if others not being there in time to get on the end of the ball.

Edited by Dave-R

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1 minute ago, Dave-R said:

The info I'm building here is basically telling me this is not just a winger problem but in fact a timing problem of wingers being held up because if others not being there in time to get on the end of the ball.

Slightly separate point, but related:

I don't want to judge any players this early in the season, especially young players... but from what I've seen so far, Wesley doesn't attack crosses well. There have been some pretty good balls go in, and Wesley doesn't time his run properly to get to the ball first. It ends up with a straight aerial battle with the keeper and a defender, and the keeper's always going to deal with that at this level.

I think the really good centre forwards attack the cross at the near post, taking the defence out of the equation, and bringing all sorts of goals into play - bury it in the near post corner, glance it into the far corner, or flick it on to another player coming in behind. At the moment he's just waiting for the ball to come to him.

I hope DS has Wesley working on this, because he will be a far more dangerous player if he starts to make that near post run. And we might find our wingers start to get more assists and play earlier crosses.

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10 hours ago, omariqy said:

I'd be seriously considering a switch to 3-4-3, 3-5-3 or 4-2-3-1. Just to allow us to get more cover in midfield and close the gaps between our lines. However, I trust Smith when it comes to tactics and subs. Even against Palace he made really attacking changes that nearly got us the point.

That would be quite tactical change ;)

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3 hours ago, KentVillan said:

There's that stupid saying, "the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results".

It's wrong.

In sport, sometimes you have to keep doing something consistently for a while before it clicks. Four games with loads of new players isn't long enough to find out if something will work. We have to keep faith with Dean Smith and his ideas for as long as possible, because it's losing your nerve that results in "doing a Fulham".

If we were getting bossed in every match this season, I would be worried, but we were only outplayed in the Spurs game. There's a lot of nonsense being talked about the Palace game. A lot of their shots were from outside the box and easily dealt with. The Ayew goal came from a very lucky bounce as Mings tackled him. We played 30 mins with 10 men and (morally) won the final phase of the game.

There just isn't enough evidence to support all this panic, nor this desire to completely tear up our tactics. Why don't we have any faith in Dean Smith when he has already proved he has the cool head and leadership skills to turn a season around?

Some of the most critical voices on VT are the same people who were tearing into Smith last season - kind of hoped they'd learnt their lesson. If we're still deep in the relegation zone come end of October, I'll start to worry. At the moment we're 4 points off a Champions League place. Calm down.

Agree. I have said numerous times it would take 6-10 games for this squad to come together, and nothing has changed. There’s been some little glimpses of what we are working towards just like last season when Smith came in. We just need to be patient. Maybe we’ve been unlucky, but this is the PL and we need to make our own luck. But I’m confident it will all come together.

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Weren't we playing with 4 midfielders and 1 winger at a parts of the game vs Crewe? 

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Nowhere near time to panic. Trust the process, trust in Dean. It’s 4 games into the season. I’ll be at the West Ham game in full voice, and doing the only thing I can as a fan - shouting them on.

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7 hours ago, ChicagoVillan1983 said:

Nowhere near time to panic. Trust the process, trust in Dean. It’s 4 games into the season. I’ll be at the West Ham game in full voice, and doing the only thing I can as a fan - shouting them on.

That's a game we have to get something from.

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21 hours ago, villalad21 said:

I recall this exact discussion last season then all of a sudden we won 10 in a row.

Don't think the formation or system is the issue. We are still trying to find our feet in a new league and a bunch of new players. We also have a fairly young squad so in consistency is expected. Need to be patient and trust the coaching staff.

I am dubious, If I'm honest.

so far our goals against have come from players in the main not competent enough in the challenge or personal errors.

The Ayew goal was particularly disappointing for me.....If he was playing for us he would have lost that ball, sure the ricochet was unkind......but we have had a few ricochets that have resulted in goals ,so far......are we too tentative at challenging or just not streetwise?

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I'd love to see us try a 352 at some point.

Yes, short of strikers for the next game but Kodj could be back for a spot on the bench and 15 mins at the end.

The whole thing is pointless is we play Taylor out at LWB/LM though. It would kill us more than he already does in a back 4. Would have to be Targett/El Ghazi/Trez/McGinn/Grealish.

Edited by Tomaszk

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