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The Midfield Three


Delphinho123
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Agreed! Barkley has some wonderful ability with the ball but I am constantly shouting at my screen at him when we don't have the ball. Ramsey came on and was far superior! Barkely can have no complaints about being subbed and can kick the bottle of water all he wants - he needs to pull his finger out. Watkins and Grealish do incredible defending from the front. There can be no passengers! The two sitting midfielders have a far better game when everyone runs their socks off. 

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I agree with what you are saying. We always seem to be giving up space in front of the defence behind the two DM's. If we play 4 3 3 with a number 6 he doesn't have to be big. He'll just by his presence stop shit players like Lingard et Al having free runs at our defence. Plus it's the position Luiz was so brilliant in post lockdown.

When we signed Barkley I'm pretty sure he said he sees himself as a number 8. Atm though he's not doing enough off the ball to justify him being in the number 8 position and hence it seems that we're accommodating him in the number 10 role.

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Liverpool are blistering in attack and they don't play with a 10 really.

They have 3 hard working midfielders working like dogs for every ball. Making things simple and gives the ball to the fullbacks or inside forwards who provide for their attacking flair.

Luiz, McGinn and Sanson as the three for me.

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6 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

Liverpool are blistering in attack and they don't play with a 10 really.

They have 3 hard working midfielders working like dogs for every ball. Making things simple and gives the ball to the fullbacks or inside forwards who provide for their attacking flair.

Luiz, McGinn and Sanson as the three for me.

I don’t disagree with this. Football is constantly evolving and I feel like Liverpool and City have shown that 10’s don’t really work anymore and it’s better to have a sitting midfielder and two that run their balls off and fight for every ball. 

Even De Bruyne tracks back and hounds the opposition.

Barkley just doesn’t suit our side at the moment and whilst he may score a couple and assist a few, I think we’d be better off as a team with another box to box player in there. 

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1 minute ago, Delphinho123 said:

I don’t disagree with this. Football is constantly evolving and I feel like Liverpool and City have shown that 10’s don’t really work anymore and it’s better to have a sitting midfielder and two that run their balls off and fight for every ball. 

Even De Bruyne tracks back and hounds the opposition.

Barkley just doesn’t suit our side at the moment and whilst he may score a couple and assist a few, I think we’d be better off as a team with another box to box player in there. 

Barkley was definitely better before his injury. He added technical ability, invention and power to our midfield. Since his injury (understable) he hasn't looked the same.

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good post.

For me (once Sanson is settled), i would like to see a midfield 3, or midfield triangle of Luiz, McGinn & Sanson.

in the summer we need a DM and AM for competition, then we can have Luiz competing with a NEW DM, then McGinn, Sanson, Ramsey competing with new MC/AM for the two remaining slots.

Personally, for all his talent, i would let Barkley go back to Chelsea in the summer, i think we can get much better value for money than Barkley.

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I think all the best teams have about 4 or 5 centre mids who all rack up plenty of appearances, because it’s the most physically demanding position and different players will suit different games.

Nakamba and Ramsey’s recent performances (and Sanson’s arrival) hopefully give Smith confidence that he can rotate more in centre mid, which should bring out the best in the other players as well.

In a few cases, I think the problem was just fatigue.

Agree, though, that it’s the biggest problem with the team at the moment. It seems clear that Smith is on the case, which is a good sign. What I love about him as a manager is he always seems acutely aware of what needs improving, and doesn’t bury his head in the sand.

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50 minutes ago, MaVilla said:

good post.

For me (once Sanson is settled), i would like to see a midfield 3, or midfield triangle of Luiz, McGinn & Sanson.

in the summer we need a DM and AM for competition, then we can have Luiz competing with a NEW DM, then McGinn, Sanson, Ramsey competing with new MC/AM for the two remaining slots.

Personally, for all his talent, i would let Barkley go back to Chelsea in the summer, i think we can get much better value for money than Barkley.

Agree with all of this. 

I honestly think a quality DM would transform this team. For all of Luiz’ good work and talent, I’m not sure he’s that physical presence we need in there. 

This is the key position for me in the summer. Get this right and I think the rest will fall into place. 

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1 hour ago, Delphinho123 said:

I don’t know about you, but I feel this is a problem area for us at the moment and one that seems to have developed more as the season has gone on. I thought Luiz and McGinn started the season pretty well but both have tailed off in my opinion. 

One thing I’ve noticed in the last few matches is how easily teams are playing through us. I watched Barkley closely against West Ham and Arsenal and he literally jogs around, not tracking men and marking space. Could this be the reason it looks so unbalanced at the moment? Is Ross under instruction not to track back. 

I can’t quite put my finger on it but that area of the pitch seems a problem for us and I’m not sure who our best three are to start matches. 

Persoanlly, I’d like us to go with Luiz, McGinn and Sanson/Ramsey next match as I don’t think Barkley is up to it nor do I think he deserves a start. He seems to make us worse as a unit in there. 

Don’t really want to turn this into a Barkley criticism thread but interested to see what everyone thinks. 

We have a thread for Summer speculation but I’d put a big, strong defensive midfielder at the very top of the list. 

UTV.

Spot on. Arsenal played through us with ease today. We are lucky to have a fantastic back 5 that keep us in games. We need to be able to dominate the middle of the park if we are going to properly progress though. It’s our biggest weakness.

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1 minute ago, M_Afro said:

Spot on. Arsenal played through us with ease today. We are lucky to have a fantastic back 5 that keep us in games. We need to be able to dominate the middle of the park if we are going to properly progress though. It’s our biggest weakness.

Our back 5 (Martinez included) are left exposed too often. This is what separates us from being a good team to a top team. The proof is in the pudding as Cash, Targett, Konsa etc. are consistently being lauded for their performances. Yes, this is great because they’re all improving but it is probably a symptom of having to do too much defending (if that makes sense).

I think our defence is superb, I really do, and I think it will be even more watertight when we bring in a proper defensive midfielder. 

This squad of players excites me so much. 2/3 good signings this summer and we can challenge the top 6 next year. Easier said than done. 

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1 minute ago, Delphinho123 said:

Our back 5 (Martinez included) are left exposed too often. This is what separates us from being a good team to a top team. The proof is in the pudding as Cash, Targett, Konsa etc. are consistently being lauded for their performances. Yes, this is great because they’re all improving but it is probably a symptom of having to do too much defending (if that makes sense).

I think our defence is superb, I really do, and I think it will be even more watertight when we bring in a proper defensive midfielder. 

This squad of players excites me so much. 2/3 good signings this summer and we can challenge the top 6 next year. Easier said than done. 

We're 2 points of 6th place. I think its clear we're already challenging for top 6 this season. 2/3 good signings would get us challenging for top 4.

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27 minutes ago, Delphinho123 said:

Agree with all of this. 

I honestly think a quality DM would transform this team. For all of Luiz’ good work and talent, I’m not sure he’s that physical presence we need in there. 

This is the key position for me in the summer. Get this right and I think the rest will fall into place. 

Luiz plays as an 8 for Brazil with Casemiro holding the fort.

Not quite sure they see him as a 6 either.

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Just now, Laughable Chimp said:

We're 2 points of 6th place. I think its clear we're already challenging for top 6 this season. 2/3 good signings would get us challenging for top 4.

I see your angle but in my opinion, we’ll probably end up finishing 9th-11th this year. 

You can already see our players tiring and one might argue we were a tad fortunate to beat Arsenal and Southampton. 

Don’t get me wrong, I think we’re a good side and the foundations are there, I just think we’re a couple short of challenging for the top 6. 

I guess we’ll find out in the next few weeks! Feel free to DM me abuse if we finish in the top 6 😉

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I honestly think we have just overplayed the same 3 and energy levels dropped.
 

To say we have DL, JM, RB, MN, MS as our 5 options shows how far we have come when it wasn’t long ago we had Thor fighting for places! 

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2 hours ago, KentVillan said:

1695703966_ScreenShot2021-02-07at00_59_44.thumb.png.020dddddb539459be064a19920a364bc.png

Brazil's last game (beat Uruguay 2-0).

The people who constantly question whether Douglas Luiz is a DM are missing the point... there are two types of deep-lying midfielder. He is a ball player - a la Xabi Alonso, Pirlo, Carrick, etc - who still has good defensive instincts. Some games you might need more of a destroyer in there. It doesn't mean he can't play DM or that it isn't his natural position.

Even when he has played with Casemiro in midfield it's been alongside him as a DM with Coutinho in front as a 10. There's this weird insistence from some people that Dougie isn't a DM just because he isn't the type of one they want, but between anyone who saw him play prior to joining us, Smith, and the man himself everyone says otherwise.

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