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Team shape, tactics and personnel


MaVilla
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18 hours ago, a m ole said:

Ugh I’ve just watched highlights of him as a player and I think I’ve come round on him in general, used to hate him.

His pashun is infectious.

It's mostly because he's from Liverpool. If Jack did for us what he did in Istanbul, or against West Ham in the FA Cup final, he'd have a ring of statues around VP.

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Really interesting to see the slight changes to what Smith's 4-3-3 would have been.

The front three were much narrower - which I think is a good thing for the press and more intricate attacking passing.

The midfield three clearly had Naka sitting deepest, but McGinn and Ramsey would start fairly flat with him, before bursting forward or out to the wings to cover the wide positions rather than the wingers doing that job.

Playing out from the back seems option 1, and although terrifying at times, managed to break the Brighton press well pretty much each time.

You can see that the next part of this build up play hasn't been worked on enough to pass through the midfield press in the same way...but will be interesting to see if we eventually get there.

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Still sussing out everything that Gerrard does, but here's what I noticed...

The press is very different. Not as high. The high three tend to move as a wall rather than being staggered or trying to clog particular passing lanes. The goal doesn't always seem to be to win the ball; many times, Watkins and Buendia showed the player the outside and were content to steer them down the wings.

As narrow as the front and middle three were when defending, the middle three looked very different in possession. Ramsey and especially McGinn would drift wide, often to cover space left when Targett and Cash pushed forward.

Buendia still seemed to have license to roam. He turned up on the left even before the first substitution.

Ings participated in the press but didn't seem to track back to our final third like he did under Deano. Maybe SG wants him to stay further forward.

I have a vague impression that we played the ball up the middle a little more; Deano always preferred to advance the ball up the wings. But that's only a vague impression.

As I mentioned in the Targett thread, the tendency to funnel players down the wings put our fullbacks at the end of cul-de-sacs, which seemed to help Targett. He's good at tackling when he isn't isolated one-on-one against a faster player.

 

Edited by TomC
Added last point, corrected several errors
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On 20/11/2021 at 21:44, May-Z said:

Really interesting to see the slight changes to what Smith's 4-3-3 would have been.

The front three were much narrower - which I think is a good thing for the press and more intricate attacking passing.

The midfield three clearly had Naka sitting deepest, but McGinn and Ramsey would start fairly flat with him, before bursting forward or out to the wings to cover the wide positions rather than the wingers doing that job.

Playing out from the back seems option 1, and although terrifying at times, managed to break the Brighton press well pretty much each time.

You can see that the next part of this build up play hasn't been worked on enough to pass through the midfield press in the same way...but will be interesting to see if we eventually get there.

Our fans get so anxious when they do this . Really doesn’t help as the players start to panic. 
 

They were able to do it easily during lockdown.

Edited by Vive_La_Villa
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On 20/11/2021 at 21:44, May-Z said:

Really interesting to see the slight changes to what Smith's 4-3-3 would have been.

The front three were much narrower - which I think is a good thing for the press and more intricate attacking passing.

The midfield three clearly had Naka sitting deepest, but McGinn and Ramsey would start fairly flat with him, before bursting forward or out to the wings to cover the wide positions rather than the wingers doing that job.

Playing out from the back seems option 1, and although terrifying at times, managed to break the Brighton press well pretty much each time.

You can see that the next part of this build up play hasn't been worked on enough to pass through the midfield press in the same way...but will be interesting to see if we eventually get there.

See I would have said that the type of wide players we normally field would not necessarily lend themselves well to a narrower inside forward format, as you are looking for them to get into the box, and attack the far post. We've not got the most prolific wide men. They are not natural finishers and don't really score enough. With Ollie wide though it makes more sense. Begs the question, are we going to be targeting players like Ollie for those positions, or players like Buendia, who to my mind is more of a creator than a finisher. I suppose we could go asymmetric, and play one wide forward, and one inside forward, but we'd get quite predictable.  

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11 hours ago, HKP90 said:

See I would have said that the type of wide players we normally field would not necessarily lend themselves well to a narrower inside forward format, as you are looking for them to get into the box, and attack the far post. We've not got the most prolific wide men. They are not natural finishers and don't really score enough. With Ollie wide though it makes more sense. Begs the question, are we going to be targeting players like Ollie for those positions, or players like Buendia, who to my mind is more of a creator than a finisher. I suppose we could go asymmetric, and play one wide forward, and one inside forward, but we'd get quite predictable.  

Yeah, it's a really prominent question about how we fit our winger-stocked squad to the new formation. 

There's a chance it could work well for Bertie and Bailey starting narrower on the right...gets them into a shooting area sooner. Same with El Ghazi as well....and he is good at getting in at the far post.

 

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14 hours ago, HKP90 said:

See I would have said that the type of wide players we normally field would not necessarily lend themselves well to a narrower inside forward format, as you are looking for them to get into the box, and attack the far post. We've not got the most prolific wide men. They are not natural finishers and don't really score enough. With Ollie wide though it makes more sense. Begs the question, are we going to be targeting players like Ollie for those positions, or players like Buendia, who to my mind is more of a creator than a finisher. I suppose we could go asymmetric, and play one wide forward, and one inside forward, but we'd get quite predictable.  

This doesn't seem accurate. El Ghazi (11), Traore (8) chipped in with a fair amount last season. Bailey scored 9 in the the Bundesliga. Trezeguet, for all his faults, is known for popping up at the back post. It's essentially ALL he adds in an attacking sense. 

Even if you remove El Ghazi's penalties and include Mike, you still arrive at double figures for both wide positions last season. I don't know whether that makes them 'natural finishers'. 

Edited by dont_do_it_doug.
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I like how Gerrard sets up the team. He wants to force teams out wide so they put crosses in which is playing to our strengths, we've CBs who are very strong in the air and a top class goalkeeper. He then gives easy instructions to the midfield, don't get sucked wide block the midfield. 

I am interested in how our current crop of midfielders perform under Gerrard. I doubt we'll sign another midfielder in Jan without one leaving and it's hard to sign players you want in Jan anyway. 

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So interesting the way McGinn and Ramsey are deployed now. They both almost play as secondary full backs defensively - Ramsey over on the left and McGinn over on the right. 

The front three stay narrow and we allow teams to have the ball in the wide areas but as soon as they get into our half or further forward, this is when the two central midfielders come across. 

I don’t confess to know a lot about tactics but it was just really noticeable at the game on Saturday. It seems to be working too. 

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2 minutes ago, Delphinho123 said:

So interesting the way McGinn and Ramsey are deployed now. They both almost play as secondary full backs defensively - Ramsey over on the left and McGinn over on the right. 

The front three stay narrow and we allow teams to have the ball in the wide areas but as soon as they get into our half or further forward, this is when the two central midfielders come across. 

I don’t confess to know a lot about tactics but it was just really noticeable at the game on Saturday. It seems to be working too. 

It’s essentially a 4-3-3 instead of a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) like Liverpool. The midfield is the midfield. It’s my favourite formation and what’s really warmed me to Gerrard as I was skeptical at first. I think it gets the best out of the players we have and lends itself to more adaptability, as we can play more of our midfielders (Buendia, Sanson, Chuk, etc) in those positions without them being lost running channels and ‘tracking back’

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1 minute ago, a m ole said:

It’s essentially a 4-3-3 instead of a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) like Liverpool. The midfield is the midfield. It’s my favourite formation and what’s really warmed me to Gerrard as I was skeptical at first. I think it gets the best out of the players we have and lends itself to more adaptability, as we can play more of our midfielders (Buendia, Sanson, Chuk, etc) in those positions without them being lost running channels and ‘tracking back’

It’s so true. Smith just got it horribly wrong (albeit hampered by injuries) with his formations. The 3-5-2 was purely to fit both Ings and Watkins in the same side and the 4-2-3-1 just left us exposed in midfield as Buendia looked a bit lost there. 

We’re not good enough with our current personnel to play anything other than a 4-3-3 with either Watkins or Ings up top and two from Buendia, Bailey, Young, Traore etc. playing as the wide-ish attackers. 

We messed up in the summer in that we heavily unbalanced our squad with our transfer activity.

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11 hours ago, a m ole said:

It’s essentially a 4-3-3 instead of a 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1) like Liverpool. The midfield is the midfield. It’s my favourite formation and what’s really warmed me to Gerrard as I was skeptical at first. I think it gets the best out of the players we have and lends itself to more adaptability, as we can play more of our midfielders (Buendia, Sanson, Chuk, etc) in those positions without them being lost running channels and ‘tracking back’

I agree. 

Always said that Liverpool plays the brand of football and formation that is closest to my heart. 

Buzzing that we play the same way now. 

Edited by villalad21
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16 hours ago, Delphinho123 said:

It’s so true. Smith just got it horribly wrong (albeit hampered by injuries) with his formations. The 3-5-2 was purely to fit both Ings and Watkins in the same side and the 4-2-3-1 just left us exposed in midfield as Buendia looked a bit lost there. 

We’re not good enough with our current personnel to play anything other than a 4-3-3 with either Watkins or Ings up top and two from Buendia, Bailey, Young, Traore etc. playing as the wide-ish attackers. 

We messed up in the summer in that we heavily unbalanced our squad with our transfer activity.

Not only did 3-5-2 expose us in midfield, it also served to break up the most solid back four we've had in years.

Really impressed with our shape when we lost the ball on Saturday, McGinn did so much work getting back in position to help Cash with Zaha and Mitchell.

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