Player Watch - Steven Bergwijn

Timberwolf

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I feel like our options for attacking players is the strongest it's ever been.

Lo Celso / Ndombele
Son / Moura
Bergwijn / Dele
Kane

I mean it doesn't get much better than that for a club of our stature in terms of attacking options, just the rest of the areas in the team are not stacked in a similar fashion.
In theory - yes. That's a really excellent group of attacking players that should be the envy of most clubs in the world.

I think the problem is balance. As we don't have a set system, a balanced midfield, or good attacking fullbacks, we're almost always having to compromise in some way.

- How do you fit Lo Celso and Ndombele into the same team while still having defensive balance?
- What is Alli's best position, and if we play him there who misses out?
- If we play Lo Celso in CM and/or leave out Ndombele (both of which we have done a lot) the team still seriously lacks the incision and creativity provided by an Eriksen-type player and we give the ball away a lot in forward areas.

In short: the talent is there but I still think we're struggling to fit all of the pieces together and seriously need a proper DM and better fullbacks in order to get the best out of it.
 

kendoddsdadsdogsdead

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Dele isn’t slow!
He’s not far off it. The problem is he doesn’t have a change of pace when he’s running with the ball. You’ll never see him slow it down then burst past someone that even a lot of average paced players can do. He’s quite easy to read when he’s travelling with the ball and that’s why he’s dispossessed too often imo.
 

Hercules

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He’s not far off it. The problem is he doesn’t have a change of pace when he’s running with the ball. You’ll never see him slow it down then burst past someone that even a lot of average paced players can do. He’s quite easy to read when he’s travelling with the ball and that’s why he’s dispossessed too often imo.
Well he is nowhere near slow! Change of pace is one thing. I think his problem is his decision making, and by time he makes his mind up it is too late. He is an instinctive player, and I personally nflirve he is up there with tgr best when he plays the role or behind Kane of couple seasons ago. I think that is his position.
 

BringBack_leGin

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Exactly. One thing that frustrated me over the last few years is that the first XI picked itself when everyone was fit. If there's no champions league (ala Chelsea under Conte) that can win you the league but winning teams need to rotate with quality players. We've always been a few short (injuries didn't help) . A few more this summer and we could have two genuine quality starters for each place. Fighting for a place is necessary to winning.
It’s funny, because in 15/16, 16/17 and 17/18 we had good depth but then it fizzled away. One issue was of course the awful summer 2018 transfer window, Levy fucked up badly and we are still feeling the effects now, but our player development beyond the core 15/16 players was exceptionally poor.

Wimmer, Janssen, Nkoudou, could’ve all been rotated in enough to develop more than they did and perhaps be viable options still. Some players are just better on the pitch than in training, but 10 minutes every 6 weeks will never allow them to show that. Each could’ve comfortably had 5-10 starts with no tangible impact on the quality of our play and perhaps improved as players.

As it was, Nkoudou was never given a look in, Janssen was ostracised after not scoring in his first six seconds, and and Wimmmer was never allowed to build on a very impressive start because Dier had to be accommodated at the back once Wanyama took his midfield spot, basically the whole reason we stumbled into a 3 centre back formation that year. I actually dread to think what would’ve become of Son had Lamela not missed most of 16/17 and Kane not had his first big injury.

Then you have the various young players who just never got a chance. At the risk of sounding like BC, Edwards with his talent absolutely should’ve been our 6th choice AM when we played with 3. Would it have really hurt to have Edwards as our break glass option with Eriksen, Dele, Son, Lamela, Nkoudou in front of him? Carter Vickers really could’ve been tried too, though I understand it’s tough at centre back. Then there’s Onomah and KWP, who were judged on a smattering of appearances that came too late.

Lastly, there were players who were clearly good enough to be rotated in on a regular basis, as they were initially very effective first choices, but our approach was so first team centric that I’m a they lost their places they never got a chance to win it back. Mason, Townsend, Bentaleb (though I wasn’t a fan) and most of all Chadli, good enough to start a World Cup Semi Final for one of the favourites, brilliant in Pochettino’s first season, but once he was out, he was out.

It can’t be said with any certainly of course, but even accounting for the first team players who have left (Walker, Eriksen, Dembele), I believe our squad would be much stronger now if at least one if Wimmer/ CCV had remained and developed, at least one of Bentaleb/ Mason had remained/ developed further, at least one of Nkoudou/ Edwards had remained/ developed and at least one of Chadli or Townsend were still here. But for players to stay they need to develop, and that needs a bit of open mindedness and bravery with rotation. This was Pochettino’s biggest mistake. We’d have developed squad options in their prime as far better rested key players if he’d just been a bit better on rotation.
 

Ledley's Right Foot

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It’s funny, because in 15/16, 16/17 and 17/18 we had good depth but then it fizzled away. One issue was of course the awful summer 2018 transfer window, Levy fucked up badly and we are still feeling the effects now, but our player development beyond the core 15/16 players was exceptionally poor.

Wimmer, Janssen, Nkoudou, could’ve all been rotated in enough to develop more than they did and perhaps be viable options still. Some players are just better on the pitch than in training, but 10 minutes every 6 weeks will never allow them to show that. Each could’ve comfortably had 5-10 starts with no tangible impact on the quality of our play and perhaps improved as players.

As it was, Nkoudou was never given a look in, Janssen was ostracised after not scoring in his first six seconds, and and Wimmmer was never allowed to build on a very impressive start because Dier had to be accommodated at the back once Wanyama took his midfield spot, basically the whole reason we stumbled into a 3 centre back formation that year. I actually dread to think what would’ve become of Son had Lamela not missed most of 16/17 and Kane not had his first big injury.

Then you have the various young players who just never got a chance. At the risk of sounding like BC, Edwards with his talent absolutely should’ve been our 6th choice AM when we played with 3. Would it have really hurt to have Edwards as our break glass option with Eriksen, Dele, Son, Lamela, Nkoudou in front of him? Carter Vickers really could’ve been tried too, though I understand it’s tough at centre back. Then there’s Onomah and KWP, who were judged on a smattering of appearances that came too late.

Lastly, there were players who were clearly good enough to be rotated in on a regular basis, as they were initially very effective first choices, but our approach was so first team centric that I’m a they lost their places they never got a chance to win it back. Mason, Townsend, Bentaleb (though I wasn’t a fan) and most of all Chadli, good enough to start a World Cup Semi Final for one of the favourites, brilliant in Pochettino’s first season, but once he was out, he was out.

It can’t be said with any certainly of course, but even accounting for the first team players who have left (Walker, Eriksen, Dembele), I believe our squad would be much stronger now if at least one if Wimmer/ CCV had remained and developed, at least one of Bentaleb/ Mason had remained/ developed further, at least one of Nkoudou/ Edwards had remained/ developed and at least one of Chadli or Townsend were still here. But for players to stay they need to develop, and that needs a bit of open mindedness and bravery with rotation. This was Pochettino’s biggest mistake. We’d have developed squad options in their prime as far better rested key players if he’d just been a bit better on rotation.
Felt exactly the same about all those you mention there. The paradox of rising expectations - we needed the finished article to rotate in and perhaps Poch felt that if we carried on developing talent, results would take a hit. Maybe players would have left. It needed a good transfer strategy and that window (cries) blew it for us. And here we are. Not sure we could have done anything different with the stadium being built but we were so close!
 

kendoddsdadsdogsdead

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Well he is nowhere near slow! Change of pace is one thing. I think his problem is his decision making, and by time he makes his mind up it is too late. He is an instinctive player, and I personally nflirve he is up there with tgr best when he plays the role or behind Kane of couple seasons ago. I think that is his position.
It’s both, the decision making when he decides to take the ball up a blind alley then it’s his lack of explosiveness/change of pace to come out of that or any tight situation. Depends what you define as slow, he can probably travel fairly well box to box off the ball but if he’s facing someone up in the last third he is slow and I think that was the original point about a lack of dynamism in the attacking areas.

He was an effective weapon for us when we had a dominant midfield and team, when he could ghost into areas and get on the end of things, or produce a cheeky pass here and there but I honestly think he was carried a bit by the strength of that team and his numbers inflated his actual worth in terms of overall team performance.

I think our decline in central midfield and team as a whole has highlighted major faults in his game personally. maybe not a popular opinion but just the way I see it.
 

Ledley's Right Foot

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I feel like our options for attacking players is the strongest it's ever been.

Lo Celso / Ndombele
Son / Moura
Bergwijn / Dele
Kane

I mean it doesn't get much better than that for a club of our stature in terms of attacking options, just the rest of the areas in the team are not stacked in a similar fashion.
I agree. Albeit. I look at it like: could any combination of those players start and be as good as any other combination. For me only 3 of those players hit that criteria (son, Kane and Dele). If we start with bergwijn, moura and lo celso, it's not as good as other combinations.

For me 4 of the above are still potentially great players for us (bergwijn, Moura, Ndombele and lo celso) in that none of them, as yet, have had 20+ goal/assist seasons that the other three have had. I believe they could do it....but as we saw with the injuries to Kane and Son, it makes life much harder. The elephant in the room is Kane. We need our city equivelant of Jesus to Aguero.

Anyway, I think Bergwijn in particular has what it takes. Can't wait to see him in the team more often. Lo Celso too. Ndombele, I feel, needs a Wanyama type next to him to get the absolute best out of him.
 

RichieS

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In theory - yes. That's a really excellent group of attacking players that should be the envy of most clubs in the world.

I think the problem is balance. As we don't have a set system, a balanced midfield, or good attacking fullbacks, we're almost always having to compromise in some way.

- How do you fit Lo Celso and Ndombele into the same team while still having defensive balance?
- What is Alli's best position, and if we play him there who misses out?
- If we play Lo Celso in CM and/or leave out Ndombele (both of which we have done a lot) the team still seriously lacks the incision and creativity provided by an Eriksen-type player and we give the ball away a lot in forward areas.

In short: the talent is there but I still think we're struggling to fit all of the pieces together and seriously need a proper DM and better fullbacks in order to get the best out of it.
Lo Celso's a tenacious fucker with lots of energy and has experience of playing in deeper midfield. We absolutely could get away with a 3 of Dier, Ndombele and him imo. Winks could also come into that three in place of GLC or TN, but Dele I'm not so sure about.
 

Timberwolf

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Lo Celso's a tenacious fucker with lots of energy and has experience of playing in deeper midfield. We absolutely could get away with a 3 of Dier, Ndombele and him imo. Winks could also come into that three in place of GLC or TN, but Dele I'm not so sure about.
Yeah I think Lo Celso has been our best midfielder this season but Jose seems reluctant to play Ndombele anywhere other than CM and I don't think those would work as a 2. I'd like to see us try those 2 in a midfield 3 with Skipp, but then, as you said, it's hard to fit Dele into that system.

The whole thing is a conundrum and unless Jose can thread the needle I think it's only a matter of time before either Dele or Ndombele is sat on the bench and looking for another club.
 

brasil_spur

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Lo Celso's a tenacious fucker with lots of energy and has experience of playing in deeper midfield. We absolutely could get away with a 3 of Dier, Ndombele and him imo.
I'm not at all convinced of this. Ndombele will hopefully find the form in the PL that made is sign him in the first place. But Dier is a liability IMO and just not at the level we need to be the DM in that 3.

For me the only area in midfield we need to concentrate on is a solid DM. Once we have that sorted the rest of the options we have can fit in around that player and become more cohesive.

I think it's also crucial we ensure a solid back 4, otherwise we run the risk of the DM becoming more like a sweeper.
 

soflapaul

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Well he is nowhere near slow! Change of pace is one thing. I think his problem is his decision making, and by time he makes his mind up it is too late. He is an instinctive player, and I personally nflirve he is up there with tgr best when he plays the role or behind Kane of couple seasons ago. I think that is his position.
One of Ali's superpowers is drifting into unoccupied space when the defenders are caught ball watching. It's as if he doesn't want to draw attention to himself initially and it is only in the last few yards that his speed/intensity increases. Agree on his best position as that gives him the freedom to roam.

Bergwijn and him on the pitch at the same time would be an interesting combination as i could see Bergwijn making some worrying runs (From the defender's viewpoint) which allows Ali to drift in behind him.
 

Shadydan

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It’s funny, because in 15/16, 16/17 and 17/18 we had good depth but then it fizzled away. One issue was of course the awful summer 2018 transfer window, Levy fucked up badly and we are still feeling the effects now, but our player development beyond the core 15/16 players was exceptionally poor.

Wimmer, Janssen, Nkoudou, could’ve all been rotated in enough to develop more than they did and perhaps be viable options still. Some players are just better on the pitch than in training, but 10 minutes every 6 weeks will never allow them to show that. Each could’ve comfortably had 5-10 starts with no tangible impact on the quality of our play and perhaps improved as players.

As it was, Nkoudou was never given a look in, Janssen was ostracised after not scoring in his first six seconds, and and Wimmmer was never allowed to build on a very impressive start because Dier had to be accommodated at the back once Wanyama took his midfield spot, basically the whole reason we stumbled into a 3 centre back formation that year. I actually dread to think what would’ve become of Son had Lamela not missed most of 16/17 and Kane not had his first big injury.

Then you have the various young players who just never got a chance. At the risk of sounding like BC, Edwards with his talent absolutely should’ve been our 6th choice AM when we played with 3. Would it have really hurt to have Edwards as our break glass option with Eriksen, Dele, Son, Lamela, Nkoudou in front of him? Carter Vickers really could’ve been tried too, though I understand it’s tough at centre back. Then there’s Onomah and KWP, who were judged on a smattering of appearances that came too late.

Lastly, there were players who were clearly good enough to be rotated in on a regular basis, as they were initially very effective first choices, but our approach was so first team centric that I’m a they lost their places they never got a chance to win it back. Mason, Townsend, Bentaleb (though I wasn’t a fan) and most of all Chadli, good enough to start a World Cup Semi Final for one of the favourites, brilliant in Pochettino’s first season, but once he was out, he was out.

It can’t be said with any certainly of course, but even accounting for the first team players who have left (Walker, Eriksen, Dembele), I believe our squad would be much stronger now if at least one if Wimmer/ CCV had remained and developed, at least one of Bentaleb/ Mason had remained/ developed further, at least one of Nkoudou/ Edwards had remained/ developed and at least one of Chadli or Townsend were still here. But for players to stay they need to develop, and that needs a bit of open mindedness and bravery with rotation. This was Pochettino’s biggest mistake. We’d have developed squad options in their prime as far better rested key players if he’d just been a bit better on rotation.
Sorry mate, don't agree with this at all.

Nkoudou wasn't given a look in because he was crap, Janssen was given ample opportunities but he wasn't scoring and not even affecting matches and therefore his head dropped and became pretty useless, Wimmer done well in his first season when he deputised for Jan but when he was given chances he failed to impress, in fact you can pretty much say the same thing about Edwards, Onomah, and Carter Vickers, they just weren't good enough - KWP I'll give you because I thought he was treated unfairly after some pretty solid displays in his correct position.

The fact is our first team was very good in it's peak and it would have taken an exceptional talent to come in and claim a place in the fist eleven, barring KWP can't blame anyone for that can you?
 

dtxspurs

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Sorry mate, don't agree with this at all.

Nkoudou wasn't given a look in because he was crap, Janssen was given ample opportunities but he wasn't scoring and not even affecting matches and therefore his head dropped and became pretty useless, Wimmer done well in his first season when he deputised for Jan but when he was given chances he failed to impress, in fact you can pretty much say the same thing about Edwards, Onomah, and Carter Vickers, they just weren't good enough - KWP I'll give you because I thought he was treated unfairly after some pretty solid displays in his correct position.

The fact is our first team was very good in it's peak and it would have taken an exceptional talent to come in and claim a place in the fist eleven, barring KWP can't blame anyone for that can you?
Yeah, if there is one thing Poch was clearly good at it was developing good players into great players. All of those players have proven their lack of quality else where.
 

RichieS

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I feel like our options for attacking players is the strongest it's ever been.

Lo Celso / Ndombele
Son / Moura
Bergwijn / Dele
Kane

I mean it doesn't get much better than that for a club of our stature in terms of attacking options, just the rest of the areas in the team are not stacked in a similar fashion.
And that's without even mentioning Sessegnon...
 

Ledley's Right Foot

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One of Ali's superpowers is drifting into unoccupied space when the defenders are caught ball watching. It's as if he doesn't want to draw attention to himself initially and it is only in the last few yards that his speed/intensity increases. Agree on his best position as that gives him the freedom to roam.

Bergwijn and him on the pitch at the same time would be an interesting combination as i could see Bergwijn making some worrying runs (From the defender's viewpoint) which allows Ali to drift in behind him.
There's an article in the guardian about how Bayern Munich's Muller does that to perfection (finds space). He would be the perfect addition and compliment to Dele. It's such an underrated skill and is lethal. Obviously not on the cards but I can dream of Dele and Kane through the middle, Muller playing off the right and Son or Bergwijn off the left. Pace, movement, intelligence. Doesn't fit our system right now but God that would be good to watch.

Love the way Dele can do that, at his best it's unstoppable.

Edit: to bring the thread back on track a little - if Bergwijn and Dele can find that type of understanding playing together with bergwijn running off the left...that could be fun.
 
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Locotoro

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Dele isn’t slow!
You're right

But he does slow attacks down when he's on the ball in midfield. He's great when he's the one finishing up the move but not as direct when on the ball as I suspect JM has wanted from every one of his previous teams.

I suspect he'll play through the middle or not at all
 
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