Style of play

hellava_tough

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I think Rose would sign a new deal if offered, its more us trying to ditch him!

Toby I was thinking about earlier and pondering, initially I was like what a wanker not signing his deal blah blah.

Then I thought logically about it and players abroad do it all the time and it is their right at end of day, it’s up to him if he wants to leave on a free he would have done the time he committed to.

And if he had gone down hill (like sadly Wanyama did with injuries) we’d have all been quick to want a fee for him so these players don’t really owe us that much loyalty as we’d chop them if found something better.
Yeah, you can't take these things personally and neither should anyone at the club.

All's fair in love and football as they say! (y)
 

hellava_tough

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With regards to style of play, it's really frustrating watching our approach to games where the opposition has decided to 'park the bus'.

These teams should actually be pretty easy to play against, because of their (i) 1 dimensional tactics (ii) usually inferior players and (iii) lack of attacking intent.

What we need to do is be more aggressive, up the tempo and don't worry if our final balls don't work, or get intercepted; we'll be creating plenty of attacking play so eventually that key pass will get through.

We need to be taking on the opposition full backs, whipping crosses into the box, trying through balls, punting long balls, taking shots from outside of the box, moving off the ball and running directly at packed defences. Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!

Individually, these things may not work, but it puts the opposition under so much stress that eventually they'll crack.

The problem that we have currently, is that our patient build up play allows our opponents to 'grow into the game'. To dig in and mentally become settled and organised. With this, comes motivation and a willingness to see the whole thing out for 90 minutes.

We need to be forcing mistakes that will ultimately break their spirit.

It baffles me that Poch and his team don't see this...:cautious:
 

punkisback

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One thing I feel we don't do or don't have the players to do this: switching the play/crossfield balls. Honestly a very useful tactic.
 

shelfboy68

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Jun 14, 2008
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With regards to style of play, it's really frustrating watching our approach to games where the opposition has decided to 'park the bus'.

These teams should actually be pretty easy to play against, because of their (i) 1 dimensional tactics (ii) usually inferior players and (iii) lack of attacking intent.

What we need to do is be more aggressive, up the tempo and don't worry if our final balls don't work, or get intercepted; we'll be creating plenty of attacking play so eventually that key pass will get through.

We need to be taking on the opposition full backs, whipping crosses into the box, trying through balls, punting long balls, taking shots from outside of the box, moving off the ball and running directly at packed defences. Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!

Individually, these things may not work, but it puts the opposition under so much stress that eventually they'll crack.

The problem that we have currently, is that our patient build up play allows our opponents to 'grow into the game'. To dig in and mentally become settled and organised. With this, comes motivation and a willingness to see the whole thing out for 90 minutes.

We need to be forcing mistakes that will ultimately break their spirit.

It baffles me that Poch and his team don't see this...:cautious:
He will probably say that he is calm in the moment and everything is all good.
 

hellava_tough

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One thing I feel we don't do or don't have the players to do this: switching the play/crossfield balls. Honestly a very useful tactic.
Winks, Kane and Toby do it all the time.
It's true, it does happen.

The problem comes when the fullbacks or attacking wide players receive the ball from one of these passes. They tend to control it, pause for a second and then play a side-ways or back pass, returning the ball to a central midfielder (or whoever).

I'd much prefer them to run directly at the fullback or whip a cross in. Like I said above, even though it may not work everytime, it will win us corners and 'second-balls' in the centre of the pitch, if the cross is headed out by the defence. The accumulation of this play will see us create good goal-scoring chances and also tire-out the opposition.
 

mpickard2087

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The problem is these cross field balls seem the obvious option, but the reality is the man on the switch will then get the ball and might have no team mate within 30 yards of him given our entirely random and often ultra narrow attacking structure. There's no one then to play combinations with, cut through a defence etc. Which is why the game slows down and they wait for support to shuffle across.

They could try and beat him down the line and whip a cross in, but that seems like a real low percentage play to me and not something to do constantly - and it's not like we have the players for this tactic really in any case.

To me you circulate the ball centrally primarily and then use the wide player in the final third when you've created an overlap.

This is just another example though of what I've been banging on about post after post in recent days, we simply must evolve our positional play and how we're looking to attack and have a bit more structure to it at times to make it easier to circulate the football up, down and across the pitch.
 

Japhet

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With regards to style of play, it's really frustrating watching our approach to games where the opposition has decided to 'park the bus'.

These teams should actually be pretty easy to play against, because of their (i) 1 dimensional tactics (ii) usually inferior players and (iii) lack of attacking intent.

What we need to do is be more aggressive, up the tempo and don't worry if our final balls don't work, or get intercepted; we'll be creating plenty of attacking play so eventually that key pass will get through.

We need to be taking on the opposition full backs, whipping crosses into the box, trying through balls, punting long balls, taking shots from outside of the box, moving off the ball and running directly at packed defences. Pressure! Pressure! Pressure!

Individually, these things may not work, but it puts the opposition under so much stress that eventually they'll crack.

The problem that we have currently, is that our patient build up play allows our opponents to 'grow into the game'. To dig in and mentally become settled and organised. With this, comes motivation and a willingness to see the whole thing out for 90 minutes.

We need to be forcing mistakes that will ultimately break their spirit.

It baffles me that Poch and his team don't see this...:cautious:

I think Ndombele and Lo Celso have been brought in because they will both try defence splitting passes from deeper positions and they will both run at the opposition with the ball. I'm hopeful we'll see a great improvement once they're both up to speed because at the moment, our play has become so, so predictable that it's easy to defend against it. The other thing that I think we really need is FBs (or whoever) putting early balls onto the box. It is so much harder to defend a good ball coming in on an angle than one that's parallel to the byeline and yet we hardly ever see it. Last one I can remember was Aurier to Vertonghen in the CL which was a thing of rare beauty.
 

gavspur

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I do miss proper wingers, I love the width and beating a man with pace to whip a ball in. Bale and Lennon were ace at this, but could also break through centrally coming in off the wing. Inverted wingers don’t often (not our ones anyway) go on the outside.
 

hellava_tough

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I think Ndombele and Lo Celso have been brought in because they will both try defence splitting passes from deeper positions and they will both run at the opposition with the ball. I'm hopeful we'll see a great improvement once they're both up to speed because at the moment, our play has become so, so predictable that it's easy to defend against it. The other thing that I think we really need is FBs (or whoever) putting early balls onto the box. It is so much harder to defend a good ball coming in on an angle than one that's parallel to the byeline and yet we hardly ever see it. Last one I can remember was Aurier to Vertonghen in the CL which was a thing of rare beauty.
I agree with everything you say there.

The main issue I have though, is that if Poch hasn't been able to get the current squad playing and doing the basics right, how is he going to do it with the new players?

There's certainly an argument to say that his new players' talent will change things and that's a fair point.

But it's not very efficient is it? It's not really getting the absolute best from the players that he's coaching.

It also suggests that Poch (i) won't make a team more than the sum of their parts and (ii) will regularly come up short in tactical battles against opposing coaches.

Our squad talent may be enough to get us into the CL season after season, but to win titles we'll need the two points above to be rectified, because the likes of Klopp and Pep are succeeding in these areas.
 

hellava_tough

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The problem is these cross field balls seem the obvious option, but the reality is the man on the switch will then get the ball and might have no team mate within 30 yards of him given our entirely random and often ultra narrow attacking structure. There's no one then to play combinations with, cut through a defence etc. Which is why the game slows down and they wait for support to shuffle across.

They could try and beat him down the line and whip a cross in, but that seems like a real low percentage play to me and not something to do constantly - and it's not like we have the players for this tactic really in any case.

To me you circulate the ball centrally primarily and then use the wide player in the final third when you've created an overlap.

This is just another example though of what I've been banging on about post after post in recent days, we simply must evolve our positional play and how we're looking to attack and have a bit more structure to it at times to make it easier to circulate the football up, down and across the pitch.
It's all about shaking things up; doing a bit of everything depending on the situation that a player finds himself in.

But regardless of what a player decides to do, we need to play with more urgency.

Patient build-up play is all fine and good, but we've regressed way too far in this style to the point where we're plodding along and teams aren't pressured by us anymore.

If I was the coach (I know, who am I? :LOL:) I would be telling the team to only take 3 or 4 passes before hitting a cross, through ball, long ball, or taking a man on. Basically, whatever you're going to do from an attacking point of view, do it sooner rather than later.

This will put the opposition under more pressure, make the play more frantic and make the game more stretched.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we've got the talent, pace, finishing ability and fitness levels to crush most opposition when the tempo of the game is set like this.
 

Japhet

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I agree with everything you say there.

The main issue I have though, is that if Poch hasn't been able to get the current squad playing and doing the basics right, how is he going to do it with the new players?

There's certainly an argument to say that his new players' talent will change things and that's a fair point.

But it's not very efficient is it? It's not really getting the absolute best from the players that he's coaching.

It also suggests that Poch (i) won't make a team more than the sum of their parts and (ii) will regularly come up short in tactical battles against opposing coaches.

Our squad talent may be enough to get us into the CL season after season, but to win titles we'll need the two points above to be rectified, because the likes of Klopp and Pep are succeeding in these areas.

Klopp and Pep have both had a massive head start on us in terms of throwing huge amounts of money at any problem areas. We haven't had that for years but maybe the shackles will be released now. I'm hopeful that's how it will pan out. It took a few years of big spending for Klopp to turn Liverpool around and Pep just bought the best available at every opportunity which is the Man City business plan. We've just brought in 3 players who will need time to settle, and it's likely we'll need to replace a few big names in the next couple of years. At the moment we're suffering from zero spending in 18 months when we could have been filtering new players through but that's all water under the bridge. People just need to keep a bit of faith and hope Poch settles back down and gets on with the job.
 

hellava_tough

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Klopp and Pep have both had a massive head start on us in terms of throwing huge amounts of money at any problem areas. We haven't had that for years but maybe the shackles will be released now. I'm hopeful that's how it will pan out. It took a few years of big spending for Klopp to turn Liverpool around and Pep just bought the best available at every opportunity which is the Man City business plan. We've just brought in 3 players who will need time to settle, and it's likely we'll need to replace a few big names in the next couple of years. At the moment we're suffering from zero spending in 18 months when we could have been filtering new players through but that's all water under the bridge. People just need to keep a bit of faith and hope Poch settles back down and gets on with the job.
So when Juande Ramos was managing a Russian side (forget which one) we ended up playing them in a European competition, and he gave an interview before the game.

He said that a coach can get their formation, style, tactics, etc spot on for a game, and perhaps even out-fox the opponent, but if they don't have the raw talent on the pitch, then a lot of the time they end up losing the game.

That really stuck with me, because it highlights the need to create a slick, efficient footballing system with the correct formation and tactics, etc, which you can then go about upgrading the constituent parts to i.e. signing good players.

So with Pep and Klopp, you could see what they were trying to do with their systems and finally they got the pieces to do it.

The problem with us, is that you can't even see what we're trying to do.

It would be one thing if we were, generally speaking, battering 'lesser' teams in the league, but falling short against Liverpool and Man City, due to a lack of that little bit of extra quality. That's where transfers come in.

But the truth is, we're struggling against teams that we're actually a lot better than.
 

Nick-TopSpursMan

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We have good enough players to unlock the opposition most games if we just had some cohesive tactics.

1. High tempo, high energy. Press the opposition when they have possession and force mistakes. Hound them exactly like City and Pool do. We are so lazy in comparison! If you start at a lightning quick tempo a lot of the time they will not be able to handle it and we will get early leads.

2. Use the width and get to the byline! We cross from deep positions so much and it's so easy for a low block to defend! What we've got to do is get to the byline and cut the ball back or fire it across goal (and make sure we have players gambling in the box!) This is much, much harder to defend and even if it's cleared we will find that we pick the ball up on the edge of the area etc when the opposition are panicking, providing shooting opportunities or the chance to keep them penned in.

3. Take people on! So often we just stand still and pass sideways, no one wants to take responsibility. Look at City and Pool, the likes of Sterling, Bernardo, Mane, Salah etc will constantly try to make things happen and drive at the opposition. This causes panic and creates gap in the oppositions low block.

4. One-Twos and slide passes! Quick passes, short sharp movements, pull the opposition around, make them focus on tracking runners. They will tire eventually! Look at how often City use a one two or slide pass from Silva/De Bruyne to get in behind fullbacks.

5. Switch play. Self explanatory but the constant shuffling from side to side is tiring for the opposition.

6. Vary the tempo. Slow it down, get your breath then at certain moments trigger in to action. Speed the tempo up and be direct, move the ball quickly and surge. Then slow it down again, keep possession, shuffle it and repeat.

7. MOVEMENT. Players need to be constantly on the move, take responsibility and find the gaps, the half spaces to receive the ball.

8. Using the above tactics will make the opposition much more unsure of themselves and this will leave gaps for shooting opportunities. Take them quickly before they can set.


In combination, 95% of the time the opposition will not be able to handle these tactics, this constant flow of varied attacks. Yet we seem to think playing at a snails tempo and keeping the ball moving side to side, with long balls and crosses from deep will work?! Baffling.
 

hellava_tough

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Apr 21, 2005
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We have good enough players to unlock the opposition most games if we just had some cohesive tactics.

1. High tempo, high energy. Press the opposition when they have possession and force mistakes. Hound them exactly like City and Pool do. We are so lazy in comparison! If you start at a lightning quick tempo a lot of the time they will not be able to handle it and we will get early leads.

2. Use the width and get to the byline! We cross from deep positions so much and it's so easy for a low block to defend! What we've got to do is get to the byline and cut the ball back or fire it across goal (and make sure we have players gambling in the box!) This is much, much harder to defend and even if it's cleared we will find that we pick the ball up on the edge of the area etc when the opposition are panicking, providing shooting opportunities or the chance to keep them penned in.

3. Take people on! So often we just stand still and pass sideways, no one wants to take responsibility. Look at City and Pool, the likes of Sterling, Bernardo, Mane, Salah etc will constantly try to make things happen and drive at the opposition. This causes panic and creates gap in the oppositions low block.

4. One-Twos and slide passes! Quick passes, short sharp movements, pull the opposition around, make them focus on tracking runners. They will tire eventually! Look at how often City use a one two or slide pass from Silva/De Bruyne to get in behind fullbacks.

5. Switch play. Self explanatory but the constant shuffling from side to side is tiring for the opposition.

6. Vary the tempo. Slow it down, get your breath then at certain moments trigger in to action. Speed the tempo up and be direct, move the ball quickly and surge. Then slow it down again, keep possession, shuffle it and repeat.

7. MOVEMENT. Players need to be constantly on the move, take responsibility and find the gaps, the half spaces to receive the ball.

8. Using the above tactics will make the opposition much more unsure of themselves and this will leave gaps for shooting opportunities. Take them quickly before they can set.


In combination, 95% of the time the opposition will not be able to handle these tactics, this constant flow of varied attacks. Yet we seem to think playing at a snails tempo and keeping the ball moving side to side, with long balls and crosses from deep will work?! Baffling.
Winner!

We're playing against 1 dimensional 'bus-parkers'!!

They should be the easiest teams to beat!!
 

mpickard2087

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It's all about shaking things up; doing a bit of everything depending on the situation that a player finds himself in.

But regardless of what a player decides to do, we need to play with more urgency.

Patient build-up play is all fine and good, but we've regressed way too far in this style to the point where we're plodding along and teams aren't pressured by us anymore.

If I was the coach (I know, who am I? :LOL:) I would be telling the team to only take 3 or 4 passes before hitting a cross, through ball, long ball, or taking a man on. Basically, whatever you're going to do from an attacking point of view, do it sooner rather than later.

This will put the opposition under more pressure, make the play more frantic and make the game more stretched.

Over the course of 90 minutes, we've got the talent, pace, finishing ability and fitness levels to crush most opposition when the tempo of the game is set like this.
I agree we need to play with more tempo at times, and cut down on the number of touches players are taking, I've always said this - even back in like 16/17 when we had our best results.

You can still play patiently and pick the lock, but it requires good interchanges and positional play and attacking structure. People mention Man City, yes the blank cheques help enormously and may be the biggest factor, but Guardiola shits all over Poch unfortunately when it comes to the detail of constructing possession and how we're looking to manipulate the ball and the opposition to create and use space. And that's just the obvious example, many other coaches are also superior in this aspect. It's the area where we/he most needs to evolve.

I made this graphic as part of a post in the tactical autopsy thread, but I'll use it again here to demonstrate the point, this is kind of the default shape we tend to end up in when we're trying to play our way up the pitch:




No wonder we see so much backwards and sideways passing - and it's pointless to blame individuals and say 'so-and-so should be doing this', it's clearly a system problem. We've always got into that shape and I've had concerns about it, but with 2019 Eriksen off form and now not in the team we've lost the one guy who will drop off and perform miracles doing the job of three men to link from back to front and it's really getting shown up. But even if he stays and gets back to top form our habits and structures with the ball have got to change.
 

Japhet

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So when Juande Ramos was managing a Russian side (forget which one) we ended up playing them in a European competition, and he gave an interview before the game.

He said that a coach can get their formation, style, tactics, etc spot on for a game, and perhaps even out-fox the opponent, but if they don't have the raw talent on the pitch, then a lot of the time they end up losing the game.

That really stuck with me, because it highlights the need to create a slick, efficient footballing system with the correct formation and tactics, etc, which you can then go about upgrading the constituent parts to i.e. signing good players.

So with Pep and Klopp, you could see what they were trying to do with their systems and finally they got the pieces to do it.

The problem with us, is that you can't even see what we're trying to do.

It would be one thing if we were, generally speaking, battering 'lesser' teams in the league, but falling short against Liverpool and Man City, due to a lack of that little bit of extra quality. That's where transfers come in.

But the truth is, we're struggling against teams that we're actually a lot better than.

I think it comes down to a predictable style of play again. Since Poch arrived we've been heavily reliant on Eriksen as our creative spark but I think it became obvious we were going to have to adapt when he turned his nose up repeatedly at the contracts on offer. We're never going to replace him like for like, so IMO we've brought in 2 players in Ndombele and LoCelso who create in a different way. There was also talk from ITK of a new style this season, but no evidence as of now. The new guys need time to settle so we're in no man's land at the moment with Eriksen away with the fairies. It needs a bit of patience from the fans and Poch and Levy, but unfortunately, modern football doesn't do patience. Poch seems miserable as fuck but I think he needs to man up, put the CL defeat to bed and get on with motivating and coaching which is what he's paid millions to do.
 

Shadydan

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26,891
Winner!

We're playing against 1 dimensional 'bus-parkers'!!

They should be the easiest teams to beat!!
Bus parkers are notoriously difficult to beat, breaking down an organised, well drilled side has been the scourge of many including Barcelona, Real etc...
 
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