The Diamond

The diamond- turd or gem?


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    203

'O Zio

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City in Guardiola’s first title winning season very much used wingers
He used all kinds of formations in that first season while he was experimenting but never used traditional wingers. He tried 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, 4-3-3 and the players in the "wide" positions were a combination of Sterling, Nolito, De Bruyne, Silva etc. None of whom are wingers in the classic sense.
 

'O Zio

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The point is that loads of teams still play with wingers, whether you want to call them wingers or wide forwards. Either way they stay out wide and create from there. We have Son and Lucas who could do this but Poch seems insistent on playing them in the middle.
But you're completely missing the entire point in the discussion. We're not talking about wide forward players. The point was that nobody, or virtually nobody, plays a traditional stick wide and cross from the by-line type winger any more. Just naming wide forward players who are not traditional wingers is completely irrelevant and you're somewhat proving my point if anything
 

mill

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He used all kinds of formations in that first season while he was experimenting but never used traditional wingers. He tried 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, 4-3-3 and the players in the "wide" positions were a combination of Sterling, Nolito, De Bruyne, Silva etc. None of whom are wingers in the classic sense.
Conveniently left out sane lol
 

'O Zio

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Conveniently left out sane lol
Not really. Just forgot him, hence the "etc." because I knew I wouldn't remember everyone.

Either way, I stand by it, Sane also isn't that classic 90s/early 2000s style winger which is what I was talking about.
 

WiganSpur

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My issue with it is that it's being used to shoehorn all his favourites in to the disregard of the collective.

Clearly on his favourites list we have
- Sissoko
- Winks
- Kane
- Son as a striker
- Maybe now Ndombele

If you sacrifice width in order to play the two strikers centrally then you need to have a defensive midfielder who can shield the defence which allows the fullbacks to offer width and the CB's to split and cover the space left behind. However we don't do that, instead we're trying to fit in 3 players in midfield who frankly should all be vying for one position and the clear winner is Ndombele, who would then benefit from the aforementioned defensive midfielder next to him or much better behind him.

My opinion even if we played a DM in the diamond we would still be vulnerable so for me he has to make a decision, Kane or Son up top. The obvious answer is to put Kane up top push Son out wide and then have another winger.

We then have the final spot in the midfield free, this is where we need to decide whether its 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 and because of Ndombele's obvious talents further forward. I would favour switching to a 3 meaning that Winks/Sissoko/Dele/Lo Celso can fight for that spot depending on the opposition.

So for me it has to be:

Dier
Ndombele Lo Celso
Lamela Kane Son

I'd be looking to upgrade the DM if possible. but even this 4-3-3 we have so much opportunity for variance, we can go 4-2-3-1 easily in this formation even with the same dam players. All these players are flexible. If during the game you want to push Son in centrally with these players, move Kane into the 10 and have Lo Celso push outwide as he's done for argentina and have Ndombele drop back into a 2 and you can still retain the width. There's so much flexibility there but we seem to be actively avoiding width and fullback protection. We have done for 2/3 years.
I think this bit here is exactly correct. If we're going to play it, it requires a half back to play that DM role. Essentially they need to be good on the ball, but most importantly drop between the two centre halves when we're in possession to allow the full backs to advance. That then provides us with extra defensive cover when the ball gets turned over. If we're going to persist as we are, then the full backs have to be more reserved, but then this gives us very little width and our attacking play becomes congested. A use of Winks now should simply be the 'deeper' version of Christian Eriksen's replacement. I think he should play as one of the two CMs in front of the half back. Let's say at the moment that would be any two of Winks, Alli, Ndombele, Lo Celso, Sissoko & possibly Skipp.

Until we have the players to utilise the half back, we need to go back to 4-2-3-1 (with more balanced full backs) and 3-5-2 which both make the best use of the players we have available at this moment in time.
 

mill

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Not really. Just forgot him, hence the "etc." because I knew I wouldn't remember everyone.

Either way, I stand by it, Sane also isn't that classic 90s/early 2000s style winger which is what I was talking about.
Fullbacks played deeper and supported cm the width came from sane and sterling
 

Shadydan

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Not really. Just forgot him, hence the "etc." because I knew I wouldn't remember everyone.

Either way, I stand by it, Sane also isn't that classic 90s/early 2000s style winger which is what I was talking about.
Sane has been directly compared to Ryan Giggs in playing style numerous times, he is exactly the type of old skool winger you'd liken him to back in the day...just like Overmars, Pires, Ginola tricky wingers who hug the touchline and play on the side of their strongest foot.
 

WiganSpur

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Agreed, I can't believe it hasn't been a bigger topic of discussion. It's exceedingly rare for a player to critique the manager's tactics so explicitly in the media. When the fittest player at the club is publicly saying that the players can't cope with the physical demands it speaks volumes.
It's cleverer than it looks from Sissoko. He's essentially confirmed the system's weaknesses to the press now so i'm sure Graham Potter will be looking at it and getting some wingers on the pitch along with coaching switch of plays. Hopefully that gets Pochettino to finally changing it knowing the weaknesses are clear to everyone.

Even so, I think it was clear from Bayern's gameplan that Kovac expected and prepared for the diamond. Anyone else notice that he brought on Thiago at HT when he knew our tired legs would start opening up more spaces for him to orchestrate? Don't think it was a coincidence at all.
 

Joeyboey

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You just can't be competitive in this league if you play narrow. It's such basic stuff.
 

TEESSIDE1

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You just can't be competitive in this league if you play narrow. It's such basic stuff.
Especially when you’re reliant on your full backs for width and none of them offer anything going forward (eg can’t cross, pick a pass or shoot).
 

DEFchenkOE

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But you're completely missing the entire point in the discussion. We're not talking about wide forward players. The point was that nobody, or virtually nobody, plays a traditional stick wide and cross from the by-line type winger any more. Just naming wide forward players who are not traditional wingers is completely irrelevant and you're somewhat proving my point if anything
And you say I'm the one missing the point.

We're not playing with any width, wingers/wide forwards/ attacking midfielders, whatever you want to call them. Guys that specialise in playing wide that aren't fullbacks. That is the point that was being referred to in the post you quoted.
 

fishhhandaricecake

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There's a reason nobody plays wingers nowadays. All the top teams use the fullbacks to provide width because you can then create overloads against the defence, forcing them to choose between which of 2 players to defend, which theoretically leaves the other player open. If you played traditional wingers you'd basically have to play an old-fashioned 4-4-2 which would be too easy to defend against.
Nobody plays wingers lol?!! What are : salah mane sterling and marhez?! Only the 4 wingers that the top 2 teams in the league play!!

I never said for us to play 4-4-2 nessercarily.
 

Westmorlandspur

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Nobody plays wingers lol?!! What are : salah mane sterling and marhez?! Only the 4 wingers that the top 2 teams in the league play!!

I never said for us to play 4-4-2 nessercarily.
When was the last time you saw Salah or Mane run down the wing and sling over a cross. They are not wingers. I think wide forward is the phrase. They play towards the corner of the penalty area.
 

wrd

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When was the last time you saw Salah or Mane run down the wing and sling over a cross. They are not wingers. I think wide forward is the phrase. They play towards the corner of the penalty area.
But the key issue we are concerned with is the space left during defensive plays, salah and mane cover that wide space even if as you say they are more wide forwards.
 

skiba

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But the key issue we are concerned with is the space left during defensive plays, salah and mane cover that wide space even if as you say they are more wide forwards.
Exactly. Liverpool often end up in a diamond with Firminho dropping into midfield and Salah and Mane going up top. Without the ball however they go 4-3-3 with the wide players responsible for covering the full backs and wide areas. They have a clear shape to them without the ball and press as a unit with what appears to be clearly defined roles.

I look at our front 3 and there seems to be little organisation or structure to what they should be doing without the ball. Yes they press, but it's disjointed and often out of sync with the rest fo the team. Teams are finding it far too easy to bypass this line/press (normally through their full backs) and we end up with a midfield 3 having to do far too much work and 3 players ahead of the ball out of the game. It's good for counter attacking but leaves us far too open IMO.
 

double0

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The diamond requires intelligence and players with athleticism especially the full backs also when defending one of the strikers has to drop in. We’ve had some great results playing it ie 30 mins first half against BM was an example however we’ve been brutally exposed too.

Top teams tend to play 4231 433
 

Shadydan

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Just remembered that Rodgers used the diamond with Liverpool in 2013/14 when they were smashing teams and they narrowly missed out on winning the league.
 

Blake Griffin

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not that i'm particularly fond of this formation but it's not like our bad run of form coincided with switching to a diamond, we've been poor for a while now regardless of how we've set the team up. just seems like an easy cop out to blame it all on a formation.
 

DJS

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I’d love some good old fashioned wingers.
 

SpursD22

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We need to play 3 at the back

Since we don’t have any good DM and our fullback situation is also a problem 3 at the back helps us protect the backline and fullbacks the best right now. We’re leaking too many goals, our fullbacks and CB’s are getting exposed, our midfield is getting past too easily

Gazzaniga

KWP Toby Sanchez/Dier Jan Sessegnon

Winks Ndombele

Lo Celso/Eriksen/Alli/Lamela/Lucas Son

Kane

KWP should start most games until we buy a RB, Sessegnon should play straight after he’s back from the injury. He’s athletic, good dribbler and decent crosser which Rose now isn’t anymore. With a 3 at the back our wingbacks can go forward without having the concerned of getting exposed at the back.
In midfield Ndombele has a bit more of a free roll than Winks

At CB Foyth should also get many minutes at RCB. If we play Dier he can also play as a DM and be that balance player. Sanchez offer us pace. Would also like to see Tanganga get a few minutes but I doubt that will happen
 
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