Not listened to any interviews, first post I’ve really got to tonight, been out watching the Bristol Flyers lose 81-82 to Surrey, which rounded off my sporting Saturday “nicely”….not.
For some reason or another we’ve gone away from the basics of early season., where we looked well drilled, committed, etc, without looking hugely cohesive, but it was enough to get results. I liked that we stuck with 442/4411, changing personnel to suit, e.g. Cardiff where we went Baker at LB, rather than go back 3 to accommodate him. We looked flexible within a framework. I felt encouraged.
I hate looking at formations as the root cause because that makes me hypocritical as at best I think formations are 30% at most, and 70% is about the players.
But….I see big issues with the way we play a back three at times. I don’t mind it per se, but I don’t like how we go about playing it.
Not enough marking by the 3 CBs. Against a front two, there should be no reason why Grant and Hugill are not marked tightly at all times by Kalas and Baker (in the main) knowing that Atkinson is spare. There really shouldn’t be a case where Grant comes short and Kalas doesn’t go right up his arse. He shouldn’t be able to turn and slide Furlong in under no pressure.
If they don’t mark it means someone else trying to drop back like James, and therefore there is no pressure then into midfield, where we get passed around and can’t get enough pressure on the ball. Playing three seems to result in a bit of buck-psssing, e.g. if I don’t mark my man, surely the other two will bail me out. I don’t like that.
I generally don’t like Dasilva at LWB, I think he gets caught playing it a bit in no-man’s land. I know plenty on here don’t like him defensively, but I think if you get him with the play in front of him you see a better player and I think he positions himself better defensively too, even if he might have some weaknesses….at least you get the best of him on the ball….and you can build passing moves off of him. Whether Pring could play LWB better I don’t know….but I thought he played really well at LB today. Will observe more.
I also think playing 2 CMs and 1 AM is asking for trouble against better teams (QPR / WBA). You might get away with it against lesser sides. We got dominated playing Massengo in-front of James and Bakinson at QPR (but got a smash and grab win) and ditto today with Weimann in-front of James and Massengo. Two different opponent styles, we couldn’t cope with either. Playing them as a flat three would’ve made more sense, at least we’d have had a back eight in two main banks. As it was we had pockets of space for West Brom to find far too often.
Back to basics next week please Nige. Disappointed today tactically…even more so with application and commitment.
Pring and Wells gave good accounts of themselves today. I didn’t always come off for Wells but at least he carried a threat.
An interesting week ahead.