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Run quickly towards goal


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This is class. 

LJ and all his inspirational messages on posters all around the changing room and corridors. 

No impact. Scrap them all. 

This is the one to place above the tunnel. I can see it now. Get back to basics ‘Run Quickly towards Goal’ with a gert big arrow that we can change the direction of at half-time.

Genius. 

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What I think the OP is basically getting at is, Weimann aside, we have nobody to frighten a defence with pace, directness- simply running at them with the ball.

Sproule as a good example, for his weaknesses had that attribute...raw pace. Had we deployed him differently, could perhaps have won a fair few free kicks, corners and penalties with that alone.

Defenders, particularly central defenders- for all of their improvements in fitness, technical ability and positioning can still have a big problem with this through the middle.

Full backs can probably handle it better because they increasingly are expected to get up and down the pitch these days.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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We have plenty of players capable of running at teams.The point for me is that the high tempo pressing game seems to have been abandoned in favour of a rather sterile possession game.

LJ should have stuck to his guns from day one. Instead, even allowing for injuries, he has become inconsistent in selection and tactics. A sign of a man feeling the pressure and casting around for solutions to a problem he has at least partly created himself.

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51 minutes ago, chinapig said:

We have plenty of players capable of running at teams.The point for me is that the high tempo pressing game seems to have been abandoned in favour of a rather sterile possession game.

LJ should have stuck to his guns from day one. Instead, even allowing for injuries, he has become inconsistent in selection and tactics. A sign of a man feeling the pressure and casting around for solutions to a problem he has at least partly created himself.

Not sure we have all that many tbh. Who will run at the defence, committ them- turn them round, put them properly on the back foot. Reckon we have more than just Weimann mind.

Surely a mix of possession football and intense pressing is the way to go- and LJ's end goal? Think you need a consistent base, 3 central midfielders for starters though 

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I noticed Da Silva attempting to cross early from deeper than we usually see - thats good. Getting the ball into the box quickly can be unsettling, esp if defenders are facing their own goal (running back) Paterson by contrast breaks quickly then ***** around trying to beat one or two players, cuts back inside and by then momentum is lost and defenders are in position. Hit ‘em early! I agree.

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38 minutes ago, Antman said:

I noticed Da Silva attempting to cross early from deeper than we usually see - thats good. Getting the ball into the box quickly can be unsettling, esp if defenders are facing their own goal (running back) Paterson by contrast breaks quickly then ***** around trying to beat one or two players, cuts back inside and by then momentum is lost and defenders are in position. Hit ‘em early! I agree.

Obviously a different league (literally) from our players, but Benjamin Mendy is a perfect example of this. Absolutely terrorised Huddersfield’s defence yesterday by whipping in crosses early, often without taking a touch.

Obviously this takes a lot of skill to do consistently without constantly wasting opportunties, but also confidence. It feels like many of our players are too scared to give away possession to try anything. Whether this due to LJ or the crowd or both who knows. But unless you have highly skilled technical players it’s unlikely you’re gonna play through teams in the way we look to be doing.

I do feel it’s too early to draw too many conclusions about how we will fare this season. But from what I’ve seen so far (only the Plymouth game live and Bolton and Boro on streams) we look to lack the power and aggression to unsettle and panic in the oppositions box (Fam should make a difference when back) and to take charge and dominate in our own box. 

Lots of nice patterns and passing in the middle but it all just seems a bit...nice. I fully appreciate and think it’s admirable to take inspiration from pep. But our performances seem symptomatic of a coach that hasn’t managed to marry the lofty theoretical ideas with a pragmatic approach in line with the reality of playing in the championship, particularly with a relatively average group of players. 

I remain hopeful that LJ will resolve the issues that seemed to have plagued his entire tenure here, but my current feeling is that it may take a while yet. Will he have enough time here to do that? I suppose that’s up to SL...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Not sure we have all that many tbh. Who will run at the defence, committ them- turn them round, put them properly on the back foot. Reckon we have more than just Weimann mind.

Surely a mix of possession football and intense pressing is the way to go- and LJ's end goal? Think you need a consistent base, 3 central midfielders for starters though 

We had leko and Kent last year but as soon as that wasn’t working crowd turns pretty quickly on them. “Just give the simple ball” 

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I do think there is a point here - as there was last season - that we seem to struggle to attack quickly with pace. We've actually got players with the attributes to do it - Eliasson and O'Dowda spring to mind but we seem to struggle to either get the ball to them in positions where they can run at the defence or play balls forward for them to run onto. I think my overall frustration at the moment is we seem to struggle to get the best out of the players we have...

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5 minutes ago, bs20ciderarmy said:

We had leko and Kent last year but as soon as that wasn’t working crowd turns pretty quickly on them. “Just give the simple ball” 

Did we utilise them to the best? Not so sure personally, though Kent at the same time was rather underwhelming.

Still think raw pace- though I maybe outdated in this regard- is frequently best utilised through the centre as full backs these days can be very quick, with a good recovery time. Almost like wingers some of them!

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2 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Not sure we have all that many tbh. Who will run at the defence, committ them- turn them round, put them properly on the back foot. Reckon we have more than just Weimann mind.

Surely a mix of possession football and intense pressing is the way to go- and LJ's end goal? Think you need a consistent base, 3 central midfielders for starters though 

Why is LJ apparently so against 4-3-3? It seems to be a matter of principle somehow.

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7 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Why is LJ apparently so against 4-3-3? It seems to be a matter of principle somehow.

My theory is he played 4-4-2 as a player, therefore he sees it as best to apply as a manager.

Beyond that, who knows? Stubbornness, pride is my serious guess. All managers have- perhaps need- an ego to varying levels, and a thick skin. Therefore he maybe wants to prove himself right by making his system, his preferred style work in the end.

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10 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

What I think the OP is basically getting at is, Weimann aside, we have nobody to frighten a defence with pace, directness- simply running at them with the ball.

Sproule as a good example, for his weaknesses had that attribute...raw pace. Had we deployed him differently, could perhaps have won a fair few free kicks, corners and penalties with that alone.

Defenders, particularly central defenders- for all of their improvements in fitness, technical ability and positioning can still have a big problem with this through the middle.

Full backs can probably handle it better because they increasingly are expected to get up and down the pitch these days.

I liked the couple of times Hunt went bombing forward, one cross Randolph had to palm away, the other Watkins got stuck in quicksand.

Dasilva looked lively too.

I think there are times to ‘bomb’ and times not to.  Hunt did it on the back of solid possession and a slightly higher tempo.

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1 hour ago, RedSA said:

Obviously a different league (literally) from our players, but Benjamin Mendy is a perfect example of this. Absolutely terrorised Huddersfield’s defence yesterday by whipping in crosses early, often without taking a touch.

Obviously this takes a lot of skill to do consistently without constantly wasting opportunties, but also confidence. It feels like many of our players are too scared to give away possession to try anything. Whether this due to LJ or the crowd or both who knows. But unless you have highly skilled technical players it’s unlikely you’re gonna play through teams in the way we look to be doing.

I do feel it’s too early to draw too many conclusions about how we will fare this season. But from what I’ve seen so far (only the Plymouth game live and Bolton and Boro on streams) we look to lack the power and aggression to unsettle and panic in the oppositions box (Fam should make a difference when back) and to take charge and dominate in our own box. 

Lots of nice patterns and passing in the middle but it all just seems a bit...nice. I fully appreciate and think it’s admirable to take inspiration from pep. But our performances seem symptomatic of a coach that hasn’t managed to marry the lofty theoretical ideas with a pragmatic approach in line with the reality of playing in the championship, particularly with a relatively average group of players. 

I remain hopeful that LJ will resolve the issues that seemed to have plagued his entire tenure here, but my current feeling is that it may take a while yet. Will he have enough time here to do that? I suppose that’s up to SL...

 

 

We can set up to play like Pep but with two tiny problems, Johnson isn't Pep and our players are nowhere near as technically gifted as those of the Citizens.

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4 minutes ago, Red-Robbo said:

Pace is our primary weapon against teams like Boro, but as @chinapig notes, we lose that advantage if we decide to play it about in our half for umpteen passes, looking for the gap in their defence to appear, which - of course - it never does.

I’m not a huge fan of 30-40 passes across the defence whilst in our own half but it’s common in the modern game. Not a great comparison but Spain v Portugal included huge periods of possession in the respective teams own half. It’s a good tactic but you have to have movement and creativity in the opposition half, something we don’t have the players for.

i feel for LJ. If we play it long the fans moan. If we maintain possession in our own half the fans want it forward. I’m just not sure whether our issue is not having players of sufficient ability to play the way Johnson wants them to play. Teams have realised that if they keep numbers behind the ball and remove our ability to counter-attack then we struggle to score.

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6 minutes ago, Rich_s said:

I’m not a huge fan of 30-40 passes across the defence whilst in our own half but it’s common in the modern game. Not a great comparison but Spain v Portugal included huge periods of possession in the respective teams own half. It’s a good tactic but you have to have movement and creativity in the opposition half, something we don’t have the players for.

i feel for LJ. If we play it long the fans moan. If we maintain possession in our own half the fans want it forward. I’m just not sure whether our issue is not having players of sufficient ability to play the way Johnson wants them to play. Teams have realised that if they keep numbers behind the ball and remove our ability to counter-attack then we struggle to score.

I'm not advocating the hoof upfield. Given the size of our forward line, that would be madness.

It's just more goals appear to be scored from breaking with speed than the slow, steady build-up. Perhaps Portugal and Spain's exit from the World cup enforced that narrative.

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17 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I liked the couple of times Hunt went bombing forward, one cross Randolph had to palm away, the other Watkins got stuck in quicksand.

Dasilva looked lively too.

I think there are times to ‘bomb’ and times not to.  Hunt did it on the back of solid possession and a slightly higher tempo.

Agreed on that.

Think we need a mixed approach of fast, slow, passing i.e. resting in possession with speeding it up when the opposition might not expect etc- plus the necessary physicality to compete in this division, which is unlike many (any?) in the world.

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I totally get where the OP is coming from, we really do need to get the ball into the box a lot quicker, we need to be turning their defence around and not playing everything in front of them, we had so much meaningless possession at the weekend most of our passing was sideways or backwards no one trying there luck at a defence splitting pass for someone to run onto, we have a small skillful side side let's start using that and start putting big sides like Middlesbrough under pressure with out speed 

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18 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

What I think the OP is basically getting at is, Weimann aside, we have nobody to frighten a defence with pace, directness- simply running at them with the ball.

Sproule as a good example, for his weaknesses had that attribute...raw pace. Had we deployed him differently, could perhaps have won a fair few free kicks, corners and penalties with that alone.

Defenders, particularly central defenders- for all of their improvements in fitness, technical ability and positioning can still have a big problem with this through the middle.

Full backs can probably handle it better because they increasingly are expected to get up and down the pitch these days.

Totally agree.  Look at the highlights for Tito Villalba for Atlanta United last night.  Two direct diagonal runs at the defence led to two goals.  I don't care that the opposition was Columbus Crew, just look at the end product.

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Agree we need to play forward with a fast aggressive tempo. LJ said that was the message at half time and to be fair we were better in the second half. Our poor runs in the last couple of seasons were when we were passing it around ponderously like we did in the first half on Saturday.

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