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JonDolman

What do we do up front?

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36 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Palmer behind Weimann worth a real go now IMO.

Or perhaps Palmer and O'Dowda in a 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 hybrid- when Nagy fit again he can slot in centrally with Brownhill and Massengo- Nagy alongside them in a '3' can also help to free up the other 2, give them a bit more license.

Variant on that maybe Eliasson for O'Dowda in some games, something like:

Brownhill Nagy Massengo Eliasson

                   Palmer

                   Weimann

A highly fluid 4-4-1-1.

Think options are there but LJ needs to change it now Afobe unavailable.

I quite like that idea - with a midfield 3 of Brownhill/Nagy/Massengo  minded it allows Hunt to be an attacking fullback with Rowe sitting deeper. I think at present Weimann is probably our best all round forward and most natural goalscorer so makes sense to use him as Afobe's natural replacement in the short term.

 

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Fam did a lot of good stuff yesterday against a strong Swansea defence. Other teams are allowed to keep our strikers quiet. Lets see how we go against a few of the lesser teams in the Division before ringing alarm bells. Would have preferred Palmer more behind a front two when he came on. 

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1 hour ago, Sir Geoff said:

Out of that pick I quite like the look of John Cifuente.....good feet for a big fella & can play across the front line...

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I think an answer is to come up with a line up without Fam, as we know what he can bring, and give it a run of games. I just can’t see LJ doing that though.

These teams could work very well. Mostly very comfortable in possession, can interchange in final third as well. 

Whatever LJ decides he should definitely not chop and change. Pick a solution and give it a good amount of games for players to gel.   Easier said than done giving Semenyo 5-6 straight games but would love to see it. 

                  Bentley

 Hunt. Moore. Baker. Rowe

    Brownhill Nagy Massengo

                 Palmer

           Weimann. Semenyo 

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1 hour ago, Sir Geoff said:

Bony would be great if you want a striker that can play with his back to goal and link up play. That is his strength. We need a different type of striker...one that plays on the shoulder of the last defender looking to run into space for Palmers through balls. In the past 5 yrs Bony was poor at Man City, awful at Stoke and spent 2 yrs on the treatment table at Swansea whilst picking up £100k per week wages.

Bony got to be worth a gamble surely? Similar to the Ashley Williams situation - already looking like a good acquisition, and surely better than having no one at all.

Wonder why no one has picked him up?

I know someone will shout “wages” now, but he’s currently earning nothing - he can only earn what someone is willing to pay him.

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8 minutes ago, Alessandro said:

Well, we've scored 13 goals in the league this season, Afobe had 3 of them. So they are coming from elsewhere....

For now, we rally around Fam and find ways of getting the likes of Weimann, Palmer, COD, Brownhill etc into more goal scoring positions. 

We've scored 10 goals in 5 games with Afobe in the team. 

We've scored 3 goals in 3 games without him.

 

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2 minutes ago, ChippenhamRed said:

Bony got to be worth a gamble surely? Similar to the Ashley Williams situation - already looking like a good acquisition, and surely better than having no one at all.

Wonder why no one has picked him up?

I know someone will shout “wages” now, but he’s currently earning nothing - he can only earn what someone is willing to pay him.

I imagine it's probably because injuries and illness might've finished him off. He's had a tough few seasons so a club would need to assess whether he's got anything left.

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I would like to see Diedhiou up front but with Eliasson and O’Dowda supporting from advanced wide positions. Like Fulham with Mitrovic ahead of Knockaert and Cavallero. 

The onus on Palmer would be to feed the wide men with Weimann as a back up plan. 

At least that way we are playing to Diedhiou’s strengths rather than just pumping it up to him.

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3 minutes ago, RedDave said:

I think an answer is to come up with a line up without Fam, as we know what he can bring, and give it a run of games. I just can’t see LJ doing that though.

These teams could work very well. Mostly very comfortable in possession, can interchange in final third as well. 

Whatever LJ decides he should definitely not chop and change. Pick a solution and give it a good amount of games for players to gel.   Easier said than done giving Semenyo 5-6 straight games but would love to see it. 

                  Bentley

 Hunt. Moore. Baker. Rowe

    Brownhill Nagy Massengo

                 Palmer

           Weimann. Semenyo 

That would probably be my preferred team in the circumstances - downside is that Eliasson and/or O'Dowda don't make the 11 and I would prefer to see Eliasson get as much game time as possible

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1 minute ago, RedDave said:

I think an answer is to come up with a line up without Fam, as we know what he can bring, and give it a run of games. I just can’t see LJ doing that though.

These teams could work very well. Mostly very comfortable in possession, can interchange in final third as well. 

Whatever LJ decides he should definitely not chop and change. Pick a solution and give it a good amount of games for players to gel.   Easier said than done giving Semenyo 5-6 straight games but would love to see it. 

                  Bentley

 Hunt. Moore. Baker. Rowe

    Brownhill Nagy Massengo

                 Palmer

           Weimann. Semenyo 

I like the idea of this. But what does he do if Semenyo, who’s never scored at this level, still hasn’t scored after 4 games and hasn’t impacted games?

Do we have the luxury of giving that sort of time to an unproven youngster who might ultimately never be good enough, when we have a realistic shot at promotion?

To be clear - I’m not being critical, just observing the problems with this strategy.

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2 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

I imagine it's probably because injuries and illness might've finished him off. He's had a tough few seasons so a club would need to assess whether he's got anything left.

You’re probably right, but if that is the case then a trial a la Williams would make sense surely. Nothing to lose by having a look.

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1 hour ago, spudski said:

You've got to ask yourself...the service to Afobe was good...but rarely to Famara. Both playing as Striker. 

It's down to player movement and positioning. 

Famara looked knackered yesterday. Body language wasn't right. 

Off the pace, lethargic. Gave some energy in first half, but second half was dire imo. Looked like he had no idea...no game plan. Just guessing it seemed like.

 

I agree. Diedhiou looked very frustrated yesterday and wasted a lot of energy pinching the air and clenching fists etc, yes I know he has to have a release but the aggression wasn’t being channeled properly or effectively from what I could see. 

We certainly missed Afobe, but the fact is that we have to get used to it and deal with it now the football Gods have once again dealt us a bad hand. Afobe could control the ball and hold it up in a way that Diedhiou can’t, he’s tough to watch after seeing Afobe. I’m not knocking him just saying it as i see it. 

As for other players, no one looked like they wanted to take on the responsibility of scoring as the game progressed. Lots of passing around in the box but it was one pass too many, a sign of a team lacking in leadership and confidence maybe?

i think our answer to our goal problems isn’t at the club right now, no amount of permatations will produce the goals we need to chase promotion. We might hit on a surprise combo, eg Watkins and Semenyo 😀but how many games will it take to find this. 

Im not normally pessimistic, but I do deal with reality and the lastest injury blow and the performance yesterday feels like one body blow too many. 

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1 minute ago, mozo said:

We've scored 10 goals in 5 games with Afobe in the team. 

We've scored 3 goals in 3 games without him.

That could be entirely down to the relative opposition.

That said with Afobe its not just his goal scoring but his movement and ability to worry defenders that we’ll miss - exactly what we saw yesterday.

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Weimann's been getting away with things for a while whilst other fans prefer to criticise Famara.

His goal return is not great. I was amazed how deep he was dropping to pick up the ball yesterday, completely isolating Famara. 

I also think our shape is a bit confused, especially at home where we have not played well for a long time now.

I've not seen enough of Semenyo to work out if he is any good or not, hasn't made much impact off the bench (or scored a senior goal??) He's hardly begging to be picked.

Edited by WolfOfWestStreet
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7 minutes ago, RedDave said:

I think an answer is to come up with a line up without Fam, as we know what he can bring, and give it a run of games. I just can’t see LJ doing that though.

These teams could work very well. Mostly very comfortable in possession, can interchange in final third as well. 

Whatever LJ decides he should definitely not chop and change. Pick a solution and give it a good amount of games for players to gel.   Easier said than done giving Semenyo 5-6 straight games but would love to see it. 

                  Bentley

 Hunt. Moore. Baker. Rowe

    Brownhill Nagy Massengo

                 Palmer

           Weimann. Semenyo 

My issue with that is who defends the overload in wide areas? It looks like Brownhill and Massengo will be dragged left and right and Palmer needing to drop into a CM position. 

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2 minutes ago, mozo said:

We've scored 10 goals in 5 games with Afobe in the team. 

We've scored 3 goals in 3 games without him.

 

Yes, another way of working the stats. Was he directly involved in all 10 goals?

Either way, i've not argued his influence, but ultimately all this doesn't fix his ACL - so as i've said already, time to put it to bed and move on.

Do you think LJ is sat at home going over old stats getting worked up about not having Afobe? Yes no doubt gutted, but he will have moved on and be looking at the stats to keep us up the table with the current available squad and the data of potential players out there to replace him.

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2 hours ago, Dr Balls said:

The first half 15 minute cameo from Fam was great, and until I saw the highlights, I didn’t realise just how close he was with that low cross slid across the 6 yard line. However in the second half, it just didn’t happen. Palmer added more creativity, and Fam did occasionally get his head to the ball for a flick on but we had no one running onto it. 

The reality is that Fam is a reasonable striker at this level, whereas Adobe was a potentially excellent one. The potential free agents don’t exactly inspire, as many of them can be content to sit back on their previous large earnings. Like Ashley Williams (who was excellent yesterday) they need a reason to play beyond the money.

Weimann, Palmer & Semenyo is a decent fast paced attacking front 3. Ideally go 4-3-3, with Hunt and Rowe adding the width. The only problem acutely is that Palmer is at risk of suspension if he gets too many more yellow cards.

It's Afobe FFS!!

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4 minutes ago, Robbored said:

That could be entirely down to the relative opposition.

That said with Afobe its not just his goal scoring but his movement and ability to worry defenders that we’ll miss - exactly what we saw yesterday.

It could be down to a lit of factors but I was just pointing out that Allesandro's logic was just one way of looking at it.

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2 minutes ago, Alessandro said:

Yes, another way of working the stats. Was he directly involved in all 10 goals?

Either way, i've not argued his influence, but ultimately all this doesn't fix his ACL - so as i've said already, time to put it to bed and move on.

Do you think LJ is sat at home going over old stats getting worked up about not having Afobe? Yes no doubt gutted, but he will have moved on and be looking at the stats to keep us up the table with the current available squad and the data of potential players out there to replace him.

Plus 2 of the 3 games were against Leeds and Swansea, which skews what is already a small sample.

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9 minutes ago, RedM said:

As for other players, no one looked like they wanted to take on the responsibility of scoring as the game progressed

Except for Taylor Moore, who decided to have a crack from 40 yards when we had 8 players in advanced positions ahead of him :mellow:

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9 minutes ago, WolfOfWestStreet said:

Weimann's been getting away with things for a while whilst other fans prefer to criticise Famara.

His goal return is not great. I was amazed how deep he was dropping to pick up the ball yesterday, completely isolating Famara. 

I also think our shape is a bit confused, especially at home where we have not played well for a long time now.

I've not seen enough of Semenyo to work out if he is any good or not, hasn't made much impact off the bench (or scored a senior goal??) He's hardly begging to be picked.

Totally agree, I don’t understand the clamour for Semenyo. He needs to do something from the bench first rather than seemingly wandering around outside of any recognisable system

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7 minutes ago, mozo said:

It could be down to a lit of factors but I was just pointing out that Allesandro's logic was just one way of looking at it.

True......and  bottom line is line is that City are still short of an experienced striker again............:disapointed2se:

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The other side of the coin is goals conceded. Given our record so far I was encouraged by the clean sheet yesterday. If we can concede fewer goals than we had been doing that might partially offset the loss of Afobe.

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16 minutes ago, mozo said:

My issue with that is who defends the overload in wide areas? It looks like Brownhill and Massengo will be dragged left and right and Palmer needing to drop into a CM position. 

That is the definite negative of that formation agreed. Although we could pick negatives in most situations in an Afobe-less world I think 

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4 minutes ago, RedM said:

I agree. Diedhiou looked very frustrated yesterday and wasted a lot of energy pinching the air and clenching fists etc, yes I know he has to have a release but the aggression wasn’t being channeled properly or effectively from what I could see. 

We certainly missed Afobe, but the fact is that we have to get used to it and deal with it now the football Gods have once again dealt us a bad hand. Afobe could control the ball and hold it up in a way that Diedhiou can’t, he’s tough to watch after seeing Afobe. I’m not knocking him just saying it as i see it. 

As for other players, no one looked like they wanted to take on the responsibility of scoring as the game progressed. Lots of passing around in the box but it was one pass too many, a sign of a team lacking in leadership and confidence maybe?

i think our answer to our goal problems isn’t at the club right now, no amount of permatations will produce the goals we need to chase promotion. We might hit on a surprise combo, eg Watkins and Semenyo 😀but how many games will it take to find this. 

Im not normally pessimistic, but I do deal with reality and the lastest injury blow and the performance yesterday feels like one body blow too many. 

I agree....and with the injuries to key players, it has a knock on effect to how we set up.

Eliasson for example...LJ has alluded to a fact that he only fits in when we play a four.

I watched Weimann yesterday closely...he was all over the pitch, but very rarely in a position in the box causing a threat.

Palmer is only any good if we have players to make the runs. Weimann did it once yesterday, which almost came off but was intercepted.

Hooper maybe an option. Hunt played with him many times and knows his movements. 

I feel for LJ...like us he's probably scratching his head as what's best to do.

Right now with players available and hopefully fit, I would consider playing more narrow than we have.

______________Bentley______________

Moore________Williams_________Baker

________Messengo___Nagy__________

_____Brownhill________Odowda/Rowe__

______________Palmer_______________

________Weimann____Semenyo_______

With an option of Famara or a free transfer like hooper up front.

LJ like his ' busy bee's' as he puts it...and that's why he set up from the start yesterday.

We lose that busy bee in the danger zones imo.

Shame Pato is out on loan...could do a job as a 10.

 

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34 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Give him (Palmer) a freeish role yet with a strong brief to support Weimann. Weimann should be briefed to stay more central, yet at times will drift further along the front line. O'Dowda able to stay wider at times and come inside at others would also give the defence something to think about.

Palmer-Weimann on paper can be like Paterson-Reid IMO. Just have a feeling we're not quite getting the balance right but in mitigation the injuries are ridiculous.

Palmer hasn't the work rate of Pato and Weimann to me looks less capable of being the number 9 or false 9 like Reid was in that spell. That is why I feel we need another forward to go alongside Weimann with Palmer in behind to get the best out of Palmer and Weimann. But hard to say who exactly.

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23 minutes ago, ChippenhamRed said:

I like the idea of this. But what does he do if Semenyo, who’s never scored at this level, still hasn’t scored after 4 games and hasn’t impacted games?

Do we have the luxury of giving that sort of time to an unproven youngster who might ultimately never be good enough, when we have a realistic shot at promotion?

To be clear - I’m not being critical, just observing the problems with this strategy.

It would be very brave to give him a run. My concern though is by chopping and changing you don’t give anything a real chance. You might come across the best solution but if it doesn’t work for that 90 minutes it gets discarded forever. 
 

Not necessarily saying that my solution is the best. The overriding point is pick one and stick with it for a bit

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25 minutes ago, mozo said:

My issue with that is who defends the overload in wide areas? It looks like Brownhill and Massengo will be dragged left and right and Palmer needing to drop into a CM position. 

Brownhill can on the right in certain phases.

Massengo? Nope. Thinking more like Weimann can pull wider left albeit higher up- or even Semenyo but Weimann is more experienced and has more nous which helps in such a scenario.

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35 minutes ago, ChippenhamRed said:

I know someone will shout “wages” now, but he’s currently earning nothing

I think he passed his UC interview so he'll be getting his benefits.

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21 minutes ago, mozo said:

My issue with that is who defends the overload in wide areas? It looks like Brownhill and Massengo will be dragged left and right and Palmer needing to drop into a CM position. 

That's the role of the two either side of the sitter in a diamond. The main attributes have to be work rate, to support full backs as well as central areas. Two of our most hardest working players are Brownhill and Massengo so they're probably made for those positions.

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The thing with this question is that it isn’t binary. It needs to be considered how the rest of the team will then fit in with the strikers. Myself, I think it’s a Palmer/Weimann axis up front. On the assumption that Baker isn’t out for Preston I’d like to see us line up:

GK Bentley

RWB Hunt

LWB O’Dowda

CB Baker

CB Moore

CB Williams

CM Brownhill

CM Rowe

CM Massengo

DLF Palmer

CF Weimann

I think COD played well yesterday and it’s been said before that he could do the WB role. Rowe in CM is intelligent enough to cover for COD if he goes forward. Up front, we then have two attacking full backs able to provide width/ammunition and stretch the game. With the more defensively minded Rowe (or Nagy soon) that enables Massengo to get forward and link with Palmer. I see KP dropping off and feeding runners in this system, with Weimann stretching the defence due to running.

It keeps coming to me that Andi scored 5 in 5 at the start of last year during Fams ban, with I think Pato behind him playing the “KP” role above. With the personnel we have, a team of runners/movers that can stretch the game feels the way to go.

I know the personnel is only one different (KP) to yesterday but we had Andi deeper than Sammie first half, and the COD/Rowe swap should give us width which was lacking.

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13 minutes ago, chinapig said:

The other side of the coin is goals conceded. Given our record so far I was encouraged by the clean sheet yesterday. If we can concede fewer goals than we had been doing that might partially offset the loss of Afobe.

Yes indeed, that was a point I meant to make in my post just now but forgot. Losing Baker early I feared the worst but we weathered the storm and came away with what seems a rare clean sheet. This might be our way forward, concede less and nick an odd goal for a win, very much like Gary Johnson was successful with. But I don’t see that as being the route a Lee wants to go, but he maybe forced to.

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26 minutes ago, Olé said:

Except for Taylor Moore, who decided to have a crack from 40 yards when we had 8 players in advanced positions ahead of him :mellow:

Very true, odd move that but I can’t knock him for having a go if he feels confident enough to do so. But no, he was never going to score from there. Maybe he was trying to make a point though?

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So we either need to change the way we play or somehow replace the attributes that afobe was bringing to the table:

Hold up play-I don’t think there is anyone in the squad that can get hold of the ball and keep it to allow runners time to catch up with play. Fammy simply doesn’t have the touch for it. This attribute would need to be brought in from free agent market.

running into channels-this can be replaced with the likes of wieman and semenyo so no real issue here.

finishing/movement in the box-again we don’t seem to have this in the squad-fammy and Weimann far too profligate, free agent market.

In summary if we want to play the same way we need to get a striker in urgently that can hold the ball and finish chances. The alternative is to play like we did during the league cup run when fammy was injured-Just not sure who can play the false 9 (Reid role, perhaps smodicks) with Palmer, Ellison, COD and Semenyo playing off him.

wouldnt like to be in Johnson’s position but I guess his job is to solve such issues and then sign a proper replacement in Jan

Edited by Fontaineofallknowledge

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44 minutes ago, cidercity1987 said:

Totally agree, I don’t understand the clamour for Semenyo. He needs to do something from the bench first rather than seemingly wandering around outside of any recognisable system

Many, me included see Semenyo as an option. Nobody is exactly clamouring for his inclusion. 

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One of the problems yesterday was Swansea stopped us playing out from the back so Bentley had to kick long, which resulted in giving away possession especially prior to introduction of big Dave.

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3 hours ago, Dr Balls said:

The first half 15 minute cameo from Fam was great, and until I saw the highlights, I didn’t realise just how close he was with that low cross slid across the 6 yard line. However in the second half, it just didn’t happen. Palmer added more creativity, and Fam did occasionally get his head to the ball for a flick on but we had no one running onto it. 

The reality is that Fam is a reasonable striker at this level, whereas Adobe was a potentially excellent one. The potential free agents don’t exactly inspire, as many of them can be content to sit back on their previous large earnings. Like Ashley Williams (who was excellent yesterday) they need a reason to play beyond the money.

Weimann, Palmer & Semenyo is a decent fast paced attacking front 3. Ideally go 4-3-3, with Hunt and Rowe adding the width. The only problem acutely is that Palmer is at risk of suspension if he gets too many more yellow cards.

This ⬆️

For me, our best spell of “football” came when Baker went off after 30 minutes.

DE857FCF-CDE1-400F-A777-84DA5B112D18.thumb.jpeg.75e367fd0ccc0a5d81dd913d2c95dd35.jpeg

We changed from 532 to 5212:

Rowe went to LCB, O’Dowda to LWB, Diedhiou replaced Szmodics up top and Szmodics went into the hole.  Swansea forced us to play to Baker who they pressed.  With Rowe at LCB (mr flexible) we had a passer on either side of Williams with Moore too.  Suddenly, instead of chipped balls into the front men or down the line, we had midfielders confident of receiving a ball inside from Rowe and we started to break through their lines.  Fam did well in that spell too, as did Weimann. 

Your second bit Re a 433 or variant might be thrust on us if Baker is injured....unless we start Rowe at LCB, or maybe Hunt at RCB and Pereira at RWB.  Think we’ll go back 4 if Baker not fit.

2 hours ago, Sir Geoff said:

I still recall Anichebe running the midfield for West Brom in that FA Cup replay a few seasons back and think that lump of a striker at Prem level is actually a very good footballer against a struggling Champ side.  Not saying we should go for him, more a point like with Williams, that quality that ex-Prem players have.

1 hour ago, JonDolman said:

I wonder about Weimann up there on his own. Palmer won't get in the box much and interchange as he hasn't the movement or work rate. Weimann will chase everywhere and we will at times have no one in the box. Also Weimann is quite lightweight. He was so perfect for Afobe, who was the physical presence up there.

Yet all his City goals have been from inside the box??  Two from headers inside the 6 yard box!!

If we go back to trying to play football, there is no reason to need physicality up top.  

1 hour ago, RedDave said:

I think an answer is to come up with a line up without Fam, as we know what he can bring, and give it a run of games. I just can’t see LJ doing that though.

These teams could work very well. Mostly very comfortable in possession, can interchange in final third as well. 

Whatever LJ decides he should definitely not chop and change. Pick a solution and give it a good amount of games for players to gel.   Easier said than done giving Semenyo 5-6 straight games but would love to see it. 

                  Bentley

 Hunt. Moore. Baker. Rowe

    Brownhill Nagy Massengo

                 Palmer

           Weimann. Semenyo 

There is a lot to like in this, you get Massengo, Nagy and Brownhill all in to the midfield.  It is quite a nice look defensively with 3 midfielders covering the gaps in the back 4.

23 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

The thing with this question is that it isn’t binary. It needs to be considered how the rest of the team will then fit in with the strikers. Myself, I think it’s a Palmer/Weimann axis up front. On the assumption that Baker isn’t out for Preston I’d like to see us line up:

GK Bentley

RWB Hunt

LWB O’Dowda

CB Baker

CB Moore

CB Williams

CM Brownhill

CM Rowe

CM Massengo

DLF Palmer

CF Weimann

I think COD played well yesterday and it’s been said before that he could do the WB role. Rowe in CM is intelligent enough to cover for COD if he goes forward. Up front, we then have two attacking full backs able to provide width/ammunition and stretch the game. With the more defensively minded Rowe (or Nagy soon) that enables Massengo to get forward and link with Palmer. I see KP dropping off and feeding runners in this system, with Weimann stretching the defence due to running.

It keeps coming to me that Andi scored 5 in 5 at the start of last year during Fams ban, with I think Pato behind him playing the “KP” role above. With the personnel we have, a team of runners/movers that can stretch the game feels the way to go.

I know the personnel is only one different (KP) to yesterday but we had Andi deeper than Sammie first half, and the COD/Rowe swap should give us width which was lacking.

Bold bit - very true.  

With the absence of Kalas, and even with him, I liked the solidity of a back 3, and us forcing the opposition wide of the 18 yard box, but then crowding them out when they ventured inside.

I think our line-up depends whether we are trying to play through the lines or not.  If we are gonna play direct on occasion then I see a case for Diedhiou.  In the 5212 between 31-45 minutes I saw a different Fam.  We made a few too many changes a bit too early second half...and lost cohesiveness/familiarity.  We did better last 15.

Your 5311 is the first time I’ve seen what a lot of people might think is defensive....but if we are gonna play passing football, I think it’s got legs.  As you say Rowe is flexible with O’Dowda.  It’s kinda Huw we started yesterday with Weimann and Szmodics pivoting each other.

You probably have a plan b with Eliasson / Diedhiou.

The only issue after yesterday is whether Baker is fit?  If you went with it next week Re Preston and Nagy was fit:

Bentley

Hunt | Moore | Williams | Rowe | O’Dowda

Brownhill | Nagy | Massengo

Palmer

Weimann

...but we’ve got to try and pass it.

At times it’ll probably look like a 33211 / 3331, if the wingbacks push, allowing Nagy to sit and Brownhill / Massengo join in.

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16 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

This ⬆️

For me, our best spell of “football” came when Baker went off after 30 minutes.

DE857FCF-CDE1-400F-A777-84DA5B112D18.thumb.jpeg.75e367fd0ccc0a5d81dd913d2c95dd35.jpeg

We changed from 532 to 5212:

Rowe went to LCB, O’Dowda to LWB, Diedhiou replaced Szmodics up top and Szmodics went into the hole.  Swansea forced us to play to Baker who they pressed.  With Rowe at LCB (mr flexible) we had a passer on either side of Williams with Moore too.  Suddenly, instead of chipped balls into the front men or down the line, we had midfielders confident of receiving a ball inside from Rowe and we started to break through their lines.  Fam did well in that spell too, as did Weimann. 

Your second bit Re a 433 or variant might be thrust on us if Baker is injured....unless we start Rowe at LCB, or maybe Hunt at RCB and Pereira at RWB.  Think we’ll go back 4 if Baker not fit.

I still recall Anichebe running the midfield for West Brom in that FA Cup replay a few seasons back and think that lump of a striker at Prem level is actually a very good footballer against a struggling Champ side.  Not saying we should go for him, more a point like with Williams, that quality that ex-Prem players have.

Yet all his City goals have been from inside the box??  Two from headers inside the 6 yard box!!

If we go back to trying to play football, there is no reason to need physicality up top.  

There is a lot to like in this, you get Massengo, Nagy and Brownhill all in to the midfield.  It is quite a nice look defensively with 3 midfielders covering the gaps in the back 4.

Bold bit - very true.  

With the absence of Kalas, and even with him, I liked the solidity of a back 3, and us forcing the opposition wide of the 18 yard box, but then crowding them out when they ventured inside.

I think our line-up depends whether we are trying to play through the lines or not.  If we are gonna play direct on occasion then I see a case for Diedhiou.  In the 5212 between 31-45 minutes I saw a different Fam.  We made a few too many changes a bit too early second half...and lost cohesiveness/familiarity.  We did better last 15.

Your 5311 is the first time I’ve seen what a lot of people might think is defensive....but if we are gonna play passing football, I think it’s got legs.  As you say Rowe is flexible with O’Dowda.  It’s kinda Huw we started yesterday with Weimann and Szmodics pivoting each other.

You probably have a plan b with Eliasson / Diedhiou.

The only issue after yesterday is whether Baker is fit?  If you went with it next week Re Preston and Nagy was fit:

Bentley

Hunt | Moore | Williams | Rowe | O’Dowda

Brownhill | Nagy | Massengo

Palmer

Weimann

...but we’ve got to try and pass it.

At times it’ll probably look like a 33211 / 3331, if the wingbacks push, allowing Nagy to sit and Brownhill / Massengo join in.

I wasn't sure if it was just me seeing Rowe as being a left centre back, with O'Dowda left wing back. Obviously you saw it the same. Surprised Swansea didn't put their big striker on him and exploit Rowe's lack of height. But I was much more impressed with Rowe in that position than I was left wing back. 

As for Palmer in behind Weimann. I know all his goals are inside the box, most goals from most players are. 2 goals I think are from corners. One was open play that he took off Taylor. But generally Palmer is not a runner. He floats around a lot but doesn't make runs into the box. It's one of these reasons him behind Fam looks so bad, like it did again second half. He doesn't run onto those knock downs and second balls.

But with Palmer behind Weimann I worry Weimann will not be able to hold it up very well doing that striker role on his own. Nowhere near as well as Afobe, or even Reid could. And Weimann will make many runs into the channels, and Palmer will not be making runs into the box, leaving us short of numbers in there. And not being able to interchange with Weimann.

It's why I found Weimann and Pato didn't look right at all. Because Pato is not a player dangerous when entering the box. Was not a player that could interchange with Weimann.

And it's why Taylor had some success with Weimann because both can drop off, both can go wide and both can be the number 9 to some extent. If the centre halves just have Weimann to deal with and Palmer in deeper positions then that's too easy imo. Not enough for them to think about.

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2 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

I wasn't sure if it was just me seeing Rowe as being a left centre back, with O'Dowda left wing back. Obviously you saw it the same. Surprised Swansea didn't put their big striker on him and exploit Rowe's lack of height. But I was much more impressed with Rowe in that position than I was left wing back. 

As for Palmer in behind Weimann. I know all his goals are inside the box, most goals from most players are. 2 goals I think are from corners. One was open play that he took off Taylor. But generally Palmer is not a runner. He floats around a lot but doesn't make runs into the box. It's one of these reasons him behind Fam looks so bad, like it did again second half. He doesn't run onto those knock downs and second balls.

But with Palmer behind Weimann I worry Weimann will not be able to hold it up very well doing that striker role on his own. Nowhere near as well as Afobe, or even Reid could. And Weimann will make many runs into the channels, and Palmer will not be making runs into the box, leaving us short of numbers in there. And not being able to interchange with Weimann.

It's why I found Weimann and Pato didn't look right at all. Because Pato is not a player dangerous when entering the box. Was not a player that could interchange with Weimann.

And it's why Taylor had some success with Weimann because both can drop off, both can go wide and both can be the number 9 to some extent. If the centre halves just have Weimann to deal with and Palmer in deeper positions then that's too easy imo. Not enough for them to think about.

Good reply JD.  Yep was definitely 5212.  I thought initially we were going to go back 4, but we didn’t.

Re Palmer off of Weimann, it has weaknesses, like any set up.  

Without Baker (assumption) I might go with the following v PNE....admittedly I’ve not looked at the way they play this season.

Bentley

Hunt | Moore | Williams | Rowe

Brownhill | Nagy | Massengo (assumes Nagy fit)

Palmer | O’Dowda

Weimann

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On the P&R bus back to the Portway, got chatting to a couple of Swansea fans, they thought Famara was a constant threat and changed the game when he came on. They wanted to know why he didn't start. I told them he gets slated for anything goes wrong, when the pass he is receiving is bad, that is somehow his fault, when he was tackled that was his fault, not good play by their excellent centre half. Towards the end of the game, he had a ball hit into him hard and high, he did well to get up to it, tried to flick it out to Eliasson without success. Someone in the crowd behind me screamed "hold it up!!". How? The ball was 9ft in the air, what was he supposed to do with it?
Once the fans start this kind of over reaction with a player, they become increasingly blinkered. I can't see a way back into their good books for him right now, if he had scored one today, they would have moaned he should have two. He's on a hiding to nothing.

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5 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

On the P&R bus back to the Portway, got chatting to a couple of Swansea fans, they thought Famara was a constant threat and changed the game when he came on. They wanted to know why he didn't start. I told them he gets slated for anything goes wrong, when the pass he is receiving is bad, that is somehow his fault, when he was tackled that was his fault, not good play by their excellent centre half. Towards the end of the game, he had a ball hit into him hard and high, he did well to get up to it, tried to flick it out to Eliasson without success. Someone in the crowd behind me screamed "hold it up!!". How? The ball was 9ft in the air, what was he supposed to do with it?
Once the fans start this kind of over reaction with a player, they become increasingly blinkered. I can't see a way back into their good books for him right now, if he had scored one today, they would have moaned he should have two. He's on a hiding to nothing.

Pack and Paterson have gone so somebody has to take their place. Hunt was an early candidate but started doing inconveniently well, so Fammy it is.😉

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8 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Good reply JD.  Yep was definitely 5212.  I thought initially we were going to go back 4, but we didn’t.

Re Palmer off of Weimann, it has weaknesses, like any set up.  

Without Baker (assumption) I might go with the following v PNE....admittedly I’ve not looked at the way they play this season.

Bentley

Hunt | Moore | Williams | Rowe

Brownhill | Nagy | Massengo (assumes Nagy fit)

Palmer | O’Dowda

Weimann

I think if Palmer can improve his fitness levels and work off the ball, then your Palmer behind Weimann idea could be spot on. A bit more like Palmer Boro first half work rate, but with knowing how to play further up the pitch. Problem in Boro game is he couldn't hardly jog second half after that first half effort.

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5 hours ago, JonDolman said:

Oh I nearly forgot there is Marley Watkins. Who I actually think would have offered more than Fam yesterday. Physical presence but actually runs a lot too, something Fam wasn't doing. Problem second half was Fam up top, Palmer just behind him, both strolling around. Even if Watkins is not great technically, he offers a lot off the ball which was missing up top second half.

Got to be worth a try, even for just part of a game.

The rate at which we'ree accumulating injuires, we may even be forced to give Watkins a go up front.

Who knows he could surprise us all (says I clutching at straws).

 

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