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Mr Popodopolous

Rowe in midfield? Some thoughts.

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My long stated preference is a 4-3-3 and I've been giving this some thought. Why not actually play Rowe in CM- as part of a 3?

 

                      Bentley

Hunt Kalas Moore/Williams DaSilva

        Rowe Nagy Massengo

Brownhill Weimann Eliasson

That's one way to go. Because reading an article on Eliasson, I noticed some defensive stats...made for some good reading for Rowe, despite playing in an unfavoured position for months. Whichever way would suit the best balance of that CM 3 tbh.

There's not a lot between Hunt and Pereira defensively based on this- always had Pereira down as better defensively and Hunt as better offensively but there we go.

Name Tackles Clearances Interceptions Recoveries
Niclas Eliasson 1.3 0.5 1.2 3.9
Andreas Weimann 0.6 0.5 0.9 3.4
Callum O’Dowda 1 1.1 1.3 3.7
Jack Hunt 1.2 2.9 1.3 5.4
Tommy Rowe 0.9 3 2.4 4.4
Pedro Pereira 1.7 2.5 1.2 5.2

O'Dowda's defensive stats however, seem to have largely fallen off a cliff!!

Back to Rowe, we're not a tackle heavy side it appears, but then the game is changing too so I reserve judgement on that. 3 clearances per game though and 2.4 Interceptions- and he maybe even more comfortable to do the latter certainly in his preferred positions- Interceptions is also a useful indicator of Technical Proficiency, believe he is not bad technically in any case.

Would be interesting to see some stats for CM but those 3 are quite good- and in two of those categories, ie Clearances and possibly more crucially for CM, Interceptions, he scores well and tops that 

Brownhill right- well he has often done quite well out there and higher up the pitch means that he can link well with Weimann, can also drop back and help Hunt or Pereira on the right...Eliasson's appearance at 2nd in this Tackles chart means that he can help Pereira.

The only- quite a big- problem is the lack of Palmer which I'm loathe to do given his creativity and also how he can link with Weimann...

 However I think Rowe's metrics defensively offer another option for consideration. Palmer for someone but who? Could have one of Nagy or Massengo drop out dependent on opposition maybe- would become something like...

Above team

     Rowe Nagy/Massengo

Brownhill Palmer Eliasson

              Weimann

The main caveat here is that in midfield phases Brownhill would have to drop inside to create a 3, and in other ones, would have to pull right to help Hunt or Pereira...not easy, and the necessary reason for Brownhill's necessary double or even treble role, would be that I don't trust Palmer defensively! Weimann potentially could pull right to help the RB in some phases but again not so sure- his pressing and harrying- in fact his all-round work rate could buy time I guess.

Just some thoughts tbh but I do see that a setup like this could give us stability and structure yet with a threat and comfort in possession, perhaps build from there- Weimann makes great early runs though and Palmer is the best man who can pick them, but not so comfortable dropping back into a 3 out of possession.

Does leave a few unanswered questions granted!

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Rowe in the middle makes sense seeing as it's his natural position and we need steady performers right now.

But the line up you proposed lacks height and physicality, and therefore won't happen.

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11 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

My long stated preference is a 4-3-3 and I've been giving this some thought. Why not actually play Rowe in CM- as part of a 3?

 

                      Bentley

Hunt Kalas Moore/Williams DaSilva

        Rowe Nagy Massengo

Brownhill Weimann Eliasson

That's one way to go. Because reading an article on Eliasson, I noticed some defensive stats...made for some good reading for Rowe, despite playing in an unfavoured position for months. Whichever way would suit the best balance of that CM 3 tbh.

There's not a lot between Hunt and Pereira defensively based on this- always had Pereira down as better defensively and Hunt as better offensively but there we go.

Name Tackles Clearances Interceptions Recoveries
Niclas Eliasson 1.3 0.5 1.2 3.9
Andreas Weimann 0.6 0.5 0.9 3.4
Callum O’Dowda 1 1.1 1.3 3.7
Jack Hunt 1.2 2.9 1.3 5.4
Tommy Rowe 0.9 3 2.4 4.4
Pedro Pereira 1.7 2.5 1.2 5.2

O'Dowda's defensive stats however, seem to have largely fallen off a cliff!!

Back to Rowe, we're not a tackle heavy side it appears, but then the game is changing too so I reserve judgement on that. 3 clearances per game though and 2.4 Interceptions- and he maybe even more comfortable to do the latter certainly in his preferred positions- Interceptions is also a useful indicator of Technical Proficiency, believe he is not bad technically in any case.

Would be interesting to see some stats for CM but those 3 are quite good- and in two of those categories, ie Clearances and possibly more crucially for CM, Interceptions, he scores well and tops that 

Brownhill right- well he has often done quite well out there and higher up the pitch means that he can link well with Weimann, can also drop back and help Hunt or Pereira on the right...Eliasson's appearance at 2nd in this Tackles chart means that he can help Pereira.

The only- quite a big- problem is the lack of Palmer which I'm loathe to do given his creativity and also how he can link with Weimann...

 However I think Rowe's metrics defensively offer another option for consideration. Palmer for someone but who? Could have one of Nagy or Massengo drop out dependent on opposition maybe- would become something like...

Above team

     Rowe Nagy/Massengo

Brownhill Palmer Eliasson

              Weimann

The main caveat here is that in midfield phases Brownhill would have to drop inside to create a 3, and in other ones, would have to pull right to help Hunt or Pereira...not easy, and the necessary reason for Brownhill's necessary double or even treble role, would be that I don't trust Palmer defensively! Weimann potentially could pull right to help the RB in some phases but again not so sure- his pressing and harrying- in fact his all-round work rate could buy time I guess.

Just some thoughts tbh but I do see that a setup like this could give us stability and structure yet with a threat and comfort in possession, perhaps build from there- Weimann makes great early runs though and Palmer is the best man who can pick them, but not so comfortable dropping back into a 3 out of possession.

Does leave a few unanswered questions granted!

You have the ability to over analysis things and make a simple game very complicated. 

Stats aren't the answer to everything and Don't tell the whole story. 

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5 minutes ago, Spoons said:

You have the ability to over analysis things and make a simple game very complicated. 

Stats aren't the answer to everything and Don't tell the whole story. 

Makes some sense to me, to consider Rowe given his defensive numbers, as an option for midfield.

I agree they don't tell the whole story, or don't answer everything.

@mozo Rowe has a bit more than Nagy certainly though, in that respect...bit more experience in there, than Nagy and Massengo too.

Interested to see your proposed shape then Spoons.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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Just now, Mr Popodopolous said:

Makes some sense to me, to consider Rowe given his defensive numbers, as an option for midfield.

I agree they don't tell the whole story, or don't answer everything.

@mozo Rowe has a bit more than Nagy certainly though.

It makes sense to me to play Rowe in midfield as well....why ? Because he's a midfielder !! Nice and simple. No stats or graphs needed. 

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1 minute ago, Spoons said:

It makes sense to me to play Rowe in midfield as well....why ? Because he's a midfielder !! Nice and simple. No stats or graphs needed. 

Yes, but it's about balance and tactics too- but yeah when you put it like that.

Who comes in, who drops out...trade offs between creative threat and defensive stability?

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We really need the midfield to step up and help the defence, so it has to be worth a try.  Maybe a 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-3-2

                  Bentley

Hunt  Kalas. Baker/Moore  DaSilva

                  Rowe

Brownhill.  Palmer.    Eliasson/Nagy/HNM

     Weimann.       Fam.  

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Midfield too lightweight, and not likely to give the service to AW or NE, Massengo and Nagy have not performed well for weeks. Personally, I would look to stop us being so easily over-run and go back to 3 CB’s at Wigan, even if it means sacrificing NE. Confidence is low, our midfield is constantly being over-run, let’s just start by making ourselves difficult to beat.

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3 minutes ago, 1960maaan said:

We really need the midfield to step up and help the defence, so it has to be worth a try.  Maybe a 4-1-4-1 or 4-1-3-2

                  Bentley

Hunt  Kalas. Baker/Moore  DaSilva

                  Rowe

Brownhill.  Palmer.    Eliasson/Nagy/HNM

     Weimann.       Fam.  

Interesting. Can see us needing a deeper line with that though and Rowe could be easily swamped and having to be fighting fires BUT it would also push the opposition back and give them something to worry about.

Would be pretty worried about being outnumbered centrally for sure though! Or would this be a narrower 4-1-3-2?

@Chappers  I hear this often about lightweight midfield but I wonder...let's check a few teams and their height or weight of midfielders, especially in central areas. Might be surprised!

I also believe that our midfielders are ill suited to the current formation, moveable feast though it can seem to be- however they're quite good individuals so LJ may need to think about a way to get the best out of them!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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16 minutes ago, Roger Red Hat said:

How many times has he played CM?

He hasn't as far as Im aware, as no one else was available to play LB?

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11 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Interesting. Can see us needing a deeper line with that though and Rowe could be easily swamped and having to be fighting fires BUT it would also push the opposition back and give them something to worry about.

Would be pretty worried about being outnumbered centrally for sure though! Or would this be a narrower 4-1-3-2?

@Chappers  I hear this often about lightweight midfield but I wonder...let's check a few teams and their height or weight of midfielders, especially in central areas. Might be surprised!

I also believe that our midfielders are ill suited to the current formation, moveable feast though it can seem to be- however they're quite good individuals so LJ may need to think about a way to get the best out of them!

See the point, but we are so lightweight in midfield right now, with confidence low. Today Massengo treated the ball like a bomb, always looking to get rid quickly, and usually backwards. Nagy at times was a liability. Brownhill has been off too, and this has meant that our defence has been too stretched. Not many of us will be at Wigan, so no worry about entertainment, just keep it tight, then if all going to plan, change it late on. 
Pragmatism over style for me.

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I could see 4-3-3 working as it could help Eliasson get more game time.

Personally depends what you want from the CM. Ask one to anchor and two box/box or do you ask two to sit and one gets a free role? 

Could you ask Nagy and Smith to sit and ask Palmer to do the free role? 

Gets the two creative players people want into the side.

With regards to systems and changes I did see someone mentioned 4-1-4-1 and 4-4-1-1 etc. This was the formation we used when we had an “identity” where we pressed and moved the ball... a couple of seasons back mind. Can anyway work out why we stopped this doing this?

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17 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Interesting. Can see us needing a deeper line with that though and Rowe could be easily swamped and having to be fighting fires BUT it would also push the opposition back and give them something to worry about.

Would be pretty worried about being outnumbered centrally for sure though! Or would this be a narrower 4-1-3-2?

@Chappers  I hear this often about lightweight midfield but I wonder...let's check a few teams and their height or weight of midfielders, especially in central areas. Might be surprised!

I also believe that our midfielders are ill suited to the current formation, moveable feast though it can seem to be- however they're quite good individuals so LJ may need to think about a way to get the best out of them!

Personally, I would play Rowe as a shield in front of the 2 CB's. Out of possession the MF could tuck in or even go to 4-1-4-1. The amount of goals we concede  and the ease at which we give up chances from straight balls is worrying, so we need to do something.

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5 minutes ago, 1960maaan said:

Personally, I would play Rowe as a shield in front of the 2 CB's. Out of possession the MF could tuck in or even go to 4-1-4-1. The amount of goals we concede  and the ease at which we give up chances from straight balls is worrying, so we need to do something.

4-1-4-1 could definitely work though I worry about Palmer as one of those in central areas, defensively speaking- off the ball that is...

There's no magic bullet for sure and again we risk the 2 vs 3 in the centre...imagine vs Leeds, Fulham or indeed Brentford- and probably some more as well- how they fill central areas if Palmer is one of the 3.

Rowe and Brownhill tuck in..then vs Leeds say you might get those 2- and Palmer central who is defensively suspect, vs Klich, Forshaw, Phillips pushing on though he's their shield, Hernandez drifting in- 3 vs 4 or even 2 vs 4. No easy answers for sure!

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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@Mr Popodopolous agree for sure, not easy at all, but I don't think we are getting the best out of the team, or giving the defence enough cover from MF. 

About Palmer, I see him as a ten, but out of possession he would have to drop to make a 4. We have a nice mix of MF's, that should be able to connect defence to attack, and and carry a goal threat, just not looking that way at the moment.

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I fully agree @1960maaan that we are not getting the best out of the team. Think Rowe could provide some of that cover for sure- if only he was a year or two younger but 31 for that position, seems okay. Players are very fit these days.

Definitely agree on the blend of midfield, defence-midfield-attack- connection, quite possible. Just got my reservations on shape without the ball in certain areas with a 4-1-3-2..

Something like, without the ball?

                         Rowe

Weimann Brownhill Palmer Eliasson 

                       Diedhiou

Maybe. Let's not forget too Diedhiou is quite good defensively- something I'd overlooked and yeah he offers that physical presence.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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6 minutes ago, bcfcnick said:

Someone to protect the back four? Get Kalifa Cisse fit and registered, he's only 35!  

He still looks fit to me

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9 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

He still looks fit to me

steady on tiger.

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I said this as soon as Jay DS was fit and back in the side on a previous thread. 

He would be excellent in front of the back 3 and give cover for Korey Smith who might need a bit more time to get fully fit. 

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Tommy Rowe is experienced, competitive and not easily shaken off the ball, plus his usual position has been central midfield until he moved here and started covering for Jay.

The obvious set up is a 4-2-3-1 with Rowe as one of the 2 in front of the defence. He could play on the left and Brownhill on the right, but I am not sure that Brownhill suits that role.

So let’s assume Brownhill moves on, gets injured or more unlikely still dropped. Why not play Rowe next to Massengo or Nagy with Palmer playing in a central role of 3 further forward with Weimann and Eliasson on the right and left respectively plus Fam up top?

Play Hunt and Dasilva as wing backs with Moore and Kalas in central defence, as both can bring the ball out and should be encouraged to do so more often with Rowe dropping back to cover, similar to Pack.

We would look more solid defensively plus more positive going forward. 

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6 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

My long stated preference is a 4-3-3 and I've been giving this some thought. Why not actually play Rowe in CM- as part of a 3?

 

                      Bentley

Hunt Kalas Moore/Williams DaSilva

        Rowe Nagy Massengo

Brownhill Weimann Eliasson

That's one way to go. Because reading an article on Eliasson, I noticed some defensive stats...made for some good reading for Rowe, despite playing in an unfavoured position for months. Whichever way would suit the best balance of that CM 3 tbh.

There's not a lot between Hunt and Pereira defensively based on this- always had Pereira down as better defensively and Hunt as better offensively but there we go.

Name Tackles Clearances Interceptions Recoveries
Niclas Eliasson 1.3 0.5 1.2 3.9
Andreas Weimann 0.6 0.5 0.9 3.4
Callum O’Dowda 1 1.1 1.3 3.7
Jack Hunt 1.2 2.9 1.3 5.4
Tommy Rowe 0.9 3 2.4 4.4
Pedro Pereira 1.7 2.5 1.2 5.2

O'Dowda's defensive stats however, seem to have largely fallen off a cliff!!

Back to Rowe, we're not a tackle heavy side it appears, but then the game is changing too so I reserve judgement on that. 3 clearances per game though and 2.4 Interceptions- and he maybe even more comfortable to do the latter certainly in his preferred positions- Interceptions is also a useful indicator of Technical Proficiency, believe he is not bad technically in any case.

Would be interesting to see some stats for CM but those 3 are quite good- and in two of those categories, ie Clearances and possibly more crucially for CM, Interceptions, he scores well and tops that 

Brownhill right- well he has often done quite well out there and higher up the pitch means that he can link well with Weimann, can also drop back and help Hunt or Pereira on the right...Eliasson's appearance at 2nd in this Tackles chart means that he can help Pereira.

The only- quite a big- problem is the lack of Palmer which I'm loathe to do given his creativity and also how he can link with Weimann...

 However I think Rowe's metrics defensively offer another option for consideration. Palmer for someone but who? Could have one of Nagy or Massengo drop out dependent on opposition maybe- would become something like...

Above team

     Rowe Nagy/Massengo

Brownhill Palmer Eliasson

              Weimann

The main caveat here is that in midfield phases Brownhill would have to drop inside to create a 3, and in other ones, would have to pull right to help Hunt or Pereira...not easy, and the necessary reason for Brownhill's necessary double or even treble role, would be that I don't trust Palmer defensively! Weimann potentially could pull right to help the RB in some phases but again not so sure- his pressing and harrying- in fact his all-round work rate could buy time I guess.

Just some thoughts tbh but I do see that a setup like this could give us stability and structure yet with a threat and comfort in possession, perhaps build from there- Weimann makes great early runs though and Palmer is the best man who can pick them, but not so comfortable dropping back into a 3 out of possession.

Does leave a few unanswered questions granted!

Players and positions are irrelevant if the players aren’t motivated and confident.  That’s much more important. 

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Rowe was surprisingly poor away at Barnsley when he played midfield. Looked very slow and technically not as good as I expected. 

Surely Korey is a consistent level above. Brownhill too. And then Nagy and Massengo have far more natural talent, but just a problem getting consistency out of them at the moment.

I'd even say Walsh and Morrell are probably ahead of Rowe in centre midfield if our entire squad were back available. Both doing exceptionally well in league one.

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11 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

 

@mozo Rowe has a bit more than Nagy certainly though, in that respect...bit more experience in there, than Nagy and Massengo too.

Interested to see your proposed shape then Spoons.

Just checked wiki, and it states that Nagy is 5 ft 10 in, and Rowe 5 ft 11 in. Brownhill listed as same as Nagy.

Bakinson is 6 ft 3 in says wiki. That's what we need in front of the back four and would enable us to have height without Diedhiou in the side. He just needs to up his game. A lot.

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1 hour ago, mozo said:

Just checked wiki, and it states that Nagy is 5 ft 10 in, and Rowe 5 ft 11 in. Brownhill listed as same as Nagy.

Bakinson is 6 ft 3 in says wiki. That's what we need in front of the back four and would enable us to have height without Diedhiou in the side. He just needs to up his game. A lot.

I thought/hoped Bakinson would be pushing to be at least on the bench this year. From this distance it looks like he's almost wasted the last 5 months, yes he would have been coached around the first team, but he's had no real competitive football. Maybe a loan until the end of the season, like others he needs to play.

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4 hours ago, mozo said:

Just checked wiki, and it states that Nagy is 5 ft 10 in, and Rowe 5 ft 11 in. Brownhill listed as same as Nagy.

Bakinson is 6 ft 3 in says wiki. That's what we need in front of the back four and would enable us to have height without Diedhiou in the side. He just needs to up his game. A lot.

 

3 hours ago, 1960maaan said:

I thought/hoped Bakinson would be pushing to be at least on the bench this year. From this distance it looks like he's almost wasted the last 5 months, yes he would have been coached around the first team, but he's had no real competitive football. Maybe a loan until the end of the season, like others he needs to play.

Hasn't Bakinson been sent on loan to Plymouth? Either way would be a brave to call to send him in with so little football and at this level especially. 

I question our development strategy at times in general. I believe that Eisa should've been loaned to say Charlton last January as was mooted.

That can help to protect an investment or possibly even show what he can do consistently and maybe even give fresh grounds for consideration here. 

I believe Adelakun should've been loaned to a high end League One club last January or even back to Scunthorpe if there were worries about him flourishing elsewhere pushing up how much we paid in tribunal- loan back to Scunthorpe could've solved that issue. I certainly think that he should've been loaned THIS season. Unless he had injuries or something? 

Semenyo, I really am unsure how much it helped recalling him from Newport. Let him develop in a consistent environment, especially with the lack of gametime he understandably had here. 

Now Bakinson...wasted half a season here possibly.

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I think it's a decent idea, but the fact we're looking at a "magic bullet" solution to the issues is just showing there's a much larger problem.

We've been saying the same thing once each player returns from injury, once we try x formation, once we've got these couple of games out the way etc. that things will be different - and it's not really working so far. I feel the problems run deeper than just happening upon a winning formula by moving a single player, or a slight change to formation. The fact we can't string 3 passes together and don't seem to know how to go forwards with the ball are unlikely to change I think, unfortunately.

I know your post is much more considered than that so I'm not having a go, it's just a bit of a trend on here at the moment I've noticed!

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

 

Hasn't Bakinson been sent on loan to Plymouth? Either way would be a brave to call to send him in with so little football and at this level especially. 

I question our development strategy at times in general. I believe that Eisa should've been loaned to say Charlton last January as was mooted.

That can help to protect an investment or possibly even show what he can do consistently and maybe even give fresh grounds for consideration here. 

I believe Adelakun should've been loaned to a high end League One club last January or even back to Scunthorpe if there were worries about him flourishing elsewhere pushing up how much we paid in tribunal- loan back to Scunthorpe could've solved that issue. I certainly think that he should've been loaned THIS season. Unless he had injuries or something? 

Semenyo, I really am unsure how much it helped recalling him from Newport. Let him develop in a consistent environment, especially with the lack of gametime he understandably had here. 

Now Bakinson...wasted half a season here possibly.

Yes, went to Plymouth yesterday, I probably could have worded that better.

Agree with you completely. We were lucky to get money back for Eisa , as soon as it's clear someone isn't going to get game time for the first team, we should send them on loan. Specially for players like Adelukin and Semenyo who had been playing League football, it's a waste for them to be playing U23 football or taking up a seat on the bench with little or no hope of getting minutes.

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