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You are Lee Johnson...first game back, team?


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30 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Think that could work - as long as the central midfield 2 don’t get isolated.  I sacrificed width (on paper) with my 4132, because we struggle in a big standard 442....and first game (I assume) will be Blackburn, who will be physical in that area.

Absolutely, which might strengthen the case for starting with Famara and is why I went Pereira over Hunt.

We seemed overpowered by them in midfield at home but aside from Korey (who is a cert) I’m not sure what other options we really have to combat that, Henriksen is the biggest in size but already seems out of favour, Rowe isn’t a central midfielder really, so it is either Nagy or Massengo.

Our Achilles heel, for me.

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24 minutes ago, GrahamC said:

Absolutely, which might strengthen the case for starting with Famara and is why I went Pereira over Hunt.

We seemed overpowered by them in midfield at home but aside from Korey (who is a cert) I’m not sure what other options we really have to combat that, Henriksen is the biggest in size but already seems out of favour, Rowe isn’t a central midfielder really, so it is either Nagy or Massengo.

Our Achilles heel, for me.

I'd say a contributory factor to our travails on midfield, is our insistence on fielding a two and then Palmer or Paterson central. You can be outmanouvered, overpowered- or both- quite often at this level with that kinda system.

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1 hour ago, Davefevs said:

Think that could work - as long as the central midfield 2 don’t get isolated.  I sacrificed width (on paper) with my 4132, because we struggle in a big standard 442....and first game (I assume) will be Blackburn, who will be physical in that area.

It's ifs and buts now but I always wonder how eg Smith then one of Nagy, Massengo, Rowe or even had he remained Henriksen. 

Anyway I always wonder how eg:

       Smith Nagy/AN Other

Weimann Brownhill Eliasson

               Afobe/Wells

Tactically to me that could've given us a load of cover. Loads. In possession Smith and Nagy/AN Other there, Brownhill centrally joining the attack, 4-2-3-1. In midfield phases, 4-3-2-1 ie Brownhill dropping in alongside Nagy/AN Other and Smith, with Weimann and Eliasson wide, not quite wingers but not quite wide strikers. 

Then in the defensive phase could have had that Smith-Nagy/AN Other, so Brownhill wider right, Eliasson wider left with Weimann central pressing defensively alongside Afobe or Wells. Bit of a defensive 4-4-2 in phases. 

Finally nice and attacking. Morph into 4-2-2-2. Smith and Nagy/AN Other, next band of 2 Brownhill and Eliasson, Weimann and Afobe/Wells up front. Just as easy to shift into a 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 too! 

What could've been possibly...

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22 hours ago, Davefevs said:

Think that could work - as long as the central midfield 2 don’t get isolated.  I sacrificed width (on paper) with my 4132, because we struggle in a big standard 442....and first game (I assume) will be Blackburn, who will be physical in that area.

What do you think of Weimann in midfield Dave? LJ said Weimann is training with the midfielders. Could mean nothing, or then again could just mean as a right winger which would be nothing new.

But I think his work rate in a central deeper area alongside another relentless hard worker and a holding midfielder who comes and presses too could really work well.

It looks like in training today that LJ is working on wing backs. He's showing them City vs Wolves game. Both teams played wing backs that night. And on the tactics board it looks like wing backs too.

I think this is what LJ may go with from now on. We saw it work really well with Afobe.

Not saying it's even what I would go with. So not disagreeing with you or anyone with what shape or player we should use. But it does in some ways make sense with the players we have.

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1 hour ago, JonDolman said:

What do you think of Weimann in midfield Dave? LJ said Weimann is training with the midfielders. Could mean nothing, or then again could just mean as a right winger which would be nothing new.

But I think his work rate in a central deeper area alongside another relentless hard worker and a holding midfielder who comes and presses too could really work well.

It looks like in training today that LJ is working on wing backs. He's showing them City vs Wolves game. Both teams played wing backs that night. And on the tactics board it looks like wing backs too.

I think this is what LJ may go with from now on. We saw it work really well with Afobe.

Not saying it's even what I would go with. So not disagreeing with you or anyone with what shape or player we should use. But it does in some ways make sense with the players we have.

It’s possible.  When we played Huddersfield at home (5-2) we played a lopsided 4231.

image.png.57231733ccc38ae06b90abb1a8b2b0bb.png

Ignore my position acronyms, it’s for my database consistency.  If I start adding in unique positions like NRM (Narrow Right Midfield) it’ll lose some comparison capability.

But, Brownhill played really narrow on the right side of a 3 (ahead of Nagy and Massengo), with Weimann off of Fam and Eliasson as a normal left winger.  It created some nice little triangles, allowed Hunt space to bomb forward.  It was also a really good game for Fam (even though he didn’t score), because he had Josh and Andi got close to him quickly meaning he didn’t get isolated.

So, yes, I could see Weimann playing very narrow like Brownhill did that day.

The question becomes can the same apply if we play two up top (Perm 2 from Wells, Afobe and Diedhiou) like most of us want.  Maybe some form of irregular 433 might be the answer?

All good thoughts though.

 

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                  Bentley

     Kalas Benkovic Baker

Eliasson Nagy Smith Dasilva

                   Palmer

              Wells   Afobe

Edited by RedEyez
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3 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

It’s possible.  When we played Huddersfield at home (5-2) we played a lopsided 4231.

image.png.57231733ccc38ae06b90abb1a8b2b0bb.png

Ignore my position acronyms, it’s for my database consistency.  If I start adding in unique positions like NRM (Narrow Right Midfield) it’ll lose some comparison capability.

But, Brownhill played really narrow on the right side of a 3 (ahead of Nagy and Massengo), with Weimann off of Fam and Eliasson as a normal left winger.  It created some nice little triangles, allowed Hunt space to bomb forward.  It was also a really good game for Fam (even though he didn’t score), because he had Josh and Andi got close to him quickly meaning he didn’t get isolated.

So, yes, I could see Weimann playing very narrow like Brownhill did that day.

The question becomes can the same apply if we play two up top (Perm 2 from Wells, Afobe and Diedhiou) like most of us want.  Maybe some form of irregular 433 might be the answer?

All good thoughts though.

 

Yeah I remember that game well. Thought that was one of Weimann's best performances this season. And did not know why LJ did not use him like that much again.

We have so many options. Really will be that every player has to show consistency to keep their place in the side.

 

 

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Looks like LJ started with a defence last night of Pereira - Kalas - Baker - Rowe

I think we may be seeing the old fashioned 442 from now on. Maybe it will be that back 4 but with Dasilva in for Rowe.

I am not against this, but my only concern is will LJ play the players that can keep us solid behind Afobe and Wells. I assume that will be the strike force.

Attacking full backs and wingers. And we mainly have short midfielders, 2 of which are pretty lightweight in Massengo and Nagy.

I wonder if we will be a bit too easy to open up and I will always worry about defending set pieces with no Fam.

At least we have Henriksen who I thought was excellent against Derby alongside Korey. 

And we have Watkins who can also offer some height and physicality.

One or both of those players may be needed to get the right balance.

 

Edited by JonDolman
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20 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Looks like LJ started with a defence last night of Pereira - Kalas - Baker - Rowe

I think we may be seeing the old fashioned 442 from now on. Maybe it will be that back 4 but with Dasilva in for Rowe.

I am not against this, but my only concern is will LJ play the players that can keep us solid behind Afobe and Wells. I assume that will be the strike force.

Attacking full backs and wingers. And we mainly have short midfielders, 2 of which are pretty lightweight in Massengo and Nagy.

I wonder if we will be a bit too easy to open up and I will always worry about defending set pieces with no Fam.

At least we have Henriksen who I thought was excellent against Derby alongside Korey. 

And we have Watkins who can also offer some height and physicality.

One or both of those players may be needed to get the right balance.

 

I think it will all come down to who is the most fit and ready to play.  It’s like starting a season with no pre-season, and players are bound to have been in different conditions when they returned to training.

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1 minute ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

I think it will all come down to who is the most fit and ready to play.  It’s like starting a season with no pre-season, and players are bound to have been in different conditions when they returned to training.

Yeah true. I am hoping Afobe is one of them that looks sharp. He did play 60 minutes last night. 

Really hard to predict what LJ will do. Especially like you say, we don't know what condition the players are in.

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26 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

Looks like LJ started with a defence last night of Pereira - Kalas - Baker - Rowe

I think we may be seeing the old fashioned 442 from now on. Maybe it will be that back 4 but with Dasilva in for Rowe.

I am not against this, but my only concern is will LJ play the players that can keep us solid behind Afobe and Wells. I assume that will be the strike force.

Attacking full backs and wingers. And we mainly have short midfielders, 2 of which are pretty lightweight in Massengo and Nagy.

I wonder if we will be a bit too easy to open up and I will always worry about defending set pieces with no Fam.

At least we have Henriksen who I thought was excellent against Derby alongside Korey. 

And we have Watkins who can also offer some height and physicality.

One or both of those players may be needed to get the right balance.

 

Was feeling cautiously optimistic based on the fully fit squad but above is a dose of reality that we never got a chance to figure out our best 11 all season.

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12 minutes ago, Red Alert said:

Was feeling cautiously optimistic based on the fully fit squad but above is a dose of reality that we never got a chance to figure out our best 11 all season.

Yep. And the more options it seems can cause LJ more problems. 

We have a fantastic depth to our squad imo. And this should only a be a good thing.

I just hope LJ can find the right balance to get the best out of our key players. 

If we manage to look solid without the ball, and have Afobe and Wells playing to their best and scoring goals then playoffs can surely be realistic.

What I think may happen is LJ changes things too much and we don't get the momentum to win enough games to make playoffs.

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4 hours ago, JonDolman said:

I think we may be seeing the old fashioned 442 from now on. Maybe it will be that back 4 but with Dasilva in for Rowe.

Nothing to do with DaSilva vs Rowe, but the bolded bit?

If the bolded bit is true, say  goodbye to the playoffs IMO.

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56 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Nothing to do with DaSilva vs Rowe, but the bolded bit?

If the bolded bit is true, say  goodbye to the playoffs IMO.

I might be wrong, it's just LJ has always seemed keen on playing 442. And I assumed with the strikers we have that LJ had gone 2 up top yesterday.

But the team he started with actually looks like - Bentley, Hunt, Rowe, Kalas, Baker, Smith, Massengo, Eliasson, O'Dowda, Paterson, Diedhiou

So I guess that is some kind of 451. And he might do something completely different next week anyway so maybe yesterday doesn't matter.

I think it could possibly work going 442, though it's not what I would do. I think it would mainly come down to how solid our 2 banks of 4 can be and how good the 2 strikers are when dropping back or in the channels.  I think Wells and Afobe could make a great partnership and can both do much more than just score goals.

But Wells did not seem to play so it might be that he is injured.

Palmer in behind Afobe in a 4231? Room for Eliasson in the team then. I think we'd be able to play an exciting passing game then too.

There's so many different teams and formations we could pick right now. If LJ picks the wrong one and has to make 3 half time subs then that will be very worrying!

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Really hope to see Palmer tuck in behind a front 2. Whether we line up with 4-3 or 3-4/5-2 and the particular personnel behind them I'm not so bothered - as many have said we have a great squad when fully fit

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

I might be wrong, it's just LJ has always seemed keen on playing 442. And I assumed with the strikers we have that LJ had gone 2 up top yesterday.

But the team he started with actually looks like - Bentley, Hunt, Rowe, Kalas, Baker, Smith, Massengo, Eliasson, O'Dowda, Paterson, Diedhiou

So I guess that is some kind of 451. And he might do something completely different next week anyway so maybe yesterday doesn't matter.

I think it could possibly work going 442, though it's not what I would do. I think it would mainly come down to how solid our 2 banks of 4 can be and how good the 2 strikers are when dropping back or in the channels.  I think Wells and Afobe could make a great partnership and can both do much more than just score goals.

But Wells did not seem to play so it might be that he is injured.

Palmer in behind Afobe in a 4231? Room for Eliasson in the team then. I think we'd be able to play an exciting passing game then too.

There's so many different teams and formations we could pick right now. If LJ picks the wrong one and has to make 3 half time subs then that will be very worrying!

Fair points. On paper I worry about it vs good sides who overload the centre. See Leeds, West Brom, Brentford! Or even middling sides who nonetheless have good numbers in there.

Wells and Afobe can be an excellent pair, Afobe, Weimann and Wells I'd quite like to see perhaps, think that 3 could do a lot and shuffle into wide forwards, pressing without the ball during other phases..

Question is how much possession and control without the ball do we need? Our metrics this season have not been very good!

Metrics is a debate for another thread that bit, but I can see that shape having issues quite quickly, certainly vs decent sides. The 4-4-2 I mean.

Smith and Massengo seems fine on paper and I wouldn't object to it in some ways but take vs Leeds:

Smith and Massengo vs say Phillips, Klich and one of Forshaw or Dallas. Immediately you have a problem! 3 v 2 can get you overrun. 

White can carry the ball into midfield, the likes of Costa or Hernandez can drift in...

Suddenly you're overwhelmed, firefighting everywhere and you lose the midfield! Palmer won't track back or won't do so to the level required. It can throw up opportunities too of course.

A ball carrying CB can help with this, but Williams and Baker wouldn't fit the bill. Possibly Kalas likewise though his strong interception skills is a useful indicator of hope.

Could O'Dowda drift in? Possibly but perhaps not as swiftly or readily as Costa or Hernandez. 

Losing the midfield puts the defence under a hell of a lot of pressure. Williams and Baker would be useful as stoppers but a 35 year old CB can be vulnerable. See Brentford game and the sending off, the headstart he had and lost was frightening!

Or say it was vs the Sheffield United of last season. Palmer-Afobe, Wells would each have a CB. Duels. 3 in CM vs Smith and Massengo, 3 v 2 issue again.

Otoh we can win the flanks but crossing can be an inefficient way to score.

When they had Brooks behind a striker in 2017-18 that's even more problematic. 4 v 2 in CM in some phases yet Brooks and striker vs our defence, still losing the midfield.

Suppose if Palmer does drift back you leave the spare man in their back 3...problem is their CBs are attacking so they can adapt to that and leave you in arrears again- perhaps CB 3 goes to a flank and helps in a 2 v 1 to help guard against an overload on that side!

I dunno I just forsee loss of control and tactical problems with how LJ likes to setup. Then again Leeds atm and Sheffield United of last two seasons are very specific examples that may not be so easily replicated.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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6 hours ago, JonDolman said:

Looks like LJ started with a defence last night of Pereira - Kalas - Baker - Rowe

I think we may be seeing the old fashioned 442 from now on. Maybe it will be that back 4 but with Dasilva in for Rowe.

I am not against this, but my only concern is will LJ play the players that can keep us solid behind Afobe and Wells. I assume that will be the strike force.

Attacking full backs and wingers. And we mainly have short midfielders, 2 of which are pretty lightweight in Massengo and Nagy.

I wonder if we will be a bit too easy to open up and I will always worry about defending set pieces with no Fam.

At least we have Henriksen who I thought was excellent against Derby alongside Korey. 

And we have Watkins who can also offer some height and physicality.

One or both of those players may be needed to get the right balance.

 

From Gregor it appeared to be a 4411 with Pato behind Fam.

In the last 45 it appeared to be Palmer behind Afobe and Watkins.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

From Gregor it appeared to be a 4411 with Pato behind Fam.

In the last 45 it appeared to be Palmer behind Afobe and Watkins.

Afobe and Watkins sounds interesting. A link to the whole side or just snippets from Gregor? Assuming that's a loose 4-3-1-2, Palmer obviously as the '1'.

Pato behind Fam, meshes a bit better than Palmer behind Fam but still not ideal IMO.

Watkins up front in a pair can offer a bit of physicality yet versatility at the same time. Would be interesting to know how he did.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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3 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Afobe and Watkins sounds interesting. A link to the whole side or just snippets from Gregor? Assuming that's a loose 4-3-1-2, Palmer obviously as the '1'.

Pato behind Fam, meshes a bit better than Palmer behind Fam but still not ideal IMO.

Watkins up front in a pair can offer a bit of physicality yet versatility at the same time. Would be interesting to know how he did.

He only listed the first 45 eleven, with specific semi-colons between positions, which he advised another tweeter.

 

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8 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Fair points. On paper I worry about it vs good sides who overload the centre. See Leeds, West Brom, Brentford! Or even middling sides who nonetheless have good numbers in there.

Wells and Afobe can be an excellent pair, Afobe, Weimann and Wells I'd quite like to see perhaps, think that 3 could do a lot and shuffle into wide forwards, pressing without the ball during other phases..

Question is how much possession and control without the ball do we need? Our metrics this season have not been very good!

Debate for another thread that bit, but I can see that shape having issues quite quickly, certainly vs decent sides. The 4-4-2 I mean.

Smith and Massengo seems fine on paper and I wouldn't object to it in some ways but take vs Leeds:

Smith and Massengo vs say Phillips, Klich and one of Forshaw or Dallas. Immediately you have a problem! 3 vs 2 can get you overrun quickly. 

White can carry the ball into midfield, the likes of Costa or Hernandez can drift in.

Suddenly you're overwhelmed, firefighting everywhere and you lose the midfield! Palmer won't track back or won't do so to the level required. It can throw up opportunities too of course.

A ball carrying CB can help with this, but Williams and Baker wouldn't fit the bill. 

Could O'Dowda drift in? Possibly but perhaps not as swiftly or readily as Costa or Hernandez. 

Losing the midfield puts the defence under a hell of a lot of pressure. Williams and Baker would be useful as stoppers but a 35 year old CB can be vulnerable. See Brentford game, the headstart he had and lost was frightening!

Or say it was vs the Sheffield United of last season. Palmer-Afobe, Wells would each have a CB. Duels. 3 in CM vs Smith and Massengo, 3 vs 2 issue again.

Otoh we can win the flanks but crossing can be an inefficient way to score.

When they had Brooks behind a striker in 2017-18 that's even more problematic. 4 v 2 in CM in some phases yet Brooks and striker vs our defence, still losing the midfield.

Suppose if Palmer does drift back you leave the spare man in their back 3...problem is their CBs are attacking so they can adapt to that and leave you in arrears again- perhaps CB 3 goes to a flank and helps in a 2v1 to guard against an overload on that side!

I saw Palmer clips the other day against Leeds and although he was sloppy at times, he did give Philips some real problems. Shows how much talent he has as Philips is probably a good prem player sort of standard.

Yeah I am more of a fan of an extra body in midfield like you. But I do think 442 can work too. It certainly works for some teams. 

I was hoping for the early season look to the team now Afobe is back but maybe LJ i going with something else. Lets see what happens.

 

31 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

From Gregor it appeared to be a 4411 with Pato behind Fam.

In the last 45 it appeared to be Palmer behind Afobe and Watkins.

I don't know if Wells is injured, but I can't imagine him not playing Wells and Afobe if fit.

If he is injured then surely either Pato or Palmer could play behind Afobe.

I wasn't sure if Watkins was up top or just drifted in from the right side in those clips. Well I like him in either position to be honest. Really would not mind Marley starting as he's a handful imo.

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Would like to see a 4-3-3 going into the last 9 games, gives us a chance to utilise our attacking depth, not just lump it to Fam.

Perreira & Dasilva pressing forward in attack & dropping back in when off the ball.


A midfield 3 of Nagy, Smith & Massengo - one of these drops into holding position when full backs overlap.

Giving us a chance to use combinations of Afobe, Palmer, Patterson, Wells, Weiman, Watkins, Elliason & Fam in an attacking 3.

Players like Weiman Elliason & Patterson able to drop back into midfield as needed.

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On 05/06/2020 at 18:37, GrahamC said:

Not my side but assuming everyone comes through the next fortnight safe & well, bearing in mind we start with an away game against a side also in with a shout of making the playoffs I think we will line up at Blackburn something near to this;

Bentley

Pereira Kalas Baker Dasilva

Weimann Smith Nagy Paterson 

Afobe Wells.

I think the only doubts would be over putting Benik back in from the start & whether Massengo edges Nagy out instead.

 LJ is a big fan of Weimann so with other (better) options up top now will want to include him & Paterson has scored a few & assisted others after his return from Derby.

Like @Davefevs I prefer Mäenpää myself & would also start with Famara but have selected the side I think LJ is more likely to pick.

Like that line up minus Bentley..

Would definitely start with Niki..steadying influence...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JonDolman said:

I saw Palmer clips the other day against Leeds and although he was sloppy at times, he did give Philips some real problems. Shows how much talent he has as Philips is probably a good prem player sort of standard.

Yeah I am more of a fan of an extra body in midfield like you. But I do think 442 can work too. It certainly works for some teams

I was hoping for the early season look to the team now Afobe is back but maybe LJ i going with something else. Lets see what happens.

 

I don't know if Wells is injured, but I can't imagine him not playing Wells and Afobe if fit.

If he is injured then surely either Pato or Palmer could play behind Afobe.

I wasn't sure if Watkins was up top or just drifted in from the right side in those clips. Well I like him in either position to be honest. Really would not mind Marley starting as he's a handful imo.

Was this the February game? Worth noting how battered we got in that, we had a big chance to get a draw and maybe should've had a penalty but Bentley was great in that one!

Time will tell. At this level, I'm interested in examples of a successful 4-4-2? Certainly in and around top 6...seems to be getting less and less commonplace.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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1 hour ago, Red Alert said:

Would like to see a 4-3-3 going into the last 9 games, gives us a chance to utilise our attacking depth, not just lump it to Fam.

Perreira & Dasilva pressing forward in attack & dropping back in when off the ball.


A midfield 3 of Nagy, Smith & Massengo - one of these drops into holding position when full backs overlap.

Giving us a chance to use combinations of Afobe, Palmer, Patterson, Wells, Weiman, Watkins, Elliason & Fam in an attacking 3.

Players like Weiman Elliason & Patterson able to drop back into midfield as needed.

I think this could absolutely be the way to go. Been an advocate of that system since about, oh I don't know, August 2017! :laughcont:

I wonder about say Weimann-Afobe-Eliasson in a loose yet fluid front 3. Or even the mix of pressing and movement with some technical ability of Weimann-Afobe-Wells- we know Weimann can drift to the right, Wells to the left?

I'd even be interested in 4-3-1-2 with Palmer behind Wells and Afobe, or Weimann and Afobe or if fitness isn't quite there, then first up Weimann and Wells- I could see that working quite well too.

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9 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Was this the February game? Worth noting how battered we got in that, we had a big chance to get a draw and maybe should've had a penalty but Bentley was great in that one!

Time will tell. At this level, I'm interested in examples of a successful 4-4-2? Certainly in and around top 6...seems to be getting less and less commonplace.

No it was home so might have been last season on loan. 

Yes it is less common for sure. To play good football generally teams have one up top and even they often drop back into midfield.

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