At the start of the season, I like many others, felt we had a squad that could do something this season, in fact for the first time ever I had a flutter on us to win a trophy, but where we are now leaves many of us scratching our heads to explain how it can be so poor. Wednesday was a breath of fresh air and raised hopes and spirits but why?
On other threads many have suggested that the change was down to playing 4-4-2, however I noticed others saying we played the same formation as usual with Saha taking on the Cahill roll and that we play 4-4-2 with Cahill anyway !! For those who long for the 4-4-2 system I think that it really depends on how you define the role of the 2 forwards. If people believe that it should be a throwback to ?a Sharp and Inchy? type system then I think you are living in the past. Playing 2 forwards is in my view essential but they have to perform in very different ways form the 80?s and 90?s. The second forward has to be prepared to drop off and link up play whilst always seeing themselves as a forward when attacking. Look at the most successful recent models ? Rooney and Ronaldo /Berbatov ? Crouch/Defoe/ Pav with Van Der Vart / Keane? Drogba and Anelka. Looking at the so called top teams who have won little recently (Arsenal, Liverpool and most recently City) all play with 1 forward and an attacking midfield player and all struggle to score regularly.
Against Spurs I would argue that we played with 2 recognised forwards and that in doing so we looked far more balanced and capable of winning ? which we obviously did. Down to Moyes?s tactics then you shout. Superficially that may look like a sound argument but dig a little deeper and I think the answer is far more fundamental. I am reminded of a quote by Cloughie along the lines that football is a vey simple game made complicated by coaches. Why were so many of us looking forward to the season and quietly confident that good things might happen?
If you?re like me it was probably down to the quality of players and the potential they had to do something. But why has it been going so horribly wrong and why was Spurs so different? Did anyone notice that after the Spurs goal we kicked off and passed the ball back, sideways, inside and then forward ? where was the ball played to the full back and hoofed forward to allow us to push up to the half way line and in doing so giving them the possession?
Suddenly the players did what they felt comfortable with ? passing the ball to each other rather than hoofing it forward. Along the same lines we had players playing in their right positions but far more fundamentally doing what they are most confident about ? passing the ball forward and looking to win a game. Defenders willing to pass to midfield, midfield passing into forwards feet, wide players looking to get beyond full backs etc etc The most significant change for me was a state of mind ? we went out to win a game because Moyes knew if we sat back we would get mullered and the players played that way ? not tactics but man management.
As I write this I am listening to the breaking news about Liverpool and start to look forward to next Sunday. Should we be worried about their players? No ? but should we be worried about the attitude that Dalglish will engender ? well that really depends upon our attitude and the man management of Moyes. Does he go there with the ?tactic? of not getting beat, playing 1 forward and 5 in midfield or alternatively does he go there to win a game, does he put his faith in the players and more importantly the way they played against Spurs.
Tactics my arse - put the right players in the right positions and much more fundamentally have faith in them and their abilities to win a game. Have faith in Fellaini and Arteta to dominate, believe that Coleman and Pienaar can get beyond and behind them, support Saha and Beckford to cause and create them problems but send them out without fear, tell them how good they are how they CAN win the game ? and heaven forbid it doesn?t work, please don?t go back to the ?tactics? of yester year.
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1 Posted 08/01/2011 at 15:34:25
If the last 9 years are anything to go by, it will be "men behind the ball, keep it tight".
C'mon Moyes, surprise us all!
2 Posted 08/01/2011 at 15:59:36
3 Posted 08/01/2011 at 16:06:10
Play your best players in their best positions. Moyes seems to have made the mistake of playing his best players in their best positions, but the balance of the side has been interupted by playing 3 central midfileders to do the job that 1 can do.
4 Posted 08/01/2011 at 16:44:50
It's always been the same, football's a simple game complicated for no good reason by coaches.
Reasonable players allowed to play perform better than good players encumbered by overcoaching, lets hope our manager is beginning to get the message.
5 Posted 08/01/2011 at 17:22:17
It's seems to me we can play against teams that come at us but struggle when teams "park the bus".
Moyes doesn't seem to have a Plan B.
6 Posted 08/01/2011 at 17:18:30
7 Posted 08/01/2011 at 17:34:18
The difference you mention is confidence. For whatever reason the attitude has been different, and this is far more important than anything else. A formation isn't intrinsically positive or negative, what matters is how you play it. 4-4-2 can be defensive if both central midfielders sit deep, neither full back overlaps and the strikers are expected to chase the opposition full backs back when they overlap, likewise 4-5-1 can be attacking if the opposite happens. What has happened in the last two games is that we have played with a different attitude coinciding with having two natural strikers starting the game. Maybe you could speculate that one has caused the other, but I'm not sure how that's measurable.
8 Posted 08/01/2011 at 18:10:39
Jose is very good at setting up defensive teams that's it.
Oh, and he's a good talker.
9 Posted 08/01/2011 at 18:18:26
Are they watching the same game I am?
It's a 4-4-2 with 2 out and out strikers up top. Just b/c a striker comes deep to receive a ball does not mean the side is set out 4-5-1.
10 Posted 08/01/2011 at 19:55:45
11 Posted 08/01/2011 at 19:54:38
12 Posted 08/01/2011 at 20:16:59
I personally think that if the Asia cup was not on, there is no way Moyes would have played with 2 recognised forwards.
Thankfully he did and IMHO the simple fact that the 11 players on the pitch were all playing in their proper positions (or positions they are comfotable in - before people start saying Coleman is a RB!) and had a positive attitude was the reason for the good result against Spurs.
I pray to the heavens that the dour scott can see the potential the side has if he actually allows them to play.....
13 Posted 08/01/2011 at 22:21:07
14 Posted 09/01/2011 at 01:10:19
15 Posted 09/01/2011 at 05:03:23
before people start saying Coleman is a RB!
Can we just say Coleman's a RM? He's proven himself. I think there's a better arguement when you say he's out of position when he plays RB. He's defensively suspect frankly.
Boy's a winger. Has verstility to be sure and can play at RB, but I'd argue he is where he belongs - his proper position, out on the wing.
I don't think you or anyone needs to even back pedal. If some smart azz wants to point out that Coleman originally was a RB tell them to go to hell.
Or you might point out Jags was originally a midfielder... is he out of position?
Please. No need to quanitfy that positional thingy with Coleman any longer.
16 Posted 09/01/2011 at 07:55:30
Just as it ain't where you start, it's where you finish and it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it. Coleman is what he is and he does what he does and at the moment he does it very well.
Defenders hate people running at them. So long may he do it. Next season I hope we don't get a bit 2nd season syndrome.
Some of us have been saying it for some time about the RS. Get in there faces from the first min. We now know what we do best, so lets go out and do it with the same team Vs Spurs, same attitude.
We are better than them, do what we do and let the serial quitter worry about the tactics to stop us.
We have we don't need tactics, they are for the guy trying to play catch up.
The first requirement for a good coach is better players.
17 Posted 10/01/2011 at 16:01:42
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