Back to basics

by   |   28/11/2017  2 Comments  [Jump to last]

Let’s start off on a nervy note - I think we made a huge mistake letting Koeman go... and if I were in charge, I’d try to get him back.

A big issue is that our fans have a huge say, which is a great thing, until we hit a rough patch. What we need is to keep clean sheets, be organized and build confidence. Tthe time for pleasing fans is not now, we do not need to entertain, we need to grind out games, we need to get players behind the ball and we need to not concede goals, no matter what.

In the same breath however; we cannot sit back for 90 minutes - the pressure will be too much. Therefore, we need to have an exit route, which means we need to have a striker with support up top. An isolated striker is pointless, we may as well not play with one.

Again, the fans are asking for width and pace... which is great when you’re doing well and in form... but we need to condense the midfield and make sure we aren’t vulnerable through the middle.

There is only one formation that we can play in my opinion.


Pickford Kenny Jagielka Keane Baines Idrissa Baningime Davies Sigurdsson Calvert-Lewin Niasse

Obvious a couple are injured/suspended - but you can see how much more solid this is, by having 3 in midfield and 2 up top. Also, when playing with 3 at the back, we seem so open, I’d much prefer a solid back 4. Another thing is that our fullbacks need to get back to basics - DEFENCE must be their first priority!

Pass and move is another thing we need to work on - there seems to be no movement at all by the players and this makes us easy to press.

When defenders are in doubt - kick the sh*t out of the ball. Kicking it out gives us time to reset. When we are in form then we can play out from the back. Now, we need to get the ball to Davies or Rooney (who ever plays in the free CM role) and let them distribute.

On a side note - playing three in midfield would suit Rooney - as I feel his only true position is one of the three in midfield. As this gives him a bit of freedom to do what he wants.

This formation also allows Sigurdsson to play in his natural position and run the show. While giving him options upfront to play through to - Niasse, Calvert-Lewin, Sandro, Bolasie (when he is back), Lookman - all willing runners who can cause problems.

We need to stick to the basics - have options in midfield so that we don’t have to pass backwards. Fullbacks sticking in their positions - as we have conceded a lot of goals when fullbacks bomb on. Playing two upfront also takes away the need for fullbacks to provide width. Defenders need to defend, not be play makers. Simple passes, let Rooney, Sigurdsson, Davies play the difficult pass.

Furthermore, getting back to the basics in terms of formation - this will allow Klaassen to show what he can do - similar to Rooney, I feel this is his natural position, one of the midfield three.

For the West Ham game - assuming Keane and Baines are injured - I would play:

Pickford Kenny Jagielka Williams Cuco Idrissa Baningime Rooney Sigurdsson Calvert-Lewin Sandro

Robles, Holgate, Besic, Schneiderlin, Davies, Vlasic, Lookman

For the Europa game:

Robles Lennon Holgate Williams Cuco Besic Schneiderlin Klaassen Vlasic Lookman Sandro

Hewelt, Feeney, Charsley, McCarthy, Lennon, Henen, Rooney

We are a much stronger team when our injured come back - Coleman, Barkley, Bolasie, Funes Mori, McCarthy and now Keane and Baines. Until then - we NEED to stick to the basics, get clean sheets and slowly build confidence.

Who ever our next manager is, that is what they need to do.

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Reader Comments (2)

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Dale Rose
1 Posted 29/11/2017 at 12:51:38
Interesting point of view. I thought Koeman would have been the man for the job. I keep in mind the lingering thought that Koeman always said the club was a project that would take a couple of years to complete. Things however started to go wrong and it was apparent he had lost the dressing room. His treatment of Oumar was quite appalling. He had to go.

Your point about injured players is a very good one, if these had been available things would have been different. They comprised half of our squad last year.

One player you have not mentioned that I would like to see is young Galloway, a tenacious and gutsy defender.

The rot set in when we lost Lukaku, and did not replace him. This was an unbelievable error which should not have been made.

However a new era is approaching, and we must look forward sadly with trepidation, instead of optimism.

Gareth Clark
2 Posted 30/11/2017 at 04:59:33
“On a side note – playing three in midfield would suit Rooney – as I feel his only true position is one of the three in midfield. As this gives him a bit of freedom to do what he wants.”

See what happens when Rooney plays as one of 3 Centre Mids?!

Is it too late for me to send my CV in? ;)

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