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Midfield


Guest BooBoo
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Guest BooBoo

Judging from what Pardew's said it appears he sees Ben Arfa as more of a second striker as opposed to having a fixed role in the midfield. For next season, that will leave us with our current midfield which has recently shown an alarming lack of craft and guile. Individually our first choice four have had some impressive showings at times although all seem to running out of steam and ideas. Everyone knows our striker options at the moment are pathetic but I have a degree of sympathy in that it's not as if Ameobi and Lovenkrands are missing a bag full of chances, we have barely created a decent chance for them in the last four games. Lovenkrands' goal at Blackpool was more down to possession being cheaply surrendered by the opposition and a good opportunistic strike. Of course there are back up players like Guthrie, Gosling and Ryan Taylor although I'm not convinced any of them will be troubling the first choice midfield slots next season. Whilst the priority this summer has to be a striker or two, it would be foolish not to take a long hard look at our middle men.

 

Barton has been a good performer out wide but his dead ball delivery is poor and he cant beat a man to save his life. Hopefully he stays, but I would be looking for someone with a bit of pace for a plan b if he turns in showings like his last 3 or 4 on the road.

 

Nolan looks shot at the moment, whether he's carrying an injury or not he's incapable of competing with a lively midfield. Clearly got a great eye for goal and a good captain whose contributions have been huge over the last two seasons. Unfortunately he's not going to get better and I suspect his off the field boozing does little to aid his sluggishness. He has barely touched the ball in his last two games.

 

It's clear that Tiote has been an absolute steal and essentially when he plays well, we generally get a result. I do think he's overhyped a tad and has had his fair share of stinkers this season, often against the poorer sides. Needs to really check his discipline which is bordering on unacceptable but still clearly a first teamer next season. Assuming he's not sold of course.

 

Jonas is erratic as ever and whilst his direct running and fitness levels are impressive, his final ball is still poor and his goal return for a nigh on ever-present is hopeless. I'd like to see him stay as a squad player but I would be ideally looking to get someone in who can chip in with goals and more quality from the flank.

 

 

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Midfield will look a lot better with better players in front of them. There is rarely a ball forward on at the moment which would restrict even the best of midfielders. I suspect it'll stay the same with a replacement coming in for Jonas if anybody. We badly need a plan B down the left but since Routledge was fucked off and Larsson was linked heavily I doubt we'll be getting one as Larsson is hardly a get to the byline pace merchant.

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Disco is right, apart from lacking a bit of depth, our midfield is good enough for where we want to be.  Assuming where we want to be is roughly 6-10th come the end of next season.

 

We need quality players in the final third.  Basically, we need a replacement for Carroll plus a suitable back up option at a minimum.

 

In regards to the midfield I'm unsure if we can feasibly improve on the players that we currently have.  The only player who I would want to see replaced is Nolan and he will no doubt remain as the club captain next season, consequently almost certain of being a first choice option.  Just an addition or two to strengthen our foundations would be nice.

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Guest BooBoo

Disco is right, apart from lacking a bit of depth, our midfield is good enough for where we want to be.  Assuming where we want to be is roughly 6-10th come the end of next season.

 

We need quality players in the final third.

 

Our midfield's strength is it's tenaciousness and battling abilities. That is generally good enough to survive in the PL but to move to the next level (ie crack the top ten) it's lacking.

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Guest BlacknWhiteArmy

Barton hasn't  been able to spray diagonal balls about, we've had no strikers dropping deep to collect the ball and next to no movement off the ball- with HBA and a good striker or two it will look a lot better.

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Disco is right, apart from lacking a bit of depth, our midfield is good enough for where we want to be.  Assuming where we want to be is roughly 6-10th come the end of next season.

 

We need quality players in the final third.

 

Our midfield's strength is it's tenaciousness and battling abilities. That is generally good enough to survive in the PL but to move to the next level (ie crack the top ten) it's lacking.

 

I think you underestimate the capabilities of our midfield, which I assume is caused by you misinterpreting why we do not create chances / score consistently / retain possession consistently. 

 

As Michael said with better players in our front line our midfield will be able to contribute a lot more.

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Guest BooBoo

Disco is right, apart from lacking a bit of depth, our midfield is good enough for where we want to be.  Assuming where we want to be is roughly 6-10th come the end of next season.

 

We need quality players in the final third.

 

Our midfield's strength is it's tenaciousness and battling abilities. That is generally good enough to survive in the PL but to move to the next level (ie crack the top ten) it's lacking.

 

I think you underestimate the capabilities of our midfield, which I assume is caused by you misinterpreting why we do not create chances / score consistently / retain possession consistently.  I think the blame is in our weak front line and not the midfield.  As Michael said with better players in our front line our midfield will be able to contribute a lot more.

 

:lol: Patronising twat.

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Barton hasn't  been able to spray diagonal balls about, we've had no strikers dropping deep to collect the ball and next to no movement off the ball- with HBA and a good striker or two it will look a lot better.

 

Indeed... Just as a poor midfield can make a defence look weak, a lacking forward line can completely stifle the creativity of a midfield. It isn't a coincidence that since Carroll was sold/Best got injured we haven't really dominated a game.

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Only a fully conscious Ameobi has the potential to dominate games for us out of our current crop.  That in itself is a rarity and iirc the last time he did boss a defence was against the pitiful Wolves?  Even then, he only managed to do it for the first half.

 

Jonas - Tiote - Nolan - Barton

Guthrie - Smith - R, Taylor

 

Looking at that, it's the reserves that we need to improve.  A definite worrying lack of depth behind the first choice 4.  I'm only moderately confident in Guthrie out of those 3.  Did I miss anyone (aside from the injured guy)?

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Midfield will look a lot better with better players in front of them.

 

Not sure about that like.

 

It seems that without Carroll to aim for, Barton's early crosses are now largely ineffective. Leaving Jonas as the only direct threat from midfield. We must have some kind of alternative for next season.

 

Should be looking at another Ben Arfa basically :lol: A young, flair player with pace and ideally versatility (so that he can fill up at ST or LB for example). Bryan Ruiz, Gervinho, Piatti, Guardado, Coentrao.. someone of that calibre. Sadly I just can't see us paying the going rate for those players.

 

 

 

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Midfield will look a lot better with better players in front of them.

 

Not sure about that like.

 

Why aren't you sure?  Surely if we somehow mange to find an effective replacement for Carroll then our midfield should return back to their potent(ish) ways?

 

Even the effectiveness of the players you've listed would be drastically reduced in our team if we don't have the forwards to at least worry opposition defenses.

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Guest BooBoo

This is exactly why Ireland is worth a gamble.

 

At a knock down price, I'd certainly have him signed up. He would easily be our most mobile central midfielder.

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This is exactly why Ireland is worth a gamble.

 

is Ireland the only option then? Would like us to sign another creative player, just not him.

 

I don't think anyone on this board is partial to that information.

 

Ireland would seem like being a big gamble at this point in time, so we'll just have to see how the transfer window unfolds. 

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We definately need to strenghten the midfield for next season, as we do everywhere else on the pitch as the squad is paper thin.

 

But a decent striker with Ben Arfa playing off him will make the current midfield four look much more competent. Add a winger who can beat people / decent delivery and we're laughing.

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Like I said i the barton thread I would like to see him get a chance in the middle alongside Tiote. He has looked pish for us before there but Tiote is 700 times better than the other central midfielders he played alongside before. If Ben Arfa is to be the dropping forward then we need someone more direct and inventive on the right I reckon. Barton is a good option to have for the right though for sure.

 

If Barton could sort himself out in the middle then this would be it basically for next season:

 

                        Striker

 

                  Ben Arfa

Jonas                                  New right sided attacker

 

           

              Tiote      Barton

 

Barton was great on the right with Carroll but I'm not so sure he will carry on being as effective without a striker as dominant as Carroll up there. Nolan again is a good option to have but the majority of the time I'd rather not play him from the start.

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Guest BooBoo

For better or worse I think we have to accept that Nolan will be a first team player next season.

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You must remember colinmk that Nolan is almost certainly going to be guaranteed a place in our XI, regardless of his physical ability to some extent.

 

Would anyone disagree?

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