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It's Not About Formations. Its Systems. Style of Play.


The College Dropout
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Arsenal have changed formation a lot during the last few years. Manchester United too but at the core the style of play has remained the same. Arsenal are about controlling games with short passing and decisive through balls. Manchester United still try to play rapid football.

 

For us, even when we change formations we are still primarily a long ball team. No pattern of cohesive play. That's our biggest problem. We must not work at our attacking play in training very much because it seems sporadic.

 

 

Pardew has no sense of attacking philosophy. Going forward we hope Cabaye/HBA can produce something for Cisse/Ba, with Tiote & Jonas chipping in. Santon goes forward cuts inside all the time but there's no plan of what to do when he does it. Jonas going forward seems to be an afterthought.

 

This is probably the single worst thing about our team and Pardew as a manager.

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Arsenal have changed formation a lot during the last few years. Manchester United too but at the core the style of play has remained the same. Arsenal are about controlling games with short passing and decisive through balls. Manchester United still try to play rapid football.

 

For us, even when we change formations we are still primarily a long ball team. No pattern of cohesive play. That's our biggest problem. We must not work at our attacking play in training very much because it seems sporadic.

 

 

Pardew has no sense of attacking philosophy. Going forward we hope Cabaye/HBA can produce something for Cisse/Ba, with Tiote & Jonas chipping in. Santon goes forward cuts inside all the time but there's no plan of what to do when he does it. Jonas going forward seems to be an afterthought.

 

This is probably the single worst thing about our team and Pardew as a manager.

 

Yep, said this in the match thread at the weekend. One of the issues is that we're just not comfortable on the ball and there's no rhythm to our play as Pardew said.

 

Building from the back seems the sole preserve of Santon going on a marauding run that inevitably fails as he runs into a pack of players after cutting inside, or Colo having his once-a-game dribble up field. Apart from that we'd rather hit the percentages, ensure the ball is in dangerous areas of the pitch (regardless of whether it's us or them on the ball) and hope something drops for our talented lads. It's pretty amazing considering some of the ball playing ability in the side - so I think it's a consequence of neglecting to work on these elements in training, or simply the coaching staff not actually knowing how to achieve that.

 

On top of this, when we do finally get the ball in advanced areas with plenty forward, we don't really know what to do with the ball. There was a moment at Reading where HBA and Santon had the ball on the edge of the box and no-one made runs so we stood around playing pass the parcel without attempting anything creative. They don't have to be dangerous runs - a striker running away from goal and out wide might seem counter-intuitive and decreases their chance of scoring but it pulls a defender out of position. Our two never do that when playing in the middle.

 

The only creative, attacking fluidity and understanding we've seen is in that 4-3-3 which imo is down to us playing a counter-attacking style. When you break forward with players like HBA, Ba, Cisse and Cabaye you don't NEED to utilise fine tuned movement or fluidity - the space is right there in front of you + the opposition defence is struggling to organise on the move. But to play that way you need to be patient, sit back and let your opponents have a lot of the ball in dangerous areas. If your manager works the percentages they will not like that one bit.

 

Changing the formation does help of course - forces one of the strikers to work the channels which they steadfastly refuse to do paired in the middle, pushes Ben Arfa higher up the pitch, eases Cabaye's workload and finally it seems that Pardew resists the temptation to hammer the ball to the strikers when there's only one up top.

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I like this thread. Sometimes a point made in a thread gets washed away so now and again having a topic which could easily be in another thread, makes it easier for a proper discussion.

 

I remember that article from last year where it said Pardew worked on the defensive stuff four times a week and then Carver worked for a day on attacking. This worried me at the time and in view of our performances both last season and this season, it does still worry me. I think Anita can really help us to speed up our tempo through the middle but he's not quite there yet

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I like this thread. Sometimes a point made in a thread gets washed away so now and again having a topic which could easily be in another thread, makes it easier for a proper discussion.

 

I remember that article from last year where it said Pardew worked on the defensive stuff four times a week and then Carver worked for a day on attacking. This worried me at the time and in view of our performances both last season and this season, it does still worry me. I think Anita can really help us to speed up our tempo through the middle but he's not quite there yet

 

Yep.

 

Not that I want to be too critical - Pardew's also done a lot of good. Introduced fitness techniques that some former players scoffed at, knows how to prepare for specific opponents, organises the defence well, and gets the ball to players like Ba or Ben Arfa as quickly as he possibly can (even if the delivery or the positions aren't always the best.)

 

I respect Pardew for that - it shows how dedicated and meticulous he is. It's an approach that cuts down on silly mistakes and makes players who would otherwise let their head drop and start making rudimentary errors play well. I'd call that The Perch effect.

 

I'd hope, however, that we're now at the point where we can afford to ease back a bit on the safety first stuff and start building a recognisable style. Unfortunately with mid-week games now disrupting our preparations every week and no competition for places I suspect Pardew has done the opposite and has retreated even further back into his conservative style. Working on things like attacking or keeping the ball, meanwhile, has likely been curtailed further due to time constraints. That's just an educated guess, mind.

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There's hope I would say. After a decade in charge, I think Moyes has  imposed Everton's game onto other teams whereas he's often the other way around. They rigth now have a style similar to the most vintage Man Utd. side although with inferior players. A lot of pace and power throughout the side but a focus on getting it down to play.

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I like this thread. Sometimes a point made in a thread gets washed away so now and again having a topic which could easily be in another thread, makes it easier for a proper discussion.

 

I remember that article from last year where it said Pardew worked on the defensive stuff four times a week and then Carver worked for a day on attacking. This worried me at the time and in view of our performances both last season and this season, it does still worry me. I think Anita can really help us to speed up our tempo through the middle but he's not quite there yet

 

Yep.

 

Not that I want to be too critical - Pardew's also done a lot of good. Introduced fitness techniques that some former players scoffed at, knows how to prepare for specific opponents, organises the defence well, and gets the ball to players like Ba or Ben Arfa as quickly as he possibly can (even if the delivery or the positions aren't always the best.)

 

I respect Pardew for that - it shows how dedicated and meticulous he is. It's an approach that cuts down on silly mistakes and makes players who would otherwise let their head drop and start making rudimentary errors play well. I'd call that The Perch effect.

 

I'd hope, however, that we're now at the point where we can afford to ease back a bit on the safety first stuff and start building a recognisable style. Unfortunately with mid-week games now disrupting our preparations every week and no competition for places I suspect Pardew has done the opposite and has retreated even further back into his conservative style. Working on things like attacking or keeping the ball, meanwhile, has likely been curtailed further due to time constraints. That's just an educated guess, mind.

 

Solid post.

 

I think we're a more controlled unit generally under Pardew.

 

The problem is this season he doesnt know his sides best formation as is struggling to fit Ba & Cisse in as a working pair. He's not getting any help with the injuries, but it also must be said that he's letting himself down with the continual awfulness of our set plays and passing.

 

Got to get the absolute basics right first before any preferred style of play can be adopted.

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A lack of leadership plays its part too. Its one thing having good characters in the team, its another having leaders who are prepared to make things happen at key moments in games.

 

I don't trust any of our players to lead the way and make something happen on the pitch.

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A lack of leadership plays its part too. Its one thing having good characters in the team, its another having leaders who are prepared to make things happen at key moments in games.

 

I don't trust any of our players to lead the way and make something happen on the pitch.

 

This might sound mad but I think we miss a character that generally winds the opponent up.  Not someone like Tiote or even Cabaye with his late tackles, but someone who is always at the ref's face and making his mouth go. Basically someone who senses we are playing awful and attempts to deal with it, scruff of the neck stuff. I dont see that player at the moment, not even Ben Arfa or Ba who I would say are more just wonderful individuals.

 

Obviously this has nothing to do with the original post but thought I'd mention it. 

 

 

 

 

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Some good posts already in an important thread. It's clearer in a thread of its own with reg to our att limitations.

 

Wullie, Mick, Mistle, ohmelads, Jpd and others have mentioned in match and Pard8 threads our recruitment mismatch and our one dimensional attacking ideas. The blame for this must lay at the feet of the overall management and training regimes. There is clearly a real lack of ideas sadly highlighted at the ad infinitum repetition of the floated free kick to Williamson.

 

If they really don't know what happens at set pieces study vids of Everton and Stoke (yes Stoke)...Even West Ham for that matter. Attacking set pieces should provide goal scoring opp's and will yield 10 goals a season if worked on (Pard8 himself went on about this last year). But nothing has been done. It's shameful and unprofessional. Our free kicks are basically a piss take.

 

Jpd's post basically covers all the things I would have highlighted...There are other things at play however the most important of which is the fact that our fowards seem to think they can just wait out the whole game in and around the opp pen area and the odd rare covering back (Cisse has started doing this now annoyingly). I can only imagine they are playing to instruction.

 

I'd much rather he spent his energy trying diversionary runs, picking up the ball wide (where Hatem feeds) and interchanging with him or on the other side with Santon. If you're not scoring then contribute with the build up. (Does he? Does he fuck.) Still putting his foot through everything and gazing skyward.

 

Now that Ba is in his hot streak Cisse should be dropping off or running the channels or linking with the first attack phase. Ideally with a proper squad (we don't have a Dembele or a Michu or another in and around the hole player) he'd be dropped. At the very least Pard8 should be telling him to stop trying so hard to score and bring his good allround skills and pace (he hides it but is actually quite pacey) as he did last year in some of his earlier games where (gasp) was seen to pick up the ball wide and run with it.

 

We're back to kicking the ball down the middle (from a deep lying mf or keeper) and hoping for the best. Hatem and Ba alone have saved our season so far.

 

*Cisse rant unintentional.  :rose:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Service to the strikers, Cisse mainly, must be mentioned aswell.

 

I see your point about Cisse needing to move more around the pitch but that's part of the problem for me. He relies on quality service and this season he has had precisly zero. Ba is the better all round footballer who can link midfield to attack very well.

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Service to the strikers, Cisse mainly, must be mentioned aswell.

 

I see your point about Cisse needing to move more around the pitch but that's part of the problem for me. He relies on quality service and this season he has had precisly zero. Ba is the better all round footballer who can link midfield to attack very well.

 

But he's more or less refused to do it if you read between the lines. ;)

 

Cisse used to do more of it till he started scoring and then just took over from Ba as the main goalhanger.

 

You can't have 2 goalhangers in the PL. :lol:

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Formation, system & tacticts all go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other.

 

 

In essence Manchester United & Arsenal have played the same way for 15 years. Formations & tactics change, styles of play generally remain the same. Everton & Stoke both play 4-5-1, the way they play it is totally different. Arsenal now play 4-1-2-3 but in essence, the same philosophy applies to their invincibles in a 4-4-2.

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The set piece issue is indicative of how long we appear to spend on attacking play. We haven't the time to be coaching them so get one strategy and stick with it irrespective of effectiveness.

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Service to the strikers, Cisse mainly, must be mentioned aswell.

 

I see your point about Cisse needing to move more around the pitch but that's part of the problem for me. He relies on quality service and this season he has had precisly zero. Ba is the better all round footballer who can link midfield to attack very well.

 

But he's more or less refused to do it if you read between the lines. ;)

 

Cisse used to do more of it till he started scoring and then just took over from Ba as the main goalhanger.

 

You can't have 2 goalhangers in the PL. :lol:

 

Aye at the minute he's giving the impression of someone who aint really keen on searching for it thats true, but he's not getting any help from a midfield devoid of a good cross, excluding Fergie.

 

Works in both ways I guess , just highlights the imbalance at the minute.

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Guest palnese

Our biggest problem is lack of movement.  No movement means no passing options, resulting in a long ball.

 

We got no offensive pattern.

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hi guys,

 

i think the main problem of how nufc plays come from the Four back who are so predictable, how many times williamson gives the ball back to harper ...long ball...lose the ball.

We need them to play forward and try to find directly the midfield, cabaye, tiote or direct ben arfa.

remember when harper found directly ben arfa during the norwich game, he was one on one, dribble his opponent and then made the assist for ba.

With defenders who don't know how to play simple pass and just send long balls, you can't do anything.

When they make a pass, it's for the right or left back who can't do anything and play long ball too.

Technical players at the back is so important nowadays to have fluidity in the game, ben arfa , cabaye or cissé are useless if we don't play a technical football.

 

 

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hi guys,

 

i think the main problem of how nufc plays come from the Four back who are so predictable, how many times williamson gives the ball back to harper ...long ball...lose the ball.

We need them to play forward and try to find directly the midfield, cabaye, tiote or direct ben arfa.

remember when harper found directly ben arfa during the norwich game, he was one on one, dribble his opponent and then made the assist for ba.

With defenders who don't know how to play simple pass and just send long balls, you can't do anything.

When they make a pass, it's for the right or left back who can't do anything and play long ball too.

Technical players at the back is so important nowadays to have fluidity in the game, ben arfa , cabaye or cissé are useless if we don't play a technical football.

 

 

 

Debuchy would have solved half of this. [/canofworms]

 

Santon alone brings it into mf at the moment.

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