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A sympathetic reading of our midfield.

Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by Farkmaster, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. Farkmaster

    Farkmaster Well-Known Member

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    What? Oh no, I don't have one.

    I would like to hear one though. I don't need to hear about the personnel, it's telling that different parts of the board are critical of all three of our central midfielders. It's obvious why Keita was so desired, and it's shit we didn't get him.

    What I mean is with wijnaldum can and Henderson being the middle three most of the time when available, what are they meant to be doing?  What are their roles defined as?

    Usually Henderson is the least advanced, usually wijnaldum the most. Usually if we are in possession and not pressed  our cbs go wide and even advance beyond Henderson who then  is meant to find outlets.  Often off the ball Henderson and can are close by each other, occupying space, but won't press. I see our midfield in this curiously disconnected pastiche, with gestures at positions but only a defined system of play when we are utterly dominating possession and they have the freedom to rotate with our attack.  Their relationship to each other otherwise seems vague. In any given game 1 of them will look to be redundant at times.

    Could someone tell me what's meant to be occurring, without it devolving into which one of them is the shittest?
     
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  2. gene hughes

    gene hughes Part of the Furniture Member

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    It's a disconnected pastiche, obviously.  We need to connect it up and unpastiche it. Klopp will figure it out.
     
  3. Farkmaster

    Farkmaster Well-Known Member

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    What's he trying to do though? Like, if it was working?
     
  4. gene hughes

    gene hughes Part of the Furniture Member

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    I have no idea.  All three are second rate generalists.  That in itself is worrying, but of more concern is that it's not clear what each one is supposed to do or where he's supposed to be and when.  It seems like when we have the ball their job is to run towards our forwards, and when we don't have the ball their job is to run towards our defenders.  It's possible they take turns being the one who runs the fastest and the one who just jogs, but I can't tell.  That's all I can really see. I haven't discerned real shape and differentiation of midfield roles on a regular basis in years.
     
  5. dmishra

    dmishra Well-Known Member

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    Well, he's fucked because he's lost Coutinho and Lallana, both of whom would likely have started.

    What he's been trying to play is a 4-3-3, with an inverted triangle. That requires one holding, one slightly more advanced, and one even more advanced.

    The best trio we probably have is Can (holding), Wijnaldum (second mid) and Coutinho/Lallana (most advanced).

    Today we had Can in the second position (when he's better suited to holding), and Wijnaldum in the most advanced role (when he's best in the second spot).

    Completely imbalanced basically. It'll sort itself out if we have Coutinho and Lallana available.

    If Coutinho leaves, we definitely need to sign another midfielder. Actually, I'd sign one even if he doesn't leave.
     
  6. Modo

    Modo A contentious scando Member

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    I really don't know how to describe Henderson's inadequacies without sounding like a dick. People here are still trying to convince me that the fuck head can defend, or that his passing is somehow remarkable or that he breaks up play or that he's a better tackler than Lucas. I've seen people here explain away the need of a defensive midfielder because we have "modern" midfielders who can defend as well. Some even try to convince me that Wijnaldum is a DM or a modern midfielder who can defend or whatever. Those two cunts( I'm not calling Can a cunt because he at least helped us get a goal) got bypassed so many times you'd think they were those Unicef survey cunts.
    Captain schmaptain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  7. gene hughes

    gene hughes Part of the Furniture Member

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    What's inverted about the triangle? It sounds more like a vertical line of three the way you describe it. Is one of them more to the left, one to the right, etc?
     
  8. Markeh

    Markeh Well-Known Member

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    Typical post when things are going badly, whinging about the same thing over and over despite the fact we conceded 2 goals from corners where the defensive qualities of Henderson didn't mean a thing. Also the player you neglected to call a cunt, Can, was actually involved negatively in the buildup to the goal we conceded from open play when he lazily and stupidly backheeled the ball to nobody handing them possession and a throw in our final third.

    The strange thing is that I agree with you on Henderson, he's not a defensive midfielder, he's not particularly good in that position but Klopp likes to have him sitting deeper as Can is too fucking slow to help when teams break against us. For all the Henderson bashing I don't hear a lot of Klopp criticism, after all Henderson had a fantastic season before Klopp took over and changed his position, why is that never worthy of a mention? Maybe because you just don't like Jordan Henderson and never did?
     
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  9. Oncy

    Oncy Moderator Moderator

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    I think 'All three are second rate generalists' says it all.

    Bang average footballers. Same as the five behind them.

    We needed 3 or 4 world class players to come in and improve us. Why anyone expects the same shit polished up for three months to be any less brown and stinking is beyond me.
    8 of our starting 11 are just ok players.
     
  10. Glen C

    Glen C Very Active Member

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    Wijnaldum is a passenger away from home. Pointless him being on the pitch.  Use grujic, he deserves a chance.  Or Milner even. Anyone but wijnaldum. At least Can made an effort in the 2nd half. Hendo and wijnaldum were shit.
     
  11. Rafiagra

    Rafiagra Very Active Member

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    Our midfield is pretty wank. At least we won't lose any of them to Barca tho
     
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  12. doctor_mac

    doctor_mac My cowboy name is Garland Justice Member

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    I don't think we had a massive problem in midfield, and particularly in the second half we were dominant there. 'Captain sideways' created a number of fantastic attacking opportunities with excellent, perfectly pinged long diagonal balls; Can was obviously involved in a fantastic goal and had a few really excellent moments.  It was not Gini's best game, but again he did get himself into excellent attacking positions at times and could have put the game to bed.  All of our midfielders helped create opportunities in the game.  We were never under siege, but always posed the greater threat in the game and had most of the play.  This was by no means a terrible midfield performance and the goals we conceded were entirely due to weak defence, and weak defensive patterns at set-pieces.  This is a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.
     
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  13. keniget

    keniget Very Well-Known Member

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    I think second rate generalists is a little harsh but it's homing in on the problem.

    It's not that we have bad players - I wouldn't want to sell any of our midfielders - but the balance is off and we lack a leader with a cool head.

    We shouldn't have to be blowing gaskets in every game just to get it over the line. That's not how top teams get things done.

    We went all in on Keita for a reason and I'm hoping we've not left it too late to get a top class alternative in because the clock is ticking.
     
  14. Woland

    Woland Part of the Furniture Member

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    Seeing us score three goals and concede from two corners, and then seeing people blame the midfield. FML.

    The defensive coaching is fucking shit. This is the hill we will die on. Not not having a 20 + striker. Not having an average midfield.... But not being able to defend any set piece ever.

    Yeah we could improve the midfield... But what's the point if every time we give a dead ball away we fall to bits?
     
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  15. mark1975

    mark1975 Moderator Moderator

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    I think they're all good players, but this current combination is just wrong, they're too similar. Particularly Gini and Henderson who like to keep possession ticking over with only fleeting moments of incisiveness and risk. Can is industrious and covers alot of ground, but his positional sense is lacking for him to be a reliable anchor in the midfield.

    It worked with Lallana in there because he was busy and covered ground, he could turn possession around quickly by either winning it back, or being an outlet in tight areas that you just know he would find a way about of.

    With the current three it's too flat and easy to stagnate. You stand off the midfield and let them have the ball, because they don't have a genuine abililty among the three of them to be a consistent playmaker. They're all capable of the occasional sublime assist, but not nearly regularly enough to be overly concerned with.

    I'm not sure if the answer is an actual DM, we need to get the balance right first and foremost. Genuinely I just think we need someone with real class in there, someone who demands the ball and will not only make things happen, but will bring an assured presence to the middle of the park, in controlling the tempo and adding some positional sense when we are without the ball.
     
  16. Holle

    Holle #announceVVD Member

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    I'll give you all of that.

    What does concern me most though is their defending. All of them have their flaws there.
     
  17. Holle

    Holle #announceVVD Member

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    Bang on.

    Our midfield three aren't doing enough to protect our back four which in itself isn't strong enough.

    But as I said what use are shiny new players when the system stinks.
     
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  18. mark1975

    mark1975 Moderator Moderator

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    Well you're going to sound like a dick when you call him stuff like fuckhead and cunt. It's not really any wonder no one takes you seriously when you've got a retarded obvious hatred of all things English, as you've more or less admitted. It's even more ironic considering the praise and adoration you poured all over Lucas, who's about as ordinary and mediocre as as you perceive most English players to be.
     
  19. dmishra

    dmishra Well-Known Member

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    Well, in theory, the normal triangle is:
      
    ---------------Gerrard
    ------Alonso-----------Mascherano
      
    Our triangle is:

    ---Wijnaldum---------Lallana
    ----------------Can

    There's some flexibility there of course - Lallana can drift further up, Wijnaldum not so much.

    Yesterday, the triangle was this:

    ---------Can------Wijnaldum
    -------------Henderson

    But it often ended up as a straight line of Can---Henderson--Wijnaldum. That was just because of the poor fit of player-to-role, and the disjointedness that creates.

    I'm a firm believer that Can and Henderson shouldn't start together. They're too similar. Between the two, I've said it repeatedly, I'd choose Can. He's stronger, technically better, and despite what many think on here, he's also positionally and tactically smarter. Henderson has abysmal positioning sense in the holding role. He started at DM in our 4-3 game against Arsenal, our 3-4 game against Bournemouth, our 2-3 game against Swansea, and showed very little ability to stem the rot in the middle. Yesterday was a repeat of the same. Can on the other hand has actually had his best games for us at DM. Most of 2015-16 (think the Europa League run) and the latter third of last season (when Henderson was out).

    Wijnaldum is good when the rest of the midfield functions. He's not a player who will elevate the rest of the team. I think of him basically as a stronger, fitter version of Joe Allen. Which is a solid player to have. But he'd definitely have been the player to make way had we signed Keita.

    The third player just has to be a ball-carrying AM. Either Coutinho or Lallana. We can't play Can or Wijnaldum in that role, and expect that midfield to work. They don't have the quickness of feet or mind to keep the ball or make plays from that position. That player is generally facing the thickest part of the opposition midfield/defence, and just needs to have the ability to keep the ball. You put a worker like Can/Wijnaldum in there who lose the ball constantly, and it puts tremendous pressure on the entire midfield and attack.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  20. got red on me

    got red on me SCM Follower Member

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    http://www.sixcrazyminutes.com/inde...pool-match-thread.105807/page-14#post-1602221


    http://www.sixcrazyminutes.com/inde...pool-match-thread.105807/page-14#post-1602225
     
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