West Ham United Message Board
Wayne is tempting @Villa, away from the pressure of OT and with a good 'real' away support, they could easily knock a few in and win comfortably. On the other hand it's a funny ko time, 1-30 Sunday... seem to recall last season's game was a tea-time Saturday? 2 nil down then won 3-2 with 2 from little pea?, (soz paul lol :))
STEPHEN, it was a 1-1 draw mate! He was booked on 76 mins (time-wasting), so he gets 1 for the draw, loses 3 for the goal... minus 2, another 3 off for the yellow... minus 5, and gets 8 pts for 4 saves, net up 3.
Well I've got Lloris @6, and he looks to have a fair sequence of games coming up. Cech does tempt on price & fixtures... although form? - 5 games - 2 saves - 9 goals conceded! - is a big concern. And why the heck Jose didn't give him a confidence boost v Steaua the other night lord only knows!? Two months ago Cech h) Palace would have looked a certain 14 pts, come Saturday though? Can you honestly be 100% certain Jose will even start him, let alone grab an "easy" 14pts v a fast improving Palace side?
I figure with United in 2 days, it will be the same as it has been, but based on BR's very attack minded, tactically sound set up vs Soutampton at Anfield, this might be the best formation going forward in the league, starting with WINLESS Sunderland..
--------Mignolet - Jones------------
I call it the 2-3-4-2, designed to get optimal penetration and possession in your own half, specifically in your own final 3rd, and create as litle chances out wide as possible, while making sure neither side scores a goal aside from a mistake or a set piece.
Figure when we get Cissokho back, we can also recall Robinson, and maybe promot Sama, so we can take off one keeper, and take off Lucas, to just go with 10 defenders and finish out the season 0-0 every week. This would ensure Sturridge stays fit, and Suarez doesn't get into any trouble..
I'm not being sarcastic either.
I wouldn't call that perfect, but this had made me nervous because we've had this awful habit, of playing down to our competition, and it would have been horrible to be the 1st win on Sunderland's CV this year..
We still have trouble with teams pressing us high when we want to play out of the back, but, with Kolo playing RCB and Sakho really getting baptised by fire, you'd imagine that will improve, and Skrtel marshalled everything in the middle like a general. Loved his foray forward before getting fouled.. looked like Messi
A bit loose in our passing at times, still need more creativity from the wide areas, but we made the keeper work, Brendan didn't have us sit back, and we showed adventure, purpose and intent going forward almost the entire 2nd half. What's more exciting is the prospect of when Coutinho comes back, Alberto gets more involved, and Aspas gets stronger.. And of course Glen or Kelly getting in at RB. Well Done. YNWA
Colyn, I think the statement we don't have the players for it is qualified with the style you expect us to play. Based on results we in fact do have the players for the system, but its transformed us much more to a counter attacking side, rather than a possession based side.
But for me this change has less to do with the change in system, rather than the availability of players. The simple fact for me is that our best possession players just are not available. We could go back to 4 at the back, but the possession would still down without someone like Agger to play out of the back, or a PC to dictate the tempo from the center.
I agree, that explains the drop in possesion, territory but probably also looks the reason for us being more dangerous on the counter due to the onorthodox nature of our runners. If the left and right back in a back four are in their normal positions then you would assume they can pick up a pass deeper and under less pressure so more likely to keep the ball then when they are 15 yards furthur up the pitch. I wondered what was going on after us talking for so long about playing with an identity, a fixed style but if the results continue then I can't complain!
I think the change is heavily due to the options we have available. To have Agger, Kelly, Johnson, Cissokho, Allen and Coutinho missing would have destroyed us in the last few seasons. When you have centre halves playing so well I guess you just go with the logic, likewise, when you have those 2 strikers, you have to try and get them both in the dangerous positions. I see a future in the 3-5-2 though, with Allen and Agger returning this week, we may well see an increase in fluidity over the erratic Sakho and combative Lucas.
Can you imagine this starting eleven though:
Toure Skrtel Agger
Johnson Gerrard Lucas Enrique
That would take some beating!
I agree with the 4-2-3-1 thought on the games where it will be more highly contested, or you could even say 4-3-1-2, with Couthino dropping deep to help in possession / as an outlet with Lucas shielding, and Gerrard-Jordan in front. Of course this limits the width, and really has to create caution of when Jordan and Stevie can burst forward, whereas the 4-2-3-1 keeps things tighter.
Let's not forget too, that BR is an offensive mind, while certainly showing us all that his tactics and thinking expands much further than many of us realized, so using Moses can help in games where offense is your best form of defense. If we can play that same style we did vs Fulham, and have 4 players up front causing that much havoc, it creates trouble for anyone, and the only team I see doing this week in and week out, is Southampton, because they've got nothing to lose, and it's working miracles for them.
I'd just like to add that I think we'll start to see Allen coming in more as Stevie is seeming to develop a niggling hip, and we need to keep him and Lucas fresh, and ALSO, I really, really think we need to get Alberto some 15-20-25 minute cameos, because while not Coutinho, he's the closest to him, and we're a different side all together with PC10 in there, and if Alberto can get up to speed and knowledge with the front players, he could end up being a very valuable piece to our puzzle.
I do have to say, while made of china glass, we're dramatically better overall in so many ways when Glen plays, vs when GLENDA is out.. we're devoid of anything on the right when he's gone and Kelly is on the mend.. 3 spots that need adding, rw/cf, a cm/cdm and all purpose player..
Unfortunately we don't agree on Moses, as I think he could grow into quite a decent player. I always rated him at Wigan, and he had a super season under Rafa last year, obviously never going to get game time wide vs Hazard, Schurrle, Mata, Oscar, Ramires, de Bruyne etc., but Chelsea did spend about 8-9M on him, and they typically don't buy bad players, maybe just excessive fees. His first start at Liberty, he scored and caused Swans nightmares, and was our only good player beside Skrtel in that horrible home defeat to Soton.. But, to each his own, and yes we can upgrade, but at what cost?
I think Lucas is average these days, and since torn ACL is something we see here week in and out in NFL, a lot of players never come back the same, and he was good, not great, prior to it, and just not at that level now. I think eventually either Stevie, who can crush in the tackle, or Jordan could earn that spot, and we do need to see what Allen can do, whether lying deep, or advanced.
Alberto is really the one who needs game time for us, even if it's a little out wide, or dropping deeper, because he was fantastic for Barca B, and Sevilla really didn't want to lose him. I saw enough to think he has that "it" factor, whereas some of our players don't...
It's weird because I wanted us to focus strictly on league and top 4 this year without the headache of Europa, but at the same time, it is hindering us with many players - Sterling, Ibe, Alberto, Ilori, Kelly, Allen, Borini and some youth in Yesil, Texeira.. hope we can loan them out, and add 2-3 quality starters. Capel seems the hot name as far as RW coming in..
I've had the opportunity to watch a couple of matches live over the past few days, for World Cup Qualifiers and International Friendlies, and while there's a whole other batch to be played tomorrow and the day after, I figured I'd comment on what I've seen.. Curious to anyone else's thoughts/comments on what they'd seen.
Victor Moses - Scored the winning goal in Nigeria's WC clinching victory, and today he was causing all kinds of chaos to the Italy defense, while playing at Craven Cottage, including a very sleek through ball, that led to a headed goal for a 2-1 lead. Goal and half assist (another player crossed it), not bad & we need this!
Kolo Toure - Played RB for Ivory Coast only because they have 2 brothers who play CB for the same European club, Trazbonspor perhaps? He held his own, and more or less helped them keep a clean sheet.
Daniel Agger - Captained Denmark to a 2-1 victory, in a friendly. I didn't see it, but as long as we know he didn't get hurt, then it was a successful match for him.
Martin Skrtel - Captained underdogs, Slovakia to a 2-0 away victory in Poland. Kept Robert Lewandowski in his pocket. Right now, he's on that sheet as fast as Suarez, Mignolet and Gerrard.
Joe Allen - Won MOM vs Finland, and I couldn't believe my eyes. Saw a compilation video & If I didn't know it was Joe Allen, I would have asked, who the hell is this guy? He was winning balls, and pushing players off the ball, while retaining possession, like he was in a Barcelona shirt.. He could end up a huge piece for us!
Sturridge - limps off the field today after 45 minutes with a thigh injury, and some news says he's ruled out, but they uncle Woy declares he's fit and will start vs. Germany, so I expect a torn thigh, missing 2-4 weeks, because he's made of glass and Roy seems to have little concern, while attempting a futile, meaningless effort in winning vs. the Germans..
Just heard that Frank McParland has been sacked.
I'll be interested to see / hear what's going on here as I thought he was doing a decent job and was part of the youth system being aligned with the first team.
Anyone know anything?
Yes I should have mentioned Borrell too. There's obviously something they're not happy with.
I wonder if it's something to do with the attitude of some of the younger players. Sterling has a past, while Pacheco and Suso to name two have gone completely off the boil and are not showing anywhere near their promise.
To be beaten by Hull is totally out of order. Even bloody crystal palace beat them last week. If we don't get top 4 this year we are screwed for a long time in terms of money, attracting players etc. We have the month from Hell coming up, and we've already lost 3 games, 2 to opposition we should be destroying on a bad day. Not good enough!
I share the similar concerns, and I get particularly upset/concerned when it involves friendlies. We almost always seem assured of losing someone, and in the past few years, prior to BR's arrival and whatever witch doctor he hired, it's been Gerrard and his groin. This time I'm expecting Danny to strain his never ending thigh injury, or Glenda to break a finger nail..
I watched the video compilation on youtube of Allen's MOM performance in his game again, and I was even more impressed the 2nd time, and no I don't care it was vs. Iceland or Finland, because he's about 5'6 regardless who he plays against, and when he's throwing himself into the tackle, winning balls, and pushing people over, twice his size, it's impressive nonetheless. Perhaps the best part of all of that, was along the lines of what you said, and what we need.. the minute he won a ball back, either in the defensive half, protecting, or higher up the pitch, he immediately re-distributed the ball to a teammate, either going forward, or back, just to retain good possession.
If he can come in, and do these sorts of things, and get the ball out quickly, either backwards to Gerrard to spray forward, or find some clever balls to Coutinho, it makes us even more dangerous, because at the end of the day Rodgers' system and approach, is quick passing and movement.
I still think we need 2 bodies in January, 1 out wide for sure, and then either a mid or versatile forward, but if Allen can come in and look like this, perhaps we get by with 1 super buy of the highest quality.. in a wide player..
Well, I'd like to thank Rafa.. em, I mean Brendan for ruining my first "league" visit to Anfield, where the atmosphere was incredible, and then incredibly deflated after about 15" mins of that nonsense. 4 CBs to start the match was trouble and it was plain to see. I can rationalize why he might have done it, thinking Southampton would play 3 big Strikers up front, however, rule of thumb, at least as I see it is, you play "your game" in your "home". Brendan totally outthought himself, and a change should have happened no later than 25"..
Agger was constantly grabbing his ribs, so he was clearly not fit, evident in getting pulled off in favor of Enrique, because Sakho wasn't comfortable in the final third, and Kolo while filling a need, couldn't get forward past a tree, so starting with Henderson wide, rather than Aspas, who can take a man on wide, completely nullified us, and we couldn't even get out of our half, which was maddening..
After finally making Jordan the right back, which should have happened far earlier, then he takes of Skrtel, who had a fine match, and can get forward / act as a CF in favor of keeping on Kolo and Sakho.. It was baffling, and it all starts with Buck because he chose it and employed it, and it played into Soton's hands like a piece of cake, while Mignolet looked like bambi on ice skates passing/dribbling all over the place.
Alberto, at the minimum, should have gotten 45", if not starting, because he's as close as we've got as a like for like with Coutinho, so giving him 13" to help unlock a parked bus while the others ran around mindless, was even worse, because he showed the dummys, the through balls, the backflicks, but there was 0.0 cohesion. Technically speaking, the whole team was awful aside from Moses, Lucas and Skrtel... the rest should have just stayed home for the day.. This needs sorted by Sunderland, let alone the cup at OT..
Well you called it right with Moses in the hole but what a bad call that was. He and a few others were abysmal. Play like that and we'll be lucky for top 10 in my opinion.
Even after Newcastle were down to 10 we couldn't get the result. I'm seriously disappointed about what I was watching.
I was not aware that Moses had not traveled, but for me the bigger disappointment was Hendo who should have had no excuse for playing flat.
To be honest I understand what you mean to a point. The last several games we've not played with the fluidity I'd expect. There is quality up front, and we've been solid in the back, but we've not always been able to knit it all together, which is where the bad pass comment I think comes from.
But I've not seen this is all our games, and in fact think it stems from Philippe being out. For me he's been a big loss, not so much for his play making ability in creating chances (we've still created chances without him) but for his ability to control the tempo of the games. In his absence I see Joe Allen as the natural deputy (I know some are down on him but I think he can regain his form from early last season), but with him out as well we have a more workman midfield.
But with both either back or close to being back I do think, or at least hope that things actually bode well for the future. We've got some big tests coming up, and if we can keep up the pace of a top 4 team going into the Holiday period, when the schedule looks very tough for us, I feel we'll be in very good shape. Not a title chasing season (let's not get carried away) but on pace for a top 4 finish.