WHO Poll
Q: 2017/18 Carabao Cup Spurs (a)
a. It's Wembley we have a decent record on the hallowed turf a& all we need is another Maiga, win
16%
  
b. There's no draws in this comp so what chance do we have, lose
23%
  
c. Forget the game, we'll always be a laughing stock while those idiots in the Boardroom still own the Club, SELL SELL SELL
50%
  
d. How great is this another game live on the box, so it's back down the Pub full kit on and roaring the boys onto another win, cut me and I bleed claret & blue
11%
  



camel-with-3-humps 12:38 Tue Aug 8
West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
http://www.90min.com/posts/5347137-charlie-nicholas-explains-where-west-ham-still-need-to-strengthen-this-summer

We did well in the summer, but agree we have issues here. Reid is by far our best CB - every time he's injured we look really shaky. Didn't watch the City friendly but CB appeared an issue again.

Liked Fonte at Southampton but he's looked crap too often for us, Oggy is a blunder waiting to happen, and Collins is a great servant and battler but moves with all the pace of Stonehendge.

What do we do? Buy ANOTHER centre back? Hope Reid stays fit and stick with the current lot?

Or give Burke a chance on return from Bolton (where he will do well) - surely he can't be worse than the others if off form?

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Russ of the BML 10:09 Thu Aug 10
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
All I can say is that Carrick article is fascinating and tells you everything you need to know about that position. I see we are in for Carvalho. And from what I have seen of him he seems very good in this position. What a message it would send out if we got him.

Russ of the BML 10:07 Thu Aug 10
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Iron2010 6:24 Wed Aug 9

Possibly. Although I did say:

"If the opponents can't retain possession then you can, as a team, advance and defend higher up the pitch to pressure them even more"

This depends on two things. If your opponent are less quality and can't retain possession full stop or you get stuck into them and force them to give up possession.

But I see your point.

Iron2010 8:53 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
I don't even think it's just pace Dev. Carrick talks about positional awareness below and I think that is just as important when leaving space behind. If you are playing this way then it's safe to assume that the major threat against you will come from the quick counter. The top defenders are masters of the dark arts of blocking runners and dropping at the right time. Also teams playing high up the pitch are packed with willing runners from midfield taking the odd yellow card for the team.

It needs to cone from the manager though. Imagine having an open cheque book and nicking Poch.

DukeofDevo 7:55 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Absolutely spot on IRON

Good teams play up the pitch putting pressure on the opposition

The big lump over the top might work if you've got a really fast forward line, but you need pace at the back as well, it's a desirable attribute in all positions.

Iron2010 6:24 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Russ
You explain the defensive midfield role very well but miss the importance of a high defensive line as an attacking weapon. Not only can your midfield players win the ball in attacking positions but it also stops your forward(s) being isolated.

I know that defenders hate space behind them and was listening to Klopp talking about it recently. He was saying that he only really rates defenders that are prepared to play this way. He discussed how relatively easy it was for defenders to sit deep with all of their midfield pals around them and continued that you will never have a decent league finish when playing this way. It explains why Pulis, Sam and co have never had decent seasons.

Infidel 3:00 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Alex V

"I've checked this using heatmaps and other positional stats."

Jesus wept Alex, GET A LIFE!!

Alex V 2:59 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
A note on midfield. I think one of the biggest misconceptions I see is that we play a midfield pair. Imo we've played a midfield three almost all the time since promotion under Allardyce. One DM with two CMs either side. I've checked this using heatmaps and other positional stats. What Carrick is describing is that DM role - Noble played it almost exclusively under Allardyce, but to my knowledge has played it barely at all under Bilic. We tend to play a DM (Obiang or Kouyate), a CM bearing right (usually Noble) and a CM bearing left (often Lanzini last season, Kouyate the season before). As Noble tends to tuck in and drop back quicker than the other side it can look lopsided.

I explain this because I think one option, presuming Noble is still going to get selected, is to have him drop back into the DM role as he did under Allardyce. He is not a great defensive player but he is the only midfielder I really trust to distribute the ball properly from that position, and he does get through the work. What Carrick describes does suit a veteran player who is not going to cover wide or gallop forward - someone who is just going to marshal the space. I do think it's a solution both to the issues over pace in the midfield and over Noble's ageing legs.

I think it might help the likes of Obiang, Kouyate and Fernandes who can use their energy and get forward more ahead of the ball at times, and also can be trusted to cover well from the CM positions. I would then pick Lanzini in some games as a CM, but in the tougher matches I'd play him wide.

Infidel 2:03 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
The other reason for dropping Noble is that he is one of the root causes of our poor counter-attacking threat.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of counter attacking goals we have scored in recent years.

It's a fantastic weapon to have in the armoury - the opposition is camped in your half, you get hold of the ball and four or five players sprint up the field together pinging it between them whilst the opponent's defence is scrambling back.

Arsenal's 'Invincibles' team was built around it - Wenger bought fast players and trained them on counter attacking. Or Chelsea last season with Hazard, Willian, Moses, Kante.

The pace of the game has got faster and if you want to score goals from open play rather than rely on set pieces or dribbling you have to have pace.

If Noble is a box-to-box midfielder (and if he's not, what is he?) then he needs to be the engine of any counter attack, but obviously he can't. He's so slow even the ref would run past him.

Now with Arnautovic, Antonio, Lanz and Chicha we have the makings of a team that can hit opponents on the break but we'll never make it work if we have a snail in the middle of the park.

the exile 1:54 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Russ - spot on. If you watch Noble and Kouyate when we are defending, all they do is chase the man with the ball. The problem isn't the lack of a good engine, as many have been saying, it's the lack of tactical awareness and intelligence. The Carrick article is fascinating and shows what we are missing. We badly need a DM with a good brain as well as a good engine. I've been hugely impressed by Rice in pre-season but he is too young to be relied upon at this stage in his career. It has to be a new signing.

J.Riddle 1:54 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Eggy, You forgot to mention we had Payet playing :-), it's true we are a fickle bunch, but everyone is another year older and players form can change dramatically as we saw last season. You can only be judged on your last season or games (Hart is a prime example). Who's to say players not performing for whatever reason will not thrive elsewhere, we have seen it many times.

Sadly (as he comes across as a nice bloke) I think Bilic has always been out of his depth, got lucky getting Payet and needs replacing. Unfortunately I don't expect him to make it past xmas. Who the 2bobs would replace him with I hate to speculate, but it will probably be another average manager who won't cost or demand a lot.

Eggbert Nobacon 1:39 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Riddle

Don't recall anyone moaning about Noble, Kouyate and Obiang (with Song at times) the year before when we were winning at the Emirates, Anfield, and the Etihad

J.Riddle 1:36 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
As others alluded to I don't think we should have too much of a defensive problem if Zabaleta delivers as RB was the main problem there. Yes we can always improve at the back as our defenders are very average and many are ageing, but I can't see the 2bobs wanting to spend the money required.

Defensive midfielders are the problem not providing defensive cover for the defence. We need 2 and we only have 1 in Obiang who has been superb. Bring another as good or better than Obiang and we will be altogether a different proposition.

Again I am not convinced the 2bobs are ambitious enough to spend the required funds as it would cost say £20m -£25m as you need a young energetic player fit nd full of running to play that roll, not another dad's army type (Obiang must be worth that?)

We should have brought in this type of player years ago as a priority, but the clueless Bilic keeps buying wingers.

Russ of the BML 1:28 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Sir Alf 1:13 Wed Aug 9

Think you are right. The drills are vital. Having the engine to screen and mark space and just as important knowing what you are doing and why.

Russ of the BML 1:25 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Alex V 12:39 Wed Aug 9

Correct. For me Noble is not mobile enough or fast enough to play the position because one of the key roles is screening which requires marking space.

Carrick talks about making the opponent pass where you want them to. And you can do that. Get them to keep the ball in places that they can't hurt you. But when playing the good sides you switch off for a second and they get the ball into the space between the midfield and the defence and you are screwed.

But to screen at the top level you need to quick and have bundles of stamina. Kante is the perfect example. I just don't think Noble has the speed nor the engine to do that job at the top level anymore.

I also like what Carrick said about stepping off your opponent for them to take a pass but reading it so you can then intercept it or tackle them. Not sure Noble does this and if he does he often just piles through people as he is that split second too slow.

Lanzini shouldn't cause a problem with the balance of the team but he, as you say, he does. But Bilic should be telling the DM's to stay put and mark the space; not the opponents. If the opponents can't retain possession then you can, as a team, advance and defend higher up the pitch to pressure them even more. This would push Lanzini forward where we ant him.

Arnie and Antonio should be screening the full-backs.

Bilic should be doing drill after drill with the DM's getting them to do five and ten yard sprints constantly. Over and over and over. Building their engines. Then I think he should sit down and show them that Carrick article and get them to start doing that. They've got to think; all the time. Every position they run into needs to be for a reason and they must analyse the consequence of where they are going.

For me Noble and Kouyate often drift around unknowingly and then bang; you are in the shit.

Far Cough 1:20 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Trundle ag ag ag

Eggbert Nobacon 1:19 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
worth noting that for a lot of those games the prvious year we player 4321

rather than the 4231 that was more prevalent last year so it may be that we need to sacrifice one of Arnie/Lanzini/Antonio for an extra body in midfield

Eggbert Nobacon 1:17 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Alfs

and yet the previous season under the same manager we had probably our best season in our history against the "big" sides of the time doing just that

Lee Trundle 1:15 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Alex V - "For me, I think Lanzini would be better in the Arnautovic role in the long-term"

Given the fact you would also play Kouyate out of position at centre back, I'd LOVE to know the team you'd put out if you were the manager.

Go on, post up your first XI, I could do with a laugh.

Sir Alf 1:13 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Russ of the BML 12:26 Wed Aug 9

Agree 100%. We cannot press as a team as no one has been instructed to do so or knows how to? Also its all about hard work and covering in midfield when not in possession and as you say closing space and the supply lines for the opposition. Bilic cannot be demanding enough of players and / or they are not fit enough but we need 2 strong sitting midfielders and Obiang is doing the work of both. Rice is the best option based on preseason in terms of mobility, technique and discipline but we will also need a lot of effort from Ayew, Arnautovic or Fernandes andI have yet to see that. I can only conclude that Bilic is not drilling the team hard enough or leaving it to coaching staff who are not doing it. We look like we want far too much time on the ball and as Russ says there is simply not the movement up front or in midfield to create the passing options that allow you to keep possession when you have it.

I suspect Bilic is the root cause.

Eggbert Nobacon 12:50 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Rossal

Of course it's also fact that we wanted him to stay and it was HIM that asked to go

Which he may well regret as with our troubles at right and centre back he'd probably have played most games

JayeMPee 12:48 Wed Aug 9
Re: West Ham have a centre back problem - pundit
Can't disagree with pundit, I thought both Fonte and Ogbonna were poor last season. Apparently the latter was carrying an injury much of the time but he didn't look much better against Man City.

What we don't want to do is force players to play out of position again, Bilic needs to sort both this plus another decent striker and quickly. A poor start to the season would be bad news for the players not to mention the fans!

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