WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

the exile 5:20 Mon Sep 14
Our awful tactics
Only just got the chance to post this following the debacle against Newcastle. This is something that I personally find just as frustrating as the situation with transfers or the owners. The most successful teams are those where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but we seem to be the opposite. We have some very decent players but the way we play rarely brings the best out of them.

However, hats off to Newcastle. Just like Burnley towards the end of last season, they worked incredibly hard defensively, getting everybody behind the ball and denying us space in a very organized way. But we need to be able to play against teams like this - there aren't many that give you any space these days. We looked most dangerous when we broke at pace, but that only happened 2 or 3 times. The problem is when we're playing out from the back and the opposition have got everybody behind the ball. It seemed to me we only had two tactics the other night - both of them incredibly unproductive:

1 - hoof it up to Antonio, even if he's got 4 defenders closer to him than the nearest team-mate. Basically handing the ball back to the opposition on a plate.

2 - the CBs play it out to one of the FBs, the problem being that almost every time, two opposition players immediately close them down, so their only option is to play it back to the CB. And so it goes endlessly back across to the other side to see if the other FB can get anywhere. What makes this even more frustrating is that Noble comes deep and starts doing the CB's job, but that means we're one man down in midfield, so all he can do is likewise, pass it out to one of the FBs, and then it comes back, and so it goes on, and on, and on.

We did break through and threaten down the flanks a few times, but nowhere near enough - Fredericks had a half decent game and got a few dangerous crosses in. Cresswell produced next to nothing. But we also need to be able to play through the middle. Surely the top priority has to be improving our movement off the ball. Our midfield and attacking players aren't doing enough to move and create space for themselves, whether it's on the halfway line or in the final third. We need more of a pack mentality, everyone making themselves available for a pass, wide players being prepared to move inside in support of the player in possession instead of religiously hugging the touchline.

Personally I think we need to move Antonio back out to the left, where he would be much more of a threat than Fornals, who simply is nothing like a winger. That means persisting with Haller up front, but he badly needs a No.10 behind him and we've simply got to get more bodies in threatening positions - Soucek getting forward more often - if we're going down the left, Bowen should be inside to support Haller, and likewise Antonio if we're coming down the right.

We saw the other night that an isolated Antonio isn't much better than an isolated Haller. It's all about the way they play together and support each other. So who should play in the No.10 role? I suppose Fornals could be quite effective in there, but so could Anderson or Lanzini if they could remember that they're supposed to be decent footballers.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Vexed 12:31 Tue Sep 15
Re: Our awful tactics
It's a bit early to be creaming yourself over Leeds innit?

diehardhammer 12:27 Tue Sep 15
Re: Our awful tactics
Moyes is a nice bloke but he just is so out of touch with the modern game

just have to look at Leeds to see the difference a top manager and top Coaching makes, Leeds have no superstars and play exciting football with a clear plan.

I still think the squad west ham has is capable of top 10 with perhaps new full-backs but these boring tactics and poor pre and in-game management is holding the team back.

tnb 11:18 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Yes my post was about possible tactical options given the current squad. Inevitably that leads on to a discussion about possible upgrades to that squad. I guess it could have gone on either.

the exile 11:10 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
tnb - did you mean to put your post on the Transfers thread? This one is about tactics.

tnb 11:06 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
So what do we all think would be a better plan?

Assuming we really are stuck with the current squad I'd go for:

........................... Fabianski
Johnson.... Diop........... Ogbonna..... Cresswell
............................... Rice
.................. Soucek........... . Fornals

Full back options are clearly desperately poor and whoever I picked at left back I wouldn't be happy about it. I'd also rather have Johnson on the bench pushing a quality right back for a place but given that's not what we have I can't see how he could be much worse than Fredericks.

Similarly up front, although you'd hope we could get some of Bowen, Antonio, and Fornals could get close to him depending on the situation and help him look something more like he looked briefly around this time last year.

The really galling thing is that you put 2 or 3 new players into that team (left back, striker, potentially also right back or centre half) and it wouldn't look too bad at all. As it stands it would still struggle, whilst other clubs are making signings that would be perfect for us. The margins aren't that big but we are just incapable of addressing them. The end result will be very different though. 50m or so on a centre half who doesn't want to come won't be nearly enough. We could have had Lewis, Wilson and Cash for that much, if the owners were capable of negotiating their way out a paper bag and if everyone didn't know we're a basket case.

the exile 11:04 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Keep Dreaming - It would be less worrying if you were correct. But If they do something again and again even though it plainly doesn't work it's fair to assume it's what the manager has told them to do and what they've been working on in training. Which is very worrying.

Keep dreaming 10:32 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
So we have tactics?
Good or bad, I thought we didn't have any

the exile 9:19 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Personally I would fine Noble for every time he goes deep and takes the ball off the CBs. He should be in the middle of the park making himself available for a pass. He is also effectively telling the CBs that they don't know how to pass the ball, which may be true, but they didn't do any worse than him the other night.

the exile 9:13 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
I actually felt sorry for Cresswell the other night. Time and again he received the ball out wide and held both arms out because the only option for him was to pass it back again. However, on the odd occasion he did get forward he chose to fanny around instead of crossing.

Chigwell 8:58 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
If he tells them to run, they obviously are not listening.

Sajmo1 8:22 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
What tactics? He just tells them to run. There is no pattern.

rochesterjohn 8:17 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
If Moyes was in charge of this Wolves squad, Traore would be up top on his todd and Jiminez would come on with about 15 minutes to go.

Full Claret Jacket 8:16 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
There are no tactics.

I'm not a fan of Jenas as a pundit but he did a good analysis of how Leeds played against Liverpool and how they are extremely well drilled and have set patterns and player movement which they use to create space for themselves and create issues for the opposition.
They don't have a world class squad of players but they know what they are supposed to do.
We need to do the same and not just give players a get out there and 'do what you want' tactic which is what it seems to be and why nobody seems to move and anticipate anything.

Jasnik 8:16 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Have Sheff U just hit second season syndrome:

6 mins 2 down

Texas Iron 8:04 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Toon went 2 up front...

Moyes should have done the same....

Defensive tactics at home vs mid table opponent...

Piss poor manager ...Moyes...

Jasnik 8:02 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
also to pass it from one side of the pitch takes so long the opposition are already set before we get there.

Jasnik 8:00 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
Lee Trundle 5:36 Mon Sep 14

I thought the last substitution was not for the game just to get Bowen off.

Jasnik 7:55 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
A lot here point out the movement was non existent. everyone could see that was an issue.

One point the commentator said everyone is just standing still..

Jasnik 7:52 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
What worries me the most is I thought Newcastle were not very good at all.

but we made them look excellent.

Pee Wee 7:50 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
I particularly enjoyed the way Antonio shoots when he has a defender standing directly in his way.

Honestly don’t think there is a thicker footballer in the league.

Peckham 7:22 Mon Sep 14
Re: Our awful tactics
gph 6:14 Mon Sep 14 AG fucking who clock

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