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Mr Pink

SC Supporter
Joined
Aug 25, 2010
Messages
44,524
I think this kind of problem is a difficult obstacle to overcome when you are trying to make that transition between a good team to a top, ball dominating team like we aspire to be. Teams sit deeper and suddenly the likes of Lennon and Bale don't have room in behind to wreak havoc. Possessional football is historically frowned upon in this country, and when teams like us find it hard to break down a 10 man wall the commentators almost triumphantly point out how 'it don't mean a fing if you don't put the ball in the net' etc - well quite, but what they fail to grasp is that having possession even in less than dangerous areas is not just a means to an end in itself, it's about the gradual breakdown of the opposition mentally and physically. That's why I have sung the praises of our game at Norwich to the point of boredom, we stuck at our game and moved the ball around from side to side until eventually VDV found Ade with a perfect ball in who in turn found Bale in the slightest pocket of space. All that supposedly meaningless possession had eventually paid off. Today we were doing the same, but the goal changed Redknapps mindset, i'm convinced - and bringing on Lennon was the panic button. In mitigation we didn't have anyone on the bench that offered us that bit more guile on the ball, although in the past Harry has overlooked Kranjcar to bring on Lennon/Defoe. Those kind of players are good at exploiting space, but we need more players who create it and see that space in the first place.

In recent seasons we've been allowed more space by the opposition, never have I seen us have 70% of the ball at an away game before this season and we need to improve that part of our game, more patience in our approach, more craft and better off the ball movement. We've shown we can do this, but as I've said a few times Redknapp doesn't seem to entirely trust this - he has been schooled in the british 4-4-2, up and at them, direct etc way of doing things. He seems to be in conflict with his old methods and this new fangled continental stuff that seems to be big in Spain right now!

Ultimately our problems stem from several areas, recently I have become convinced our players have been overplayed and have lost that sharpness which was turning similar performances into wins earlier this season, the rub of the green may have deserted us a bit, poor tactical decisions and inherent poor habits have let us down which has been done on SC time after time. Under Redknapp I think 4/5th is probably our limit and our bad run can probably be described as a regression to the mean, it just looks really bad that our season is defined by 2 contrasting runs. It just comes down to the fact that we need someone who can push those various small margins into our favour that Redknapp hasn't managed.

Now that's all a bit rambled I apologise, I am tanked to the gills with gin, but I hope you get my drift.
I do get you're drift Shelfie, but we created far more at Norwich away before we eventually scored. Even in the first half we were looking very dangerous and had several good chances.

I just don't see them as similar performances whatsoever.
 

EastLondonYid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
5,274
That was the longest day this year for me, must have done about 60-70 miles on varying trains between 9:00am and about 10:50pm. Sat in the South Africa stand with thousands of Qpr fans and half the youth team.

As for the game, I thought only Modric and Parker really came out of the game with any credit along with Walker and maybe Gallas, but they'd struggle to get a 7. Qpr were decent, I was pretty impressed with Taiwo for them, the free kick didn't look a foul and I thought the referee wasn't great at all.

We look so fucking jaded it's untrue, Qpr are fighting for their life and it showed, no Ade fucked us, but then again how can we expect to get the CL on a fucking Championship budget, I still feel Levy has a lot to answer for.

I'm off out in London tonight to get absolutely fucking binned.

How did Gallas come out with any credit? Qpr didn't offer much but when they did venture into our half Gallas hardly looked comfortable, Parker and Luka had so much of the ball as Qpr sat off them,but they failed big time to effect the game and almost sent me to sleep, another poor day at the office imo with no one deserving more than 5 out of 10.
 

sloth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
8,993
Just a few things to say about the game, first is to echo what others have said about Ade and Saha being injured, once that happened it was always going to be an easier afternoon for QPR.

The second is to point out that it doesn't make any difference how you set-up your team to play if the players haven't been taught how to make the most of whatever system you use, yesterday we saw 4-2-3-1 first half, and second half 4-4-1-1 and looked ineffectual with each. Partly that was confidence - which fell off a cliff once they scored - partly it was tiredness (more of which in a bit), but also you can tell we're not really 'taught' how to make the most of whichever system we play. Yesterday we were marginally more dangerous/creative in the first half than we were under 4-4-1-1, but in both halves the players were too content to play the 'seemingly' easy lateral ball, because those were the areas QPR were content to allow us space in. So we had the sight of the ball travelling through three or four players from the left flank to the right flank, and then back again. Movement off the ball can be instinctive, but also it can be taught, we know the likes of Mourinho spend hours on these kinds of drills, Rodgers is another one who spends time on this aspect (unsurprising I guess, as he trained under Mourinho), Wenger's teams are all about movement off the ball too, however according to past and present players, and others who've worked with Redknapp he doesn't really believe in complicating matters in this way, he thinks success is all down to the quality of the players you can afford to buy, and that somehow quality is simply god-given; he's hit on a truth on both counts, but only a partial truth, which is that true quality needs to be developed, and even great players can be made better or worse by their manager.

Related to this, but a slightly different slant, is Redknapp complains he doesn't have leaders, and as we know likes to buy experience, and believes it's the mentality they bring to the squad which is their main asset. I think he's right, but it's interesting that whether it's Adebayor, VdV, Kanu, Neville, or Gallas they learned their trade under top managers, so perhaps what he's really buying in, is what he can't instil himself? Phil Neville, for instance, is a player of limited ability who thanks to SAF has made the most of every ounce of what he has, and that mentality he has, he's brought with him from his Utd education. Redknapp isn't, and never has been a proper coach, he's a curator, rather than an artist/craftsmen.

I think he also suffers from his lack of education, if he can't read well, write, or do maths, it's very hard to think methodically. How can he keep abreast of the latest in nutrition, in training methods? It all becomes instinct - very important; without it you're Comolli and that's far worse - and common sense, everything complicated becomes a fad, stuff and nonsense. Planning is for mugs, put out your best team every week, get them fit pre-season (and getting fit means in the old-fashioned way; I read a fitness expert the other day who's path had crossed with Redknapp's in some capacity, bemoaning Redknapp's methods and his lack of understanding when it came to the latest thinking), and deal with injuries and tiredness if/when it happens. Keep it simple, and if the worst happens it happens, that's life. this is what people have been going about since October when we said there needed to be more rotation and more thought out rotation. We needed key players fit for the whole season not just the first two thirds (we saw what happened to Villa under O'Neill for instance; it's like leading the London Marathon for 18 miles and then collapsing - possibly there are a lot of runners who could do that, but what does it prove?). By more thought out rotation, I mean one of the issue you find if you favour thirteen players over the rest, is that when you call on the rest they haven't developed the mentality or the understanding with the players they're coming into play with. Playing a wholesale second team in some competitions is useful in terms of developing a nursery team, but you also need to tweak your team week in week out in a less wholesale way, like SAF, Mourinho, Lambert and Rodgers do, so the fringe players like Sandro, Livermore, Kranjcar, and even Gio slot into the main team as and when, so they know how to play with the main team, and the main team knows how to play with them.

All of this sounds a complete character assassination or Harry, but it should be put in the context of where he stands in relation to his peers. He is one of the country's best managers, and he gets the game is essentially a simple one, and he also understand the important qualities in a way many others don't, he may not be very good and instilling them himself, but he's found a way around that by using the transfer market. He's great at picking a team and making them feel they're world-beaters. All of this takes you a long-way, even to CL qualification, but just as the likes of O'Leary, and Avram Grant are not great coaches despite success in getting to and playing well in the CL, neither is Redknapp. To take an analogy from F1, Massa nearly won a WDC, he is not a bad driver, he's better than virtually everyone else in the world in fact, but relative to his peers and the car he was driving he's not of the top-level. Harry is Massa.

On the upside we haven't failed, and we may still get CL, but I am looking forward to getting the new guy in (my prediction is it will be Rodgers), and seeing if we can start getting the most out of our squad.
 

stevenqoz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
2,620
Cluttered in the midfield.....Modric and VDV taking each others space....Harry unfortunately in a spiral of continually second guessing himself. Playing in front of opposition, little penetration, failing to make the most of getting wide and to the touchline (again). Possession without purpose and Gallas the only leader on the pitch. Hughes would have said to his side. Ok, where is their goal threat gonna come from today? He would have instantly crossed Sandro and Parker off the list. He would have mentioned our top scorer Defoe but would have noted we have hardly got a pass to him in a month. He would have pointed to Bale and said pressure him...VDV and Modric....let them have it on half way they won't score from there....the whole of our defence? A no score unit. Lennon ....he is getting splinters in his bum because Harry has forgotten why we we were good when we were good.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
39,393
I think this kind of problem is a difficult obstacle to overcome when you are trying to make that transition between a good team to a top, ball dominating team like we aspire to be. Teams sit deeper and suddenly the likes of Lennon and Bale don't have room in behind to wreak havoc. Possessional football is historically frowned upon in this country, and when teams like us find it hard to break down a 10 man wall the commentators almost triumphantly point out how 'it don't mean a fing if you don't put the ball in the net' etc - well quite, but what they fail to grasp is that having possession even in less than dangerous areas is not just a means to an end in itself, it's about the gradual breakdown of the opposition mentally and physically. That's why I have sung the praises of our game at Norwich to the point of boredom, we stuck at our game and moved the ball around from side to side until eventually VDV found Ade with a perfect ball in who in turn found Bale in the slightest pocket of space. All that supposedly meaningless possession had eventually paid off. Today we were doing the same, but the goal changed Redknapps mindset, i'm convinced - and bringing on Lennon was the panic button. In mitigation we didn't have anyone on the bench that offered us that bit more guile on the ball, although in the past Harry has overlooked Kranjcar to bring on Lennon/Defoe. Those kind of players are good at exploiting space, but we need more players who create it and see that space in the first place.

In recent seasons we've been allowed more space by the opposition, never have I seen us have 70% of the ball at an away game before this season and we need to improve that part of our game, more patience in our approach, more craft and better off the ball movement. We've shown we can do this, but as I've said a few times Redknapp doesn't seem to entirely trust this - he has been schooled in the british 4-4-2, up and at them, direct etc way of doing things. He seems to be in conflict with his old methods and this new fangled continental stuff that seems to be big in Spain right now!

Ultimately our problems stem from several areas, recently I have become convinced our players have been overplayed and have lost that sharpness which was turning similar performances into wins earlier this season, the rub of the green may have deserted us a bit, poor tactical decisions and inherent poor habits have let us down which has been done on SC time after time. Under Redknapp I think 4/5th is probably our limit and our bad run can probably be described as a regression to the mean, it just looks really bad that our season is defined by 2 contrasting runs. It just comes down to the fact that we need someone who can push those various small margins into our favour that Redknapp hasn't managed.

Now that's all a bit rambled I apologise, I am tanked to the gills with gin, but I hope you get my drift.

An absolutely cracking post which articulates an unnervingly accurate understanding of the situation.
 

yanno

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
5,534
It was obvious without Ade and Saha that we needed a plan either to put Defoe in (on the deck) or to get him dragging their CBs away for the club's best finisher, VDV, to find space in front of goal. Wide players getting to the byline and crossing low would also help, although as others have said because QPR refused to push up, this was always going to be tricky.

Anyway, the only hint of a tactical masterplan I spotted was when Modric hoofed it long a couple of times in the opening minutes, presumably with the intention of getting Defoe in behind QPR's back four.

That plan was quickly abandoned and since our wide players refused to stay wide to stretch the pitch, Defoe became a total non factor.

Redknapp has managed Defoe on and off since he around sixteen years old. He knows the strengths (shift and shoot) and the weaknesses (pretty much everything else) of his game inside out.

Was he really relying on a flash of inspiration from Luka or Rafa to put Defoe in? Did he tell Lennon and Bale to stay wide to stretch the play, or did he allow them freedom to go wherever they fancied? It looked like the latter, as if he'd simply said "You're triffic players - just go out and play".

Or, as per his notorious instructions to Pav, perhaps his instructions were even more banal: "just go and run around a bit".

Early first half, there were some shots of Sherwood up in the stands barking down his mobile furiously at Bond on the touchline. Sherwood quite probably had spotted either a problem, or something we could exploit tactically. Whatever it was, it didn't seem to get through...
 

ultimateloner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
3,417
If you dont look at the game but look at the season as a whole 5th is probably reasonable. We've had our moments but we need bale/vdv/adebayor to be on song to win, and 3 players won't carry a team into CL. What's upsetting is the way we are throwing this away. Another is King/Gallas decline. No longer fit to lead (still reliable).
 
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