Ratings v Forest

MOTM?


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#61
The guys abuskng Soldado here must be slitting their wrists after each Adebayor game. The guy wasn't amazing (though who would be with those three supporting in AM) but he constantly showed for the ball and passed it well, was never out of the game and scored his only chance (which he turned into a chance with quick thinking anyway). It wasn't exactly vintage Berbatov, and he may well not be the answer, but those criticising him must have decided before the game that he'd played badly and don't want to admit they were wrong, because he really wasn't all that bad and he really was a huge improvement on Adebayor.
 

eddiebailey

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Oct 12, 2004
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6,848
#62
Poch is receiving a lot of plaudits for the substitutions, but I think most of us groaned when we saw the starting line-up. Fixing your own mistakes is creditable, but not praiseworthy.

Hopefully he is just giving all the squad a fair crack of the whip before deciding who to dispense with, but it makes for turgid watching.

I also wonder if the tactics were not too conservative for a home tie against a Championship second string. With two up front and the wingers on their correct sides I think we could have torn them apart, particularly if Mason had started.

But that also plays into my wider concern. Our system demands overlapping fullbacks, central midfielders who transition through quick forward passing, and three attacking midfielders who rotate in support of a lone striker. The trouble is that most of our fullbacks cannot overlap effectively, most of our midfielders cannot thread a forward pass, our pacy wingers are not productive when inverted, our attacking playmaker prefers to find space by drifting in from the left, last night's no. 10 likes to ghost from deep, and none of our strikers can play up front on their own. It is all very well for a team to have an identity, but at the moment we appear to have the identity of a transvestite with a blue shave, a hod-carrier's shoulders and hands like a mechanical grab. We are aspiring to be something that we are not, and being sussed out all too easily.
 

mpickard2087

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#63
The guys abuskng Soldado here must be slitting their wrists after each Adebayor game. The guy wasn't amazing (though who would be with those three supporting in AM) but he constantly showed for the ball and passed it well, was never out of the game and scored his only chance (which he turned into a chance with quick thinking anyway). It wasn't exactly vintage Berbatov, and he may well not be the answer, but those criticising him must have decided before the game that he'd played badly and don't want to admit they were wrong, because he really wasn't all that bad and he really was a huge improvement on Adebayor.
I'd say that is over generous. No-one doubts that we have real issues in the team in terms of creativity and invention but on the whole last night I'd say that was more of the same from Soldado. He comes short and tries to get involved (I wouldn't say he constantly showed and got on the ball though) but this means that he is almost always never in the box when he is needed... You cant say that he only had one chance when, particularly first half, there were numerous 'ok' crosses that came in where he (and others such as Lennon, for balance) was nowhere to be seen. For me, on last season and now this, he never seems to get the balance right and when he tries to link up play he never manages to get himself into the box. Even someone like Kane, within 5 minutes of coming on, has managed to get in the box and on the end of a cross as an example.

Things improved a bit when we went to two up front, it allowed him a bit more support and less emphasis on the hold-up work and a couple of his flicks came off... How often will we play this way though?
 

sloth

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8,993
#64
What I want to know is: if we can play the way we played in the last 20 minutes, why the fuck did I have to sit through 70 minutes of 11 totally different players to those who played against West Brom carefully creating a pass-by-pass reconstruction of the previous match?

There has to be something wrong in the mentality of the squad. It's as if the ghost of AVB is whispering in the ear of every one of them to 'slow it down and retain posession'. With the exception of the QPR match, the only notable changes since last autumn's succession of insomnia-cures are that we win the ball in midfield about 5 times as often ... but then don't really show any idea of what to do with it ... and that we often strike an early vertical pass to an attacking midfielder or striker with his back to goal ... who doesn't really show any idea of what to do with it.

We're still chonically slowing down the play as we approach the penalty box. We're still hitting through balls into the legs or backs of a massed defence. We're still delaying crosses until everyone is well-marked. We're still reluctant to move off the ball and, when someone like Soldado or Paulinho does make a run, no one spots it.

Suddenly this evening, as soon as Mason hit the net from 30m, the whole style changed and we started running at them and pulling their defence apart. Admittedly, Forest were tiring and perhaps had a drop in testosterone after Mason's goal, but there were still 10-11 well-positioned defenders behind the ball. It's just that we stopped slowing everything down. So why didn't we do that an hour earlier? It's plain that Pochettino isn't instructing them to play like that, so the answer has to be in the collective mindset left over from last season.

Individuals:

Vorm - 6.5 - No culpability for the goal and a very good save. Good positioning and distribution.

Naughton - 7 - A very good good game in every respect - tidy, mobile, constructive and comfortable on the ball.

Vertonghen - 6.5 - Solid. One or two nice forays forward, ending in the usual slow-down and loss of possession.

Fazio - 6 - He's obviously a very formidable defender. But he seems to make at least one mental error per half.

Davies - 6 - Reliable and conservative.

Stambouli - 6 - Great defensively and passed well in the first half, but his passing went to hell after half time and he dropped us into some problems as a result.

Bentaleb - 5.5 - From moment to moment, he was involved in everything, passed smoothly and usually accurately and made a few very good runs, but if you look at the whole game, he was the main culprit in slowing down our attacking play. Talented, but needs to play with more urgency and fluidity.

Townsend - 7 - Energetic, constructive, busy and even defended a bit. With the one exception of the time he shot when we had 4 men in the box ahead of him, his pot-shots were well-timed and one of them led to the winner. Very good and my MotM, just.

Paulinho - 5 - As last time, started positively with good runs into space, but faded early and then contributed little.

Lennon - 5 - Not involved enough.

Soldado - 6.5 - Scarcely involved until his goal, but participated well in the attacks for the rest of the match.


Mason - 7 - Wonderful goal and a forward-looking approach to play. Promising.

Kane - 6.5 - Good goal, good team play.

Lamela - 7 - In a few minutes, managed to get an assist with a top-class through ball, hit the post and set up another chance.


NB: Against West Brom, Pochettino's substitutions were illogical and ineffective. Tonight, one scored the equaliser, another got an assist and the third scored the last goal. Dice, anyone?
That's pretty much the post I was going to make! :)
 
Joined
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#65
What I want to know is: if we can play the way we played in the last 20 minutes, why the fuck did I have to sit through 70 minutes of 11 totally different players to those who played against West Brom carefully creating a pass-by-pass reconstruction of the previous match?

There has to be something wrong in the mentality of the squad. It's as if the ghost of AVB is whispering in the ear of every one of them to 'slow it down and retain posession'. With the exception of the QPR match, the only notable changes since last autumn's succession of insomnia-cures are that we win the ball in midfield about 5 times as often ... but then don't really show any idea of what to do with it ... and that we often strike an early vertical pass to an attacking midfielder or striker with his back to goal ... who doesn't really show any idea of what to do with it.

We're still chonically slowing down the play as we approach the penalty box. We're still hitting through balls into the legs or backs of a massed defence. We're still delaying crosses until everyone is well-marked. We're still reluctant to move off the ball and, when someone like Soldado or Paulinho does make a run, no one spots it.

Suddenly this evening, as soon as Mason hit the net from 30m, the whole style changed and we started running at them and pulling their defence apart. Admittedly, Forest were tiring and perhaps had a drop in testosterone after Mason's goal, but there were still 10-11 well-positioned defenders behind the ball. It's just that we stopped slowing everything down. So why didn't we do that an hour earlier? It's plain that Pochettino isn't instructing them to play like that, so the answer has to be in the collective mindset left over from last season.
Ah, someone gets it.

Excellent post.
 

sloth

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Mar 7, 2005
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8,993
#66
Mason was the immodium yesterday to 70 minutes of constipated football, but once the release came, boy did it feel good.

As davidmatzdorf says above the puzzling thing is why the team as whole can play one way for so long, and then seemingly switch mentality and suddenly play with movement and collective purpose like that? It can't just be a tactical thing or a player thing, it feels like they've got something wrong in their heads... it's something about the group dynamic, people call it playing with fear, or poor mentality, perhaps it's thinking it too much...? Whatever it is Poch has to find a way to make it stop whilst remaining true to his principles.

Staying true to principles is why I think you're wrong eddiebailey to suggest we should have played a different way last night. To be clear I don't think playing 442 would have been wrong against that side, but I do think that Poch has to find a way of making his preferred style of play click, and that if he can find a way to make it click then it is a way that should work against any side. Thereafter, once the team is properly drilled, then he can start reintroducing other approaches, but to switch now would just be confusing.

Final general thing to say is back on the issue of thinking it too much, the reason i and others gave Sherwood respect for his approach is that despite being very loose - or maybe because it was - it was also designed to stop the players over-thinking and to play with freedom. The reason I wasn't unhappy he left was that I wasn't sure he knew how to then build a structurally sound side, that also could play with freedom. In that it was the opposite of my fears with AVB, who I felt was too rigid in almost all things and didn't know how to get the freedom into our play. I remain extremely hopeful that Poch will find a way to incorporate the best of both worlds, and to support that I think we saw Southampton were able to combine the two very effectively at times, i do think it could take some time though.
 
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#67
I'd say that is over generous. No-one doubts that we have real issues in the team in terms of creativity and invention but on the whole last night I'd say that was more of the same from Soldado. He comes short and tries to get involved (I wouldn't say he constantly showed and got on the ball though) but this means that he is almost always never in the box when he is needed... You cant say that he only had one chance when, particularly first half, there were numerous 'ok' crosses that came in where he (and others such as Lennon, for balance) was nowhere to be seen. For me, on last season and now this, he never seems to get the balance right and when he tries to link up play he never manages to get himself into the box. Even someone like Kane, within 5 minutes of coming on, has managed to get in the box and on the end of a cross as an example.

Things improved a bit when we went to two up front, it allowed him a bit more support and less emphasis on the hold-up work and a couple of his flicks came off... How often will we play this way though?
I agree he's never in the box when needed (though he did seem to be there for our winner), but I'd suggest that it's because the ball never gets to the box unless he's dropped back to help it get there.
 

sloth

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Mar 7, 2005
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8,993
#68
I agree he's never in the box when needed (though he did seem to be there for our winner), but I'd suggest that it's because the ball never gets to the box unless he's dropped back to help it get there.
Which is a good point, and one of the things which I feel makes our play so slow. Basically our players are looking around all the time trying to pick the pass in reaction to some indication of what's happened or going to happen, except while they're thinking and looking the opposition are doing the same and reacting to the same indicators. If we were properly choreographed there'd be much less of that, player A would think to himself that player B with the ball is likely to play it into this area, therefore I'm going to get myself there now, and player B would know that if he played it into this kind of area player A is likely to be making the run there. It's quicker than looking, thinking, reacting, it's just looking and reacting.
 

degoose

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Joined
Jul 3, 2004
Messages
2,139
#69
I went for Mason as MOTM, not just because he got the first goal but his play sped the team up. He got the ball , passed quickly and always looked forward and provided quite a few long through balls or moved forward quickly, he also got in with a few tackles. He did really well pre-season next to capoue and i was surprised he didn't play any games prior to this one as they built up a good partnership.
 

CowInAComa

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Aug 31, 2012
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5,294
#70
Naughtons been pretty good for a while really.
Stambouli looked good in the first half.
Not really buying the Townsend praise, was ok.
Mason had a great cameo
Lamela is a special player
I like Kane.


Other players were involved apparently, but ive already forgot.
 
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#71
Which is a good point, and one of the things which I feel makes our play so slow. Basically our players are looking around all the time trying to pick the pass in reaction to some indication of what's happened or going to happen, except while they're thinking and looking the opposition are doing the same and reacting to the same indicators. If we were properly choreographed there'd be much less of that, player A would think to himself that player B with the ball is likely to play it into this area, therefore I'm going to get myself there now, and player B would know that if he played it into this kind of area player A is likely to be making the run there. It's quicker than looking, thinking, reacting, it's just looking and reacting.
Which, goal aside, is why Mason improved us so much. He knew what he wanted to do with the ball before he'd even received it, and once he did receive it he immediately executed something designed to hurt the opposition. It didn't always work, but that's exactly what I want in a central midfielder and I think that as long as there's a warrior next to him to get the ball back quickly when it doesn't come off (Stambouli for instance) he currently brings far more to our CM pairing than the others.
 

Nocando

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Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
2,642
#72
Bentaleb was defintely a mixed bag but you have to factor in how much he showed for the ball. He never hides and that's a credit. Yes he made lots of mistakes and sloppy pases but so did Stambouli, in fact Stambouli made 2 that were a lot worse than Nabil's and he hasn't taken any flack whatsoever. That's strange but I put that down to the new signing get away with anything syndrome.

Also factor in the good things that he did such as being instrumental in the third goal and I think it's very unfair to isolate his performance.
 
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#73
Mason was the immodium yesterday to 70 minutes of constipated football, but once the release came, boy did it feel good.

As davidmatzdorf says above the puzzling thing is why the team as whole can play one way for so long, and then seemingly switch mentality and suddenly play with movement and collective purpose like that? It can't just be a tactical thing or a player thing, it feels like they've got something wrong in their heads... it's something about the group dynamic, people call it playing with fear, or poor mentality, perhaps it's thinking it too much...? Whatever it is Poch has to find a way to make it stop whilst remaining true to his principles.

Staying true to principles is why I think you're wrong eddiebailey to suggest we should have played a different way last night. To be clear I don't think playing 442 would have been wrong against that side, but I do think that Poch has to find a way of making his preferred style of play click, and that if he can find a way to make it click then it is a way that should work against any side. Thereafter, once the team is properly drilled, then he can start reintroducing other approaches, but to switch now would just be confusing.

Final general thing to say is back on the issue of thinking it too much, the reason i and others gave Sherwood respect for his approach is that despite being very loose - or maybe because it was - it was also designed to stop the players over-thinking and to play with freedom. The reason I wasn't unhappy he left was that I wasn't sure he knew how to then build a structurally sound side, that also could play with freedom. In that it was the opposite of my fears with AVB, who I felt was too rigid in almost all things and didn't know how to get the freedom into our play. I remain extremely hopeful that Poch will find a way to incorporate the best of both worlds, and to support that I think we saw Southampton were able to combine the two very effectively at times, i do think it could take some time though.
Agree with most of that, but I don't think they are being forced to think too much; poch's style is based more on instinct and guile after being highly drilled. He wants his team to function fluidly and at speed and play off of a kind of highly skilled instinct which is born of the key instructions they have been drilled with over time.

Once he gets a team going properly it's like a rampaging, highly trained wild animal. (oxymoronic, but true).

That's why his method takes time.

Add to that some of our thickos and it's a season's work...that along with establishing who can actually hack it out of the many ostensibly eligible players we have.
 

sloth

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Joined
Mar 7, 2005
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8,993
#74
Which, goal aside, is why Mason improved us so much. He knew what he wanted to do with the ball before he'd even received it, and once he did receive it he immediately executed something designed to hurt the opposition. It didn't always work, but that's exactly what I want in a central midfielder and I think that as long as there's a warrior next to him to get the ball back quickly when it doesn't come off (Stambouli for instance) he currently brings far more to our CM pairing than the others.
Yes, the same goes for balls in the box, i don't want them to be trying to pick someone out, I want them to be playing it into dangerous areas with intent and then it will be up to the rest of the team to make the runs which get on the end of the balls. The result being that if they know the balls are going to played into those dangerous areas, then they'll make more of the runs necessary to get there. It's all about not thinking, but just doing, and like any other sort of choreography, when it starts to work it's a glorious feeling.
 

sloth

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#75
Agree with most of that, but I don't think they are being forced to think too much; poch's style is based more on instinct and guile after being highly drilled. He wants his team to function fluidly and at speed and play off of a kind of highly skilled instinct which is born of the key instructions they have been drilled with over time.

Once he gets a team going properly it's like a rampaging, highly trained wild animal. (oxymoronic, but true).

That's why his method takes time.

Add to that some of our thickos and it's a season's work...that along with establishing who can actually hack it out of the many ostensibly eligible players we have.
I don't think they're being 'forced' to either, I just think that the problem is that they're doing it. Poch's success will be judged on how well he gets them to stop doing it and instead play in the way he wants them too, which is the way you say. And like you I think it will take time. Until we get there however this is what he's going on about when he says he's so frustrated when they're playing too slow and the mentality isn't right.
 
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#76
I don't think they're being 'forced' to either, I just think that the problem is that they're doing it. Poch's success will be judged on how well he gets them to stop doing it and instead play in the way he wants them too, which is the way you say. This is why he's so frustrated when he says they're playing too slow and the mentality isn't right.
I actually think a lot of it is brain freeze, there seems to be a lot of apprehension and uncertainty in our play which stops us from playing instinctively.
 
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Oct 19, 2004
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#77
You most certainly are a clown.

Nabil Bentaleb made a couple of bad passes but still made near double stambouli's passes(a whooping 106 passes with a 91% accuracy) Considering his age he should earning rave reviews.

We really do have to keep reminding ourselves what this kid is achieving for his age. He's a 19yo being asked to play in a CM2 (he's spent a lot of his development playing a 433) against the big boys and he's still making a fucking decent show. He never hides, sees shitloads of ball, tries to be progressive when possible but gets annoyed with himself when he fucks up, and isn't scared to give others a bollocking either when they fuck up.

I was probably harsh on him as well, especially given the witless bunch he had a head of him last night, there were several occasions when he was desperately seeking some movement and there was Lennon, Paulinho, Soldado and Townsend all just stood still waiting for a fucking miracle.

Reading back I see plenty were generous to Stambouli who contributed far less. I'm beginning to worry that for some, Bentaleb's face isn't fitting for some reason. It's starting to feel like Jenas all over again. Because he isn't charging around flying into tackles, getting booked in the 5th minute or hitting 50 yard diagonals at peoples throats people are incapable of seeing what a player like this is bringing.

He's helping us dominate and ware down the opposition, he's always giving others an outlet, and moving it on, usually pretty swiftly. It's not his fault that ahead of him players just aren't delivering much productivity or intelligence.

We've got a 19yo kid who's getting the blame because others are fucking hiding and showing no brain or bollocks.
 
Joined
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39,469
#78
Mason was the immodium yesterday to 70 minutes of constipated football, but once the release came, boy did it feel good.

As davidmatzdorf says above the puzzling thing is why the team as whole can play one way for so long, and then seemingly switch mentality and suddenly play with movement and collective purpose like that? It can't just be a tactical thing or a player thing, it feels like they've got something wrong in their heads... it's something about the group dynamic, people call it playing with fear, or poor mentality, perhaps it's thinking it too much...? Whatever it is Poch has to find a way to make it stop whilst remaining true to his principles.

Staying true to principles is why I think you're wrong eddiebailey to suggest we should have played a different way last night. To be clear I don't think playing 442 would have been wrong against that side, but I do think that Poch has to find a way of making his preferred style of play click, and that if he can find a way to make it click then it is a way that should work against any side. Thereafter, once the team is properly drilled, then he can start reintroducing other approaches, but to switch now would just be confusing.

I think because DM's assessment shows a lack of tactical nous. Mason wasn't the tactical immodium per se. Our play really wasn't showing massive signs of improving after he came on, because the same dimwits were still floating around the attacking third (I like Kane but he's no brain surgeon either).

He hit a worldie. Then Soldado used his instinct to divert yet another misguided pot shot that shouldn't have even been taken. Nothing of quality was being produced. Still plenty of huffing and puffing.

Forest got a bit tired and then (when we got the second) had to open up and we finally, with Lamela, played the only intelligent piece of football in 90 minutes, punishing that new found bit of open space in the final third.

It wasn't that a switch flicked and we became more tactically vivacious with Mason on. It's not like we were getting outplayed either before hand, they were just playing the deep waiting game and our fuckwits were making it easy. Then we get two lucky breaks in reasonably quick succession and at the same time Forest are tiring and also then needing to chase a game.

This isn't a dig at Mason either, I'd have started him (and said so).
 
Last edited:

StartingPrice

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Feb 13, 2004
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32,568
#79
I went for Mason as MOTM, not just because he got the first goal but his play sped the team up. He got the ball , passed quickly and always looked forward and provided quite a few long through balls or moved forward quickly, he also got in with a few tackles. He did really well pre-season next to capoue and i was surprised he didn't play any games prior to this one as they built up a good partnership.
I think he was injured.

He's been held back by injuries for quite a while, because otherwise he would probably have made the breakthrough much sooner - he was always a talented kid. every manager/head coach is different and will look for slightly (or drastically) different attributes - especially when they have just joined a club. I think Mason is just a player that Poch saw straight away as offering attributes he likes. He said at the start of the season that he was part of his plans (which was while Mason was out injured).
 
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#80
Bentaleb - 5.5 - From moment to moment, he was involved in everything, passed smoothly and usually accurately and made a few very good runs, but if you look at the whole game, he was the main culprit in slowing down our attacking play. Talented, but needs to play with more urgency and fluidity.

I've said this above, but as I've quoted you in my reply to sloth I feel it's only fair to tackle you directly, but your assessment of Bentaleb is a lot less hysterically wrong than many to be fair.


Do you not think that the biggest problem was not Bentaleb slowing us down but the poor movement around him. Bentaleb generally looks to move the ball quite quickly, he's not a twirly ditherer like Dembele (or even Praker before him). And I've seen Bentaleb play decent incisive passes when presented with the opportunity.

Davies, Lennon particularly on his side of the pitch are so insipid and conservative, and then we had Paulino and Soldado ahead. And lets be honest, Stambouli is a newbie, but already we can tell his strength is more his tenacity than his wit. His options for making progressive and incisive passes were severely limited, especially against a side sitting deep and making forward passing difficult.

I think what slows us down as team, and this applies to the first team group as well a lot of the time, is a general lack of intelligent and dynamic movement. Not Bentaleb's dithering.
 
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