SC's Tactical Autopsy thread

Oct 19, 2004
Thread starter #1
My my ambassador Redknapp, with these tactical ferrero rochet nuggets you are spoiling us.

Fuck my old boots, what is happening. 442 to 352 to 433. Did the hospital replace Bagpus's tactical artery whilst doing his ticker ?

Now, we all know MR Redknapp does do tactics. We also know that he doesn't always do them right. But lets give credit where it's due, and in the last few weeks our bulldog faced chieftain has given us plenty of variation - and we all know, variety can be the spice of life.

OK, down to business and last night's business. I personally believe the penny may be dropping - but as I have thought this before many times with Redknapp, I wholeheartedly reserve the right to be wrong - with Redknapp regarding Modric. Certainly in tougher scenarios (strong teams, away games ?); that him and A N Other in central midfield in a four man midfield was making a lottery of games, making them too open, making us too vulnerable.

Although for about 75% of that game last night the freedoms given to anyone other than Sandro & Friedel meant default shape/formation was hard to decipher, I believe it was fundamentally a 433, with Modric meant to be covering left of the three, Parker right.

I actually think that tactically, formation wise, even though it means VDV shifted right of the attacking 3, this was possibly the closest, formation wise, that our dear general has come to excellence. From an attacking perspective it worked, and the reasons it worked - last night, I'm not convinced it is the man for all seasons - are numerous.

Firstly, at it's hub, was the outstanding Sandro. This man is a guided missile of a busy ****. Any where you go, no matter what chaff you try to deploy, this fucker will hunt you down and cluster bomb you. What I liked last night was that he also knocked the ball around well and showed confidence on the ball. Parker was also vital, providing a good balance of insurance and energy going forward.

Secondly, although the first 45 wasn't his best, the second 45 Adebayor provided that forward hub, that fulcrum for the free roaming Bale and VDV. He actually only made 7 less passes than Bale and saw the ball four times less.

Thirdly, that freedom given to Bale and VDV meant they received the ball 54 and 93 times respectively, making 46 and a wapping 78 passes respectively.

Fourthly, playing this formation, with these players gave us ball retainers all over the pitch. And boy did we retain it. It also gave us balance. Balance of pace, energy, craft & strength. Bale is all about pace and power, VDV is all about craft and vision, Adebayor strength and guile, Parker energy and tenacity. On the right side where the slower craftsman played you had the speedy Walker behind, on the left where you had the poweful and marauding Bale you had the cultured and steady Ekotto behind. There was ying and yang a plenty.

Better team's like Chelsea and Arsenal will - and have - take advantage if VDV is stuck out right ahead of the sometimes positionally naive Walker. And they will (and have) also exploit the very lax defending of Ekotto and Bale.

But last night the tactics simply worked. Norwich were like a rabbit in the headlights that were Redknapp's all guns blazing free for all. There was insurance form Sandro but the biggest insurance was our ability to completely starve the opposition of the ball for long periods.


I have to add this because it eats away at me. The good tactics last night, and on other occasions are not the full picture and never will be as long as Redknapp fails to marry them with endemic coached tactical awareness, simple organisational discipline, work rate and responsibility. These qualities are sometimes there or are there in spirit, but I honestly believe they are the difference between us being a maybe or definite article. We are a top 3 side when we are in possession sometimes, but we are a mid table side when we don't have it sometimes, as we have seen at various times this season and if we could address this, we would be truly formidable. Hard work and an ingrained ethos is the only way to banish that air of vulnerability that we still carry.

Simple things like pressing the flanks and not allowing crosses to come so easily, it has been our downfall all season and even last night against a poor side we allowed too many.

Last night was the right tactical formation and personnel for the occasion.
I want Norwich away tactics most weeks, but Liverpool at home coaching every week.

A+ for tactics, but still a C+ for coaching
(I'm still calling that progress)


Chief Sardonicus Hyperlip
Feb 13, 2004
Oh dear...fambly give you the rubber-ear for Christmas, again, BC (I'm sure you are familiar with this old Glaswegian slang, ain't ya :shrug:).


The Double of 1961 is still The Double
Dec 3, 2004
Self-indulgent narcissism and delusions of grandeur.

I am sure Redknapp will be on the edge of his seat when he gets this term's report card and will take it back to Sandra with a mix of joy and shame that his mentor gave him an A and a C.


Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2005
Good analysis BC. Last couple of games have really shown that we can adapt the formation from 442 to suit the personnel and give the back four a bit more cover. I was against it tbh, despite how impressive Sandro has always looked in the middle and have been proved wrong.

I'm still to be convinced that we can get away with this consistently against top sides (there was a long 'wobble' against Chelsea after VDV went off) but it may just be a matter of practice and it definitely bodes well for the remainder of the season.

Whether it's 442 or the 433/4231, another seasoned, pacy, (preferably two-footed) attacking player who can play anywhere across the middle to stand in for Bale/Lennon/VDV is a must for me (and the obvious that we need a better stand-in for Adebayor)

As I say, Marin would be my overwhelming choice there. Would slot straight into 5 of the forward 6 positions
Feb 22, 2007
Self-indulgent narcissism and delusions of grandeur.

I am sure Redknapp will be on the edge of his seat when he gets this term's report card and will take it back to Sandra with a mix of joy and shame that his mentor gave him an A and a C.
You can say this about a lot of regular SC posters tbh.


Well-Known Member
May 12, 2005
Well done B/C. you got your point across without wafflying too much, however you should have left the Epilogue part off as, sadly, it just shows you haven't gotten over the fact that Redknapp was named manager and not yourself.


Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2006
All we need now is an unreliable goalkeeper, Villas right back, our best player out wide where he's involved less, the old warhorse back up front and a pass counting machine installed on viewers screens and we'll be sorted.


Active Member
Jul 15, 2005
Good stuff BC (if a little harsh in tone)

I think that (aside from Gallas/King) - that is my first choice XI and formation. I rate Lennon but I don't think we should upset this side unnecessarily.

Very unpredictable, lots of movement and, with that defensive screen of Parker & Sandro - it actually makes us more attacking.


Well-Known Member
Mar 17, 2005
I just cannot understand how you have never managed a big club, infact any club at all really.

I'm sure your local under 5s are really missing out here.


Well-Known Member
Feb 18, 2006
I did wonder how BC would deal with our manager changing formation as it doesn't play well with the mantra of no tactical nous. So here is the BC response, a hilarious attempt at a Henry Winter impersonation.

Here's a tip BC, if you're going to eat humble pie do it with grace and leave out the "I'm sure Redknapp is still a muppet" Epilogue, it makes a nonsense of the semi-apology that came before.

Roll on the Dan Ashcroft "I always loved Redknapp" thread :wink:


The best username, unless you are a fucking idiot.
Oct 25, 2004
Can't believe I just read that shit. I believe we used to get E 1 on our old report cards for this kind of shit. E being your grade (shit) , 1 being your effort (great). So all in all you tried hard but failed.

To quote Homer Simpson: You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
Feb 16, 2006
That came across as pretty patronising....

Should have cut the epilogue.

The thing i noticed was Harry's interview after. It was a consummate display of saying noting at all, while both talking up the team and playing down expectations. He even name-checked most of the starting eleven for praise. I was very impressed.


David Ginola
Oct 25, 2004
I thought it was a quite a good analysis tbh?

It has actually been since Stoke away that Harry has been tinkering successfully. The Chelsea game was a learning curve for him in that he finally realised that we couldn't try to replicate the width we have normally when Lennon isn't playing. So he didn't even try to yesterday, he went narrower and asked BAE and Walker to provide the width while allowing Bale, VDV and Modric to float about where they wanted to. In particular Bale tucking in and trying to run beyond was very effective.

I saw it as a

4-1-3-1-1 but it was far more fluid than that with the only people actually playing in fixed positions being Kaboul, Gallas, and Sandro.

It may not work as well against better sides but now matter how good you are, you can't do much when you don't have the ball and yesterday, Norwich just didn't have the ball.

It won't always work and I would want Lennon in my team 9 times out of 10, but it is certainly encouraging to see Harry experimenting.


Chaos Agent
Dec 22, 2003
Good analysis, though I think you have to consider whether Redknapp's greater willingness to experiment tactically isn't due to having the personnel that enable him to do so. He may have wanted to experiment more last season but just didn't have the right players to believe it would work.