Villas Boas should stick to his guns rather than adapt (Part 1)

felmonger

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Sep 10, 2004
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207
#61
A fine read and a lenghthy bit of work. I think there is a silent majority of us who are happy to give AVB what time he needs. His problem at Chelsea was more about managing the BIG characters like Terry, Lampard and Drogba when he was really only about the same age. Look at the guys record before he went there. He won everything, and, with our support, stands every chance of doing the same for us.
 

UbeAstard

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May 31, 2005
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2,158
#62
The most worrying thing about that article is that it said "(part 1)".

It's another of these pseudo-intellectual tactics essays that simply assumes the opposition is too dumb to counteract player movement. Instead of a fraught tactical analysis, full of "solutions", "dynamism", "refreshing possession", "mismatches" and "belief", you could have just said, erm, "run the fu*k about a bit" off the ball. But such plain spoken direct English isn't in vogue in this brave new tactical world.

Of course we can have success with any formation from time to time, but as soon as it becomes a repeated pattern leading to goals, an opponent will be on to it. Unless the players we have are in superior form and are simply unplayable, which can happen from time to time with Bale and Lennon etc. A vast amount of this essay spent ages describing how Dempsey or Lennon can move inside and cause the full back to make a decision. How is that any different to 4-4-2 and the winger doing the same thing. And is'nt "refreshing possession" just old hat for shifting the ball from one wing to the other as fast as possible to force the defence to realign often - again, a cornerstone of 4-4-2. I'm not advocating 442, I'm just saying that the idea that this 433 business is somehow new and untried in England is nonsense.

And of course, a simple solution for the opposing team to the right-sided attacker moving inside is to have their left-winger put a shift in to track Walker back, while Dempsey runs into a crowded central area. Or in AVB's current team, they could just let Walker free to cross because god knows Defoe wont get his nut on it in the middle.

The idea that almost religious adherence to a system will lead to our success is deeply worrying and despite the authors claims I hope it is untrue. I thought one of the benefits of AVB was that he wasn't an adherent to just one system, and that he'd change things up quite often. At the moment, he's more worried about not losing a game than trying to bloody well win it. You see that in his formation, with two defensive central midfielders at home. That's a keeper, a back 4, and 2 defensive mids - 7 defensively oriented players - at home to Norwich. And you see it when he subs off forwards for holding midfielders soon after we score. He's been outmaneuvered by Pardew, Clarke and Hughton, whose teams all finished the games much stronger than we did to the point of us desperately hanging on.



Be braver AVB...the goal isn't to bore the opposition to death and all that.

Sounds similar to what I said but you said it better.
 

toss84

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Joined
Aug 24, 2004
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8
#63
Tactics are half the battle, the problem with avb for me is that is he a good manager? I think his downfall will be man management and the managers that have the respect of their players get more out of them than others would.

I hope avb does have their support but Saturday suggested otherwise
 

yid-down-under

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Sep 21, 2003
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1,823
#65
Summary: we will improve when we have a regular midfield of Parker, Dembele and Sigurdsson and a front three of Bale, Adebayor and Dempsey.

It will also help a lot to get Kaboul back, because Gallas is too slow and tires in the second half of games.

But what I don't understand is why, with the current formation and players available, we started Saturdays game with JD rather than Adebayor?
Probably cos Ade's had the pre-season of a school-boy and is no where near match fit!
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
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3
#66
Good article in general, but why does everyone get so bogged down in systems? Obviously a team needs a shape, and you want players who are effective in the position you ask them to play, but a lot of success or failure is more down to the "philosophy" of the team than the formation. Loads of teams play 4-5-1/4-3-3 systems and a few still play 4-4-2, but the difference in how they play them, that is - the way the approach the task in hand can be radically different. Some play defensive, some play direct, some like to retain possession and build slowly. Some play to win games, others to merely avoid defeat.
The key thing you are really getting at is fluidity of movement, and players making runs into different/unexpected spaces to create gaps or create overloads. That is definitely a very strong point and a good idea, but it can be achieved just as easily with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation as with a 4-3-3. There is nothing magical about the 4-3-3 that makes it easier to do this, it's just about getting players to crop up in places that opponents might not expect or be comfortable with.
 

jondesouza

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Oct 18, 2004
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2,643
#67
Good article in general, but why does everyone get so bogged down in systems? Obviously a team needs a shape, and you want players who are effective in the position you ask them to play, but a lot of success or failure is more down to the "philosophy" of the team than the formation. Loads of teams play 4-5-1/4-3-3 systems and a few still play 4-4-2, but the difference in how they play them, that is - the way the approach the task in hand can be radically different. Some play defensive, some play direct, some like to retain possession and build slowly. Some play to win games, others to merely avoid defeat.
The key thing you are really getting at is fluidity of movement, and players making runs into different/unexpected spaces to create gaps or create overloads. That is definitely a very strong point and a good idea, but it can be achieved just as easily with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation as with a 4-3-3. There is nothing magical about the 4-3-3 that makes it easier to do this, it's just about getting players to crop up in places that opponents might not expect or be comfortable with.
If you're stating that no one system is inherently better than the other I agree with you. If you're suggesting that where players start in attacking and defensive play (which is all formations are really) doesn't matter then I disagree. :)
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
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3
#68
If you're stating that no one system is inherently better than the other I agree with you. If you're suggesting that where players start in attacking and defensive play (which is all formations are really) doesn't matter then I disagree. :)
Exactly what I was getting at. Of course positions matter, but no one formation is inherently superior to any other.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
46
#69
great read! congrats :)

I would just like to add some notes:

1. Somehow it seems that lot of people think that AVB implemented the 4-3-3 at Porto the same way he tried to do in Chelsea and would like to do with us - some kind of holy grail of tactics, in AVB's point of view. This is not true (or not completely true :p). Porto plays in 4-3-3 for 5 or 6 years now (starting from the last season, mixed with some 4-2-3-1 ). The differences with AVB were the effective use of the high line defence with lot of pressure to the opponents (Newcastle!!!) and a more fluid game (the midfield was much stronger then in previous seasons with the addition of Moutinho and with some other players performing very well). I'm not sure if Hulk started playing more as right forward with him.

2. Adaptation vs System.

"In an attacking sense, the right forward is absolutely the man that triggers the attacking threat, at least it was at Porto."

At Porto this was because Hulk is very strong at some of the movements that you described!! AVB understood how Hulk could give more to the team, and the system evolved and adapted because of this. It was not a imposition of some perfect abstract tactic! This is what AVB has to do at White Hart Lane!!