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  1. #1
    amerispurs's Avatar
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    After watching this game against NCity, I would like to ask a question for our astute formation members on this forum.

    IS THIS WHAT WE ARE PLAYING?

    Walker RB/RW, Gallas CB, Kaboul CB, BAE LB/LW
    --------------Sandro DCM--------------------
    ----------------Parker CM--------------------
    ------X------------X------------------X
    ------------------ADE----------------------

    ???????

    After watching the Chelscum match again, and the NCity game, I have to believe on my own opinion that we are playing a varation of a 3-5-2.

    Walker and BAE get forward and provide the "outlets" that our counter-attacking depends on so much, and the 3 forward CM players, Bale Modric VDV are free to roam. However, as a defending unit we revert back quickly to a 4-5-1 with VDV's responsibilities as a RM and Bale as a LM with Modric as he pleases, Parker as a high CM destroyer, and Sandro as an end all be all DESTROYING DCM.

    I have never seen this type of formation with variations of attacking v. defending in the EPL. I am trying very hard to rack my brain as the base formation attacking v. defending. I must say, if I am reading the game right, HR has credit where credit is due. Everyone will state he is playing a version of a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 or even a diamond of 4-5-1. However, after watching 2 games of this formation I feel and believe that HR is trying to play to the strengths of our team, fast, forward thinking FB's, with the dominating play of our CM's. Bale, in his god given beautiful self, has the ability to play CAM or dare I say it, FREE #9. I may be rambling here on this thread, but to be honest with everyone, I am glad/happy/excited at the fact that HR is thinking beyond a traditional 4-4-2 (sorry englishmen) and playing to the strengths of our players available. @Dustin, I am waiting to hear your analysis of this game and in particular formations........................................ ...........................

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    Dustin (28-12-2011)


  3. #2
    spursman18's Avatar
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    Tonight it was a mix between a 4 2 3 1 and a 4 3 3 (not so much on this one though)

    Bale, Modric, and VDV had the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do while Parker and Sandro held back at times but also went forward quite a bit.

    Our width came from our fullbacks but they were not positioned like we were at Stoke when we did play a 3 5 2.

    The disadvantage of this, is when say Walker goes forward there is a lot of space that he leaves and Kaboul/Gallas must communicate with Sandro/Parker in regards to who will pick up the space he leaves when he goes forward.


    Well done to Harry though, he deserves some credit with how we went out and played tonight.

  4. #3
    amerispurs's Avatar
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    Completely agree with that analysis of Parker/Sandro. They have to talk, and to be honest, Sandro is playing the role EXTREMELY well, would love to see the analysis of him behind the 4-4 of NCity. As I believe he stayed back often and handed the attacking part of the game to our CM's, being Modric, Bale, VDV. Walker saw a LOT of the ball, and a LOT and I think he did well in his position. However, he needed and had cover in Sandro, Gallas, and Kaboul.

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    spursman18 (28-12-2011)

  6. #4
    spursman18's Avatar
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    Also, a team can certainly attack in one formation and drop back to another. This can be quite difficult to do over the course of a game but it can be effective is you're trying to accommodate a certain element in how you want your team to play.

  7. #5
    Dustin's Avatar
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    @amerispurs

    We were so dominant against norwich city that we did not have to be very diligent in our defensive formation. Norwich played a 4-3-1-2 but because they were on defense so much of the time, we hardly saw it.

    Sandro and parker clearly played defined positions compared to the chelsea game, I am not sure if this was because it was clearly needed or if it was in response to the "1-2" formation of norwich city's offensive three (in which the "1" can play in the space between our midfield and CBs and cause trouble).

    So for the entire game we played a 4-1-4-1 formation that looked like this (would be easier to if I could include arrows*):

    Walker--Gallas--Kaboul--BAE
    -------------Sandro-----------
    --VDV--Parker---Modric--Bale
    --------------------------------
    ------------ADE----------------

    *Within this, VDV often moved to his left into the CM and Bale often moved forward and to his right into a more offensive position.

    Some points that are important about our formation against NCFC:
    1. We dominated a far less talented team and therefore our players were able to play with less structure than they would have if they had to play stricter defense.
    2. Sandro played on top of the CBs and did not move forward, instead playing conservatively covering our back line, this left parker (who played a right CM) and modders (who played a Left CM) to move as they wished and not have to be too mindful to their defensive transitions. This was also a big change to how Sandro/Parker played together against chelsea - where their roles were often confused.
    3. Both Modric and Parker were reluctant to make runs from the midfield up into the space behind/beside Ade. This created a problem for us and resulted in too much space between our flat CMs and Ade.
    4. The space between the CMs and Ade (see #4) was often filled by runs/movement by Bale. Unfortunately this was not filled by VDV (who didn't move as advanced as Bale did in our offensive transitions). VDV rather played a supporting role on the right CM (that mirrored modrics role on the left CM) and crowded the space in front of Parker. Both Bale and VDV floated freely, but especially in our offensive third, this meant 5 spurs players right around the top of the penalty area. This became too crowded and made it difficult for us to find space to create solid chances.
    5. Ade therefore was left a little bit isolated in our offensive transitions and needed penetrating runs from the midfield which only came from Bale - we needed similar runs by Modric, Parker and VDV (during transitions and possession). Instead, if Bale was not there the ball would eventually go out to walker or be knocked around by modric/vdv without penetration. This game screamed for JD, shame he was not available.
    6. We ended up being much too narrow, as talented as our players are they do better with space and pace than they do with possession and tight passing situations - we are no close-quarter tiki-tac team. Mostly our only width came from our FBs, and our crossing into the box rarely looked threatening.

    Overall, I think this was another sub-par performance tactically (4 in a row now). We just are not using space effectively, though I must admit it was great to see parker and sandro get their roles defined. Also, if we can see more penetrating runs by parker and modric, Bale will not have to fill the space behind Ade all of the time and can stay wide and give us more space. Lastly, VDV did not appear to have a great impact on the game and positionally he clashed with parker - that said, his use of space in and around the penalty area was brilliant. I honestly felt he was hard-done not to score one or two. He repeatedly was not passed the ball after finding space in fantastic positions.

    The good news is that we still are not clicking the way we could be (notice our shots/passes around goal are just not quite in sync). This is good because it will continue to improve, and we will need to get stronger to keep pace with the manchester clubs - which is well within our means. The fact that we can easily become even better than we already are is really saying something.

    Edit: *both backs move forward as wing backs (I know this is pretty much assumed so I failed to mention it).
    Last edited by Dustin; 28-12-2011 at 05:28 PM.

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  9. #6
    Dustin's Avatar
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    I should also add that when VDV crowded Parker's space, parker usually deferred to him and let VDV take the more advanced role. All of our midfield 4 (VDV, parker, modric, bale) moved very fluently and therefore this was less of a problem than I thought it could have been if parker hadn't of adjusted.

  10. #7
    EliteKiller's Avatar
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    Although people are saying we played

    Walker--Gallas--Kaboul--BAE
    -------------Sandro-----------
    --VDV--Parker---Modric--Bale
    --------------------------------
    ------------ADE----------------

    I think it was far more advanced than this ...

    W--- Gallas --- Kaboul --- B
    A
    L --- Sandro -- Parker --- A

    K -------- Modric ---------
    E
    R -- VdV -- ADE -- Bale -- E



    1. We had a back two who stayed in position - Gallas and Kaboul
    2. We had two wing-backs who played up and down either flank - BAE and Walker
    3. We had two midfield defensive players who covered the middle and also played as left and right cover for our wing-backs
    4. We played Modric as the linchpin between the DM's and the front three
    5. We played a front three who had licence to roam all over the place

    In fact it was even more fluid than that with Bale and VdV dropping back as Modric roamed forward. This to me was a very creative response to our lack of width without Lennon, both BAE and Walker found space out wide and having a three pronged attack left the Norwich defence not knowing who to cover.

    This is a scarily similar pattern to a certain Catalan side ..... except our FB's are quicker .....

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    gabrielconroy (28-12-2011)

  12. #8
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    After the game, 'arry said that we played almost a 4-3-2-1 (4-3-3) second half as he gave VDV and Bale license to "do what they want"

  13. #9
    amerispurs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
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    I should also add that when VDV crowded Parker's space, parker usually deferred to him and let VDV take the more advanced role. All of our midfield 4 (VDV, parker, modric, bale) moved very fluently and therefore this was less of a problem than I thought it could have been if parker hadn't of adjusted.
    I did notice VDV looked out of place at times. I think he struggled with figuring out his license vs. his defensive responsibilities in the first half. However, in the second half he moved more freely and he and Bale moved very well. I just find it interesting that we moved Bale in the attacking role, very tevezesque to pop up anywhere in the final 3rd, rather than Rafa. It seems that Rafa is the odd man out in this formation, or is he confused say? I just like the fact we are doing something different and we have the players for it, and better yet we have the quality of players to change and BE SUCCESFUL at it.

    Referring to the Chelsea game, the system worked in my opinion in the first half. We overloaded the midfield and stifled them to great success. The downfall was Cole having freedom on the left. To combat that we should have had more discipline with Sandro/Parker as the covering roles, or told walker 2/3 only. But looking back it was a good use of the players we had in the first half, not the second half, and we all know how that turned out.

  14. #10
    Chorazin's Avatar
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    I think Bale and VDV were very fluid, i would of liked to see a heat map of Bale's presence at the end of the game. I was an advocate of at least attempting the 4-2-3-1(which is very much what the formation was based on something like a 4-1-2-2-1 if you want to be pedantic) with the players we have at Spurs and i feel Kranjcar could easily fill in for VDV(yes those hamstrings) in this role, BAE and Walker will still get forward and provide the width, and VDV or Bale are free to roam where they like, if they want to provide width it's well within their license. Adebayor's role doesnt change and Modric will still sit in midfield looking to pass around with Sandro and VDV to keep possession. VDV and Modric can both fulfill that midfield creator role and distribute the ball nicely, some of the long balls that VDV has hit in the past couple of matches, 1 to BAE the other to Adebayor were just impeccable.

    I think whilst Spurs kept possession well (60%) they were a bit profligate in the final third, still with 20 attempts all together there are obviously chances being manufactured, and there was maybe 1 longer range effort from VDV just outside the box, that is overall pretty good. And this formation will take a little bit of time to adapt to, as Dustin said there will be improvement the more the players get used to playing in this style. I thought Spurs looked better in the first half with VDV on the field in a similar 4-2-3-1 against Chelsea than the second half and sticking Modric out wide in a 4-4-2 with Pav and Adebayor up front. Norwich actually deserve a bit of credit, they defended in numbers and defended well.

    Despite Walker and BAE getting forward i think we still looked solid defensively having Sandro sweeping the midfield and Gallas/Kaboul set off him on the flanks in a flat pyramid, Walker is incredible, he will sprint forward to be in on an attack and sprint back to take part in the defence, has a big future ahead of him with that kind of engine. BAE looked like he tired a little but having Rose come on for him is perfect and good for Rose to get some play time.

    The ability to play this formation gives us flexibility when we do have injuries to players like Lennon, or we want to play a more solid midfield with Sandro and Parker, im sure the flying wings will return when Lennon gets back to full fitness but if we can continue to get results and improve with the current setup it allows us that option to change things up. I've always maintained that Bale is a young player and could easily add more to his game than just tearing down the wings firing in crosses if given the opportunity to learn playing in different roles and positions.

  15. #11
    BigDub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havocc View Post
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    After the game, 'arry said that we played almost a 4-3-2-1 (4-3-3) second half as he gave VDV and Bale license to "do what they want"
    ....and some say Harry isn't a good tactician!!


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  17. #12
    boo
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    W--- Gallas --- Kaboul --- B
    A
    L --- Sandro -- Parker --- A

    K -------- Modric ---------
    E
    R -- VdV -- ADE -- Bale -- E


    you know, when you look at that line up, there are goals everywhere! goodness me, not only that, but van der vaart and modric are football players. we have 2 of them on the same park! huddlestone would make it 3 : P

    would be great to see something like this again.

  18. #13
    amerispurs's Avatar
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  20. #14
    Dustin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amerispurs View Post
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    I wish I could get the damned guardian chalkboard heat maps to export properly so I can put them on this forum, but the way the mail shows that is a bit hard to read, the heat maps show that Bale spent 2/3 of his time on the left against norwich. Also heatmaps show the extent to which VDV stayed on the right, which was more significant than discussed in this thread. AND they show that Sandro played behind parker, not beside him. Parker played right of center or often out to the wing when VDV came inside (I think this was more of a defensive move by parker than offensive).

    Does anyone know how to get the chalkboards to export so I can link them on this forum? When I publish them the graphics never show up for some reason.

  21. #15
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    If you have any image editing software u could just take a screenshot while ur looking at them with the printscreen button, this copies whatever ur currently viewing to your clipboard, then just open up ur image editing program paste them into that, snip them to size, and upload them. Then you can even add neat commentary text and arrows, maybe even some naked women in various poses overlaid on the heat maps.

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