4 at the back doesn't work with our squad?

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Fulwood Blade

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So has it for us or hasn't it?

SJ made it quite clear that he ideally wanted to play 4 at the back instead of our squad based 3 at the back and wing backs that he inherited from CW.

It hasn't worked since the first game for me and we've been constantly picked off by well organised and patient teams. In possession we look pretty decent, but out of possession we've been done numerous times.

Egan is now more of a free player with Bash and Davies either side. No goals conceded in the past 2 games at least gives us something to build on.

Norwood and Fleck (hopefully he's back soon) are relieved of the need to be centre midfield cover players - both have qualities, but not in the defensive capacities needed when a team pushes up as much as we do. There's nothing particularly wrong with 4 at the back and full backs that push up like wing backs, but as the first part of the season has shown, we need to now keep this 3 at the back OR bring in 3/4/5/6 players to play exactly the way that SJ ideally wants?

We don't have the cash or might not even get in that many players especially when the JTW coming up.

3 at the back to stay? - it's a yes from me - we just look more comfortable as a team.

UTB
 

Wards

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Don't necessarily think it's the 4 at the back that doesn't work, more like the players that sit in front of it that make the 4 look exposed.

If 3-5-2 can get us through to January then I still expect Slav will revert to 4-2-3-1 if he can get players in.
 

John Street West Terrace

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We’ve got to for the time being with the current squad as at least it’s stopped us shoring goals & picking up no points. .Unfortunately the knock in effect of it is that we offer very little creativity going forward if the wing backs aren’t pushing on or delivering
For me we have to stick with it for the foreseeable to get some points on the board between now & JTW and see if the manager is able to shuffle his pack then .
First & foremost we need some points on the board to get us out of the lower end of the table ⚔️
 

pommpey

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I've been all for us ditching three at the back because it would stop us playing Wilderball. But two clean sheets tell their own tale and if Davies - Egan - Basham gives us that then it needs to stay. But yesterday we had an unbalanced version with Bogle tonning up the flank wanting to attack and cause problems, working very well with MGW and Norwood and on the other side Stevens optionless and exposed. That needs fixing. We need to be able to transition from 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 to 3-4-2-1 with Stevens and Bogle advancing and working with a more 'tucked in' Ndaiye and MGW. Both these players are best advancing into the opposition final third from channels 2 and 4 with the wingbacks overlapping and the possibility of a shot on target and a ball to feet for the lone striker.

But the elephant in the room is replacing Fleck and Norwood. We need industry and graft and one of those needs to drop and play blocker whilst the other should be Mr Box-to-Box, much like the Brown/McCall pairing we had once.

pommpey
 

Weasel

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It has also helped that Fodderingham has looked more stable , and looked more commanding of his penalty area

Agree. Admittedly he hasn't been helped by our defending but Olsen has looked like a bomb scare most of the time. That then passes negative vibes onto an already shaky defence and its a vicious circle. Something needed to change and in way I'm quite pleased that Olsen was unavailable after the Blackburn debacle as it forced Slav into making a change between the sticks. The change to 3 at the back is also a massive plus for us as the players we have at the moment suit that system the best. I'd also like to see us go 4-2-3-1 when possible but we just don't have enough players who can play that way to a winning standard atm.

Slav needs to bring in his hand picked players who he wants if he wants to change to a 4 at the back again and certainly give the team more physicality and mobility in the middle of the park which Norwood and Fleck simply don't give us right now. Egan, Davies and Bash all look a lot more accomplished and confident in a 3.

3 at the back for now with a long term view to change it if necessary in the future.
 
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blades14

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Funny how when we’ve gone to a back 3 we’ve created absolutely nothing yet again. It’s the same as last season. We would be fine in a back 4 if you just played Basham as a DM in midfield
 

bertieblade

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We either have five defenders or five attackers, but either way we have no midfield. Thus the reason why one system creates and the other makes us more solid at the back. Desperately need wide players who can get beyond defenders and a midfield player who actually likes a tackle
 

Wards

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An energetic ball winning and ball carrying midfielder is vital if we're to continue with it. I do rate Norwood and there's definitely a place for him in a 5 at this level. Would like to see Berge next to him and suspect we will do now Flecky is out for a while. He probably isn't as destructive as we'd want but he'll make us tougher to play through and has the ability to progress the ball up the pitch which neither Norwood nor sadly Fleck have been able to do for a while.
 

Davalon

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Largely agree with all the comments.

With the squad we have there only seems to be two options. One offers more protection defensively, the other more creativity.

We are where we are and imho little will change for any manager until different players are brought in.

It's really frustrating to read or hear people slagging the last two performances off when the very same people were critical of us playing a back four.

It's been even more disappointing to see so many have the knives out early and be on the manager's and most players' backs under the circumstances.

At least the fans there last night got behind the team.
 

Snowflake

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Largely agree with all the comments.

With the squad we have there only seems to be two options. One offers more protection defensively, the other more creativity.

We are where we are and imho little will change for any manager until different players are brought in.

It's really frustrating to read or hear people slagging the last two performances off when the very same people were critical of us playing a back four.

It's been even more disappointing to see so many have the knives out early and be on the manager's and most players' backs under the circumstances.

At least the fans there last night got behind the team.
The last two performances have been poor, so I don’t see why there should not be criticism on this forum.
Yes, they have been better defensively, but overall it is a poor standard of football, with some very slack passing and few chances created.
That is different from slagging off players or indulging in personal abuse, which has no place anywhere.
If we are positive and win on Sunday I will happily acknowledge that, as I will when I think they are underachieving.
 

CaptainMorgans

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I'd said for a while we need to go back to a 3 until we get the right players in. We were an open door playing with a 4 being protected by Norwood. It literally handicapped us by at least 1 goal every game. We had very little foundations to go & grab something.

Glad to see pragmatism has won the day. I fancy us in this formation to not be as easy to pick off and goalscoring, whilst not exactly free flowing, also hasn't been a major issue for this side.

I'm not seeing a team that's going to go on a sudden charge up the table. But, with this system, I also don't see us getting sucked into anything silly. At this stage, that's all we can ask for.
 

Dark muffy

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I think its improved us massively just by playing one of our best players for the last 5 years again. I always found that we tended to do better when we played our better players when I played footy. Bit of a crazy concept I know, but it might even catch on. This radical innovation could even be tried in other team sports too. I'm Just happy to see Bash back.
 

SwissBlade

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So has it for us or hasn't it?

SJ made it quite clear that he ideally wanted to play 4 at the back instead of our squad based 3 at the back and wing backs that he inherited from CW.

It hasn't worked since the first game for me and we've been constantly picked off by well organised and patient teams. In possession we look pretty decent, but out of possession we've been done numerous times.

Egan is now more of a free player with Bash and Davies either side. No goals conceded in the past 2 games at least gives us something to build on.

Norwood and Fleck (hopefully he's back soon) are relieved of the need to be centre midfield cover players - both have qualities, but not in the defensive capacities needed when a team pushes up as much as we do. There's nothing particularly wrong with 4 at the back and full backs that push up like wing backs, but as the first part of the season has shown, we need to now keep this 3 at the back OR bring in 3/4/5/6 players to play exactly the way that SJ ideally wants?

We don't have the cash or might not even get in that many players especially when the JTW coming up.

3 at the back to stay? - it's a yes from me - we just look more comfortable as a team.

UTB
I would rather look at the players we have rather than getting too hung up on a back 2 or 3.

I think for the time being, our best defensive line up, given the players in front and Slav's desire to want to play a striker with two number 10's in behind, then Bash-Egan-Davies works well.

Bash for me has to play, could never understand his time out of the side because he's such a key player to us. I don't think that Egan and Davies alone works unless we look to bring in a nastier DCM that wins the ball and allows the likes of Norwood/ Hourihane/ Berge to spray the ball about to the wider players (wingers or Wingbacks) or the likes of Gibbs-White and Ndiaye.

I'm sure in time that a back 2 will work, but for now we have to go with what works defensively and that appears to be Bash-Egan-Davies
 

derekacorah

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3 CB's definitely makes us more solid. The next step is to get the 2 midfielders moving into positions to receive the ball after we've worked it across. 3-5-2 doesn't work if the end product is the ball getting to a wing back and then coming to a grinding halt or a boot into the channels for our forwards to chase.

The midfielders we've got at the moment don't give us that movement so it's going to be a boring and frustrating formation if we stick with it.

The 'overlapping CB's' gave us another option under Wilder, but once it was worked out by opposition teams it stopped working. Slav seems to want his CB's to stay in position so it's not an option for us now. What Basham and Davies need to do more is to drive into midfield themselves when the space appears. Bash does but Davies pisses about with it for too long.
 

Davalon

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The last two performances have been poor, so I don’t see why there should not be criticism on this forum.
Yes, they have been better defensively, but overall it is a poor standard of football, with some very slack passing and few chances created.
That is different from slagging off players or indulging in personal abuse, which has no place anywhere.
If we are positive and win on Sunday I will happily acknowledge that, as I will when I think they are underachieving.
I'm not talking about all criticism.

The point is more that some are hypocrites and just have an agenda.

Say its crap and demand a change back to the old system. Get that and then moan or take the piss.

We have too many fans who don't look at the bigger picture and certainly have no patience.
 

BerksBlade

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I would rather look at the players we have rather than getting too hung up on a back 2 or 3.

I think for the time being, our best defensive line up, given the players in front and Slav's desire to want to play a striker with two number 10's in behind, then Bash-Egan-Davies works well.

Bash for me has to play, could never understand his time out of the side because he's such a key player to us. I don't think that Egan and Davies alone works unless we look to bring in a nastier DCM that wins the ball and allows the likes of Norwood/ Hourihane/ Berge to spray the ball about to the wider players (wingers or Wingbacks) or the likes of Gibbs-White and Ndiaye.

I'm sure in time that a back 2 will work, but for now we have to go with what works defensively and that appears to be Bash-Egan-Davies
Agree with all of that Swiss. The players we have just look more comfortable with 3 CBs.
 

ancientblade

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I've been all for us ditching three at the back because it would stop us playing Wilderball. But two clean sheets tell their own tale and if Davies - Egan - Basham gives us that then it needs to stay. But yesterday we had an unbalanced version with Bogle tonning up the flank wanting to attack and cause problems, working very well with MGW and Norwood and on the other side Stevens optionless and exposed. That needs fixing. We need to be able to transition from 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 to 3-4-2-1 with Stevens and Bogle advancing and working with a more 'tucked in' Ndaiye and MGW. Both these players are best advancing into the opposition final third from channels 2 and 4 with the wingbacks overlapping and the possibility of a shot on target and a ball to feet for the lone striker.

But the elephant in the room is replacing Fleck and Norwood. We need industry and graft and one of those needs to drop and play blocker whilst the other should be Mr Box-to-Box, much like the Brown/McCall pairing we had once.

pommpey
cant understand why ben osborn isnt given a run at lwb hes the best weve got imo and certainly better than enda and rnd although he may have to fill in for flecky now in midfield
 

John Street West Terrace

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I'd said for a while we need to go back to a 3 until we get the right players in. We were an open door playing with a 4 being protected by Norwood. It literally handicapped us by at least 1 goal every game. We had very little foundations to go & grab something.

Glad to see pragmatism has won the day. I fancy us in this formation to not be as easy to pick off and goalscoring, whilst not exactly free flowing, also hasn't been a major issue for this side.

I'm not seeing a team that's going to go on a sudden charge up the table. But, with this system, I also don't see us getting sucked into anything silly. At this stage, that's all we can ask for.
My sentiments to CM 👍
 

John Street West Terrace

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cant understand why ben osborn isnt given a run at lwb hes the best weve got imo and certainly better than enda and rnd although he may have to fill in for flecky now in midfield
Can’t argue with that gotta be worth a try in terms of offering some energy down the left flank if we’re keeping with wing backs
 

guancheblade

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I've been all for us ditching three at the back because it would stop us playing Wilderball. But two clean sheets tell their own tale and if Davies - Egan - Basham gives us that then it needs to stay. But yesterday we had an unbalanced version with Bogle tonning up the flank wanting to attack and cause problems, working very well with MGW and Norwood and on the other side Stevens optionless and exposed. That needs fixing. We need to be able to transition from 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 to 3-4-2-1 with Stevens and Bogle advancing and working with a more 'tucked in' Ndaiye and MGW. Both these players are best advancing into the opposition final third from channels 2 and 4 with the wingbacks overlapping and the possibility of a shot on target and a ball to feet for the lone striker.

But the elephant in the room is replacing Fleck and Norwood. We need industry and graft and one of those needs to drop and play blocker whilst the other should be Mr Box-to-Box, much like the Brown/McCall pairing we had once.

pommpey

Two clean sheets against the mighty Coventry and Reading. Let's see how well this system fares against actual decent opposition.

And how many chances have we created in the last two games? Can count em on one hand. Between the end of the last transfer window and the Blackburn game we were top six in the league for chances created and xG. Now we are back to creating nothing again just like last season. And when we face the better teams our inability to create will mean we won't be taking any points from games.
 

Badger Blade

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The fact we've kept two clean sheets in a row which is a rarity says what's wrong with this team. We'd have beaten Coventry on Saturday if McGoldrick was capable of kicking the ball somewhere remotely near the goal because they were spent in the last 20 minutes and were there to be beaten.

Three at the back is simply to give our players some sort of continuity until we can bomb some of them out so they can at least, like in the last couple of games, get some points on the board and stop the flow of goals going in our net. Only until we get a Home Bargains version of NGolo Kante can we think about playing four at the back because Norwood/Fleck/Hourihane/Berge aren't up to doing that job.

I'd keep Foderingham in goal too, Olsen has made errors that we'd have crucified Wes for.
 

BerksBlade

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cant understand why ben osborn isnt given a run at lwb hes the best weve got imo and certainly better than enda and rnd although he may have to fill in for flecky now in midfield
Maybe Slav is wary of a repeat of the Birmingham game where Osborn's lack of height cost us? That shouldn't happen with an extra CB though.
 

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