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Bigdoggsteel

Formation/tactics for next season

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So a promised change of approach, a few more ballers in the door and potentially a few more to come. What formation would people like to see this season?  To keep us on track, lets just discuss players who have signed or are on trial. No potential signings as things can go dream team pretty quickly. Be as elaborate as you like, bring tactics into it too if you know a bit. 

Can we please not turn this into a moanfest?  If you want to moan, keep scrollin!  We know we need a keeper and center half. Everybody to a man or woman knows this. 

Here are 3 potential formations. I think for any of them to work we need to drastically improve our deliveries in the final 3rd. Hopefully Downing can go some way to improving this. We were so wasteful last season from dangerous positions. Bell and Armstrong the worst offenders. I know he has divided opinion as well, but I'm actually a bit excited about having someone in the middle like Adam who is comfortable on the ball and gets it moving forward.  

3-5-2

                         Leutwiler

          Mulgrew   Lenihan  Williams

Nyambe             Adam                    Bell

               Johnson        Travis

                     Dack 

                             Graham 

4-2-3-1

                     Leutwiler

Nyambe   Lenihan Mulgrew  Bell

               Travis Johnson

 Rothwell        Dack     Downing 

                    Graham 

4-3-3

                           Leutwiler

  Nyambe      Lenihan Mulgrew    Bell 

                             Adam     

   Johnson                                  Downing

                    Dack     Rothwell

                         Armstrong 

4-4-2

                  Leutwiler

Nyambe   Lenihan Mulgrew  Bell

 Rothwell  Travis Adam  Downing 

            Armstrong Graham

 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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Of those listed I like the look of 4231 and 442 based on our personnel. To play with wing backs, I feel like they pretty much need to be your best players (or at least your fittest) and I have big doubts about Bell and Nyambe. 

Quite happy with the prospect of Adam, but he needs another couple of games in pre-season before we should even consider offering him a deal. If he can keep himself fit and perform as he apparently did in the Barrow 2nd half, I'd be happy enough. With Rodwell looking like he's gone, it's a pretty cheap replacement without weakening that part of the squad. 

On formations, I'd personally stick with 4231 and just look to improve the playing style. I probably wouldn't alter the line up you've suggested either. Adam to slot into the middle when we need to rotate or for injuries/suspensions. Williams 3rd choice centre back. Chapman and Armstrong competing for the wing positions, with Brereton and Nuttall challenging Graham for the front spot. 

Edited by RoverKyle

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My guess is that we'll start off trying to play wing backs, it won't work because we don't really have the personnel for it, and we'll hastily revert to the sludgy 4-2-3-1 we used most of last season.

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2 minutes ago, RoverKyle said:

Of those listed I like the look of 4231 and 442 based on our personnel. To play with wing backs, I feel like they pretty much need to be your best players (or at least your fittest) and I have big doubts about Bell and Nyambe. 

Quite happy with the prospect of Adam, but he needs another couple of games in pre-season before we should even consider offering him a deal. If he can keep himself fit and perform as he apparently did in the Barrow 2nd half, I'd be happy enough. With Rodwell looking like he's gone, it's a pretty cheap replacement without weakening that part of the squad. 

On formations, I'd personally stick with 4231 and just look to improve the playing style. I probably wouldn't alter the line up you've suggested either. Adam to slot into the middle when we need to rotate or for injuries/suspensions. Williams 3rd choice centre back. Chapman and Armstrong competing for the wing positions, with Brereton and Nuttall challenging Graham for the front spot. 

Agreed, while the 3-5-2 lineup looks fairly good on paper (should we get the required new players in) our fullbacks in general are not good enough and we dont have much strength in depth in those positions although I do feel Bell would be better as a wingback. We also barely have enough CBs for two positions let alone three and without much backup behind them either.

The 4-3-3 looks a little unbalanced there and would rather see Johnson and Downing/Travis more central than wide with the front three being wider apart as well. Unfortunately, this formation doesn't suit Dack at all. Armstrong and Rothwell could provide the pace and with that this formation requires which would leave Dack either being some kind of false 9 or DG coming in but I feel he lacks the pace for that setup. 

That leaves 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2, the two formations our personnel probably suits the best. I would prefer the former with this fabled new passing/possession game that we're apparently aiming towards. This would mean no more Smallwood and Evans and hopefully Travis and Johnson instead providing a little bit more creativity and forward thinking into our game rather than just two defensive midfielders shielding a back four (ironically not providing much protection considering our goals against column). 

Edited by JacknOry

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I think we'd struggle with 4-4-2 as we don't have the wide players to provide defensive cover for the flanks, and Nyambe and Bell would need protection. Theoretically you could put Bennett on the right wing and he would cover defensively, but he wouldn't provide enough assists to make it worthwhile.

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I suppose the good thing about wingers and pace is we do have Armstrong and, hopefully, Chapman as options. I just prefer the look of Downing in one of the slots now. I just watched so much wastage by Armstrong in particular from good positions in the final third. Clearly Downing is a good few gears slower, but no point beating the full back if A-you don't actually need to or B-the cross will be wasted anyway 

I would have question marks over us playing with wing backs due to the personnel. I don't know if Bell and Nyambe are well rounded enough to attack and defend effectively. I can't help but think we are going to need to add that string to our bow though. We had problems with teams who played 3 at the back last season, every time. Then we would end up just copying them. Not good enough. We need to be the ones the opposition are forced to adapt and react to, not vice versa 

It's a lot to do in a few weeks of pre-season when you think about it. At the end of the day results are what matter and we can't be experimenting to the detriment of them come the start of the season. 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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Just now, Bigdoggsteel said:

I just prefer the look of Downing in one of the slots now.

Downing played most games in central midfield for 'Boro last season, so I read. I don't think Mowbray is going to be sticking him in one of the wide-forward areas (don't forget that Mowbray doesn't play with traditional wingers, whether it's your 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation). I think Mowbray will try to do with Downing what he tried to do with Whittingham in our League One season, but something tells me that Downing might have guarantees of a regular starting spot.

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8 minutes ago, OnePhilT said:

Downing played most games in central midfield for 'Boro last season, so I read. I don't think Mowbray is going to be sticking him in one of the wide-forward areas (don't forget that Mowbray doesn't play with traditional wingers, whether it's your 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 formation). I think Mowbray will try to do with Downing what he tried to do with Whittingham in our League One season, but something tells me that Downing might have guarantees of a regular starting spot.

No, I reckon he will go in one of the wide slots predominantly. Graham and Mowbray both spoke about his crossing ability. I can see one of him or Adam with a more physical type like Travis or Johnson in the middle, but I think Adam will get the nod more often. 

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52 minutes ago, DE. said:

I think we'd struggle with 4-4-2 as we don't have the wide players to provide defensive cover for the flanks, and Nyambe and Bell would need protection. Theoretically you could put Bennett on the right wing and he would cover defensively, but he wouldn't provide enough assists to make it worthwhile.

Could work as an overlap? Particularly if we do the same on the left with Downing (cross from deep) covering Bell bursting forward.

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Of the ones listed I’d prefer the 4-2-3-1 version. 

Plus all of your other teams have Charlie Adam in them! :P 

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God I hope we dont sign Adam. I would rather we played our best players and found a formation which suited them:

Nyambe

Lenihan

Travis

Johnson

Rothwell

Dack

Arma

Chapman

Graham

That squares off the following which must play:

Keeper

Nyambe Lenihan CB LB

Travis Johnson

Rothwell Dack Chapman

Graham

Arma misses out, for now.

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Firstly, absolutely no need for the moanfest comment. 

I'd rule out the 4-4-2 straight away as it doesnt allow our best player to fit in.

Ultimately with the squad we have, I think that 4-2-3-1 best suits the personnel, however it doesn't have to be as rigid and unimaginative as it was last season. We need to ensure that the central midfielders are trusted enough (and perform well enough) to play through the midfield rather than constantly direct, and we need to have more scope for flair and pace in the wide areas, no more Bennett there, Rothwell a regular and Armstrong played on the right rather than the left, where he seems so much more effective. Chapman right amongst it to. The striker needs to be played off, even Graham who is underrated technically, rather than going for the easy percentage based long ball because it requires less brain cells. Of course, these patterns of play need working on in training until they become second nature.

I would go:

New GK

New RB/Nyambe Lenihan New CB New LB

Travis Johnson

Armstrong Dack Rothwell 

Graham

With Chapman and Davenport very much on the coat tails of that side, and the likes of Bennett, Smallwood and Mulgrew nowhere near it.

As much as the historical failures with 3 at the back put me off, the main thing in terms of going forward would be the additional recruitment needed, we only have one competent centre back, and the 2 full backs we have are not fit to play as wing backs as neither can cross a ball.

I also think we are much better when we play at a high tempo with our pressing, and I think the addition of Johnson as well as hopefully more of a part for players like Rothwell, Chapman, Davenport and Travis (only came into the team mid way through) can really help that.

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What I don't like about all those teams is Mulgrew starts in all of them! Surely Williams is ahead of him, plus we should sign one more CB.

Also Johnson Travis will be the starting partnership in midfield.

And I'll be gobsmacked if we don't start the season 4231. It suits all of our players, most importantly Dack. Move away from that and Dack becomes much less effective. 

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Interesting nobody including Brereton in anything.

TM said BB would be running the channels and dribbling this season in a more attacking formation.

Perhaps he meant out on loan in a league 1 side.

 

A settled 4-4-2 please with a tight arsed defence.

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Just now, OldEwoodBlue said:

Interesting nobody including Brereton in anything.

TM said BB would be running the channels and dribbling this season in a more attacking formation.

Perhaps he meant out on loan in a league 1 side.

 

A settled 4-4-2 please with a tight arsed defence.

I really don't get where BB fits in in any formation. Number 10/ second striker I guess. But Dack and even Rothwell look miles ahead of him.

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4-4-2 is a non starter if Dack is still at the club. I’m not meaning to be rude, but quite how anyone could even contemplate picking any team without our talisman, is beyond me. 

We build the team around him as he’s been our top scorer both seasons he has been here. 

 

Edited by K-Hod

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I just picked Mulgrews slightly against my better judgement, but I just stuck with players we currently have. Could have been Williams either. Ideally we sign a new centre half though. 

They were just some random teams I came up with. I don't think we could play one that didn't suit Dack. Knowing Mowbray, it will probably be 4-2-3-1 with Johnson, Downing and New keeper in and the rest last seasons side. I'm starting to think he's going think changing the keeper is enough. I think he will sign a centre half, but he won't start him. I would disagree with this approach. Mulgrew would need to have upped his game dramatically. 

 

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GK

Nyambe Lenihan New CB Bell

—————Johnson———

——Travis ————-Dack—

Arma———————-Rothwell

————-Brereton—————

Side has balance and threats on the wings. 

Edited by Fraserkirky

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The best way to get the best out of Dack is a 352, Tony likes it but we just dont have the players for it.  Particularly defensively...lenihan can't play it, del definitely can't,  

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13 hours ago, J*B said:

That squares off the following which must play:

Keeper

Nyambe Lenihan CB LB

Travis Johnson

Rothwell Dack Chapman

Graham

Arma misses out, for now.

What has Chapman ever done at this level to suggest he is a better option than Armstrong?!

I know Armstrong isn't a winger, but theres been times last season where he has absolutely terrorised the opposition full back.

I do think he is better on the right than the left though.

Edited by MarkBRFC

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I fancy we will start with a keeper and ten out field players, hope none get sent off, and seven on the bench, three of whom come on after the 60th minute.

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1 hour ago, MarkBRFC said:

What has Chapman ever done at this level to suggest he is a better option than Armstrong?!

I know Armstrong isn't a winger, but theres been times last season where he has absolutely terrorised the opposition full back.

I do think he is better on the right than the left though.

He terrorised them and then terrorised us with his delivery. He needs to add considerably more consistency to his game. Take January out and he wasn't great. It does show he has the potential though. I would give Downing the nod over him as things stand. 

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Again though, he isn't a winger. 

He's doing the best he can in the role he has been given.

Chapman is nowhere near Armstrongs level at the minute,

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