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Midfield strength and pace


jono
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We have all argued the toss over Martin and hold up play, or Vydra and pace. Or Bent on the shoulder. All valid arguments. But is it the choice of attacker that is wrong ? Add to that the past grumbles about Shackle passing sideways or slowly but we always avoid the midfield discussion unless it involves George. I think the real weakness lies in the middle,of the park. 

Will Hughes has such ability with his feet and vision that it wouldn't matter if he was a lethargic snail. He is a top top midfielder who in the last 12 months has added real physical strength to his game. A few more goals and the Prem really would be trying to prise him away with hard cash rather than ITK rumours. 

In my opinion the single biggest flaw in our side is lack of midfield pace and power. Bryson when fit has pace but it's all raging terrier without the weight behind it. Johnson has the power, but lacks pace and a clinical pass. Butterfield can play a pass but doesn't drive forward often enough. 

We simply don't have a skilled player capable of driving through midfield carrying the ball. This gets hidden when George Thorne or Chris Baird are playing raking accurate forward balls, and I am hoping De Saart has the ability to do this on a regular basis. But the underlying problem remains

In old fashioned Rugby terms we have a lot of Scrum Halfs but we need an inside centre. If we can find one then all the issues of holding attackers or pacy strikers disappear. We could have a either, Both would prosper if we had the right centre mid to compliment Will. I guess that was the idea behind Lansbury ..where do we go now ? Frank Lampard :ph34r: ... Joking but you get my drift 

Opinions anyone ? 

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8 minutes ago, jono said:

We have all argued the toss over Martin and hold up play, or Vydra and pace. Or Bent on the shoulder. All valid arguments. But is it the choice of attacker that is wrong ? Add to that the past grumbles about Shackle passing sideways or slowly but we always avoid the midfield discussion unless it involves George. I think the real weakness lies in the middle,of the park. 

Will Hughes has such ability with his feet and vision that it wouldn't matter if he was a lethargic snail. He is a top top midfielder who in the last 12 months has added real physical strength to his game. A few more goals and the Prem really would be trying to prise him away with hard cash rather than ITK rumours. 

In my opinion the single biggest flaw in our side is lack of midfield pace and power. Bryson when fit has pace but it's all raging terrier without the weight behind it. Johnson has the power, but lacks pace and a clinical pass. Butterfield can play a pass but doesn't drive forward often enough. 

We simply don't have a skilled player capable of driving through midfield carrying the ball. This gets hidden when George Thorne or Chris Baird are playing raking accurate forward balls, and I am hoping De Saart has the ability to do this on a regular basis. But the underlying problem remains

In old fashioned Rugby terms we have a lot of Scrum Halfs but we need an inside centre. If we can find one then all the issues of holding attackers or pacy strikers disappear. We could have a either, Both would prosper if we had the right centre mid to compliment Will. I guess that was the idea behind Lansbury ..where do we go now ? Frank Lampard :ph34r: ... Joking but you get my drift 

Opinions anyone ? 

100% agree. The player we need is the championship equivalent of Willian Borgas da Silva of Chelsea.

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1 hour ago, jono said:

We have all argued the toss over Martin and hold up play, or Vydra and pace. Or Bent on the shoulder. All valid arguments. But is it the choice of attacker that is wrong ? Add to that the past grumbles about Shackle passing sideways or slowly but we always avoid the midfield discussion unless it involves George. I think the real weakness lies in the middle,of the park. 

Will Hughes has such ability with his feet and vision that it wouldn't matter if he was a lethargic snail. He is a top top midfielder who in the last 12 months has added real physical strength to his game. A few more goals and the Prem really would be trying to prise him away with hard cash rather than ITK rumours. 

In my opinion the single biggest flaw in our side is lack of midfield pace and power. Bryson when fit has pace but it's all raging terrier without the weight behind it. Johnson has the power, but lacks pace and a clinical pass. Butterfield can play a pass but doesn't drive forward often enough. 

We simply don't have a skilled player capable of driving through midfield carrying the ball. This gets hidden when George Thorne or Chris Baird are playing raking accurate forward balls, and I am hoping De Saart has the ability to do this on a regular basis. But the underlying problem remains

In old fashioned Rugby terms we have a lot of Scrum Halfs but we need an inside centre. If we can find one then all the issues of holding attackers or pacy strikers disappear. We could have a either, Both would prosper if we had the right centre mid to compliment Will. I guess that was the idea behind Lansbury ..where do we go now ? Frank Lampard :ph34r: ... Joking but you get my drift 

Opinions anyone ? 

Good analysis jono. Couple of years ago Jeff hendrick would often be used as an either /or with bryson as hard running was his game. Even then we'd complain he wasn't that physically imposing given his size.

It was the lack of that sort of player that was a factor  (among others) in pearsons failure.

In my youth it was players like ray kennedy of Liverpool or Bryan Robson of wba/man u. I'm afraid I don't watch enough to know where today's hidden gems might be :(

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10 minutes ago, HantsRam said:

Good analysis jono. Couple of years ago Jeff hendrick would often be used as an either /or with bryson as hard running was his game. Even then we'd complain he wasn't that physically imposing given his size.

It was the lack of that sort of player that was a factor  (among others) in pearsons failure.

In my youth it was players like ray kennedy of Liverpool or Bryan Robson of wba/man u. I'm afraid I don't watch enough to know where today's hidden gems might be :(

Spot on .. There is a list of yesteryear greats that would fill the profile. Gerrard, Charlton, Effanberg and of course Dave Mackay might be handy. .. Like you though I don't know enough about "other teams" players at Champ level but they are there for sure 

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I agree with what your saying I just don't call it strength and pace.

We need someone who's got the killer instinct that Bradley Johnson has but is better with his feet. 

Johnson has the mentality to be the aggressive, most advanced midfielder. He has enough pace and plenty of strength. However when he has the ball at his feet he becomes either overly careful or tries to hit the hardest pass in football (from the edge of the final third dipped over a defence). 

If he had the ball carrying ability of say Butterfield then that would be good. Butterfield is obviously just a bit too patient. 

But strength and pace, Johnson has that for that role. Hendrick had enough of that. 

It's just Hendrick and Bryson could get their heads up and look lively with the ball. Johnson can't. 

Somebody, whether it be Butters, Bryson, Johnson or someone else, is going to have to be braver on the ball. Be more aggressive and decisive. Cut out the head tennis. Stop kicking it where it came from. Stop waiting for Tom Ince to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Stop waiting for Hughes to do it all. 

They're all too fragile. Effected too much by the momentum of the game. Apply pressure to them and they do stop playing. 

Hughes doesn't. Even on a bad day he never stops trying to drive. But his role has more defensive support than the other role needs to. The other CM should be more focused on attacking. Like Bryson and Hendrick can do. Like Butterfield has done on occasion.

 

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13 minutes ago, Alpha said:

I agree with what your saying I just don't call it strength and pace.

We need someone who's got the killer instinct that Bradley Johnson has but is better with his feet. 

Johnson has the mentality to be the aggressive, most advanced midfielder. He has enough pace and plenty of strength. However when he has the ball at his feet he becomes either overly careful or tries to hit the hardest pass in football (from the edge of the final third dipped over a defence). 

If he had the ball carrying ability of say Butterfield then that would be good. Butterfield is obviously just a bit too patient. 

But strength and pace, Johnson has that for that role. Hendrick had enough of that. 

It's just Hendrick and Bryson could get their heads up and look lively with the ball. Johnson can't. 

Somebody, whether it be Butters, Bryson, Johnson or someone else, is going to have to be braver on the ball. Be more aggressive and decisive. Cut out the head tennis. Stop kicking it where it came from. Stop waiting for Tom Ince to pull the rabbit out of the hat. Stop waiting for Hughes to do it all. 

They're all too fragile. Effected too much by the momentum of the game. Apply pressure to them and they do stop playing. 

Hughes doesn't. Even on a bad day he never stops trying to drive. But his role has more defensive support than the other role needs to. The other CM should be more focused on attacking. Like Bryson and Hendrick can do. Like Butterfield has done on occasion.

 

I get all that but during our ridiculous winning and clean sheet run it was clear that Will was the one asked to be the attacking force of the trio. Johnson held whilst Butters sat in and kept the ball moving. Will was the one tasked with creating and getting up with Bent. It's my opinion that Butters should be given that license, to be a number 10 in essence and allow Will to dictate deeper with Johnson or De Sart holding. 

 

Or you have Bryson instead of Butters. Or I have no idea what I'm on about and I trust Mac does. :D

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5 minutes ago, Seth's left foot said:

Would you say Lansbury met that criteria?

maybe SM will have his second choice through the door in the summer.

My main gripe with Lansbury is how bad his passing is. Just from watching him you might have picked up on it but the stats help illustrate this. He tries on average 12 Hollywood balls per 90 in which only 50% are accurate and throughout his career he misplaces one short pass in five. 

To me he'd just be another BJ with slightly more productivity (bare in mind he takes penalties).

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All I want is to see Thorne, Hughes and Martin play together again, preferably for a decent run of games. We were so dominant at the end of the playoff final season.

With those 3 playing, the other midfielder can be any of Bryson, Johnson or Butters. Seeing an in-form Ince playing with them too would be great.

We've got a great keeper and good centre backs with Rawson probably a decent 4th. 3 good left backs when fit. Christie and Baird are more than adequate. Russell, Anya and maybe Camara to play left wing and be reserves. Some of Nugent, Bent and Vydra on the bench.

Our squad is strong, we just need those missing three to be together again. It will be 3 seasons without that hardly happening by May.

Next year is the one.

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2 hours ago, jono said:

We have all argued the toss over Martin and hold up play, or Vydra and pace. Or Bent on the shoulder. All valid arguments. But is it the choice of attacker that is wrong ? Add to that the past grumbles about Shackle passing sideways or slowly but we always avoid the midfield discussion unless it involves George. I think the real weakness lies in the middle,of the park. 

Will Hughes has such ability with his feet and vision that it wouldn't matter if he was a lethargic snail. He is a top top midfielder who in the last 12 months has added real physical strength to his game. A few more goals and the Prem really would be trying to prise him away with hard cash rather than ITK rumours. 

In my opinion the single biggest flaw in our side is lack of midfield pace and power. Bryson when fit has pace but it's all raging terrier without the weight behind it. Johnson has the power, but lacks pace and a clinical pass. Butterfield can play a pass but doesn't drive forward often enough. 

We simply don't have a skilled player capable of driving through midfield carrying the ball. This gets hidden when George Thorne or Chris Baird are playing raking accurate forward balls, and I am hoping De Saart has the ability to do this on a regular basis. But the underlying problem remains

In old fashioned Rugby terms we have a lot of Scrum Halfs but we need an inside centre. If we can find one then all the issues of holding attackers or pacy strikers disappear. We could have a either, Both would prosper if we had the right centre mid to compliment Will. I guess that was the idea behind Lansbury ..where do we go now ? Frank Lampard :ph34r: ... Joking but you get my drift 

Opinions anyone ? 

yes lets all slash our wrists and lets sack the manager dont know how we are three points off the play offs with such a crap team god help us all!

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3 minutes ago, ariotofmyown said:

All I want is to see Thorne, Hughes and Martin play together again, preferably for a decent run of games. We were so dominant at the end of the playoff final season.

With those 3 playing, the other midfielder can be any of Bryson, Johnson or Butters. Seeing an in-form Ince playing with them too would be great.

We've got a great keeper and good centre backs with Rawson probably a decent 4th. 3 good left backs when fit. Christie and Baird are more than adequate. Russell, Anya and maybe Camara to play left wing and be reserves. Some of Nugent, Bent and Vydra on the bench.

Our squad is strong, we just need those missing three to be together again. It will be 3 seasons without that hardly happening by May.

Next year is the one.

Might surprise you but for our 13/14 run in it was George, Bryson and Jeff more than it was with Hughes. 

Think we probably looked so good then because teams were unaware of Thorne and thus he was dictating the game which allowed us to have another runner/goal scorer. 

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9 minutes ago, smiths_tavrn said:

To be honest I think Jono's got this the wrong way round. You certainly need a midfielder with pace, power and driving through as he puts in in a 4-4-2 formation and like you say this was a factor in Pearson's failure as we don't really have one. Hughes maybe when he gets a bit stronger, However we don't play 4-4-2. Don't really want to state the obvious but we're set up to play 4-3-3 with a holding midfielder and wingers where the idea is for the two attacking midfielders to get forward quickly to support the holdup centre forward. That's how we've tried to play since Mac arrived. So no, with how we currently play a midfielder like Jonno suggests is not a requirement. If we change the way we play then maybe.

Harking back to our best football under mac and imagining that Martin is at cf,  we played a midfield 3 typically of eustace/thorne, hughes and bryson /hendrick. 

Move it on 3 years and bryson is a bit older and his effectiveness declining , hendrick is gone and we're waxing lyrical about Martins return.

In which case a midfielder whose primary atribute is running onto flicks beyond the defence would be handy. 

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22 minutes ago, cannable said:

My main gripe with Lansbury is how bad his passing is. Just from watching him you might have picked up on it but the stats help illustrate this. He tries on average 12 Hollywood balls per 90 in which only 50% are accurate and throughout his career he misplaces one short pass in five. 

To me he'd just be another BJ with slightly more productivity (bare in mind he takes penalties).

Agreed, I relentlessly looked at the CM thread to see if he was coming back and the HL thread to hope that he wasn't coming. I would like us to play Ince at no 10 now that he's playing well and allow him to link the play more.

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6 minutes ago, cannable said:

Might surprise you but for our 13/14 run in it was George, Bryson and Jeff more than it was with Hughes. 

Think we probably looked so good then because teams were unaware of Thorne and thus he was dictating the game which allowed us to have another runner/goal scorer. 

Good point, although think it was more down to the old injury to Hughes I think. I can't get over that sublime goal at home to Brighton when we oozed class.

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3 hours ago, jono said:

We have all argued the toss over Martin and hold up play, or Vydra and pace. Or Bent on the shoulder. All valid arguments. But is it the choice of attacker that is wrong ? Add to that the past grumbles about Shackle passing sideways or slowly but we always avoid the midfield discussion unless it involves George. I think the real weakness lies in the middle,of the park. 

Will Hughes has such ability with his feet and vision that it wouldn't matter if he was a lethargic snail. He is a top top midfielder who in the last 12 months has added real physical strength to his game. A few more goals and the Prem really would be trying to prise him away with hard cash rather than ITK rumours. 

In my opinion the single biggest flaw in our side is lack of midfield pace and power. Bryson when fit has pace but it's all raging terrier without the weight behind it. Johnson has the power, but lacks pace and a clinical pass. Butterfield can play a pass but doesn't drive forward often enough. 

We simply don't have a skilled player capable of driving through midfield carrying the ball. This gets hidden when George Thorne or Chris Baird are playing raking accurate forward balls, and I am hoping De Saart has the ability to do this on a regular basis. But the underlying problem remains

In old fashioned Rugby terms we have a lot of Scrum Halfs but we need an inside centre. If we can find one then all the issues of holding attackers or pacy strikers disappear. We could have a either, Both would prosper if we had the right centre mid to compliment Will. I guess that was the idea behind Lansbury ..where do we go now ? Frank Lampard :ph34r: ... Joking but you get my drift 

Opinions anyone ? 

I agree with this but totally lost you when you started talking about rugby. Is that the sport where grown men like to touch each other's tackle in a big cuddle?

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48 minutes ago, smiths_tavrn said:

So you're saying that we need a midfielder with both pace and power and none of our current midfield have both attributes?

Bryson isn't a terrier. Running about a lot doesn't make you a terrier. You need some bite too. Archie Gemmell was a terrier. 

Oh let me get to grips with your analogy. The scrum half is equivalent to what position in football? The holding midfielder I think you're suggesting. The attacking midfielder is rugby's centre? What about the fly half? Where's he in football? I'd love to know where football's centre forward is on a rugby pitch.

had a bad day at work have we? 

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