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A Greystone Ram

Midfield Balance

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27 games played and I don't think I've ever been totally convinced by our central midfield. We seemed to have struck gold in the away games at West Brom and Middlesborough but the same trio failed to convince after that.

What's your best midfield line-up from our current squad?

If we're missing someone, what kind of player do you think we're missing? I've seen a lot of fans recently missing Will Hughes (understandably so) but personally i think we need a Jeff Hendrick style player more - an all round midfield player with a bit of physical presence.

Thoughts?

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24 minutes ago, A Greystone Ram said:

27 games played and I don't think I've ever been totally convinced by our central midfield. We seemed to have struck gold in the away games at West Brom and Middlesborough but the same trio failed to convince after that.

What's your best midfield line-up from our current squad?

If we're missing someone, what kind of player do you think we're missing? I've seen a lot of fans recently missing Will Hughes (understandably so) but personally i think we need a Jeff Hendrick style player more - an all round midfield player with a bit of physical presence.

Thoughts?

Good post. It is the midfield where the biggest problem lies for me. We need a Van Der Laan type figure, someone who can win the ball, control the midfield, provide leadership but also has the legs and energy to get us moving forward....

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We’ve missed Hendrick massively since he departed. Mount is better than Hughes (as much as I love Will), we got the balance right through October and November when Bryson was at his best and then when Wilson moved in there when Bryson got injured. Not quite found it since and we need to find it again. I always thought this was the area where we had the least like for like cover at the start of the season, probably won’t be truly addressed until the summer

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We are a better side with huddlestone as the anchor, not much better, but better. The side that started against West Brom should start every game, we dealt with them quite well and looked balanced. Waghorn must feel devalued at the moment, he was instrumental in our best performances this season. 

 

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Just missing someone who is going to have an effect on the game. Too many times this season our midfield has gone missing for one reason or another. I’m not a fan of playing Bryson in there, I don’t think he’s the answer and we seem to struggle with him playing. Mount needs to do more to stand out and lose markers. Evans needs game time otherwise we will never know how good he is fully fit. It’s strange, but we miss a dynamic player in there.

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7 minutes ago, Jimbo Ram said:

Good post. It is the midfield where the biggest problem lies for me. We need a Van Der Laan type figure, someone who can win the ball, control the midfield, provide leadership but also has the legs and energy to get us moving forward....

Van Der Laan & Daryl Powell used to DOMINATE the midfield back in the days when you didn't "need 3" in order to dominate.

Oh how they used to moan at Daryl... he'd do wonders for our midfield now!

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26 minutes ago, Carnero said:

Van Der Laan & Daryl Powell used to DOMINATE the midfield back in the days when you didn't "need 3" in order to dominate.

 Oh how they used to moan at Daryl... he'd do wonders for our midfield now!

Couldn't agree more - 'limited' players who played to their strengths, did their job and let others shine. We could do with some of those right now.

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We need a midfielder that won't hold Marriott's hand like Mount

That won't try too much like Wilson

That won't play the way he's facing all the time like Bryson

That can move quicker than a rock unlike Huddlestone

That can pass unlike Johnson 

That understands how to defend unlike Holmes 

That doesn't panic unlike Evans.

Someone that actually is a central midfielder. That's comfortable on the ball, creates angles, hits the pass, backs the play up in case he's needed again and then drops it off somewhere else where that person can have a go.

They need to be able to play without visualising their name on the back pages.

Oh, we are back at Will Hughes again.

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Midfield that played at West Brom has an argument for being our best one at the moment, but Wilson really isn’t a centre mid if we’re heing honest, his general play is poor at times. Said in the summer window we were still desperately missing a Hughes type and that’s still the case now, there’s no one to transition the play. It’s been devastating to us on a number of occasions having Bryson trying to play it, he doesn’t have the ability. Our best midfield at the moment in my opinion is probably

Huddlestone

Holmes Mount

In fact, I think it’s painfully obvious that’s the best we’ve got at the moment, so much so that if that doesn’t start on Wednesday or Saturday at least, I’ll be off on a rant. Holmes is literally the only player in the entire squad who isn’t such a pussy that he can stand the slightest challenge without losing the ball, so is our only hope as a ball carrier imo which is what we need there. He’s also as creative as our players get, so I think he has to play there for now. Long term though we need a player there, that needs to be top priority imo in this window or we’re going nowhere.

The other two I actually think are fairly well suited tbf, in a side being set up correctly, which we aren’t at the moment. Once we’re not running round like headless chickens and actually have a game plan and style and organisation we’ll be better. Huddlestone needs to restored immediately, his composure is levels above everyone else and he creates space by luring the opposition in, which once we have someone who can exploit it and create an attack in front of him rather than Bryson we’ll be good. Similar for mount, once there’s more balance and he can actually get forward, he’ll impact the game much more and we’ll see much more of what we expect from him.

Its that one position, that’s a big piece of the puzzle. A ball carrier, a creator. A bit of strength and a bit of composure. That’s what we miss. Stop the panic and the lumping and start playing through midfield.

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2 hours ago, BramcoteRam84 said:

.Mount is better than Hughes (as much as I love Will)

At some things I agree.

He is technically as good if not better. He has better balance and he has that killer instinct. He will risk possession to slide that final ball. He has an instinct for finishing moves. He's probably as good at tackling too. He changes direction better and loses opponents easier. 

But that's why he's an attacking midfielder that's not doing the central 'knitting' that we need. 

He wants to open teams up with almost every move. Hughes used to face some criticism for his more tippy tappy nature by those who couldn't understand his role. 

He feeds Mason Mount. He is the one that's more patient, moves the ball through the pitch in a way that gains Mason Mount an extra yard. A yard he's not getting right now. He's the one that's not looking to shoot because he's holding onto it to create overlaps. He assists the assist. 

They should never compete for the same spot. Just like Bryson and Hughes never should. Bryson has always been a safe easy passer in his own half. Plays 10 yards max and the way he faces. Doesn't pick the right pass at the right time. Doesn't invite pressure and then pick a pass that beats the press. He's a Mason Mount. 

Hughes is the one player we haven't got. A central midfielder. Well we have, Tom Huddlestone, but he's so slow that he can't get about enough. He's as unfussy and skilled. 

Mount just isn't getting the ball where he wants it or often enough. He's too far away.

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