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rammieib

Not Addressing Aerial Defensive Frailties

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Another season where as things stand we are going to be serious fragile with aerial balls into us.

Keogh wins a lot, but beyond that we’re a very small team. Bogle would be beaten by a dwarf, Malone is weak, we’ve lost Johnson, and I don’t see much height from anyone else.

The second centre back spot is unknown, Davies will help but he isn’t a ball player, Evans doesn’t fill me with a dominance style etc

I feel it’s too late that this issue will be resolved especially based on the interviews. I’m very worried going into the season that the same defensive lapses will occur again. No fault on Keogh, he just can’t do it all!

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1 minute ago, rammieib said:

Another season where as things stand we are going to be serious fragile with aerial balls into us.

Keogh wins a lot, but beyond that we’re a very small team. Bogle would be beaten by a dwarf, Malone is weak, we’ve lost Johnson, and I don’t see much height from anyone else.

The second centre back spot is unknown, Davies will help but he isn’t a ball player, Evans doesn’t fill me with a dominance style etc

I feel it’s too late that this issue will be resolved especially based on the interviews. I’m very worried going into the season that the same defensive lapses will occur again. No fault on Keogh, he just can’t do it all!

Milk cans and string always gave me extra height. Old frats will understand this comment.

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3 minutes ago, rammieib said:

Another season where as things stand we are going to be serious fragile with aerial balls into us.

Keogh wins a lot, but beyond that we’re a very small team. Bogle would be beaten by a dwarf, Malone is weak, we’ve lost Johnson, and I don’t see much height from anyone else.

The second centre back spot is unknown, Davies will help but he isn’t a ball player, Evans doesn’t fill me with a dominance style etc

I feel it’s too late that this issue will be resolved especially based on the interviews. I’m very worried going into the season that the same defensive lapses will occur again. No fault on Keogh, he just can’t do it all!

Yeah you're right. It's too late. 

See you in 2020.

On a serious note, Johnson lost his man on numerous corners costing us goals. Tomori's aerial game was his weakest area. I don't think we are any worse off, and we reached the play-off final. 

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Surely Davies coming back is the answer to this question. He may be a bit longer in the tooth but he won’t loose an arial battle all season. 

So he’s not a ball player. You can’t have it all. Either you can deal with crosses, or you can play out. Different strokes for different folks. 

But either way, Davies vs Tomori is the difference in defence between this season and last season. 

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12 minutes ago, reverendo de duivel said:

I'd expect that Liam Rosenior will make his presence felt in this department.

He certainly had enough to say about our defensive weaknesses while a Sky pundit, who better to sort it out?

I was literally thinking the same then saw your reply.

Rosenior constantly pointed this out as our main weakness alongaide letting the crosses get i to our box too easily, as an ex full back id expect he will be having a big input towards helping us with these issues. Doesnt always need to be about aerial ability either, we were poor on low crosses as well, 2 own goals vs Chelsea showed that, Villas 1st goal at Wembley was a header about 2 yards off the floor as well, all about positioning when the ball comes into the box.

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2 minutes ago, TigerTedd said:

Surely Davies coming back is the answer to this question. He may be a bit longer in the tooth but he won’t loose an arial battle all season. 

So he’s not a ball player. You can’t have it all. Either you can deal with crosses, or you can play out. Different strokes for different folks. 

But either way, Davies vs Tomori is the difference in defence between this season and last season. 

Surely we can expect someone to be capable at both? Id say Tomori can do both? Maybe Bielek could be the answer?

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4 minutes ago, DCFC1388 said:

Surely we can expect someone to be capable at both? Id say Tomori can do both? Maybe Bielek could be the answer?

Tomori clearly couldn’t, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a glaring issue. He’s young, and I fully expect him to get better in this area, but he wasn’t good at stopping crosses last season. 

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9 minutes ago, DCFC1388 said:

I was literally thinking the same then saw your reply.

Rosenior constantly pointed this out as our main weakness alongaide letting the crosses get i to our box too easily, as an ex full back id expect he will be having a big input towards helping us with these issues. Doesnt always need to be about aerial ability either, we were poor on low crosses as well, 2 own goals vs Chelsea showed that, Villas 1st goal at Wembley was a header about 2 yards off the floor as well, all about positioning when the ball comes into the box.

Cut out the crosses and reduce the need of a heading dual

 

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Would love to know just how many goals we conceded vs scored at set pieces over the last few seasons and under the last few managers.  It would be interesting to see if any managers actually had a decent record in the that regard. 

I have the impression that we always seem to concede more than we score at set plays...but that could just be my pessimistic negativity taking over. 

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It’s certainly a concern, it does look a problem carried forward from last year on showings so far- although you can’t really say cocu has had time to sort it yet!

The personnel side of it is probably something that won’t get resolved as I don’t see many changes to the first choice back line other than a centre back- unless bogle leaves. That like you say leaves us with bogle who ain’t great in the air due to size, and Malone who should be but isn’t as he can’t judge a balls flight, as our full backs. Then we have centre backs. Davies is fantastic in the air and is by a mile our best player in that regard, but he may be replaced. Then you have Keogh, who I’d actually argue has a weakness aerially that’s understated- in amongst his obvious other strengths. It’s not that he can’t win headers, but he can never seem to properly clear them- they often end up back in danger. Some coaching with him in that regard wouldn’t go amiss. But yeah,  personnel clearly does contribute to our aerial weakness and it’s unlikely much will change there from last year.

However, changes in personnel aren’t the only way we can improve on such a weakness. Coaching can also help massively. Part of our problem, particularly in set pieces, is our lack of organisation. Too often men get free headers or were caught out in some other manner. That’s something that can be improved upon with proper focused coaching which cocu may do in time- I’d argue it should be a priority in training based on what he’s seen so far. There’s also the argument that we can reduce the issue by stopping so many such situations occurring. Too often last year fullbacks and wingers would Stand off and allow crosses in. If we can learn to be more aggressive in blocking crosses, that would certainly help with the issue as well.

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3 hours ago, TommyPowel said:

Cut out the crosses and reduce the need of a heading dual

 

Well said! In the first half at Burton we did not do this.

We win our fair share of heading duels, but too often our defenders don't compete because they ignore the player they should be marking

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Certainly a concern, if Davies plays then that will help a lot and Chris Martin was one of the best front post defensive headers we had so if he plays then again it helps and if our goalkeeper whoever it may be could dominate his area that would be extremely useful 

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9 hours ago, TigerTedd said:

Tomori clearly couldn’t, otherwise it wouldn’t have been a glaring issue. He’s young, and I fully expect him to get better in this area, but he wasn’t good at stopping crosses last season. 

I personally think it's down to the fullbacks to stop the crosses and the centre backs and the other full back to deal with the crosses in our box. Every centre back will get beat in the air on numerous occasions throughout the season. I'd say Tomori was poor at judging the timing of his headers at the start of the season be improved massively. 

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Posted (edited)

I really don't understand how we can honestly post so frequently criticism of our defence over multiple seasons and exclude Keogh from the criticism (the only part of the defence that's still in place after multiple seasons).

Not saying the other players couldn't be improved/do better but this is how many players have been tried in those 4 other defensive roles in the time we have continued to have faith in Keogh:

Gk: Fielding, Legzdins, Grant, Butland, Roos, Carson,

LB: Malone, Roberts, Hoganson, Fozzy, Naylor, Warnock, Olson, Cole

CB: Tomori, Davies, Bucko, O'Brien, Barker, Whitbread, Keane, Albentosa, Pearce, Shackell

RB: Brayford, O'Connor, Freeman, Smith, Wisdom, Christie, Shotton, Baird, Bogle, Anya

Yes some of those were shockers, but some of them have previously/gone on to have more credible achievements in the championship or higher and/or been signed for significant sums by clubs who rate them as players (yes I know we paid 3 mill for calamity Claude so not a perfect reflection). 

I personally think Keoghs best run in the team has been when he hasn't been captain (alongside Davies and Barker) when he was allowed to shine in what he is good at, 1 on 1s, last ditch tackles and using the ball as a defender. Rather than what he isn't good at which is marking, reading the game or organising a defence. (not saying he is incapable of these things but in my view not his strongest attributes).

I know I am a little biased and not his biggest fan but any Keogh loyalist this season I invite you to focus on Keogh when we score. The amount of times particularly from crosses in the box he is napping for a player of his experience (In my opinion its more forgivable for a Tomori type young player) is unbelievable.

Edited by DontTrustTheDevilInside

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12 minutes ago, DontTrustTheDevilInside said:

I really don't understand how we can honestly post so frequently criticism of our defence over multiple seasons and exclude Keogh from the criticism (the only part of the defence that's still in place after multiple seasons).

Not saying the other players couldn't be improved/do better but this is how many players have been tried in those 4 other defensive roles in the time we have continued to have faith in Keogh:

Gk: Fielding, Legzdins, Grant, Butland, Roos, Carson,

LB: Malone, Roberts, Hoganson, Fozzy, Naylor, Warnock, Olson, Cole

CB: Tomori, Davies, Bucko, O'Brien, Barker, Whitbread, Keane, Albentosa, Pearce, Shackell

RB: Brayford, O'Connor, Freeman, Smith, Wisdom, Christie, Shotton, Baird, Bogle, Anya

Yes some of those were shockers, but some of them have previously/gone on to have more credible achievements in the championship or higher and/or been signed for significant sums by clubs who rate them as players (yes I know we paid 3 mill for calamity Claude so not a perfect reflection). 

I personally think Keoghs best run in the team has been when he hasn't been captain (alongside Davies and Barker) when he was allowed to shine in what he is good at, 1 on 1s, last ditch tackles and using the ball as a defender. Rather than what he isn't good at which is marking, reading the game or organising a defence. (not saying he is incapable of these things but in my view not his strongest attributes).

I know I am a little biased and not his biggest fan but any Keogh loyalist this season I invite you to focus on Keogh when we score. The amount of times particularly from crosses in the box he is napping for a player of his experience (In my opinion its more forgivable for a Tomori type young player) is unbelievable.

Taking the anti-Keogh blinkers off for a minute, Keogh is an exceptional ball playing defender at Championship level. The captain's argument is absolute nonsense as whether you've got a tight bit of fabric around your arm does not change a single thing of how you act when you're on the pitch.

Keogh is not, and never will be, a commanding aerial centre back. He's very good in other aspects of the game, both defensively and when we have the ball. It's no coincidence that despite all those players you've listed, he's been the first name on the team sheet throughout.

What Keogh does need, is a commanding centre half next to him. We were much better with Curtis next to him defensively, but that also meant defending on the edge of our own box to adjust for Rowett's style of football and how absolutely limited Curtis Davies is as a ball player.

It's very much a trade off of playing dire, defensive football and hoping you can win 1-0, or trying to play football the right way, being more exciting and potentially scoring more goals. Finding a ball playing centre back who is aerially dominant is very difficult - Sheffield United managed it and they had the crazy style of football which made it work in the extreme. They're like gold dust at this level.

I, for one, would take the odd defensive frailty at the expense of playing much better football.

The argument for me, is more in the midfield and stopping teams waltz through us like a knife through butter when we lose the ball. The key to this is midfield mobility - for that reason, I can never abide by solely Huddlestone sitting. In our case, we could do with the 6ft athlete to play the role to help aerially, but it can equally be done by a smaller player if they have the engine and reading of the game (extreme example, but think Kante before Sarri inexplicably moved him forward to play carthorse Jorginho there). If Shinnie is this player, it remains to be seen, but I still think we need another option in there.

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