• Welcome, guest!

    This is a forum devoted to discussion of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
    Why not sign up and contribute?

Dull as ditchwater FC

Paddingtonwolf

Profanisaurus Rex
Joined
Oct 30, 2009
Messages
69,527
Reaction score
156
I have found reading the debate really fascinating. Some really good points raised.
 

Dennisons Wrong Foot

Active member
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
816
Reaction score
54
Haven't read the Newcastle verdict thread yet, so these observations may have already been mentioned.
There were times yesterday (esp 1st half) when we played some much more entertaining one touch stuff that seemed a definite improvement on recent games. But this was all 40 yards from goal. Reach their penalty area and we just get crowded out again and again.
Saiss was our weak link yesterday, but regardless of who is playing wingback on either flank we just do not yet have the requisite level of understanding. Should Neto (or Podence) be playing as a winger with the LWB inside, or the other way round? How do Semedo and Adama line up? Personally I don't see the point in playing Adama as a winger if we don't have bodies in the box. Semedo performed fairly well yesterday but was almost lost once Adama came on and hugged the touchline.
Podence showed more trickery yesterday (not always with an end result), but it seems as though Nuno is contractually obligated to bring on Adama at some point. We have Adama , Podence, Neto vying for 2 places and none of the 3 is producing enough in the opposition box.
Great goal from Raul yesterday, but what was he doing in that position? Why did he step back from the penalty area as the cross came in? Shouldn't Neves have been the one picking up the attempted clearance?
So many times yesterday there would be five Newcastle defenders in a line across their box, with Raul et al coming back almost to the halfway line to get the ball. We all agree that his unselfish link up play is one of his greatest strengths, but it is wasted playing so deep. We looked pretty yesterday, but with no cutting edge. If Raul comes deep, someone has to occupy the defenders in the box.
So I am slowly coming to the conclusion that our best formation from an attacking point of view is neither 352 nor 343. We do not need wingers if we already have attacking wing backs (and also lack sufficient aerial threat). Perhaps 3412 will eventually be our best option, with Podence in a free role behind Raul and Silva (if he comes good).
 

The Bion

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
1,421
Reaction score
45
There were definitely Valencia and Porto fans telling us when Nuno was hired about how he was too defensive/negative. To be honest, I didn't pay them much heed at the time as much like whenever an ex-manager or player who hasn't been overly successful shows up somewhere else the natural reaction is to give the perspective of how you saw it (I doubt very many of us would have had glowing words to say about Solbakken after he left, for example). And, to be honest, Porto and Valencia have been used to success - maybe not sustained (certainly not in Valencia's case) but capable of challenging for trophies on a regular basis. So from that perspective you could maybe think they were a bit spoiled/impatient.

The counter to that though would be he was coming to a club where expectations were far lower. He has quite obviously exceeded those expectations almost entirely, even as they have raised year on year, but we were always going to come to a point where our progress would slow. Going from a start of 'is he better than Paul Lambert?' to winning the Championship -> finishing 7th and an FA Cup semi-final -> finishing 7th and a Europa League quarterfinal is a *lot* of progress, continual as well - to keep that level of pace of growth going we'd have to make the Champions League (and we were in with a shout for a while). So it might well be the case we have hit our ceiling, at least for now.

I don't know that it's fair to think he cannot change, either. It's something I've discussed with aforementioned Valencia and Porto fans before - the idea that because he did not necessarily work out for them does not mean he is stuck in some Sisyphean loop where is incapable of learning from those experiences and using them to change his methods, way of thinking etc. Managers who don't look to evolve quite quickly get exposed and I would think he's keenly aware of that - at least, judging by what he has been saying he is, anyway.

I am pretty sure these players are capable of playing very bright attacking football. We've seen them do it - I hark back to it often but the game against Spurs at home last season we absolutely blitzed them and should have been out of sight at halftime. For whatever reason we don't tend to do that though. There's 2 ways to score more goals - either create more chances, or become more efficient in converting the chances we create. Given how things have been the last few months I think there's argument we could stand to do both - we don't test the opposition keepers enough with what chances we do create, and the numbers we create aren't huge to begin with.

The forwards other than Raul absolutely have to contribute more, there is no question there. We saw it last season and it still remains now, though the personnel have changed a bit (wasn't so much an issue the first season after the switch to 3-5-2 as Jota caught fire). I do think Neto's capable, if he gets decent quality chances and isn't reduced to potshots from outside the area - he's shown has a knack for finishing already. Podence is a bit more of a question mark, his record for Olympiakos was not great, but I'll be honest and say I've no real recollection of how he played - if he was an out and out winger it would be understandable if he wasn't super prolific. His shooting seems reasonable based on the last few games so again if we can fashion some higher quality chances I'd expect him to be able to contribute. Traore also just has to contribute more goals.

Then there's the WBs, who in theory are the supplemental attackers - given what Nuno was able to do with Doherty I'd expect some progress from Semedo in that area this season, he might not be the same kind of threat but he should be able to start to offer something. On the other side it's a bit less clear - Ait Nouri's a natural attacking FB/WB who shows good understanding of where to be (though I don't think he's scored a senior goal), though when Jonny comes back it'll be interesting to see how that works out. While Jonny has improved going forwards he's still not what you would call a real threat to score - though honestly, I think at this point just being a body in the box to occupy defenders would be better than nothing. What I will say is having a natural balance on that side and someone who can create chances on each wing is critical - remains to be seen what Marcal can really do but Saiss, bless him for trying, is just not the answer there.

Would I like to see more goals from the CMs, yes, of course, but if we're sticking with this way of playing, and it seems we are, I don't think it's as critical as it seems - the WBs are more of a priority for me as that's where our attacking advantage and overloads come from. If Neves and/or whomever can chip in with 4/5 a season each then great, but I think I'd tend to lump them in more with the CBs in that I wouldn't expect much more than that.
 

Cyber

Snowflake
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
15,458
Reaction score
153
Again, to echo others this has been a good thread. My final point is regarding Traore. I just dont see a place for him other than an impact sub and even that will be limited if he doesnt make that impact. Vitanha and Fabio both will be required to do significant work to make this evolution a success.

At present we have the joint lowest goals for in the premier league outside the bottom three with six. Raul has 4 of those. It really is time for others to come to the party.
 
Last edited:

The Bear

Euro 2012 PTG Champion
Staff member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
46,911
Reaction score
319
Against teams that we know are going to sit in and defend in numbers we could afford to play Traore at RWB, and move Semedo over to the opposite side.
 

Johnny75

Dave Edwards / Steve Corica / Seyi / Darren Fergu
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
26,417
Reaction score
421
Traore just doesn't work as a RWB, he never has and never will, it's just not his game.


So I am slowly coming to the conclusion that our best formation from an attacking point of view is neither 352 nor 343. We do not need wingers if we already have attacking wing backs (and also lack sufficient aerial threat). Perhaps 3412 will eventually be our best option, with Podence in a free role behind Raul and Silva (if he comes good).

I agree with this and 3-5-2 will be our best formation. Currently we're playing with two excellent deep lying forwards/ inside wingers in Neto and Podence. Luckily for us they can also both play in a 10 role and are probably better at it, particularly Podence.

Where our current 3-4-3 is falling down and I think both Trips and YW mentioned is that we miss a deeper forward like Jota who broke forward and would often go past Raul creating an extra problem for the opposition. I didn't think we'd miss Jota but we do, or at least a player like him. With Neto and Podence deeper it means that when either pick up the ball the defence is facing us and we have to try to break them down rather than using some of the fast off the ball running Nuno has used in the pat to get players forward and create space for crosses or long range efforts centrally from Neves.

Sadly I think we've seen the best of Traore and he won't fit this system, he should be the alternative forward using his pace and trickery to go inside or out and use clever off the ball running to break the lines. The amount of times he's stood still is infuriating. Even if he drags players away using a curved run he's doing something, but standing still kills everybody else and means we're playing with 10.

That movement may well come in time and Neto, Podence and Raul may well become fluid as a front 3 and impossible to mark. Right now they look like strangers, particularly Neto and Podence who get wide when the other has the ball meaning we have Raul in the box and Raul against two big CB's when the opposition play this low block.

I'm hoping Nuno does what DWF outlines and gives Silva and Raul a go with Podence or Neto in behind and lets our wing backs be the wide men.
 

prawnking

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
1,665
Reaction score
513
Interesting points about formations. Nuno may well surprise us and do all that, but currently he seems wedded to 3-4-3 more than ever? Certainly it seems perverse to let Jota go if he was thinking of moving to a front two, given the relationship he had with Raul.
 

Norman Deeley

Dean Saunders's Press Officer
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
5,852
Reaction score
60
Well, I’ve been a member of this Forum for a good long while now and this is close to the best thread.

A couple of points: I’m not making a pro or anti-Adama here, but Tim Spiers’ stats about the number of games since he scored/Podence scored are not really valid if half those games are as a sub. Minutes since someone scored is much more relevant.

But very clearly, Adama, Podence, Neto, the WBs and the CMs need to contribute more. For all we deride a team like Burnley, their xG against Spurs last night was higher than our xG against Newcastle. It’s a simple fact but if we continue to score a goal a game, then we’re going to end the season firmly rooted in the bottom half. I was watching Ndombele charging froward with the ball last night. What I wouldn’t give for a midfielder like that…

On to Friday and I’ll pay my £15 and watch on PPV. For professional reasons I can’t watch a pirate stream & I want to watch my team so £15 it is. But am I looking forward to the game? Not really. Kilman to Coady, out to Boly, wide to Semedo, back inside to Coady, long ball… If we can predict it, so can Palace and everyone else we play.

Did I see signs of progress on Sunday? About ten minutes in I said to the wife, “Wow, that’s pretty” as the front three exchanged passes. But after 35 minutes we were commenting on how dull it was. I’d start RAN on Friday night, and I definitely want to see Vitinha get some minutes.
 

YoungWolf

World Cup 2014 PTG Champion - Not actually that Yo
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
26,042
Reaction score
680
I think with current group we have I'd be sticking with the 343 but getting Neto/Podence to play a bit nearer to Raul and start to make more runs in behind. Let Semedo/Ait-Nouri be the width as both are good 1v1 players
 

Jabbawolf

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
3,404
Reaction score
173
I think with current group we have I'd be sticking with the 343 but getting Neto/Podence to play a bit nearer to Raul and start to make more runs in behind. Let Semedo/Ait-Nouri be the width as both are good 1v1 players
I like this - have Neto and Podence as kind of inside forwards supporting Raul, leaving NS and RAN to really push on.
 

Cyber

Snowflake
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
15,458
Reaction score
153
actually I would like to see a bit more of Vitanha and Fabio before judging our best 11. If one of those can create a partnership with Raul then 3-4-1-2 is the way to go with Neto/ Podence as the 1.
 

Wilf Wolf

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
123
Excellent thread. Given Nuno's cautious approach the one change we need to make is get some threat from LWB to give some balance and make us less predictable. Combine this with getting Neto and Podence in the box more often and we will offer far more goal threat. The other change I'd like to see is trusting our defenders to defend when they outnumber the opposition. We need Neves further up he pitch. Newcastle surrendered two thirds off the pitch so when teams play like that we need to push more numbers forward or our front three just get smothered as they are so outnumbered. If Neves/Moutinho are not going to get in the box we need our wingbacks or inside forwards to get in there rather than both play out wide.

Ait Nouri was good enough to perform well against PSG so he should be good enough in the PL, especially against teams that sit back. I really cannot see what Marcal was going to bring to the table on Sunday that was much different to Saiss whereas AN would surely have brought some attacking threat.
 

pavlosmacwolf

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
10,373
Reaction score
30
As someone else said, I saw the thread title and thought....oh shit, however as many have remarked it is a brilliant thread.
For me I wasn't expecting a top six season from the moment Juno said we have to change after Seville.
Many new players brought in, having to get used to each other, many young players who have to get used to cootie in the premier league, so I think the first few games have have brought a better points tally than I expected, considering the amount of pre season we simply didn't have.
The international break was I'll conceived and for us I thought detrimental, when we needed our players old and new on the training ground.
I think we need at least five or six games more before we can judge the new system, and some newbies needing that to acclimatise to the wolves way.
All in all, could be better, but then it could be a lot worse.
I think on a personal player point of view, Adams has to re learn some new stuff, especially how to use Semedo, who I think is going to be a monster player, once he gets his feet under the table.
 

PuntsWolf

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
9,433
Reaction score
355
I think with current group we have I'd be sticking with the 343 but getting Neto/Podence to play a bit nearer to Raul and start to make more runs in behind. Let Semedo/Ait-Nouri be the width as both are good 1v1 players
I honestly have no idea why the forwards play so wide. Literally killing any effect of the WBs and leaving Raul so isolated and not able to get anyone in the box bar Donck. So easy to play against.
 

1986

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
I'm happy to give Nuno the benefit of the doubt for now . He has helped us to climb out of holes before and will do so again I believe . By the way - the hole is one where we are only 9th in the table , 3 points off the lead !
Our starting 11 contains a lot of new players still finding their feet - Podence , Neto , Kilman , Semedo and whoever the LWB will be . That's a lot of change .
Would anyone here consider Saiss in the middle of the field ? Not a bad passer of the ball and can get in the box and knows how to score .

Nuno was clearly angry at the concession of the late goal on Sunday and made his feelings known . I would be expecting a reaction on Friday , but they will be coming for the draw as well .
 

Cyber

Snowflake
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
15,458
Reaction score
153
I'm happy to give Nuno the benefit of the doubt for now . He has helped us to climb out of holes before and will do so again I believe . By the way - the hole is one where we are only 9th in the table , 3 points off the lead !
Our starting 11 contains a lot of new players still finding their feet - Podence , Neto , Kilman , Semedo and whoever the LWB will be . That's a lot of change .
Would anyone here consider Saiss in the middle of the field ? Not a bad passer of the ball and can get in the box and knows how to score .

Nuno was clearly angry at the concession of the late goal on Sunday and made his feelings known . I would be expecting a reaction on Friday , but they will be coming for the draw as well .
I prefer Saiss in midfield TBF. But not ahead of Donk. He isnt a LWB. Palace are not great offensively and will need some breaking down. Dont bet on goals though. 3 maximum. Shared.
 

Tredman

Missing ) If found please return
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
17,724
Reaction score
582
I prefer Saiss in midfield TBF. But not ahead of Donk. He isnt a LWB. Palace are not great offensively and will need some breaking down. Dont bet on goals though. 3 maximum. Shared.
You changed your signature :(
 

Alan

Average Post Rating - 6/10
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
26,324
Reaction score
137
Am I the only one that has noticed that half of the time it seems like Raul is wide right with Podence central? Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
 
Top