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Wolves 1-2 Everton: Verdict Thread

YoungWolf

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Thanks for this, dead interesting and the line about Nuno being caught between two stools really resonates.

I think it's clear on occasion he struggles to reconcile his natural conservatism with the progressive direction he's set us on, and you can see that in some of the players too.
This is where I think progress might be quite slow. If we want to dominate possession and territory for longer periods of time, we have to also press higher. Personally, I have no issue with the mid block we use when we are at our best which allows us to trap them in spaces to break out of and counter attack (Jonny is particularly excellent at this part of our game) but when we do that at the moment it's incredibly passive and we look a little confused. Our best spell of the game came when we stopped them playing out from the centre backs/though the middle, and we played the game in their half.
 

Johnny75

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What I would add to this is as well is that crossing (and when I say this I mean from deep, wide areas) isn't really the most effective tactic. So for all everyone is saying how Semedo didn't stop crosses etc, the few chances they created weren't from those situations. The corner has come from the clearance and then crossed in I know, but Donck should know better than allow the cross come in with so many players in the box just after a set piece.

Where we struggled mainlyI felt was from the switches of play to Digne where he could get in positions to cut back or pass into the box and when James drifted into pockets down the right to play Iwobi in behind RAN.
I agree with the crosses not yielding chances as the stats will back that up but as you say not at corners and not with our best two headers of the ball missing, that’s just madness.

Letting the switch happen is a sign of a lack of pressure on the ball. Compound that with a more compact defence and almost halving of the pitch and we’re leaving all kinds of space.

Saiss and Coady drop far too deep far too quick which isolates both FB’s and leaves Donk and Neves running at their own goal which is never a good thing. When we had 3 at the back one of the CB’s would engage a runner, either tracking back or blocking a lane. We’re now dropping off without the engagement.

On the flip side of this we have players going forward and when Neves has movement in front of him we purr and Everton were chasing shadows for a good 40 minutes.
 

YoungWolf

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I agree with the crosses not yielding chances as the stats will back that up but as you say not at corners and not with our best two headers of the ball missing, that’s just madness.

Letting the switch happen is a sign of a lack of pressure on the ball. Compound that with a more compact defence and almost halving of the pitch and we’re leaving all kinds of space.

Saiss and Coady drop far too deep far too quick which isolates both FB’s and leaves Donk and Neves running at their own goal which is never a good thing. When we had 3 at the back one of the CB’s would engage a runner, either tracking back or blocking a lane. We’re now dropping off without the engagement.

On the flip side of this we have players going forward and when Neves has movement in front of him we purr and Everton were chasing shadows for a good 40 minutes.

Yep, agree with a lot of this.

I have no issues with playing a mid block as we have for most of our three and a half years under Nuno, but as I've said if we want to dominate possession and score more goals, we are going to have to press higher most consistently at some point. And certainly not this passive stuff we are coming up with in our own half at the moment.

I can't work out if it is the consequences of where we are struggling physically to maintain intensity, as it is unlike us. We don't even break particularly effectively at the moment either.
 
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Yes it looks to be a genuine tactic. Apologies in advance if I come across as patronising.

Our full backs drop off into space so an advancing player can get to a position to put a cross in without direct pressure. This assumes two things:

1) Nuno backs his players to win any cross coming into the box which allows our midfielders that have dropped back to win second balls

2) The opposition attack the cross in numbers so leaving space for Adama and Neto in particular to attack at pace and against slower opposition

If we wanted to stop the cross at source we would get two players back against any player looking to cross the ball in. This could be a central midfielder or defender getting across on a high press whilst the full back tracks back and becomes the second pressure stopping the wide player from turning or getting a cross in.

Watching Saiss and Coady they are always pointing at players to drop in and they stay central to win the headers on those crosses. If they wanted to stop the cross they would be out in the face of the potential crosser.

The problem is neither Coady or Saiss are that good in the air to win the cross and Rui has become a vampire in the last month.

Added to this if Nuno wants to play possession football then setting up for a counter is, well, counter productive. He needs to decide what he wants to do as at the moment he is caught between two stools.

Tl;dr It’s a deliberate tactic that enables us to play on the counter.
Thank you.
Great explanation, especially the bit about creating the space in behind to counter. I think we pretty much agree though that Saiss and Coady are not the centre half’s to make this effective.
I’ve also struggled with the supposed ‘increased possession’ tactic this season. Our front four are all very much individuals and our midfield lack mobility - so we don’t have the correct personnel to make it work.
 

Johnny75

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Thank you.
Great explanation, especially the bit about creating the space in behind to counter. I think we pretty much agree though that Saiss and Coady are not the centre half’s to make this effective.
I’ve also struggled with the supposed ‘increased possession’ tactic this season. Our front four are all very much individuals and our midfield lack mobility - so we don’t have the correct personnel to make it work.

Leicester make their 4-3-3 work by playing a deep destroyer type and 2 x 8’s that break into the box. We don’t.

Liverpool’s midfield isn’t much more mobile or attacking than our 3 but the gegenpress means a high block and pressure and their wing backs fly. We don’t do that either.

I’m sure Nuno has a decision to make but I don’t think 4-3-3 should be in it and we should be looking for an 8 or 10 in our midfield as we don’t have one which makes it disjointed as you say.
 

Loki

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Saiss and Coady drop far too deep far too quick which isolates both FB’s
Could this be because they are anticipating the back pass that we seem to employ quite a lot?
 

Johnny75

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Could this be because they are anticipating the back pass that we seem to employ quite a lot?
Sorry, I meant when the opposition have the ball.
 

PuntsWolf

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Excellent and I agree with it all. My concern is if you can see it and I can see it, why has nothing been done about it? Because some of this isn’t news? Some of it has been issues before this season and others just magnified by our change in approach.
 

Tony Towner

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Excellent and I agree with it all. My concern is if you can see it and I can see it, why has nothing been done about it? Because some of this isn’t news? Some of it has been issues before this season and others just magnified by our change in approach.
Plus so will any data analyst for our opponents
 

YoungWolf

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I guess the cop out answer is it's easy for us to say harder to put into practice!

What is frustrating and encouraging is that we have spells in games where we look much more fluid, press higher and create the better chances/shots in the game.

That said, we clearly still allow the opposition centre backs to have time on the ball, so either Nuno thinks both can be done or it's a very gradual plan. Or I suppose that our centre backs aren't ready to play higher. Tuesday would have been a good time to test that in any case (or even the FA Cup game) as Everton had no out and out striker.
 

Dinowolf

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"Everton had no out and out striker".
Wasn't James Rodriguez and Richarlison playing for them as strikers?
 

Tony Towner

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One isn't a striker and didn't play as one the other came on as sub with 15 mins left
 

YoungWolf

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"Everton had no out and out striker".
Wasn't James Rodriguez and Richarlison playing for them as strikers?
Rodriguez played off of Sigurdsson, who is no natural striker. What I mean is they didn't have forwards who were going to make runs behind our centre backs.
 
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