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StriderHiryu

The Tactics Thread - Part 2: The 4-3-3

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Love it, great read! 

 

Will be very interesting as you’ve said to see this against Cardiff, really hope it can work but fearful Hamza gets dropped and suddenly we’re back to square one. 

 

 

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We need to sign another CM so we can continue playing these tactics. If one of Mendy/Choudhury/Ndidi gets injured or suspended we have no one adequate in reserve.

Silva will be leaving and Iborra won't have the same impact as our 3 starters because he's too slow

 

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1 minute ago, yorkie1999 said:

Said on motd we switched to a 4411 because we were getting over run,which changed the game for us

Shows you what Danny Murphy knows because he was wrong on both fronts! We started with a 433 (as shown in BBC’s own graphics) and reverted to our “usual” formation which is 4231 and has been used in almost every game this season. 

 

Those guys at BBC watch all the games simultaneously and only review the highlights, hence why they don’t see everything. 

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3 hours ago, yorkie1999 said:

Said on motd we switched to a 4411 because we were getting over run,which changed the game for us

 

2 hours ago, StriderHiryu said:

Shows you what Danny Murphy knows because he was wrong on both fronts! We started with a 433 (as shown in BBC’s own graphics) and reverted to our “usual” formation which is 4231 and has been used in almost every game this season. 

 

Those guys at BBC watch all the games simultaneously and only review the highlights, hence why they don’t see everything. 

Just playing Devil's advocate, but 4411 is very similar to 4231. The only real difference is how far forward the wingers are. I can forgive the BBC that error.

 

Great OP, @StriderHiryu. Very interesting read.

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Puel's adjustment's were excellent today, however a key concern is that our chances against Manchester City and Chelsea were primarily from winning the ball back whilst the opposition (more natural given the opponents, tbf) were in transition rather than our own work on the ball. I'm not sure a midfield three of xHamza, Ndidi and Mendy is conducive to trance creation and finishing at home to Cardiff, for example.

 

Hopefully however, Puel has realised we need to be more direct to create chances and the by playing conservatively in possession we stifle games to the benefit of literally nobody 

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4 hours ago, Stadt said:

 I'm not sure a midfield three of xHamza, Ndidi and Mendy is conducive to trance creation

 

This could explain why we are trying to sign a guy called "Baghdad Bounedjah".

 

hypno.JPG.6b2b07364f10f98b24815fc6a4925d11.JPG

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9 hours ago, urban.spaceman said:

****ing hell Strider that is sterling work!

Obviously has the 'Outlaws' staying at his gaff over the Chistmas Holidays..............

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10 hours ago, foxes21 said:

We need to sign another CM so we can continue playing these tactics. If one of Mendy/Choudhury/Ndidi gets injured or suspended we have no one adequate in reserve.

Silva will be leaving and Iborra won't have the same impact as our 3 starters because he's too slow

 

This is probably a perfect formation and style for Silva, if he is ever going to resurrect his career here he may get his chance against Cardiff. We need to rest/rotate players and Silva coming in for Ndidi against Cardiff could be a master stroke. Or just wishful thinking.

 

The other option in that position is Maddison play a bit deeper add some creativity and play Albrighton, Gray and Vardy front 3.

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58 minutes ago, HighPeakFox said:

I think you'd get very long odds indeed on Silva ever playing again for LCFC, sadly.

Something has definitely happened behind the scenes with Silva. Either he simply isn't good enough or some other kinda fall out has happened 

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4-3-3 with 3 defensive midfielders is, I hope, just a game plan to deal with Man City and Chelsea. A game plan that was actually scrapped midway through the first half yesterday to return to pretty much our usual system.

 

You could also argue that the 4-3-3 game plan actually failed in the first half against Chelsea as it invited far too much pressure on to us and we should have really been behind. Second half was improved as we seemed to commit more runners forward when we had the ball.

 

I’ve heard and seen people call for the same system and team selection against Cardiff, as if we’ve now struck a winning formula. Yesterday’s match and Saturdays match are chalk and cheese and we should adapt accordingly.

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Great post. I've definitely not digested it all though. You could start a blog or YouTube channel and get a fair bit of traffic and ad revenue (don't leave though!)

 

I did notice we've got much, much better at covering for our maurding defence. Mendy is great for that and zooming around the pitch helping out with an important pass and immediately getting back into position.

 

It's been mentioned many time this may not work so well against 11 men behind the ball. But this formation gives us a way to win against big teams - great for the FA cup. And when Barnes comes next season and (eventually...) becomes Premier Level quality it'll give us an even more threatening front three.

 

 

 

 

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I only skim read your amazingly thorough review. Good work, however, sir.

 

At the risk of over simplifying things, I noticed after 20 mins yesterday and half time on Saturday was us being ballsy enough to play our own game. Knocking into Mendy into the heart of the pitch (prepared to receive under pressure), followed by a quick triangle out to Chilwell. 

 

An old adage is for players to 'win your battles' ....I thought that we collectively shook off any inferiority complex and just looked at the man, not the hype, and took our tactics to them.

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Foxxed said:

I did notice we've got much, much better at covering for our marauding defence. Mendy is great for that and zooming around the pitch helping out with an important pass and immediately getting back into position.

Switching Mendy for Iborra as the sitter definitely produced better results. I think Mendy is a very good team player that is consistent and fulfills a very important role in whichever system we play. He's an intelligent player and it's no wonder Puel trusts him; he was Puel's captain when he was manager of OGC Nice.

 

6 hours ago, Ricey said:

You could also argue that the 4-3-3 game plan actually failed in the first half against Chelsea as it invited far too much pressure on to us and we should have really been behind. Second half was improved as we seemed to commit more runners forward when we had the ball.

I’ve heard and seen people call for the same system and team selection against Cardiff, as if we’ve now struck a winning formula. Yesterday’s match and Saturdays match are chalk and cheese and we should adapt accordingly.

You could definitely argue that! It must be noted that in all of the games, Puel has switched it back to 4231 after a certain amount of time. What I find interesting is the timing for all of the changes. Against Chelsea we scored playing a 433, but changed the system shortly after, and it was the same scenario against Man City too. My gut feeling is because Puel wanted to restore the double pivot of Mendy and Ndidi which usually gives us a more solid edge, but in both games we also started to create more chances after that change too! Whether or not that was the intent I don't know. I think Puel changed it against Man City to counter their full backs AND to give Maddison more space to operate, whereas against Chelsea I think he wanted to sit on the 1-0 lead. Regardless I think it adds a real tool to our locket because clearly it means teams have to change their own gameplan to adapt to ours. Despite having largely the same players on the pitch, we can either frustrate them through the middle or force them to go inside depending on how the game is going. It really does change the flow of the game.

 

50 minutes ago, Foxxed said:

It's been mentioned many time this may not work so well against 11 men behind the ball. But this formation gives us a way to win against big teams - great for the FA cup. And when Barnes comes next season and (eventually...) becomes Premier Level quality it'll give us an even more threatening front three.

 

6 hours ago, Ricey said:

I’ve heard and seen people call for the same system and team selection against Cardiff, as if we’ve now struck a winning formula. Yesterday’s match and Saturdays match are chalk and cheese and we should adapt accordingly.

This is an interesting one. My gut feeling is the same as Ricey's, which is that we shouldn't use the 433 against Cardiff because it will limit our creativity against a team that is going to sit back. But a 433 has been used historically by the very best teams in the business including current leaders Liverpool. It can give you a firm grip on the game because the midfield 3 take control. Our midfield 3 have mixed passing ability, Mendy is very good at short range passing, Ndidi is usually horrific and Hamza is a bit of an unknown quantity. But I will say that Ndidi had great games in the last two games and one reason I think is because the 433 meant that he always had a player close to him for him to lay the ball off too, which naturally improved his passing as he could often just play a simple ball. If Hamza can pass like Mendy, then I think there is an argument to try the system against a sitting team because all three have incredible engines and we could pin Cardiff back into their own third. We can always make the change later in the game and Hamza IMO deserves to start again given his performance.

 

All that said, I think given the hectic schedule that Puel will rotate heavily, and so will plump for the 4231. But I could see both Iborra and Hamza starting this game in either a 4231 or 433.

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, StriderHiryu said:

Switching Mendy for Iborra as the sitter definitely produced better results. I think Mendy is a very good team player that is consistent and fulfills a very important role in whichever system we play. He's an intelligent player and it's no wonder Puel trusts him; he was Puel's captain when he was manager of OGC Nice.

 

You could definitely argue that! It must be noted that in all of the games, Puel has switched it back to 4231 after a certain amount of time. What I find interesting is the timing for all of the changes. Against Chelsea we scored playing a 433, but changed the system shortly after, and it was the same scenario against Man City too. My gut feeling is because Puel wanted to restore the double pivot of Mendy and Ndidi which usually gives us a more solid edge, but in both games we also started to create more chances after that change too! Whether or not that was the intent I don't know. I think Puel changed it against Man City to counter their full backs AND to give Maddison more space to operate, whereas against Chelsea I think he wanted to sit on the 1-0 lead. Regardless I think it adds a real tool to our locket because clearly it means teams have to change their own gameplan to adapt to ours. Despite having largely the same players on the pitch, we can either frustrate them through the middle or force them to go inside depending on how the game is going. It really does change the flow of the game.

 

 

This is an interesting one. My gut feeling is the same as Ricey's, which is that we shouldn't use the 433 against Cardiff because it will limit our creativity against a team that is going to sit back. But a 433 has been used historically by the very best teams in the business including current leaders Liverpool. It can give you a firm grip on the game because the midfield 3 take control. Our midfield 3 have mixed passing ability, Mendy is very good at short range passing, Ndidi is usually horrific and Hamza is a bit of an unknown quantity. But I will say that Ndidi had great games in the last two games and one reason I think is because the 433 meant that he always had a player close to him for him to lay the ball off too, which naturally improved his passing as he could often just play a simple ball. If Hamza can pass like Mendy, then I think there is an argument to try the system against a sitting team because all three have incredible engines and we could pin Cardiff back into their own third. We can always make the change later in the game and Hamza IMO deserves to start again given his performance.

 

All that said, I think given the hectic schedule that Puel will rotate heavily, and so will plump for the 4231. But I could see both Iborra and Hamza starting this game in either a 4231 or 433.

 

 

 

I hadn't noticed the line of Hamza, Mendy and Ndidi. But it's beautiful really. Especially as it forces teams out wide to face Chilwell and Ricardo, our two most dangerous players. Players who have Hamza or Ndidi in support to help retrieve the ball. And both the Chelsea goal and first Man City goal came from retrieving the ball in wide positions. Mendy's dropping back when teams are forced wide seems essential: Man City did score after managing to get KDB behind Mendy.

Edited by Foxxed
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20 hours ago, StriderHiryu said:

Ha ha!

Well I'm just a fan that likes his football a bit too much! I think any manager that beats the last two Champions of England in successive games whom have each signed one of our best ever players in Kante and Mahrez deserves credit where it's due. But like many I find the choices a manager can make before and during a game to be quite interesting. Surely there isn't anyone on Foxes Talk who after losing to Crystal Palace was preaching to go to a counter attacking 433 and to bring in Hamza for his first start of the season, yet our manager did exactly that and it worked.

 

I also really enjoyed our performances in the last two games, they were very reminiscent of the title winning season. not just the counter attacking football, but also the "have a go" spirit. That first half today was breathless, I think any neutral would have enjoyed watching it.

 

And to make sure I stay fair and impartial, if the manager changes tactics again to something that doesn't work, I'll probably make a similar thread pointing out where it's all gone wrong! But right now I think he's found a great system that suits our players. Hamza, Mendy and Ndidi are all typical Premier League centre mids who have great tackling ability, great engines and are positionally sound. If you think about it, we've actually gotten more creative by adding another "defensive" midfielder to the team which is completely counter intuitive but has worked.

 

I do wonder if he will go 433 or 451 against Cardiff. I think it's a brave man that drops Hamza after that performance!

Great posting by the way. But just to pick up on a point you made as highlighted.

I've been calling for us to play 3 in midfield all season simply because it gives us better balance and doesn't burn out any of the 3 in there, whereas a 2 will always lead to burnout from being over run at times.

 

At the start of the season I called for Hamza or Iborra to be that 3 player in there. Although I've since lost some faith in Iborra. I've been surprised at how long it's taken Puel to bring in Hamza. But I suspect that might have more to do with politics outside his control somewhat.

 

If you look at my pre Chelsea post you'll see that I said I believed this was our best team or lineup. Which it has proved to be. given the 2 recent results.

 

I'm not a huge fan of Tactics, believing that sometimes it hard to get players to understand, and when they don't work players look lost and always blame someone else.

I much prefer a Balanced and Organised team where players know their jobs in most eventualities, But are also allowed to play and express themselves within a structure.

In short, good or great players don't need tactics. They instinctively know what to do or where to be to win the ball back.

 

Your post is a great read never the less and very educational for all young fans who are trying to learn the game. 

Keep up the good work.

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