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Defending deep and counter attacking

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You can only go so far playing like that. I know we won the league playing like it but everything worked that season. It’s not sustainable to play like that long term. Look what happened the season after. 

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1 hour ago, Genesis1 said:

I think the writer of the topic was talking about football in general and not simply the premier league. Perhaps read the entire post before attempting to be comical. 😊

Why would I do that? No one else does.

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Reading everyones POV and knowing what we already know about possession based football to me it seems clear. Whether we play a defend & counter or possess and cut open strategy we need to be flexible if we are going to win these games. To be effective in either of these styles our players need to be freakin ON-IT from kick-off to full time. We do have the players to do it but they haven't been able to do it consistently. I know there human after all and there will be days where they are all off it and yesterday was one of those days. In similar fashion so was Liverpool. Also what can't be discounted is having your best players in all the key positions. The reason why we are seeing these crazy score lines is that when a team comes along and hopes or senses for a poor performance from the better team and they execute a plan to perfection than max damage can

be attained. All PL managers know ahead of the game which key players will be in or out. In liverpool's case not having their no.1 keeper or Hendo to marshall the side or major goal there Mane' allowed villa to do something they previously only dreamed of. In young watkins they have a player thats instantly gelled with play maker Grealish. Similar to the chemistry we saw with Mahrez and Vardy. Back to us - we need Madders and Praet back as Tielemans cannot do it solo that should be our highest priority! 2nd we need Evans back to 100% in the mean time get fofana ready and fired up. Cags will have learnt a few lessons so I hope to not see him get so easily beaten again like that. Perez sits on the bench and Under comes in ready but he needs to sharpen up quick! JJ I really want him to improve in his weak areas otherwise what was the point of selling chilwell.

All we can do is trust in our coaching staff to get it figured out. The proof is all to see on video replay so now its upto the players to improve.

Villa will not be an easy game but if we're switched on we can beat them. Strike early and fast and kill them off in the 1st half.

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49 minutes ago, StriderHiryu said:

Definitely not, but it's a good way to get a result against a team with players that are technically better than yours.

 

Looking back at the last 10-12 years of football, I'd say tactics and styles have broadly evolved as such:

 

- 2008-2012: The era of Tiki-Taka. Spain and Barcelona dominant. Heavy possession football with the idea being that if the other team doesn't have the ball they can't score, and eventually you will create the perfect goal. Arsenal and even Swansea City in the Premier League play light versions of the same system.

- 2010-2016: Counter attacking football becomes a viable strategy to defeat Tiki-Taka. Mourinho's Inter Milan beating Guardiola's Barcelona. Atletico Madrid reach two Champions League Finals and win La Liga. The Leicester City story.

- 2012-ongoing: Gegenpressing. Press right from the front so the other team can't get out. Capitalise on defensive mistakes and quick transitions to score before the opposition can setup their defensive block. Klopp's Dortmund win the Bundesliga and reach the Champions League final. All of the RB teams copy the formula, Atalanta in Serie A (though both of these aren't till much later).

- 2016-ongoing: Guardiola's centrally deployed fullbacks to combine high possession football with a high press. A bit like Tiki-Taka meets Gegenpressing. I would say our style at it's best is a version of this.

- 2018-ongoing. Klopp's Liverpool. Gegenpressing again, but this time sacrificing technical play in central midfield in favour of full-backs that score and assist as much as some wingers do. Actually sacrificed some attacking power but stabilised the team in doing so.

- 2020-ongoing: High line, high intensity with the ability to play good football. Bayern Munich in this season's Champions League are the best examples, they can seemingly do everything though they are susceptible at the back and perhaps wouldn't be so successful without Neuer. Liverpool buying Thiago from Bayern might mean they could go this way too.

 

There's more than just those ideas, but those have been the biggest. Football always goes in cycles, so when one tactic becomes the most popular, strategies that beat the tactic start becoming more effective. But I'd say that the high press style is currently proving to be the best right now. Villa might have won last night, but I see that as more of a one-off than a pattern. Man City on the other hand are too slow in their build-up and have big problems defensively, which is why they are getting caught out.

 

7 hours ago, fox_up_north said:

I read a book a couple of years ago - can't remember the name of it - but it was about how tactics have changed over the last couple of decades. 

442 with no nonsense defenders and two attackers became 451 with a focus on the midfield became 4231 with possession became 433 counter attack became 343/ 352 high press and now here we are. Looks like we're in the transition phase to a new style that will become dominant over the next few years. I would say that the tiki taka from Pep is pretty much over, though. 

 

The other caveat is that this season is completely unlike any other in that we had a massive break a few months ago, then loads of football, then a quick break. So many variables. 

Two excellent replies especially @StriderHiryu thanks both!

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18 hours ago, shailen said:

I agree that it's harder to break down a defence that sits back, but imo it's even harder to execute the perfect counter attack at speed and finish it off. Is this counter attacking stat actually factual?

 

Man City especially have taken the Premier league to different levels and they accumulated more points in the two seasons they won it then in any other season. They play a high line, yet teams generally get very little joy from them. It's not the possession stat that is key. It's what you do with it. Possession with purpose and intent is best way to control football games imo and get results. Counter attacking invites pressure on your own goal and leads to the opposition having more chances so you've got to be able to defend well. 

...because you are counter attacking does not mean everyone piles forward!!!

When playing on the counter, you would get probably four players breaking at the same time and the rest are still sitting deep. That is why this is working so well for the team with deep blocks allied to the counter as opposed to just a deep block and hoping to pinch one from a dead ball situation.

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1 hour ago, sacreblueits442 said:

...because you are counter attacking does not mean everyone piles forward!!!

When playing on the counter, you would get probably four players breaking at the same time and the rest are still sitting deep. That is why this is working so well for the team with deep blocks allied to the counter as opposed to just a deep block and hoping to pinch one from a dead ball situation.

That's not what I was saying. Playing a low block, you defend deep and the opposition get further up the pitch and in more dangerous positions, albeit you're more likely to have a more structured set up so can defend it better but then that's down to the defenders. I'm not saying you're more likely to get countered when playing a counter attacking style. 

 

The best teams in the world over the last few years: Barcelona, Man City, Liverpool, Bayern, Juventus, Real Madrid are all teams that play with possession football but have the intent to retain possession and sustain attack after attack. That's not to say that the counter attacking style can't bring you success, of course it can, but you have less control in that style over the game and therefore a possession based game with high intensity will bring most success long term. 

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It seems pretty simple to me....

 

1. Play possession football against the teams you have better players than (15 teams in Prem)

 

2. Play counter attack against teams that have better players than us (5 teams in Prem)

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17 minutes ago, shailen said:

That's not what I was saying. Playing a low block, you defend deep and the opposition get further up the pitch and in more dangerous positions, albeit you're more likely to have a more structured set up so can defend it better but then that's down to the defenders. I'm not saying you're more likely to get countered when playing a counter attacking style. 

 

The best teams in the world over the last few years: Barcelona, Man City, Liverpool, Bayern, Juventus, Real Madrid are all teams that play with possession football but have the intent to retain possession and sustain attack after attack. That's not to say that the counter attacking style can't bring you success, of course it can, but you have less control in that style over the game and therefore a possession based game with high intensity will bring most success long term. 

...the fact that the deep block is in place negates the opportunity for the opposition to play at a high tempo!!!

They have all the avenues covered, traps are being set with weaker technical players targeted, requiring precise and innovative passes in order to progress our attacks. Strangely enough the team sitting back is in control of the game, they are in fact setting the tempo as we know when playing against Man. City that their possession based game plays into our hands should we chose to sit deep and counter.

  The same admonishment laid at Rodgers door regarding an unwillingness to change can be leveled at Pep who plays his own style of football come what may. We have had good encounters with them before and I felt we were cheated in a few games when fouls on Vardy did not lead to red cards, and Kompany's late strike to win the league would not have happened as he should not have been on the pitch. Playing on the counter against possession based teams is a great weapon.  

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