Why Lennon was effective vs Everton

We seem to have two factions of supporters, one set who can't stand a critical word and one set who know everything is not rosy in the garden.

This then splits itself further. You have one camp who say 4-4-2 is the answer, another camp who say change the striker with Adebayor being the latest shout and another camp who say the midfield is the problem.

All agree creativity is the problem. But we are 4th I hear you cry, yes I know all the positives and there are plenty but nothing was ever achieved by ignoring the negatives. If creativity is the problem how do we solve it?

Well lets look at the camps.

Adebayor. The cry is Adebayor gets more involved, has more movement, links play and yes he does. However when he is doing all this he is not in the area and able to score goals. We want the centre forward to score goals don't we. We have bought a player that scores all his goals inside the penalty box. Therefore we need to get the ball in there don't we. It is that simple.

Replacing Soldado with Adebayor makes no difference whatsoever. He is either outside the box getting involved and not in the box to score or he is in the box and not involved much outside the box. We paid £26 million for a finisher, the idea is to let him finish. The problem is getting the ball to him.

Changing the formation is a total non-starter, we have bought players to play a system, to abandon it and play 4-4-2 means wasting millions and millions of pounds. It means going back to the drawing board and starting again. Levy and Villas-Boas have a vision, they are not going to throw that away and start again.

So that leaves us with the midfield. Bottom line it is their job to get the ball into the box for Soldado to score and they are not doing that.

Now I wrote before the season started about inverted wingers and how they only work if you can go outside your man and cross the ball. Arjen Robben was thrown at me, well he goes outside his man and crosses as well as cutting in and shooting. He keeps the defender guessing, he has to stop the cross or try and push him across the field.

Our inverted wingers do not put any crosses in the box basically and when I say crosses I mean balls played along the floor not chipped in for headers. If you are on the left you have to cross with your left and if you are on the right you have to be able to cross with the right. The player who can use both feet is ideal otherwise you immediately restrict yourself.

Take Aaron Lennon for instance. Now of the wide men he was the only one to create a chance, a header for Soldado against Everton. As a defender I know he can't cross with his left foot so I show him towards the byline. I stay positioned so that he can't turn back on me onto his right, this way he has nowhere to go and is not a danger. I want to stop him from turning to face me to do his jinks and create half a hard to put the ball across with his right.

If I am the left-back I simply show Townsend inside and shuffle him across the box, he'll either overrun the ball or have a hit and hope shot from outside the box. This season he has had 40 shots and scored 1 goal from a cross, so his strike rate in 2.5%, would that concern me, no. I want him shooting because it is low risk. What I don't want him doing is running past me and playing the ball across the box but fortunately he doesn't do that.

Central midfield and the Holtby or Eriksen or both argument rages. Quite frankly it makes little difference. If the two defensive lines ate close together there is no room for Eriksen to operate between them. There are to many players central for there to be a pass wither of them can play into the box.

The solution is to move some of these players out the way. The only way you are going to do that is if your wide men stretch the defence so holes start to appear that the midfield players can run into. One of our much maligned wide men gave a master class of that in the first half. What he did when he didn't touch the ball was key.

Against Everton Aaron Lennon stayed wide on the touch line and Jan Vertonghen was able to keep charging at their defence in a channel inside Lennon and the full-back. He created all sorts of problems for them, indeed Vertonghen should have had a penalty. That was our only area of creativity in the match.

On the other side that simply doesn't happen. Townsend spends all his time inside so Walker is left to do the byline work, but being a full-back he is doing it from further back so the defence has ample time to close it down.

If Townsend goes wide and stays wide the same holes that Lennon created on the left now start to appear on the right, now we are stretching the defence. We want Paulinho to be the one attacking this area as the better finisher and more creative than Walker. To defend against this the guys crushed centrally have to come a bit wider so now we are starting to create holes for Holtby or Eriksen to thread ball through.

Now we are dangerous, now we are creating, now it is desperate defending time and opportunity time for us.

Sorry for all you Townsend lovers but he is at the centre of our problems.




Subscribe to THBN

0 Response to "Why Lennon was effective vs Everton"

Post a Comment