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Following the Arsenal game and Man Utd game(s) i believe the waffle that i posted above has become more and more accurate.
I predicted that we’d concede multiple goals against teams like Arsenal and Man utd, (except perhaps the 1-1 draw in the league v Utd – which was only avoided by Randolph) as a result of having ‘lazy’ players like Payet.
Payet could (and sometimes does) create 10+ chances a match, but we struggle to put even 1 of them away. When we are on the defensive, we are effectively a man down because of him (as explained in my previous post). I think he does more harm than good – maybe you can get away with it against lower league teams but not against the top 8 or 10 teams.
I also don’t think the players are fit enough. The pitch seems much bigger than Upton park and the players are blowing out of their ars*s by 75mins.
I apologise in advance for the waffle below.
I do think that the Payet situation is a tough one. For me, when Payet plays, we are effectively a man down when we are on the defensive. He isn’t a quick runner, doesn’t track back and doesn’t tackle. (Wave a leg towards them is about as good as it gets). On the other hand, when we are on the attack it is different – it seems like we have 12 men, with his ability and class providing space for everyone else as he attracts multiple defenders of the opposition, not to mention the chance he creates.
I fully understand he is a CAM/LW and so isnt expected to do much in terms of defensive duties. However, when he isn’t playing at his best, like recently, it almost feels like we have 10 men. Combine that with Lanzini, who is very similar (and often goes missing for 15-20mins a half) means that we are at 9 men.
This, combined with strikers who are low on confidence, and who aren’t actually striker out-right (ayew/antonio), means we are down to 8 men when Payet and Lanzini aren’t playing well and not supporting the ‘striker’.
I know this sounds very negative but it was so apparent at the Stoke game. At several points we lost the ball up field – Stoke countered and i looked up to see Ayew, Lanzini and Payet all walking slowly back to the half way line. Shawcross and Martins Indi even overtook them. (Everyone else bar the Stoke keeper was in our half). That left 7 outfield WHU players vs 8 Stoke players. Need i point out the issue with this? Lets just say had that been Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs or Arsenal (Team we play in our next 5 fixtures) we would have most likely conceded on multiple occasions.
So to go back to the original point, I’d sell Payet only if we got a fantastic offer for him AS LONG AS:
A. We go and buy a proven striker.
B. We buy a Rb (because i don’t think we have that position sorted yet) E.g Ivanovic
C. We don’t buy Zaza with the cash
If we don’t get the massive offer come in, it’s not a problem. He is what is needed to avoid relegation – a chance creater – we just need to have someone finish those chances BUT I don’t know how long we can continue with Payet AND Lanzini in the starting 11. I like both and want to keep both, but i just feel that having both in the team is costing us more than it is creating.
Despite the 3-5-2 system working well against Palace, i feel that the formation isn’t suited to deal with Sunderland – a team that is not set up the same as Palace or has similar players.
I’d like it to be a 4-3-2-1 formation, with Adrian, Antonio (RB), Reid and Ogbonna (CB), Oxford (LB). Obiang, Kouyate, Noble (CM), Payet Lanzini AM, Zaza (ST)
3/5 at the back against a team that haven’t won a game, when we are at home, would concern me.
Kouyate, Noble free to move forward with Obiang as the defensive cover. Kouyate also able to drop back if required, when Antonio inevitably gets caught too far up the pitch when we loose possession.
Defoe is their biggest goal threat and the idea of Reid,Kouyate and Collins at CB (as you suggest Ben) would worry me, particularly in terms of Defoe’s pace, and our 3’s lack of. Then again, what do I know! 🙂
Would like to see Oxford have a run out, even as a left back, because he is just as capable of playing there as others (who are fit or not suspended).
I’m going with a 2-0 victory also, Zaza one and Lanzini One.
My player summary’s:
Masuaku had a very good game at RB. His touch and ball control was very good and he did the basics well. Didn’t really make any mistakes and i felt he was worthy of being in the shortlist for MOTM. It is a shame he isn’t available for Europa League games. Keen to see more of him.
Kouyate was great, his ability to drive the ball out of our half is something that i think get’s overlooked a lot. Pure engine and is as much as a loss to the team as Payet etc. As always, a unsung hero.
Antonio played well particularly on the RW. He does make the odd simple mistake (like letting the ball roll under his foot and out of play), but it’s not dangeorus (like loosing the ball in front of our goal). He also makes up for it in the driving runs, crosses, goals and general attacking threat he poses.
Tore was a difficult one for me. He seems slow and off the pace, something i thought he was the complete opposite of. His set pieces were terrible but he was good at driving forward. He got better as the game went on and the cross for the goal was the best thing he did all game. Unlucky with the volley/shot that went just wide. Overall, average game but flashes of some quality. Possibly confidence and regular game time required.
Byram – Again, another decent game. Played well and did the defensive duties well. Some good runs and covering of players. Good foul to stop them countering – although he has a nasty habit of picking up a lot of yellows. The more he plays, the better he is. Best RB we have had in a while but not the complete package yet.
Adrian – did what was needed of him given he had little to do most of the game. 2 brilliant saves.
Reid and Collins – Both solid, stupid booking for Reid for arguing. Very little mistakes. Good games for both and important clean sheet. Reid with a great header/block near the end.
Calleri/Fletcher – Calleri holds the ball well and is far better at it than Valencia. Seems comfortable under pressure and shame he missed at the death. Both didn’t have much time to impress.
Noble – Played well, as usual. Some great runs, movement, passing. Good tackles and did the basics right.
Nordveit – Played well for the majority. Good covering for the CB and good tackles. Passing was okay but has a tendency to just boot the ball up-field in a panic from time to time.
Valencia – played okay through the middle, snap shots aplenty but nothing to right home about. Shot that was on target and saved was best moment. Walking off the pitch slowly was the most odd thing he has done.
Obiang – Great for the short time he came on. Yellow card wasn’t really justified i didn’t think. His tackle on the edge of the box following the save from Adrian and block from Reid was calm and composed.
MOTM: Antonio closely followed by Kouyate and Masuaku
DOTM(Dunce of the Match): Valencia (Not the worst of games but that slow walk off at 0-0 was unforgivable)
Can’t afford to risk carroll with the injuries we have.
Kouyate is rumoured to be carrying a knock.
Tore needs a run out as he looked useless at Chelsea
Samuelsen also needs game time to show what he can do.
Oxford and Og to provide cover for the slower collins.
Calleri to have a run out or Fletcher. Either one will do.
Oxford Collins Ogbonna
Antonio(RWB) Byram (LWB)
“He’s….our Itzy Bitzy Teeny Weeny Little Arngenteen Lanzini ”
To tune of Bombalarina ‘Polka dot Bikini”
Tore and Cheikou:
Gokhan, Gokhan Gokhan, Gokhan Gokhan, Gokhan Gokhan TORE!
Cheikou, Cheikou Cheikou, Cheikou Cheikou, Cheikou Cheik KOUYATE!
(Based on Yaya / Kolo)
To the theme tune of the tv programme ‘Arthur’ (Dont ask)
And i Said hey, HEY!
What a wonderful place to Play.
Far better than white hart lane.
And we didn’t pay a Penny!
Personally, I prefer any shirt with a collar. The one Diamanti ripped in half vs Birmingham (i think) was one of my favourites. This TIWFC shirt is the best shirt I’ve seen in a long long time.
I am also a fan of blue shorts with the Home Shirt! I think it looks far better.