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Tactics Thread

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How do we make the best of the bunch we have? 4-4-2 doesn't seem to be the answer. 4-2-3-1 served us well last time we were in this league, but do we have the players to play it?

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22 minutes ago, PumpFake said:

How do we make the best of the bunch we have? 4-4-2 doesn't seem to be the answer. 4-2-3-1 served us well last time we were in this league, but do we have the players to play it?

I agree, we need to win the midfield battle first and foremost,  if that means playing only one up then so be it, as long as the work rate and movement is there from the midfielders to support the lone striker. Raven should be playing and move Seedorf to right midfield,  maybe he can deliver an end product that doesn't seem to be in mulraney's locker. 

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Could we switch to a back 3 and play Raven and Calder/Tremarco as wing backs? Put Seedorf in alongside Polworth and Vigurs and play 2 up top? Maybe Mulraney could be transformed into an attacking wing back?

Granted we'd likely need to bring in another centre half and midfielder but that's probably the case anyway.

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Robbo seems keen on 4-4-2 but it seems so outdated.  I've wondered if a 4-4-2 diamond might work.  Something like -

Seedorf Warren Mckay Calder

Raven

Polworth-----------------Vigurs

Mulraney

Oakley Baird

Seedorf and Calder could be allowed to bomb forward and it could possibly be the rejuvenation of Raven.  His passing and distribution is decent enough but his legs are slowing up.  Could he be re-born in-front of the back four, acting as a kind of deep ball winner and slipping into defence allowing the full backs to bomb forward?  I think it could work.

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18 minutes ago, Renegade said:

Robbo seems keen on 4-4-2 but it seems so outdated.  I've wondered if a 4-4-2 diamond might work.  Something like -

Seedorf Warren Mckay Calder

Raven

Polworth-----------------Vigurs

Mulraney

Oakley Baird

Seedorf and Calder could be allowed to bomb forward and it could possibly be the rejuvenation of Raven.  His passing and distribution is decent enough but his legs are slowing up.  Could he be re-born in-front of the back four, acting as a kind of deep ball winner and slipping into defence allowing the full backs to bomb forward?  I think it could work.

I'd defo agree that a flat midfield 4 is generally very difficult to implement in the modern game without a midfielder that can replicate the job of 2 players (Kante at Leicester for example) and that if we do go down the 4-4-2 route a diamond  with attacking full backs would probably work better. The 3 deeper midfielders being used to drop back and cover for the full backs. Maybe I'd go with Oakley as a 10 behind Bell and Baird. The only issue with this formation is that we do have several wingers who might not be able to fit into this system. Could always divert into a front 3 though and still have the midfield Base. 

I'd definitely like to see if Raven could adapt to another role, either at CB or DM in the same way that Tokely was able to later in his career. He might be more suited to a RCB role in a back 3 than a centre half in a back 2 though.

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Agree that 4-4-2 is not working and is very inflexible. I also think you have to play to the strengths of what you have got. Take Vigurs, for example: I maintain that he was really poor for most of last season when played on the left or centre of a 4 in midfield. By contrast, he was excellent when Foran moved him to just in front of the back 4. For me, that is his best position and we should start with that. Polworth is not great on the right of a 4 - his best performances last season were in the centre...although it sounds like he's not been great there either this season...! I would be tempted to put Raven in his usual full back position and push Seedorf forward. Calder likewise, with Tremarco in at left back (once fit). Warren back in the centre will help the defence too. That leaves Baird or Bell and Oakley up front. When Doran comes back, there might be an option to go 4-1-3-1-1, with Doran in the hole.

Whatever way you try to put this together, it doesn't hang together particularly well. It makes it reall difficult when so many are not performing (Mckay, Mulraney, Polworth for starters). And who to go in goal? OFW was hardly Neuer last season and this one seems no better.

You can't help but think that Tremarco, Warren and Doran will have a big impact, but the baseline is so low, you wonder if it will be enough.

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I considered the diamond formation myself but I don't think we are strong enough. So, what have we got? A couple of the new full-backs that seem best at going forward (as is Tremarco). Our current central defenders are dodgy, plus the GK needs added protection (although I'm also in favour of OFW playing again). In the background, we have our captain and a very good defender, although perhaps not what he was and a proven full-back that could convert to a centre-back. For me that spells three centre-backs (Raven, Warren and McKay), with attacking wing-backs (Seedorf and Tremarco/Calder).

Vigurs is a cert for the low-lying centre-mid. Not sure there's really anyone else of note, although Polworth has to be given the responsibility. I'd be looking to spend money on either/both Nick Ross and/or Kevin Fraser. Ross especially as a roving creative midfielder is number one. Assuming we don't get either (which would be poor), both Vigurs and Polworth would be the midfield anchors.

For the attack, with everyone fit, I'd have Mulraney and Doran as the wings, with Baird as a target-man (in the Peter Beardsley, deep forward, as opposed to the Paul Mariner strongman role - anyone under 45 still with me?). Obviously, Doran isn't fit and may well not be any good when he comes back. If Calder is in the FB position, I'd probably try Mulraney in a free role, with Baird supporting Oakley. Not going to get a lot of goals but we'll stop a few and potentially have enough from full-backs to support Mulraney (and possibly Doran).

So, all fit and no new signings:

OFW

Seedorf Warren McKay Raven Tremarco

Vigurs Polworth

Mulraney<------------->Doran

Baird

Edited by starchief
stupidity

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According to Robbo quoting in the paper the other week Doran and Tremarco will be out till November so we will have to be very patient waiting for their return. 

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Seems to me our tactics are to aimlessly hoof the ball up to Mulraney and let him run until he falls over. Injuries aren't helping though, there can't be many teams who could do well with losing players like Warren Tremarco and Doran, but surely the question of why we have had so many injuries these past seasons needs to be answered. The situation however is not helped by a management team who with a couple of exceptions have signed or persist with a load of 3rd rate players who couldn't hit a barn door while holding onto the handle. 

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11 hours ago, IBM said:

According to Robbo quoting in the paper the other week Doran and Tremarco will be out till November so we will have to be very patient waiting for their return. 

I'm sure I saw Tremarco mention on Twitter he was a couple of weeks away from a return but perhaps that is a return to training.

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The CB's are simply not physical enough they were muscled off the ball by a lone striker too many times. A player sitting in front of them would help cut out long balls played of front but not Vigurs he is a ball watcher and fails to track his man, look how often a one two took him out of the game last season. For me vigurs should play behind the striker but how do you get the ball to him given the options available, a long hoof just isn't good enough. That said we played with a back 4 so one CB should drop in to cover his partner when he is under pressure. I can't blame the GK other than perhaps the first goal I don't think he had much chance with the other 4.

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1 hour ago, RiG said:

I'm sure I saw Tremarco mention on Twitter he was a couple of weeks away from a return but perhaps that is a return to training.

That sounds promising let's hope he is back sooner 

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Hopefully Charlie Trafford will make a difference to the midfield when he arrives this week. At 6ft 3" he should win his share of high balls. Think he has to play for his current team RoVaniememen Finland tonight before heading to Sneck.

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9 minutes ago, IBM said:

That sounds promising let's hope he is back sooner 

 

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19 hours ago, Renegade said:

Robbo seems keen on 4-4-2 but it seems so outdated.  I've wondered if a 4-4-2 diamond might work.  Something like -

Seedorf Warren Mckay Calder

Raven

Polworth-----------------Vigurs

Mulraney

Oakley Baird

Seedorf and Calder could be allowed to bomb forward and it could possibly be the rejuvenation of Raven.  His passing and distribution is decent enough but his legs are slowing up.  Could he be re-born in-front of the back four, acting as a kind of deep ball winner and slipping into defence allowing the full backs to bomb forward?  I think it could work.

That's where I would like to see Raven play.  Surely, Robbo has to change his mind about keeping him!  

I have a feeling Elsdon may come good if he can get to play a few times with Warren.  Given Polworth's recent lack of form, I might stick McKay at RB and have Seedorf in his place.  You've not included a keeper.  I'm of the view that if OFW is still on the books and if fit then he should be playing.  If he wants a move then the best way to secure that is to show he is good enough for another club to want to sign him.

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The players we have at the moment looked incompetent against Dunfermline - tactics can't really stop things like defenders not winning the ball when it's hit towards then, kicking the ball aimlessly into channels where no one is running or standing off when they need to make tackles.

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Frankly I'm a bit baffled at the ongoing abuse and rantings after one bad game. The reviews against Dundee Utd suggested that we competed well and were unlucky from my recollection.

We have a team which has not played together (only regular two players from last season started the game) and is hampered by some of the most experienced players being injured (e.g. Warren and Tremarco).

A number of the new players need to prove themselves as being up to the standard however I'm sure their confidence will grow when they are read the forum (as most do) and see that they are being told they are rank and to 'feck off' as one poster seems to use as a tag line to every post. In fact we seem to have grown a few newbies who have even registered just to show their unconstructive 'support'.

The reality is that the state of the club has meant that rebuilding will take more than one transfer window. We don't have funds to buy and therefore have to take risks on players who are raw or possibly need a fresh chance. This may find a few gems but will also find a few who will not make the grade.

It will take a number of games to make an initial assessment of where we are but I am under no illusions of being able to compete at the top of the league. Happy clapping is not being asked for however a degree of common sense around the team needs to be applied with hopefully some of the injured players returning soon to provide some leadership.

Wringing our hands at every opportunity and personal abuse of players and management (both playing side and non-playing side) is unlikely to improve anything.

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Oh great the old 'the players might be reading the forum' chestnut.  If they are - good!  Hopefully it inspires some to pull the finger out.

Now I know his hands are tied to a certain degree but has anyone really been particularly inspired by John Robertson yet?  Many of signings look poor while tactically he seems no better than his predecessor - long balls forward in a flat 4-4-2 that was heading out of fashion the last time he was here. 

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It's not just one bad game though. We were okay against a depleted Brechin (missing five or six first team players), very poor against Stirling, easy dispatched by Falkirk and laboured against Forfar. Yes we were better against United but after they scored they sat back and invited us on to them so we were obviously going to dominate possession but we proceeded to create little of note. Not much else you can say about Dunfermline.

I agree that it is early days yet but the first six competitive games have not been encouraging and some games have been downright shocking. There's absolutely no reason to try and pretend otherwise.

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Personally I'd look at a 3-5-2/3-4-3/3-4-1-2 formation of sorts. 

back 3 of Raven, Warren and Mckay, your wing backs being Seedorf and Calder atm. 

Vigurs anchoring the midfield from deep playmaker role. At the moment Polworth is the only real option in there. 

Front 3 of Bell Baird and Oakley. Swap one of them for a midfielder in certain games. If this Charlie Trafford arrives and can do the business it would be nice. 

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If I was in charge of the team I'd leave out both Vigurs and Polworthless for a few games.  Their constant involvement grates on me and I think the way they play has strong positives, it also has many outweighing negatives.  The very first thing a midfielder needs to do is to protect the team and the mindset of these two leaves us short  in this department.  This is why we will miss big Drapes so much.

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2 hours ago, Northern_jaggie said:

If I was in charge of the team I'd leave out both Vigurs and Polworthless for a few games.  Their constant involvement grates on me and I think the way they play has strong positives, it also has many outweighing negatives.  The very first thing a midfielder needs to do is to protect the team and the mindset of these two leaves us short  in this department.  This is why we will miss big Drapes so much.

We literally don't have any other central midfielders who have ever played a minute for the first team.  Vigurs is also clearly one of the few players we have who can pass the ball and create anything.  

Towards the end of last season Vigurs played better when he was given a deeper role in a midfield four.  Could we go back to that?  Say something like this

------------------Vigurs-------------------

--Polworth--------------Calder/Cooper---

----------------Trafford-----------------------

Strengths of this are that Vigurs is probably our best passer and can use the ball from deep and Polworth has been effective from the right before in terms of goals and assists.  Splitting the midfield like this also gives more openings for passes and space and stops us being one dimensional.  It also allows us to be compact and (hopefully) protect the back four.

Weaknesses are that Vigurs can be prone to switching off defensively and not picking men up; I'm not sure either Cooper or Calder are suited the the left midfield role, although it's their stronger side they are more wide players or full backs.  This formation also means we are reliant on full backs for width and the performances of Seedorf and Chalmers against the Pars left a lot to be desired.  Also, I think Trafford is more of a central midfielder than an attacking one so it might be unfamiliar for him.  

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- OfW- 

- McKay - Elsdon - Warren -

- Raven -

- Seedorf   -   Vigurs   -   Trafford   -   Calder -

 - Baird - Oakley -

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I'm expecting something similar to the line up CJ posted for the game tomorrow. No Raven though with Polworth taking his place in a 3-5-2 line up.

Edited by RiG

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