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Thread: Combinations and roles in the team

  1. #1
    Joined in Apr 2000
    From Hull, East Yorkshire
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    Combinations and roles in the team

    I think we all know we have quality players but it became obvious v Forest and Sheffield Utd that accounts for diddly squat when the combinations and team roles aren't properly defined.

    So here's my take on "team roles" and which players should be competing for that position. Please add your own.

    "Midfield Disruptor" - sits in front of back four and is just asked to break oppo attacks up and feed the play makers = Mokotjo, Yennaris

    "Tempo Setter" - sets the quick passing tempo for the team. Moves the ball quickly and recycles possession to start attacks = Ryan Woods

    "Killer Pass Merchant" - sees and delivers killer passes that open up the oppo defence = Sawyers, McEachran

    "Ball Carriers" - obvious, receives the ball and runs at oppo defence dragging them out of their defensive shape = Watkins, Jota, Canos, Judge

    "Space Raiders" - we're winning, oppo starts pushing forward, we look to counter with pace to exploit space behind their back line = FloJo, Clarke

    "Do a Frank Lampard" - they've parked the bus, we can't seem to find space and need some timely midfield runs in to the box to get on the end of things = Yennaris, MacCleod, Dalsgaard

    Any more?

  2. #2
    Joined in Apr 2000
    From Crondall,Nr Farnham
    25,088 Posts
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    Goalkeeper - Major function is to stop the ball crossing the white goal line
    Hypnotise the lot of 'em !

  3. 3 user(s) liked this post
    Billy Hunt (Yesterday), Idaho Bee (15th August 2017), Sean (15th August 2017)
  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbee View Post
    Goalkeeper - Major function is to stop the ball crossing the white goal line
    And Dan didn't have a chance with any of them yesterday.

  5. #4
    Joined in Apr 2003
    From 3d Jazz Mart-Motorcity.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbee View Post
    Goalkeeper - Major function is to stop the ball crossing the white goal line
    ............Dean Smith needs you on his coaching staff..............

  6. 1 user(s) liked this post
    King John (13th August 2017)
  7. #5
    Central defender - defend in the centre.
    When the wind of change blows some build walls, others build windmills...

  8. 2 user(s) liked this post
    allanfinnie (13th August 2017), Billy Hunt (Yesterday)
  9. #6
    Joined in Apr 2000
    From Crondall,Nr Farnham
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderer paul View Post
    And Dan didn't have a chance with any of them yesterday.
    I didnt say he did ,just taking the pi ss out of my old mate Paul
    Hypnotise the lot of 'em !

  10. 1 user(s) liked this post
    Billy Hunt (Yesterday)
  11. #7
    Joined in Apr 2000
    From Hull, East Yorkshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbee View Post
    I didnt say he did ,just taking the pi ss out of my old mate Paul
    Love you longtime bigboy

  12. #8
    We have a great squad at the moment and we should be optimistic of a top 6. However the major issue is that smith doesn't know his best 11 and we ah e the usually august malaise whilst players are spending more time thinking of the next move then than they do concentrating on the next 8 months.

    Bjelland isn't good enough, egan is but a bit raw. Without dean we ah e no captain and are a mess at the back.

    Vibe can be brilliant but can be *****. Flo jo has only had about 20 minutes in total spread across 10 games in 6 months when he looked good, the rest of the time he is invisible.

    The midfield we are overloaded with players who play in the same position. Sawyers is the most creative but defensively very lazy, nico seems to be on the pitch when we win and covers ground and woods and mok can't seem to play together although they are both very good.

    It is a bit of a mess but until we get through august and smith sorts out his best mid three mids and drops bjelland it is going to be messy.

    We are going to be fine this season but no more three holding players on at the same time please, give the French lad a start as he has energy and get canos fit please.

  13. 2 user(s) liked this post
    King John (13th August 2017), shepperton bee (13th August 2017)
  14. An intelligent and erudite comment at last. Most of them on this site are just wind-up merchants.

  15. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mhead bee View Post
    We have a great squad at the moment and we should be optimistic of a top 6. However the major issue is that smith doesn't know his best 11 and we ah e the usually august malaise whilst players are spending more time thinking of the next move then than they do concentrating on the next 8 months.

    Bjelland isn't good enough, egan is but a bit raw. Without dean we ah e no captain and are a mess at the back.

    Vibe can be brilliant but can be *****. Flo jo has only had about 20 minutes in total spread across 10 games in 6 months when he looked good, the rest of the time he is invisible.

    The midfield we are overloaded with players who play in the same position. Sawyers is the most creative but defensively very lazy, nico seems to be on the pitch when we win and covers ground and woods and mok can't seem to play together although they are both very good.

    It is a bit of a mess but until we get through august and smith sorts out his best mid three mids and drops bjelland it is going to be messy.

    We are going to be fine this season but no more three holding players on at the same time please, give the French lad a start as he has energy and get canos fit please.
    Agree, we have a good squad capable of top 6 and very confident Smith and Frank will get it right. They've probably been focusing more on winning the ball back quick with the new tactic than creating opportunities. Looks like it a bit.

  16. #11
    Joined in Jul 2003
    From shepperton
    555 Posts
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    Agree with the above. I would also accuse Dean Smith of bloody sleep walking into this season , one of the joys of our last 5 seasons or so , apart from the brief Dijkhausen era , is that for the great majority of the time the selections, substitutions tactics have been spot on . We are all amateur managers , and I'm sure we can all remember some incompetent disastrous managers where We could quite possibly have done better , but when I saw the team for Sheffield Weds and again yesterday it just didn't look right.

    It's more than just the central defensive pairing , Sawyers , Colin were integral parts of our good finish to the season and in my eyes earned the right to keep the shirt to start this one, ditto Barbet . I like McEachran I really do but it was 'brave' to give him the shirt to kick off the season , coming off the bench he always seems to have more impact .
    As Mhead says Dean needs to get real clarity and belief back by working out his best 11 PDQ and sticking with it , suggest he starts by looking at the team that finished last season and go from there by introducing new signings gradually.

  17. 1 user(s) liked this post
    davidccpigeons (13th August 2017)
  18. Think he should have started with the team he finished last season with. Only replacement needed was for Dean due to suspension. Then introduce others into game time. Looked very different team. Need Canos back and Dean with Barbet. I like Josh, but needs confidence and Moko to be game ready.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by malagakid View Post
    Agree, we have a good squad capable of top 6 and very confident Smith and Frank will get it right. They've probably been focusing more on winning the ball back quick with the new tactic than creating opportunities. Looks like it a bit.
    The "new tactic" is what worries me and what a lot of managers do.......copy a good manager's idea and do it badly. Right now we look firmly in the category of team that don't do the "counter-pressing" well enough for it to be effective and teams just play the ball away with our players now packed into a smaller area of the pitch which costs us goals. I certainly don't remember seeing it regularly bear enough fruit to justify it.

  20. #14
    Joined in Apr 2000
    From Sudbury Hill
    6,722 Posts
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    Are we a 4-2-3-1 side or a 4-3-3? I would've thought that the former is better with two from Mokotjo, Woods, and Nico who can perform the screening and recycling and leaving Dean the problem of which combination best suits the forward three. I agree with earlier posters who point to the side which finished strongly last season and make the case for Sawyers and Barbet. Barbet has performed really effectively at the end of the last two seasons yet is benched for the start of the following season two years running. I think it will take a while to adjust to this big squad, not too sure how many are nailed-down certainties to start every game apart from Jota at the moment.
    Unidos y venceremos

  21. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mhead bee View Post
    We have a great squad at the moment and we should be optimistic of a top 6. However the major issue is that smith doesn't know his best 11 and we ah e the usually august malaise whilst players are spending more time thinking of the next move then than they do concentrating on the next 8 months.

    Bjelland isn't good enough, egan is but a bit raw. Without dean we ah e no captain and are a mess at the back.

    Vibe can be brilliant but can be *****. Flo jo has only had about 20 minutes in total spread across 10 games in 6 months when he looked good, the rest of the time he is invisible.

    The midfield we are overloaded with players who play in the same position. Sawyers is the most creative but defensively very lazy, nico seems to be on the pitch when we win and covers ground and woods and mok can't seem to play together although they are both very good.

    It is a bit of a mess but until we get through august and smith sorts out his best mid three mids and drops bjelland it is going to be messy.

    We are going to be fine this season but no more three holding players on at the same time please, give the French lad a start as he has energy and get canos fit please.
    Absolutely spot on!
    KT3BEE

  22. #16
    The combinations of players taking up the same midfield roles I see are:

    Holding midfielder - Deep lying playmaker
    McEachran/Woods

    Holding Midfielder - Defensive
    Mokotjo/Yennaris

    Central Midfielder - Attacking
    Sawyers/Watkins (also add Mcleod and Judge when they return)

    I my mind we need to play one out of each of those three categories.

    Against Sheffield we played two holding midfielder/playmakers and a holding/defensive midfielder who played too deep and against Nottingham, we played one holding midfielder/playmaker and two holding/defensive midfielders. It's no wonder we didn't score against Sheffield and two centre backs score goals from set pieces against Nottingham, where's the attacking midfielder to link play with the front three?

    It's a bit odd we've played a rather defensive minded midfield when our greatest strength is in attack.

    For me the combinations would be: McEachran/Motojko/Sawyers (strongest) and Woods/Yennaris/Watkins.
    There are only three types of people: Those who can count and those who can't - R Feynman.

  23. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by BerksBee View Post
    The combinations of players taking up the same midfield roles I see...
    I'm not sure you're seeing how the players have been lining up and playing, though. In your sequence:
    McEachran – certainly a playmaker and likes to build from deep and not afraid to tackle.
    Woods – certainly plays deep but I would not describe him as a playmaker, more a recycler. He played most of last season as defensive holding.
    Mokotjo – targeted as a defensive holding player, covering the defence, and willing and able to tackle. A DHM, when the opposition is lying deep, will keep an eye on a runner that may escape our press and also be available to 'recycle' the ball to keep the others forward.
    Yennaris – he's played box-to-box all last season, mainly due to his work-rate, and, although I think he also makes a good DHM, he's not been played there by Smith.
    Sawyers – Started as a player who had free rein across the middle but he is a playmaker and he's been positioned deeper in the few appearances so far this season.
    Watkins - box-to-box, certainly most attacking, but can play wide attack as well. This was the role that Macleod took when he was fit and available but our formation has been tweaked since then.
    Judge – I'd expect him to play more as a box-to-box than the freer, wider way he played before.

    Each player has slightly different attributes, therefore not interchangeable precisely one-for-one, though. So, your first combination lacks a box-to-box and the second lacks a playmaker.
    When the wind of change blows some build walls, others build windmills...

  24. Woods/Kamo/Watkins is our strongest combo imo (the former two sitting deep with one given licence to move forward as required whilst the other covers, and watkins beind the striker floating around and creating danger with his running).
    I think Woods is better at passing and dictating play than he's perhaps given credit for. McE might play a few nicer throughballs but Woods is better all round imo and less of a defensive liability.
    Kamo has a mix of all of the qualities of McE/Woods/Nico and whilst not necessarily being better than McE at the throughballs let's say I think again he's a better all round package.
    Sawyers is very different to Watkins, and ahead of Woods+Kamo I think he'd do well (Sawyers), but I think Watkins brings another level to us with his driving running, physicality, energy/engine, etc.
    I think that Woods and Kamo are capable of providing sufficient service to those ahead (without requiring another creator in Sawyers) and would be a more solid base for the team which is conceding regularly.

    Not too fussed about the rest of the side and there'd probably be little argument over it (other than the fact we need Harlee back badly).

  25. #19
    The way I see it prior to the start of this season we have had 3 main roles in the midfield. The holding midfielder, the more advanced playmaker and then another one in the middle normally a box to box. The problem is that we have all been crying out for that defensive midfielder who can tackle, win us the ball back and protects our defence but where does he fit into our midfield 3? For me Smith is yet to work that one out. So far that player has been played instead of our more advanced playmaker (previously played by RS and KK and I know OW can play there as well) which has left us very unbalanced, much more defensive and for me just hasnt worked as I'm sure everyone will agree we have performed much better when RS and OW have come onto the pitch in that midfield 3. So who does Kamo come in for? We cannot have a holding midfielder, advanced playmaker, defensive midfielder and box to box midfielder as there are only 3 positions available so DS needs to get this balance right as he has not so far. Its tricky as if Kamo is to play (as we have all been crying out for the last 3 seasons) then either the box to box or the holding midfielder (2 of NY, RW or JM) need to go. For me (just my current opinion) I'm not sure Kamo is needed to start in home games where I think we should play 3 of RS, OW, NY, RW or JM. Instead he should be used as a sub to close games out at home and should start away where we may not have as much control and possession in the games. Its a tricky one but one DS needs to get right and soon.

  26. Quote Originally Posted by youngbee View Post
    The way I see it prior to the start of this season we have had 3 main roles in the midfield. The holding midfielder, the more advanced playmaker and then another one in the middle normally a box to box. The problem is that we have all been crying out for that defensive midfielder who can tackle, win us the ball back and protects our defence but where does he fit into our midfield 3? For me Smith is yet to work that one out. So far that player has been played instead of our more advanced playmaker (previously played by RS and KK and I know OW can play there as well) which has left us very unbalanced, much more defensive and for me just hasnt worked as I'm sure everyone will agree we have performed much better when RS and OW have come onto the pitch in that midfield 3. So who does Kamo come in for? We cannot have a holding midfielder, advanced playmaker, defensive midfielder and box to box midfielder as there are only 3 positions available so DS needs to get this balance right as he has not so far. Its tricky as if Kamo is to play (as we have all been crying out for the last 3 seasons) then either the box to box or the holding midfielder (2 of NY, RW or JM) need to go. For me (just my current opinion) I'm not sure Kamo is needed to start in home games where I think we should play 3 of RS, OW, NY, RW or JM. Instead he should be used as a sub to close games out at home and should start away where we may not have as much control and possession in the games. Its a tricky one but one DS needs to get right and soon.
    Personally I want to see us play this side I mentioned on the team for Brizzle thread (with Kamo and Woods both shielding and one of them moving forward to start/support attacks when we have the ball and the other covering in case we lose it):
    Capture.PNG

    I think with our attacking fullbacks supporting the attacks we need both of those deep lying central midfielders (I chose Woods and Kamo due to their ability to both pass, tackle, and defend, and think they're the best all rounders). Sawyers can come on for Watkins if he's not performing. Nico and McE as cover for either of those deep lying two. Maupay to cover Vibe or try to take his place (same for Zoom and the wingers) etc.

  27. I think we're a 4-3-3 team, not a 4-2-3-1. I really like Josh, but he seems to play vastly better when he is furthest back of the central 3, and never gets space when picked further forward. He was poor last year with Woods behind him, and great once Smith flipped the two of them.

    So I'd prefer Sawyers as my playmaker, as it's much easier to get a functioning 3 with him in the team as he doesn't need to be the deepest one.

    Woods as the holding midfielder, Sawyers as the playmaker, and I could make a case for any of Yennaris / Kamo / Watkins as a runner. Very excited by Watkins on Saturday.

  28. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by youngbee View Post
    The way I see it prior to the start of this season we have had 3 main roles in the midfield. The holding midfielder, the more advanced playmaker and then another one in the middle normally a box to box. The problem is that we have all been crying out for that defensive midfielder who can tackle, win us the ball back and protects our defence but where does he fit into our midfield 3?
    Your post I think is a very good summation of the problems currently facing Dean Smith. This is exacerbated by his determination to continue with a 4-3-3, when, with the players now available he may well be better switching to a 4-2-3-1. As you can see from jlove's reasoned disagreement to my simplification of player roles, they can all fit in and play a different role to their primary one.

    In the roles you've described above, Woods has been the holding midfielder, Sawyers as the advanced playmaker and Yennaris as the box to box. But the problem with that I think, is that Woods isn't good enough in defensive duties as the holding midfielder. This is one of the reasons we conceded so many goals last season - the screening from midfield of the back four wasn't good enough. That in my mind is because he's a deep lying playmaker not a defensive holding midfielder. When he came to us from Shrewsbury, he came with the nickname 'The Ginger Pirlo'. Andreas Pirlo was probably the finest exponent of the deep lying playmaker role the worlds ever seen. Why anyone would think that's not what he is or where he plays best is beyond my comprehension. This is why Motojko was brought in. He is a true defensive/holding midfielder who should take on that screening role in front of the back four and played alongside a deep lying playmaker like Woods would work very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by youngbee View Post
    We cannot have a holding midfielder, advanced playmaker, defensive midfielder and box to box midfielder as there are only 3 positions available so DS needs to get this balance right as he has not so far.
    Well you can because in my mind the advanced playmaker/attacking midfielder, can also operate as a box to box. Box to box simply means a player who puts in a shift going forward as well as in defence. Playing almost a No. 10 role behind the striker in attack and dropping deeper into a more holding/defensive role when others are out of position. Yennaris and Sawyers are the two we have who play this role and we've often seen Sawyers playing very deep helping to screen the back four when necessary. Whether Watkins can fulfill this kind of dual role remains to be seen.
    There are only three types of people: Those who can count and those who can't - R Feynman.

  29. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly Paul View Post
    Midfield Disruptor" - sits in front of back four and is just asked to break oppo attacks up and feed the play makers = Mokotjo, Yennaris
    Leaking goals ATM and part of the problem, IMO, is there is no genuine defensive midfielder in the team. Every one thought Mokotjo was going to play the MakÚlÚlÚ role, but to me, he looks a box-to-box midfielder rather.

  30. Quote Originally Posted by hkbee View Post
    Leaking goals ATM and part of the problem, IMO, is there is no genuine defensive midfielder in the team. Every one thought Mokotjo was going to play the MakÚlÚlÚ role, but to me, he looks a box-to-box midfielder rather.
    I think it's a tactical issue and imo DS is not great at this. I think Woods + Kamo would be perfectly capable of forming a defensive midfield pair. Both with the licence to move forward when they have the ball whilst the other covers. They'll benefit from having an attacking midfielder ahead whether that be Watkins or Sawyers (not Yennaris as I don't think he's suited to playing that role).
    Similarly, when we have the fullbacks attacking, other players need to acknowledge someone has to drop in to cover.
    I don't think we've got the counter-pressing right yet either (and I'm still skeptical on it because it needs to be done very well for it not to be bypassed and cause more issues than the chances it creates with players concentrated in one area and the ball just chipped/played out to a different area of the field).
    I think it's actually a very solvable issue for us but just needs to be addressed properly.

  31. #25
    Reducer, exacts retribution and in a cynical side gets their retaliation in first.

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