Author Topic: I went last night so here's a match summary and analysis (for the purist!)  (Read 3386 times)

Offline abfg

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I know many couldn't make it last night so I shall do my best to say what I saw then give some insight. I've not read any match reports so this is just how I viewed it. I promise I will get to the Button criticism later but there's a lot more to it than just that. I'll start with a summary, with one disclaimer, I was up at the back, so for any cases of mistaken identity I apologise.

Derby scored early with the first real chance of the game. Good through ball and a centre forward running off the last man, so credit where it's due, but it just looked a bit too easy. We spent the next half hour playing 'crab football' in their half (side to side). With no centre forward playing we had nobody running centrally in behind, so our only outlets were the full backs, especially Fredericks. We were reasonably dangerous and put plenty of good balls in, but with no centre forward attacking the 6 yard box Derby were able to defend there fairly easily, if not always comfortably. We obviously needed a bit more up top, on 20 mins or so Piazon was dropped deeper and Aluko went to the front of the front 3. This improved things a bit, as although not really a natural centre forward he at least  went and stood on the last man and made Derby work a bit when the ball came in. For their part, Derby did not do much until after we equalised, but somehow looked threatening when our attacks inevitably broke down, or when we were sloppy in possession which went unpunished a couple of times in the first half. They seemed to be happy to risk our attacks and left 2 or 3 of Ince, Nugent and Russell pushed forward looking to spring counters. We equalised on about 35 with a really good team goal and typical of this season. Overloaded the play down the left, then switched it over the other side to Fredericks who took it past his man and put the ball in. For the first time we had men in the box (men plural) and with Derby's defenders having to deal with something, the ball broke to Ayite who did the decent thing. Really proper team goal. This was the moment to take the game away from Derby, we were the better team at that point with all the play and could have capitalised.

We then could and should have taken the lead almost straight from the kick off. Another ball in and somehow Aluko, Piazon Cainey and Ayite all had the ball at their feet in the box but none took a shot. It was like watching 4 sharpshooter marksmen passing a gun around because none of them knew how to take off the safety catch. Should have been, but wasn't and actually I think probably would have won us the game. Then we started to capitulate. Derby had still not offered much, but had obviously noticed a bit of sloppy passing and were pushing up on our defence and goal kicks. This led to the penalty, goalie played it short, and the defence gave the ball away. It was foul or concede and the penalty was given. Good save from that but from the resultant corner Nugent was left unmarked for the knock down and did what a centre forward will. He had so much space. 2-1. Needing an equaliser we hit the crossbar on ht. For only the 3rd time in the game we had men in the box and how it didn't go in I don't know. Ayite should have done better with the finish.

Second half was poor for us. Rowett brought on an ht sub, who seemed to relieve Russell of any defensive responsibility. With Russell pushed right forward down our right, Fredericks was greatly nullified and we lost our biggest threat - and we still had nobody to run in behind centrally so we started to look really toothless. Malone was very occupied on the other side with Ince, and Nugent through the middle pinned back our centre backs.

With our full backs defensively occupied we played some more crab football for 10 minutes, without creating anything of note. Derby were happy to leave 3 pushed on and wait for our attacks to break down or mistakes in possession. Which moves us onto their third goal. Overplaying at the back and the ball broke to Nugent. Button charged out to block but his attempted clearance cannoned straight into Nugent and into his path, he couldn't miss. 3-1. After a bit more toothless attacking from us we concede another cock up. Button played a defence splitting roll out, Johnny Russell said thank you and that was that. 4-1. Nothing much happened for a while until we scored the consolation; Derby looked like scoring a fifth, within a few moments Aluko has the ball running at their defence, drew his man and released Ayite who finished. Good counter and again, one of the only times we had men breaking their neck to get forward centrally - Aluko could have released more than one player. Derby saw it out fairly comfortably.

So why did Derby win and more importantly why did we lose? The obvious and cosmetic answer is the mistakes. Button takes much responsibility and really must be dropped or improve vastly. It's not often you say that about a penalty saving goalie, but to make repeated mistakes of the same type is not acceptable. The centre backs were also woeful in possession and contributed as much as Button to the cock ups overall. But actually that doesn't tell the whole story. We still could and maybe should have won. The weakness is depressingly obvious. We have no centre forward (or at least none that is good enough - jury out on Cyriac). The first half was a procession towards the Derby goal and yet somehow until the equaliser we had no real good chances. Plenty of good balls, plenty of opportunity, but nobody to run in behind the centre backs and stick it in the net, or attack a cut in cross from wide.

Contrast that with Derby. They had almost none of the play, especially first half, but what they did have was a front 3 made up of fantastic (on the night at least) players. What they did, that none of our players did, was run off the shoulder of the deepest defenders and attack balls in the box. The effect of their running off the last man was to nullify our full backs, especially second half, but mainly to force our defensive line deeper. This meant building from the back always happened from deep, giving them the opportunity to close down in dangerous areas and help our players make catastrophic mistakes. It also meant when we did play out successfully, it was from so deep that it took too long to bring the ball forward. This was compounded as we had no presence up front aerially and no runners in behind to exploit any space.

Derby gambled. They gambled we couldn't score and left their men up to capitalise, which they did ruthlessly. Had we had a centre forward we would have made the best of our chances and they wouldn't have been able to play that way. As it was they could and effectively played our biggest systemic weakness, lack of centre forward, into their biggest strength, their front 3. Other observation is that the team was very lacklustre overall, like a beer that was once delicious but has just gone a bit warm and flat. Not quite undrinkable, but somehow not what it was even very recently. Also, SJ is doing a great job generally but selection and subs left me confused - Piazon should never have started and it was obvious from 15mins in (tbh before kick off) we needed a proper centre forward on. The only one is Cyriac, so he came on after 85 minutes. Can't understand that.

Lessons for next games (and next season - whichever division we are in)
Goalkeeping. Big decision here, Button does not deserve his place but changing goalie now is a big call.

Piazon is not up to it. About as useful as a petrol based fire extinguisher. He is not a centre forward and we have better players for the inside forward role.

Ayite, Kebano, Aluko, Piazon are all the same type of player. Flying winger/inside forward. They are the Hazard/Pedro player, not the Costa (sorry, I know it's Chelsea but they play a front three and it illustrates the point). We must play a centre forward - I don't like Martin, but it's him, Cyriac or a kid. Like Klose led the Germans to a World Cup (and played instead of the technically better Schurrle), we must have a centre forward. Woodrow to get the winner at wembley anyone?

The players need either a rest or a kick up the backside, or both. The whole team was stale and jaded, nobody really played well. Fredericks first half was dangerous, Ayite took 2 chances well, so good for that but also wasted opportunities that, say, Nugent wouldn't have and could have turned the game. I don't fault anyone's effort, even Button and the centre backs, but it was just poor. Nobody really emerges with any credit from last night, the goalie, the defence, any other players, the manager and not the board who could have provided a centre forward, the missing link. But given we could still go up and for a brief few minutes of the game I thought we could win, it's not so bad I guess.. Onwards!

Offline toshes mate

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Excellent commentary on the game, and a brilliant summary at the end. 

Offline Dodgin

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Well said.


Offline RaySmith

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Very informative, and good analysis - thanks.

Offline colinwhite

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Thanks alot for that. An interesting read!

Mitch

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Agree massively with your comment on the lack of a striker. There were at least two balls flashed across the box first half that any half decent striker gets something on, but we had no one to be seen. Cyriac either isn't up to it, or isn't Slavisa's man, because without Martin I've not felt the False 9 has worked for us at all, yet Slav has persisted despite having Cyriac available.


nose

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Thank you for the detailed review. It is almost exactly as reported on Radio London. Clearly they didn't mention Piazon in the way you did but from the commentary it was obvious every time he was in attendance things were breaking down, including what they suggested was a laughable dive that saw him booked.

I always admire thoser that travel away and especially midweek. I know it is not possible for most of us to go to such games but there are loads of posters that never see a game that I hope will take note of your insights.

Offline Fulham1959

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Superb report, lucidly written.  Thank you.

Online Woolly Mammoth

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Excellent, Biblical and Epic reporting. Every word in your report made sense and it was well balanced in praise and criticism, all very constructive, many thanks.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 11:17:57 AM by Woolly Mammoth »


BedsFFC

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I am going to make a point in response to this post.

Beforehand, I want to say, I wasn't at match and that report sounds pretty much exactly I expected. I am sure it is true and very good summary.

I read many negative posts last night and many talk about lack of striker.

However, I make a couple of points. We are the 2nd highest scorers in the league. We have scored just 3 goals less than Newcastle.

Derby have played 21 home games and on only 4 occasions has a team scored 2 or more.

I think what I am trying to say is that our recent problems actually sit elsewhere

nose

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I am going to make a point in response to this post.

Beforehand, I want to say, I wasn't at match and that report sounds pretty much exactly I expected. I am sure it is true and very good summary.

I read many negative posts last night and many talk about lack of striker.

However, I make a couple of points. We are the 2nd highest scorers in the league. We have scored just 3 goals less than Newcastle.

Derby have played 21 home games and on only 4 occasions has a team scored 2 or more.

I think what I am trying to say is that our recent problems actually sit elsewhere

That is a paradox isn't it. we have no proper striker, often look like we have no idea where the goal is and yet have scored a phenomenal amount of goals.

But the point of the post and one that I often make in this respect is that too often without a front man getting into the box as we break, holding/linking the play then we are far less potent when the opposition has set up and is capable of stopping our normal flow. Clearly we needed/need a better level of physical prescence (tough guy) in defence and/or midfield. Or in other words, we were and remain lacking in certain areas. all our MB discussion i late November and through December was what types of players we needed to be able to 'kick on.'

As it is the squad is clearly jaded and Joca will really have to be at his sparkling best to get enough energy from the team to drag us over the play off line. Then anything is possible.   IMO, this is 1983 again and I am far from confident any more.

Offline abfg

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I am going to make a point in response to this post.

Beforehand, I want to say, I wasn't at match and that report sounds pretty much exactly I expected. I am sure it is true and very good summary.

I read many negative posts last night and many talk about lack of striker.

However, I make a couple of points. We are the 2nd highest scorers in the league. We have scored just 3 goals less than Newcastle.

Derby have played 21 home games and on only 4 occasions has a team scored 2 or more.

I think what I am trying to say is that our recent problems actually sit elsewhere

It's pretty hard to disagree with a fact like that but I'm going to try! I suppose the point is that the forward line has a role to play in the game beyond scoring goals. And bear in mind I'm looking through the lens of last night's game. Taking that game in isolation, it seemed to me that, despite scoring 2 goals, the forward line still failed. Derby's forward line had the tactical role that I explained, shifting our whole defence back while on the ball and pressurising our play out. It broke up our play. If our forward line had a more classical centre forward, I suspect we would have won and not been in the position for our defence to be making mistakes (not that I can ever prove this of course!).

If you have runners in behind and space to play forward, you don't play backwards and sideways - and when being pressed there's an out ball, not an aimless lump but an out ball. Generally I like our football, we are obviously effective and in some games we rip our opponents apart, but I think we have too many players in the same mould really so we rely on a particular subset of opportunities to score where we could be more ruthless.

Having said that it is true, and as I said, the centre backs need improving. But if you look purely at the 'Derby attack Fulham defend' situation, if it didn't come from a mistake in possession, I doubt we would have conceded again after the first, for all the good that I said about Derby's forwards.


Offline Lighthouse

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As a team we go forward well enough. But defend poorly. All of which means we could do with decent central defenders and a decent forward or two. We wouldn't need to have pretty little passes that are given away if we had something to aim at. The second goal for us was a defender having nowhere to go, taking on a player and putting the ball into space. Looked a nice breakaway goal but could easily have been given away.

Offline Burt

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A good report, thank you for sharing.

Just out of curiousity, the BBC are reporting that Derby had 86% possession. No team has managed that against us all season, indeed we tend to boss possession. What we do with it is another issue!

But from this read it feels like we had as much of the ball as they did?


Mitch

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A good report, thank you for sharing.

Just out of curiousity, the BBC are reporting that Derby had 86% possession. No team has managed that against us all season, indeed we tend to boss possession. What we do with it is another issue!

But from this read it feels like we had as much of the ball as they did?



The stats were completely out for the game. We had more of the ball overall.


Offline andyk

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Good report, but I am not sure about the analysis of our weakness at centre forward.

Sure Derby took their chances last night, and their CF was on fire, but over the season they have scored 46 goals and we have scored 69.
So if we change our style of play and have a dedicated CF line, would we score even more? I'm not sure.
Our problem is defending the ball lumped up in the air between the centre backs, we have conceded dozens of goals to this method and it is obvious that teams target us in this way. Every time the ball is pumped forward quickly we look panicked.

Offline abfg

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A good report, thank you for sharing.

Just out of curiousity, the BBC are reporting that Derby had 86% possession. No team has managed that against us all season, indeed we tend to boss possession. What we do with it is another issue!

But from this read it feels like we had as much of the ball as they did?

I don't know how possession is calculated, whether it's time on the ball or touches on the ball etc. But In terms of balance I would have said first half probably 60-65% us and second maybe 55-60% us. That's my view of the balance of play I suppose, what actually counts as a possession percentage gaining piece of possession I don't know so how my perception translates to possession stats I couldn't say. 14% though is impossible and a mistake!

Offline toshes mate

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Without repeating your whole post again, BedsFFC, I agree with your last sentence to the nth degree.  We let in four goals of which only one, the first, was a great pass followed by a great finish.  The others were problems of our own making.


Offline rogerpbackinMidEastUS

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Great OP and thread.
I haven't seen the game either but did listen to the 2nd half.
It strikes me from reading the posts that apart from the errors,
Gary Rowett generally got his tactics spot on and we didn't.

Offline abfg

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Good report, but I am not sure about the analysis of our weakness at centre forward.

Sure Derby took their chances last night, and their CF was on fire, but over the season they have scored 46 goals and we have scored 69.
So if we change our style of play and have a dedicated CF line, would we score even more? I'm not sure.
Our problem is defending the ball lumped up in the air between the centre backs, we have conceded dozens of goals to this method and it is obvious that teams target us in this way. Every time the ball is pumped forward quickly we look panicked.

Hi Andy. Of course as I said, I said what I saw, I'm sure many will disagree with my analysis, that's part of what I like about it all is talking it over afterwards. The lump up wasn't really what was happening for me. The Derby forwards had their tactical role to play and were ruthless when we made mistakes on the ball. But aside from the first goal, Derby had very little by way of good chances if we didn't give it to them. In terms of the pure defending off the ball, it wasn't actually that bad. It seems unbelievable to say after a 4-2 defeat that it was actually what we did in possession more than out of possession that cost us.

We have scored loads this season and conceded too many because that is how our team is set up. Our defenders play high and play out and our full backs bomb forward. That means we are playing in a score more than the opponent style, which means we must be ruthless, more so than we have been in some games, like last night and more so than teams whose tactics lend themselves better to clean sheets. Other teams will therefore have a far higher goals to points ratio. Of course, gifting 3 goals with what can only be described as group individual errors is unhelpful to say the least, but is also a con of the playing philosophy which has given us mostly pros this season. If this playing style is to be rendered ultimately successful, and by that I mean promotion, I think a centre forward is required. No qualms with saying a defensive upgrade would be useful too though, but for last night's game if I could have only had 1 change to make, I would have gone Aguero for Piazon rather than Pique for Ream. Others will surely disagree!!