Author Topic: Possession versus press and counter.....  (Read 1126 times)

Offline colinwhite

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Possession versus press and counter.....
« on: April 05, 2018, 03:19:47 PM »
Watching last night champions league game between Liverpool and Man City I couldnt help thinking about Fulham and the similarities between us and Manchester city, at least in the way we set out to play. Im not suggesting that we are as good as them but somewhere along the line we have similar strengths,.... and weaknesses.
Manchester City have ´dominated`just about all opponents in the premier league and are walking away with the title. Guardiaolla ,like Jokanovic ,wont accept players committing the cardinal sin of losing posession of the ball. A fundamental requirement for players to succeed in being constructive with the ball in most situations is to be calm on the ball , and able to resolve even the tightest of situations when under pressure ,in the form of onrushing opponents , in order to be able to pass the ball through the gaps create by their attempts to win the ball back.
 Klopp was the first to point out in his post-match press conference , that Man citys movement off the ball is their biggest strength ,but also their  foremost weakness  as players widen the play using the whole pitch, which can be a recipe for disaster if opposing teams nick the ball off you ,particularly in your own half and are able to counter attack or transition quickly into attack the final third before you have time to reorganise. This is exactly the sort of number that Liverpool did on City last night. Given that the reds have so many individually talented players they were able to make the most of  a game pattern where they were able to restrict City s attacking play and win most of the 50 /50 s ,due to their work ethic and aggressive press as well as a number of players very able to run with the ball having turned City over.
I dont think Man City were lethargic or wanted to win any less than their hosts , but were trying to balance the the frenetic atmosphere of the game with the usual coolness expected of them  in the approach required of them in order  to play the superb football that they have shown all season. Now it strikes me that City are the better team ,indeed the league table proves this point, but in a one off game such as a quarter final of the champions league (or a play off match ) its possible to lose belief when things arent going according to plan. Guardiolla pointed out before yesterdays clash that his team were perfect opponents for Liverpool and brought out their strengths.

Liverpool were able to produce this amazing high -octane performance for a cup game but have been less sucessful against teams sitting deep aginst them , and indeed not been able to play this way week in week out. The form the game took at anfield created many quick breaks in that all-action first half ,creating many one against one situations which Liverpool won  time and again.

Im not suggesting that if we have to play in the play-offs that any of the sides playing there  are good enough to do a Liverpool on us .However last season we were clearly better than Reading but that counted for little in a two match lottery.
The key to our play,like manchester City is ball tempo and fluidity as well as good movement off the ball. If we can fix these elemnets of our play then i dont believe anyone can touch us , but Im pretty sure that Guardiolla was thinking the same thing before yesterdays encounter. It will be interesting  in the reurn leg to see if Liverpool can maintain their lower than normal defensive shape,without conceding and if City can resolve their lack of a focal point in attack.
We now have Mitrovic which has actually given us a balance  which the soon to be league champions lacked. By balance ,I mean that we now have the option to play to Mitrovics feet and by-pass our midfield if the backs dont have any other options ,even if the serb has a man up his bakside. Lets hope that we can learn the lessons of  the light-blue team from manchester and keep our coolness as well as being able to play at a high tempo for the remaing games of the season and in particular the play-offs ,if we are forced to go down that route.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 06:00:23 PM by colinwhite »

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 03:27:40 PM »
The table does not lie but there'll always be the odd occasion when a less-good team beats a better one.

BedsFFC

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 04:39:14 PM »
I saw Barcelona do something really interesting when the other team was pressing. In this case, Suarez, stood be way ahead of their last defender (10ft). So, he obviously couldn't receive the ball but really made life difficult for the defence. They didnt quite master it but Suarez would choose the moment to be "in-play". So, a defender would have to ignore him completely if they insisted on playing a high line but at the moment he decided to be onside and in play a defender could be watching another player.

I probably haven't explained that very well. But it seemed to me a way that Barca were trying to exploit both the high pressing against them as well as the slightly unclear offside rules. I liked it and I'm sure Slavisa is aware of this tactic. Be interested to see us using it


Offline b+w geezer

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 06:54:36 PM »
The original post does a good job of explaining why what suits a prolonged league campaign may not be ideal for a one-off. Fortunately, as also stated, we now have an extra element. If we'd had it last season the playoff outcome may have been different.

Offline BestOfBrede

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 07:18:22 PM »
May have been helped or hindered by the fact that Man City players were slightly off beat due to having the fright of their lives when arriving at the ground!?

Offline WolverineFFC

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 07:58:20 PM »
The table does not lie but there'll always be the odd occasion when a less-good team beats a better one.

exactly


play that game tomorrow and city win 4-0

Not necessarily. Liverpool have been Fulhamesque since the start of 2018. They have the same amount of league points and nearly the same goal diff as MCFC in that time.


Offline colinwhite

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 06:13:22 AM »
One point i perhaps failed to make was that it is easier for liverpool to be ùp for it `as their fast prsseing and counter style demands high energy. City on the other hand ,whilst wanting to be just as aggressive as their opponents, have a starting outlook of priorotising a `keep cool in possession and dont give the ball away `approach. As we have found out,its not always that easy to combine these 2 basic approaches to you want to play.

Offline toshes mate

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 07:44:58 AM »
May have been helped or hindered by the fact that Man City players were slightly off beat due to having the fright of their lives when arriving at the ground!?
I wondered at that too.

Offline Mitrovic the warrior

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 01:29:06 PM »
Man City lost not just because they were forced to defend deeper rhan they are used to, but more importantly because they didn't pose a threat going forward and this allowed Liverpool to play a high line. I can understand not wanting to start Sterling, but they spent the best part of £50 million on Bernardo Silva, so he should have started. Guardiola made a big tactical error with his line up.


Offline colinwhite

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 03:29:07 PM »
Moose  i agree and also think that Klopp got his tactics spot on. He played a deep defence line without too much press on the night, which aloud the home team space to break into with pace on the occasions they won the ball back  . a dangerous game to play given the quality city have. The return leg will be interesting.

Offline MJG

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2018, 03:35:47 PM »
So what's the solution? Dump the tactics we have used for the league for different Cup style games in the playoffs on the basis the best team in the country by a mile had a really bad day at the office?

Offline colinwhite

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2018, 03:56:34 PM »
Absolutely not. My post was in  no way intended to be a criticism of our tactics. S o a big no from me. I thought there was however an interesting parallell between us and City ,and although they didnt freeze like us in the 2nd half against QPR they had problems breaking Liverpool down on the night .Thats why I  Think the return leg will be interesting.
As long as we play at a fast enough tempo we can cope with any press from the teams in this division. That I firmly believe. In my opinion the last time we got really exposed because of game plan was against Spurs last season in the cup.
Jokanovic keeps talking about being brave and I think he means daring to keep cool in possession as well as playing through the opposition with a high tempo. A big ask but it can be done. But even as Man City showed the best teams can be undone if they go through the motions and arent fully at their best.


Offline MJG

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 04:22:08 PM »
Absolutely not. My post was in  no way intended to be a criticism of our tactics. S o a big no from me. I thought there was however an interesting parallell between us and City ,and although they didnt freeze like us in the 2nd half against QPR they had problems breaking Liverpool down on the night .Thats why I  Think the return leg will be interesting.
As long as we play at a fast enough tempo we can cope with any press from the teams in this division. That I firmly believe. In my opinion the last time we got really exposed because of game plan was against Spurs last season in the cup.
Jokanovic keeps talking about being brave and I think he means daring to keep cool in possession as well as playing through the opposition with a high tempo. A big ask but it can be done. But even as Man City showed the best teams can be undone if they go through the motions and arent fully at their best.
fair enough, I was just sort of trying to understand the underlying point you were trying to make and also going by some other posters comments.
You have to adapt to who you are playing and also in game tactics which we have better and more intelligent players to be able to do that now.

Offline colinwhite

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 04:50:21 PM »
Liverppool forced City into a game with lots of one on one duels and won most of those. We dont want to get drawn into that in the playoffs(if that is what it has to be ).I think we showed against leeds that we have learnt from the Qpr 2nd half somaybe that was a blessing in disguise.
the football we are playing and the standards ofour play which Jokanovic has put in place Will stand us in very good stead for the premiership,if we can get there, unlike Cardiff ,who like all of Warnocks teams wouldnt last 5 minutes in the top flight in my View.

Offline toshes mate

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Re: Possession versus press and counter.....
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 06:53:28 PM »
Jokanovic keeps talking about being brave
It is always precarious to try to gauge another's meaning of a word (or the Serbian equivalent if that is how SJ manages his second, etc., languages) but I am not so sure SJ means the adjective daring.  The verb brave means to defy, face or stand up to, which tend towards mental toughness as in confidence, expecting to succeed, knowing you have the ability to do it because you have been trained, schooled, disciplined, and have the fitness required to be that way.  In Tim Ream's piece in the Times he talks of knowing where his team mates are which is also down to discipline, training and dependability.  I suspect SJ knows almost exactly what he wants, ensures his coaches know that too, and ultimately and effectively disciplines his players by selecting them if they deliver to his and his staff's requirements on the training ground. 

I hope we have all seen the (often small) improvements as each game passes by, but I am certain we often think too much about the mistakes we see since we feel they can cost us dearly.  Perhaps SJ knows there is a time that, when a player becomes good enough, the mistakes become so marginalised they do not matter quite so much as we supporters think they do because the belief is not dented by having an 'off day'.   I hope we get to second place but I do feel we will see a very different Fulham compared to last season if play offs are required.