A crossroads game for Appleton

Thatseasider

Well-known member
That reminded me of Cardiff at home last year. A lot of hope before the game, the players not turning up and a lot of despondent fans.

I was very surprised that Appleton stuck with the same formation and line up from the Reading game. In honesty we shouldn’t have come out of that with three points and there were glaring problems with the personnel asked to play the formation and strategy Apples wants.

We knew Stoke were going to line up with 5 in the middle so it seems strange to me that we’d set up with 5 attacking minded players operating over the half way line. It showed all game, we were completely overrun in the middle of the park. Every Stoke player seemed to have eons on the ball and more over, it was a game where it seemed the opposition had 15 players on the pitch.

In a way I don’t mind Appleton having that style of play and wanting to continue with it. But having seen it’s flaws against Reading and knowing the only player that could anchor that attack heavy midfield and forward line was filling in at right back I’m struggling to see why we set up in the exact same way.

Appleton must now see that if you’re going to have Carey, Fiorini, Bowler, Yates and Madine on the pitch it cannot be run by Virtue, he’s rapidly running out of time to prove he can cut it. If we had a fit right back at the club (that’s another post in its self) today could have worked with Connolly in Virtue’s place.

So ultimately this isn’t a disaster but today and the second half against Reading are starting to form a pattern that Appleton needs to address. Namely, the personnel in the middle and their structure behind a front three is completely wrong. For me Fiorini was completely nullified today because who he was next to in the middle and what he was asked to do. After 20 minutes of getting twatted about by Smallbone he was out of the entire game as he didn’t fancy it.

If we’re going forward with 4-3-3 the midfield three needs to drastically change in both structure and personnel, it has the potential to be great with the players at the club.

Sorry a long waffle. Congrats you got this far into reading it, today wasn’t fatal but we need to learn about our set up from it.
 

Insider

Well-known member
That reminded me of Cardiff at home last year. A lot of hope before the game, the players not turning up and a lot of despondent fans.

I was very surprised that Appleton stuck with the same formation and line up from the Reading game. In honesty we shouldn’t have come out of that with three points and there were glaring problems with the personnel asked to play the formation and strategy Apples wants.

We knew Stoke were going to line up with 5 in the middle so it seems strange to me that we’d set up with 5 attacking minded players operating over the half way line. It showed all game, we were completely overrun in the middle of the park. Every Stoke player seemed to have eons on the ball and more over, it was a game where it seemed the opposition had 15 players on the pitch.

In a way I don’t mind Appleton having that style of play and wanting to continue with it. But having seen it’s flaws against Reading and knowing the only player that could anchor that attack heavy midfield and forward line was filling in at right back I’m struggling to see why we set up in the exact same way.

Appleton must now see that if you’re going to have Carey, Fiorini, Bowler, Yates and Madine on the pitch it cannot be run by Virtue, he’s rapidly running out of time to prove he can cut it. If we had a fit right back at the club (that’s another post in its self) today could have worked with Connolly in Virtue’s place.

So ultimately this isn’t a disaster but today and the second half against Reading are starting to form a pattern that Appleton needs to address. Namely, the personnel in the middle and their structure behind a front three is completely wrong. For me Fiorini was completely nullified today because who he was next to in the middle and what he was asked to do. After 20 minutes of getting twatted about by Smallbone he was out of the entire game as he didn’t fancy it.

If we’re going forward with 4-3-3 the midfield three needs to drastically change in both structure and personnel, it has the potential to be great with the players at the club.

Sorry a long waffle. Congrats you got this far into reading it, today wasn’t fatal but we need to learn about our set up from it.
Not much I disagree with in that summary. 👍
 

Costero Poderoso

Well-known member
Thought bowler had a reasonably good game, a dozen or so exciting dribbles where most came to nothing by being dispossessed, 2 where he got shots off, and 1 ended in a free kick that came to nothing.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Bowler is undoubtably our best player, he’s probably leaving so all this is a moot point.

But he was easily isolated and doubled up on by Stoke today. That was all down to how the midfield three was set up. A flat line three left us all over the place, gaps everywhere and left us chasing shadows.

I think the idea was to have Carey and Madine in and around his runs, it just patently didn’t work, even when Yates came into the middle of the front three.

Bowler was clearly frustrated with the whole thing today.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Pe
We don't have the players to fit the system he wants to play, especially in this division where for periods of games we'll have to dig in and grind out results.
We're gonna be there for the taking against any half decent side this season.
Personally I think we do, JG and a true understudy to him at right back would go along way to solving the structure.

Two deeper midfielders made up of Connolly and Patino would compliment each other fantastically. Firorini playing in advance of them stringing balls through to people like Corbenau, Yates and CJ for all his faults could be perfect.

The players are there we’re just not using them correctly. All In my opinion.
 

voyeur

Well-known member
Pe

Personally I think we do, JG and a true understudy to him at right back would go along way to solving the structure.

Two deeper midfielders made up of Connolly and Patino would compliment each other fantastically. Firorini playing in advance of them stringing balls through to people like Corbenau, Yates and CJ for all his faults could be perfect.

The players are there we’re just not using them correctly. All In my opinion.
The midfield selection is ridiculous. Virtue Carey and Fiorini all virtually new to the division, Carey and Virtue back from long lay offs, no steel or real organisation. How can we get it so wrong?
 

Goforgoal

Well-known member
Pe

Personally I think we do, JG and a true understudy to him at right back would go along way to solving the structure.

Two deeper midfielders made up of Connolly and Patino would compliment each other fantastically. Firorini playing in advance of them stringing balls through to people like Corbenau, Yates and CJ for all his faults could be perfect.

The players are there we’re just not using them correctly. All In my opinion.
Correct and the biggest part of the riddle will be solved with one signing, a right back. He could then shuffle the pack, as you say Connolly in midfield, his best position by far, and the rest would fall into place. I’m not suggesting one signing would solve all our problems, we definitely need a couple more. But a good right back , Dujon? Would go 90% of the way.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
The midfield selection is ridiculous. Virtue Carey and Fiorini all virtually new to the division, Carey and Virtue back from long lay offs, no steel or real organisation. How can we get it so wrong?
Agreed, it seems hard to fathom why something so obviously bad is put in place as the linchpin of our game plan.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Correct and the biggest part of the riddle will be solved with one signing, a right back. He could then shuffle the pack, as you say Connolly in midfield, his best position by far, and the rest would fall into place. I’m not suggesting one signing would solve all our problems, we definitely need a couple more. But a good right back , Dujon? Would go 90% of the way.
Completely agree.

The one thing I though BM got wrong in his interview last week, scoffing at no right back. It’s actually a major structural problem on the pitch for two reasons.

1. Connolly is deprived of adding maximum value to the team in the middle.

2. Whilst he does fantastically well covering at RB, ultimately he isn’t one and there’s a few positional errors that allow dangerous crosses to come in the box, with virtually no cover in front of the RB in this formation we need a dedicated RB like JG or Sterling to have to pace, strength and nous to nullify danger before it happens. One of JG’s great skills for me.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Look, every time we've been promoted this century we've played some really shit early games. To read a lot of you, you're queueing up at the hangman's door.
Tbh, and I’m not just blowing my own trumpet here this has been one of the most balanced threads on a poor performance I’ve seen.

We realise the problems why they’ve occurred, how we fix them, as I say it’s not fatal but this can’t become a pattern.
 

Goforgoal

Well-known member
Let's not go OTT. A win next week and it's 6/9.
I don’t think anyone has gone over the top. Normally after a performance like today’s the Samaritans are overwhelmed with calls from Seasiders fans. I would suggest that 90% or more of today’s post match comments have been considered and constructive. We aren’t telling Apples anything he doesn’t already know, we are just letting him know, that we know as well.😉
 

voyeur

Well-known member
I don’t think anyone has gone over the top. Normally after a performance like today’s the Samaritans are overwhelmed with calls from Seasiders fans. I would suggest that 90% or more of today’s post match comments have been considered and constructive. We aren’t telling Apples anything he doesn’t already know, we are just letting him know, that we know as well.😉
Some of us knew it last week however. 😆
 

Scaramanga

Well-known member
He was involved in all of our most dangerous moments. Especially the run past 3/4 early in the second when he shot just wide. We won’t get another like him, even if we £4 million for him
I know. why is everyone so sensitive. He’s our best player by a thousand miles. But let’s be honest, he needs to do better in the final third.
 

gjr69

Well-known member
I trust MA to sort it I think he will
I'm not sure. He said he has a way that he wants to play from day 1. Unfortunately I don't think we can afford the players to make it work in the Championship.
The reason Critchley played the way he did was because of the players we've got. Originally Critchley wanted to play 4 3 3 but he couldn't make it work in league 1 so what chance in the Championship with pretty much the same squad?!
 

seasiderjohn

Well-known member
That reminded me of Cardiff at home last year. A lot of hope before the game, the players not turning up and a lot of despondent fans.

I was very surprised that Appleton stuck with the same formation and line up from the Reading game. In honesty we shouldn’t have come out of that with three points and there were glaring problems with the personnel asked to play the formation and strategy Apples wants.

We knew Stoke were going to line up with 5 in the middle so it seems strange to me that we’d set up with 5 attacking minded players operating over the half way line. It showed all game, we were completely overrun in the middle of the park. Every Stoke player seemed to have eons on the ball and more over, it was a game where it seemed the opposition had 15 players on the pitch.

In a way I don’t mind Appleton having that style of play and wanting to continue with it. But having seen it’s flaws against Reading and knowing the only player that could anchor that attack heavy midfield and forward line was filling in at right back I’m struggling to see why we set up in the exact same way.

Appleton must now see that if you’re going to have Carey, Fiorini, Bowler, Yates and Madine on the pitch it cannot be run by Virtue, he’s rapidly running out of time to prove he can cut it. If we had a fit right back at the club (that’s another post in its self) today could have worked with Connolly in Virtue’s place.

So ultimately this isn’t a disaster but today and the second half against Reading are starting to form a pattern that Appleton needs to address. Namely, the personnel in the middle and their structure behind a front three is completely wrong. For me Fiorini was completely nullified today because who he was next to in the middle and what he was asked to do. After 20 minutes of getting twatted about by Smallbone he was out of the entire game as he didn’t fancy it.

If we’re going forward with 4-3-3 the midfield three needs to drastically change in both structure and personnel, it has the potential to be great with the players at the club.

Sorry a long waffle. Congrats you got this far into reading it, today wasn’t fatal but we need to learn about our set up from it.
totally agree with connolly in the midfield dishing it back out to them different story.
MA needs a plan B
 

FLATBACKFOR

Well-known member
Decisions have to be made the sooner the better. These first few games are crucial for Appleton to solve. Fiorini needs to
be played in his best position to get the best out of him he's not a ball winner. A mobile striker with good link up play clearly is needed. Some people on here have written off Beesley after couple of games wanting to send him out on loan which I dont understand.
 

Raging_Bull

Well-known member
Some very good posts on here and it's hard to argue with many thoughts from everyone, my appraisal so far is,

1. A lot of fans had serious reservations about the appointment of MA, for me the jury is still very much out on him.
2. No way yesterdays midfield three can cut it in this division, they'll get outgunned every single game.
3. If MA thinks he can play a certain system without the correct personnel, he's going to be proved wrong.
4. Josh Bowler is a very good player, IF and only if your team is dominating the game, if not he goes on the missing list.
5. We desperately need Kevin Stewart to get fit and stay fit, his absence is killing us and he's injured far often for me.
6. Right back is a big issue, last year we had two excellent ones neither of which are around right now.
7. MA needs to get it right quickly otherwise the feel good factor we all enjoyed since SS came in will disappear.
8. We know there is cash available after we failed to land Brannigan, get it used before that window closes.
 

Adams Kebab

Well-known member
Completely agree.

The one thing I though BM got wrong in his interview last week, scoffing at no right back. It’s actually a major structural problem on the pitch for two reasons.

1. Connolly is deprived of adding maximum value to the team in the middle.

2. Whilst he does fantastically well covering at RB, ultimately he isn’t one and there’s a few positional errors that allow dangerous crosses to come in the box, with virtually no cover in front of the RB in this formation we need a dedicated RB like JG or Sterling to have to pace, strength and nous to nullify danger before it happens. One of JG’s great skills for me.
This is spot on. They won’t say a word this week & to be honest they shouldn’t be doing anyway. I don’t think it’s normal for a CEO and Owner to be biting to a message board & telling us we don’t need another right back as Connolly “scored a goal!”

If you’re right back in our team when Bowler is playing in-front of you you have to expect you’re going to have to defend 2 v 1’s and get exposed, any ball over the top or in behind CC and he’s struggling, highlighted v Everton in that friendly and again yesterday. People will no doubt say Bowler should be doing more defensively but you sacrifice that for what he brings the other way.

Arguably, the key position in this system is the Centre forward and I just don’t see us having the right one. Just saw Simms goals and they’ve pissed me off more, as that strong running in behind is something we just don’t have. As a central midfielder, we don’t have a forward who’s going to make a run to be slid in, as well as good the ball up. That limits what you can do when you can get the ball. Physicality in the midfield is essential too. We have to win the battle before we can use the talent on the ball we have.

Have to be fair to MA though, he’s learning about the group two competitive games in, last year v Cardiff, Critchley had known 7 or 8 of the starting players for over a year.

Once again, it’s over to the recruitment team to get the right players in before the window shuts. We’ve tried our best go get Simms, so they know we need a forward, let’s hope they can find another one.
 
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Briggsysgonagetya

Well-known member
Some very good posts on here and it's hard to argue with many thoughts from everyone, my appraisal so far is,

1. A lot of fans had serious reservations about the appointment of MA, for me the jury is still very much out on him.
2. No way yesterdays midfield three can cut it in this division, they'll get outgunned every single game.
3. If MA thinks he can play a certain system without the correct personnel, he's going to be proved wrong.
4. Josh Bowler is a very good player, IF and only if your team is dominating the game, if not he goes on the missing list.
5. We desperately need Kevin Stewart to get fit and stay fit, his absence is killing us and he's injured far often for me.
6. Right back is a big issue, last year we had two excellent ones neither of which are around right now.
7. MA needs to get it right quickly otherwise the feel good factor we all enjoyed since SS came in will disappear.
8. We know there is cash available after we failed to land Brannigan, get it used before that window closes.
Yes to all of this,except number 5. Stewart is a waste of a squad place, leave him out of it
 

FLATBACKFOR

Well-known member
I,m sure Appletons mindset will be maybe maybe not regarding Kevin Stewart but he can't afford to wait
for him an experienced campaigner in this division is needed. If KS comes good I'm sure he will be an asset in
18 man squad the sooner the better. 99% of us are aware of this situation its up to the club now to negotiate for the
best player available along with a right back and another mobile striker with good link- up play.
 

Vince McLean

Well-known member
Midfield possession has been our achilles heel for years.
Critchley played a smash grab long ball game that mostly missed out midfield, which kept us up.
With JG back or a new RB we could, imho, have 4 in a strong midfield CC & KD - along with Fiorini & Patino.
Bowler & Jerry the front two. Or 451 if u like, as Bowler plays wide. Dominate possession and go from there.
Guardiola isn't obsessed with having three up top - he seems to prefer an entire team of footballing midfieders.
 

Yarmouth Seasider

Well-known member
There's some well reasoned and very constructive comments on this thread and some proper realism.
Prior to the game yesterday I saw post stating we should "expect" points against Stoke as they are only a mid-table championship side! I wish we could be categorised as a mid-table side!
The problems are pretty obvious to see, and let's face it, the lack of a right back has been major concern since Gabriel got injured. The midfield will not work with yesterdays starters, we need some experienced nastiness in there with the younger players. Stewart would provide it but he plays one game in six, if we're lucky, or Connolly if we can take him away from filling in at right back.

Another concern must be the strikers, we are crying out for someone who can put the ball in the net. If only Ellis Simms had wanted to come here, but that's history and we need to find an alternative, and quickly.
 

Seaside Aggro

Well-known member
I get the feeling Appleton is trying to prove he’s different from the last time he was here, so he’s trying to play the exact opposite of that with a gung-ho attacking 433. He might even have offered this in his job interview. Critchley, for his faults, gave up a similar idea pretty quickly and went for a pragmatic formation that suited the players. We either need a few bodies in, or to work out a better set up.
 

JJpool

Well-known member
Let's face it, with a more defensive RB who is fast and strong their 2 goal chances might not have happened.

They had other half chances as did we, with the few in the first half and Bowler one in the 2nd.

The goals were taken very well and that won't happen every time.

Not panicking yet, if anything we've probably learned more quicker this way.

Get the RB sorted and play the midfield with the wonder kid and we're a hell of a lot better and more solid.
 

Raging_Bull

Well-known member
Yes agree with a lot being said, for me once we get Gabriel back then any of Stewart, Patino, Connolly and Dougal would play ahead of yesterdays starting midfield. Virtue should be nowhere near a starter.
 

Spoonerfudj

Well-known member
Will be interesting to observe how MA goes about improving our performance with possibly 20% possession next weekend
Doubt we have it in us to capitalise as effectively as Rovers did yesterday and somehow can't see a repeat of last season's result
 

pooljimbo

Well-known member
The fact we haven’t got a RB to start the season…. Again, is criminal. I’m not one to knock BM/SS/MA but it’s a joke we haven’t sorted this out.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Once again, it’s over to the recruitment team to get the right players in before the window shuts. We’ve tried our best go get Simms, so they know we need a forward, let’s hope they can find another one.
Yes, I think after two games we now are seeing we need a second trance of transfers.

In this system how likely is it that Virtue, Carey and Lavery are going to add value. Very unlikely now for me with Lavery and Virtue, Carey still has a chance. However we clearly need, as you say, a player on the middle with the talent of Stewart but the body of the bionic man and an Ellis Simms level striker.
 
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