Where are you, Morgan?

by   |   06/08/2018  42 Comments  [Jump to last]

Last season, I felt levels of loathing that I had not experienced towards an Everton player for a long time. To be true, I felt them towards a lot of players... but mainly I felt them towards Morgan Schneiderlin. Too many times, it seemed like he couldn't be bothered, like he was waltzing though a game, doing the bare minimum. And these feelings were given weight when rumours of him and Mirallas being turfed out of training for not taking it seriously arose.

I was delighted when Silva and Brands came in and rumours of Morgan's exit to Marseille or elsewhere surfaced... And yet he's still here. It looks as though he may be Silva's Number 6 unless we make a move before the window closes. I'm not sure we will though. Could it be that Silva rates him?

The difference between Schneiderlin at Southampton and at Everton makes for fascinating reading:

At Southampton, he was a rock defensively averaging (from 2012-2015) just under 4 tackles a game and just under 3 interceptions. At Everton over the last two seasons, he averages around 2 tackles and 2 interceptions a game. That's a huge fall off.

Attacking-wise he averaged 4 goals a season at Soton; he has just one in two seasons for us. He also averaged around 0.9 key passes per game at Southampton compared to 0.3 for us. That's three times less!

In short, he really was a very good player for three seasons in the Premier League at Southampton. The sort of midfielder we could really use, who can tackle and pass and even gets a few goals too.

Where is that player?!

Has he been stymied by managers who don't understand him? Koeman managed him at Soton so that can't be it.

Has he struggled with team-mates who are not up to his level or have the right understanding? Possibly, though Everton for the most part have finished above Southampton.

Or can he just not be bothered? This is what it looks like to me. But is surely too simplistic an explanation.

Anyway, my point (if there is one) is that the guy is capable of being a very good midfielder in this league. He has done it before. He is 28 now which should, in theory, be around the peak for a defensive midfielder. Is it possible that Silva thinks he can get back to Southampton levels? Or is he not worth persevering with?

I tend to think the latter. What say you?

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Fran Mitchell
1 Posted 06/08/2018 at 21:54:00
Sometimes good players just 'lose it', and then with that they lose confidence or the 'love' for the game and the decline is quite rapid.

Also, the stalled progress, or decline, of the club as a whole can contribute to players who expected more to simply throw in the towel.

Personally, for me it should be him or Gueye, the two together have never really made clicked. And with Schneiderlin's abject performance and woeful attitude last season, he was top of my 'to-cull' wishlist.

The potential arrival of Bernard means we have a midfielder who can pass it foward with accuracy, so would like to see a midfield 3 of Guye, Bernard and Sigurdsson, backed up by Dowell, McCarthey (when fit), Baningime and Davies.

Silva is obviously hoping he can get back to his best, if so great because at his best he is a 30million pound midfielder let's see

John Pierce
2 Posted 06/08/2018 at 22:01:31
Schniederlin is a product of Everton’s policy of buying others casts offs.

On the up as a player at Southampton, then found wanting at United.

Stepping down to Everton his talent was not in question however his motivation is.

Everton have bought too many players stepping down from larger clubs in recent times. Very few have rekindled anything like their best form.

Beardsley, Kanchelskis, perhaps Barmby. Nothing recently that comes to mind.

I look at better signings for players on the up.

Cahill, Arteta, Baines, & Lescott better examples of success.

Move on Morgan and so should we.

Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 07/08/2018 at 05:33:19
"A huge fall off", how does that compare to other players as it sounds to me very much like comparing next to nothing with almost nothing.

I'd prefer someone who tries and makes mistakes over someone who appears to make no effort at all.

Paul Ferry
4 Posted 07/08/2018 at 06:51:40
Agree Sam mate. I've read through all of Steve Ferns's posts on the Bernard thread and he and others have not at all convinced me that Morgan will be ahead of Gana in Silva's flexible triangle.

I'm actually starting to feel rejuvenated.

Pickord, Coleman, ???? Mina, Digne, Gana, Bernard, Richarlison, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Tosun.

Trevor Powell
5 Posted 07/08/2018 at 06:53:55
I think he has until the transfer window in January to get his head out of his a*rs*e to show that he is worth keeping. My gut feeling is that he just does not care enough and has gone soft on the money and his girlfriend, or is it wife! I would prefer to get rid now as part of a cleansing of the team ethos!
Henrik Lyngsie
6 Posted 07/08/2018 at 07:31:56
The Everton team over the last couple of seasons have been very unbalanced and it is very difficult to shine under those circumstances. Off course it can be a chicken and eggs discussion. Is he bad because the team is poor or is the team poor because he is bad.

A lot has been made about Guye and Morgan not being able to play together. I think that analysis is too narrow. These two can't play def mid if they are paired with 4 or even 5 defenders who can't make a pass and does not contribute much offensively. (When Baines and Coleman were out).

With the right team mix I am sure Morgan can be an important player. The full backs are back, offensive better and if we even get Bernard one more outlet.

What is left is that we really need some modern centre-halves who can actually make a pass and participate in the build up. I think Jags and Keane are disasters and far from top Premier League standard in particular in possession. Morgan would benefit enormously if we had proper modern ball-playing central defenders.

From the outside it is difficult to judge attitude. He certainly got a reputation among the fans having a poor attitude. But it seems like all his managers put a lot of faith and trust in him. So unless it is orders from upstairs because of the prize tag, they must see something.

I still think Morgan can become good for Everton with the right team mix.

Dave McDowell
7 Posted 07/08/2018 at 10:43:58
Sam, not having checked, I would be interested to see who Schneiderlin played alongside at Southampton in his "good seasons' because my belief is his star shines in the reflection of a better player alongside him (see Keane for another example).

Schneiderlin was never the same player after Barry left and indeed Barry's work rate and footballing intelligence allowed Schneiderlin to appear better than he is.

I suppose you could call it the "Morecambe & Wise" syndrome.

Mee & Keane.
Barry & Schneiderlin.

Everton's problem since the 90's is most of the time we seem to buy Ernie.

Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 07/08/2018 at 15:56:05
Morgan the enigma...

He doesn't tackle often enough or hard enough to be a combative midfielder.

His positional sense when jockeying is too poor for a defensive midfielder.

His passing range isn't good enough for a quarterback role.

He doesn't keep the ball moving fast enough or forward enough for a possession midfielder.

He doesn't get up and down the pitch enough for a box to box midfielder.

Hes not a leader.

He doesn't have the influence on games to take them by the scruff of the neck.

What is it that he actually does?

James Stewart
9 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:15:18
He was never that good in the first place so I fail to see any point in the argument that he is just out of form.
David Connor
10 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:16:26
The fella's a waste of space. Hope he's not with us come Friday morning. The prick doesn't seem to know a great club when he's at one... What an areshole!
Sam Hoare
11 Posted 07/08/2018 at 16:27:21
James@9, did you actually read the piece?! He was very good at Southampton with some of the best statistics for defensive midfielders in the league. Even if you're not a fan of stats, he was good enough that a few big teams chased him until he went (for what was a big fee then) to united.

There is absolutely no argument that is he is NOT out of form relative to then. The question is will he ever recapture that form. I suspect not.

Paul F @ 4 I feel rejuvenated too! Exciting times. Hope you're well.

David Pearl
12 Posted 07/08/2018 at 18:37:36
I think if Silva has us playing higher it will help Morgan Schneiderlin. Certainly so if we get the players we're in for over the line in the next day and a half. What doesn't look good for him is when goes deep to pick up the ball, covering for our CBs, and just sits.

With better players further up field I expect him to improve. He can look up and find his pass without worrying about the lack of pace behind him if we surrender possession. Over the couple years we are luckily to keep the ball for more than 5 passes.

Finally, the squad appears to be shaping up nicely, more pace, better balance.

Martin Berry
13 Posted 07/08/2018 at 19:11:46
The player just doesn't put it all in, and of course the fans can see this, hence him being deservedly booed off last season.
I don't know his strong points, an occasional long pass but cant seam to tackle, too many reverse passes ( like all the midfield) and cant get past a man and surge forward.
Aaron Mooy is in a different class and would love to see him brought in, as I would not lose any sleep over Schneiderlin being sold, which is only a matter of time.
Matthew Williams
14 Posted 07/08/2018 at 19:27:45
The worst player in the Premier League by a mile.

He makes McCarthy look like Kante, sell him or make him train on his own.

The man is a shithouse, if he starts any game this season... we won't win it!

James Stewart
15 Posted 07/08/2018 at 20:13:42
Yes, I did, Sam. My comment wasn't aimed at you; I'm just sick of hearing some fellow blues with that “just out of form” opinion. He has been consistently garbage for years.
Mike Gaynes
16 Posted 07/08/2018 at 20:37:02
Sam, he wasn't just superb at Southampton, he was superb for us in the first few months he was here. He was all over the pitch, making plays and sparking counterattacks. Our record with him in the lineup Feb.-April 2017 was outstanding, and our falloff at the very end of that season was largely due to his injury absence IMO.

What happened to that player last season was bewildering, unaccountable and pretty much unprecedented -- I've never seen a good player go so bad so quickly. And it was not, as you point out, simply ineffectiveness -- he clearly, obvious, blatantly didn't give a shit. I can recall four goals we gave up last season because he couldn't be bothered to even try to do his job.

And like you, by the end of last season I felt contempt for him that I have never felt for another Everton player.

Yes, it's possible that Silva does rate him, as all three previous managers did before -- he must be a hell of a practice player. But if he performs early this season as he did last year, I'm certain he will be gone -- and Gana will be in his place. If that doesn't suit Silva's system, he'll tweak the system.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:01:33
Mike, there's no way Gueye can sit behind Bernard and Sigurdsson. No way at all.

Defensively, either Gueye revolutionises his game and fights all the urges to read the play and close people down. Why must he do that? Well if he follows his urges, he vacates his position and this player cannot vacate his position, he must be fixed and more or less static, in a compact and narrow formation. He must maintain his discipline. So if Gueye is able to have a completely different mindset and just sit and hold, suddenly he has lost most of his defensive contribution, he will not be making tackles and intercepting. Instead he will be holding, jockeying, standing people up, and slowing people down. You don't get any stats for doing this.

Offensively is the biggest problem. Gueye cannot, absolutely cannot, totally and utterly cannot pass the ball 60 yards to feet. So it's a done deal. He cannot play there. Silva can't adapt his tactics. His tactics completely depend on this player getting the ball within a second or two of a turnover in play, and shifting it 30, 40, 50, 60 yards down the pitch. Gueye cannot do this. Mr Hot Potato has no comfort on the ball at all. He's got a poor touch. This affects his passing. But he's got no power and no accuracy. He cannot pass. He just cannot do it. He's a non-starter.

Gueye is brilliant as a destroyer. A little heat seeking missile. Closing people down, making interceptions and putting in tackles. This is his game. A holding midfielder he is not.

If Schneiderlin can't play the role, and I'm not saying he's the answer, then we need to sign someone. Quite simply, there's no one in the side with the qualities needed for this role. Carvalho was needed, but that ship has sailed now. Silva knew Carvalho inside out. Yet he's the one talking Morgan up. He's not said much about Gueye. Schneiderlin will be our 6 on Saturday, and ergo until January at least.

Gueye will still have a role to play in those games where we need two defensive midfielders or in those games where we need someone higher up the pitch to be closing down (such as playing a top 6 side).

We only have two players on our books who can fit the profile of what is needed and the only one to tick a lot of the boxes is Schniederlin. After him it's Besic. But he's even less disciplined than Gueye, and if he's closed down quickly, his passing goes to shit.

Silva can't change his tactics though. What's he gonna do, rip up the counter-attacking strategy he's had everyone working on? Switch to Martinez style possession game with a couple of weeks left, just cos the guys on TW hate Schneiderlin? Or go Moyes' style KITAP1? Or park the bus like Allardyce? Or just draw the names out a hat and play a daft formation to accommodate them all like Koeman?

No, Silva will play counter-attacking football. The only thing he can do is get Gueye to use the centre backs to distribute the ball instead of him, which negates the whole point of him playing there and none of them are accurate enough. Alternatively, he can try and pass to feet with short passes on winning the ball. The problem is that midfield is too congested and it's hard to fit three or four quick passes together to move the ball, especially when you can do it much quicker with a quick lay off and a 50 yard diagonal catching the opposition cold and getting Walcott or Charlie running at the oppositions defence immediately and looking for Tosun in the middle, Sigurdsson or Bernard arriving behind, or the cross field ball to the other flank.

Sorry, but no, the tactics do not work with just Gueye in the middle.

Ian Bennett
18 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:09:40
I assume he won't make the team. If Bernard signs, I assume Gylfi drops back?

Tosun
Richarlison Bernard Walcott
Sigurdsson Gueye

Steve Ferns
19 Posted 07/08/2018 at 21:12:40
Ian, I expect this:

Richarlison Tosun Walcott
Bernard Sigurdsson
Schneiderlin
Digne Keane Jagielka Coleman
Pickford

Hopefully, in addition to replacing Schneiderlin, we sign Mina and another centre-half, or Holgate is cured of his injury quickly.

Jamie Sweet
20 Posted 07/08/2018 at 22:59:19
Pretty sure Morgan's apparent shift in attitude coincided with him getting married to a rather attractive young lady.
Derek Taylor
21 Posted 08/08/2018 at 08:51:35
If Silva can re-invigorate Schneiderlin, I will hail him as the genius Steve Ferns and others believe him to be.

The nonsense talked about this drag on our performances for far too long has surely reached a new level when it is suggested that his vapid contributions are all down to whom he is matched with in midfield.

Waiting for him to recover his mojo ? I fear we've waited too long already !

Tommy Surgenor
22 Posted 08/08/2018 at 09:19:12
Dave #7.
I think he played most of his games at Southampton beside Davis. Who is indeed a very good, intelligent, hard working and extremely under rated player.
Jim Harrison
23 Posted 08/08/2018 at 10:36:50
Have to say Steve Ferns, I watched Carvaliho at World Cup, thought he looked bang average, slow and off the pace of the game. He did pass well though.

Shame we couldn’t try for Dembele from spurs.

I also think Gueye is too limited. He does the terrier thing well, but that’s his whole game.

Chris Watts
24 Posted 08/08/2018 at 10:48:34
I’d love to get dembele from spurs. Although he’s in the wrong age bracket he’s be perfect.

Agree with all the comments on Morgan I really don’t enjoy watching him play and you can’t help but think he must be a bad influence on the younger players

Tommy Surgenor
25 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:05:24
Jim #23, Chris#24 - I agree. Dembele, although in the wrong age bracket, would be a great stop gap until a younger replacement can be found.

I remember watching a 'team mates' segment where all Spurs players involved singled him out for praise.

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:11:29
Could Dembele not be our Dave Mackay? The wise old head in midfield with young legs all around him. He doesn't need to run much, just sit in front of the defence and hold position, get the ball and spray those passes around. I think he could be a revelation for us. He's exactly what we need and as long as we don't give him a 5 year deal, it'll be worth it.
Jim Harrison
27 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:11:54
Tom & Chris

Yes, true, he’s getting closer to the end of his career, but two good seasons at least in him. How far ahead can you really plan? Morgan was bang in the prime of his career when signed, got 6 good months from him!!

Or we could sign a great up and coming player who shines for us and leaves after 2 years. I suppose in this case at least we would be buying with a view to making a profit, but then there are claims of being a selling or feeder club!

Tommy Surgenor
28 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:19:57
Steve #17.

Could we not adapt and have Gana break by carrying the ball through a line before popping a 10/15 yard driven pass infront of Sig/Bernard for them to run onto. He is capable of this as he is very quick over the first few yards and it would get the opposing team on the back foot.

Our wingers holding high and wide would keep their full backs occupied and create the space required in the middle for Sig/Bernard to exploit.

I get what you are saying about the 40 yard cross field ball and I agree that Gana is not capable of that. I also agree we need to keep that weapon in our arsenal as it has become very profitable in modern football.
However, surely if Gylfi plays at the 8 in the system he will also be back helping the defense. Can he not be the one to spray that ball (then follow his pass) and allow Gana to focus more on his destroyer traits.
Gylfi starting deeper and being the regista would also allow him to make late runs into the box/sit on the edge for cut backs etc. Sometimes I think he is guilty of getting into the box too early and becomming static as he waits for play to catch up with him.

Dermot Byrne
29 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:21:15
Sam: I got so annoyed with him I used to watch just him for spells of 10 mins.

I saw what I can only suggest was a coward.

Week after week he hid.

Can drag down a whole squad if others see that too and he keeps being picked.

Annoys the shit out of me that we pay him anything never mind play him.

Jim Harrison
30 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:37:43
Tommy,

I think siggy needs to be further up the pitch. His goal threat and ability around the area is his strength that has been under used so far

Fran Mitchell
31 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:46:21
Dembele would be a great buy, but he is a box-box, not a deep sitting defensive midfielder. For me, he'd come in for Sigurdsson depending on the opossition.

We need a Busquets, or an Alonso, or a Casmeiro style defensive midfielder. 3 different styles that would all fit our system. Easier said than done mind.

I wonder if John Stones may be available? He may be able to transform himself into a top class defensive midfielder.

Steve Ferns
32 Posted 08/08/2018 at 11:50:03
Tommy, Gueye is not capable of even doing what you say. Watch him. The ball is a hot potato. He is not comfortable with it at his feet. Or when he does keep hold of it he gets caught in possession as he does not know what to do.

The problem is Gueye does not have the brain a passer has. Someone like Rooney has decided in his mind what he is going to do BEFORE he gets the ball, so he simply acts when he gets the ball and that speed of thought is what (note past tense) made the difference and gave him that yard on the opponent. Gueye cannot learn this. Sure, Schneiderlin is not doing this either. But rewind 18 months and he did. He does have the capability even if he is not doing it. If we sign someone new, then they will have these abilities.

Sigurdsson is a difficult one. You suggest him being an 8 and tracking back. Yes if we play a triangle in midfield with 2 AMCs and 1 DM, then the two AMCs will be required to put a shift in every game. Lots of running, lots of pressing. These will be the main two for the press in effect. They will have to track back. I expect Bernard will be well versed in this. He put a shift in during the CL games. I didn't see the league games, but it was Fonseca's side and Fonseca plays an intensive high press, so Bernard will have that mindset. Jim thinks you mean to play Sigurdsson as the DM. Now that could work, he does have the passing, but he lacks the defensive qualities and the discipline. He would not be able to get forwards often. He would lose a lot of his game. If he played as one of two DMs, then perhaps Gueye could sit and Sigurdsson could get forwards, that could work. But yes, Jim is right, he really needs to be in and around the box as the best parts of Sigurdsson's game is his work on the edge of the box, be it shooting or threading through a pass.

Basically the player we want, the player we need, is a Xabi Alonso type.

Edit: Fran I see you're thinking the same thing, although I do think Dembele can sit in there, as Alonso needed a Mascherano alongside him to do his dirty work, which is why the 4231 became so popular. Busquets is the ideal player. He can do the lot, although his passing is not quite Alonso quality (few are). Other ideal players would be Juan Sebastian Veron (came to England 5/10 years too early to be appreciated as the tactical shift would really show off his talents now) and Esteban Cambiasso. Cambiasso played as a 36 year old for Silva in just this role for Olympiacos, joining them from Leicester as they had the season that they won the league.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

33 Posted 08/08/2018 at 12:19:56
On the Morgan question, I recall Steve Ferns offering a very in-depth evaluation of his worth to the squad a few weeks into last season, offering a reason as to why he wasn't performing well: it was all Ashley Williams' fault!

Steve described Schneiderlin as the only player in the squad capable of consistently and accurately spraying the ball about the park with crisp passing and maintaining a high tempo, driving the team forward.

I was not alone in contesting that view. Too often in his Everton career, Morgan has been anything but as described above. Too often he has been ponderous on the ball (to the point of easily having his pocket picked); given to short sideways or backward passes; often underhits passes so momentum is lost.

Schneiderlin has had some very good games for us. He has had far more indifferent to outright rank games for us.

He has the tools in his locker, which I presume is what Silva sees in training and wishes the player takes that into battle for the club.

I maintain whilst Barry and Gueye proved an excellent combo, since Morgan arrived 19 months ago, usurping the ageing Barry, Gueye has also suffered.

Because the Gueye we saw on arrival from Aston Villa was contesting MoTM every game. His game was very simple. He would win the ball and IMMEDIATELY lay it off to more creative players.

It was the same on receiving the ball when tightly marked. He had a wonderful habit of receiving, turning, losing his marker and moving the ball on in one very fluid movement.

Based on their Everton careers to date, and presuming he can return to the levels he displayed on joining us, Gueye is my prefered choice to retain if it comes down to a straight choice between him or Schneiderlin, should we recruit a more gifted midfielder such as Bernard as rumoured.

Jim Harrison
34 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:21:37
Just as a talking point, did Bobby have a point that Baines could shift to DM?

Steve Ferns, you seem to have a good idea of how Silva usually sets up. Would this work?
He certainly can pass, got good feet, decent tackler. He has as you put it a football brain.
Does he have the legs? Not sure how often he could bomb up the wing and make it back to his defensive duties this season, but could he have the stamina for consistent short bursts? Is he big enough physically for the role?
He would certainly offer a defensive shield in front of a back 4. Has spent his career marking and chasing quick attacking players, but would he be up to dealing with big forwards and AM’s?

Could he fill the gap for a season or 6 months until we could get the right player? He is a better all round footballer than gueye, if not as athlete these days. I like Gana, but I have grown to think his stats look better than he actually is. He does similar figures to Kante, but offers less as a player beyond tackling, running and interceptions. Kante has 2 league winners medals and a World Cup one in the bag. Those are the really impressive stats!

Anyhow, I digress. Would it be viable? Could it work if required?

Tony Everan
35 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:24:20
Sam, it’s interesting trying to fathom what is happening with him.

I think over that period he has had two big transfers and two huge contracts. He has entered a privileged and gold plated comfort zone. He feels, this is as far as I can go, so why put in the blood sweat and tears. At the top it doesn’t take much, a good player who drops 5% in performance through desire or fitness will become an average one. Schneiderlien comes into that bracket.

Silva, compatriot Digne and the other great signings could wake him up. That more prolific midfielder could make a comeback this season.

Steve Ferns
36 Posted 08/08/2018 at 13:31:43
I've no idea Jim. Martinez tried it one game and it didn't work. Is that enough to put it to bed?

It's a different mindset. The fullback is a give and go role. The deep-lying maker role is about reading the game and hitting long passes and then standing back and admiring them. The defensive side is about holding position. You'd need to watch Baines carefully in training and training matches to see if he could play this role. Is he a bit too old to make a drastic change?

Personally, I think we shouldn't be finding a way to crow bar Baines into the side. If he is too old to play left back, then he will be too old to play central midfield.

Jay, "he would win the ball and IMMEDIATELY lay it off to more creative players" - this is the issue. When he did this he had Barry alongside him. So if he is playing solo, then who is he laying it off to? Is Sigurdsson coming deep or Bernard?

When we win the ball they are pushing forwards into space. Gueye needs someone next to him to pass it, so a centre half? A fullback? Who is going to hit this pass?

If we draft someone back with him, and it's a 4 21 3, as opposed to a 4 12 3, then sure Gueye can do exactly what you say. It's his role as a single pivot. He can't do it.

Jim Harrison
37 Posted 08/08/2018 at 14:19:07
Fair point Steve. Had the transition begun earlier may have been an option but maybe too late. As for legs, I thought the rationale from Bobby was that Lahm had made the shift as he would no longer need to do as much n terms of getting up and down the pitch but was capable of the DM role as didn’t need to cover ground in long bursts but more short bursts and consistent running

As you say, best to get a specialist rather than shoe horn

Peter Gorman
38 Posted 08/08/2018 at 19:46:11
Steve, you seem to be analysing Gueye based on his bad games and Schneiderlin on his good. The truth is there is little comparison required between them in terms of performance and attitude. Gueye is a prince and Schneiderlin is a thief.
Steve Ferns
39 Posted 08/08/2018 at 21:55:34
No Peter. It's nothing to do with form, Gueye simply does not play the position. Simple as that. He's not a passer. We need a passer.
Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:42:24
A long passer, or a short passer? Snides can hit a long ball, but this really isn’t the answer, in consistently trying to open the opposition up?

Little fast passes, movement that helps keep the ball ticking over, and midfielders that constantly want to play, are much more important imo, especially if you have got skill and pace ahead of you?

When you have this, you usually draw your opponent towards the ball, and maybe then you can exploit them with little switches in play, rather than just looking for the predictable switch, which can often work against you?

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:48:52
Long passer Tony. We need someone who can be on the ball on the edge of our area and smash a 60 yard pass into space on the flank for our fast wingers to get onto and then allow us to break at speed on the opponent. We’ve transformed the attack into a very pacy one and we need long passing to take advantage of that.
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 08/08/2018 at 22:59:11
Fair enough, Steve, but it's not the way to build a team imo. Good teams will strangle you if you can't keep the ball for long enough but, if a player can pass the ball long, then he can usually pass the ball short; it's all about intensity, and Schneiderlin doesn't seem to want to play above a jog anymore.

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