A stronger midfield for the City game, please

by   |   23/02/2022  10 Comments  [Jump to last]

The two important things I want to see for the Man City game are:

1. Not too many changes for the game. Just make the midfield stronger so we can try and stop City from getting a total grip on the game. A 4-5-1 formation with the 2 wide men doubling up with the full-backs, when required, and helping them defensively.

2. Definitely not playing 3 centre-backs which will only invite more pressure. The defence needs protecting by a strong midfield and changing the defence around yet again will only hinder and not help.

The team played well vs Leeds and then struggled against Southampton, mainly once Allan was booked and his influence diminished because he couldn't play his natural game.

So for me, the key to getting the team out of trouble is ensuring we have a strong midfield for the 90 minutes.

I think we all knew that replacing Allan with Gomes (in a 2-man midfield), especially away from home, was never going to work; hopefully Frank now knows that too.

Playing Doucouré with Allan and Van de Beek is the no- brainer for me, even if we have to play one less forward; from what Lampard has said since the Southampton game, I am hoping he realises this.

Against City, we must keep it tight and at least give them a tough game. Take the game to them when we can but stay disciplined.

Going forward over the next few weeks we hopefully can keep up some decent form at home but we must start to grind out the odd draw away from home, with maybe the odd 1-0 win!

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Reader Comments (10)

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Robert Tressell
1 Posted 23/02/2022 at 19:50:20
Totally agree, we need to clog up the midfield. Given how off the pace (not fit?) Calvert-Lewin was against Saints, I even wonder whether it's better to play Dele Alli as a false 9.
Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 24/02/2022 at 07:03:12

From his two sub appearances I'm not too sure that Dele Alli is any fitter than Calvert-Lewin.

Perhaps Branthwaite into the back four and Holgate moved to midfield and told to run his arse off for 70 minutes and Gordon reminded of his defensive duties while Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison press from the front, when not in possession. Mind you, given the way City pass and move, we'll probably be just filling up space.

Stephen Brown
3 Posted 24/02/2022 at 07:35:58
Patterson Holgate Keane Mykolenko
Gordon Van de Beek Allan Doucoure Richarlison
Derek Thomas
4 Posted 24/02/2022 at 08:17:46
The actual starting 11 is, as always with us, somewhat in the lap of the gods.
Sometimes, as with Benitez Vs Chelsea, less is more.
But that game and the Leeds game were conspicuous for those good Adjectives - effort, intensity, etc.

IF Lampard can choose a half decent starting 11 And all the good Adjectives ( not your woefuls, dire, clueless, etc) are there, then its all about which City turns up...Oh and The Bear Pit version of the Crowd - not the Library version.

We do our best and see where we are at the end of the game.

I'll take the draw and hope for the win.

Edit; Stephen @ 3; Yes, something along those lines

Rob Dolby
5 Posted 24/02/2022 at 09:10:12
Personally, I would go a step further and play a 6-man midfield and hit them on the break.

Man City and the shite have done it in previous seasons and haven't done too badly.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 24/02/2022 at 09:33:12
I always think its a dilemma when you play City and Liverpool. Although different styles, the conundrum is simply do you stick or twist? Go at them like-for-like and risk being overrun? Or strap in, sit tight, invite them on, try to block them, but risk being overrun?

I've said previously, that with the players we currently have, our best formation is probably 4-3-3. But for this one, I'd agree with the 4-5-1.

It could allow us to bring in Alli in a wider position outside of the 3 of Doucoure (if fit), Allan and Von de Beek. Just putting this out there, but maybe Mykolenko in front of Ben Godfrey on the left?

Either way, when we do get possession in between City passing us to death, we have to support Calvert-Lewin quickly and not isolate him. And take our chances when they do come, because I doubt there will be many.

Jim Wilson
7 Posted 24/02/2022 at 16:10:23
All good comments above, with an agreement that it's the midfield that needs the extra man (or even 2!). We realise it, I just hope that Lampard does to. COYB!
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 24/02/2022 at 19:29:31
You can’t win a game of football if you don’t attack, even if it’s about having to pick your moments, which is something Spurs, did to perfection last Saturday night.

City love width, they love overloading the opposition by constantly moving the ball, and I think they always find any defensive weaknesses because of this.

I thought Everton defended brilliantly last season in the cup-tie at Goodison, but because we never attacked with any real belief, it was always going to be just a matter of time before they scored, so I think it’s imperative we can also put City onto the back foot whenever possible on Saturday, and make them worry about lightening striking twice in consecutive games!

Si Cooper
9 Posted 25/02/2022 at 01:37:18
So do you play 6 midfielders to have 6 in midfield and hit them on the break? Or 6 fleet-footed wingers and attackers just masquerading as midfielders until the opportunity comes to leg it after a ball punted forward?

It doesn't really matter what the formation is. The key to beating Man City is the same as for beating any opposition. Nullify their strengths, maximise yours, and exploit their weaknesses.

Planning and tactics are simple; delivering is the difficult bit. We just have to hope whichever players are on the park are on song and in harmony (and that is enough!).

Steve Griffiths
10 Posted 25/02/2022 at 11:24:53
Danny (6)

Ben Godfrey is out injured for a while yet, so I don't see that happening in the next few games. For me, I would go 4-1-2-3 on Saturday with a back four of Coleman, Holgate, Keane & Mykolenko, a midfield three of Allan (holding) Doucoure (if fit) & Van de Beek, Richarlison wide right, Gray (if fit) wide left & Calvert-Lewin up front.

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