First half performances

Discussion in 'Coventry City General Chat' started by eastwoodsdustman, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. eastwoodsdustman

    eastwoodsdustman Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about this over the last few weeks and have come to the conclusion that our 'poor' first halves aren't actually poor performances, I think they're tactical and players are playing to a plan. We are playing the first half in a tight formation accross midfield with a forward dropping in and are constantly moving the ball from side to side to stretch teams and make them work to cover when we're in possession.
    In the second halves Kelly tends to play at least 10-15 yards further up the field and we are playing a lot more balls forward for players to run onto and on into space against tiring players.
    I think Robins would be doing something very wrong of he was having to fire the players up at half time in every game. Maybe we need to wise up to the teams and managers tactics.
     
  2. Otis

    Otis Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe they just need a rocket.
     
  3. Ranjit Bhurpa

    Ranjit Bhurpa Well-Known Member

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    I like your way of thinking Clint but should we be worried if we are winning 2-0 at half time?
     
  4. pastythegreat

    pastythegreat Well-Known Member

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    I have looked at it this way before about how we try and wear down/tire out other teams then take advantage, but considering every game we've conceded the 1st goal we've gone on to lose, it's a very dangerous tactic. I like not conceding many goals but I'd prefer to use the "as long as we score more than we concede" rule. Go out attacking. I'd like us to put a few teams to the sword. Like the Armstrong and co. season. Let's see a few 5 and 6-0 wins. Give the fans something to cheer!

    Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Kingokings204

    Kingokings204 Well-Known Member

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    I see the logic kind of but no not for me. It's league 2 we are talking about here and it isn't that tactical. It's a poor league with poor teams. We have won 1 out of 21 away league games. Basically if we concede first we are not winning the game.

    All in all I think you are looking in to this too much but I appreciate your post.
     
  6. Sky_Blue_Bob

    Sky_Blue_Bob New Member

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    I think there is some truth in this post! Didn't Robins as much as confirm this the other week in a post match interview? Pretty sure he said something like 'In this league we are going to have to stop other teams playing first and then we can play our own game' might be wrong though!
     
  7. Esoterica

    Esoterica Well-Known Member

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    I started off thinking it was fear and playing too deep but in the last few games it's clear it's tactical, Robins even hinted at it with his 'we need to earn the right to play our football in the 2nd half comment' (that's not verbatim). I disagree with the moving the ball side to side bit though, think that's a symptom rather than a decision - with Doyle and Kelly so deep there's no-one to pass to centrally so we're forced to go side to side (or long, which happens quite a lot in the first half of games). I don't like it at all and it's properly doing my head in as a tactic for a few reasons:

    * We're limiting ourselves to winning the game in one half which is hard to do against a team that is happy to settle for a point - which will be most teams we play against this season. We only look genuinely good when we get that first goal and the opposition chases the game, plays attacking football and tries to win (e.g. Notts County, Carlisle, Exeter). In 9 league games so far this season we've only scored 2 goals in the first half (Notts County and Port Vale).
    * It's been a tactic to the detriment of the players who seem to be getting singled out for criticism - Beavon, Vincenti and the strikers in general.
    * It's making the first half of games very boring - we're completely predictable in them: Lump the ball at Vincenti or get the ball early to Jodi Jones or Doyle/the back 4 play a loose 40 yard hopeful lob somewhere into the box.
    * We're like a boxer jabbing away then going for a knockout in round 9 when he's softened his opponent up. Well this division is gash and I genuinely believe we've got a squad that could challenge for autos if we attacked from the off. Some teams are there for knocking out in the first round.

    Fortune favours the brave and I'd like to see Robins be a bit braver earlier in some games otherwise I fear it will be play-offs not autos.

    I did try to demonstrate the enormous hole it leaves between the strikers and midfield on a tactics board the other week after the Carlisle game (apologies for the cut and paste to those who read it before) and gave my take on the impact it has on the team: tactical-board.com(2).png
    The Set up
    * So firstly our back 4 has been playing pretty deeply so far this season, probably through fear of the long ball over the top.
    * Jones (7) plays quite high and wide whereas Vincenti (11) is usually a bit deeper and wide and his height used as an outlet from goal kicks.
    * Doyle (8) and Kelly (6) have been very deep protecting the back 4 and picking up the 2nd ball and knock downs when the opposition send the ball long.
    * Jones' forward position on the pitch leaves a lot of room for Grimmer (2) to get forward (see blue arrow), which is why he has appeared much more attacking than Stokes who doesn't look fit enough to go past Vincenti consistently.
    * Our strikers have played quite classically - McNulty (9) a bit higher than Beavon (10) who has mostly tried to move defenders around with lateral movement.

    The consequences
    On top of our formation I've then dropped some random red opposition, set up for a long ball draw - 2 banks of 4 not far from their own box with 2 big lumps (9 and 10) to aim at. I've then futher highlighted in the red oval, the absolutely huge gap in the middle of the pitch that it leaves us.

    * It's easy for 'Red 3' to step up (red arrow) and double up on Jones (7) together with 'Red 11' which is why he was stifled for a few games (Newport onwards). Ideally you'd want Grimmer (2) going past Jones (7) so that he takes a man away from Jones leaving him 1 on 1 but a combination of the deep defence and Jones' high positioning means he's got an awful long way to go each time. Quite often then Jones either dribbles unsupported into 2 players or checks and plays backwards to Grimmer. Kelly (6) in the meantime drops into Grimmer's hole at right back as cover and so momentum completely breaks down as the only pass inside is to Doyle who can have 'Red 6, 8 and 9' on him by then or back into the back 4.
    * Kelly or Doyle then get the ball from the back 4 just short of halfway but there's no blue shirt in the oval to pass to, so they play what looks like a nice looking 30 yard pass onto Vincenti's (11) head, but he's completely isolated (Stokes doesn't support, no pass inside as Kelly and Doyle are deep and miles away) so no-one gets onto his knock downs and people start to think he's shit.
    * Another consequence: Beavon starts dropping deeper and deeper for the ball. The gap is now huge between our strikers and Beavon is still surrounded by Red 6 and 8 plus his marker Red 5 if he goes with him.

    The fix
    A lot of people (me included) were calling for Andreu in midfield at the expense of Doyle or Kelly but Robins clearly wants them both there for defensive cover and experience and after 5 clean sheets in 7 games you can't really blame him. Robins has definitely recognised the issue we have in breaking teams down though - in the last two games he's made tactical changes at half time to try and combat it, mainly by pushing the defence higher up the pitch which squashes the red oval by bringing the whole team closer together. He's also spoken in interviews too of the need for the back 4 to be braver. It worked yesterday - Kelly's through ball and Nazon's finish will get the plaudits but it was Vincenti who threaded the ball through to Kelly in the first place and it was possible because Kelly was for once higher than Vincenti on the pitch.

    The conclusion
    We're going to find more teams playing like Newport/Port Vale than we are like Carlisle and we're still to really play well, start high or look incisive against a long ball team at 0-0. As Robins said we really are going to need to be braver against these teams to consistently take maximum points of them.

    If anyone read all of that, thanks and have a medal!
     
  8. JulianDarbyFTW

    JulianDarbyFTW Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this is a simplistic view, but I believe that as the season wears on, and other teams start to scramble for points and open up to attack as a result, we'll see our style of play reap its rewards.
     
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  9. Esoterica

    Esoterica Well-Known Member

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    It could go the other way, we're a big scalp in this league and the longer we're up there challenging, the more teams will be happy just to take a point.
     
  10. JulianDarbyFTW

    JulianDarbyFTW Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, maybe. Although, to be fair, everything remotely positive that I post is more in blind hope than belief.
     
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  11. Mcbean

    Mcbean Well-Known Member

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    Hell of a post Eso - did you apply for Sansoms job ?

    Main issue - little creation in the midfield for the three forwards to run onto - only Jones doing this and Kelly Evans trying did this open the chances up for Nazon and Biamou
     
  12. Otis

    Otis Well-Known Member

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    Which is how I saw it yesterday.

    It was a tight game and we were struggling to create many chances. Got a bit of luck with the first goal and then Exeter had to push forwards a bit more, which in turn then left major space for us to exploit.
     
  13. Esoterica

    Esoterica Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, it was a bit of a novel, I'd had a whisky or 2!

    There was a moment in the 2nd half before the first goal that epitomised it beautifully. Long ball to the edge of our box towards the Exeter strikers, think it was McDonald who won it - both Kelly and Doyle were within 3 yards of him and our own box ready for the 2nd ball. Now that's great defensively and a major part of why we've kept so many clean sheets but when we pick up that 2nd ball we've got nothing but a long ball or some sideway passing on. I'll find it again and screenshot it once the full ifollow replay is available and I've watched the game back.
     
  14. Esoterica

    Esoterica Well-Known Member

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    This was the one I meant summing up how deep we are (screenshot taken from 62.54 of the iFollow recording, about the 52nd minute of the game). It was a long ball from the Exeter right back from his own half. Our defence is on the edge of our own area with Willis stepping out to challenge Reid for the dropping ball. Both of our central midfield are right there - Kelly is 3 yards and Doyle 8ish yards away, neither marking anyone with both ready for the knock down/2nd ball. If we regain possession there, there's 2 banks of Exeter 4 in front of them and half a pitch between them and the strikers. Big part of the reason we're struggling to create anything when the games are 0-0, especially through the middle.

    . overload.png
     
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  15. Sky Blue Harry H

    Sky Blue Harry H Well-Known Member

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    If we go up, I'll be happy with these tactics. Nice work, though Esoterica - whether you are right or wrong 10/10 for effort!
     
  16. Otis

    Otis Well-Known Member

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    Well, yep. Have noticed this quite clearly too. But have also noticed as games have worn on that Kelly does then begin to push up more. It's as if Robins wants to play it tight at first and then get more expansive as the game progresses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  17. MusicDating

    MusicDating Euro 2016 Prediction League Champion!!

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    McNulty said as much in an interview after the Grimsby game. Said that as their passing game wasn't working so well, they went more direct. So yer, definitely seems tactical to me.
     

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