Devils Advocate

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Irish Ian
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by Irish Ian » Sat May 25, 2019 3:54 pm

One of my worries about our defence and defensive midfield is that I believe that the attacking philosophy that MB has instilled in them has led to them lacking concentration in their primary duties. First job is to snuff out the threat, I see some of our lads taking some of these responsibilities for granted and then being caught cold.

Absentee defending, poor positioning, poor communication these are the reasons we have struggled week in week out to get the needed points. We got away with it before New Year because we were scoring more freely but once sides had a proper look at us it was evident where we were weak.

Will it change? It has to.

If you look at the goals we concede we can see this time and again. It could also be a factor in when we concede.

10 goals we conceded in the first 10 minutes after the break and 4 in the last 5 before the break. That smacks a lack of concentration and leadership on the pitch.

Has MBs approach clouded the minds of our players with too much theory? Can he find "his type of player" and mould them into a classy side?

I don't think so. I wonder if the trench warfare of the Championship allows for it.

But I hope we get to see next season.
"We can wait for the next game with serenity"

"I am quite clear in my mind that one has to feel sincere love for those he leads, and if he doesn't feel it naturally, then he must learn how to feel it"


Marcelo Bielsa.

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John in Louisiana
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by John in Louisiana » Sat May 25, 2019 3:59 pm

I remember long ago, when I was a student at the University of Arizona, they hired a basketball coach by the name of Ben Lindsey who was an absolute disaster. I remember it vividly as it was my senior year there. The team's record that year was four wins and twenty-four losses, and we were lucky to win those four. Attendance was so bad that my friends and I would take our homework with us to the games as the arena was just as quiet as the library.

After Lindsey was dismissed, the University managed to hire Lute Olsen as coach, a man they had no business being able to land. Olsen had had a very successful run at the University of Iowa, but was somehow persuaded to leave his highly successful program for our train wreck.

His first year at the U of A he took the same group of players that had won only four games the year before (and only one in the Pac-10 conference) and led them to eleven wins and eight in the conference. The team was playing a much more exciting brand of basketball, but more than that, they were more focused and more coherent. It was obvious that something special was happening. I have never seen a team - even their national championship team - so loved by the fans. They are still my favorite Arizona team ever. Sure enough, within a couple of years, Olsen had turned the program into a national powerhouse.

The reason I bring all this up is I get the same sort of feeling with Leeds United that I had back then. Something is brewing here. Missing out on promotion was very disappointing, but did anyone have any realistic expectation that we would be promoted at the start of the season? This team over-achieved. They worked harder than any other team. They played for one another; team before self every time. I love these guys and they will always be one of my favorite groups ever, despite the disappointment of coming so close but still failing to earn promotion.

And I'm really looking forward to next year.

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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by Cjay » Sat May 25, 2019 4:40 pm

weasel wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 9:54 pm


He turned an average bunch of players into player that could play his system, if he can identify better players within our budget, and the board backs him, we will improve. What he did with the players he inherited was nothing short of amazing but you cannot continually improve players. If boards didn't back him before then it is hardly a surprise if the team suffered the next season as all it needs is one or two players to not be able to keep up the standard and the whole team is weakened.
That for me sums it up but also expose the flaws in the system that have hindered MB his whole career.

Fundamentally his system works, that's why all the best teams use it to a degree.

But to get the best out of it you need players who suit the system perfectly.

Its no coincidence for the first time in his career Pep won nothing first season at City and then after he invested heavily in the defence the following season they won the double.

The problem we have is really how many players are ideally suited to the system?

Imo what cost us in the end was the fact that we were having to make do, make do with players who can do a job but arent ideal.

If we got the players in to suit the system we'd be fine but that costs money and Radz won't part with cash, furthermore realistically how many ideal Bielsa players would we be able to afford?

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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by Cjay » Sat May 25, 2019 5:01 pm

Irish Ian wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 3:54 pm
One of my worries about our defence and defensive midfield is that I believe that the attacking philosophy that MB has instilled in them has led to them lacking concentration in their primary duties. First job is to snuff out the threat, I see some of our lads taking some of these responsibilities for granted and then being caught cold.

Absentee defending, poor positioning, poor communication these are the reasons we have struggled week in week out to get the needed points. We got away with it before New Year because we were scoring more freely but once sides had a proper look at us it was evident where we were weak.

Will it change? It has to.

If you look at the goals we concede we can see this time and again. It could also be a factor in when we concede.

10 goals we conceded in the first 10 minutes after the break and 4 in the last 5 before the break. That smacks a lack of concentration and leadership on the pitch.

Has MBs approach clouded the minds of our players with too much theory? Can he find "his type of player" and mould them into a classy side?

I don't think so. I wonder if the trench warfare of the Championship allows for it.

But I hope we get to see next season.
Personally i dont think its possible to build the perfect MB side in this league from a.financial perspective.

You need a quality sweeper keeper (Kiko imo is one so that's ok).

You need 2 full backs with attacking ability but also defensive otherwise you get caught out, (not possible in this league because those full backs are ideal players and way out of our range so we have to make do) When you have to make do errors happen, how often were our full backs caught out of position. We will.never have prefect full backs at this level.

You need 2 cbs who are very good on the ball with height and pace to cover the balls over the top and crosses but also very comfortable with a sweeper keeper system and able to adapt to a back 3. ( Jansson is about as close to perfect as we will get at this level but Cooper isnt as imo he is far to indecisive and causes issues).

You need a dm who is excellent on the ball as he is likely to be pressed, he must be defensively sound and able to sit in a back 3 but also know when to step up and drop back (Phillips is decent but does get caught out of position and is not that good when pressed) Phillips is decent at this level for that role but there have been better for that role imo so he is alright to get by (like Jansson) but not ideal imo.

And then as far as attacking players go you need lots of pace and flair in the wide areas, players who will press press press but also who are technically gifted, players able to beat a man and provide goals and assists against packed defences but who are also work horses.

Then need a Payet clone as a number 10 because he has everything MB looks for in that role, creativity, pace, dribbling ability, goals.

And a Batistuta, Llorente, Gignac number 9.

Big, strong, Mobile, willing runners who are able to physically handle 2cbs in order to create room for others as well as score goals.

That's an ideal side, we cant afford those players.

Radz wont fund Bielsa properly, just isnt his way.

Question is though will he fund him enough to get a good enough Bielsa side to get out of this league?

Is that even possible or will the flaws in the system always mean it isnt possible without the perfect players?

Imo it would work in this league, if you built a side of recent Championship players mixed with some of ours using our system then it could work.

Casilla

Bruno (Brighton)
Boly (Wolves)
Jansson
Charlie Taylor

Neves (Wolves)

Knockhaert (Brighton)
Shelvey (Newcastle)
Hernandez
Jota (Wolves)

Mitrovic (Newcastle)

That side in this system would walk the league, unfortunately that side is stronger then us in every position and players of that ilk even when they were Championship players would cost far more then Radz would splash.

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1964white
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by 1964white » Sat May 25, 2019 5:31 pm

Cjay wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:01 pm
Casilla

Bruno (Brighton)
Boly (Wolves)
Jansson
Charlie Taylor

Neves (Wolves)

Knockhaert (Brighton)
Shelvey (Newcastle)
Hernandez
Jota (Wolves)

Mitrovic (Newcastle)
That pool of players would cost a fortune Cjay, no chance we'd line up with that amount of quality next season mate

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weasel
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by weasel » Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm

Bielsa has shown tactical changes several times during matches - pushes KP further up the pitch as an example, sometimes taking defenders off to put on another attacking player. You can't as a team suddenly completely change formation in the middle of the match it has to be subtle tweaks on the existing formation, you also have to have the players at your disposal - i.e. how many matches could we have switched to 2 strikers on the pitch at the same time given that Bamford or Roofe were hardly ever fit at the same time.

As I have said though if we defend properly many problems go away, if we stick the ball in the net more often many problems go away.
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hector
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by hector » Sat May 25, 2019 5:44 pm

weasel wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 5:38 pm

As I have said though if we defend properly many problems go away, if we stick the ball in the net more often many problems go away.
And if we can do both...... the rest of the league will not know what hit em... :)
I have discovered the secret to a long life!!

Keep Breathing!!

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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by weasel » Sat May 25, 2019 6:12 pm

The Bielsa / Guardiola comparison is a hugely valid one. I met a City fan this afternoon and it certainly got me thinking about the similarities between City's and Leeds's first season under these managers. Guardiola inherited a squad that had finished 4th and didn't make too many changes - one big transfer was John Stones a 'ball-playing' centreback and also Claudio Bravo in goal as a sweeper keeper. City finished that season 3rd, a slight improvement. The main criticisms of Man City were that they passed it around too much, especially at the back, made too many defensive errors, conceded too many goals in relation to shots against them, and they didn't take enough of their chances. Sound familiar? Now Guardiola had changed the style of play. City had chopped and changed managers several times but Guardiola wanted to implement a style of play that many pundits claimed could never work in the premiership. The players adapted to Guardiola's style but it was nowhere near the finished article - if you aren't used to doing things you take your time over it and that is essentially what happened - the passing was slow and as such wouldn't break teams down quickly enough - fast forward two years and the players move into positions and pass on auto-pilot now and as such they carve teams open at will - it doesn't happen overnight it needs practising and playing it every week for years otherwise every team would be like Barcelona. Even top class players can't just adapt overnight.
The defensive mistakes that were so rife during season 1 got less, again players learning and making the correct decisions, learning to trust their keeper etc. Bravo (keeper) got scapegoated for seemingly conceding from every shot but when you gift opposition great chances they will score.

Now people will say Guardiola simply bought success but Kompany, Debruyne, Silva, Aguero and others were already at the club - now obviously great players but he made them better and that is what Bielsa has done at Leeds he has improved the players. In season 2 Guardiola had identified the weakness and his board backed him - now for whatever reasons this is what boards seem to have consistently not done with Bielsa. Maybe it is because he was at teams that weren't really focussed on being the best (unlike Barca, Bayern and City) and they were happy to try to improve on the cheap and simply profit from selling the players Bielsa had improved. Now this is where we have to emulate City and back Bielsa because if he is backed properly to get the players that he sees are key to making his system work then like Guardiola he can improve his team massively. Now we don't have to spend £50m on a full back we just have to improve on what we have in certain positions and get players that are more suited to playing the Bielsa way, same as Guardiola it won't be mass changes just 2 or 3 key upgrades.
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SaraM
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Re: Devils Advocate

Post by SaraM » Sat May 25, 2019 6:19 pm

If Bielsa stays, then we have to assume he believes he can better this season's team with the resources available. All this talk of needing expensive players is dreamland stuff, and not what Bielsa is about in any case.

I like John's example, and agree that there is special bond that has been created with imperfect ingredients. Personally, I feel more of a connection with this sort of team than I would with a team of superstars, and I get more excitement from watching Bielsa's Leeds than I would Pep's Man City.

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