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I think he will play both again against MC. We started of 442 but changed as the game went on with Ade roaming from MF to out wide to link play and the players seemed more connected with Bale and Lennon not having to drop to deep to help out defensively, as often as usual, so the tempo was that much more higher. Seeing Bale stick mainly out wide and flying is a sight to behold, and his crosses deserved more, so I would like to see Daffy and Ade to attack the six yard box more and get on the end of them more often than they do. If Sandro's fit, then I think both will start, but if not he might go for Dempsey as he might be seen as more solid from MF. At the back, I would be happy to keep Vertongen and Daws at CB and keep Knaughton at LB, who apart from his back pass looked ok.
Formations are a funny thing,
In my experience there is very little difference in playing a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-5-1 or sometimes a 4-4-2. The instructions that the players are given and their natural tendencies often override a set formations as players react to what is happening around them, maybe that's just the teams and players I have played for and with.
I was really happy to see Ade and Defoe start together and how well they complimented each other, I'm sure I saw Defoe passing the ball, maybe I'm mistaken, but the interplay between Bale, Ade, Defoe and Lennon was wonderful. And despite being much maligned (including by yours truly) Hudds pass to set up Defoe's final goal was lovely, in fact the build up play for that goal was beautiful to watch.
Obviously Defoe played really well and took his goals superbly, return of the flying Weshman! how many times could Maribors rightback have been booked? I counted at least 5 fouls on Bale alone. Ade looked a real handful, right on cue, when you consider we have the Citeh and the Goons, neither of whom are in great form! I bet he's raring to go!
I was particularly impressed with Carroll, he looks like he will become a really good player, obviously I'm biased, but he looked calm and controlled at all times and was linking the play so well! really encouraging!
I think with the injuries we have to our CM options then Ade and Defoe should and will start. None of our fit CM options are in the same form or IMO of the same quality as Daffy or Ade.
For Citeh I'd start:
Walker Dawson Caulker/Gallas Naughton
Lennon Sandro Vertonghen Bale
IMO this way we utilise the best 11 player we have at our disposal and we we don't ask Hudds to try and perform any kind of defensive duties against some of the best attackers/creative players in the league.
No Sandro and I'd start Vertonghen and Hudds in CM, maybe with Ade on the pitch Hudds pasing would be more effective and Defoe can play off Ade.
I thought his pre match comments showed a real reluctance to try 4 - 4 - 2 but that he had been talked into trying it. This would indicate to me that he now has to either admit we play better with that formation or he sticks to his guns and reverts back to 4-5-1 at the weekend. It will be a shame if he does that as it will show that his ego is bigger than his abilty to see what is in front of his face.
By playing two up front he made the whole back 4 work hard to try and hold us back whilst with little Defoe on his own it allows at least one defender to support the attacking midfielders thus putting our MF and defence under more pressure.
Bale and Lennon played well and I was particular glad to see how well Lennon tracked back - a side of his game that he has been criticised for previously.
I thought Carroll was a bit lightweight but once again I saw nothing at all from Hudd that made me change my mind about him. I lost count of the number of long passes that got cut out and I also lost count of the number of times he was lumbering around inbetween Dawson and Vertoghen passing the ball 5 yards sideways or backwards. The only thing he did right all night was the one final pass to release Bale for the third goal. Not exactly a great return for a whole games play.
Dawson hit several very long crossed field passes which against a PL side would have got cut out but against this poor side they found their man. Hudd was not quite as successful, and thats supposed to be his strong point, and even Vertoghen hit a couple that succeeded.
Naughton is a good player but what happened showed why you shouldn't play a right footed player at left back.
BUT, lets get this in perspective - Maribor were bloody poor really. The silly goal got their hopes and chins up whilst at the same time deflated our passion and made us nervous but still, we should have beaten them 5 or 6 nil IMO.
Still, the good news is we won and we played 4-4-2 which clearly suits us better, the team like it, the fans prefer it and it worked. My only hope now is that AVB is man enough to admit his tactics and formation is not right for us. Not holding my breath on that one.