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4-3-3? 4-5-1 it is then...

It is trying to be seen as a 4-3-3 but I cannot see that the formation that we are deploying at the moment is anything less than a 4-5-1 and this is not helping Peter Crouch - if we do not get this right it is inevitable that it will frustrate him out of the club, which may well be inevitable from a financial point of view in the months ahead anyway...

Yep, we need to stop shipping goals, and playing this way we are but surely if you are playing a 4-3-3 the 3, well 2 that are not the focal striker need to be full of pace but also willing to put in a shift and of course have the ability to put in that telling cross?

For me Niko Kranjcar and Dave Nugent do not really tick enough of these required boxes.

Ok, Kranjcar has that creativeness about him but lacks the pace, and without doubt defensive discipline not to mention the fact that he drifts into a central role far too often. Nugent, yep a willing worker who will put in his shift, get up and down the pitch and try his heart out but his delivery has been poor - he also has this uncanny knack of falling over all the time! For his application and effort this was worth a punt - I wanted it, but playing him in a right sided midfield role, or 'winger' role is not something I am convinced will work, and we will see a 'Papa Bouba Diop style' end product, in as much as the more we play him in the role the more he 'might' struggle, and this will lead to the fans turning on him? That said if he puts in a shift, is a willing and able worker this is usually good enough for most is it not? he has traits most of us ask for...

It is easy for me to be 'the manager from he stands' but if we are going to play the lone striker, which for all intent and purpose we, are pace, application and most importantly the delivery, which for me means we need to line up with Armand Traore in front of Nadir Belhadj on the left - and this pair were much more effective than the Algerian and Croatian have been - and Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson down the right. Where does this leave Kranjcar I hear some cry?

Quite simply in that 'free role' in the middle, he can roam here, there and everywhere as he loves to and can hopefully unlock the defences like he is capable of doing - that is of course assuming he does not leave for Arsenal anyway! Put Sean Davis and Richard Hughes or Papa Bouba Diop in the middle and bobs your uncle - only problem is Hughes and Diop are injured. That leaves Arnold Mvuemba, and he is not filling me with much optimism to be honest. He has not progressed as we had hoped, far from it in fact - perhaps his confidence was shattered under Harry Redknapp, he suffered the 'you are not one of my boys' treatment?

At the end of the day though we need results, so whilst I might not agree with the way Adams might look to send us out if he gets the results, and we do need them or we are going down, hats off to him. He was too frightened to make a tactical change against Bristol City, maybe rightly so, but fortune can favour the brave so throwing caution to the wind at times could be the making of him - if not it may well prove the breaking...

Either way, and whatever results we yield I will never, ever boo my own and although we all pay our money so do have the right to voice our opinions, I cannot understand how booing our own players - and we have seen this in our last few home games - can benefit anyone!


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 7 2009

Time: 9:56AM

Your Comments

I agree with the formation and your proposal re players and positions. As far as booing is concerned, it may not be very positive, but it sure as hell makes the fan feel better after another 90 mins of frustration.
I agree with what you say about the team, Rug. It shows that we need another experienced central midfielder now. I also agree about the booing. I see our side of the arrangement of being a fan (no12 shirt) as to encourage. I think it is the best (only) way for us to make a postive impact on the performance.
what is the booing for tho? is it aimed at the club, the manager or the players that played the match? or a combination of the lot - i just do not understand it.
i never booed when i was seeing us played off the park and beaten by the likes of crewe amd what have you, so i am not going to start now...
is it 'too easy' to say that alot of the booing is coming from 'newer' fans that have only known the good times?
Agree that Belhadj and Traore need to play together, Niko just isnt cutting it at left mid. In a way I see tony not playing them together as a way of marking his originality on the team, by not playing to the system that Harry used. In any case, we need to reunite the two lefties, as there is no way we will go down if they are strutting their stuff out wide.
With the booing, I don't condone it, but I can understand why some people are booing. Our team is better than Newcastle's, West Ham's and Bristol City's. When you see your team go behind and Tony doesn't move at all for half an hour, not even to gee up the players, and you end up losing 4-1, then you may feel a bit disgruntled. You can't really expect the fans to clap the players. And unfortunately, the lack of clapping means that all that can be heard is the boos from the select few who ignorant to boo. Even when we were fighting relegation and getting whooped, we had a team of players who cared for the club and fought all game, and took the game to the better clubs.
We never had a go at Benjani when he was finding his feet, because he tried. If our team was going out every week and just wasnt good enough, then we would have no complaints. But we are better than recent defeats at home.
I don't agree that the booing is coming purely from 'newer' fans either. There were plenty of 'season ticket holder since the womb' jcl hating morons booing their faces off at the end of the bristol game and i just couldnt understand it. Granted I'm not the most positive of pompey fans (not at the moment anyway) but I can't think of a situation where i'd boo our own players. On another note: The news is reporting that O'neil is on his way...anyone know anything about this?
Rug, There were some "Ive been here since God was a boy" diehards next to me booing their lungs out on Saturday, so don't blame us newbies please. Whilst I pesonally don't think it's necessary I reckon it's a paying fan's perogative - just another way of voicing an opinion.
im trying to find out more about the o'neil situation - but as said in something i just wrote with the news saying 'the news understands', i do not know how seriously i can take it...
sorry fellas, im not saying 'only' newbies are booing, all i know is i do not see it as being a productive thing, but i guess its each to their own kind of thing...
You need to change the title, 4-4-3? didn't know Pompey played with 12 men. :)
thems the new rules JohnDoe, we can play with 12 men, god knows we need to when utaka is playing, even more so if defoe had still been playing :-) thanks for noticing that, d'oh!
We are the 12th man.
I agree, jbaker, we are the 12th man - that's why I have 12 on my shirt too - I don't like booing your own team when England fans do it, and I don't like it at Pompey either. We should always sing up, even when it gets really crap, that's what Pompey fans are famous for.
crap formation - we need to play 442 at home and 451 away in my opinion to achieve the best results.
It's having the players with quality to pull it off that counts but yes 442 at home 451 away & lots of prayers & fingers crossed.
and lets get back to nadir and traore down the left
Harrissman - Spot on and well said ! - As for 4-5-1, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 I bet nobody can pick a proven team (with the players we currently have) in any of those formations that could actually take us forward - I wrote an article last year about the purpose and tactical strategy of 4-3-3 - In theroy is really really works and I'm all for it .. as long as we have the players to suit it !
we DO have the players chix! The back 5 is obvious, then you have utaka (he played well for the first quater of last season in that position... very well!) down the right, hughes, davis and kranjcar in midfield (kranjcar obviously in front of the other two!) then traore down the left, and crouch up top. In THEORY, Traore and Utaka have the pace to get forward and support crouch when we have the ball, and then to get back, and tighten up the midfield when we don't. It works in theory, it worked for most of last season, and I don't really see how else we COULD play!
Case of back to the future really, we played our best football last season with Benjani as 1 up front, the thing missing is a goalscoring midfielder, Muntari was never prolific but was a real threat bombing forward
im sure that o'neil could score from a central role if he returned, as could niko from this central role...
With Benji as the lone striker, Niko on the left worked, as did Utaka on the right. But Crouchy is a different type of player. Crouch doesnt have the pace, but he has the height, so our wide men need to put good crosses in. Thing is, Tony keeps playing Niko on the left, which isnt going to work. If he were to plump for Traore on the left, as he should do, then perhaps this formation could work, and Traore would definitely get back when we are under the cosh. Utaka, havent really seen him cross, so cant comment on his suitability. Basically, if we are going to play 4-5-1/4-3-3, then we cant keep Niko down the left. Last year he cut inside and laid balls onto Benji, whereas this year he needs to put in a good cross, which Traore is more suited to.
Niko plays just behind the forwards for Croatia and he plays that role extremely well. I don't see why he can't do the same for us. Sitting him behind crouch being the catalyst for our forward play. We can then have troure and belhadj on the left. What we really lack is someone on the right to support Glen... Unfortunately Utaka doesn't seem to be bothered, and we have no other natural righty...

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