02/12/2008

A pitch is about 70–80 yds wide!

I have to say it again, why don’t we use the entire width of the pitch?

Last night we saw three types of passes from West Ham players. One was the futile long ball towards Cole with little precision, and when it actually found its target (12 times) he immediately lost it (10 times). The second kind of pass is the one I talked about after the Sunderland game – a short pass to an already marked player, resulting in the immediate loss of possession. The third was the backward pass, sometimes combined with the features of pass number two…
In sharp contrast was the ability of the Liverpool team to deliver long passes with precision, but more importantly they knew how to find an unmarked player with a simple pass, constantly changing sides to pull apart the West Ham defense.

To find an unmarked player with a pass unfortunately demands an unmarked player, not easy to find last night, and that takes at least some (albeit not much) of the blame off Parker.
Both Faubert and Behrami were found in central positions for much of the game, not offering the possibility of the cross or the changing of side during the buildup (although one can argue that a long pass to Faubert would be a waste of effort).
Behrami works his socks off but I find his work paying off mainly when he chases the ball. Mullins will not be discussed in this context.

When an attack was launched on one side the ball was always going to be lost on that side.
We look like a team that practices on a 5-a- side pitch to improve the first touch but then fails to adapt to the bigger field during the game.

Granted, the Liverpool midfield were also working hard to cut off our passing opportunities, but we didn’t make it very difficult for them to do so.

Prince H’s post was spot on in my opinion, maybe Bellamy, in my humble view, showed what he can do even if the game was not in his favor. I don’t primarily mean his dead ball abilities, rather his work rate and his ability to find a way to charge at the goal over and over and over again – tirelessly.

Tip for next weeks training: Crosses!

3 comments:

Sam H said...

I apprecitate the points you have bought up, but the fact we were tightly compacted when Liverpool attacked went a long way to keeping them out.

It is important to have width yes, but against clubs like the top 4, we are likely to get undone quite easily if we play too wide

Joppe - said...

I understand your point but I can't consider loosing the ball to the other side, no end, because you are unable to pass the ball to someone with some space, to be good tactics against any side.

33% possession and 17 corners says it all. That cannot be a sign of a game well played!

Hakan said...

I admit that I didn't keep a close eye on Parker in this game, but I still think that your criticism of him is a bit harsh. My feeling is that his failure to find a good pass to a large extent was explained by poor movement from his team-mates and strong pressure from Liverpool. I actually think Parker is quite a decent player.