The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

AVB's Cunning Plans.

The Best Laid Plans of Head Coaches and Chickens
Sometimes Go Astray

The JimmyG2 Column

So far this season we have played fourteen games in all competitions and kept just the three clean sheets. We have conceded 9 goals in the last third of matches, 7 of them in the final ten minutes. Last night we excelled ourselves and conceded two in the last 6 minutes and crashed out of the League Cup  to Norwich who hadn't looked too interested until Gareth crowned a good display with a goal just after the hour.

 In the league late goals have cost us 7 points (Newcastle, W.Brom and Norwich again). Now I like Chrissy Hughton perhaps more than the next man but this is taking Friends' Reunited one step too far. Just as you thought it was OK. to nip out early to avoid the crowds the curse of the late collapse returns to an arena near you. Not that anybody does leave early, except Arsenal fans at 4-0 down.

 The irony last night was that Vertonghen a very fine player indeed who was brought on to steady the defence fluffed his first clearance and then diverted a shot going wide into the net. He'd only been on for five minutes. Not quite what AVB had in mind.

Statistics eh. Don't ya just love 'em. Well I usually do when they back up what I'm saying otherwise I avoid them because they are slippery customers at the best of times. ( Lies, damn lies and statistics and all that.) So can we deduce anything from these stats?

Well it could be bad tactics involving poor or late substitutions; it could be a simple case of bad luck though the frequency suggests something a little more complicated at work. It could be our old friend 'lack of mental strength' escaping from the crypt where we thought the arrival of tougher guys and the loaning out of JJ  had buried it. Erik Thorstvedt suggested as much in his 'lacking steel' comment.

Actually your guess is as good as mine. Bringing Huddlestone on for Livermore changed the dynamic and brought a goal. Vertonghen for Carroll did the opposite. It's enough to make a Head Coach crouch on the touchline. Sandro wasn't playing last night but has been auditioning for the 'Iron Man' in his spare time.

I can hear some people saying, well it's a Micky Mouse cup, least of our priorities, frees up some space on the calendar, enables some of our fringe players to go out on loan ( Adam Smith to Millwall this morning for example). In fact a jolly good thing all round. In which case you wonder why we bothered in the first place.

But all that is beside the point. If you lose any game, at whatever level, in whatever competition, 'any place, any time, anywhere' especially when you were in a position to win it's embarrassing and indefensible. It sells the fans short; it belies AVB's words and the strength of the team we put out.

We certainly revert to a more defensive mind-set if not formation when we go ahead and it paid off at Man.Utd and Sunderland even if was our undoing in some of the other games. We asked for more tactical awareness, more better laid plans, after Harry and AVB certainly supplies that but on occasions it has blown up in our faces.

The either/or game:
From recent games. My preferences first:
Lloris/Friedel:.. Dawson /Gallas:.. Falque/Townsend:.. Carroll/ Livermore;.. Huddlestone/Carroll

Modric and Van Der Vaart/ Dempsey and Sigurdsson.
Just slipped that in to see if you were following my drift.
As Oscar Wilde nearly observed.
' To lose one of your best players may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness'.

AVB has spoken up in defence of Lloris who played well last night but who was at fault for their winner.
Expect to see Friedel in goal at home to Wigan.

Burning Question (1) : (New Feature)
Bale was on fire last night and scored a penalty for Wales under pressure recently.
Why did Dempsey take the penalty which would have at least offered us a chance in extra time?

Know your football History: (New Feature) 
The League Cup:
(Variously known as the Milk Cup; the Littlewoods Cup; the Rumbelows Cup; the Coca Cola Cup; the Worthington Cup; the Carling Cup; currently The Capital One Cup) Not that it matters to us.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Last time we featuring Clint (the scowl) Dempsey and put the Musings curse on him but we'll try again with Gylfi Sigurdsson.
 The boy's definitely got it, scoring, linking, supplying. He even scored against us as you will remember.
Burning Question(2) Where is he hiding it?

 Keep going down. It's slipped and I can't get it back up. Formatting or something. Mrs JimmyG2, my technical advisor, is not available as she's resting her brand new knee and is therefore not available for selection until after Xmas.

Here it is!


Anonymous said...

I think you are missing a very important tactical failing which comes from linking two of your themes - perhaps? Try this:
1. We play with a single striker, yet a very attacking formation - so we make loads of chances, but fail to covert enough to kill games off.
2. Then add to this, we are 1 goal up - and shift to a more defensive formation - sit back and let sides come at us. Both of these together have lost us the 7 points you mention and 2 in the Europa - and exit from the League Cup.
I do hope for the AVB project, but the Chelsea fans I speak to are laughing at us a bit as they watch this happening. That's getting me anxious and mad!!
I am abit surprised this is not being picked up by more comentators - am I off beam?
Alan - mad spurs fan!!

Anonymous said...

Judging by the source code you have inserted a table into your article that appears to be creating the big gap.

Mrs J2G will surely confirm...

JimmyG2 said...

Alan-mad spurs fan
I was going to do something about goals scored, but it got a bit unwieldy.
I too like AVB and are happy to give him time. Something is not quite clicking.

First Anon.
You are exactly spot on. I included a table and then deleted it but the gap remains. Weird. But we can't all be good at everything. Some of us of course are good for nothing.
Will run it past her when she recovers.

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