As I live in the north, even more further north than Leeds, I obviously struggle to attend every game. However I have been to my fair share of games this season and have watched every game on TV, and I’ve seen enough to realise that some of the things the Whites do on the pitch regarding tactics don’t seem to work as much as they think they do. What am I talking about you may ask? Good question.
The full backs’ positioning:
I may be alone on this, but does anyone else feel like we sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes get caught out a bit on the flanks? Especially with Ayling. Now I think that our number 2 is vital in our defence, pulling off some great tackles in most of his games, but sometimes I get a tiny bit frustrated with how often he is caught too far forward. Now the go-to formation that we have played 90% of the time is a 4-2-3-1, which means we have 4 defenders. If we played a 5-3-2 for example, Ayling (If played as an RWB) could afford to get forward more, but as he plays as a right back in every game, being too far forward and leaving his flank exposed is a risky game for teams who can break so quickly on the counter attack. Berardi doesn’t go un noticed here either, although he doesn’t get as involved in the attack, we have seen our left flank come under siege on a number of occasions as he’s drifted out of position. A couple of problems TC may want to look at if we concede from these positions.
Liam Coopers diagonal switch:
This one is incredibly frustrating. Next time we play, as a polite ask, just look at how many times the skipper attempts, even straight from kick off, to cross the ball to Alioski, I think the record I counted was 9. And how many times did it work? 0. This sort of move reminds me of grass roots football when you’d kick off, and the huge centre back would hoof the ball up and hope for the best. The thing is, trying it is fair enough, but despite the form our number 10 has been in, he isn’t the tallest or strongest player in the world. Despite him winning a lot of his challenges, even in the air, he can’t be expected to be able to get control of such a hit-and-miss manoeuvre. I hope that this gets addressed at some point and we play a ground game rather than Coops trying to launch the ball diagonally and hope that it works.
Grot’s 90 seconds of gameplay:
This one is more of a grievance than a tactic. But it really confuses me as to why the 19 year old gets brought on when the refs pretty much for his whistle in his mouth? Tactical masterclass or pointless decision? I know which I’d go for. I’ve said in previous articles that I want the young Dutchman to get more of a chance, and playing him for a couple of minutes isn’t really giving him that. Even though we haven’t seen much of him and what he is truly capable of, Just last month he got his call up to the Under-20’s Netherlands squad, so even though we haven’t seen this much quality come out of our number 11, he’s clearly done something to catch the eye of his country. A few people have suggested giving him a run in the under 23’s to allow him to progress. And if he’s only going to see action a few minutes again, then maybe it’s a good idea.
Are there any tactics/style of play which you think we should leave in 2017? Is there anything you think we should experiment? Let us know in the comments.
P.S: I would just like to thank all the readers of PAS for taking their time to read my articles. I’m new to this and expected to get a lot more heat than I have! So id just like to thank you all. Also like to thank Charlie for allowing me to write for this ever-growing page. MOT.
Written by Aidan Murray