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Positivity Positivity Positivity

Every now and then I like to post an overly optimistic article to keep the footballing section of my brain sane. Brain sanin’ ! It’s the way forward.

So I was quite disheartened to hear about Albrighton’s injury, not only for the player but because I feel he was a key part of where we were going to utilise Tielemans in a midfield pairing in what would be a 4411 ish sort of formation.

However, thinking positively about the remainder of the season, I think it may encourage Puel to stick with his 4231 and actually, even that consistency alone (whether you believe that style is the way forward or not) I think would be a benefit.

It also got me thinking about what doesn’t quite work at times in the 4231 and I’ve up until now always answered myself with ‘pace, pace...we lack pace going forward.’

Just today, Andy Townsend is bleating on about us returning to counter attacks and banging the football to Vardy :/

And although he’s a moron, it made me think about this ‘pace’. And I realised we are probably a quicker team in terms of individuals (particularly in what I feel is a key area in modern football: overlapping full backs) and actually, we probably have players who can dribble better and more quickly on the whole.

We are actually, in Ricardo, Chilwell, Barnes, Maddison and Vardy reasonably well equipped in terms of attacking pace and more importantly - pace when moving with the ball (which is a much more sought-after skill). There are still key areas to improve upon but this lack of ‘pace’ or lack of players who can run with the ball at pace, I don’t see as being an imminent issue.

So back to the 4231 and Puel’s endeavour with playing it consistently or as his main ideology (hopefully). As mentioned, without Albrighton I see it being more likely to be opted for by Puel for the majority of games and to operate more like that formation.....but we’ve played it without Albrighton and something still doesn’t click.

And the introduction of Tielemans into our squad got me thinking and realising, in my opinion, it’s more movement than pace. Often, we have Ndidi and Mendy sitting and 3 players (particularly when Albrighton isn’t playing) right up and behind Vardy, it’s almost cramped at times - no more apparent than when Gray is playing who just seems to wander into other people’s space.

I don’t mean we are bereft of intelligent players who can make movement but that three can sometimes stifle it. Furthermore, about creating movement through having someone in a more transitional position both for our own formation and to shift around the opposition’s.

If Tielemans is a genuine box-to-box...could this be the answer?

You still implement 2 defensive midfields - tick for Puel’s ethos.

You still have attacking width from overlapping full backs - tick for Puel’s ethos.

You still have 3 creative players behind Vardy (albeit with one moving between a greater amount of lines much more) - tick for Puel ethos.

You have Vardy with more space because it’s not always 3 sat behind him - tick for me.

It puts that emphasis on Mendy and Ndidi being ready to cover overlapping full backs but that is something they should be doing and improving at anyway (Kante did it on his own as well as sitting in midfield!) and I see Choudhury offering that long term.

————————-Schmeichel————————

Ricardo———-Evans——-Maguire——-—Chilwell


—————-Ndidi————-Choudhury——————-

———————-Tielemans———————————
——-Barnes————————-Maddison—————

——-—————— Vardy————————————

(Imagine I’ve drawn an arrow pointing forwards and backwards in front and behind tielemans: he’ll be tasked with going and getting the ball as an attacking midfielder rather than waiting for it and dropping back to support in CM when needed <dropping us into a 4321 defensively and/or 433 to counter)

As always, sorry for my lengthy waffling.

posted on 9/2/19

I agree with TB
We keep starting matches like a limp finger

posted on 9/2/19

I agree about the intensity, I think we have (with good intentions from Puel) been over-coached and natural runs and intuitiveness have been dampened.

In terms of at the back, I think we have a pretty good back 5 and therefore it’s less about quality of individuals and more about how we set up and implement particular tactics and styles of play.

But all of this still needs to be built on a solid, cohesive ‘plan a’ formation and approach. So I would, in my opinion, say a formation is important, at least in terms of having a secure ‘go to’ one.

Ironically, I think Puel’s indecisiveness in relation to this has made it difficult to judge how successful his ‘long term plan’ is and has contributed to him still being manager.

posted on 9/2/19

comment by Cheesynacho (U1254)
posted 3 minutes ago
I agree with TB
We keep starting matches like a limp finger
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I don’t think my article (well at least not intentionally) or the vast majority of Leicester fans have suggested otherwise. An increase in the intensity of our start to matches is a given in terms of what needs improving in the short term

posted on 9/2/19

Really sorry to hear about Albrighton's injury.

Andy Townsend's piece certainly takes the prize for 'Most idiotic article of 2019' so far.

I'd say go with 4-3-3 as the favoured formation tomorrow, with Tielemans given free rein to go forward. Not far off what you've indicated. Problem might be Tilly and Madders getting in each other's way when Maddison drifts inside.

Probably Claude will pick something completely different!

posted on 9/2/19

At the moment I'm just grateful to be elen... Twelfth.

comment by Jobyfox (U4183)

posted on 9/2/19

I don’t think the problem has ever been pace. I believe it’s the transition between defence and attack. Whether that is a quick transition (counter) or a slow, more methodical, one.

In midfield you need either a player who can carry the ball or one that will pass it forwards with accuracy. In 2015/16 Kante did the former and Drinkwater the latter.

Without players that have the ability to do this - and combined with the lack of intensity - then we’re more reliant on the no.10 coming back to pick up the ball. This sometimes leaves the no. 9 isolated and outnumbered.

The other way to be creative in a 4-2-3-1 is with the width created by the full backs. This isn’t ideal for us as we don’t have players who’ll play the ball in with consistent quality (particularly Chilwell) and a striker (Vardy) who thrives of a different kind of service.

I quite like the OPs formation and personnel if those players are capable of delivering (as I’ve not seen enough of Barnes and Tielemans yet). If Tielemans can provide the required industry in midfield that would be a massive plus. I’d also like to see Barnes and Maddison closer to Vardy as genuine support strikers slightly withdrawn.

I do think Puel is hampered by some of the players in the 2-3 of his 4-2-3-1 and there is potential that Tielemans might help fix that to some extent. There is, however, a slightly more pessimistic part of me that says that, even with the right players, Puel’s approach will still be far too negative with that lack of urgency and intensity. So we shall see. Along with that question I’d like to see more of Barnes and Tielemans to assess how much more they bring above the likes of Mendy and Gray who are hampering our progression.

posted on 9/2/19

Eight points above the relegation Zone, 1 point in 12, Spurs tomorrow and then two relegation battles to come, could we get sucked into a real relegation battle here?

posted on 9/2/19

I was just looking at the tables it's now 6 points or 2 wins to Southampton and Newcastle on 24pts
And with spurs Palace and Brighton to come we could definitely get dragged down there
On the other hand 2 wins and we'll probably be 8/9th

Not a time for the manager to consentrate on his style of play like he did last season,

posted on 9/2/19

Lol, it's 8 points Dublin.

posted on 9/2/19

Ok
I decided 6 points is 2 points above 24 so your vertually in religation well we we'll be if we lose the next 3 🤯🤪

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