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19 hours ago, Smokedsalmon said:

Spot on.

Our low-tempo, tepid, overly-cautious midfield play is what kills our ability to score goals, not our strikers.

When was the last time we scored a counter-attack? Be interested to see that. Feels like it takes us an age to progress the ball up the pitch.

According to Whoscored we have 2 goals from counter attacks this season.  That's actually in the middle of the division.  The most is only 6, and only three teams have 5 or more I think.  Counter attacks aren't that important, you've got to get good on how to break teams down when they have a lot of players behind the ball because that's the situation you face most often.  It's the same numbers in the Premier League as well for what it's worth, and it's not the teams you might expect that lead the way - Chelsea have 0, Man City and Liverpool are 2/3.  In the Championship, Bournemouth have 0, but Birmingham have 5, Fulham have 4.  It seems to be kinda random. 

It's also worth pointing out that even if that was a problem then it would be a team wide problem rather than a Connolly problem, and he is still the worst of our strikers by just about any measure.

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17 hours ago, Bruce said:

Saw a really interesting graphic just now. 

Connolly, presumably under instruction, played very wide on the left. He actually took up the same position for us as Solanke did for Bournemouth and neither had much impact on the game. It looks like Bola, Tav and Connolly were incredibly congested while Watmore was very isolated up front.

Bournemouth focused their play down their left, possibly trying to pin Jones back. Howson spent most of the game passing back to McNair. Our defence was also very high up the pitch which surprised me because I had got the impression we had dropped back a bit. Look how far back Daniels was compared to Travers; there is an alarming amount of space between our defence and keeper.

It is easy and clearly justified to be critical of Connolly; despite pretty much standing next to Bola he was hardly involved but all of the forwards on both teams were semi-detached. It's just that Connolly was fully detached. Maybe that was the plan but, if so, that seems like an odd plan. 

The writer also says that we generally didn't press Bournemouth's central defenders which is true looking back at it. We had the occasional press but mostly sat off a bit and dared them to hit long balls in behind our defence. On paper it looks absolutely mad; we have 6 outfield players spending most of their time in the opponents' half. 


That's just a map of the most passes I think?  If you look at the heat maps it's a bit different.  Connolly wasn't stuck out wide left and Watmore wasn't isolated on his own in the middle, which is how I remembered it tbh.

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