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Karanka's Strange Decisions.


Guest CallumRoddy17

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Well, first of all I think we need to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

As someone already pointed out, this is his first managerial job and he's only been here around 3 months.

 

He deserves plaudits for sorting our defence out, which had been shipping goals like they were going out of fashion.

 

He seems to be trying to get us to play the Continental / Premier League way, using the 4-2-3-1 system, which seems to be currently "on trend".

 

While I applaud his vision and aspirations, it seems pretty obvious we don't currently have players capable of playing that system...at least not in the attacking sense.

 

My only criticism would be that if he can see the players are struggling to implement his plans - as he has said more than once in interviews, then he should at least be flexible enough to change the system.

 

Maybe he'll be able to bring in players who can play 4-2-3-1 effectively in the Summer - I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime he should appreciate we still have a fair number of games left this season and perhaps consider using formations that the current squad is more comfortable with.

 

If 6 games without scoring doesn't tell him something needs to change, I don't know what will...

 

 

Also, reading some of the comments on here, I get the sense we have another problem...too many "utility" players.

 

Over the last season or so, we've tried all sorts of combinations up front and on the wings - Jutkiewicz, Main, Emnes, Ledesma, Carayol, Adomah, Kamara (and now Graham and Tomlin). Is it possible we're playing musical chairs with these guys so much they never get comfortable, or never develop that special "telepathy" that the best strike partnerships seem to have?

 

Maybe we need to start using out-and-out strikers and specialised wingers, rather than strikers-slash-attacking midfielders-slash-wingers?

 

I agree that Karanka deserves the plaudits for what he has achieved and making us difficult to beat. In response to your concerns I would maybe ask you to consider the other side of it, which would be:

 

RE Changing formations: I completely agree that currently, the in attacking areas, we do not have all the right players for the system. However, as a coach, you need to implement your system and get people used to playing your style. Lets say we keep 6/11 of our current "starting 11" for next season. By next season they will have had lots of time to get to know the system and style and what is expected in COMPETITIVE football. That's a huge advantage and we will be able to hit the ground running hopefully. Its a big adaption and that time is needed, as we are currently seeing in our form, to get used to it and comfortable with it so that they can go an express themselves on the pitch. Therefore, I am happy for him to persevere with it until we find ourselves in a situation where we are fighting for survival or something drastic like that.

 

RE Trying combinations: This again is his experimental period in my mind. He is seeing the players, getting to know them, and seeing how they perform and if they can perform in HIS system and style and if so where they are most effective. So again, I am happy with this for now again until something drastic happens. The beauty of this system from a coaching perspective is that the formation is fluid, and to have that fluidity you need players to be capable of playing and being affective in different areas of the front line. Therefore a "strikers-slash-attacking midfielders-slash-wingers" is actually exactly what you want, with each player to have one role that is primary (e.g striker) but have the ability to drop and make space for others to exploit. Rigid formations are often figured out quickly but if players can be versatile, it becomes very difficult to play against.

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Yeah, this is pretty much one long pre season from now on. This time will be used to assess which players are staying, which players are going, getting whoever will be left used to the tactics etc and I am more than happy to have Karanka do whatever the hell he wants.

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Karanka has done a massive job. Against Leeds he completely nullified a decent team with the leagues top scorer who is managed by a seasoned championship/premiership manager. If only he hadnt started with a dud like Kamara and a real winger instead of main we would have won the game.

 

He has his tactics for how we should play and he is giving the members of the squad a fair crack of the whip to see who is ready to stay on board for next season. He is obviously hoping that Main will develop through game time but like most fans can see its not really happening and Karanka isn't blind so main will also be under scrutiny. Mains constant inclusion is probably also due to his commitment in training, and that sends a big signal to better players; if you don't apply yourselves you won't get picked regardless of talent.

 

Like prowler says this is like one big pre season and karanka is taking a long hard look at which players can cut it in his system. Making a team hard to beat is the first step to promotion. Now he needs to spend the last three months finding a goalscoring formula.

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Guest SmogOnTheTyne

Hull and Cardiff both proved last season that being hard to beat is a particularly good formula to follow if you want to get out of this league. They both barely had any scorers that got into double figures yet both went up automatically.

 

I think being particularly hard to beat is good away from home and then grind out results at home is something that we need to look towards and there have been signs of that this season.

 

We just need more of it and consistently to turn ourselves from midtable also rans into play-off contenders/automatic hopefuls. Karanka is still finding his feet, he's only been there 3 months, I have faith in his decisions and mindset in masterminding a play off push.....next season.

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Guest unclegrimley

I am quite dissappointed at the way Ak has been unable to get his players to carry out his game plans. Perhaps with new low budget signings of his own in the summer he will be able to do better. My breath I hold not. Although I do like BoroDanes positive spin. Hope he is right but I dunno, ***nal have been "building" for the last ten years.

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Karanka has done a massive job. Against Leeds he completely nullified a decent team with the leagues top scorer who is managed by a seasoned championship/premiership manager. If only he hadnt started with a dud like Kamara and a real winger instead of main we would have won the game.

 

He has his tactics for how we should play and he is giving the members of the squad a fair crack of the whip to see who is ready to stay on board for next season. He is obviously hoping that Main will develop through game time but like most fans can see its not really happening and Karanka isn't blind so main will also be under scrutiny. Mains constant inclusion is probably also due to his commitment in training, and that sends a big signal to better players; if you don't apply yourselves you won't get picked regardless of talent.

 

Like prowler says this is like one big pre season and karanka is taking a long hard look at which players can cut it in his system. Making a team hard to beat is the first step to promotion. Now he needs to spend the last three months finding a goalscoring formula.

 

Just to play devil's advocate, I wouldn't say it's a "massive job" to nullify a Leeds team who were thumped 6-0 by Sheff Weds recently. It's easy to say "If only he hadnt started with a dud like Kamara and a real winger instead of main we would have won the game." but unfortunately he did, and we didn't win.

 

With FFP upon us, we need to be trying to put more bums on seats at the Riverside to fund AK's transfers to get the players he wants to play his system. You're not going to do that by playing lineups devoid of any creativity with square pegs in round holes.

 

I'm also not a massive fan of him throwing the team or certain players in front of the bus to the media. Breaches of discipline should be dealt with in house behind closed doors, not aired in public through the media. Losing the dressing room doesn't bode well for a manager's long term prospects.

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Stevo, I really don't see your point. Seeing as you're going to point to one result, I'll bring up a more recent result when they beat Huddersfield 5-1. They've been in decent goalscoring form and we nullified any threat they had going forwards.

 

As for 'throwing the team in front of the bus to the media' he never has. The most scathing remark I've heard is 'some players didn't think they're better than they are'. That was after the Watford game, he's never named names, but if we've done badly he's said so.

 

Square pegs round holes you say? I say that after 5 games without a goal a shake - up was required to see if different personnel could make an impact.

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Stevo, I really don't see your point. Seeing as you're going to point to one result, I'll bring up a more recent result when they beat Huddersfield 5-1. They've been in decent goalscoring form and we nullified any threat they had going forwards.

 

As for 'throwing the team in front of the bus to the media' he never has. The most scathing remark I've heard is 'some players didn't think they're better than they are'. That was after the Watford game, he's never named names, but if we've done badly he's said so.

 

Square pegs round holes you say? I say that after 5 games without a goal a shake - up was required to see if different personnel could make an impact.

 

Decent goalscoring form is being held goalless in 4 of your last 7 games? Maybe for us. I could contend that we should be nullifying any threat they had going forwards when Leeds were more than happy to settle for a point and our starting lineup was devoid of creative players.

 

The shake-up you suggested was required includes our most creative players (in my opinion) Adomah, Carayol, Ledesma and maybe Tomlin playing less than 35 minutes between them. This is in a nationally televised game against a very beatable Leeds team. To be honest, our starting lineup was at best, b*llocks.

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And ledesma, Carayol and Adomah were awful against Watford and deserved to be dropped. Playing them recently hasn't scored us any more goals has it? No.

 

They deserved to be dropped for Main wide right, Kamara wide left and Butterfield attacking mid? Seriously?

 

I suppose it's a total coincidence we looked a much better team and more likely to score when Ledesma & Adomah were on the pitch?

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They deserved to be dropped end of. Who else would you suggest we play? It may be no coincidence we were a better team when they came on, but those 3 were our worst players against Watford. They didn't create, they wasted possession. Ledesma was truly awful, and I rate and defend the guy frequently. Adomah sent one of their players clean through on goal and how he didn't score a second is beyond me. The 3 of them put in such drastic performances that they deserved to be dropped.


Also seeing as kamara played the majority of his mls career as a winger, and Butterfield, whilst not best suited to the amc role, is a good, creative player, I don't understand what's so alienating about those changes. The only puzzling one is playing main out wide, but he had a half decent game. He has better attributes to play out wide than he does to play up front as he's quick, tracks back and can run for days.

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They deserved to be dropped end of. Who else would you suggest we play? It may be no coincidence we were a better team when they came on, but those 3 were our worst players against Watford. They didn't create, they wasted possession. Ledesma was truly awful, and I rate and defend the guy frequently. Adomah sent one of their players clean through on goal and how he didn't score a second is beyond me. The 3 of them put in such drastic performances that they deserved to be dropped.


Also seeing as kamara played the majority of his mls career as a winger, and Butterfield, whilst not best suited to the amc role, is a good, creative player, I don't understand what's so alienating about those changes. The only puzzling one is playing main out wide, but he had a half decent game. He has better attributes to play out wide than he does to play up front as he's quick, tracks back and can run for days.

 

I would suggest we play our best team - the fact that you say they deserved to be dropped doesn't hold much weight funnily enough since it's your opinion and I fundamentally disagree.

 

I really couldn't care less where Kamara has played the majority of his MLS career - he isn't playing in MLS anymore. He has been at best ineffective for us whenever he has played any position other than up front.

 

Butterfield has had a few games now in the AMC role - he hasn't played well in any of them (last 2 I saw were Donny away and Leeds on Saturday). Tomlin is supposed to be ready made for this role - maybe he'll start on Saturday.

 

Main is not a winger in any shape or form. Tracks back? I didn't see Leeds' fullbacks come past the halfway line once. I'd rather my wingers could beat a man, put good balls into the box and chip in with some goals (Main has shown no evidence of either) than just be quick or have a good engine.

 

Needless to say we're not going to agree on this (message boards would be rubbish if we all did). I'm not massively pro Karanka, nor am I against him in any way. I just don't agree with his tactics/team selections and don't see why he gets a free pass for making some baffling decisions at times.

 

Anyway, UTB. Hope we get an improved performance and a win on Saturday (my Mrs is an Owl, so much at stake).

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