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Substitutions, Squad Depth and Late Capitulations

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Author Topic: Substitutions, Squad Depth and Late Capitulations  (Read 1933 times)
bungle
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« on: September 28, 2019, 18:44:44 pm »

The art of effective substitutions is arguably one of the key factors which separate a promotion-winning manager from a merely competent one. At the moment, Curle is doing a very competent job, but our promotion bid is being hampered by poor substitutions which are caused partly by a lack of like-for-like tactical foresight and partly by insufficient squad depth in the attacking positions.

Curle was trying to do something different with the substitutions today, but it backfired massively. He says that 'we brought players on to help us get forward and retain possession' (i.e. Smith and Warburton), which is probably a response to previous criticisms of his 'shutting-up-shop' approach in games like Crawley and Bradford. However, Smith coming on necessitated a destabilising change in the system (with the highly competent Hariman coming off) and then Warburton coming on for McWilliams deprived us of our most effective high-pressing midfielder, meaning that Morecambe had time to play things out from the back. Morevover, bringing on Hall Johnson for Williams on 64 minutes arguably sent the wrong unconscious psychological message to a Cobblers team which Curle has berated constantly for a tendency to sit back.

In the short term, he would be better off making like-for-like substitutions (e.g. Pollack for Adams and Oliver for Williams) rather than messing with a successful system. When - or if - McCormack is back then hopefully he will provide another option: a calm head to be brought in for the last 20 minutes of games when we need to see things out. (I actually think this is the best way for us to use McCormack throughout the season; he's clearly not going to be up to 90 minutes very often and Lines and Turnbull have been excellent as our starting holding midfielders.)

In the long term, he needs to tackle the lack of squad depth in the attacking positions. At the moment, we have no real replacements for Adams and Hoskins and Oliver and Smith are too similar to Williams to offer a genuine alternative. Curle needs to address this by signing a couple of pacey forwards/attacking midfielders who can come on against sides who are chasing the game and give them something to worry about by stretching the game on the counter-attack. It would be even better if these players were capable of adopting a high press in the manner of Hoskins and McWilliams. Loanees would be a perfectly acceptable option to fulfil this kind of role IMO.









 
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 19:07:25 pm by bungle » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2019, 19:01:14 pm »

Good points but no signings can be made until January, unless we go down the free agent route.
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2019, 19:06:46 pm »

unless we go down the free agent route.

Actually, talking of free agents why was Kaja not on the bench today? He would have been a much better option to bring on (for Adams or Hoskins) in order to press and stretch the game.
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2019, 19:14:28 pm »

Actually, talking of free agents why was Kaja not on the bench today? He would have been a much better option to bring on (for Adams or Hoskins) in order to press and stretch the game.


Has a slight injury picked up in training, Billy Waters also apparently.
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2019, 01:34:33 am »

The art of effective substitutions is arguably one of the key factors which separate a promotion-winning manager from a merely competent one. At the moment, Curle is doing a very competent job, but our promotion bid is being hampered by poor substitutions which are caused partly by a lack of like-for-like tactical foresight and partly by insufficient squad depth in the attacking positions.

Curle was trying to do something different with the substitutions today, but it backfired massively. He says that 'we brought players on to help us get forward and retain possession' (i.e. Smith and Warburton), which is probably a response to previous criticisms of his 'shutting-up-shop' approach in games like Crawley and Bradford. However, Smith coming on necessitated a destabilising change in the system (with the highly competent Hariman coming off) and then Warburton coming on for McWilliams deprived us of our most effective high-pressing midfielder, meaning that Morecambe had time to play things out from the back. Morevover, bringing on Hall Johnson for Williams on 64 minutes arguably sent the wrong unconscious psychological message to a Cobblers team which Curle has berated constantly for a tendency to sit back.

In the short term, he would be better off making like-for-like substitutions (e.g. Pollack for Adams and Oliver for Williams) rather than messing with a successful system. When - or if - McCormack is back then hopefully he will provide another option: a calm head to be brought in for the last 20 minutes of games when we need to see things out. (I actually think this is the best way for us to use McCormack throughout the season; he's clearly not going to be up to 90 minutes very often and Lines and Turnbull have been excellent as our starting holding midfielders.)

In the long term, he needs to tackle the lack of squad depth in the attacking positions. At the moment, we have no real replacements for Adams and Hoskins and Oliver and Smith are too similar to Williams to offer a genuine alternative. Curle needs to address this by signing a couple of pacey forwards/attacking midfielders who can come on against sides who are chasing the game and give them something to worry about by stretching the game on the counter-attack. It would be even better if these players were capable of adopting a high press in the manner of Hoskins and McWilliams. Loanees would be a perfectly acceptable option to fulfil this kind of role IMO.









 
Canít add a single thing to that. Sometimes as a manager in any industry you have to hold your hands up and admit you got it wrong. Thatís not a weakness, itís a strength. I hope Curle has the Jacobs to look at himself when he carries out the inevitable inquest on the Morecambe game? The view from my laptop indicated the players did very little wrong?
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2019, 01:49:57 am »

Canít add a single thing to that. Sometimes as a manager in any industry you have to hold your hands up and admit you got it wrong. Thatís not a weakness, itís a strength. I hope Curle has the Jacobs to look at himself when he carries out the inevitable inquest on the Morecambe game? The view from my laptop indicated the players did very little wrong?
I don't disagree with your overall point - little doubt Curle's tactics were the difference between drawing and winning - but the first goal looks disappointing for a few reasons...

1) Cornell should maybe have done a little better;
2) The amount of time and space their lad had to take the shot;
3) The fact it's virtually a carbon copy of Crawley's first goal last week albeit from slightly further out, did we not study the video and learn from the mistake?

The second goal is just a silly goal that is hard to lay blame for, but the damage was already done at 2-1 and Curle's bizarre substitutions setting the tone for the closing minutes.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 01:59:01 am by observer1 » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2019, 03:52:46 am »

I don't disagree with your overall point - little doubt Curle's tactics were the difference between drawing and winning - but the first goal looks disappointing for a few reasons...

1) Cornell should maybe have done a little better;
2) The amount of time and space their lad had to take the shot;
3) The fact it's virtually a carbon copy of Crawley's first goal last week albeit from slightly further out, did we not study the video and learn from the mistake?

The second goal is just a silly goal that is hard to lay blame for, but the damage was already done at 2-1 and Curle's bizarre substitutions setting the tone for the closing minutes.
I think both goals were disappointing because without the changes the chances are that Morecambe wouldnít have been in that area of the pitch? Sorry if Iím a bit snappy, this latest capitulation has p1ssed me off considerably more than the previous ones. As Bungle said, KC is doing ok, but at some point if he is ever going to win a promotion he is going to have to do better than ok?

I remember the days when we used to concede more in the second half though.
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2019, 08:50:24 am »

Yes it is frustrating to keep getting into these winning positions and then capitulating.  However, itís a common feature of football and youíll find that the last 10 minutes of all games (across the entire league/season) is the busiest 10 minutes in terms of when goals are scored. Mainly because the team with nothing to lose throw caution to the wind!
Our stats this season however do make very poor reading in terms of goals scored/conceded during this period and throwing away a 2 goal cushion, in consecutive games, is particularly galling.  However I donít thinks itís down to squad depth, we do have the players. Itís down to a combination of things: tactics (particularly not leaving at least one man up to either relieve pressure, or even breakaway); some unfathomable substitutions, to be fair KC does offer his explanations (but it is getting tiring hearing him say Ďwe need to learn from thisí); and of course Luck, as you get into stoppage time it gets more and more frenetic and in truth, it might just have easily been Swindon & Stevenage who got their equaliser, while Crawley & Morecambe failed to.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2019, 08:55:41 am »

Yes it is frustrating to keep getting into these winning positions and then capitulating.  However, itís a common feature of football and youíll find that the last 10 minutes of all games (across the entire league/season) is the busiest 10 minutes in terms of when goals are scored. Mainly because the team with nothing to lose throw caution to the wind!
Our stats this season however do make very poor reading in terms of goals scored/conceded during this period and throwing away a 2 goal cushion, in consecutive games, is particularly galling.  However I donít thinks itís down to squad depth, we do have the players. Itís down to a combination of things: tactics (particularly not leaving at least one man up to either relieve pressure, or even breakaway); some unfathomable substitutions, to be fair KC does offer his explanations (but it is getting tiring hearing him say Ďwe need to learn from thisí); and of course Luck, as you get into stoppage time it gets more and more frenetic and in truth, it might just have easily been Swindon & Stevenage who got their equaliser, while Crawley & Morecambe failed to.

I think your repetitive use of the word capitulation is entirely misplaced and is also derogatory to the players and management alike.
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2019, 08:59:18 am »

I think your repetitive use of the word capitulation is entirely misplaced and is also derogatory to the players and management alike.
Confused.
He used the word capitulation once as far as I can see.
Care to explain?
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2019, 09:48:00 am »

Which is the topic of the thread...
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2019, 09:51:55 am »

Confused.
He used the word capitulation once as far as I can see.
Care to explain?

Donít question the messageboard policeman! Quick to come in and have a dig against a post but very slow to offer any reasoned argument against it!

Donít worry, heíll scare everyone off eventually and have the whole place to himself!
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2019, 12:57:56 pm »

Capitulation is a brilliant word - and in no way can it or any synonym have any positive connotation that I can see!
Quite obviously, players management et-al do read forums - hence the C&E citing ' KC's reaction to criticism from fans at the game and on social media'...CAPITULATION again lads and Bandy Legs!
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2019, 16:38:56 pm »

I think things are currently going OK except for this habit of sitting back when ahead. Overall, KC seems to have got some tenacity and energy into the team in recent weeks. But to me something doesn't quite fit when things go wrong. KC said in his post match interview yesterday that he doesn't tell his teams to sit back when ahead and wants them on the front foot. The substitutions he made at half time seemed to support this argument, but the others were strange to say the least. Having seen the team suddenly turn so defensive about 15 minutes into the second half it's hard to avoid one of three possible conclusions:

1) they were told to do so.
2) they tired
3) they lost their shape due to having to change shape too often because of the substitutions.

KC's interview implies that none of the above happened and it was the players who chose to sit back. While this is just about possible I find it highly unlikely that players continue to "choose" this option against KC's will. On the other hand if the real problem is any of the 3 I've mentioned it would be nice to hear KC taking his share of the responsibility as manager. In his time at the Cobblers I've yet to hear him admitt he has made a mistake. As someone said earlier in this thread, good managers are willing to admit their mistakes. He keeps talking about the importance of players learning. Let's hope he can too.
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2019, 17:10:09 pm »

  it's hard to avoid one of three possible conclusions:

1) they were told to do so.
2) they tired
3) they lost their shape due to having to change shape too often because of the substitutions.

KC's interview implies that none of the above happened and it was the players who chose to sit back. While this is just about possible I find it highly unlikely that players continue to "choose" this option against KC's will.

Or:

4) The players interpreted the substitution of Williams for Hall Johnson as a subconscious message that it was time to shut-up shop and the removal of two of our most defensively competent players (Harriman and McWilliams) left us dangerously exposed.

I certainly don't think that the players 'chose [the sitting back option] against KC's will, but he has to realise the subconscious messages that he sends with his substitutions.

KC's decision to bring on Smith and Warburton was clearly a conscious effort to avoid sitting back.

However, instead of going like-for-like, he removed Harriman (who probably would have done a better job that Hall Johnson at marking Ellison) and McWilliams (who would probably have done a better job than Warburton at pressing the Morecambe midfield). The decision to put Hall Johnson on and to revert back to a 4 at the back looked almost like an admission that he'd got it wrong in changing the system.

Ultimately, I think KC has found a very decent first X1 and shaped them into a coherent tactical plan. The crucial next step, as I said, is to improve the substitutions and 'plan b' options late on in a game. I didn't realise that Kaja and Walters were injured. If they had been fit and if they had come on for Adams/Hoskins then it might have been a different story.






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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2019, 22:46:13 pm »

When talking about managerial performance outside of football you can often categorise managers in 2 ways. As a general rule those who make decisions based on the right thing to do, and those that make decisions based on opportunities for self promotion? Of course itís a bit of a grey area as there is sometimes the potential to do both, weighted in varying degrees obviously. However, poor managers will almost always take the latter option given the opportunity. I believe that many of our managers in recent times would make ego driven decisions based on self promotion more often than not. My view is that it was to sometimes prove themselves right regarding tactical choices, rather than change tack and by definition admit the original decision was flawed. This was particularly the case when they had persisted with a tactical choice in the face of fairly vociferous mounting criticism. It will be interesting to see how Curle reacts to the bit of criticism he has experienced of late over his substitutions? I havenít quite decided which category Curle mainly falls into at the minute, but might get a chance to find out over the coming games? I should also add that occasionally you can replace the word ego for the word fear.
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2019, 08:22:20 am »

Ultimately, I think KC has found a very decent first X1 and shaped them into a coherent tactical plan. The crucial next step, as I said, is to improve the substitutions and 'plan b' options late on in a game. I didn't realise that Kaja and Walters were injured. If they had been fit and if they had come on for Adams/Hoskins then it might have been a different story.


i agree with this - he has found a decent system and line up that is working - just needs to change like for like if we have the need for fresh legs rather than trying to mix it up for hte sake of it, trying to prove he is some sort of genius.
when it works - keep it going - dont let your ego get in the way and ruin the chance of a first promotion in 17 years (or whatever it is) as a manager.

obviously if we are chasing the game then it might be different - but if it isnt broke dont fix it.
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2019, 11:21:49 am »

When talking about managerial performance outside of football you can often categorise managers in 2 ways. As a general rule those who make decisions based on the right thing to do, and those that make decisions based on opportunities for self promotion? Of course itís a bit of a grey area as there is sometimes the potential to do both, weighted in varying degrees obviously. However, poor managers will almost always take the latter option given the opportunity. I believe that many of our managers in recent times would make ego driven decisions based on self promotion more often than not. My view is that it was to sometimes prove themselves right regarding tactical choices, rather than change tack and by definition admit the original decision was flawed. This was particularly the case when they had persisted with a tactical choice in the face of fairly vociferous mounting criticism. It will be interesting to see how Curle reacts to the bit of criticism he has experienced of late over his substitutions? I havenít quite decided which category Curle mainly falls into at the minute, but might get a chance to find out over the coming games? I should also add that occasionally you can replace the word ego for the word fear.
So many managers over complicate matters by trying to be too clever . Curle comes into that category regarding his substitutions and last season with his constantly changing team selections.
Just play the correct players in the correct positions and allow them to perform while negating the opposition threat .
Also admit you got it wrong every so often rather than chucking players under the bus
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2019, 11:26:25 am »

I think in league 2 it pays to keep things fairly simple, the players don't cope with system changes very well. Therefore it makes sense to make mainly like for like changes. Sometimes more pace may be needed , sometimes better passing and technique may be required. I understand Curly's theory of putting a forward on to get us playing in Morecambe's half but this only succeeded in getting us playing hoofball. One way to see out a game is to keep the ball, unfortunately we are very short of technical players who can keep us in possession. Pollock has shown us he can pass, perhaps he needs more time on the pitch with Chris Lines to learn how to manage a game?
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2019, 12:55:40 pm »

So, on the plus side we are all agreed on on the way forward. On the down side KC is a seasoned professional who has performed at the highest level, whilst we are all presumably a bunch of half wits who have viewed the game exclusively from plastic seats and/or an armchair? Who I wonder will prove to be correct, the tension mounts?
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