There’s a bit of noise about how the defence isn’t so good now.

People are really pleased with AJ’s form.

Under Roy Hodgson we never had these problems in defence.

But the forwards really suffered.

All of the above is not a coincidence!

Under Hodgson we rarely committed men ahead of the ball.  The back door was always being watched, usually by at least five players. So if we lost possession we still had our shape.  It was mad to see and felt a bit like overkill, but a testament to all the hours of training the team put in. 

Now is different. At one point Riise was a legitimate left-winger. Clint Dempsey doesn’t really defend like he used to (playing that slanting in role he’s all over the show, which isn’t good for structured defending). Duff works hard but in the midfield there’s a new balance: defence is important, but it’s not all powerful like it was. Before the midfield could attack but had to be careful. Now they always attack but try to be careful if they possibly can.

It’s a big difference.

So the defence looks much shakier and the forwards look better!

More fun but less ‘good’, perhaps.

There’s always a balance. Stack the stones high and you might have a higher tower, but it might fall down in a mess, too.  This is the situation we face.  You can build a big tower against Wisla Krakow, but against the better teams it might be an idea to add a few more stones at the bottom so it’s harder to knock down.

11 thoughts on “Balance

  1. All very true.

    That said, Jol’s post match comments were interesting (you can watch them on the offal). He points out that when we lost the ball our organisation was not so good. He also mentioned the problem of playing 4-4-2 against 4-3-3 (extra man in midfield), something that I cannot remember any of our recent managers discussing.

  2. What’s going on, Rich? First Bobby Zamora is a menhir and now Fulham are a cairn? Next Dickson will be a dolmen and Brede a megalith.

  3. The pendulum is definitely tipping toward the attacking game, but as long as the talent is there at the back (read: Hangeland), I think there is an opportunity to fall somewhere in between all-out defending and all-out attacking. The sort of thing sides like United have always been able to produce, albeit with a slightly higher budget!

  4. so not that i disagree, rich . . . but still, we’re tied for what, 4th least goals against in the prem?

    we’re certainly more attacking . . . but i feel like we were having this same conversation a year ago!

    i think it’s as colin says. with guys like hangeland and baird and hughes and now grygera at the back — and really, kelly has performed miles above what i’d expect this year as well — our defense is still pretty solid, even if there’s more comedy of errors moments than i might like. etuhu isn’t always there to simply sit and front and add cover . . . but he hasn’t been for a while. hodgson was the master of defensive shape, but more or less, we’ve been able to keep that shape, and still be more adventurous.

  5. Under Roy this sort of match would have been won 1-0 for sure.

    (by a Zamora screamer or or a beauty of a through-ball from Murphy to Gera in the 80th minute).

  6. Okay my question has nothing to do with football or sports. I am a quilter who has been given the challenge of producing a quilt that portrays balance. I like the photograph on your website and would permission to use it as my inspiration piece. Do I have that permission.

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