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[Albion] Low Block is our Achilles heel



Littlemo

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2022
1,205
I was watching Seagull Social’s post Crystal Palace vid and they had a stat that we have more points playing these teams than a lot of the other teams around us, I think that included the likes of Chelsea and West Ham etc.

We assume we are the only team who struggle against this type of play, but we aren’t.

It doesn’t help when we give the first goal away though. Teams like Everton and Wolves are nearly impossible to break down once they have a lead to defend.
 








Right Back

Marseille was magic
NSC Patron
Sep 21, 2017
291
Brighton
Any team can struggle against a low block. Say last night we went all defensive and just sat back(like we did in Hughton’s last game at Wolves). Wolves would then struggle to break us down. It is part of being a good side. I much prefer us to be trying rather than sitting back defensively at home like Wolves did last night.
 


el punal

Well-known member
We have a serious problem when teams play a low block against us.
It is obviously the successful way to play against us.
How do we get over it? Play quicker? Plan b? More direct? Sit deep and let other teams have the ball and we play on the counter?
Whatever solution, it is a pattern and we have been found out.
Oh dear. That’s it then, we‘ve been found out. Certain favourites for relegation. We’re doomed. The end of the world will be at . . . . :facepalm:
 




Cordwainer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2023
327
We get past it with Mitoma and March. Without them we are slightly f***ed, to be honest.
I think that’s right and would add Goodnight to an extent. It really helps when you have players with pace and skill that are prepared to run at opponents and create openings. Enciso coming back, Pedro coming back and maybe even Fati improving should help. The side to side edge of box faff is so frustrating to watch! They didn’t come off but at least Baleba tried some direct balls over the defence last night.
 


Neville's Breakfast

Well-known member
May 1, 2016
13,423
Oxton, Birkenhead
Yes, seems so. I think RDZ would say the answer is more of the same but better. Last night the passing wasn’t good enough. The crossing was just gentle chips to the back post apart from that Barco one late on. Maybe the something lacking last night was a consequence of important games to come.
 


Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
11,801
Cumbria
How to beat a low block..

1) be good at 'winning' penalties
2) be good at scoring direct free kicks from outside the box, or otherwise smacking them in from distance
3) be deadly on the counter
4) have players who can take on and dribble past defenders

Thats pretty much how the likes of City do it. we're getting better at parts of this.

Still, the best advice is 'don't pick a keeper who drops the ball at the oppositions feet in the first minute' :thumbsup:
Number 3 - we were so good at this earlier in the season. Last couple of games - we have looked ponderous in our build up, and when there have been willing runners, we haven't often put the ball through to them. Dunk tried a couple last night, but poorly.
 




Neville's Breakfast

Well-known member
May 1, 2016
13,423
Oxton, Birkenhead
How to beat a low block..

1) be good at 'winning' penalties
2) be good at scoring direct free kicks from outside the box, or otherwise smacking them in from distance
3) be deadly on the counter
4) have players who can take on and dribble past defenders

Thats pretty much how the likes of City do it. we're getting better at parts of this.

Still, the best advice is 'don't pick a keeper who drops the ball at the oppositions feet in the first minute' :thumbsup:
We didn’t. When our keeper was picked he hadn’t done that. If that’s the best advice then the club have it covered.
 




Kalimantan Gull

Well-known member
Aug 13, 2003
12,923
Central Borneo / the Lizard
Number 3 - we were so good at this earlier in the season. Last couple of games - we have looked ponderous in our build up, and when there have been willing runners, we haven't often put the ball through to them. Dunk tried a couple last night, but poorly.
Yeah, but as been said elsewhere, this feels a little by design - we keep our shape so teams can't counter us. Its a bit of a stalemate in our development under RDZ and I don't think its a coincidence we are starting to look like a mid-era Potter team again.
 




Cordwainer

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2023
327
Yeah, but as been said elsewhere, this feels a little by design - we keep our shape so teams can't counter us. Its a bit of a stalemate in our development under RDZ and I don't think its a coincidence we are starting to look like a mid-era Potter team again.
RDZ even said as much after the 0-0 West Ham game I think. Clearly what they and Everton did stung him a bit!
 


nickbrighton

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2016
1,918
given that we had NINE first team players out last night, all this talk of "being found out" and unable to play against a low block, is, for me at least, simply bollox.
At least to the extent that all teams can striggle against it, I dont think we are worse in that respect than many other teams.
Where we do fall down is that whereas the likes of chelsea, liverpool, utd,city and others have second !!s that would waltz into almost any teams first 11, we dont, so having had a constant injury list as long as your arm has cost us. The fact that we are still competing in the league for a Euro place, in the last 16 of the Europa league is amazing
When you watch other teams play, all you hear is palyer x an player y are injured, with us, its barely mentioned that we have consistently had a huge injury list.

Our injuries have certainly cost us points and probably a FA Cup semi final place, but its not because we havce forgetten how to play, or that RDZ is turning into Potter season 1-3.
 


Bakero

Languidly clinical
Oct 9, 2010
13,759
Almería
I noticed tonight we resorted to a lot of crosses, but we don’t have a target man

Ferguson could do that but obviously wasn’t available tonight (and can’t score in a brothel right now), none of our other forwards can really do this

The Buenos Aires - Bettystown connection could be the solution to this.

Big Ferg will relish Barco's whipped, bending balls.
 




Milano

Well-known member
Aug 15, 2012
3,346
Sussex but not by the sea
I was watching Citeh’s first goal against Luton tonight - de Bruyne in a wide position gets up very high behind the defenders after a beautiful cut in from Nunez, before putting in the assist and catching Haaland who’s made a breakthrough run into the 6 yard box - I realise Luton weren’t defending low but isn’t this one of the ways to deal with a low, central block such as Wolves - no point our inverted wingers cutting inside only to run into a bunch of defenders in the 18 yard area - staying wide and getting behind the lines before putting in the cross surely is more effective ?



Wolves barely came out of their own half for the last 30 minutes bar a few counter attacks but on the few times they do counter from the block, when we win back possession high in our own half then we need to be much much quicker on the transition and not give them time to get back into shape - we were too slow.

Oh - yes - and, at the risk of stating the bloody obvious - score first or at least don’t concede first 🙄

As has already been said - don’t concede first.

In reply to above and in terms of last night I’d ask “what wingers”? Our first choice wingers, Mitoma and March, are both likely out for the season; our first reserve winger, Adringa, was woeful last night (I do hope this Afcon win hasn’t gone to his head because I don’t think he’s anywhere near ‘world class’ yet) but even if he hadn’t been what did he have to cross to in the first half? We also only really have one ‘proper’ no9 in the squad and this season he has either been injured or off form. We are also missing our two no10s in Encisco and Pedro. If even 4 out of the injured 9 were available I think it’s a different match.

However for me the biggest ‘thing’ from last night is that now enough must be enough with the keepers, give the gloves to BV now for the run in.
 


Curious Orange

Punxsatawney Phil
Jul 5, 2003
9,949
On NSC for over two decades...
Low block is a quandary for any team, and to be honest if your usual tactics aren't working you have to play the percentages - get the ball wide and put as many low hard balls across the area between the six yard box and the penalty spot as you can. A lot of these will get blocked or cut out, but if you can get the defending team facing their own goal rather than yours then it makes their job a lot more difficult.
 


Nobby Cybergoat

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
6,966
Pace and width is what will defeat a low block.

A player like Mitoma who can get in behind causes havoc and drags central defenders out of position. This why why City are having so much success with Doku
 


Withdean11

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2007
2,771
Brighton/Hyde
We don't have the quality to consistently break down a low block as City/Arsenal do. We might do if all our players are fully match fit.

Ignoring the obvious of cutting out the silly goals conceded, things we can do without deviating from RDZ's style;
- Move the ball quicker when we win the ball rather then allowing the opposition to re-group. Again, we only do this with players like Mitoma/Pedro.
- Take more shots from outside the box. Apart from potentially scoring, if more teams are expecting us to shoot they will commit bodies to close us down thus creating more space in the box. Might improve once Enciso is fully fit.
 




Jimmy Grimble

Well-known member
Yeah, but as been said elsewhere, this feels a little by design - we keep our shape so teams can't counter us. Its a bit of a stalemate in our development under RDZ and I don't think its a coincidence we are starting to look like a mid-era Potter team again.
Number 3 - we were so good at this earlier in the season. Last couple of games - we have looked ponderous in our build up, and when there have been willing runners, we haven't often put the ball through to them. Dunk tried a couple last night, but poorly.
Last night we actually had a couple of transition moments in the middle of the pitch where we won the ball/the ball broke kindly to us with Wolves players out of position. The problem was our attacking players failed to exploit it in a way that Mitoma/March/Pedro can do. Too slow travelling with/passing the ball and not doing it intelligently enough. No one managed to really commit a man until Enciso come on.
 




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