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BWFC: The Rolling Stones





In a completely monotone voice, free of any enthusiasm… 'Yay, we won.`

The fact we are all celebrating a solitary win quantifies the deep slump our beloved club has found itself in lately. I say lately because at the back end of last season we were in anything but a slump. But we discovered almost instantaneously, when Craig Dawson emptied his locker, our problems resurfaced like a dose of psoriasis.

The fact of the matter is, Dawson didn`t cure our ills; even when he was here, he only alleviated the symptoms. Dawson was like an effective cream; the redness disappeared but the problems still lurked beneath the surface. When Dawson shore-up our defence and chipped in with goals, our performances didn`t perk up at all… Only the results improved.

If you examined last season`s line-graph in the way outlined above, this season`s disastrous start wouldn`t have come as a shock. As well as carrying last terms underachievers, the Bolton starting-11 had to incorporate a new sentimental striker, short on confidence and game-time. It was a ticking time-bomb and it didn`t take long to explode. Luckily, the damage caused can be reversed… Just.

So, what about Liam Feeney? Thanks again, Millwall. From the club that brought you Keith Branagan and John McGinlay has now sent up north another saviour. The speedy winger is just what the Whites needed, for a number of reasons.

First off: his attitude. Still only 26, Feeney has a point to prove. Not only is enthusiasm and confidence seeping out of every pour- which is rubbing off on the rest of the team- he`s performing like he`s hoping for a new home. The lad has one thing on his mind when he gets the ball and that terrifies defenders. We`ve not had someone bombing down the wings like that since Johanson in the late 90`s early 00`s. He`s also been compared to David Lee, which leads me to say: wingers are notorious for their performances blowing hot and cold. David Lee is fondly remembered by the Wanderers supporters for being part of the team that had phenomenal cup-runs and promotion charges. But the little winger`s form was up and down like the New York Stock Exchange. So if Feeney`s loan is extended, or he just has a couple of bad games while he`s here, go easy on the lad.

Secondly: his crossing. What do you make of Burnley`s start to the season? I know, it`s amazing, right? Not only for the points-tally they`ve racked up, but the fact they`ve got, not one, but two of the leagues top scorers on their books. How do Burnley keep producing prolific scorers year after year? First it was Steven Fletcher, who they sold for millions. Then it was Jay Rodriguez, who they sold for millions. Then it was Charlie Austin, who, yet again, they sold for millions. Now they have Ings and Vokes smashing them in. Is it the fact that Burnley produce quality strikers making the team better? Or is it the fact that Burnley play a style which allows the strikers to score lots of goals? I believe it`s the latter.
Burnley get crosses into the box… a lot of crosses into the box. The landscape of football has changed within the last 5 years, since the emergence of Barcelona and foreign managers bringing a new wave of style. They narrow the pitch and try to play through the defence rather than getting round the back. Burnley have remained retro-old-school, which benefits the strikers. I`m not saying Burnley`s strikers down the years haven`t been skilful, of course they have. But their goal-tallies and subsequent transfer fees have been inflated by this style of play. Crosses into the box reap rewards for the strikers, but it does have its negatives. The strikers gain is the rest of the team`s loss. If Feeney`s wing-play is the Wanderers` adopted style going forward, you are likely to see a drop-off in goals for the midfielders. But I can live with that. I`d rather have a winger and a striker stretching defenders through fear rather than hoping Eagles gets one of his dozen shots on target.

Plus, can you imagine if Dougie throws Hall into the mix? Feeney and Hall on the wings, crossing for Beckford with Eagles sniffing for scraps or rebounds? It doesn`t have to be a dream…

I know a lot of fans didn`t rejoice when Dougie recruited the three new loan signings- me included. But The Rolling Stones once said in a song that describes the situation perfectly… You can`t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.



The Journalist

Writer: Mr Ecky Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 7 2013

Time: 9:22PM

Your Comments

Very good observations. Playing proper wingers is much more effective than eagles and chungy d1cking about mostly losing possession. Feeney has more than surpassed my expectations. I too can't help thinking Eagles should be on the pitch, I would like to see how he plays behind Beckford. The question is would he provide the passes for Beckford or would he go for glory too much and get everyones backs up. I also think Danns has staked a good claim for that number 10 role. Maybe Eagles will be kept on the bench as an impact player. Lee can go for me all though he tries hard and shows some classy touches he is not effective enough and a luxury we can no longer afford. The it will be interesting to see how Mark Davis will fit into the team when he returns from injury. Maybe when Danns loan finishes Davis and Moritz will be competing for that 10 spot.........if Moritz ever gets fit that is. Maybe we have turned a corner or I'm just being blindly optimistic again, either way I'm feeling more positive
Danfarn80
Wholeheartedly agree with all the sentiments expressed, and particularly the analysis of the Dawson loan. I think in our heart of hearts, we all knew the score with that one. Craig did a magnificent job, but we were on tenterhooks when he left. Now with hind-sight, we had good reason! Watching Burnley hit the net regularly has been simplicity personified! Down the wing, bang in a cross and 'Bob's your uncle'! I also hope Hall is picked down the left, but like Chung and Eagles, he is right-footed and will naturally cut inside and crowd the box. We need some crosses whipped in from the by-line occasionally, so he's got to use both feet to mix it up.
Barney Grumble
It was always the case to have 5 forwards taking the attack into the opposition half, the centre backs helping out along midfield and 2 wingers running the line popping crosses into the box, this style always holds a major threat as crosses played back across the box flat footed defenders and favoured attackers running in to meet the ball. I thought SKD was at is best as a traditional centre forward attacking crosses rather than acting as a holding player. 90% of all games sees the ball moved up and down the pitch with the remaining 10% of the game focused on the last movement of the ball by attackers, it is that last movement that dictates the outcome, does the player shoot, give the ball away or aim to pass to a team mate in a better position, I belief the ball should always go to a mate better placed to use it, if only 1 pass in every 10 takes place near the opposition box you cannot afford to waste it as it could be another 5 or 10 minutes before you have the opportunity again, hence I support wing play, having attacking support in numbers allowing forwards the option to keep possession and pass the ball, with mates taking the space to develop the attack
aussie mike
It was always the case to have 5 forwards taking the attack into the opposition half, the centre backs helping out along midfield and 2 wingers running the line popping crosses into the box, this style always holds a major threat as crosses played back across the box flat footed defenders and favoured attackers running in to meet the ball. I thought SKD was at is best as a traditional centre forward attacking crosses rather than acting as a holding player. 90% of all games sees the ball moved up and down the pitch with the remaining 10% of the game focused on the last movement of the ball by attackers, it is that last movement that dictates the outcome, does the player shoot, give the ball away or aim to pass to a team mate in a better position, I belief the ball should always go to a mate better placed to use it, if only 1 pass in every 10 takes place near the opposition box you cannot afford to waste it as it could be another 5 or 10 minutes before you have the opportunity again, hence I support wing play, having attacking support in numbers allowing forwards the option to keep possession and pass the ball, with mates taking the space to develop the attack
aussie mike
Style of play is a tricky one. There isn't some silver bullet. Having a couple of wingers who can whip the ball into the box with pace on a regular basis means you can get the box flooded whenever they go on a run. But the caveat is that you have to have sufficient support for the gaps in defence to be filled in whenever that happens. It all has to be planned, and the players have to be quick enough to ensure that a counterattack doesn't tear them apart when it goes wrong. This requires a high degree of both intelligence and fitness, as well as a lot of planning. Furthermore, it requires confidence. Burnley are successful with that style of play because it's been working well for them for an extended period of time. It only takes a couple of bad results for hesitancy to creep in, and then you don't get as many players attacking the crosses and you get turned over on the break more often, leading to defeats. Barcelona and the like nullify this by always having 10 men behind the ball, no matter where it is on the pitch, unless they're building from the back in plenty of space. As soon as an attack breaks down, they're ready to defend - there isn't a winger out wide out of the game and there aren't five players in the box chasing back towards the ball. But that style of play requires extreme individual skill, at both precision passing and going past opposition players, as well as everyone on the pitch being an adept tackler. The bottom line is that if you don't play to your own strengths, football will beat you in the end. Now that we have two seriously pacey wingers and a few defensive-minded midfielders with good shots on them, I'm all for us trying to play with out-and-out wingers for a few games and see where it takes us. But it's not a panacea, the rest of the team will have to up their effort levels and movement to make it work. I hope they can.
robmoss2k
Barney, Hall is heavily left footed and has a great cross on him so he would be ideal to replace Pratley on the left in the upcoming home games. DF knew we had CB problems that needed solving but with 4 CB's on the books someone had to leave before we brought someone in, no one wanted Mills or Ream and now they are the ones who have made the position their own.Mike, the final pass is where we have fallen down this season, indecision, shoot rather than pass, pass rather than shoot, this is predominantly down to rock bottom confidence and panicing when in this position, playing wingers like Feeney, actually making us more predicatable in team shape, will allow us to get more crosses into the box for Beckford, with others like Dann arriving late makes us harder to defend against. Because of players failing to perform to the best of their ability DF has had to go right back to basic team play and that is where the improvement has stemmed from
moonpig1
Good comment Rob, i agree with a lot that you say. The main thing is organisation, attack as a team, defend as a team. I went to see Barcelona-Sociedad a couple of weeks ago and one of the things i noticed was every Barca player stayed on their feet at all times, there were never wreckless slide tackles like we see every week like the one from Tierney where he breaks a bone, there is never that kind of risk and aside from them being world class footballers, their organisation, team play and knowing their jobs makes them the team that they are.
moonpig1
You are right about Hall being left-footed, moonpig. I'd forgotten that! Makes it all the better now! Beckford won't know which way to turn! Some insightful comments today, I'm learning a lot! Should be up to speed by the time I'm middle-aged!
Barney Grumble
I think we should play danns in centre mid along side spearing. I like medo but I feel him and spearing are too static and are too eager to sit back when we have possesion. We need someone with more energy in the middle, either danns or pratley (who is definatley not a winger btw!). Then play hall or chungy on the left and either eagles, or hall again as an attacking midfielder. what do you think of this?
welshwanderer
Medo is coming into form and has been a big part of the defensive solidity over the past few games. You're right, Pratley isnt a winger but he was played on the left for specific reasons, i.e the narrow pitch at Blackpool and to combat Burke and give extra help to Baptiste against Birmingham. I would swap Pratley for Hall keeping Danns in the centre, i think Eagles is odd man out at the moment, loses the ball too often, wont play his position, no defensive work, not enough end product. Would play Chungy off Beckford if swapping for Danns but he needs to get on the weights, bulk up and be stronger to succeed in this division.
moonpig1
Good analogy.
Muur
 

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