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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » The case for the defence

The case for the defence

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1The case for the defence Empty The case for the defence Thu Sep 02 2021, 10:44

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Evatt's attacking style is great to watch and far more entertaining than we've had in recent years but the higher up we go, the more likely we are to have our pants pulled down.
You can get away with pushing everyone forward in non-league and league 2 football because teams generally don't have the quality, pace and power to exploit the gaps left at that level.
Already in League 1, there are only two teams that have conceded more goals than we have - and that may well be our downfall.
The problem is that it's the teams with the best defensive records that win titles and promotions - just look at the record books. Last season's premiership for example - the top 4 teams were in the top 5 defensive record group. Leicester, West Ham, Leeds and Spurs all scored more than Chelsea who finished fourth - but they conceded more and that was their downfall.
How they achieve that varies enormously and I'm not suggesting we abandon the way we play - after all if you have Superman and the Flash at CB and top athletes around them everyone else can go wander.
But we have wingbacks that go missing and Santos +1 at CB and whilst our style puts massive responsibility on them the better teams will be able to take advantage.
OK it's early days in the season but just like last season when Evatt had to switch from his preferred back 3 to a back 4 when we were getting battered every week, he may wish to rethink the system a little bit.
Of course any system change will impact elsewhere on the field unless you have incredible athletes who can effectively do two roles - but what do you think re our current squad? Tinker or stick?

2The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Thu Sep 02 2021, 13:19

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
It will settle down i think, Santos had a few issues in pre-season so is probably not back to his best yet but it will come. 
Evatt has chopped and changed with his CB partner which doesn't help. Personally i would still go with Baps over Johnston as he tends to overplay sometimes and it has cost us a couple of times.

I'm all for the full backs attacking but they need to remember their number 1 job is defending, they have got caught up field or out of position a few times this season already.

3The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Thu Sep 02 2021, 21:39

Biggie

Biggie
Admin
It's a nice write up lusty.
However, the goals conceded only matter on a per game basis. The goals you concede over a season don't make any difference. It's hard to explain this point but bare with me.

In the two 3-3 draws we conceded 6 goals.
But the points on the table are still the same as if we drew both matches 0-0.

The sane goes for if we won every game 6-5 or 8-7. We would be top of the table but conceded more goals than anyone else.

When you look at the end of the season table and see that the top team conceded the last goals, it's only because on average, the better teams overall also happen to have the best defence.

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4The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Fri Sep 03 2021, 01:42

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:It's a nice write up lusty.
However, the goals conceded only matter on a per game basis. The goals you concede over a season don't make any difference. It's hard to explain this point but bare with me.

In the two 3-3 draws we conceded 6 goals.
But the points on the table are still the same as if we drew both matches 0-0.

The sane goes for if we won every game 6-5 or 8-7. We would be top of the table but conceded more goals than anyone else.

When you look at the end of the season table and see that the top team conceded the last goals, it's only because on average, the better teams overall also happen to have the best defence.
You're right that it only matters on a per game basis but I'm talking about the record over a season - and the reason they are the top teams is because they concede less rather than score more as per the examples - although some teams obviously do score loads and not concede either - but we aren't them.
I've always thought that setting up a team involves compromise - too many attacking leaves gaps in the defence - which is only a problem if the opposition are good enough to exploit them. Too much emphasis on defence and it's difficult to score - unless you have lightning strikers who are skilful enough to break away and score - it's two sides of the same coin and the trick is to get the balance right for the opposition you're up against.
The point I was making is that Evatt has always taken the former approach but that has always been against opposition that hasn't generally been good enough to exploit the gaps his sides leave.
But now we're in league 1 there are players we'll come up against who are good enough.
Obviously the top teams who have talent and supreme athleticism all over the pitch can get away with committing players forward a lot more than our lot can so the question really is should we be styling ourselves on teams like City when we don't have the talent to do it?
Like Norpig I'm hoping it will work out but there's a niggling worry in the back of my mind that we are inviting trouble at this level - at least against the better teams like Sheff Wednesday who have only conceded 1 goal so far and have just signed Berahino who at this level could have a field day and with their defence may only need 1 goal to win the game.

5The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Fri Sep 03 2021, 08:52

Whitesince63


Tony Kelly
Tony Kelly
Good points lusty and a topic I’ve been concerned about myself. Of course Rico still isn’t 100% fit and he’s had a change of partner with Johnston but my main concern has been the removal of Lee from his partnership with MJ, which I thought was instrumental in protecting the central defenders and covered for the full back bombing forward. Sheehan is certainly better from an attacking perspective and more of a goal threat than Lee but is that strengthening or weakening the team? Obviously IE has got to work things out given the higher quality of some teams in L1 but all in all I think we do have the squad to get it right and my main worry is more of injuries than ability but then I suppose that’s the same with all teams at this level?

6The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Sat Sep 04 2021, 01:38

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Massive month coming up - possibly season-defining....
Burton (H) Ipswich (A) Rotherham (H) Sunderland (A) and Charlton (A)

On paper the least difficult of those seems to be Ipswich A - where we've had very little joy for many a season now.

We'll have a pretty good idea of our prospects by the time October rolls around.

7The case for the defence Empty Re: The case for the defence Sat Sep 04 2021, 09:40

Biggie

Biggie
Admin
Interesting points.
I also think our approach should depend on our expectations. Are we trying to win the league? Would we be happy with tenth? Or are we just hoping to avoid the drop?

If, say, mid table is our objective for the season, then I think we can comfortably continue to play the way we are, have an exciting season and go home happy. If its purely about getting back to back promotion then some caution might be useful.

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