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20 May 2024 13:21:46
I would not be surprised to see us use natural CB's at full back next season under Slot. Arsenal do with White/ Timber and City do with Gvardiol/ Ake/ Akanji. Even Walker is very happy to sit back and actually played in a back 3 for England for several years due to his unadventurous style. I've often said on here that it is the key difference why it works for them and not us.

When a defender steps out to give you the numerical advantage in the midfield it leaves you short/ narrow at the back and City and Arsenal both get around this lack of defensive width by having more defensively solid (or just less adventurous) players in at least one of the full back positions, allowing them to seamlessly morph into a back 3 at times but also let especially Gvadriol or White push on as well in the right moments.

I'd not be at all surprised to see players like Konate, Quansah, Sepp VdB if he returns, Gomez if he stays, Pacho if he signs etc starting at right/ left back. I just don't think you can have Trent moving into midfield AND Robertson bombing on past Diaz every time. It left Virgil and Matip/ Konate far too much to do as they were having to try and get across to cover right back whilst also hoping Robbo could track back quicker than their winger could break forward (which he's been struggling with more and more as he ages) .

The year we won the league with Trent and Robbo both bombing on we had Virgil and Gomez both pre-knee-injury and they were absolute speed demons who could cover the whole width of the pitch very well even if Trent and Robbo were slow to track back. At times you could even leave them 2 vs 3 and Virgil was good enough to make it work. However Trent also going high and wide pushed back their wingers on both sides so Gomez and Virgil had more protection as long as Robbo and Trent followed their wingers back. Trent going into midfield doesn't drag the winger back with him, so poor Konate/ Matip have been having to stand up left wingers on the regular and try and the defend the middle of the pitch also.

I think using CB's at full back more often is the next step in the evolution of our team if Slot wants to bring his inverted full back style over with him. Time may totally prove me wrong, but it's where I personally see the gap in the system as we have deployed it.

Agree8 Disagree0

20 May 2024 14:12:25
Whilst I don;t completely disagree I do think that it far more complicated than that.

At our peak, Trent and Robbo pretty much played as wingers leaving our 2 CB as the only defenders and we had a fantastic defensive record. This wasn't just down to their pace, there were several other factors:

1. We kept the ball far better. We didn't give up possession easily like we do now with slow play and sloppy passes.
2. When we did give the ball away we had the best front 3 in the world at winning back possession with the high press. Very often when we lost possession we immediately won it back without the opposition having the chance to attack.
3. All of our midfielders were ball winning midfielders. If they got past the front 3 the midfield would often win back the ball. Our current midfield lack this in abundance.
4. We had peak Fabinho who could offer unrivalled protection to our defence or drop into defence to make a back 3.

I would love to see a return to this kind of football so for me I would love to see a world class DM brought in (if there are any out there? ) and see Trent and Robbo go back to being full on wing backs. I also think it would see Nunez thrive with balls crossed into the box rather than trying to play intricate passes through 2 narrow banks of 4 that the opposition have put on the edge of their box.

20 May 2024 14:12:57
Sounds like something we were trying to implement anyway given we were linked to Colwill, Inacio, Theate or Hincapie - all LCBs adept at playing LB - last summer.

We even had Robbo shuffling inside at the start of the season to make a back three which seems to be working ok until his injury. Then Tsimikas and Gomez were playing that way while Robbo was out.

Honestly, I don't know what to think of it. Current Premier League coaches are obsessed with this press-baiting/ foot-on-ball tedium and I feel like attacking football is suffering as a result. We are fawning over defenders than can step into midfield and make progressive passes and whining about the output of our forwards. We are a team and fanbase that thrives on energy and momentum and this style of football dampens that.

20 May 2024 14:27:55
MK amazingly we had 3 Centre backs playing on quite a few occasions this season in Gomez at full back.

But more often than not he was the one chosen to invert rather than defend.

20 May 2024 14:33:19
Either that or we by a top class DM and ask him to provide better protection for our defense. Endo been a great stop gap but we need a better player in there if we are going to carrying on playing with attacking full backs.

20 May 2024 15:42:55
Don't see the problem with Endo. he done really well. even if we buy a top class DM . he can't play every game . n Endo is suited there more than any other player we've got.

20 May 2024 17:49:25
In my eyes when we played really well with klops 1st team, fabinio dropped in pretty much between our centre backs spreading the defensive load while Trent and robbo broke assist records.

20 May 2024 18:45:34
All good points in the replies. Either way seems like we all agree we found a balance between attack and defence in our old system and I think we can all agree we haven’t really had that same balance for a while and especially since Trent’s been inverting. Slot might decide to go a different way, but if he does stick to an inverted full back, how we rediscover that balance will be the key.

20 May 2024 19:25:03
Fully agree with your oh post MK. I don't like this inverted fullbacks system but if we are going with it we need to get rid of our traditional fullbacks and bring in adaptable multi positional players that fit the system like City i. e one out and out defender that is a rock (Dias) one CB that steps into midfield (Stones) and two adaptable defenders that can play fullback and CB on either side like Akanji and Ake. Much prefer that system to our inverted full back one and I actually think we already have the players to do it. VVD is the rock, Bajcetic could be the CB that steps into midfield as he has always been a CB at youth level and broke through as a DM. Gomez and Sepp VDB can play the wider roles then move Trent into a double midfield pivot. That's what I'd do anyway but hey what do I know. Excited to find out!
Sign me up when Slot gets sacked Henry!

20 May 2024 19:49:40
"Trent going into midfield doesn't drag the winger back with him, so poor Konate/ Matip have been having to stand up left wingers on the regular and try and the defend the middle of the pitch also. "

MKS, this was the first problem I saw with the inverted situation and that was when we played Spurs where Jota scored the winning goal. I could not believe the gaps we were leaving behind and I was asking myslef, "Is anyone else seeing these probs. or is it just me? ". Well, thankfully it wasn't cos many on here (including Ed01) have said the same thing (s) and do not like this system.

That being said, a guy like Sepp (or his profile) is the best guy here (as Ed01 proposed) cos he is capable of playing RB and RCB and wingback hence, he can defend out wide in space as a CB or RB. Now sill he start? I don't think so and frankly, I don't see him being kept BUT to me, that is the type of profile we should be looking at in the CB position cos Slot will invert, whether I like it or not.



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