Uncle Si wrote:Understood... but if you're opening up space for wingbacks to get involved you need true wing play. You look at teams that implement a similar style now across Europe: Bayern (Robben, Ribery), Dortmund (Aubemayang, Reus), Liverpool (Sterling, Sturridge, Coutinho) Arsenal (Ox, Walcott, Podolski), Barca (Neymar), Real (Ronaldo) and who their wingers are (granted, they can afford them, but still they go after a certain player type)
The idea behind a wingback system (or the 4231/4123) is to allow yards of space to push your wing players into. this stretches the midfield and backline permitting more space for advanced players to run behind. It requires pacey players from back to front to push the pressure. it also requires cover from either the advanced winger or CM when the wingback barrels forward. It also requires a high pressing attitude to force teams to the middle and not allow them to utilize the gap between wingers and backs.
While Cooper may exist in that role, he's not good at it. I watched the Sporting game and he was non existent. yes the wing backs are getting forward, but they arent penetrating, theirs little space which makes their pushing forward . And given Defoe's demolition of the backline in the second game (which happens when the midfield is stretched and the wingbacks are caught up, perhaps caught in transition... i didnt watch it but it sounded like Defoe was left to run alot in the first half) it begs the question if Sigi brought in the right type of players to consistently play the way he wants.
No offense, but I have little faith in Sigi as a manager. Despite regular season successes, the Sounders set up lacks any innovation and teams seem to have little issue solving it by playoffs. Contrast that to Portland, whom I enjoy watching (as much as I enjoy watching the MLS). He's turned the roster over again, and I dont believe he brought in the right players. I was surprised to see them running the system they did against Sporting to be honest. I thought he'd run out a 4411 with Cooper there.
How do you run a 4411 with Oba, Cooper and Dempsey on the same field? I don't see that happening.
I understand the Sigi hate. I do. There is a lot of pressure to perform in Seattle and when the job doesn't get done, its frustrating. The Sounders are very much a club like a big club in Europe. The expectation is trophies and anything less than that is unacceptable. Sigi got us 3 in our first three years, but has yet to make strides in the league competition. He has been given every tool we have available to get it done...and he's come up short...and then you look at how the team is being set up....It's easy to see where the Sigi hate stems from.
I think Sigi is a good coach. I really do. I do think he is too conservative, for my tastes. The average time for a Substitution with Sigi is about 75 minutes. I've always been a 60ish minute type of guy when it comes to subs. First half, make adjustments, give them 15 minutes to see how the players implement the changes, then make a change.
That being said...I don't think that Sigi makes good substitutions either. I agree with his sub choices about 40% of the time....but then again I am aggressive when it comes to tactics, and I don't have all the information regarding fitness.
IMO this team's build is ideal to run a form of a 4231.
Yedlin, Traore, Marshall, Remick along the back. Gonzalez, Anibaba, Scott and Lowe are your reserves for the backline.
Evans and Alonso holding mids. Pineda, Azira, Rose and Pereira are your reserves for the holding.
Pappa and Neagle at Outside mid. Kovar, Okoli, Estrada, Pereira, Evans are your reserves for those roles.
Dempsey is your CAM, and focal point of the attack. If he is unable to play you either play Neagle, Evans, Okoli, or Oba here....or change the system.
Oba is your Striker. Spelled by Cooper, Barrett, Weaver, Bowen and Estrada.
Their are a few reasons that our current tactics don't seem to be working.
1. The tactics for the player set SUCKS.
2. The players have not yet jelled.
3. Alonso is being asked to cover too much of the midfield.
4. Lack of creative off the ball movement.
All this being said.
I'm behind Sigi...cause I do think he can get us there.
Also RE: Defoe.
Both of his goals were off BLATANT Sounder errors. He didn't do anything special movement wise to get those goals. We gifted them on a silver platter. Both were horrible passes. His movement is not what prompted his goals. It was just the Sounders midfield being inept. Anyone who indicates otherwise was not paying attention.