Saturday, March 16, 2013

Head, meet wall.

I am still seeing constant nose-turned-up claims that the USMNT has been operating in a 4-3-3, such as in the Honduras loss. Someone, someone, SOMEONE, please explain to me this rampant, widespread, spectacular confusion. On exactly what planet is this formation played with only one person along the entire right flank?

The 4-3-3 is not just a formation, it is a system. And we ain't playin' it. Forget Ajax... have we even been operating in the manner of AZ?

Sweet Moses, already.




- Greg Seltzer

61 comments:

Alex Larsen said...

pearce is playing LB today

dikranovich said...

since you are suggesting that one formation is not being played, would you care to explain what formation we have been using? or variation of, or whatever you want to call it.

Greg Seltzer said...

I do not have the foggiest clue what formation we have been using. It's unrecognizable mish-mosh. It's all wrinkles and no apparent system.

Greg Seltzer said...

And I am not "suggesting" a 4-3-3 has not been played, I am speaking the blatantly obvious that it hasn't. I cannot even imagine how one would get the idea it was being played.

dikranovich said...

does the formation even really matter that much? cant any formation be changed and tweeked to meet the needs of the team?

again greg with the dutch mentality. its as if you will only be happy when dick advocate takes over the US reigns. i dont get it.

Greg Seltzer said...

First of all, I do not buy into all this "formations don't matter" stuff. A formation is meant to be tactical; if your formation isn't even supposed to matter, then your tactics are quite hollow.

As for "my" 4-3-3 mentality, I defy you to find one USMNT observer that does not want each the following aspects of play stepped up greatly: playing out of the back, attack from the wingbacks, one-touch passing, possession game, off-the-ball movement, combo play, wide play and more chances created.

Seems to me like everyone wants it, they just don't want to admit it.

dikranovich said...

yeah, people clamor for play out of the back until we give up cheap goals on stupid giveaways. im not sure why the 4-3-3 is needed to achieve each of your requirements though.

i think when people start conjuring up ideas about what they think is the right or wrong formation or what are the right tactics, then we are missing the larger points of the game, which might involve understanding what it takes to actually win each and every game

you can get up on your high horse and try to eschew the virtues of the dutch 4-3-3, as if it is going to happen through osmosis, but that is really just hyperbolic BS.

Jon said...

Greg, what do you think of Shea not making the 18 today? Turning into an Edu situation?

Don't want to overreact but Stoke's wingers are terrible, not creating anything, yet Shea dropped from the squad. Hasn't appeared in two straight games.

Greg Seltzer said...

Not every DNP is "being dropped" - the guy is still coming back from a surgery a few months back and he's also moved to higher level league.

Greg Seltzer said...

"i think when people start conjuring up ideas about what they think is the right or wrong formation or what are the right tactics, then we are missing the larger points of the game, which might involve understanding what it takes to actually win each and every game"



WHAT. FRESH. NONSENSE.

dikranovich said...

yet you have not come up with a formation that the team has been playing.

could you point to some other teams out there, with creative coaches who are playing in formations that your eye is unable to detect?

Greg Seltzer said...

No one can identify it because the team is not playing a formation. Apparently, we are too damn smart for silly things like formations that adequately and evenly cover the field in a positive manner.

Tony M said...

"It's unrecognizable mish-mosh..."

Word.

I do not understand why JK's complete tactical confusion is not getting slammed, and why on earth people are actually making an effort to ascribe some sort of intelligent design on it.

Greg Seltzer said...

I know, right? And just think of the foolishness of all those club teams our boys play for - using silly things like formations and tactics.

Tony M said...

Greg, what is even worse is that JK's inability to articulate a tactical vision clearly has something to do with his persistent habit of playing guys out of position. You're a Dmid? Play center back. You're a forward? Play on the wing. It's absolute contempt for the players and the concept of tactics at all.

Greg Seltzer said...

Yes, and then those "covered" positions end up with no depth or experience.

dikranovich said...

jesus fellas. i mean, bob bradley was coach and people could not wait for him to be fired. now we are right back there again.

so if we lose the next two, who do you think will come in as coach? or do you think sunil will not be able to make the change if it is needed.

Greg Seltzer said...

Fact #1: At no time did I ever publicly call for Bradley's job.

Fact #2: I have also never called for Klinsi's.

Join me in reality and we can talk.

Tony M said...

As for me...

Bradley had his weaknesses, but he was greatly under rated by many fans. Simply comparing the clarity the team had under him with the confusion we see now should make many people repent.

Would I like Klinsmann to go away? At this point, yes I would. (I would revive my one man campaign "David Moyes for USA"). But what I would settle for is forcing him to take a tactical assistant head coach who would take over where Klinsi is clearly lacking.

Greg Seltzer said...

Seems to me that Klinsi is often trying to be too clever for his own good. The same can be said of many observers offering tactical suggestions.

Meanwhile, apparently, wanting to know what happened to the US soccer curriculum handbook that dictated a direction switch to the base 4-3-3 system is being all super-Dutch-y.

dikranovich said...

lamont, ya big dummy, aint nobody said you call for coach bradley to be fired, but son, if you are not calling for coach klinsmann to be fired, then you sure are trying to undermine his bon vivant, and you aint the only mother flucker.

dikranovich said...

tony Me, what do you think about john harkes taking over the tactics from coach klinsmann?

Greg Seltzer said...

See, I'm still waiting for you to figure out that Fred G. Sanford was a buffoon and an old fish-eyed fool. That was the entire point of the show. And with that, please leave this routine out forever more. Seriously.

Tony M said...

dikranovich: Tab Ramos

dikranovich said...

tony, nice, tab is perfect. he would certainly move up the pecking order with this move.

would he have to leave his post as under 20 coach?

Greg Seltzer said...

Your Fred Sanford routine is done. Don't do it again.

dikranovich said...

greg, give me a formation and an explanation, thats not to much to ask for is it?

Greg Seltzer said...

I've already said more than once that I have no idea what it was. I'm not the only one who has said this. And why exactly should I need to, on any level, explain it?

dikranovich said...

if you have no idea what formation it was, then how can you know or not know that it was or was not a 4-3-3?

Tony M said...

Because he's seen 4-3-3 and knows what it looks like.

Jacob Klinger said...

I don't think the U.S. necessarily needs a 4-3-3, but what we've seen is not it either way.

Greg's not crapping out here, when questioned Klinsmann's even said he isn't terribly concerned with a formation. And it's very apparent when the Nats play.

dikranovich said...

tony, i think there was a complaint that teams scored early goals on the USA during the last regime. it was more than a complaint, it was a bad habbit. it is what it is, or was.

wouldnt a new coach come in and ask, what was the thing that really was a problem, and if it was giving up early goals, would that maybe become the thing to work on.

wasnt it clear that coach klinsmann was trying not to give up early goals with his loading the middle of the pitch with players?

dikranovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Streetsweeper said...

Greg,

What do you make of the notion that this whole thing comes down to Jermaine Jones. That is to say, let's imagine a world without Jermaine Jones. If we do, we can imagine the following front six:

Dempsey-Altidore-Gomez
Corona*-Edu**-Bradley

*(or whoever you prefer: Sasha, Torres, Zusi, etc.)
** (or whoever you prefer: Williams, Beckerman, etc)

Bradley has a successful track record of playing in a slightly wider position with Roma, Gomez and Dempsey have a successful track record attacking from a wider position. Most importantly, Edu/Williams/Beckerman have a successful track record at their respective clubs, as well as for the USA, of being a disciplined, defensive-minded man in the middle.

So remove Jones from the equation and you have your front six. Except Klinsmann has not yet shown a willingness to remove Jones from the 11. And herein lies the problem. We don't want Bradley tasked primarily with defending because he has too much value for us going forward (both actually and metaphorically). And we don't want Jones tasked primarily with defending... BECAUSE HE'S NOT THAT GOOD AT DEFENDING!!! Jones is also not that good at being disciplined and staying to one side of the field the way Bradley does for Roma (or the way Reyna did for the USA in 2002 when we slid him out wide in the knockout rounds). So if Jones can't be on the flanks of three man midfield, and he can't be the defensive center of a three man midfield... I guess we can't play a three man midfield. I guess with Jones on the field we will be forced to play a perpetual 4-5-1 that is not so much unbalanced as it is getting in its own friggin way.

Which is why I say 4-4-2

Altidore - Dempsey
Corona - Bradley - Jones - Gomez

dikranovich said...

streetsweeper, why wouldnt a 4-3-3 just become a 4-5-1 on defense? does it even make any sense otherwise?

The Streetsweeper said...

dikranovich, what about the way the US national team has attacked during qualifying has looked like a 4-3-3?

I challenge you to name three specific plays.

I will humbly salute you if you can.

dikranovich said...

SS, i think id reference the guatemala game, the second one, in KC. the first goal USA scored was from a corner, but the second and third were from the run of play and id label both those goals as typical from a 4-3-3, down the wing, into the middle, overlapping runs, with multiple players in the box. classic 4-3-3, second and third goals from the 2nd guatemala game.

thats two out of three, maybe some other fan can help out on the third play.

we did play a couple of qualifiers in pretty less then ideal conditions.

Joos said...

There's real snow, and then there is Okie snow. People that know real snow recognize how it looks and feels and can hear in their minds the soft crunch that comes with every step. Okie snow is thin and quick to melt, and every winter it covers up the iced streets of the Sooner state and its neighbors, even if only for a time. Somebody who has never experienced real snow might mistake the Okie variety for the genuine article, but at best it's a pale imitation.

Maybe Klinsi has a system and formation that the team is playing, but to discerning viewers, it certainly doesn't look like it. At best, it comes across as something resembling a system, something best described as a "4 - Bradley surrounded by an unorganized mess - nothing."

The plan seems to be to throw players out there (some assigned positions by drawing out of a hat) and hope they come up with it on their own. If it's significantly more than that, then I've been hard-pressed to see it consistently

dikranovich said...

joos, i can appreciate your attempt at this snow analogy. but the truth is there is real snow, and there is fake snow. go to any ski resort in this country and you will see machines that make fake snow. and the truth is, a lot of these ski resorts rely on the fake stuff to stay in business.

if you want the best real snow on the planet, the barcelona of snow is in little cottonwood canyon, utah.

the stuff you are talking about in oklahoma, thats black ice, and that stuff should not even be messed with. very dangerous. like mr black magic himself.

UnitedDemon said...

Dik- Do you know what Socratic Dialogue is?

I ask this, because perhaps you're not aware of it, but you make everyone you argue with look like Socrates.

There's a reason nobody likes the JK formation. There isn't one strength in his entire system. Not flank play. Not midfield control. Not defense. Certainly not offense. That's the difference between it and a 4-3-3- that formation has definite advantages.

dikranovich said...

and you dont even have to thank me. now how can we get you looking more like the ancient grecian?

what are the definite advantages of the 4-3-3? yours and gregs 4-3-3, i mean.

Jacob Klinger said...

At least he still plays a goalkeeper. That's nice.

dikranovich said...

if people are really honest and you want to get an apples to apples, or at least as close as possible. compare the US team under coach bradley to the US team under coach klinsmann, but do it using the games where donovan did not play.

the honest answer is that team USA has looked better under this regime than it did under the last, when donovan is missing from the lineup. if somebody wants to dispute that fact, please try and show some evidence, and something more than tweets, please.

Greg Seltzer said...

What is so amusing is that you imagine you set both facts and discussion parameters.

dikranovich said...

the facts as i see them. yes.

Greg Seltzer said...

Apparently, you are not terribly familiar with the definition of the word 'fact'.

dikranovich said...

dispute the facts, or go watch ajax.

Greg Seltzer said...

Don't you mean the 'facts as you see them' (a ka opinions)?

Jacob Klinger said...

The scoreboard looked better under Bradley.

dikranovich said...

yak, nobody cares who finished second. well, unless third place qualifies for a world cup.

Unknown said...

4-3-2-1 is my guess no? One striker two pinched in wingers and 3 defense midfielders. Oh and don't forget a high back line with attacking fullbacks. Duh!

Do you think Bruce Arena throws up a little in his mouth when he sees such a formation rolled out on the field?

I know I do.

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anatoly M said...

Greg said: "Fact #1: At no time did I ever publicly call for Bradley's job.

Fact #2: I have also never called for Klinsi's."

I did, for both.

I still think that BB should have been replaced. Despite some tactical achievements like his crown achievement in beating Spain, we reached ceiling and struggled against weaker opponents and solid European teams. He had his hangups in calling players: too late in calling in somebody hot and keeping somebody in who lost the form.

Klinsi was the only one readily available with expectations to bring in that elusive spark that made us clamoring for Freddy and Torres. It did not work out with any of them, but it's not to say that we are wrong wanting something more.

There are different types of coaches. Take Bora Milutinović. He took whatever was available and made the best with it. 5 teams taken to the world cup!

I wanted something different. Like what Guus Hiddink did with South Korea. Or how his Russian team out-Dutch the Dutch, with a well executed style.

As it stands now, I have no idea how Klinsi wants our team to play. Some ideas seen at the beginning like playing defense very high and compacting the midfield, are not there anymore. His hangups with player selection if different from BB's are no way better. Creativity is not realized. Using available players in the best possible way - nope. His own crown achievements of beating Italy and Mexico look more accidental than logical. I am not arguing his style. I don't understand if he has style!

Honestly, I am hoping for Klinsi to prove me wrong and make a fool out of me.

Greg Seltzer said...

The win at Italy was at the time proof that the 4-3-3 was starting to work for us (even with Williams wrongly stationed on right wing).

Then, it soon disappeared. I have no idea why.

dikranovich said...

unknown, you have placed your opinion on the side of the USA playing the 4-3-2-1, aka, the christmas tree formation.

basic soccer tactic books will tell you that the 4-3-2-1, is a hybrid formation, of, the 4-3-3.

thank you for your valued input.

Greg Seltzer said...

No the burning hell it is not. What planet are you on?

dikranovich said...

they irony of this whole "discussion", its that every soccer fan has his favorites. favorite team, favorite formation, players, etc.

even coaches are fans, and coaches have their favorites also. could be keith beyers, or it could be jon bornstein, or goosh, it could even be robbie rodgers.

i for one think our national team coach deserves more time, which could very well be down to weeks. but he also deserves more credit.

this is a coach that took arguably a weaker team just as far, albeit at home, as the mad genius who followed him.

this is not maradona, who flunked out of saudi arabia, or whatever persian gulf league he was in.

this is the coach from b munchen, with prying eyes in every corner of the room, and the man still had his team in a position to win before he was removed from the post. and no, zero points from three games is not being in a position to win.

Jacob Klinger said...

Just to confirm, which of Germany and/or Bayern Munich was weaker than the U.S. national team?

dikranovich said...

jacob, question not computing. could you please rephrase?

dikranovich said...

the mad genius is low, that followed klinsmann at germany. they both took germany to the semis, but low arguably with a better team, but he was on a neutral site and klinsmann had italy at home. both teams advanced to the semis. germany thrashed portugal in the third place game, in 06, and in 10 germany snuck by uruguay, who snuck by costa rica to even get in.

Jacob Klinger said...

Ah, I see now. I misunderstood. I respect the job Klinsmann did with Germany, and at least for trying with Bayern, but I've been largely disappointed and wildly confused with his current post.