Jermaine Jones - lethal or lame in the attack?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by TheNearPost, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    I think the question needs to be asked as to whether Jermaine Jones is enough of an attacking threat. He's a physical menace, and can definitely handle the ball pretty well, especially for someone who gets in on tackles as well as he can. He sprays around some great passes and spreads play nicely.

    However, he can sometimes overdo it and kill attacks. He lacks the unpredictability on the dribble that you'd want out of an attacking midfielder/10. He also looks very uncomfortable drifting wide, which he seems to be asked to do by Juergen.

    Jones definitely provides a thrust out of the central midfield, but it's way too... raw. He's very energetic and the willingness to get forward helps, but we need a more sophisticated attacking midfielder in the central midfield.

    I think he and Bradley as double 8's with Beckerman or Edu behind them could be useful against higher tier teams that push more numbers forward simply because of their two way ability. They can defend well, but they also can burst forward and support the attackers quickly.

    That said, I think guys like Chris Pontius, Brad Davis, Sacha Kljestan, and Mikkel Diskerud deserve chances at that attacking role out of the central midfield. They all fit into a central midfield role where they're asked to provide spark going forward but do a fair amount of work defensively.
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  2. jond

    jond Member+

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    Depends what part of the attack.

    As someone who start the attack and connects from a deeper position to the 10, forwards or wings, he can definitely help and is an asset.

    In a role where he's advanced, and dribbling or responsible for a needed pass in the final 3rd, he's pretty hot and cold. Best as a Dmid imo, and his passing is pretty good from there. As an 8 and playing more advanced, I get nervous when he's dribbling through the middle as part of a buildup or is needed in the final third. He's had a number of opportunities for us in the final third and aside from his header off an LD cross against Scot, hasn't had much success.
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  3. ImaPuppy

    ImaPuppy Member+

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    I think I would prefer Pontius over Jones right now, and possibly Davis, depending on what we're up against. Against Jamaica I think Pontius.
  4. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    Agree pretty much completely. Jones can spray around good passes and handles the ball well. He can cover loads of ground, puts in tackles. He's very intimidating for opposing #10's to deal with, so it might force the opponent wide, which means crosses, which means Bocanegra and Cameron do their thang.

    I like Pontius a lot. He's a definite offensive threat with his ability to run at players and can see a good pass, but he's also quite energetic off the ball.

    Brad Davis also racks up quite a few assists per season. That said, a lot of them are crosses/set-pieces, not that those don't count. He just has to be just as useful when working the ball up the center of the pitch.

    Sacha Kljestan is somebody who I've wanted to see for ages, AND IN THE CENTRAL MIDFIELD under Klinsmann. He can see some nice passes, has a ridiculous motor and work rate, can get in on tackles, and is fairly good on the dribble.
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  5. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

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    IMO, both, alternately.

    His strongest attributes in contributing to the attack would be the aggressiveness with which he presses defensively up the field, a good passing range, and finally his ability to see and deliver killer passes deceptively (which is something that few of our players ever do).

    That said, I don't rate him all that much as an attacker overall.
  6. USAMEX10

    USAMEX10 Member+

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    He should play as a D mid and let better center mids at attacking play in front of him, like Bradley. Then someone else alongside Bradley who is good at playmaking. Maybe Zusi or Corona. I'd like to see Klesjtan but I guess JK doesn't really rate him.
  7. LongDuckDong

    LongDuckDong Member+

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    Klinsmann plays him out of position.

    Every year at Schalke, Jones talks to the manager and asks if he can play a more advanced roll. Every season, he's given 1 or 2 Bundesliga games as a #8. He always fails miserably and returns to his natural #6 position.

    This actually part of the reason he fell out with Felix Magath. He wanted to be involved in the attack and Magath told him to just sit in front of the back four and defend. Jones thought he was better than that and it sparked a huge ego war that eventually ended with Jones' loan to Blackburn.
  8. holly nichole music

    holly nichole music Member

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    Jones is sub-par in attack, as a #8 or otherwise. The body of evidence is overwhelming. Klinsmann has thus far refused to play him as a pure #6, where Jones really shines and could help the USA a lot. In Mexico City he was a turnover machine, unable to link/advance play at all. He has had a few good games as a #8 but only against inferior opponents. But usually he is below average as an attacking threat or instigator. ........ He would be much better as a #6 than Beckerman against many teams. I hope Klinsmann is finally seeing the light
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  9. Ironkick14

    Ironkick14 Member+

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    Honestly, Jones needs to be played at the 6 position. He still has the ability to spread passes around, and will be able to link with Bradley and whoever else plays CM. But he would be able to use his ability to cover a lot of ground primarily on defense. Bradley would be the ideal 8, with slightly more composure and ability to link passes through the midfield, but less of the destroyer ability than Jones. Now we just need a high level 10. Right now, I would say that that position is Torres' to lose, although if he regains his earlier ability (which is looking grim), Holden is still my heir apparent to that position for the 2014 WC.
  10. Bolivianfuego

    Bolivianfuego Your favorite Bolivian

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    Pontius is more of a 'dempsey' and is best played at forward, or as a CF.

    Davis IMO is too slow for the international level. I think he'd pull a Wondo' with enough chances. Kljestan has potential.... but I don't think he's up to it either. Mix is too young, and isn't getting enough minutes right now to justify it.

    My guy would be Corona to try in there.
  11. jond

    jond Member+

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    If Jones plays his best position, DMid, how do Pontius and Davis fit into the conversation? Even if Jones plays the 8, Pontius is better towards goal and Davis is better on the wing, not central.
  12. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

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    Jones should be a 6, and that's it.

    I agree with the bolded part, not with the names in the italicized part....
  13. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    No he does not. In the 3 man CM that JK has played in the first 2 WCQ an likely to play in the next 2, I would much prefer to have someone like Ozil or Xavi or even Modric instead of Jones.

    If those are my only other choices I will take Jones in a heart beat, which is clearly what JK has done.

    Kljestan is the only name one could take seriously from that list. I suggest like JK's staff, you review the GC2011 matches that the both played in. Which one was more of an attacking threat?
  14. schrutebuck

    schrutebuck Member+

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    Amusing, since Michael Bradley seems to have demonstrated the exact opposite preference in multiple statements during his career. Neither are terrible at their preferred positions, but both are vastly superior in the role they dislike. I expect their managers to ignore them and put them in their proper place.
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  15. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

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    Jones just can not be counted on to contribute in the final third. I like how he advances the ball on the dribble but in the final third he should be limited to playing simple and making the occasional third man run. His typical attack is to make a great run through midfield, ignore an open teammate, and hit a low percentage shot from distance.
  16. Dr.Phil

    Dr.Phil Member+

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    Jones is best in front of the back four. I would allow Bradley with more room and freedom to advance. He is better in the attack
  17. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    So the problem seems to be that even if Jones isn't a great offensive threat, we have a tough time naming anybody else who could do a better job. Kljestan is a legitimate candidate who I think has been severely ignored. Other than that, we're not really packing from that position.

    One option would be moving the shape towards a 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 shape and having Dempsey be the third central midfielder as an attacking midfielder/withdrawn forward underneath Altidore. Gomez could play on the right and Donovan on the left with Bradley (8) and Jones (6) the other two central midfielders.

    A very different option that I wonder about is having Donovan play the third central midfield role. We saw this against Costa Rica and got mixed results. If I remember correctly Donovan did not complete a single forward pass in the final third that game. However, Landon didn't have a Clint Dempsey sitting in front of the defense looking for that kind of pass. He had Shea and Rogers (both who had very iffy games) on either flank, Torres adjacent to him, who hardly ever got forward, and Altidore, who was outnumbered up top. Indeed, the USA's better chances that game seem to come when Altidore dropped deeper to receive and combine and give the USA midfield a way of getting around the Costa Rican midfield. I imagine it'll be difficult to see Donovan and Bradley in the central midfield with both suffering from injuries right now, but I say it'd be worth a shot at some point.
  18. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    Now that Bradley is injured what will be our lineup?? where will Jones play??
  19. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    I imagine if Bradley can't make it to the Jamaica game, either Jones or Torres will take the reins as the #8.

    I'm not as much at odds with that because then it makes room for Klinsmann to include a different central midfielder. This could mean Beckerman/Edu as the #6 with Jones and Torres the 2 #8's. I don't really care for that as much because Torres doesn't add much to the attack and Jones can kind of overdo it on the attack. That said, it's a kind of combination we've yet to see and could be interesting. A calming, composed central midfielder who sits back more next to a more energetic, tough-tackling presence who looks to get forward, with a defensive midfielder behind both.

    At the very least, we're likely to see something pretty new.
  20. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    I doubt it. JK will most likely circle the wagons and play the known quantities. Beckerman at #6 and Jones and Edu as the dual #8s. The US earns a rugged, drab 0-0 or 1-1 draw at Jamaica.
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  21. az2004

    az2004 Member

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    a draw in kingston is all usa needs, as long as usa wins in columbus

    just don't go crazy given usa attackis a bit nicked up

    still more than a week before the away match, and seems to me only bradley is definitely ruled out

    usa has enough depth to get away missing a few guys

    not the time to experiement but instead use the depth, which jamaica lacks

    agree 1-1 would be my guess too
  22. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    Interestingly enough the past weekend saw Bradley play right-central midfield in a 4 3 3 and Jones play right-central midfield in a diamond with each of the two registering an assist. Neither Jones nor Bradley are 8s. Jones is a destroyer and Bradley excels in diamonds and in deep-lying roles.

    I agree Jones doesn't look comfortable defending from a wide position. It would help though if he weren't playing so advanced. The heat map in the Schalke match is much more conservative than what one would see from a US shirt wearing Jones.

    Klinsmann once answered a question about Beckerman starting over Jones by stating that Rastaman played the position as instructed. Imo playing Jones in an advance role is perhaps an indulgence on the part of the coach, an indulgence that will lessen as more attacking players are brought into the team.

    Yet a central attacking role might actually be good idea for him in the Jamaica match with Dempsey not playing and Johnson with Castillo injured needing to stay in defense.
  23. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    I'm sorry what? Bradley's not an 8 now? When did that happen exactly?
  24. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    I am 99.999% sure that this never happened.
  25. Bolivianfuego

    Bolivianfuego Your favorite Bolivian

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    This seems the most realistic. I wouldn't be surprised though, if we see Sacha get some minutes.

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