Landon Donovan vs Costa Rica; Jermaine Jones vs Russia

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by TheNearPost, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    With all the criticism for Jermaine Jones that happens to be going around after the Russia game ( despite him actually having played well, in my opinion), I think a lot of people are actually losing sight of the difficulty of the role he was asked to play.

    Landon Donovan himself was asked to play a pretty similar role against Costa Rica. Donovan wasn't bad in that game, but he wasn't nearly as influential or dangerous as is to be expected from him. Indeed, he struggled probably as badly as Jones did for large portions of the match. Hell, Landon even missed a sitter that made Jones' second half miss against Russia look absolutely forgiveable.

    Both were tasked with being the furthest central midfielder forward in a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 where Altidore was the target striker and we had two fairly traditional wingers. What's even more interesting is that the player next to them proceeded to have superb games. Jose Torres, by most accounts, did very well in that game, dictating tempo and redistributing well. Michael Bradley as well took the reigns against Russia, although he was much more of an attacking threat than Torres turned out to be.

    In summary, the role Jones was/is tasked with is pretty difficult. Even if I would like to see other players tried in that role, should we persist with the 4-1-4-1/4-3-3, I think we may need to change more than just the central midfield.


  2. Bookmesir

    Bookmesir Member

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    I have been critical of certain aspects of Jones' game, but I watched the Russia match again just yesterday on ESPN3 and Jones' positives far outweighed the negatives. And Russia is a hands-down better side than Costa Rica. Jones covers a tremendous amount of ground. He is capable of creating something from nothing. While he's clearly not a finisher, he has scored some impressive golazo's.
    LD has also had limited success played as a CM for the Nats. He is far better attacking outside in...he does not own central midfield as a two-way player when positioned there.

    Jones brings a physicality that is impossible to ignore, a willingness to mix it up in a tackle that LD rarely has shown.
    LD, when mentally fit and physically able, is a completely different type of player/play-maker. His game is very much about linking up and economy of touches.

    Both types of play are extremely helpful.
    vaquero28 repped this.
  3. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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  4. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    I'm not really advocating for a personnel change in the central midfield, or that one of these two is better than the other in that role. I actually have no idea about that.

    What I'm saying is that what will really help us, at least if we're playing a 4-3-3, is to really reconfigure what's going down further up the pitch from our midfield trio

    Again, we saw improvement in our attack once we moved to the diamond. It gave us an offensive pivot who received and held the ball, giving the rest of our players time to move forward in support of the attack. It seemed to be Sacha Kljestan ( notice his small role in the goal), although there seemed to be good fluidity between he, Bradley, and Jones.

    Juergen showed a good understanding of the situation to change things around further up the field, and I think we'll see us really do well once the full squad is available and the actual quality in attack is improved by Dempsey being around. I doubt Juergen really removes Jones from the central midfield, but so long as what goes on in the final third is fixed, it shouldn't be a big issue.


  5. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    Jones can't score. He isn't good. He is simply a german who appeals to all those americans (both Bradley and Klinsman) who believe a Bundesliga pedigree = talent.
  6. MadRHatter

    MadRHatter Member

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    You got jokes?
  7. freisland

    freisland Member+

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    or an EPL pedigree. Jones is a pretty good player and has been regularly chosen by more coaches than Bradley and JK of course. Maybe a bit on the decline, if anything. but if he would play a stay at home DCM he gives us a good bit of talent for the position. He's certainly a more dangerous baller going forward than Williams, Edu or Dreadlocks. But seems that either he doesn't want to play there or JK doesn't trust him to stay home (a genuine concern, I'd say, from watching how JJ likes to wander.) But if he were willing to anchor the diamond, it gets us more talent on the field.
    Cool Hand Luke repped this.
  8. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

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    Jones isn't bad. The only problem with him is that he and Bradley are virtually identical linking midfielders. If we're going to play both of them, while keeping at least one striker high, then we have to sacrifice either wingers or an attacking pivot. Maybe the best solution going forward, especially if we're trying to keep both Donovan and Dempsey on the field, is to play something like the 4-3-3-0 that Luciano Spalletti has used with Roma and Zenit, with Dempsey in the false 9 role.
  9. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    I don't understand the criticism. If one mid charges up the field, the other should automatically trail the play and provide backup and visa versa. That takes discipline and must be learned to be effective at closing defensive holes and enable rapid intercepts of returning balls. I do not understand why we are so into xxxs and ooos on a soccer field. Soccer is fluid, thus communication and positioning must also be fluid. As MB and JJ get on the same page I feel you'll find surprising upswings in midfield control and attacking prowess......
  10. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    Ahh, another non-xenophobe with a relevant opinion. Right on, these guys, playing for the US better be of Plymouth Rock descent or none of 'em are any good!!!!!! Get rid of 'em.
  11. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

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    Jones is a good player, he is just not playing in the right role. He is a destroyer type DM, he isn't a creative attacking midfielder or even a box to box player like Bradley. The problem is that JK is trying to get Williams and Jones on the field at the same time, while in reality they are similar players position wise.
  12. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    Yes. This. Exactly. Beat for beat what should be done, in my opinion. The false nine is perfect for Dempsey because he can be fairly remiss in the defensive phase without killing us in the midfield, and have a free role in attack without making us susceptible to the counter. Moreover, if it's used right, it can draw the centerbacks out of position and create space in the backline through which Bradley, Jones, Donovan and Altidore can power through.

    [​IMG]

    Who we use depends on who we're against. If our opponent is going to have more of the ball or is going to ask more of our midfield, then we need to use the Jones-Edu-Bradley triangle in midfield. If we'll see more of the ball, then we should use an attacking midfielder in that central three. I think Donovan could be used there while we plop Gomez or Agudelo in that right winger role, but we could also go with Diskerud or Kljestan, who've proven to be useful of late.
  13. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    OK then explain what it is he said.......and Yankee Royal never even came close to suggesting who would be better at his position. And why should I ask when he simply said he was German and thus assumed to be better than true blue americans! However it aint a big deal, such prejudice is common around here from several posters...
  14. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    how does racial bullying enter here, it was implied that just because they are German and play in the Bundesliga they are assumed to be better?? That to me is making a statement that brings nothing to the discussion. It is directly intended to do what? To me it struck me as yet another shot at foreign born Americans. Which is plain stupid.
    Running around aimlessly? It is called pressure, it hurries passes, it stresses the opposition....there is no aimless running....Think about it!! You mean like in Altidore who doesn't run at all??
  15. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    Am glad for you. Gratuitous it certainly is. Can't argue with gratuitously.
  16. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

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    Ok, how much longer for these two to get it together and play the way they should?
  17. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    wish I could tell you. however I do believe it will happen as all players begin to think as a team. Rotating new players in does lengthen the learning curve. We are seeing more confidence on the ball and some enterprising attacking as well and that is encouraging.
  18. LouisZ

    LouisZ Member+

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    Remember these two have been trying to click since Bob Bradley's days.
  19. ktorp18

    ktorp18 Member

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    id rather see jones at left back than as the attacking midfielder. he covers a lot of ground, but he losses the ball a lot when he dribbles too much or makes a bad pass. the attacking midfielder should be someone like mix, zusi or kljestan.
  20. Cool Hand Luke

    Cool Hand Luke Member+

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    So if we ditch the 4-3-3:

    Jones either plays 6 or finds himself out of the starting lineup. That's the deal right? Cause Bradley ain't goin nowhere.
  21. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

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    Pretty much.
  22. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    The team was decent enough in 433 against Brasil and Scotland. Jones like Donovan[to echo the OP's mention of the Costa Rica match] isn't really an advanced central midfielder. Jones is a destroyer with nice enough ball skills and a good enough motor that he can be used in an 8ish role.

    Basic problem in this match was no Torres, Donovan, Dempsey, Zusi, or Beckerman or a really in form Edu. Not that all of these guys especially Beckerman would start but the team needed one or more possession players in there besides Bradley and to a lesser degree Williams. Russia sliced through the midfield even more decisively than did Brasil. And Russia ain't no Brasil.

    Great thing about the team this cycle is different tactics and formations can be used without too much trouble.
  23. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    That's the deal only in Big Soccer fantasy land. FYI we did not play a 4-3-3 v Canada (4-4-2) and Guatemala (4-2-3-1), Jones and Bradley were in the starting lineup together. We played the 4-3-3 v Brazil and Bradley played the #6.
  24. IndividualEleven

    IndividualEleven Member+

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    I only saw the game once but my impression was that JJ wasn't very effective on the right of that 4231 in Guatemala. Maybe it was fatigue from Klinsmann's two a day training sessions. Looked good on the left wing late against Russia however.

    Canada was 4411...
  25. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    Neither Donovan at AML or Jones at AMR really stood out. JJ did get fouled 6 times in that match. The point remains, when we went away from the 4-3-3 Jones did not go to the bench or play the #6 behind Bradley.
    The official lineup was a 4-4-2 however is the difference between a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 when CD is up top even worth mentioning?

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