And now we see the down side of LD wide right[R]

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by appoo, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Tonight against Mexico, we got nothing going offensively out of the middle of the pitch until Benny Feilhaber came in. We made it easy for MExico to take out LD because all they had to do was overload his side.

    Here's the problem, with Edu, Bradley, and Clark acting as out central midfielder, they're not good enough on the ball to create a good, consistent attack. Against good teams, that ultimately will result in poor results.

    We talked about sacrifices before, to compensate for the lack of strikers. One of those options was to choke the center of the field and make it hard for opposing teams to score. I think we need to trying something else.

    Time to play some creative mids in the center of the field
  2. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    appoo, I agree with you, that's what we saw tonight. Donovan had some good moments on the right, but he should have been switched up to forward in the last 30 minutes, and put Adu on the left or central attacking midfield. We had very little going forward, especially as the game wound down.

    If we had not let in that 2nd set piece goal, almost exactly like the first, then Mexico would have been desperate for the equalizer late, making them more vulnerable to Landon's strength. But that didn't happen, we had to play them straight up, and we couldn't creat that final goal.
  3. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    Thats BS. Donovan DOMINATED the last 20 mins of the first half from the right side. He's a good enough player to figure out a way to get the ball, end of story. I am not saying I like the empty bucket, I dont. But dont use it as an excuse for Donovan's disappearance in this match. Normally I am a huge fan. not tonight.
  4. Trevallion

    Trevallion Member

    May 3, 2006
    The Yakima Valley
    appo and Geneva....I agree with you both! We created almost nothing in the middle of the pictch for the first 60 minutes. It was pretty ugly. :(
  5. shinzui

    shinzui New Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Gulf Shores
    Let's see Mexico do that on defense when Beasley is healthy.
  6. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Wingers are Dependant upon their central midfielders. If they can't get the ball to him, he can't do anything - and Mexico adjusted accordingly. If you re-watch, you'll notice that LD was pretty much constantly surrounded off the ball

    EXCELLENT point. You can get away with this when you're this one sided. Convey was having a terrible match and we had no balance.
  7. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    I agree very much with the idea of moving Donovan to the middle and pairing him with one of Bradley, Clark or Edu.

    The sequence of moves I'd like to see are 1) going with Altidore and EJ up top, 2) move Dempsey to right mid, 3) move Donovan to central mid.

    I keep coming back to this point: You want your best player to be in the position to have the most touches and the most influence in the game. It makes no sense to play Donovan on the wing when Dempsey is a perfectly decent alternative out there. If EJ doesn't pan out, try Adu. Or try Adu out wide with Dempsey back to forward. My preferences on which combination at forward/right mid is most likely to succeed are fairly weak. But the thing I feel strongly about is that we need to move away from the empty bucket and have an actual playmaker in the middle.
  8. jamezyjamez

    jamezyjamez Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    FC Dallas
    No, leave him out wide right. Bring back DMB and no more playing 2 defensive CM together. I think if Benny starts with MB/Clark/Edu, Landon gets more service and is more effective.

    As much as I like Landon, he doesn't like being THE MAN. Playing out wide takes some pressure off so he can relax, make better decisions, and he can use his speed to create problems.
  9. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    The most effective player we had in the middle until Feilhaber came on was Dempsey up top. Donovan would not have held and distributed in that traffic.

    Donovan was the most dangerous man in the attack we had. He disappeared in the second half because he was drifting farther and farther back on to cover for Moor and to give those idea-starved guys and outlet pass. From about the 60th minute on, he was about 5 yards in front of the 18 on the wing until we'd get the ball and push forward.

    But it was easy to overload against him. Convey on the other side posed no danger at all. Lost every 1v1 battle he had, couldn't find a man, nothing. Altidore again showed he's dangerous with the ball, but didn't show for the ball well. Full credit for a well-taken goal off the cross, though.
  10. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    While I too am frustrated by the formation .....

    What happened is that Landon played very well up to the 38th minute. THen he took the shot to the ankle that drew a card. And then he disappeared. That's the book on Landon, and it was like clockwork. He could have played anywhere on the field and disappeared at that point.
  11. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good points have been made in this thread.

    For Landon to succeed playing on the right, we need either of these two things to happen:

    1) Balance in the attack by having a competent left-sided midfielder (DaMarcus Beasley) to keep defenses honest, and hopefully a creative central midfielder in addition (an on form and/or tuned-in Benny Feilhaber).


    2) Landon needs to be given the freedom to drift into the middle to receive the ball and make plays, similar to the role that Joe Cole plays with England. Cole is a left-sided midfielder for England, but he's given free reign to float into the middle and it best utilizes his attacking strengths.

    If neither one of those two conditions are met, then Landon Donovan should be moved into the center as a withdrawn forward.
  12. Attack Attack Attack

    May 17, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    well put Apoo, LD can't succeed on the wing if you don't have anyone to get him the ball. I'd like to something more like this:


    LD needs to be central to create our offense. And I don't want Clint up top anyone, I like him as a forward but I love with withdrawn or on the wing in an attacking position.
  13. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    It's great to say "blah blah blah move Landon to the middle" and certainly our next coach is likely to do so. But there has been zero, zilch, nada, no indication whatsoever that BB has any intention of abandoning the empty bucket. Saying something like "move landon to the middle" is as meaningless as it is obvious. There are two positions Landon can play for BB... wide right and withdrawn forward. Same with Adu. Wide left and withdrawn forward. The fact of the matter is Mexico had "taken Landon out of the play" for the first 20 minutes of the match as well. They were completely blown off the pitch by him in the last half of the first half. Don't tell that was because Convey was providing a threat down the left side, it wasn't. It was so bad they switched sides for part of that to try to stir things up. Simple fact of the matter is Landon faded. I assume because he was not match fit, or as someone else mentioned his ankle was hurting more than he let on.
  14. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The simple matter as I read it, was Bob Bradley told him at halftime that as outside mid he had to cover for his struggling fullback. And boy was Drew struggling. Landon was too busy tracking back and plugging defensive holes to be of much use going forward.
  15. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    As someone else also mentioned he had to use up a lot of energy coming back to hold Moor's hand.
  16. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ding ding ding...

    When 3 of your 4 outside players are completely outclassed and on their heals for most of the game, how much is that 4th guy supposed to be able to do?
  17. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    That could be the reason as well. Whatever the reason for the fade... it was pretty clearly a fade. If it was because the right back wasn't up to snuff (and clearly he wasn't... Im pretty sure I could juke Moor) thats not an issue with playing Landon out right, that's a defensive personnel issue.
  18. giffenbone

    giffenbone Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Problem is, we keep Donovan centrally (which I like) with Deuce at forward who goes wide right? And where would Benny fit in? Surely not as the D-mid. We need an EJ revival so Dempsey can play that RM spot.



  19. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    God, we were awful wide, weren't we? I'm usually a critic of the Gooch and Bocanegra pairing, but those guys were wonderfully composed and professional when compared to our flank players.
  20. JediMindTricks

    Jun 20, 2006
    when freddy's ready to be a starter, can he play on the right?

    i know he's left footed, but sometimes, you see left footed wingers play on the right so they can cut in and shoot with their left.
  21. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    Well worth trying. As is playing Adu at forward with Altidore with Dempsey on the right. As is EJ with Altidore at forward. The point is we do have interesting options other that the empty bucket.
  22. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    I only watched the game once, and without benefit of TiVo. But didn't Landon find Moor in space on the right before his cross on the second goal?

    I'd still like to see Landon on the right with Cherundolo or Spector behind him before concluding it isn't effective.
  23. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    I think Adu probably *could* play wide right simply because he is not a dribble and cross winger. No matter which side he is on he is going to be running at goal looking for short passes.

    That being said, it's pretty clear BB thinks he is a middle of the pitch guy, and it's hard to argue. Assuming Jozy has staked his claim to the striker position, you have LD and Clint as your withdrawn/right wing players. Right now Bob's inclination seems to be to have LD wide right but I am not sure that is correct. I think both Landon and Dempsey's best positions are the AM/Withdrawn slot. Since we only use one of those under Bradley, one of those guys has to play right midfield. Fulham looks to be inclined to use Clint out right post-transfer window. Since I believe that all things equal, Landon is a better player than Clint, I would be inclined to put Landon in the middle of the pitch and let Clint at least play somewhere he is familiar with. All that then leaves is the decision as to how to get Adu on. Right now BB is obviously treating him as the withdrawn forward sub, but if he isn't ready to start by 2010, then something has gone wrong. I guess that means he is a left midfielder until Bradley is fired or one of LD, Adu and Dempsey will always be on the bench.

    THIS is the reason why I am becoming anti Bradley. It is not that I am morally against the empty bucket. It just seems to completely ignore our personnel. I accept that if we went to a diamond we would be thin depth-wise at the wings, but thats better than not having your best 11 on. I'd also argue that we have as much young depth at the wings as int he middle, and maybe this way we would be able to see who amongst Holden, Alvarez, Rogers, Zizzo, White, etc. are ready to help.
  24. DaMa

    DaMa Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    New York
    I agree with that wholeheartedly as you can see from my post above. But I think you are misunderstanding me. As long as BB is the coach, we are going to be using the empty bucket. He has not varied from that once in all the matches he has coached. Maybe he gets fired before 2010... but I doubt it. So the question isn't what formation can we find that better suits our players, but how do we get our best team on assuming that is the formation we are stuck with.
  25. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wouldn't another solution be to come up with something credible on the left-hand side?

    I don't agree that Bradley isn't good enough. He had a bad game with the ball, probably due to travel, fatigue and the intensity of this game, which he had never experienced before.

    As for Edu, I don't think you can make this judgment yet.

    Lot's of teams get good results without playing a Marco Etcheverry in the center. In fact, very few good teams play that type of player because the cost is high.

    Two of the best US players against Mexico were our two strikers Dempsey and Altidore. It's not a bottomless pit of depth, but with Johnson at Fullham and Adu coming up, this may not be the problem it appeared several months ago.

    We give up two goals against a decent, but not optimal, Mexico side at home and now is the time to weaken us defensively? Adu could be an option, though it seems his best success has been as a withdrawn forward with two central mids supporting him, but Donovan hasn't shown enough in central midfield to make it worthwhile.

    Bottom line is that you want to play a 4-4-2 "diamond" formation. This formation is not used much because of its defensive weakness of having a central midfielder who provides little defensive support. In the case of the US, this would mean benching some of our best up-coming talent such as Bradley, BF and Edu as there would only be one open central midfield position -- and the player who takes that position will have to really focus on defense. A better solution is to get BF playing at the club level or a better game with the ball from Bradley plus better understanding between the two central midfielders though more testing games like Mexico.

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