It Ain't the Defense It;s the Midfield

Discussion in 'New York Red Bulls' started by packy, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. packy

    packy Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Despite some minor deterioration in Petke's recent play he is still a solid central defender. Jolley has been excellent and Ziade reasonably dependable. Chronopolous is somewhat weak on the left (too bad Perez wasn't appreciated).

    But all this pales in comparison to the the defensive problems of the midfield. Let me state it simply. We cannot afford defensively to have two of any of the following players on the field at the same time. Really confirmed after watching last night's Columbus game.


    Whatever else they bring to the table they simply lack the speed, athleticism and heart, (Paule excepted as to heart) to regularly win balls and shut down the oppositon before the reach the final third.

    We may be able get by with one of either Paule or Davis in mid but not both. As to Lisi and Alverez, waive em now and spare us the pain. I'd rather see us pick up some A-League mids with speed, athleticism, heart and just a modicum of skill to join Williams and Moore in the midfield.
  2. elephantstone

    elephantstone Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Don't simplify things too much -- while Davis may not be a defensive powerhouse, what he adds offensively to the left side of midfield lets Chronopoulos hang back more. Hasn't Teddy been getting burned 10x more often since Davis went out?
  3. JRedknapp11

    JRedknapp11 Red Card

    Dec 5, 2001
    I have to agree with the intial posting.... Petke has been disappointing and he needs to ride the pine , hopefulyl he'll relize that he isn't guaranteed a spot on the field but thanks to the ridiculous 18 man roster, Oz really doesn't have much to work with.

    With that being said...if you look into our defensive problems they have been pretty obvious since last year.... which IMO is when our midfield went south. The midfield has been a sive for the previous 2 seasons... all of the pressure has gone right through to the me it seems the defense has been trying to handle their own duties while trying to create space for the midfield...hence why Ted , Jolley and Addo are always out of position. If the midfield could cope better and have more poise on the ball, I'm sure our defense would be more inclined to stay back. Sure Petke and company have sucked the joint up recently, but their main knock is that they are always up field trying to compinsate for a horribly run midfield. The difference is pretty appearerent when the likes of Tab and Davis are in..their pose and composure on the ball makes all the difference. Players like Moore and Alvarez are certainly not what you should be banking your creativity and production on.

    Andy is a magical at times but he's gonna go down to a rough tackle from being doubled teamed or from just being over worked.... his work ethic has been sparkling since his arrival, but we are gonna drain him dry before the season even ends.
  4. sdipar

    sdipar New Member

    Dec 30, 1999
    It ain't "ain't the defense". But it ain't all the defense.
  5. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Washington, DC
    I wrote the same thing on the post game thread.

    We can't pinpoint the problem. I think at times that it is the fault at both units. They aren't playing as one. Once the ball is out of the hands of the midfield, they think they can just sit back and allow the defense to cover the attacks. That just doesn't work. Players like Williams, who are great offensively (great not spectacular) have to get back on the ball. The only midfielder honestly who makes defensive stops day in and day out has been Paule. He might not have the stats to show it, but the small things he does are invaluable.

    I think the only way to stop the damage is to go back to the 3-5-2. The team has not gelled playing a 4-4-2. We are 2 games under .500!!!

    I propose this lineup with a couple of changes to Zambrano's style.






    This is in my view the best lineup for the team for a couple of reasons. Defensively, our fullbacks are horrendous. Chronopoulos and Ziade just can't play defense, which puts even more pressure on Petke and Jolley. One other reason is that with another midfielder this helps the team in two ways. First of all defensively, it adds one more player to pressure the opposing team. Secondly, it is easier for the team to hold the ball.

    This is the way the full lineup would look with a full compliment of players.






    This has the potential to be the best team in MLS.

    This is how I would want them to play.




    Davis is not the best defensive players. However, his ability to get past players on the dribble make him an invaluable asset to the team. That's why I would push him out more on the left. However, this would create a vacuum behind him. To counter this, I would shift Paule over to that area. This would leave Moore as a Stopper/man-marker in front of the defense. Moore is very good at this position. Couple that with the fact that Balboa woudl be playing, and the result is a strong defense.

    I would also play a lock between Williams and Lisi/Ramos to counter any attacks from the opposing teams left wing. This is crucial, because we know that those three players don't play good defense. Combined though, they shoudl do fine when they go 2 v 1 on players, and take balls for the quick counter. Also, I would shift the back three a little bit to the left, to allow Petke to step up and help those two players.

    I don't know, this is what I would do. I think it coudl work, what do you guys think. It all depends on if everyone is healthy, and if the players are very fit. The midfield would have to pressure a lot. No stupid end to end running, like Chung had to do last year, but lots of lateral work.
  6. Wabbit67

    Wabbit67 Member

    May 19, 2002
    Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ
    Yes, the midfield is a problem, but right now a lot of that has to do with injury. When Ramos and Mathis get back, this midfield will be able to hold possession. When Paule, Ramos, and Williams are on the field at the same time they are not going to easily cough the ball up.

    I think one of the big problems defensively is speed. We are slow, and to make it worse we are not really big in the back (a la Chicago who has some slow central defenders but who take up a lot of space) . Teams like Chicago or Columbus that have some speed up front are going to give us fits. I think a priority should be to get some speed in the back.

    Again, as I said in another post, the New England deal was great for the offense but it has harmed us defensively. Hate to say it, but we miss the defensive presence of Hernandez and Kamler. The New England deal certainly was a great deal, but I think there needed to be a complimentary deal to shore up the defense. Chronopolous is more of a midfielder than a defender and we're getting burned for it.
  7. moser

    moser New Member

    Jun 6, 1999
    OZ must excuses...and if our general manager can't find a better coach, he should go to next year....i have lost my patience to got to GS, get shafted by the NJSEA and watch a shite team...enough is enough....

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