Why has Bradley switched to the 3-5-2?

Discussion in 'New York Red Bulls' started by superdave, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not a flaming question, I just wondered if someone could tell me if Bradley has given his reasons.
  2. Joe Coleman

    Joe Coleman Red Card

    Sep 20, 2003
    Kearny, NJ
    whats that got to do with Decepticon Lazerbeak ?
  3. 352gialloblu

    352gialloblu New Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    Because the 3-5-2 rules!

    He almost always used it in Chicago, so I think it's his preferred formation. But you have to have a 3rd good centre-half, and I'm not sure you guys do. Is Clark doing okay on the right, because I would think Ziadie would make a decent wing-back, since I've heard him criticized as a full-back. And DiGi was a midfielder at first, right? Correct me if I'm way wrong, but you don't really have wide midfielders anyway, and were playing Lisi, Clark and Williams behind Guevara in a 4-3-1-2 sort of thing, which is not that different from the 3-4-1-2 in the end.

    (Just my thoughts--I saw the subject and couldn't resist.)
  4. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Washington, DC
    He hasn't given any reasons, but it's been pretty obvious over the summer that what had worked in the early part of the season, doesn't anymore. The main reason the 4-4-2 that we employed failed was that our fullback play was horrid. Ziade at the start of the season, looked very solid. He was moving the ball quickly upfield, and applying pressure. He has fallen completely off the ball since june. Digi has been surprisingly weak. I expected a very solid player, who would give us some flank play, that was very solid with chung, and relatively potent with Davis. Digi has also been horrible, as you saw last night. His inability to complete a simple pass has really hampered our ability to hold the ball and push up field.

    As a result our attack became increasingly one-dimensional, push it up the middle and hope that Gueverra or maybe Lisi can move the ball quickly to our forwards. Well the problem is that Gueverra has been stalling too much, and Richie Williams (like Digi and Ziade) has digressed to the point that he is a very large liability on the field. I think a lot of his limitations at the start of the year were covered by Clark, who for 2 months or so was easily the best defensive midfielder in MLS. He was so powerful on the ball, that he really pushed the Metros, more then anyone else.

    The problem is that we seem to have run out of gas. The cause of that is lack of depth. Bradley gambeled with the Argentinians (Galvan is horrible, Forchetti while technically sound is probably the slowest player on the team). That failed. Magee and Clark seem to have hit a wall.

    Switching to a 3-5-2 is probably our last hope at this point. Adding an extra midfielder would hopefully help us finally push the ball up as we did at the start of the year, and add some much needed flank play. That worked some what against Columbus, but got ripped by you guys. Again, the problems are above. Clark isn't a flank player, he is a pure destroyer. Richie cannot cover much ground anymore. He works, but his lack of ability is killing us. Digi must be benched. I don't know how he was on contract with Bayer Leverkeusen. Personally, if I was Bradley at this point, I would try this lineup right now.





    This honestly is as good as we can get right now. Gaven has been very strong. He seems fresh, and for a kid of 16, he has an uncanny ability to hold the ball. I would move Jolley over to the right side of the defense to help cover Gaven's side, to cope with convey. I'd put Forchetti on the left side of the defense. Addo, could easily start for an A-league side. However, in MLS, sadly it is not possible anymore.

    Edgar goes on the left. He is not an optimal player, but he can hold up with Ben in terms of speed and tenacity. Digi can't do that anymore, he has just lost too much. I'd start Jusko up top. I am a fan of Magee, but he is almost done for the year. Woly has been big for us, however, Jusko is a bigger body, that can hopefully open up some space. I'd try that lineup.

    I am not sure what happens with Amado out. Maybe we slot Mathis back there. Who knows. Maybe we put Ziade out wide ride and use two holding midfielders in Gaven and Lisi, with Clark as the defensive midfielder. The problem with that lineup, is that it doesn't have that many dynamic players. I personally though that before this 3 game series started, it would be decided by Clint's finishing. His finishing, his best quality (he's probably the best American ever at finishing) has been off. Even earlier in the season, he would pound on balls. Now he is getting pieces, mishitting. See, that worries me more then all the other bull that Arena and others were spewing. That means he's in a funk.

    However, in the off-season Bradley needs to address the issue of quality depth. The Argentines should be sent back to Argentina. They don't have enough quality to start on any of the 10 MLS teams. We need to find some quality flank players with our discovery slots, and use the Howard allocation to pick up a midfielder.
  5. soccerfan

    soccerfan BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 13, 1999
    New Jersey
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Arisrules , my hat off to you, excellent view of where the Metros are right now, very very good read of the game ,there isn't much that one can add. Right now we muct be the worst team in MLS.
  6. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I too would like to pay my respects to Arisrules' analysis. I learned more in a 2 minute analysis than I ever imagined.

    Without Guevera this Sunday I'm not sure what the Metros are going to do except bunker and hope for a quick counterattack. If they give up one early, they're in big trouble.
  7. Deuteriumoxide

    May 27, 2003
    Rockville, MD
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bob is using the 3-5-2 to highlight richie williams' command of the midfield.
  8. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Yeah, Aris, that was a great analysis.
  9. In Bob We Trust

    In Bob We Trust New Member

    Jan 5, 2003
    soccerfan, i think i would tone it down a little, i'm not sure you get to 2nd place in the East being the worst team in the league...that said, i'm thrilled to be reading about the team again on our boards, and i share a lot of Aris' views...

    first off, you have to believe coaches have systems they believe in, and it was only a matter of time before he switched to a formation it's obvious he prefers (3-5-2)...some have been ridiculously quick to criticize Bob if we happen to lose a game, but i've said before it takes time for a coach to put his stamp on a team...that said, while obviously coaches bring in players they like, they also want guys that they think will fit in their system...i fully expect to see moves in the offseason that will make the 3-5-2 much more successful...

    ...the game against the Crew, you could argue that the switch to the 3-5-2 was made out of desparation, and our team had certainly been faltering, so it was good to see a tactical change...i think if we see addo, richie and a few others next season starting at these positions, a lot of us have a reason to be upset, but right now this is what we have...what do we have?

    walker - arguably the best GK in MLS, will continue to work with our 'D' and get better...no worries there

    pope & jolley - not a slight on jolley, but pope is probably inarguably the best central defender in MLS...it seems bob prefers to play, at least for now, the 'wingbacks' (jolley and pope) to play towards the middle, having the wing mids track back more so addo is not alone in the middle as much

    ziadie & edgar - ziadie is highly inconsistent, and simply can not be counted on to turn in a solid performance right now, sure he's shown flashes, but until that's consistent, i'm not sure how we can have a possible complete liability on the field...edgar has shown despite his seeming inability to cross the ball well, the tendency to be a good offensive left winger, and hustles...with a stronger defense, i think he could thrive on our left side, but for now, Bob has had to play the entire midfield centrally and let them venture out wide situationally

    forchetti and co. - have been given chances, and all for some reason have shown better when coming in as subs, and then play a lot worse when starting...further, it's been a while, and they still havent proven themselves in training?...a bit concerning

    guevara - knocked on for not hitting the long ball?...i agreed a lot more strongly before he connected 50 yards with woly on that goal...i think he's limited at times by the personnel around him, he's since toned down the diving, etc and i think will thrive under Bob as better players are brought in, but we have one of the best creative midfielders in the league, he's still only 26, and works his a$$ off while on the field

    clark - inconsistent, BUT, he's a ROOKIE...started off strong, has had some growing pains, he came in supposedly as a def. center mid, yet at times has shown poise on the ball, and confidence in his game, not sure exactly where in the midfield he's best suited, but he's only gonna get better, actually a great draft pick by our team for once, definitely a keeper

    richie - we've all seen all we want to see of richie by now, he was serviceable for a while, but now is in large part a liability and brings down the quality of our play

    lisi - came out of nowhere, a talent that was seemingly lost in MLS for a few years...still has a lot of room to grow, but would love to see him as a solid link between the defense and guevara, i think he Guevara and Clark would function a lot better with even just average (but consistent) wing play

    eddie freakn' gaven - i get excited talkin about the kid, HE'S 17?!...billed as a forward, has played very well in our midfield, i dont care where he's best suited to play, i just hope bob discovers it in the off-season and we start to see a lot more of him, i'm convinced this season did eddie a world of good and while wary of more growing pains next year, will be a handful for the rest of the league

    digi & galvan - not nearly as good as advertised, rushes to get rid of the ball shows a very alarming lack of confidence...i've never left the stadium saying, wow, DiGi played a really good game...not sure i even want to see him as a sub, who knows with this guy...Galvan, i'll admit, i was excited to be gettin a Boca young'n and thought he'd contribute...he showed well a few times, i still am kinda thinkin he could contribute, but i'll give Bob the benefit of the doubt, i think what's really cost him time on the field, is Bob's reluctance to bring richie off the field, unfortunate in my eyes, but i could see where this is a lot of room for arguing what galvan could bring to the table

    mathis - i've said it 10 million times, i really question the guy's mental game, but his talent is unquestionable...recently even that has been a bit off, but suffice to say, if he gets his mind right ( and doesnt leave for Europe as rumored ), would battle it out with guevara, pope and walker for team MVP for seasons to come

    moreno - read extremely good things all offseason about where his game was by sources in and outside Metro circles...simply sucks he did nothing for us

    magee - jury's out, he's a Bob favorite and frankly, he's been extremely inconsistent...like clark, he's a rookie and a little younger, but unlike clark, should not be seeing our starting lineup...further, i'd rather see goal-yniec on as our forward sub before him but if Bob thanks he can develop him and the kid's got game, well, we'll find out within the next couple of years...unfortunately, the kid's got in his head now that he should be getting significant playing time, and i'm hoping Bob doesnt think the same...as far as i'm concerned we need some serious help at forward

    jusko - ? ? ? what i can say is, he's 33, not able to come in immediately and contribue like amado so he's surely not a world beater...we were thiin at forward and took a flyer on him, but i think none of us would miss him if he took the first plane back to poland at season's end...i'd love to be proven wrong

    woly - gio savarese is a poor man's woly...woly has very limited skill, im not sure by now there's room to argue what woly is to us, but he's earned his spot as a reserve forward...any guy who comes on and works his a$$ off like he does against a Defense who is 60 minutes less rested than he is is a handful, thats why he eventually scores goals

    unnamed reserves - are just that, interchangeable with many of the reserves around the league...i like having a veteran like addo in the locker room, assuming his contribution is a positive one, but aside from the draft picks (regan, jacob), we have no diamonds in the rough waiting to shine

    now that i've rambled on for a bit, i hope it becomes more clear, at least why i think we play the way we play...i think our record is better than what we put out on the field, but i also dont think we're the worst in the league...for example, some people criticize guevara for holding the ball a bit too long or for us playing the long ball and high balls over the top to say, 5'7" mike magee...it sucks, but amado's proven he wants to distribute when he sees the chance, otherwise, you're not left with much choice...he might have to turn to his skill with teh ball more than anyone would like, while digi with his lack of skill has to play a long ball...its unfortunate, but the truth of what we have to work with...

    as for Aris, i would say i disagree most with playing forchetti over Addo...while neither should really be starting, Addo in the middle with pope/jolley closing down the middle when needed is simply a better option...jolley has played out wide, is a smart player, and when not too far from the middle, well we're not taking away too much from his game...addo is smart and knows MLS, it is easier to trust that over his physical weaknesses, than forchetti with a possible lack of understanding with the rest of the team (due to coming after the start of the season and possible language problems) and lack of familiarity with the league

    also, i think i might rather see an allocation on a solid forward (how close were we actually to pavon?)...in MLS, there really arent that many exceptional wingers, but there some that are highly effective, despite not being highly above average, but because they're steady/consistent...i'd rather not waste an allocation on a position where we might not necessarily need to

    i apologize for the length of the post, this easily could've been who knows how many separate posts over a period of time, but i've been frustrated with the lack of quality talk and i guess it's been bottled up...Aris, thanks man, i was starved for some insight, and i hope a lot of you guys chime in with your own educated thoughts...
  10. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

    May 1, 2000
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pretty much takes the words out of my mouth-last night just did me in on this score. They just ran riot on his side of the field. Not pleasant to watch at all.

    I'm not so sure about your take on Magee-I would actually agree w/your take possibly slot Mathis back and put Magee on top with Jusko.
  11. MetroFever

    MetroFever Member+

    Jun 3, 2001
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    Bradley can't be blamed for trying the 3-5-2. If you're going to tinker with the lineup formation and see which team is going to give you the best chance of winning, then this is the time.

    I wouldn't abandon the formation just yet. After Guevara ends his suspension, Williams should be benched and Clark should take his role. Then, Galvan could be put on the wing in Clark's place. Last change would be to replace DiGi with Bartolomeu.

    If Juskowiak is going to get used to his teammates, he should be starting and not coming off the bench. If that's the case, then they shouldn't have brought him in this late in the season to begin with.
  12. In Bob We Trust

    In Bob We Trust New Member

    Jan 5, 2003
    i agree with going with the 3-5-2, more though bc of the lack of success of the 4-4-2...however, i would much rather have had this problem solved months ago so i dont know about this being the time to do it, but i see what you mean...

    ...also, many a time a player can not just come in and start on a team immediately...on the other hand, they said he is far from match fit, so that much i don't know if i like considering we only have 5 games left, but i think what it came down to was that skill-wise and as far as contributing over the course of 90 minutes (and in playoff type atmosphere), it wouldnt take much to upgrade over either woly or magee...that said, i love either (preferably woly) to come in in the 2nd half and bring their freshness and energy
  13. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Some good amalysis here. My thoughts.

    1. If you say DiGi and Zaidie started to suck and it made your attack one dimensional, I'll believe you.
    2. Ziadie started out great in DC, too, to the point that people were looking at him as a Nats option at right back, and it wasn't crazy talk. Then his play really fell off. He might be a player that literally needs to be traded every year.
    3. I didn't think the new formation played to Lisi's strengths, but then, Lisi has never been terribly consistent, and maybe he just had a bad game last night. But to me, playing in a 3 man central midfield with Richie and Guevara, AND with them having alot of responsibility for covering out wide if an opp. fullback overlaps, I think Lisi didn't have the freedom he needs to get forward, in order for him to get the most out of his game.
    4. Clark was OK, but not as good as he was centrally. I think the new formation illsuits him and Lisi.
    5. If Addo could handle the sweeper spot, I think the back line would be great. But he can't and it wasn't.
    6. On the bright side, few teams have a pair of wings as active and skilled as Olsen and a motivated Convey. So not too many teams will dominate the midfield with 4, like DC did. But I will say, you guys would really struggle against the Rapids. But then, in order to face them, you'd be in MLS Cup, so I guess you'd take that.

    What about a 4-2-3-1? You'd still have a problem with getting anything out of your fullbacks, but in that formation, they have more help.


    But the new guy in for Wolyniec once he's ready.
  14. PSUdude

    PSUdude New Member

    Dec 15, 1998
    Elmhurst, Queens, NY
    well he's the only one who fights for headers...
  15. Richie

    Richie Red Card

    May 6, 1999
    Brooklyn, NY, United
    3-5-2 is considered a more attacking formation then a 4-4-2.

    However not every coach plays there formations the same way. Ir depends on the coaches interpretation of the formation on whether it is and attacking or defensive formation. I believe when you have the ball either one should be attacking and when the ball is lost they are both defensive.


    I think Bradley does not have a good idea what to do with this team to give them a good game. He is experimenting to try and find a good game.


    My thoughts on what he is doing. I think he made a mistake in playing with just one ordinary center back.

    He had two really good center backs with Pope and Jolley. That is a defensive strengh in the middle. Why take them out of the middle? I suppose Pope can play a good wing back.

    Jolly has not proved he can play a good wing back. He could not do it last season so why would Bradley think he can do it this season?

    We can't score enough from the striker position to win.
    We need to get scoring from our mids.

    We have no dangerous wingers on this team. We did not have them at the beginning of the season, and we don't have them now.
    Guevara is a good center mid. Most of the time he should be in the center of the field and attack from there in the flow of play. I think he is less dangerous on the flank, and should not be there to much in a game

    Did you see Claudio with manchester City? Always held the center of the field. Never made a run moving farther from the ball from where the ball was. He would walk, jug or stand still until he can get a touch when the ball was in the middle. Then he would attack from that. You always knew where he was going to be and that place was the center of the field.


    Who is the flank. DiGi and Clark.

    Is either one a good crosser of the ball? Not that good.

    Can either one beat people 1v 1? Clark can and then what? Is he going to take on the second defender and beat him? That is real hard to do and if you could do it tou left with a pass and not a shot most of the time.

    Better beat the first defender and attack inside the filed after that in the flow of play. No shot you have a short pass to get the ball to the other flank.

    Can Clark do that yes. Plus he can attack in the middle and get a shot off. They don't work on it. If they did add 4 more goals to what Clark has already scored and a few assists as well.

    DiGi or some other left wing has to work on crosses or play with other players to get the time and space needed to get a lot of good crosses from that side. He does not have to cross at the bylone he can cross earlier before the first defender is on him. Like the way Davis made his crosses the best were early crosses

    Do you need to get crosses in from both sides of the field? It would be nice but it is not neccessary.

    What you need alos is the wing players getting behind the ball when the ball is lost.At least one of them. He should funnel back towards the middle of the field.


    At striker can the new player head the ball on goal from crosses? Mathis can if he is up. So you need some crosses, and goals from those crosses. Plus more chances in general.

    Plus you need an inside game. Mathis can do that iwth players like Guevara and Clarl when he moves from wing to the middle of the filed.


    Need some production from Lisi also
    So they have to go back to 4-4-2 in my view and practice, practice and more practice until they can get their game together. If they have not run out of time already.

  16. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

    Feb 19, 2000
    Washington, DC
    Ahh the Real Madrid lineup. Well that's basically what the lineup ends up during most games when we start out with a 4-4-2. Mathis drops back into the midfield, because we can't move it up. So I'm not sure if this is the right thought. Richie is a black hole there, and no one can cover for him at this point. The 3-5-2 is the best option. I don't think anyone is criticizing Bradley for doing that. It's just that the outright 4-4-2 was failing us miserably, and it was time for a different look. Someone said that it was just a more offensive 4-4-2. I disagree, if you like at Bradleys Chicago teams, Gutierez and later on DMB were basically wingbacks on the left flank who patrolled from endline to endline. This relieved pressure off of the defense. He needs to have a player like that on the team, and Digi def. isn't that player. Neither is Edgar.

    At the start of the season a lot of people on this board talked about how the Metros would die and survive with the play of their stars. This is basically true. If Mathis, Guevera, Pope, and Walker are stellar, chances are we will win. If they aren't, or their efforts are countered, we are certain to lose. None of the other players on the team can really step up and win games. It would have been nice if Moreno ended up playing. He would have been huge for our team, especially in getting other players involved in the attack. I think he would also have been an ideal partner for Mathis if healthy. They both have a mercurial effect on the game, and can see open space better then any forwards in the league. But, Moreno has been a bum for 3 seasons or so.

    I am positive we will make the playoffs though. There is too much talent for us not to. Plus Bradley will be all over these guys. He is a proud coach, and that could have been one of the worst performances of a Bradley team ever. Plus NE is not that good. I will be shocked, absolutely shocked if they make the playoffs.

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