Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

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tueartsboots
 
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Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby tueartsboots » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:56 am

The following link has illustrations but i have pasted the text for those that can't access the link.
http://www.footandball.net/why-havent-m ... eague-yet/



Despite looking at one point like they would run away with the league title, Manchester City are currently in a position where their only hope of finishing above Manchester United looks like goal difference. Notwithstanding Lee Dixon’s exceptionally perceptive insight that football results are down to a combination of form, fitness and the teams on the pitch. What has been the reason for Manchester City seemingly throwing the title away? One of the most significant reasons is that they have often lacked width, and have consequently been, at times, easy to frustrate. City’s default formation this season has been a 4-2-3-1/4-2-2-2: a back 4, two holding midfielders, two nominal wide players who drift inside and two strikers, one of which often will often drop deep to help in build up play. City’s rough first choice 11:



The strong point of this system is that it is extremely fluid in attacking phases and useful for dominating possession. City have the players to play that system effectively: Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Toure et al. are extremely intelligent footballers. Paradoxically, this strength has also been their weakness at times. Their fluidity comes at the expense of natural width, and with an organised compact defence they have, at times, struggled to break teams down. Accordingly, City’s shots have overwhelmingly been from central positions and a significant amount from outside the box.


City’s primary play-makers are Silva and Nasri: with 13 and 9 respectively they have the most assists for City this season in the Premier League. Although they generally occupy the wide positions in City’s line-up, neither are true wide players; they drift into central areas and look to create chances from there:


The stats below illustrate how little City relies on crosses from wide positions:


A concrete example of City’s lack of width is their recent game with Norwich. The screenshot below shows a narrow City attacking a compact Norwich defence, with no one in wide positions outside the opposition full-backs (blue circles):


Consequently, with no direct opponents, Norwich’s full-backs were able to get into the game (albeit with limited effectiveness):

With their full-backs relatively free, Norwich’s goal came when Drury (Norwich’s left-back) created an overlap against Zabaleta:


Narrowness didn’t become to much of a problem for City on this occasion as they ran out 6-1 winners, but against stronger opposition their full-backs run the risk of being overwhelmed. For example, in their Champion’s League game away against Bayern, the latter created a number of chances from wide positions and their wide players (circled below) were able to have a significant influence on the game:


City’s lack of width has also meant they’ve come undone in the Premier League. They’ve recently dropped points against Stoke and Sunderland, who managed to frustrate them in the centre:


It therefore seems strange how little Adam Johnson has been used by Mancini, especially in big games. As a natural wide player he would counter-balance the narrowness of Silva and/or Nasri. Compared to them, he receives the ball overwhelmingly in wide positions:


It is not as though he has been ineffective this season: in 10 starts he has 6 goals and 2 assists in the Premier League. His seeming lack of favour with Mancini is inexplicable, and it’s a great shame that one of England’s best wide players is only a bit-part player at Manchester City. City have by no means had a bad season. At the time of writing they have 80 points, only 3 less than Manchester United. The Manchester Derby on Monday might prove to be crucial in deciding the title race.

If the majority of their team stays together – which there is no reason why they wouldn’t – then its hard not to see them dominating the Premier League for the next few seasons. However, it would make sense for Johnson to be more of a regular feature in the City team, to bring some much-needed width into their play.

tueartsboots
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby tueartsboots » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:24 pm

Not one comment ? Wow-must be first

blue_chili_pepper
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby blue_chili_pepper » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:26 pm

I agree, we do need width. That's how Manure get a mojority of their goals. By getting it out wide and crossing it blindly, defenders can't deal with them for some reason.

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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby oakiecokie » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:27 pm

Anyone got the stats to show where we have scored from wing crosses ?

jonmcity
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby jonmcity » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:30 pm

We haven't looked too bad in the last three games without out and out wingers have we.

ballymunblue
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby ballymunblue » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:32 pm

scum have width in abundance and they have thrown it away (i hope)

Ric
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby Ric » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:36 pm

People seem to oversimplify width as the answer to all our problems. Spurs have played with two out and out wingers pretty much all season, and they're not looking too clever right now.

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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby Midlothian Blue » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:37 pm

ballymunblue wrote:scum have width in abundance and they have thrown it away (i hope)


We will be throwing it away if Mancini decides to start with Ballotelli on Monday. He must be mad to be even considering it! Why break up a Aguero/Tevez partnership thats flourishing just at the right time?

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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby blue_chili_pepper » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:51 pm

Ric wrote:People seem to oversimplify width as the answer to all our problems. Spurs have played with two out and out wingers pretty much all season, and they're not looking too clever right now.


It's not the answer by a long shot, but it would have put us in a better position then we are now, granted that we aren't in a bad one at this particular time due to some crazy results. Spurs on the other hand have a decent winger in Bale, but a mixture of poor service on the right hand side plus a lack of goal instinct has emphasised why they are where they are now.

Delboy352
 
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Re: Why MCFC haven't won the League yet-Width

Postby Delboy352 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:05 pm

As well as we have played for most of the season, I think that we suffered (certainly Dzeko did) when we missed out on Sanchez, who went to Barca. If we get Hazard in the summer, then I can see us (hopefully) playing a combination of a 4-2-3-1 and also a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2 system at times. One thing that has annoyed me is Mancini's insistance on playing Johnson on the right cutting in, when in certain games (Liverpool away last season when we lost 3-0 and Flanagan made his debut for them at right back), it is screaming out for him to move over when Dzeko is on to cross from the byline swinging out and away from the keeper. If we can get Hazard (right footed), then hopefully, he will have the flexibility (like he did when Bellamy played for us) to swap them over to give the opposition a different kind of problem...

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