The back four isn’t title winning quality

domalino

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The idea that we should be criticising the team for only scoring twice away from home, is a bit silly tbh.

We let in 3 goals.

Did any of them look like quality defending ? Or even average defending ? If it was Phil Jones & Smalling, would we be saying they were a bit unlucky, or saying something else ?

Time to do the obvious: sort out the defence.

Pretty sure if we do, that, we'll still manage to score a fair few goals. I'm pretty sure if we had only let in one, we'd have scored more at the other end.
Set pieces. Just sort out the set pieces. I know it comes across as a bit Tony Pulis or Sean Dyche, but if we sort out set pieces we will be almost unbeatable.

The club was advertising for a set piece analyst over the summer, they obviously know it's a problem, but they have to figure it out. It's not height, either, or the person on the post, the zonal marking is being exploited time after time.

If our defending from set pieces was just average instead of awful, we'd have beaten Spurs in the CL, we'd have conceded about 3 goals since Newcastle.

The problem is that it gives these teams way too much hope. Norwich went from expecting a thrashing to believing they could cause a massive upset, their pressing went up 20%, their attacks had more purpose, and they created the pressure which lead to the other goals.
 

mayo31

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If 3 of the 4 title wins should have taught any City fan anything it is to not make any rash statements or predictions especially in September

It sounds all raggish to me.

Football is football. Games are lost. Players have bad days. It is now how they react.

If and I say IF, Pep believes Stones and Ota are not good enough as a pair he will sort it out. I actually think he will like the challenge
 

Dr Jacoby

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It’s difficult to overstate how important Laporte is in our team.

He makes Stones/Otamendi appear better than they are and covers very well for Zinchenko’s defensive frailties.

If Mendy is nearing fitness, I’d be interested to see him and Cancelo in a 3-5-2/5-3-2 set up.
 

Neville Kneville

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Set pieces. Just sort out the set pieces. I know it comes across as a bit Tony Pulis or Sean Dyche, but if we sort out set pieces we will be almost unbeatable.

The club was advertising for a set piece analyst over the summer, they obviously know it's a problem, but they have to figure it out. It's not height, either, or the person on the post, the zonal marking is being exploited time after time.
That would help, definitely, at both ends but imo it's just that we are, on the whole, not great at defending.

We 'defend' by pressing & by having the ball. That's enough for 95% of the time in games. To me, that isn't 'defending' it's avoiding having to defend.

The other 5%, we have the set pieces, as you say, but we have had so many bad choices & players switching off. We get away with it, usually but it's cost us pretty much all of the 'big' games we have lost. Monaco, Liverpool, Spurs, even the 'title winning' game v the rags.

If our defence played like that in a team which had only 20% of the ball, they would be destroyed.

When we played at Anfield last season, we defended like a real solid team & we did the same on occasion in the run in last season, holding onto leads, no problem.

We can do it, but we allow it to slip. Having 4 actual competent defenders rather than 3 & a god knows what, would also help.
 

Stretch

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I still think Ferna not playing makes us so much easier to be got at. Not having a go at Rodri because I've been impressed on the whole, but Ferna is one of, if not the best in the world at DM and we miss him like mad when he doesn't play.
 

chrisY

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funny thing, the back four won a premier league title.
 

Pingu the Penguin

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Lots of over reactions to a poor team performance. As a fanbase we don't half dig the players out. At times deserved, but given the last 2 seasons I don't think it's justified.
 

Psychedelic Casual

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I still think Ferna not playing makes us so much easier to be got at. Not having a go at Rodri because I've been impressed on the whole, but Ferna is one of, if not the best in the world at DM and we miss him like mad when he doesn't play.
I agree. While i've been fairly impressed with Rodri so far since he signed, he's definitely no Fernandinho!
 

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