is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

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is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:23 pm

It''s kinda fascinating what's happening to Chelsea, for those watching, Conte deployed his 3 man defense and Chelsea as a team has exploded and became of the most dangerous in england. Even better, Hazard's attacking play has been great and it reached a high vs everton.

Tactically it's interesting how they are built, they have a lot of natural hardworking players around the pitch, and as i watch, i feel like the new formation is much better job at shielding and protecting Hazard from a defensive point of view, and to help him maximize his productivity on the ball. Not to say that he is not working hard, but it's definitely easier for him to defend when there is a naturally wide player already making the numbers in midfield and defense at the same time.

So taking that idea, and looking at how we play, with CR running less and less, and his new contract being announced, i feel like we have much to worry about. A player walking around a pitch is hard to hide, but i feel as though a 3 man defense can be a good way to hide and balance our team.

So we would essentially be going from say

carvajal - pepe - ramos - marcelo
modric - casemiro - kroos

to

varane - pepe - ramos
carvajal - kroos - modric -marcelo

in terms of personel, it's the same we are using, although i feel like the line of 4 in midfield and three at the back can potentially bring more security. This idea was already mentioned around here im sure but i seeing ore tactical relevance to it.

I can also speak to the fact that Marcelo playing naturally higher while we stick with 3 men at the back also leverage one of our greatest strength without the gaps he leaves behind on counters. Could likewise give a new life to Danilo (maybe).

Im just fascinated by how much a team like Chelsea improved by flipping over their lines, 4 in midfield 3 at the back, as opposed to 433 or 4231. It makes me wonder how it can impact us with CR.

Also, i dont exclude a back line like Varane-Casemiro-Ramos, or even a midfield with 5 midfielders like Italy or Juventus.

Anyway, what do you think?


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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by vanDEEZ on Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:33 pm

I actually recommended this a years ago- not specific to Ronaldo, but because we have had serious balance issues in the past.

With Casemiro still out I think it is a viable option- I just don't know if Zidane has the experience to implement it properly.

For me if Casemiro is fit we play the 4-3-3, if he is out (given our lack of CDM replacements) we could play a 3-5-2 variation like you stated.
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:14 am

lol so now conte is the flavor of the month. this isn't a video game. the coach has to be knowledgeable of these systems, and have the ability to relay it to the players before setting it out. it isn't as easy as "you're no longer a wing back but a winger".....you know why its working for conte? because he understands it and has had years using that formation, succeeding and failing with it, addressing its weaknesses, knowing its strengths, and what players fit into the various roles.

i for one have been opposed to formations dictating what we can do, reason being, when injuries happen you're forced to adapt. but even then, for a team to try out a new formation they must practice it. if these guys have hardly practiced that system, it'll cause a problem. they're not robots, even if you put on the board "formation 5-4-1", players who are used to occupying a certain area on the pitch will do that, those used to running out wide will do that, and it'll just be 5-4-1 on paper, but everyone doing what they like in reality

it'll take time to practice new systems especially one totally different from what exists and the way i see it, they'll only do that if the idea is to get rid of the formation we use now....another question to ask is, if this plays to the strength of the players we have, and not just a copycat game "this coach uses this for his team, so let's use it", "that coach uses this and wins, so let's use it". its not that straightforward.

btw it looks good on paper but you'll need more than just putting players out there to play. the areas the CBs must occupy, and what wingers must do.....playing lb and playing left-midfield isn't as straightforward as one might think. its one thing to overlap and start up surprise attacks, its another to actually have that as your position- someone like marcelo can thrive, but what of carvajal/danilo?
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:53 am

This thread is not about Conte, it's about how smart and adapted tactics have transformed and expanded the potential of a team by putting its best players in "better" positions to succeed. It's just tactics

You are right it's not a video game, it's football. We all agree that BBC is a walking cancer that gets worse with time, yet while BBC is actually consolidated in their power roles, not exploring tactics and ways to make the team more productive while being less exposed is foolish to me.

How do you answer such problems? tactics, coaching and game planing.

This is not a "let's go sign Conte because he is a miracle worker" thread, this is a "let's look at what another team is doing to address problems that look like ours" thread.

What you are telling me Tito we have an awfully unqualified coaching staff that can't teach shit to this team. Thank you for noticing, there is a separate thread for the "Zidane is a shit coach" remark. While i agree with you, he is indeed shit, it took Conte one summer and 2 months to give his team an identity, same with Pep, but we can't change because it's too hard and this fully stud out world class team we have, has babies that can't move around the pitch with a few dedicated coaching sessions? euh i dont buy that.

Yes Zidane is thoroughly inept at making any type of thorough tactical progression. but this thread is purely hypothetical thankfully, if we are still allowed to do so.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by halamadrid2 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:22 am

It could work. Carvajal would be perfect as a wing back but I think Marcelo's speed would be exposed against fast winger. As a wing back you should be able to run up and down like a pitbull, Marcelo is the opposite of that
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:35 pm

what i am telling you is, to shift from one formation to another that's strikingly different takes a lot of practice and understanding from the manager responsible. 4 3 3, 4 5 1, 4 2 3 1 are all similar in certain regards, even the 4 4 2 that we've used still sees players play in the areas they're most comfortable with, cristiano for example maintains his area on the left

to go into a completely different mode takes practice and understanding, and not just doing it because its the cool thing to do at the moment or cause someone is winning with it. as i said, conte is someone who has probably studied that formation as well as others....NOT in 2 months. his managerial career spans back probably 8 or 9 years....that he got his shine at juve doesn't mean that's where it began. zidane started 2 years ago, not a good comparison

i need to make it clear, i'm not against your suggestion. heaven knows i don't particularly like how we go "4-3-3 or nothing". its a hypothetical scenario and all i'm doing is pointing out the other side of the coin....if we all agree on everything, then our opinions aren't needed. also, i think you'd have to take into account back ups. pepe, ramos and varane means only one cb on the bench. unless we sign players (which we've hardly done in the last 2 seasons with a ban coming up), its a risky adventure. what happens when 2 of those 3 cbs gets hurt?

and the wing backs who will now be playing wide, if say marcelo gets injured (Which won't be surprising), does coentrao play left midfield? and is he good enough to play the number 11 flank? or will we force isco/james to play yet another position other than what they know how to play.....just some things to consider when taking into account major formation changes


Last edited by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:41 pm

if you notice, i have not praised nor slammed the formation. this isn't about that. i'm just flipping the coin and raising things we might want to keep in mind when considering these things. in actuality 3 at the back is more secure than a back 4 (At least on paper, lord knows madrid has a reputation of making things on paper look like rocket science and harder than they need to be), but you have to take into account back ups in the event of injuries/suspensions.

pepe and varane will pick up injuries for sure. ramos will pick his regular yellow and red cards. we'll be left with nacho on the bench, who isn't a world beater by any stretch of the imagination. you usually want to have one back up or co-player per position....3 at the back, unless we want to transform guys like coentrao, danilo to start playing cb back ups....which will be extremely gutsy or careless
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:51 pm

and btw i'm not a fan of making a total change just to suit one player. if we're making that change it has to be because the team can thrive and we have the necessary back ups, not because we want to suit one players needs, especially when said player isn't getting any younger.....we should do these things to win and get results, not to hide any one player
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Doc on Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:59 pm

I don't know, we struggle with a back four, a basic back four. Not sure how our players would all of sudden be adapt to a 3 man back line. Also, if I'm not mistaken, it seriously depends on your wing backs providing both the attacking and defensive width and Marcelo barely defends. Not because he can't, it is usually because he won't.

Alas, liked the read up Nick wrote. Can't say I agree with it but I guess it is Zidane can look into (which I'm sure he thought about or something he should have thought about).

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by futbol_bill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:59 pm

Tito, not to detract from your points, as I agree with you re backups, but I think you are missing the recent play of Nacho. You said he isn't a world beater by any stretch of imagination.

I would argue that he may actually be our best defender at this point in time. Ever since he got called up to seleccion, he has drastically improved his confidence and his game maybe not spectacular is very steady and realiable (at any defensive position). He is likely going to start the next couple of International games with both Ramos and Pique out.

Compare him to Varane who has been hyped as the next great CB for past couple of years. He seems to make at least one critical error ever game.

Compare him to Pepe, our most senior CB. While Pepe generally has been playing excellent this season, he too has errored on several goals this year. I can only recall one error by Nacho this season.

And compare him to Ramos who is acknowleged as a top 5 CB by most futbol anyalsts (except the experts on this forum, lol). Ramos always goes for the all out tackle (thus being spectacular), but that leads to errors and together with his hot headedness leads to yellows. Plus he obviously does not use his brain out there, a lot of time. Nacho on the other hand seems always cool and calm out there.
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:08 pm

@titosantill wrote:and btw i'm not a fan of making a total change just to suit one player. if we're making that change it has to be because the team can thrive and we have the necessary back ups, not because we want to suit one players needs, especially when said player isn't getting any younger.....we should do these things to win and get results, not to hide any one player
Well if you are going to extend ronaldo and pay him as much as we are, then you are committing to adapting your team to suit him.

Anyway, i hear your concerns, and as i said, Zidane cant do it, he is not capable of it. One more argument in the "zidane is not a coach, just a man manager" basket.

Keep in him i am making a suggestion about how we can balance the team moving forward, If you want to talk about injuries and such, then yes, there is always a catastrophe scenario out there. but we also have defenders such as Llorente and Vallejo on loan that we can leverage moving forward. Just to answer your concerns, i dont think we have a problem with personel. Obviously there is always the odd man out like Coentrao but let's be honest, he looks nothing like a footballer now and no formation will help him. suggesting we play with a 3 man defense makes the need of a proper back up LB just as relevant as it is now.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:22 pm

@Doc wrote:I don't know, we struggle with a back four, a basic back four. Not sure how our players would all of sudden be adapt to a 3 man back line. Also, if I'm not mistaken, it seriously depends on your wing backs providing both the attacking and defensive width and Marcelo barely defends. Not because he can't, it is usually because he won't.

Alas, liked the read up Nick wrote. Can't say I agree with it but I guess it is Zidane can look into (which I'm sure he thought about or something he should have thought about).
well not necessarily, because if you play a 343 then you still have 2 wide men forward that can both leverage the wing and the half space + the wing back that can assist.

I do wish we were working on real schemes axed around balancing the squad, being safe at the back and explosive forward, not that dreaded 424 we witnessed on wednesday, absolutely shambolic.

In terms of personel we have, i think the right level of coaching can make it a workable solutions, even with Casemiro because while he is a defensive specialist, he is poor when it comes to playing from the back. I know people have already forgotten everything about casemiro but the fact that he protects the back four very well.

Another aspect i did not mention is how the 3 man defense can potentially leverage the best version of kroos, in a role of regista but actually protected by 3 players behind him and not just 2, making the stress of defensive transition less obvious.

varane - pepe - Ramos
Kroos

reminds me when that booger eater Loew switched the flip on Italy by playing 3 at the back and taking them out of the euros.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by futbol_bill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:32 pm

I'm off topic, but I have a question for Nick or Hala re Llorente (the CB not Marcos). Last season Hala was saying Llorente was ahead of Vallejo (I think mainly because Llorente was playing in 1st and Vallejo in 2nd).

This season I have heard praise of Vallejo but nothing of Llorente. Now I see that Vallejo is a key feature in Spain's U21 and Llorente is not even selected.

Is Llorente older than Vallejo (and not eligible for U21)?

Does anyone know how he is doing this season?
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:47 pm

@futbol_bill, i need to see more of nacho over a full season, getting multiple starts, and top performances, for me to qualify him a world beater. i just haven't seen enough of his football. he is yet to have a 30 game season (as a starter) which is a little more than half the number of games teams play if you're fighting for all titles. yes he has his good moments and also bad moments, but i'll need to see more of his football to classify him a world beater

@mrnick, extending cristiano's contract is a safety precaution, we can't sign players in the next winter nor summer window, now is not the time to start letting players go. if we don't extend his deal some  other team will pounce....even if we say "let's sell him", what will we get and what will we use the money for? we can't sign anyone. the money will just sit till the next summer (cos we'll probably not sign next winter since you hardly get any top notch players in the winter window).

i don't see an extension as a commitment to playing to his whims , the fact is, the ball isn't in our court with regards extensions simply cos of the ban. players and their agents know we can't sign and we'll be very reluctant to sell, hence all this talk about so many players being offered new deals.....and signing an extension doesn't mean players can't be sold. it just prevents lousy moves like rvp to utd where arsenal allowed him play till he had just a year left on his deal......who's to say players won't be sold after the ban?
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:55 pm

i think we'll have a personnel issue, at least this season. starting varane, ramos and pepe.....we've got only 1 back up cb if we're going 3 at the back route. what happens if 2 get injured? its not an unrealistic scenario. look at us currently, pepe and ramos are out. ramos isn't injury prone but he's card prone. pepe and varane on the other hand, have had multiple injury bouts. so what will happen? a back 3 of coentral, danilo and ramos? or coentrao danilo and nacho.......teams will be looking forward to facing us on their calendars

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by futbol_bill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:59 pm

Nick, I like what you are proposing and generally agree with most of it. Your most important point I believe is

@Mr Nick09 wrote:

I do wish we were working on real schemes axed around balancing the squad, being safe at the back and explosive forward, not that dreaded 424 we witnessed on wednesday, absolutely shambolic.  


From my humble opinion, the only effective back three that I have seen is the Juve / Italy trio. The fact that they have played together for years is a major factor in their success. They are able to play off each other almost seemly knowing were the others are going to move in any given scenario.  Now compare that to Ramos and Pepe. There are times, even with the two of them, they don't know where the other is! And to play as 3, they need to use their brain, which they appear at times to be lacking. Bottom line, besides a coach capable of teaching the positional play, I have doubts whether it could work with our current personnel.
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Valkyrja on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:01 pm

@futbol_bill wrote:I'm off topic, but I have a question for Nick or Hala re Llorente (the CB not Marcos). Last season Hala was saying Llorente was ahead of Vallejo (I think mainly because Llorente was playing in 1st and Vallejo in 2nd).

This season I have heard praise of Vallejo but nothing of Llorente. Now I see that Vallejo is a key feature in Spain's U21 and Llorente is not even selected.

Is Llorente older than Vallejo (and not eligible for U21)?

Does anyone know how he is doing this season?


Llorente the CB is 23. Vallejo is 19. Vallejo has the potential to be a starter for us, Llorente not so much. I can see replacing Nacho as a backup though.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by halamadrid2 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:02 pm

@futbol, Llorente has been injured for a couple of games. He is 23 so is not eligible for the u21. He started the season wonderfully but his last 2 or so games were really poor. We will see at the end of the season how well he has developed. Out of all our loaned players only Marcos can come back and stake a claim for a starting spot. The others have some way to go still imo
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:06 pm

@futbol_bill wrote:Nick, I like what you are proposing and generally agree with most of it. Your most important point I believe is

@Mr Nick09 wrote:

I do wish we were working on real schemes axed around balancing the squad, being safe at the back and explosive forward, not that dreaded 424 we witnessed on wednesday, absolutely shambolic.  


From my humble opinion, the only effective back three that I have seen is the Juve / Italy trio. The fact that they have played together for years is a major factor in their success. They are able to play off each other almost seemly knowing were the others are going to move in any given scenario.  Now compare that to Ramos and Pepe. There are times, even with the two of them, they don't know where the other is! And to play as 3, they need to use their brain, which they appear at times to be lacking. Bottom line, besides a coach capable of teaching the positional play, I have doubts whether it could work with our current personnel.
Conte took juve at started playing with a the back and that's when they started rolling. Italy just based everything on their success.

Bayern was pretty good with the 3 man defense as well. Remember athletic bilbao when Bielsa took over?

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by futbol_bill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:07 pm

I do think there is a possible adaptation of what Nick has proposed. That is to play a deep lying DM in front of CBs, be it Casemiro or one of the CBs.

I would also make use of Kroos as Nick suggested earlier.

THis would in turn mean only playing 2 of BBC.

THat is

Pepe Ramos
carvajal CAsemiro or Varane. MArcelo

KRoos

MOdric. ISco or Kova

Bale. ROnaldo
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:23 pm

@futbol_bill wrote:I do think there is a possible adaptation of what Nick has proposed. That is to play a deep lying DM in front of CBs, be it Casemiro or one of the CBs.

I would also make use of Kroos as Nick suggested earlier.

THis would in turn mean only playing 2 of BBC.

THat is

Pepe Ramos
carvajal CAsemiro or Varane. MArcelo

KRoos

MOdric. ISco or Kova

Bale. ROnaldo
BBC is here to stay, it's useless to keep fighting it, and we know Bale-Ronado in attack doesnt work, they need a real CF, that's Benzema. However poorly he is playing right now, it's extremely hard to find someone with the same skillset, so we need to keep leveraging that.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by StrugaRock on Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:11 pm

A 3 man defense works better if you play two strikers, or a striker and two attacking midfielders i.e. James, Isco, kova, and to some extend Bale could manage to play there. It won't work with two wing-backs and two wingers, the middle of the park will be empty in that case.

The intention is at if you play two attacking midfielders they should be able to dribble to the wings if need to.

Even if we will never try it out an interesting scenario would be:
Pepe-Casemiro-Ramos
Carvajal-Modric-Kroos-Marcelo
James-Bale
Ronaldo

but that creates more problem than it solves, you then have Benzema Diaz and Morata on the bench, and with only a spot available.

Saying that, 3-man-defense is out of the question for now

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by titosantill on Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:23 pm

i'm sorry, i don't think casemiro as a cb is an interesting scenario...maybe for the opposition, not for us
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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by Mr Nick09 on Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:06 pm

@StrugaRock wrote:A 3 man defense works better if you play two strikers, or a striker and two attacking midfielders i.e. James, Isco, kova, and to some extend Bale could manage to play there. It won't work with two wing-backs and two wingers, the middle of the park will be empty in that case.

The intention is at if you play two attacking midfielders they should be able to dribble to the wings if need to.

Even if we will never try it out an interesting scenario would be:
Pepe-Casemiro-Ramos
Carvajal-Modric-Kroos-Marcelo
James-Bale
Ronaldo

but that creates more problem than it solves, you then have Benzema Diaz and Morata on the bench, and with only a spot available.

Saying that, 3-man-defense is out of the question for now
@StrugaRock wrote:A 3 man defense works better if you play two strikers, or a striker and two attacking midfielders i.e. James, Isco, kova, and to some extend Bale could manage to play there. It won't work with two wing-backs and two wingers, the middle of the park will be empty in that case.

The intention is at if you play two attacking midfielders they should be able to dribble to the wings if need to.

Even if we will never try it out an interesting scenario would be:
Pepe-Casemiro-Ramos
Carvajal-Modric-Kroos-Marcelo
James-Bale
Ronaldo

but that creates more problem than it solves, you then have Benzema Diaz and Morata on the bench, and with only a spot available.

Saying that, 3-man-defense is out of the question for now
you just draw the same 343 i did calling it something else to say it doest work lol

and yes it does work with 2 wingers, just watch bayern they figure it out. I think modern players are smart enough to understand that when deplpoyed in a 433 even, their job isnt just to hug the line but to take advantage of the halves spaces in between defenders too.

And I made it pretty clear this is for BBC, they are not to be touched, any experiment of having ronaldo play as a striker has flopped so far

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

Post by StrugaRock on Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:55 pm

Yes you are right, smart enough players, that run a lot and unselfish. Try finding that lot here in Madrid.

It's not the line up that is the problem, off form Ronaldo is the problem, cause if he is on form and scoring goals for fun, it doesn't matter if we play 3-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 it will work either way.

Again having said that playing two attacking-always wanting to score-wingers with two other wing-backs would leave other teams running riots in the middle.

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Re: is a 3 man defense the best way to hide CR as he is getting old?

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