Do we adapt our game enough when Defoe plays?

Uncle Albert

Well-Known Member
Our team is quite rightly set up to play to Alfie's strengths.

Defoe clearly still has much to offer as his goal return shows however I'm not sure our other players, specifically our full backs, consider we have to change our build up play enough when Defoe plays.

Kilmarnock and Stranraer have shown that when Defoe plays if you just park the bus we find it very difficult to create chances.
 

Commentator

Well-Known Member
Agree, said on another thread "I appreciate we have a way of playing but if the players who shine playing that way aren't on the pitch it makes no sense to me to require those who can't play that way to just do it anyway. The management should stop trying to be too clever and instead just ask players do what they're best at."
 
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CaptainCourageous

Well-Known Member
Too many extra touches or passes in and around the area. Plenty opportunities to strike at goal but always looking for that pass into Defoe in tight areas whilst his back is facing goal.
 

All of the Lights

Well-Known Member
The best spell we had with Defoe in the team came with Kent and Arfield playing close to him at end of last season. Arfield has brains to play close to Defoe when needed and run beyond him a lot as well.

Aribo is playing well just now right enough so I wouldn’t be replacing him, so tough one.
Was a five minute spell in first half when we played longer passes in behind Stranraer and was quite effective. Allowing teams to camp in their own box and throwing crosses in from deep doesn’t really work for Defoe.
 

Partickger

Well-Known Member
We were at our tippy tappy worst in the attacking third last night. We can’t afford to play as badly in an attacking sense in any league game as we could drop points to anyone.

We are so dependent on Alfie which is why he is being targeted.

Aribo on the right works when the opposition are playing football but he needs too many touches when 11 men are camped behind the ball. We need one more attacking option in the window IMO.
 

Uncle Albert

Well-Known Member
Tav and Barisic have been excellent but against Killie the amount of balls they were swinging into the box was crazy.

For me that's on players. Does Gerrard really have to tell them 'eh Morelos isn't playing so don't do that'.

Use your head and adapt your game.
 

Stuart_WATP

Well-Known Member
Thought Defoe looked very sharp, his movement is superb but unfortunately our wide players couldn't pick him out. Won the penalty well and would have scored anyway
 

dh1963

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure the rigid 4-3-3 we play works against packed defences unless our best players are on their game.
 

final_straws

Well-Known Member
No. We look a far worse team.

We badly lack a focal point when Defoe plays vs Morelos. The problem is that Defoe's strengths play more to playing off the last defender & getting in behind for 1 or 2 touches then a shot. When teams sit in, there is v little room in behind so we lack penetration.

In the past this has resorted to us chucking crosses into the box. However more recently we have been trying more shots from outside the box & getting in nearer to the striker with inside forwards (kent & aribo) even when morelos plays.

Without changing system, it is really about the inside forwards getting close to Defoe to help create space. Same with the most midfielder who needs to break into the box.

Even with slight tweaks, tbh I dont think its ever going to be ideal with Defoe in a 4-3-3.
 

Resident_hammy_bear

Well-Known Member
Although Defoe wasnt involved much we need to play the same way we did against hibs with Aribo and Kent having the freedom to get on the ball and make things happen we cant rely on Defoe to make something out of nothing like we do with Alfie
 

bear wi nae hair

Well-Known Member
Tav and Barisic have been excellent but against Killie the amount of balls they were swinging into the box was crazy.

For me that's on players. Does Gerrard really have to tell them 'eh Morelos isn't playing so don't do that'.

Use your head and adapt your game.
It’s not so much he has to point out Alfie isn’t playing but it’s the managers job to tell them where to be on the pitch and how to approach the game
 

HandsomeHead

Well-Known Member
When Alfie was suspended at the end of last season we had considerable success switching to what was effectively a 4-5-1 with Arfield pushing forward in support of Defoe. That seemed to get the best out of him then, but it appears to have been binned after we started the same way against the Beggars at Ibrox this season and we're now 4-3-3 no matter who's available.

It's difficult to criticise the manager for doing so however given the performances of the squad this season and last night obviously wasn't the best example considering the number of second stringers playing, but Defoe can't drag defences all over the place the way that Alfie can to create space for the wide men and midfielders so it's a valid question for me.
 

Danger Zone

Just the tip...
Last season it was all the rage to imply Defoe made life easier for the rest of the team and Alfie the opposite (Alfie was in the bad books after his piggery red card though so I think that was something people wanted to believe rather than reality). Changed days indeed.

I think in games like last night it’s just case of shuffling the pack so much that the team collectively looks a little disjointed, which obviously affects service to the front man.
 

Nerf Herder

Well-Known Member
Potentially not no however last night was just an iffy night at the office (games like that are always lose/lose for us in reality)

If we play our full team plus Defoe we likely win that game 4-0 or 5-0.
 

Its-Sebo

Well-Known Member
Patterson put in a great cross for Defoe that he should have scored. Unfortunately, when you're the second choice striker, you need to be taking every chance that's put in front of you.

That being said, Defoe doesn't get a lot of quality service when he plays. The way he plays, we need to create gaps between their defence to provide him with a nice through ball – last night we were moving so slowly that we weren't really opening up many gaps at all.
 

DoubleWhopper

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
I'm going to be honest, I'm very nervous about these next two games without Alfredo.

"It's only St Mirren". Yeah, but like our last league game at home on boxing day, we know what St Mirren are going to do. It's going to be a real slog.

Hearts could be a toil aswell.
 

Rangers_2001

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
I get nervous when it’s Defoe up top as I don’t think we set up to get him involved enough.
 
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