How Do We Get Morelos and Defoe Starting Together?

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
#1
Our current formation is fine if we're playing against teams that come on to us, or if we score a couple of early goals.

The tarriers are the only team in Scotland who will open up and attack us, nobody else does.

So what's the options to enable us to play 2 strikers against deep lying defensive teams?

3-5-2 probably isn't the answer, as you have 3 central defenders playing against 1 striker, so in effect, you've got 1 less attacking player on the park than usual.
We tried it at Fir Park and it worked well 1st half, but Motherwell stuck another player in the midfield 2nd half and we barely got a kick.
We were probably fortunate to come away with a draw in the end.

Standard 4-4-2 with 2 wide men also seems unlikely, as Gerrard has been very critical of this formation previously.
With only 2 midfielders, you are always going to be outnumbered in midfield and can be easily exposed to a counter attack.

4-4-2 with 3 midielders and 1 wide player could possibly work.
2 central midfielders, with possibly Arfield playing as the 3rd on either side, but more narrow than a traditional wide player.
Kent would be the obvious choice for the other spot.

4-4-2 diamomd we already tried at Killie and we started well.
However, even forgetting the blunders from Worrall and McGregor, we never looked comfortable in the last hour and were constantly exposed down the flanks,as it can be a very narrow formation.

4-3-3 "Liverpool style" with Morelos, Defoe and Lafferty playing as an interchanging, goalscoring front 3.
We'd have 3 narrow hardworking midfielders, with the 2 full backs bombing forward providing width.

Personally I'm between the "Liverpool" formation, or the 4-4-2 with 3 midfielders and 1 natural wide player.

We certainly need to try something different.

What's your preference?
 

Baku Bear

Well-Known Member
#5
Our current formation is fine if we're playing against teams that come on to us, or if we score a couple of early goals.

The tarriers are the only team in Scotland who will open up and attack us, nobody else does.

So what's the options to enable us to play 2 strikers against deep lying defensive teams?

3-5-2 probably isn't the answer, as you have 3 central defenders playing against 1 striker, so in effect, you've got 1 less attacking player on the park than usual.
We tried it at Fir Park and it worked well 1st half, but Motherwell stuck another player in the midfield 2nd half and we barely got a kick.
We were probably fortunate to come away with a draw in the end.

Standard 4-4-2 with 2 wide men also seems unlikely, as Gerrard has been very critical of this formation previously.
With only 2 midfielders, you are always going to be outnumbered in midfield and can be easily exposed to a counter attack.

4-4-2 with 3 midielders and 1 wide player could possibly work.
2 central midfielders, with possibly Arfield playing as the 3rd on either side, but more narrow than a traditional wide player.
Kent would be the obvious choice for the other spot.

4-4-2 diamomd we already tried at Killie and we started well.
However, even forgetting the blunders from Worrall and McGregor, we never looked comfortable in the last hour and were constantly exposed down the flanks,as it can be a very narrow formation.

4-3-3 "Liverpool style" with Morelos, Defoe and Lafferty playing as an interchanging, goalscoring front 3.
We'd have 3 narrow hardworking midfielders, with the 2 full backs bombing forward providing width.

Personally I'm between the "Liverpool" formation, or the 4-4-2 with 3 midfielders and 1 natural wide player.

We certainly need to try something different.

What's your preference?
I'd love it if we tried the compact 4-4-2 for a run as you mentioned, but honest question here - do you honestly think Gerrard will give any of these systems a go?

I just can't see it. He's barely reverted from the same 4-3-3 all season, and on the rare occasion that he actually has, he quickly went back to 4-3-3 the very next game.

I'd love to be wrong and see us be more brave when it comes to tweaking systems, but I have my doubts. I think being so predictable in that department is a big part of our downfall this season.
 

Commentator

Well-Known Member
#6
Don't think our front three can replicate Liverpool's, not mobile. fast or good enough to do it, even up here, so that's out for me. I'd go 3-5-2 but the manager has to stop trusting these players, they can't be trusted to find a way as Klopp's men did last night. If the opposition have nullified what we're doing Gerrard has to make changes to our shape to counter. Something he needs to do more of anyway is subs.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
#7
Aberdeen were so deep there was no space behind. Can't go Liverpool with Lafferty being a starter.

I would go with 3 at the back 5 midfield and 2 up top. No need for 4 when teams play 1 up.

But your full backs aren't playing at the back when that's the case.

3 central defenfers are.
 

SOB-WATP

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#10
I'd be delighted if Gerrard started experimenting with formations, we need to change the way we play.

The Liverpool style sounds the best on paper but we don't have the forwards to execute it.

Salah & Mane cut inside perfectly.. Defoe, Morelos, Lafferty aren't capable of that.

Id try 3-5-2/3-4-3 as I believe it would suit our players the best

_________________McGregor

_______Worrall____Goldson____Katic

Tav______McCrorie_____Arfield_____Halliday

___________________Kent

____________Morelos____Defoe

SImilar to the way Chelsea won the EPL under Conte.

Tav & Halliday given license to get forward, McCrorie in there to cover them, Arfield box to box, Kent can get on the ball with the wing backs overlapping.

That team wouldn't get bullied either & we'd defend and attack set pieces better.
 

sheddensbear

Well-Known Member
#11
I think Gerrard is naive up here. We were fine in Europe as it wasn't a battle, but in Scotland it's just about kicking the opponents.
I fancy a back 3 but with a footballer (Jack ?) in there who can come out with the ball and push into midfield. I think we need a striker who is good in the air. I said on Tuesday when Hateley was being interviewed that was who we need. If
 

ca100

Well-Known Member
#12
Our current formation is fine if we're playing against teams that come on to us, or if we score a couple of early goals.

The tarriers are the only team in Scotland who will open up and attack us, nobody else does.

So what's the options to enable us to play 2 strikers against deep lying defensive teams?

3-5-2 probably isn't the answer, as you have 3 central defenders playing against 1 striker, so in effect, you've got 1 less attacking player on the park than usual.
We tried it at Fir Park and it worked well 1st half, but Motherwell stuck another player in the midfield 2nd half and we barely got a kick.
We were probably fortunate to come away with a draw in the end.

Standard 4-4-2 with 2 wide men also seems unlikely, as Gerrard has been very critical of this formation previously.
With only 2 midfielders, you are always going to be outnumbered in midfield and can be easily exposed to a counter attack.

4-4-2 with 3 midielders and 1 wide player could possibly work.
2 central midfielders, with possibly Arfield playing as the 3rd on either side, but more narrow than a traditional wide player.
Kent would be the obvious choice for the other spot.

4-4-2 diamomd we already tried at Killie and we started well.
However, even forgetting the blunders from Worrall and McGregor, we never looked comfortable in the last hour and were constantly exposed down the flanks,as it can be a very narrow formation.

4-3-3 "Liverpool style" with Morelos, Defoe and Lafferty playing as an interchanging, goalscoring front 3.
We'd have 3 narrow hardworking midfielders, with the 2 full backs bombing forward providing width.

Personally I'm between the "Liverpool" formation, or the 4-4-2 with 3 midfielders and 1 natural wide player.

We certainly need to try something different.

What's your preference?
We tried it at home to st mirren in the 4-0 game, i'm sure morelos played more towards the right of defoe, with Kent on the other side. It wasn't a perfect performance but i thought there were some promising signs, and i felt we should have tried it again since. We have had the opportunities, dundee at home for example, where it could have been used to try and get some more sharpness in to defoe and help him and morelos develop an understanding together.
 

sw26

Well-Known Member
#14
3-5-2 but with McCrorie as one of the 3 allowing him to basically step up into midfield when we are playing a defensive side which are parking the bus.

It’s worth a shot at this point, Defoe sitting on the bench and getting 15 minutes when we are chasing a game is a waste of his and our time.
 

Steve Snedden

Well-Known Member
#15
Play Alfie in the 10 behind Defoe.

He comes deep anyway and is far more creative than Arfield and probably not as clinical a finisher as Defoe.

Get him on the ball more in the opposition half and give him a free role.. He’ll cause problems

I also think it will help us play through the middle more. Alfie is ar rally good footballer.

With Defoe as the 9, I think it gives us more than it removes.
 

omegaman

Well-Known Member
#16
We said it repeatedly under Warburton and the same is true now under Gerrard - in order for 4-3-3 to work we need better players, especially middle to front.

Part of the frustration with Gerrard is that he hinted he’d be a horses for courses manager, yet what we’ve mostly had is the same 4-3-3 / do plan A better approach that Warburton was ultimately chased for.
 
#17
I’d love us to try the 3 5 2 until we get good enough players in for the Liverpool system.

Worall Goldson and Katic should be enough to cover against every other team in the leagues 1 up front.

Tav and Barisic bombing forward like they do anyway , 3 mids to control centre and Morelos and Defoe up front.
 

Scarlett

Well-Known Member
#18
Play Alfie in the 10 behind Defoe.

He comes deep anyway and is far more creative than Arfield and probably not as clinical a finisher as Defoe.

Get him on the ball more in the opposition half and give him a free role.. He’ll cause problems

I also think it will help us play through the middle more. Alfie is ar rally good footballer.

With Defoe as the 9, I think it gives us more than it removes.

I'd like to give this a go. It's a huge waste to have Defoe on the bench, get him on the pitch and get balls to him on the ground and he will score.
 

Commentator

Well-Known Member
#19
4-2-3-1 with Alfie in a free role behind Defoe. He would cause a lot of problems with his movement. Arrive late in the box giving the wide players 2 targets in the box
I like this, too. We also need to deprive the rest of the team of the Alfie factor, need to stop relying on him as the target man. The wee fella gets battered every week because we do the 'get it to Morelos' thing every game and we do it badly, mostly. Too slow, balls he has to fight for, hospital passes. The others need to step up, if they can, create better opportunities, score goals. Stop passing the buck.
 

Laudrup1

Well-Known Member
#21
Aberdeen were so deep there was no space behind. Can't go Liverpool with Lafferty being a starter.

I would go with 3 at the back 5 midfield and 2 up top. No need for 4 when teams play 1 up.
We don't play with a 4 when teams play two up. We have two CHs and the full backs act as wide forwards.

Going with a three isolates another player from the 8 players you'd have otherwise. .
 
#22
I don't think we have the players to play a front 3 as mentioned above so would have to opt for the 442 with one wide player - didn't Advocaat favour this formation?

I think we have an issue at left back though as I haven't been impressed by Barisic since he arrived and I don't think Halliday is a good enough defender.
 

brain

Well-Known Member
#23
I'm with you on 3-5-2, you normally end up with your centre backs being your playmakers like England at the world cup, it's tedious to watch.

We were crying out for Defoe to come on against Hibs when everyone was bottling it in and around the box, even if he'd been on in Arfield's position with less defensive responsibilities he'd have buried a couple of chances.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
#24
4-2-3-1 with Alfie in a free role behind Defoe. He would cause a lot of problems with his movement. Arrive late in the box giving the wide players 2 targets in the box
Play Alfie in the 10 behind Defoe.

He comes deep anyway and is far more creative than Arfield and probably not as clinical a finisher as Defoe.

Get him on the ball more in the opposition half and give him a free role.. He’ll cause problems

I also think it will help us play through the middle more. Alfie is ar rally good footballer.

With Defoe as the 9, I think it gives us more than it removes.

You're only playing with 2 midfielders then.

Arfield does a power of work defensively that Morelos couldn't.

We'd be outnumbered in midfield when the opposition have the ball.

That's the danger with that set up.
 

derbybear

Well-Known Member
#25
We don't play with a 4 when teams play two up. We have two CHs and the full backs act as wide forwards.

Going with a three isolates another player from the 8 players you'd have otherwise. .
so we are playing 2-4 - 4?

Playing a 3 would negate the midfielder dropping back to pick up the ball of Goldson or Worall or McGregor
 

brain

Well-Known Member
#26
Played in Arfield's central attacking midfielder position Defoe would also be making the intelligent runs from midfield that we are badly missing. Of course it's a trade off with other qualities that Arfield brings but that's football.
 

wsb&warmy

Well-Known Member
#28
Either 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1.

If 3-5-2 when playing against the teams that sit deep, when we're in possession the central of the back 3 pushes up into a sitting midfield position (or sweeper in front of the back 2) thus pushing the rest of the midfielders a bit further forward with the other two Centre halves narrowing up a bit closer to each other. When we're out of possession the sweeper drops back into position and the other two spread out again. Effectively back 5 out of possession and 6 midfielders 2 defenders in possession.

4-2-3-1 as someone else suggested, Alfredo starts in the central position of the 3 behind Defoe up top. Alfredo already does a lot of work on his own by either coming short or drifting out wide anyway so won't be that much of a change to his game in my opinion. Means when he receives the ball he would have option to link up immediately with Defoe or play it out wide and get himself into box where we'd have both him and JD waiting on the ball in, rather than just Alfredo as it usually is just now.
 

Earl of Leven

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#29
Morelos as wide attacker (inside right) with Defoe in middle and AN Other left...not Kent, Middleton or Candieas though as none of them produce enough in terms of goals or assists.

Best it has ever worked for us was Eck's first 18 months with three genuine goal threats up front and not 'hug the touchline' wingers.
 
#32
Playing 442 leaves us exposed as most teams play with 5 in the middle,, if you want to play with 2 up top, we would have to play a 3 5 2,which leads to other problems,, I think the 433 is still the way forward, but we have to better at it, we have to move the ball quicker, we have to get more midfielders into the box, and our wide men have to contribute more goals and quality
 

RFC97

Well-Known Member
#33
...............Greegs
Tav.......Goldson..Katic....Halliday

Arfield...McCrorie..Kamara...Kent

..........Morelos..Defoe

Kamara needs to be taking more responsibility for distributing the ball forward in this formation and I’d want Arfield cutting in.

It’s far from perfect but I’d try it until the end of the season rather than persevere with the impotent 4-3-3.
 

brain

Well-Known Member
#34
Play Alfie in the 10 behind Defoe.
I've suggested the opposite, Defoe behind. I think you need Morelos as the battering ram wrestling with the centre backs. Defoe has far more technical ability than Morelos which is necessary when playing between the lines; his touch, long shots, passing and vision are superior and with his movement he'd probably get as many clear cut chances as Morelos if not more.
 
Last edited:

Spencer Davis

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#35
I'd be delighted if Gerrard started experimenting with formations, we need to change the way we play.

The Liverpool style sounds the best on paper but we don't have the forwards to execute it.

Salah & Mane cut inside perfectly.. Defoe, Morelos, Lafferty aren't capable of that.

Id try 3-5-2/3-4-3 as I believe it would suit our players the best

_________________McGregor

_______Worrall____Goldson____Katic

Tav______McCrorie_____Arfield_____Halliday

___________________Kent

____________Morelos____Defoe

SImilar to the way Chelsea won the EPL under Conte.

Tav & Halliday given license to get forward, McCrorie in there to cover them, Arfield box to box, Kent can get on the ball with the wing backs overlapping.

That team wouldn't get bullied either & we'd defend and attack set pieces better.
This for me.

Few teams play two out and out strikers, so 3 v 1 or 3 v 3 covering wingers would be ample in my opinion.

I feel we need to be unrelenting against the stuffy teams who sit in, while having another attacking option in the box.

Either that or give them the ball and let them play into our hands.

You've really got to assume the management team have considered this, so there must be reasons it is not employed.
 

JMCK

Well-Known Member
#36
Don't think our front three can replicate Liverpool's, not mobile. fast or good enough to do it, even up here, so that's out for me. I'd go 3-5-2 but the manager has to stop trusting these players, they can't be trusted to find a way as Klopp's men did last night. If the opposition have nullified what we're doing Gerrard has to make changes to our shape to counter. Something he needs to do more of anyway is subs.
I agree about us playing to counter more, I don't think we have a midfield that can assert our play going forward. A huge disappointment has been Lafferty and how little we can do with him; I appreciate you don't rate him as much as I do, but finding that it appears none of players compliment his strengths is frustrating. Lafferty on the ball is under rated; he's not a world class player, but get the ball to him in a forward position and he does have potential. This summer we need a midfielder who is inclined to create and attack; finding that player is the hard part.
 

RFC97

Well-Known Member
#37
Playing 442 leaves us exposed as most teams play with 5 in the middle,, if you want to play with 2 up top, we would have to play a 3 5 2,which leads to other problems,, I think the 433 is still the way forward, but we have to better at it, we have to move the ball quicker, we have to get more midfielders into the box, and our wide men have to contribute more goals and quality
This is a myth I often see.

If you have two battling CMs and a winger who can play as another CM when out of possession, there’s no need to be overrun. Especially when the other team concedes possession to us as they often do.
 

Quality Control

Well-Known Member
#38
Our current formation is fine if we're playing against teams that come on to us, or if we score a couple of early goals.

The tarriers are the only team in Scotland who will open up and attack us, nobody else does.

So what's the options to enable us to play 2 strikers against deep lying defensive teams?

3-5-2 probably isn't the answer, as you have 3 central defenders playing against 1 striker, so in effect, you've got 1 less attacking player on the park than usual.
We tried it at Fir Park and it worked well 1st half, but Motherwell stuck another player in the midfield 2nd half and we barely got a kick.
We were probably fortunate to come away with a draw in the end.

Standard 4-4-2 with 2 wide men also seems unlikely, as Gerrard has been very critical of this formation previously.
With only 2 midfielders, you are always going to be outnumbered in midfield and can be easily exposed to a counter attack.

4-4-2 with 3 midielders and 1 wide player could possibly work.
2 central midfielders, with possibly Arfield playing as the 3rd on either side, but more narrow than a traditional wide player.
Kent would be the obvious choice for the other spot.

4-4-2 diamomd we already tried at Killie and we started well.
However, even forgetting the blunders from Worrall and McGregor, we never looked comfortable in the last hour and were constantly exposed down the flanks,as it can be a very narrow formation.

4-3-3 "Liverpool style" with Morelos, Defoe and Lafferty playing as an interchanging, goalscoring front 3.
We'd have 3 narrow hardworking midfielders, with the 2 full backs bombing forward providing width.

Personally I'm between the "Liverpool" formation, or the 4-4-2 with 3 midfielders and 1 natural wide player.

We certainly need to try something different.

What's your preference?
--------McGregor------
---Goldson-Worral---
Tav--McCrorrie--Barasic
----Arfield------Jack ---
----------Morelos---------
Winger--------Defoe

It can be 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-3-1-2.
Our movement is the problem.
If you have Alfie and Defoe on and the other team are sitting deep. They should be coming back to about 30 yards out for the ball. At which point Kent should be playing the ball in behind to Arfield and Tav... For example.
 
#39
I think Gerrard is naive up here. We were fine in Europe as it wasn't a battle, but in Scotland it's just about kicking the opponents.
I fancy a back 3 but with a footballer (Jack ?) in there who can come out with the ball and push into midfield. I think we need a striker who is good in the air. I said on Tuesday when Hateley was being interviewed that was who we need. If
I started a thread on this about jack or kamara in a back 3 at home, n got absolute pelters for it!!

I think it would work, means jack still has 3 options infront of him, and is looking onto the game, with out recieving the ball from the cb's with his back to goal.

With soo much possession we need someone comfortable on the ball.
 

Laudrup1

Well-Known Member
#40
so we are playing 2-4 - 4?

Playing a 3 would negate the midfielder dropping back to pick up the ball of Goldson or Worall or McGregor
Yes, effectively we are. Look at us when we attack and that's the set up.

How does playing a thread stop someone having to get the ball from the centre halfs?

If you're suggesting it's because one of them can play midfield and do that job, I'd play a midfielder and have him do that job.

3 at the back for us is a nonsense.
 

ca100

Well-Known Member
#41
Morelos as wide attacker (inside right) with Defoe in middle and AN Other left...not Kent, Middleton or Candieas though as none of them produce enough in terms of goals or assists.

Best it has ever worked for us was Eck's first 18 months with three genuine goal threats up front and not 'hug the touchline' wingers.
I think it could work with Kent on the left. He isn't as 'hug the touchline' as middleton and candeias, and is capable of making runs towards the center. Plus having defoe as well as morelos as a target would surely increase his output.
 

ca100

Well-Known Member
#43
I've suggested the opposite, Defoe behind. I think you need Morelos as a the battering ram wrestling with the centre backs. Defoe has far more technical ability than Morelos which is necessary when playing between the lines; his touch, long shots, passing and vision are superior and with his movement he'd probably get as many clear cut chances as Morelos if not more.
You need a runner at no.10, defoe doesn't have the legs for it i think.
 

Earl of Leven

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#44
Watching a bit of last night's game (fair play to the hubcap stealers) and of the two examples of 433 we are definitely Bayern - slow, sideways, ponderous and cautious. We don't have a front three like Liverpool or a defence like theirs (how good is Trent-Alexander?!) and so cannot keep flogging the dead horse. We can't play like Barca as we no-one, not one, player capable of doing so.

It is time to try new formations and ideas.
 

Steve Snedden

Well-Known Member
#45
You're only playing with 2 midfielders then.

Arfield does a power of work defensively that Morelos couldn't.

We'd be outnumbered in midfield when the opposition have the ball.

That's the danger with that set up.

You are right. But wouldn’t you agree that the way we are set up to win the ball to regain possession quickly and (when it works), play wave after wave of ‘relentless’ football, is actually a very fluid system and really means 8 men in the opposition half with only Goldson and Worral staying put.

I wouldn’t play it away at the Piggery but it should work against most of the rest of them.

Don’t you think we have enough in the middle with Jack, Kamara and the two wide men to sacrifice Scott.

I like Arfield btw, it’s just I can’t see another way of accommodating Defoe.
 

Drumchapel-Bear

Well-Known Member
#47
We've been having this discussion since November now (even earlier probably).

https://www.followfollow.com/forum/...ked-us-out-how-do-we-approach-saturday.52970/

Our problems against teams who sit in have been obvious for months and months yet we continue to play with a 433 with only 1 goal threat.

We should be playing a 352 or 442 with one central midfielder playing wide against the majority of teams in this league.

Having Defoe sitting on the bench every week is a disgrace given the wedge he is on.
 
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