Teams parking the bus - contingency strategy

#1
When teams park the bus or play a 'low block' as seems to be the term these days we have all seen how much we can struggle to break it down. It is not always the case as when the players are on form we are capable of playing incisively and getting the breakthrough. However our form seems to be very cyclic, several good games then flat as a pancake the next and you can just tell that in some cases we could play all day and never score. Our play forms in to very predictable patterns; passing through defence to midfield, out wide, back to defence, midfield, work it out wide then an aimless cross from deep which is easily dealt with as we have very little aerial threat.

In these circumstances we really need a way to mix it up as it becomes all too easy for a competent and organised team to deal with. Primarily we need to have a way of increasing our aerial threat to:
a) increase our chance of converting these crosses
b) allow an effective way of varying our attacking play

Essentially what I'm getting at is to have a target man option to revert to when our primary strategy is clearly not working. One who can cause panic in defenders every time a ball comes into the box or potentially requires to be double / triple marked which can free up space. It would also allow us to shift up play and knock it in from deep to look for knock downs or flick ons with a realistic chance of success. Too often when the defence clears, they have ample time to reset as we lapse back into our pedestrian stroking to ball around midfield unchallenged until the next aimless cross can be delivered. If when cleared, for a period the ball was being getting continually fired back in with intent then pressure can build, mistakes can happen and hopefully our chances of scoring may increase. I understand route 1 play is not fashionable these days but it can still be effective. I certainly would not want to start games like this or to be a primary strategy but could be something to look at for contingency with 20-30 mins to go to alter when things look bleak.

In an ideal world we would have a young Mark Hateley to call upon but unfortunately we don't. Lafferty is not the answer and he has proven time and again that he is not dominant enough in the air and fails to play to his height. Looking back earlier in the season we carried the greatest threat in the air from Katic on corners and set plays and clearly he is the most dominant in the air in from our squad. I feel it would be prudent of our coaching staff to investigate through training various set-plays / scenarios whether using Katic as an auxiliary target man could be effective as a potential emergency option in situations as discussed. Thoughts?
 

RFC4ME

Well-Known Member
#2
Stop crossing it as often into congested areas and living in hope of the break of the ball

Stop having a winger who hoofs the ball over every attempt he gets

Stop having a wide player who does little to beat his man, tease a player out of position and get 1-1 on with the CB to create a bit of room for a forward

Stop having a wide player who is predictable, easy to negate and easy for other teams to counter tactic.

have a winger who lets his forward come and join him and create 2 v 1s now and then rather than simply boshing the ball over the forwards head before that has a chance to develop

Have wide players who can do more than work hard

Add a decent third man runner from midfield
 
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derBovril

Well-Known Member
#3
There must be a few teams that have had to developed ways to play against this type of tactic in other countries? Or is it only Scottish teams that see a 0-0 draw as a victory?
 
#6
Excellent post op, no matter who the manager is or what formation he plays we should always have a big lad in the squad thats strong and powerful and enjoys the physical battle with defenders. Does not mean you have to play that way all the time or that he starts each game but it would be a huge benefit when playing sides are going to crowd the box like Aberdeen and Killie.
 

RFC4ME

Well-Known Member
#7
What does training look like when you hoof it to a big man?

How long a week would we spend in the limited time we have on the training ground booting balls at Katic head.

I think by regression if you go to "chuck on the big man" it just creates a shit mindset in a player you are giving them the excuse to take that decision - makes it easy to boot it at a target man in what is in part % football, removes a decent edge of players I reckon.

It's like getting to 2 at night in the club and you are left looking around a dance floor....you are going to do things then you wouldn't normally as you aren't thinking right, you are flustered and rushed and going to make bad decisions you will regret.
 

Scooby

Well-Known Member
#9
A huge part of the problem for me is our inability to keep a clean sheet in these games.

Losing silly goals is a regular occurrence, we are dominating these games yet always look vulnerable to the odd breakaway or mistake.
 

RFC97

Well-Known Member
#10
Given we come up against this every week, overcoming it should be our priority on the training ground and in the transfer market.

The fact we have focused on a counter attacking game is so naive.

To break these teams down we need creative and goal scoring options to surround our striker. To a man, the fans could see this.

We then signed Kamara and Jones in January, essentially, more of what we already have. A tidy water carrier (albeit a technically good player) and a wide man who doesn't score or create. Tactically, we also look no closer to working some of these teams out than we did in early December.
 
#12
The amount of times recently i've watched Morelos or Defoe come short looking for the ball into feet or run into a channel only for our midfielders to turn back and go sideways or back to a centre half is annoying. It doesnt seem there is many willing to take a chance at going forward instead choosing the safe option.
 
#13
We have a host of problems, from being predictable to vulnerable on the break, to a lack of imagination, to playing two wingers that don't offer enough, to there only being Morelos with the desire to shoot on sight.
All McInnes had to do the other night was stick Considine to Morelos with the instruction to stick to him like glue, and we were nullified.
If Clarke does it at the weekend, and it works, then the same might happen again.

I know we've had injuries to the likes or Murphy, Dorrans and Grezda, but the options we have to switch out the likes of Arfield or Candieas or Jack for better alternatives are not there.

We will just need to battle for victories for the rest of this season with what we have but for me, Gerrard needs to completely re-evaluate the squad, and the club need to review if it's his signings that aren't working, or Mark Allen's.

As I understand it, Allen signed McGregor, and Gerrard signed everyone else.

If that's true its looking like Gerrard needs to up his game and show willing to address issues he is responsible for, and start demonstrating he is capable of it.

I was alarmed a bit when Gerrard said before the game we focus on what we do, not what the opposition does, as it sounded a bit Warburtonesque.

I'd have thought he'd be watching Hamilton turn Aberdeen over, looking at what they exploited and copy them.

Granted the sheep are always more up for it against us, but we should have played differently from the previous games.
 

Gazman_Airdrie

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#15
What we need to get to is the point of having an interchangable front 3 who are all capable of scoring goals. Our issue IMO isn't down to not creating chances, it's down to not having the personel who are capable of dispatching those chances (outwith Morelos).

Outwith Morelos, I don't expect the others of our 'front line' to score goals (Candeias/Kent/Arfield) and there-in lies the problem.
 

Amato Turn

Well-Known Member
#16
A huge part of the problem for me is our inability to keep a clean sheet in these games.

Losing silly goals is a regular occurrence, we are dominating these games yet always look vulnerable to the odd breakaway or mistake.
2 shots 2 goals for Aberdeen the other night.

How many shots on target did Hibs need to get a goal the game before that?

At the start of the season McGregor seemed almost unbeatable - that's gone.
 

Speminalium8

Well-Known Member
#18
Teams park the bus and funnel us out wide because they know they can deal with crosses all day long as Morelos/ Defoe or Lafferty are no aerial threat. We either have to get a real aerial threat in place or start playing creative one two’s through the centre an18 yard line to at least give us the option of a shot in and just outside the box
 

DarthVader

Well-Known Member
#19
Defoe was brought in to make the difference when teams park the bus.

Not a targetman but his subtle movement was intended to be the key.

It hasn't worked out.
 

Vader

Well-Known Member
#20
Let them have the ball until they lull themselves into a false sense of confidence and come out their shell.

We've tried plenty of times since Warburton to keep possession and break them down. We don't have good enough players. But our players are plenty good to hurt these sides if we can tease them out. Just let their defenders have the ball and they'll start trying to set up attacks if we don't press them.
 

Dooodooodrooo

Well-Known Member
#21
We’re too rigid and not dynamic enough. Our wingers stay wide, our centre halves don’t commit to attacks, our defensive mids sit back.

We are terrible at pulling the opposition out of their shape.
Nailed it. Far too static, when Arfield turns up and can be bothered making a run, we don't have the players to find him, though he'd likely miss anyway.
We need more runs off the ball through the middle. We also need to shoot more often.
 

cannavaro

Active Member
Official Ticketer
#22
We don't score many goals from outside the box, these type of games are where we should find a formation to get Defoe on the pitch as well
 
#25
Excellent post op, no matter who the manager is or what formation he plays we should always have a big lad in the squad thats strong and powerful and enjoys the physical battle with defenders. Does not mean you have to play that way all the time or that he starts each game but it would be a huge benefit when playing sides are going to crowd the box like Aberdeen and Killie.
Alfredo gives defenders a hard time ,how I wish he was 6foot plus he,d be fantastic.
 
#26
Stop crossing it as often into congested areas and living in hope of the break of the ball

Stop having a winger who hoofs the ball over every attempt he gets

Stop having a wide player who does little to beat his man, tease a player out of position and get 1-1 on with the CB to create a bit of room for a forward

Stop having a wide player who is predictable, easy to negate and easy for other teams to counter tactic.

have a winger who lets his forward come and join him and create 2 v 1s now and then rather than simply boshing the ball over the forwards head before that has a chance to develop

Have wide players who can do more than work hard

Add a decent third man runner from midfield
We also need a Jorg Albertz type who can pick up cut backs or second balls from the wing 30 yards out and with a shot like a cannon. That will stop teams packing the box and backing off. We have no one with a consistent 25/30 yard shot. Stevie G get your boots out!
 

wilso10

Well-Known Member
#27
Teams have been playing this way against us domestically for decades, this is hardly a new thing.

It just appears that nowadays we lack the creativity, movement and clinical finishing to overcome it.

As much as we all love Morelos, he's not a true number 9 and quite often wants to drop deep or go out wide to get more involved which is why he is often so effective but it means we are often absent in the danger areas.

An advanced midfielder who can pick defences off is also badly missing.
 

Twosignals

Well-Known Member
#28
How many of us watching the game packed Defence and the opportunity to shoot is there, and what do they do, Crap it and pass. Theses are the tell tale signs of players lacking in confidence.
 

scottm

Active Member
#29
We have a host of problems, from being predictable to vulnerable on the break, to a lack of imagination, to playing two wingers that don't offer enough, to there only being Morelos with the desire to shoot on sight.
All McInnes had to do the other night was stick Considine to Morelos with the instruction to stick to him like glue, and we were nullified.
If Clarke does it at the weekend, and it works, then the same might happen again.

I know we've had injuries to the likes or Murphy, Dorrans and Grezda, but the options we have to switch out the likes of Arfield or Candieas or Jack for better alternatives are not there.

We will just need to battle for victories for the rest of this season with what we have but for me, Gerrard needs to completely re-evaluate the squad, and the club need to review if it's his signings that aren't working, or Mark Allen's.

As I understand it, Allen signed McGregor, and Gerrard signed everyone else.

If that's true its looking like Gerrard needs to up his game and show willing to address issues he is responsible for, and start demonstrating he is capable of it.

I was alarmed a bit when Gerrard said before the game we focus on what we do, not what the opposition does, as it sounded a bit Warburtonesque.

I'd have thought he'd be watching Hamilton turn Aberdeen over, looking at what they exploited and copy them.

Granted the sheep are always more up for it against us, but we should have played differently from the previous games.
For a start the sheep wouldn't have put every man behind the ball against Accies so you can't compare there I'm afraid.
 

Vader

Well-Known Member
#30
How many of us watching the game packed Defence and the opportunity to shoot is there, and what do they do, Crap it and pass. Theses are the tell tale signs of players lacking in confidence.
Apparently we have the most goals from shots outside the box of any team in the league. I was floored when I read that on here.
 

Gauche.

Well-Known Member
#32
Watching the game on Tuesday it was noticeable how rarely we actually shoot, I know we don't have a Ian Ferguson,Jorg or Van Bronckhurst but I would like our midfield and wide men to have a go more often when we work that half yard of space àround the opponent's box.
 

archimedes

Well-Known Member
#33
What we really lack is midfielders who are comfortable retaining possession of the ball.

As much as the fans hate it, we need to be more patient in the build up, which means retaining the ball in midfield and drawing teams out.
 

thechosenone

Well-Known Member
#34
One thing we definitely need to improve on is to stop giving the teams who sit in a 1 goal head start. We also usually play too slow against these teams and allow them to get compact and sit in their shape.

Giving these teams something to fight for and hold on to has cost us massively this season.

Quick fixes for remainder of season can be concentration and tempo. Moving forward it has to be better quality players, those that can unlock packed defenses, bully centre halves or give us that extra edge in tough fixtures.

Not much to ask for :))
 

Potnbear

Well-Known Member
#35
It's the quality of ayer. Teams like City come up against it all the time, their 1 2's around the box are quality but we don't seem to have a player with a first touch to receive the ball. Our hold up play is the same, one touch then a tackle
 

Twosignals

Well-Known Member
#36
Apparently we have the most goals from shots outside the box of any team in the league. I was floored when I read that on here.
Possibly due to the fact the way you view Figures they can be easily manipulated, personally, I’m like you I don’t believe it. As said when your watching the game, how many times do you shoot, and then they pass it.
 

Mabearette

Well-Known Member
#38
Wish we had a Dado again who could manoeuvre the ball in tight spaces in the box. Dealing with bus parking teams does need a game plan but also skilled pacy players who can quickly switch play to create gaps.
 

Cowan_rfc

Well-Known Member
#39
When we come up against this I’d be more inclined to have lafferty Morelos and Defoe in the box with Barasic and tav raining crosses in. Kent in the centre trying to play the ball to feet
 

shawlandsbear

Well-Known Member
#41
Teams sit in against Celtic but they have the players to unlock stubborn defences.
Better quality more attacking midfielders/wide men is the answer.
That’s the answer.
 
#42
Short and sweet get it wide get it in, but fast making the centre halves turn, don't wait until they are in shape its easy it's about speed move it quick, get the defence turning dangerous balls in along 6yrd box wi defenders facing thier keeper, we take an age to get it in by that time they have their shape
 

nemessis

Well-Known Member
#44
Absolutely.
Not over simplifying but this would be a major help
I would have Kent shooting for hours every day of training he can get into the positions by cutting inside he sees a defender trying to block a shot and lays it off he is better having a shot IMHO as that is what is missing from his complete game he needs to contribute more goals and he can do it he just needs more practice at it.
 

cullybear

Well-Known Member
#45
IMO we need a big target man who is very strong in the air like Crouch or Carroll, or even a DJ. Teams wouldn't be so keen to sit so deep if we were winning all the headers on the edge of their box. Also people running off him too would be good.
 

Vader

Well-Known Member
#46
Possibly due to the fact the way you view Figures they can be easily manipulated, personally, I’m like you I don’t believe it. As said when your watching the game, how many times do you shoot, and then they pass it.
How can it be manipulated? It's literally number of goals scored from outside the box. :D
 

Grampian Bear

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
#48
Being more aware and have more composure when in possession in the box and having the opportunity to play it sideways or cut it back for a tap in , I haven't seen the game against the Sheep but an example against Hivs was when was Morelos was through one on one and proceeds to blast it against the keeper when he had a runner inside him and a square ball would've given him a tap in. I'm not saying we walk it into the net but just think about it under pressure , Man City score a lot of goals this way I know they are far better than us but so is their opposition.
 
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