What's The Sudden Obsession With 3 At The Back On Here?

Jaws II

Well-Known Member
Yes I know mate? My point is they can deal with injuries because they have better depth and more options? What the eff does that have to do with playing celtic? No game is easy in this league and there are some tough venues to go to
the point is the players are good enough. What isn’t is their mentality and dealing with things when struggling.
Our lack of depth wasn’t why we dropped points.
 

Coisty09

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
I think the answer is that we have two fantastic attacking full backs who we could use effectively as midfield players if we played three central defenders.
Stick Jack and Davis in front of the back three, then you have the option of playing three out and out attacking players to get in and around the penalty box rather than them having to go out wide.
Against teams like Aberdeen, Livingston, Kilmarnock and Hearts it would mean we would have more attacking options and also be able to compete better in the air at the back.
 

beary mcbearface

Active Member
18 months of relative success with one system in our league is good going.

After a while there's a law of diminishing returns and we're right there in the middle of an issue with the form and availability of some key players.

Looking at the most recently dominant force in the SPFL, the unbeaten Celtic side in their second season under Rodgers had a horrible slump in their home form and were terrible after about 18 months. They were fortunate to be up against Pedro's Rangers at that point though.

They changed things around and got about another year before he left and Lennon tweaked it when he took over.

Fast forward to this winter break and Lennon has again changed his system and they're rolling again.

We're now at the stage where Hearts, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and the rest know what we do and have played us enough times to counter it.

This is exactly the point in the evolution of a team where a manager should be planning to change the script.
 

Souness86

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Not really sure why we signed Kamberi to be honest.

In the two games he has been eligible for since he signed we have been desperate for a goal and he has played roughly 11 minutes
 

Souness86

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
But it was working perfectly when all our key players were available, like they are now again.
Maybe, just maybe teams have figured us out.

What we did before Xmas has no bearing on what is happening now.

To think otherwise is almost Warburton-esque
 

Gandhi1872

Active Member
I don’t think 3 at the back is the answer but we should consider dropping the third midfielder to get in an extra creative player and move to a 4–2-3-1.

But if we are going to stick with a 4-3-3/4-3-2-1, the two more advanced central midfielders need to do a better job of getting the ball forward quicker. They should always be looking to take it on the half-turn and pass forward, rather than going sideways and back.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
Maybe, just maybe teams have figured us out.

What we did before Xmas has no bearing on what is happening now.

To think otherwise is almost Warburton-esque

It would take a brave manager to totally discard the formation and players that gave us such success over the first 6 months of the season.

As I've already said on here, changes to the formation should've been made when Tav (and then Barisic on Wednesday) weren't available.

However, as someone has already pointed out, when Tav and Borna start together, that formation has won 15 out of 16 league games and drawn the other.

Hardly Warburton-esque mate.
 

MearnsUnionist

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't need to come back so much,and how many times have our left and right back been caught out? our left back was missing for killies first goal.

If you've got a midfield 3 of Jack, Davis and Kamara then they're well protected.

We'd the best defensive record in the league playing like that, as well as scoring freely.
 

Bearnecessities

Well-Known Member
What i want is a plan B and i dont care what it is. We all seen the game changing so did Gerrard but he had no clue what to do about it and when it was too late he flung a second striker on as a last ditch attempt to get the points which weve seem him do far too many times in my opinion.

Weve had two teams in the bottom half of the league come from behind to beat us 2-1, both times tactics/players should of been changed as we could all see the games getting away from us. unacceptable if we want to win anything.
 

WinkieWATP

Well-Known Member
Yes mate, that's what I'm saying.

The reserve full backs aren't capable of playing the same way.
I actually feel for Andy because he isn’t even really a full back and has played there probably by default of being left footed but fullbacks now have to be attacking players. Halliday simply isn’t capable but “won’t let us down” as they say.
 

CaptainCourageous

Well-Known Member
Warburton's formation, players and no plan b were easily found out with no answers.

Gerrard and his formation have been found out. This time it's with a higher calibre of player.

It's not working so time for change.
 

supersonic

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
the point is the players are good enough. What isn’t is their mentality and dealing with things when struggling.
Our lack of depth wasn’t why we dropped points.
Yeah mentality wasn't right. But not having Jack, Tav and Morelos at the same time also contributed. By not having similar replacements in quality, it means we cant sustain the level of performance we did before the break, alongside poor attitude and approach to the game.
 

Bluebrox

Well-Known Member
I actually feel for Andy because he isn’t even really a full back and has played there probably by default of being left footed but fullbacks now have to be attacking players. Halliday simply isn’t capable but “won’t let us down” as they say.
He was nowhere to be seen for the equaliser on Wednesday. Totally sleeping.

The reality is that he should be nowhere near our team even as emergency cover. I like the guy but he is just not very good in any position.
 

DamBuster72

Well-Known Member
OP is a good poster but I would counter this question with:

'What's the obsession with continuing playing a formation that is seeing us fail to score many goals, losing some at the other end and seeing us drop points all over the shop?'

Aye, we were blowing teams away earlier in the season playing 4-3-2-1 when we had a full compliment of players but we now don't and haven't since the break, yet we haven't adapted to suit the personnel we have in reserve.

There is more than 1 way to skin a cat, especially in this league.

I'd like to see us play 2 up top and that would mean either playing 4-4-2, 3-5-2 or 5-3-2. The latter is out the equation as 5 defenders to mark a lone striker would be lunacy. That leaves the other 2 as possibilities...neither of which would I be against seeing.

In games that Walter knew we'd be in a battle to win, he'd regularly go a flat 4 midfield with 4 CMs eg. Davis, Mendes, Thomson, Adam in the 4-2 game at parkhead.

Refusing to adapt to different challenges and change formation is exactly what Warburton done and he got slaughtered for his 'Plan B is to do Plan A better philosophy'...that sort of stubbornness and inflexibility is why we're now as good as out of the title race.

You have to find a way to win when not at your best and sometimes that means compromising on your ideals and being pragmatic.
 

TheScotty

Well-Known Member
I'm not clamouring for 3 at the back but there's a very obvious flaw with your thinking.

You mentioned being without tav, barasic, Jack etc.

It's his job to then adapt to that loss. He hasn't, we continues in the same vein and have paid for it 3 times now. If we can't play his way when they are out, he must have a different plan, if he doesnt, the 3 bad results suffered just continue
I was going to reply with something along these lines.

Basically it sounds as if we have everyone fit we’ll be fine, if someone (key) is injured or suspended we are fucked.

We need to adapt. We need to be able to change. Right now we are dull, predictable and unsuccessful.
 

Jaws II

Well-Known Member
Yeah mentality wasn't right. But not having Jack, Tav and Morelos at the same time also contributed. By not having similar replacements in quality, it means we cant sustain the level of performance we did before the break, alongside poor attitude and approach to the game.
then the manager has to change things to suit what he has.
This is what Lennon did and Gerrard didn’t.
 

SmileyBear

Well-Known Member
the point is the players are good enough. What isn’t is their mentality and dealing with things when struggling.
Our lack of depth wasn’t why we dropped points.
See when you start thinking like that that's when you wonder what a manager with some experience would get from the same players.
I often think like that and I like Gerrard but at times feel his constant need to play 433 and fit players around that hampers us at times.
 

DoubleWhopper

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
You know what....I don't think Neil Lennon is a tactical mastermind.

I do however think he's pragmatic enough to change things when necessary. I saw quotes attributed to him that said their previous formation was getting "stale".

Celtic were toiling before christmas, just getting by teams 1-0 and the like. So they changed things up. Seems pretty reasonable to me. They've got a reaction.

In Scotland, you have to be pragmatic. Every manager that comes in with their "philosophy" eventually hits a brick wall. You have to adapt to the peculiarities of the league or eventually you will fail.

We aren't Liverpool. We aren't Barcelona. Acting like we were used to generate nice soundbites that we all lapped up like "it doesn't matter what the opposition do, it's all about Rangers" and "doing Plan A Better". But all that is a fallacy. If we don't have any tactical flexibility, we are not going to win anything.
 

WinkieWATP

Well-Known Member
See when you start thinking like that that's when you wonder what a manager with some experience would get from the same players.
I often think like that and I like Gerrard but at times feel his constant need to play 433 and fit players around that hampers us at times.
That’s modern day football though isn’t it? You have to have a philosophy, a style of play. Rather than playing the best team formation for the game you are going to be playing.
 

Route 55

Well-Known Member
The problem as I see it is we don't have a change of system when we toil against dug in defences, going 3 at the back allows another striker on the pitch to occupy the central areas up front.
We are not creating enough imo and a second striker would double our chances at taking what we do actually create.
Also Tav and Barasic as wing backs frees them up defensively to provide the width more easily imo.
A change can breathe new life into situations, freshens things up etc no harm in trying something new even if the mhutants are doing it.
 

SmileyBear

Well-Known Member
You know what....I don't think Neil Lennon is a tactical mastermind.

I do however think he's pragmatic enough to change things when necessary. I saw quotes attributed to him that said their previous formation was getting "stale".

Celtic were toiling before christmas, just getting by teams 1-0 and the like. So they changed things up. Seems pretty reasonable to me. They've got a reaction.

In Scotland, you have to be pragmatic. Every manager that comes in with their "philosophy" eventually hits a brick wall. You have to adapt to the peculiarities of the league or eventually you will fail.

We aren't Liverpool. We aren't Barcelona. Acting like we were used to generate nice soundbites that we all lapped up like "it doesn't matter what the opposition do, it's all about Rangers" and "doing Plan A Better". But all that is a fallacy. If we don't have any tactical flexibility, we are not going to win anything.
Agree, the same happened with Warburton, he had a style of play he would not change the old speech when he stated Plan B is to do Plan A better could be used to describe where we are with Gerrard now.
 

DamBuster72

Well-Known Member
You know what....I don't think Neil Lennon is a tactical mastermind.

I do however think he's pragmatic enough to change things when necessary. I saw quotes attributed to him that said their previous formation was getting "stale".

Celtic were toiling before christmas, just getting by teams 1-0 and the like. So they changed things up. Seems pretty reasonable to me. They've got a reaction.

In Scotland, you have to be pragmatic. Every manager that comes in with their "philosophy" eventually hits a brick wall. You have to adapt to the peculiarities of the league or eventually you will fail.

We aren't Liverpool. We aren't Barcelona. Acting like we were used to generate nice soundbites that we all lapped up like "it doesn't matter what the opposition do, it's all about Rangers" and "doing Plan A Better". But all that is a fallacy. If we don't have any tactical flexibility, we are not going to win anything.
Correct, read in the paper an interview from Steve Clarke who was giving his view on the Earl Haigs v Killie game, which they won 3-1 (I think) and where we just got beat 2-1.

He said that Kilmarnock would have trained all week to play against a 4-2-3-1 and them playing 3-5-2 would have caught them completely off-guard.

Contuinity is good but when it's not working a little bit of unpredictability can also be good. We have trusted in the gaffer to be bold, see things that others may not see and adapt to different circumstances; at present we're not doing that well enough and that ultimately falls squarely on his shoulders.
 

Qwa

Active Member
The thing about our current formation vs 3 at the back is that when attacking in our 4-3-2-1, it effectively becomes a 2-3-4-1 with the fullbacks pushing right up. So moving to a 3 at the back takes 1 offensive position out of the side.

I would like to see us go with a 4-3-1-2 with Hagi playing off a front 2 (Alfie plus Kambieri or Stewart). The central of the midfield 3 stays back when attacking slotting in between the 2 central defenders. This way, we get the benefit of a striking partnership without sacrificing our attacking fullbacks.
 

DoubleWhopper

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Agree, the same happened with Warburton, he had a style of play he would not change the old speech when he stated Plan B is to do Plan A better could be used to describe where we are with Gerrard now.
Absolutely.

We've been dog shit for 7 or 8 games. I'll tell you how tommorow's going to go. Livingston will sit in and defend for their lives. We'll win 1-0 or if we're lucky 2-0.

We're going through the motions game in game out. Who was it who said something about the definition of madness being doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

It's not a big ask to be more tactically flexible is it? Give the fans something interesting or different to be excited about tommorow. Because the alternative is just going through exactly what we've gone through v Stranraer, Ross County, St Mirren, Aberdeen & Hibs.

If we don't have the nerve to experiment at home to Livingston, then god help us.
 

DRAGO

Well-Known Member
A couple of issues I see with playing 3 at the back.

1. When people post the lineup based on this it is usually with Borna and Tav in the wide positions. So what happens to all the wide players we have stockpiled? We would have a significant portion of the squad with nothing to do and no chance of fitting into the formation.

2. Although we have 4 good centre halfs I don't think we have a combination of them I would feel comfortable having to go out wide. Especially Helander.
Therefore I would go with Goldson on the right, Borna on the left and the spare man in the middle Katic or Helander.

The width in the midfield five would come from 2 out of Kent, Jones , Stewart, Aribo or Ojo. Hagi as the attacking "no.10".

No room for Tav that I can see. Yet we know he wouldn't be dropped.
 

A1bertz

Well-Known Member
It's not an obsession.
It recognizing what you have and making the most of it.
Halliday is not us making the most of what we have. He offers nothing going forward so why not a back 3. With 8 good players in front of them.

I don't think we lose any of those Goals with a back 3.

If Barasic is out....I don't want to see Andy Halliday tomorrow. I want to see something different
 

tazzabear

Well-Known Member
A couple of issues I see with playing 3 at the back.

1. When people post the lineup based on this it is usually with Borna and Tav in the wide positions. So what happens to all the wide players we have stockpiled? We would have a significant portion of the squad with nothing to do and no chance of fitting into the formation.

2. Although we have 4 good centre halfs I don't think we have a combination of them I would feel comfortable having to go out wide. Especially Helander.
Therefore I would go with Goldson on the right, Borna on the left and the spare man in the middle Katic or Helander.

The width in the midfield five would come from 2 out of Kent, Jones , Stewart, Aribo or Ojo. Hagi as the attacking "no.10".

No room for Tav that I can see. Yet we know he wouldn't be dropped.
I think you play your best footballer in the middle of the three.
Not sure why you’d want Tavernier dropped.
 

brain

Well-Known Member
I find 3 at the back depressing to watch. Every time I see a team playing 3 at the back the centre backs always have far too much of the ball. They are the last players you want on the ball.
 

Jjbscotty

Well-Known Member
I find 3 at the back depressing to watch. Every time I see a team playing 3 at the back the centre backs always have far too much of the ball. They are the last players you want on the ball.
I feel like our centre backs are currently getting far too much time on the ball.
 

Jjbscotty

Well-Known Member
That’s currently true.
The formation was good enough to get us into a good, very good, position up to half a dozen games ago.
It’s not the formation that is the problem.
It’s the players form.
Why are so many off the boil at the minute? I really don’t know what’s happened to the players since the break.
 

cadge_1959

Well-Known Member
We could really do with two strikers up front.

The two number 10’s playing behind Alfie isnt working at the moment, they simply don’t contribute enough.

And as we are finding out, when Alfie isnt on top of his game we really struggle.
We should be starting games with 2 strikers, not chasing the game with 2 strikers. Playing with 2 strikers, changes the whole dynamic, but needs a midfield to be supplying the front 2 with the ball, and to vary it, our midfield is capable of this - Davis, Jack, Kamara.
 

Woodrow Call

Well-Known Member
Mearns has posted the assist stats for Tav and BB. That means we are getting a lot of quality balls into the box. If 3 at the back gets us another striker in the box I'd give it a go. I know we paid a lot of money for Kent but he's not giving us much and needs benched. He's young and will come back.

My biggest gripe is the managers lack of imagination with subs. If you're a goal up away from home and just want to see the game out you stick a defensive type player on around 65 minutes. Obviously you hold back an attacking option in case it goes wrong. Likewise you do the opposite if you're level. It's as if he just doesn't trust his bench.
 
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