Author Topic: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?  (Read 7499 times)

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TheJacko2000

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We've now conceded 2 goals in each of our last 5 home matches.


Despite people saying individuals playing well, and the defensive shield supposedly having a revelation season it isn't borne out by the stats or the facts.


What is the solution, if any?
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2019, 05:30:09 PM »
We've now conceded 2 goals in each of our last 5 home matches.


Despite people saying individuals playing well, and the defensive shield supposedly having a revelation season it isn't borne out by the stats or the facts.


What is the solution, if any?

Don't think there is an issue, top of the league, Hegazi to step in when needed, plenty of full back cover.
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2019, 05:41:09 PM »
Top of the league, both Charlton goals had a bit of luck. 

If you go by your usual judgements then we were 2-1 up, Brunt comes on and we draw 2-2... #JustSaying

(And no, I'm not blaming the result on Brunt)

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2019, 05:49:36 PM »
There is definitely a problem, people are just choosing to ignore it due to the fact we’ve only lost once this season.

We have a goalkeeper who excels in close shot stopping but can’t save anything 20+ yards. That’s a big problem. His kicking is all very inconsistent. He’s our biggest problem that we still haven’t fixed from last season.

CB wise, Ajay is improvement on Dawson but still has lapses in concentration.. see 94th minute today. Bartley is poor, Hegazi should replace ASAP.

Full backs we are strong although Furlong is essentially a Right midfielder when we have the ball and Ferguson turns into a CB of a back 3. I do like Gibbs and I think he should come back into the team when not injured, he gives us a different attacking quality.

Livermore I think actually does a good job and has been much more improved this season
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2019, 05:58:29 PM »
We have conceded far too many goals and we have only managed two clean sheets all season and absolutely none at home.

Yes we are top of the league but it's concerning how vulnerable we look at times. I think both Barnsley and Charlton have identified our weaknesses and exploited them this week. I think Sawyers is a great footballer but he gives the ball away very cheaply at times, why didn't he let the ball go out of play before Charlton won the pen? He also doesn't seem to track his man particularly well.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2019, 06:11:41 PM »
As i've said on another thread, full-backs in their natural positions. Gibbs when fit starts every time for me and if not fit Townsend or even Brunt. Ferguson and Furlong battle for the RB spot.

Bring in Hegazi, harsh on Bartley but basically he's better. I'd even be tempted to go with Hegazi in for one of the midfielders with Ajayi pushed alongside Livermore and a CB pair of Hegazi and Bartley.

If we did the above we'd have to sacrifice one of Sawyers, Periera, Diangana or Phillips. I'm not paid to make that decision!
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zippyandbungle

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2019, 07:43:04 PM »
Top of the league, both Charlton goals had a bit of luck. 

If you go by your usual judgements then we were 2-1 up, Brunt comes on and we draw 2-2... #JustSaying

(And no, I'm not blaming the result on Brunt)
Me and jack have regularly locked horns, but in his defence....on this one you’ve mentioned today’s bad luck (fair enough) but his point about 10 conceded in 5 home games is not down to luck nor a one off

It does feel a bit weird being top and feeling so annoyed, but this team could and should be better off ( in points) than we are
During this season many occasions people have praised Slav for making relevant in game changes...does it mean we are not setting up properly to start with?
I still believe our keeper is way below our standard required for promotion, but he made a couple of saves and got a clean sheet and it felt that no one was allowed an opinion on him anymore
Ajayi, if you watch each match...it’s Bartley that goes forward for the blocks (great one today) and the clearing headers....I’m not knocking ajayi, just maybe he’s not a natural CD ....could the answer be Bartley with Hegazi .....or even the three ?
Ferguson.....3 matches ago he’s world class and spurs will need30m, I’m not levelling all or any of the issues at him particularly but he’s young and playing in an alien position on his wrong foot ....sometimes you play the position not the player, look when England had scholes wide left ...waste
Austin ....useless , I know some will try and defend him but he does nothing and looks shot ....however for some reason Slav keeps with him, for me we need someone like Shane long , he holds the ball well and chases down like a man possessed , I’m not sure Gayle works in this set up, but if we went 352 or 442 with willock/Gayle and long (or either with Zohore) I think we would tear the league up....and keep the ball further up the field

I think sawyers and Livermore are ok, if anything it’s the “ballers” that may be the problem, should we play krovinovic and one of pereira / Phillips/Diangana until we have locked the defence problems down?

Anyway around, the point is valid, the goals against need to stop
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2019, 08:01:19 PM »
For me the big issue defensively starts up front teams know Austin isn’t going to do them for pace in behind  so they are able to squeeze 10 yards and pressure our midfield in particular Perriera and Diangana . If we had someone with pace who can run behind the opposition wouldn’t be able to squeeze as we would pick them off .

Another issue tactically is that by playing 2 right footed players on the left hand side of our defence it has left us noticeably unbalanced in the last 2 games .

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2019, 08:10:36 PM »
It’s great being top & playing attractive football is just brilliant, however a lack of clean sheets is a concern & means we are under pressure to score more than once in every game.
I know it’s a cliche, but  ‘goals win games, defence wins titles’ is very true.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2019, 08:26:44 PM »
For all the nice football this side screams out for a ball winner in the Mulumbu/Yacob mould . In many ways the current side reminds me of Mowbrays side , weak at key times.
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 08:49:50 PM »
For all the nice football this side screams out for a ball winner in the Mulumbu/Yacob mould . In many ways the current side reminds me of Mowbrays side , weak at key times.

Yet Mowbray's team bought the only Silverware to the club ever seen in my lifetime and we're top of the league and realistically can improve drastically so it's weird that we're all here looking for a solution to our problems that are without doubt there.

Someone said something great - play the position. Gibbs and Hegazi in will improve things i think.

I also think we need to address both ends of the pitch, i'm not a Johnstone fan and as much as i rate how Austin has been for us and i don't see a has-been, we need a goalscorer up top. If he had bagged 4 or 5 more we would most likely be looking at a better lead. I hope he starts hitting the net regularly soon.
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2019, 08:55:38 PM »
Yet Mowbray's team bought the only Silverware to the club ever seen in my lifetime and we're top of the league and realistically can improve drastically so it's weird that we're all here looking for a solution to our problems that are without doubt there.

Someone said something great - play the position. Gibbs and Hegazi in will improve things i think.

I also think we need to address both ends of the pitch, i'm not a Johnstone fan and as much as i rate how Austin has been for us and i don't see a has-been, we need a goalscorer up top. If he had bagged 4 or 5 more we would most likely be looking at a better lead. I hope he starts hitting the net regularly soon.
Without going over old ground that side was badly found out in the middle the next season.
Getting carried away but if we got up (if) , I've often found myself thinking the Livermore / Sawyers pairing won't be strong enough . I'm not sure its fully working now in all honesty despite both playing well at times this season.
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2019, 09:15:12 PM »
Leeds have the opposite problem, loads of clean sheets and struggling to score.

For me we are not clinical and ruthless enough.  Man City play open, expansive football but often they'll get an unassailable lead by 70mins which takes care of the whole match.  When this happens the opposition get deflated, lose confidence.

As was the case today, we are hanging on with a slender lead due to missed chances, which makes the defence / keeper nervous.

IMO the missing piece in the jigsaw is a top striker at this level, which actually will allow us to concede fewer and record more clean sheets.

Anyhow, we have 2 players to come back who'd walk into other teams; Gibbs and Hegazi.



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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2019, 10:45:25 PM »
We want attacking football which we are getting ? A midfield of two with a Yacob or Mulumbu type won't allow us the deep lying play-maker type that Sawyers is. If we want fluent incisive football which involves a deep lying play-maker and uses Pereira's talents centrally then the current formation is fine and Livermore has done well this season.

As said above, it's the missed chances/ lack of killer instinct that is costing us a couple of points here and there. 

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2019, 12:58:37 PM »
Yet Mowbray's team bought the only Silverware to the club ever seen in my lifetime and we're top of the league and realistically can improve drastically so it's weird that we're all here looking for a solution to our problems that are without doubt there.

Someone said something great - play the position. Gibbs and Hegazi in will improve things i think.

I also think we need to address both ends of the pitch, i'm not a Johnstone fan and as much as i rate how Austin has been for us and i don't see a has-been, we need a goalscorer up top. If he had bagged 4 or 5 more we would most likely be looking at a better lead. I hope he starts hitting the net regularly soon.
Thanks 😊

Agree about the striker and keeper, if we had 2 more clean sheets and could finish our chances with a slightly better conversion rate we would be 6-9 points clear
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2019, 01:06:36 PM »
Now we've had a few replies here is what I think. The goal keeper isn't good enough and I hope Bilić will do a Bielsa in January and look to replace.


Gibbs has to play left back, if he's not available then it's Townsend or Brunt.


I'm not too fussed who out of Ferguson and Furlong plays on the right they're both good enough.


The much maligned Kyle Bartley is, despite that block yesterday an accident waiting to happen and not a natural left sided centre back. Hegazi comes in for me immediately. Ajayi keeps his place as it's a massive plus to have a bit of pace at the heart of the defence.


I think midfield is a massive problem defensively and maybe I should have included Sawyers in the thread title.


It has become the fashionable thing to talk up Jake Livermore, no idea why as the improvements to his game under Bilić are just that he now gets basic passes right and doesn't hide as much in possession. What he doesn't do is offer any protection to the back four and goalkeeper whatsoever. We are crying out for a 'Kante-lite', all action, tenacious, massive engine, who can win the ball and then give it simple to Sawyers to play out. Mulumbu in his youth.


Livermore isn't it, Field definitely isn't it, Barry isn't, and I've come round to thinking neither Brunt or Krovinović (who would both improve us going forward compared to Livermore) would be anything but further detrimental to a leaky defence.


In summation January isn't about a striker for me. It's about a goal keeper and a defensive midfielder. I hope Slaven is of a mind.
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2019, 01:43:10 PM »
Bilic made a huge mistake yesterday in not picking Hegazi. I accept that Bartley actually had a good game yesterday but one swallow doesn't make a summer. Quality and consistency wins you leagues / gets you promoted. We have evidence over 46 games last season and the opening dozen or so games this season that Bartley isn't consistently good enough. We conceded two goals again against Barnsley, yesterday was ideal time to re-introduce Hegazi, Slaven, for me, bottled it. If he / anyone else thinks we can keep conceding the number of goals we do and get promoted I'm afraid they are wrong, it won't happen.

Gibbs isn't the answer at left back, defensively he's terrible. He may be decent on the ball but we have to become more solid, Gibbs won't help us in that regard.




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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2019, 01:44:22 PM »
Slav seems happy to abdicate the front and centre of midfield and let teams come on to us we defend about the 30-35 yard area, when we regain the ball we then use our pace and skill to break on the oppo,
It’s working at the moment as we are top but the signs are there that it’s been sussed out, I think the strength in depth we have is helping as Slavs subs against tiring teams almost invariably come good
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2019, 03:23:46 PM »
Slav seems happy to abdicate the front and centre of midfield and let teams come on to us we defend about the 30-35 yard area, when we regain the ball we then use our pace and skill to break on the oppo,
It’s working at the moment as we are top but the signs are there that it’s been sussed out, I think the strength in depth we have is helping as Slavs subs against tiring teams almost invariably come good
It the being sussed out thing that worries me, a bit like last year, as the season goes on our soft centre could well cost us big time like the passing out from the back did - we haven't played any of the really strong teams at home yet either.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2019, 03:29:31 PM »
I agree Gibbs/Townsend should come in for Ferguson, and they will have to now that he is out for a few games.

Hegazi should be in already for Bartley, no idea why he isn't. Hegazi is a far superior player in every respect. While Bartley has been better than last season with a run of games and less pressure to play out from the back, he is still an accident waiting to happen. The opposition know this, both Barnsley and Charlton closed down everyone in our side except Bartley who they gave time to play it out and make a mistake (though to be fair Ajayi made a pretty major one yesterday which I am not sure for the life of me how they managed to cock up).

With those two changes I think we would look a lot better.

We do seem to get over run in midfield a lot, but I guess that's just the way Bilic likes to play. He doesn't seem to mind sacrificing the midfield in favour of having the wingers and Pereira playing a free role. It does mean we get cut open at will at times even against Barnsley.

Might be worth giving Phillips a go upfront while Zohore is out, as I don't think Austin is suited to the three behind him at all. Once Zohore is fit he should be up there for me, at least he has pace.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2019, 04:20:55 PM »
No argument that Hegazi should come back. I would however bring him back on the left side of centre and play Bartley on the right. What he does with Ajayi is his decision but I genuinely believe that Hegazi and Bartley should play. And yes I would always play Gibbs when fit, Townsend when Gibbs is not available.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2019, 05:55:13 PM »
No argument that Hegazi should come back. I would however bring him back on the left side of centre and play Bartley on the right. What he does with Ajayi is his decision but I genuinely believe that Hegazi and Bartley should play. And yes I would always play Gibbs when fit, Townsend when Gibbs is not available.
Have to, reluctantly, agree, Hegazi in for Ajayi for me. Never seen  Ajayi play DM but would hope he is better than Livermore so could just fall into place. Will see if a natural left footer at LB gives us better balance at the back but, despite loving Ferguson, I think it might. Just need to sort the striker conundrum but would like to see Willock make the bench at least.
All that said, we are too of the league, having lost one game so it is about improving and getting better rather than solving any sort of crisis. Loving football at the minute.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2019, 06:12:25 PM »
Wouldn't mind a back three to accommodate our natural wingbacks in Furlong and Gibbs. Ferguson Bartley and Hegazi, Semi moved into midfield to partner Romaine as for striker I'd be willing to see how Phillips goes least he knows where back of the net is.

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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2019, 06:15:53 PM »
Wouldn't mind a back three to accommodate our natural wingbacks in Furlong and Gibbs. Ferguson Bartley and Hegazi, Semi moved into midfield to partner Romaine as for striker I'd be willing to see how Phillips goes least he knows where back of the net is.

I was in the process of typing the same as the first part of that, would solve a lot of issues, not least of which is having some bite & pace in central midfield, this formation has to worth a trial
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Re: Johnstone, the back four and Livermore. A bigger problem than it seems?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2019, 06:42:01 PM »
I knew it would eventually come to suggestions of any change to get rid of Livermore, as prompted by Jacko's OP.
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