WHO Poll

pardsisalegend 9:13 Sun Jan 18
What a surprise, we played our better football in the second half with a diamond.

Where Downing and Valencia can play in ther best positions, where Cresswell and Jenkinson are liberated to roam forwards.

The diamond has transformed this team. Why does Allardyce keep reverting from it?

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

HairyHammer 4:29 Sun Jan 25
Re: Diamond
Diamond what fucking diamond ?

Mad Dog 3:55 Sun Jan 25
Re: Diamond
Downing top of diamond. Polished diamond
Nolan top of diamond. Rough diamond / cubic zirconia

pardsisalegend 3:50 Sun Jan 25
Re: Diamond
Errr no Song needs to be at the base where he plays much better and dictates tempo

pardsisalegend 3:49 Sun Jan 25
Re: Diamond
What a surprise. We play the same system we did in the first half against Hull and are playing shit

Gavros 2:44 Wed Jan 21
Re: Diamond
Meanwhile at the foot of the diamond we have to get poyet involved more. Hes not here to benchwarm and shows obvious quality so I will expect more outings for him. Was disappointed he didn't feature when we were cruising.

Gavros 2:41 Wed Jan 21
Re: Diamond
I've actually warmed to Nolan slightly as a deeper midfielder. He had a good game against Swansea and a decent second half against hull in that role and still managed to get a few chances away. At the tip he gets in the way,definitely, but if he can adapt he can be half useful, and lets be frank he isn't going anywhere so I wish him best in that endeavour.

Jasnik 8:26 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Once that goal goes in I hope he's quietly dropped to the bench - funny I said same when he hit the post on the weekend .

chim chim cha boo 8:23 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
My two-bobs worth to add to the discussion is that as soon as our most effective player (Downing of course) moves into the middle the team play better.

If you watch Valencia when Nolan is on the pitch he runs into some pretty strange positions because he doesn't want to be in the exact forward area he predicts Nolan is going to run into. It's really unselfish of him (particularly as he has to double his running) but it really leaves him stranded out on the wing too often. He's a very good player but as usual, our genius fucking manager plays him out of position to accommodate Nolan.

Now Nobbies goals have dried up there's no reason to play him at all. He's been stuck on 99 league goals for a while now and lets hope he gets his 100th soon as it's a monkey on both his and Allardyce's backs. Once that goal goes in I hope he's quietly dropped to the bench (I wouldn't put money on that though knowing what a stubborn cunt our manager is).

While we're on the subject of the diamond, I hate the fact that we set up to nullify the attacking threat of our opponents. If we played our best players in their correct positions in the diamond formation, regardless of the opposition I think we'd win more than we'd lose. We've got ONE formation that clearly works for us- let the opposition worry about us for a change.

Stubbo 7:52 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Personally I didn't think the switch to the diamond was the key on Sunday. The key was having a much more mobile forward line making runs that could be exploited by our deeper laying midfielders.

Generally when wide Valencia is good at getting central to support as is Amalfitano. The big issue with the starting formation was Downing being isolated wide where he's ineffective, and the terribly slow and immobile Nolan being in the position where we need an intelligent runner.

Whilst we scored before the sub, the real change in the fluidity of our play came with the addition of Amalfitano to the forward line, and Downing moving central... Both of which gave us pace and movement up front (and Song targes for his intelligent through balls).

4-5-1 with Song and Kouyate at the base, and Donwing central behind Carroll and Valencia and Amalfitano wide I'm pretty convinced will be equally fluid as the diamond.

Pace, movement and quality on the ball are the key components (as Chelsea demonstrate most weeks playing the formation we generally are deriding).

jack flash 7:39 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Sven Roeder 8:58
Not sure I would agree with your last sentence

Both Nolan & Carroll played (using the diamond system) in the 2nd half vs Hull & it worked fairly effectively

I would agree that it's much more effective with Sakho & Valencia, but while Sakho is out Carroll isn't a bad option (provided he covers a lot of ground & is prepared to move wide on occasion)

The key is that Downing always plays at the top of the diamond (& definitely not Nolan)

Alex V 7:16 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Not very well expressed, I agree. But what do you think of the actual discussion? Anything to add?

crapnotshit 6:30 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
You are talking out of your area Alex.
The diamond is theoretically much worse? LOL

Alex V 6:03 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Agreed fivetide, including 3 at the back formations. Credit to the coaches and the players for successfully pulling those off. It makes us much harder to predict for teams prepping to play us.

I think that's why the diamond has worked - cos it's shaken us out of those predictable Allardyce strategies, particularly when Sakho and Valencia played up front (there were no wingers to supply those endless crosses, and no target man to obviously aim for). Not because the diamond is better - it's theoretically much worse, but it's brought us to life this season simply because it isn't Allardyce plan A.

Sven Roeder 5:58 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
Our proper diamond when we use Valencia and Sahko means those two play wide and confuse the centre halves who have no central opponent.
This takes some of the pressure of the full backs having to cover all the wide areas all the time.
I think that system can work but it means leaving out Nolan & Carroll to play it

Fivetide 5:51 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
We can play (and well on our day) in four or five formations these days, which is nice to see. I'd like us to continue to slip under the radar and start averaging a solid 2 points a game please :)

crapnotshit 5:47 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
So if hoof shit football doesn't work, try diamond fluid attacking football. Well done Alex and Sam

Alex V 5:13 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
The reason is that the diamond has weaknesses (it's too narrow, and it involves huge energy to cover the gaps it creates on the flanks). That's why, despite a surge in popularity, no truly successful team that I can name play a diamond in midfield.

Earlier this season a lot of Prem teams were trying the diamond, and almost all of them have abandoned it (I'm pretty sure we're the only one still using it). We also had the good fortune that the first few times we played it, the opposition also played a diamond at the same time, so it's inherent weaknesses were not exposed early on.

I can see the diamond's advantages in the short term. It gets Downing in the middle, and gets Valencia or Sakho in the team up front. BUT unless we're riding the crest of a wave of some sort of revolution in effective tactics, long term it will be exposed.

We also had massive success in the short-term with the diamond under Zola. It had a novelty factor, and I think that't the same with us this year. But after a while teams learn to exploit its weaknesses.

I actually totally agree with Sam's approach. He is starting with a more conventional formation, and using the diamond as a strategy to introduce in games where plan A isn't working. Good idea.

pdbis 4:27 Tue Jan 20
Re: Diamond
BFS only plays Nolan to wind up the fans.

dicksie3 9:21 Mon Jan 19
Re: Diamond
pardsisalegend 9:13 Sun Jan 18

Lily Hammer 8:53 Mon Jan 19
Re: Diamond

I only try to bring balance to the larger argument. If I seem unbalanced, it only shows how far the scales have been tipped in the other direction.

Monk~koknee 8:48 Mon Jan 19
Re: Diamond
Exactly, he lost the dressing room in the first period but found it again at half time.

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