Kenny's Strategy and Plans Going Forward

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Kenny's Strategy and Plans Going Forward Empty Kenny's Strategy and Plans Going Forward

Post by Guest Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:56 am

When we acquired Adam and Henderson as our first 2 signings of the summer, I was a bit shocked since CM was prioritized over positions we seemingly needed more attention to (LB, LW, CB, etc)...but after watching our game and formation against Guandong, and shape of the team, I think I am starting to realize what Kenny wants to achieve by his signings.

So here is how I see it:
We played a very flexible 4-2-3-1 against Guandong in both halves, however, one key difference was obvious to me, and it was the fact that Maxi/Kuyt played much wider in both flanks of supporting 3, than what I used to see them. We looked more threatening in the second half as a result of that (and of course more experienced players) as opposed to first half where most of our moves was down the middle since Pacheco and Cole were playing very narrow.

This is where purchase of Charlie Adam comes to mind. In the very first minute of the second half, he picked Andy Carroll out on the right side of their penalty box with a great long range pass which was wrongly ruled offside. Later in the game, he did the same twice again, one to Maxi and one to Dirk who were almost hugging the touchline. Unfortunately, both of them miscontrolled Charlie's ball and their touch let them down. Adam has that ability to pick those passes for wide positions, be it the wide players in front 3, or a bombarding Johnson. We all love Dirk, and he is a very valuable member of our squad, but his touch and technique isn't his best of attributes. Suarez would be loving those Adam balls as he is a very intelligent football with great awareness and touch and ability to beat the offside trap.

Purchase of Henderson was probably the most puzzling signing for me in the beginning, but after watching more in depth analysis of his game when playing RM for Sunderland, in addition to reading his dribbling statistics and reviews, I came into conclusion that he has 2 things which is lacking in Dirk's game (When playing RM)...First Touch, and Dribbling ability. I believe we'll rarely see Hendo deployed in centre of midfield, and his primary position (mostly as a rotation player) will be the right side of 3 supporting attacking midfielders. He's got a good engine and off the ball movement, and will benefit from Adam's balls as well.

Downing purchase, although a tad overpriced (not much considering Young's fee to MUFC though), makes the most sense initially. We've lacked a consistent out and out left winger for years. In fact, the last 2 seasons that we've had a natural left winger playing most games, we've scored 80+ points. (05-06 with Kewell, and 08-09 with Riera). Downing though no flashy, is actually quite fast, and adds much needed width and crossing ability to our side which will help in stretching "park the bus" type of defenses. I see him in mould of Antonio Valencia who is less tricky than someone like Nani, yet very effective and important in Man United.

As a whole, now we have options that we didn't have the past previous years. We have a hollywood pass specialist, a natural winger who adds geniune width and crossing ability to the side. We will have goalscorers all around the pitch. Something that is needed for a team challenging for the major honours. One of the reasons we succeeded in second half of 08-09 season was the insane form that Yossi and Dirk hit, and yet one of the reasons we failed to win the title due to bad patch in Nov-Jan, was lack of goal threats in absence of Nando. Masch-Alonso were an outstanding partnership, but lack of goals from their side was the only negative point for me. Adam is a goalscoring threat and so are Stevie and Raul. Downing has an eye for the goal, and we all know about Suarez, Carroll and Kuyt.

Glen Johnson will also be a key to Kenny's plan in my opinion. He thrives in an attacking team and I still remember how absolutely outstanding he was in his first 3-4 months here, and I believe presence of Adam, and the fact that we'll have more possession of the ball than last season (IMO) will help in him getting his form of 08-09 Pompey season back. Neither Kuyt/Hendo are natural wide players who're likely to feature in a 4-2-3-1, so Glen's role becomes even more important. I don't think whoever plays LB will be as important as Glen in attack, since Downing is a natural winger and should do the job there. Of course there will be a question about where Suarez fits in the attacking 3 trio.

In the middle/right/ or left and to me, it's the most interesting dilemma for Kenny. Suarez excels roaming around, and I think front 3 interchanging will be vital for us as it brings a certain degree of uncertainty, however, I can see Downing staying wide most of the time.

Injuries permitting, I can see Suarez/Gerrard/Lucas/Pepe as certain starters for 90% of our games next season, and thankfully we're blessed with variety of offensive options for different situations. I still believe, we'll need a top class CB and a young quick poacher on the bench to be title contenders, more so than a LB...but that's a different discussion.


GK and Defense being the same, these are different varieties I can see us employing, but I believe Kenny will put a special emphasis on width, as it's been a key factor for most of title winning sides in England.

Just my observations from our signings and our first pre-season game, of course I could be wrong...but I suppose we'll know more in the next 2-3 friendlies.

Possible Offensive varieties:

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Post by Nishankly Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:45 pm

I agree, Adam makes me excited!! Very Happy

Henderson though has a lot to prove.

Btw Excellent read.
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Post by del_boy Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:11 am

Amazing read.

Looks interesting.

Will make sure to watch LFC as much as I can this coming season.
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Post by Red Alert Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:39 am

Nishank wrote:I agree, Adam makes me excited!! Very Happy

Henderson though has a lot to prove.

Btw Excellent read.

Other way around to be honest. In my opinion, anyway.

Good bump del. Great read Sepi. bounce
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Post by nj Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:17 pm

ynwa wrote:
Nishank wrote:I agree, Adam makes me excited!! Very Happy

Henderson though has a lot to prove.

Btw Excellent read.

Other way around to be honest. In my opinion, anyway


Agreed with ynwa.
Our 3 signings doenst "excite" me per say, but if had to choose the one who im the most eager to see develop here it would be Henderson.
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