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Is it time to try without Pope?


philmpv

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Hear me out on this. ....

 

Pope thrives on crosses. Generally, this season, our crossing has been shocking. We also do not have out and out wingers who can beat a man and get regular quality deliveries into the box. It stands to reason therefore that we are not generally capable of playing to pope's main strength.

 

All too often pope is seen as a target to try and hit. Given his strength in the air, we therefore simply hoof the ball in his general direction hoping he can get something on it. Usually he does but we then don't collect the second ball, giving possession back.

 

In league 2, the vast majority of central defenders are big brutes who can head a ball but do little else. Pope's style of play is generally bread and butter for them.

 

We are not creating anywhere near enough quality chances. Our preferred styles seem to be lumping it to pope (the easy option) or getting the ball out wide to get a ball in when we don't have natural wide men.

 

As alternatives we have 2 pacy and pesky strikers in miller and kanu, a poor man's pope in quigley, and Louis Dodds.

 

We have been at our best this season when we have played through the middle, won the ball, and attacked with pace. We have mobile centre mids in conlon, manny, hardcastle, Worrall and hannant. We also have whitfield.

 

What we are doing largely isn't working. We need to keep the ball, and move forward with pace, and try through balls on the deck to get in behind. Pacy strikers would suit this style of play.

 

Pope isn't fit anyway, yet he is seen to be so crucial so as to be undroppable?

 

I would like us to try something different. Let's stick 3 in the centre mid, whitfield just ahead, with miller and kanu up top. Let's keep the ball from the back and on the floor.

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When your options include only Miller, Kanu and Turner, I don't blame Aspin for playing Pope just as long as he can actually stand.

 

But our biggest issue is lack of creativity and lack of any decent wide player. Even an inconsistent Jennison Myrie-Williams type would make a huge difference to our side.

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But our biggest issue is lack of creativity

 

But that's my point. By playing pope were dictating what we have to create and we don't have the players to create in this way. By playing different types of players up top, that would mean we would approach the creativity issue in a different way perhaps more suited to the types of creative players that we have

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But that's my point. By playing pope were dictating what we have to create and we don't have the players to create in this way. By playing different types of players up top, that would mean we would approach the creativity issue in a different way perhaps more suited to the types of creative players that we have

 

Yeah, I'm not disagreeing with you. If we're not going to get crosses into the box then Pope would be benched in a perfect world. We all know he can't run in behind, isn't the strongest or biggest striker and isn't a match winner in regards to making something out of nothing for himself. But Miller has scored all of one goal in a Vale shirt so far while Kanu is a kid that i likely to be nowhere near ready for League Two football every week. So where do we go?

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Popey must be one of the most, if not the most, frustrated players in the side. He's always been at his best when we have wingers like Vincent and JMW crossing the ball to him. It's his strength, defenders can't cope with it, yet we're not playing to it, even to the extent of narrowing the pitch. I don't know how Aspo will do it, because his gamble on Daniels seems to have failed, but unless we get crosses for Pope (to coin a phrase), his goal return is going to be limited. It's a mystery to me why we're not set up to do it.

 

To answer the question, it might help to rest Pope - even in the tinpot cup games - to see if we can play to a different pattern, like playing to feet. We'll see.

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so Miller ball would be a better option Howjy?

 

We won’t know til we try Phil.We need to pass more.Last Tuesday what was created by launching it 50 yards?I’ll answer for you mate.One header that went close.Time for a style change buddy.Play it to feet.

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Think we should give him a break to get properly fit.

 

Tries his heart out every game, but at present unable to do himself justice and we are not playing to his strength - crosses back stick when we can isolate the fullbacks

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Unsure on the original post , without googling I don't think he has scored since September 1st Newport?

We don't have a winger as such who can beat a man and plonk it on his head.

Today's formation does him no favours whatsoever

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We won’t know til we try Phil.We need to pass more.Last Tuesday what was created by launching it 50 yards?I’ll answer for you mate.One header that went close.Time for a style change buddy.Play it to feet.

 

Do you honestly believe we have players who can create chances and score goals ?

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I think, regardless of how our talisman plays, and though understandable as he's clearly carrying an injury, currently we have to be honest, he is by is standards playing poorly, Aspin refuses to ever drop him, as if he did, it would force him to completely rethink his tactics and I for one am afraid he doesn't possess the nous to do so!

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On more measured reflection, I would never drop him, simply change the way we utilise his strengths. Apart from scoring, he is great in the air, and great at holding the ball up, but he can only show that if he gets it into his feet which simply isn't happening.

Even if he wins an aerial duel and he flicks the ball on, which he does many times, Miller or Whitfield then has to try and win that against another 6'3" CH, which is never going to happen and the ball comes straight back at us. We can see that, NA obviously can't!

Why not let Brown throw it out to the FB's and let them bring the ball out with them, if we are to continue lumping it, instead of doing so to Popey, let them hit it long down the channels and put the full backs instead of the CH's under a bit of pressure, something both Whitfield and particularly Miller are good at, what have we to lose.

To leave him out of the team full stop is almost unthinkable, but I do kind of get the jist of the opening post, but would only work if the midfield suddenly out of nowhere, get used to playing balls in between the opposition back four, something else that simply hasn't happened thus far this season.

11 goals in twelve games, and of those, four came direct from free kicks or pens, another, a Popey header from a corner, and Legges goal at Crewe from another free kick out on the right, leaving five goals from open play which is a staggering stat.

With Manny out injured as well, I doubt if we even have a player capable of making those goal scoring opportunities, and if we do, God he's been very well hidden.

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I think, regardless of how our talisman plays, and though understandable as he's clearly carrying an injury, currently we have to be honest, he is by is standards playing poorly, Aspin refuses to ever drop him, as if he did, it would force him to completely rethink his tactics and I for one am afraid he doesn't possess the nous to do so!

Without pope or a similar style player our tactics go out of the window as we have no one else as good as him as a target man. You’re right as Aspin doesn’t have another way of playing.

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