the interchanging of VDV/Kranjcar

Discussion in 'Players Lounge' started by meniscus, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. meniscus Active Member

    meniscus
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    Now I know that this was due to injuries to both men (and also Lennon). But I thought that starting Niko and replacing with VDV is a nice move that I would like to see more of. (It shows that harry is not afraid to bench VDV, which also shows the rest of the team who's boss.)

    I've always believed that they are both direct replacements for one another, and I think we could benefit from this type of rotation in the future.

    - VDV is kept fresh and competitive. which is great because he usually fades quite badly after 60-70 mins.
    - Niko gets more minutes. and as a squad player you can't ask for more.
    - both are goal threats so we wouldn't be reducing our ability to score goals with either one of them.
    - Aside from VDV possibly having the odd tantrum about being subbed off, the competition for places should make them both lift their game.

    I admit though that once lennon is fit, It will be harder for niko to fit into the team. but I like the idea that no place in the starting 11 is guaranteed for any player (except king). if it was last season Harry would have started VDV...

    the result? both had excellent respective halves. Niko's work-rate has markedly improved (compared to the last few games where he looked like he couldn't give a toss. Here he was working hard, tracking back, taking up good defensive positions etc), and VDV was solid for the whole 45 he played too, if a little muted due to being situated further from goal.

    Also, I think giving GDS a run out in the last 10 when the game was wrapped up was a smart move by redknapp. let him have a taste of what he can be part of if he works hard.
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  2. BigDub Legend !

    BigDub
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    Agreed that Niko gives us a nice, different look when deployed. The one thing I will say is that if it becomes a regular thing VDV could very well get unsettled.

    The bigger point here is the versatility that our squad is acquiring. Adebayor provides it up front, Niko and Parker provide it in the midfield, and Freidel and Walker provide it at the back. It is truly a luxury and will be particularly important given the amount of fixtures we have.
  3. davids01 Well-Known Member

    davids01
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    VDV played great. Liverpool with 10 men were less likely to cause a threat down that wing so VDV came inside and played a free role. He had some quality touches. I don't think it would of been a good idea to start him cause he doesnt hold his position or give great shape. But this game was perfect and he came on and have us and extra spark. Well done Harry 10/10 for coaching.
  4. StPaulSpur Well-Known Member

    StPaulSpur
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    Well, the danger here is obviously that with the new-found flexibility we could end up alienating our role players. VDV and Defoe both need regular starts to be at their best and Niko needs regular minutes, if not outright starts. But I think with the number of games we have and the fitness issues we tend to have we should be OK. Realistically we're never going to have a moment in the season where all our players are fit. And if any manager has the man-management skills to make this thing work, it's 'Arry.

    Plus, one other point: Winning cures many ills. If we continue to bang in the goals like this and play the way we are, I think we'll find that the players are less likely to kick up a fuss about not starting every week. After all, Valencia could start for 3/4 of the clubs in the Prem but he's happy to take a squad spot with United. If you win, players will become far more adaptable. I'm still anticipating a story about Huddlestone, VDV, or Defoe grumbling about not getting enough match time at some point this season, but if we can maintain strong form and avoid dropping stupid points, I think the overall spirit around the club will be healthy enough that it won't be a MAJOR issue. (Not to sidetrack the discussion, but it'll also be interesting to see how a certain Croatian midfielder starts talking as January nears if we continue to be about level on points with our west London rivals...)
  5. StPaulSpur Well-Known Member

    StPaulSpur
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    Oh, and on the VDV/Niko interchange: I think the main point here is that there's a lot of things we can do reasonably well even if there isn't a single thing we do better than anyone else in the Prem. We can't pass teams into submission like Arsenal in the early 2000s, we can't overwhelm them with attacking options like Chelsea in CA's first year. We can't grind out wins with suffocating defense, as United tends to do. But we can win one game with superior passing, we can win another with solid defense and a 25 yard thunderbolt from Hudd, we can win another with superior wing play from Azza and Bale. That's how we'll get to 4th, we can steal a point from a tough away match with stout midfield play from Sandro and Parker, etc.. Point being, there won't be a consistent MO week in and week out with this team. The make-up of the squad doesn't allow for it. But it does allow for us to be capable of winning almost any match.

    EX: If you're a tikki-taka team like Barca or Arsenal (don't laugh at them in the same sentence, just stay w/ me), you only have one way of beating teams. Now, if you're as good at that one way as Barca it really doesn't matter that you don't do anything else b/c no one can take away the one thing that you do. But to switch to the other big tikki-taka team in Europe... if you're Arsenal, teams can take away the short passing game. Arsenal isn't so good at it that they can beat anyone and everyone with it. But that's all they do. So if you take it away from them, well, sucks to be them. (I'm beginning to suspect that Liverpool is the same way - they can beat you with Suarez making crazy runs up front latching onto passes from Adam, Downing, Kuyt, or Gerrard, take that away and they don't have anything left.)

    So one way of looking at our team's make-up is to say that whoever picked the players we've bought in the last couple years is a genius. We know that if you're going to be one-dimensional you have to be basically the best ever in that one dimension in order to consistently win. We know that with our budget in this era of football we're not going to get there. So the best alternative to that is to construct a team that can fit together, more or less, into a single squad but that is so multi-faceted they can find a way to win in almost any situation.

    This is what was lacking so much in our last two teams. Two years ago we were a 4-4-2 team with a target man and a sniper. But if you could cut off the target man, you could usually shut down our attack. Last year we were a 4-4-1-1 team that used a creative attacking mid and a target man to score goals off solid wing play. Well, cut off the wings or shut down the crossing game and problem solved. But with this year's team, we can do a lot more. Our wide play will be more potent once Azza is back b/c all four of wide players are capable of getting forward in the attack, thanks to Walker. Thanks to the additions of VDV and Adebayor, we can play 4-4-1-1 more effectively b/c Adebayor is harder to take out of a game and we can play 4-4-2 more effectively for the same reason. With the additions of Parker and Sandro, we have the midfield resources to win the scrappy games against the Wolves, Stokes, and Boltons of the world and, most important, b/c Parker and Sandro are superior attackers compared to Sarge, we can swap one of them in for Hudd and we don't lose a ton in terms of attacking ability. And besides that first 14 or so who will see regular match time (12 starters if you count VDV and Defoe + Niko and a backup CB), we also have some serviceable backups in Falque, Livermore, and Pienaar. No, they aren't guys you want starting every week if you're going for top 4, but they're fantastic guys to have in reserve just in case.

    It's not a perfect 25 man squad - I still think we're in desperate need of another CB (Samba or Cahill is the dream, but even Dann or Johnson would've been better than nothing) and a wide man/secondary striker like Gervinho, Lavezzi or Hulk - but given the state of the Prem and our constraints as a club, I think it's a well-constructed side.
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  6. MagnaThor i got theseeeee cheeessseeburgers mannn

    MagnaThor
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    Awesome post my man. I said basically the same thing in the match thread. Completely agree with every single thing you said.
  7. MagnaThor i got theseeeee cheeessseeburgers mannn

    MagnaThor
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    How so? I think a King and Dawson partnership is good enough to get us even 3rd. Also a King and Gallas one, and a Dawson and Gallas one. I don't see how Dann or Johnson would be so neccesary (let alone better) than the ones mentioned? I think King, Gallas, Dawson > Johnson and Dann. With Cahill and Samba I agree though, but it still doesn't seem like a priority to me even if King isn't fit, we'd still have Gallas with Dawson. Cahill and King would be the english CB partnership of the century! :y16:
  8. rossdfc Well-Known Member

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    Niko is playing really well on the right.....Lennon could find himself only used as an impact player this season IMO with VDV and Kranjcar fighting for the starting spot.

    Will depend on injuries etc though - one of Defoe/Ade gets injured an it'll be back to 4-4-1-1 I expect..
  9. crocop Well-Known Member

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    Sandro, Thudds, Parker.... i just want a formation where at least 2 of them can play cuz Modric is obviously seeded. I can´t believe that Thudds or Sandro will be sitting on the bench, that´s crazy
  10. rudi New Member

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    I want players on the bench wondering how they'd get into the first XI and players on the pitch figuring out how to keep them out of it.
    rudi,
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  11. base615 Well-Known Member

    base615
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    Dawson and Gallas are both crook and we're lucky that King is fit. If / when King goes down again, if the others aren't back who have we got? Kaboul and Bassong isn't the most solid CB partnership is it? Given our injury problems we need another top class CB as cover
  12. zander1983 New Member

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    harry has basically said that once sandro comes back hes going straight in beside parker and modric is going to play on the right, drifting in. theres no need for an out and out winger with walker being so attacking. lennon doesnt deserve his place back anyway after his poor performances. bale, parker, sandro and modric is an incredible midfield
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  13. BrumSpur Well-Known Member

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    What would Harry have done at half time, had Niko not been injured? After all, he was very pleased with the way things were going:

    "They couldn't live with us in that first 30 minutes," said Harry.

    "I thought we played some fantastic football. We absolutely dominated, moved the ball around quickly and got the one goal but I felt we could have been two or three goals up at that stage.

    "We moved the ball around the park, loads of movement, rotation, Niko coming off the line, Kyle Walker running in behind him - it was what we’d worked on.

    "We were giving them problems everywhere. Gareth Bale, Niko, Scott Parker and Luka were running the game in midfield and they couldn’t contain Adebayor and Defoe.


    Harry also remarked that we "dropped off a bit" during the last 15 minutes of the first half (the time during which Niko was probably not playing at full pelt, because of injury - Luka was taking the corners & also took one free kick for him).

    Had Kranjčar not felt his hamstring tightening, I wonder when (or even if) VDV would have entered the fray?

    @meniscus I fear that your suggested "interchanging" of Niko and Rafa will always favour the Dutchman, because he is the one more likely to kick up the bigger fuss and cause the most unrest, if he doesn't play. I don't think that Saturday showed that Harry wasn't afraid to bench VDV at all. The fact that it would be Rafa's first action since his injury gave Harry a justifiable reason to bench him and re-introduce him gently, thus ensuring no protest from the player.

    Obviously, I've never had the pleasure of meeting either of them, but I imagine that, personality-wise, Niko is a very different animal to Rafa. He (like Jamie Redknapp) has literally grown up surrounded by football, with a father who was a player & then, a manager. Niko is much more likely to accept the gaffer's decisions with good grace and a dignified silence. He won't go posting his discontent on Twitter or on his website (if he had one), whereas Rafa is the abrasive Dutchman, with a tendency to be highly-strung, stroppy, opinionated and outspoken.

    I just hope that Harry has the balls to keep making decisions, based on the merits of the individuals concerned and not because he doesn't want the grief that an unhappy VDV might cause.

    EDIT: You could include Lennon in this discussion too. Like Niko, he's not particularly vocal & not likely to kick up much fuss, if on the bench.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
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  14. JacoZA Well-Known Member

    JacoZA
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    Kinda makes you thankful we did end up in the Europa League. In the dream-like, Nirvana-esque coincidence that everyone is fit, we could play 4 matches in 10 days and easily pick starting 11's to suit every match without burning anyone out. If we do manage to stay in the cups, this will be great - coz that's a truckload of football to be played - even for our squad players.
  15. MagnaThor i got theseeeee cheeessseeburgers mannn

    MagnaThor
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    Yeah but how often will that happen? If we were to look at that, then we could say "what if Adebayor and Defoe are both injured, who do we have then? we need backup there too" and so on for wingers, full backs. You listed 3 players in the "what if injured" part, but that goes for every team in the world. What if City had Kompany, Toure, and Lescott injured? I think our Kaboul and Bassong would be better than their backups in Boyata and whoever else they'd put there. Kaboul and Bassong are our #4 and 5 CB's, and they're both better than or just as good as United's #3 in Evans, way better than City's 4 and 5, and on par with Arsenal if not better, and way better than Liverpool's. Chelsea is the only one who beats us to it, but I don't want to become like them and keep great players like Alex as reserves of the reserves.
  16. MagnaThor i got theseeeee cheeessseeburgers mannn

    MagnaThor
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    Thing is, why don't other yids understand this? And also, do you know how bad the injury is?
  17. Lilywhite74 Moderator

    Lilywhite74
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    Ledley made nine appearances for us last season. He basically doesn't have any cartilage in his knee and can hardly train during the week. You can't compare him to any of the other situations you described.
  18. 1van Banned !

    1van
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    Good thread, with normal talk.. i will leave it that way..

    Good luck to both of them, may they both get enough time to show what they are capable of doing..
    1van,
  19. BigDub Legend !

    BigDub
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    Kranjcar is not a replacement for Lennon, he is a different option. Each brings something completely different to the tabel and are both valuable. We don't have anyone in our squad that can bring what Lennon does to the table. His pace exceeds anyone bar Bale, who is always cemented on the left side. Thus, dropping Lennon to the bench isn't really going to be what we see. A rotation is more likely, one in which Lennon's speed is deployed when necessary and Niko's creativity is deployed when necessary.

    EDIT:: That's all without factoring in VDV to the equation on the right.
  20. crocop Well-Known Member

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    i´m not satisfied with Niko´s performances so far, he isn´t in a great form really, last year he was a lot quicker and was running more(especially for the NT), i guess he just needs a few games
  21. spursman18 Moderator

    spursman18
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    its called injuries dude, King/Gallas/Dawson over the past 12 months have missed a shit load of games.
  22. Iconic Drei I am the Drei of all the Icons

    Iconic Drei
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    And dare I say it, Gio and perhaps Pienaar.
  23. MagnaThor i got theseeeee cheeessseeburgers mannn

    MagnaThor
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    Did you see that through ball from Walker that he was able to get to first over Enrique? That blew my mind, I expected enrique to be like 5 yards ahead of Krancjar, let alone Enrique getting there first.
  24. falstaff Well-Known Member

    falstaff
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    I know people love Hudd but I think that with modric, sandro and parker in the center he falls down a bit. With our ability to find the trainers table though, he'll get plenty of starts. The guy I feel bad for is pienaar, I don't think he's not going to get much playing time at all. This is the formation I think we should go with. Bring defoe on second half to change things up, keep lennon on the bench for the same reason.

    Walker = King = Kaboul = BAE
    ======== Sandro ========
    === Modric ==== Parker ===
    VDV/Nico============ Bale
    ======= Adebayor =======

    I imagine we'll tool around with something like that.
  25. BigDub Legend !

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    ---------Freidel---------
    -Walker-King-Kaboul-BAE-
    ----Parker-------------
    ----------------Modric--
    ----------VDV----------
    -Defoe--Adebayor--Bale-

    ---------Freidel---------
    -Walker-King-Kaboul-BAE-
    -Sandro--Modric--Parker-
    -VDV----Adebayor---Bale-

    ---------Freidel---------
    -Walker-King-Kaboul-BAE-
    ---Sandro---------Parker-
    -Modric--------------Bale-
    ----------VDV----------
    --------Adebayor--------

    ---------Freidel---------
    -Walker-King-Kaboul-BAE-
    --Parker---------Modric--
    -VDV---------------Bale-
    -----Adebayor-Defoe-----

    Yes......I'm crazy.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  26. BrumSpur Well-Known Member

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    According to Niko, it's "a hamstring muscle injury" (do hamstrings have muscles??). He said it was too early to say anything definite (probably because the injury hadn't been scanned, when he spoke), but he estimates that recovery will take 10-15 days.
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  27. rudi New Member

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    Here's hoping it won't affect his blistering pace.
    rudi,
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  28. GTGio Well-Known Member

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    Its east to get caught up in who' going to play, where and when but as most agree its a bloody long season especially if we are going to mount seriou challenges in all competitions! Were always known to have a big injury list and theres around 5 players i can think of that constantly have injuries on and off so the depth we have is definatly needed and for the first time in a while i truely believe we can bloody win something!! Whilst teams like chelsea lose players to african nations and etc we will have many many options for consistency.

    I really feel the 4-2-3-1 would work wonders for us and i REALLY want to see Modric further up field with players he can work well with and can actually pass a ball to him (unlike pav lol) and his ability to create is massive and we would be fantastic with Modric/VDV/Bale behind ade and parker and Sandro deeper.
  29. Gashead_Yiddo Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I'd love to see us play this.

    Jermaine has been getting some goals though lately so it won't happen soon. I do think it's good having Defoe on though against teams we're going to be able to over run, because when given the chance he can always chip in and help put our goal difference up.

    He should definitely start against Wigan for that reason, I'd say the Arse as well but with Walcott I think we might need a bit more in the midfield to give him a good kicking, as he is their only real threat to us. RVP obviously could be a threat as well, but hopefully he'll get to spend some time with our friend Ledley and if so, job done.

    Sorry about randomly beginning to talk about the NLD already, I'm just so excited for it for some reason.
  30. meniscus Active Member

    meniscus
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    I guess the main benefit here is not trying to fit players in the team every week, but more so how we are with rotation options. I'm amazed at how much more perceived depth we now have simply by adding Parker and Adebayor. With a forward that can hold up play and play 50-100 successful passes, takes so much pressure off our midfield, and allows for so much greater movement off the ball, which is why I believe the likes of Defoe, Niko, Bale all had great games against pool.

    @ crocop, I agree that Niko hasn't hit top gear yet, but these regular minutes are going to do wonders for his confidence & fitness. once he gets a few goals too I think we'll see a different player.

    Harry is going a long way to rectify the mistakes from last year (running players into the ground and breeding complacency) by choosing to rotate the squad, and I hope he continues to do that further once more first teamers return from injury.

    we will never be 100% injury free, which is why I'm most pleased with the midfield options available to us....Now if only I could say the same thing about our CBs....

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