Fan's View Fan's View 21/22 - No.14 - Plymouth at home

Wandering Yellow

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Spot on Paul, as always.
Oh to get Josh Ruffels back on loan....
Our fanbase (maybe all fanbases) like to convince ourselves our new signings are better than our old players.

I'm not convinced Thorniley is better than Atkinson
I'm not convinced Seddon is necessarily better Ruffels
I don't think we have any winger as good as Fosu
We don't have any midfielder as good as Baptiste

Whilst I think the guy is a good man-manager and motivator, to a point, I am not convinced KR is a particularly strong manager at this level tactically.

We need Kashif Siddiqi and Tsun Dai back!
 

Trevor L

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Good analysis Paul, as always.
Like you I was puzzled by the starting lineup and the absence of Gorrin Forde and Sykes. Each would to my mind have added more bite and solidity to the team. I'd also like to see more of Williams. The Whyte ahead of Kane and Cam midfield must have looked good on paper but raised eyebrows before ko and didn't look convincing when Argyle were on the charge.
 

Big Ron

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I was also somewhat surprised to see Whyte and Holland selected to start against a team that has been playing 3-5-2 all season and catching a lot of teams as we were caught. Sykes has worked hard defensively in all the games he's played, as well as being an in-form player. I could see the reasoning behind excluding Gorrin.

I also think there is some unmerited broad criticism of players who did perform well at Wednesday but didn't produce the good on Saturday. Having been praised for the Wednesday selection and tactics, Robbo also deserves to be pulled up for some of the decisions on Saturday.
 

Sheik djibouti

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Starting line up was a gamble, granted. The one player who takes the pressure off the defence a bit is Gorrin. OK, so we bench him, but to not have ANY real cover for Thorniley or Moore on the bench either (I appreciate Long would probably fill in if one of them had to come off, prob with Forde going to RB) was a mistake against a free scoring in form team. What it meant was, if Thorniley and/or Long were out of sorts, we were extremely limited in how we could change that. As it happened, neither had their best games, so it wasn't like we could bring McNally on for Thorniley and THEN Forde for Long - one of them had to stay on for the 90 (and both did in the end). So with no Gorrin to cover their blushes and buy them time against such an a dangerous attack, it did leave them more exposed than perhaps they should've been.... Couple that with Long not having the security of Forde ahead of him.......Capt Hindsight strikes again!

I don't know, maybe it's just KRs mindset that dictates we will set up to score more than the opposition, especially at home, rather than try to snuff out a potent attacking team and deal with that as the priority, knowing that we still have enough in attack to win out. I didn't think their defence was all that...we just made their job easier than it should've been.

It was almost like our early goal lulled us into a false sense of security too. As quality a ball from Henry and finish from Matty as it was, it was fairly striaghtforward football before Plymouth had really found their feet!

And the Gavin Whyte experiment isn't working thus far....unless he goes out on the right, which he did for a bit before being subbed for Sykes and he looked all the better for it. Talented player no doubt but he's not a starter at present. I'd also be pretty miffed if I was Sykes too!

The stats make for interesting reading too.

Only a 19% crossing accuracy, compared to 40% for Plymouth - that;s only 5 accurate crosses all game from us. And whilst our pass rate, pass accuracy and passing in their half were all superior, as @Paul B says, our shot accuracy was extremely poor (2 out of 14 on target , compared to 5 from 12 for Plymouth). The tinkering is starting to concern me a bit and I think it hampers our chances of building consistency and putting in team performances that are greater than the sum of our parts (which all successful teams need to do at some point!).
 

Notaswindonfan

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KR was forced by the Covid protocols to play a different team then I think he wanted to against Wednesday and reverted to his preferred players against Plymouth.
 

Big Ron

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KR was forced by the Covid protocols to play a different team then I think he wanted to against Wednesday and reverted to his preferred players against Plymouth.
I don't disagree with that, but it was how he set the team up - perhaps he's actually better off when some decisions are made for him, rather than having a free hand!!
 

Jack Midson

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I was also somewhat surprised to see Whyte and Holland selected to start against a team that has been playing 3-5-2 all season and catching a lot of teams as we were caught. Sykes has worked hard defensively in all the games he's played, as well as being an in-form player. I could see the reasoning behind excluding Gorrin.

I also think there is some unmerited broad criticism of players who did perform well at Wednesday but didn't produce the good on Saturday. Having been praised for the Wednesday selection and tactics, Robbo also deserves to be pulled up for some of the decisions on Saturday.

I completely agree. I've seen some criticism directed towards the defence but they really didn't get a fair chance as they were completely overloaded. We couldn't cope with the 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 that Plymouth fielded along with their attacking intent. When you look at the heat maps of the Plymouth players, you can see how we struggled to contain them with our set up.

Their wing backs (Edwards and Grant) were tasked with staying really wide and it was often our full backs that were trying to get out to engage them.

1634570373993.png1634570406641.png

This was where the alarm bells started to go off for me. When our full backs went out to go and meet the Plymouth wing backs, it then opened up space in the wide areas for Garrick and Jephcott to run into:

1634570593945.png1634570620095.png

The problem we then had was that one of our 2 centre backs had to go with their striker. This left us in a position where 1 full back was out the game and 1 centre back was also drawn out. Then Plymouth could turn the ball back infield for the other striker, as well as the 2 players they had constantly running from midfield (Broom and Camara):

1634570807119.png1634570846189.png

Camara was the one that actually ending up doing most the damage scoring 2, hitting the post and forcing Stevens into a very tidy save.

The other Plymouth midfielder (Houghton) was tasked with sitting in front of their back 3, who in my opinion, were definitely there to be 'got at'.

1634571286112.png

I do think our defence were onto a hiding to nothing. You can have the best defenders in the world but they can't be in two places at once. I felt we could have protected them better by pulling our wide players back to help the full backs.

That said, we did also miss chances and Plymouth were clinical, so on another day it could have ended up differently.
 
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werthersoriginal

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I completely agree. I've seen some criticism directed towards the defence but they really didn't get a fair chance as they were completely overloaded. We couldn't cope with the 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 that Plymouth fielded along with their attacking intent. When you look at the heat maps of the Plymouth players, you can see how we struggled to contain them with our set up.

Their wing backs (Edwards and Grant) were tasked with staying really wide and it was often our full backs that were trying to get out to engage them.

View attachment 7332View attachment 7333

This was where the alarm bells started to go off for me. When our full backs went out to go and meet the Plymouth wing backs, it then opened up space in the wide areas for Garrick and Jephcott to run into:

View attachment 7334View attachment 7335

The problem we then had was that one of our 2 centre backs had to go with their striker. This left us in a position where 1 full back was out the game and 1 centre back was also drawn out. Then Plymouth could turn the ball back infield for the other striker, as well as the 2 players they had constantly running from midfield (Broom and Camara):

View attachment 7336View attachment 7337

Camara was the one that actually ending up doing most the damage scoring 2, hitting the post and forcing Stevens into a very tidy save.

The other Plymouth midfielder (Houghton) was tasked with sitting in front of their back 3, who in my opinion, were definitely there to be 'got at'.

View attachment 7338

I do thing our defence were onto a hiding to nothing. You can have the best defenders in the world but they can't be in two places at once. I felt we could have protected them better by pulling our wide players back to help the full backs.

That said, we did also miss chances and Plymouth were clinical, so on another day it could have ended up differently.
That's a good analysis and describes my inarticulate impressions well. Plymouth did cause us problems as you say and we didn't have anyone on the pitch able to reorganize us on the fly. However not many teams will be able to finish so efficiently. We had plenty of chances and if one had gone in the game would have finished down at their end rather than with them scoring a third.
 

NottsYellow

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Great summary again.
Our other big weakness is the inability to win headers all over the pitch. Kane, Brannagan, Taylor, Holland none of them are taller than 5'10. So in centre of park we are simply not winning the headers.
Very rare do we get a head to a corner, if we do then we seem to head 2 feet over the bar.
Despite acknowledging the weaknesses of the team it was a good game of football, enjoyable to watch, such a game at top end of League League 1 was only a dream 13 years ago.
 

Paul B

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Great summary again.
Our other big weakness is the inability to win headers all over the pitch. Kane, Brannagan, Taylor, Holland none of them are taller than 5'10. So in centre of park we are simply not winning the headers.
Very rare do we get a head to a corner, if we do then we seem to head 2 feet over the bar.
Despite acknowledging the weaknesses of the team it was a good game of football, enjoyable to watch, such a game at top end of League League 1 was only a dream 13 years ago.
Great for the neutral and Plymouth fans. Not so great for Oxford fans. :)
 

Symp59

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I did say our players would win the game one way or another. You look back in hindsight and wonder whether Forde if picked would have helped long but when your at home you feel we should be more of an attacking formation. But the results done so let's win tomorrow πŸ‘πŸ€ž
 

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