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How can we score more goals?

Really good progress to keep a clean sheet against a top team in Brentford, our second of the season. Good run in the last five games and we are defending better. Now, how can we score more goals and go on to win more games?

We are playing a back four plus two defensive midfielders so 7 defensive players with Rocky. That leaves 4 attacking midfielders/strikers to create and score goals. How do you do that? Several options:

  1. Hit teams on the break with pace. We’ve seen it done against us this year but can we do it ourselves? Maybe Scotty can, Bayo not, Alex not sure.

  2. Hold up play up top until more midfielders can join the attack. Probably our best tactic with Bayo.

  3. Bring overlapping defenders up to launch the attack and create an overload on one side...Jack Grimmer/Joe not sure? McCarthy definitely.

  4. Long ball and try for a flick on. We do a lot of this but against a well organized back four you won’t create many chances as you almost certainly need a defensive mistake or world class finishing from a half or quarter chance.

Thoughts welcome.

Comments

  • I would imagine the plan is to stay tight at the back and get our goals from set pieces and counter attacking. I wouldn't mess with our current defensive shape.
    Being able to hold the ball higher up the pitch is vital. Bayo was well marshalled yesterday and won less than his normal share
    For me getting Horgan on the ball more often is a key thing. He can hold on to the ball to allow others to get up the pitch but also create and take chances himself. Not sure where his best position is and how to get him more involved.

  • We've scored about half as many goals as expected so far, which is down to a combination of good goalkeeping, bad finishing (although I don't think there have been any sitters bar Horgan and Charles v Rotherham and Bayo v Watford) and a touch of bad luck. We created plenty against Rotherham, Millwall, Watford and Birmingham, so we can do it - with and without Bayo. This whole season is going to be a work in progress, but we'll figure it out.

    Horgan will be key - he's an excellent crosser, but I wonder if we'd benefit from playing him centrally and going through him when we're without Bayo. He will drift inside anyway, but I definitely think he could play as a pure 10 - he's that good in possession and has a great final ball. And then you never know how quickly Mehmeti is going to come on - I expect that will be his role in time.

  • I really feel like we need to get Fred firing a bit better. Has he been at his best apart from the Birmingham game?

  • No, which has been incredibly frustrating

  • He might get a chance on Tuesday depending on how serious Kashket’s injury is. I’d like to see him in the middle with Bayo.

  • I don't think Fred's energetic enough to play that role - Horgan maybe

  • He couldn’t do exactly the same job as Scott, but given we tend to plan specifically for each game he may not have to.

  • I mentioned this yesterday but I don't think enough credit has gone to the management team for changing the whole formation. Gone is the 433 that saw us lose so many on the trot, replaced with a 442 that keeps us tighter and gives us good counter attacking potential.

    I think perhaps some people are crediting our better form with the return of Bayo but really, I think he's just played a part in it (and as yesterday showed, not necessarily a vital part).

    I'd characterise the latest iteration of Wycombeball as a 442 long-ball, counter-attacking style where the wingers take on the biggest burden. Wheeler and Horgan yesterday were the key players - providing defensive cover for the full-backs when Brentford used the wings, coming in tight to centre to support the middle two when Brentford went down the spine, and providing the creative fulcrum when we went on the counter attack. They performed a superhuman job but also a humble one - it's no coincidence that JJ and Grimmer both had great games when they had more support and the license to roam as a result. It also allows Knight to play the ball out of defence more, knowing that Gape will drop back and one of the wingers will cover for him in the centre.

    To prevent the wingers being run totally ragged we're now doubling down on the long ball out to the strikers. I guess the aim is to get it to Bayo who'll then release Kashket but because so many were overhit by Allsop yesterday most just went straight to Kashket to chase.

    It's a great system that works well (though I wonder whether Stockdale could provide more accurate kicking when fit). It also explains why Gareth signed McCleary when we thought we were doing well for wide forwards - we now have four Championship quality wingers in Wheeler, Horgan, Fred and McCleary from which to rotate.

    To me the biggest question is what happens to the Bayo role when he's not available. I don't think Samuel suits this new style - no longer are we looking for a centre forward to hold up the ball and lay it off to a wide forward, now it has to be someone who can flick it on to a fast man centrally. I think this is why Wheeler was tried there recently, as king of the flick-ons, but it didn't really work. @chairboyscentral is right, I think Horgan should be tried there next. I suspect Fred is seen as a possible replacement for Kashket as the speedy jack-in-the-box should Scotty succumb to injury again.

  • It should be Wheeler if Bayo's not available. It didn't work against Forest but did against Norwich - and with Ikpeazu out he's the only alternative if you want to play that way.

  • I thought Allsop had another very good game yesterday but it was frustrating to see him over hit balls to Bayo time and time again. Such is Kashket's turn of speed he will score a few from that set up if kicks are weighted better.

  • @Right_in_the_Middle said:
    I would imagine the plan is to stay tight at the back and get our goals from set pieces and counter attacking. I wouldn't mess with our current defensive shape.
    Being able to hold the ball higher up the pitch is vital. Bayo was well marshalled yesterday and won less than his normal share
    For me getting Horgan on the ball more often is a key thing. He can hold on to the ball to allow others to get up the pitch but also create and take chances himself. Not sure where his best position is and how to get him more involved.

    A couple of good thoughts there. Set pieces are going to be important this season (every season?). And Horgan looks like he could be our most skillful player, can we get him on the ball in dangerous positions...number 10 role?

    I personally don’t think we will score many with the simple long ball and flick on this season. The Championship defenses and keepers are too good.

    Playing two wingers works if you have someone in the box to head the goals in. We don’t have (ex-QPR) Matt Smith up top and I don’t think Scotty will win many headers so Bayo or Ikpeazu’s role is important.

  • @MindlessDrugHoover said:
    I thought Allsop had another very good game yesterday but it was frustrating to see him over hit balls to Bayo time and time again. Such is Kashket's turn of speed he will score a few from that set up if kicks are weighted better.

    It is annoying, especially as many have noted he not only goes to the extremity of his box - but beyond.

    Step back a yard or two - or you'd hope by 60mins into a game he could judge it a bit better.
    Otherwise we simply waste the previous work of getting the ball back.

  • I'm a day late to your post @aloysius but it was really superb. Lots of intricacies I'd missed.

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