UK time is: 01:28:43
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

The Ideal Three Man Midfield

A review by Zonal Marking of the Manchester derby didn't do much to heighten the enjoyment of a truly awful football match, however, it did inspire this article about Blackpool's midfield. The review touched on the idea of the ideal combination of a midfield three, both examples on that night were far from ideal and were cited as being factors behind the drab stalemate. The ideal combinations offered by the article included the breakdown that a team playing three in midfield should have a ball winner, a passer and an attacking creator. Instantly the Championship midfield trio of Southern, Adam and Vaughan sprung to mind, that had everything last season; balance, grit, energy, precision, vision and creativity to name a few characteristics. This season two of that trio are still playing exceptionally, but due to injury the ball winner was unavailable and Elliot Grandin came in to become a part of the midfield. Grandin has many qualities and has excited the Blackpool fans with his performances so far. He of the three though is the one that Holloway tends to sacrifice when he feels changes are needed. Does this mean that Grandin isn't offering the midfield balance that Holloway is looking for or is his role something else entirely.

Ian Holloway appears to have set roles for each player to perform within his system and this allows him to make changes such as the 10 he made against Villa, without changing the shape or style of the team. Each of the three must have a set role, and as Holloway has openly cited Spain as an influence on how he wants his team to play then maybe he's looking for Blackpool to have their own Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta or as defined above a ball winner, a passer and an attacking creator. If this is the case how does Blackpool's midfield measure up against that ideal combination.

Last Saturday the midfield trio lined up against West Ham, in the tackle David Vaughan won all of five of his challenges, Charlie Adam won two and Grandin none. Given that Vaughan tends to sit deeper than the other two and won the most tackles then on the day he was the ball winner.

Looking at the number and accuracy of passes should give an idea of who the passer in the team is. Grandin was only on the pitch till the 59th minute so the passes were only counted till then. Vaughan completed thirty out of thirty four passes, Adam twenty five from thirty one and Grandin sixteen from twenty. Vaughan comes out on top here as the passer and looking back on previous games, he tends to rack up the most passes out of the trio in the games that have been played this season. You can see the differences in Vaughan and Grandin's pasing below. Vaughan's passes covering box to box and generally much deeper than Grandin.



Finally, who stood out as the attacking creator? This is the most obvious selection, Adam gets involved in most of the plays that Blackpool have, he is the nearest thing there is to a playmaker in the midfield. There were no goals against West Ham which would have given a better indication of the 'attacking creator' based on assists, however, when looking at the goal scoring chances from open play then Adam was involved in five chances, Vaughan five and Grandin one. This backs up the assertion that Adam makes plays, but Vaughan is his equal. Over the season though Adam has created the most goals for the Tangerines and again that should see him fit in as the playmaker and it's fair to say that Holloway does give him license to try the extra ball that carries a higher risk, such as the diagonal pass with the outside of his left foot that Campbell pounced on to score at St James'. You can see below a couple of passes that Adam has made this season to contribute to goals (Adam is circled in red).



What does this say about Blackpool's midfield or even Blackpool's tactics for that matter? Well, first and foremost it shows just how important David Vaughan is to the midfield unit. He's a true all rounder and almost the midfield lynch-pin, Adam gets the plaudits and the media glare but Vaughan is equally as important. It shows that if Holloway has an approach to his midfield three similar to that as described above then there is a lack of balance with Vaughan seemingly playing two roles and Grandin none. It could indicate that this season Holloway has moved away from a midfield three and sees his midfield as Vaughan and Adam with Grandin as a forward, a second striker perhaps filling in behind Campbell. The match against Wolves should go some way to understanding where the midfield is right now. Should Grandin drop to the bench to replaced by Southern or Sylvestre then perhaps Holloway is aiming for the ideal combination in midfield.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: John Kane Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 18 2010

Time: 3:00PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Blackpool Articles

Blackpool team to face huddersfield (Saturday October 18 2014)

In the Past: 16 October 1993 (Thursday October 16 2014)

Head to Head: Huddersfield Town (Thursday October 16 2014)

Ground Guide: Huddersfield Town (Thursday October 16 2014)

Man of the match v boro (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Blackpool Vital Social (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Full time Boro 1-1 Blackpool (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Half time: boro 1-1 Blackpool (Tuesday September 30 2014)

Archived Blackpool Articles

List All Vital Blackpool Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
18. Millwall 12 3 4 5 -3 13
19. Wigan 12 2 5 5 -2 11
20. Brighton 12 2 5 5 -3 11
21. Birmingham 12 2 5 5 -7 11
22. Fulham 12 3 1 8 -9 10
23. Bolton 12 2 2 8 -12 8
24. Blackpool 12 1 3 8 -10 6

Breaking League News

Cardiff v Forest: Match Report From Kid's Corner!
Forest : 21/10/2014 00:03:00
Watford v Forest Championship Preview
Forest : 20/10/2014 23:40:00
Toffolo Heads To Swindon
Norwich : 20/10/2014 22:14:00
Vital Preview: Cardiff v Ipswich
Cardiff : 20/10/2014 22:09:00
Johnson hoping fans remember what he did for Leeds
Leeds Utd : 20/10/2014 21:28:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Can blackpool get their first 3 points?
Suggested By:  
Yes 50%
No 50%