Writer: John Kane
Date:Sunday February 13 2011
This game turned out to be a fair result as both teams had chances to score more than the one goal a piece. Both managers threw very few surprises in to the mix as tactically this was a very plain game.
Villa more definition between defence and attack. Blackpool more of a blended approach.
From a formation point of view this was 4-2-3-1 v 4-2-3-1, however, they were applied slightly differently as Gerard Houllier prefers to have his two midfielders sit deeper and hold their positions. On the other hand Ian Holloway likes a balance of defence and attack from his two with David Vaughan more likely to sit and hold. A flex in the Aston Villa side was the movement of Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor, which sometimes gave them the look of a 4-4-1-1. The latter was deployed out left, but would make runs wide and inside and Young would often move to support Darren Bent in attack. Finally, Kyle Walker was given permission to attack and he did so at speed, however, at times his runs would be on the inside and he ran in to the more congested central areas.
The first half saw both team have chances, Villa looking to counter and using Stuart Downing to great effect on the right cutting in on to his left. However, the Villa goal was a familiar sight for Blackpool fans as the Blackpool defence was caught out of position whilst the game was in transition. A good link up between Bent and Agbonlahor exploited the vacant right back area after Alex Baptiste had been high up the pitch involved in an attack.
David Vaughan found a lot of space at times, especially if Ashley Young didn't track back and as Houllier persisted with two deep midfielders Vaughan started to take control of Blackpool's passing and played some good balls in to the channels, he only misplaced 4 passes from 48. The Blackpool goal came from what is also becoming a familiar sight for both teams, a goal from a corner. According to Opta before this match Blackpool had scored the most goals from corners in the Premier League, whilst Aston Villa had conceded the most.
The second half saw both teams get in to good attacking positions, however, Blackpool were the team that retained the better possession and created the most chances. Blackpool seemed to hesitate in making decisions in the final third and often looked unsure of what to do and their shooting seemed to reflect that (the goal being the only time they hit the target). After a red card saw Jean Makoun depart Villa switch to a 4-4-1 looking to hit Blackpool on the break, but in truth, both centre back partnerships looked very solid indeed.
Grandin then out
Whilst Blackpool had Elliot Grandin on the pitch they looked more fluid going forward, this in part may have been something to do with his efficiency with the ball, misplacing only one pass before his injury. Jason Puncheon came on to play that role before Andy Reid came on and in to the role on 72 minutes. The chalkboards below show how Grandin performed in the role much better than Puncheon.
Puncheon in the midfield, before being moved wide left.
Gerard Houllier persisted in playing to holding midfielders, however, the chalkboard below showed how only one of them (Reo-Coker) was effective, leaving questions over having Jean Makoun on the field at the same time, where a more attack minded midfielder might have given Villa more options in the final third. You can see how Makoun only won 4 of his 15 duels whilst Reo-Coker won 10 of his 15.
Two holding midfielders really necessary?
All about the centre backs
After both goals were scored the game was characterised by Ian Evatt and Richard Dunne dominating the game and helping to snuff out the attacks. See their chalkboards below. Evatt lost only one duel all afternoon, whilst Dunne lost only 2 of 9 and those that he lost were outside of any danger zone.
Big strong centre backs gave the strikers little change.
The result was fair for both teams, Houllier might look at changing his approach in making one of his holding midfielders more progressive and the substitution of Michael Bradley might offer him that in the coming weeks. Ian Holloway will be happy to move on to the next game with plenty of time to train up his side and get them motivated for the Spurs game on the 22nd February.
Date:Sunday February 13 2011
Half Time: Blackpool 0-0 Bolton (Saturday November 22 2014)
Blackpool team to face Bolton (Saturday November 22 2014)
Kennedy joins Pool (Saturday November 22 2014)
Zoko out on loan (Saturday November 22 2014)
Pool welcome Nosworthy (Saturday November 22 2014)
Final Day Fixtures Set (Tuesday November 18 2014)
Seasiders sign Eagles (Tuesday November 18 2014)
On this day : 2009 (Friday October 31 2014)
Talking point: who is to blame (Friday October 31 2014)
Team news v Ipswich (Friday October 31 2014)
» Rotherham : 23/11/2014 10:09:00
|LUFC Leeds Fan View v Blackburn Rovers
» Leeds Utd : 23/11/2014 09:19:00
|LUFC Redfearn left frustrated
» Leeds Utd : 23/11/2014 09:00:00
|Reds In £10m Move For Redmond
» Norwich : 23/11/2014 08:50:00
|LUFC Redfearn - Penalty decision was a joke
» Leeds Utd : 23/11/2014 08:39:00