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1 hour ago, One American said:

Borjan

Laryea, Vitoria, Kennedy, Davies

Eustaquio, Piette, Arfield, Buchanan

David, Cavallini

- not sure what the formation actually is. You can line them up as you wish. 

I'd like to play Osorio. But a midfield with Eustaquio, Piette (or Kaye or Hutch), Arfield and Osorio is too slow.

I would want some pretty fast players on the backline to cover for VItoria. I might even put Buchanan there. 

Some comments on your selection:

- Cavallini vs Larin is going to be a real battle. I think Cav will only get better next season, especially if Vancouver brings in DP level playmaker. Larin has 8 goals in 16 games across all competitions for Besiktas. That's a pretty good return for a top club in a pretty decent league.

- In 2021 I think Buchanan may force his way into the starting 11, the same way Laryea did in 2019. Where on the field he plays remains to be seen, but with his skill and pace I can't see him missing out on too many camps. If he is not a regular starter I expect him to be a primary option off the bench.

- 2021 will also be the year of Eustaquio. He will force his way into the starting 11 very quickly. He is the deep-lying playmaker we never had, and that give us a different look. I think he will play as the single pivot, with 2 center midfielders ahead of him. If everyone is available and healthy, I think it would be Hutchinson and Arfield, but Osorio, Kaye and even Piette could fill into those spots in front of him.

- Kennedy is a big question mark, but I am encouraged that he is a fast player. That could really help cover gaps left open by Davies if he is caught up the field. In general we could use more speed in the back, so I approve, despite not really knowing how he'll translate. Sure he is playing here and there in the 2.Bundesliga, which is a decent level, but I would feel more assured about him if he was a starter and his club was pushing for promotion. 

 

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Morgan's a humble pro who made the most of his talent. He was always proud to wear the Maple Leaf, too.

My 11...                   Borat  LarryEh                           Addagedude          CornonCob Victoria          Pistachio           Kanye                   Ontario Da

The question isn’t whether not not he can make Davies at LB.  That is a non issue.  The issue is whether not we are stronger as a team with him at LB or at LW, and that debate isn’t settled or nearly

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I don't know who has boosted their stock because like I said I have not been watching soccer at all in general or even Canadian soccer to even make a fair assessment. However, what I will say is this...when it comes to Alphonso Davies they need to move him back into his natural position especially when he plays for Canada. Yeah on Bayern...he's one of the best defenders in the world but in CONCACAF he is a terror and why because offensively if he plays in his natural position in the midfield on the wing, he is damn threatening.

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My 11 as of today:

--------------Borjan-----------

Buchanan--Vitoria--Miller--Laryea

-------------Eustaquio------------

Larin-Hutchinson-Arfield-Davies

---------------David--------------

*Larin can push forward and form a partnership with David. He's been playing wide for Besiktas and from the highlights his confidence with the ball out on the touchline seems to be growing. Familiarity with Hucthinson is also a plus.

*David has been leading the line in Ligue 1, and although we had hoped for more goal involvements the bright side is that he's been forced to be efficient with his back to goal. That can only be good for us. I imagine some interchange with him and Larin here, letting David find some pockets that he normally wouldn't be allowed to do in France. Furthermore, he has never really disappointed when leading the line for Canada, so he's my choice.

*Davies needs to be upfront, pretty straightforward.

*Hutchinson and Arfield pick themselves.

*So does Eustaquio. I like him as a single pivot. I like how he drops deep and picks passes. Hutchinson does this too, but I think Eustaquio is a little more creative with this, and his long passing is better, plus Hutchinson has been great for Besiktas further forward.

*Backline and keeper is definitely up for debate. I usually go with Cornelius as the left center back, but I was re-watching the first half of the Haiti game on YouTube (cannot stomach the second half) and perhaps I have been too complementary of Cornelius. I like his confidence to play out of the back, but he has a tendency to miss the target a little too much, so I am willing to give Miller a chance here. He doesn't make too many mistakes and he's recently gained some valuable playoff experience with Orlando. Ditto for Buchanan at New England. I am not sold on the idea of him as a right back, but I wasn't sold on Davies as a defender either. He has the tools and he can learn the defensive awareness, plus with Larin ahead of him and potentially drifting inside there'd be a lot of space he can exploit. We have so much attacking talent that I am willing to have him "play out of position". Finally, we come to Laryea and Vitoria. All I will say is that Laryea is the best fullback in the pool and can play on the left, so might as well play him there. Him and Davies can interchange if needed. Vitoria I trust more than Henry, who is high risk high reward. Borjan is still the best keeper we have, for now.

Edited by Obinna
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Has anyone considered Hoilett in the 10 role? He's got that water bug profile and a howitzer that would make him a terror around the edge of the box. This would be obviously to allow Phonzie to play out left in a forward position which is where I'm sure he'll end up anyways 

         Cavallini 

Davies  Hoilett David

             Arfield

           Eustaquio 

Edited by SpursFlu
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3 hours ago, SpursFlu said:

Has anyone considered Hoilett in the 10 role? He's got that water bug profile and a howitzer that would make him a terror around the edge of the box. This would be obviously to allow Phonzie to play out left in a forward position which is where I'm sure he'll end up anyways 

         Cavallini 

Davies  Hoilett David

             Arfield

           Eustaquio 

I have been of the opinion for a while that Hoilett can and probably should evolve into a no. 10. He has the intelligence, ball control and vision that can make him effective in that role. Plus he can shoot from distance, so if he can find those pockets in front of the backline, he could unleash. He already drifts inside as it is, so I see it as a natural progression for him. 

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4 hours ago, Obinna said:

My 11 as of today:

--------------Borjan-----------

Buchanan--Vitoria--Miller--Laryea

-------------Eustaquio------------

Larin-Hutchinson-Arfield-Davies

---------------David--------------

*Larin can push forward and form a partnership with David. He's been playing wide for Besiktas and from the highlights his confidence with the ball out on the touchline seems to be growing. Familiarity with Hucthinson is also a plus.

*David has been leading the line in Ligue 1, and although we had hoped for more goal involvements the bright side is that he's been forced to be efficient with his back to goal. That can only be good for us. I imagine some interchange with him and Larin here, letting David find some pockets that he normally wouldn't be allowed to do in France. Furthermore, he has never really disappointed when leading the line for Canada, so he's my choice.

*Davies needs to be upfront, pretty straightforward.

*Hutchinson and Arfield pick themselves.

*So does Eustaquio. I like him as a single pivot. I like how he drops deep and picks passes. Hutchinson does this too, but I think Eustaquio is a little more creative with this, and his long passing is better, plus Hutchinson has been great for Besiktas further forward.

*Backline and keeper is definitely up for debate. I usually go with Cornelius as the left center back, but I was re-watching the first half of the Haiti game on YouTube (cannot stomach the second half) and perhaps I have been too complementary of Cornelius. I like his confidence to play out of the back, but he has a tendency to miss the target a little too much, so I am willing to give Miller a chance here. He doesn't make too many mistakes and he's recently gained some valuable playoff experience with Orlando. Ditto for Buchanan at New England. I am not sold on the idea of him as a right back, but I wasn't sold on Davies as a defender either. He has the tools and he can learn the defensive awareness, plus with Larin ahead of him and potentially drifting inside there'd be a lot of space he can exploit. We have so much attacking talent that I am willing to have him "play out of position". Finally, we come to Laryea and Vitoria. All I will say is that Laryea is the best fullback in the pool and can play on the left, so might as well play him there. Him and Davies can interchange if needed. Vitoria I trust more than Henry, who is high risk high reward. Borjan is still the best keeper we have, for now.

I usually agree with you but I think you are off on this 11. If we play Davies at the wing it should be as an inverted right winger. This 11 has 4 guys playing out of position, Larin is playing as an inverted left winger from what I have seen. Buchanan played what two games as a right back? I would wait til he gets more experience at the position before I start him there. Richie can play left back but hes better as a right back (hell he played left wing for tfc for a couple of games and looked good there. You could have Richie at LW and Davies overlapping on the left to me that makes more sense than vice versa. 

With the 11 you picked the formation should probably look like;

borjan

Richie-vitoria-miller-Davies

arfield-eustaquio-hutch

buchanan-david-larin 

 

I personally think we should go with a 3-5-2 

borjan

henry-vitoria-miller

richie-arfield-eustaquio-hutch-davies

david-larin

I honestly dont believe our CB options are that bad but having three would make me feel a lot more secure. Miller I would assume will be starting for Montreal then Vitoria starts in one of the top 7/8 leagues in the world and Henry is a regular in a solid league. James and Kennedy are knocking on the door. 

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                        Borjan

Buchanan   Vitoria   Miller   Laryea

             Eustaquio    Arfield 

        Hoilett     David     Davies

                      Cavallini

In my opinion, this lineup puts our best fullbacks and wingers on the field and gives us awesome firepower. Larin is currently playing very well, but I really like Cavallini.

Edited by Grandbloke
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2 hours ago, Mikmacdo said:

I usually agree with you but I think you are off on this 11. If we play Davies at the wing it should be as an inverted right winger. This 11 has 4 guys playing out of position, Larin is playing as an inverted left winger from what I have seen. Buchanan played what two games as a right back? I would wait til he gets more experience at the position before I start him there. Richie can play left back but hes better as a right back (hell he played left wing for tfc for a couple of games and looked good there. You could have Richie at LW and Davies overlapping on the left to me that makes more sense than vice versa. 

With the 11 you picked the formation should probably look like;

borjan

Richie-vitoria-miller-Davies

arfield-eustaquio-hutch

buchanan-david-larin 

 

I personally think we should go with a 3-5-2 

borjan

henry-vitoria-miller

richie-arfield-eustaquio-hutch-davies

david-larin

I honestly dont believe our CB options are that bad but having three would make me feel a lot more secure. Miller I would assume will be starting for Montreal then Vitoria starts in one of the top 7/8 leagues in the world and Henry is a regular in a solid league. James and Kennedy are knocking on the door. 

For sure I went a little unconventional this time around, and fair point on the 4 guys out of position, but a few notes on that:

- I noticed Larin was lined up on the right today. He is usually inverted on the left, so you are correct on that, and I never actually saw the match, but if that was accurate it could be an interesting look. He played on the right against Mexico, with mixed results, and I would assume he is more comfortable on the wing now as opposed to back then. All of that said, I am not opposed to him and Davies switching wings.

- Laryea for me should be on the left and I stick by that. Not a deal breaker, as you could make a fair argument he is a better right back, but the few games I saw him on the left for TFC I thought he was outstanding. At the very least I don't think there's a big drop off if you play him on the left. Most importantly, I think an out-of-position Laryea on the left is better than Adekugbe, who is our next best option (assuming Davies is up front, of course). In fact, I think Brault-Guillard, Johnston, and Buchanan (who I will get to in a moment) are all more interesting than Adekugbe. I like Adekugbe, he is a serviceable player, and if he is in better form than those 3 other right backs then get him in there and shift Laryea to his more natural right back spot, that's perfectly fine with me. It's just that I see those other guys keeping up with the play at the international level better than Adekudgbe, so I still have question marks with Sam. Despite being a regular for a decent Valerenga, he always seems to be a 6/10 for us. Never terrible, but never overly impressive. I honestly think we can get more out of our fullbacks. Maybe I have some MLS bias as well, but the level is slightly higher than Norway, let's keep in mind. How Adekugbe does in Europa league would answer my questions of him. Let's hope they get into the tournament proper.

- Buchanan is a guy I was resistant to putting at fullback because it felt premature, so I see where you are coming from. Maybe it is premature. However, it's really hard to overlook his ability going forward and attacking from deep. It really is an exciting proposition. He was listed as a FB for January camp too, so maybe Herdman feels the same way, or perhaps I am looking to much into that. Either way, the idea of him attacking from deep on the right and Laryea (or Davies) doing the same on the left makes us really dangerous and I think it is worth playing him out of position for. It's kinda like when Mark Anthony Kaye was our best left back option, even though he was a midfielder. That's what I feel Buchanan could be, though it remains to be seen. Maybe that's where he'll have to play to earn a starting position when everyone is available. Our 11 is pretty strong now and you gotta take what you can get if you're Buchanan. I am sure he won't mind playing out of position if it means he actually plays.

 

Edited by Obinna
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51 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I noticed Larin was lined up on the right today. He is usually inverted on the left, so you are correct on that, and I never actually saw the match, but if that was accurate it could be an interesting look. He played on the right against Mexico, with mixed results, and I would assume he is more comfortable on the wing now as opposed to back then. All of that said, I am not opposed to him and Davies switching wings.

This is correct. He was on the right today for the first 62 min but after Yalcin was subbed out Larin moved to the middle and played as the forward. When he was out wide he was much more involved with the play and had a lot more touches. He was not as involved in the last half hour. I wonder if that could be a part of the reason why he’s had some success this year playing on the wing. Perhaps he loses his focus when he’s alone up top and seeing less of the ball.

Also noticed today that he was not drifting into the middle as much as the previous games I’ve seen. Not sure if that was because he was on the right side or if it’s due to the striker he was playing with. When I’ve seen him on the left it was with Aboubakar up top and Larin would regularly drift into the box behind him. Today he was mostly moving into the middle when Yalcin was going wide. I’d imagine that’s how he would play if we had him on the wing and David in the middle for the CMNT.

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Sportsnet's Peter Galindo looked at various men and women Euro players to see if their national team stock had risen.

Galindo belives the stock of Eustaquio & Larin are up the most. Can't say Hutch's stock is up but for those who had crossed him off, it was too early. 

Players who have made some strides but need to step up or tidy up various parts of their game include James, Ongaro, Millar, Kennedy, Okello & Elva.

Players who are looking promising are Corbeanu & Halbouni. Hoilett has basically maintained his form. 

 

Edited by red card
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On 12/29/2020 at 8:33 PM, One American said:

Since I'm having this discussion on BigSoccer, are there any real #9 forwards who are about the same age or younger than Akinola? Guys who have a chance to be better? David, obviously, but David can play a more withdrawn role. 

 

The sense I have is that most of the best young Canadian talent is midfield, wing, and goalkeeper.

 

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On 1/3/2021 at 5:16 PM, SpursFlu said:

Has anyone considered Hoilett in the 10 role? He's got that water bug profile and a howitzer that would make him a terror around the edge of the box. This would be obviously to allow Phonzie to play out left in a forward position which is where I'm sure he'll end up anyways 

         Cavallini 

Davies  Hoilett David

             Arfield

           Eustaquio 

Hoilett is definitely capable and he has the experience so you gotta give it to him on that

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On 1/3/2021 at 10:38 PM, Grandbloke said:

                        Borjan

Buchanan   Vitoria   Miller   Laryea

             Eustaquio    Arfield 

        Hoilett     David     Davies

                      Cavallini

In my opinion, this lineup puts our best fullbacks and wingers on the field and gives us awesome firepower. Larin is currently playing very well, but I really like Cavallini.

This is a reeeaaaall classy and exciting  11. 

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9 minutes ago, grigorio said:

This is a reeeaaaall classy and exciting  11. 

Then I wonder about names like Piette? Larin? Tabla? I could go on and on...well because I've been gone a very long time. So I haven't really kept up with said developments because like I said it's been a very long while. But if those names are still there within the team or the program itself, they can easily come off the bench at least. Either way Canada's 23 man squad would look pretty formidable not just starting 11 but bench wise as well.

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On 1/3/2021 at 10:38 PM, Grandbloke said:

                        Borjan

ZBG(Buchanan)   Vitoria   Miller  Laryea

             Eustaquio    Arfield 

        Hoilett     David     Davies

                        Larin(Cavallini)

In my opinion, this lineup puts our best fullbacks and wingers on the field and gives us awesome firepower. Larin is currently playing very well, but I really like Cavallini.

Swap Cavallini for Larin, and ZBG for Buchanan and it’s complete for me. 

ZBG is better defensively, and has “more” experience at the position. I need to see more of Tajon defensively before I throw him in against Concacaf opposition. 

Cavallini seems like he’s lost some mobility, and having those three guys behind him running past him or not able to keep the line high enough will be an issue - as speed isn’t one of his attributes. Larin also makes that front four more fluid and versatile as players could drift in and out of position (I.e Larin could go out wide, Hoilett could come inside, push David high). Nevertheless Lucas would be my first sub, if we are chasing a game and Larin hasn’t contributed.

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30 minutes ago, TGAA_Star said:

Then I wonder about names like Piette? Larin? Tabla? I could go on and on...well because I've been gone a very long time. So I haven't really kept up with said developments because like I said it's been a very long while. But if those names are still there within the team or the program itself, they can easily come off the bench at least. Either way Canada's 23 man squad would look pretty formidable not just starting 11 but bench wise as well.

Yeah that's right. Starting caliber players are now being forced down to the bench, which is obviously a boost to our depth. 

Things will get even more interesting if and when Tabla can sort himself out.

He had a disappointing 1 goal in his 7 games for the Impact in 2020, but it was an abbreviated season and he missed some time with injury. The way it ended with Henry dropping him all together was not encouraging, but Montreal protecting him in the expansion draft was. Those are mixed signals that make it hard to tell where he stands right now with his club. On the national team front, you have to assume Nelsen, who is 3 years younger, is ahead of him now, and so to is Buchanan if he's playing as a winger/forward.

All that being said, all it takes is a strong 2021 to see him back in the picture, and that would strengthen the attacking depth even further. 

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40 minutes ago, Shway said:

Swap Cavallini for Larin, and ZBG for Buchanan and it’s complete for me. 

ZBG is better defensively, and has “more” experience at the position. I need to see more of Tajon defensively before I throw him in against Concacaf opposition. 

Cavallini seems like he’s lost some mobility, and having those three guys behind him running past him or not able to keep the line high enough will be an issue - as speed isn’t one of his attributes. Larin also makes that front four more fluid and versatile as players could drift in and out of position (I.e Larin could go out wide, Hoilett could come inside, push David high). Nevertheless Lucas would be my first sub, if we are chasing a game and Larin hasn’t contributed.

I agree with ZBG over Buchanan for now at least. I'm kind of conflicted between Larin and Cavallini. Larin is having the much better club season, however Cavallini had no support on a horrible team. He has also outperformed Larin for the national team. Hopefully they can both get a shot to see who is currently a better fit.

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1 hour ago, Shway said:

Swap Cavallini for Larin, and ZBG for Buchanan and it’s complete for me. 

ZBG is better defensively, and has “more” experience at the position. I need to see more of Tajon defensively before I throw him in against Concacaf opposition. 

Cavallini seems like he’s lost some mobility, and having those three guys behind him running past him or not able to keep the line high enough will be an issue - as speed isn’t one of his attributes. Larin also makes that front four more fluid and versatile as players could drift in and out of position (I.e Larin could go out wide, Hoilett could come inside, push David high). Nevertheless Lucas would be my first sub, if we are chasing a game and Larin hasn’t contributed.

Zbg doesn't impress me when I watch him. I was more impressed with Johnston this year. 

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55 minutes ago, SpursFlu said:

I'm not against moving players around to get the best players on the field but considering defense is our weakness, I would like to avoid moving offensive players to fullback positions 

Fullbacks need to be able to defend, that much is obvious and we'd all agree. The thing though is that turnovers occur when players cannot play in the rhythm of the team. Being an attacking player doesn't necessarily guarantee they can, but chances are they'll fare better.

The value of moving attackers backward is not limited to attacking, it can improve the overall team function in possession, which helps the team avoid turnovers that put our defense under pressure. 

56 minutes ago, Mikmacdo said:

Zbg doesn't impress me when I watch him. I was more impressed with Johnston this year. 

I think if you stick ZBG in the Nashville line up he does equally well.

He has been encouraged by Henry to attack and take risks, primarily from a wing back role, and mistakes were made, but that comes with the territory and how he's been asked to play. I would like to see some stats on his turnovers under Garde versus Henry, because in 2019 he was almost flawless with his decision making. By contrast he was a turn over machine in 2020, but he also won praise and got noticed for his contribution to the attack. Montreal in general were more prone to turnovers than Toronto or New England or Nashville, so that must be considered too.

I just wanted to provide some context to your comment.

I think where Brault-Guillard can improve is his one-on-one defending. Based on what I see that is the only area Johnston has demonstrated a clear advantage, in my opinion. I suspect ZBG would be more conservative at Nashville, and who knows perhaps we'd see more attacking qualities from Johnston if he were in Montreal. 

Edited by Obinna
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