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Alistair Johnston


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There is actually a case, related to how folks are discussing the back line, for putting Miller in as our DM. 

I think he'd transition into the role well, then we could put some more classic CBs in back there, like Cornelius and Bombito. It would not be bad to have an alternative to Piette, and someone a bit taller who could fall in between the CBs for the buildup, which is common on a backline 4 with the FBs pushed up higher.

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8 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

There is actually a case, related to how folks are discussing the back line, for putting Miller in as our DM. 

I think he'd transition into the role well, then we could put some more classic CBs in back there, like Cornelius and Bombito. It would not be bad to have an alternative to Piette, and someone a bit taller who could fall in between the CBs for the buildup, which is common on a backline 4 with the FBs pushed up higher.

That's why herdman tested bombito at CDM. If/when JKL, LDF and Stefanovic become CMNT regulars and (hopefully) bombito has moved to europe, we will have a logjam of topish CB's. 

I think it makes more sense to move bombito or LDF to CDM than miller. I don't think miller sees the game very well unless its in front of him like at CB. He's not the most mobile. He lets runner's go on occasion. He isnt that technical. I'm just unsure what he brings to CDM that piette doesnt and if he isnt better or offer a unique ability compared to a bench CDM, what does he offer. 

Long term:

Davies/ali?/LDF/adekugbe, Stefanovic/miller/cornelius JKL/Bombito/LDF Johnston/Laryea/LDF
 

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12 minutes ago, narduch said:

He's only playing 3rd tier in France right now, but I believe Justin Smith is being used as a midfielder.

This article about how he spends Christmas in Montreal and how different it is to France mentions him as a midfielder + defender (CB?). The few Avranche games I watched towards the beginning of the year he was a CB, but he may have moved up.

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7 minutes ago, InglewoodJack said:

This article about how he spends Christmas in Montreal and how different it is to France mentions him as a midfielder + defender (CB?). The few Avranche games I watched towards the beginning of the year he was a CB, but he may have moved up.

I'm just basing this on how the line ups are presented on Fotmob 

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10 hours ago, narduch said:

Nevermind. Sofascore seems to contradict this. They show him as a CB last 5 games

No I have watched a couple of his games this year. He has been playing in a back 4, as a RCB. He is definitely not playing as a midfielder

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On 4/15/2024 at 6:34 AM, Unnamed Trialist said:

There is actually a case, related to how folks are discussing the back line, for putting Miller in as our DM. 

I think he'd transition into the role well, then we could put some more classic CBs in back there, like Cornelius and Bombito. It would not be bad to have an alternative to Piette, and someone a bit taller who could fall in between the CBs for the buildup, which is common on a backline 4 with the FBs pushed up higher.

I'm not sure he has the tight possession skillset needed for the position, unless he gets regular tutoring from someone like Patrice Bernier, who excelled at this at the end of his career in Montreal.  As @Bigandyalludes, the game is coming at you at 360⁰ from that spot and he is used only to seeing the game in front of him in the back line.  You could even see that with Bombito at the Gold Cup.  It takes regular reps to get that feel for the position.

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5 minutes ago, BearcatSA said:

I'm not sure he has the tight possession skillset needed for the position, unless he gets regular tutoring from someone like Patrice Bernier, who excelled at this at the end of his career in Montreal.  As @Bigandyalludes, the game is coming at you at 360⁰ from that spot and he is used only to seeing the game in front of him in the back line.  You could even see that with Bombito at the Gold Cup.  It takes regular reps to get that feel for the position.

Well the man for it would be Kone, but he's not being groomed for DM either. Just saying that physically he is right, and he'd have range, and maybe we don't need him to be an AM after all. 

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14 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Well the man for it would be Kone, but he's not being groomed for DM either. Just saying that physically he is right, and he'd have range, and maybe we don't need him to be an AM after all. 

He is still learning the situational awareness of playing defensively away from the ball in his regular spot.  Maybe he's our Yaya Touré eventually.

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21 minutes ago, BearcatSA said:

He is still learning the situational awareness of playing defensively away from the ball in his regular spot.  Maybe he's our Yaya Touré eventually.

If Kone makes a move to a place where coaching tailors him for playing DM, then great. But it'd have to be on a bigger club than where he is, or with more solid coaching models.

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The issue with all these hypotheticals is that guys like laryea, choiniere and kone are incredibly mobile (not just recovery speed). We would have to shackle them quite heavily to turn them into proper DM's and that feels like a waste. 

Non CDM's who fit the profile are bombito, maybe AJ, Maybe LDF? Maybe waterman or miller but I've already talked about my skepticism that those guys can handle the 360 of midfield, some unproven youngsters (zouhir, saliba priso?)

At this point, I think our best option is no pure CDM. 

Next, we try to force bombito into CDM but then we miss out on potentially our best RCB and hes not ready for the big leagues at CDM. 

Then the best option for squad balance is to see how LDF is at CDM. I believe hes played there before? He may not be big enough for CDM currently but hes clearly a talented guy. 

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2 hours ago, Bigandy said:

The issue with all these hypotheticals is that guys like laryea, choiniere and kone are incredibly mobile (not just recovery speed). We would have to shackle them quite heavily to turn them into proper DM's and that feels like a waste. 

I would disagree here.  Kante as I mentioned, Gattusso, Davids - these are DMs that made the position their own precisely because of mobility despite not having the Makelele, Viera etc. body type.  You can tackle really well with a low centre of gravity for instance.

2 hours ago, Bigandy said:

Then the best option for squad balance is to see how LDF is at CDM. I believe hes played there before? He may not be big enough for CDM currently but hes clearly a talented guy. 

I thought it was mostly fullback early on for him.  (The Fulham OS lists him as such, while still referencing the 21/22 season)

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1 hour ago, WestHamCanadianinOxford said:

I would disagree here.  Kante as I mentioned, Gattusso, Davids - these are DMs that made the position their own precisely because of mobility despite not having the Makelele, Viera etc. body type.  You can tackle really well with a low centre of gravity for instance.

I thought it was mostly fullback early on for him.  (The Fulham OS lists him as such, while still referencing the 21/22 season)

The Dm's you mentioned were mobile defensively. Kante transitioned into more of a box to box with chelsea. But davids and gattusso hardly ever were mobile in the attacking 3rd. They were great and chasing guys down defensively. Guys like kone, laryea and choiniere could all potentially do a similar job, but do we want them to? Don't we want kone to get into the attacking 3rd? Isnt choinieres best attribute his all action play/running? Laryea progresses the ball so well through his dribbling and getting behind the opposition fullback. We would sacrifice so many of their best attributes if we shackle them into a pure DM role and not as a box to box. 

for sure he played LB but I think he has also played a bit of youth as a CM. Not sure how much or if thats accurate...? 

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5 minutes ago, Bigandy said:

The Dm's you mentioned were mobile defensively. Kante transitioned into more of a box to box with chelsea. But davids and gattusso hardly ever were mobile in the attacking 3rd. They were great and chasing guys down defensively. Guys like kone, laryea and choiniere could all potentially do a similar job, but do we want them to? Don't we want kone to get into the attacking 3rd? Isnt choinieres best attribute his all action play/running? Laryea progresses the ball so well through his dribbling and getting behind the opposition fullback. We would sacrifice so many of their best attributes if we shackle them into a pure DM role and not as a box to box. 

for sure he played LB but I think he has also played a bit of youth as a CM. Not sure how much or if thats accurate...? 

I think we have enough offensive weapons, someone like Laryea is probably behind one or two players in any offensive wide position.  You aren't wasting anything if he is not playing otherwise.

Eustaquio still at this point adds more up the pitch than Kone for me.  If we have a solid midfield, to give him and the team as a whole  some protection, I would sacrifice some of Kone's offense.  (Lots of good DMs who still move with ball and score from distance.  See what Rice added to this game the last couple years.)

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2 hours ago, WestHamCanadianinOxford said:

I think we have enough offensive weapons, someone like Laryea is probably behind one or two players in any offensive wide position.  You aren't wasting anything if he is not playing otherwise.

Eustaquio still at this point adds more up the pitch than Kone for me.  If we have a solid midfield, to give him and the team as a whole  some protection, I would sacrifice some of Kone's offense.  (Lots of good DMs who still move with ball and score from distance.  See what Rice added to this game the last couple years.)

100% with you on laryea. Laryea at DM is theoretically better than on the bench. I actually would love to see how laryea in cm would do. 

I agree that staq adds more but only as a box to box, not a cam. However i think staq is also a better DM than kone. IMO the team is better with kone more attacking than staq....even tho Ive been annoyingly talking about getting staq higher up the pitch for tons of posts. 

Rice is fantastic but I worry kone doesnt have enough discipline. I wouldnt trust him to anchor the DM role yet. 

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1 hour ago, Bigandy said:

100% with you on laryea. Laryea at DM is theoretically better than on the bench. I actually would love to see how laryea in cm would do. 

I agree that staq adds more but only as a box to box, not a cam. However i think staq is also a better DM than kone. IMO the team is better with kone more attacking than staq....even tho Ive been annoyingly talking about getting staq higher up the pitch for tons of posts. 

Rice is fantastic but I worry kone doesnt have enough discipline. I wouldnt trust him to anchor the DM role yet. 

Kone situation currently doesn't seem great for developing defensive chops, I will say.

 

Going back to de Fougerolles, in that picture, from T&T training, of the players with Quebec roots he looks as tall as Sirois now, which makes him over 6' at least.  (Rice is 6' 1")

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