Boxing Day Live: Who’s Your Papiss?

With Demba Ba in high demand across the Prem, will 1st half dud Papiss Cisse begin to rise as he did after Christmas last year?

Newcastle v. Manchester United kicks of Return-Your-Gift Day.

"Utah, get me two!"

“Utah, get me two!”

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/12/26 at 7:12 PM

    people might say it is crazy, but i think team usa is really built to play three at the back. cameron, gonzo, and a wild card. chandler has the size of a center half, but he likes to play on the wing. marvell, we are going to need colorado to rip it up this season for that to have a chance. it would just be nice to have a speedy back in a three man backline. there has to be a third player out there somewhere.

    my take is that with a three man backline, we could play junior, jj, and williams, plus deuce in an attacking withdrawn striker role, or you could remove, jj or williams, and move junior back, and put a player like mix, or zusi, or feilhaber in the central attacking mid role.

    ultimately, if fabian johnson is on the pitch, it would be like having four at the back anyway, and with cameron playing pretty well at rb in the epl, it seems like it might make sense, of course there is no time to implement this new formation, but i would liken this formation to what the shannahans are running with RG3. currently, when usa is dominant in possession with four at the back, fabian is pushing up the pitch anyway, turning it into three at the back.

    this formation does make it tricky to get cherundolo on the field, starting, and boca is also on the outside of this one, but maybe that is for the better. this formation does give usa the chance to get two strikers on the pitch in a position that seems to be producing more and more talent

    marvell gonzo cameron

    williams jones

    chandler junior johnson

    dempsey altidore


    • Posted by Jason on 2012/12/26 at 9:16 PM

      Yeah… I’ll call you crazy. Not necessarily because of the 3-2-3-2 formation (though I’m not sure that plays to our strengths) but first off all because this is insanely off-topic with no explanation.

      Then I really lost you when you suggested Marvell Wynne would be the other starter in a 3-back formation. Really? If you were going for a domestic player that hasn’t gotten much of a look with the USMNT I think the obvious choice would be Besler, right? I know Wynne is fast and I do think he is a good player but I really don’t think he should be starting for the nats. Not too mention Boca could still play there…

      And then you mention if Fabian is on the field it would be like 4 in the back. I don’t understand what you are talking about. He has been great getting forward so if you wanted to play him on the wing I wouldn’t worry about him playing too far back. But that is kinda what you said later so… I don’t know

      And then your RG3 reference… you mean if the USMNT picked up a stud QB and RB in the draft they could make the playoffs? I just have no idea what you are talking about.

      So yeah, I’m going with crazy

      On Topic: That Man Utd v Newcastle game was insane! And Cisse did get one…


    • I’ve been gone for a while and this is the first thing I see. I don’t even…


    • Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2012/12/29 at 11:38 PM

      We don’t have the coordination, talent and discipline to play a three man back line. Basically you need three solid 1 v 1 defenders with pace that read the game at a very high level and a disciplined defensive approach from the mids. We would get absolutely shredded. Sorry dude, Marvel?! really?


  2. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/12/26 at 9:31 PM

    this whole three in the back thing, it is in spite of the fact that chandler and johnson on the wing seems like it should be a no brainer and with cameron excelling and gonzo looking like a future pairing in the middle, things might have to work around these four.

    but, usa is producing a lot of central defender types and a surplus of defensive mids, several of whom have time in central defense for their club teams, and it is for this reason, along with others, that three in the back makes sense to me.

    chandler gonzo cameron

    williams junior

    gatt feilhaber johnson



    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/12/27 at 1:11 AM

      I’ll give you Cameron as a strong member of a 3-man back. Won’t happen though as a many teams will play some variation of a 4-3-3 at WC 2014 as the international game always lags the club game

      Marvell Wynne doesn’t belong on the same Internet as any USMNT conversation right now though.


  3. Posted by dikranovich on 2012/12/27 at 7:01 AM

    im just speaking out loud about this stuff and maybe formations are not as importaint as we make them out to be. the real key is that eleven guys have to work as a unit. aint that the truth? maybe sometimes we talk about individual players as if we have some vested interest in them starting or being on a 23 man roster. its almost to funny, until it gets real serious and personal.

    i dont know about you guys, but i think this round of qualifying is going to be very personal and very serious. not for nothing, but marvell did have the “fortune” of being paired with tim ream last time he had a run with the national team. i think as a nation we can be more open about what is possible and still be focused.

    it all comes down to faith. who believes the USA can go to brasil and win? I DO!!!!! im not talking about the confederations cup, or the group stages. im talking about the whole dang gone thing.

    Faith and Unity, if we are looking for answers, this is a great place to start.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/12/27 at 6:50 PM

      2013 Confederations Cup? Very interesting comment considering the US did not win their Continental Championship and therefore did not qualify.

      Re. your MM formation comment, are you suggesting three permanent CBs [rather than a DM dropping in when in possession]?


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2012/12/28 at 9:10 AM

        george, that is my point. winning a confederations cup means exactly squat. all the focus should be on winning world cups. if USA qualifies for brasil and goes down there with the intention of winning the tournament, in a lot of ways, they are already winners.

        george, i dont know what your MM formation is.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/12/30 at 11:57 AM

        I also think getting the right players to play a high line is more important than whether to play three or four man backline.

        The amount of goals conceded from a simple ball over the top is unacceptable.


  4. All this talk about the backline and I think people are missing the real problem with the USMNT. The team can’t continue to play 3 DM’s. The team ends up with no sense of purpose offensively, poor giveaways that lead to conceding, and then the defense takes all the blame.

    As far as the backline goes, while I usually think Gonzo is overrated and too slow to be a force in the international game, I can’t say I wouldn’t like to see a Gonzo Cameron pairing prove me wrong.


    • Posted by dikranovich on 2012/12/29 at 9:50 PM

      kevin, i appreciate what you are saying, but its like when people complained that usa played two d mids, or the ever popular, “duel destroyer” under the last regime. coach klinsmann recognizes that the usa is giving up early goals and she is giving up goals up the center of the field and he corrects this by clogging up the center of the pitch.

      so the usa lost some width by playing guys like torres on the wing, but pinching in. my sense is that the coach figured he could make up with nice wing play out of the back.

      kevin, if the three d-mids were williams, junior, and a healthy stuart holden, could you not see this formation being pretty successful?

      i think if we are trying to define a style of play for the usa, it is really going to revolve around three center mids, be it in a 4-5-1, or a 4-3-3, or a 3-5-2.


      • Well in the last regime that was the game plan you’re right. But Klinnsmann has tried to get the team to keep on to a little more possession and play in the opponents half of the field. Yet somehow he threw in a third defensive midfielder. To answer your question I think that would help a lot. Because in the current set up Bradley is the best suited of the three to try to push a but forward. However Bradley all too often thinks he’s the same player he was 4 years ago and best in the defensive end. The USMNT often times ends up with Jones leading the attack out of midfield and so far I’m yet to see it end well. Maybe Holden as the highest midfielder will pull Bradley forward a bit too, but I have yet to see a team be successful at playing it out of the back with a poor midfield.


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