October 24, 2019, 11:30:29 AM

Author Topic: [News]Klaassen: Adapting to English game has not been easy  (Read 32453 times)

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November 30, 2017, 02:12:45 AM
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I can see him as a useful source of goals, scoring off of knockdowns from whatever big lump of a forward we sign in January.

It's a role that requires good anticipation and the ability to finish (both of which he has) but doesn't require him to get on the ball regularly (which is clearly not his style).

January 22, 2018, 10:19:35 PM
Reply #1


It's relevant enough so here are some scattered thoughts on the midfield.

I think we generally look most competent with a midfield three, provided we have the right mix. In particular, we need:

1. someone who defends - Gana, Schneiderlin, McCarthy, Bangingime
2. someone who plays box-to-box - Davies, Klaassen (?)
3. someone capable of applying the final pass/finish - Sigurdsson, Rooney, Klaassen (?)

You can see the problem from a squad construction point-of-view. We have too many one-note defensive types and not enough players capable of affecting games going forward.

I'm not sure where Klaassen falls between 2 and 3. Ajax supporters seemed adamant that he was a box-to-box player but he hasn't influenced games much when he's played in that role. All of his best contributions have been deft touches or clever bits of movement around the penalty area to create chances for teammates/himself, which suggests to me that he's more of a "finisher."

I think where we've generally gone wrong over the past season-and-a-half is that we play too many players from category 1, which causes problems getting the ball into the final third, creating/scoring chances, and, strangely enough, defending (when we play 2 DMs, neither stays put, often leaving too much space in front of the defense). Koeman ran into this issue with the Schneiderlin/Gana combo after AFCON last season and at the beginning of this season. Allardyce is running into it again now, for some reason (he started with the balanced Gana-Davies-Rooney trio and hasn't gone back to it). Take Saturday, for instance. One of the reasons we were so ineffective in attack is that West Brom regularly forced us to check back to McCarthy when we built down the right and McCarthy isn't any good in the final third (they did the same thing with Cuco on the left but, unfortunately, we don't have another option at LB right now unless you're a Garbutt fan).

Allardyce would do well to stick with only one defensive type from now on. Any decent football we've played has come from that type of configuration. It's the only way we get any sort of control of the ball. Two DMs in a midfield three means lots of hoofs with no one to feed off the scraps.

If he absolutely has to play two DMs and go full-on anti-football, he should consider changing the shape to a 4-4-2, with another central player further forward to feed off of knockdowns from Tosun. Walcott, or maybe even Klaassen, might fit that role (Niasse needs to be kept on the bench; he's a fantastic sub).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:21:57 AM by kramer0 »

January 31, 2018, 12:07:59 AM
Reply #2


I haven't seen enough of him to feel comfortable forming a strong opinion but what little I've seen suggests that he needs to play in a team that has the ball a lot. He's not really a dribbler and he doesn't really want to make things happen from deep. His strengths are movement off the ball and quick, one-or-two touch passing, and we don't look capable of taking advantage of either.

I think it would be a worthwhile experiment to see him in midfield three w/ Gana and Rooney (or Sigurdsson) but I don't think Allardyce has any interest in that.

Sarri is a great coach and Napoli are excellent with the ball. Probably a good fit for him if there's any truth in the rumour.

January 31, 2018, 09:04:45 PM
Reply #3


I feel for Napoli there.

We were so bad in the Europa League they forgot we were even in it. Easy mistake to make.

June 09, 2018, 03:58:11 AM
Reply #4


June 10, 2018, 10:04:10 PM
Reply #5


I don't really have any good footballing reasons -- there's not a whole lot to hang on to from his limited appearances last season -- but I like him.

Whether it was delusion or ignorance on the parts of Koeman and Walsh (this is the player you want for your cross heavy, long ball approach?) he found himself in a tough situation last season. I wish him the best whether he stays or goes.