Welcome to the latest One Team in Devon. Fortress Home Park was breached twice in a week, with a smash and grab by Millwall, followed by a murder in broad daylight by Swansea.
What’s happened to the impenetrable Fortress Home Park?
Read on for this week’s news.
All at Swansea
Much like the Millwall game, Argyle started brightly, but a combination of defensive lapses, and being found by Swansea, contributed to our downfall.
Yet again, it really comes down to moments. We were far from being played off the park, and there was little between Argyle and a big-spending Swansea side. But at key moments, Argyle came up short.
Swansea probed our backline, and a speculative chip to the back post ended with the Swans pulling level. Then a complete systemic breakdown left Oli Cooper in acres of space in the middle – and his lethal shot couldn’t have underlined how quickly you get punished in the Championship any better.
Finally, another ludicrous unpunished foul ended with a Swansea breakaway when Argyle were committed forward.
Argyle gave as good as they got in return: Mumba should have scored, and probably should have Edwards who seemed to time his header wrong. And crosses flashed across the Swansea six-yard line, but those moments went unpunished.
A microcosm of Argyle’s season in the Championship. And where improvements need to be made were clear for all to see.
Schuey roulette vs. Russian roulette
It was another system change for Argyle, with 3-4-2-1 favoured, after 4-3-3 against Milwall. That in itself was a change from Hull.
It’s up for debate whether we should switch systems for the team in front of us – or we should choose one that best fits our players, and stick with it.
It’s interesting to think about which successful teams, outside of the very elite, make such wholesale changes week in, and week out. Any FPL player knows about Pep Roulette – but where else do we see switches in personnel and system so regularly? Answers in the comments below if you can think of any examples.
Personally, I find the constant swapping and changing reminiscent of teams struggling to find form or rhythm.
It’s not just the starting formation. Against Millwall, we made three or four formation changes in the game. And against Swansea, there were three, after switching to a back four, and then ending up 4-4-2 with Bundu playing LM.
Schuey used his in-game tweaks to devastating effect last season, but this season they seem to be searching for solutions.
As we predicted in the post-Norwich episode, Schuey is using different systems against different types of teams. It worked so well against Norwich. But against the low-block of Millwall, the 4-3-3 was toothless even with the extra man, and against Swansea, the 3-4-3 was still too open at the back.
So the switching, at present, isn’t yielding the results that Schuey wants.