Dean Smith apparently played the formation against Chelsea and I can see why, as it counters the way they play.
But I always have massive doubts about the formation because it’s far too easy to make it a 5-3-2 and just call it the more attacking version.
I do like it, as it’s a very fluid setup, where you can quickly turn defence into attack and vice versa.
But I’m not convinced we have the players for it.
I like both Matt Cash and Matt Targett. Interestingly, both started playing as wingers, but got moved back into the fullback positions.
I have to wonder why that is, but can only assume it’s because they’re better at defending than attacking.
Certainly Cash doesn’t seem to offer much when it comes to crossing of late, which is strange because I have it in my head that he did have a decent cross in him previously. Has he been told not to get up to much? That seems strange if he’s supposed to be a wingback.
Likewise, Targett definitely has a decent cross in him, but I struggle to think of when he banged the last one in with any good outcome?
I don’t really know what I’m trying to say, to be honest, but it seems to me that using them as wingbacks and expecting them to replace two out and out wide players such as El Ghazi and Traore (are they really wingers? I don’t think so) is somewhat alien to us.
And mixing and matching like this isn’t ideal.
I think it’s pretty fair to say that we gave a decent showing against Chelsea and I’m not suggesting that our setup was wrong at all.
It would take a much more knowledgeable person than me to answer that.
But it just doesn’t feel right.
Very similar to how Watkins and Ings frankly didn’t look right either.
Hopefully it’s just about learning how to play the system