Denzil

Jackettís continuing dilemma

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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]I think youíll find very few Millwall fans who wonít appreciate what Jackett has done in his time at the club. But for all the good he has done he still seems to have the same problem in setting up the team, and that is getting the right balance between defence and attack.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]If you look back through his time at the Den there have been numerous occasions when Jackett has radically altered his tactics and formation to become more attacking only to revert to a more defensive style when it hasnít worked out.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]Think back to the start of his first full season. We played some great football with a fairly attacking line up, including Hackett and Grabban on the right side. Yet one heavy defeat against Brighton brought a tactical re-think and we became a much more defensive side with Bolder taking centre stage. Ultimately it worked because we lost narrowly in the play-off final, but it wasnít pretty. I felt you could see that this was Jackettís favoured approach Ė keep things tight, donít let the opposition play. It reflected Jackettís personality.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]The next couple of years saw us keep to this strategy, and with better players coming into the side it reaped itís rewards with promotion and an ultimately unsuccessful run towards the play-offs following. It was 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, with our success built on a strong defence and an ability to stop other sides playing their game. We showed incredible fight and team spirit in the games against the likes of Leeds, Norwich and QPR, the bigger teams regularly being rolled over. But Jackett wanted more.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]The start of the next season saw a more expansive attacking style. Decent performances against Reading and Forest seemed to indicate a new approach from Jackett. He wanted us to be more dominant in games and play more football. However, the results didnít come as he tried to square this new approach with a need to keep tight at the back and we became quite toothless. It was only at the back end of the season, with a return to our original approach that we turned things around.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]Jackett still talked up his Ďevolutioní and this season has seen an real commitment to an expansive passing game. It has worked to an extent and we have scored goals. However we have looked all over the place defensively, and in moving to this new style we seem to have sacrificed much of what worked well in the past. [/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]Last nightís performance was, in my opinion, a triumph of style over substance. We looked good in the first half but there was no end product. There was no tempo and the crowd werenít involved. Cardiff only had to change up a couple of gears and we simply fell apart. I can understand the desire to play more football, but we need to get results, particularly at home.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]Another part of the problem is Jackettís faith in Trotter as the key to this new style of play. His comments about him at the fans forum were worrying, as I have seen nothing in the player to convince me that we should be building our team around him. Indeed it is Jackettís commitment to doing this that is causing us problems on the pitch. Having to accommodate him in a free role (he does fuck all tracking back after all) means we have lost that defensive solidity that was a trademark of this side in the past.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]It ultimately leads to an incredible frustration with Jackett. At the end of last season I thought he got everything spot on. He reverted back to a more traditional 4-4-2, which was able to morph into a 4-2-3-1 with Kane dropping deeper off Keogh. We were solid, played good football and carried a threat up front. The balance between defence and attack was about right.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]I cannot understand for the life of me why that system and style has been abandoned this season. The balance has gone and we look poor defensively. People have looked to blame individuals (particularly Osborne, Malone and Dunne), but it is a team thing. The midfield arenít working as a unit with the defence, they are all over the place. Hull was just a shambles.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#000000]I just hope that Jackett can recognise this and go back to what was successful in the past. We donít have the players to be another Swansea, but the squad is good enough to stay in this division and upset a few big names. I fear that wonít be the case if Jackett persists with his new approach.[/COLOR][/FONT]
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