3 at the back


I’ve advocated for some time that Fitzwater be dropped as the “least good” centre half for Martin but I wonder if the long term plan is to go to three at the back.

If they were to go Fitz Martin Guthrie at the back I think it would open up more options further up the pitch.

For example they could go with a system similar to the dingles with a 3-4-3 formation.

when Whitney signed Leahy and Devlin it was actually to fit a 3 at the back with wing backs system and considering both players are much better going forward than they are defensively I think that system would eradicate a lot of the gripes about their defending. With Dobson and Osbourne/Edwards/Kinsella in the middle it also opens up a huge number of options for the front three. You could push the wing backs on and play Ronan behind Ferrier and Cook. You could play Ferrier left Cook through the middle and Zeli/Morris on the right. If you wanted to burn somebody with pace you could play one up top and have Ginnelly and Zeli either side.


I like the idea of us being able to quickly interchange between having 5 across the back and 5 across the midfield depending on how the game is going.


I think it’s testament to the squad that Keates has built that we can now easily switch between three formations depending on the scenario/opposition. The 3-4-3 is an interesting one as it allows us to get Ferrier and Cook on the pitch, along with another winger and keep a relatively structured central midfield and defence.

I imagine it’ll be the same 4-3-3 that worked against Wycombe, tomorrow. However, the Coventry cup match might give us the opportunity to try a new shape…


Fitzwater has no long term future at the Club so there is no long term plan involving him. Nor for Devlin or Leahy as at least one of them wont be here next season (neither if i had my way)

442 for me all the way - keep things simple for League 1 players. Other formations tend to give players excuses.


Agree re Fitzwater, but I would imagine that we’d be looking to replace him in January if he does head back to West Brom.

I agree that 4-4-2 worked great for us at the start of the season and its simplicity was clearly a benefit. However, the Luton result (more so the performance) did expose the need for a different option and I like how this squad seems to be flexible enough to adapt to several formations.


I dont see why we would be replacing Fitzwater, its Martin and Guthrie with Johnson as cover - unless we get a serious medium to long term injury.

You see IMO Luton was a one off , we havent been dominated like that all season and id be keeping a level head and not panicking over one blip.

Not keen on Keates switching the system so he can pick Ronan, a pet hate of mine when a formation is designed around one player.


I’m not talking about long term though I’m talking about this season.

And all those players you mentioned are scheduled to be here for all of this season so why not get the most out of them?


Still a good 10 games or so until the new Year. 30 points to play for, get 15-20 and suddenly second half of the season starts to look a little exciting (until Bonser locks his chequebook in the safe).

Not sure why any key player would be frozen out tbh. Who’s to say Fitzwater loan won’t continue until the summer as WBA are actually well stocked at centre half so I can’t see any real reason to recall him unless they want to sell him.

Now Martin is fit he will obviously start. I’d have Fitz ahead of Guthrie but in fairness he’s improved a lot last six months so not a big difference between the two now.


You said long term plan in your original post, so I therefore assumed you meant long term.

Why get the most out of players, who are not good enough, in a formation which is hard to play and gives everyone excuses galore?)


As in long term for the season. Obviously. I’m not saying that’s the plan for the Burton game.

Because like it or not we have those players for this season. Why get the best out of them? Because that’s the whole point of football? The reason I said long term is because as you say, it’s hard to play. It needs time to implement. Luckily it’s only November.