Keates and Formations


How many different formations and player combos has he used so far this season? Pretty sure even Whitney didn’t tinker this much.


I think he’s over complicating things , the lack of quality is the issue not the formations.


I think he’s trying to find a formula that makes us more solid defensively, and I don’t blame him.

My worry is that the pacey counter-attacking verve we had at the start of the season seems to have gone, seemed to be our USP.


he should just try sticking 11 defenders on :joy:


You have to question the likes of Zeli , clearly has the ability but not the attitude to match.


Viva Dann Vann!


I’ve not been massively impressed with him. Has moments of brilliance but his general contribution has been disappointing, including his willingness to help us defend.


another Milan for me.


Even Whitney? I thought he didn’t tinker enough and we had no plan B?

Keates had to change from 4-4-2, that was obvious when you look at how the results dropped off. Since then the issue has been conceding goals so he’s obviously moved the defence around. That said he could stick to 4-3-3 Saturday (Shrewsbury really was a training session) and that will remain for now on.


I don’t believe for one moment Shrewsbury was a training session , the club would of seen it as a good opportunity to make a few quid.

Hence why we fielded a pretty strong team.


Worrying thing is if you can’t defend with a traditional back 4 then you have problems …


The directors might have. I can only assume the players and managers are just hoping for no injuries. We still took out our captain, top, scorer and keeper.

It’s a glorified kick about and I don’t blame them at all.


But, should it be, when folk are paying hard earned cash to watch such matches?
Granted, those who went on Wednesday were probably only there to meet up with mates at the pub, but after all, money is easier spent than earned.


Really good point here. Both Smith and Whitney were criticised for not having a ‘Plan B’ so we should be pleased that Keates is looking at new/different approaches.


I mean I paid to go to the Port Vale game but I didn’t expect it to be a blood and thunder affair with both teams giving their all.

It’s pretty clear what this competition is now.


I’m fine with altering formations dependent on the opposition if it’s planned and worked on. Before Smith left in 2015, that season we switched between 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1 and the 3-5-2 wing back system. It was based on how we could dominate the game based around how the opposition usually shape up. If they tried to second guess us, or the way we started wasn’t quite working we could seamlessly switch to another formation.

Keates is trying to do this but seems hesitant to change things during the game. Very rarely have we changed formation during a game. When it does happen, the change at the moment comes as a reaction to the opposition going in front, rather than a pro active decision to swing the game the other way.

I’ve got confidence tat Keates will work it out, he just needs to have the confidence in himself to be pro active


Used to annoy me when people said Smith didn’t have a plan B. We may have kept with the same style but it terms of formations he’d switch between at least 3, sometimes in the same game.


Yep, we had greater tactical fluidity under Smith than at any time over the past decade, which is why we were successful.


I remember the debates well :rofl:

I notice he is ruining the Vile already with his boring football and CLUELESS management :rofl:


Unfortunately for some fans can’t comprehend that “plan B” doesn’t always mean disregarding your philosophy, sticking an extra striker on and hoofing it. Smith was superb at getting his teams to change formations with ease whilst still sticking to his philosophy. Didn’t always work but that was usually down to good opposition. In his final season some of the tactical decisions in game were phenomenal.