I doubt you'd be that successful, certainly not consistently, playing "negative anti football" but it is swings and roundabouts. It's being able to play flowing football that brings about goals whilst not opening up too much at the back and conceding lots as well.
Originally Posted by davevietnam
On the one hand I wouldn't want to watch flowing passing football that had no end product, or "pretty football" I think a lot of people refer to it as, but on the flip side I wouldn't want to watch "route one" football either. This is kind of an old hat of a question anyway, loaded question in the main knowing what most people are likely to say. Winning is important, not "at any cost" certainly but ultimately if you have a side that can't play an expansive game that is not unpleasing on the eye you ain't going to be winning that much anyway.
We need to add a killer instinct to our game, shut out silly goals conceded and make more of possession and chances. People have been going on about Sturridge and Origi quite a bit recently, perhaps the reason our goals and form have dried up is because we have our "front six" as someone put it and they are great when everything is going well, but too easily blunted and maybe not enough "20 a season" goalscorers in among them, not that it isn't possible some will score 20+ but at current rate Mane is only just on 11 with 2/3 of the season gone and Firmino, who several people recently are saying is a striker (not that some weren't before) is on course for another run of the mill double figures but not much more having only ONCE scored 16 in a league campaign but is on course to edge out his next best 10 goals.
What strikers should do for you is pop up with goals when you need them, not just the volume they bring. Sure you want a Lallana, even a Lovren or anyone in the side to pop up with that winner but a lot of our scorers are great when we're on top in a game, not so visible when it is needed though.
So to cap off a cliché filled post, winning is the main thing and to win consistently enough when you want to challenge for the title you will need to play a better than scrappy brand of football all the time. Some years ago I came up with a list of the order in which you should aim for things as a team/manager, in some cases you don't start at the bottom, but in a nutshell it goes like this:
Reduce the amount of goals you are losing by
Make yourself difficult to beat
Compete in games
Go on a run containing a few draws or even wins
Win a few games
Go on an unbeaten run
Win more games than you don't
Go on a winning run
Win 20+ games a season = top four challenge
Win 27+ games a season = title challenge
You could spin in the style of football into it or even work on a refined list to make maybe a concise 10 steps. We were near the bottom, well technically top of that list, now we're back down to the compete/win a few games kind of ambition/level. At times you need to dig in and scrap to a win or two, but from where we were earlier in the season we ought to be able to win with a little panache, and I don't mean small bra (apparently there's a range of lingerie called Panache! ) Some games in recent times our players were more comparable with the contents of a bra)
People will believe what they want to believe