After consecutive losses to Shenzhen Kaisa and Guangzhou Evergrande, R&F in the Van Bronckhorst era suffered a blackout. The striker led by Zahavi has lost the edge of the past. The original defense line that was not stable enough was completely crushed by opponents and turned into powder. R&F's defensive problem seems hopeless.
Since being promoted to the Super League, Guangzhou R&F has been known for its wild style of playing. They have only two of the past eight seasons with a positive goal difference. Under Stojkovic’s tenure, R&F only scored more goals than conceded in the 2017 season. Stojkovic had spent a lot of effort in training to improve the team's defense, but ultimately failed.
In the 2019 season, R&F lost 72 goals in 30 league games. It is precisely because of the inability to solve the hard-to-return defensive problem that the Serbian talent has lost the spot.
As the Serb's successor, Van Bronckhorst also praises fast passing, but has stricter defense requirements. In Van Bronckhorst's system, the defender must actively support the frontcourt in the offense, and the striker must also participate in the backcourt defense, all of which have established an excellent overall running basis.
The team left by Stojkovic has good technical ability and sense of cooperation. The disadvantage is that the overall running ability is insufficient. Many players are not good at running without the ball, and the phenomenon of aging in some positions is more serious. After identifying Van Bronckhorst as the new coach, Guangzhou R&F signed two defenders, showing the determination to improve the defense.
Chen Zhechao and Li Songyi from Shandong Luneng joined Guangzhou R&F on loan. These are two powerful players who are in their prime. However, the combined number of appearances of these two players in the past two seasons has just reached double digits, lacking game experience and feeling. Just joining, they will shoulder heavy responsibilities and bear the impact of Shenzhen and Evergrande. This is indeed a bit difficult for Chen Zhechao and Li Songyi.
In the era of Stojkovic, R&F focused on the three-center system, which relied on the round-trip coverage of the wing backs to ensure the number advantage near the two penalty areas. The flanking Jiang Zhipeng, Tang Miao, Ding Haifeng and Lu Lin played against Zahavi. , Renaldinho and others formed strong support.
Stojkovic also reduced the offensive participation of midfielders for the sake of offensive and defensive balance, but he soon discovered that this did not have much effect. R&F’s best way of playing was still fighting offense. Seek more goals in the game.
From three-backs/five-backs to four-backs, the space in the backcourt of R&F has become larger, which places high demands on the personal abilities of defensive players. In the two games that have ended, the performances of Li Songyi and Chen Zhechao were not convincing. Another defender "newcomer" Han Jiaqi performed well, but he is still far from people's expectations.
After losing the Guangzhou Derby, Guangdong media once pointed out R&F’s mental problems, believing that the team lacked leaders on the court and was seriously inadequate to resist pressure. Zahavi with the captain's armband has not yet adapted to the new role, and people can't help but miss Cheng Yuelei even more. In past games, Cheng Yuelei was the most willing to speak out on the R&F defense line. The young Han Jiaqi still needs to slowly cultivate his leadership.
The defensive system collapsed, and R&F midfielders are also to blame. Van Bronckhorst’s midfield combination is Dembele, Zhang Gong and Chen Junle. He took down Li Titian, who has relatively strong ball-holding ability. This move seems to strengthen the defense, but Dembele is in the defense. The role of the two local players is limited. Two local players have taken on a heavy defensive task, and they cannot cover the entire width of the field.
防御体系崩溃，富人中场也应受到指责。范·布朗克霍斯特（Van Bronckhorst）的lol比赛投注软件中场组合是Dembele，Zhang Gong和Chen Junle。他击倒了持球能力比较强的李提田。此举似乎可以增强防守，但登贝莱在防守中。这两个本地参与者的作用是有限的。两名本地球员承担了沉重的防御任务，他们无法覆盖整个lol比赛投注软件战场。
Evergrande took advantage of this, aimed at the defense zones of Dembele and Renaldinho, opening the gap from the two sides.
In R&F's tactical system, only Zahavi can stay in the front field when defending (but also actively pressure the opponent), and the rest of the players need to participate in the defense. Van Bronckhorst requires that the winger must return to the defense in depth, assist the midfielder and the defender to form two strict lines of defense, actively pressure the opponent's ball holder on the side, and if necessary, follow the defense near the bottom line.
After losing two consecutive rounds, R & F ran more than 15 kilometers less than its opponents, and failed to plug the loopholes even with the basic "pilling heads".
R&F’s main lineup is too old. The most serious aging is the frontcourt attack line. Zahavi, Renaldinho and Dembele are all over the years. They have continuous running ability, defensive willingness and commitment. There is no guarantee that the efforts of Zhang Gong, Chen Junle and Chen Zhechao are far from enough.
In the past two games, Van Bronckhorst has used Jin Bo, Wen Yongjun and Chang Feiya at the left forward position. The three local players do not have a strong sense of presence on the court, and R&F’s offense is almost entirely dependent on three foreign players. It is obviously unrealistic to choose to use them in order to strengthen the defense.
The main lineup used by Van Bronckhorst has changed a lot from last season's regular starting lineup. R&F played many warm-up matches in the pre-season preparation stage, but this team showed their feet in the official game, and there was a lack of tacit understanding between the players.
From the perspective of the two games that have ended, Van Bronckhorst emphasized the speed of conversion between offense and defense. After R&F got the ball, he quickly passed the midfield and used the personal ability of the frontcourt players to directly impact the opponent's penalty area. This move brings the suddenness of the offense, but it is also easy to cause a disconnect. Once the frontcourt player loses the ball, the opponent can easily pass through the midfield and directly impact R&F defenders.
In the first game against Shenzhen Kaisa, Tang Miao barely assisted him. In the Guangzhou Derby, Renaldinho’s wing assault caused damage for a while, and Evergrande quickly adjusted the deployment and doubled it. Tang Miao then began to insert assists, but several times aimed at the pass. Neither team found any teammates.
The striker led by Zahavi is weak and it is difficult to make good use of Tang Miao's cross. This may be one of the reasons why Van Bronckhorst deliberately speeds up the attacking rhythm.
There are often breakpoints between wingers and wingers, and the connection between R&F's central midfielders and strikers is not close enough. Zhang Gong and Chen Jun have a tough playing style. The former has a heavier defensive task, while the latter is not good at passing and organizing.
In order to adapt to Zahavi's "pull out and then hit" the ball, Van Bronckhorst arranged for Chen Junle to hit the penalty area to fill the 9th position. R&F often placed 4-2-4 at the offensive terminal. Putting heavy troops into the offensive has little effect, and there is no rigorous anti-grab and interception system. It is inevitable that R&F will be easily penetrated by the opponent.
In the second round of the Guangzhou Derby, R&F’s defense was dismembered by Evergrande in a “defensive and offensive” approach. All the first three conceded goals appeared in the sports battle. In the previous round of the "Guangdong Derby", R&F’s defense performed well in the sports battle. All three conceded goals were set kicks. Li Songyi took an own goal in the set kick defense. Dembele and Zhang Gong gave them to the opponent. Penalty kick.
Since the era of Stojkovic, R&F's backcourt players have often made low-level errors. Van Bronckhorst hopes to use the "pile of heads" method to alleviate this problem. So far, no effect has been seen. It is not an overnight effort to develop the defensive habits of players, and it is not easy to add defensive training in the intensive schedule. Compared with defense in sports battles, it is relatively easy to improve the defensive ability of set-pieces. R&F may be able to use this as a breakthrough to reduce the number of goals conceded.
The once sharp offense has lost its edge, and the defense that was originally not good at it has become more and more hip. R&F is in the most difficult period of eight years in the promotion. The two fiascos shocked the coaches and players who were not too motivated not long ago.
Considering the difficulty of the Dalian Division, Van Bronckhorst needs to come up with a way to relieve the pressure on the line of defense as soon as possible, and R&F must also use the mentality of a last stand to fight each subsequent "final".