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Good comparison with Mertens who is another very good Belgian player. In fact it seems to be what holds the Belgians back too many similar players being shoved into one team. 

As for Hazard I think last night is the best I have seen him play for Chelsea he was electric liike he suddenly dares to run at teams instead of cut back and keep posession. I hope he can give that kind of performance against City rather than the 2nd gear ones you sometimes get from him in big games.

 

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11 hours ago, Zoowraa said:

Did we get a glimpse of the future last night with Hazard in this role ? He certainly seemed to revel in that position and we as a team looked to have a greater attacking threat.

Some definite parallels to what has happened too a similar type of player at Napoli with Dries Mertens.

For most of his career Mertens has been a decent standard wide attacking midfielder, not in the same class as Hazard , but very similar in stature and style of player. Through a combination of injuries to No 9s and the sale of Higuain, he found himself playing as a number 9 and has not stopped scoring since. He has gone from a squad player when he first joined to their main striker scoring 20 goals a season late on in his career.

Ok slight difference that Mertens is playing as a No 9 and Hazard last night was more of a No 10. However, their are some parallels between the two and the role we seen Hazard in last night , could just be the difference between a world class player joining the very elite and establishing himself as a +20 goals a season man.

Thoughts ?

I think that Hazard wasn't necessarily mature enough to play the #10 role previously. For most of his Chelsea career, he's had  certain aura of naivity about him and definitely lacked that killer instinct. Too much fluff and not enough end product if you like. It seems he's trying to be more direct now and that is certainly a great change if it is permanent. If he becomes more efficient with the ball and more ruthless he'll be unstoppable regardless whether he plays the #10 or #11.

Perhaps now, he's better equipped to play the #10 position?

Either case, I think he'll slowly transition to be more and more a #10/false#9 type player as his career progresses. For now, I think we'll see some rotation between 3421/343 and 352 depending on opposition, injuries, general availability and form. So I reckon he'll be rotating between #10 and #11 throughout the season. But regardless which position he'll play, I expect him to kick on from last season and firmly leave the 2015-16 season behind him. We need to see him consistently at 2014-15 form. If he manages that he's top 5 in the world.

 

10 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

The biggest problem we have is it is just not a sustainable formation with our current squad of players. We have 4 cm's, there is no way we can play 3 of them in every game. 

It also leaves Willian and Pedro sitting around twiddling their thumbs.

It's something I'd like to see more of, both Hazard playing centrally and the 352 but the squad is just not built for it.

I think some seem to be overly hung-up on whether a squad is built for a formation or not. I think this squad is built around two formations, for which it lacks components regardless of which one of the two you prefer. 

In reality I reckon we'll shift between the two. 

Instead of building a squad for one tactical formation, I reckon the goal should be to build a flexible squad with suitable players (let's be honest here, the players we did buy this summer has been extremely good fits to the team) who fits the team ethos. Let's assume we keep all current players for next season while bringing back RLC, Abraham and Zouma from loan and signing Alex Sandro from Juventus. 

GK: Courtois (26), Caballero (37), Eduardo (36)

CB: Azpilicueta (29), Luiz (31), Rüdiger (25), Christensen (22), Cahill (32), Zouma(23)*

WB: Moses (27), Zappacosta (26), Sandro (27)^, Alonso (27)

CM: Kanté (27), Bakayoko (24), Fabregas (31), Drinkwater (28)

AM: Hazard (27), Pedro (31), Willian (30), Loftus-Cheek (22)*, Musonda Jr (21).

S: Morata (25), Batshuayi (24), Abraham (20)*

That squad would be quite decent for 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 and 3-5-2 type set-ups. 

That's a fairly balanced squad in terms of age while still being something to build upon for the future (ages start of next season in brackets). 

 

9 hours ago, fillerywhereru said:

...As for Hazard I think last night is the best I have seen him play for Chelsea... 

I don't know about that. He's had some insane performances for us in the past. It was perhaps a more mature perfomance than he usually delivers, but I wouldn't say the best.

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7 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

I think some seem to be overly hung-up on whether a squad is built for a formation or not. I think this squad is built around two formations, for which it lacks components regardless of which one of the two you prefer. 

In reality I reckon we'll shift between the two. 

Instead of building a squad for one tactical formation, I reckon the goal should be to build a flexible squad with suitable players (let's be honest here, the players we did buy this summer has been extremely good fits to the team) who fits the team ethos. Let's assume we keep all current players for next season while bringing back RLC, Abraham and Zouma from loan and signing Alex Sandro from Juventus. 

GK: Courtois (26), Caballero (37), Eduardo (36)

CB: Azpilicueta (29), Luiz (31), Rüdiger (25), Christensen (22), Cahill (32), Zouma(23)*

WB: Moses (27), Zappacosta (26), Sandro (27)^, Alonso (27)

CM: Kanté (27), Bakayoko (24), Fabregas (31), Drinkwater (28)

AM: Hazard (27), Pedro (31), Willian (30), Loftus-Cheek (22)*, Musonda Jr (21).

S: Morata (25), Batshuayi (24), Abraham (20)*

That squad would be quite decent for 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 and 3-5-2 type set-ups. 

That's a fairly balanced squad in terms of age while still being something to build upon for the future (ages start of next season in brackets). 

I agree with what you are saying but in my opinion a squad with 4 cm's and Perdo and Willian is not that well suited to playing 352.

This squad very much looks like it has been built around a 343. Yes there is some flexibility but every squad has that.  We are a long way off having a squad capable of playing two formations whenever the manager chooses for a whole season. Our available players will dictate which formation we play as much as the opposition. 

The odd game we can play 352 but I can't imagine it's something we can do with any regularity at the moment.Our three cm's would have to play every minute of every game whilst two of our best players sit on the bench. 

 

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bluehorn   
1 hour ago, Martin1905 said:

The odd game we can play 352 but I can't imagine it's something we can do with any regularity at the moment.Our three cm's would have to play every minute of every game whilst two of our best players sit on the bench. 

 

I agree we're probably one short of being able to play 352 throughout a season. Chalobah would have been perfect, perhaps RLC can be that man from next season. It's a very difficult signing/addition though. Too established a star and that could put Fabregas off signing that naff one year deal he'll soon be presented, too young a prospect and he'll worry about game time. See Barkley and the Ox (bullets dodged though they may be). 

Oh, and Willian isn't even close to being one of our best players. 

Edited by bluehorn

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As for all the rumours about Real Madrid... How about this angle?

If Hazard keeps his games/season ratio intact for another five years with us he'll be breaking 500 appearances in 2021/22 at a new stadium. Hopefully with a CL title or two and a few more Preamier League titles and a few domestic cups. That would place him at number six in the all-time appreanace list between John Hollins and Petr Cech. 

If he kept on scoring at the same rate (hopefully a moderate prediction), he''d be scoring his 140th Chelsea goal in 2022. But 14 goals per season isn't his true level. Thats skewed by the 2015-16 season. I'd say the average of 18 is probably a better prediction. Then he'd be scoring his 160th Chelsea goal in 2022. 

140 goals would take him to 7th in the all-time goalscorers list just behind Roy Bentley and Bobby Tambling. 160 would make him 5th behind Drogba. but with Lampard in his sights. 

2022 Hazard would be 31. 

He could go on to surpass Terry on appearances (top 3, 717 apps) and Lampard in terms of goals (211) if he stayed on until 35. 

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56 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

As for all the rumours about Real Madrid... How about this angle?
............

Or the Belgian player could play for Real Madrid for double the money.  Also tempting.  :)

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13 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Or the Belgian player could play for Real Madrid for double the money.  Also tempting.  :)

Yeah £500k/week isn't to be sniffed at of course. I suppose it comes down to what one wants out of ones professional career. 

Its short. Not a lot of time to repair career mistakes. Lampard for example. Definitely made the right choice to stay. Terry likewise. 

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We needed him on Saturday but unfortunately another big game where he didn't turn up. Dissapointing

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paulw66   
40 minutes ago, fillerywhereru said:

We needed him on Saturday but unfortunately another big game where he didn't turn up. Dissapointing

I'm sorry, but get a grip.

He is returning from serious injury and has only completed 90 minutes once, versus a makeshift Nottingham Forest. To point any finger of blame at Hazard who was left trying to create with no centre forward to play off, is just nonsense. 

Edit - on the back of a world class performance on Wednesday

Edited by paulw66
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 on the back of a world class performance on Wednesday

Thats why I'm questioning it, on Wednesday he takes people on wants to shoot, take risks puts a great cross in for our goal. On saturday even allowing for fatigue he does none of that in fact whevever he got the ball he got rid as soon as possible rather than carry the game to City a little.

We saw this last season where he had a just over 50 percent ratio of turning up for big games. he's a wonderful talent but lacks something to be a really top player (self belief? drive?) at the moment.

 

 

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