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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 1 Southampton 1

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xCELERYx   

Mikel does hold his position. Yes I'll give you that. But the whole "winning the ball back" I've rarely seen to be frank.

But holding your position and play 5m passes isn't what will create goalscoring chances. It's not what this system is built upon. We need a midfield that can;

1) move around with some sort of speed

2) press the opposition

3) make a successful tackle

4) defend in general

Mikel fails spectacularly on all four points in my opinion. What he does, and does well, is to protect the ball when he has it, provide an "out" pass for his teammates and to recycle possession. Re-cycling possession is the least of our worries.

Depends how you define "winning the ball back" I suppose. Mikel might not do it in a proactive fashion like Matic does, but he does cut out his fair share of passes and wins possession back.

A holding player's job isn't to create goal scoring chances, hence why Mikel plays the 5m passes to give the ball to those who have that particular job do to. There isn't one defensive minded midfielder in the world who has the job of winning the ball in midfield, shielding the defence, and then having to be the creative outlet going forward once in possession. That's why we have Fabregas, to be that creative outlet in midfield for us. To make that happen, it requires for him to have the ball, which happens by having your holding player giving Cesc the ball as frequently as possible once possession is had.

And yes, while Mikel might not be the most mobile on the pitch to perform some of those tasks, those are the sort of things that Matic does that lead to him being out of position and caught too far forward, exposing Fabregas' lack of speed and cover, and leaves the defence unprotected. In a 3 man midfield, it would't be an issue because you can have Matic play a regular midfield role alongside Cesc- which affords more freedom to do those things because of the third midfielder being the anchor in behind. In the 2 man midfield we currently play there's far too much room for error to have both midfielders pushing forward, which happens already. It also puts far too much emphasis on each midfielder concentrating on their partners whereabouts so they're able to gauge what they themselves can and cannot do.

As I've said, I love Matic and he's an excellent midfielder, he's just not a holding midfielder in general. There's more to his game than that and that's best utilised in a box-to-box role.

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Looks like he gets the ball to me. Maybe I'm not wearing my "bash Matic glasses".

He gets the ball with his upper calf, long after he has reached well beyond it and has brought the player down.

As I've said, I love Matic and he's an excellent midfielder, he's just not a holding midfielder in general. There's more to his game than that and that's best utilised in a box-to-box role.

Very talented player but hard to find a position for him. Not nearly mobile enough for box to box - like say Ramires or Lampard.

Perhaps more of a Box and Box player, as I would describe Ballack, or perhaps Guddy when in midfield. Players that can perform a role in defending, and can go forward and play off the front player(s). But not make a contribution at both at the same time.

I would also be very nice if he could pick up a target at corners, or be one for us on ours.

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I would also be very nice if he could pick up a target at corners, or be one for us on ours.

Good shout. He isn't involved in corners as much as he should be considering his strength and size.

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xCELERYx   

Very talented player but hard to find a position for him. Not nearly mobile enough for box to box - like say Ramires or Lampard.

Perhaps more of a Box and Box player, as I would describe Ballack, or perhaps Guddy when in midfield. Players that can perform a role in defending, and can go forward and play off the front player(s). But not make a contribution at both at the same time.

I would also be very nice if he could pick up a target at corners, or be one for us on ours.

Definitely in the Ballack sort of mould.

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Nicholas   

I really can't understand how anyone can question it, tbh. He comes in from the side, and collides with the player who is on his way down before Matic contacts the ball. It happens quickly, to be sure, but imo, the replays are conclusive: player first, ball second. It was a penalty - and if it had happened up the other end, most would be screaming their head's off about another nailed-on penalty we'd been denied.

The funny part in all of this is that there are people here still criticising referees for failing to award a penalty when we deserve one and don't get it. The same people are bleating loudly about the injustice of a deserved penalty for our opponents. How about for once, just once, calling the 'tackle' and the 'shove' what they are - clumsy, ill-timed and, in the context of the game and scoreline at the time, reckless.

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Very talented player but hard to find a position for him. Not nearly mobile enough for box to box - like say Ramires or Lampard.

Perhaps more of a Box and Box player, as I would describe Ballack, or perhaps Guddy when in midfield. Players that can perform a role in defending, and can go forward and play off the front player(s). But not make a contribution at both at the same time.

I would also be very nice if he could pick up a target at corners, or be one for us on ours.

So not useless anymore then? Is this a sign that you can turn around and actually appreciate a player you've initially misjudged? If so well done.

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So not useless anymore then? Is this a sign that you can turn around and actually appreciate a player you've initially misjudged? If so well done.

deja vu - a dialog with you is really hard because you keep on reading things (or more often remembering things) in other peoples posts that are not there.

He is a crap DM - he has talents - God knows where you could play him though - I've been quite consistent on that.

And shouldn't you be defending Matic, not attacking me? You've attached your name to some strong opinions on Matic too.

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deja vu - a dialog with you is really hard because you keep on reading things (or more often remembering things) in other peoples posts that are not there.

He is a crap DM - he has talents - God knows where you could play him though - I've been quite consistent on that.

And shouldn't you be defending Matic, not attacking me? You've attached your name to some strong opinions on Matic too.

So it's my fault you completely wrote him off to begin with? That's an interesting mode of debate - get something wrong blame someone else.

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Khobar   

The funny part in all of this is that there are people here still criticising referees for failing to award a penalty when we deserve one and don't get it. The same people are bleating loudly about the injustice of a deserved penalty for our opponents. How about for once, just once, calling the 'tackle' and the 'shove' what they are - clumsy, ill-timed and, in the context of the game and scoreline at the time, reckless.

that's all fair enough - until the same ref in the same game instantly changes his own interpretation depending on which side has the claim. Dean has form for it with us, but this has happened constantly through the season. The Matic sending off is another recent case - I accept its a generally correct sending off - until you see several other incidents not getting red cards. Ramires getting a retrospective ban for a foul / Ashley Bsrnes getting off Scott free. I could go on were it not so early and my memory not so bad.

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Khobar   

deja vu - a dialog with you is really hard because you keep on reading things (or more often remembering things) in other peoples posts that are not there.

He is a crap DM - he has talents - God knows where you could play him though - I've been quite consistent on that.

And shouldn't you be defending Matic, not attacking me? You've attached your name to some strong opinions on Matic too.

Surely then the problem is with the title "DM" rather than the player. I'm not sure, but had Mourinho ever described Matic as his DM? Is he not just a midfielder who can break up play and transition to attack quickly? If so, he is me never going to be a Makelele (who is?) But it seems to me he was brought in more for the disruption and speed of counter attack than simply a wall between defence and midfield. Even then, our defensive record has been generally quite admirable with him in front of it.

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