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Michael Tucker

Everton 3 Chelsea 1

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courtois

azpi zouma GC baba

matic rambo/mikel

pedro oscar hazard

costa

can't see us winning this one. everton will come in all guns blazing. if we play cesc you can bet your ass of him getting owned by mcarthy. lets hope for the best, but realistically, not much chance.

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xCELERYx   

I can understand why some will want Cesc dropped but it's also equally as daft as it sounds. He's our sole creative midfielder that has the ability to find passes that none of our other midfielders can. It's an incredibly valuable asset to have when sides congest the midfield and get men back, to remove that option would hinder us more, opposed to making other more viable tactical adjustments to solidify our defence and midfield.

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I can understand why some will want Cesc dropped but it's also equally as daft as it sounds. He's our sole creative midfielder that has the ability to find passes that none of our other midfielders can. It's an incredibly valuable asset to have when sides congest the midfield and get men back, to remove that option would hinder us more, opposed to making other more viable tactical adjustments to solidify our defence and midfield.

I think we're at the junction where we can only play Fabregas at CAM. Whether it is Ramires, RLC or Mikel we draft in to partner Matic remains to be seen. But I think whoever it is needs to be an able passer so Fabregas can receive the ball in positions where he can hurt the opposition.

For this game of go with;

Courtois; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Terry, Baba Rahman; Mikel, Matic; Pedro, Fabregas, Hazard; Costa

Subs: Begovic, Cahill, Ivanovic, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Oscar, Falcao

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I can understand why some will want Cesc dropped but it's also equally as daft as it sounds. He's our sole creative midfielder that has the ability to find passes that none of our other midfielders can. It's an incredibly valuable asset to have when sides congest the midfield and get men back, to remove that option would hinder us more, opposed to making other more viable tactical adjustments to solidify our defence and midfield.

Moreover - does anyone think Matic is doing a satisfactory defensive job at CM either? If we drop Cesc for failing in that, surely Matic has to go as well.

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I'd be amazed if we didn't see the same side as we did against Palace regardless of what Mourinho says. Everton to exploit our right side and swamp the midfield.

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I'd be amazed if we didn't see the same side as we did against Palace regardless of what Mourinho says. Everton to exploit our right side and swamp the midfield.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least. José's thinking will be "...after our poor start to the season, everyone will expect me to make one or two changes, maybe even change formations and tactics a little bit! But I, The Special One, am too clever for them! I will surprise them! I will play exactly the same side that started against Crystal Palace. Mwaaahaaahaaahaaahaaahaaa!!!"

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xCELERYx   

I think we're at the junction where we can only play Fabregas at CAM. Whether it is Ramires, RLC or Mikel we draft in to partner Matic remains to be seen. But I think whoever it is needs to be an able passer so Fabregas can receive the ball in positions where he can hurt the opposition.

Not at all. Both Matic and Cesc can play together providing BOTH adhere to their positions and JM alters the role they're asked to play. Both should stay and operate deeper, neither should be asked to venture near the final third, or to press to the extent their being asked to do. If that can be done a more solid foundation can be built upon.

Because both get pulled out of position far too frequently they end up cancelling each others good work out. If Cesc gets dragged too far forward, Matic gets done because he rushes out to close players down too frequently and it leaves the defence exposed. When Matic rushes further forward than he should, Cesc gets exposed for his lack of athleticism. Neither work in any sort of unison at all.

Fabregas is our Pirlo/Alonso and needs to operate as such.

Moreover - does anyone think Matic is doing a satisfactory defensive job at CM either? If we drop Cesc for failing in that, surely Matic has to go as well.

We both know the answer to this. But just to avoid potential confusion, I agree. Both are equally at fault as the other. At the same time, who they're asked to play doesn't aid their situation; individually or as a unit.

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Because both get pulled out of position far too frequently they end up cancelling each others good work out. If Cesc gets dragged too far forward, Matic gets done because he rushes out to close players down too frequently and it leaves the defence exposed. When Matic rushes further forward than he should, Cesc gets exposed for his lack of athleticism. Neither work in any sort of unison at all.

I see Cesc getting drawn forward regularly, but very very rarely does Matic get more than 20m from his own CBs. His problem is pace not positioning.

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xCELERYx   

I see Cesc getting drawn forward regularly, but very very rarely does Matic get more than 20m from his own CBs. His problem is pace not positioning.

Cesc gets drawn forward more, yes. But that's naturally to be expected given his current role within the team. He's our most creative CM and given our CAM isn't of the same vein, there is more requirement on Fabregas to contribute in both a deep phase of play and also closer to goal. Matic on the other hand gets caught out because he positions himself higher up the pitch when we're in possession than what a usual player in a holding role would do. Good for when we want to recycle possession as he becomes another viable outlet without the need to retreat too far back, more so when our fullbacks aren't usually in more advanced positions.

The problem with that is when we do lose possession it can leave us exposed, particularly if Fabregas is also in a more advanced position too. Matic tries to compensate in these particular situations by looking to come out and close the ball holder quickly/win the ball back. Good if it works, because we win the ball higher up the pitch and we've got numbers. Bad if he fails to do that, as it only requires the opposition attacker to either dribble around Matic or pass it onto any other players who has also broken forward. Now we're left in a position were our entire midfield has just been bypassed and the defence are left without any cover.

The risk vs reward isn't worth it. Both are better holding a deeper position and shape, with Cesc logically given that slight edge in freedom to make plays, but that doesn't mean pushing too far forward either.

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Cesc gets drawn forward more, yes. But that's naturally to be expected given his current role within the team. He's our most creative CM and given our CAM isn't of the same vein, there is more requirement on Fabregas to contribute in both a deep phase of play and also closer to goal. Matic on the other hand gets caught out because he positions himself higher up the pitch when we're in possession than what a usual player in a holding role would do. Good for when we want to recycle possession as he becomes another viable outlet without the need to retreat too far back, more so when our fullbacks aren't usually in more advanced positions.

The problem with that is when we do lose possession it can leave us exposed, particularly if Fabregas is also in a more advanced position too. Matic tries to compensate in these particular situations by looking to come out and close the ball holder quickly/win the ball back. Good if it works, because we win the ball higher up the pitch and we've got numbers. Bad if he fails to do that, as it only requires the opposition attacker to either dribble around Matic or pass it onto any other players who has also broken forward. Now we're left in a position were our entire midfield has just been bypassed and the defence are left without any cover.

The risk vs reward isn't worth it. Both are better holding a deeper position and shape, with Cesc logically given that slight edge in freedom to make plays, but that doesn't mean pushing too far forward either.

We disagree on what we observe quite a bit then.

I don't see Matic high up the pitch. Given that neither FB is pushed up very high much, I'd say Matic sits pretty deep. Moreover, while we have been beaten by pace, we are hardly ever outnumbered (and if so, like Palace's 2nd, it is because we are all out for a late goal ourselves).

Yes - I do see the problem when Matic comes out to close down the ball holder. This is exactly what he should be doing, but he is just so plain ineffective at it. A Luiz or a Zouma or a Mikel has the lightness of foot to approach, get near enough to prevent the opponent from looking up, put a tackle in if he does, but still be able to turn and stay level with the opponent if he passes quickly and goes for a return. I'm not asking for a Ramires or a Maka. Fabregas can do this. Matic just can't.

For 12 months, a confident Matic just used to smash it - make a challenge and win enough for people to ignore the risk when it didn't work. Since January* he has just stayed too short - not really closing down the man on the ball, being easy to go around or just ignored, and still unable to keep up if the player goes for a 1-2 and receive the ball back. (*partly because the press ended, partly I suspect confidence, and partly just getting caught out too obviously too often).

9 more days and you can watch this for yourself.

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