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Michael Tucker

Everton 3 Chelsea 1

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Cesc needs to be dropped for this one, 100%. Same with Ivan.

Courtois

Azpi Cahill Terry Baba

Matic Mikel

Pedro Oscar (if fit)/Willian Hazard

Costa

Costa really, really needs to stop picking fights with defenders. It's embarassing, stupid and is obviously distracting him more than it is distracting the opposition. When he first came to the league, he wasn't being too bad and was scoring for fun. Then all of a sudden, the goals started coming less frequently and he became a complete d*ick again. Really doesn't help his game. Just keep your head down and play football. It's seriously getting annoying.

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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.

Can't agree. In this season's games so far, he's consistently been in the opposition half, often recycling possession in front of the penalty area. It's his natural instinct to get forward, and that's what he's been doing. Nobody has really been sitting and holding, and that's what's exposed our CBs to extra pressure.

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Can't agree. In this season's games so far, he's consistently been in the opposition half, often recycling possession in front of the penalty area. It's his natural instinct to get forward, and that's what he's been doing. Nobody has really been sitting and holding, and that's what's exposed our CBs to extra pressure.

That is where you'd expect a DM to be for a period of sustained pressure where at least one FB and 2 CBs are in position to cover just the one attacker. Even Maka would be up there in that situation.

We are not getting out numbered at the back.

Matic's problem has never been positioning - he runs all those Kms to get constantly in position. He is very good with space. It is players he can't keep up with.

We had 18 months of non-stop praise for Matic's defensive contribution. Suddenly people are trying to find reasons why his contribution is so poor this season.

We have:

  • But he isn't defensive, he is just a taller version of Fabregas, and Fabregas bears all the blame
  • He is getting too far forward and making tactical mistakes
  • (my version) There has been no change - he never was any good defensively because he can't get near or stay near opponents

Why do you think I have been so willing to take a controversial view on Matic for so long - because I knew I'd get to say "I told you so" one day.

Perhaps I should make "I told you so" my signature, but I'm saving that up for a more important event.

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Can't agree. In this season's games so far, he's consistently been in the opposition half, often recycling possession in front of the penalty area. It's his natural instinct to get forward, and that's what he's been doing. Nobody has really been sitting and holding, and that's what's exposed our CBs to extra pressure.

I disagree completely with this. Matic has been the only player who's been holding his position. But it's pointless - no one else does it (apart from the back four) so we've been defending with 5 men all the time.

Against Palace he barely made it 20 metres into their half.

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JezQ8   

I think the squad needs freshening up especially at the back. I think azibi should be at rb and rahman should be given a go at lb. I also think that a 4-3-3 could be a better way to go.

Courtois

Azbi-zouma-Terry-baba

Matic

Rameris-fabregas

Pedro-costa-hazard

Subs, begovic, Mikel, ivanovic , Willian, falcou,Oscar, Kennedy

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I disagree completely with this. Matic has been the only player who's been holding his position.

Not a total surprise there, Dave. So we'll have to agree to disagree then, because we've clearly been watching two different players, or completely different games.

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Not a total surprise there, Dave. So we'll have to agree to disagree then, because we've clearly been watching two different players, or completely different games.

It certainly seems we have Michael.

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Vinod   

Maybe instead of blaming Matic, people should blame Jose.

We can all agree Matic has decent pace over medium distances, is a decent tackler, is strong with a great physical presence and is a decent passer of the ball. His weakness is that he turns slowly but that typically happens with players who have a large frame. Therefore it is obvious that he will struggle if he is out of position. To avoid this Jose must either

1. Instruct him to hold his position

2. Pair him with another midfielder who can cover; this would make the team defensive overall.

We really cannot expect Matic to improve technically or physically. If our coach was laissez-faire I would expect Matic to use more of his understanding and take calls on the field. With Jose in charge you expect that Matic's game is dictated by Jose's instructions. If Matic is going upfield far too often or is pressing too high or letting opposition players run, it is happening either because Jose has asked him to or allowed him. We can blame individual players when issues are in patches but if it goes beyond a point, the fingers need to be squarely pointed on the coach.

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