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Official: Chelsea Sign Michy Batshuayi

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2 goals and 2 assists in the first pre-season game. He continues to deliver when given a chance. Seeing as we probably won't land a new first choice striker for a few more days/weeks, it's quite likely that Michy will be leading the line against Burnley. I, for one, welcome it. 

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Michy is definitely staking a claim. 

If he's not the second choice striker when the season starts we've made a mistake. And this time I mean a second choice striker that's trusted with serious minutes... 

 

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14 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Michy is definitely staking a claim. 

If he's not the second choice striker when the season starts we've made a mistake. And this time I mean a second choice striker that's trusted with serious minutes... 

 

If the currency of forwards is goals scored then Michy is rolling in it.

If he gets sent away we're mental , well worth serious playing time.

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8 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Michy is definitely staking a claim. 

If he's not the second choice striker when the season starts we've made a mistake. And this time I mean a second choice striker that's trusted with serious minutes... 

 

The way he's going I don't see why he shouldn't be leading the line come the start of the season. It's up to Morata now to prove he deserves to start. 

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1 hour ago, A Blue Essien said:

The way he's going I don't see why he shouldn't be leading the line come the start of the season. It's up to Morata now to prove he deserves to start. 

Much in the same boat. If Michy continues his hot hand then there's no reason he shouldn't start. Been a fan of his from the beginning and always thought he had the ability but just needed the chance. He has good movement, love his work in and around the box, and his finishing is top draw. I know some here didn't rate his hold up play/link play, but he has shown he can contribute in these areas too. As you said, it's up to Morata to stake his claim. And with Hazard out, I wouldn't rule out seeing both play at some point. 

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Well interestingly enough, apparently Conte has been out talking up Fabregas in a #10 role. 

I believe we will see 352 more this season and it would be very interesting to see Morata and Michy play together. 

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36 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Well interestingly enough, apparently Conte has been out talking up Fabregas in a #10 role. 

I believe we will see 352 more this season and it would be very interesting to see Morata and Michy play together. 

I don't think we could stick to 3-4-3 all season... our long run of wins following the Arsenal game was partly down to teams not having any idea how to counteract that formation (not that we rigidly stuck to it anyway). It was always the case that we would need to be more flexible this season. The idea of 3-5-2 with Cesc as a 10, flanked by Kante and Bakayoko, with Morata supported by one of Hazard, Batshuayi or Pedro is one I'm looking forward to seeing. With only 3 senior AMs currently, unless we invest in another player there, I think two up top is the more likely starting formation, reverting to possibly a 3-4-3 later in the game by bringing on Pedro and Willian.

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19 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

Well interestingly enough, apparently Conte has been out talking up Fabregas in a #10 role. 

I believe we will see 352 more this season and it would be very interesting to see Morata and Michy play together. 

I suppose 352 describes about half a dozen different ways of playing, so I curious just how you think that will work.

For me the real strengths of last season's formation were:

  • we could rotate 3 top top players - Pedro, Willian and Hazard - across 2 AM positions
  • They could play narrow or wander because the width (and first line of defence against attacking FBs) came from the WBs
  • They could play narrow or wander because we had just one striker, leaving them space to roam and less responsibility to defend.
  • Their mobility made Luiz, Fabregas (and others too) all the more effective playing long balls into space.
  • Costa's aggression (and non-stop running all season) meant that 2 oppo CBs were occupied full time
  • 3CBs convinced the other 7 outfielders to start defending from outside the box, not just within it.

The weakness was:

  • wanting to keep 2 solid CMs in the middle kept Fabregas out of the team too much (and assuming Baka is supposed to be an upgrade on Matic, that will be all the more true this season).

So my problem with 352 is how can we bring both Fabregas and a 2nd striker into the team without dropping the 2 Hazard/Pedro/Willian places (which I don't think Dave is expecting).

So that is my question.  My own tentative answers are
a) stick to 3421, and live with the Fabregas in or out problem (probably Conte's solution I guess).
b)  abandon the 3 at the back to allow 3 or 4 CMS, including Baka and Kante (to protect the back 4) and use 2 of Fabregas/Pedro/Willian in two roles from CM3, CM4 and No10  (so 442 or 4312) but this probably means Hazard as 2nd striker, not Bats.
c) the same with just 1 striker, 433 with 2 from Pedro/Hazard/Willian playing LW/RW (and passing on the freedom to roam from the wide attackers to Fabregas in CM)
d) 532 but with a big upgrade on that attacking WBs (to make up for / replace Pedro/Hazard/Willian roles).  Alonso out because he is too defensive in style, Moses because he is not good enough.  Fabregas in the middle/No10, and probably with Hazard as STR2, and Pedro/Willian playing as the starting WBs (though with the emphasis on rotating the WBs in game rather than the now non-existent AMs.

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6 minutes ago, Bob Singleton said:

 With only 3 senior AMs currently, unless we invest in another player there, I think two up top is the more likely starting formation, reverting to possibly a 3-4-3 later in the game by bringing on Pedro and Willian.

To add to my final point above, I cannot imagine Moses starting regularly while both Pedro and Willian begin on the bench.
Indeed I cannot imagine both Pedro and Willian sitting on the bench regularly in any system whatever.

(Having said that, Conte did find a way to exclude Fabregas from most of the season.  I still can't work out how or why he did that.)

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