Michael Tucker

Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 1

165 posts in this topic

6 minutes ago, McCreadie said:

Bonucci, Veratti and Griezmann it is then! Add the 2 wingbacks, thats about £300m...

I think we might need James' magic outgoings calculator.

Haha. I am sure we will have money to spend over the next two transfer windows, and I am sure that Conte will manage to spend them on quality players that suits our system. He did not have to look further than our group of loan players to find a great RWB. Every new player don't have to cost 50mp. Lichtsteiner for instance is a quality RWB he knows very well, whose contract runs out in the summer. Griezmann is probably going to cost 100mp, but is going to be worth it. We need more magic in attack, to lessen the burden of Hazard and Costa. Whether we need another CB depends on how this season goes for Zouma and Cahill, and how ready we consider Christensen to be. 

Wouldn't rule out a 200mp budget for the next two windows: Griezmann (or similar world class talent) for 100mp, Lichtsteiner on a free, 30mp for a LWB and 50mp to bolster our CM with a quality player like Verratti still gives us 20mp left to spend.

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16 hours ago, jones said:

Good post, and I think you are nailing it here. Conte thinks our first XI is best suited for a 3-4-3, while our squad players skews our preferred system towards 3-5-2. We have a squad that can be set up to play different formations, but don't possess the depth to go all in on one preferred formation. I guess that is both a strength and a weakness for us, but in the end I can't see Conte doing anything else than trying to build his squad for a 3-4-3. What do you think, zaffo?

Now that Conte has managed to establish a system and formation that works with the best players at his disposal, you would only expect those that both are second in line and not perfect matches for the 343 to leave:

  • Fabregas and Mikel don't have the ability to press like Conte wants his CMs to do in this system
  • Oscar is not direct or quick enough to play as a "narrow winger"
  • Terry and Ivanovic will leave because they are not playing, and both lack the acceleration and agility to be effective in their positions

That leaves us with an extremely thin first team squad, and I expect Conte to fill these gaps with players fit to play 343. Expect him to start in January, as we are extremely exposed to injuries and suspensions. Over the next two windows we must add:

  1. Two world class wing backs. Nothing would be better than to offer some real competition to Moses and Alonso. Although proven to be quality against most PL teams, the wing backs are so instrumental for our success that we need double up with absolute quality.
  2. At least another quality CM to offer competition to Matic and Kante with Chalobah also in there. Another body would do fine too, but both Willian and Luiz can cope in CM too.
  3. One or two more CBs, depending on how Zouma performs over the season
  4. Two more attacking players for the front three

We should only recall loan players or promote youngsters that for sure is 100% ready to play a part. Musonda and Christensen would thrive in this system. Can't see anyone else at the moment.

CB: Azpi, Luiz, BONUCCI + Zouma/Christensen, Cahill

WB: Moses, Alonso, NEW, NEW

CM: Kante, Matic, Chalobah, NEW

AM: Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Musonda, GRIEZMANN (someone who are capable of playing AM and CF)

CF: Costa, Batshuayi

343 is the most likely to be built around purely because we've got players like Hazard and Pedro who suit the AM positions. However, I also wouldn't rule out Conte making sure he has options for both 352 and 343 when desired. I also think it may also depend on the sort of players we're able to bring in during transfer windows. This may also influence which is utilised the most. Either system is going to require some fairly heavy investment at this stage to bring in more suitable options. While we've got a number of players who don't really have a place in either formation either. The 343 is still untested without someone like Costa upfront. It takes a rather specific sort of player to lead the line himself, so having that flexibility to move to a front two pairing is important. 

For me the main area of investment are;

CB: An alternative ball playing option to Luiz, but one that is also comfortable to play alongside or in place of.

WB: A more attacking alternative for Alonso, a more defensive one for Moses.

CM: Minimum of one, ideally two. Both need to be dynamic and able to work both ways, while maintaining ability on the ball to spot a pass. One needs to be able to win a ball, so we've got some cover for Kante. Could be an opening for Chalobah to really press for a spot, or even look to draft in Baker for next season if he returns from loan. We have some options and decisions to make here. Expect at least one established CM to come in though.

AM: At least one more goal threatening AM to come in. However, ideally we'd also look at bringing in someone that can play AM/CF to provide us with some flexibility between 343 and 352. 

Either way, we'll see a bit of a tinkering with the squad over the next few windows.

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21 hours ago, zaffo said:

As for the flanks, that's what Conte forces teams to do. He doesn't give them the middle of the pitch and forces teams to play in wider area. This generates more crosses and with 3 CB's in the middle against a lone CF, the odds weigh once again in our favour. I've spoken about this before. It's one reason why Conte likes his CB's to be big and good in the air, they deal with a lot of crosses due to this exact reason. I wouldn't be alarmed by this whatsoever. 

Yes, I realize this is the endeavor, but my worry when we switch to the 3-5-2 is the potential overload on the flanks. The 3-4-3 allows the WB to be protected by a retreating wide forward, along with one of the CM's shuffling over. So at any given point we can dedicate 3 men to wide areas to nullify that area, and indeed encourage hopeful punts into the box.

The 3-5-2, on the other hand, loses the wide forward, and instead encourages one of the CM's to shuffle over to the flank. The opposition team can then create a 3 v 2 overload, and instead of crossing, can actually work their way into the box due to the advantage in numbers.

It is a trade off, and I can understand Conte solidifying the midfield late in games, but weaknesses appear in other areas. It's working well for now, so no complaints. 

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4 hours ago, zaffo said:

343 is the most likely to be built around purely because we've got players like Hazard and Pedro who suit the AM positions. However, I also wouldn't rule out Conte making sure he has options for both 352 and 343 when desired. I also think it may also depend on the sort of players we're able to bring in during transfer windows. This may also influence which is utilised the most. Either system is going to require some fairly heavy investment at this stage to bring in more suitable options. While we've got a number of players who don't really have a place in either formation either. The 343 is still untested without someone like Costa upfront. It takes a rather specific sort of player to lead the line himself, so having that flexibility to move to a front two pairing is important. 

For me the main area of investment are;

CB: An alternative ball playing option to Luiz, but one that is also comfortable to play alongside or in place of.

WB: A more attacking alternative for Alonso, a more defensive one for Moses.

CM: Minimum of one, ideally two. Both need to be dynamic and able to work both ways, while maintaining ability on the ball to spot a pass. One needs to be able to win a ball, so we've got some cover for Kante. Could be an opening for Chalobah to really press for a spot, or even look to draft in Baker for next season if he returns from loan. We have some options and decisions to make here. Expect at least one established CM to come in though.

AM: At least one more goal threatening AM to come in. However, ideally we'd also look at bringing in someone that can play AM/CF to provide us with some flexibility between 343 and 352. 

Either way, we'll see a bit of a tinkering with the squad over the next few windows.

I agree with this.

I would be surprised not to see Conte go for Lichtsteiner on a free in the summer. Knows what he is getting, a natural in his system, experienced and a more defensive option than Moses. Fits the bill perfectly. Give Aina a year or two on loan to see how he can develop. A more attacking left wing-back makes sense, Conte seems to like to at least have the option of having one attacking and one defensive wing-back on the pitch at the same time. I actually always thought Kenedy would have made a great attacking wing-back, but Conte doesn't seem to rate him.

Think we can do without splashing the cash on a new CB, as Christensen is on our books already. Very similar to Stones both in terms of current ability and potential. Could both play alongside Luiz and instead of him. But still untested at this level, and I would of course be way calmer with a player like Bonucci :)

All our CMs must be mobile, good ball-winners and possess a decent passing range. Fabregas and Mikel don't fit the bill, Oscar does in theory but it seems that Conte does not rate him either. Inconsistency and lack of concentration is the reason I guess. Chalobah will for sure continue to push on, and be one of the options. Would make sense to go out and buy someone who can go straight in and compete with both Kante and Matic. A fifth option will likely see little playing time, and shall either be a cheap/older option, loan player or youngster. Do you really see Baker as a fit in the 3-4-3? Would think he lacks the defensive aspect, just like Fabregas.

Yeah, we need both another AM plus an AM that can play CF. As you say, we are yet to see Bathshuayi leading the line in 3-4-3, and I watched him for Chelsea Dev on Monday in that role. Did not impress. Not good enough first touch and movement for me. May of course improve, but would be more content with an AM/CF. Aubameyang and Griezmann are the type of players that we need. Both quality and skill-wise. Is going to cost, but should be our top priority. We can add Musonda for an extra body, has all the qualities to be a world-beater in 3-4-3.

 

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I can't see us buying any Italian CBs, the Italians recognise we will be a threat in the CL so why would they sell us top CBs unless they are at the end of their career?

Do we really want to buy CBs at the end of their career?

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