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Michael Tucker

Official: Chelsea sign Danny Drinkwater

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I am growing to like the boy, didn't know much about him at Leicester but I think he is a smart player. His touch to Hazard into the box against Newcastle was great

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xCELERYx   

Thought he was excellent against Newcastle overall. His movement off the ball - particularly some of his forward runs were very intelligent. Seen a few glimpses of it in prior appearances but getting to see it over a full 90 minutes was another positive sign. That pass to Hazard was also sublime.

Certainly looks a good fit for 352 and helps provide a bit more polish on the ball than Bakayoko at present. Looking forward to seeing more of him now he's fully fit again.

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A lot better than Bakayoko has shown, but still a CM trying to get forward and play like Willian or Pedro. Strange pick for this game. 

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6 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

A lot better than Bakayoko has shown, but still a CM trying to get forward and play like Willian or Pedro. Strange pick for this game. 

None of those 4 are well-suited to playing the number 8 position we need to make the 3-5-2 work better. Lampard would be perfect alongside Kanté and Fabregas with Hazard and Morata ahead of him.

For this reason 3-4-3 should remain our default unless we're really trying to strangle the life out of a match.

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xCELERYx   
3 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

None of those 4 are well-suited to playing the number 8 position we need to make the 3-5-2 work better. Lampard would be perfect alongside Kanté and Fabregas with Hazard and Morata ahead of him.

For this reason 3-4-3 should remain our default unless we're really trying to strangle the life out of a match.

And 343 means Fabregas becomes more of a liability defensively and our midfield easier to overpower. It also provides the defence with less protection than the 352 as the CMs aren't able to help cover the wingbacks as effectively, while it also sees Hazard play further away from Morata and waters down the partnership they've formed. 

None of them need to play the number 8 position. Sure, someone who has a bit more polish in the final third would be nice to have at CM, but what we have is alright for now and still provides us with a better balance overall. In addition it allows us to utilise Fabregas more effectively, and we've seen Hazard and Morata's partnership grow. 

343 was our default until it became clear the faults with that and we were being exposed by sides like Burnley and Palace. Since the move to 352 we've looked a far more cohesive side and thus put in better performances for it. Like it or not, that's the reality of the situation. 343 won't be scrapped, but it's going to be more selectively used going forward. 

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21 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

And 343 means Fabregas becomes more of a liability defensively

5 defenders + Kante and you are worried about Fabregas.  
This is fiction on your part - Conte has been a hugely successful manager here, yet you still think he needs excuses and want to blame the 7 players he has kept on.

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The current 3-5-2 leaves us woefully short of goals in the starting XI - goals either come from Morata, Hazard or set pieces. We need a number 8 if we're going to play 3 in the middle more often or we play 3-4-3 and increase our chances by having Fabregas, Hazard, Willian/Pedro and Morata in the same team.

All of this depends on the cover provided by Kanté. If he's not available 3-5-2 is our only option.

The key to all of these formations is a larger squad - more AM options, another LWB, a 5th CM (number 8) and eventually another striker. Unless then we'll just be making do, as we are now.

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Drinkwater is proving himself to be a capable squad player, which a number of the more rounded posters on here knew he would be. 

As for 352, that is a formation people are going to have to get used to as it is a formation that suits the knockout competitions (especially the KO rounds of the CL), which s all that is left for us this season (City will have to implode for there to be any chance of the league).

That said, 352 does have a gaping hole;  a proper No.8. For me Goeretka (not sure on the spelling) is a player we should go all out for as he is a perfect fit for us: an actual No.8, talented, young, low/no fee, reasonable wages etc. However,  as he is unlikely to move until Summer, I think we should bring MVG back as he is wasted playing in the Dutch league, he can play the No.8 role, has goals and assists in him and he would not cost us a penny. 

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Sciatika   

I thought he was very good yesterday and I think he can improve if he works on the timing of his runs. He's not an SFL but he is a decent player (much better than I expected so far).

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