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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0

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1 hour ago, NoblyBobly said:

I love watching players like him and I always give them more leeway than I would to a player like Willian for instance.  When I see clips of Alan Hudson it makes me drool. I can just about remember a player called Mickey Fillery in the 80s who was a lazy SOB but had this wonderful left foot that could open a can of beans. I also loved Micky Hazard and Hoddle. Lampard in his pomp could of course play that role along with every other role but he was a once in a lifetime player. Fabragas is first name on team sheet for me.

Frank had a great talent for scoring goals form midfield and being a box-to-box play Nobly, but he never had anything like the passing ability of Hoddle. No other English player ever has I think.

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Fabregas is class.  He might not have pace, or be a great tackler, but no-one is a better passer than him in our team.  As for Lukaku, he is just cack, he's just a slightly upgraded version of Emile Heskey, Everton was his true level.  Give me Morata any day.  And as for Conte, good on him for being brave, I just hope this is just a kick up the backside for Luiz, just to let him know who's in charge.  Christiansen was excellent in defence as was Cahill and Azpi.  And finally Jose is no longer special, his defensive and negative tactics are now obsolete, I think his reign at Utd will end in tears.  I mean, which top coach would actually rate Fellaini as a player?  He looks like a dip stick glued to a loo brush and plays like one as well.

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19 hours ago, kev61 said:

Not a question about being demanding...fans should be demanding!!  With the money a fan pays and a player gets paid!!!.Bakayoko looks like trash whilst getting involved - should we stay silent on his inability to do the basics right! and should we stay silent about the amount of money these players get.

 

I'm not expecting anyone to stay silent. notice the (in my opinion) excessive use of the exclamation marks there, trying to convey a bit of tone are we? Seeing as you've displayed so much passion on the subject how long would you give a player to prove himself before you consider him... what was it again not Chelsea quality?

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xCELERYx   
12 hours ago, Holymoly said:

I'd disagree with you on this point. Granted when we play well (usually overwhelming sides) Fabregas plays well, because he is allowed to play. When we play poorly (usually because we are highly pressured) Fabregas is almost invisible because he isn't allowed the time and space to make an impression. He is, never has been, and is unlikely ever to become so a player that can drag a losing game around by the scruff of its neck and fashion a collective change in performance from the team. He is a player that takes advantage when we're on the front foot. Obviously when that is allowed to happen the players ahead of him benefit also.

Yes he can be a good player but unlike you I feel that he stands on the shoulders of others and is unable to inspire a poorly performing team the way say Zola did.

While I agree with parts of this, I also think it's relevant to the formation we play. When Fabregas plays as part of a 343 and a two man midfield, against the sides that press he can be less effective overall. He'll still has his moments because he does have quality when he gets the ball, but the time needed to dictate the tempo and play isn't there. While his game requires more defensive responsibility with only one midfield partner alongside him. When he plays in a 352 or a three man midfield, then he has more impact on games in general - regardless if the opposition close down more or not. Not only is this because of the extra midfield body that the opposition need to combat, but also because it generally means that Fabregas plays that little deeper than the L/RCM's and can thus collect the ball in areas where sides aren't so likely to press, while less focus is put on being so defensively switched on.

It comes as no real surprise that when we play 352 against the bigger sides Fabregas tends to play better overall. He was excellent against Atletico Madrid and once more against Man Utd, and was still one of the better players we had in the loss to Man City and draw with Roma. That's not to say he doesn't impact games in a 343 but there's more room for him to be exposed in such a system.

I know it's been talked about before with relation to positional play between Fabregas and Pirlo but there's a real connection between the two. Besides the obvious individual quality Pirlo possessed as a player, what also made him so highly influential on games was the fact he was always utilised in a system that best allowed him to excel within and minimised his limitations. Never did Pirlo really play in a system that didn't feature a three man midfield, doing so would have not only exposed the player but also the team. The same should apply to Fabregas if we're genuinely interested in having him play regularly and want the best out of him. We've seen the benefit that comes with that extra midfielder next to him and how it covers his lack of athleticism. A switch to 352, even against the so called "lesser teams" would aid all of this. Given that closing down isn't connected with the quality of opposition faced. Any team can close down and pressure a side if they do it right. And we've been caught out with this in the past.

For me, I think if we provided a genuine platform for Fabregas where his weak points aren't so easily exposed he would be able to influence games more regularly than he does. Given the fact he's also the only midfielder we have currently who has the passing quality and vision, we should be making more of this while we can. Particularly now when our attacking midfielders have so far failed to really impact games and our best performances (imo) have been when we've played 352. 

 

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Posts like the one above seem to be arguing either that Conte is able to magically create teams that are better without Fabregas,  or that somehow he might create a worse one by selecting him. 

Conte isn't that clever. Even Zaffo isn't that smart. 

Btw Fabregas himself is far more effective with 3 targets not 2. 

The 343 vs 352 argument is really about whether Bakayoko or Drinkwater instead of Pedro is worth making despite the fewer options for Fabregas. 

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kev61   
41 minutes ago, kennypaul said:

I'm not expecting anyone to stay silent. notice the (in my opinion) excessive use of the exclamation marks there, trying to convey a bit of tone are we? Seeing as you've displayed so much passion on the subject how long would you give a player to prove himself before you consider him... what was it again not Chelsea quality?

I was a bit over the top there Kenny I agree.'How long would I give a player to prove himself'? a lot longer than some of our managers, and one in particular.How long would you keep a player on the pitch when they are not contributing in any way?.Bakayoko is incredibly athletic but has the touch and the vision that is not conducive to a midfield player playing for a top club - or do you think we are not a top club?.He may become that player I sincerely hope so.

It's all about opinions IMO!!.I mean some people might think your post a tad patronising - not me.

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kev61   

Fabregas will,in the main stand out in a balanced team.Kante will,in the main stand out in a balanced or unbalanced team.Look at Lukaku(never his biggest fan)l he is playing so badly because of an unbalanced utd team.There are stand out alone players like Kante and Hazard in our current team - the rest need balance.

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How slow Cesc Fabregas thrives among midfield pace and athleticism.

 

Pace is a valuable footballing currency, but it has not always been a clear-cut case of the haves and have-nots. The pacey -- even if that is their only notable attribute -- may well be praised as such, but the paceless are not necessarily condemned.

Take Teddy Sheringham, a relatively dynamic player in his youth who matured into a subtle strike partner at Tottenham and Man United imbued with the mythical "first yard in his head." John Terry's peak years of the mid-2000s at Chelsea came with the caveat about his often leaden feet, which in turn was mitigated by his superior "reading of the game," the saving grace of many a one-paced defender before him. Pace has been so highly valued that, without it, players in any position have had to compensate with something extra special.

A glaring lack of speed is usually expressed in two contexts: either the loss of it over time -- to devastating effect -- that blunts a striker's edge (Michael Owen, for example), or the simple observation that they never had it in the first place (Terry).

In Fabregas' case though, it is more about his glaring lack of pace compared to those around him in any given Premier League midfield. It is a spectacular slowness, quite fascinating to watch, if only because of how frequently he gets away with it.

Many midfield skirmishes for Fabregas become brief hare-and-tortoise situations, where a more nimble, athletic and urgent opponent tries to impose themselves on him, only to somehow finish runner-up as he steps away with his head up to move the ball upfield.

Even his passes -- short or long -- seem to be delivered in slow motion, rather than pinged or zipped around as the Premier League often demands from its engine rooms. His crossfield caress of the ball to Cesar Azpilicueta drews gasps from the home crowd in the build-up to the decisive goal at Stamford Bridge, not because of its inch-perfect quality but because it had gently rolled beyond the lunging boot of Marcus Rashford who was ready to intercept and break on the halfway line.

Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas is able to dictate things at his own pace.

When Fabregas opts to keep hold of possession for himself, it's not so much dribbling as a careful prodding of the ball until he decides what to do with it next. Great midfielders of modern times -- Zinedine Zidane, above all -- appear to enjoy far more time on the ball than they actually have. Fabregas has survived thanks to a similar (if slightly less graceful) habit of bending the time-space continuum; his passes are often released right at the last possible moment before a tackle flies in, giving the impression of a man flirting with the very limits of his own fast-twitch muscle fibres.

None of this, though, adds up to an accusation of a lack of effort. Where Pirlo's other-worldly calmness -- which perhaps peaked with the embarrassment of a huffing-and-puffing England at Euro 2012 -- became his late-career USP, Fabregas often looks on the verge of an minor implosion: hair everywhere, a look of overworked anguish, as he reaches for loose balls and slides into half-speed tackles.

The Spaniard only turned 30 this year, but can often look truly ancient when forced to cover some emergency defensive ground; his running style is a sort of casual trot, even under pressure. His willingness to attempt the hard yards flies in the face of his actual ability to do so, which often lends him the unfortunate look of an engine running on fumes.

That emphatic lack of mobility -- over which Fabregas himself has never been in denial -- can be cruelly exposed. Watford threatened to almost literally run away with the game at Stamford Bridge recently, slicing straight through Chelsea's soft middle until a late comeback turned it around. Then, at Roma in the Champions League, the scenario Fabregas dreads the most unfurled itself: at 2-0 down, he gave the ball away to Aleksandar Kolarov and had to drag himself back, in vain, at a speed that made it look like he was in a wind tunnel, to watch the third goal go in.

The all-round relief when N'Golo Kante returned from injury to take the burden of sheer mileage from Fabregas against United was palpable. No longer occupying Pirlo territory -- with the game in front of him, ready for the lock-picking long pass -- Fabregas was free to wander into the pockets of midfield breathing space.

Amid the telescopic limbs of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Nemanja Matic, and the relentless scampering of Kante and Ander Herrera, it felt right that there should still be a place for the more considered, thoughtful probings of Fabregas.

While his midfield peers chased, harried, wrestled and recovered, he remained governed by the eternal rule of letting the ball do the work. Once again, there was nothing explosive about what he did: even his corners are floated in towards their intended target without a hint of haste, no matter what the state of the game.

Perhaps his insistence on doing everything at his own pace explains his top-level longevity, an admirable survival among the fittest. With Pirlo ambling into his own sunset, Fabregas is one of the last remaining tortoises among the hares.

Adam Hurrey analyses the language of football. You can follow him on Twitter: @FootballCliches.

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23 hours ago, kev61 said:

I was a bit over the top there Kenny I agree.'How long would I give a player to prove himself'? a lot longer than some of our managers, and one in particular.How long would you keep a player on the pitch when they are not contributing in any way?.Bakayoko is incredibly athletic but has the touch and the vision that is not conducive to a midfield player playing for a top club - or do you think we are not a top club?.He may become that player I sincerely hope so.

It's all about opinions IMO!!.I mean some people might think your post a tad patronising - not me.

I applaud your measured response. I was at work when I wrote it so forgive the patronizing. You made some valid points and it is all about opinions but when forum users question the buying of Bakayoko like he's that fella united bought from looking at youtube then for me that's going a bit too far. Another question Kev would you keep playing a player who is under-performing but is a regular and considered by some a legend? 

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