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Michael Tucker

West Brom 0 Chelsea 4

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kev61   
3 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Refs or no refs, they are still miles ahead of us, Man U or anyone else.

They really are not.We are the only team in the premiership that will go toe to toe with them and win. IMO.

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8 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

The whole "5 defenders" thing is merely laziness when describing the system overall. We don't actually play with 5 defenders per say. Depending on the match situation it will often determine where our WB's take up the majority of their positions on the pitch. When we need to defend more then they'll tend to fall back deeper and form part of a 5 man defensive unit. When we're in control of games the WB's tend to be more advanced in their positioning and have greater involvement in that final third where they tend to be more midfielders than defenders. Simply labelling it as 5 defenders is doing a huge disservice to the work Conte has put into his 352/343 system and the players themselves. I mean, our WB's have often been influential in game and contribute more in attack than our AM's a lot of the time. Their role is one that's quite adaptable. 

It's not lazy at all, we play with 3 centre backs and 2 wing backs. That's quite simply 5 defenders however you want to dress it up.  Everything you have said here would apply if we played a back 4 just as much as it does when we play a back 5

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Not having Pedro or Willian in the starting line up isn't weakening us. Willian has looked well off the pace for quite some time now (more or less since his mum passed away). Many here were slaughtering him earlier this year when he was playing because of his ineffective play - now all of a sudden he's the missing piece to making us "better"? Nah. He's a good player, one I like, but in Conte's system he doesn't offer us enough of what we need. While Pedro is a good foil for Hazard currently and provides a genuine alternative off the bench. 

In my opinion it is. We have won the league two out of three seasons playing with a front 3. Pedro has been absolutely superb for us and is criminally underrated. For me he should be one of the first names on the team sheet. Willian is what he is, he's nver going to score or assist loads, it's just not him. People either get him or they don't.  That doesn't make him less of a player. He certainly won't contribute less to the team than whoever is currently playing in front of him.

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433 would create more problems than positives in my opinion. What happens with Azpi and his CB role? Does he move to RB or LB? What happens at RB? Are Moses or Zappacosta good enough defensively to actually play as a genuine fullback? Marcos Alonso then becomes a bit of a problem at LB because of his lack of pace and playing closer to goal. He got away with it more in a more tactical Serie A. Would he do so here in the EPL? We'd also be somewhat negating his biggest strengths in terms of getting forward and chipping in with goals. The CM options aren't overly impacted. However, upfront we'd be returning to a single CF system. We'd once more be pushing Hazard out wide. Is that more beneficial than the partnership he's got with Morata currently? Is the inclusion of either Pedro and Willian more valuable than unsettling the side and creating potential problems in other areas? 

Azpilicueta would indeed go back to full back, either side. Not sure why that would bother you as you have said for ages he shouldn't play at centre half. Yes Alonso would go back to left back. It's pretty much the same position. Ditto  Zappacosta. I'm just not having any argument that the role of a full back or wing back is any different. At all. It's not. 

Rudiger could also play right back, Moses become 4th choice AM. Suddenly we have 4 full backs and 4 AM's so more options straight away.

I've wanted Hazard playing as a number 10 for years and have argued why he should that whole time. That was of course when we played a number 10. If the choice is him playing uofront with Morata with no wingers  or on the left in a 3 I'd take him on the left all day every day.

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Overall it's a little more involved than just names on paper and it reading well. For me, 352 is the best fitting system for us and the players we have. 343 still has a place for now, but it may be shorter lived depending on what we target in the transfer windows.

Indeed it is, which is exactly my point.

Our squad, as it stands, couldn't really be less suited to a 352 compared to 433 or 343. We have 2 strikers ( one of them Batshuayi )and 4 centre mids.  It's not sustainable to play 4 out of 6(5) players in every minute of every game.

At least if we keep playing 2 up top you can claim you always said Morata needs to play in a 2 and you don't look quite so silly with your rather strong opinion on him. Which of course was completely wrong.

A good 433 will always destroy a good 352. Its just a much better formation. How many teams have been successful at the highest level playing 352 compared to 433?

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On 11/18/2017 at 8:49 PM, blue_everest said:

Angry hazard is the best Hazard

Indeed.

 

On 11/18/2017 at 9:48 PM, Lump Of Celery said:

My word I detest Yacob. Morata seems pretty riled up today and seems to play better for it, although that yellow was unnecessary.

 

On 11/18/2017 at 9:50 PM, MikelBlue said:

Yacob. How this butcher still has a job in the premier league beats me. Came on at HT and predictably picked a yellow but only after no less than 7 or more fouls- most of the hard variety. 

Complete hatchet man. He's out to injure, every single game.

 

On 11/19/2017 at 0:30 AM, Martin1905 said:

That's not even debatable, the only debate to be had is which two players could be considered better than him as I think, and have said for a while now, he is without doubt THE best in the world. 

He is an absolute freak and his level of consistency is something I don't think I have ever seen , from anyone.

Absolutely. Best CM in the world. Someone like Modric could be considered better, but is a completely different player. 

 

14 hours ago, WHYSOSLOWYEH said:

Not when they're getting help from the refs, like yesterday..2 mins in and kompany brings down Vardy, who's clean through on goal, but ref only gives a yellow

Yup, ridiculous decision. Totally bottled it. 

 

11 hours ago, Michael Tucker said:

Given their unlimited financial resources, amazingly generous sponsorships, and willingness to spend money like drunken sailors, it's hardly surprising though, is it?

Indeed. The problem we're going to face with CIty is that they've bought very well in the past 12-24 months. The additions of Sane, Mendy and Jesus will set them up long term, as did the acquisitions of Toure, Silva and Aguero in 2010/11. 

 

41 minutes ago, Martin1905 said:

I've wanted Hazard playing as a number 10 for years and have argued why he should that whole time. That was of course when we played a number 10. If the choice is him playing uofront with Morata with no wingers  or on the left in a 3 I'd take him on the left all day every day.

I'm not sure about this. Hazard up front as part of the 2 has been absolutely phenomenal. He's been given complete freedom to roam and do as he pleases and that also entirely frees him from defensive responsibility. His link up play with Morata is also flourishing. The system also gets the best out of Fabregas, so it may well be worth pursuing. 

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Whisper it, but it's now 4 wins in a row and with 25 points from 12 games, it's been a pretty decent start to a very difficult fixture list. If we had got an extra 3-4 points (win against Burnley, draw at Palace) we would have been in a very healthy position indeed.

Unfortunately City have got off to such a ridiculous start that there doesn't seem to be any way to reel them in. I may be jumping the gun, but I do fear they'll threaten our records of most goals, wins and points in a season. 

All we can do is keep going and hope they drop points somewhere. Would love to make it 5 in a row next week...

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16 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

I'm not sure about this. Hazard up front as part of the 2 has been absolutely phenomenal. He's been given complete freedom to roam and do as he pleases and that also entirely frees him from defensive responsibility. His link up play with Morata is also flourishing. The system also gets the best out of Fabregas, so it may well be worth pursuing. 

Hazard is absolutely phenomenal when he plays well regardless of which position he plays. I don't think he's suddenly playing better as he's playing more centrally, he's just playing well in general. 

I agree about Fabregas, he's one of our  3 most important players for me and should start every game, I just don't think we need to play 7 defensive players to get the best out of him or Hazard. If one of them has a bad game we have zero creativity in our side. We are basically playing with two players that are likely to create chances, if they don't we have very little chance of scoring.

It's working at the moment as both are playing exceptionally well. I Seriously worry when one or both have a dip in form.

 

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jones   

Not buying this 5 defenders argument. Who cares how many defenders or strikers we have on the pitch, as long as things are working? There is a long time since we had as good balance in our team as we currently have with our new shape, and that we had during our 13 game winning streak last year. Defensive solidity, creative power, width, pace in attack. It's working, and I couldn't give a rats ass of what the natural position of some players are. And if it matters, Alonso is a much more attacking defender than Ashley Cole 09-10, and Christensen is at least as attacking CB as Makelele was attacking as a DM in 04-05. 

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34 minutes ago, jones said:

Not buying this 5 defenders argument. Who cares how many defenders or strikers we have on the pitch, as long as things are working? There is a long time since we had as good balance in our team as we currently have with our new shape, and that we had during our 13 game winning streak last year. Defensive solidity, creative power, width, pace in attack. It's working, and I couldn't give a rats ass of what the natural position of some players are. And if it matters, Alonso is a much more attacking defender than Ashley Cole 09-10, and Christensen is at least as attacking CB as Makelele was attacking as a DM in 04-05. 

Which is wonderful when we are beating teams such as West Brom and Bournemouth playing that way.

We have absolutely no chance of competing with the best teams in Europe playing this system. We might not get hammered but there is no way in a million years we would beat any of the top European clubs over two legs.

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I see WBA have now sacked Pulis , which is odd because his idea in realising that although his " tactics" were to kick Hazard off the park , what he really needed , in front of the clubs owner at three nil down was to introduce Claudio Yacob to reinvigorate the kicking quotient was a masterstroke.

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paulw66   
1 hour ago, Mark Kelly said:

I see WBA have now sacked Pulis , which is odd because his idea in realising that although his " tactics" were to kick Hazard off the park , what he really needed , in front of the clubs owner at three nil down was to introduce Claudio Yacob to reinvigorate the kicking quotient was a masterstroke.

The fact that Yacob still has a career in the PL is an example of everything that is wrong with English football. If want to compete on a national level with Spain, we have to create an enviroment where skillful players can play witohut fear of being butchered. Christensen was lucky not to go off on a stretcher.

Incredibly we finished the game with more yellows than them despite never making a tackle. Hazard and Morata were just chopped down whenever their players could catch them, then as soon as they lost their rag and did a fairly gentle trip, the cards came out. 

It was an embarassement of a refereeing performance that could have left us with 2 or 3 serious injuries. 

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44 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

The fact that Yacob still has a career in the PL is an example of everything that is wrong with English football. If want to compete on a national level with Spain, we have to create an enviroment where skillful players can play witohut fear of being butchered. Christensen was lucky not to go off on a stretcher.

Incredibly we finished the game with more yellows than them despite never making a tackle. Hazard and Morata were just chopped down whenever their players could catch them, then as soon as they lost their rag and did a fairly gentle trip, the cards came out. 

It was an embarassement of a refereeing performance that could have left us with 2 or 3 serious injuries. 

Its a weekly occurrence though Paul .

IF and imho it's a big if , the ref's aren't being influenced against us then they simply are not good enough and the linesmen / assistants can barely keep up with play , the one who hilariously assisted in Spurs demise against Arsenal was 10 yards out of position throughout , it's a heinously difficult job but especially so when they're not fit for purpose.

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