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4 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

It was reported just after Jose was sacked, in a report saying we wanted Pep, but he'd told Roman he needed 10 new players. 

Whether it's true or not I have no idea, but the point is, it's not far from the truth is it? We do need a few new players.

Well he clearly told the Man City owners the same thing.

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Chuckso   
29 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

This feels a little like Jose's last few months (though not quite that bad). 

Inadvertently you have highlighted where the problem lies, James. For about a year now, I had concluded Conte is just a Mourinho Mk2 (albeit marginally better football than Mourinho, I would say). In a team game, when the whole (team) is consistently less (results or performance) than the sum of its parts (players) then the manager is the problem.

Everyone going on about formations. Formations are not the issue. The issue is in initiative and football culture, and how a manager’s tactics either increase or hampers initiative of the players and a knock-on effect on their confidence. When you consistently send your players, like Mourinho and Conte do, to fall back whenever their players lose the ball through a breakdown in possession, three things, I see, happen

1) You can never build pressure on the opposition. At breakdown, the opposition can play it at the back relieving pressure because no one is closing them done and trying to force mistakes especially from defenders who are not the most technically efficient. No matter the opposition, Conte does not press, like Mourinho, afraid his defense would be caught. This is cowardice. The worst thing is when lesser teams, like Leicester today, West Ham, Norwich come and press our superior players without fear. We respond by falling back and handing the opposition the initiative.

2) By your decision to never expose yourself, psychologically you make your players feel inferior or less than themselves. You send a message there is much to fear from the opposition rather than letting the opposition worry about you. Also you give a confidence boost to the opposition especially when they have less talented players. If a less talented player is putting pressure on a more talented player, forcing him into mistakes and making him look ordinary, this increases the confidence of that player and reduces yours, as was seen in the Norwich game. There is no coincidence Man U’s season went off the rails after their fearful display against Liverpool and took awhile for their season to get any sort of verve back.

3) Because of your focus on defense and “covering your ass” you spend too much time on organization and control of the team. The players and team play become robotic and reactive rather than anticipating, reading the game and initiative. This tells in defense but more in attack. Because you are so focused on organization, your right back is always in the right back spot. Your left winger is always in the left wing spot. The structure is rigid. This makes it easier for your opposition as the opposition left back always knows where the right winger is and as such he is so much easier to close down and nullify. It’s like an army general giving his adversary his troop number and deployment layout. 

In all, I would say this football conservatism may yield short term results but because of its focus on control, position and drills, players invariably become bored because of its stifling and repetive nature. Evidence can be seen in Mourinho’s continual short term stints as players stop responding. Though in his case his personality comes into it but it is in reaction to bad performances which is a result of his negative culture of football. Conte is from the same cloth. They are not for the long term, I think. I hope I have been able to articulate myself adequately.

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2 minutes ago, Super Kenny Monkou said:

Well he clearly told the Man City owners the same thing.

Yep, and unlike our useless, amateur, incompetent, penny pinching board, they actually listened and spent the money.

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kratos   

On my way back and jeez what a mess that was.

This system is not working with 2 up top.

Morata is soft.

Hazard looks lost in this role.

Bakayoko is a f###ing disgrace.

Whether confidence is a real issue or the players simply think that Conte is not going to be here, it does not matter because they are highly paid people.

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10 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

Yep, and unlike our useless, amateur, incompetent, penny pinching board, they actually listened and spent the money.

True but they are still happily spending money.  They will stop one day just like Roman has and then we will see what happens to City then.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Chuckso said:

Inadvertently you have highlighted where the problem lies, James. For about a year now, I had concluded Conte is just a Mourinho Mk2 (albeit marginally better football than Mourinho, I would say). In a team game, when the whole (team) is consistently less (results or performance) than the sum of its parts (players) then the manager is the problem.

Everyone going on about formations. Formations are not the issue. The issue is in initiative and football culture, and how a manager’s tactics either increase or hampers initiative of the players and a knock-on effect on their confidence. When you consistently send your players, like Mourinho and Conte do, to fall back whenever their players lose the ball through a breakdown in possession, three things, I see, happen

1) You can never build pressure on the opposition. At breakdown, the opposition can play it at the back relieving pressure because no one is closing them done and trying to force mistakes especially from defenders who are not the most technically efficient. No matter the opposition, Conte does not press, like Mourinho, afraid his defense would be caught. This is cowardice. The worst thing is when lesser teams, like Leicester today, West Ham, Norwich come and press our superior players without fear. We respond by falling back and handing the opposition the initiative.

2) By your decision to never expose yourself, psychologically you make your players feel inferior or less than themselves. You send a message there is much to fear from the opposition rather than letting the opposition worry about you. Also you give a confidence boost to the opposition especially when they have less talented players. If a less talented player is putting pressure on a more talented player, forcing him into mistakes and making him look ordinary, this increases the confidence of that player and reduces yours, as was seen in the Norwich game. There is no coincidence Man U’s season went off the rails after their fearful display against Liverpool and took awhile for their season to get any sort of verve back.

3) Because of your focus on defense and “covering your ass” you spend too much time on organization and control of the team. The players and team play become robotic and reactive rather than anticipating, reading the game and initiative. This tells in defense but more in attack. Because you are so focused on organization, your right back is always in the right back spot. Your left winger is always in the left wing spot. The structure is rigid. This makes it easier for your opposition as the opposition left back always knows where the right winger is and as such he is so much easier to close down and nullify. It’s like an army general giving his adversary his troop number and deployment layout. 

In all, I would say this football conservatism may yield short term results but because of its focus on control, position and drills, players invariably become bored because of its stifling and repetive nature. Evidence can be seen in Mourinho’s continual short term stints as players stop responding. Though in his case his personality comes into it but it is in reaction to bad performances which is a result of his negative culture of football. Conte is from the same cloth. They are not for the long term, I think. I hope I have been able to articulate myself adequately.

Nice post. Although we could do with more/better players we are not getting the best from this squad as it stands. I agree with much of what you have written, although I would say we have become more defensive this season. Today we simply didn't have enough bodies in the final third, Hazard and Morata were isolated.

 

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On 10/01/2018 at 11:48 PM, Gormangorman said:

This team has run out of steam.

0-0 draw or 0-1 loss.

I called that dross - Let's admit Morata is a busted flush and sell him back to Real Madrid pronto, with Hazard included the board should get a great amount of money not to spend

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1 hour ago, James Prescott said:

I'm beginning to think Conte wants out, and his heart isn't in it anymore, and the players know it. He's lost the dressing room I think, players just don't look motivated, no energy, no passion. It's all gone.

If this goes on much longer Conte will be gone. Ancelotti is available immediately, and plays much more attacking football. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happens soon.

Yup - you can see it.  Yesterday Conte is quoted as saying the club will have to sack him.

Today his team selection is calling out for it, I literally cannot believe this is the team that won the league last season.

God we miss Costa.

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Just read that Bakayoko has been cast opposite Jennifer Lawrence in "Passengers 2" .

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