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kev61   
1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

Hollins was bad enough.  Webb a disaster.  Hate to see my heroes risk their reputations.  At least RDM made it work for long enough.

Ha! I remember we were playing forest in the mid eighties when Hollins was in charge.We got stuffed 2 -6 with Franz carr running poor old Darren wood ragged in the first half.Hollins did nothing in the second half to change the obvious.It ended up Carr scoring 3 and assisting in the other 3.

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paulw66   
12 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Hollins was bad enough.  Webb a disaster.  Hate to see my heroes risk their reputations.  At least RDM made it work for long enough.

David Webb saved us from relegation in 93. 

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26 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

David Webb saved us from relegation in 93. 

13th when he took over, 11th when he left.

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13 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Hollins was bad enough.  Webb a disaster.  Hate to see my heroes risk their reputations.  At least RDM made it work for long enough.

 

12 hours ago, JaneB said:

Me too.  

He did and then got sacked for his trouble.  Can't ever take that momentous night away from him though,

There are always a few who nominate an ex player for the role. Just because they played with distinction doesn’t mean they will be successful as Chelsea’s coach, Zola, Clarke , wise ffs the list is as long as my arm

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GURJ SS   
5 hours ago, kennypaul said:

 

There are always a few who nominate an ex player for the role. Just because they played with distinction doesn’t mean they will be successful as Chelsea’s coach, Zola, Clarke , wise ffs the list is as long as my arm

True...but Slavisa Jokanovic on the other hand lol.

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xCELERYx   
On 10/02/2018 at 0:46 AM, Lump Of Celery said:

Antonio asked in his press conference - Last season you changed to three at the back and won the title will you consider another change to a back four?

His response - I changed against Watford and we conceded 3 goals, I think its not a good idea to change.

Guess that answers that query then. Also he said Pedro is not injured and in contention to play, Morata is out and he doesn't know how long for, I missed what he said about Christensen but think it was we will have to check before the game. No other new injuries.

And rightly so, a back four just don't suit enough of our players across various positions and would ultimately just create further problems for us. 

I believe Christensen isn't 100% fit but Conte may be pushed to rush him back because of his importance to the side and how we've struggled without him. Wouldn't be shocked if he misses this one though overall.

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xCELERYx   
On 10/02/2018 at 1:26 AM, chiswickblue said:

I don't think the formation is to blame, I think playing low energy football to nurse us through this marathon has finally caught up with us. Although I don't see the need to play two water-carriers in midfield when you have 3 centre backs behind them.

Conte plays two "water-carries" in midfield because that's often been the most balanced option from a selection of other mediocre ones. His hands are somewhat tied in that department because we don't have any real stand out option. For the most part it doesn't matter which CM is selected to partner Kante with, there's some form of glaring deficiency that has to be covered. This includes;

  • Fabregas' lack of leg speed, mobility, physicality and defensive contribution.
  • Bakayoko's lack of technique on the ball, passing execution and slow reading of the game. 
  • Drinkwater's inability to really stamp his imprint on games - bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. 

From the options Conte has, Drinkwater is arguably the most practical fitting option. While he doesn't exactly excel in any particular area, he's also not got any glaring weak points that the others have - save for possibly his lack of physicality. Selecting Drinkwater though would require Kante being a bit more positionally disciplined than he currently is.

This will be a large reason why Conte moved to 352 - it provides a better midfield balance overall and it gives him more viable combinations that can be used without having to deal with trying to negate individual weaknesses to such a drastic extent. 

The other reason why Conte plays two "water-carries" in CM when utilising 343 and having three centre backs is because of a couple of reasons.

  • It's not uncommon to see our L/R CB pushing up into midfield. That extra CM offers a bit of extra insurance and cover in the event that the pushed up CB cannot get back for whatever reason. 
  • Our WB's are generally quite advanced in forward positions. To help protect the wings a bit more a CM will generally shuffle across to their relevant side to help plug that space. If they don't do this, then sometimes we'll see the L/R CB splitting wider than usual into sort of a fullback position. The two CM's will then generally sit in the corridor to help shield that middle CB, who in this situation would be more isolated and exposed than usual. 

Selecting someone like Fabregas for example means these aspects are rather lost or fall completely on Kante's shoulders, purely due to the holes in his game.

There's a genuine purpose and reasoning into what Conte does. Which is why he works heavily with his players tactically, so everyone understands their roles and what positions they need to be in during certain situations. Our issue is that we've got numbers in the position but each of them aren't well rounded types of players. Thus it makes it hard to select certain ones within a 343 because of this. If we had a genuine quality all-round CM (think Nainggolan/Vidal) it would help considerably to provide sense of well-roundedness. Without that option, Conte's had to compromise and make the best of what he's got. 

Edited by xCELERYx
Spelling.

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Difficult to argue that freshness is an issue for the next few games:

-a week to prepare for WBA at home

- we play Friday before Barcelona at home, they play Saturday

- we play Tuesday at home to Barca before Man U away, they play Wednesday in Sevilla

- we have a week to prepare for Man City away, they play 3 days before (Thursday) at Arsenal.

Key in all of this is resting our entire first XI for the Friday night FA Cup game against Hull.

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1 hour ago, xCELERYx said:

And rightly so, a back four just don't suit enough of our players across various positions and would ultimately just create further problems for us. 

All those changes in defenders and suddenly we can't play 4 at the back and have to have 2 DMs.  Does that bother anyone else but me?

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I'd be tempted to give this a try against West Brom:

 

                                 Courtois

           Azpilcueta  Christensen  Rudiger

Zappacosta                                           Emerson

                    Drinkwater         Kante 

                                Fabregas

                                           Hazard

                                Giroud

 

 

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