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Michael Tucker

Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

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I think Ederson is >> better than Monsieur Hulot.

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xCELERYx   
19 hours ago, kev61 said:

Let's not over complicate things mate let's focus on the utd game.We were cruising and then players got tired  - Willian in particular worked his bollocks off,Morata looked like he was playing with stilettos on the whole game and the midfield(in particular Drinkwater) were non existent in the last half hour.

What does Conte do?he leaves on a player that was contributing nothing on the pitch and takes off a player that can score at any time and then brings Fabregas and Pedro on that should have started from the start IMO.

Conte is coaching/ managing like Mourhino at the moment.What in the hell happened to the Conte of last year!.

Painting a summary of our season to date isn't overcomplicating things, but sure, we'll keep it to this game alone then for your sake.  

What does Conte do? Well, he took off Hazard who looked tired, was no longer working hard enough off the ball and begun to stand and walk around. As good as he was, and is when he has the ball, that doesn't excuse him from duties off it - particularly in a fixture like this one when we need everyone to pull their weight. Laziness doesn't cut it. It wasn't a surprising substitution imo. Willian was excellent in general and was working far harder off the ball than Hazard, thus it made more sense to remove the player who was only contributing on one side of the ball. Pedro coming on in theory would provide more activity off the ball, close down more, and in turn add more pressure. Continuing to carry two players (Hazard and Morata) who offered little without possession upfront wasn't viable. Even if Conte took Morata off and replaced him with Giroud, leaving Hazard on, it would have changed nothing in that regard - given that Giroud isn't the type of CF that is going to apply significant forward pressure and get around the pitch. As for Fabregas, he's the one player we have to can create and split open a defence despite his own defensive shortfalls off the ball. We needed some better supply and he was someone that can create that opening from deeper areas. Personally, I'd have started Giroud over Morata and Zappacosta over Moses, otherwise the side itself was fairly spot on for a game like this. Given that wasn't the case, Giroud should have come on at HT. Otherwise I feel there's enough logic behind the other moves made to justify them given the circumstances of the match itself. 

Conte's coaching wasn't the problem here - while I don't agree with the entire starting elven or all of his substitutions made - we were the more dangerous side for the majority of the first half and had enough chances to be 2-3 goals to the good at HT - had we taken full advantage. If that had of happened, no one would have said diddly. Instead, we didn't and it once more came back to bite us when our defensive mistakes crept in - the blame then all of a sudden becomes Conte's fault for the team selection, subs, etc. Which is the typical hyperbole. There are very fine margins at this level. We simply haven't come to the party on enough occasions - be it as a collective team or with too many key individuals blowing hot and cold all too often. The instances that we do manage to put in an excellent 45-60 minutes or so, we've been notorious for not capitalising on that dominance. That's fault of the players I'm afraid and there's no excuses for some of the quality we've got for being so inconsistent so regularly. 

**** happens, we move forward onto the next game.

 

 

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xCELERYx   
1 hour ago, Ham said:

Recent Willian is better than Raheem Wright- Phillips but otherwise I agree with all of this. 

Maybe so, but that's sort of our problem right there. Sterling (and others) have been the far better player across the season to date, which shouldn't be the case when in comparison with a talented individuals like Willian and Pedro. Sterling has 15 goals and 6 assists to date, that's ridiculous production for a player of his overall ability. But they're getting excellent production from essentially everyone of their attacking players. Huge difference maker. 

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xCELERYx   
2 hours ago, jones said:

Comparing our first XI to City's (= means equal, > means slightly better, >> means significantly better)

Ederson = Courtois

Walker < Azpilicueta

Otamendi > Rudiger

Stones = Christensen

Delph = Alonso

Fernandinho = Kanté

- Back five + GK is very even one vs one. Main difference is how they as a unit are so much more cultivated and aligned - they are all good on the ball, quick and physical. There are no real weak links Whereas we have at least 1-2 of our unit that lack important abilities to play the modern game. What both defenses lack is leadership.

De Bruyne = Hazard

Silva > Fabregas

Sterling > Willian

Sane >> Moses

Aguero > Morata

- This is where the difference lies. Our best and most creative player equals theirs. But not only are the four other attacking options superior to ours, their attacking unit represents so much quality that in stead of compensating with an extra defender like we do (Moses) they don't have to defend as much. (Probably a little harsh on Willian, but in terms of goals and assists contribution over the last couple of years, the answer is pretty clear).

And this was only the first XI. When you start comparing the next 6-7 outfield players, the difference is even greater.

There attacking talent eclipses ours significantly, I said this myself earlier in the season. Not only that, but the production levels they're getting from these players makes a world of difference in the long run. Pep has the luxury of having such an interchangeable set of attacking players to select from. He can keep the same system and seamlessly switch his attacking options around without disrupting the flow of the team. Pace, directness, eye for goal, creativity - everything one wants and needs in their attack. 

On the other hand we've got a bag of liquorice allsorts.

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6 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

There attacking talent eclipses ours significantly, I said this myself earlier in the season. Not only that, but the production levels they're getting from these players makes a world of difference in the long run. Pep has the luxury of having such an interchangeable set of attacking players to select from. He can keep the same system and seamlessly switch his attacking options around without disrupting the flow of the team. Pace, directness, eye for goal, creativity - everything one wants and needs in their attack. 

 

Thing is that City this season play with a Front 5 or 6 and we play with a front 2 or 3.

They have 100% more players to produce and score 50% more goals. -How come their individuals are more productive than us?

Last year they scored 6% fewer goals than us.  How do you explain that?

Are your numbers nonsense or just the theory?

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Rob B   
2 hours ago, jones said:

Comparing our first XI to City's (= means equal, > means slightly better, >> means significantly better)

Ederson = Courtois

Walker < Azpilicueta

Otamendi > Rudiger

Stones = Christensen

Delph = Alonso

Fernandinho = Kanté

- Back five + GK is very even one vs one. Main difference is how they as a unit are so much more cultivated and aligned - they are all good on the ball, quick and physical. There are no real weak links Whereas we have at least 1-2 of our unit that lack important abilities to play the modern game. What both defenses lack is leadership.

De Bruyne = Hazard

Silva > Fabregas

Sterling > Willian

Sane >> Moses

Aguero > Morata

- This is where the difference lies. Our best and most creative player equals theirs. But not only are the four other attacking options superior to ours, their attacking unit represents so much quality that in stead of compensating with an extra defender like we do (Moses) they don't have to defend as much. (Probably a little harsh on Willian, but in terms of goals and assists contribution over the last couple of years, the answer is pretty clear).

And this was only the first XI. When you start comparing the next 6-7 outfield players, the difference is even greater.

I think you’re either being really kind to their back 6,  or really harsh on ours.  Christensen is already better than Stones, Alonso superior to Delph and Kante ahead of Fernandinho, who whilst is a bit underrated, he’s not N’Golo’s Level.  

The trouble is though and as you quite rightly get on to, their attacking players are light years ahead of ours.  And when they are that good, and teams can’t get the ball off of them, the defence isn’t being put under pressure and so doesn’t have to be as strong.  It’s how Barcelona have got away with it for years and also explains how Liverpool currently second because their defence is shocking (I acknowledge that City do actually have some quality at the back, Emerson is brilliant, Walker is hugely effective, Otamendi and Laporte decent)

Quite scary really considering you haven’t  even included Gundogen over Bakayoko,  Jesus over Pedro and they also have Mendy to come back next season. 

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kev61   
51 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

Painting a summary of our season to date isn't overcomplicating things, but sure, we'll keep it to this game alone then for your sake.  

What does Conte do? Well, he took off Hazard who looked tired, was no longer working hard enough off the ball and begun to stand and walk around. As good as he was, and is when he has the ball, that doesn't excuse him from duties off it - particularly in a fixture like this one when we need everyone to pull their weight. Laziness doesn't cut it. It wasn't a surprising substitution imo. Willian was excellent in general and was working far harder off the ball than Hazard, thus it made more sense to remove the player who was only contributing on one side of the ball. Pedro coming on in theory would provide more activity off the ball, close down more, and in turn add more pressure. Continuing to carry two players (Hazard and Morata) who offered little without possession upfront wasn't viable. Even if Conte took Morata off and replaced him with Giroud, leaving Hazard on, it would have changed nothing in that regard - given that Giroud isn't the type of CF that is going to apply significant forward pressure and get around the pitch. As for Fabregas, he's the one player we have to can create and split open a defence despite his own defensive shortfalls off the ball. We needed some better supply and he was someone that can create that opening from deeper areas. Personally, I'd have started Giroud over Morata and Zappacosta over Moses, otherwise the side itself was fairly spot on for a game like this. Given that wasn't the case, Giroud should have come on at HT. Otherwise I feel there's enough logic behind the other moves made to justify them given the circumstances of the match itself. 

Conte's coaching wasn't the problem here - while I don't agree with the entire starting elven or all of his substitutions made - we were the more dangerous side for the majority of the first half and had enough chances to be 2-3 goals to the good at HT - had we taken full advantage. If that had of happened, no one would have said diddly. Instead, we didn't and it once more came back to bite us when our defensive mistakes crept in - the blame then all of a sudden becomes Conte's fault for the team selection, subs, etc. Which is the typical hyperbole. There are very fine margins at this level. We simply haven't come to the party on enough occasions - be it as a collective team or with too many key individuals blowing hot and cold all too often. The instances that we do manage to put in an excellent 45-60 minutes or so, we've been notorious for not capitalising on that dominance. That's fault of the players I'm afraid and there's no excuses for some of the quality we've got for being so inconsistent so regularly. 

**** happens, we move forward onto the next game.

 

 

If you don't think this was a classic case of the manager/coach getting it wrong we are in a different parish.I will say it again we were cruising and then the dogs on the street could see a crap utd team were getting the upper hand.The reason they were getting the upper hand IMO was we were playing with a centre forward that was laughably useless the whole game - Willian getting tired, Hazard in his show boating mode and Drinkwater not contributing in the second half.

The first thing he should have done was to get Morata off the pitch followed by moses or Drinkwater when we struggled.I agree Hazard was strolling but he can come up with a piece of magic even when he is not trying,the other three were spent.

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xCELERYx   
42 minutes ago, kev61 said:

If you don't think this was a classic case of the manager/coach getting it wrong we are in a different parish.I will say it again we were cruising and then the dogs on the street could see a crap utd team were getting the upper hand.The reason they were getting the upper hand IMO was we were playing with a centre forward that was laughably useless the whole game - Willian getting tired, Hazard in his show boating mode and Drinkwater not contributing in the second half.

The first thing he should have done was to get Morata off the pitch followed by moses or Drinkwater when we struggled.I agree Hazard was strolling but he can come up with a piece of magic even when he is not trying,the other three were spent.

I don't disagree that Morata was terrible and should have come off straight away. That is certainly fault of Conte's, I don't disagree whatsoever on that. I think he got it wrong with him starting, as I said. Willian may have also been tired, but in this sort of game if we're pressed to sub one of Willian or Hazard with both being tired, I'd still rather see Hazard come off. He's the more likely one who is going to get lazier and contribute less when we're not in possession - which just so happened to be the case. Rightly, Willian remained on the pitch (who I thought was having the better game anyway). 

At the end of the day we had 55.7% of the possession, we had 14 shots to 10 on goal - 7 of which were on target compared to 5 for United, we had a pass completion rate of 88.6% compared to 81%, and one more corner overall 4 to 3. We dominated the game and failed to once more take full advantage of that. Once again painting the perfect picture of our season to date. 

Not that we'll likely see that sort of dominance against Man City, but the key factor is going to remain the same. We need to take our chances when the come. If we don't, we'll get nothing from the City game at all other than a potential walloping. 



 

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kev61   

A manager/coach should be thinking about the games we dominated against top teams.we dominated against Athletico and we reduced Barcelona to an ordinary team.Why do we not use this template against better teams in every situation.Had we played the same team against utd that we did against Barcelona we would have won at a canter.

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I think it's fair to say that if we win this we are right back in the mix for top four, and winning this game is not beyond us.

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