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Official: Chelsea Appoint Maurizio Sarri as Head Coach

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Loving the start he has made. Still very concerned about the “watch the ball, not the attacker” defence. Luiz did exactly that again on Saturday and it duly sailed over his head to a Bournemouth player who thankfully made a right hash of it. I freely admit I don’t understand how it should work, but at the same time, I don’t see how it ever can work. Can we not just keep the press and the attacking phase and marry that to a regular bog standard solid back 4 ( like we have had for the last 15 years, apart from Conte’s 2 years of a 3)? Is the consensus that won’t work because of the full backs? 

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4 hours ago, McCreadie said:

Loving the start he has made. Still very concerned about the “watch the ball, not the attacker” defence. Luiz did exactly that again on Saturday and it duly sailed over his head to a Bournemouth player who thankfully made a right hash of it. I freely admit I don’t understand how it should work, but at the same time, I don’t see how it ever can work. Can we not just keep the press and the attacking phase and marry that to a regular bog standard solid back 4 ( like we have had for the last 15 years, apart from Conte’s 2 years of a 3)? Is the consensus that won’t work because of the full backs? 

You cannot get a flat back four I.e. 'solid defense' as the FB's are needed to contribute upfront. Addittionally, the CB's need to step up as otherwise there would be too much space between the midfield and defensive lines which would make it easy for the opposition to get the ball out, while you also leave more oppotunities to be sprung on the flanks, hence why they step up to the halfway line. 

Therefore, what you see at the moment is generally what you are going to get. The defence should get better as they get used to knowing when to step up/drop off etc. That said, and I know it has been mentioned elsewhere, but I think Luiz is going to be difficult to move as from an offensive and possession stand point he is perhaps the best CB in the world for this system, which means his lapes are likely to be overlooked especially against the teams outside of the top six. For me, AC only gets back by playing his way into the side from his performances in the Ropey League and LC, while it should be remembered if he does go into the side he will probably make a number of the same mistakes Luiz is owing to the way he needs to play. Rudiger imo is safe as he has the legs/physicality to put out fires. 

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Zoowraa   
1 hour ago, Conte Kante said:

You cannot get a flat back four I.e. 'solid defense' as the FB's are needed to contribute upfront. Addittionally, the CB's need to step up as otherwise there would be too much space between the midfield and defensive lines which would make it easy for the opposition to get the ball out, while you also leave more oppotunities to be sprung on the flanks, hence why they step up to the halfway line. 

Therefore, what you see at the moment is generally what you are going to get. The defence should get better as they get used to knowing when to step up/drop off etc. That said, and I know it has been mentioned elsewhere, but I think Luiz is going to be difficult to move as from an offensive and possession stand point he is perhaps the best CB in the world for this system, which means his lapes are likely to be overlooked especially against the teams outside of the top six. For me, AC only gets back by playing his way into the side from his performances in the Ropey League and LC, while it should be remembered if he does go into the side he will probably make a number of the same mistakes Luiz is owing to the way he needs to play. Rudiger imo is safe as he has the legs/physicality to put out fires. 

Yes I think you have described the basics of how/why things shape up under Sarri well. I think at present, Sarri is not quite looking to stamp Napoli MKII on this team. Whether that's due to some slight tweaks in how he wants to play, or a case of not quite having the right personal at present, I am not too sure.

I thought Saturday was a great example of why Luiz will continue to play. First half he played at least three long defence splitting to passes that were a fraction away from perfection and there are just not too may defenders out there who can pick out these passes on a regular basis. We are quite lucky really, because Rudiger too can pick out the odd long defensive pass also. The other advantage Luiz gives you is he is comfortable in playing vertical passes. This is one of the areas so far where I think we differ slightly to Napoli, their CB's used to play alot of vertical passes into midfield and so far we don't seem to use this quite as much as I was expecting, maybe due to lack of opposition pressing us so far.

The ability Luiz has on the ball is much better than the CB's he had at Napoli, so I fully expect any shortcomings Luiz has to be generally looked over. If anything, I suspect Sarri seems Luiz as an upgrade he has inherited as the likes of Albiol, Koulibaly whilst being decent on the ball, are not in the same league as Luiz for ability with the ball at their feet. Hopefully, Christensen will stick around and be learning and understanding what Sarri wants, with a view to becoming the long term succesor to Luiz under this manager..............but we all know we could rip up this whole thing in 18 months time and bring a new guy manager and then its back to the drawing board again and all this goes out of the window!

 

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2 hours ago, Conte Kante said:

You cannot get a flat back four I.e. 'solid defense' as the FB's are needed to contribute upfront. Addittionally, the CB's need to step up as otherwise there would be too much space between the midfield and defensive lines which would make it easy for the opposition to get the ball out, while you also leave more oppotunities to be sprung on the flanks, hence why they step up to the halfway line. 

Therefore, what you see at the moment is generally what you are going to get. The defence should get better as they get used to knowing when to step up/drop off etc. That said, and I know it has been mentioned elsewhere, but I think Luiz is going to be difficult to move as from an offensive and possession stand point he is perhaps the best CB in the world for this system, which means his lapes are likely to be overlooked especially against the teams outside of the top six. For me, AC only gets back by playing his way into the side from his performances in the Ropey League and LC, while it should be remembered if he does go into the side he will probably make a number of the same mistakes Luiz is owing to the way he needs to play. Rudiger imo is safe as he has the legs/physicality to put out fires. 

I’ve not made it to a game yet, so thank you for the breakdown. Makes more sense to me now, but the “watch the ball not the player” thing still scares me. I’m with those that think we might end up taking a proper beating or two from someone we would least like to fairly soon. Which will inevitably stir up the hornets...

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1 hour ago, McCreadie said:

I’ve not made it to a game yet, so thank you for the breakdown. Makes more sense to me now, but the “watch the ball not the player” thing still scares me. I’m with those that think we might end up taking a proper beating or two from someone we would least like to fairly soon. Which will inevitably stir up the hornets...

Yes, I can see a hiding or two too. I am currently of the opinion that this season we will beat the teams we should but not do great against the top sides. 

As for the watching the ball, this is obviously a big issue in Luiz's game and I do not like it either. However, because of the Sarriball style, I think the gamble will be to accept that defect for the offensive/possession qualities he brings as, due to the way he is being asked to play, most defenders would make mistakes playing that way.

A further issue is that atm there are no real outstanding CB's in world football. For me, Laporte would have been a great signing as he is both good on the ball (although not as good as Luiz) but also a solid defender. However, he is at City now so that ship has sailed. 

Edited by Conte Kante

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Sea foot   

Are people taking this "watching the ball not the player" thing too far. From where I sit he could mean that a defender should not react to things like step overs. Too many defenders get fooled by watching the players feet rather than where the ball is going. Obviously the position of the defence has to take care of where the player is but one on one, the ball is the thing.

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11 minutes ago, Sea foot said:

Are people taking this "watching the ball not the player" thing too far. From where I sit he could mean that a defender should not react to things like step overs. Too many defenders get fooled by watching the players feet rather than where the ball is going. Obviously the position of the defence has to take care of where the player is but one on one, the ball is the thing.

I was under the impression that his quote was more about not tracking the off the ball runs of the attacking players (which appears a little crazy). That’s how I read it anyway.

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44 minutes ago, Sea foot said:

Are people taking this "watching the ball not the player" thing too far. 

I think some have taken it far to literally.

30 minutes ago, McCreadie said:

I was under the impression that his quote was more about not tracking the off the ball runs of the attacking players (which appears a little crazy). That’s how I read it anyway.

I've seen no sign of this whatsoever and would be amazed if any manager told his team not to track the runs of attacking players. 

Let's also not forget that English is not his first language and what he meant could have quite easily been lost in translation. 

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I took it to mean that if we worry about where the ball is we won't have to worry about anything else. Stop the ball , stop the goal.

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1 hour ago, Mark Kelly said:

I took it to mean that if we worry about where the ball is we won't have to worry about anything else. Stop the ball , stop the goal.

I agree its a very generic statement that is the basis of all sport, you dont win if someone else has the ball

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