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BlueWill   
On 27/08/2018 at 11:14 AM, xCELERYx said:

This sort of thinking bewilders me a little. Irrespective if the build up play was dubious, that doesn't excuse Luiz from the job he's still meant to be doing. It's like excusing a CF for blazing his shot over the bar from 6 yards because the pass he received took a deflection and landed on his non-preferred foot. 

Luiz was once again caught out, not for the first time this season. He's had poor defensive moments in each of his three games so far. His quality on the ball when we have possession doesn't outweigh this sloppiness on the defensive side. As much as I love his enthusiasm and love for the badge, he's a liability when it comes to having a stable foundation at the back.

His position in the side has to be the most up for grabs out of the back line used so far. 

A goal is very rarely the fault of one pleyer alone. DL was covering the front post. Giroud bizarrely was found wanting at LWB and Alonso stopped playing as he was probably expecting a free kick. The guy who scored came from behind DL whom it seems didn't get a shout from either Rudi, Jorginho or Kepa, all of whom had clear views. 

When the ball is played in, Rudi is marking the scorer and DL covering the front post. Rudi and at least Kepa have to shout a warning when the scorer runs from Rudi and is not impeded/blocked by Jorginho who sees it happening. DL simply cannot abandon the front post to search for runners. We should not ignore that our back 4 and the protection it gets is still very much a WIP, nor that it is a great header - powerful and from an acute angle, one he'd miss 90%. Yes, Alonso, DL and Kepa might all have done better, none did.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, BlueWill said:

A goal is very rarely the fault of one pleyer alone. DL was covering the front post. Giroud bizarrely was found wanting at LWB and Alonso stopped playing as he was probably expecting a free kick. The guy who scored came from behind DL whom it seems didn't get a shout from either Rudi, Jorginho or Kepa, all of whom had clear views. 

When the ball is played in, Rudi is marking the scorer and DL covering the front post. Rudi and at least Kepa have to shout a warning when the scorer runs from Rudi and is not impeded/blocked by Jorginho who sees it happening. DL simply cannot abandon the front post to search for runners. We should not ignore that our back 4 and the protection it gets is still very much a WIP, nor that it is a great header - powerful and from an acute angle, one he'd miss 90%. Yes, Alonso, DL and Kepa might all have done better, none did.

Shout or no shout, Luiz was rooted to the spot watching the ball instead of attacking it. If he attacks the ball, there is less (possibly no) likelihood of the goal being scored. I can't think of anything that excuses him. If he didn't move because he was expecting the ref to give a free kick, then he was 100% wrong to not play to the whistle... as a seasoned pro he should know better.

I suppose it's one of the things we have to accept from him in return for all the things he does well.

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1 hour ago, BlueWill said:

Despite the possession stats we created very little on Sunday. They were defending narrow with a ton of bodies blocking. We had to stretch their defensive net to makes holes big enough to get through and we didn't really do that. Prior to the pen closest we got was a speculative smash from Rudi. If Sarri wasn't expecting such a defensive formation why no changes by us?

I don't like to criticise Eden, but I did get frustrated by his predictability in holding onto the ball as every option closed down, even with that great pass by Kante putting him clear in the box. Don't mind criticising Pedro who always wants to go it alone, charging towards the centre and hoping to score through that mass of bodies. Thought the way it it was panning out we needed the penetration of RLC in preference to Ross or Willian. But I wasn't there and TV lies.

Agreed, it was a very unusual challenge. Morata did ok tbh and I felt some sympathy for him. Personally I'd have left him on AND brought on Giroud . When up against a 9 man defence men, having little dribbling players like Pedro and Hazard just doesn't work. Two big men who are good in the air would have been interesting for us to try on this occasion.  

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6 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

I'd rather Giroud because at least he can execute the basic fundamentals more frequently and we basically know what we're going to get from him when he plays. Morata on the other hand is a £60m striker who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag and is one of the least reliable players in the squad as a whole. 

I know which one I'd take. 

This is an exaggeration to say the least. 

Can't execute basic fundamentals? I'm not sure how to have a constructive discussion with you on Morata. I think most of his issues are mental - not enough confidence and a bit of an introvert. Technically I can't find many faults at all. 

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On 8/27/2018 at 0:14 PM, xCELERYx said:

This sort of thinking bewilders me a little. Irrespective if the build up play was dubious, that doesn't excuse Luiz from the job he's still meant to be doing. It's like excusing a CF for blazing his shot over the bar from 6 yards because the pass he received took a deflection and landed on his non-preferred foot. 

Luiz was once again caught out, not for the first time this season. He's had poor defensive moments in each of his three games so far. His quality on the ball when we have possession doesn't outweigh this sloppiness on the defensive side. As much as I love his enthusiasm and love for the badge, he's a liability when it comes to having a stable foundation at the back.

His position in the side has to be the most up for grabs out of the back line used so far. 

I'm not sure I have responded to this one (been a rough week) but if I have I apologise in advance...

Of course you have a point on Luiz when it comes to his defensive awareness. On a really bad day, he's shown that a Brazil-Germany is possible. But I disagree that his strong points doesn't outweigh his weaknesses. Long-term he isn't the answer (unless he miraculously manages to cut it out of his game) but for now he's the best out of an average bunch (Christensen and Cahill). Christensen has also shown he's prone to defensive lapses and Cahill we should not even talk about. He'd be in deep poo-poo in such a high-press system. 

Ampadu looks interesting for the long-term and could form a pretty exciting partnership with Rüdiger/Christensen. Bit short still for me at CB... Can he grow a few centimeters more? 

The CBs you seem to advocate for (both under Conte and now) are basically the ultimate modern defender. Great on the ball, nimble feet, good passer and crosser, tall, strong with lots of pace and great defensively - both in the air and on the ground. How many such CBs are there out there? Many of them also play in Italy where the game is markedly slower in general. Stones and Laporte are such defenders and City snapped them up immdiately. Rugani anothe rpotential candidate but Juve didn't want to sell. Bonucci too old and had his eyes on a return to Juve (bizarre move to begin with when he moved to Milan). Who else is there who is available? Any suggestions? 

A great manager manages what he has and finds a way to mask his players weaknesses while enhancing their strengths. Conte failed miserably with that in his second season. Hopefully Sarri will fare better. 

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On 8/28/2018 at 10:44 AM, paulw66 said:

Some observations.

 

...and good observations they were!

On 8/28/2018 at 0:58 PM, NoblyBobly said:

Three games gone and 9 points which makes me smile a lot...however, Sarri has some important things to address. 

1) Where does he play Kante? We have the best DM in the world and at times he was looking like he was a right winger.

2) Does he stick with Luiz or go with Cahill or Christenson (Rudiger is looking solid)

3) Does he give Giroud a run as our CF? 

On the last point I felt a bit of sympathy for Morata because despite all our possession he was living of scraps with no room to move in. Having said that, I dont think he would ever have retrieved the ball that Giroud did and get it back into play for our second goal. I'm pretty sure he would have watched it float over his head for a goal kick. That was terrific CF play from Giroud.  

1. I do not buy the whole Kanté is a DM. At no point in the PL has he consistently played as a DM. Shortly under Conte but in general he played as a CM in a two man midfield. This suits him as he has such an incredible engine and speed not to mention his ball-winning skills. But I'd argue that he is the ultimate "fore-checker" (to use ice hockey lingo) in football exactly because of those traits. When the team nails the press for larger stretches of a game we will start to see what Kanté will be able to do in a high-press system with many attackers around him. If Sarri get's this style to work, I think Kanté will have a magnificent time and show sides we didn't think existed. I predict plenty of assists from him as the team gels more going forward. He will also have to master the balance required from him in this role (particularly because Jorginho is a bit weak and the other CM8 is either Kovacic, RLC or Barkley). With his pace and stamina he can both be a fore-checker and a defensive partner to Jorginho and the CBs. If he perfects the role we will be successful. It's as simple as that for me. 

2. 100% he should stick with Luiz and Rüdiger. They may have their weaknesses but are overall our two best CBs. Christensen has time and potential on his side and will work his way into the side as the season(s) progresses. I'm sure of it. Cahill won't be here this time next year. 

3. I think Morata should remain our S1 with Giroud as the tactical option when we play packed defenses. Ironically he would probably have been the better option last weekend but I don't think Sarri expected such ridiculous defensive football from a home team in England. 

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On 8/30/2018 at 7:54 AM, NoblyBobly said:

Being "great" after you are brought in half way through the season (not totally fit) just as things have started to go tits up and with a manager throwing his rattle out of the pram is a tough ask. However, when he did eventually start to get minutes on the pitch, by comparison to what we were getting from Morata at that stage,  I would call his enthusiastic contribution very useful and very welcome. I'm really not sure how anyone could see otherwise, and I'm also unsure how anyone can not think he's worth a proper run in the team, but I suppose it's a game of opinions.  

Sounds like a whole lot of excuses being made for another striker who isn’t scoring goals. Just like Luiz, Morata will lose his place when there is another option who suits the style of play and does the job better. 

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Kezza   

Kante should have an beautiful assist when he slid the through ball through to Hazard in the box only for Hazard to refuse shooting.

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BlueWill   
On 30/08/2018 at 4:37 PM, Bob Singleton said:

Shout or no shout, Luiz was rooted to the spot watching the ball instead of attacking it. If he attacks the ball, there is less (possibly no) likelihood of the goal being scored. I can't think of anything that excuses him. If he didn't move because he was expecting the ref to give a free kick, then he was 100% wrong to not play to the whistle... as a seasoned pro he should know better.

I suppose it's one of the things we have to accept from him in return for all the things he does well.

But to use a cricketing parlance the ball was going straight down his throat and in football terms he simply has to guard that front post. He doesn't have eyes in the back of his head, although that hair does hide a lot, I still think it unlikely!  You cannot excuse the others for failing to see what was before their eyes and shouting a warning. You must surely know that communication across the back four (and more) is absolutely essential for it to function efficiently as a unit and not as 4/5/6/7 individuals.

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