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paulw66   
6 minutes ago, fillerywhereru said:

I think as first choice striker this is make or break for Morata in the coming months though Sarri may already have a replacement/other option in mind but couldnt get them in the transfer window. I agree with most of the points regarding him, ie hasn't sustained form, has the tools but doesnt always use them, etc but he was certainly not a disaster last season nor the reason we didn't ,make top 4. Hazard taking a rest for 3 months or Christiensens  innexperience/form wobbles was just as much of a factor just to pick two 

I think Morata showed enough last season to suggest he deserves a chance to prove he can be the main man up there.

 

Not sure either of those things cost us. 

Having an abysmal midfielder who couldn't pass or control the ball was a huge factor, as was playing absurdly defensive football.

Hazard probably took "a rest" as he was carrying the attack for the whole season whilst we lined up with 5 defenders and 3 defensive midfielders. 

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But can you pin the whole thing on Bakayoko? I don't think so and even if you can that guy has an FA cup winners medal and played a bit better towards the end of last season. I think it was a number of factors including temperamental players not liking /no longer buying into the methods that won them the league just months previous.

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paulw66   
4 minutes ago, fillerywhereru said:

But can you pin the whole thing on Bakayoko? I don't think so and even if you can that guy has an FA cup winners medal and played a bit better towards the end of last season. I think it was a number of factors including temperamental players not liking /no longer buying into the methods that won them the league just months previous.

Not pinning the whole thing on him no. As I mentioned, playing 352, with no goals coming from central midfield put absurd responsibility on the front 2, who were being marked by 5 or 6 opponents. 

The line up in a lot of the games in the 2nd half of last season was something like:

Courtois, Azpi, Christensen, Cahill/Rudiger, Alonso, Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Hazard, Giroud. 

How many of that XI are likely to score in open play? 2 players. Impossible tactics. 

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Fair point, Alonso will get you the odd goal but none of the central midfielders are frequent goal scorers. But then despite two of the current 3 having scored this season they aren't really now either. I thought we missed the consistent Pedro of the previous season, he scored some important goals and assisted too. He wasn't quite as integral last season despite showing flashes of what he can do. He has started well this season however. Willian is another who has spells of scoring/assists. Yes perhaps the set up was a little too defensive but the players were patchy form wise as well which contributed. We wernt that far short of top 4 in the end and did win a cup so it wasnt a complete disaster either.

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BlueWill   
On 21/08/2018 at 2:26 PM, NoblyBobly said:

Trouble is, that one goal and everyones hopes are raised. Everyone is hoping and feeling he's not a dud and a waste of 70 mill and if he scores against Newcastle....well , all our goal scoring problems are over. In my mind he's had enough games, enough pitch minutes and missed enough golden scoring opportunities in one season to embarrass most strikers over a career. He just cannot hold form. He scored 6 or 7 early on last season which should have given him masses of confidence but it didn't. Giroud all the way for me. Give him the service and he will get 15/20 in the Prem this season .still scratching my head why we let Bats go...maybe someone of his tender years needs experience and time to learn the game!! As an impact sub he is invaluable. Lets see how many he scores this season in Valencia. Started banging them in for Dortmund last season when he went. 

He did well till citeh came to the Bridge. Word was he wouldn't play owing to injury, yet AC started him and he limped off after, what 30 mins in which he hadn't looked 'right' at all. AC then rushed him back for Roma, when he was so ineffectual he might just as well have not been on the pitch.. Dismiss that as coincidence if you wish. Playing someone who is unfit and knows it, will not draw a decent performance and can delay recovery. I believe his good start did give him confidence and why on earth wouldn't it?

Edited by BlueWill
punctuation

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paulw66   
15 minutes ago, BlueWill said:

He did well till citeh came to the Bridge. Word was he wouldn't play owing to injury, yet AC started him and he limped off after, what 30 mins in which he hadn't looked 'right' at all. AC then rushed him back for Roma, when he was so ineffectual he might just as well have not been on the pitch.. Dismiss that as coincidence if you wish. Playing someone who is unfit and knows it, will not draw a decent performance and can delay recovery. I believe his good start did give him confidence and why on earth wouldn't it?

Good points. He simply didn't want to pick Batshuyai so rushed Morata back every time. 

At least now we start with 2 CFs who can be trusted

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BlueWill   
On 23/08/2018 at 9:32 AM, paulw66 said:

I think Morata has to be given a 2nd season to form a fair judgement.

Drogba scored 10 league goals in season 1 and 12 in season 2. I am fairly certain that had he been sold after either one of these seasons, nobody would have been that bothered. 

I agree he must be given time to show what he can do in the new setup. I'm not entirely confident he'll make it, but see that no sensible conclusion can be drawn from last season. Another reason for negativity towards the board who allowed AC to wreak havoc.

Speaking of Didi, remember that night against WBA at the Bridge? He scored the only goal, but missed at least 4 if not 8 easy chances. We were in despair and I think that was towards the end of his first season. 

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1 hour ago, fillerywhereru said:

Fair point, Alonso will get you the odd goal but none of the central midfielders are frequent goal scorers. But then despite two of the current 3 having scored this season they aren't really now either. I thought we missed the consistent Pedro of the previous season, he scored some important goals and assisted too. He wasn't quite as integral last season despite showing flashes of what he can do. He has started well this season however. Willian is another who has spells of scoring/assists. Yes perhaps the set up was a little too defensive but the players were patchy form wise as well which contributed. We wernt that far short of top 4 in the end and did win a cup so it wasnt a complete disaster either.

Well at least we have 3 goal scoring options on the pitch at the moment, but yes the missing X factor is a CM who can chip in with 10-15 goals. We can't expect Lampard-like numbers unfortunately but Barkley, Kovacic, RLC or whoever players at no.8 needs to be ending up in the box more often than they have so far. And it needs to be the no.8 who's the furthest forward of the midfield 3, not Kanté. Hopefully this will come in time, but in the first two matches Barkley hasn't shown much willingness to get into the box and have a shot.

Kovacic hasn't shown much goal scoring in the past whilst RLC has the technique for it but rarely seems to back himself enough to actually have a go.

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25 minutes ago, chiswickblue said:

Well at least we have 3 goal scoring options on the pitch at the moment, but yes the missing X factor is a CM who can chip in with 10-15 goals. We can't expect Lampard-like numbers unfortunately but Barkley, Kovacic, RLC or whoever players at no.8 needs to be ending up in the box more often than they have so far. And it needs to be the no.8 who's the furthest forward of the midfield 3, not Kanté. Hopefully this will come in time, but in the first two matches Barkley hasn't shown much willingness to get into the box and have a shot.

Kovacic hasn't shown much goal scoring in the past whilst RLC has the technique for it but rarely seems to back himself enough to actually have a go.

All true, but with RLC I don't think the work ethic/athleticism is there to be that man.

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paulw66   
2 hours ago, fillerywhereru said:

Fair point, Alonso will get you the odd goal but none of the central midfielders are frequent goal scorers. But then despite two of the current 3 having scored this season they aren't really now either. I thought we missed the consistent Pedro of the previous season, he scored some important goals and assisted too. He wasn't quite as integral last season despite showing flashes of what he can do. He has started well this season however. Willian is another who has spells of scoring/assists. Yes perhaps the set up was a little too defensive but the players were patchy form wise as well which contributed. We wernt that far short of top 4 in the end and did win a cup so it wasnt a complete disaster either.

Pedro is hugely underrated. Score goals, works hard. Fit as a butcher's dog. That he and Willian spent so long on the bench last season was a big problem. 

What goals we get from midfield remains to be seen, but how often did Barkley and Kante get forward? A lot if I recall. 

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