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Kante and Jorginho - The Conundrum

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Kezza   

Okay guys. Hear this argument. I am very sure there's already many others who have the same thoughts and concern, and I think it deserves discussion that there's no easy way to solve this. It is early in the season, but already we are faced with this great problem to have, or positive conundrum. Because, being able to solve this problem and being able to bring out the best in both players will enable this new team and system to hit even greater heights that otherwise.

Here's the problem. It sounds great and awesome having both Kante and Jorginho in the squad. It is like a dream pair to have on paper. It seems the midfield is indestructible, with flair, creativity, vision to add on to the strength, defensive prowess and nastiness we saw last season. Herein lies the headache. How do we get the best attribute out of both players at the same time, on the pitch? Note that the question is not about whether both can play together. There certainly is a complement of both players on the pitch. This is unlike the argument we used to have with regards to Lampard and Gerrard before.

Kante is the best destroyer in the game today, bar none. That we are pretty sure of at this stage and has been confirmed for the last few seasons. He needs to be in a position to cover the central midfield position, and not only that, he has to be given the license to close down opponents in our own half and that includes closing down threats on both wide areas. Kante has the ability and the lungs to do that. He can defend and press opponents in the central and both left and wide areas very effectively. He can help out the whole line of defense. He can double up with the right back or left back to defend a threat. And yet, after that, he can get back in position quickly because his unusual stamina just allows him to do that. His attributes is one in a thousand, and when you've got someone like that, you have to make use of it as it gives the team a major edge. Unfortunately, for him to be able to do that, to cover vast area of the pitch, he has to be played centrally. He cannot be played on the right or left of a midfield three. In those positions, he will be limited to either the right side or left side of the pitch, as we see against Arsenal. We kinda missed seeing Kante closing down opponents everywhere on the pitch, because now, he does most of his work on the right side and further up.

Jorginho on the other hand, is a genius in central midfield - the engine in the machine. He makes play flow so easily. Most importantly, he controls the tempo of the game and he calmly evades pressure often occuring in midfield, takes the ball away with a touch or flick from an opponent, and then effortlessly distribute it to a free player. He doesn't panic and doesn't hoof the ball. What he does enables us to retain possession in Sarri's system and it's beautiful to watch and is so critical in playing the way we want to. In his central position, he has the ability to have a sense of the full pitch and have a vision of all that is happening on the pitch. He then dictate plays the way he wants. You can't take that attribute away from a team if you have such a player.

So, how do we get the best out of both? An option will be to have both players play as pivots on the same level. One or the other isn't permanently playing in a more forward position that the other. They take turns to switch around their positioning. If Kante wins the ball in the wide areas in our own half, Jorginho moves further up the pitch to receive a pass and Kante becomes the player staying back in the centre. Here Jorginho's ability to dictate the attack is passed on to Kante. For me Kante, is just not a upfield player. At some point during the Arsenal match, he was like one of the two strikers next to Morata. He is not being fully utilised there. If Jorginho has the ball in the centre of field, Kante moves forward but he shouldn't be further forward than the third midfielder.

I'm not sure if others feel that this is much of a conundrum. I hope Sarri finds a system to utilise both and get the best attributes out of both. Because, we will be amazing then. This also goes to show, a collection of great players doesn't necessarily mean their individual abilities will stack when combined in a team, unless you are a great manager who knows to get the best out of both. 

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I don't think we WILL need Kante to play centrally once each player knows their place in the defensive press or phase. For me having Kante able to press in the opposition half, in a Sarri system, should totally outweigh his usefulness to Sarri at a CDM and, tbh, Jorginho is a Regista, and a great one, but that is what he is and needs to be at the base of midfield if ANY of this is going to work.

I have seen a few people saying that the defensive issues V Arsenal would be solved by swapping these two around but I disagree entirely. 99 per cent were already soved when Kovacic came on second half-we had no problems once we did what Sarri wanted. Secondly, Kante is a way better footballer than he is given credit for and is a total upgrade over Allan(Napoli) for this system. Don't we REALLY want Kante winning us the ball back higher up? Think of that destructive force KEEPING pressure on for us rather than being the safety at the other end, doesn't that make more sense in a possession based Sarri system?

So, for me, these two are in the right spots if we are to persist with the flowing 433 and can only EVER be altered if the system changes hugely. In a 4231, even, we would end up with the same issue we ended up with unable to play Fab alongside Kante. I just want to give Sarri time with his 433, we have better players than Napoli in general and if it clicks Chelsea will be both a joy to watch and a deadly threat to all we play. Everyone knows what a joy Napoli were under this guy and our superior playing staff should take him further and Kante destroying teams outside THEIR box rather than ours is, seriously, a massive part of the plan. Imagine if Kante also adds five goals and five assists to his season stats-not unlikely-and keeps up the interceptions, tackles etc but moves them forward fifty yards so Hazard wins quick ball twenty yards from goal repeatedly each game. Hell, even if we do leave a hole now and then(and we won't leave many once we get going anyway)we will be so far out of sight it won't matter!

I understand the concern but just don't see it being a problem and totally see Kante succeeding further forward and shocking a few people in the process.

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5 hours ago, mastiffchild said:

 99 per cent were already soved when Kovacic came on second half-we had no problems once we did what Sarri wanted.

Yeah, I agree with this a whole lot. 

But we have to be fair as well. As good as Jorginho can be, he simply has to do better defensively. We can talk about switching players around as much as we want but I don’t think any top team, no matter how good offensively, will be willing to carry around a complete passenger for long.

And Kante has to do better going forward as well. This will only serve to improve both players long term IMO. Being taken out of a comfort zone is good sometimes. 

 

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Kezza   
9 hours ago, mastiffchild said:

Secondly, Kante is a way better footballer than he is given credit for and is a total upgrade over Allan(Napoli) for this system. Don't we REALLY want Kante winning us the ball back higher up? Think of that destructive force KEEPING pressure on for us rather than being the safety at the other end, doesn't that make more sense in a possession based Sarri system?

I guess that's the way of thinking about the system. It's a complete change from how we were programmed before, so having to think about it from this new perspective doesn't sound natural, but it does make sense. In previous systems, we used to love to overload the central midfield with defensively minded players - at least two who are defensively minded in a midfield of three. The sort of midfielders we have had in the past shows just this. Matic & Kante  together, Bakayoko and Kante, Mikel, Ramires, etc. Now I can't foresee Sarri going with two players who are pure defensive destroyers in midfield. One has to offer something more than doing pure defensive work. It sounds great to have Kante closing down and breaking up plays in the opponents half, but I do not think he should be appearing in a striker position when we are attacking. In the Arsenal game, once or twice I saw him like a second striker next to Morata in the box.

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I think it's a bit of a leap of faith, part of Chelsea's success during our title years came from our solidity. Meaning if we went two goals up we wernt going to capitulate.

Despite it being highly successful plenty here moaned about it and last season despite a pretty successful season winning a trophy many wanted Conte gone as we were '' too negative''

Sarri has never won a league title, in fact he hasn't won a domestic cup either but he has been praised for the style of football his team played. His Napoli team were great to watch but finished runners up to a more pragmatic Juve team. So what do you want? trophies or sexy football? Of course perhaps we will be lucky enough to see both but perhaps not. Are we as fans prepared to sacrifice one for the other? Liverpool have been with Klopp so far, you hear them say Klopp is building something or we fell short but it was quite a ride. They would fully accept driving City close and perhaps an FA Cup or even a good run in Europe. Would we? Or are we that spoilt that a few seasons of exciting but ultimately not trophy winning football is beneath us?

 

 

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1 hour ago, fillerywhereru said:

I think it's a bit of a leap of faith, part of Chelsea's success during our title years came from our solidity. Meaning if we went two goals up we wernt going to capitulate.

Despite it being highly successful plenty here moaned about it and last season despite a pretty successful season winning a trophy many wanted Conte gone as we were '' too negative''

Sarri has never won a league title, in fact he hasn't won a domestic cup either but he has been praised for the style of football his team played. His Napoli team were great to watch but finished runners up to a more pragmatic Juve team. So what do you want? trophies or sexy football? Of course perhaps we will be lucky enough to see both but perhaps not. Are we as fans prepared to sacrifice one for the other? Liverpool have been with Klopp so far, you hear them say Klopp is building something or we fell short but it was quite a ride. They would fully accept driving City close and perhaps an FA Cup or even a good run in Europe. Would we? Or are we that spoilt that a few seasons of exciting but ultimately not trophy winning football is beneath us?

 

 

I've seen us win it all, something I never thought would happen as a Chelsea fan. Munich was one of the best nights of my life and as much as I'd love us to challenge again and get back to that level we are a fair way off that right now.

I can't see anyone finishing above City in the next two or three season's  If I thought we had the team to challenge at home and in Europe I wouldn't care how we played. I'd take winning above pretty football all day long. 

However I can't see us challenging for the big two competitions any time soon so I am more than happy to try something different and be entertained again. 

Playing good football and winning things is possible. People always bring up Klopp and Pochettino as examples of managers that play exciting football without winning anything but they are the exception, not the norm.

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Kezza   

I can definitely see the value of having the high press. We may not win the ball back in their own half, but we surely harried the players into making mistakes and panic clearance of the ball. And usually, that ball ends up being picked up in our own half  by the centre backs easily. Have seen this happened many times in the first two matches. And boy,  the opposition looks helpless in keeping possession and must be frustrated for losing the ball so often. Mind, we used to be in their shoes. So I don't care about winning anything at this point. Get it right technically, attack and defense wise, and everything else should fall in naturally. And yeah, having Kante in that high press is valuable. Just that we won't have a last ditch saving tackle and interception when once a while someone beats the offside trap and goes one on one with the keeper.

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3 hours ago, fillerywhereru said:

I think it's a bit of a leap of faith, part of Chelsea's success during our title years came from our solidity. Meaning if we went two goals up we wernt going to capitulate.

Despite it being highly successful plenty here moaned about it and last season despite a pretty successful season winning a trophy many wanted Conte gone as we were '' too negative''

Sarri has never won a league title, in fact he hasn't won a domestic cup either but he has been praised for the style of football his team played. His Napoli team were great to watch but finished runners up to a more pragmatic Juve team. So what do you want? trophies or sexy football? Of course perhaps we will be lucky enough to see both but perhaps not. Are we as fans prepared to sacrifice one for the other? Liverpool have been with Klopp so far, you hear them say Klopp is building something or we fell short but it was quite a ride. They would fully accept driving City close and perhaps an FA Cup or even a good run in Europe. Would we? Or are we that spoilt that a few seasons of exciting but ultimately not trophy winning football is beneath us?

 

 

Very insubstantial comparison there. Managers don't win trophies on their own. It's a combination of their ideas and the work they then do with players. Not all clubs are equal. In Italy Juve is a behemoth, while Napoli has never had anything like the same status and recognition. Their only successful period was when they managed to acquire Maradona. Otherwise, they've been a perennial bit part player in La Liga and Sarri did magnificently well with them and may very well do so again with a credible club and team.

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17 hours ago, PeteRobbo said:

Very insubstantial comparison there. Managers don't win trophies on their own. It's a combination of their ideas and the work they then do with players. Not all clubs are equal. In Italy Juve is a behemoth, while Napoli has never had anything like the same status and recognition. Their only successful period was when they managed to acquire Maradona. Otherwise, they've been a perennial bit part player in La Liga and Sarri did magnificently well with them and may very well do so again with a credible club and team.

Indeed, in fact Sarri’s time in Italy can best be judged with how well (or not) they do this season under Carlo.

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