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Michael Tucker

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8 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Kante is meant to play Allan's role at Napoli, which is essentially a box-to-box midfielder, except with little freedom to actually roam the midfield except for vertically up and down. That's where Kante is struggling, because he's always been someone that would cover the entire midfield, now he's being asked to be more positionally disciplined as more of a RCM. With a greater emphasis on pushing forward to close down in the final third. 

A very original and interesting point.  So now the problem is that Kante is restricted to certain parts of the pitch whereas before he could go where he wanted.
A curious contrast to Blue Rod who you quote saying Kante has always been a DM.

8 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

This is why we're suspect on the counter and when sides play more direct, particularly when they move the ball at speed.

I think you'll find we have always been suspect on the counter when sides play direct and move the ball at speed.  So equally have our opponents always been when we do it.  It's called football.

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I assume those that keep going on about Kante either do not watch much football, are far too easily influenced by the media or are just using it as something to have a pop at the new manager about. 

Kante is not being played out of position.

Kante is the best box to box, ball winning midfielder in the world and arguably the best I have ever seen.

He is not and has never been a defensive midfielder that sits in front of the back 4

He played 6 games as the deepest in the middle of a three man midfield for Chelsea, looked completely lost and everybody was moaning that it was not his natural position and was he being wasted. He never played that way for Leicester. 

By default a ball winning midfielder is not going to win the ball back as much or have as much of an influence on a game when you play high possession football. It's simple common sense.

No surprise that on Saturday when we had less of the ball he had his best game for us this season.

The argument has never been about whether he is being played out of position, but whether or not he is suited to playing in a team that is going to have far more possession than the opposition. 

 

 

Edited by Martin1905

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4 minutes ago, Martin1905 said:

The argument has never been about whether he is being played out of position, but whether or not he is suited to playing in a team that is going to have far more possession than the opposition. 

True, but he has been winning that argument for me recently with goals and assists.
He's picked up that Essien trick of bursting forward 10m every time he gets the ball, which opens up the field, gives him time to look up and decide what to do next, and makes it easy for the front men to time their runs knowing just when the longer pass is going to come.
Pretty soon he'll be the most fouled player in the Prem - just like Essien was.

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3 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

I assume those that keep going on about Kante either do not watch much football, are far too easily influenced by the media or are just using it as something to have a pop at the new manager about. 

Kante is not being played out of position.

Kante is the best box to box, ball winning midfielder in the world and arguably the best I have ever seen.

He is not and has never been a defensive midfielder that sits in front of the back 4

He played 6 games as the deepest in the middle of a three man midfield for Chelsea, looked completely lost and everybody was moaning that it was not his natural position and was he being wasted. He never played that way for Leicester. 

By default a ball winning midfielder is not going to win the ball back as much or have as much of an influence on a game when you play high possession football. It's simple common sense.

No surprise that on Saturday when we had less of the ball he had his best game for us this season.

The argument has never been about whether he is being played out of position, but whether or not he is suited to playing in a team that is going to have far more possession than the opposition. 

 

 

Wow! One sensible post on the subject. Well done Martin, you're a light in the darkness. And 100% correct. 

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kev61   
18 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

 

 That's where Kante is struggling, because he's always been someone that would cover the entire midfield, now he's being asked to be more positionally disciplined as more of a RCM. 

Firstly, that's not really Kante's game. He's a roamer that breaks up play, lays it off and stays more on the defensive side of the ball than ahead of it. Secondly, Kante lacks the technical skills on the ball to create or navigate the midfield when congested. His game has always seen him basically win the ball and then lay it off with a simply pass. Sarri is now asking more of him. This has seen him caught on the ball more often and making sloppy passes, which immediately gives possession away. Thirdly, because we have so much possession now and Kante has the job of being further up field to close down, when we do lose the ball it's not difficult for opponents to cut through our midfield because generally all three are in advanced areas of the pitch. This is why we're suspect on the counter and when sides play more direct, particularly when they move the ball at speed. Jorginho often can't provide reliable cover in that central role, and that leaves Kovacic as the only other person who can get back - except he has to also shuffle infield from the left, providing he's also not pushed forward himself. He's also not really a ball winner of note. 

The end result is Kante looking lost and the team looking soft in the middle at times. 

we don't have that balance, so naturally holes are going to poke through.That's not a luxury in the PL it goes end to end quickly and that can mean the midfield being bypassed more often. Our issues defensively then get highlighted.

Either our midfield becomes more balanced, or Sarri alters his system. Otherwise this is likely to be an ongoing issue and we'll see Kante continue to fluctuate with his performances.

I'm afraid your points has went over a few people's head.What you describe is exactly what Kante is all about,he may not be playing out of position of a dm'er by definition,but he is being asked to do things that don't come naturally to him - ie playing too far forward.

Kante's instinct is to spot danger  and try to snuff it out ALL OVER the pitch and protect vulnerable areas during a game - a possession based game should not affect him unless you try to shoehorn him into a 'system' - a 'system' should not be that rigid that makes one of the most valuable players we have ever had look weak and out of place.

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xCELERYx   
7 hours ago, kev61 said:

I'm afraid your points has went over a few people's head.What you describe is exactly what Kante is all about,he may not be playing out of position of a dm'er by definition,but he is being asked to do things that don't come naturally to him - ie playing too far forward.

Kante's instinct is to spot danger  and try to snuff it out ALL OVER the pitch and protect vulnerable areas during a game - a possession based game should not affect him unless you try to shoehorn him into a 'system' - a 'system' should not be that rigid that makes one of the most valuable players we have ever had look weak and out of place.

You're right, but that comes as no real surprise.

From a positional stand point he's still ultimately playing central midfield, it's just that the instructions for that role have now changed in comparison to previously. In general terms he is a defensive midfielder by nature - a player tasked with breaking up the play and providing defenders with protection. Generally this sort of player is a good tackler, gets stuck in, and looks to keep possession with simple passes. They're also often seen as someone who begins offensive moves by being able to make simple passes into the more attack minded players around them. This is where the position gets largely misunderstood - people perceive a defensive midfielder to be a defensive "anchor" - someone who holds the midfielder and anchors it. They aren't. Think back to someone like Makelele for example, he was more of an defensive anchor - a water carrier or holding midfielder as he was often referred as. Kante is defensive midfielder with the unique athletic ability and engine that affords him the additional freedom to roam the midfield more than anyone else.

Prior to this season Kante virtually played the role that was more geared towards that of a defensive midfielder - with the odd foray upfield now and again. Under Sarri that role has changed once more and he's been moved into more of a box-to-box role -  this comes with even more freedom and responsibility to get forward and impact play in those advanced areas. Unfortunately, he looks lost at times in this new role because he's finding himself spending more time in advanced areas of the pitch that he generally wouldn't be in. Not having the technical ability on the ball doesn't help either. The only real offensive skill he has comes in the form of his ability to press high up the pitch. That's just not enough if we're being honest. particularly with the limited production we're getting from Jorginho and Kovacic. 

Something will eventually have to give.

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Blue Rod   
On 13/12/2018 at 0:17 AM, xCELERYx said:

Sarri has always been about making his players fit his system, opposed to his system fitting the players. Hence why we currently see a handful of players in roles they aren't ideally suited for currently. 

Kante is meant to play Allan's role at Napoli, which is essentially a box-to-box midfielder, except with little freedom to actually roam the midfield except for vertically up and down. That's where Kante is struggling, because he's always been someone that would cover the entire midfield, now he's being asked to be more positionally disciplined as more of a RCM. With a greater emphasis on pushing forward to close down in the final third. 

Firstly, that's not really Kante's game. He's a roamer that breaks up play, lays it off and stays more on the defensive side of the ball than ahead of it. Secondly, Kante lacks the technical skills on the ball to create or navigate the midfield when congested. His game has always seen him basically win the ball and then lay it off with a simply pass. Sarri is now asking more of him. This has seen him caught on the ball more often and making sloppy passes, which immediately gives possession away. Thirdly, because we have so much possession now and Kante has the job of being further up field to close down, when we do lose the ball it's not difficult for opponents to cut through our midfield because generally all three are in advanced areas of the pitch. This is why we're suspect on the counter and when sides play more direct, particularly when they move the ball at speed. Jorginho often can't provide reliable cover in that central role, and that leaves Kovacic as the only other person who can get back - except he has to also shuffle infield from the left, providing he's also not pushed forward himself. He's also not really a ball winner of note. 

The end result is Kante looking lost and the team looking soft in the middle at times. 

It worked at Napoli because Allan is more technically gifted on the ball compared to Kante, with a greater sense of tactical/positional discipline. While Hamsik being quality in the attacking third provided the creative/scoring outlet, while also having exceptional technical quality. We don't have that balance, so naturally holes are going to poke through. The other big aspect is that Serie A isn't as direct in term of play style. Teams will generally look to play the ball around at a slower pace. That's not a luxury in the PL, it goes end to end quickly and that can mean the midfield being bypassed more often. Our issues defensively then get highlighted.

Either our midfield becomes more balanced, or Sarri alters his system. Otherwise this is likely to be an ongoing issue and we'll see Kante continue to fluctuate with his performances.

Your analysis sounds logical, until you realise that none of the goals we conceded at Spurs had anything remotely to do with Kante. 

We have been suspect in counter attacks since the Arsenal game at the bridge. I don't think it has anything to do with Kante.

If Sarri is saying that Kante should be playing close to Jorginho, then that is an impossible position, almost octopus - like . A right sided midfielder, supporting and playing close Jorginho in the centre, and a box to box midfielder, all at the same time. Sounds like a mess to me. 

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Blue Rod   
On 14/12/2018 at 4:13 AM, xCELERYx said:

You're right, but that comes as no real surprise.

From a positional stand point he's still ultimately playing central midfield, it's just that the instructions for that role have now changed in comparison to previously. In general terms he is a defensive midfielder by nature - a player tasked with breaking up the play and providing defenders with protection. Generally this sort of player is a good tackler, gets stuck in, and looks to keep possession with simple passes. They're also often seen as someone who begins offensive moves by being able to make simple passes into the more attack minded players around them. This is where the position gets largely misunderstood - people perceive a defensive midfielder to be a defensive "anchor" - someone who holds the midfielder and anchors it. They aren't. Think back to someone like Makelele for example, he was more of an defensive anchor - a water carrier or holding midfielder as he was often referred as. Kante is defensive midfielder with the unique athletic ability and engine that affords him the additional freedom to roam the midfield more than anyone else.

Prior to this season Kante virtually played the role that was more geared towards that of a defensive midfielder - with the odd foray upfield now and again. Under Sarri that role has changed once more and he's been moved into more of a box-to-box role -  this comes with even more freedom and responsibility to get forward and impact play in those advanced areas. Unfortunately, he looks lost at times in this new role because he's finding himself spending more time in advanced areas of the pitch that he generally wouldn't be in. Not having the technical ability on the ball doesn't help either. The only real offensive skill he has comes in the form of his ability to press high up the pitch. That's just not enough if we're being honest. particularly with the limited production we're getting from Jorginho and Kovacic. 

Something will eventually have to give.

It sounds like you are trying to make sense of this unexplainable formation from Sarri. If it is really this complicated in sitting in front of a PC, just imagine what it must feel like on the pitch. 

I don't think this convinces me one bit.  If Jorginho was allowed the time on the ball that he has in Serie  A, Sarri would not have this problem. As Fabregas put it;  Jorginho is struggling. Sarri  tried to play Kante as an outright right sided midfielder. When he realised how exposed Jorginho was becoming, he initially tried to defend his decision only to concede it soon after. Because against Fulham and City he quietly pulled in Kante inward to support Jorginho, creating a rather weird territory for Kante  that resembles a right angle triangle.  

I am still not convinced that this position came about by design, nor am I even convinced that Sarri has finally worked out where Kante's position is. He knows where Jorginnho should play, but he is not yet ready to accept that PL is quicker through the middle than Serie A. He will soon have to. Because if Kante is only one player. There is no way he can perform all the roles some members of this forum have ascribed to him. 

 

 

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Jasonb   
On ‎17‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 10:48 PM, Blue Rod said:

It sounds like you are trying to make sense of this unexplainable formation from Sarri. If it is really this complicated in sitting in front of a PC, just imagine what it must feel like on the pitch. 

I don't think this convinces me one bit.  If Jorginho was allowed the time on the ball that he has in Serie  A, Sarri would not have this problem. As Fabregas put it;  Jorginho is struggling. Sarri  tried to play Kante as an outright right sided midfielder. When he realised how exposed Jorginho was becoming, he initially tried to defend his decision only to concede it soon after. Because against Fulham and City he quietly pulled in Kante inward to support Jorginho, creating a rather weird territory for Kante  that resembles a right angle triangle.  

I am still not convinced that this position came about by design, nor am I even convinced that Sarri has finally worked out where Kante's position is. He knows where Jorginnho should play, but he is not yet ready to accept that PL is quicker through the middle than Serie A. He will soon have to. Because if Kante is only one player. There is no way he can perform all the roles some members of this forum have ascribed to him. 

When I saw Jorginho pre-season he looked good though I had the question would he be able to do that in the competitive EPL. He had the skill of creating angles to avoid pressing though the pressing has improved since November. Warnock the ex-player-pundit said whatever system you faced there was a weakness in that if they were pressing you with two men it meant they were short some where else and that is where you should focus you're attack. Good to see Luiz provide an outlet with a targeted long pass. Not sure if that was out of the Sarri text book or just improvised. 

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