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Michael Tucker

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1 minute ago, Rob B said:

This. 

Been saying the same thing for months. The amount of goals that Man City score from the ball being cut back from the byline is insane. 

Liverpool have Robertson and TAA playing like wingers. We have a very slow LB (who clearly has his strengths too) that tends to make his runs inside, and a very cautious Azpi who when he does cross is, is only 15 metres past the halfway line and easy to defend.

I’m staggered Sarri hasn’t addressed this 

Yes. Sarri is staggeringly unimaginative in his team selection. Emerson and Zappacosta are more than capable going forward over Azpi and Alonso. But Sarri regards the former as weaker defenders. Fine. Don’t play Emerson and Zappacosta against the top four then. But against the likes of Leicester and Soton? At least try it for God’s sake. It’s just boringly predictable. Even the players look bored of each other. I know I was bored out of my mind watching us this evening. 

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chelboy   
15 minutes ago, Original 21 said:

Yes. Sarri is staggeringly unimaginative in his team selection. Emerson and Zappacosta are more than capable going forward over Azpi and Alonso. But Sarri regards the former as weaker defenders. Fine. Don’t play Emerson and Zappacosta against the top four then. But against the likes of Leicester and Soton? At least try it for God’s sake. It’s just boringly predictable. Even the players look bored of each other. I know I was bored out of my mind watching us this evening. 

He is trying to force Emerson out. I can not think of any other reason why he has not played him and we are in January. I think he fears if Emerson plays well he may find it harder to drop him or even sell him. Sarri made up his mind a long time ago I think and he already has a plan. Unfortunately it may cost us top 4 in the process. I hope Sarri realises no top 4 definitely means Hazard will go. If that happens we truly will be ****ed. 

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kev61   

And now we have Utd coming up on the rails for a top four spot.As it stands I would put Sarri's position as 50/50 to be manager at the end of the season.

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1 hour ago, kev61 said:

And now we have Utd coming up on the rails for a top four spot.As it stands I would put Sarri's position as 50/50 to be manager at the end of the season.

50/50 is very generous. We're hanging on to fourth spot by our fingertips.

It might come down to winning the Europa League for Sarri to buy himself another year.

Our current odds are 4/1. 

 

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DannyLB   
1 hour ago, Kezza said:

And we still don't need a striker.

There’s not a single person at the club who  is of that opinion, but when you’re not guaranteed another striker coming in, the last thing the manager should say is that we need a striker to completely decimate whatever bits of confidence left Morata and Giroud have. 

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6 minutes ago, Original 21 said:

50/50 is very generous. We're hanging on to fourth spot by our fingertips.

It might come down to winning the Europa League for Sarri to buy himself another year.

Our current odds are 4/1. 

 

Judging Sarri’s performance has to be put into context though. This is a squad that let down 2 great managers at different points and its no mystery as to why as others have identified the fullbacks aren't great, the wingers blow hot and cold, and we dont have a viable striking option.

Sarri has done some things poorly, of course, but there has to be context to where we are and how we have performed this season. He clearly doesnt rate a large chunk of the squad.

The club looks as though it has money to spend and we can do a lot worse than keeping Sarri regardless of what happens this season and investing based on HIS recommendations.

Again, I agree he has done some bizarre things thus far, but he clearly has an identity and its one that reaped a lot of rewards for City last season.

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chelboy   
8 hours ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

Judging Sarri’s performance has to be put into context though. This is a squad that let down 2 great managers at different points and its no mystery as to why as others have identified the fullbacks aren't great, the wingers blow hot and cold, and we dont have a viable striking option.

Sarri has done some things poorly, of course, but there has to be context to where we are and how we have performed this season. He clearly doesnt rate a large chunk of the squad.

The club looks as though it has money to spend and we can do a lot worse than keeping Sarri regardless of what happens this season and investing based on HIS recommendations.

Again, I agree he has done some bizarre things thus far, but he clearly has an identity and its one that reaped a lot of rewards for City last season.

His identity is different to City. Both are attacking possession based but the way Pep lines up his 433 is with an holding no.4 and two no.8’s. This is how City get extra goals and creativity from midfield. Two of the no.8’s support the the full backs and winger going forward or sometimes just the wingers causing 3vs2 or 2vs1 situations in wide areas  which makes it easier to get in behind and play it into the box. They always look for the wingers to make runs in behind usually from a one-two pass and produce cut backs where 3 or 4 players are waiting in the box. The full backs rarely make runs inside as it causes congestion and they are out wide keeping the width all game. They never get into the box waiting to score from a cross. The no.4 focuses fully on breaking up play and attempting smart fouls to slow the game and counter attacks. 

Compare this to our current system which is different in many ways. We usually play a regista that is focused on moving the ball and recycling possession. He is not very good at breaking up play or in quick transitions . That makes us play a no.6 who has the hardest role in the team having to stay close to the regista and protect him in quick transitions but also to try and do some attacking which means he can get caught in two minds. Then we only have one no.8 who for most games is actually a no.6 too in Kovacic. He has to protect a LB who goes forward and does not recover well enough in transitions. This also makes the  “no.8” slightly more defensive minded than he probably needs to be causing him to take less risks in the final third and less of an attacking presence. Not to mention this midfield 3 combination gives us no attacking presence making us very reliant on the front 3 to always get goals. We also have full backs that do not stay wide enough and are usually too narrow with one full back thinking this is still a 343 formation in which he had permission to enter the box for crosses. 

If this is the identity for the long run with Sarri then he is doomed. His combination of players that he picks is usually wrong for these types of games. Obviously I am guessing this is not what Sarri intended his team to look like but until he switches certain players or a tweak in the system this is what we are going to look like against most teams that parks the bus and play counter attack. Teams have figured out our weaknesses and we have not been able to counter them due to picking the same combination of players in the same system. We are not on poor form, we have simply been found out and need a new identity or way to play that opponents find harder to play against. If this requires changing the system or some players then so be it but that is all down to Sarri. 

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Completely sterile; we've been more boring than last season for a month or two now, and we were very, very boring last season.

There was a moment at around 85 minutes where I noticed we finally had four or five players running into the box as we held possession on the wing. 85 minutes. Granted Southampton rarely left their half long enough for this to be an option, but nobody is making any attacking movement. Feel a bit for Jorginho; feel from here and the crowds at games that people are turning on him. It's true that he adds literally nothing to a team that plays as we do, but that's hardly his fault. That Fabregas is apparently off is completely mental; he'd have been in my starting XI (mostly as well and not instead of Jorginho) all season, and it's no surprise to me that the few runs our players made came when they knew he was on the pitch.

I don't know what a Ross Barkley is. We'd get more use out of the '80% absent, 20% Gazza impressionist' model Everton had a few years ago than this version who does lots of little shuttling, pressing and recycling jobs but none of them well.

I have the feeling, and had all winter, that we are seeing a threatened organism reverting to its most simplistic form to survive; that we have become less and less confident playing fast-paced, proactive football and fallen more and more into the boring, sterile grind most of these players have come to know well. I don't think it bodes well for the current manager.

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