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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

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35 minutes ago, East Lower said:

As soon as we raised the tempo yesterday at about the seventyish minute we began to stretch the Wolves defence a lot more - lesson there, hope that Sarri spotted it. Let PL defences settle and most of them will be able to defend and keep us out, as we lack pace through the middle in the full-back areas, also we don't get the midfield into the box running onto any crosses, pull-backs the wide players do actually put in that beat the first man. 

I agree we looked better later on, but that is generally the pattern in matches.  With 40 mins to go, you can't push too hard because of the threat of counter attack.  With 10 mins to go the team hanging on to a lead has withdrawn his second striker and in many cases his main striker too.  You can attack them freely with nothing to lose.

Somewhere in between 40 and 10 mins, the balance shifts depending on score, and relative abilities and expectations.

In other words I think that our improvement was as much Wolves backing off as us applying pressure.

40 minutes ago, East Lower said:

My issue with Sarri is that we're two-thirds through a season and he appears fixated with his system when it's clear that the players cannot deliver it. 

I'm not sure what system this set of players can deliver.  

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34 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

I agree we looked better later on, but that is generally the pattern in matches.  With 40 mins to go, you can't push too hard because of the threat of counter attack.  With 10 mins to go the team hanging on to a lead has withdrawn his second striker and in many cases his main striker too.  You can attack them freely with nothing to lose.

Somewhere in between 40 and 10 mins, the balance shifts depending on score, and relative abilities and expectations.

In other words I think that our improvement was as much Wolves backing off as us applying pressure.

 

Wolves set their stall out from the first 5 mins, they had little or no interest in having possession of the ball. A bank of 5, then 4 with the Mexican forward up front. Diogo Jota (I think) joining in as soon as he could, a role in which he did very well, lots of pace. 

They played similarly against us at home, until RLC got our first half goal. We did what we do and then backed off, giving them impetus to attack.  

Yesterday, they settled into a good pattern and gained belief. Our highest tempo games in the latter two/three months have been the two home games against Rottenham and both times we have taken and held onto leads. Whereas I tend to agree that there is a natural move to increase tempo later on in games where a goal is becoming more desperately required, it's clear to me (results being the main reason for that clarity) that we're a better side when we up the tempo or play as we did against Man City (at home and at Wembley), that it with two solid lines and playing on the break.

34 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

I'm not sure what system this set of players can deliver.  

What we are struggling to do is break down well organised teams who sit back and play us on the break. The system and maybe the people we have can't defend against breaking midfielders, we keep on getting sucker punched. I'd go back to a Conte style 5, start off by making us difficult score against. 

What we also struggle to do is win from a losing position, we've come back once this season from a losing position to win the game - at home against lowly Cardiff. Personally I think that speaks volumes in terms of belief, character and a lack of leaders driving us on. We've lost of drawn the other 7 times/games we've been behind in.

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1 hour ago, Leo91 said:

Why don't we put someone in front of the first defender..

This is Chelsea Sir ! We don't stoop as low as this , it's tantamount to cheating! 

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6 minutes ago, East Lower said:

Wolves set their stall out from the first 5 mins, they had little or no interest in having possession of the ball. A bank of 5, then 4 with the Mexican forward up front. Diogo Jota (I think) joining in as soon as he could, a role in which he did very well, lots of pace. 

They played similarly against us at home, until RLC got our first half goal. We did what we do and then backed off, giving them impetus to attack.  

Yesterday, they settled into a good pattern and gained belief. Our highest tempo games in the latter two/three months have been the two home games against Rottenham and both times we have taken and held onto leads. Whereas I tend to agree that there is a natural move to increase tempo later on in games where a goal is becoming more desperately required, it's clear to me (results being the main reason for that clarity) that we're a better side when we up the tempo or play as we did against Man City (at home and at Wembley), that it with two solid lines and playing on the break.

What we are struggling to do is break down well organised teams who sit back and play us on the break. The system and maybe the people we have can't defend against breaking midfielders, we keep on getting sucker punched. I'd go back to a Conte style 5, start off by making us difficult score against. 

What we also struggle to do is win from a losing position, we've come back once this season from a losing position to win the game - at home against lowly Cardiff. Personally I think that speaks volumes in terms of belief, character and a lack of leaders driving us on. We've lost of drawn the other 7 times/games we've been behind in.

Do you think if a leader like JT was still in the side we'd miraculously start scoring goals from midfield? Our main problem isn't lack of leadership, heart, character, belief, etc. Pure and simply it's a lack of players who can create and finish!

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12 hours ago, jangz said:

You seen to have a lot of opinions about what anyone else says/suggests - this at most times without the benefit of any argument to explain your self but accompanied with a strange sarcastic tone which honestly drains out any debate.

So would be great to hear what decisions you would have taken differently.. considering as some one posted above - (you could do a google search before posting too) which shows that they are 7th in the league for a reason.

I have no idea what you are trying to say. I responded to a silly point with a silly remark.

The idea that our own pitch somehow gives an advantage to visiting teams? How much more silly can it get? 

Yes, Wolves are 7th in the league, with a team made up of an odd mix of half decent players, has-beens and journeymen. Perhaps you should do the googling to find out the key to their success  

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3 minutes ago, Bob Singleton said:

Do you think if a leader like JT was still in the side we'd miraculously start scoring goals from midfield? Our main problem isn't lack of leadership, heart, character, belief, etc. Pure and simply it's a lack of players who can create and finish!

I think that any of our teams led by John Terry won games from behind at a greater ratio than this lot. The majority of this side have won at least one PL title and some two - with Terry either in the side or at the club. 

Higuain can finish, Hazard, Willian, Pedro can too. We're short of pace in the side, which doesn't help but I'd re-iterate that a generally higher tempo helps us, as opposed to the sideways, sideways let's try a extremely difficult through ball/ lob against a deep-lying stacked defence. Man City do it well, watch their wide men - all of them quick, two of them very skilful and with 'chalk on their boots'.  They get in down the sides.

Our lot are weak of mind when the going gets a bit tough - a 4-0 and 6-0 more than adequately demonstrates that.

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2 hours ago, East Lower said:

Wolves set their stall out from the first 5 mins, they had little or no interest in having possession of the ball. A bank of 5, then 4 with the Mexican forward up front. Diogo Jota (I think) joining in as soon as he could, a role in which he did very well, lots of pace. 

I agree about possession, but I'm pretty sure Raul Jimenez joined Jota up front at times.  Certainly once.  it dropped to 541 then 55 later on.

2 hours ago, East Lower said:

Yesterday, they settled into a good pattern and gained belief. Our highest tempo games in the latter two/three months have been the two home games against Rottenham and both times we have taken and held onto leads.

Yes and yes.  We were very good against Spurs.  But it seems to me that both Spurs and us invite the oppo to press them, and then try to catch them out.  We've been caught out earlier this season because Spurs were good at pressing us.  We caught them out the same way.  It is a lot easier to pass quickly when you win the ball in the oppo half.  

In other words, the high tempo was as much in the press as in the movement of the ball.

But I think Sarri gets it right on tempo.  That is the issue is not the plan, or Jorginho, it is the movement of the players in front of him that is lacking.  I think tempo, like goals, is one of those things that measures success, but not something that can be tweaked by itself.

2 hours ago, East Lower said:

What we are struggling to do is break down well organised teams who sit back and play us on the break. The system and maybe the people we have can't defend against breaking midfielders, we keep on getting sucker punched. I'd go back to a Conte style 5, start off by making us difficult score against. 

What we also struggle to do is win from a losing position, we've come back once this season from a losing position to win the game - at home against lowly Cardiff. Personally I think that speaks volumes in terms of belief, character and a lack of leaders driving us on. We've lost of drawn the other 7 times/games we've been behind in.

Well yes.  Scoring is the issue.   Essentially the issue is we simply don't have enough attacking players.  One front 3 player out of 6 is in his 20s.  The 2 CMs that can go forward, RLC and Barkley, are not deserving of their place.

I'd put the whole "extra defender and approach" question differently.  That is given the number of games we play and few attacking players we have, would we be better sticking in one of our various half decent defenders  or should play RLC or Barkley or a front 4?  Alonso or Azpi might be CB3, so any of Zappa, Emerson, Cahill or Chirstensen could join in - choose your favourite.

And of course the compromise version which is to pick a defensive minded CM, Kovacic.

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33 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

I agree about possession, but I'm pretty sure Raul Jimenez joined Jota up front at times.  Certainly once.  it dropped to 541 then 55 later on.

Yes and yes.  We were very good against Spurs.  But it seems to me that both Spurs and us invite the oppo to press them, and then try to catch them out.  We've been caught out earlier this season because Spurs were good at pressing us.  We caught them out the same way.  It is a lot easier to pass quickly when you win the ball in the oppo half.  

In other words, the high tempo was as much in the press as in the movement of the ball.

But I think Sarri gets it right on tempo.  That is the issue is not the plan, or Jorginho, it is the movement of the players in front of him that is lacking.  I think tempo, like goals, is one of those things that measures success, but not something that can be tweaked by itself.

Well yes.  Scoring is the issue.   Essentially the issue is we simply don't have enough attacking players.  One front 3 player out of 6 is in his 20s.  The 2 CMs that can go forward, RLC and Barkley, are not deserving of their place.

I'd put the whole "extra defender and approach" question differently.  That is given the number of games we play and few attacking players we have, would we be better sticking in one of our various half decent defenders  or should play RLC or Barkley or a front 4?  Alonso or Azpi might be CB3, so any of Zappa, Emerson, Cahill or Chirstensen could join in - choose your favourite.

And of course the compromise version which is to pick a defensive minded CM, Kovacic.

Jimenez played as the outlet for their 'out' ball, mostly on their r/h/s. Jota caught him up looking for seconds or a pass inside, he did this mostly through the middle. There's a decent tool on the Sky Sports game report page where you can isolate individual players to see their heat-maps. Take a look at Joginho's and Kante, quite enlightening.

Rottenham were the first team that targeted Jorginho, they also caught us cold. We got behind early, got further behind. Then played a bit and got suckered by another breakaway and some awful Luiz defending. 

Sarri was continually trying to get the players to move the ball around faster. I watched him urging the team on at least 6 occasions during the game. I'm not sure that I see the intensity of the press in all games though, although I agree that tempo and press can be interpreted as much the same thing. For me tempo is not only the intensity of pressing, it's things like taking a quick corner, free-kick or as Sarri appears to want quick passing. Even getting the players to try to play with a minimum of touch's Less touch's = less chance of being tackled. 

Personally I believe Ross will be an 'almost' player, and we need more 'always' players. Age isn't the only issue, it's how the player reacts and performs and when age begins to effect the players performances. I've been of the mindset that it's the 'miles on the clock' and how well you've looked after the player (and how they look after themselves) that are the major determining factors in a players longevity. Owen & Rooney are two examples of players, played out before they got beyond 27/28. They are still bone forming at the age when they were playing regular first team football and it's like over-exercising an Alsation dog (or any larger breed) when young, you'll knacker their hips and they'll be done for prematurely.

Aspi on the right-hand side of a three, Alonso of Emerson as the left side wing-back. We're a bit short of a 'Moses' (not quite good enough as a winger and not quite a good enough defender to act as a right-back in a four) character. Rudiger stays, Luiz or Christensen or even Cahill. Cahill seems to not be in Sarri's plan, but the man can defend, not a great passer or one to keep possession though. Kante in front rotating with Jorginho. Hazard more centrally, perm two from Willian, Pedro, RLC, CHO + 1 forward - currently Higuain. That might shore up the back and create chances for us. It might also help to prevent teams quite so easily doubling/trebling up on Hazard. He can find the spaces and operate in them. Kovacic can rotate with the two in front of the three centre-backs.

 

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17 minutes ago, East Lower said:

Jimenez played as the outlet for their 'out' ball, mostly on their r/h/s. J..

Agree with nearly all this.

Ross is almost an almost player, no more than that.  RLC maybe a maybe one.  It is taking a long time to find out.  
Moses not only is not quite a winger, not quite a FB, he was also never quite a good WB.  As winger or WB you have to be able to cross well or beat a PL defender with pace (force the defender to close you down or back off, then you can do the other with ease).  Moses could never do either.  He was a Championship winger whose best quality was to track back well.  (Yet another very highly rated teenage winger, like Scott Sinclair or Walcott or... you know where I'm going.)

Unfortunately we don't have 28 year olds where we have to wonder whether they will still be good at 31.  We have four 30/31/32 year olds, none of which are as good as they were 2 years ago, and an 18 year old who might be that good in 3 or 4 years.  

The 28 year old will certainly be good  for the next 2 years, but perhaps not for us.  Essentially we need 5 or 6 front players before CHO catches up.   Pulsilic and Tammy may be in that group, but not leading it next year.

Making up the back 5 is easy.  Cahill can more than defend, and under Conte was given the central role when Luiz was absent because he really can play the ball about.  But he is surely moving on so why discuss.

Up until 5131? 
You mean like City play with Fernandinho?  We could never manage that.  First Fernandinho is a unique player.  Not quite as fast a passer as Jorginho, not quite as mobile as Kante, and not quite as good at getting in the box as Lampard.  But he does all 3 extemely well;  each better than almost all but 3 or 4 in the Prem.  Second City have an enormous amount of energy in the 3 AMs - they are mostly young, frequently rotated within ad between games, and they have 2 choices for CF, Jesus and Aguero, who add almost as much energy as a Sane, or KdB or Sterling or Silva or silva or Mahrez.  And their FBs get forward and back much faster than our WBs ever did under Conte.  We have 3 starting AMS and 2 very slow low energy strikers.  Not enough to play that way for 60 mins, let alone twice a week.

Sort out the players, and frankly I think we could play any system we want.  Including Sarriball.  But without big changes no system works

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

Sort out the players, and frankly I think we could play any system we want.  Including Sarriball.  But without big changes no system works

And there it is, spot on.

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