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12 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

 

I'm  not ignoring anything. If the choice, until RLC and CHO are fit is to play Mount/Barkley as a  number 10 or play 5 at the back then the first choice wins for me. Hands down. 

I genuinely dont think it matters what formation we play, in terms of scoring, we are not going to score many goals this season but I'd like to see us at least have a go rather than playing defensive football with more defenders on the pitch than attackers.

I'd like to see us play a high pressing, high tempo game with a fluid front line and solid midfield pairing and I think we saw today that is exactly what we are attempting to do. 

I agree that the 4-2-3-1 with Mount/Barkley/RLC as no.10 seems the most likely option now. Mount might be playing his way into the starting XI, when if RLC hadn't been injured he might have been looking at another loan. I think Barkley is a back-up option and once RLC gets back to fitness Barkley might struggle for minutes, as three of them will be competing for one place in the team.

For the 2 deeper I guess that only one of Drinkwater and Bakayoko will stay and we're more likely to find suitors for Bakayoko. As Sarri said, Drinkwater is a good player in a 2...

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On Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 4:00 PM, Martin1905 said:

I genuinely dont think it matters what formation we play, in terms of scoring, we are not going to score many goals this season but I'd like to see us at least have a go rather than playing defensive football with more defenders on the pitch than attackers.

I think that if it boils down to being a defensive team to compete this season, I would go with a defensive set up personally.

SFL has a whole lot to deal with this. Personally speaking, if I were him, I would go for pragmatism this year.

You know exactly what you are gonna get with:

?James-Azpili-Luiz-Rudiger-Alonso

---------------Kante-Jorginho

Like you said, it may not be pretty but that is a solid team to break down IMO.

I am ok with SFL doing what he has to to keep us competitive this year until the transfer ban is lifted.

We all know that SFL wants a young, vibrant, bold side after his time with Derby. Would it be so bad to bear with things for a year till the window is back open?

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Sciatika   

I don't think that getting clean sheets requires that we play more people at the back. I think the same can be achieved with better organisation and communication. I keep seeing really basic defensive errors. For instance, crossing CBs, defenders not being covered properly when they bring the ball forward, stupid stuff like not taking forcing thee attacker wide, losing players in the box, heading out for corners rather than for throw-ins, poor clearances, not holding a line and so on. It's not all the time. Some games our back four have looked really solid and it does not seem to matter who we play. But sometimes, we are all over the place. I wonder sometimes whether there is something missing in our defensive coaching? Ot is it that we do not have someone who takes control of the defence?

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Blue Rod   
20 minutes ago, Sciatika said:

I don't think that getting clean sheets requires that we play more people at the back. I think the same can be achieved with better organisation and communication. I keep seeing really basic defensive errors. For instance, crossing CBs, defenders not being covered properly when they bring the ball forward, stupid stuff like not taking forcing thee attacker wide, losing players in the box, heading out for corners rather than for throw-ins, poor clearances, not holding a line and so on. It's not all the time. Some games our back four have looked really solid and it does not seem to matter who we play. But sometimes, we are all over the place. I wonder sometimes whether there is something missing in our defensive coaching? Ot is it that we do not have someone who takes control of the defence?

I agree. Part of my main criticism of last season was how we failed to do the very essential - marking, running, supporting the player with the ball when we break, tracking players arriving in the box, anticipation to get to the ball during corners, players like David Luiz going to sleep during set pieces. This is what convinced me that, even if we got sarriball 100% right, we would never be a top team.

No style can ever compensate for failing to do basic footballing tasks. In fact, I have seen teams win trophies not  by displaying any consistent style, but just getting the essentials right most times, hard work, intensity, hard running, etc.

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paulw66   
2 hours ago, Sciatika said:

I don't think that getting clean sheets requires that we play more people at the back. I think the same can be achieved with better organisation and communication. I keep seeing really basic defensive errors. For instance, crossing CBs, defenders not being covered properly when they bring the ball forward, stupid stuff like not taking forcing thee attacker wide, losing players in the box, heading out for corners rather than for throw-ins, poor clearances, not holding a line and so on. It's not all the time. Some games our back four have looked really solid and it does not seem to matter who we play. But sometimes, we are all over the place. I wonder sometimes whether there is something missing in our defensive coaching? Ot is it that we do not have someone who takes control of the defence?

We have players who are less consistent. 

Luiz and Rudiger are both great on their day, but they can't hold a candle to JT, Gallas, Carvalho, Ivanovic, possibly even Cahill (for pure reliability) 

We absolutely lack leadership at the back too. Someone to bark orders and get the team organised. 

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Jasonb   
On 26/07/2019 at 9:20 AM, paulw66 said:

We have players who are less consistent. 

Luiz and Rudiger are both great on their day, but they can't hold a candle to JT, Gallas, Carvalho, Ivanovic, possibly even Cahill (for pure reliability) 

We absolutely lack leadership at the back too. Someone to bark orders and get the team organised. 

I think we had better defensive midfielders with JT, Gallas and Carvalho.

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19 hours ago, Jasonb said:

I think we had better defensive midfielders with JT, Gallas and Carvalho.

This, I think is our biggest problem at the moment. Our midfield offers no protection to the back 4, a job that Ampadu would probably be perfect for in a year or two, if he can get some decent game time, but for the here and now we don't have anybody that can really fill that role.

Kante can intercept and break play up better than anyone, but I don't think he'll ever just sit at the base of midfield to stop attacks, he's too good for that to be his only role.

Jorginho is too lightweight to fill this role and his tackling ability is not nearly good enough. At the moment, he's the round peg in the square hole. That's not to say he can't fit in to this team, but at the moment the way we need/want to play just doesn't quite work for him.

Other options we could look at could maybe Reece James (not sure he'd be ready for that role at this level yet though and we may need him at RB more than we would have hoped. Christensen potentially could fill this role, but not sure he has the nouse to do it at a high enough level.

It's a problem for us and I don't currently see an easy solution. The best thing we can do for now is play 3 in midfield rather than 2.

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paulw66   
19 hours ago, Jasonb said:

I think we had better defensive midfielders with JT, Gallas and Carvalho.

 

5 minutes ago, My Blood Is Blue said:

This, I think is our biggest problem at the moment. Our midfield offers no protection to the back 4, a job that Ampadu would probably be perfect for in a year or two, if he can get some decent game time, but for the here and now we don't have anybody that can really fill that role.

Kante can intercept and break play up better than anyone, but I don't think he'll ever just sit at the base of midfield to stop attacks, he's too good for that to be his only role.

Jorginho is too lightweight to fill this role and his tackling ability is not nearly good enough. At the moment, he's the round peg in the square hole. That's not to say he can't fit in to this team, but at the moment the way we need/want to play just doesn't quite work for him.

Other options we could look at could maybe Reece James (not sure he'd be ready for that role at this level yet though and we may need him at RB more than we would have hoped. Christensen potentially could fill this role, but not sure he has the nouse to do it at a high enough level.

It's a problem for us and I don't currently see an easy solution. The best thing we can do for now is play 3 in midfield rather than 2.

You're not both trying to claim there isn't a big drop in quality from JT, Carvalho, Gallas to Rudiger, Zouma, AC? 

Yes, there is no Makelele in front of them, but the indiviudal and collective ability of the CBs back then was streets ahead 

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7 hours ago, paulw66 said:

 

You're not both trying to claim there isn't a big drop in quality from JT, Carvalho, Gallas to Rudiger, Zouma, AC? 

Yes, there is no Makelele in front of them, but the indiviudal and collective ability of the CBs back then was streets ahead 

No, didn't say that at all. I was just acknowledging that our biggest issue currently, is the midfield, for the reasons I highlighted. This current team would be much better off with JT and Carvalho playing and also the team back then would be worse off with a midfield two of Jorginho and Kovacic in front of them... agree?

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Sciatika   

I think the players (defenders and midfielders) were better then but I am aware of the danger of that comes from watching highlights. In the highlights, all players look better than they actually are. This is why they are called "highlights". I don't tend to watch all the minutes of old games and, besides, TV doesn't show most of what they do anyway. I am also aware that the game is getting faster, the players are fitter and the level of the game better. Would superior players of even 10 years ago still look a lot better than the competition now? I am not so sure. I don't think Maka was a better player than Kante is now but maybe they are so different I doubt the value of the comparison. I think a fully mature Ballack was a cut above the current RLC but who's surprised by that. RLC is still developing. I loved Essien, but I remember wondering in some games whether he was playing RB or whether that he had simply gone missing. In the end, it seems to me that comparison is a futile exercise.

Edited by Sciatika
typo

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