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Michael Tucker

Norwich City 2 Chelsea 3

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1 hour ago, LeBoeufsGolfBall said:

To be honest , I’m not sure what you want me to explain.

None of our midfielders contributed many goals last season until RLC in final quarter of the season. For me , that was weak management by Sarri as I don’t think he wanted to really play RLC nor CHO, but he backtracked from his strong management stance (which was wrong in the first place but at least strong)  of not wanting to play them and kinda rolled over to lighten some of the flack he was getting.

Kante chipped in with a few, but I believe that was primarily down to his pace and running power enabling him to get on the end of things. These are not really Kovacic attributes.

For me Kovacic is a ball carrying midfielder who is technically good and can knit patterns of play in the team well. I think Sarri used him mainly as a ball recycler , a diet version of Jorginho if you like. Kante was the more advanced of the three midfielders due to his pace and energy.

Kovacic can do a bit of everything well, but he does need to try and contribute more goals. He is actually not a bad finisher when he gets a chance and I think he will improve his goals this season ,as he will undoubtedly play with more freedom to move forward with the ball and join in with attacks.

The overall concern is we don’t have a natural sitter. Jorginho will likely attack forward the least of our options, but he is just to lightweight and not mobile enough to perform this role well. He will get bypassed with ease or just pick up a stack of yellows for cynical professional fouls.

Ha, Having watched the Bournemouth -City match he would have fitted right in under Pep.

 

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15 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Ok but that really isn't the way I saw Kovacic whenever he was in the team with Kante.  Kante is so mobile that it is easy to not notice what he is doing.  He stands 10 yards further forward than anyone else would doing the same job, and happily chases another 30 yards forward simply because he knows he can get back.  For me Kante's job was much deeper than Kovacic or Barkley or RLC in those games where Jorginho and Kante started.

Do you think Kovacic was asked to play differently to the way Barkley and RLC were asked to play?  I don't.

 

Every DM gets yellow "cynical" cards.  It is one of the things Jorginho does well.  Kante can be just as cynical when needed.  Got to love them for it.

 

I’m struggling a little with what your point is though. You seem to want to compare Kovacic role last season to that of RLC( who you say has done nothing in a Chelsea shirt) and Barkley who is bang average. It’s not like your comparison is alongside players who had good seasons in your view.

I don’t think Kovacic  was asked to play much differently to Barkley was, but I think the writing was well and truly on the wall for Sarri by time RLC broke through and I think Sarri was past caring to be honest. Kovacic doesn’t posses the same pace, power and goalscoring ability of RLC so he was never gonna match that.

On DM’s and cynical cards, yes your are spot on. My overall point is that the PL is quicker than ever now and this role means you will get these cards at times, but you need some recovery pace and power in your game to perform it well. Fernandinho is as cynical as they come, but he has already sniffed out 2/3 situations well before that booking arrives from say the 60th minute. Jorginho will just get well and truly bypassed and the will find that booking from the 20th minute and then become a complete passenger defensively.

I’m a Jorginho fan as a footballer, I’m talking a scenario where he appears to be the likely sitter on paper and we might need to consider other options in these scenarios.

Edited by LeBoeufsGolfBall

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JaneB   
5 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

I guess because he came from RM everyone thinks he is a natural attacker.  He isn't, he is a hard working CM that could play DM and does a reasonable backup job for Jorginho or Kante.  Because he is scouted by oppos as not a threat, he often finds space open up in front of him, so he goes on runs forward into space that generally peter out as soon as someone challenges him.  

Ideally (in a couple of years time again) we have 12 or 13 top players and 7 or 8 back up ones.  Kovacic is great as one of 7 or 8.  He makes little difference when we only have 4 top players right now.  But I love the way he looks like a boxer and plays like a boxer.

 

3 hours ago, LeBoeufsGolfBall said:

I have long been a fan of his since his days with Inter Milan. I expected big things from him last season, but he did disappoint really as whilst he was never bad, he tended to be 6/10 most games.

I do believe this was down to playing in such a rigid formation and for a manager who’s philosophy of football stifled him. Now in his second season and under a manager who will encourage him to play with more freedom, I think we will see a different player this season and he will prove to be an important squad option. I think getting the right combination between our CM options is a bit of a conundrum. I don’t really see any of them as holding midfielders as I think this is a waste of their talents, whilst they can do a job in that role. Kovacic is at his best when allowed to go on the front foot and run with the ball, I have long had a passion for classy Croatian midfielders style of play.

Who knows, if Reece James emerges as the talent we all hope, maybe he can fulfill the holding role for certain games when we might want to protect the defence a little more (maybe certain CL and PL games) or even Azpilucueta can switch to this role with James at RB.

James at Wigan looked like he could play a number of positions, James holding for Kante and Kovacic looks exciting on paper and that’s leaving two high quality footballers out In Jorginho and RLC

Thank you very much both :-)

I shall watch him with interest and to see how things develop.

 

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This VAR nonsense is starting to get ridiculous. Both City and Spurs should have had penalties today and they were denied because they were not 'clear and obvious' mistakes, then Wolves get a soft one because it was given on the pitch. Farcical 

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chara   
Just now, OfWolfAndBiggs said:

As far as weekends of sport go, that was a pretty good one to say the least!! 

Yep...Spuds Manure and the arse all lose..2 goals for Tammy and one for The Mount...last two weekends not good but this is what makes it such a great game....

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1 hour ago, JaneB said:

 

I shall watch him with interest and to see how things develop.

 

For what’s its worth I think he has been great since and including the Europa final. Yesterday he was great, they even did a few minutes on MOTD highlighting how well he played.  I was unimpressed when we signed him permanently but I am happy to be wrong and think he has looked a completely different player to last season.

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Ham   
15 minutes ago, OfWolfAndBiggs said:

As far as weekends of sport go, that was a pretty good one to say the least!! 

Ben Stokes made it for me.  

Still buzzing.  Superhuman. 

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chelboy   
3 hours ago, King Kante said:

This VAR nonsense is starting to get ridiculous. Both City and Spurs should have had penalties today and they were denied because they were not 'clear and obvious' mistakes, then Wolves get a soft one because it was given on the pitch. Farcical 

Yep, VAR are just agreeing with whatever decision the ref makes. They seem far too afraid to overturn anything or make a decision for themselves. This weekend they might as well have not even been there. They clearly don’t have a clue about these decisions themselves. I would  like to know what camera angles they are looking at these decisions from because this weekend has been a complete failure. 

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2 hours ago, Ham said:

Ben Stokes made it for me.  

Still buzzing.  Superhuman. 

Quite.  Every time this test I turned the telly on we lost a wicket so I barely watched until it was 295 for 9 and we still needed 60 odd to win.  I could hardly do much harm now I thought.

Wonderful stuff.  And how about Leach, he has just shared a partnership of 76 to win a test and he didn't score till the penultimate ball!

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