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Ham   
3 minutes ago, Leo91 said:

I think we'll beat Liverpool.

We're not particularly good against long ball merchants so...... 😬

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11 minutes ago, Ham said:

We're not particularly good against long ball merchants so...... 😬

That has gone under the radar , on purpose I expect , but they do love a , ahem , long pass , don't they ? Hoofvarpool 

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Sciatika   

They used to be the top exponent of the back pass as well.

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GURJ SS   

Watched the game and then took some time to reflect as I don't want to sound like a broken record or get tunnel vision and keep blaming something that might not be true, but there's a number of things that keep bugging me.

I don't think Rudiger coming into the defence has made us weaker however I don't think he has particularly made us stronger as Zouma gives us the most strength in the air and physicality. What I do think he has done by coming back is caused the same issue we had with Luiz when we're on the ball or playing out from the back, and that is because he has the ability to pick out a long pass he is missing the immediate and quickest pass out of defence into a much more creative player. What's happening is our front 3 are moving forward and tucking in far too soon which makes our fullbacks get into positions where they should be receiving a pass on the run and not how they're receiving it which is a first touch to stop the ball. Tomori but far more so Zouma would release the ball as quick as he got it, which means that while yes he doesn't have the finesse of our other centre backs the great thing is he releases the ball to someone better and in far more advanced positions of the pitch than himself; more importantly it moves the ball out of the defence as soon as possible and while our players are still transitioning from defence to attack, meaning we can counterattack and counterattack with unpredictability whilst the other team hasn't settled. Personally I think Tomori and Zouma were fine at the back with Christensen as 3rd choice. If we were to think back to some of our great teams and how the centre backs like Terry, Carvalho and Alex could work with the ball we've got to remember they had fullbacks and midfielders around them who could also work the ball and attacking players who were vastly superior to what we've got now; what we've got now are the type of players where we need to get the ball into the attacking areas as early as possible and take advantage of that early space, we simply haven't got the quality to break a team down when we're too slow to move the ball on from defence. We looked slow with the ball yesterday when bringing it forward and that's with our two better ball playing centrebacks and I think it's more to do with them starving the more forward players of possession as early as possible. Which brings me to the next point...

Central midfield. We don't have one. Jorginho was on his own until Barkley came on and started linking up with him and the defence, Kante is all but useless when needing to play small intricate passes to break past an opposition's midfield line and to be honest he doesn't offer enough in attack to say he should ever be closer to his striker than his centrebacks, Jorginho had a partner in Kovacic where he was able to play and rotate with and more importantly our centre backs had more options to get rid of the ball early while the other team were still settling defensively. At the moment the centrebacks who I've been critical about above but to their defence have to work with just Jorginho to keep possession while Kante sprints off to join Tammy for some extremely bizarre reason; by that time the opposition are all settled and have everyone behind the ball. Sarri used Kante as an AM, Lampard is using him as a second striker which makes Sarri's decision look mundane, Kante can tackle better than Mount and Mount can get more goals than Kante however their roles have been switched around - Kante did not replace Kovacic, Mount did, and he isn't that type of player; Kante took Mount's role which makes me question if Lamps' drink is spiked moments before team selection.

I don't think we lost yesterday because Lampard hasn't addressed our defensive side of the game, I think we lost yesterday because Lampard has lost his way with our attacking side of the game. We're never going to be a solid team that grinds a win out with the current set of players, however we don't need to be, yesterday was supposed to be a 1-3 win or something similar; but it turned into a 0-1 defeat because of our attacking issues.

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Blue Rod   
1 hour ago, GURJ SS said:

Watched the game and then took some time to reflect as I don't want to sound like a broken record or get tunnel vision and keep blaming something that might not be true, but there's a number of things that keep bugging me.

I don't think Rudiger coming into the defence has made us weaker however I don't think he has particularly made us stronger as Zouma gives us the most strength in the air and physicality. What I do think he has done by coming back is caused the same issue we had with Luiz when we're on the ball or playing out from the back, and that is because he has the ability to pick out a long pass he is missing the immediate and quickest pass out of defence into a much more creative player. What's happening is our front 3 are moving forward and tucking in far too soon which makes our fullbacks get into positions where they should be receiving a pass on the run and not how they're receiving it which is a first touch to stop the ball. Tomori but far more so Zouma would release the ball as quick as he got it, which means that while yes he doesn't have the finesse of our other centre backs the great thing is he releases the ball to someone better and in far more advanced positions of the pitch than himself; more importantly it moves the ball out of the defence as soon as possible and while our players are still transitioning from defence to attack, meaning we can counterattack and counterattack with unpredictability whilst the other team hasn't settled. Personally I think Tomori and Zouma were fine at the back with Christensen as 3rd choice. If we were to think back to some of our great teams and how the centre backs like Terry, Carvalho and Alex could work with the ball we've got to remember they had fullbacks and midfielders around them who could also work the ball and attacking players who were vastly superior to what we've got now; what we've got now are the type of players where we need to get the ball into the attacking areas as early as possible and take advantage of that early space, we simply haven't got the quality to break a team down when we're too slow to move the ball on from defence. We looked slow with the ball yesterday when bringing it forward and that's with our two better ball playing centrebacks and I think it's more to do with them starving the more forward players of possession as early as possible. Which brings me to the next point...

Central midfield. We don't have one. Jorginho was on his own until Barkley came on and started linking up with him and the defence, Kante is all but useless when needing to play small intricate passes to break past an opposition's midfield line and to be honest he doesn't offer enough in attack to say he should ever be closer to his striker than his centrebacks, Jorginho had a partner in Kovacic where he was able to play and rotate with and more importantly our centre backs had more options to get rid of the ball early while the other team were still settling defensively. At the moment the centrebacks who I've been critical about above but to their defence have to work with just Jorginho to keep possession while Kante sprints off to join Tammy for some extremely bizarre reason; by that time the opposition are all settled and have everyone behind the ball. Sarri used Kante as an AM, Lampard is using him as a second striker which makes Sarri's decision look mundane, Kante can tackle better than Mount and Mount can get more goals than Kante however their roles have been switched around - Kante did not replace Kovacic, Mount did, and he isn't that type of player; Kante took Mount's role which makes me question if Lamps' drink is spiked moments before team selection.

I don't think we lost yesterday because Lampard hasn't addressed our defensive side of the game, I think we lost yesterday because Lampard has lost his way with our attacking side of the game. We're never going to be a solid team that grinds a win out with the current set of players, however we don't need to be, yesterday was supposed to be a 1-3 win or something similar; but it turned into a 0-1 defeat because of our attacking issues.

Interesting. I thought that when we had Tomori and  Zouma in defence we were embarrassing in not being able to get the ball out. I remember one particular match where we couldn't get the ball out at all. It was absolutely dire in my recollection. Whatever qualties Zouma and Tomori may have shown, getting the ball out wasn't one of them. 

That we seem to be having a problem playing out no matter the defenders may suggest that there isn't enough movement in the midfield to create options for defenders. David Luiz, Rudiger, and even young Tomori, are all decent passers of the ball, imo.

I fully agree; our complete lack of creativity in attack is a more serious problem than our defending at the moment. If we had any creativity going forward, it is conceivable that we would have been home and dry by the time Newcastle scored. 

Edited by Blue Rod

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1 hour ago, GURJ SS said:

I don't think Rudiger coming into the defence has made us weaker however I don't think he has particularly made us stronger as Zouma gives us the most strength in the air and physicality. What I do think he has done by coming back is caused the same issue we had with Luiz when we're on the ball or playing out from the back, and that is because he has the ability to pick out a long pass he is missing the immediate and quickest pass out of defence into a much more creative player........

Without agreeing/disagreeing line by line, I do generally agree that the ball should just be moved on quickly a lot more than it is.  It was essentially that that Sarri and Jorginho brought to us last season and Lampard has tried to carry on this year.  But not all players either season want to play ball.  Hazard was the worst offender last year (hence the discussion as to whether he is even a loss this year - IMO loss but with some advantages).   At No 8 Kovacic and especially Barkley are dreadful at hanging on to the ball in the hope of finding a wunderpass.  Luiz could be guilty (though he did see the odd wunderpass).  Rudiger and Christensen I agree look like wanting to be Luiz.  Kante though is very much a get on with it player that fits very well into this format.  Instinctively he wants someone else to play the killer pass, and he is happy to run for them instead.

 

1 hour ago, GURJ SS said:

Central midfield. We don't have one. Jorginho was on his own until Barkley came on and started linking up with him and the defence, Kante is all but useless when needing to play small intricate passes to break past an opposition's midfield line and to be honest he doesn't offer enough in attack to say he should ever be closer to his striker than his centrebacks,

Have to disagree here.  Jorginho was one against none in midfield - had all the time and possession he needed.  Kante pushed up with Mount after 20 mins and almost immediately was being found in the box.  Some of our best chances came from Kante - why anyone would criticise him for anything but his finishing I don't know.
(And forget about small intricate passes to get past the oppo midfield - the easy way is any old ball 15 m in front of Kante and see who gets there first.  There are two players involved in every pass, and if I were a footballer I'd want to be passing to Kante).

Edit:  What I thought was when Barkley came on he dropped deeper not to join in the midfield, but because he saw himself as being a Fabregas/Jorginho type playmaker who'd save the day.  I suspect Frank did not have that in mind.

 

1 hour ago, GURJ SS said:

I don't think we lost yesterday because Lampard hasn't addressed our defensive side of the game, I think we lost yesterday because Lampard has lost his way with our attacking side of the game. We're never going to be a solid team that grinds a win out with the current set of players, however we don't need to be, yesterday was supposed to be a 1-3 win or something similar; but it turned into a 0-1 defeat because of our attacking issues.

Edited by Droy was my hero

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Sir   

Just seen the goal.. the goalkeeping my god.

How on earth are we fourth? By utter default that’s how. We’ve lost 8 games already. More than Arsenal. ‘Logically‘ look we should be around mid table which is kind of what I predicted. 

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15 minutes ago, Sir said:

Just seen the goal.. the goalkeeping my god.

How on earth are we fourth? By utter default that’s how. We’ve lost 8 games already. More than Arsenal. ‘Logically‘ look we should be around mid table which is kind of what I predicted. 

Kepa ,gets his hand to everything , stops nothing , you shoot , you score , he's rubbish , cut our losses and get someone who a) isn't a dwarf and b) is actually a goalkeeper.

This in one fell swoop will make our defence look better . 

Rated 127th out of 132* European goalkeepers where shot stopping is concerned , and shot stopping is supposed to be his strength !

*or similar, you get the gist.

Edited by Mark Kelly

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paulw66   
2 hours ago, Mark Kelly said:

Kepa ,gets his hand to everything , stops nothing , you shoot , you score , he's rubbish , cut our losses and get someone who a) isn't a dwarf and b) is actually a goalkeeper.

This in one fell swoop will make our defence look better . 

Rated 127th out of 132* European goalkeepers where shot stopping is concerned , and shot stopping is supposed to be his strength !

*or similar, you get the gist.

So what was so different last year?

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2 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

So what was so different last year?

I really wish I knew , he was much better last year but ,you have to admit , he's been truly awful this season . Change of coach ? 

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