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About spadefx

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  1. Actually half think Kovacic might start in Jorginho's spot for this. Maybe being mad, but he has stepped in there a few times in recent weeks, and it would be a tweak Man Utd might not have prepared for. I know Sarri's lineups have been fairly predictable, but he did try out a false 9 when our strikers weren't delivering. Maybe this is a changeup being practised for a game like this? Either way, hopeful we can deliver a good win tomorrow. Absolutely capable, just hope it's the fired up performance we get every other weekend.
  2. I just can't see Jorginho's value in any game we play against a counter attacking side. Teams have figured it out. Sit deep and counter. We have no cutting edge from midfield. There isn't a goal threat in midfield and the full backs cant perform miracles with one aerial threat in the box. Counter attacks are lethal as Jorginho has no positional awareness defensively, nor does he have the pace/drive to catch players breaking through. Luiz can't defend on the back track, and at least one winger won't track back. The most major flaw is Jorginho for me, and its an obvious swap for Kante. Have him in the hole to protect the space, and allow Luiz the freedom to step forward and playmake from the back. Introduce Loftus Cheek or Barkley as the box to box midfielder, and show faith in Hudson Odoi in the first team over Pedro/Willian. Big reaction needed (again) and we need to see changes, or Sarri's going to be under a lot of pressure. Wouldn't be the first manager to dig his heels in over an unpopular tactical choice, hope he's prepared to try something different.
  3. Not all bad, but we're hardly making it difficult for Bournemouth. And to be fair to them whenever they've broke past Jorginho's press, which has again been far too often, they've looked capable of scoring. They're absolutely setup to win this game on the counter if we aren't careful. As impressive as Kovacic's footwork is, there's just not an attacking instinct about him. Annoying, as he's a very neat passer and dribbler, but there's just no potential end product. Loftus Cheek in his place for me. I'd love to see Kova in Jorginho's spot instead with the latter replaced, but that's not going to happen. Hope we can step up and get the three points here.
  4. spadefx

    Chelsea V Sheff Wed (FA) Sun 27th Jan 18:00 UK

    Good performances from a lot of the fringe players. Thought it was a promising debut from Higuain, while Giroud made an impact with the game stretched. Happier with this pair challenging to lead the line for the secon half of the season. Hudson Odoi and Willian both had good games, hopefully that wasn't the last CHO appearance in a Chelsea shirt. Think Sarri now has 6 players all deserving of starts in the three attacking spots (two, when you assume Hazard's a given). Still challenging on all fronts. Looking forward to the next one.
  5. spadefx

    Callum Hudson-Odoi

    Good luck to him if he goes, although I'd like to think we're making every effort to encourage at least another season out of him. Can see Sarri's trust in him has grown over the last few months, it'd be good to see that play out. Personally think he's ready to be competing with Pedro and Willian right now. What he lacks in the defensive phase he more than makes up for in his attacking movements. He's a very forward-thinking, talented winger. Can't imagine he's easy to defend against, and his direct runs have been a highlight when he's featured this season. Guess we shall see, hopefully he sticks the season out and player & club can reassess in the summer.
  6. In terms of genuine output though - Willian has been more useful than Giroud, and the front three were the winning combination in the last match. Hindsight - yes Giroud-Hazard-Pedro may have been more effective, and me personally I'd have started that way, but I'm just trying to justify Sarri's call. Can't disagree on your first point either. The only thing I can suggest is Cesc was unhappy to play backup, and arguably wasn't any better than Jorginho in that role anyway, it makes sense for him to have left / been allowed to leave given that and the contract situation. I guess time will tell whether we bring in a deputy in January or promote someone in the squad to fill that role when Jorginho isn't playing. Hopefully whoever it is offers some competition / approaches the role slightly differently to give us a genuine rotation option.
  7. Disagree that he's the only one up there, but he's absolutely an intelligent enough player to effective anywhere on the pitch. Nobody can deny his defensive attributes are his biggest strength, and the protection he offers to a back four in that screening/defensive midfield position is second to none. But, at the moment at least, that position doesn't exist in Sarri's system. It is only 6 month in, and we're doing OK so I can understand why Sarri isn't tweaking that part of his system just yet. Half a season in, we're still in 4th place and still in all cup competions, I think it's working well enough to argue it's worth continuing to see if it can become even more effective.
  8. Not suggesting Sarri hasn't been stubborn with his selections, but for those calling him out for the wrong team (again) yesterday, from what I've seen its the best 11 we've had all season. The back four and goalkeeper are fairly set, the only popular question mark seems to be over Alonso/Emerson. Personally beyond being an aerial option I don't see why Alonso consistently wins that battle, but Emerson's hardly set the world alight when he has played. Presumably Alonso trains better / is a bigger part of the team behind the scenes. For those unhappy with Jorginho being the deep lying midfielder, it's fairly critical to Sarri's favoured system that a pace dictator / playmaker sits in that spot - allowing us to escape a high press quickly. Now I agree Jorginho's been fairly inconsistent in that role, but there really isn't another player for that barring maybe Kovacic now Cesc has left. We're barely half a season into Sarri's tenure too, is it not a bit short sighted to demand he changes such a critical part of his team structure as a short term fix? Kante's obviously been incredible in that part of the pitch in recent years, but he has been becoming more and more effective in his higher role as the season's progressed - now an occasional goal threat and a lethal presser/interceptor in the final third. On the other central midfielders - we only had Barkley available as an alternative - on form that midfield 3 were absolutely correct for me. And on the front 3 - I personally dislike Hazard as a middle man (as do the majority) but Giroud and Morata have offered next to nothing in that role for the majority of the season. Hazard's a threat there for sure, easier to nullify like yesterday, but that front 3 worked against Newcastle the previous game, absolutely justified. Same goes for Willian and Pedro. I'd personally prefer Hudson Odoi over Willian, but him and Pedro won our last match, naturally they were going to continue. Just thought I'd throw in a bit of support for Sarri - we're quick to criticize the manager, yet pretty much every decision he's made so far has been fairly reasonable when you think about it. Give him the season at the absolute least, we're still in a very strong position for a 'transitional' season.
  9. Good win, we moved the ball really well in patches, and got the important 3 points. Pedro and Willian's goals were both excellent, and but for better finishing both could've had more. The striker situation is still the obvious major flaw, and we could certainly use a goal threat in the midfield three, but we're just about getting there with the squad we have. Good to see a great reception for Hudson Odoi also, thought he was unfortunate not to start, in fairness Willian and Pedro had good games, but lets hope the Bayern link disappears and he can keep keep competing for a first team spot here.
  10. Hazard's being totally wasted as the focal point. Doesn't see nearly as much of the ball as he does in midfield and he keeps dropping deep to get involved in the build up, leaving us without a forward for him to link with. Giroud's the obvious sub at this stage, need someone to occupy that space and free Hazard to float with players in front of him. Could also use just having some form of aerial threat in the box. Pedro and Willian have both covered a lot of ground, with some great runs in behind, but ultimately Pedro took his chance, Willian missed his. Simple for me - Willian off, Giroud on. More goals in this for sure. Fancy us, but we need to get back to the speed we started the first half with.
  11. Shame Hudson Odoi's on the bench, but he's a good option to bring on, as is Giroud. Should have the quality to break this lot down, we're long overdue a comfortable win and I fancy/hope this to be one of the nights where the front 3 have their shooting boots on. Looking forward to this one!
  12. Largely controlled that, which is the positive we usually walk away with as a minimum. But again, real lack of cutting edge. Add a capable, physical striker with an eye for goal and again, its fairly likely we leave with a win. Same problem, different day. Tie's far from over, and we've highlighted the main problem again, just hope the signing we need materializes soon. CHO had a good game too, hopefully continues in the starting XI.
  13. Christensen over Luiz is an odd one for me, Luiz struggled against Spurs last time but his passing has been so crucial in recent victories... Quietly optimistic though, we tend to thrive as underdogs and we aren't heavily fancied. Hopefully a good opportunity for Barkley and Hudson Odoi to shine.
  14. Rewatching the Leicester goal, it's frustrating to see how easily Pereira cut inside past Jorginho. Fair enough Kovacic and Luiz were too distracted by the ball to the right winger, and it left Rudiger having to attempt the last ditch interception he missed. But with one swap - Kante in where Jorginho was - 99 times out of 100 he kills that break taking ball or at least man. Hell, he even overlapped Jorginho from 20 odd yards to track back, only too late to make the tackle. Did it in the first half too - only Kante somehow covered the distance to catch Madison on the edge of the box. We have the world's absolute best defensive midfielder playing box to box, where he's nowehere near as useful half the time. And all to accommodate a deep lying playmaker that just isn't needed against the 3/4s of our league oppositon that don't press high. We need to leave Luiz to start plays from deep, he's excellent at it, and move Kante back into the hole (a very accurate description of what that space is for us when teams counter). That frees up Kante's spot for a midfielder with more attacking nous (Loftus Cheek/Barkley), which we absolutely need against teams sitting deep. I really don't see why that can't work, and if we're willing to try 'false 9s' or whatever you want to call them as an experiment to break down sides like this, surely this fairly obvious swap is another setup worth trying.
  15. Not sure we deserved the loss, but games like these are inevitable until we bring in a goalscorer or two. Leicester made it difficult for sure, but we broke the lines 4 or 5 times (excluding the set piece chances) and our forwards didn't have the finishing touch. The midfield didn't work today, and that should've been predictable. Jorginho and Kovacic are superb in quick possession, they can combine and break beautifully out of a high press, but Leicester never did - instead always regrouping to defend deep. We were left with three central midfielders, none of whom are natural chance creaters/goalscorers, in front of a packed line, repeatedly switching play hoping our front three create something from nothing. In fairness, Hazard managed to several times, but the finish just wasn't there. Again we were exposed to a counter with Jorginho in the hole, as he can't tackle. And as incisive as Leicester's goal was, with Kante in that spot I don't see the cut inside that started the move ever happening. Frustrating to see the same problems every week. Hardly a disastrous match, but I never felt like we were going to see an equalizer after conceding, and that's not where we should be at home against any side.