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KnowItAll

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  1. With the Everton lineup, I’d replace Kovacic with James and James with Azpi. Kante and James would both be encouraged to attack, but not at the same time. In other words, France with James as Kante’s Pogba.
  2. He has been recently switched to box-to-box by the conservative Deschamps. It works for France because he has a partner in Pogba who can drop back and defend. Chelsea does not have such a complete complementary player. And Chelsea is not going to be hogging possession against Liverpool or City, or their knockout stage CL opponent, anytime soon. To challenge for titles, Chelsea needs to make use of ALL that Kante can do.
  3. Today, Kante’s defending begat the crucial counter, as his interception of a pass went straight to Ziyech to Werner to ... to Giroud.
  4. Kante highlights v. Portugal. Ronaldo (@:40) and Jota (@1:52) are both still wondering what happened. Kante scored because he and Pogba are both authorized to play high, but not at the same time. (Apparently, France has never lost in the 25 games both have started.) Chelsea could well use such a complementary addition. That’s what Conte, Sarri, Lampard (previously) all attempted. And now even the somewhat conservative Deschamps has changed tactics to allow it.
  5. France 1-0 v. Sweden at halftime here: http://hockeynews.site/events/2020/sweden-vs-france/ Kante, Giroud starting. Giroud quiet. Kante everywhere.
  6. @robdog: What’s the name of the sports bar in Sacramento? Do they show NBC Sports Gold games?
  7. Kante was booked because the whistle had already been blown.
  8. They both play it, but Cesc sees the opening more often and is more accurate. Late against Leicester, for example, Cesc would have put Kante in alone with a long arcing pass if Giroud hadn’t put his beautifully coiffed head in the way.
  9. A detailed analysis of the Kante goal as a product of Sarri’s system: http://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/23/blog/post/3724976/why-the-premier-league-should-be-afraid-of-sarri-ball-once-chelsea-master-it
  10. He shoots plenty and very quickly, but only when he’s fairly close and central. His shots are usually blocked (and so less noticeable), so he’ll sometimes sky one. His was by far the most dangerous shot that de Gea saved in the United game. On the rush, he tends strongly to pass to a teammate who’s more forward (as he should) or wide to an overlapping back to deliver a cross. The biggest problem, and not just this year, has been the seeming utter refusal of teammates to return a pass when he continues his forward run into a gap. With his pace and ball control in tight spaces, he should be trea
  11. A few assorted, possibly related, facts: 1. From today’s Guardian, “As for individuals [in the PL], few will be surprised that N’Golo Kanté tops the charts for covering the most distance so far this season.” 2. In an interview about a month ago, Sarri said Kante was Chelsea’s only DM. 3. Chelsea, third in the PL, has given up the third fewest goals.
  12. If the single, crucial “pivot” can be marked out of the game by a not-great opponent, what might it say about the strategy, in general, and Jorginho, in particular? (This is not a rhetorical question.)
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