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Some Thoughts


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This isn't in response to tonight's game, it's just a/some general thought(s).

I was under the impression that the whole point of a transitional season, was to start gradually moving out the older/useless players and bringing through new ones. Now we've started it to an extent, with people Like Mata and Merieles coming in, but I feel we are still much too reliant on the old guard, like Terry, Cole, Lampard, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka, etc...

We have some great young players waiting in the wings, such as McEachran, Romeu and Bertrand to name a few. Plus arguably people like Lukaku, Kakuta, etc... as well. Yet McEachran has played what? 3 games this season. Twice in the CL in which he was subbed off both times, and 7 minutes in the PL. Romeu has made a handful of appearances and been very good every time, and Bertrand has looked solid on the very odd occasion he's given a game. We you look at our Champions League squad and see that we left out Bertrand and Lukaku whilst including people like Ferrerira and Hilario, I makes me wonder what the point was... Those 2 are not going to feature, so why not give their places to some younger players like those.

I just get the horrible feeling that come May, we're going to be saying the exact same things:

"We need massive changes"

"Kalou, Anelka, Mikel, Drogba, Malouda need to go"

"Why didn't McEachran or Bertrand or [insert young player] get many games?"

"Who's going to be our new manager?"

It's a transitional season on the pitch certainly, we've seen our style of player changed quite a lot. We now can't defend at all.

I know AVB is trying to replicate what he had at Porto and probably to a lesser extent what Barcelona do, but we just don't have the payers for it, nor do I think it suits our English league. The whole point of the high line is that every single player presses the ball constantly. Look at Barcelona..I hate them, God I hate them, but as soon as the opposition get the ball, they are closed down, doesn't matter if it's Iniesta or Messi or whoever, they close them down, meaning they win back possession very quickly. We don't do that.. Sure Drogba/Torres might jog after the player a bit, and the midfield will close down a bit, but they close down the player rather than the space the ball could move into.

Let's say we have Player A and Player B on our team and Player C on the opposition. What we do is this:


We run directly at the player, which allows him to simply pass it into the space:


Because our players are still moving towards him or stationery, rather than side on to the player, waiting to see which way he intends to go and blocking off the space.

Watch someone like Barcelona and you'll see they do this much much better than us.

There has to come a time when the manager either:

A) Realises the system isn't working and tries something different

B) Realises the players aren''t working in the system and replaces them

But it's a case of square pegs and round holes at the moment, persisting with something which isn't working.

Tonight against Bayern we played a bit deeper, and until the last 10 minutes or so, I thought we defended much better as a team, but then we lost out because quite simply they wanted it more. There's a lack of drive and determination in our team at the moment, something we used to rely on Terry and Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, etc... for..the leaders in the team. But Terry is clearly preoccupied, Lampard isn't as effective as he once was, and Drogba shouldn't be starting really, his attitude is generally poor and I think is probably going to end up hurting the team more than helping it, especially if he's not getting his own way and being a starter every week.

Back to the youth issue for a moment... Yes we could loan people like Josh out in Jan, get them some game time...but I honestly think he is good enough to be playing for us now. He is certainly no worse than Mikel in that position. He has a very good range of passing, quick feet and rarely loses the ball. He's the Modric-type player we were crying out for a few months ago, but because of his age he's not being given a chance. I also don't understand why managers/pundits/etc... seem to think that it would be a huge risk to play the kids. We are losing quite a lot with the old guard, if we were losing these games but at least trying to build for the future by blooding these youngsters, the fans would be much more forgiving, because we could see we're moving in the right direction, but at the moment we seem to be moving decidedly backwards.

Anywho, those are some of my thoughts on the matters at hand. I hope AVB is given a chance to turn things around and given the money and the reassurances that he can build here for the long term...but he has to start actually trying to do that, rather than sticking with the same old players from the Jose/Carlo eras. We've got some great prospects, but they are wasting away in the reserves or warming the bench, whilst the "veterans" put in subpar performance after sub-par performance, pciking up another £100,000 every week. It's worrying.

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