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Why is the obvious getting overlooked?


german-blue

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How can anyone expect a midfield consisting of the likes of Meireles, Ramires, Lampard and Mikel to perform well enough to fullfill the expectations? Romeu and Josh are not to blame for our misery but we all know that they wont be the answer to our problems (this season). Malouda is not good enough to play anywhere, so for me he isnt a option either.

Essien is going to come back at some point, but we all know that his knees are more or less done. Even if he can stay fit for a longer period he will never come back to pre-injury form. Essien at his peak would be a huge upgrade over anyone we currently have but chances of him ever playing as well as he once did are slim to not existent.

So right now Mata is the only one that you can expect to create on a regular basis, but as good as Mata is, he surely isnt good enough to do it all on his own. Sturridge on the right wing is playing well and I like him a lot but he isnt a player who´s first priority is to create chances for the central forward.

Lukaku isnt good enough yet, and is not a winger or a creator in general.

How could this misery, that should be obvious to everyone that looks at the squad, be overlooked in summer?

We now have plenty of quality (at least on paper) central fowards (to be exact, 4) for one position but only one quality winger for two positions at the wing and no creative central midfielders. In my opinon, this is the first thing we have to chage. Get in some creativity in central midfield...

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If, back in the summer, AVB didn’t realise what a tough job he had on his hands, then he certainly does now.

It’s hard to pin-point where it’s all gone so wrong and I think it’s down to many contributing factors rather than just one or two. It’s little over 1 month ago, pre QPR game when things were going reasonably well, with only the one defeat against Man Utd and even that people were quite upbeat about. But since then it has been one disaster after another and without wanting to sound too dramatic, bar the FA cup, our season could be over well before we put the Christmas decorations up, never mind bringing them down.

Really don’t know where to start on my list of where I think our problems lie – it would be a lot easier to list a few positives, as there are that few of them. I wonder if AVB could turn back the clock to when he arrived in July he would do things differently? Wanting to assess the squad of players and not off-loading any of the old guard / dead-wood has been probably his biggest mistake IMO. Our squad just doesn’t seem to have the right balance. We’re extremely short of creative players and over-loaded on strikers, only one of whom looks anything like good enough (Sturridge). We are playing players out of position to make up for the lack of wide men in our squad and in fact we have no wide men of any real note. We still haven’t solved the right back position and have four (on paper) very good centre backs but none of them seem to make a very good pairing. We still insist on playing players who were good under Mourinho (who has been gone for more than four years) so when they have one half decent game in five, it means they stay in the frame. AVB clearly doesn’t know what his best team is and maybe that’s because we have to ask “do we have a best team�

And what help is he getting from the rest of the coaching staff? Being only 34 himself, the rest of the team all look like they lack experience - Di Matteo and Holland as assistants and Emenalo in the background as some sort of technical director (whatever that is?). None of them have any track record of being in this kind of situation and right now as a coaching team, they do look as though they might be out of their depth and not knowing quite what to do to halt the slide.

I think AVB has commented that he sees this as a three year plan. That’s fair enough and I don’t think most fans would have a problem with a lack of success for the next few seasons if we were re-building the side for the future. But right now it doesn’t appear to be one thing or the other – we’re kind of stuck in no-man’s land with a foot still firmly wedged in the past and a bit of experimenting here and there to see how it goes? And unfortunately for AVB, neither the people who run this club nor the supporters will accept defeat after defeat after defeat when there are no signs of any progress or improvement.

I really hope that AVB is given time as it’s not his fault that he inherited a lot of the problems. But that said. I really don’t think he has been pro-active enough and many of his decisions do seem questionable and underline his lack of experience at this level. From the appointment of his back-room team to the lack of squad changes. I still can’t get my head around the signing of Lukaku. I know he has been ear-marked as one for the future, a possible replacement for Drogba but it looked a strange signing at the time and right now, you wonder if he’ll ever be what we actually need? I know it’s easy in hindsight but retaining the services of Drogba, Anelka and Kalou and then adding Torres and Lukaku has been a monumental mistake. Just imagine, if instead of that lot, we had Aguero and Pato to keep Sturridge company and had retained Borini as back-up?

It will be interesting to see if much happens in January or whether we wait until the end of the season. I just hope for AVB’s sake that he is still here to make those decisions.

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Players that we need to say goodbye to some fondly, some not so much

Bossy

Alex

Malouda

Mikel

Kalou

Anelka

Drogba

Players that need to have their first team influence marginilised due to age catching up with them

Lampard

Ashley

JT

To be honest thats how neglected our squad has become in the last couple of years.

What we need

2 defenders 1 young right back (I still think Ivan is best at RB) and a Centre back

2 Midfielders

1 Striker

I only watch the prem so dont really follow any European players but my wishlist would be.

Gary Cahill

Danny Simpson (looks a good solid young RB)

Modric (never going to happen now)

????? defensive midfielder as back up

A strong striker for a plan B someone like Demba Ba!

The big problem this season has been our midfield, not the strikers or defence so that would be the first fix!

If we've not got the money to go out and splash the cash then lets bring the youth through and get ready for next year!

But we've been saying that for a couple of months now!

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You're right but as I recall the club passed a great deal of the summer trying to spend a lot of money on Luka Modric so we could have just that.

I think I'd feel a lot less outraged than I felt in the summer if we threw Drogba or Anelka into the deal now...

Edit: Good point on Stoch, Tim. I have no idea why we sold him...

Edited by PloKoon13
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I've been saying this for a while. This team needs a real left winger to play where Mata is playing. Mata should be put back in Lampards spot to create for all three front men. The new left winger should be of the mold of Neymar or Hazard. Somebody who can create for others with skill, but still score on his own also. Somebody like Neymar requires so much attention that it opens up space for the striker and right winger(Sturridge). He would be able to score goals and create for others. Mata playing in the midfield would be able to play a more central role where he is much better.

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In fairness to AVB its a lot of players to turn over in one go, we did try for the Argentian lad as well as modric. Its not like AVB didnt recognise that we have some problems its just that other then Matta he was unable to land any other 1st team players.

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In fairness to AVB its a lot of players to turn over in one go, we did try for the Argentian lad as well as modric. Its not like AVB didnt recognise that we have some problems its just that other then Matta he was unable to land any other 1st team players.

Yes it is a lot to turn over, but sometimes you have to do full root and branch surgery!

What we have to ask ourselves is why did we find it hard to attract 1st team players?

Was it the manager?

Was it they thought they wouldn't get a chance to play? (because of the old gaurd)

Were we not willing to pay the money? tranfer fee or wages?

We should be able to attract the worlds top players, we're 1 of the top clubs in Europe with a number of years CL experience even getting to a final, we play in 1 of the best leagues in the world in arguably the best city in the world, but we could only attract 1 player ready for the first team?????

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We saw some positives last night - not many, but some.

Bertrand looks to me like a very good left back - it's a real pity that he isn't a right back

Lukaku did a lot better than Torres. I gather he was the one who lost Kelly for the second goal, which is a shame as he showed some promise.

Mata had an immediate impact in terms of our passing and overall play. He has to play in behind the main striker though. Sticking him wide causes us a problem down our left and doesn't get him on the ball enough.

I won't dwell on all the negatives.

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Hazard.

Hazard, Hazard, Hazard, Hazard, Hazard.

Get somebody with some pace and dribbling fair that will run straight at a defender and break him down. Plus, it allows Mata to float around the center of the pitch and feed the front line.

I feel terrible even saying this, but the old guard of Lampard, Drogba, Terry, etc. are going to need to be eased out. We can't play fast-paced, attacking, sexy football with guys who don't have the legs for it. And if that's the style Roman wants and AVB can deliver, then we need to tool the squad accordingly.

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Yes it is a lot to turn over, but sometimes you have to do full root and branch surgery!

What we have to ask ourselves is why did we find it hard to attract 1st team players?

Was it the manager?

Was it they thought they wouldn't get a chance to play? (because of the old gaurd)

Were we not willing to pay the money? tranfer fee or wages?

We should be able to attract the worlds top players, we're 1 of the top clubs in Europe with a number of years CL experience even getting to a final, we play in 1 of the best leagues in the world in arguably the best city in the world, but we could only attract 1 player ready for the first team?????

All valid but while we answer those questions I would hate to see the manager loose his job. I still believe we'r on to a good thing with this guy and want us to be realistic. We just haven't got the personnel at the moment. I kid my self at the beginning of the season that we did, that player for player we where as strong as any team out there. And if you write the names down on paper we probably are.

Football unfortunately for us isn't won on paper and those great names are old, that means the move slower, they react slower and in many cases like it or not they are less hungry, less willing to put there body through it because it hurts more and quite frankly they have already won the premiership 3 times. The really sad thing is in these cases is that the player is often the last person to realise.

I have to be very brave with this next statement but in some part I blame Carlo for this. Yes he won the double, thank you carlo. but he didn't recognise the aging sqaud when it was absaloutly screaming out to most of us. he didn't do anything to rectify the fact that we 0 width. no pace no cutting edge and to top it all of he loaned out the one player who could do that stuff (danny) some will say the loan was the making of sturridge. I would say he was already ready for our first team.

Any way I digress because the age is only 3 quarters of the story hear. We do have to turn it over and weather you say root or branch or not its not always that easy, we cant of load till we take on or we will get caught short and we missed out on a couple of big transfer targets.

What is really baffling is what is wrong with the defence. JT is one player I would say is still playing at a high level. I disagree with the majority on Luis. I think he is under such a microscope right now that its inevitable people will spot mistakes. Every one is waiting for them to happen but I reckon this could be applied to any defender on the planet. Alex is hardly poor back up and Ivan and Ashley are amount the best full backs in the league. So what's going wrong? I can only assume it comes from us not punishing teams, we are inspiring believe in the opposition? That's a suggestion, not an answer?

Which moves me to the strikers... and actually just Torres as drogba really falls in to cat 1 of this post. There are many saying he's not good enough and others blaming the team. Have to say he looks half the player he was at scousers.... why? I have no idea. He was strong and pain in the ass when he played for them,

Now the good news.

We are not the first, Liverpool went through this 20 years ago and apart from the luckiest win i have ever seen they havent recovered... lets all laugh at them!!

Manure dealt with it in 2005/6 They finished bottom of the CL group and finished so far behind us. That was there 3rd season in a row with out top honers, they then went on to win the next 3 titles and a champions league to boot. Its happend to barca, milan real... no one stays young for ever, you have to ride it out and be paishent

Further good news - We have a manager who will change things and has, kalou is now in exile as is anelka with bosingwa, malouda and Mikel hovering over the trap door. He needs time to clear the deacks and bit of cash as well as complete control of who comes in!

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All valid but while we answer those questions I would hate to see the manager loose his job. I still believe we'r on to a good thing with this guy and want us to be realistic. We just haven't got the personnel at the moment. I kid my self at the beginning of the season that we did, that player for player we where as strong as any team out there. And if you write the names down on paper we probably are.

Football unfortunately for us isn't won on paper and those great names are old, that means the move slower, they react slower and in many cases like it or not they are less hungry, less willing to put there body through it because it hurts more and quite frankly they have already won the premiership 3 times. The really sad thing is in these cases is that the player is often the last person to realise.

I have to be very brave with this next statement but in some part I blame Carlo for this. Yes he won the double, thank you carlo. but he didn't recognise the aging sqaud when it was absaloutly screaming out to most of us. he didn't do anything to rectify the fact that we 0 width. no pace no cutting edge and to top it all of he loaned out the one player who could do that stuff (danny) some will say the loan was the making of sturridge. I would say he was already ready for our first team.

Any way I digress because the age is only 3 quarters of the story hear. We do have to turn it over and weather you say root or branch or not its not always that easy, we cant of load till we take on or we will get caught short and we missed out on a couple of big transfer targets.

What is really baffling is what is wrong with the defence. JT is one player I would say is still playing at a high level. I disagree with the majority on Luis. I think he is under such a microscope right now that its inevitable people will spot mistakes. Every one is waiting for them to happen but I reckon this could be applied to any defender on the planet. Alex is hardly poor back up and Ivan and Ashley are amount the best full backs in the league. So what's going wrong? I can only assume it comes from us not punishing teams, we are inspiring believe in the opposition? That's a suggestion, not an answer?

Which moves me to the strikers... and actually just Torres as drogba really falls in to cat 1 of this post. There are many saying he's not good enough and others blaming the team. Have to say he looks half the player he was at scousers.... why? I have no idea. He was strong and pain in the ass when he played for them,

Now the good news.

We are not the first, Liverpool went through this 20 years ago and apart from the luckiest win i have ever seen they havent recovered... lets all laugh at them!!

Manure dealt with it in 2005/6 They finished bottom of the CL group and finished so far behind us. That was there 3rd season in a row with out top honers, they then went on to win the next 3 titles and a champions league to boot. Its happend to barca, milan real... no one stays young for ever, you have to ride it out and be paishent

Further good news - We have a manager who will change things and has, kalou is now in exile as is anelka with bosingwa, malouda and Mikel hovering over the trap door. He needs time to clear the deacks and bit of cash as well as complete control of who comes in!

best post in ages................well put

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Cech

Ivan-Luiz-Terry-Cole

Ramires-Romeu-Hamsik

Mata-Sturridge-Hazard

Thats 2 very big signings but clear out the deadwood bring in the two big guns bring the youngsters through on the bench and that in my opinion is a team capable of matching city and united.

I also think Gary Cahill definitly worth signing in january. Terry would love an english partner and also possible long term replacement for him

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I like all that Dan, but I'm not sure I'd take Sturridge out of the RW spot. I know he's a ST by trade and is being shoe-horned into the RW spot. But look at the results. The guy is scoring goals, and seems to relish crashing in from out wide to either fire a shot or get on the end of a cross.

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Them 2 signings would cost about 100million! With fifa fair play we can't keep spending that amount. I would rather buy 4 youngster with that who have potential but not going to cost crazy money, or 1 major signing with 3 cheaper ones if we were to spend 100mill.

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Nibs I think you're right in terms of having one foot in both camps. If we would actually attempt to rebuild I'd have no issue with rebuilding, but it seems that we've no real interest in that, apart from introducing Sturridge who had pretty much stormed the castle anyway.

Modric in retrospect was the key, but seemingly like always we miss our chief target and have to settle for something not quite as good, given Meireles' lack of time I can't say that he has been anywhere near the answer. Lampard still leads the goal and assist count (actually I think Mata may have overtaken him now not sure) and only Danny can score of the forwards. We've issues, no doubt.

I think two things need to happen. First a creative, right footed wide player needs to come in to bookend with Mata, and Danny who is the only bloke capable of scoring needs to come into the middle more often. Second an experienced assistant or perhaps two need to be appointed. Neeskens is the guy I'd be clamouring for, he shares AVB's philosophy having been at Barca for umpteen years, he has worked with a younger manager before, and he is also tremendously respected in the footballing world and will be by the players. I know AVB may prefer a young team that will do as he says, but he doesn't have all the answers and we need someone, a heavy hitter, who can come in and perhaps have a fresh look at things.

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If we ship at least one of Drogba, Anelka and Malouda out in Jan and bring in a young replacement, I'd be glad that we're on the right track. Unfortunately, as the topic quite rightly puts, the obvious is getting overlooked so I dont expect anything.

I hope we finish in the top 4 but if we dont, I think it could spell the end of the biggest earners in our squad sooner rather than later as it would become imperative to reduce wage bills due to the absence of CL money. Cant be a bad thing if thats what it takes.

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The signs were always there that this season was going to be a time of adjustment and clearing of the decks. As I have said before the likes of Lampard, Terry, Drogba and Cole can only be considered as squad players, with Lampard and Drogba especially only to be considered against the weaker teams.

We have bought well in the young age group department, but as with these type of players comes the 'risk' of not quite being the players to fulfill their potential.

The most worrying thing for me, was the first goal we conceded against Liverpool the other night. Defensively it was like watching us in Geoff Hurst and Ian Porterfield era's .Something is wrong with our set up if we cannot defend by the book, we had 'no pressing' up the pitch and then even a child would know you cannot play high and look for offside, you simply as a defender have to drop back!

Bertrand put his hand in the air and let the pace of Bellamy get behind, absolute suicidal and incompetence by the player not AVB.

We simply do not have good enough players to play the system AVB is moulding. Technically they are not as good as Porto and their mindset of our squad is still set at the successful 4-3-3 of days gone by, Lampard, Terry, Drogba and Cole in particular.

We need a left and right winger, Hazard remains the NO1 priority. I'd sell Drogba in January, with the African nations coming up his season is all but over anyway.

With Hazard wide, Sturridge can play down the middle and him and Torres can fight for the role.

Our back four needs 'major surgery' we need to keep faith with Luiz and build around him. All the defence have proved they are not good enough for the system.

Edited by Star
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Solid points as usual Star, but with Hazard the Lille President has commented that he won't be available until the summer and they want 43m for him. That in my view will be a little late, and also probably beyond our price range.

He's still young, and reportedly has a poor attitude. 43m is too much of a risk given that IMO. But of course each to their own.

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I think he is just very self confident, but I believe Zidane has already lined him up for a move to Real. Possible at the expense of Di Maria, who despite being a cheating rat look a like, is just the position we need.

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I read a good piece in some article that AVB plays Drogba in AVB-XI and Torres in Drogba-XI . Well that apart , a few obvious things that came to my mind ,

1.We surely knew in summer that Anelka was not going to extend his contract here and had his eyes set on MLS . Even the news that Drogba was looking for a 2 yr deal and not a one year deal came out last summer itself. So Why did we persist with both of them if we had no intention of making them stay at any cost ?

2.The attacking full back notion - We play full backs who can't cross ( Jose , Acole ) to help our attackers . Not saying that they must not go forward , but it must happen at times when you can catch the opposition off guard and not all the time only to go there and waste the opportunity. The central defenders are left exposed from the wing and a good amount of goals conceded this season were that type.

3. If Mata goes wide, there is no one to play a creative pass apart from Meireles who cannot do it consistently anyway. Mata should be played through the middle.

4.We need to play with moving the ball quickly. We are playing too many back passes and each player takes a lot of time with the ball which allows the opposition to cover the spaces easily. And more importantly . not every player should try to score a goal -- > Pass it to the player in the best position.

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Solid points as usual Star, but with Hazard the Lille President has commented that he won't be available until the summer and they want 43m for him. That in my view will be a little late, and also probably beyond our price range.

He's still young, and reportedly has a poor attitude. 43m is too much of a risk given that IMO. But of course each to their own.

Spiller86,

Regardsing FFP or what ever its is, i have to admit i havent paid to much attention to it because i dont believe it will be enforced. However surly if we are moving drogba, anelka, malouda, kalou on that will clear up a substantial amount of wages. Danny has pretty much maide kalou redundent and there is no way they are on the same wages,

Aditionly it may be time to ask Lampard to take a pay cut (there i said it) The fact is his contribution and first team appearnces are going to be less and less, it sends out the wrong message to keep him on high wages.

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