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What's our problem?


Kev123

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What do you people think the real problem is? I'm curious as to all your opinions as to why we are playing so feckin s***.

Its not necessary to start with all the "every team goes through a blip" speech. This is more than a blip, we are playing absolutely awful, especially considering the quality of players we have in the squad. What's everyone's opinion on the reasons for our terrible form?

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God - I don't know, Kev. Is it attitude? Aren't we as hungry this season? Have we become complacent? Are we suffering from Real Madrid syndrome - i.e. when you sign galacticos (Ballack, Sheva) you win piss all!

Is it the system? I have always hated diamonds. Are we missing Gallas?

There are a hundred and one reasons, I think. But we do have to remember that we have Cech out, Carlo out, JT oout, Joey out (and I am firmly off the belief that Joey would feed Sheva), we are playing a narrow system that doesn't exploit teams with old-fashioned English style full-backs. Others may have more erudite answers - but I confess, I am at a loss.

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Well to an extent it is impossible to ignore the injuries. We have lost arguably the best keeper in the world (if not the best then certainly top three) for a large chunk of the season and, on top of that, we have lost our back up keeper at the same time. This is clearly going to have an impact on the defence as they are now playing with a keeper they don't know that well, and a keeper who, due to being a 3rd choice, simply isn't that great.

Then we lose one of the finest centre halves in the world, and our captain (and what a captain) for the busiest period of the whole season. Add this to the first point and again you see why we are conceding. The additional impact is that we don't really have a particularly good vice captain. Lamps is a great player, of that there is no denial, but he is not a good captain. I don't believe he drives the team forward, I don't think he commands performances and I don't think other players are concerned about letting him down.

Then we come to the creative part of the team. First we lose Cole for the whole season (or the best part of it - remains to be seen if he makes a comeback). Cole is our most creative player and losing that level of invention is always going to be a blow. That blow is exacerbated by the fact that our second most creative player (Robben) seems to miss 2 games out of 3. Suddenly we are relying on a brand new kid (Kalou) and a desperately out of form and confidence devoid SWP to create.

However the injuries are not the only reason and people shouldn't try and use them as excessive excuses.

The reason for poor form can rarely be laid at the feet of one or two things. It is often a combination of many factors and I believe this is the case with us.

Other reasons, aside from the injuries, are:

1. I think our squad is currently lacking the hunger that Utd are showing. Some will point the finger at the new signings, and in particular Ballack and Sheva but I think a number of other players are also going through the motions a little and not hitting anything like peak form. Only really Essien and Drogba have produced a level of football that you can classify as impressive, and only these two and JT prior to his injury, appear to be playing as if defending the title means much to them.

2. The squad is not well balanced and for this Jose is responsible. We lack quality cover in central defence, we lack quality cover up front and we lack quality cover on the flanks - however we are massivley over subscribed in the central midfield department. Now the issue with wingers and central midfielders is probably because Jose had made a conscious decision to go with a diamond this season and hence he deemed wingers as less of a priority however if this was the case then he let the wrong winger go in the summer. It would have made more sense to keep Duff and let SWP go. It would have also made even more sense not to let Guddy go as he would have provided the cover up front that we are missing and could also have been an option playing behind the front two.

3. I don't think we have come to terms with playing the diamond, and especially, the roles to be adopted by Lamps and Ballack. All too often Essien has been the key player with neither Lamps or Ballack accepting any responsibility for controlling the centre of the park. Too often we ave surrendered ridiculous amounts of possession and territory to average midfields.

4. Individual players are either off form or struggling to come to terms with the Premiership. Obvious cases are SWP and Sheva however Robben also took a long time to show any form and I also think Lamps form has been erratic and even Maka's level of performance has dropped (maybe age is catching up with him).

5. As I have mentioned elsewhere in the forum there is a right back problem with Jose. The best man for the job is not getting a look in being overlooked for either a player playing out of position or a player who isn't that good defensively but offers more going forward (until it is time to cross the ball)

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I think Jamie Redknapp touched on it before the game tonight and it's down to the changes in the squad. Injuries have also had a HUGE impact. Last seasons defence included Cech, JT & Gallas. Three WORLD CLASS players. How could any team withstand the loss of those three?

But last season we often had a bench containing Duffer, Eidur, Crespo - perhaps Robben and Joe. This season the bench tends to be Bridge, Geremi, SWP, Mikel. That is a huge difference in quality - there is no escaping that fact. We just don't seem to have the players that can turn a game at the moment. And add to that that our two major signings, Ballack and Sheva have massively underperformed - I don't think anyone could evisage just how average these two guys were going to be.

Right now if you offered me Eidur and Crespo for Ballack and Sheva I'd bite your arm off.

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Well to an extent it is impossible to ignore the injuries. We have lost arguably the best keeper in the world (if not the best then certainly top three) for a large chunk of the season and, on top of that, we have lost our back up keeper at the same time. This is clearly going to have an impact on the defence as they are now playing with a keeper they don't know that well, and a keeper who, due to being a 3rd choice, simply isn't that great.

Then we lose one of the finest centre halves in the world, and our captain (and what a captain) for the busiest period of the whole season. Add this to the first point and again you see why we are conceding. The additional impact is that we don't really have a particularly good vice captain. Lamps is a great player, of that there is no denial, but he is not a good captain. I don't believe he drives the team forward, I don't think he commands performances and I don't think other players are concerned about letting him down.

Then we come to the creative part of the team. First we lose Cole for the whole season (or the best part of it - remains to be seen if he makes a comeback). Cole is our most creative player and losing that level of invention is always going to be a blow. That blow is exacerbated by the fact that our second most creative player (Robben) seems to miss 2 games out of 3. Suddenly we are relying on a brand new kid (Kalou) and a desperately out of form and confidence devoid SWP to create.

However the injuries are not the only reason and people shouldn't try and use them as excessive excuses.

The reason for poor form can rarely be laid at the feet of one or two things. It is often a combination of many factors and I believe this is the case with us.

Other reasons, aside from the injuries, are:

1. I think our squad is currently lacking the hunger that Utd are showing. Some will point the finger at the new signings, and in particular Ballack and Sheva but I think a number of other players are also going through the motions a little and not hitting anything like peak form. Only really Essien and Drogba have produced a level of football that you can classify as impressive, and only these two and JT prior to his injury, appear to be playing as if defending the title means much to them.

2. The squad is not well balanced and for this Jose is responsible. We lack quality cover in central defence, we lack quality cover up front and we lack quality cover on the flanks - however we are massivley over subscribed in the central midfield department. Now the issue with wingers and central midfielders is probably because Jose had made a conscious decision to go with a diamond this season and hence he deemed wingers as less of a priority however if this was the case then he let the wrong winger go in the summer. It would have made more sense to keep Duff and let SWP go. It would have also made even more sense not to let Guddy go as he would have provided the cover up front that we are missing and could also have been an option playing behind the front two.

3. I don't think we have come to terms with playing the diamond, and especially, the roles to be adopted by Lamps and Ballack. All too often Essien has been the key player with neither Lamps or Ballack accepting any responsibility for controlling the centre of the park. Too often we ave surrendered ridiculous amounts of possession and territory to average midfields.

4. Individual players are either off form or struggling to come to terms with the Premiership. Obvious cases are SWP and Sheva however Robben also took a long time to show any form and I also think Lamps form has been erratic and even Maka's level of performance has dropped (maybe age is catching up with him).

5. As I have mentioned elsewhere in the forum there is a right back problem with Jose. The best man for the job is not getting a look in being overlooked for either a player playing out of position or a player who isn't that good defensively but offers more going forward (until it is time to cross the ball)

I just posted in another thread that I really cant put my finger on the problem, Your post has pretty much answered it for me as the more I read it the more I found my head nodding. Ta mate, now go and have a word with Jose icon_wink.gif

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Ta mate, now go and have a word with Jose icon_wink.gif

I am tryingto build up my CV to a point where I could apply for a position as Jose's right hand man. The problem is I am struggling to get my official badges. I have applied for a position with Pauly's U14 team but have had my application rejected (I think he fears my ambition)

Never mind I can always get a job as Boro or Newcastle manager.

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I think our problem is Jose Mourinho.

Last summer, anyone with any sense could see that when we sold Huth & Gallas we were very light in the centre-back department. OK, he brought in Boulahrouz, who IMO is a decent enough player - but he neglected to bring in any other CB's. I could understand this if he intended to play our youngsters, like Mancienne - but no, when we're in the sh*t, Mourinho plays people out of position, ie Ferreira & Essien.

Again, anyone with any sense could also see that we were very short of strikers - we just have Drogba & Shevchenko. Kalou is more of an attacking midfielder, whose best position is just behind the two strikers - but of course, he's hardly been given the opportunity to play there as it doesn't fit in with Mourinho's sh*te tactics this season.

We're also short in the right-back position. Ferreira isn't up to the job, Geremi is more of a wing-back than a defender, and so is Glen Johnson.

As if to make up for this dearth of players, Mourinho strengthened the one part of our team that didn't need strengthening - central midfield. We already had Makelele, Lampard, Diarra & Essien, yet for some reason, Mourinho decided we also needed Ballack & Mikel, neither of whom have justified their inclusion as far as I'm concerned.

Mourinho has been sh*te in the transfer market, generally speaking.

Plus points?

He sold Duff, who is now struggling to get into the Newcastle team either through injury or lack of form.

He sold Gudjohnsen (who was looking stale, and in need of a change of scene), who he seemed to think was a central midfielder (is this some kind of obsession?) icon_eek.gif

He got rid of Jarosik & Smertin - but then, why the f*ck did he buy them? Same goes for Maniche, but I'm pretty sure there was a hidden agenda there. I believe Mourinho was persuaded by someone(?) to take Maniche on in order to get him fit for the Portuguese side in the World Cup, as he wasn't doing anything in Russia. Why else did we take him? He certainly never intended spending any more time at Chelsea than he needed to.

Minus points?

He bought Wright-Phillips, then destroyed his confidence by never playing him.

He sold Scotty Parker, who is now playing out of his skin for the Geordies.

He bought Del Horno, say no more.

He sold Gallas. I wouldn't mind, given the verbals Gallas had been coming out with, but to sell him to the Arse was unforgivable.

He bought Ashley Cole when we had a perfectly good left back already. If he wanted to replace Del Horno, he should have brought in a younger player.

Mourinho is a very stubborn man, and refuses to change things even when it's painfully obvious to everyone that they're not working. He persists in playing a 4-4-2 narrow diamond, and then wonders why Shevchenko doesn't get any service. And when he changes it, he goes for a 4-3-3 which means we only have one striker, with Shevchenko playing out of position out wide (if at all). Kalou is also played out of position out wide, while SWP, who, given half a chance, might actually excel in this position, is ignored.

OK, I know we've had a sh*tload of injuries this year. Nobody could have predicted Petr Cech & Carlo Cudicini both getting crocked. The absence of JT has disabled the team to an alarming degree, while we're really missing Joey Cole, and Arjen Robben (who seems to get injured every other game).

Under these circumstances, any team would struggle - but if Mourinho had managed his transfers well in the summer, we wouldn't be in the position we are now, we'd have adequate cover where we need it.

We've been playing crap all season, and have been scraping a lot of results. Now it seems our luck has run out a bit. I'm a bit concerned that it may not be a coincidence that our recent run of "not-winning" has come since Mourinho declared his 'untouchables'. That couldn't have helped build team confidence, and since then he's slagged the team down more than once in public. I know that in certain circumstances, this can have a positive effect on players, but looking at our players over the last couple of weeks I'd say it's had totally the opposite effect.

After reading all the sh*te directed at certain players over the last week or so, I thought I'd deflect the blame to another area. I know that there are a lot of people out there who are convinced that the sun shines out of Mourinho's arse, but it's time they looked at the situation in black and white.

I'm not advocating getting rid of Mourinho, as I believe he's the best manager we've had since the Doc, and I really like the guy. I just wish he'd accept that he's capable of making mistakes now and then, just like the rest of us. I don't like to see him blaming players, yet not taking any responsibility himself - that's just bad man-management.

I'm sure he'll turn it around though - he's got the lucky touch!

On the other hand, Paul Le Guen needs a napalm enema, and I'm the man to deliver! icon_twisted.gif

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Mourinho is a very stubborn man, and refuses to change things even when it's painfully obvious to everyone that they're not working. He persists in playing a 4-4-2 narrow diamond, and then wonders why Shevchenko doesn't get any service. And when he changes it, he goes for a 4-3-3 which means we only have one striker, with Shevchenko playing out of position out wide (if at all)

This brings us to the interesting question.

If we accept that the narrow diamond isn't working AND we acknowledge that we need to be looking to get the best out of both Drogba and Sheva then what formation do we play?

Playing either Sheva or Drogba out wide is a waste and so we are looking at an orthodox formation with two up top. Now we also have to acknowledge that that these two need to be getting more support from the midfielders and the flank men then they are just now.

Is it time to take a gamble? Is it time to do the unthinkable and drop Maka? As things stand we need to start creating more chances than we have been. The gap is only 6 points and there are still enough games to go to claw it back however if that gap was to be extended (and our recent run of results against mediocre teams suggest that may well happen) then we really are in sh*t creek territory.

On the flip side we have been conceding too many goals and dropping Maka is not going to help in that department.

Jose has some big decisions to make and he doesn't have long to think about it.

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Mourinho is a very stubborn man, and refuses to change things even when it's painfully obvious to everyone that they're not working. He persists in playing a 4-4-2 narrow diamond, and then wonders why Shevchenko doesn't get any service. And when he changes it, he goes for a 4-3-3 which means we only have one striker, with Shevchenko playing out of position out wide (if at all)

This brings us to the interesting question.

If we accept that the narrow diamond isn't working AND we acknowledge that we need to be looking to get the best out of both Drogba and Sheva then what formation do we play?

Playing either Sheva or Drogba out wide is a waste and so we are looking at an orthodox formation with two up top. Now we also have to acknowledge that that these two need to be getting more support from the midfielders and the flank men then they are just now.

Is it time to take a gamble? Is it time to do the unthinkable and drop Maka? As things stand we need to start creating more chances than we have been. The gap is only 6 points and there are still enough games to go to claw it back however if that gap was to be extended (and our rent run of results against mediocre teams suggest that may well happen) then we really are in sh*t creek territory.

On the flip side we have been conceding too many goals and dropping Maka is not going to help in that department.

Jose has some big decisions to make and he doesn't have long to think about it.

I'd play an attacking flat 4-4-2, we've got the players to do it but Mourinho seems terrified of using that system. Maybe it isn't deemed 'cool' enough in management circles?

If we had a fully fit squad, I'd play: -

-----------------------Cech

Boulah (or a new RB) - Carvalho - JT - Bridge or Cole

------Joey - Lampard - Essien - Robben

----------------Sheva - Drogs

It's a very attacking line-up, which could be used against most sides. For the stronger opponents I'd play Maka instead of Lamps (sacrilege, I hear you scream - but I ignore you, cos I know f*ckin' best!) icon_lol.gif

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I am loving this thread. Exactly what i have always felt, but in a more euphemistic fashion icon_lol.gif

Not quite - your main idea is to just sack everyone, even the 18 year old who has barely played football for a year!! icon_wink.gif

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lots of it has already been said. most of it, probably.

I'd like to see players play in ways more natural to them than to jose's "ideals".

i.e.

-sheva central, and 10 yards further up the pitch. it's no good asking him to play in a fashion where he is in front of the defence- especially if he has lost his speed (which I do not agree with, and speaking of that, I never felt that he had the raw electric pace of a robben or henry). it is simply wrong to play a player like him in a position where to get into the box he has to carry the ball all the time. now, if he has lost his pace there is no question whatsoever- he must play in the box. he is intelligent enough to adapt to a style similar to van nistelrooy- the finishing, the workrate and the movement are all there. also, back to goal he is technically sound enough for it.

-paulo. put him at rightback, or leave him out. stop messing about with where he plays and when he plays. pick him, or get rid- dithering helps no-one.

if you are going to play a diamond, keep ballack between the midfield and attack, and get lamps and essien particularly to take less touches. with little space, you should be taking one or two touches to manouvere the ball around the opposition. it has resembled a defensive square too often, with both lamps and ballack ahead of essien and maka. and ultimately, the ball is given wide- why? if your moves are going to end up with crosses or passes from wide areas, surely a diamond is counter productive. it seems to me sometimes that it is a diamond for long balls- ballack and drogba facing back to goal trying to play flick ons... again, counter productive. we must keep it on the deck more.

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come'on loz. Many would agree that SWP's style is more suited to a middle sized table climbing side. Don't get me wrong if i am criticising SWP's footballing skill. ( Are we talking about him in the first place?).

Many of these teams - Man City, West Ham etc- needs people to go forward when they are down by a goal or two and an adventurous SWP will fit.

To me, he has many admirable skill, but he lacks maturity ( read : naivety)

Just like Joey in the past, he loses possession in critical areas and make others run to make grounds for him ( although he does chase once he lost it).

But because he is always running into the odd places, there is hardly anyone around to support him.

I definitely think a SWP/ Micah Richards swap will solve part of the problem

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1. I think our squad is currently lacking the hunger that Utd are showing. Some will point the finger at the new signings, and in particular Ballack and Sheva but I think a number of other players are also going through the motions a little and not hitting anything like peak form. Only really Essien and Drogba have produced a level of football that you can classify as impressive, and only these two and JT prior to his injury, appear to be playing as if defending the title means much to them.

Agreed. Though I think people shouldn't associate lack of form with lack of effort. I beleive if anything, players try harder when they are out of form then when they are hot and things come naturally to them.

2. The squad is not well balanced and for this Jose is responsible. We lack quality cover in central defence, we lack quality cover up front and we lack quality cover on the flanks - however we are massivley over subscribed in the central midfield department. Now the issue with wingers and central midfielders is probably because Jose had made a conscious decision to go with a diamond this season and hence he deemed wingers as less of a priority however if this was the case then he let the wrong winger go in the summer. It would have made more sense to keep Duff and let SWP go. It would have also made even more sense not to let Guddy go as he would have provided the cover up front that we are missing and could also have been an option playing behind the front two.

I don't beleive Mourinho deliberately went into this season with a 4-4-2 diamond in mind. I remember his comments regarding Ballack very early in the season where he stated he had done well with Lampard in midfield dispite all the training to that point being done with a 4-3-3 formation in mind. I think Mourinho had planned to perhaps be bi-formation this season and because of injuries/lack of form of Chelsea's wingers he has stuck with a 4-4-2 diamond.

But yes, the squad is unbalanced........

3. I don't think we have come to terms with playing the diamond, and especially, the roles to be adopted by Lamps and Ballack. All too often Essien has been the key player with neither Lamps or Ballack accepting any responsibility for controlling the centre of the park. Too often we ave surrendered ridiculous amounts of possession and territory to average midfields.

I agree and I don't think it is fair to blame the players so much here. Lumpy had allways pefered playing with wingers and having space to work in. We have and will allways see the best of him when Chelsea play a 4-3-3 or baring that, a traditional 4-4-2. Ballack has seemed to play his best football when he has had space to work in and as for Essien, even with his excellent form, he still is a ball winner and someone who likes to get the ball forward quickly rather than dordle on it.

In my mind, all three would be better off if Chelsea reverted back to a 4-3-3 but got some decent wide players in. Then they'd have more time and space to work in and someone to give the ball to instead of running into each other.

4. Individual players are either off form or struggling to come to terms with the Premiership. Obvious cases are SWP and Sheva however Robben also took a long time to show any form and I also think Lamps form has been erratic and even Maka's level of performance has dropped (maybe age is catching up with him).

Robben was brilliant in his first season for Chelsea........

Apart from that, I agree.

5. As I have mentioned elsewhere in the forum there is a right back problem with Jose. The best man for the job is not getting a look in being overlooked for either a player playing out of position or a player who isn't that good defensively but offers more going forward (until it is time to cross the ball)

I am as in the dark as you are here. I can only suggest that Mourinho knows something we don't......

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I think one problem is that over the last 2 seasons we had a team that was built around a backbone that had been present at the club for some time. Gallas, JT, Frank, Guddy had all been together for some time and even Maka, Robben, Joe Cole, Petr Cech, and Duffer had been with the club for a few seasons. A combination of injury, key players leaving, and players out of favour (e.g. Bridge, Johnson) has led to a team that is dominated by Jose's signings over the last couple of seasons. Apart from Carvs (who I think has stepped up quite well in JT's absence) Drogs and Essien we are left with a bunch of players who are either yet to settle in or just not good enough. I just hope this is a temporary situation and that some of these players will come good like Essien and Drogs did after their initial seasons. Either way I still think is where the academy must play its part. I would like to see the influx of new signings matched by players coming up through the ranks. Youth players may be new to the first team but unlike new signings they are already familiar with their teammates and the style of play. If we go out and sign more players this window I fear that we may end up taking more of a step backwards in the short term. We are lucky to have some cup matches against lower division opposition. Surely this is the ideal opportunity for some of the academy products to show what they do. Maybe 1 or 2 of them will prove good enough to cover as needed and save on the transfer fees.

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Our problem is obvious - we made some pretty stupid decisions during the summer transfer window, and we lost our biggest assest - squad depth.

If we had lost Cech, Terry and Robben last season, and our top striker was off form, we would have had Carlo, Gallas, Duff and Crespo coming in.

This season we have got Hilario, Ferreria (the centre-back), Wright-Phillips and Kalou.

Obviously, there is nothing can prevent an injury crisis like we have at the moment, but I can't help feeling that our squads of the past two seasons would have coped a lot better than our current one.

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come'on loz. Many would agree that SWP's style is more suited to a middle sized table climbing side. Don't get me wrong if i am criticising SWP's footballing skill. ( Are we talking about him in the first place?).

Well I referred to an 18 year old who hadn't played football for about a year before joining us- you are referring to a 25 year old who has been with us for a while now so it is clear we aren't (granted my 18 year old is now 19!)

Although if I recall your masterplan was along the lines of:

Sack:

Ballack

Sheva

Kalou,

Mikel

Hilario

Boula

any more?

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-sheva central, and 10 yards further up the pitch. it's no good asking him to play in a fashion where he is in front of the defence- especially if he has lost his speed (which I do not agree with, and speaking of that, I never felt that he had the raw electric pace of a robben or henry). it is simply wrong to play a player like him in a position where to get into the box he has to carry the ball all the time. now, if he has lost his pace there is no question whatsoever- he must play in the box. he is intelligent enough to adapt to a style similar to van nistelrooy- the finishing, the workrate and the movement are all there. also, back to goal he is technically sound enough for it.

This is spot on.

I was screaming at the telly last night.

''JUST GET IN THE FARKING BOX SHEVA!, FOR CHRISTS SAKE!''

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I don't beleive Mourinho deliberately went into this season with a 4-4-2 diamond in mind. I remember his comments regarding Ballack very early in the season where he stated he had done well with Lampard in midfield dispite all the training to that point being done with a 4-3-3 formation in mind. I think Mourinho had planned to perhaps be bi-formation this season and because of injuries/lack of form of Chelsea's wingers he has stuck with a 4-4-2 diamond.

If Jose's initial plans were to stick with the 4-3-3 this season then he made devastatingly bad decisions in the close season.

To be planning the 4-3-3 but only having 3 wingers in the squad, one of which is historically injury prone and another massively lacking in any kind of form, is tantamount to inviting failure. FOr me the fact that he sold Duff, kept SWP and did not bring in a replacement winger was a huge suggestion that we were not going down the 'two wingers route'

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