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Things we learnt over Xmas


ethicalstrategy

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The bleeding obvious:

1. Losing your best (and second best) goalkeeper makes your defence weaker

2. Losing your Captain and inspiration and best defender makes both your defence and the whole team weaker

3. Playing players out of position causes more problems than it solves.

The bleeding obvious (at least to me!):

4. Any problems we have been having this season are not down to whether we play 4-4-2 (Diamond) or 4-3-3. Both have been tried and we have variously done well and not so well in both formations.

5. All our problems cannot be attributed to Ballack and Shevchenko - despite what my Dad thinks! I haven't noticed SWP or Kalou staking much of a claim to a permanent starting place. And our midfield wasn't any better without Ballack last night. SWP's performance was worse than anything I have seen from either of the two "big names" this season.

And of course:

6. Despite taking 9 points out of 15 from 5 matches (3 away from home) at a busy time when just about everything has gone against us, we are in the middle of a full blown crisis. - but at least we will probably still avoid relegation!

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And our midfield wasn't any better without Ballack last night.

I agree with Everything EXCEPT that bit.

Believe me, I am not on a one man anti Ballack crusade - despite some of my posts!! But I thought the midfield did play a lot better last night without Ballack. Agreed, both SWP and Kalou did little to suf=ggest that they should remain in the starting 11, but with no Ballack, I thought we saw a much more effective Lamps (esp first half) and Essien too had more space to make an impact.

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Agreed good post , however on a personal level I learnt not to try and buy my girlfriend clothes without her approval first and that turkey doesnt keep for more than a week

funny.gif

I didn't learn anything, but I DID get confirmation of the fact that I prefer free time over work.

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And our midfield wasn't any better without Ballack last night.

I agree with Everything EXCEPT that bit.

Believe me, I am not on a one man anti Ballack crusade - despite some of my posts!! But I thought the midfield did play a lot better last night without Ballack. Agreed, both SWP and Kalou did little to suf=ggest that they should remain in the starting 11, but with no Ballack, I thought we saw a much more effective Lamps (esp first half) and Essien too had more space to make an impact.

Nibs,

I watched on Tivo last night and totally agree. I think its because Essien is so strong, we play best when he's in the middle.

He seems to to have taken over Joe's cong, 'cos he every F&^%ing where! Does he have a couple of brothers we can bring in to the team in the transfer window? As one of the papers said in November, a Gahan team with 10 Michael Essiens would win the World Cup. I think we just need 2 Drogba's and 3 Essiens (2 play along side Lampard and one at right back), and we'd win every game.

Nick

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And our midfield wasn't any better without Ballack last night.

I agree with Everything EXCEPT that bit.

Believe me, I am not on a one man anti Ballack crusade - despite some of my posts!! But I thought the midfield did play a lot better last night without Ballack. Agreed, both SWP and Kalou did little to suf=ggest that they should remain in the starting 11, but with no Ballack, I thought we saw a much more effective Lamps (esp first half) and Essien too had more space to make an impact.

Although neither actually did create or score biggrin.gif

I would agree that in the first half Lamps and Essien were able to get forward well. Some of that was down to Villa not going over the half way line but mostly it was down to us playing with a midfield three. Unfortunately, in the second half Frankie looked very heavy legged and had no width to exploit. Playing with Ballack in place of either Kalou or SWP wouldn't solve the width problem but it would have given us a bit more control in the midfield particularly in what was a very weary and uninspiring second half performance. And of course don't forget Ballack has scored a couple of crucial goals in the league in tight away games. He is certainly more likely to get his head on a ball in the box or lash one in from 25 yards than SWP or Kalou.

Having said all that, my point was that we weren't suddenly so much better without him in the team.

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Agreed good post , however on a personal level I learnt not to try and buy my girlfriend clothes without her approval first and that turkey doesnt keep for more than a week

biggrin.gif

I also learnt that travelling to and back from the game in the same car as my mother and father on boxing day was a very big mistake. I wanted to hang myself by the time we got to the M3!

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And our midfield wasn't any better without Ballack last night.

I agree with Everything EXCEPT that bit.

Believe me, I am not on a one man anti Ballack crusade - despite some of my posts!! But I thought the midfield did play a lot better last night without Ballack. Agreed, both SWP and Kalou did little to suf=ggest that they should remain in the starting 11, but with no Ballack, I thought we saw a much more effective Lamps (esp first half) and Essien too had more space to make an impact.

Although neither actually did create or score biggrin.gif

I would agree that in the first half Lamps and Essien were able to get forward well. Some of that was down to Villa not going over the half way line but mostly it was down to us playing with a midfield three. Unfortunately, in the second half Frankie looked very heavy legged and had no width to exploit. Playing with Ballack in place of either Kalou or SWP wouldn't solve the width problem but it would have given us a bit more control in the midfield particularly in what was a very weary and uninspiring second half performance. And of course don't forget Ballack has scored a couple of crucial goals in the league in tight away games. He is certainly more likely to get his head on a ball in the box or lash one in from 25 yards than SWP or Kalou.

Having said all that, my point was that we weren't suddenly so much better without him in the team.

But as they say, it's all swings and roundabouts isn't it?

Okay, with Ballack you get his aerial threat and perhaps an increased chance of scoring (but he has hardly been prolific). On the other hand the ball doesn't get forward as much, as 9 times out of 10 he passes it sideways - little pass here, little pass there, without often doing anything THAT productive. I would say he gives us more defensively but then you look at his piss poor attempt at a clearance which led to Fulham's equaliser.

So what's better, Ballack and his non imaginative strolling through a game that is never gonna get people of their seats but at least we retain more possession (but don't actually do much with it). Or the SWP / Kalou alternative who at least give us width and regularly carry the ball forward but are then inclined to give it away so it comes back at us and puts our defence under more pressure? Neither are ideal really are they???

Come on Jose, time to live up to that "Special One" tag. Failing that get the cheque book out..............

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I actually had the best Christmas I have had in a long time?. Christmas dinner at me mams, crackers, turkey, presents, large brandy and cigar and of course being let down by my beloved club???? aaaahhh the traditional Christmas is back biggrin.gif

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This is what I learnt from the performances over the christmas period:

*We gave to many goals away and silly ones at that.

*Manchester United are giving us a challenge and so far we are failing.

*We are missing our three star players

*We should not have selled Robert Huth or William Gallas.

*Drogba is playing very well this season.

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I don't think that Ballack has played poorly.

But, hypothetically, if we hadn't have signed him, I think that we would have started basically every match this season with a midfield of Lamps-Maka-Essien, like we did last season, which is just about unstoppable.

In fact, it would have been an even better combination than last year, now that Essien in his second season is as good going foward as defending.

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I don't think that Ballack has played poorly.

But, hypothetically, if we hadn't have signed him, I think that we would have started basically every match this season with a midfield of Lamps-Maka-Essien, like we did last season, which is just about unstoppable.

In fact, it would have been an even better combination than last year, now that Essien in his second season is as good going foward as defending.

yes, but im beginning to wonder if our maka isnt on the sudden decline :cry:

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Surely you also learned that we are not going away boys! icon_lol.gif

True we have learned that playing well under par for the first 16 games and having major injuries to important players gives other teams a chance but we enjoy it as a challenge is good for the soul icon_wink.gif

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Surely you also learned that we are not going away boys! icon_lol.gif
Your quite welcome to forfeit the rest of your away games by refusing to go icon_razz.gif
Indeed, we have had to cope without Ji sung Park all season. Puts your troubles into perspetive eh?
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