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Robben the key to EP title !


coco

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After the bad news that Joey Cole will miss the rest of the season things have started to improve at last.

Cech is officially fit & ready, with JT & Carlo not far behind.

But losing Cole & Robben together for big parts of the season has crippled the creative side to the team, contrary to the belief by the media that we have no 'creative side'.

With Cech & JT come stability, with Robben comes the threat.

Hopefully Sheva will be sidelined by some mysterious hamstring injury until May time & Robben will have the rest of the season injury free.

If this happens we have a realistic chance of catching Manure !

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

P/F----------R/C----------J/T----------A/C

-------------------Maka---------------------

-----Essien------Lampard-----Ballack-----

---------------------------Robben

----------------Drogba

Simple isnt it ? icon_rolleyes.gif

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After the bad news that Joey Cole will miss the rest of the season things have started to improve at last.

Cech is officially fit & ready, with JT & Carlo not far behind.

But losing Cole & Robben together for big parts of the season has crippled the creative side to the team, contrary to the belief by the media that we have no 'creative side'.

With Cech & JT come stability, with Robben comes the threat.

Hopefully Sheva will be sidelined by some mysterious hamstring injury until May time & Robben will have the rest of the season injury free.

If this happens we have a realistic chance of catching Manure !

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

P/F----------R/C----------J/T----------A/C

-------------------Maka---------------------

-----Essien------Lampard-----Ballack-----

---------------------------Robben

----------------Drogba

Simple isnt it ? icon_rolleyes.gif

Robben never played good with only one other striker next to him in the past. If sheva is fit then:

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

----PF-------Ricci--------Jt----------Ashley--

--------------------Essien---------------------

----------------Lamps---Ballack--------------

-----------Sheva---Drogba----------Robben

If sheva isn?t fit then kalou or SWP should play at right wing.

Personally I would rather see Maka in the line-up then Ballack, but Jose wouldn?t drop him.

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we need all the creativity we can in the team if were going to return to the dominant form we have had in the last 2 years. The 4-3-3 worked best when it was an attacking, pressing system. Then it slowly started to become flatter in the midfield with Eidur going out for Essien and it was always JMs wish to go back to his beloved diamond. I don't think JM is ever going to play a central player close to the strikers, so the best we can hope for is a return to the 4-3-3/4-5-1 with essien/ballack/maka sharing two places alongside lampard.

there is little place for sheva in the way JM plays, perhaps on the right of the 433/451, hopefully robben and ballack can give some creative spark to the side if they get into form.

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Robben never played good with only one other striker next to him in the past. If sheva is fit then:

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

----PF-------Ricci--------Jt----------Ashley--

--------------------Essien---------------------

----------------Lamps---Ballack--------------

-----------Sheva---Drogba----------Robben

If sheva isn?t fit then kalou or SWP should play at right wing.

Personally I would rather see Maka in the line-up then Ballack, but Jose wouldn?t drop him.

Robben should have free licence to roam both wings. His movement shifts defences off axis creating more openings for the midfield behind.

Sheva just gets in the way ! icon_redface.gif

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

P/F----------R/C----------J/T----------A/C

-------------------Maka---------------------

-----Essien------Lampard-----Ballack-----

---------------------------Robben

----------------Drogba

Simple isnt it ? icon_rolleyes.gif

Agree with all that, as long as we have no further injuries/suspensions.

(Maka out for Liverpool)

It's a fact Robben hasn't been sucessful as a striker/forward, but as you put it, balancing him on the left and perhaps Essien or probably Lampard on the right, i think it's the way to go for now.

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I am keen to see us play 4-4-2 in the traditional sense.

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

PF-----------RC------JT-----------AC

Essien---Ballack---Lampard---Robben

-----------Sheva------Drogba

I am certain Drogba will score more with Sheva up front with him.

Essien can certainly give a lot of drive and quality on the right and provide extra protection for our slightly dodgy right back position.

Robben will have work hard to help out Cole and Lampard and Ballack will have to work together but I don't see why it can't work.

You still have the option to drop Robben in behind Sheva and Drogba and let the other midfielders play across the pitch with Geremi and Bridge playing as more attacking fullbacks to give extra width. It's noticable to me how often Neville and Evra turn up in the opposition final quarter ahead of Gigs and Ronaldo. It might leave you more open defensively but it will give you a lot more going forward. It's not as if Carrick and Scholes give you anymore defensively than Lampard and Ballack would.

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I am keen to see us play 4-4-2 in the traditional sense.

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

PF-----------RC------JT-----------AC

Essien---Ballack---Lampard---Robben

-----------Sheva------Drogba

I am certain Drogba will score more with Sheva up front with him.

Essien can certainly give a lot of drive and quality on the right and provide extra protection for our slightly dodgy right back position.

Robben will have work hard to help out Cole and Lampard and Ballack will have to work together but I don't see why it can't work.

You cannot have Lampard AND Ballack with no defensive midfielder behind them, we would leave our center backs unprotected & it would be a disaster.

Either of these pairs in the center would be ok in your formation, but not Ballack AND Lampard together with no cover behind.

Lampard & Essien.

Essien & Ballack.

Ballack & Maka.

Maka & Lampard.

It also means Robben gets stuck on the left wing, when i think he's more feared when he alternates which wing he plays on & mixes it up a little. He used to switch wings with Joey often during games.

Robben's speed is wasted when it comes from the same angle all of the time, if he is running at different angles into the opposing box, attacking different defenders from different angles it will create a lot more openings.

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................................................cech............................

......................

................................................................................

............................

....geremi..................terry.............carvalho..................cole....

................................................................................

...........................

............................................makelele............................

.................

...........................Essien..........................Ballack..............

............

.............................................lampard............................

..................

................................................................................

.............................

................................................................................

.............................

....................................Drogba....................Robben............

..........

who is supposed to hold the ball in this formation? How is it possible? it just invites pressure and while drogba has improved immeasurably facing the midfield he's not going to hold together the formation and play with the midfield all day...

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................................................cech..................

................................

................................................................................

............................

....geremi..................terry.............carvalho..................cole....

................................................................................

...........................

............................................makelele............................

.................

...........................Essien..........................Ballack..............

............

.............................................lampard............................

..................

................................................................................

.............................

................................................................................

.............................

....................................Drogba....................Robben............

..........

who is supposed to hold the ball in this formation?

Drogba, seeing as he is the best in the EP this season at doing exactly that.

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After the bad news that Joey Cole will miss the rest of the season things have started to improve at last.

Cech is officially fit & ready, with JT & Carlo not far behind.

But losing Cole & Robben together for big parts of the season has crippled the creative side to the team, contrary to the belief by the media that we have no 'creative side'.

With Cech & JT come stability, with Robben comes the threat.

Hopefully Sheva will be sidelined by some mysterious hamstring injury until May time & Robben will have the rest of the season injury free.

If this happens we have a realistic chance of catching Manure !

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

P/F----------R/C----------J/T----------A/C

-------------------Maka---------------------

-----Essien------Lampard-----Ballack-----

---------------------------Robben

----------------Drogba

Simple isnt it ? icon_rolleyes.gif

Switching to:

PF------RC--------JT---------AC

Essien-----Lampard---Ballack

Kalou----Drogba----Robben

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You cannot have Lampard AND Ballack with no defensive midfielder behind them, we would leave our center backs unprotected & it would be a disaster.

Either of these pairs in the center would be ok in your formation, but not Ballack AND Lampard together with no cover behind.

Lampard & Essien.

Essien & Ballack.

Ballack & Maka.

Maka & Lampard.

It also means Robben gets stuck on the left wing, when i think he's more feared when he alternates which wing he plays on & mixes it up a little. He used to switch wings with Joey often during games.

Robben's speed is wasted when it comes from the same angle all of the time, if he is running at different angles into the opposing box, attacking different defenders from different angles it will create a lot more openings.

Nope - I don't agree with you. Man U play with Carrick and Scholes in the middle and don't have too much of a problem. Ballack and Lampard can do that job just as well.

Robben can switch in behind Drogba and Sheva during the match so he isn't just stuck out on the left. Although virtually all of his good work against Wigan came from the left.

I don't think Kalou as the third man in a front 3 will work very well - based on what I have seen over the last few weeks Kalou is not ready for a regular starting place.

Drogba needs someone up with him to produce his best - you can see that from his performances this season. You can see that from Saturday and against Villa where he worked really hard and held the ball up well but where he never had any support or runners to open up some space for him like he gets when Sheva is playing.

But the main thing is that it would give us width and would allow us to play two up front which would benefit both Drogba and Sheva.

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Although we all know the diamond is Jose's preferred formation, to me it makes the team very narow. The straight 4-4-2, although not an ideal formation, is still the most balanced. it allows for 2 out-and-out strikers, (the only way we are going to get anything from Sheva), and also gives the necessary width and depth to the side.

I also disagree that Lampard and Ballack cannot play together in a 4-4-2, it will restrict both players to some extent (as both will have defensive duties), but with Robben on one side and Essien on the other, the attacking threat is still there, with over-lapping full-backs to help out. Frankie is much better backing up the attack than trying to be a part of it, and Michael Ballack has (reportedly) played a kind of sweeper role at times. My main problem with the straight 4-4-2 is that it doesn't really have room for Maka in it, although not up to his level of the last 2 seasons, he is still a very important part of the machine.

The injury crisis may force us back to a more conservative approach, but we still have enough quality to catch the Mancs.

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I'm with ethicalstrategy on this one - I'd love to see us playing an attacking 4-4-2: -

___________________Cech_______________

Garemi*____Carvalho_____Terry_____Bridge

Kalou*______Lampard____Essien_____Robben

________Shevchenko*____Drogba__________

* Geremi or a new right back - Ferreira's not up to it

* Joe Cole to play in place of Kalou when fit

* Shevvychenks or a new striker

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................................................cech..................

................................

................................................................................

............................

....geremi..................terry.............carvalho..................cole....

................................................................................

...........................

............................................makelele............................

.................

...........................Essien..........................Ballack..............

............

.............................................lampard............................

..................

................................................................................

.............................

................................................................................

.............................

....................................Drogba....................Robben............

..........

who is supposed to hold the ball in this formation?

Drogba, seeing as he is the best in the EP this season at doing exactly that.

I don't mean hold the ball like that, i mean, play with the midfield, keep possesion- DD has improved immeasurably in that aspect of his game since he came to CFC, but he is generally going to play on the last man attacking crosses and direct passes, so he can't keep coming for the ball all day. Add to that that he has improved his passing game facing the midfield but not enough to constantly keep coming for the ball at feet and giving it back. Won't work, not enough creativity, only more and more DD spectacular goals will help it survive.

My point is that in this formation you give yourself very few options in spaces to pass to so you need a team with a lot of movement, a player with a lot of movement: fx. Pirlo at Milan, or a team of brazilians!

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Nope - I don't agree with you. Man U play with Carrick and Scholes in the middle and don't have too much of a problem. Ballack and Lampard can do that job just as well.

Carrick plays the holding role well when required, Lampard & Ballack dont.

Drogba needs someone up with him to produce his best - you can see that from his performances this season.

Nonsense, with Sheva up front it's like starting with 10 men every week.

Had to be said, i dont believe for 1 minute that Drogba will not perform without Sheva up there with him.

Drogba doesnt need Sheva & neither does the team atm.

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Carrick plays the holding role well when required, Lampard & Ballack dont.

Carrick couldn't hold an orgy in a brothel, never mind a midfield. There are times when it is important to have someone holding in midfield but mostly you don't need someone dedicated to that role. Both Lampard and Ballack are mobile enough to get around the midfield and do their share of work defensively as well as offensively. You could swap in Makelele for Ballack, but then you would be playing 4-1-3-2 and you lose width from Essien and Robben. Most of the time we do not need to play 4 at the back with a "sweeper" in front.

Nonsense, with Sheva up front it's like starting with 10 men every week.

Had to be said, i dont believe for 1 minute that Drogba will not perform without Sheva up there with him.

Drogba doesnt need Sheva & neither does the team atm.

It is not a question of performing, it's about goalscoring. It is not a coincidence that Drogba's goalscoring record has improved since we first switched to two strikers towwards the end of last season. I am not saying that Sheva is the only one who could play up front with him. I am saying it is better for Drogba to have a strike partner and I think the evidence is there to see. That doesn't mean that Drogba doesn't play well on his own - he is about the best around at doing it, but he won't score as many goals in that system.

I have selected Sheva because a) he is the only alternative that we have and :sign0195: I think in that system it would suit him more and we might get to see the man we thought we had signed.

It wouldn't hurt relations between Mourinho and Roman either if Sheva did find some form and merited his place.

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the side we played against wigan, with shevchenko instead of kalou (and playing central mainly, not from the right should be our front 3 IMO.

then you can all argue about the 2 to accompany lamps.

So that would be Lampard, Ballack, Makelele in midfield? with Sheva and Drogba up front and Robben left?

I think its unbalanced like that. Assuming JT can come back in defence then Essien can move back to right midfield at Maka's expense and at least you have a better balance.

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What i wouldnt give to have a fully fit cole and robben supplying the drogfather when he's in this form!! Iv long thought that coles crossing has come on in leaps and bounds to the point where i consider him to be one of the best in the prem.

With him and robben in full flow on either wing and id back us against any team in eurpoe

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It wouldn't hurt relations between Mourinho and Roman either if Sheva did find some form and merited his place.

Thats not going to happen.

We havnt got any strikers suitable enough to support Drogba up front, so why waste the place in the team ?

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the side we played against wigan, with shevchenko instead of kalou (and playing central mainly, not from the right should be our front 3 IMO.

then you can all argue about the 2 to accompany lamps.

So that would be Lampard, Ballack, Makelele in midfield? with Sheva and Drogba up front and Robben left?

I think its unbalanced like that. Assuming JT can come back in defence then Essien can move back to right midfield at Maka's expense and at least you have a better balance.

it is lopsided. I don't think it helps the striker who plays on the side without a winger as jose will always want that player to drop into that space and fill in. that player is sheva with jose.

the other issue is this: lets forget about maka for a sec. essien is our most in form midfielder. lamps, however remains the most influential midfielder. probably the most important. he's also in very good form, but even when he isn't, I find it hard to not include him. so you'd have to say that lamps will play and essien deserves to play.

now there is maka or ballack. I think both have come in for too much criticism in relation to their actual form. even maka's "sudden decline" as I saw someone put it, is nonsense IMO. he's dropped form from impeccable to okay/decent. on the whole he's had another quality season comfortably IMO. ballack hasn't given even one 90 minutes where I can say "that's ballack at his best". he has though, given good peformances with a few poor ones. I think his form overall has been acceptable- especially given it's his first season. people are worrying too much about him. it's obvious to me that physically he's at his peak and he's got 2 or 3 more seasons before we can even worry about him starting to decline. as long as that's true, we don't have to worry about him making an impact before he becomes past it- time is actually on his side.

the question currently is "ballack or maka". to me it depends. I don't think that a midfield of lamps, essien and maka as attacking enough. I think ballack, lamps and one of the others is as close as we'll get to the ideal 3 with jose. in difficult games, we could use the added protection of maka and essien, but in games where we have to break down teams, ballack is obviously a better choice.

what I found funny in a sad way about the wigan game was robben showing the vision he has for the short pass- IMO he's probably the best in the squad alongside ballack at that, but his greediness has often seen him choose not to play the pass and go it alone. the clever pass he made for kalou for example in the first half- THAT is what shevchenko wants...

IMO robben is maybe the most naturally talented player in the league... also one of the few capable of fully utilising a free role...

I guess, the team I'd play for liverpool (with maka suspended so I don't have to decide who to drop!) would be... if cech is ready:

..........................................cech

paulo................carvalho...................terry..............bridge

........................................essien

......................ballack.......................lamps

.......................................robben

........................sheva....................drogba

with robben playing from both flanks.

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It wouldn't hurt relations between Mourinho and Roman either if Sheva did find some form and merited his place.

Thats not going to happen.

We havnt got any strikers suitable enough to support Drogba up front, so why waste the place in the team ?

you're right - let's play Kalou instead. He has been sooooo much better! icon_confused.gif

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So that would be Lampard, Ballack, Makelele in midfield? with Sheva and Drogba up front and Robben left?

I think its unbalanced like that. Assuming JT can come back in defence then Essien can move back to right midfield at Maka's expense and at least you have a better balance.

it is lopsided. I don't think it helps the striker who plays on the side without a winger as jose will always want that player to drop into that space and fill in. that player is sheva with jose.

the other issue is this: lets forget about maka for a sec. essien is our most in form midfielder. lamps, however remains the most influential midfielder. probably the most important. he's also in very good form, but even when he isn't, I find it hard to not include him. so you'd have to say that lamps will play and essien deserves to play.

now there is maka or ballack. I think both have come in for too much criticism in relation to their actual form. even maka's "sudden decline" as I saw someone put it, is nonsense IMO. he's dropped form from impeccable to okay/decent. on the whole he's had another quality season comfortably IMO. ballack hasn't given even one 90 minutes where I can say "that's ballack at his best". he has though, given good peformances with a few poor ones. I think his form overall has been acceptable- especially given it's his first season. people are worrying too much about him. it's obvious to me that physically he's at his peak and he's got 2 or 3 more seasons before we can even worry about him starting to decline. as long as that's true, we don't have to worry about him making an impact before he becomes past it- time is actually on his side.

the question currently is "ballack or maka". to me it depends. I don't think that a midfield of lamps, essien and maka as attacking enough. I think ballack, lamps and one of the others is as close as we'll get to the ideal 3 with jose. in difficult games, we could use the added protection of maka and essien, but in games where we have to break down teams, ballack is obviously a better choice.

what I found funny in a sad way about the wigan game was robben showing the vision he has for the short pass- IMO he's probably the best in the squad alongside ballack at that, but his greediness has often seen him choose not to play the pass and go it alone. the clever pass he made for kalou for example in the first half- THAT is what shevchenko wants...

IMO robben is maybe the most naturally talented player in the league... also one of the few capable of fully utilising a free role...

I guess, the team I'd play for liverpool (with maka suspended so I don't have to decide who to drop!) would be... if cech is ready:

..........................................cech

paulo................carvalho...................terry..............bridge

........................................essien

......................ballack.......................lamps

.......................................robben

........................sheva....................drogba

with robben playing from both flanks.

On the whole I agree with you. My problem with 4-3-3 is that we don't have the personel for it at the moment. On the other hand I don't particlularly like the diamond unless we play it as you have suggested, but even then I can't see PF working to give us the width that we need. Bridge would be ok.

I would just like to see us try with a normal midfield four with Robben and Essien giving the width.

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My problem with 4-3-3 is that we don't have the personel for it at the moment.

A little perspective: we don't have the personel?

........................................Cech....................................

....

....Ferreira.......Carvalho......Terry...........Cole......

....................................Makelele....................................

.....................Essien.....................................................

...

..............................................Lampard..........................

....SWP...........................................................Robben..

....................................Drogba......................................

.

Shevchenko

Kalou

Ballack

Bridge

Cudicini.

THAT LOOKS LIKE A F#!@ING good side to me compared to all other 19 premiership sides! We have the personel, what we don't have is the same coaching we had last season and the season before it. We've changed back to the flat, defensive midfield and we're paying the same prices we paid with it in the very beginning.

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