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How does this team go up a level (or two)?


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Yes we will probably win the league and that is of course great, but on the other hand this season has showed we are very far from being considerred one of the best team in Europe/the world.

 

I see half the forum getting their pitchforks ready, and the other half accepting this considerable dip in form as something unavoidable. The truth is probably, as always, somewhere in the middle.

 

If we win the league, we deserve it, and IMO it shouldnt be questioned. It is a big achievemnt no matter how piss poor the opposition was.

 

 

 

But after that, the other half has a point. Where do we go from there?

 

For all the talk about our young and talented squad, who exactly are these players who will kick on and elevate the profile of the team?

 

Hazard? True, he will improve, and he will be one of the best players of his generation. But we are too reliant on him as it is now. And we were 'lucky' when it comes to his fitness. Was he injured even once this season?

 

Courtois? He will improve, and it wont make much of a difference. When it comes to goalkeeping our team is fine.

 

Zouma? He might displace Cahill next season so I guess we have a possible improvement there.

 

Oscar? Huge debate whether this is it, or is there a world class player hiding in there.

 

Then come a bunch of players who either have no room for considerable improvement, have started declining, or just blatantly arent good enough: Cesc, Matic, Ivan, Cahill, Terry, Azpi (i feel he wont improve unless he gets moved back to his natural position), Ramires, Luis, Remy, Willian, Cuadrado(???) . . .

 

 

 

We have some promising younsters ready to contribute, but with Chelseas and Joses tendencies so far, do they really have a chance at Chelsea? Even if the likes of RLC and Bamford do get a chance, theyd still be 3-4 years away from displacing our current starters.

 

 

I know just reaching for the checkbook shouldnt be the answer to everything. But can we actually improve in time for the next season just with what we have now?

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Squad depth. Get it and use it. Be brave enough to use young players rather than ELEVEN players.

Rotate. Mix up the tactics. Replace players like Willian who aren't good enough. Give new players a chance to bed in rather than throwing them in for the last 15 minutes and expecting them to adapt to a whole new league.

Be bold. Be brave.

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Our players have burnt out. We have used the same XI from nearly the start of the season, and I really doubt any team can give same performance for whole year without being rotated. It's all down to Mourinho imo. He just doesn't use the subs, he just lets them play even when things aren't happening or unless it's 80+mins when have to.

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Our players have burnt out. We have used the same XI from nearly the start of the season, and I really doubt any team can give same performance for whole year without being rotated. It's all down to Mourinho imo. He just doesn't use the subs, he just lets them play even when things aren't happening or unless it's 80+mins when have to.

 

Ok lets say our team is fresh and firing on all cylinders, do we go past Barca/Bayern/Real Madrid in a 2 legged tie?

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Ok lets say our team is fresh and firing on all cylinders, do we go past Barca/Bayern/Real Madrid in a 2 legged tie?

We could do, but they're uncountably better than us.

You could say they're further developed than us and that's fair. But I honestly don't know what Jose's plan is sometimes. We seem to do the same mistakes over and over again

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I no longer believe Willian and Oscar are good enough for this team. Even Ramires. I honestly don't know what happened to our Brazilian contingent but they've been lacking this season--you'd think having a Portuguese speaking manager would help but that hasn't been the case. As rotation options they'd be good, but we can find better players to start. 

 

Otherwise, if we want to become the best in Europe, we'll need mentally strong players.

 

JT, Lamps, Drogba, and Cech won't be around or are no longer around--we need new leaders to step up and take some initiative. Rally the troops. Hazard and Matic will probably be the backbone of this team for a while, but the rest are probably careless or are just happy to sit in the background and not take responsibility. 

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I no longer believe Willian and Oscar are good enough for this team. Even Ramires. I honestly don't know what happened to our Brazilian contingent but they've been lacking this season--you'd think having a Portuguese speaking manager would help but that hasn't been the case. As rotation options they'd be good, but we can find better players to start. 

 

Otherwise, if we want to become the best in Europe, we'll need mentally strong players.

 

JT, Lamps, Drogba, and Cech won't be around or are no longer around--we need new leaders to step up and take some initiative. Rally the troops. Hazard and Matic will probably be the backbone of this team for a while, but the rest are probably careless or are just happy to sit in the background and not take responsibility. 

 

To be honest, i don't think they have ever been good enough. Willian has shown nothing as an attacking player since he joined us. Ramires has always been an average footballer and Oscar is only good for 3 months of a season.

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Speaking about Brazilian contingent... one Brazilian player is already dying to join is the summer i.e Douglas Costa.

 

I'd be bang my head in the wall if that happens.

 

I honestly can't see what Douglas Costa would offer us that we don't already have. Hopefully he is just trying to force a move and we ain't really interested.

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This could be a ridiculous idea, but what about moving Ivanovic to RM? Azpilicueta could go back to his natural right back from where he could stretch the play more, as could Luis returning to LB. Ivan likes to get forward, has more shooting opportunities, will defend as well and can still be an aerial presence. 

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This could be a ridiculous idea, but what about moving Ivanovic to RM? Azpilicueta could go back to his natural right back from where he could stretch the play more, as could Luis returning to LB. Ivan likes to get forward, has more shooting opportunities, will defend as well and can still be an aerial presence. 

We tried to play Azpi as a right winger against Atletico, that didn't work out too well. 

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At the start of the season, Jose was banging on about the philosophy (this high pressing from the front) and we were implementing it well, really getting about the opposition defence and keeping them under constant pressure.

Around about the Christmas period, it stopped. The level of pressing dropped, the intensity of the team off the ball as a whole dropped.

He needs to get in players he trusts to play the way he wants so the whole team isn't knackered by February.

I think this team is well worthy of being Champions and performed excellently for the first half of the season. They just need to manage the players' fitness levels better and add two or three quality players.

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If we win the league, I would say that overall it has been a good season but with some weaknesses being exposed. Couple of new signings (mainly for squad depth) and the belief that comes from winning something big should see us be even stronger next season. Have to remember that this is still a team with a lot of relatively new faces. A tough but ultimately successful season will help us grow a lot as a unit I feel.

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I agree with assessment that we have a rather shallow squad depth.

 

Problem areas for me are:

 

(1) lack of speed at central defense

(2) lack of good cover for defensive midfield (Matic)

(3) lack of really effective attacking midfielder (Oscar)

(4) lack of good cover for Hazard

 

Cahill and Terry need Matic in front of them to cover their major flaw. They are physically strong, wonderful blockers and great headers of the ball, but when they are caught up the field of out of position, their speed of recovery is not there. Zouma looks promising, but he is very young. As for Ivanovic, I know he is important for getting up into wide areas and putting crosses in, but he is slow to get back down on counters and this is a another problem area for us when the likes of Cahill are pulled wide by attackers on the counter.

 

Matic is a crucial player for us (see above). When he is at his commanding best, we are absolutely solid, and it allows our attacking midfield to get a grip of the match and bring our other attacking players into the game. Lately, Matic looks tired, is getting caught out of position and just isn't as commanding as he was earlier in the season. This is causing havoc, both at defines where our centre backs are becoming more exposed, and it is also affecting our possession in midfield, making the likes of Fabregas and Oscar spend much more time just chasing back possession (which they don't do well).

 

Oscar has been disappointing. He's gone completely missing a lot this season. And his is a key position in the team, because when he goes missing Hazard can't get in the game. I notice that when we struggle, Hazard just can't get possession in threatening areas of the pitch. And he has three or four players on him. You begin to wonder why our other attacking players can't seem to find themselves free with all the attention being placed on Hazard.

 

The last point is just a risk. Well, that is if you are of the belief Hazard has to play no matter what. He looks like he needs a bit of a rest sometimes. But if he were to get injured, I half expect we'd play Luis ahead of Azpilicueta.

 

The one area that I sometimes think we do have cover but just don't use it is up front. Remy looks good when he plays, because he has speed, and speed is a big threat in the EPL. But we hardly use him.

 

Cheers,

 

Butch

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The problem is, we have many players who don't want to be the best. They want to take their money, but hide in games when the going gets tough. We have so much talent available, yet none of them seem to want to take their talent to the next level.

I think another issue, and probably the biggest one, is José expects too much from them physically. We have so much creativity, but they're being turned into pure work horses and aren't getting the chance to show their true ability.

There is a reason why the teams like barca, madrid, bayern create so much, it's because their players aren't pressured to track back every second of every game - it takes a lot out of a player and they're not robots.

I understand this is José' style, but it would be great if he could grow some balls and not play so safe all the time. He is a brilliant, tactically minded coach, but he is poor at adopting a different approach to games, which is holding our players back tbh.

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Squad depth. Get it and use it. Be brave enough to use young players rather than ELEVEN players.

Rotate. Mix up the tactics. Replace players like Willian who aren't good enough. Give new players a chance to bed in rather than throwing them in for the last 15 minutes and expecting them to adapt to a whole new league.

Be bold. Be brave.

This 100 times over.

Take a chance and let the SQUAD help out instead of making the same mistakes time after time with a tired 11 players.

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I agree with assessment that we have a rather shallow squad depth.

 

Problem areas for me are:

 

(1) lack of speed at central defense

(2) lack of good cover for defensive midfield (Matic)

(3) lack of really effective attacking midfielder (Oscar)

(4) lack of good cover for Hazard

 

Cahill and Terry need Matic in front of them to cover their major flaw. They are physically strong, wonderful blockers and great headers of the ball, but when they are caught up the field of out of position, their speed of recovery is not there. Zouma looks promising, but he is very young. As for Ivanovic, I know he is important for getting up into wide areas and putting crosses in, but he is slow to get back down on counters and this is a another problem area for us when the likes of Cahill are pulled wide by attackers on the counter.

 

Matic is a crucial player for us (see above). When he is at his commanding best, we are absolutely solid, and it allows our attacking midfield to get a grip of the match and bring our other attacking players into the game. Lately, Matic looks tired, is getting caught out of position and just isn't as commanding as he was earlier in the season. This is causing havoc, both at defines where our centre backs are becoming more exposed, and it is also affecting our possession in midfield, making the likes of Fabregas and Oscar spend much more time just chasing back possession (which they don't do well).

 

Oscar has been disappointing. He's gone completely missing a lot this season. And his is a key position in the team, because when he goes missing Hazard can't get in the game. I notice that when we struggle, Hazard just can't get possession in threatening areas of the pitch. And he has three or four players on him. You begin to wonder why our other attacking players can't seem to find themselves free with all the attention being placed on Hazard.

 

The last point is just a risk. Well, that is if you are of the belief Hazard has to play no matter what. He looks like he needs a bit of a rest sometimes. But if he were to get injured, I half expect we'd play Luis ahead of Azpilicueta.

 

The one area that I sometimes think we do have cover but just don't use it is up front. Remy looks good when he plays, because he has speed, and speed is a big threat in the EPL. But we hardly use him.

 

Cheers,

 

Butch

 

Very good assessment.

 

However I don't think Hazard needs cover, Azpi playing left back balances that out enough for me. The cover in midfield though has been an issue all season, it's not efficient enough. Also you hit the nail on the head with Oscar, we need more from that area.

 

Costa as good of a goal scoring striker he is, doesn't offer a lot when it comes to team play, he is certainly no Drogba in that aspect. That's something I feel we miss, his link up play is actually rather poor so it certainly doesn't help out when we have Oscar going missing in games.

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