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Mateo Kovačić


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6 hours ago, Vagabond said:

Considering that many fans don't recognize his contribution to the team at all and are calling for RLC to start over him (who is supposed to provide a goal threat but did nothing in the 30 minutes he was on against Leicester... but obviously isn't under any kind of scrutiny)... could you really blame him?

He is -after Eden- the most technically gifted player in the squad, provides a constant passing outlet, is as immune to pressing as his countryman Modric, has to cover for Alonso as well as the definsively terrible Jorginho AND could've even bagged two assists yesterday with a good ball on Willian and an ok ball on Hazard.

Instead, he was the first player to be substituted and now people are "let's call him out for not scoring goals"

Merry Christmas btw.

Stick Kovacic at RCM and i'd agree with most of what you're saying. The LCM in Sarri's system HAS to offer an attacking threat, whether that be goals or assists. Kovacic offers neither, whilst RLC is one of our top scorers this season. 

Also, RLC is getting stick on his own thread. Stop posting sh*te.

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1 hour ago, Vagabond said:

Oh come on. RLC is a homegrown english lad. You denying that people are looking at him differently than at a guy on loan from RM is just silly.

The only reasons to start RLC over Kova are not planning to keep Mateo and wanting to develop Ruben. Both are valid reasons, but at the moment Kovacic is a better player than both Ruben and Ross. Simple as that.

You have just joined up and your'e telling us we give Rueben more slack than Kova, but it just isn't true, if you go read enough on here you will see plenty of members have not been impressed by Rueben and call him lazy amongst other things.

On the other hand it is only just recently since our bad run of 3 defeats in 6 EPL games, that Kovacic has started getting some of the flak from the fallout, which is only fair i think considering he is only on loan and needs to impress more to get any more time here or any chance of playing for RM ever again.

Nice of you to join us and stick up for him anyway, and still time for him to come good, probably has more chance than Mr Morata.

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2 hours ago, Dixon said:

So, you're one of those who think if you win it means you've played well and if you lose it means you played poor. Winning or losing makes zero difference to my opinion of this player, who does nothing game after game win lose or draw. Anyway, you, the hardcore minority who still think this manager is right no matter what, along with Sarri can continue to bury your heads in the sand until he's sacked.

You should bookmark this post and come back and apologise when the inevitable happens. Unless Sarri changes course that is.

Oh, and for the record for the upteenth time - I like Sarri and want him to turn this team around as much as anyone else on here! I'm just saying what I'm seeing with my own eyes, that is all. 

 

 

I think what DKW is referring too is your most active periods on the forum coincidence with bad results, rather coincidental you went into hiding after we beat City and resurface as soon as we lose again, isn't it?

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7 hours ago, Vagabond said:

Considering that many fans don't recognize his contribution to the team at all and are calling for RLC to start over him (who is supposed to provide a goal threat but did nothing in the 30 minutes he was on against Leicester... but obviously isn't under any kind of scrutiny)... could you really blame him?

He is -after Eden- the most technically gifted player in the squad, provides a constant passing outlet, is as immune to pressing as his countryman Modric, has to cover for Alonso as well as the definsively terrible Jorginho AND could've even bagged two assists yesterday with a good ball on Willian and an ok ball on Hazard.

Instead, he was the first player to be substituted and now people are "let's call him out for not scoring goals"

Merry Christmas btw.

If i could like that 100x i would. 

Edited by Argo

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I am actually bemused by the criticism Kovacic is getting, totally and utterly bemused!!

Okay his shooting is a bit sh*t so that attrtibute in isolation is fair game, but every time he is on the pitch we are far more balanced than when he's not. Look at how we lost control against Liverpool and United when he went off, look at the difference him coming on against Arsenal made. When he gets the ball he has a picture of what he is going to do  (which is both Ross and Ruben's major weakness, which will kill us against elite sides) he knows his surroundings and the right decision to make and is our only serious major press resistant CM (again, something that's crucial vs the elite) and his defensive nous helps cover when Marcos goes walkabouts.

He has had poor spell while recovering from an injury but other than that has been a top signing, and as must as im happy with Ruben and Ross's progress this season, there's only one of those three i want in against elite sides.

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1 hour ago, coco said:

You have just joined up and your'e telling us we give Rueben more slack than Kova, but it just isn't true, if you go read enough on here you will see plenty of members have not been impressed by Rueben and call him lazy amongst other things.

On the other hand it is only just recently since our bad run of 3 defeats in 6 EPL games, that Kovacic has started getting some of the flak from the fallout, which is only fair i think considering he is only on loan and needs to impress more to get any more time here or any chance of playing for RM ever again.

Nice of you to join us and stick up for him anyway, and still time for him to come good, probably has more chance than Mr Morata. 

Thanks for the welcome, I make it a habit to lurk on a message board for quite a while before deciding wether to join or not. :)

You are right. I probably should've written Ruben is not under a similar scrutiny instead of under no scrutiny at all, my mistake. The thing is, there is not even a consensus on what position RLC should play, yet people want him to start. Some instead of Kova or Kante, others instead of Willian, I even heard people talking about Conte's idea to play him as a CF instead of Morata or Giroud. It's weird. The media also very obviously wants him to play because of the national team and doesn't really care wether it is at Chelsea or not, hence his transfer is and on/off topic for journalists and fans alike this season, even though he got a lot more playing time than many expected. That's very good for him and will boost his confidence, but he still has time and he also needs it before being considered a serious starting option. As of right, I would seriously doubt anybodies footballing sense that would start him ahead of either Kovacic or Willian for that matter. He is the first on my substitutions list though most of the time, which is what Sarri does.

The reality about Kovacic is that he will not start scoring regularily any time soon, his shooting needs a lot of work and he's not very tall. In Madrid he had others doing the attacking for him (Ronaldo, Bale, Marcelo, Vasquez, Asensio, Kroos.. even Casemiro and Modric) so there was seldomly any need for it. His job was doing the dirty work in midfield, retaining posession and beating presses. La Liga is a lot less physical too, so I wouldn't be surprised if he puts on a bit of additional muscle mass. What I'm trying to say is that many of the requirements are obviously very different now with Morata, Giroud, Willian, Kante and Jorginho not being goal machines. Expecting him to adapt in just a few months is simply a bit much to ask. For Mateo it is still a new country, new club, new league.

I tend to say that in football quality always prevails and Kova is pure quality. He will make his way regardless, the question is wether he will do it at Chelsea, Real Madrid or another PL top club. I can not stress enough how sick it would make me feel to see Kova boss the midfield for Arsenal or Tottenham after we let him go.

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15 hours ago, Vagabond said:

Considering that many fans don't recognize his contribution to the team at all and are calling for RLC to start over him (who is supposed to provide a goal threat but did nothing in the 30 minutes he was on against Leicester... but obviously isn't under any kind of scrutiny)... could you really blame him?

He is -after Eden- the most technically gifted player in the squad, provides a constant passing outlet, is as immune to pressing as his countryman Modric, has to cover for Alonso as well as the definsively terrible Jorginho AND could've even bagged two assists yesterday with a good ball on Willian and an ok ball on Hazard.

Instead, he was the first player to be substituted and now people are "let's call him out for not scoring goals"

Merry Christmas btw.

Technically gifted and a constant passing outlet, but doesn't contribute much in the final third, of course his position should under scrutiny and be challenged. How many passes do we need to score a goal or create a clear cut chance, like 200? We need one of those MF to get closer to the front 3, create some chances and score the odd goal, and Kovacic isn't doing that. RLC and Barkley aren't the finished articles either, but at least they are keen to get into the box and have scored a few goals, the stats don't lie. We are losing games with 75% possession and 90% passing accuracy, don't need another 100 successfully completed passes, need goals and chances created in the box.

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On 24/12/2018 at 19:49, Argo said:

I think what DKW is referring too is your most active periods on the forum coincidence with bad results, rather coincidental you went into hiding after we beat City and resurface as soon as we lose again, isn't it?

Selective memory then. I was posting a lot while we were unbeaten and saying exactly the same things about Kova and Jorghino when we were unbeaten and second in the league.

All I get in defence of those two is this new gobbledgook about "press resistance" and them linking up well. I'm especially disappointed by Jorghino. Not having any interest in Italian football I'd never seen or hear of him before. However, I was excited by his arrival because after reading and hearing various comments I thought we were getting something like a Glen Hoddle or Platini playmaker. Instead, all I've seen is a player with the athletic ability of an OAP who offera zero defensive  protection, nothing in offence to go with a five yard passing range. IMHO, they two technically gifted but staggeringly limited as footballers and need to be replaced.

 

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On 25/12/2018 at 04:43, icecoolguy22 said:

Technically gifted and a constant passing outlet, but doesn't contribute much in the final third, of course his position should under scrutiny and be challenged. How many passes do we need to score a goal or create a clear cut chance, like 200? We need one of those MF to get closer to the front 3, create some chances and score the odd goal, and Kovacic isn't doing that. RLC and Barkley aren't the finished articles either, but at least they are keen to get into the box and have scored a few goals, the stats don't lie. We are losing games with 75% possession and 90% passing accuracy, don't need another 100 successfully completed passes, need goals and chances created in the box.

We are also winning games with 75% posession and 90% passing accuracy, I don't see your point. It's like you're thinking that losing is somehow worse just because we had more posession or that the team with most posession has to win.

What matters is the structure of the team and in the current structure Kovacic is a lot more useful as he upgrades the players around him in a way the other two guys don't. Them being keen on getting into the box and scoring the occasional odd goal is all nice and well, but if you're exposing your backline since you already have the offensive Alonso and the defensively deficient Jorginho you're just setting Luiz up for failure when he gets run at.

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1 hour ago, Dixon said:

All I get in defence of those two is this new gobbledgook about "press resistance" and them linking up well.

Why would you prefer them to constantly lose it under pressure and misplace passes? The reason we have flopped hard in the CL since winning it bar once is how bad we have been against pressing sides, watch our 3-3 draw vs Roma especially, it was frightening how badly we were struggling with it, and we need press resistant midfielders to compete at the top again else the elite or even Roma/Dortmund tier sides will strangle us out of matches.

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2 hours ago, Vagabond said:

We are also winning games with 75% posession and 90% passing accuracy, I don't see your point. It's like you're thinking that losing is somehow worse just because we had more posession or that the team with most posession has to win.

What matters is the structure of the team and in the current structure Kovacic is a lot more useful as he upgrades the players around him in a way the other two guys don't. Them being keen on getting into the box and scoring the occasional odd goal is all nice and well, but if you're exposing your backline since you already have the offensive Alonso and the defensively deficient Jorginho you're just setting Luiz up for failure when he gets run at.

Which players has Kovacic upgraded? Jorginho is not having a good season and seen as the weak link, Kante and Alonso have been poor. William is lucky to be in team. Can't say Hazard because he is simply top draw. 

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5 hours ago, Ernie_blue said:

Which players has Kovacic upgraded? Jorginho is not having a good season and seen as the weak link, Kante and Alonso have been poor. William is lucky to be in team. Can't say Hazard because he is simply top draw. 

In the current lineup with the false 9 he is helping Alonso and Willian, if Morata/Giroud are on the pitch he's creating space for Eden instead of Willian. He is also helping in build up play which relieves pressure from Jorginho, as well as being able to change the tempo with incisive passes. He also puts in the occasional world class tackle.

I also disagree with anybody claiming Kante or Jorginho have been poor overall this season. Alonso and Willian are on/off sadly, but I really don't know how that would lead you to substitute Kovacic for RLC or Barkley as it will only make matters worse.

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9 hours ago, Vagabond said:

We are also winning games with 75% posession and 90% passing accuracy, I don't see your point. It's like you're thinking that losing is somehow worse just because we had more posession or that the team with most posession has to win.

What matters is the structure of the team and in the current structure Kovacic is a lot more useful as he upgrades the players around him in a way the other two guys don't. Them being keen on getting into the box and scoring the occasional odd goal is all nice and well, but if you're exposing your backline since you already have the offensive Alonso and the defensively deficient Jorginho you're just setting Luiz up for failure when he gets run at.

The point is despite having that much possession and high accuracy of passes, we are not doing much with it, because the midfield 3 aren't scoring. With that amount of possession, we shouldn't be frequently drawing or losing to teams outside the top 6. You need an alternative to just passing it around and keeping the ball for the sake of it. We need goals, and we aren't getting much from the midfield 3.

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The point is despite having that much possession and high accuracy of passes, we are not doing much with it, because the midfield 3 aren't scoring. With that amount of possession, we shouldn't be frequently drawing or losing to teams outside the top 6. You need an alternative to just passing it around and keeping the ball for the sake of it. We need goals, and we aren't getting much from the midfield 3.
It runs deeper than that. We are witnessing phase 1 of Sarri's plan and many of the players are still not fully comfortable with the system. We don't have the players for the next phase, which is to increase the amount chances created. As you say, we don't have goals from midfield, but that's OK in isolation.

The best of his system relies on distribution through the regista. So teams are now sitting deep and narrow and taking Jorginho out of the game. Morata isn't great against narrow defences, and Giroud, although better technically, isn't a goal scorer anymore. So we're having to resort to sending our best creator up top. Willian and Pedro are nowhere near world class. Then the biggest issue as far as I'm concerned is that we don't have the fullbacks to exploit the wide areas. And there are obvious spaces to attack out wide in most of our matches.

So we have issues piling up in each area that needs addressing, as well as squad balancing. But I'm still enjoying the football now more than at any time under Conte and looking forward to seeing how progress under Sarri after the June transfer window.

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3 hours ago, Vagabond said:

In the current lineup with the false 9 he is helping Alonso and Willian, if Morata/Giroud are on the pitch he's creating space for Eden instead of Willian. He is also helping in build up play which relieves pressure from Jorginho, as well as being able to change the tempo with incisive passes. He also puts in the occasional world class tackle.

I also disagree with anybody claiming Kante or Jorginho have been poor overall this season. Alonso and Willian are on/off sadly, but I really don't know how that would lead you to substitute Kovacic for RLC or Barkley as it will only make matters worse.

I'm not saying I would substitute Kovacic for RLC or Barkley. I actually think Kovacic is a good footballer but has been poor this season, he can't even play a full 90mins. Did have his best game tonight in a Chelsea shirt tonight though. You seem to be the biggest supporter of Kovacic have the opinion he has upgraded other players this season, in the current lineup I can't think of one player he has upgraded. Let's be honest Kante or Jorginho haven't been great even if you don't want to use the word poor.

Kovacic is at his worst when teams sit back and defend, there is simply no need for him to be on the pitch. Tonight he did well but alot of his good work came on the counter with more space. If Kovacic played more like tonight you can see why he gets picked.

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Kovacic is at his worst when teams sit back and defend, there is simply no need for him to be on the pitch. Tonight he did well but alot of his good work came on the counter with more space. If Kovacic played more like tonight you can see why he gets picked.


Strange thing to say. If teams sit back the one midfielder you really don't need is Kante. Kovacic has played some really good through balls this season and he is great in tight spaces. Also better with the 1-2s.

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1 minute ago, venom2011 said:


 

 


Strange thing to say. If teams sit back the one midfielder you really don't need is Kante. Kovacic has played some really good through balls this season and he is great in tight spaces. Also better with the 1-2s.
 

 

Kovacic has hardly done much until last night, not that many throughballs and how many shots? Against teams who sit back he has been frustrating to watch and doesn't contribute much if anything.

Carry on with how he played last night then great.

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Right now we have 37 goals in 19 games, last year 62 in 38.  Our scoring pace has improved, with similar attacking personnel. We upgraded scoring through ball retention and chance creation, the next step is obvious to all, it's add another goal scorer to the front 3.  Less worried about the goals coming from the mid when we are missing so many from the front.  2/3 are in their 30's (between Pedro, Willian and Giroud), we need to add a legit scorer closer to his prime. 

We need to keep Kovacic, he plays like a veteran, and has such technical quality... but he's only 24.  He's going to improve.

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Kovacic has hardly done much until last night, not that many throughballs and how many shots? Against teams who sit back he has been frustrating to watch and doesn't contribute much if anything.
Carry on with how he played last night then great.
Not of one of our midfliers have done anything of note this season. And as teams have played narrower and deeper it has become harder for them. Kovacic still oozes class on the ball. I don't find him frustrating, we have bigger issues at the moment. And he is being played slightly out of position. They change him at Madrid and he played an almost Jorginho-esque role. So I wasn't expecting massive goals etc. I'm still a big fan and let's not forget he is new to the hustle and bustle of this league.

He is perfect for Kante's current role. So to accommodate Jorginho, Kante is out of position, then to accommodate Kante, Kova is out of position.

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Had a very good game yesterday. Until he starts scoring though, I will always have question marks about him. He'd be fantastic in a team that had a front three that all scores goals, unfortunately only Hazard and to a much smaller extent Pedro look like goal scorers in our team. With that in mind I still feel that RLC should be getting the nod in midfield at this point in time. 

I'd also like to point out how the Kovacic fans here are quite fond of trashing the link up play of Barkley and Ruben. I can understand it with Barkley but not Ruben. As shown with his goal against Fulham he shouldn't really be criticised in that way. You can criticise him defensively, but not his link up play. 

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