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Mateo Kovačić

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He was solid. Kept it simple, maybe too simple at times. I was a bit frustrated when he would choose to play back to goal back to the CBs when there was a chance to turn a run. Add that and he is an alternative in that spot.

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10 hours ago, jack_super_class said:

He played well when he went into Jorginho position in the second half, swapping with Ampadu who struggled there. I think we don't need to find a backup now for Jorginho until the summer and hopefully Kovacic stays  permanently.

Well, we all see different things I suppose. 

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8 minutes ago, dansubrosa said:

Genuinely wonder why you dislike Kovacic so much???

The only i can think of is his shooting, everything else is pretty good.

He has a beautiful face, great technique, can tackle, great workrate and defensive contribution, good in tight spaces, can dribble, doesn't sh*t his pants when he gets pressed, can also play Jorginho position, has a good pass on him. I hope i haven't missed anything, feel free to add something if i have.

Edited by jack_super_class

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It was around Xmas I felt like I wanted to see Kovacic take Jorginho's spot and a more attacking midfielder take his spot at RM.  The Spurs 2nd leg has given me some hope Jorginho can come to grips with the game in the UK, but I was really beginning to wish we had taken Kovacic permanently and Jorginho on loan.

Kovacic is a tidy midfielder who does well in the system we have, but does not offer much attacking threat (which is surprising given he is fantastic on the ball).  He offers something that neither Kante or Jorginho offer which is an ability to go past a defender and that could be a big thing against deep playing team (aka most BPL matches) even if he isn't a goal threat himself.

My biggest hold out on a permanent deal is not would he improve us, he does, but if that's the best use of money for the needs we have. We now have a lot of depth in midfield with some promise out on loan, so I don't know if spending big on a midfielder would be the smartest business until we address more urgent issues in the squad.

 I'm also concerned that he legitimately does not look fit enough to play a full 90minutes still.  I don't know if this is something he will ever get over at this point, he just might not have the stamina for a full 90 at this pace.  

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45 minutes ago, dansubrosa said:

Genuinely wonder why you dislike Kovacic so much???

In fairness I dont think Just dislikes kova, i think is a case of people regularly get on barkley's back in the match day threads and yet praise Kova like he is the new Didier Deschamps when really they are both as affective as each other at what they do. They have both been decent to good, nothing special imo. 

However if you want Just to talk about someone he does dislike ask him for his opinion on David Luiz who was set to lead us to a series of 0-6 losses in any game he played...lol

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3 hours ago, jack_super_class said:

The only i can think of is his shooting, everything else is pretty good.

He has a beautiful face, great technique, can tackle, great workrate and defensive contribution, good in tight spaces, can dribble, doesn't sh*t his pants when he gets pressed, can also play Jorginho position, has a good pass on him. I hope i haven't missed anything, feel free to add something if i have.

The only issue is that he's not playing in the best role. He played really well in Kante's position when he was in it, he'll play well in Jorginho's position, it's just when you have all 3 together and Kovacic is supposed to be the adventurous midfielder he isn't going to excel at it. 

Other than that he's a superb footballer. 

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7 hours ago, jack_super_class said:

The only i can think of is his shooting, everything else is pretty good.

He has a beautiful face, great technique, can tackle, great workrate and defensive contribution, good in tight spaces, can dribble, doesn't sh*t his pants when he gets pressed, can also play Jorginho position, has a good pass on him. I hope i haven't missed anything, feel free to add something if i have.

Yes I will add something tangible if I may.

OK not a stat man myself but let's take a look at their EPL individual stats courtesy of Whoscored.com.

Firstly Kova has had significantly more pitch time than Barkley but Ross leads in assists, shots attempted and goals scored.

In passing Kova has a higher number of average passes played but has hit fewer long balls, which seems to back up the claim he keeps it short and simple. Overall Kova has only a marginally better pass success rate, which logically you would probably expect to be higher if he is generally passing over shorter distances. On key passes Kova has an average of 1.0  per game against 0.5 Barkley, which is better but shows that neither are pulling up any trees for creativity.

Defensively Kov has a notably higher tackle rate than Barkley but has been dribbled past more often. They also both concede the same foul average 0.6. In respect of being dispossessed, Kovacic 1.4, Barkley 1.3. Barkley has the slightly better average for interceptions.

In terms of attempted dribbles Kovacic has a better average, 1.2 against 0.5. But has twice the amount of recorded instances of miscontrols than Barkley, suggesting his technique and touch might need some work to improve.

Finally their current overall ratings - offensive, defensive, passing - are 6.66 for Kovacic and 6.64 for Barkley suggesting little discernible difference between the two. Which is my point. Literally you could throw a blanket over the two of them.

Personally I think the club should not buy Kovacic based on what he has shown so far. We already have players at his level and we have more pressing needs to address IMO.

Edited by just

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7 hours ago, dansubrosa said:

Genuinely wonder why you dislike Kovacic so much???

I don't. I do however, think that there are people who regularly over hype his contribution whilst at the same time denigrating Barkley's, when in my view there has been practically no difference so far. Please see my post above for my reasoning.

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7 hours ago, axman2526 said:

In fairness I dont think Just dislikes kova, i think is a case of people regularly get on barkley's back in the match day threads and yet praise Kova like he is the new Didier Deschamps when really they are both as affective as each other at what they do. They have both been decent to good, nothing special imo. 

However if you want Just to talk about someone he does dislike ask him for his opinion on David Luiz who was set to lead us to a series of 0-6 losses in any game he played...lol

Thanks axman spot on with my view on Kovacic/Barkley and the stats back that view up I think.

As for Luiz I have never, and probably will never, rate him as a top quality defender. Just doesn't have the consistency and decision making under pressure for me. But I would absolutely have him in the team at the moment. His vision for an early long ball and his ability to deliver it accurately, makes him an important attacking outlet for us. Hopefully we will get even more out of it now that he has Higuain to aim for up front.

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Kovacic is faster about the pitch than Barkley and has better ball retention and distribution.

I'm hoping with Higuaín coming he can read the game of Kovacic and also Kante so when they break he can position himself to take advantage.

 

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22 minutes ago, Strider6003 said:

Kovacic is faster about the pitch than Barkley and has better ball retention and distribution.

I'm hoping with Higuaín coming he can read the game of Kovacic and also Kante so when they break he can position himself to take advantage.

 

Your ball retention and distribution statements don't stack up with the stats strider.

Is Kovacic pacier? Yeah I'd guess so but he's not exactly Marcus Rashford quick.

Edited by just

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I think Kovacic is a decent, tidy player without being anything exceptional. I keep comparing him with Barkley and RLC as with all 3 of them, every time they play I hope that will be the game where they step-up and really prove their worth but none of them have. 

For me, the worry is, if we do lose Hazard AND CHO, the creativity in the side next season will be zero (of course you hope we will make quality signings to replace), but we really could do with one of these three contributing more. Personally, from what I have seen to date, I wouldn't be in a rush to sign him permanently and would prefer to see Mason Mount in the squad next season.

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10 minutes ago, Nibs said:

I think Kovacic is a decent, tidy player without being anything exceptional. I keep comparing him with Barkley and RLC as with all 3 of them, every time they play I hope that will be the game where they step-up and really prove their worth but none of them have. 

For me, the worry is, if we do lose Hazard AND CHO, the creativity in the side next season will be zero (of course you hope we will make quality signings to replace), but we really could do with one of these three contributing more. Personally, from what I have seen to date, I wouldn't be in a rush to sign him permanently and would prefer to see Mason Mount in the squad next season.

I don't agree with that, though I do concede it could be a lot less.

Yet we would still have Luiz finding Pedro we would still have Willian scoring goals like he did against Spurs and Sheffield Wednesday and we would be adding to Pulisic who would add a threat as well as potentially bringing back Abraham.

It would be the unknown and we may have to strengthen elsewhere like buying a decent midfielder with a goal threat.

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51 minutes ago, just said:

Your ball retention and distribution statements don't stack up with the stats strider.

Is Kovacic pacier? Yeah I'd guess so but he's not exactly Marcus Rashford quick.

For mine I'm not sure we will keep him. He started well but hasn't progressed. I think he has regressed as we became more cautious with the ball. He can certainty keep it tidy but as Barry suggested earlier is he really worth the fee mooted?

What's required in that role is someone who can play inside the opposition low block and create. He's certainly not that guy. Interestingly if Hazard goes to Real his out of favour colleague Isco might be the best bet to take in engage. That's an area he specialises in.

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59 minutes ago, just said:

Your ball retention and distribution statements don't stack up with the stats strider.

Is Kovacic pacier? Yeah I'd guess so but he's not exactly Marcus Rashford quick.

I don't recall Kovacic being injured this season and was looking for stats showing the average KMs covered per match though can only find last season's. My sense is he strengthens us defensively better than Barkley, no doubt offensively Barkley offers more. Barkley also offer defensive attributes though I don't think he moves as fast to snuff out danger. I also think Kovacic makes himself available to Jorginho much more smartly to get us going.

 

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On 22/01/2019 at 13:51, ForeverCarefree said:

For the very reason that the forwards aren't scoring goals. 

Liverpool have a system where their front 3/4 players are scoring the majority of the goals and plenty of them (currently 14 more goals than Chelsea in the league). 

We're picking Wiliian who's never scored double figures in the Premier League and Hazard who has never scored twenty goals in the Premier League during a season. Jorginho who has no goals from open play this season and Kante who has managed to best his goal scoring record in a season with a whopping 3 goals. 

So stands to reason that you're looking elsewhere in the team for players to be scoring goals? Kovacic plays in the most advanced position of the midfield three so there is an expectation that he'd take on some of the goal scoring burden. 

At the moment we have too many players in the starting XI who either aren't tasked with or don't feel it is their responsibility to score goals. 

Part of me wonders whether this will ultimately be RLC's route into the first XI. 

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I wouldn't have kovacic or Barkley in the squad next season in all honesty. 

We seem to have 3 players for that left centre midfield slot and all have their faults, but RLC is club trained, and is the most effective out of the 3. 

Kovacic is going to cost a lot more than the £30m madrid paid for him, and I think we should spend the money on a player that ticks more of the boxes. Kovacic plays a mich more intelligent game than Barkley, in terms of his positional awareness, and his vision is better aswell in my opinion.

Barkley was a decent buy for the price, but I just don't think he will ever be more than a squad player. He had a bit more of free role at Everton, but he isn't going to get that at a top 6 club. 

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6 hours ago, just said:

Yes I will add something tangible if I may.

OK not a stat man myself but let's take a look at their EPL individual stats courtesy of Whoscored.com.

Firstly Kova has had significantly more pitch time than Barkley but Ross leads in assists, shots attempted and goals scored.

In passing Kova has a higher number of average passes played but has hit fewer long balls, which seems to back up the claim he keeps it short and simple. Overall Kova has only a marginally better pass success rate, which logically you would probably expect to be higher if he is generally passing over shorter distances. On key passes Kova has an average of 1.0  per game against 0.5 Barkley, which is better but shows that neither are pulling up any trees for creativity.

Defensively Kov has a notably higher tackle rate than Barkley but has been dribbled past more often. They also both concede the same foul average 0.6. In respect of being dispossessed, Kovacic 1.4, Barkley 1.3. Barkley has the slightly better average for interceptions.

In terms of attempted dribbles Kovacic has a better average, 1.2 against 0.5. But has twice the amount of recorded instances of miscontrols than Barkley, suggesting his technique and touch might need some work to improve.

Finally their current overall ratings - offensive, defensive, passing - are 6.66 for Kovacic and 6.64 for Barkley suggesting little discernible difference between the two. Which is my point. Literally you could throw a blanket over the two of them.

Personally I think the club should not buy Kovacic based on what he has shown so far. We already have players at his level and we have more pressing needs to address IMO.

The only issue I see with your argument is that, although yes you could throw a blanket over them, the difference is that Barkley is playing in his ideal position at LCM, while Kovacic has been playing out of position there.  Move Kova to the right side or in Jorginho’s role, and it would be a much tougher argument for you.

Really don’t want to rely on either one though, for that LCM spot.

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5 hours ago, just said:

Your ball retention and distribution statements don't stack up with the stats strider.

Is Kovacic pacier? Yeah I'd guess so but he's not exactly Marcus Rashford quick.

Kovacic has better passing stats than Barkley, so how do the stats not support his argument? 

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