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The State of Our Midfield


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4 minutes ago, Droopy said:

The players we have in the mid are just fine considering the rest of the squad. We either need Kovacic and Kante to terrorize the opponents with press or we need Jorginho to secure the ball and reduce the opponents attacks with huge possession. 

We just need our 4 players up front to perform. And yeah, 4 players, no more bullsh*t with trios, no more Mount there unless there are 3 more around him. 

Exactly! Considering our immense attacking potential 4-2-3-1 should be the way to go, that way we could dominate opponents. In fact I'm almost sad that there's not a fifth attacking position to add Giroud/Abraham to the mix.

Do we really need to buy Rice to play him in a midfield 3 and lose one of those spots up front? And would he be any better than Kante in a midfield 2? I still believe each of Kovacic - Jorginho - Kanté can be world class when paired with the right team mates and deployed in the right way. Just requires some patience to let the team establish itself.

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To get the best out of Havertz I also think we need 4-2-3-1.

Jorginho just too slow to stop attacks, Kante is roaming often too far up the pitch and Kovacic is often further forward.

We need more of defensive sitting midfielder like Fernandinho.

Does Rice have that potential, I' don't  know.

 

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3 hours ago, Imran_CFC said:

Midfield lacks any sort of creativity, in that first half against Liverpool our front 3 (Especially Werner) made so many runs in behind without anyone even attempting a ball over the top. What is even more annoying is a few times the midfield did get there head up and over hit a simple pass, something which Henderson perfectly weighted for Mane.

We could play Havertz in midfield but I am not sure if Lampard will play him deep, early evidence shows that he is being molded into a number 10 or 2nd striker. Obviously the club is looking at Defensive midfielders and with Rice on the radar of the board that will only reduce the level of creativity we have in midfield.

I mean Liverpool hardly have a creative midfield and in two seasons they have won the CL and league. They have a fantastic offensive front three which is very good. Pretty much the same with City, except they do have KDB.

Our creativity will likely come from Havertz, Ziyech, Mount and Jorginho. I would have liked us to have gone for Thiago, but you can't buy everyone. 

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2 hours ago, dansubrosa said:

About the creativity in midfield, I feel this is something that can be worked on. Once Kovacic Jorginho etc understand Werner better, we will start seeing balls over the top.

I mean, Henderson wasn’t known as a magician like Fabregas but he still did that beautiful pass to Mane when Christensen got sent off. Fabregas would have been proud of that pass.

I think we just need time, I’m hopeful by end of October the whole team will start clicking.

Yeah it's not like our midfielders don't know how to provide long passes. It is more of a case of having barely played together. 

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3 minutes ago, enigma said:

Yeah it's not like our midfielders don't know how to provide long passes. It is more of a case of having barely played together. 

We played 2 games with no pre-season and people think we need to move players around...

The midfield does lack creativity but it's not going to be a big problem as soon as Lampard starts using Havertz properly. Then everything will work, Jorginho will organize and keep possession and break the press, Kovacic will run with the ball and make space for our full backs and wingers and Havertz will be making the assists to Werner and Pulisic. Also once Ziyech comes back we will look like a different team as well, he is a difference maker by his own.

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I think Kante poses the most difficult problems in midfield. 

He is too good to leave out, he is an excellent ball winner, and he presses amazingly well. 

The issue is where do you play him in a possesion based side. 

If he sits at the base, he has a tendency to still want to step out and close people down, and whilst he is decent on the ball, he doesnt compare to the best playmakers, and he doesnt have the vision of the best passers. 

So we play him as a box to box, which he is more suited to, but his attacking in instinct just isnt there, so when we have a lot of possession, he can be a bit redundant as we saw under sarri. 

I dont think Rice is the answer, he is good at breaking play up, but i feel he has similar short comings to Kante when in possesion. The only way those 2 would work, would be if we sat deep and played on the counter. 

Im not sure what the answer is, one of our most dominant performances last season, came with a midfield 3 of Mount, Barkley and Gilmour, against Everton. So i think theres an argument that a ball winning midfielder isnt really necessary in alot of games, let alone 2 in Kante and Rice. 

Jorginho is no longer being used in the same way he was signed for. We dont get the best out of him, because we barely play through him now, and in all honesty, he lack of athletisism is a big issue, and he doesnt really make up for it with fabregas-esque passing. 

Kovacic is a jack of all trades, he will always be an excellent player to have in the squad, but is he good enough in either boxes to start in a title winning side? im not sure. 

Plenty for Lamps to think about, I would hope that we avoid the market until we have had a play around with the current options and see if we can find a system and playstyle that can the best out of as many of our better players as possible.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Osgoodwasgood said:

I may have been confused with the amount of players we've let go, Regretted it, and nearly bought back. Lukaku, Ake to name but a few

 

No, you were absolutely right about Le Saux and Matic. Luiz was bought back for less money than we'd sold him though.

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8 hours ago, Imran_CFC said:

Midfield lacks any sort of creativity, in that first half against Liverpool our front 3 (Especially Werner) made so many runs in behind without anyone even attempting a ball over the top. What is even more annoying is a few times the midfield did get there head up and over hit a simple pass, something which Henderson perfectly weighted for Mane.

We could play Havertz in midfield but I am not sure if Lampard will play him deep, early evidence shows that he is being molded into a number 10 or 2nd striker. Obviously the club is looking at Defensive midfielders and with Rice on the radar of the board that will only reduce the level of creativity we have in midfield.

What are you talking about? In the first half Kovacic made two through passes to Werner who could've gone through one one of those but had a very poor first touch. There was also a ball over the top to Mount which Mason missed by just a few centimeters.

Second half was another story, but we were one and a half (Kepa!) men down against Liverpool, so anything other than a loss would've been a small miracle.

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21 minutes ago, Vagabond said:

What are you talking about? In the first half Kovacic made two through passes to Werner who could've gone through one one of those but had a very poor first touch. There was also a ball over the top to Mount which Mason missed by just a few centimeters.

Second half was another story, but we were one and a half (Kepa!) men down against Liverpool, so anything other than a loss would've been a small miracle.

4 Players who regularly played in Central Midfield for us last season, Mount, Kante, Kova & Jorginho had 10 assists between them last season. This includes 5 from Mount who played in more advanced positions for parts of last season. I think stating our midfield lacks creativity is not an outlandish statement, our midfield matches up with Liverpool well however there fullbacks chipped in with 25 assists between them last season. Man U struggled for creativity last season but the signing of Fernandes changed that, he got 7 assists after signing in the January Window and they will further improve with a fully fit Pogba in the mix. Manchester City have a pretty good mix when it comes to attacking threat all over the pitch, there issues are more defensively oriented.

On paper we have a more clinical front line now with Werner, Ziyech & Havertz so hopefully the numbers should be going up but the last 2 seasons prove that our midfield is not creating much especially when teams shut up shop against us. We had numerous examples of that last season, Bournemouth at home, West Ham at home, Newcastle away, Southampton at home. It wasnt that we were unlucky in those games we just didnt really create any chances.

I personally think Havertz should be playing deeper and offer us some creativity from a central area, Ziyech will hopefully be able to pose danger from out wide when he is fit. What I have seen in the last couple of years is that our wide players have been able to stretch defenses and opened up holes which have not been capitalized on consistently enough. 

 

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6 hours ago, Gol15 said:

We played 2 games with no pre-season and people think we need to move players around...

The midfield does lack creativity but it's not going to be a big problem as soon as Lampard starts using Havertz properly. Then everything will work, Jorginho will organize and keep possession and break the press, Kovacic will run with the ball and make space for our full backs and wingers and Havertz will be making the assists to Werner and Pulisic. Also once Ziyech comes back we will look like a different team as well, he is a difference maker by his own.

I know you rate Jorginho VERY highly, but I think he's going to struggle to do that when he'll be sitting on the bench!

:wink:

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12 minutes ago, Nibs said:

I know you rate Jorginho VERY highly, but I think he's going to struggle to do that when he'll be sitting on the bench!

:wink:

Considering how we lack leaders, I think he will still play most of the season once again...

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16 minutes ago, Nibs said:

How is Jorginho a leader? When has he shown real instances of that? Leaders don't go missing in big games.

He has been organizing the team for 3 seasons now, he does his role. If he hadn't we would have never finished 3rd and 4th during this transition and we would never manage to play the new playstyle, he isn't the vice-captain just because...

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13 minutes ago, Gol15 said:

He has been organizing the team for 3 seasons now, he does his role. If he hadn't we would have never finished 3rd and 4th during this transition and we would never manage to play the new playstyle, he isn't the vice-captain just because...

He's been in & out the side since Lamps took over so hardly an organizer and not the real contribution to us finishing 4th.

And only reason we finished 3rd under Sarri and won the Europa League - two words. Eden Hazard.

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Just now, Nibs said:

He's been in & out the side since Lamps took over so hardly an organizer and not the real contribution to us finishing 4th.

And only reason we finished 3rd under Sarri and won the Europa League - two words. Eden Hazard.

44 games last season, 31/38 in PL. Sarri would never get to have his playstyle without Jorginho, the biggest reason why we could transform from a 38% possession counter attacking team to 64% posession team that played possession based football was Jorginho himself.

He had most passes made in his first season in the PL, last season most passes into the final third under Lampard. Lampard made him vice-captain for a reason.

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10 minutes ago, Gol15 said:

44 games last season, 31/38 in PL. Sarri would never get to have his playstyle without Jorginho, the biggest reason why we could transform from a 38% possession counter attacking team to 64% posession team that played possession based football was Jorginho himself.

He had most passes made in his first season in the PL, last season most passes into the final third under Lampard. Lampard made him vice-captain for a reason.

If they're the kind of stats that get your juices flowing then go fill your boots!

Sometimes he does a decent job, but largely he flatters to deceive and we now have players who can win us games rather than just retain possession in our own half, so I think you might be disappointed with the amount of game-time your man gets this season.

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6 minutes ago, Nibs said:

If they're the kind of stats that get your juices flowing then go fill your boots!

Sometimes he does a decent job, but largely he flatters to deceive and we now have players who can win us games rather than just retain possession in our own half, so I think you might be disappointed with the amount of game-time your man gets this season.

Jorginho won us the first game of the season, in case you missed he intercepted the ball which led to the penalty, he scored it and later passed to James that scored as well so he was directly involved in 2/3 goals in our first win of the season.

Now I see how you feel but your feelings alone are not enough for me to change my opinion, if that is your intention you would need to be more objective on the matter.

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I think we're still finding our way in this area. For me with the high pressing, attacking style we seem to want to play I think we looked best with Kante anchoring Barkley and Mount with more of the build up happening through the fullbacks. 

I can see us landing on something similar with Havertz replacing Barkley once we get our full team fit. I like Kovacic for certain games when we need to hold the ball more deeper in midfield, but I think generally 4-3-3 suits our style better.

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2 hours ago, Gol15 said:

Jorginho won us the first game of the season, in case you missed he intercepted the ball which led to the penalty, he scored it and later passed to James that scored as well so he was directly involved in 2/3 goals in our first win of the season.

Now I see how you feel but your feelings alone are not enough for me to change my opinion, if that is your intention you would need to be more objective on the matter.

Because of Sarri no matter what Jorginho does he will never get the respect and praise he deserves 

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8 hours ago, Gol15 said:

Jorginho won us the first game of the season, in case you missed he intercepted the ball which led to the penalty, he scored it and later passed to James that scored as well so he was directly involved in 2/3 goals in our first win of the season.

Now I see how you feel but your feelings alone are not enough for me to change my opinion, if that is your intention you would need to be more objective on the matter.

I don't think I can be alone in not realizing that = thanks for pointing that out!

I am sure if you look back, Jorginho has been responsible for the majority of games we have won, somehow!

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2 hours ago, Nibs said:

I don't think I can be alone in not realizing that = thanks for pointing that out!

I am sure if you look back, Jorginho has been responsible for the majority of games we have won, somehow!

You said we now have players that can win us games, yet somehow you forgot how important Jorginho was in the very first game of the season... Or maybe your whole point is to downplay a player because you don't like him. 

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23 hours ago, Imran_CFC said:

4 Players who regularly played in Central Midfield for us last season, Mount, Kante, Kova & Jorginho had 10 assists between them last season. This includes 5 from Mount who played in more advanced positions for parts of last season. I think stating our midfield lacks creativity is not an outlandish statement, our midfield matches up with Liverpool well however there fullbacks chipped in with 25 assists between them last season. Man U struggled for creativity last season but the signing of Fernandes changed that, he got 7 assists after signing in the January Window and they will further improve with a fully fit Pogba in the mix. Manchester City have a pretty good mix when it comes to attacking threat all over the pitch, there issues are more defensively oriented.

On paper we have a more clinical front line now with Werner, Ziyech & Havertz so hopefully the numbers should be going up but the last 2 seasons prove that our midfield is not creating much especially when teams shut up shop against us. We had numerous examples of that last season, Bournemouth at home, West Ham at home, Newcastle away, Southampton at home. It wasnt that we were unlucky in those games we just didnt really create any chances.

I personally think Havertz should be playing deeper and offer us some creativity from a central area, Ziyech will hopefully be able to pose danger from out wide when he is fit. What I have seen in the last couple of years is that our wide players have been able to stretch defenses and opened up holes which have not been capitalized on consistently enough. 

 

Just look at our front three in the last two seasons and how many opportunities they squandered. There were SO MANY games where we could've gone up two or three and won comfortably, but wasted everything in sometimes comical fashion only so we could sh*t ourselves in the last 10 minutes.

One of the main themes of Lampards post match interviews last season was us being wasteful in front of goal. RJ isn't even a midfielder and still should've had at least 4 or 5 more assists when I look at the number of good crosses he put in... but fans will pick on the midfield (by far the best part of our team) for a percieved lack of creativity.

Edited by Vagabond
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