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The rise and rise of Ricky C!


loz
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I was doing some digging through old articles that PR has on the main CSR site and I found this post of Just's dated 24 April 2005.

Sat in the West Upper yesterday with three others. Gate 8 - row 2.

Two of us were talking about Carvalho and decided to watch him very, very closely throughout the 90 minutes. Now firstly let me be quite open and state that I think Riccardo has had a reasonable first season. For me he has been truly excellent once, (The Arse on Wednesday), good on most occaisions and from time to time a liability with some of his decision making.

But watching him closely yesterday we fully grasped the fundamental difference between him and William Gallas. Carvalho doesn't like to defend a specific man or area. Frank LeBouef was very much the same. Carvy likes to try and defend the ball anywhere in our half. Now, this means when we are being pressed, he will often follow the ball wherever it goes and often ends up out of position. A classic example occured during the first half yesterday. Fulham were working the ball between players in the centre circle. Our midfielders were closing down and there was no immediate danger. But Carvalho broke ranks and ran foward a good 12-15 yards to try and win possesion. However, GJ then had to move more infield to cover the gaping hole Carvy had left and of course that opened the play up for Fulham and allowed them to spread the ball down our right flank. Carvalho turned on his heels and chased across full pelt to the right hand side but couldn't get there in time to stop the ball being pumped into our area. Luckily it was dealt with centrally.

Carvalho's preferred method is anticipation and interception. He attempts to read the play a move or two in advance. Basically he gambles that he is going to get it right. Seven times times out of ten he does and deals with the problem. But sometimes, (and for me personally too many times for comfort), he gets it wrong. It only needs the opponent in posession to delay fractionally or choose to change direction and Carvy is caught out of position and the wrong side of the ball. This is why he has to make so many of what I call, "rescue tackles". These are tackles where he has ended up the wrong side of an opposing player. The opponent is goal-side, the danger side and it effectively makes the challenge from Carvalho a "rescue tackle," a last ditch attempt to win the ball. Again, a good example occured yesterday where Carvy got caught the wrong side and did the semi-bicycle kick to clear the ball off the toes of the forward bearing down on goal. The crowd clapped. It looked very spectacular and was wonderfully timed. But my point was he should have been goal side, making it more difficult for the forward, in the first place.

Billy G is different. His principle weapons are his superior sense of positioning, discipline and far superior speed. Alongside JT he's disciplined enough to defend a certain man or set area. Unless absolutely necessary he doesn't go chasing the ball, and as a result is virtually always the right side of goal and can use his body to edge out opposition forwards. He does not get caught out of position anywhere near as much as Carvalho, but on the rare occaisions he does he has that electric pace to get him out of sh*tsville.

Carvalho is a good player. A stylish player to watch. Again very much like Frank LeBouef. But me personally, I can't wait to have Billy G back in his rightful place alongside JT.

Now I am no having a pop at Just in the slightest for his opinion back then as it was an opinion I shared with him. I am just posting it now to put some perspective on just how much Carvalho has improved this season. No longer do I watch every game expecting to see at least one Carvalho mistake, no longer do I see the rush of blood as a mandatory part of his 90 minutes and no longer do I expect to see him massivley misjudge a high ball and have it sail over his head. I am not for a second saying these things will never happen again as everyone will make mistakes from time to time, just saying that no I see Carvalho mistakes as rarities rather than commonplace.

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2... or even 1 season ago, who'da thought we'd pray that both Didi and Ricky were in the starting 11 every game? As they say, a year is a long time in football - those with the ability, step up when needed.

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Yep this is a worthy thread.

Carvalho has had a great season for us.

In fact i reckon at the moment he is our most important defender (i still feel JT is at about 75%) and during our captains absence i thought he really stepped up.

The biggest compliment i can give him is that he now seems ready for ALL games. He was always solid against Man Utd or Arsenal or the European teams that keep the ball on the deck but i always used to worry about him if we were playing Bolton etc. Well not any more.

However following on from what just wrote (was in after the Fulham game April 2005??) i still would choose Billy The Silly Gooner over him in a heartbeat - in fact going back to the 2004-5 season i think that was our best defence ever, particularly in the first half of the season when our back line was mainly Bridge/JT/Gallas/Paulo - i actually think that is the best defence i have ever seen at Chelsea.

To be fair later in the season when Bridge got injured and Gallas moved to left back Carvalho did play his part but not quite at the important level he is at now.

Well done Riccy.

Has anyone else noticed just how much Andy Gray loves him by the way ?

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bjd, THAT is one of the things that grates the most with me. I dislike that man for so many reasons, but that reason is up near the top. How hard can it be to just learn the names properly? he even pronounced it correctly when he went through the team sheet last night, but true to form it was 'Ferrara' for the rest of the game. Nob. 1064.gif

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Sorry for going off topic but while we're at it:

McGrath rhymes with wah not wrath.

Moran has the stress on the first syllable not the second

And Doherty is not Docherty

As for Ricky he was a proper centre half last night as well as his usual stylish self.

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A lot of people seem to pronounce Ballack's first name like you would if it was an English name. I think the correct way to pronounce it is closer to how you would pronounce Mikhail Gorbachev's first name. I had a half German friend in high school and his name was pronounced that way, even though it was written 'Michael'. I'm not an expert on German language, though, so feel free to correct me. icon_lol.gif

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Carv's has had a superb season.

I was watching the home league match against Spurs with a few mates that happen to be Tottenham fans (no-one's perfect) - and even they were saying how well he has been playing this season, and then BANG - GOAL; Carvalho!

I'm loving the way he can start an attack by roaming forward, and i really do think that he gains confidence from us now, as he knows what a fine job he is doing.

And to think that another one of my mate's said that Dan Agger was a better player!

LAUGHABLE! icon_lol.gif

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I admitted that he had a top game the other night, but there is still a part of me not 100 per cent convinced...to be fair I have always loved the way he breaks forward from the back, i swear he's a frustrated striker or something, but like when he lost morientes in valencia, he has moments where he switches off...that's not to say he hasn't had a good season...it's all relative and i've judged him by our very own high standards

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Carvy's definately upped his game over the course of this season. It is interesting how having competition for a place in the side effects different players very differently.

Carvalho has been twice the player this season - now that he is a nailed-on first team player, without having to look over his shoulder at Gallas.

Then look at Drogba - for two seasons he is basically our only option as an out-and-out striker, then this seasons we brought in the "best striker in the world" in Shevchenko - and Drogba puts him in the shade.

Of course, the downside to this is that Carvalho will be sorely missed in the next few matches. Lets just hope that Boula can pull out another couple of "Barca first-leg" performances.

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I am suprised that Boulah wasnt played against Liverpool today. We really missed him out there today (riccy) but a valiant effort by Essien. One of the few Chelsea players who looked like they cared about trying to win!

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Ricky wasnt actually missed tonight.

If he'd have played the tatics would still have been the same.

Kick it to the guy with the deadlocks.

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we didn't miss players who cared, IMO, we missed strategy. the first half was appallingly bad. liverpool 70 percent posession, despite pennant and zenden in the midfield as we played it long to drogba, who was really really poor along with joe and kalou. our midfield 3 were good when they actually got on the ball, but we could have had gullit, zidane and tigana in the midfield and jose would have gone long to drogba. essien in midfield wouldn't have done much to change it, nor would riccy in defence.

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oh by all means I think the tactics tonight were terrible, as they seem to have been for the latter part of this season. And the fact that we didn't bring any subs on!!!!!!! Ashley cole was constantly making decent runs, good give and goes, adn then punting the ball into nowhere. Itw as like watching a schoolboy play football.

Anyway, this rant, I fear, will continue in the appropriate CL forum

Scott

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