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Why are we having trouble scoring?


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This is something that's been bothering me for most of the season and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So what is the reason for our struggles? Arguably, since we lost Costa we were unable to acquire a proper centre forward who can be used as a focal point of our attack and can be relied upon to provide goals on a regular basis. Morata turned out to be a useless moanbag,  Batshuayi had a more cheerful disposition but was equally worthless. Tammy has potential but is too raw and poor in basic aspects of the game, so he needs to play regularly and hopefully develop into a better player but Chelsea is hardly an ideal place for that. Giroud probably stands out in a sense that he exceeded everybody's expectations and contributed significantly more that we hoped for when we bought him but he's never been fast and at 34 he's getting even slower and can only be called upon occasionally. I was excited about Werner's arrival but I'm still not sure what his real position is and his struggles in front of goal made our attacking problems even worse. As for Havertz, I'd like to give him more time before making an assessment, him recovering after COVID and adjusting to a new league/country.

Next, our attacking mfs/wingers. Hazard used to be our go-to guy and his individual brilliance belied our lack of cutting edge in attack, he bailed us out time and again, but he's gone now. Pulisic last season gave us a glimpse of hope that we've got ourselves a replacement that can strike fear into opposition and could either score/create himself or at least draw attention from the opponent to give more freedom and space for his teammates to take advantage of. Unfortunately, for whatever reason (probably injuries) this season so far we haven't seen that version of Pulisic. We've replaced Pedro and Willian with Ziyech and CHO yet somehow it looks like we've downgraded. Ziyech looks lazy, disinterested and weak. CHO overall looked best out of our three wingers so far, but his end product is just as bad and so far he seems unable to provide goals or assists , we don't see him beating the opposition by either speed or dribbling that much, either. By and large, our wide attacking players have been a huge letdown so far.

Then there's our midfield. Mount is a versatile footballer who helped immencely both in midfield and attack this season, but he can't do everyhing on his own and he's still learning. Kante is great at covering a lot of ground and recovering the ball but he is neither creator nor goalscorer when we actually have possession. Kovacic is an interesting one. On one hand, he's got impressive technical skill, great stamina and he seemingly never stops running. On the other, he doesn't have a good shot or an ability to make a final pass, so his contribution going forward is close to Kante's. Jorginho is a midfileder who's very useful when employed in a specific system and a very limited outside of it. He also carries no attacking threat, can't shoot well or create goals coring opportunities for others. He does score penalties but that's where his offensive input ends. I think we may say with confidence that we never replaced Cesc's passing in midfield, just like we never found another Costa upfront.

The backline. Our CBs used to be quite a threat at set pieces, we need to bring it back. Our full backs are a bit of a mixed bag. Alonso is quite useful going forward as a wingback but the rest are struggling.to various degrees. James has tremendous potential but still has a lot to learn, Azpi has never been an attacking fullback in a true sense of the word, Emerson is a definition of a waste of space and Chilwell, after a bright start has had a huge drop off in form and is currently looking like someone with no confidence whatsoever.

So what exactly are the reasons  for our struggles in front of goal? Lack of balance in the squad due to it being a collection of players with different characteristics bought by different managers with different playing systems in mind or is it something else?

Edited by abramovich
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All good points, Abramovich.   We just need better shooters, that's all.  Even Willian was a much better shooter than the group we have now.  I'll keep my hopes on Havertz, though, as one who will likely get much better as time goes on.  The rest -- I have big doubts.

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Think it’s the midfield that is killing us. Personally would get rid of 2 of Kante, Jorginho & Kovacic, use the funds to buy  a DM, a creative 10, and move Mount deeper. You stick Ndidi & Maddison alongside Mount, and we look a different outfit, same with Douglas Luiz and Grealish. 
 

We also need to move the ball quicker, we have somehow morphed into the Spanish World Cup squad of 2014. If points were given for ball possession we will be top 2, problem is everyone has moved on from that style of football.

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I read something where it was said that the extra defender in the 343 can stifle the attack and it’s quite a cautious approach. We’re not giving up chances so that suggests we’re abit more cautious. 

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I think this problem started after the first 5-10 games but it was hidden due to multiple goals that we scored from corner kicks.

I think in comparison to last season we stopped using Tammy as much - last season he was carrying us with goals till half of the season when he got injured and then Giroud stepped in and last but not least Pulisic.

Our wingers are mostly still young - Pulisic and CHO due to their age will have some consistency problems and Pulisic had some injuries as well. On top of the poor form of Pulisic, Ziyech didn't create enough and he's still adapting to the new league and isn't really that comfortable in this system with a back 3, I think he expected to play under Lampard in a 4-3-3 most of the time.

Werner missed a whole lot of chances and at some point nobody could blame him for his effort but he lost his confidence. Havertz started the season slowly but was played in multiple positions, even so he managed to contribute to some of our important wins this season but it's still more that we all expect from him.

Mount is also a young player so despite his huge effort he also lacks some consistency when it comes to creating chances and his end product isn't enough considering just how much he plays as our AM, if we take away his corner-kick assists he isn't creating enough so he needs more time as he's still young.

Zouma has scored a few headers from the corner but he isn't involved anymore and Chilwell stopped making assists from his crosses.

I think it's a mix of us having to rely on young players and also players that are new to the league while at the same time forgetting that Tammy can score for us even when he isn't that much involved otherwise during a game.

The one good thing is that we have got the maximum out of Giroud that is playing his best season for us. Also as soon as Alonso got back he managed to score so he can still be a threat.

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1 minute ago, JM7 said:

I read something where it was said that the extra defender in the 343 can stifle the attack and it’s quite a cautious approach. We’re not giving up chances so that suggests we’re abit more cautious. 

That can be argued for then it's RJ and Chilwell but when it's CHO and Alonso we've got an extra attacker if anything.

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One reason is all this swapping and changing the attack, nothing is the same from one game to the next. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but we have so many new players in the attack that none of them have settled in, Werner has shown signs of improvement, and been given the most time, but the players around him keep changing, i'm not sure how many hours Werner/Mount/Havertz have had together, for me they are the three that should be spearheading our attack week in week out. 

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6 minutes ago, coco said:

One reason is all this swapping and changing the attack, nothing is the same from one game to the next. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but we have so many new players in the attack that none of them have settled in, Werner has shown signs of improvement, and been given the most time, but the players around him keep changing, i'm not sure how many hours Werner/Mount/Havertz have had together, for me they are the three that should be spearheading our attack week in week out. 

Dunno. City change their attack frequently and everyone scores.

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I don't think there's a structured approach to how we expect to score goals. 

The ball gets to the final third and seems like we're making it up on the fly. 

Someone plays a through ball but the intended target doesn't make a run. 

We get the ball into a central area and all the players in front are peeling off into wide positions. 

We put in a cross and there's only one player in the box, the others are loitering on the edge of the area. 

We see these things happening time and time again, each and every game.

There's been an element of good fortune to the few goals we are scoring in open play. Giroud's winner against Atletico was a great finish but took for their defender to play him onside via a hoofed attempt at a clearance. The opener against Everton was an own goal via a shot from Havertz that looked like it was going wide. 

Mount's solo effort against Liverpool was the last well worked goak in open play. 

If not for penalties are league position/points tally would likely be much closer to Spurs and Liverpool. 

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35 minutes ago, KonaKai Blue said:

Dunno. City change their attack frequently and everyone scores.

 

43 minutes ago, coco said:

 Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but we have so many new players in the attack that none of them have settled in, 

 

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1 hour ago, coco said:

One reason is all this swapping and changing the attack, nothing is the same from one game to the next. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but we have so many new players in the attack that none of them have settled in, Werner has shown signs of improvement, and been given the most time, but the players around him keep changing, i'm not sure how many hours Werner/Mount/Havertz have had together, for me they are the three that should be spearheading our attack week in week out. 

I think that has to be the preferred line up with Giroud and Tammy getting the occasional rotation through the middle depending on the opposition.

Most importantly even though we spent £50m on him I think Alonso has to start over Ben when possible. He just offers so much more in attack and with the attack struggling as it is we need as many competent players who can contribute towards goal scoring chances as possible. No disrespect to Ben he definitely has a future at this club, but while we play 3 atb Alonso is the guy.

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Runners off the club is missing big time. Being able to play a through ball to someone isn’t there or being picked up. We basically play with the opposition defending on the 18 yard box. 

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Also, sometimes in games you need that player with a bit of “magic” to turn a game. Unfortunately none of our players are doing. We saw Giroud have that bit of “magic” against Athletico but outside of that, Werner, Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech are not providing it. Only Mount is showing enough. 

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6 hours ago, abramovich said:

This is something that's been bothering me for most of the season and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So what is the reason for our struggles? Arguably, since we lost Costa we were unable to acquire a proper centre forward who can be used as a focal point of our attack and can be relied upon to provide goals on a regular basis. Morata turned out to be a useless moanbag,  Batshuayi had a more cheerful disposition but was equally worthless. Tammy has potential but is too raw and poor in basic aspects of the game, so he needs to play regularly and hopefully develop into a better player but Chelsea is hardly an ideal place for that. Giroud probably stands out in a sense that he exceeded everybody's expectations and contributed significantly more that we hoped for when we bought him but he's never been fast and at 34 he's getting even slower and can only be called upon occasionally. I was excited about Werner's arrival but I'm still not sure what his real position is and his struggles in front of goal made our attacking problems even worse. As for Havertz, I'd like to give him more time before making an assessment, him recovering after COVID and adjusting to a new league/country.

Next, our attacking mfs/wingers. Hazard used to be our go-to guy and his individual brilliance belied our lack of cutting edge in attack, he bailed us out time and again, but he's gone now. Pulisic last season gave us a glimpse of hope that we've got ourselves a replacement that can strike fear into opposition and could either score/create himself or at least draw attention from the opponent to give more freedom and space for his teammates to take advantage of. Unfortunately, for whatever reason (probably injuries) this season so far we haven't seen that version of Pulisic. We've replaced Pedro and Willian with Ziyech and CHO yet somehow it looks like we've downgraded. Ziyech looks lazy, disinterested and weak. CHO overall looked best out of our three wingers so far, but his end product is just as bad and so far he seems unable to provide goals or assists , we don't see him beating the opposition by either speed or dribbling that much, either. By and large, our wide attacking players have been a huge letdown so far.

Then there's our midfield. Mount is a versatile footballer who helped immencely both in midfield and attack this season, but he can't do everyhing on his own and he's still learning. Kante is great at covering a lot of ground and recovering the ball but he is neither creator nor goalscorer when we actually have possession. Kovacic is an interesting one. On one hand, he's got impressive technical skill, great stamina and he seemingly never stops running. On the other, he doesn't have a good shot or an ability to make a final pass, so his contribution going forward is close to Kante's. Jorginho is a midfileder who's very useful when employed in a specific system and a very limited outside of it. He also carries no attacking threat, can't shoot well or create goals coring opportunities for others. He does score penalties but that's where his offensive input ends. I think we may say with confidence that we never replaced Cesc's passing in midfield, just like we never found another Costa upfront.

The backline. Our CBs used to be quite a threat at set pieces, we need to bring it back. Our full backs are a bit of a mixed bag. Alonso is quite useful going forward as a wingback but the rest are struggling.to various degrees. James has tremendous potential but still has a lot to learn, Azpi has never been an attacking fullback in a true sense of the word, Emerson is a definition of a waste of space and Chilwell, after a bright start has had a huge drop off in form and is currently looking like someone with no confidence whatsoever.

So what exactly are the reasons  for our struggles in front of goal? Lack of balance in the squad due to it being a collection of players with different characteristics bought by different managers with different playing systems in mind or is it something else?

I think you have almost answered your own question Abramovic. I find it so frustrating, we do with ease what most clubs struggle to do, play our way through the middle of the pitch to the opponents area.

Then our problems begin, often the final ball is poor, or the decision making is poor. None of our wingbacks/Fullbacks can cross the ball for toffee.

None of our offensive players with the exception of mount, can get a shot away, or better still get it on target. It mystifies me because the teams we play have far fewer opportunities than what we create, but the few opportunities they have they seem to hit the target.

In Werner's case, he has'nt become a poor striker overnight, yes some of his finishing has been poor but he's also been a bit unlucky, he cant buy a goal at present, a similar trend seems to be starting with Havertz, but im not particularly worried about either, i think both will come good.

What i am concerned about is our wastefullness when our good build up play has got us in great areas, we need to work on this in training because it has'nt just been the last few weeks its been prevalent all season.

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My own views

1) Individuals vs System: Attacking wise, we still seem to be a team who relies on individuals to unlock, rather than team play to unlock defenses. A classic example for me was the Chelsea vs Leicester game. They shredded us apart, carving out opportunities at will, because the were a) aggressive in their attacking approach, b) energetic and proactive in making things happen, and c) played as a whole unit - with players sacrificing themselves, busting a gut to make movement which in turn created spaces. We simply don't do that

By comparison, we are more static, slower, we dither and dally on the ball which costs us opportunities. Split seconds of hesitation leads to gaps being closed and opportunities to play attackers in being wasted. We seem more comfortable playing the ball backwards and sideways, recycling possesion, rather than trying to force the issue.

2) Midfield: Simply put, the 3 CMs that we use the most (Jorgi/Kova/Kante) do not have enough creativity. Jorgi can play great defense splitting passes, but the system at the moment (slow, deep possession for long periods with him as the deepest lying CM) isn't conducive to that. Kante lacks vision and/or confidence to play balls forward to split the defence, as seen vs Leeds at the weekend, when he had the most possession of any player on our team, but choose to play it safe over and over again with lazy 5 yrd sideways or backwards passes. Kova I think can be a more progressive player, but is in and out of the team, and isnt showing it consistently. This needs to change. Get a real DM (someone without Jorginho's physical limitations), and then allow a more expressive/creative player with him - I am not sure either Kova or Kante are the answer to that.  

3) Lack of chances created: Points 1 and 2 combined mean that we rarely create clear cut opportunities. There are of course always set pieces, penalties or freak of nature goals (e.g Giroud vs Madrid) in which we can score from, but generally speaking, we don't create enough clear cutm genuine chances....and...when we do....

4) Strikers: Our strikers are either a) wasteful or b) not good enough.

Werner works his socks off, and makes things happen with an awesome work rate - BUT, he has an awful first touch and misses a lot of chances. This has impacted the number of shots he is taking and he seems like a player who needs 3 good chances to score 1. At the moment, he is getting 1 good chance every 2 or 3 games, and feeding off scraps the rest of the time. He doesn't appear to be a player that has the ability to make things happen for himself and create his own chances.

Giroud is good at what he does - but the whole approach of the team changes when he players, and we resort to easily defended crosses from deep. His lack of pace means that he cant get behind a defense, and we don't have other players or a working system that compensates for this.

Tammy - Bambi for me simply isn't good enough. He will score, and will have a decent career - but I cant see him ever being a top 6 striker. His touch is poor, he struggles to hold up the ball and bring others into play, and he cant head.

Kai - early signs playing Kai up front have been positive - but I am not convinced he is a 9, and continue to think his creativity and goal scoring, getting into the box instincts would be ubetter utilised from a deeper role.

 

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21 hours ago, JM7 said:

Runners off the club is missing big time. Being able to play a through ball to someone isn’t there or being picked up. We basically play with the opposition defending on the 18 yard box. 

Werner and Havertz have started to make runs behind the opponents' backs but never seem to get the pass. Are our players really so poor in reading the game (or just blind or interested in driving themselves) I don't know, but we have missed a huge amount of chanches. 

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1 hour ago, JPH said:

Werner and Havertz have started to make runs behind the opponents' backs but never seem to get the pass. Are our players really so poor in reading the game (or just blind or interested in driving themselves) I don't know, but we have missed a huge amount of chanches. 

Fully agree - it is my biggest bugbear of our current team, the amount of times that our attackers make a run into space, but fail to get the ball played to them. So frustrating.

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24 minutes ago, Sexyfootball said:

Cheeky contract offer to Juan Mata ?

Now there's a guy that could pick a key pass when he played for us ...

 

Hazard and Mata reunion season, with Oscar and KdB. Should be cheaper than last summer's acquisitions. And should score and create more.

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4 minutes ago, Backbiter said:

Hazard and Mata reunion season, with Oscar and KdB. Should be cheaper than last summer's acquisitions. And should score and create more.

Excellent .. and while we are at it ... BRING BACK THE #25 !!!! I bet he could still perform at the top level LOL

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15 hours ago, Sexyfootball said:

Excellent .. and while we are at it ... BRING BACK THE #25 !!!! I bet he could still perform at the top level LOL

Reminds me of a story Jack Collison told when Franco first started as West Ham manager:

His first session I will never forget - we were playing a game of two-touch and, of course, he wanted to play. The ball was fired into him and with his first two touches, without thinking, he managed to swivel on a sixpence, nutmeg one of the lads and then dink Robert Green from 20 yards. Silence spread across the training pitch as the boys stood there in amazement, mouths on the floor. I think at this point the manager realised what he had done as the whole team gave our new Gaffer of 24 hours a round of applause.

Instead of lapping up the attention, the Gaffer seemed slightly embarrassed and gave a genuine apology to the boys. This showed the character of the man - an absolute wizard on the pitch and possibly the nicest man I have met to this day in football. He was different to any manager I had worked with as he seemed to care about everyone - even the young boys who were nowhere near it like myself.

 

 

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Tonight was a great example why we don't score the simpler goals, ball goes through the middle, upto 10 passes to work an angle then usually just  hard aimless cross into a crowded box, any striker will struggle with the piss poor ideas we don't have, this is a fundamental to move us past other teams and close down Man city,

 .................   Kante...............Kova

James........Havertz/Mount.........Pulisic........Alonso

                               Werner

                           

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I think in our case it come down to player selection, system and partnership. 

System wise the way we play right now remind me of City. Structured, slow, short passing. It require precision technical football. Not sure our attacker are suited to play this way. 

Player combination. Preferably you want combination of player who run behind (werner, puli, tammy) and player who go towards he ball (ziyech, mount, cho, Havertz, Giroud). So when we played Havertz, mount, Ziyech up to against leeds or Ziyech, mount, Giroud against United nothing was working. 

Last, we need to build good partnership between player. Pool front 3 are devastating by themselves but their combination make them more spectacular. We need our player to build partnership, having said that I feel like Tuchel football is similar to Guardiola where system trump everything so this is less important. 

 

 

 

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