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How to Win the Title Next Season - Your Thoughts?


Guest Brian M

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Guest Brian M

As far as I can see, these are the issues that stopped us winning it this season:

In order:

1) The decision to have a smaller squad cost us when injuries hit.

2) The new players we brought in under performed.

3) The 442 formation brought the best out of Drogba, but not out of the rest of the team. And it was this (along with injuries to Cole and Robben) that stopped us scoring enough goals.

4) Joe Cole and Robben aside, we lack a truly gifted 'playmaker' who can unlock an 11 man behind the ball defence.

Solution:

A) Go back to playing 433 as our preferred formation. Remember when Manure played 442 and ruled the EPL? And then Sir Alex started messing around with different formations to try to make Manure more competitive in Europe...only it didn't. And worse for them, it cause their form in the EPL to nosedive. And now they've gone back to their tried and true 442, they win the EPL again. Well, I think 433 is our best formation. So let's stick with what won us two EPLs in a row, and worry less about 'how do we play all our stars?' and more about, 'how do we win matches more easily?'.

B) Buy another striker. Ideally someone who can create magic with their feet and also be classed as a 'playmaker'.

C) Buy a first choice right back. We've got two world class left backs, why don't we have two world class right backs?

D) Buy a central defender. Someone who is good enough to fight for a first team place.

E) Buy a right winger who actually knows how to cross the ball as well as dribble and beat people (Lennon would do me just fine and wouldn't cost the earth).

F) Sell (and replace of course) SWP, Boulahrouz, Ferreira, GJ and Shev. (I think Shev could come good, but think we need a faster / younger / more versatile player to play in a 433 formation). Also, sell Carlo. Not because I don't rate him, but precisely because I DO rate him. He could step into most teams and should do so before he's too old. He deserves to play. (Players like Geremi can stay as they're good utility / squad players)

G) increase the size of the squad by two. The extras being in defence (1) and in attack (1).

That's my 2 cents on the subject, anyway... icon_wink.gif

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Good question....

With ragards to formation, I don't really know what the answer is. Part of me says that we should go back to the 4-3-3, another part of me thinks we should pick a formation either way and stick with it and another thinks the exact opposite to that and tha we should be tactically flexible and able to adapt.

A new central defender is a must, that much is obvious and I think another attacker of some kind would be handy, whether that is a winger, an attacking midfielder or another striker is just something we will have to see I guess.

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I'm not so sure about getting rid of Ferreira. I think he should start the season as our first choice rightback because I think we should see Paulo back to his best if he just gets a good run of games. Geremi is a good squad player, but I think we could do without having so many African international level players in our squad. Nothing racial about that, just that we will lose so many of our players during the African Cup of Nations. I'm not sure if Johnson is prepared to play understudy to Ferreira, but I think he would be just the player we need if we want to play the 4-4-2 diamond formation. You need good attacking fullbacks in that formation and if Johnson is good at something, it's going forward. Maybe we can go far enough in all four competitions again next season to provide them both with enough games...(?)

Maka has served us well, but maybe it's time to start playing other players more in his role to get ready for the time when we no longer have Maka. We still need him next season, though. Especially during the African Cup of Nations. During that competition we will have to do without having Essien and Mikel in our midfield, but if we can have Diarra and Maka fit during that part of the season, we should be fine.

With players like Robben and Joe Cole in the squad, we really need to play 4-3-3 more often. I'm not saying we should always play it, but I think they are wasted if we just stick to the diamond formation. SWP has had a few great games this season, but still it has been pretty frustrating to watch him this season.

It's always a bit silly to sell player after just one season, but maybe it might be for the best to do that with Boula. If Alex could get a work permit, maybe we should try to swap him for Alex. PSV might want a little money as well, but probably not much. I mean, they would be getting a Dutch international player. Or do we own him? Some articles claim we do. icon_confused.gif

Obviously we need a striker, but I'm not sure we should go after Villa. I haven't seen that much of Tevez this season but judging by the little I've seen and by what I've heard and read, it seems like he's adapted into the Premiership quite well. He might be worth trying to lure to Chelsea. Saviola is a player who seems to be looking for a new club. Not sure if he'd want to come to Chelsea, but he would definitely bring in some creativity to the team. Even if we lose Drogba and Kalou for the duration of the African Cup of Nations, I think we should be alright if we get one new striker and promote either Sinclair or Sahar to the first team. Unless we have our strikers injured ofcourse.

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Of all the strikers I've seen this season Berbatov is the one I would like to have at CFC. What ever defender we get, he needs to be good in the air. We still have a zillion central midfielders but are short on wide mid field players, particularly right sided players.

Next season Essien, Mikel and Lampard are likely going to be in the midfield, although personally I think at Chelsea, Essien does have a natural place at right back. Then we could fit Ballack, Robben and Berbatov in with Drogba and Cole.

In any event its very unclear yet whether Roman wants to stump up again.

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A feature of the 4-3-3 was the ability to counter-attack quickly and effectively. With two wingers, it allows for two pacey attacking players to combine on the counter-attack. Our squad possesses only Robben, Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole with genuinely threatening pace, and only Robben posseses a consistent threat when dribbling. We also have Drogba, Kalou, Essien, Diarra and Bridge who are reasonably quick.

I think more than anything we need to learn how to utilise that pace once again. I think we are a far too 'direct' team (a term I hate using because it's ambiguous and abstract) in that we play the ball into feet more often than not, instead of using the space around opposition defenders to pull apart a team's defensive shape. It's a hard concept to visualise, but maybe this example will help you.

Have you ever wondered why Robben is often surrounded by 2, 3 even four players at a time? Then, you watch teams play United, and you think they are going easy on them because the amount of times Ronaldo is allowed 1-on-1 with a defender is just staggering? The difference is our midfield and the directness of the football we play. We sometimes do sweeping one-touch moves only for the ball to land to the fullback who lumps in a cross from halfway. United don't try and play one-touch football down the centre and contrary to popular opinion neither do Arsenal. Arsenal attack the channel between fullback and centre-back, and try to play in their winger or fullback behind the opposition defense, stretching their shape. Man U move the ball as quickly as possible to space outside the wings, which allows Ronaldo or Giggs to run, 1-on-1, against the fullback. The fullback also pushes up, so that they have a decoy or a crossing option.

So how does that relate to us? The reality is no matter how fast you are you aren't going to beat a player you've squared up to. Pace goes with space (the technical term used is "negative space"- referring to unoccupied areas of the pitch in which a teammate can make a run) and in the 4-3-3 we could simply release the ball to the wings on the counter-attack. Playing the ball around in the centre is too slow and allows the defense to organise and regroup. Only a team like Milan or Barcelona, who possess players all over the pitch with excellent touch and control, could hope to create anything from one-touch movements from the centre.

What we currently have is a system that can do this, but in reality, the only players running at defenders are the two strikers (Drogba, Shevchenko) and the two fullbacks (Cole/Bridge, Ferreira/Geremi/Diarra). Only Bridge and Diarra in my opinion could do this relatively consistently. What we need to look at is a way to get Robben, Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole and Kalou actually running 1-on-1 at defenders, not taking on static, organised defenses.

There are different ways to achieve this. I think a formation change would be the most cost-effective method.

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I just had another cogitation session. When it comes to the crunch do we, as a squad, lack genuine creativity?

Let's look at our main creative players: Joe Cole, Arjen Robben, Shaun Wright-Phillips

And the others: Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Michael Ballack.

Keep in mind these two: Claude Makelele, John Obi Mikel.

The first group have similar traits. They like to dribble, run with the ball, knock it past opponents in wide areas. All three are also very good crossers of the ball. The second group are more workman-like. They have the ability to stem an opposition attack with a tackle in midfield, and release the loose ball to a lone attacker. A good range of direct passing, they are more likely to find an on-rushing attacker's feet and rarely waste possession

On paper, on first thought, not a problem. Should be able to tear apart any team with that, right?

I thought about it a little more and realised a snag. How good are the short passing skills of Robben, Cole and Wright-Phillips? Could we really expect any of them to be a bona fide playmaker, a trequartista? The answer is simply no. They are excellent dribblers and have the ability to cross, to cut inside and shoot, to play the occasional reverse-pass. However none of them, Joe Cole included, have the vision to play a clever ball into space, consistently. They are very direct players- likewise the midfield three.

The exceptions to the rule are Obi Mikel and Makelele. Watching these guys is a treat. They usually don't give the ball away for peanuts. They have the ability to pass between two or three defenders. The others don't seem to take this "risk", preferring the safer, direct option to someone's feet. I think a little, one-percenter thing like this is something that other, more "creative" teams do that we don't. It's so small but it's going to make a noticeable difference.

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Practice corners/free kicks and then do it again, again, again....

And try to come up with something better that Lamps hitting row Z and Drogba hitting the wall. With the aerial strength and the touch players we have we must be able to thing of something else.

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Certainly I think Ballack, Makalele, Mikel and Joe Cole can play space making short passes through the centre. That's what Gudjohnsen did two seasons ago.

Only Drogba and Lampard seem to have shooting boots on this season, and in some respects we were like Bolton waiting for a set play to bring up Terry and Carvalho for a headed goal.

When you look at ManU, as we had to do a lot this season, I noted that Ronaldo started many of his runs from very deep. The opposition central defence had to stay focussed on rooney in the centre, leaving space out wide, that giggs also exploited, that the full backs constantly overlapped and that ferdinand was a surprisingly accrurate long passer from around the half way line.

I think that Manu was a fast team this season and ronaldo did have a lot to do with it.

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Need to buy a decent central defender - Richards ?

Need to get another striker - McCarthy ? (Drog and Kalou will be away at African Cup for weeks)

Need to get another midfielder ? Sidwell ?

Need to avoid injuries to Cech, Terry, Drogba

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McCarthy is still making himself available for international football isn't he? (I know he wasn't for a while)

If he is then he is not the answer to the ACN issue as he will also be there.

Sidwell would be a total waste of time - no need for him at all. If he is smart he would reject us as he has no career at Chelsea other than a pay packet.

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McCarthy is still making himself available for international football isn't he? (I know he wasn't for a while)

If he is then he is not the answer to the ACN issue as he will also be there.

Sidwell would be a total waste of time - no need for him at all. If he is smart he would reject us as he has no career at Chelsea other than a pay packet.

i dunno about that, even Jose used Jarosik quite a bit...he is getting Sidwell for a reason.

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Well Sky are reporting that Sidwell is not playing for Reading today because he is carrying out a medical at Chelsea so it would appear the deal is just about done.

Here is hoping I am proved wrong as my feelings are we have signed him (assuming Sky are correct) purely because his is available for free. He strikes me as a competent player but not one that will improve our team or squad one iota.

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I heard Reading is not sure they want to play in Europe next season. Something about it being too early for them and that the extra matches might stretch their squad too much and hamper their Premiership campaign next season...or something like that. icon_confused.gif

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I heard Reading is not sure they want to play in Europe next season. Something about it being too early for them and that the extra matches might stretch their squad too much and hamper their Premiership campaign next season...or something like that. icon_confused.gif

It is to early for them......2037 would also be too early for them as far as I'm concerned.

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Well in turns out we would have done this year if we hadn't drawn all 5 of the last 5 games.

We've just not been the same for the last few games.....fatigue maybe.

Certainly, in my view, says that the slimmed squad is too slim. Injuries and players losing form is inevitable. All right we had more than our fair share this year, especially to key players (Cech, Terry, Cole). But if Drogs gets an injury next season, we could be in big trouble. To me its notable that the team than has the golden boot winner has NOT won the titel this year, or for the last few. It best not to be reliant on one or two players....

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Ok well, 2 maybe 3 players and we'll be right and its not even starters we'r really looking for becuase our first 11 IMO

...............Chec............

Paulo...JT.....Ricky....Bridge

.............Maka/Diarra......

.....MIkel.............Lmaps

Cole.......................Robben

.............Drogba

That first 11 probably would be very hard to better but we seem very week out side of it speshaily in deffence

So for me the first solotion is ben hiam, out of contract, good defender who knows how to mix it up and has prem expirence!! and not a nailed on starter!!

moving up the pitch i suppose the concern is that robben isnt all that reliable in terms of fittness but we should be able to deal with that with SWP who has looked a lot better for a good amount of games now and Kaulo who is only going to get better! that said we'r week upfrount as well now. Id like to think that sheva will be fireing on all cylanders next season but really i just dont, id also like to think that one of sinclare and saha will shock the world next season and while im actually more hopefull of that then sheva finsing the ability and form that made him the very best going its a massive gamble so the way to solve both problems is quite simpely tevez

Split oppinions on the CSR last season and when he faild to score for so long in the prem it looked like my self and many others had a bit of egg on our faces, yet we continued to appreicate the situation and the ability the guy possesed and in the last 3 months its there for every one to see, has it all and a player than can make things happen from no where. I thought compasions with zola recently where a little bit OTT, i dont think he has the same kind of "slikness" about him as zola did but that said not many do!! what he does come with is that kind of ora about him that makes every one feel like a kid at x-mass, the thing i fealt when i saw mutu slam the a freekick in the wall with his right foot and then rocket in the re-bound with his left... the way ya fleat when ya saw zola take the p!ss out of julian dicks.. players that come with all the accessorys that make them the exciting models to have. for all of drogbas assets he'll never be that. Fair enough mutu didnt work out but no reason no to chases tevez, unfortunaly i have hte nagging feeling he will be wearing united red next season

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i have hte nagging feeling he will be wearing united red next season

That will depend entirely on whether we want him and how much we want him. If we decide he is a must buy then he will be wearing Chelsea blue as Tevez has little or no say where he goes and we will outbid anyone if we so desire. Tevez is like a car in an auction lot, he goes to the highest bidder.

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Ok well, 2 maybe 3 players and we'll be right and its not even starters we'r really looking for becuase our first 11 IMO

...............Chec............

Paulo...JT.....Ricky....Bridge

.............Maka/Diarra......

.....MIkel.............Lmaps

Cole.......................Robben

.............Drogba

Swap Mikel for Essien and Bridge for Ashley and that's my first choice XI.

Also drop Lampard for Sidwell. icon_wink.gif

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Two problems, Sheva doesn't fit in the 4 3 3 and Roman's not going to sell Sheva.

Spot on. I wish we would use the 4 3 3 system that we were looking so comfotable with, but it can't happen with Shevchenko in the squad. I think buying him was a really bad move and has caused Mourinho countless problems this season.

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