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Central midfield players- stay or go:


Pauly

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Sidwell

Ballack

Essien

Lampard

Diarra

Makelele

Mikel

Assuming there are 4 central midfielders in our first 11, and Lamaprd and Essien are assured "core" places (they will play 4 of every 5 games or more), that doesn't leave much space.

I would assume that the first choice midfield will be:

...............Makelele.................

.....Essien...........Lampard.......

.................Mikel....................

And obviously Ballack is, 9/10 times going to be the 5th alternative. With only 5 subs allowed on the English bench that means that, imo, one of Sidwell or Diarra will be loaned out, or Ballack will be sold. add to that of coruse geremi, who in my view is logically certain to leave- which means he won't.

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I think if we play 4-4-2 then if all fit JM will play

.................Mikel...............

...Essien................Lamps

...............Ballack.........

As I have said before I will not be surprised if Maka goes this summer(but I would pefer if he stayed another season)

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Essien and Mikel will miss a big and important part of the season - I think that's a large part of the reason for bringing in Sidwell. And he may just prove himself to be good enough, certainly better than Ballack!!!

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...Sidwell...may just prove himself to be good enough, certainly better than Ballack!!!

If Ballack starts performing like the player we've seen at other clubs and with Germany AND Sidwell still proves to be a better player, I think we may have got the bargain of the decade. I never wanted Ballack and still think he had a mediocre season, but I know what he is capable of and hope he starts showing us why he is worth the 120k/week salary or whatever he's being paid.

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certainly, i concur!

Just joking Barn- i don't concur.

I think the greatest part of ballack's problem this season, and i include in this problem his average passing selection (from whenever i watched, which was not every game this season) was that he was crowded in the midfield (they all were), he wasn't sure where to go, and there was nobody to pass to so he ended up trying to lift terrible passes over the defense from anywhere..

For me the entire possibility of this team to move forward now depends on Jon Obi Mikel being given an Attacking Midfielder's role. In the 442 diamond you are desperate for momvement and options to pass to, because there is no natural wide options. If we play the flat midfield and the strikers play deep with nobody in between it's logical that those flat three players are going to have difficulty keeping the ball going forward as i saw ballack do this season.

ps. JM said: With everybody fit i would play the 433- firstly, i don't believe him and secondly, if it's true, it would be an UNBELIEVABLE repeat of this years error, where he is beginning to form a squad capable of playing this formation- he would go back to the old formation which we no longer have the squad to play? HA HA HA- now that would make me laugh.

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...Sidwell...may just prove himself to be good enough, certainly better than Ballack!!!

If Ballack starts performing like the player we've seen at other clubs and with Germany AND Sidwell still proves to be a better player, I think we may have got the bargain of the decade. I never wanted Ballack and still think he had a mediocre season, but I know what he is capable of and hope he starts showing us why he is worth the 120k/week salary or whatever he's being paid.

exactly... SOME PEOPLE (i'm talking about you loz...) have the logic of crazy neurotics. In this hope to defend tenements in their mind- ie. JM infallible, they have concluded that these players have become sh*t overnight.

It is up to each manager to get the best from his players, and though the problem partly lies with injuries/adaptation, it's my opinion that this adaptation issue is often overplayed. Yes- other teams can change, but you decide the way your own team plays. a little adaptation within the squad to the players we have would be more a more suitable discussion.

p

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Sell Ballack - even it requires us to keep pay out some of his remaining contract, as long as we break even, no sweat.

Essien, Lamps, Mikel, Diarra, Sidwell, with Makalele coming in for games where we need more defensive solidity provides the right balance of cover and competition for places and takes care of the African Nations Cup.

If Ballack stays nothing makes any sense 259.gif

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I really dont see us selling ballack, nor do I want us to. As Pauly siad, you don't just become cr@p overnight. I also think that with Essien and Mikel off to the ACN then we will need Ballack more then ever. I also question as to why no one has mentioned Joe Cole to play at the head of the diamond.

He always said that he loved to play in behind the strikers, and I think he may be our best option to do so.

Most of the season I expect to see. With the 4 picking itself during the ACN

.....................................maka/essien

....................ballack/essien...................Lamps/Ballck

..................................Joe Cole/ Obi Mikel

Sidwell can get a few games in the rezzies, a few cup games and maybe a couple of run ins in the league.

Also, If we do play this system, and Drogs is off to teh ACN, then that means Sheva must stay, and we must sign one other striker. I think that is where we need to concentrate the most, as in the pivotal time of the league when the ACN takes place, we can't rely on the likes of Sinclair and Sahar to come in

Scott

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I think that Mikel's form over the last couple of months of the season has been nothing short of amazing, and he really does deserve a regular first-team place, even with everyone else fit. Every match he plays in, we control the midfield - simple as that - and I think Jose has realised this.

However, I haven't seen any evidence at all that he has what it takes to play the "tip of diamond" role. For me he has looked far and away at his best when playing the "Maka" position.

Essien has proven all he needs to prove this season - that he is best ball-winning, driving midfielder in the world at the moment, and while Lamp's form this season hasn't quite been as good as previously, you just can't ingore 20 goals and 20 assists from midfield. So these two have to play.

I really think that Maka still has a good two or three seasons still left in him, but I think that playing Maka AND Essien is defensive overkill against mid-to-lower Premiership sides. We lost the title this season because we drew too many games - we need to play a bit more positively this season, and having all three central midfielders capable of laying on chances for the strikers is a pretty good start. I'd definately make sure that Maka was in for the big matches though.

So that gives us our central midfield three of:

.........Lamps.......Essien.........

..................Mikel..................

I would like to think that we will see a lot more of the 433 next season - but the signing of Sidwell really does suggest that we are going to stick with the diamond - and at the moment, the only options for the tip of the diamond are Ballack (who will undeniably have a better season next time around) or Joe Cole.

I would like to see Joe given an extended run in this position, if for no other reason, to give Ballack the kick up the backside it seems that he needs - it seemed like Ballack coasted the through the whole season knowing that his place in the side was guaranteed - which it was. The thing is, if Ballack could find his top form, then we would have a player worth every penny of the money he is on. I think people pretty quickly forget that if you go back two seasons, Ballack would make the "world eleven" of pretty much anyone you talked to.

So, first match next season, I would like to see:

...............Drogba......Tevez..................

.........................Cole..........................

...............Lamps........Essien................

.........................Mikel.........................

Bridge........JT...........Carvalho......Johnson

........................Cech............................

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Sidwell

Ballack

Essien

Lampard

Diarra

Makelele

Mikel

Assuming there are 4 central midfielders in our first 11, and Lamaprd and Essien are assured "core" places (they will play 4 of every 5 games or more), that doesn't leave much space.

I would assume that the first choice midfield will be:

...............Makelele.................

.....Essien...........Lampard.......

.................Mikel....................

And obviously Ballack is, 9/10 times going to be the 5th alternative. With only 5 subs allowed on the English bench that means that, imo, one of Sidwell or Diarra will be loaned out, or Ballack will be sold. add to that of coruse geremi, who in my view is logically certain to leave- which means he won't.

Assuming there are 4 central midfielders in our first 11and we acknowledge that having two class players for every position is a good thing, then instead of not having much space left we do, in effect, have room for one more squad player to complete the picture! Diarra, not Geremi, finishes off the symmetrical eight, however, I don?t go along entirely with either of the earlier assumptions I?ve made.

Firstly, I?m inclined to believe Jose?s pronouncements on Chelsea TV and 4-3-3 is going to be his preferred system next season. That?s not to say that we won?t continue to switch to and from 4-4-2 during games, nor does it mean that these two formations are set in stone. For instance, take Tom?s interesting team for the first game of next season (and, incidentally, I would):-

...............Drogba......Tevez..................

.........................Cole..........................

...............Lamps........Essien................

.........................Mikel.........................

Bridge........JT...........Carvalho......Johnson

........................Cech............................

To my mind this team sets up better as 4-1-3-1-1, with Joe on the left of the three (as he should be in the England team) and Tevez (please, let it be) linking Didier with a midfield keen to raid into the box - I can see him creating no end of opportunities - but then I would, wouldn?t I, Loz?

Michel is the natural holding player and deserves to start ahead of Maka on his late season form. If the width isn?t provided by Bridgey and whoever gets the RB berth, well I?m Arjen Robben?s uncle and, nepotism being what it is, I?d bring him on to suit the circumstances. Sheva and Ballack would probably have to accept roles as CL specialists and may even be happy to do so, unless they hit the ground running (not a phrase associated with either of them after tentative first seasons) and thereby force their way in. Sheva may not be around to elbow his way in anywhere, if the Media is to be believed, but, for me, Ballack?s got his work cut out to break up the Lamps/Michel/Essien triumvirate. Of course, all this could be wishful thinking and, if we start the new season with a 4-4-2 diamond midfield, including the German, I?ll have to go back to the drawing board, as well as start giving some consideration to joining the Mike O Fan Club.

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...if we play 4-4-2...

Apparently we will see the 4-4-2 too, but Jose has said we will see more of 4-3-3 than 4-2-2 next season. icon_confused.gif

I hope so 4-2-2 would mean that we lost two players in one game to red cards and/or injuries (the latter after all subs were used) icon_redface.gif

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...if we play 4-4-2...

Apparently we will see the 4-4-2 too, but Jose has said we will see more of 4-3-3 than 4-2-2 next season. icon_confused.gif

I hope so 4-2-2 would mean that we lost two players in one game to red cards and/or injuries (the latter after all subs were used) icon_redface.gif

Yeah, either that or I made a typo...your pick. icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

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Guest Brian M

Too many midfielders? There. Problem solved! 169.gif

....................Cech

...............Cav.......JM

................Makelele.................

......................Mik

J Cole...Sidwell...Ballack..Essien...Lampard

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

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Too many midfielders? There. Problem solved! 169.gif

....................Cech

...............Cav.......JM

................Makelele.................

......................Mik

J Cole...Sidwell...Ballack..Essien...Lampard

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

If he couldn't make it in the Portuguese league at 20, I dont think he will do it for us at age 40.

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Guest Brian M
Too many midfielders? There. Problem solved! 169.gif

....................Cech

...............Cav.......JM

................Makelele.................

......................Mik

J Cole...Sidwell...Ballack..Essien...Lampard

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

If he couldn't make it in the Portuguese league at 20, I dont think he will do it for us at age 40.

Hahahahahahhaaaaaa!!!! Now that's what you call Freudian slip!!! icon_lol.gif

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I hope we dont play 4-4-2 next season. But if we will do it then we gonna line-up with Mikel,Essien,Lampard and Ballack if everybody is fit of caurse.

I expect Mikel very very good next season. I feel sorry for Maka but he really dropped form this season

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Firstly, I?m inclined to believe Jose?s pronouncements on Chelsea TV and 4-3-3 is going to be his preferred system next season. That?s not to say that we won?t continue to switch to and from 4-4-2 during games, nor does it mean that these two formations are set in stone.

I'm sure that is what JM is working at - to have a squad that is capable of swapping to and from his two formations at will during the course of a game. If we are getting success through the middle, to play the diamond - or if we need to stretch the play wide, or counter a wide-attacking opposition, to switch to the 433.

After all, the only difference between all the formations that JM seems to use are how he plays his 3 attackers. We have seen two wingers and a target man, two target men and a winger, two target men and a central midfielder - they are all variations on the same theme.

The next step with this is to get players into the first team who can interchange at will between these positions. Players like Joe Cole, Kalou and Tevez rather than 1-dimensional players like Shevchenko, Robben etc.

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