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Short or Direct???


thespecial1

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I was analysing our performance against United, desperately trying to figure whether passing the ball around and the back and progessing patiently is the most effective way of playing moreover just picking up the ball and directing each pass towards the opposition goal on a couter-attack.

When we stopped and began passing it around we look more in control of the game and it allowed us to get men forward. It also seemed to frustrate United a bit. However it also allows United to get all their men back and almost park a bus infront of the goal. It then went on to remind me of all the horrid games at Anfield in the Champions League where we kept passing it around at the back and Liverpool simply got everyone behind the ball and we jus couldn't create any chances. We had possesion and seemed in control of the game but we never seemed like scoring.

When we began to keep lumping the ball up the field, United we kept losing it. However when we began passing the ball directly and along the ground we began to create more space for creativity. But whenever we created the space going forward directly there seemed to be no support up front and we essentially put ourselves in a 3 on 6 situation, again, not creating any real opportunities.

So the question I want to ask everyone is how do you think we should play???

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There is no right or wrong answer. It's like Mourinho's tactics with Chelsea this season (big bulky players who are effective in the air and lots of crosses and long balls playing off them) vs Wenger's creative, ball playing tactics at Arsenal. One may be prettier than the other, but when it comes to effectiveness, it really comes down to who plays their style the best.

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It's like Mourinho's tactics with Chelsea this season (big bulky players who are effective in the air and lots of crosses and long balls playing off them) vs Wenger's creative, ball playing tactics at Arsenal. One may be prettier than the other, but when it comes to effectiveness, it really comes down to who plays their style the best.

I can't say I agree.

This is the main reason Mourinho is gone. Not because his style was not "pretty" as Wenger's, but because it wasn't effective since he started using it (last year) and we were just sinking more and more. This season's start was a repeat of last year's, and that's why Roman stopped it. I'm not saying I agree with Mourinho leaving, but I do say that the style he tried to get us to play last year is not effective and that's when the problems started for Chelsea. Getting rid of Duff, Robben, Guddy, and bringing in Mikel, Essien, etc. did it. And if you don't believe me, believe the results. We came in second (which is bad knowing that we could have come in first again with this team).

So I think we need both, and I will go on to say that we probably need more short ones, as they have been proven to be more effective when it comes to all competitions. Look how we won our two Premierships... Look how AC Milan won the Champions League this year... Look how Man U won the Premiership this year... We can deny it all we want, but the results prove it, and it's sad for me that Mourinho tried something different and took the fall.

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the deceptive thing about stats like that is- yes we can keep the ball very well- particularly when not using the diamond, but a lot of the attacking play as tim w noted (I think) would be a lot of short passes ending up with a defender booting the ball towards drogba...

in any case- an over reliance on any style of play is exactly that- an over reliance.

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I can't say I agree.

This is the main reason Mourinho is gone. Not because his style was not "pretty" as Wenger's, but because it wasn't effective since he started using it (last year) and we were just sinking more and more. This season's start was a repeat of last year's, and that's why Roman stopped it. I'm not saying I agree with Mourinho leaving, but I do say that the style he tried to get us to play last year is not effective and that's when the problems started for Chelsea. Getting rid of Duff, Robben, Guddy, and bringing in Mikel, Essien, etc. did it. And if you don't believe me, believe the results. We came in second (which is bad knowing that we could have come in first again with this team).

So I think we need both, and I will go on to say that we probably need more short ones, as they have been proven to be more effective when it comes to all competitions. Look how we won our two Premierships... Look how AC Milan won the Champions League this year... Look how Man U won the Premiership this year... We can deny it all we want, but the results prove it, and it's sad for me that Mourinho tried something different and took the fall.

We didn't win last year due to the fact we went in with a thin squad and alot of injuries. Mourinho's tactics are fine and he will prove that should he get another Premiership job and enough time to build the squad the way he wants. Its just (not unlike Allardyce) they won't be the most pretty to watch.

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the deceptive thing about stats like that is- yes we can keep the ball very well- particularly when not using the diamond, but a lot of the attacking play as tim w noted (I think) would be a lot of short passes ending up with a defender booting the ball towards drogba...

Obviously, G, obviously. I didn't say they were "last passes" or assits...or even dangerous attacking passes.

Last season witht the dreaded 442 Diamond (and worse this season)...we were making exactly 17434734 passes p/game, and scoring exactly 0,0001563 goals p/match. It doesn't say a lot about attacking predisposition.

I was just pointing out that we don't make as long passes as people tend to think.

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What was great about the way we played in the first two seasons was that we could adapt to find the best way to win a particular match. There was a lot of quick passing and use of the wings but when we needed to we could go over the top - like against Bayern in the CL.

Mourinho's tactics were designed to fit the current need and that is what sets him apart from even someone like Wenger, who has one way of playing and it either wins or it doesn't. I believe it made us the most complete team in the country and possibly Europe.

Last season was different because it was affected considerably by the need to accomodate players that didn't really fit with what Mourinho wanted to do. The adaptability was still there, but it seemed to be more about how to rescue a match than to take the initiative.

I believe that if Mourinho had been left to get on with his job then things would have been different last season. This season was even worse because he was not only going to have to accomodate players he didn't want but also to play in a way which was foreign to his whole ethos - the result was there for all to see.

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I was just pointing out that we don't make as long passes as people tend to think.

I agree. I've never bought in to this whole idea that all we ever do is lump the ball up to Drogba. I'm not saying we don't ever play long (which BTW is not the same as "just lumping the ball forward"), but I think that is a legitimate part of the game in conjunction with shorter passing. It makes it much more difficult for teams to defend and can open up space in midfield.

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Maybe going a little off track here, but our style of football suffered the day we stopped playing Eidur. This is a man who can hold up the ball if we play long, take on defenders from midfield, set the wall around the box - never forget that goal he set up for Bridge against Arsenal in CL that year. He was the key to unlock defence, and shift much of the attacking duty from lampard.Essien is a great player, but we all know he doesn't have the creativity, playing him and Maka at the same time , Lampard is on his own and rather easily contained.

We arent going to have Eidur back, as a priority we need a player as such in future. Regardless of how we plays, we can't leave everything to lampard.

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Maybe going a little off track here, but our style of football suffered the day we stopped playing Eidur. This is a man who can hold up the ball if we play long, take on defenders from midfield, set the wall around the box - never forget that goal he set up for Bridge against Arsenal in CL that year. He was the key to unlock defence, and shift much of the attacking duty from lampard.Essien is a great player, but we all know he doesn't have the creativity, playing him and Maka at the same time , Lampard is on his own and rather easily contained.

We arent going to have Eidur back, as a priority we need a player as such in future. Regardless of how we plays, we can't leave everything to lampard.

I agree with you and I think that is the path we are heading down. We may not be necessarilly getting an out and out creative midfielder like an Eidur, but even just getting someone balanced like a Ballack as opposed to a defensively minded Essien next to Lampard.

I also think we are going to trend more towards flair players on the wings instead of the more solid Malouda types Mourinho tended to sign.

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