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What our next manager has to do...


Blue Sun Tzu

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I actually posted this on the "Next Season" thread however I am reposting it under a new heading...

After the understandable disappointments of losing the league and then the Champions league to United it is only natural that we should be debating what we have to do overhaul United next season (let's face it, Wednesday's game showed that they are our only real competition). There will undoubtedly be hair-trigger reaction demanding a full scale clear out and total rebuilding of the the side. However this would be a mistake as despite everything that happened to us in that most tumultuous of seasons we only missed out by the width of a rizla paper (a silver one at that!).

Having been outplayed by United in the first half the way we played for the remainder of the match was nothing short of magnificent. Nobody has denied that we are an incredibly strong side with extraordinary spirit and we showed that in spades however we also showed that given the freedom to do so we can play anyone off the park. I'd love to know who took the half-time team talk becuase suddenly we were a different side (what might have happened has we played like that for the duration of the season?). Lampard and Ballack ran the midfield, dove-tailing superbly and leaving United's midfield chasing shadows. Our defence effectively shut out Man United's oh-so celebrated attacking prowess, Terry and Ricci superb as always, Ashley Cole played his best game in a Chelsea shirt and even Essien managed to pull himself together and nullify the threat of Ronaldo.

The only real disappointment for me was the performance of our front three. Malouda was pretty awful, Joe 's confidence looks somewhat drained (he has not been the same player for the past three months) and Drogba was his usual battering ram, a constant threat, winning vital headers and pulling their defence out of shape to create space for the likes of Lamps and Ballack and coming so close to winning the match for us with a magnificent strike however he gave the impression that he was playing for himself and his attitude on the pitch ultimately lead to our downfall.

So given our performance on Wednesday, what do we need to do from here?

Now I have made no secret of the fact that I do not think Avram is the man to lead us next season. The reasons are well documented on this forum so we don't need to reiterate these. However, it is pertinent to suggest that had we started the game on Wednesday the way we started the second half we'd be European Champions. Of course there is the slightest possibility that the change was precipitated by Avram however I feel that that is unlikely at best. So the first priority before we can start talking about players is that we get a proper manager in place first.

So let's imagine that we have a new manager in place (be it Hiddink, Rijkgaard, Sparky, Uncle Tom Cobbly) what would he do? If he knows what it's good for he would intiate an evolution rather than an revolution. The defence and midfield is the heart-beat of our club and should remain in place. Therefore, his first job should be to ensure that there is no break-up of the defence and midfield and use this as a platform to take us on to a new level in much the same way that Wenger used Arsenal's infamous back five as a platform for his dynasty. Given that, his first priority is to make absolutely certain that Lampard and Carvalho sign new contracts tying them to the club for the foreseeable future.

Having secured our foundations, he should then pay most attention to our attack. It is no secret that this is where we have let ourself down over the past couple of seasons. Overly reliant on Drogba, we have been one dimensional in this area. When Drogba is on fire it works however in too many games his head hasn't been right and we have floundered. We need to show more guile and less predictability. He should look to create an attack that can swap positions at the drop of the hat, be given the freedom to take the game to the defenders and look to get behind the opposition (how many times have we done that this season?) to open up the space for our midfield to exploit.

Once he has formulated his plan he needs to pay attention to the players at his disposal and get rid of the deadwood. That's means saying farewell to the likes of SWP, Pizzaro, Ben Haim, Sheva, Sidwell, Malouda and - dare i say it - Drogba (who is more trouble than he is worth now). He needs to take good look at the players bubbling under the first team. He needs to decide whether Sinclair has sufficient quality to be promoted to the first team squad. Likewise, he also needs to look at the likes of Di Santo and Tejera.

Finally having done so, he can now turn his attention to new signings. Having already signed Boswinga he should recognise that we have more than enough quality in defence and central midfield and therefore we require no additions in that area (is there any player good enough to displace Lampard, Ballack, Essien?). So given that, his attention should given to our attack. Assuming that Malouda, Pizzaro, SWP, Sheva and Drogba are no longer required, he is left with a first team attack that consists of only Joe and Kalou (with Di Santo, Sinclair and Tejera knocking at the first team door). Therefore he should ask Roman to break the bank for two of the following: Benzema, Aguero, Ben Arfa, Ribery, Villa, Berbatov.

Now with the players he wants at his disposal he should formulate a style that plays to our strengths of the past few years (i.e. strength, spirit and power) and marry that to a more fluid attacking style. With the 16 men available for each game we should be able to play 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-1-3-2, at the drop of a hat, changing the way we are playing should the circumstances warrant it.

Finally, the new manager should get hold of the players and ensure that their behaviour on the pitch improves. He needs to change our reputation as a nasty niggly team with a seige mentality constantly in the face of referees; whilst this helped instill the mentality of champions at the beginning of Jose's tenure, it now works against us as referees are only human and it is only natural that under such consistent bullying 50/50 decisions will go against us (how many decision went against us against Man united?). As someone else posted quite rightly, only John Terry should be given permission to question a referee's decision.

If the above can be put in place we will finally rid ourselves of the ghost of Jose and I can see us winning the lot next season.

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Great post clap2.gif

I agree we have a very good defence and middle area but our attack needs to improve alot.

I still cannot see Anelka being a constant worry to teams defences the way Drogba is. (Which with Drogba more than likely leaving it's a problem.)

Villa would be an amazing signing, he has pace to burn and a finish that could beat any keeper in the world, no doubt he would be the best striker in the EPL should he join.

Berbatov is another name in the hat, he has settled in well with Tottenham and im sure we would be able to get him if Roman wants.

Reading rumours that Roman has stated he wants Kaka can only be a good thing, cant it?

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