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Squad Depth


GatlingGun

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We all sit baffled in our homes thinking we lost a gem of a player in Robinho, but it is not as bad as everyone is playing it out to be.

Now lets have a look at qualities vs quantities.

We`ll start at the very back with our world class goalkeeper Cech, with decent covers like Cudicini and Hilario. Do not forget that Rhys Taylor is looking like being our 2nd og 3rd keeper over the next few years.

In defence we`ve got the two best british left backs in Bridge and Cole. Ferreira can also provide decent cover here.

On the other side Bosingwa has come in to strengthen our only real weakness, the right back. Although we have not seen his best yet, we will sooner rather than later, with Belletti and Ferreira lurking as good cover.

JT, Riccy, Alex and Ivanovic. Alex has proven to us what kind of player he is, a world class centre back with goalscoring tendencies. In addition to i.e. Mancienne, Cork and van Aanholt being the most promising prospects for the future.

I really cannot see any lack of quality or quantity in defence this season.

In midfield we`ve got probably some of the best ones in the world, all with different qualities that can change a game.

Mikel, with his excellent control of the ball always seem to find an open Chelsea player, whether it is a safe pass to the back or a through pass for the strikers or wingers.

Essien, with his excellent tackling, interceptions, strenght, pace and flair causes a havoc in other teams defence and offence. Probably the most versatile player in the world.

Lampard controls every game, and rarely plays a bad one. His great crosses and through balls gets our strikers and wingers into good positions, and he often get to goalscoring oppurtunities whether it is from 25 or 5 yards.

Ballack offers much of the same as Lampard but another dimension with his accuracy in free-kicks and his goalscoring abilities in the box, mainly with his headings. He scored lots of important goals for us last season, but he seems to thrive more in the big matches.

Deco. Again a new kind of midfield player. Tries tricks with flair, tackles hard(sometimes too hard) shoots from distance. Our new dead-ball specialist. He offers something we have missed since Zola left us five years ago.

This is probably the best midfield quintet in the world.

Our problem this season will be how our wingers will do. We`ve got Joe Cole, Malouda and Kalou. Hopefully Sinclair will give them a push for the starting line-up, as I definitely see him as a better choice then Florent. Kalou is playing like a star for his nation and as a disgrace for us. Maybe it is because he is a star for his nation and still a talent for us? Lets not put too much pressure on him. He`ll come around.

Joe Cole always plays with his heart outside his shirt, but for the most part the quality on his crosses are "sh*te". Someone`s gotta learn that boy how to cross. On the other hand, he adds someting to the team, as Deco, that we haven`t seen since the spring of 2003. Almost always England`s best player during internationals.

In front we`ve got Drogba, Anelka and Di Santo. Sounds frightening, eh? If Drogba and Anelka can sort out the chemistry they will be a deadly pair of goalscorers. With the excellent prospect of Di Santo as cover. Kalou also showed in pre-season he can cope as a striker.

So, who is this Robinho anyway?

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Our problem this season will be how our wingers will do. We`ve got Joe Cole, Malouda and Kalou. Hopefully Sinclair will give them a push for the starting line-up, as I definitely see him as a better choice then Florent. Kalou is playing like a star for his nation and as a disgrace for us. Maybe it is because he is a star for his nation and still a talent for us? Lets not put too much pressure on him. He`ll come around.

Joe Cole always plays with his heart outside his shirt, but for the most part the quality on his crosses are "sh*te". Someone`s gotta learn that boy how to cross. On the other hand, he adds someting to the team, as Deco, that we haven`t seen since the spring of 2003. Almost always England`s best player during internationals.

In front we`ve got Drogba, Anelka and Di Santo. Sounds frightening, eh? If Drogba and Anelka can sort out the chemistry they will be a deadly pair of goalscorers. With the excellent prospect of Di Santo as cover. Kalou also showed in pre-season he can cope as a striker.

So, who is this Robinho anyway?

I think our porblem is up front . Man Utd now have a front line of Rooney , Tevez, Berbatov, Ronaldo I don't think our's is of the same standard

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Yup, without a sharp edge to our attack, samba football might be a bit tricky to engineer in the short term.

I predict the Pompey-style performances may not be as numerous as some thought, but hopefully Franco may surprise us or Nico may decide he can be arsed, and we will find some sort of rhythm that compensates for our lack of a world class front line.

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I think our porblem is up front . Man Utd now have a front line of Rooney , Tevez, Berbatov, Ronaldo I don't think our's is of the same standard

Yup, TBB. That`s what I`m saying. IF Drogba and Anelka find the chemistry together. Still I just cannot keep my feeling about Di Santo away. I think he is going to shine this season.

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In fairness, Chels and the Mancs have got the best squads in the league. Man City I think will turn out to be a club full of great individuals like Robinho, Elano, Petrov, Jo etc. but not really as a team. I just thought of a theory that could work if Chels do it well. Everyone's going on about how Man U are going to score more goals than us. It's probably true. But what if we concentrate a bit more on not letting any goals in, rather than scoring them? Remember when we won the league the first time in 50 years? We conceded, what, 12 goals was it? in 38 games? That's not bad really. We must still improve our strikeforce, definitely, but tighten up the screws of the already awesome defence and we could be looking at something verrrry promising...

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In fairness, Chels and the Mancs have got the best squads in the league. Man City I think will turn out to be a club full of great individuals like Robinho, Elano, Petrov, Jo etc. but not really as a team. I just thought of a theory that could work if Chels do it well. Everyone's going on about how Man U are going to score more goals than us. It's probably true. But what if we concentrate a bit more on not letting any goals in, rather than scoring them? Remember when we won the league the first time in 50 years? We conceded, what, 12 goals was it? in 38 games? That's not bad really. We must still improve our strikeforce, definitely, but tighten up the screws of the already awesome defence and we could be looking at something verrrry promising...

This i think is our best hope. We have a brilliant defence and midfield and should play to our strengths. We have to hope DD can return on form because we look a little toothless at the moment. Without any width teams like Wigan and Spurs packed the midfield and we struggled. Its very hard to play through teams as Liverpool are finding out.

I know we are supposed to be playing this attacking football under Scolari yet we dont sign any attackers. In fact we have let 2 go.

I think alot is resting on DD's shoulders this season, that and keeping it tight at the back. We just dont have the quality of Utd up front to outscore them.

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I think alot is resting on DD's shoulders this season

True, and that worries me to be honest.

1. Because he is becoming a touch injury prone and knees don't suddenly fix themselves. How much playing time will he actually get?

2. He has been very quiet since Scolari's arrival (no mouthing off etc) which is a good thing, but equally we have no idea about his state of mind. Is he resigned to staying here? Is he actually happy and invigorated by a new gaffer who he can respect? Will he talk about a move again in the Jan window? Granted 90% of the time he gives it his all on the pitch, but knowing he is focused and ready for another title charge would be reassuring, given he is our main goal hope this season.

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We've had 45 mins of 'Samba' football so far, the first half V Pompey (and spells in the Spurs game 1st half). As soon as Ballack left the pitch Malouda came on and we had a pretty rigid and predictable formation.

Away to Wigan we couldn't hold the ball up and missed Drogba dearly, and at home to Spurs after they equalised we looked out of idea's.

We have looked very one dimentional at times during games this season so far, and we don't have 1 player at the club who can go around a player at pace. Pack the midfield like Spurs and Wigan and we'll find it difficult!

Defence and midfield we're OK, but we're really lacking something up front, where games are won!!!

Utd finished 20+ goals ahead of us last year and have added Berbatov to their squad. We on the other hand have sold Pizzaro, Sheva, and SWP and haven't replaced them - it doesn't take much working out does it?

The longer Drogba stays injured and we only have Anelka putting it over from 3 yards we'll lose ground to Utd! It's not fair to expect Di Santo to carry our league expectations on his young shoulder

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Good points GatlingGun. I mostly agree with you. Most of our hopes rely on Drogba's shoulder this season. I hope Didier knows it as well.

Lampard-Deco has looked fine and I think both of the players enjoy playing with eachother. Lampard may find his incredible form and that would be deadly to our opponents.

Our backline with Petr is the best in the world no doubt about it. Even the backups make a h*ll-of-a backline.

Everybody just needs to play on their peak and we will be unstoppable. This is where Scolari comes in...

It actually makes good for Chelsea's reputation that we have ManCity now with all the money and big-talk. ManCity's players have changed so much between Thaksin takeover and now that I hope we see a team with lot of individual talent but no team effort. We can finally prove to some di*kheads that money wont instantly make success.

BTW, I just visited Bergen month ago GatlingGun, what a beautiful city it is!

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I think alot is resting on DD's shoulders this season, that and keeping it tight at the back.

I think Didier will score goals plenty of goals this season, he'll thrive on being the main man in my opinion and hopefully we'll get more of the world class performances we know he can produce, if an on form Didier Drogba turns up week-in, week-out then i'll put my neck on the line and say we'll finish the season with at least one trophy

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As long as we play someone along side him, I agree.

DD up front on his own will mean less goals, and a return to the long ball tactics that we are supposedly not going to see under Scolari.

I think in order for the players to fully embrace his new, attacking tactics, we need to set ourselves up in a markedly different way, or the Jose-mindset will creep back into the players when matches aren't going our way. Essentially that's what happened against Spuds, as Scolari himself actually observed.

So, two up front, with DD as one of them, is a must, supported by our new, extra creative midfield.

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