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Four-four-two diamond - Joe versus Deco


Butch

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The conundrums of a football manager. On the face of it, Luiz Felipe Scolari has arguable inherited a wonderful squad of players. "Anyone could manage THAT lot to success", some would say. And if our early season form was anything to go by, maybe they had a point. However, fast forward to the present and it doesn't seem to be quite that easy. For you see, with the wonderful squad, Scolari also inherited a few headaches.

In the main, this is still Jose's squad, as far as I am concerned. Most of the players here today were signed by the "Special One" himself. But Jose's team played a certain way - more abut compactness and directness - while Scolari is trying to play a different way with essentially the same backbone. Do the players have the right attributes to play this "new" way? Questionable.

The squad is also middle heavy. You look at the likes of Lampard, Ballack, Essien, Mikel and Deco, not to mention Joe Cole, and you can see any manager would have a tough time accommodating them all, especially in a formation that attempts to have width high up the pitch, i.e. more than 1 or 2 "forwards".

The alternative? A narrow 4-4-2 diamond. But as far as I am concerned, when we've done that, we've looked a man short up the left. When Ashley has the ball, he's far too deep to be able to really provide width in threatening positions. I see this as being the case more often than not. On the right side, Bosingwa (and importantly his understanding with Deco) tends to cover well; yet, you can see that in important matches with teams that have tactical nous, both full backs have problems providing us width and attacking threat.

Still, while Kalou and Malouda are rubbish, while Anelka scores and must start, and now that Drogba is available to wreak havoc as we know he can (he's very suited to the EPL), it i easy to see Nic and Drogs must both start.

As such, rather than playing the Jose 4-3-3, we should play the 4-4-2 diamond instead. And in this formation, it really comes down to a battle between Joe and Deco for the tip of the diamond as far as I am concerned. With neither setting the EPL alight, the competition should do them good.

Thoughts?

Cheers,

Butch

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I say a narrow 4-4-2 with Joey Cole at the tip of the diamond and drop Deco. Cole has the ability to roam around the top two forwards so can help out on the wings too, if Bosingwa and Cole need it (mind, we haven't seen much of that sort of play on the wings, we have been narrow most of the season with the width SOLELY coming from the fullbacks).

Since Joe's injuries he hasn't been able to sustain a full 90 mins so Deco will still get his opportunities.

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At the moment Joey is the better one and I truly feel that Scolari needs to bench Deco for now. I don't think he will but he should.

Deco can play centrally as Joey we only see in the flanks. In the end it really depends on the opposition. If they decide to block the central path Joey would do better and vice versa.

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When they're both at their best then its a difficult one to call, i think with a fully fit squad available we'd have to play Mikel in the holding roll, Essien on the right of the diamond, Joe on the left and then Lampsy in the advanced role, unfortunately that doesn't leave a place for a Ballack or a Deco which is a good position to be in, both however, are potential match-winners to have coming off the bench

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Deco in front of Joey any day at the moment. I actually think Joey has been pretty awful this season, and at the moment he don`t deserve to start in front of Deco. When it flows for Deco he probably is the best midfielder in the world, yet he has played som really awful games this season. He is new in the league and have already scored three goals and God knows how many assists.

- Mikel -

Ballack - Lampard

- Deco -

Ballack has been rubbish in every game this season but i can`t really see which player thats going to take his place before Essien returns. Mineiro in the holding role and put Mikel in the Ballack-role is worth a shot though.

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- Mikel -

Ballack - Lampard

- Deco -

That looks a great midfield on paper but for me it doesn't stand a chance of working, the trio of Lampsy, Ballack and Deco all occupy one anothers space, therefore restricting and limiting the performance of each of them. Chelsea always worked better with genuine width. If we keep Drogba and play him alongside Anelka frequently, and with the addition of wide men, we can bombard the box with a range of (hopefully not Gronkjaer or SWP style) crosses, Drogba will score goals and Anelka can feed of the scraps.

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Thats a good point byatt, but i really don`t think we have to wingers to play that style of football anymore. Kalou and Malouda is nowhere near good enough for Chelsea at the moment and with Joeys lacking form i think it is time to try that formation. We did have Duff and Robben who terrorised every defence in the world, but now our wingers down even scares Burnley.

So until we get our "Robben" on the wing i think it is time to try something new.

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Thats a good point byatt, but i really don`t think we have to wingers to play that style of football anymore.

This is why Scolari wanted Robinho so badly, the idea was to provide width, Robinho, like Joe Cole, can play on either side, thus creating a Duff and Robben, switching wings style of play, i'm sure Big Phil has something lined up for January

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Jose once said "I don't need Deco I have Joe Cole."

I tend to agree if I had to have to make a choice between the two. Rather they both played though, on a 'good' day that is !

I'm amazed Capello, Jose, Grant or Scolari haven't tried joe behind two front players just as regular as his berth on the left, if ever a player was made for the position in world football it's him.

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Jose once said "I don't need Deco I have Joe Cole."

I tend to agree if I had to have to make a choice between the two. Rather they both played though, on a 'good' day that is !

I'm amazed Capello, Jose, Grant or Scolari haven't tried joe behind two front players just as regular as his berth on the left, if ever a player was made for the position in world football it's him.

As I said elsewhere Jose only said that after Deco turned him down. Jose would have signed Deco in a heartbeat and there is not a chance in hell Joe would have been ahead of Deco in Jose's eyes.

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I was going to say maybe Joe doesn't keep the ball well enough, but then again neither does Deco (at least not so far).

Malouda's been a bit rubbish for me, BUT I wonder if our slump has coincided with his unavailability. He does provide an outlet on the left, and I think it also helps get Ash higher up the pitch. As I said before, lately Ash has been having trouble getting up, partly because he doesn't have someone ahead of him to (a) distract defenders, (b) drop back when he bombs forward, and © hold the ball and allow him to get into position. Since Malouda's been out, we're very "right heavy".

Cheers,

Butch

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