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Jason

15. Kurt Zouma

Started by Jason,

2,068 posts in this topic
22 minutes ago, The Skipper said:

Being "clean" on the ball isn't everything. Look at Christensen for example. 

Neither  of them is good enough.  Excusing Zouma's shit ball qualities with Christensen is like saying that scoring goals and not doing anything else is  enough for a striker. 

Trusr me, Zouma won't start for any other top team. 

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8 minutes ago, 0007 said:

Neither  of them is good enough.  Excusing Zouma's shit ball qualities with Christensen is like saying that scoring goals and not doing anything else is  enough for a striker. 

Trusr me, Zouma won't start for any other top team. 

Harsh. Kurt is at least competent. Zouma starts at Arsenal, United, Spurs, possibly even Liverpool (Joe Gomez isn't really better than him apart from on the ball maybe?). 

I think Zouma will excel if he plays with TS btw. There aren't many better options than him in the market atm. 

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12 minutes ago, The Skipper said:

Harsh. Kurt is at least competent. Zouma starts at Arsenal, United, Spurs, possibly even Liverpool (Joe Gomez isn't really better than him apart from on the ball maybe?). 

I think Zouma will excel if he plays with TS btw. There aren't many better options than him in the market atm. 

No way he gets a game at Liverpool. Joe Gomez much better.
 

Okay he starts at Arsenal (actually questionable because the way they play I don’t think he would suit it like Luiz, Holding, Gabriel and Tierney do but in terms of defending he is better than Luiz and Holding out of their natural CBs) but is he better than Gabriel at Arsenal who looks their best natural CB? 

Would he start at Spurs ahead of Alderweireld or Davinson Sanchez? Questionable again, ok less so with Sanchez as he’s regressed a bit but Mourinho is the man to then around his fortunes as we've seen with Eric Dier somehow ending up a half decent CB for Tottenham after many probably thinking he would the first to get sold/left out.

And as you said Zouma is competent, which is right but I would prefer if he was reliable. Which he isn’t necessarily. None of our CBs from last season are. No point in being competent if you cant be reliable most weeks.

There were plenty of better options on the market. 2 of them went to clubs who will be competing for the top 4. Gabriel went to Arsenal. Ruben Dias went to City. One left Spurs to go to Benfica (would have taken Vertonghen for 1 year or 2 also). We signed Thiago Silva on a free. 

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37 minutes ago, OneMoSalah said:

No way he gets a game at Liverpool. Joe Gomez much better.
 

Okay he starts at Arsenal (actually questionable because the way they play I don’t think he would suit it like Luiz, Holding, Gabriel and Tierney do but in terms of defending he is better than Luiz and Holding out of their natural CBs) but is he better than Gabriel at Arsenal who looks their best natural CB? 

Would he start at Spurs ahead of Alderweireld or Davinson Sanchez? Questionable again, ok less so with Sanchez as he’s regressed a bit but Mourinho is the man to then around his fortunes as we've seen with Eric Dier somehow ending up a half decent CB for Tottenham after many probably thinking he would the first to get sold/left out.

And as you said Zouma is competent, which is right but I would prefer if he was reliable. Which he isn’t necessarily. None of our CBs from last season are. No point in being competent if you cant be reliable most weeks.

There were plenty of better options on the market. 2 of them went to clubs who will be competing for the top 4. Gabriel went to Arsenal. Ruben Dias went to City. One left Spurs to go to Benfica (would have taken Vertonghen for 1 year or 2 also). We signed Thiago Silva on a free. 

Why is Joe Gomez way better exactly? Remove VVD from that backline and you see be genuinely isn't any better. 

Gabriel isn't better than Zouma either imo, or he's certainly not shown that he is. Ruben Dias is good but again not a ground breaking signing and he definitely isn't a tier above Zouma just yet. 

I would actually argue that Zouma has been the most reliable CB we have by far under Lampard. 

He made a mistake today with a soft pass but honestly Kepa made an absolute meal of it anyway, and he was still our most assured CB. AC is meant to be the best passing CB but Zouma outpassed him. At CB, Zouma is probably the least of our worries imo. 

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57 minutes ago, The Skipper said:

Why is Joe Gomez way better exactly? Remove VVD from that backline and you see be genuinely isn't any better. 

Gabriel isn't better than Zouma either imo, or he's certainly not shown that he is. Ruben Dias is good but again not a ground breaking signing and he definitely isn't a tier above Zouma just yet. 

I would actually argue that Zouma has been the most reliable CB we have by far under Lampard. 

He made a mistake today with a soft pass but honestly Kepa made an absolute meal of it anyway, and he was still our most assured CB. AC is meant to be the best passing CB but Zouma outpassed him. At CB, Zouma is probably the least of our worries imo. 

Gomez is much better dealing against players in 1 on 1 situations in my eyes. Particularly when it comes to being dragged out wide. This sort of strength is essential now a days in teams like ours because we aren't going to concede low amount of chances a game. He isnt as strong in the air as Zouma but not many are. Positionally there is probably not much better them that's one thing that Zouma has improved upon and his use of the ball although Gomez is much more comfortable on it still. Obviously yes Van Dijk is there and he makes a difference but I think Gomez is more than good enough and a better player than Zouma.

Ruben Dias will be very very good for City. I know the Portuguese league isn't particularly an amazing standard by all accounts but he was very very assured for Benfica since getting into the first team at a young age and in the European matches he participated in for them over the years that I had seen, he was pretty good. Typical modern CB, strong, not a slouch, reads the game well, can play with the ball. I would of liked to have seen us be interested in him, as City were, similarly with Aymeric Laporte, who is one of the best CBs in Europe without a shadow of a doubt and in the top bracket in the PL alongside VVD, who would of slotted in perfectly here on the lefthand side of our defence.

Gabriel as well was a huge stand out for Lille and has made a seamless start to his Arsenal career. I have no doubts if he isn't better than Zouma now by the start of the next season he will be comfortably better. His make up is impressive, he has the height, pace, strength and is rarely caught out of position. Okay I don't know what happened for Man City's goal tonight as I haven't seen it so if he made a mistake, then he made a mistake but I need to watch it. Another one we were linked with alongside Everton as well as Arsenal and Napoli but nothing came off it which I am slightly surprised about. Good left footed CBs are a rarity these days, never mind young ones who are already at a very very decent standard and available for 27 million pounds. 

Kurt is maybe the most reliable one we have (wouldn't be hard even David Luiz would probably still manage to get a game here if Lampard didn't move him on) but that doesn't necessarily mean he is that reliable when you look at other teams and their CBs and the choice we have. I think because we are weak at defending crosses, it is essential that he plays just now because of his strength in the air and I do hope that he can progress more but he has a ceiling which he has pretty much probably closel to hitting already, although he is better than most of the other guys yes. 

The mistake was on him, he puts everyone in that situation. Kepa comes out and doesn't get the ball yes but again if he doesn't get the ball and takes the man out we probably go down to ten men and concede a penalty - which would then make people go off even worse than they probably did - which would probably be worse than what actually happened as we had players who got back in and well whatever the attempt was to prevent it, it was embarrassing. It won't be the last comical goal we concede either all season, without a shadow of a doubt. Not purely down to Zouma or Kepa but general organisation and structure and game management is going to affect us severely again which is depressing to think about.

Saying that I would like to see Thiago Silva and Tomori tried together, think if one player is likely to learn more from Thiago Silva out of our current CBs it will be him. Christensen being this passing CB is 100% based on youth football, originating from the fact he was extremely comfortable on the ball but when has anyone ever seen him playing these sort of passes that everyone bangs on about for CBs? Here or for Mochengladbach? Most of his distribution is 10m passes sideways or forward to Jorginho/Kante. Thats not a dig either and he is clearly comfortable on the ball but I think people have this expectation that he has been playing these long 30-40m passes every match for his whole career. Even when he played under Conte when he stepped out he wasn't overly progressive with the ball as David Luiz or as some of these other CBs around Europe are.  

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It's pretty crazy that folks don't Zouma being poor on the ball as a liability, because it is. He is clumsy when passing all by himself and losing possession in dangerous areas will always remain a risk whenever Zouma plays.

Regarding the zouma in a top club discussion, he simply wouldn't play no fucking way. Maybe Tottenham if you call them a top club and that's only because of Joze direct style.

This isn't about how good defensively, or winning aerial balls, but the strategy used for defending. City and Arteta use possession as the main! way to defend. So, passing is pretty high priority in their sides. Luiz, despite his many weaknesses, is a fantastic passer, so he fits that very well. Liverpool is not much different even if they employ a slightly more direct style at times. United would be a question mark, but personally I see their current crop of defenders at zouma's level, but bit better on the ball (anyone is).

Could you ever see Zouma playing for Barcelona, Real, or Bayern? If not, then he is indeed a weakness and one we should think about dealing with at some point. It really boils down to our ambitions. 

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55 minutes ago, robsblubot said:

 

This isn't about how good defensively, or winning aerial balls, but the strategy used for defending. City and Arteta use possession as the main! way to defend. So, passing is pretty high priority in their sides. 

They play out from the back but beyond that they (Arsenal) a very defensive counter side.

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2 hours ago, Tomo said:

They play out from the back but beyond that they (Arsenal) a very defensive counter side.

You are right, but reckon that's not arteta's strategy. It's rather what he's been able to do so far with the players and time he's got.

Pay attention to the final 10 minutes of the game against Southampton: one can say that zouma made important clearances, but all those clearances either led to a corner or the ball went right back to the opposition.

I suspect the disagreement is about how poor on the ball zouma is. For me, he's one of the worst I've ever seen - definitely the worst at a top club. He's a Bakayoko in defense. Perhaps others don't see it that way.

Just to clarify, I'm nowhere saying that Zouma is the sole responsible for the draw against Southampton. That's down to team shape and system, which is something Lampard does not seem to have a good grasp of.

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I have to retract my statement. 2nd Goal is 90% on zouma. After playing that shit odd he just stops running and walks when he could easily have made a tackle if he had made an effort. It’s incredible. He is just walking. Abysmal

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1 hour ago, Magic Lamps said:

I have to retract my statement. 2nd Goal is 90% on zouma. After playing that shit odd he just stops running and walks when he could easily have made a tackle if he had made an effort. It’s incredible. He is just walking. Abysmal

Yeah. Actually made my blood boil re-watching that. 

Its always a bloody mix of individual errors or fundamental mistakes. Look how no one was goal side to Vestergaard for their equaliser. We even had 5 men around him!

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10 hours ago, Magic Lamps said:

I have to retract my statement. 2nd Goal is 90% on zouma. After playing that shit odd he just stops running and walks when he could easily have made a tackle if he had made an effort. It’s incredible. He is just walking. Abysmal

Yeah, that was inexcusable. Zouma gave up on that after the ball by-passed him and looking back, he would have probably cleared it if he simply tried to get back and help the team

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14 hours ago, The Skipper said:

He made a mistake today with a soft pass but honestly Kepa made an absolute meal of it anyway, and he was still our most assured CB. AC is meant to be the best passing CB but Zouma outpassed him. At CB, Zouma is probably the least of our worries imo. 

I agree. Zouma was decent at the start of the season. But the continued trust in Christensen is worrying now. Zouma and Tomori was the Chelsea centre-back combination in our best run under Lampard  in autumn 2019.

I cannot understand how Christensen has amassed the amount of gametime he has over Tomori since the start of the year. Tomori - Zouma even looked solid vs Liverpool and Spurs this season too and Christensen was sent off after switching off and bringing down Mane. I can't believe he continues to start games and might even continue because Zouma's error was more glaring yesterday

 

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16 hours ago, Magic Lamps said:

I have to retract my statement. 2nd Goal is 90% on zouma. After playing that shit odd he just stops running and walks when he could easily have made a tackle if he had made an effort. It’s incredible. He is just walking. Abysmal

He probably thought there's no point because Kepa is definitely getting beat lol. 

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19 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

Gomez is much better dealing against players in 1 on 1 situations in my eyes. Particularly when it comes to being dragged out wide. This sort of strength is essential now a days in teams like ours because we aren't going to concede low amount of chances a game. He isnt as strong in the air as Zouma but not many are. Positionally there is probably not much better them that's one thing that Zouma has improved upon and his use of the ball although Gomez is much more comfortable on it still. Obviously yes Van Dijk is there and he makes a difference but I think Gomez is more than good enough and a better player than Zouma.

Ruben Dias will be very very good for City. I know the Portuguese league isn't particularly an amazing standard by all accounts but he was very very assured for Benfica since getting into the first team at a young age and in the European matches he participated in for them over the years that I had seen, he was pretty good. Typical modern CB, strong, not a slouch, reads the game well, can play with the ball. I would of liked to have seen us be interested in him, as City were, similarly with Aymeric Laporte, who is one of the best CBs in Europe without a shadow of a doubt and in the top bracket in the PL alongside VVD, who would of slotted in perfectly here on the lefthand side of our defence.

Gabriel as well was a huge stand out for Lille and has made a seamless start to his Arsenal career. I have no doubts if he isn't better than Zouma now by the start of the next season he will be comfortably better. His make up is impressive, he has the height, pace, strength and is rarely caught out of position. Okay I don't know what happened for Man City's goal tonight as I haven't seen it so if he made a mistake, then he made a mistake but I need to watch it. Another one we were linked with alongside Everton as well as Arsenal and Napoli but nothing came off it which I am slightly surprised about. Good left footed CBs are a rarity these days, never mind young ones who are already at a very very decent standard and available for 27 million pounds. 

Kurt is maybe the most reliable one we have (wouldn't be hard even David Luiz would probably still manage to get a game here if Lampard didn't move him on) but that doesn't necessarily mean he is that reliable when you look at other teams and their CBs and the choice we have. I think because we are weak at defending crosses, it is essential that he plays just now because of his strength in the air and I do hope that he can progress more but he has a ceiling which he has pretty much probably closel to hitting already, although he is better than most of the other guys yes. 

The mistake was on him, he puts everyone in that situation. Kepa comes out and doesn't get the ball yes but again if he doesn't get the ball and takes the man out we probably go down to ten men and concede a penalty - which would then make people go off even worse than they probably did - which would probably be worse than what actually happened as we had players who got back in and well whatever the attempt was to prevent it, it was embarrassing. It won't be the last comical goal we concede either all season, without a shadow of a doubt. Not purely down to Zouma or Kepa but general organisation and structure and game management is going to affect us severely again which is depressing to think about.

Saying that I would like to see Thiago Silva and Tomori tried together, think if one player is likely to learn more from Thiago Silva out of our current CBs it will be him. Christensen being this passing CB is 100% based on youth football, originating from the fact he was extremely comfortable on the ball but when has anyone ever seen him playing these sort of passes that everyone bangs on about for CBs? Here or for Mochengladbach? Most of his distribution is 10m passes sideways or forward to Jorginho/Kante. Thats not a dig either and he is clearly comfortable on the ball but I think people have this expectation that he has been playing these long 30-40m passes every match for his whole career. Even when he played under Conte when he stepped out he wasn't overly progressive with the ball as David Luiz or as some of these other CBs around Europe are.  

I actually think Zouma is a better pure defender than Gomez, VVD hides a lot of his shortcomings. Gomez is a nice mobile defender but he doesn't read the game as well as Zouma does I don't think. Sure, he's probably better at defending out wide than Zouma because of his mobility, but Zouma is a far better defender vertically/in the middle of the pitch. Anyway, there isn't much between them. They'd actually compliment each other really well funnily enough. 

I mentioned this in the SFL thread but apart from yesterday's mishap has Zouma actually been bad/error prone this season? He's actually been incredibly consistent so far this season and has easily been our number one CB (AC and Tomori have arguably made more mistakes than him even though they've played less for example), also I am a little bit worried with maybe how a really physical centre forward could exploit that pairing.

Back to Zouma - I feel like people are highlighting this mistake and acting like this is what Zouma has been like all season when that's far away from the truth. 

Tomori Silva is interesting because Tomori is the CB most like Silva and he could probably learn a lot by playing with him (probably is during training as well) but it's clear to see that we lack an organiser at the back (this is usually Silva - super impressed with how well he commanded the back line against Palace for example - he had the most touches of all players on the pitch). The only other pairing I feel relatively safe with is Zouma Tomori (who ironically were also the best CB partnership last season albeit lack of game time). For me, our CB pairings should look like:

1. Zouma Silva

2. Zouma Tomori

3. Tomori Silva. 

In that order. Only call up AC or Rudiger if these pairings aren't available. 

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On 10/18/2020 at 8:28 AM, The Skipper said:

I actually think Zouma is a better pure defender than Gomez, VVD hides a lot of his shortcomings. Gomez is a nice mobile defender but he doesn't read the game as well as Zouma does I don't think. Sure, he's probably better at defending out wide than Zouma because of his mobility, but Zouma is a far better defender vertically/in the middle of the pitch. Anyway, there isn't much between them. They'd actually compliment each other really well funnily enough. 

I mentioned this in the SFL thread but apart from yesterday's mishap has Zouma actually been bad/error prone this season? He's actually been incredibly consistent so far this season and has easily been our number one CB (AC and Tomori have arguably made more mistakes than him even though they've played less for example), also I am a little bit worried with maybe how a really physical centre forward could exploit that pairing.

Back to Zouma - I feel like people are highlighting this mistake and acting like this is what Zouma has been like all season when that's far away from the truth. 

Tomori Silva is interesting because Tomori is the CB most like Silva and he could probably learn a lot by playing with him (probably is during training as well) but it's clear to see that we lack an organiser at the back (this is usually Silva - super impressed with how well he commanded the back line against Palace for example - he had the most touches of all players on the pitch). The only other pairing I feel relatively safe with is Zouma Tomori (who ironically were also the best CB partnership last season albeit lack of game time). For me, our CB pairings should look like:

1. Zouma Silva

2. Zouma Tomori

3. Tomori Silva. 

In that order. Only call up AC or Rudiger if these pairings aren't available. 

Just commenting the highlighed text.

Can't speak for everyone, but that's not at all my issue with Zouma. I agree that he is very consistent, and there lies the problem for me: he's consistently bad. Merely being consistent cannot possibly be good enough at this level... 

Once again, take the last 15 or so minutes of the game against Soton as an example. He made a few importance clearances, even a nice last-ditch one. The issue is that every time he cleared the ball, it went right back to Soton, and in consequence, they were right back at us. Every time he passes the ball, and has to adjust his body to make the simplest pass (bakayoko style), is a red flag. For teams that will apply pressure up front, closing down on Zouma will be the bread and butter to regaining possession close to our goal.

"physical centre forward"

Not sure that's as important as it once was. The top sides employ players like Aguero, Jesus, Firmino, Martial... We employ a pacy skilled forwarder now. Can say perhaps Kane has some strength, but that's about it. Honestly, we should be overwhelming the smaller sides by keeping the ball most of the time and that's an easier task without Zouma.

Andreas is underrated here and IMO would have a much easier time finding a spot in a top side. He's a good footballer, which is something Zouma isn't.

Zouma is the quintessential sub. The very limited CB that you put in when you are defending against those final set pieces, and that's about it. 

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Sell Zouma in the summer.

He is done here, he is never going to be good enough.

Horrific on the ball and makes too many mental errors, plus is bad at positioning .

We can get great money for him from a hit n hope team.

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 https://twitter.com/WhoScored/status/1319658589494022144?s=20

 

 

There are levels

 

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3 goals already this season. We have been craving for another goalscoring CB, after watching the very best of JT or Cahill, and finally we can see one. And after watching frustrating corners and Christensen's inability to score. Marcos Alonso's goals (the so called biggest strength of the Spaniard) can be well replaced now.

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