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Jason

15. Kurt Zouma

Started by Jason,

2,068 posts in this topic
3 minutes ago, King Kante said:

Agree. For me, it is AC that benefits the most as his biggest problems are mental and physical (need to get him some of the Bayern serum.) Those problems however, are more fixable than not being able to handle possession under a high press and reading of the game. AC is totally in last chance saloon but with his current rep, losing him next season instead of this is going to have no minimal financial difference. If Zouma has another season like last he will be worth half the price. 

Our team get smaller with thiago n chillwell n if we play werner as cf, and now you want to pair ac with silva. 

How do you defend set pieces next season is beyond me

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7 hours ago, BlueLyon said:

Is CB primary role there to pass the ball or defend?

Zouma is our best defender by mile, but sure lets have Pep type CBs who crap their pants everytime it matters.

One thing is if CB can defend AND has great technique. The other is if he has the later but cant defend. AC is more composed on the ball, but he clearly isnt dominant enough. Also been too many times where he just lost it and gave away possesion, something that was supposed to be his strong point.

So if I have to choose, Id choose the one who can defend first. And thats Zouma. He held his own very well vs Bayern where others played bad. And that wasnt the first time.

The problem with Zouma is not just his work on the ball, it is also his positioning. Take for instance his great tackle against Palace. That only had to come about owing to his position in the first place. 

To be honest, if it is Zouma that stays it doesn't really bother me as all four of the CB's played awful last season in one shape or form. I give Tomori the least criticism as he is the youngest and was in his first year, however, when it comes to Zouma v AC v Rudi it is a little bit of me predicting what the club will do. From my point of view AC still has the greatest scope to improve as his failings are easier to iron out. However, if he gets culled I wouldn't be that surprised. 

7 hours ago, communicate said:

Our team get smaller with thiago n chillwell n if we play werner as cf, and now you want to pair ac with silva. 

How do you defend set pieces next season is beyond me

That is true, but last season Zouma was hardly superman at defending set pieces. Read my comment above.

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Our team get smaller with thiago n chillwell n if we play werner as cf, and now you want to pair ac with silva. 
How do you defend set pieces next season is beyond me
Height isn't everything though. Sure it helps but none of the players you mentioned are short. All around 6ft or just under. Havertz is 6ft 2 and we'd still have giroud and RLC to come off the bench if we are defending a lead.

Tammy is lanky as hell but he's terrible in the air. We had quite a tall team defending set pieces last year with rudi, alonso, tammy etc but we were terrible at defending them.

It'd also help if we can bring in a big keeper who can come out and catch a lot of those that come in around the 6 yard box something kepa didn't do once all year.
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Height isn't everything though. Sure it helps but none of the players you mentioned are short. All around 6ft or just under. Havertz is 6ft 2 and we'd still have giroud and RLC to come off the bench if we are defending a lead.

 

Tammy is lanky as hell but he's terrible in the air. We had quite a tall team defending set pieces last year with rudi, alonso, tammy etc but we were terrible at defending them.

 

It'd also help if we can bring in a big keeper who can come out and catch a lot of those that come in around the 6 yard box something kepa didn't do once all year.

 

Tammy headed 23 clearances away in 2200 minutes, while Giroud had 13 in 1000 minutes. So if he played the same amount of minutes, Giroud could have gotten around 28 headed clearances. I do not think Tammy is that bad compared to Giroud when it comes to headed clearances. Werner will have way worse stats.

 

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10 hours ago, BlueLyon said:

AC is mistake prone + not great defender and Rudi is just a nervous mess too often (at his age not fixable). Zouma is not great on the ball, but fantastic defender who just needs someone who can organise the backline. Plus he is the only one good in the air. We will need that in set pieces/corners because with Ziyech, we might finaly be dangerous again. Rudiger cant jump and AC is weak.

I'm not disagreeing with any of that.  I just think that Silva's presence and leadership will help AC and Rudiger more then it will Zouma as his presence will directly affect many of their issues, organization and discipline, where there isn't help for Zouma's.  I like Zouma, I just don't think he fits the type of center back that Lampard wants to play the style he wants.

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2 hours ago, Hutcho said:

Height isn't everything though. Sure it helps but none of the players you mentioned are short. All around 6ft or just under. Havertz is 6ft 2 and we'd still have giroud and RLC to come off the bench if we are defending a lead.

Tammy is lanky as hell but he's terrible in the air. We had quite a tall team defending set pieces last year with rudi, alonso, tammy etc but we were terrible at defending them.

It'd also help if we can bring in a big keeper who can come out and catch a lot of those that come in around the 6 yard box something kepa didn't do once all year.

Let's start one by one. When we play Rudiger, alonso, Giroud and Zouma together , I don't think we concede many set pieces goal. I can't remember many. 

Height isn't everything you are right. But let's be honest, Thiago Silva is not your dominant physical center back, not his game. Werner isn't a physical player weak challenge cb. I'll be surprised if Chilwell is better in the air than alonso. 

So essentially you weaken your already weak set pieces defense. If you combined that with playing Christensen our weakest cb. Good luck

 

 

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11 minutes ago, communicate said:

I'll be surprised if Chilwell is better in the air than alonso. 

Funnily enough, Chilwell's Aerial Won % is higher than Alonso's in the Premier League last season - 59.5% compared to 57.5%

And in terms of the number of Aerial Won, Alonso was only the 7th highest in the team while Chilwell was the 4th highest at Leicester. 

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7 hours ago, Jason said:

Funnily enough, Chilwell's Aerial Won % is higher than Alonso's in the Premier League last season - 59.5% compared to 57.5%

And in terms of the number of Aerial Won, Alonso was only the 7th highest in the team while Chilwell was the 4th highest at Leicester. 

Chilwell has insane leap and he might actually be taller than the quoted 1,78M IMO. He looks almost as Tallis Lampard on their pictures together and was clearly more than 3cm taller than Willian when they faced each other so maybe he will at least surprise us in that department. 
never thought Alonso was any good in the air btw. Sure he wins aerial duels vs all those tiny wingers with ease but he is of no use marking big, strong players in our own box. 

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2 hours ago, Magic Lamps said:

Chilwell has insane leap and he might actually be taller than the quoted 1,78M IMO. He looks almost as Tallis Lampard on their pictures together and was clearly more than 3cm taller than Willian when they faced each other so maybe he will at least surprise us in that department. 
never thought Alonso was any good in the air btw. Sure he wins aerial duels vs all those tiny wingers with ease but he is of no use marking big, strong players in our own box. 

Yeah. Some short players can have a great leap or even timing that allows them to win aerial duels and render their height irrelevant. Having the physicality is also key of course. Am also sure Lampard took this into consideration when he was identify his main LB target. 

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12 hours ago, Jason said:

Funnily enough, Chilwell's Aerial Won % is higher than Alonso's in the Premier League last season - 59.5% compared to 57.5%

And in terms of the number of Aerial Won, Alonso was only the 7th highest in the team while Chilwell was the 4th highest at Leicester. 

Maybe he is that good in the air but then I checked azpi just for confirmation he is also 59%, n we all know aerial battle is not his game.

 

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6 hours ago, communicate said:

Maybe he is that good in the air but then I checked azpi just for confirmation he is also 59%, n we all know aerial battle is not his game.

That is true but on the other hand, just because Azpi isn't known for his aerial game, it doesn't mean he's bad at it. Have we ever complained endlessly about him getting exploited in the air? His positioning has always been spot on. Also, if we look at the number of aerial won, Azpi is second in that aspect in last season's Premier League for the team.

I don't know what's the average aerial won % for a full back but unless you start turning into Tony Pulis and putting giant CBs in the full back positions for example, I'd imagine the average can't be far off from the 59-60%. Don't have the aerial won % for all the full backs in the Premier League last season (and too lazy to start counting every single one of them) but looking at the number of aerial won, there are only like 3 full backs ahead of Azpi in that aspect. Chilwell also in the top 10. 

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5 minutes ago, Jason said:

That is true but on the other hand, just because Azpi isn't known for his aerial game, it doesn't mean he's bad at it. Have we ever complained endlessly about him getting exploited in the air? His positioning has always been spot on. Also, if we look at the number of aerial won, Azpi is second in that aspect in last season's Premier League for the team.

I don't know what's the average aerial won % for a full back but unless you start turning into Tony Pulis and putting giant CBs in the full back positions for example, I'd imagine the average can't be far off from the 59-60%. Don't have the aerial won % for all the full backs in the Premier League last season (and too lazy to start counting every single one of them) but looking at the number of aerial won, there are only like 3 full backs ahead of Azpi in that aspect. Chilwell also in the top 10. 

This whole Azpi in the air narrative started after Alli beat him to two at WHL in 2017.

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9 minutes ago, Tomo said:

This whole Azpi in the air narrative started after Alli beat him to two at WHL in 2017.

Was that even considered aerial battle? Didn't Spurs simply exploit the space between Azpi and Luiz back then by having Alli make late runs into the box? 

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46 minutes ago, Jason said:

That is true but on the other hand, just because Azpi isn't known for his aerial game, it doesn't mean he's bad at it. Have we ever complained endlessly about him getting exploited in the air? His positioning has always been spot on. Also, if we look at the number of aerial won, Azpi is second in that aspect in last season's Premier League for the team.

I don't know what's the average aerial won % for a full back but unless you start turning into Tony Pulis and putting giant CBs in the full back positions for example, I'd imagine the average can't be far off from the 59-60%. Don't have the aerial won % for all the full backs in the Premier League last season (and too lazy to start counting every single one of them) but looking at the number of aerial won, there are only like 3 full backs ahead of Azpi in that aspect. Chilwell also in the top 10. 

So that aerial stat % does not mean much. Azpi for a fb is fine aerially but against set pieces, your position mean nothing, and is he good enough to defend against tall striker, clearly lamp say nope and clearly he said yes about alonso. 

I think there is this view that our set pieces defense problem is only because of lamp, that he is just so bad at organizing set pieces and that the fact that we have many small player and very few aerially good player isn't the reason. So it is ok to have small team and just by being organized, we will be very2 good. I clearly remember everyone said the same thing about klopp. He can't coach set pieces. VVD, matip n Fabinho later no one talked about it anymore. 

Now, our team instead of getting aerially better player, we replace our tall player with smaller player, and we think it will get better next season. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, communicate said:

So that aerial stat % does not mean much. Azpi for a fb is fine aerially but against set pieces, your position mean nothing, and is he good enough to defend against tall striker, clearly lamp say nope and clearly he said yes about alonso. 

I think there is this view that our set pieces defense problem is only because of lamp, that he is just so bad at organizing set pieces and that the fact that we have many small player and very few aerially good player isn't the reason. So it is ok to have small team and just by being organized, we will be very2 good. I clearly remember everyone said the same thing about klopp. He can't coach set pieces. VVD, matip n Fabinho later no one talked about it anymore. 

Now, our team instead of getting aerially better player, we replace our tall player with smaller player, and we think it will get better next season. 

Even then, have we at any point complained about Azpi getting exploited in the air? Since you're making him out to be bad, why have strikers not tried to exploit him more often? He has won even more headers than those taller than him in the team! Moreover, when it comes to dealing with aerial balls, it isn't always about winning them. Some times, it can be just about "disrupting" the opponent and preventing him from getting a clear connection to it.

Lampard said nope about Azpi and yes about Alonso in dealing with tall strikers? Right, that is why the former plays more and the latter sits on the bench for most weeks...

Seriously, having height in the team is important but it isn't everything. We didn't replace our 6 ft+ players with a bunch of dwarves. If you're so worried about the height, then maybe you should propose we hire Tony Pulis or Sam Allardyce as manager. Tall players do not necessarily mean they will defend better, they could be useless in the air or weak in dealing with aerial challenges. Short players can also defend well, the ones with great leap, intelligence and/or timing. And just as important if not more is having the physicality to deal with aerial challenges. One can be tall but if he doesn't fancy himself in physical challenges, then he will lose more often than not for example. We have a number of tall players in the team but they are mostly a bunch of softies when it comes to dealing with aerial challenges. That and the bigger problem for me is the organization of our set piece defending, considering how often we have seen players getting a free run inside the box, players caught ball watching, not reacting to second balls etc. Having a goalkeeper who can deal with the high balls into the box will also help our set piece defending.

Was set piece defending really a problem under Klopp? I just remember them being more bad with defending in general before they got Van Dijk, Alisson etc in. AFAIR, Man City were the ones who initially had big problems defending set pieces under Guardiola before he solved the issue in his second season. And speaking of Man City, they don't really have a team of giants and they don't seem to be conceding many from set pieces. I know they try to prevent having to do so as much as possible but even then, they don't seem to let in many. 

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4 hours ago, Jason said:

Seriously, having height in the team is important but it isn't everything. 

I agree but it is weird that Frank contradicts himself.

Frank Lampard says Chelsea could solve set-piece problem by signing tall players

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/03/frank-lampard-says-chelsea-could-solve-set-piece-problem-by-signing-tall-players

And:

Alonso 188cm - Chilwell 178cm

Abraham 191cm, Giroud 193cm - Werner 180cm

Rudiger 190cm, Christensen 188cm - Silva 183cm.

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On 8/29/2020 at 9:47 PM, NikkiCFC said:

I agree but it is weird that Frank contradicts himself.

Frank Lampard says Chelsea could solve set-piece problem by signing tall players

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/03/frank-lampard-says-chelsea-could-solve-set-piece-problem-by-signing-tall-players

And:

Alonso 188cm - Chilwell 178cm

Abraham 191cm, Giroud 193cm - Werner 180cm

Rudiger 190cm, Christensen 188cm - Silva 183cm.

@JasonI think Lamp pretty much agree with me,he even mentioned pool example. 

It is not about getting 11 tall player but you need enough of player who can reall fight in the air to defend important area, 3 is good, 4 is better. 

It is ok to get shorter, for our case get a dominant aerial gk like Courtois and a tall dm and we are good to. But I don't expect this two signings to be done this summer which is why I have concern for next season. 

 

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42 minutes ago, communicate said:

@JasonI think Lamp pretty much agree with me,he even mentioned pool example. 

It is not about getting 11 tall player but you need enough of player who can reall fight in the air to defend important area, 3 is good, 4 is better. 

It is ok to get shorter, for our case get a dominant aerial gk like Courtois and a tall dm and we are good to. But I don't expect this two signings to be done this summer which is why I have concern for next season. 

It's ironic you quoted that when, as pointed out by Nikki, Lampard proceeded to sign a few not-quite-tall players. 

Did I say height is not important at all? It is important and it is important to have some tall players in the squad but it is not the be-all and end-all. A player can be tall but if he's shit physically, then there is no point. Equally, a player can be short (and I don't mean super short) but if he has great leap and/or is strong physically, then he can be useful.

Moreover and again, am not saying height is not important, but I feel like the height factor mentioned by Lampard was just an excuse used by him to cover up for his poor set piece defending organization. Remember Azpi marking Soucek (IIRC) while Abraham was guarding the post for the first goal in the loss to West Ham? This was already an issue with Lampard at Derby and it suggests the main problem here is not the height...

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On 29.8.2020 at 3:47 PM, NikkiCFC said:

I agree but it is weird that Frank contradicts himself.

Frank Lampard says Chelsea could solve set-piece problem by signing tall players

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/03/frank-lampard-says-chelsea-could-solve-set-piece-problem-by-signing-tall-players

And:

Alonso 188cm - Chilwell 178cm

Abraham 191cm, Giroud 193cm - Werner 180cm

Rudiger 190cm, Christensen 188cm - Silva 183cm.

I think that tall player statement was a bit of a smokescreen to take pressure of our players and distract from our shit tactics when defenidng set pieces.

I think Jason's point hits the nail on the head. Aerial ability is a mix of height, physicality, leap  and movement. Havertz for example is tall and has great leap but i dont he will help defending set pieces too much because he is very slight. On the other hand when Germany played Spain in the 2010 world cup we had just 2 players below 6ft and still managed to concede from a set piece with 178cm puyol somehow escaping players like mertesacker with a 20cm height advantage.

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Tammy headed 23 clearances away in 2200 minutes, while Giroud had 13 in 1000 minutes. So if he played the same amount of minutes, Giroud could have gotten around 28 headed clearances. I do not think Tammy is that bad compared to Giroud when it comes to headed clearances. Werner will have way worse stats.
 
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Well headed clearances is somewhat skewed by position on defending corners. Tammy for the majority of the season was the man at the front so all crap corners would hit him to be cleared. Check the stats for any short player teams play as the first man and they have fairly similar headed clearance stats from corners.

There's a big discprency in the air between giroud and tammy attacking or defending. You only need to see one game of each to know that.

Let's start one by one. When we play Rudiger, alonso, Giroud and Zouma together , I don't think we concede many set pieces goal. I can't remember many. 
Height isn't everything you are right. But let's be honest, Thiago Silva is not your dominant physical center back, not his game. Werner isn't a physical player weak challenge cb. I'll be surprised if Chilwell is better in the air than alonso. 
So essentially you weaken your already weak set pieces defense. If you combined that with playing Christensen our weakest cb. Good luck
 
 


Positional awareness is probably more important is the point I was making. Just because the team gets shorter doesn't mean we concede more goals. We had a tall team and conceded loads of ariel goals last season which says it's probably more the defending rather than the height. Better defenders are what's needed not taller defenders. If we can get better and taller defenders then great.

But I think it's a leap to say we'll get worse in the air because we got shorter as a team.
Chillwell is probably better in the air than alonso. Thiago silva scores a lot of headed goals and is good in the air for someone who isn't a giant. Kai is tall as is zouma. We'll have the height on the bench etc if we needed it in the last 10 mins if it's just getting lumped up the pitch and we are holding on.

I'd take getting smaller as a team if it means a better defence which is slightly less physical. If we can get 2 JTs at cb then great but there are practically none of those out there.

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