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The midfield puzzle


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It is obvious this is the biggest problem facing the team right now. What and how we deal with the frankly dire midfield play will pretty much have a massive role in our fortunes this season.

A look at the current first choice midfield -

Lampard - It would seem that time has finally caught up with Frankie and he no longer looks like the match winner he used to be. The intelligence is still there but his decision making has slowed down just that extra bit and it is making a lot of difference to the way he plays and consequently several moves have broken down with him in possession. At 33 there is still no replacement in sight and he continues to get picked every week.

Ramires - Unbounded energy and stamina and a great athlete. But this Brazilian suffers from a poor touch on the ball and a lack of flair. Reminds me of a young Essien. While great as a B2B , not one to look up to when creativity is what we lack.

Mikel - Solid in ball retention and more or less faultless in distribution. Assigned the job of doing the donkey-work in midfield to allow others around him the freedom of expressing themselves in attack. Is not very quick and prone to lapses of concentration here and there and questionable positioning on occasion, but his importance as the lone fit senior DM cannot be undervalued.

All fine players individually, but offer little or no solution to the main malaise that Chelsea from - slow passing and no invention.

Now to look at the other options :

McEachran - Young but shows no sign of it in his play. Calm and assured, always seems to have an idea of what to do with the ball even before he gets it. His vision and passing are commendable, as is his close control and ability to wriggle out of tight spaces. Frail looking but can surprise opponents because he does have strength in his tackle. Crying out for a role in the team.

Benayoun - Positionally versatile and hard working. Brings with him good ball control and technique. Vision for a pass as well. Could be the key to unlock Torres but suffers from niggling injuries and a lack of minutes on the pitch.

All indications so far are that AvB will continue with a 4-3-3 model. A few questions arise consequently :

  • Given his performances so far, does Lampard deserve an automatic starting berth?
  • Are Mikel and Ramires a luxury against sides that aim to sit back and soak up pressure?
  • With the continued poor service to the front men, shouldn't a creative link up player like Yossi be playing every week?

They call the midfield the engine room for a reason. Against weak sides it doesn't matter too much whether your midfield is functioning well because like we saw today, the overall superior quality of individuals is enough to carry the team through. But against tougher opposition it is the midfield where games are won or lost. And while all players mentioned above are good players, their combined efforts I fear will not be enough to win games.

We employ a 3 man midfield so that's an advantage straight away. It should help us keep and rotate possession and dictate the pace of games, but like we've seen, it doesn't. AvB has a big problem to solve here, whether by getting these players to play above themselves or by fresh recruitments.

Thoughts?

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It is obvious this is the biggest problem facing the team right now. What and how we deal with the frankly dire midfield play will pretty much have a massive role in our fortunes this season.

A look at the current first choice midfield -

Lampard - It would seem that time has finally caught up with Frankie and he no longer looks like the match winner he used to be. The intelligence is still there but his decision making has slowed down just that extra bit and it is making a lot of difference to the way he plays and consequently several moves have broken down with him in possession. At 33 there is still no replacement in sight and he continues to get picked every week.

Ramires - Unbounded energy and stamina and a great athlete. But this Brazilian suffers from a poor touch on the ball and a lack of flair. Reminds me of a young Essien. While great as a B2B , not one to look up to when creativity is what we lack.

Mikel - Solid in ball retention and more or less faultless in distribution. Assigned the job of doing the donkey-work in midfield to allow others around him the freedom of expressing themselves in attack. Is not very quick and prone to lapses of concentration here and there and questionable positioning on occasion, but his importance as the lone fit senior DM cannot be undervalued.

All fine players individually, but offer little or no solution to the main malaise that Chelsea from - slow passing and no invention.

Now to look at the other options :

McEachran - Young but shows no sign of it in his play. Calm and assured, always seems to have an idea of what to do with the ball even before he gets it. His vision and passing are commendable, as is his close control and ability to wriggle out of tight spaces. Frail looking but can surprise opponents because he does have strength in his tackle. Crying out for a role in the team.

Benayoun - Positionally versatile and hard working. Brings with him good ball control and technique. Vision for a pass as well. Could be the key to unlock Torres but suffers from niggling injuries and a lack of minutes on the pitch.

All indications so far are that AvB will continue with a 4-3-3 model. A few questions arise consequently :

  • Given his performances so far, does Lampard deserve an automatic starting berth?
  • Are Mikel and Ramires a luxury against sides that aim to sit back and soak up pressure?
  • With the continued poor service to the front men, shouldn't a creative link up player like Yossi be playing every week?

They call the midfield the engine room for a reason. Against weak sides it doesn't matter too much whether your midfield is functioning well because like we saw today, the overall superior quality of individuals is enough to carry the team through. But against tougher opposition it is the midfield where games are won or lost. And while all players mentioned above are good players, their combined efforts I fear will not be enough to win games.

We employ a 3 man midfield so that's an advantage straight away. It should help us keep and rotate possession and dictate the pace of games, but like we've seen, it doesn't. AvB has a big problem to solve here, whether by getting these players to play above themselves or by fresh recruitments.

Thoughts?

the big worry is Frank ,,we have relied on him for so long now ...there is no complete replacement for him .

Ramires can handle the Essien role... we havent replaced Ballack who brought such stablity to us ..

Again our midfield was more dominant when we played 4 4 2

Josh is still young to be expected to be the main playmaker ...

AVB certainly has his work cut out

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Good thread

With Lamps there is no replacement in sight because there is no replacement anywhere, he is one of a kind we will never find a prolific goalscoring midfielder like him ever again.

I think we need Modric, have him creating from deep, Ramires running box to box, and McEachran and Lampard rotating further forward,not that many goals in that midfield when Lamps is out but if Mata, Danny and Nando/Lukaku come up with their fair share it wont Mata.

I am starting to think we should break the bank to sign Modders, right this second i will happily splash out £40m for him.

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I think the solution would really be Modric.

Mikel

Ramires Modric

Since Modric plays more at the center that would allow Ramires to go forward and Luka would imo be the final piece for our puzzle sending passes around and organizing our play.

I hope we sign either him or Moutinho before the window ends. If we do, I think we have very high chances for the title.

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like a guy said on 606 mikel is slow on the ball . he may be reliable and his product assured but it seems to take forever for him to move the ball quickly from back to front . Fair play if we are playing a team that could require a more defensive approach but against Norwich and West Brom at home i dont see the need for him to play in the same team as Ramires.

with what we have at the mo ( assuming we dont purchase modric ) my idea would be to play a three man midfield of

Frank - although he is in a bit of a dip in form his movement and through balls are still top notch , plus he offers good set piece and penalty options with guaranteed goals whilst on form . yossi could come on for him to offer even more creativity and vision if Frank really does dip in form over a continued period .

Josh - to offer the composure and vision we so desperately require . Let him have freedom and play in his favorite offensive role were he can provide service for the front men and help us to create chances .

Ramires - to offer the drive plus power with his surging runs whilst still being able to contain certain opposition players and provide us with a defensive and offensive option without being completely either .

with mata playing on the left of a 3 man front line of him Torres and Sturridge providing some pace , quality and goals hopefully .

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like a guy said on 606 mikel is slow on the ball . he may be reliable and his product assured but it seems to take forever for him to move the ball quickly from back to front . Fair play if we are playing a team that could require a more defensive approach but against Norwich and West Brom at home i dont see the need for him to play in the same team as Ramires.

with what we have at the mo ( assuming we dont purchase modric ) my idea would be to play a three man midfield of

Frank - although he is in a bit of a dip in form his movement and through balls are still top notch , plus he offers good set piece and penalty options with guaranteed goals whilst on form .

Josh - to offer the composure and vision we so desperately require . Let him have freedom and play in his favorite offensive role were he can provide service for the front men and help us to create chances .

Ramires - to offer the drive plus power with his surging runs whilst still being able to contain certain opposition players and provide us with a defensive and offensive option without being completely either .

with mata playing on the left of a 3 man front line of him Torres and Sturridge providing some pace , quality and goals hopefully .

I swear 606 shut down?

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Pass and Move!!

Pass and Move!!

Pass and Move!!

We dont do that. Instead we play labored lateral passes that are misplaced. Ramirez is the shining star but he alone cannot carry the entire midfield. We need a fast young playmaker who can dictate the game.

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I think we need Modric, have him creating from deep, Ramires running box to box, and McEachran and Lampard rotating further forward,not that many goals in that midfield when Lamps is out but if Mata, Danny and Nando/Lukaku come up with their fair share it wont Mata.

That seems plausible, but Modric has been played deep at Spurs to accomodate VdV. We need him further up front.

Frank - although he is in a bit of a dip in form his movement and through balls are still top notch , plus he offers good set piece and penalty options with guaranteed goals whilst on form . yossi could come on for him to offer even more creativity and vision if Frank really does dip in form over a continued period .

But what counts as a continued period? I'd say 2nd half of last season to Aug this seaosn is continued enough.

We dont do that. Instead we play labored lateral passes that are misplaced. Ramirez is the shining star but he alone cannot carry the entire midfield. We need a fast young playmaker who can dictate the game.

Yeah, but who does he replace?

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That seems plausible, but Modric has been played deep at Spurs to accomodate VdV. We need him further up front.

But what counts as a continued period? I'd say 2nd half of last season to Aug this seaosn is continued enough.

Yeah, but who does he replace?

I remember AVB said in the Central Midfield we should have 6. players. Lets see who we've got now.

Mikel and Romeu

Lampard and McEchran

Ramirez.

Benayoun looks all set to leave. and that is who he will be replacing.

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I remember AVB said in the Central Midfield we should have 6. players. Lets see who we've got now.

Mikel and Romeu

Lampard and McEchran

Ramirez.

Benayoun looks all set to leave. and that is who he will be replacing.

Basically, Lampard stays.

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Guys! Really, what will happen, if we sign Modric? McEachran will never get his chance, and it would be the worst decision in the past ten years. We MUST to give him chance... Pick up him, to the starting line-up, and maybe he will be better, than Modric would be... Just look, what happend with Wilshere!

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Guys! Really, what will happen, if we sign Modric? McEachran will never get his chance, and it would be the worst decision in the past ten years. We MUST to give him chance... Pick up him, to the starting line-up, and maybe he will be better, than Modric would be... Just look, what happend with Wilshere!

I hate it when that gets said, its not the case at-all, remember when Barca signed Deco? that was suppose to be the death kneel for Iniesta and what happened?

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I hate it when that gets said, its not the case at-all, remember when Barca signed Deco? that was suppose to be the death kneel for Iniesta and what happened?

Sure, then just waste our biggest talent... I'm just afraid, he will rot on the bench :\

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Sure, then just waste our biggest talent... I'm just afraid, he will rot on the bench :\

AS ive said everyone thought Deco would kill Iniesta and what happened?

We need depth, Modric won't play every game and in a few years he will be 30, Josh will be 23 and ready to dominate europe. If Modric's arrival does anything to Josh it will improve and enchance him not kill him.

Plus we can't rush him into a first team regular, how many players that are regulars at teens aint burnt out by the time their 29? look at Wilshere he is showing signs of possible burnout already. Robben, Owen, Van Persie other examples.

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The fact that he gets the full 90 mins every game means Lamps is a guaranteed starter

The question is how do you get the best out of him. Like Max said, he has slowed down in terms of decision making and pace. Plus he has the added responsibility of setting up the attack in midfield.

The best thing would be to let him concentrate on the final third, where he can still score with his runs and provide the final ball for an assist. To do this you would need someone else directing the central midfield.

Unfortunately Mikel (though solid as a DM) doesn't play too many forward passes, and Ramires , whilst a powerhouse, isn't exactly an orchestrator.

Which again begs me to ask...Why doesn't Josh get any game time? Even 5-10 mins?. The answer is probably because every time AVB has made a substitution so far this season, we've had to score a goal or 2 more to win the game which was heading for a draw or loss...So he probably relies on experience. Also one of our front three always seems to be out of form, so one sub is sure to be made in that department...

However like someone else said earlier Mata as well as the new Mexican signing gives us more tactical options...These guys can play as attacking mids/support strikers/wingers....I hope we can see better in the coming days...

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Maybe Mata can replace Lampard and play a little more forward and wider. He can certainly provide the creativity we need, and he has an eye for goal as well, and I think he can play well in the middle as well. And after watching him today, I think Mata-Ramires combo can be very effective.

--------------Torres-------------

------------Mata-------Sturridge

Perreira--------Ramires-------

---------------Mikel--------------

But I guess it all depends on who we get next week. If we get Moutinho or Modric, Mata will stay on the left wing, and if we get Perreira, Mata may play in the middle or on the right.

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Mikel and Remires cant play in the same midfield. I dont know what's all the hype about Remires's game today, like i said, he had some

good minutes after he got the penalty, but before that he was inexistent in attack and even in defense. I just dont get this player, it seems

that he can do so much more but somehow he doesnt. You cant play with two midfielders that can barley help you on the attacking game.

I wish Remires was like young Essien, but he isnt. He needs to be way more dominant.

If Modric wont come, it will be a problem, but maybe Josh can help with it if he will get the chance. It will be hard with the midfield of

Lampard, Remires and Mikel. Lampard, beside he's not in his best form, cant work the attacking midfield alone, he never done it in Chelsea,

he allways had Ballcak or Essien next to him, Remires doesnt give the same quality. Not even close.

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