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I personally don't see one problem it would solve to be honest... He's perfect in the position he plays. If we move him to MD not only will lose some of his advances, but I don't think he improves our pivot, he is an AM not a CM, MD or DLP. Moving him deeper only makes room for another AM, but rhe amount of our AMs sitting in the bench whoever they are, isn't a problem imo, so I don't see any problems being solved with him being moved to midfield and I foresee a few new problems being created. Just my opinion though

I'm not talking about playing him in the pivot.

------------------- Cech

Ivanovic ---- Luiz ------ Terry ----- Azpilicueta

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

---------- Ramires ------- Oscar

Mata ----------------------------- Hazard

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

This formation requires less defending from our wide men and allows for Oscar to get forward in the way that Lampard did at the weekend. He's got the qualities to play there it just depends on his awareness and positioning. Only person this effects is an aging Lampard...

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I'm not talking about playing him in the pivot.

------------------- Cech

Ivanovic ---- Luiz ------ Terry ----- Azpilicueta

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

---------- Ramires ------- Oscar

Mata ----------------------------- Hazard

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

This formation requires less defending from our wide men and allows for Oscar to get forward in the way that Lampard did at the weekend. He's got the qualities to play there it just depends on his awareness and positioning. Only person this effects is an aging Lampard...

This formation has Mazacar and while they're slightly less underwhelming in a 4-3-3 than they are in a 4-2-3-1, it's still worse than nearly all other combinations with our 6 AMs imo. If we play Mata, we need three MDs in the midfield, so it requires the exact three that played against WHU: Mikel, Ramires and Lamps. For domestic games Essien is an option for the midfield.

As for Oscar playing as the most advanced player in the midfield, I like that idea, that's how he played in Confederations Cup, although some people thought we used a 4-2-3-1 (I think it was 4-3-3). Oscar can use a rest (even if he doesn't need one). We only need one point, I see now reason why Mata can't replace him .

edit: this formation doesn't require less defending from our wide players... Mourinho's system requires a lot of pressing from 8 outfield players while 2 others can press a little bit less, those being Eden and the striker. Whoever plays by Hazard side will be required to press and mark a lot, after all they're filling Oscar's shoes, but regardless of Oscar standards, this AM will need to have high work-rate.

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This formation has Mazacar and while they're slightly less underwhelming in a 4-3-3 than they are in a 4-2-3-1, it's still worse than nearly all other combinations with our 6 AMs imo. If we play Mata, we need three MDs in the midfield, so it requires the exact three that played against WHU: Mikel, Ramires and Lamps. For domestic games Essien is an option for the midfield.

As for Oscar playing as the most advanced player in the midfield, I like that idea, that's how he played in Confederations Cup, although some people thought we used a 4-2-3-1 (I think it was 4-3-3). Oscar can use a rest (even if he doesn't need one). We only need one point, I see now reason why Mata can't replace him .

edit: this formation doesn't require less defending from our wide players... Mourinho's system requires a lot of pressing from 8 outfield players while 2 others can press a little bit less, those being Eden and the striker. Whoever plays by Hazard side will be required to press and mark a lot, after all they're filling Oscar's shoes, but regardless of Oscar standards, this AM will need to have high work-rate.

Its just an idea. Hard to prove one way or other how effective it can be.

I'm not of the belief that Oscar, Mata and Hazard can't play together, it all depends on the team philosophy and how rigid the instructions are. And I'm sorry Mata isn't nearly as dependent on mid's as you're making it out to be. Does he need cover? sure but that is not represented in the form of Mikel, Lampard and Ramires! 3 players to make up for one player inefficiencies??! no way. Put Ramires wide on whichever flank Mata plays and its problem solved.

As for this game against Basel I wasn't referring to Oscar for this game as much as overall. to me 4-3-3 is our best tactical formation but it makes little use of our AM's. That is lessened if Oscar plays CM.

It does require A LOT less work from our wide men! Last game was evidence of that. Hazard had very little work to do defensively... He wasn't tracking all the way back to contain the fullbacks or wingers because Ramires and Lampard(sometimes Mikel) were positionally there to cover. In the past it was required that the pivot protect the back four, in 4-3-3 Mikel is the shield and Ramires and Lamps were responsible for areas in the middle and wide from the half line back to the box. Thats what I saw anyways.

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Its just an idea. Hard to prove one way or other how effective it can be.

I'm not of the belief that Oscar, Mata and Hazard can't play together, it all depends on the team philosophy and how rigid the instructions are. And I'm sorry Mata isn't nearly as dependent on mid's as you're making it out to be. Does he need cover? sure but that is not represented in the form of Mikel, Lampard and Ramires! 3 players to make up for one player inefficiencies??! no way. Put Ramires wide on whichever flank Mata plays and its problem solved.

As for this game against Basel I wasn't referring to Oscar for this game as much as overall. to me 4-3-3 is our best tactical formation but it makes little use of our AM's. That is lessened if Oscar plays CM.

It does require A LOT less work from our wide men! Last game was evidence of that. Hazard had very little work to do defensively... He wasn't tracking all the way back to contain the fullbacks or wingers because Ramires and Lampard(sometimes Mikel) were positionally there to cover. In the past it was required that the pivot protect the back four, in 4-3-3 Mikel is the shield and Ramires and Lamps were responsible for areas in the middle and wide from the half line back to the box. Thats what I saw anyways.

no, the three players in the midfield provide cover, stability and solidness to all three ahead of them and all four behind them. It's not only Mata, the problem is Mata doesn't have a good work-rate, so consequently the midfield has to make up for it, if Hazard is given more freedom, so he can do his runs, dribble past opponents in counter-attack and do quick link-up with the striker, both running down the pitch - all of which Mata can't do - then the other AM has to have even better work-rate.

That was the problem with Chelsea for the last two seasons imo. We didn't have enough coverage in the midfield because our AMs - all of them, not only Mata (although I guess Oscar did his part last season too) - left tons of space surrounding them and especially behind them and we were astoundingly fragile in the midfield at points, which is why some oppositions whipped our midfield. It's about team balance. I don't care who the AMs are, we need to have balance, we can't overload the midfielders, especially when one of them is 35, and we only really have one genuinely holding player among the four options for the positions (Mikel). Looking partially at the team makes it easy to play whoever we want in whatever position, but when we look at the team as an alive system, working together, completing and complementing each other, you have to look beyond what one offers defensively or offensively, and see what they do collectively for the team to work as a well-oiled machine. Oscar for example needs to improve his vision, he needs to improve offensively, despite scoring a good amount of goals... Mata has the same challenge defensively, Hazard needs to be more incisive and daring and start deciding matches for us (given that is the role José gave him as our most important attacking player), Willian needs to be more incisive too and André has to improve his finishing. Poor Kev needs to be select first before we try to discuss what he needs to improve.

So yeah, imo if we want to replace Oscar for Mata is mandatory we play with three MDs instead of only two.

As for the last part, despite what Mourinho said, Hazard did go deep to defend, only not as much as in previous matches, he was near our corner at points and a few times at the edge of our box. Oscar was very deep too (he covered the entire right flank, attack and defense), so both of our players going wide came back to defend a lot. Do you want the heat maps?

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no, the three players in the midfield provide cover, stability and solidness to all three ahead of them and all four behind them. It's not only Mata, the problem is Mata doesn't have a good work-rate, so consequently the midfield has to make up for it, if Hazard is given more freedom, so he can do his runs, dribble past opponents in counter-attack and do quick link-up with the striker, both running down the pitch - all of which Mata can't do - then the other AM has to have even better work-rate.

That was the problem with Chelsea for the last two seasons imo. We didn't have enough coverage in the midfield because our AMs - all of them, not only Mata (although I guess Oscar did his part last season too) - left tons of space surrounding them and especially behind them and we were astoundingly fragile in the midfield at points, which is why some oppositions literally raped our midfield. It's about team balance. I don't care who the AMs are, we need to have balance, we can't overload the midfielders, especially when one of them is 35, and we only really have one genuinely holding player among the four options for the positions (Mikel). Looking partially at the team makes it easy to play whoever we want in whatever position, but when we look at the team as an alive system, working together, completing and complementing each other, you have to look beyond what one offers defensively or offensively. Oscar for example needs to improve his vision, he needs to improve offensively, despite scoring a good amount of goals... Mata has the same challenge defensively, Hazard needs to be more incisive and daring and start deciding matches for us (given that is the role José gave him as our most important attacking player), Willian needs to be more incisive too and André has to improve his finishing. Poor Kev needs to be select first before we try to discuss what he needs to improve.

while I agree that Hazard had a free role on the weekend what I don't agree with is three midfielders were charged with working harder to compensate. We had an extra pair of legs in the midfield that made for less running and tracking for the flank... Azpilicueta also did loads of work to win the ball back same with Brana, wouldn't say they're job was any harder the active zones for the press was just higher up the pitch. In the 4-3-3 Mata's main defensive responsibility would be pressing the ball in the attacking third... He can definitely do that, perhaps not as good as some of the others due to speed but he certain can.

What you're talking about is our AM's in a 4-2-3-1 that is completely different to the responsibilities of our AM's in a 4-3-3.

I'm about the badge however I do believe our best formation is 4-3-3 and that our best AM's are Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Schurrle/Willian in that order. The fact that Oscar seems to be highly adaptable is why I think he can help alleviate the glut of AM's by playing in the CM area. As for Mata he does need to improve his press but you can't do that unless you play, he is too good not to play and in my opinion can function well in a 4-3-3 where the burden of the wide men is less demanding.

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As for the last part, despite what Mourinho said, Hazard did go deep to defend, he was near our corner at points and many times at the edge of our box. Oscar was very deep too, so both of our players going wide came back to defend a lot. Do you want the heat maps?

Yes I would actually. And I didn't say they didn't track back I said the responsibility was lessened because we had extra legs in the midfield and that that active zones to win the ball back was higher up than normal

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Yes I would actually. And I didn't say they didn't track back I said the responsibility was lessened because we had extra legs in the midfield and that that active zones to win the ball back was higher up than normal

http://epl.squawka.com/west-ham-united-vs-chelsea/23-11-2013/english-barclays-premier-league/matches

I'm a bit lazy to save and upload the images, but click on full stats > individual > Oscar/Hazard/Ramires/Lampard/Mikel (because if we want to discuss how it worked, we need to see everyone working together. You suggested in your previous post that we should just play Ramires behind Mata to provide him coverage, but who's going to cover Ramires in other areas he was supposed to also cover? Ramires can't be Mata bodyguard, they have all to work in sync with each of them fulfilling their tasks).

In addition to the heat maps you should also check actions areas. You'll see Hazard still went to the 2nd third quiet often and had his cameos in the 1st third (for example, he played deeper against WHU than he did against WBA --> http://epl.squawka.com/chelsea-vs-west-bromwich-albion/09-11-2013/english-barclays-premier-league/matches), Oscar had more actions in the 2nd and 1st third than he did in the final third - which was unnecessary if you ask me, we didn't need him to provide as much help for Ivanovic if West Ham barely attacked. But when they did it was normally in our left, meaning that Oscar + Ramires + Iva shut down completely the right flank. I remember only one attack from WHU in our right (the very last attack of the match, already during stoppage time).

Replace Oscar for whoever you want, for the team to shut down opposition as we need the guy would have to have similar work-rate.

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http://epl.squawka.com/west-ham-united-vs-chelsea/23-11-2013/english-barclays-premier-league/matches

I'm a bit lazy to save and upload the images, but click on full stats > individual > Oscar/Hazard/Ramires/Lampard/Mikel (because if we want to discuss how it worked, we need to see everyone working together. You suggested in your previous post that we should just play Ramires behind Mata to provide him coverage, but who's going to cover Ramires in other areas he was supposed to also cover? Ramires can't be Mata bodyguard, they have all to work in sync with each of them fulfilling their tasks).

In addition to the heat maps you should also check actions areas. You'll see Hazard still went to the 2nd third quiet often and had his cameos in the 1st third (for example, he played deeper against WHU than he did against WBA --> http://epl.squawka.com/chelsea-vs-west-bromwich-albion/09-11-2013/english-barclays-premier-league/matches), Oscar had more actions in the 2nd and 1st third than he did in the final third - which was unnecessary if you ask me, we didn't need him to provide as much help for Ivanovic if West Ham barely attacked. But when they did it was normally in our left, meaning that Oscar + Ramires + Iva shut down completely the right flank. I remember only one attack from WHU in our right (the very last attack of the match, already during stoppage time).

Replace Oscar for whoever you want, for the team to shut down opposition as we need the guy would have to have similar work-rate.

The heating chart perfectly illustrates exactly what I am saying. I feel much better about how I saw the game having viewed this, thanks.

If you look at Lampard's average positioning you will see that he spent most of the time occupying the area on the pitch where normally Hazard would be forced to track back to.

Mikel basically came into compensate for any gaps left by either Ramires and Lampard(usually the job of Makalele role)

So to answer your question its a committee of people who compensate for Ramires who is taking up areas on the pitch that in a 4-2-3-1 our wingers would occupy.

As for the action areas, the second 3rd isn't exactly operating from a defensive position... Like I said in a previous post the difference was where the active zones to win the ball back were. In the past it would've been deeper on the weekend it was above the centre circle.

The reason Oscar came deep wasn't always to occupy a defensive posture, he was also used as the deep lying playmaker charged with coming deep to initiate the attack. That's also why Ramires had so much work on the right flank he was the release when Oscar went deep.

Again nothing in a fluid formation is as static as we'd like to think it is, my point is Mata can definitely function in a 4-3-3 if we have the right cover behind him... Its hard to dispute it. He is a dynamic attacking force who can carve up a defense when given any time and space. By far our best play maker in my eyes...

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The formation of Mata, Oscar, Hazard we might never see again.

Fernando is ready, has been training with the team for 3 days, so I see him in the starting lineup.

I also, prefer Mata to start tonight.

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Would like to see KDB and Mata play tonight.. It's so difficult because Oscar and Hazard have both been very good the last game, but at the same time you have Mata and KDB who deserve a chance plus you have Schurrle and Willian who also didn't play too much lately and they also deserve to play.

Also Torres is back but Eto'o has been good.

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