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I can't actually believe how well coached we are. Puts it in further perspective when you see the garbage United and Arsenal are spewing. I love the fact Frank isn't so stubborn to try and do it

Very confused, can only assume the ones being somewhat negative did not watch the game? Aside from Dave and Zouma, I thought we played really well against the European Champions. I was shocked at time

Our pressing game was superb, and made all the difference today! 4-3-3 with Mount and Havertz to harass opponents and Kante to sweep up behind...that's the way to go. And we have two bombing

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3 hours ago, Mana said:


Because Gilmour barely and rarely makes the squad, let alone the starting XI.

Anyway we will see in the upcoming matches what Lamps will do with Gilmour.

Did you watch Gilmour build. If you play him too much too early he won't survive. 

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3 hours ago, Tomo said:

Dont know where else best to put this.

With Tammy going off the boil a bit and Giroud starting to pick up form when we get Callum and Pulisic back should we be playing both of them off Oli in the run in? 

While Frank shouldn't have froze out Giroud like he did it could inadvertently benefit us now as he will be pretty fresh.

I am not big fan of puli and CHO together. A bit too direct for my liking even with Giroud

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3 hours ago, communicate said:

I am not big fan of puli and CHO together. A bit too direct for my liking even with Giroud

Yes too direct, because when teams havent played with 2 direct wingers who take people on at most opportunities they havent done very well..... not. I hope this is a joke.

Liverpool and Man City have direct wingers in their teams such as Mane, Sterling, Sane, Salah and they have been a big part of their success. I dont see how this would be a problem at all. All of Ferguson's United teams had wingers who would always play direct, try to beat players at every opportunity and even with Jose here we had Robben and Duff who were very direct.

Or lets just continue with this sideways passing football where everything comes infield with players who have no or little intent/willingness to run at fullbacks and be predictable. 

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You know that cliched saying, "it doesnt matter how many you concede as long as you outscore the opposition"?

I really think it holds true for the type of football Lampard is trying to play. 

We look good in Tottenham and Liverpool games because we thankfully converted our chances early on and rubber stamped out control on the match.

Can guarantee that if we had last seasons Hazard and RLC in the team, we would be far above where Leicester is in the table right now.

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9 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

Yes too direct, because when teams havent played with 2 direct wingers who take people on at most opportunities they havent done very well..... not. I hope this is a joke.

Liverpool and Man City have direct wingers in their teams such as Mane, Sterling, Sane, Salah and they have been a big part of their success. I dont see how this would be a problem at all. All of Ferguson's United teams had wingers who would always play direct, try to beat players at every opportunity and even with Jose here we had Robben and Duff who were very direct.

Or lets just continue with this sideways passing football where everything comes infield with players who have no or little intent/willingness to run at fullbacks and be predictable. 

 

Imagine playing direct attacker being supported by midfield and defense who is not good against transition and can't really dominate game. 

There is no point talking about Mou 1.0 team, that team was like this city team, we have wc player in almost every position. 

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5 hours ago, communicate said:

 

Imagine playing direct attacker being supported by midfield and defense who is not good against transition and can't really dominate game. 

There is no point talking about Mou 1.0 team, that team was like this city team, we have wc player in almost every position. 

Then improve in midfield and defence so their better suited either by changing personnel, coaching on the training ground and the tactics/teams shape. Other coaches have done it, even here, no team is perfect. Not only the big teams who do it. Pochettino and Koeman did it with Southampton, Sean Dyche has done it at Burnley, Ancelotti is doing it at Everton. Wolves with Nuno. Sheffield with Chris Wilder. They did or have found ways to improve offensively or defensively as well as maintaining/improving other areas/keeping their strengths in other areas. 

Conte strengthened our shape and tactical set up to free the attackers up from their defensive duties, got the ball forward faster and had us creating overloads/scenarios where we could utilize the free men who were the wingbacks more often than not and other teams struggled to get to grips with that.

Jose, the second time around, strengthened our team shape the previous season and then added Cesc and Costa to give us control and an ability to break stubborn teams down. We were more clinical as we had a ruthless top level CF on top of that solid platform as well as someone like Cesc who could find that killer pass. 

Klopp has done it at Liverpool, instead of reigning in Salah, Mane and Firmino, he stuck to his approach and added Fabinho, Alisson and Van Dijk. Pep done it when he signed new full backs at City as opposed to changing his approach radically.

Really dont see your point at all. Why hold back an area we are struggling in as it is? The attack needs to improve, yea dont go all out gunho and capitulate every week but build that part of the team up, find a way to break teams down as well as create chances and be more clinical. We could be more solid but again it has been done before at other teams, becoming better offensively while also improving defensively. Improve on the weaknesses be it through recruitment, coaching or tactics. 

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5 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

 

Really dont see your point at all. Why hold back an area we are struggling in as it is? The attack needs to improve, yea dont go all out gunho and capitulate every week but build that part of the team up, find a way to break teams down as well as create chances and be more clinical. We could be more solid but again it has been done before at other teams, becoming better offensively while also improving defensively. Improve on the weaknesses be it through recruitment, coaching or tactics. 

It is fine to have more offensive threat but at what cost? Can you handle more transition chance for other team. 

and this is the most important thing how much threat do you add. If CHO and puli are wc or close to it, we won't be having this conversation. 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, communicate said:

It is fine to have more offensive threat but at what cost? Can you handle more transition chance for other team. 

and this is the most important thing how much threat do you add. If CHO and puli are wc or close to it, we won't be having this conversation. 

 

 

 

 

At what cost...... hmm okay lets just go to being a very very poor offensive team and worry about the opposition playing with 2 RBs and LBs instead of a set of full backs and wingers. Or play with 4 CBs and 3 DMs that do nothing but ensure we dont get caught on transitions.... No?

Playing those guys out wide or signing other attackers still isnt going to solve all our issues contrary to what people might think, we need to improve the team in all aspects as there is still a lot of issues. Not just in one area of the pitch. Things like the spaces between the midfield and defense be it sitting deeper or higher up, being more organised without the ball... cut out basic mistakes... play more pragmatically in certain phases of games etc or dont be so naive as a manager by go all out trying to offensively outplay Bayern Munich from the get go etc. If we can get those things right, then absolute play Callum and Christian or sign Jadon or Messi or Gary Goals or whoever. The individual qualities of the players are important but if you have these things right regardless you have a decent enough base to go off of to a certain extent.

How do you think we won a PL with Alonso and Moses as wingbacks as well as David Luiz as arguably the most outstanding CB in the PL that season? Things like the organisation and distances between the midfield and defence without the ball, the way Conte set us up, the lack of mistakes from our defenders etc as well as how we were offensively. These things can go hand in hand. Klopp and even Pep is showing this now too. As had Pochettino with Spurs. Luis Enrique also had this at Barcelona.

We've just seen v Liverpool we can be more solid and also have a good offensive threat.

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Chelsea are raw and inconsistent but needed this reboot years ago

https://theathletic.com/1648878/2020/03/05/oliver-kay-frank-lampard-chelsea-managers/

It was eight years on Wednesday since Andre Villas-Boas became the sixth managerial casualty of the Roman Abramovich regime at Chelsea.

He had slept in a pod at the club’s training ground the night before, underlining his commitment to putting things right after an abject defeat at West Bromwich Albion. He still oversaw that morning’s recovery session but the moment a grim-faced Abramovich turned up at Cobham with director Eugene Tenenbaum, chief executive Ron Gourlay and a couple of bodyguards, Villas-Boas knew the game was up.

The whole football world had seen it coming. Villas-Boas had won admiration for his tactical knowledge and progressive approach at Porto but at 34, only two and a half years into his life as a manager, he lacked the authority, the experience, the common touch and the survival instincts required at a club like Chelsea with so many big beasts in the dressing room and a much bigger beast in the boardroom. He was, in many ways, a lamb to the slaughter.

Roberto Di Matteo stepped up as caretaker manager, went back to basics and, within three months, Chelsea had won the FA Cup and the Champions League. Even that was not enough to spare him from the sack when results took a downward turn early in the following season but the AVB/RDM experience, followed by the Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri eras, seemed to underline something about the modern Chelsea: a club where managers were so concerned about their job security that long-term planning never happened.

Frank Lampard was one of many Chelsea players who struggled with Villas-Boas. He had been accustomed to intimate working relationships with Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti but Villas-Boas had a different approach — more detached, more aloof — and was, by his own admission, too “radical” in his attempts to impose his own style on a group of players who were used to another way of playing and working.

“His plan was long-term but somewhere in the middle of that, the present didn’t go well — and that’s where the problems came,” Lampard said a few weeks later. “To be fair to AVB, that was part of the remit and I get that we need to move on and change but you can’t lose sight of the present.”

It’s funny how things change. Eight years on, Lampard is managing Chelsea and trying to implement the kind of cultural change that the club has spent years putting off since the short-lived Villas-Boas experiment.

The plan is long-term — to rejuvenate an ageing squad by integrating homegrown talents such as Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Billy Gilmour, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham — but, just as Lampard said of Villas-Boas in 2012, you can’t lose sight of the present.

Everyone can see where Lampard is trying to take Chelsea, perhaps not always in terms of the system or line-up from one match to the next but certainly in terms of an overriding philosophy. It is about youth, energy, high tempo, winning the ball back quickly, moving it quickly, taking risks. It is not dissimilar to what Villas-Boas and Sarri tried and struggled to achieve with a group of players who were used to a different way of working.

At one stage between late September and early November, they won six consecutive Premier League games, with Mount and Abraham scoring goals at a rate that spoke of a new sense of freedom around Stamford Bridge. After 12 games, they were third, one point clear of fourth-placed Manchester City and nine points clear of fifth-placed Sheffield United.

Since then, though, they have won five, drawn four and lost seven of their 16 Premier League games. They are now fourth, with Manchester United leading a pack of rivals who, despite their own inconsistencies, have been given hope in pursuit of beating Chelsea to a top-four finish. In terms of results, it is just the type of run that led Abramovich to sack Luiz Felipe Scolari in February 2009 and Villas-Boas in March 2012, and to decide that Ancelotti, Conte and Sarri would have to be replaced in the summer.

Lampard has now outlasted Villas-Boas. Tuesday night’s FA Cup fifth-round victory over Liverpool was his 41st game in charge of Chelsea in all competitions, taking him one past Villas-Boas and five beyond the even-shorter-lived Scolari. On Sunday, he will move level with Di Matteo on 42 matches. And then there are the interims — Guus Hiddink 22 matches in his first spell and 27 in his second, Rafa Benitez 48, Avram Grant 54 — although, to some extent, every Chelsea manager feels like an interim. Of Abramovich’s 12 previous appointments, only four have got beyond the 12-month mark. Ancelotti (109 games) and (Conte (106) both left after the second season. Mourinho’s two spells (184 and 136 games) felt turbulent and short-lived but by Abramovich standards, they were times of great stability.

NEW-CHELSEA-MANAGERS.png

Things are different now. Abramovich is now operating from a distance and, rather than spending millions in trying to establish Chelsea as a dominant force in the game, he is happy to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. He wants Chelsea to be sustainable and, amid a FIFA transfer embargo and the continuing agonies over whether to redevelop Stamford Bridge or relocate, which have left the club in limbo, Lampard was hired last summer in an attempt to find a different, more sustainable way forward.

There are obvious parallels with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment at Manchester United and indeed, with Mikel Arteta’s at Arsenal — former players brought back in the hope of restoring an identity, a sense of direction and, importantly, unity. Solskjaer was hired by United on the back of two stints at Molde and a relegation with Cardiff City; Arteta had spent three and a half seasons as assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City but had never managed in his own right; Lampard’s experience was limited to a season in charge of Derby County, whom he led to the Championship play-off final last season.

It is stating the obvious to suggest that the Lampard and Solskjaer appointments in particular would not have happened without their previous connections to the club. Both men know that. The Championship and the Norwegian Eliteserien are not the waters in which Chelsea and United usually fish for coaching talent.

Those connections bring no guarantees but they do bring an understanding and they also mean that, at a club planning to take a step back in the hope of taking two steps forward, there will be patience and goodwill from the crowd. If you are going to look to develop younger players, better to do it in a supportive environment rather than one that, at times under Chelsea’s, United’s and Arsenal’s previous few managers, has felt corrosive.

As Lampard observed last week after a humbling 3-0 home defeat by Bayern Munich, Chelsea have not been a major force in the Champions League for a long time. Since that somewhat freakish 2012 success under Di Matteo, they have only progressed beyond the first knockout stage on one occasion (reaching the semi-finals under Mourinho in 2014).

Yes, they won the Europa League under Benitez and Sarri and of course, they won the Premier League under Mourinho in 2015 and Conte in 2017, but there has been a recognition within the club that they have been papering over the cracks for too long. There was a need to strip things back and start rebuilding for the longer term, embracing homegrown talent and a youth academy whose excellent work over the past decade has too often gone to waste.

So far this season, Mount (21), Abraham (22), Tomori (22) and James (20) have started 24, 23, 15 and 11 Premier League games respectively. All four spent last season on loan to Championship clubs. There have also been regular outings for Callum Hudson-Odoi (19) and Christian Pulisic (21), who was signed from Borussia Dortmund for £58 million in January last year and then immediately loaned back. The victory over Liverpool on Tuesday brought a man-of-the-match performance from Billy Gilmour, an 18-year-old Scot whose composure and swagger on the ball at the base of midfield belied his lack of experience.

Billy Gilmour, Chelsea, Liverpool

Not many managers would have been comfortable going about the job this way, particularly at a club like Chelsea, where young players have often not been deemed ready for first-team football until they have built up an extensive catalogue of experience on loan. On the opening weekend of the Premier League season, after a chastening but rather harsh 4-0 defeat at Manchester United, Mourinho ventured in the Sky Sports studio that Lampard had been wrong to select Andreas Christensen, Mount and Abraham when he had more experienced, more battle-hardened players to call upon. In particular Mourinho felt it was a mistake to pick Abraham over Giroud.

Giroud has demonstrated since his recall to the team over recent weeks that he still has much to offer — he gave Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk a hard time all evening on Tuesday — but surely Lampard’s call, in building his forward line around Abraham this season, goes down as the right one. The forward has scored 15 goals in all competitions for Chelsea this season. He cannot match Giroud’s hold-up play but Lampard wants to go in a different direction anyway, a game that revolves around speed and incisiveness. To go with Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham and the rest makes sense.

As with United under Solskjaer, there have been some wild inconsistencies, which is why successes in certain big games have been so important. There have been times this season when both managers have appeared out of their depth, struggling to stay afloat, but United, as well as beating Chelsea three times, have won twice away to Manchester City and until Saturday, were the only team to have taken points off Liverpool in the Premier League.

Lampard must be sick of the sight of United and there have been desperate defeats at home to West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton. Yet his Chelsea team have beaten Mourinho’s Tottenham twice (impressively) and have performed well in three games against Liverpool, beating them on Tuesday at the third attempt. They were comprehensively outwitted and outplayed by Bayern in the Champions League last week but their progression through the group stage, in a group containing Valencia, Ajax and Lille, was encouraging. Lampard feels that a lack of composure in both penalty areas have been Chelsea’s undoing this season. That does not tell the whole story but, just like Jurgen Klopp a couple of seasons ago when Liverpool were frittering away points in games they dominated, he has a point.

Chelsea’s inconsistency is a concern — specifically their struggles against unfancied but spirited, well-organised opponents at Stamford Bridge — but then think of the previous two seasons, when they were so heavily reliant on Eden Hazard, so often their match-winner or their lone source of creative inspiration. Barring a dramatic improvement over the final months of the campaign, they are unlikely to get close to totals of 72 points under Sarri last term and 70 under Conte the previous year but, Hazard’s sporadic brilliance apart, there was something joyless about those two seasons. Even N’Golo Kante looked jaded at times.

This season under Lampard has been about trying to do something different, something more positive. That has proved easier said than done without Hazard, who contributed 16 goals and 15 assists in the Premier League alone last season before departing for Real Madrid. He was the one who frequently turned defeats into draws and turned draws into victories. Hakim Zyech’s arrival from Ajax this summer should help to ease the creative burden but to expect the Hazard void to be filled this season by Christian Pulisic (21) and Hudson-Odoi (19) was not realistic, particularly since both have struggled with injury this term. Injuries to Antonio Rudiger and Kante have not helped. Neither has Kepa Arrizabalaga’s unconvincing form in goal until an improved performance against Liverpool.

As the season has gone on and young players have fallen victim to injury, fatigue or an inevitable drop in form, Lampard has begun to lean more heavily on the experience of campaigners such as Marcos Alonso, Pedro, Willian and Giroud. It is not dissimilar to Solskjaer’s reintegration of the former Chelsea pair of Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata over recent weeks. It is that thing Lampard spoke about with regard to Villas-Boas: “We need to move on and change but you can’t lose sight of the present.”

The FA Cup tie against Liverpool was an example of that. Mount, James, Tomori and Tino Anjorin were all among the substitutes and, with Hudson-Odoi and Abraham injured, Lampard turned to experience. Not only was Gilmour the youngest player in the starting line-up but he was the only one under the age of 25. A front three of Willian, Pedro and Giroud had a combined age of 96. It was not a line-up that screamed of a brave new world but, unlike the worst periods under Villas-Boas, Mourinho, Conte and Sarri, even the potentially disenchanted players looked full of vigour. And there, at the heart of it, was Gilmour, chasing down the opposition, always demanding the ball and recycling it quickly and intelligently.

It carried echoes of the early months of 2010-11 when a teenager named Josh McEachran emerged from the Chelsea academy and showed similar touches of composure whenever he was given a run-out at the base of midfield by Ancelotti. But then, as results took a downward turn over the course of that season and Ancelotti sensed that he was in a battle (one that proved ultimately unsuccessful) to save his job, the experiment was abandoned. McEachran lost his way and, after a series of unfulfilling loans, tried for a fresh start at Brentford before moving on to Birmingham City. He has had a decent career at Championship level but perhaps he was one of those at the front of Lampard’s mind when the Chelsea manager spoke about academy players whose progression stalled due to a short-term outlook.

Lampard is determined to ensure that Chelsea, seven times FA Youth Cup winners and twice UEFA Youth League winners over the past decade — even while sending many of their most promising players out on loan — have something more than transfer fees to show for the excellent work done at their academy. “I knew the fans wanted to see young players,” he told his cousin Jamie Redknapp in a recent Daily Mail interview. “I knew how much the academy put into these players — the sweat, the tears, the hours that go into those prospects. Neil Bath and Jim Fraser, who have run the academy for years, put so much into it. The day we beat Wolves 5-2, Tomori got the first, Tammy scores three, then Mason scores.” That, he says, was one of the highlights of his tenure so far.

Lampard admits there has been a pragmatic element to this, that he might have sent Mount and Tomori out on loan had it not been for the transfer ban, but still here was a certain boldness in the way he made room for the pair, having had them at Derby last season. The conventional Chelsea way would have been to keep David Luiz and Gary Cahill while sending Tomori and either Christensen and Kurt Zouma on loan. Lampard moved Luiz and Cahill, two of his former team-mates, on to Arsenal and Crystal Palace respectively. Where possible, he wants to go with youth.

Like any young team, they can be wildly inconsistent. They can even be inconsistent from one passage of play to the next. They have won five of their last 16 Premier League matches and nine of the past 22 games in all competitions. There is plenty to leave you scratching your head, plenty, as at United and Arsenal, to leave you wondering whether this is really the time and the place for a young manager who is having to learn on the job.

But Chelsea is a club that has been in desperate need of this kind of reboot. Of course, winning trophies is the name of the game but the past decade’s successes have often come at the expense of long-term progress. The need to go in a different direction is obvious.

Lampard still has a great deal to learn and prove as a manager. As with Solskjaer, as with Arteta, there cannot just be an assumption that, because he is a former player who understands the club, he is the right man for the job. A club cannot blindly give a manager three years to get things right. There has to be progress to show for it.

Progress comes in different forms, though. Progress can be rebuilding a squad, developing young players, bringing a sense of unity, cohesion and some semblance of vision to a club that has been dysfunctional for years. What matters most, ultimately, is turning this type of progress into the type that will take a team to a higher level, challenging for the trophies they have won in the recent past. None of that is possible without first winning hearts and minds, changing the focus, giving fans, the players and the whole club something to buy into. Even to get to this point with a sense of unity intact, towards the end of his first season in charge, feels encouraging for Lampard. Not every manager at Chelsea makes it that far, as well he knows.

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On 3/6/2020 at 6:37 AM, OneMoSalah said:

At what cost...... hmm okay lets just go to being a very very poor offensive team and worry about the opposition playing with 2 RBs and LBs instead of a set of full backs and wingers. Or play with 4 CBs and 3 DMs that do nothing but ensure we dont get caught on transitions.... No?

Playing those guys out wide or signing other attackers still isnt going to solve all our issues contrary to what people might think, we need to improve the team in all aspects as there is still a lot of issues. Not just in one area of the pitch. Things like the spaces between the midfield and defense be it sitting deeper or higher up, being more organised without the ball... cut out basic mistakes... play more pragmatically in certain phases of games etc or dont be so naive as a manager by go all out trying to offensively outplay Bayern Munich from the get go etc. If we can get those things right, then absolute play Callum and Christian or sign Jadon or Messi or Gary Goals or whoever. The individual qualities of the players are important but if you have these things right regardless you have a decent enough base to go off of to a certain extent.

How do you think we won a PL with Alonso and Moses as wingbacks as well as David Luiz as arguably the most outstanding CB in the PL that season? Things like the organisation and distances between the midfield and defence without the ball, the way Conte set us up, the lack of mistakes from our defenders etc as well as how we were offensively. These things can go hand in hand. Klopp and even Pep is showing this now too. As had Pochettino with Spurs. Luis Enrique also had this at Barcelona.

We've just seen v Liverpool we can be more solid and also have a good offensive threat.

I think this conversation is going too far from the main point  "should we play Pulisic and CHO together this season". IMO we can't cope with it defensively and they don't produce enough offense to justify. It is that simple. 

On your squad development point. You basically say it is fine playing many direct attackers who evlare not exactly producing elite number, We will just build midfield and defence that can protect them. If you do that, and your attacker does not really produce at elite rate, you will become kinda like United.

 

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20 minutes ago, communicate said:

I think this conversation is going too far from the main point  "should we play Pulisic and CHO together this season". IMO we can't cope with it defensively and they don't produce enough offense to justify. It is that simple. 

On your squad development point. You basically say it is fine playing many direct attackers who evlare not exactly producing elite number, We will just build midfield and defence that can protect them. If you do that, and your attacker does not really produce at elite rate, you will become kinda like United.

 

The two of them are babies in terms ot footballers. They are under 20. Both have huge potential and can also offer something right now. If they grow and become key players are you saying we shouldnt play them together because of being afraid of being caught out on transitions???? Thats why the manager either coaches or improves the team tactically or by making signings....

You mentioned United but they have 2 good attackers in Martial.and Rashford as well as Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, the reason they struggle is because they havent got the rest of their team or set up right to utilize them properly. If they get.Pochettino.or Allegri for instance do you think they are gonna bin them.and sign new attackers? No they are gonna improve the structure or other areas of the team....

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5 hours ago, OneMoSalah said:

The two of them are babies in terms ot footballers. They are under 20. Both have huge potential and can also offer something right now. If they grow and become key players are you saying we shouldnt play them together because of being afraid of being caught out on transitions???? Thats why the manager either coaches or improves the team tactically or by making signings....

You mentioned United but they have 2 good attackers in Martial.and Rashford as well as Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, the reason they struggle is because they havent got the rest of their team or set up right to utilize them properly. If they get.Pochettino.or Allegri for instance do you think they are gonna bin them.and sign new attackers? No they are gonna improve the structure or other areas of the team....

Pulisic turns 22 at the end of this coming summer, and next season is his 6th season at topflight level, and his 5th full one.

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It's all ifs and buts now but just imagine if Lampard had used the squad depth better back in November/December/January. The players he alienated, notably Pedro and Giroud, suddenly look decent again when given a run of games and have been solid for the last few games. 

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Just now, Milan said:

And maybe they would not be this fresh. Ifs and buts indeed.

The point is, Lampard could have rotated the players better but he didn't. He ran some players into the ground and are now hampered by injury (e.g. Abraham). 

Lampard's rebooting job is obviously going better than AVB's years ago but Lampard once said this of AVB's problems back then - "His plan was long-term but somewhere in the middle of that, the present didn't go well - and that's where the problems came. To be fair to AVB, that was part of the remit and I get that we need to move on and change but you can't lose sight of the present". Judging by how Lampard alienated some of the senior players month ago, it seems he also lost sight of the present because he's now got them back in and we are seeing some benefits for the short term in the midst of all the injuries!

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