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Jas
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Lampard has conceded 63 goals in about 43 premier league games with chelsea. That is an absolute disaster. 
Even at Derby the defending was this bad, but we thought his defenders there were poor, that he needed better players. As you can see, with better players in Chelsea, he still flops in defence.
Southampton had more shots, created more chances and dominated us from the 35th minute. It's unacceptable, either he lays out the plan that we are a counter attacking team who concedes possession to even the smallest of teams, or he tells the team to be more controlled in possession. 
These ping pong games he's playing is getting pretty annoying now.
Maybe Derby had a better keeper than Kepa lol

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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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23 minutes ago, Tomo said:

Greizman was an anomaly, pretty much every flair player that's played under Simeone regressed to horrendous levels (Lemar, Correa,Felix, Gelson, Carrasco).

Say what you want about Lampard's overall management but he's already above Simeone on that (developing attacking players) regard through Pulisic alone.

I dont know Tomo, maybe he is. But Simeone is def much better at other aspects. Simeone wont work wonders with this team I agree but we will def be much harder to beat and score against overall. He aint coming here anyway.

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Just now, Atomiswave said:

I dont know Tomo, maybe he is. But Simeone is def much better at other aspects. Simeone wont work wonders with this team I agree but we will def be much harder to beat and score against overall. He aint coming here anyway.

But at what cost? All our attacking players bar at a push Werner would look completely average playing that football, it would be an utterly ludicrous waste of talent.

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159 goals conceded in 119 games in Lampard's managerial career.

70 goals conceded in 57 games at Derby.

89 goals conceded in 62 games at Chelsea.

1.3 goals conceded per game.

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15 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

Maybe Derby had a better keeper than Kepa lol

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Maybe lol.

But its just crazy. Sarri had this same backline and Kepa and we were not nearly as bad as this in defence. Lampard has to show some progress in our style of play, 43 League games with us and I'm still waiting.

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Every passing day I’m beginning to think we should had spent our last summer building our defense than our attack.

I said this for months but as long we have that defense, it doesn’t matter if we have Mbappe or prime Messi...we will have 3-3s, 4-4s etc.

You build the foundations first with a house and that is the defense. You will be never taken seriously if you concede 2/3 goals in most games.

We actually haven’t improved from last season so far. Let that sink in.

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Maybe lol.
But its just crazy. Sarri had this same backline and Kepa and we were not nearly as bad as this in defence. Lampard has to show some progress in our style of play, 43 League games with us and I'm still waiting.
Yes, but we played Sarri ball and that was the tactic to just pass the ball around til Hazard scores a goal. So, we rarely lost the ball and mistakes like Havertz today did not happen. We mostly conceded set piece goals when Sarri was here and those goals we conceded at the beginning of the second half

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1 minute ago, killer1257 said:

Yes, but we played Sarri ball and that was the tactic to just pass the ball around til Hazard scores a goal. So, we rarely lost the ball and mistakes like Havertz today did not happen. We mostly conceded set piece goals when Sarri was here and those goals we conceded at the beginning of the second half

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Wouldn't be against a bit of Sarriball right now, where we just pass the ball around to death. Might actually help us from pressing the self destruct button!

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13 minutes ago, Tomo said:

But at what cost? All our attacking players bar at a push Werner would look completely average playing that football, it would be an utterly ludicrous waste of talent.

He aint coming here mate so its a moot point, the likes of Poch and Naeglsmann or however you spell his name are more probable if FL dont last.

3 minutes ago, Mana said:

Every passing day I’m beginning to think we should had spent our last summer building our defense than our attack.

I said this for months but as long we have that defense, it doesn’t matter if we have Mbappe or prime Messi...we will have 3-3s, 4-4s etc.

You build the foundations first with a house and that is the defense. You will be never taken seriously if you concede 2/3 goals in most games.

We actually haven’t improved from last season so far. Let that sink in.

I said this too, you build from the back its that simple. Defence wins you trophies. Am I mad that we bought the players that we did, fuck no, but that defence needed more attention than just BC. Our midfield too is not potent enough, at least one of Ampadu, RB should have stayed.

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Just now, Jason said:

Wouldn't be against a bit of Sarriball right now, where we just pass the ball around to death. Might actually help us from pressing the self destruct button!

The funny thing is that we did that today, for like 3 minutes, quite comfortably and that was where I thought this is it, finish the game playing like this. But as I said, they played like this only for 3 minutes. Not until the FT whistle.

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6 minutes ago, Mana said:

Every passing day I’m beginning to think we should had spent our last summer building our defense than our attack.

The two best CB's realistically available last summer were probably Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake and they've hardly tightened City up, have they?

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2 minutes ago, Jason said:

Wouldn't be against a bit of Sarriball right now, where we just pass the ball around to death. Might actually help us from pressing the self destruct button!

This tells its own story considering how boring and easy to play against we were under Sarri.

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4 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

We even once conceded six goals in one game under Sarri lol

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And we went on to concede only 39 league goals that season under Sarri, which is 15 less than last season despite the heaviest loss being 4-0. 

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Next 6 games before the November international break:

Sevilla (h)
Man United (a)
Krasnodar (a)
Burnley (a)
Rennes (h)
Sheffield United (h)

How many wins from those games...?

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Just now, Jason said:

Next 6 games before the November international break:

Sevilla (h)
Man United (a)
Krasnodar (a)
Burnley (a)
Rennes (h)
Sheffield United (h)

How many wins from those games...?

Fuck knows, but I do know we will leak goals

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Is bringing in a defence coach the best way to fix a leaky back line? 

https://theathletic.com/2142162/2020/10/17/premier-league-defence-chelsea/

 

GettyImages-1228865726-scaled-e1602858318946-1024x683.jpg

The final whistle goes and it’s been another disappointing result for your team. Not only have they dropped points once again, but the opposition have capitalised on more bad defending to increase the goals against column.

Every week the same problems appear to be exposed at the back and there are no signs of improvement. Surely something has to change at the training ground?

This has been a growing view among frustrated fans as they see their club lurch from one disappointment to the next. Clean sheets do seem more of a rarity in the top division these days — before football resumed after the October international break, there had already been 144 goals scored in 38 Premier League fixtures. That works out as an average of 3.79 goals per game.

Chelsea still hold the record for the fewest goals conceded in a single Premier League season, when they let in only 15 en route to winning the title in 2004-05. But that remarkable feat was a distant memory in the last campaign as their goalkeepers Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero were beaten 54 times between them.

As a consequence, questions were being asked of Frank Lampard and his backroom staff on a regular basis. That has continued into 2020-21, particularly after the 3-3 draw at West Brom and the manner in which Slaven Bilic’s side found the net that day. As an attacking midfielder during his successful career, critics and a portion of the fanbase have suggested the Englishman needs a bit of help on the art of improving his side’s defending and should bring in an ex-defender on the staff to do so.

Lampard is not the only manager in the sport to face these kind of queries over their suitability to organise an impenetrable back line. So is there any substance to turning to a specialist? After all, keepers have their own expert coach. You hear of forwards working with a former striker on their finishing, so why not have an ex-defender concentrating on the defence too?

chelsea-thiago-silva

“It’s not as clear-cut as that,” former England centre-back Matthew Upson tells The Athletic. “If I walked into a club, just because I’m a former defender there are no guarantees. If it was that easy, everyone would do it tomorrow. It takes time, a consistent message and the players you’re working with to buy into it.”

Gareth McAuley won 80 caps for Northern Ireland and was a key figure in West Brom’s back line for seven years, all of which were spent in the Premier League.

The 40-year-old doesn’t rule out such a practice becoming more commonplace. He explains: “Before the lockdown I did an event with the Premier League on coaching. There were a few coaches from different sports involved and I think they see coaching going the way of more specialists on the team, as well as your head coach.

“It is a thing, but I think you’re only talking about it happening at the top level, because lower down the pyramid they just don’t have the finances (to have specialist coaches) or the time.

“I never had a defensive specialist. I’ve had coaches who are very good at organising defences — Tony Pulis, Roy Hodgson, Steve Clarke and Michael O’Neill. They were very good on defending with the whole team, to give us a base to play from. People feel that’s how the game’s going to move though, coaching-wise, with a head coach and then unit specialists below that.”

Robert Huth got to learn from some of the finest Premier League managers in Jose Mourinho, Claudio Ranieri and Pulis. He walked away with three Premier League winner’s medals from his spells with the first two men at Chelsea and Leicester respectively.

Yet he can understand the argument why extra defensive assistance might be useful. “I would have loved it in my time,” the German admits. “Someone who isn’t the manager, who you can have a bit more of a relationship with.

“I’ve been thinking about it and sometimes strikers could even make better defensive coaches, because it’s almost more fascinating to think from the perspective of what strikers would do to put the defenders off, and vice versa — if a striker’s struggling for goals, maybe he needs to know what defenders are thinking.

“The defending over the last couple of years has been really bad. Not just to pick on Manchester United or Liverpool recently — it’s become almost the forgotten part of the game. The first thing they talk about with defenders is pass completion, but I think that puts certain players in the wrong frame of mind. I’d rather have a defender who can do his job, who has got the right physical capabilities, rather than someone who dribbles or plays out.”

Inevitably there isn’t a common consensus within the sport. For example, this is the view of one backroom staff member of a side playing in the north of the country, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I think it’s the most dated and lazy question around,” he says. “Which major winning teams have had a specialist defensive coach? You have staff to cover those bases and the best teams defend from the front throughout the team.

“The most successful managers in the Premier League right now are Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Do they need a defensive coach after the start they’ve had (conceding 18 times between them in seven matches)? They conceded lots of goals in their first year at Manchester City (39) and Liverpool (42 — Klopp’s first full season in 2016-17) respectively before they had the quality of players they brought in to complement their style.

“Top managers won’t bend their idea and see the process, that’s why they are at the top and need some time to get that right. It’s not just the back four plus the keeper. It’s a collective issue for the staff. It’s lazy to say ‘Choose a former centre-back/specialist’ to solve a team issue.

arsenal-defence

“The same rhetoric applies at the other end of the pitch. I remember when the MK Dons brought in Ian Wright as a coach (in 2012) to solve scoring issues, but that’s a team issue too and should be sorted by staff. Good coaches work on the team as a whole.”

When you think of the finest defences the English game has seen, the Arsenal side led by manager George Graham between 1986-95 is often cited as an example. The quartet of Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn is regarded as one of the best that’s ever played.

No matter who played under Graham, Arsenal were hard to score against. That is why “1-0 to the Arsenal” became a popular chant for their fans to sing in the latter part of the Scot’s reign.

Graham was the one who instilled the discipline so effectively and yet his playing days were spent as a goalscoring midfielder/forward.

Winterburn uses his former mentor as proof why it doesn’t take a defender to create a good defence.

He says: “The most important thing is to understand what the manager wants from his team, the way he wants them to play. You’ve got to have good individual defenders, but then you’ve got to work on that collectively as a back four/back five, working on combinations.

“The beauty of the Arsenal back four was that it stayed together for so long that in certain situations around the pitch, I knew what each one of my team-mates in that back four was going to do, and I knew I had to react to that to put myself in a good defensive position.

“Myself, Dixon and Bould were bought within a relatively short space of time and then George set to work. We might do 45-minute sessions two or three times a week. I don’t see any professional in the modern game doing what we did.
 
“We would be out on the pitch with George as a back four, walking and jogging into positions for 15 or 20 minutes. We didn’t even see a ball. It was all about working together, combinations. George was almost the imaginary ball for the opposition, and wherever he went, each player had to react to the position of where the ball was. The idea was that whoever was the nearest player who triggered the movement to the ball, all of the other three defenders had to move the same distance and in the same direction to keep the gaps between each player exactly the same at all times.
 
“We went through that for a long time, and then he introduced the youth team. They had eight players attacking us and we would just be the back four. When we’d won the ball we’d chip it to the halfway line, squeeze out and start again. Occasionally he’d put in a midfield player to help give us a bit of protection, but it was all about understanding and movement.
 
“We did it week after week after week. George’s philosophy was we had to get that belief and trust and the distances right between us. It wasn’t acceptable to concede a goal, even in training, and that was the mentality we took through into the games, where we had a host of international players in front of us to help protect us.”
 
So why don’t all managers do what Graham did now? Well, the fixture list doesn’t help, especially for those competing at the top of the Premier League who are also coping with the demands of the Champions League or Europa League.
 
In Lampard’s case, he has seven games in the space of 22 days before the next international break. There isn’t much room to work on things on top of standard preparation and recovery.
 
When Chelsea last won the title in 2016-17, then manager Antonio Conte — a former midfielder, by the way — made the tactical switch to the three at the back after the season had begun. But the club weren’t in European competition that year so the Italian had full week after full week to develop and improve it.
 
This isn’t a luxury those in charge of EFL clubs have either, given there are 46 league matches, let alone all the various domestic cup competitions they’re involved in.
 
upson-capello-england
 
However, you don’t necessarily have to be employed by one of the bigger clubs, with the inevitable riches to spend in the transfer market that come with it, to make it hard for teams to score against you.
Pulis perhaps forged the greatest reputation for this during his spell at Stoke City between 2006-13 in particular. He was a former defender and according to Upson, it showed.

Upson, who played under Pulis for 18 months, said: “He would work on the defensive shape every single Thursday. It was mindnumbing at times, especially if you weren’t in the selected XI starting on the Saturday. It would be the first XI vs players out of favour (or) those just not starting. Sometimes he’d bring over some youth players to make up the numbers. It would be scripted. So he would start the ball in certain areas of the pitch or a breakdown in play. The full-backs advanced and then bang, they’d have to defend.

“He would set the other team up in relation to how the opposition would play on the Saturday. If we were playing a team that got the ball wide for example, he would work on Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington dropping back, both centre-backs tight in the box, both full-backs getting tight, the midfielder coming across. It made us very difficult to beat.

“He didn’t need a defensive coach because that was a skill set of his. He got us to work so much it was a habit, it came as second nature to us. The message was reinforced every week.

“That is the key to a lot of defensive work. The message is about the concentration, the mental aspect of recognising the danger and putting yourself in a position to deal with things. It was a repetitive message.

“You felt the benefit of it on the Saturday because you felt more secure. Everyone knew their role and if you didn’t fulfil your role, you got told about it either by your team-mates or the manager. Every successful team has that.”

But just because Pulis had the experience of playing the position, it doesn’t mean all former defenders will manage like he did. Few will argue that Sol Campbell wasn’t one of the best centre-backs England has produced. But when he was in charge of Southend last season, he didn’t make keeping goals out his only focus.

“At Southend I wanted to have a complete overview and not have to concentrate just on defensive duties,” Campbell admits. “So I had Hermann Hreidarsson there with me as well. Another former defender. I’d allow the coaches to do their stuff in their particular areas of expertise – we had Andy Cole taking the strikers – and I’d step in if and when I needed to.

“As long as the direction was going in the way I wanted, to the ideas and structure I’d put in place, I was happy. But you have to allow coaches to have that authority. I guess it does help having someone who has been there and done it to advise a back line, whether that be on set plays or particular positioning, but the main approach is dictated by the manager from the top.

“Some players haven’t got the skill set. Some do, but they might need to be shown that they do. That’s really where a defensive coach might bring it out of them because experience helps.

“You get the odd exception where it comes naturally, but generally it’s not a quick fix. It’s not like a striker who scores goals naturally or instinctively. It’s a bit more difficult. So, if you have a lot of young players who are learning together, perhaps there will be issues.”

Huth was just 19 when Mourinho took charge of Chelsea in 2004. He was a player of some promise having been bought by Ranieri three years earlier. It wasn’t just coaching that brought results, it was the man-management side too. Neither manager made life easy for him, even when Huth reunited with Ranieri at Leicester in 2015. Pulis was tough as well.

“I learned from all my coaches,” he insists. “Some were brutal — the early years with Mourinho when I was 19 and thought I was the dog’s bollocks, he’d sit me down and say, ‘This is shit, this is shit, this is shit, you could be doing a lot better here’, and it’s an eye-opener. You can either hate him or learn from it, and I was lucky in terms of my personality that I dealt with it. It refocused my mind, and then with Pulis I had someone constantly on my case and I needed that. Your emotions go up and down as a player, and you need someone to level it every so often.
 
“I’d never get a word (of praise) out of my coaches. It would take something remarkable. Even if we got a clean sheet three, four times in a row, the first thing on Monday it would be one incident where I didn’t mark my player. But that’s important because it’s really easy to switch off. That’s where Mourinho was good, Pulis was good and Claudio was brutal in the meeting room at times.”
 
If getting a team organised to keep clean sheets at club level is hard, just imagine what it’s like for international coaches. They only get to work with the squad comprised of individuals from a number of teams, for a few days, either side of games that are staged intermittently throughout the year.
 
Still, that was enough to make a lasting impression on people if things were done right. Fabio Capello’s era was far from perfect, but the Italian and his assistant Italo Galbiati, who both played as midfielders in their youth, made Upson a better performer.
 
“I enjoyed Capello’s training,” Upson insists. “It was intense. We did a lot of defensive play, going tight to players. He wanted you to go tight and quite far in as a centre-back and lock in to players, being physical with them, even body-checking, using your body. Not letting players turn. If a ball went into the striker, force him backwards.

“Galbiati was a great member of the coaching team. I hugely admired him. I did a lot of work with him individually. He’d worked with Capello at AC Milan when they were renowned for their back four.

“The bits he gave me were just brilliant and different. I learned a lot just from those two years in training. I gained a lot just in terms of head movement when dealing with the ball, having to adjust, looking over your shoulder while looking for your man. You’d look at clips of Paolo Maldini and I’m surprised his head didn’t fall off because he was constantly checking, adjusting his distance and positioning for 90 minutes.

“Galbiati emphasised it with me all the time, both in and out of possession, but especially out of possession. Knowing your surroundings, who is where, awareness is more than 50 per cent of the battle.”

Listening to these professionals and the experiences they went through, it is evident just how important they believe the defensive side of the game is. But you’d be mistaken if you think your respective coach doesn’t realise that every time your side lets in a goal or two. It is a very complex issue and there is no magic wand to fix it. The quality of the goalkeeper also has an impact.

As Winterburn concludes: “I do think the game has completely changed today. There might not be as many good defenders as there were 25-30 years ago but technically, on the ball and going forward, they are a lot better.

“There comes a time when you come up against teams who are as good as you if not better than you, and you need to understand the right to defend, the positions to be in, and not be afraid to also organise the midfield players in front of you.

“It’s important to have a good understanding collectively as a back four, but also work in the midfield players to shield you from the danger. I don’t think a lot of people understand that side of the game from the outside.”

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