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How to overcome a "parked bus" defence;

Many including Jose were heavily critical of Sam Allardyce and his West ham team of their tactics in their match at Stamford Bridge. That in my mind is really unfair and frankly hypocritical. We have no one to blame but ourselves for being unable to break West Ham's stubborn resistance and we better figure out how to do a much better job of this sort of situations because we are going to face that more and more as the business end of the season approaches and the bottom dwelling clubs desperately fight for every possible precious point they can to stave of relegation.

As it turns out let us not develop selective amnesia and forget that there have been times in the recent past when we too have deployed the so called "parked bus" of 0-10 formation to good effect ourselves. We will also probably see some of that deployed by us when we face City at the Etihad on Monday.

When people lament at teams parking the bus when we play them and blame the opponent they seem to conveniently forget that we are not the only ones who face this situation. The gunners have got the points record they have so far by consistently being able to open up stubborn defences. They have hardly failed to claim maximum points thus far from most of the bottom dwellers and so too have City. Barca, Real, Bayern , PSG and virtually all the top clubs in the top leagues all over Europe face this conundrum of what to do about the packed bus so what can we learn from them and how are they able to navigate this challenge? I submit below the 5 keys to beating a parked bus and in discussing them you will see why Chelsea in particular at present struggle so mightily against this strategy of play.

1. True width and pace; To beat a parked bus defence you must stretch it out and get behind it quickly. To do this you must have at least one if not two true wingers who are willing to take on full backs and hug the touch line, get to the byline behind the defence and then cut the ball back behind the defense line into the 18 yard box. City excel at this because they have a true winger in Navas and top class attacking full backs in Kolarov, Zabaleta and Clichy who gleefully bomb forward and can actually cross competently. For us the only player we have prior to the Salah signing who remotely fits the description of a winger is Schurrle. None of our fullbacks add that much width to our play and there are so precious few crosses made that are even half decent. Because the crosses of any use come in so infrequently there is often no one there for us in the 18yard box on those few occasions that a competent cross is made. Willian, Hazard and Oscar all tend to play as wing forwards who narrow the field of play and are always preferably trying to cut inside where the parked Bus is generally stationed and waiting for them.

2. Quick transition from defence through mid field to the attacking third. Liverpool are one of the best examples of this. Anyone who watched the Liverpool-Everton match would have seen this in action. Everton killed Liverpool as far as possession stats but it counted for absolutely nothing because Liverpool played the counter attacking game to the hilt. Once they (liverpool) got the ball in their half within 30 seconds flat it was in the Everton half with one of Sterling, Suarez or Sturridge to devastating effect. The key to quick transition is having a central midfielder who is adept at the Regista role and is capable of making the defence splitting carpet or aerial pass in the twinkle of an eye. This requires vision and the requisite skill. Of our central midfielders Lamps is the one with the best set of skills in this respect. That he was on the pitch for only about 20+ minutes in the West Ham match was part of our problem unlocking that defence. Ramires, Mikel and Matic (for the little I have seen of him thus far) have very little of the skill set required for this and when we compare what we have in this respect with Yayadinho at City or the sort of game Stevie G played for Liverpool yesterday this is another reason why we continue to have major struggles breaking down parked buses.

3. Quality in set play delivery; This is critical because whenever a team plays with the parked bus they will as a consequence give up corners and free kicks in around the 18 yard box. Occasionally, especially when the attacking team has the required forward running pace and ball to feet dribbling skills of someone like Suarez, Sturridge, or Arguero the team parking the bus may even concede a penalty. That was evident in City getting a PK today and Liverpool getting one yesterday. For us the only player who meets that profile of guile and pace is Hazard but since we have next to no pace anywhere else in our final third and since we are always trying to go through the middle rather than the flanks he has so few chances to use those skills to earn us PKs. Furthermore, our delivery on corners is generally so woeful that our prior strength in tall goal scoring defenders like Cahill, JT, Luiz and Iva has largely been negated this season. Finally we have so little quality available on free kicks it is lamentable. It is noteworthy that in the FA cup game against Stoke again at Stamford Bridge we only got out of jail because of one moment of set piece brilliance from Oscar or we would have been facing a replay of that tie. That Oscar free kick is only the second free kick goal the team has this entire season in all competitions!!! Contrast that with City who have Kolarov and Yaya Toure as consistent real goal threats from free kicks or Liverpool who have Gerard and Suarez as their free kick snipers. Without consistent quality in set piece delivery both from corners and Free kicks in the final third the team parking the bus can continue with impunity to foul and hack the ball out of play with no consequence and right now Chelsea has very little threat offered from these situations.

4. Quality in the final third; This means finishers who don`t have to take 2 -5 touches within the 18 yard box before pulling the trigger. This means having players who can actually shoot and force the opposing keeper to make a save rather than ballooning the ball over the bar or wide either left or right. This means having finishers who know a thing or two about ball placement in the 18 yard box and not just shooting tamely at the goal keeper. This means being clinical when opportunities actually present themselves rather than fluffing chance after chance and/or missing glaring sitters. Basic translation; this means having forwards in form as regards quality in front of goal. City have at least 3 of their 4 designated strikers who meet this criterion right now. Liverpool have two in Suarez and Strurridge. The closest thing we have to this is Hazard whose primary job description and positioning is however not as a striker and honestly based on finishing instincts I still feel our best pure finisher is Lampard who now has only a bit part role for the side and again is not a striker by positioning either. This is a major deal and Jose has decided to gamble big time by putting of addressing this glaring deficit till the summer. Based on this alone I honestly don`t think we will win the BPL (I hope we do but I am a realist enough to separate wishes from harsh reality). What we must hope and pray is that the profligacy of the players we are trusting with the one (and very occasionally two) striker position our typical formations entail don`t end up costing us a top 4 finish eventually because that is not a foregone conclusion just yet. Let us remember that we got booted out of the Capitol one cup for example because of the ineptitude of the striker we had on that day against Sunderland.

5. A bit of luck that shows itself either as a deflected shot that ends up in the net, a hand ball that gifts the attacking team a PK, an own goal or an awful tackle or other temporary loss of cool that gets the team with the parked bus down a man thus meaning less bodies and thus more space to exploit. This bit of luck however tends to occur far more frequently for teams who have solid elements of the other 4 items above which then places so much pressure on the team parking the bus that eventually they slip up and make a mistake. ManU last year enjoyed this so much last year it was uncanny. They probably got the equivalent of close to 12 points just from this and the "assistance" of dubious refereeing decisions. Knowing Chelsea we should just assume we will hardly ever have this sort of luck except once in a black moon. The time we had so much "luck" with RDM is over so I wouldn`t hold my breath for much of this.

The key to beating a team with a parked bus is scoring that first goal and getting it early in proceedings. Once that happens the 0-10 formation will necessarily have to be loosened a little to allow the team try and steal a goal to get back on even terms and it is in that effort that such teams become vulnerable to conceding even more. Till that first goal is scored though, it will be business as usual. I hope Jose has some bright ideas how to improve our team to cope with this nuisance because we will see it more and more as we move towards sesason`s end and it appears that unless something changes rapidly in the last 2 days of this transfer window we are not getting any further player reinforcements. It is time for the special one to instruct his wards as to the tactical changes that must be made if we are to secure maximum 3 points when teams deploy a parked bus against us.




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The Journalist

Writer: GabeU Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 30 2014

Time: 1:38AM

Your Comments

Another solution is not to play Mikel. Whilst another is play a LB in the LB position and a RB in the RB position. Then maybe the fullbacks will be useful. As a LB Azi never goes forward but as a RB he's a lot more effective. I understand why we played Iva today but tbh we could have played him CB, because it's not like Cahill is irreplaceable. Also bring Ba on earlier
Humza_96
Is it that we didn't create chances or we didn't finish up those chances well? What if we had a register who gives that long pass or a true winger who stretches play a cuts inside,what happens if we are unable to finish those chances?prior to nasri's injury,city used silva and nasri on the flanks,they aint true wingers that hugs the touchline,yet city still scored a lot....for me the main issue is to improve our finishing,everybody has to improve on that, from the defence to the strike force especially the strike force needs to improve on our finishing..39 shots,9 on goal is too poor in my opinion ...even when we play teams that don't park the bus,we miss a lot of chances also..Imagine stoke,we created lots and missed lots and ended up winning 1-0
Hazard11
Also I must say nice article and I will say we are struggling against these teams that park the bus and we don't score much like city and liverpool does because we aren't clinical enough...
Hazard11
omg, i laugh at you clowns. jose does the same thing at the emirates and at OT and its ok...you call it brilliant. west ham (bottom 3) does it at the bridge and you blast them. what a farce and a joke you clowns are. jose got everything wrong tonight. mikel starting over matic. lampard not starting vs west ham who he almost always scores against. moving ivanovic to lb. are you kidding me. now he's crying about west hams tactics. get over it you hack. i'm sick of it. mata is the exact type of player you need vs a defense like that. you can't unlock a defense like that with just fast players who can defend. i love oscar...but he's no mata. what's a mata jose...*****ed because you got a dose of your own medicine. cry me a river you clown. all you jose apologist are just as bad as he is. roman...please...for the love of god...you don't build an F1 car and put a nascar driver in the seat.
Eric Clarkson
Well it isn't fatal but we definitely blew a good chance to overtake Arsenal but we can at least close the gap by beating City and then taking advantage of the City-Arsenal to overtake one of them.
Seabourch
I just hope something happens here. This needs to get figured out one way or another. Personally I think we need to start practicing more kicks outside the box. We need to have a set of players who can strike from outside the box and truly make the keeper work.
Pavel Permiachkin
You saying 19 century football?? You have no shame to say stupidities. Your football Mourinho is horrible not even 19th century. Your way to manage your players are from the circus in the Roman Empire. You got the wrong idea that “Roman” Abramivich was an Emperor and you his circus Manager. Your fault Mourinho. Mourinho swears players like him...After what he has done to Mata I am sure everybody will kick his as at the first decent opportunity. I mean Luis, Hazard etc. Am I wrong?
Joseph Porto
Calm play like City do wins games.
foreign_viewer
Feckin hell. We are 3! points behind league leaders. Calm the feck down.
Strapping Blue
begone where you came out from you strangers!! never mind arsenal is bound to drop to third place soon enough and manU will have to make do with fourth and that's if they can sign suarez and sturridge away from liverpool too. lmao
kolagold25
@Gabeu, nice write up but the game is beyond detailing out what to do in certain situations. There are days when things just do not align for you. you might as well park the train another day but the goal will still arrive even in the last minute (remember iniesta's goal?) and sometimes the luck of everything going against a team or lionel messi missing a penalty might just be what you need to win or earn a draw. We were already on a streak of 6/7 wins and it was just a matter of when the winning streak will stop in this fast paced and highly demanding BPL.Its just so unfortunate it happened at a time arsenal had to drop point. This coincidence can happen.
kolagold25
Mourinho must learn to praise good students. Inter Barca, E'to played RB
Skryp
Gabeu, straight points there. How did we not thrash-crash the spuds? : oh! We have no strikers. Aguero? Negrido? Suarez ? Even sturridge and jovetic are miles ahead of what we have.
Skryp
cant believe jose is complaining about west ham game the same he is doing against big team...its tit for tat jose...you are the one who plays 18 th century football with the squad of 20 th century...cant believe why useless player like mikel who is a complete waste of space get chance game after game rami who is an athelete and doesn nothing yaa he has good work rate but when it comes to creativenss, passing, first touch, scoring goals shooting on target he is very very poor...iva on rb is useless but still he is played there inspite of having a good rb.like azpi who has been wasted on lb...jose tactics of using this player again and again is unbelievable....he is stuck in a rigid zone...he should come out this...when you play rami mikel pivot you are wasting the talent of front three...its high time that mikel should be sold still underdeveloped and rami should be on the bench not on first team....till this thing wont change we will always face the pivot issue..
shlok27
I don't want to blame a single player for yesterdays result but as pointed here, there is a need to change play quickly forward when possession is gained. Mikel isn't able to do that and he never has. We have Lampard, Luiz, Ramires and Matic now who are all better in this and should also be considered ahead of Mikel. If Luiz can keep his cool, he isn't a bad deep midfield player because he is constantly trying to press and win possession and he has a very good vision of play. He finds players with good long forward passes.
1970Blue
No one is complaining about West Ham packing the bus. what we are moaning about is our poor finishing. IMO Nickel starting was wrong. Magic or Luiz would have been a better option as they had no one in the middle. Schurlle and Ba should have come on in place of Eto and Oscar but hindsight is 20-20, right. If we had put those chances away, twould be a different story now. Looking forward, Ba and Veto won't be with us next season. Lukaku is coming back so I would really love Costa to join and if possible move Torres out and get Insigne or Cerci in to add a different dimension to our game. I'd also let Bamford play in some games as he looks pretty decent and I don't see why he can't play in the first team soon.
Dwebb55
please please please, can we just leave mikel out of this?? we win and loose as a team. we have won many games with him in the team and the draw can't just be because of his inclusion. Don't be too quick in looking for whom to blame.
kolagold25
For the first time I agree with Shlok. Mikel must be sold for a proper deeplying playmaker like kroos. And as for ramires, he kills possession. Ivanovic the least said the better.
caspar_blue
Crazy, Plastic fan always looking to blame Mikel or another player when the team didn't win. How pathetic.
teepie
mikiel isn't the problem its just playing him at home against cannon fodder is! we don't have to play with a CDM at home in these games! lamps/oscsar should have started in the pivot with 2 strikers up front. it shows in tent and shows we are there to score as many goals as we can.
Dave-David
I'm afraid to say we are a good team but not yet the best work in progress I reckon but that's the way things are we could still end up having a descent season so don't get to down on the odd bad result this time last year our chase for the tittle was over
herefordchelsea
This is not the first time nor is it the last time. Park the bus against Chelsea and they will do nothing except long range shots to oxford street; smashing parked cars and corner kicks and crossed which could murder a fan in the stands.
KAKUfrank
Its true Gab,i too would want true wingers play the sort of games like west ham.
blue5
It was totally frustrating last night but Chelsea showed against Barcelona how difficult it can be to score against 10 men camped in their own penalty box. We just got absolutely no luck, you would think with all these shots we would get a rebound or deflection but it just never happened. Everybody talks about free scoring Man City, but when Tony Pulis's Crystal Palace parked the bus at the Etihad a few weeks ago Man City could only beat them 1-0. (And Palace were a lot more adventurous than West Ham) That shows how hard it is for even the most free scoring teams to breakdown a wall of 10 players lined up 12 yards from goal. In saying all that if we lose on Monday the title is gone.
CobhamBlue
Play players in their rightful positions,a cb is a cb and a rb is a rb
Ken4CFC
How to overcome a "parked bus" defence??simple-let the attackers attack and the defenders defend
Ken4CFC
Poor setpiece takers littered round the pitch,iva has to be the worst crosser of the ball i've seen on blue in a long time,even ferreira,bosingwa and boulharouz had better crosses
Ken4CFC
Wow. As much as I respect your articles, GabeU, this one read more like 'we should play Lampard. He's our best DM,CM, and goal poacher.' My opinion, if you want a person in the pivot with a eye for a quick incisive pass, look no further than David Luiz. I can still recall his point precise pass to Torres from halfway across the pitch, and he's done so on quite a few occasions so that one was no fluke. As for a CM capable of unlocking a 10 man defence..well..we had him, but what's gone is gone. Oscar could develop into that..someday. We have the wingers in Schurrle and Salah now. We're 3 points from the top of the table and looking at Le Arse's fixture list, I daresay we should be in the top 2 come end of March. So please let's stop with the fantasy of having 11 Frank Lampards on the pitch. I love him to death, but he's not the solution to everything.
BlueJay25
The problem was that the final ball was awful, Hazard beat everyone twice but his final ball was sheet. Combine that with lack of real movement in the box and allowing themselves to be bullied put the writing on the wall. We won the champions league that way so who are we to complain about parking the bus?
unclezillion
I'm watching to replay on Chelsea TV right now and Oscar had the keeper well beaten and hit the bar with in the first 10 mins. Great skill, if that had gone in, along with many other chances it could have been 4 or 5 goals, it just wasn't or day. We all need to keep things in perspective and understand that this is only one game in many, we still have a good chance to do something great this season, lets not get to upset and see the bigger picture. Its not like we are struggling to make top 4 like some other big teams. I don't know about anyone else but I had to smile when Jose complained about west ham parking the bus. If we park the bus at city and get a result that smile will be even wider. Keep the faith and the flag flying high.
BIG_R
@ken4, defenders defend, attackers attack and you care so much about iva crossing hun? Going by your logic he shouldn't be in a position to cross the ball in the first place since defenders should only defend. smh.
kolagold25
@Dave-David, well who knew they were going to become a cannon fodder as they were? even jose missed out on that or else he would have sent out a team full of attackers and maybe with just three defenders. He would have thought they came to play and seeing as arsenal drew, he wanted to give westham a lil sniff at goal as possible while hoping our attackers we will make best use of our chances but we all know how it turned out.
kolagold25
I think our greatest obstacle yesterday was westham's keeper. The guy was everywhere in the goal. We have to plan ahead on how to get a result at city and stop pointing fingers. Nice article though.
KLblue
Good piece @Gabeu. Agree with all your points. We are far from being a finished article. We need to address these issues and hopefully Jose will do that. We had though 39 attempts on goal!!! And we as usual missed sitters. Eto'o has started 3 in a row and looks set to start against City too. Pivot combo wasn't right last nite. And striker position is a weak point for us unless Torres or Eto'o have a great day. Let's hope we play to our best at etihad on monday because we need a positive result no matter what.
syed230183_chelseafc
I want to also be an optimist going into the game against city on Monday. Chelsea will be the 1st team to run away with all 3 points at the etihad this season. Mark My WORDS...
KLblue
People rite from yesterday macht trade keep on calling mikel as the reason chelsea draw against westham yesterday and some were suggesting matic/ramires/lampad or luiz well i guess they didn't finish watching the game because matic and lampad did come on at some stage in the second half so we had matic, lampad and ramires still the all mighty matic couldn't shoot on target when presented with opportunity where as mikel at least had shoot on gaol he created by himself that was saved by their keeper and people didn't see it and other of his many contributions to the game before been sub sorry all of you
obex
Kolagold..we dont play teams that park the bus all season,do we??,well my comment was a response to how to play teams that park the bus and that does not mean they should be able to pull out a decent cross and a sniff in a goal when they find themselves in good position to do so...
Ken4CFC
I agree totally with you Humza. Our full backs didn`t give us any width at all. Along with a lack of a quality striker, our fullbacks aren`t good enough. Azpilicueta on the left is a total waste compared to Ashley and unfortunately Ivanovic has never had pace enough to bomb forward and put a decent cross in. Shaw and Wallace for me next year would be ideal, both fast attacking fullbacks.
Blueheart9
Good piece GabeU,but I think this is basically an over reaction,it had nothing to do with what we did wrong but what West Ham did right,infact we did everything you've highlighted in your article. We had 39 shots,hit the bar twice,had the goalie make 4-5 top class saves. Infact no player has created more chances in a PL match this season than Willian did last night vs West Ham (9) via @whoscored. It just wasn't our day,and this things happened. I've seen us play teams that pack the bus in recent past,under AVB,Robbie,and Rafa against teams like Stoke City,QPR,Reading,Swansea e.t.c and never have i seen us go so close to scoring on so many occasions like we did yesterday,West Ham defended like lions,putting their body on the line,and they deserve the credit. Let's stop this over reaction everytime something doesn't work out it doesn't necessarily mean something was wrong.
nelyvanile
Since iva can offer next to nothing on the attack,he should sitback and focus on his defending until jose do the right thing
Ken4CFC
Many talking about crosses,what type of cross,a floater,aerial,or grounder? You have a defence packed with Hammer defenders who have height in their favour so a floater would be leat effective,a grounder could work,and we did that a lot yesterday,and got close to scoring when Eden squared and Ba's touch hit the post,or Eden square ball that saw Lamps first time hit saved by the goalie in the last min of the game. Did you see Chelsea defend at the Emirates,could they get a shot on goal? Even with the amount of creativity in their side,they couldn't muster a shot on targer and we racked in 10 shots on target against a more crowded defence.
nelyvanile
Things like this just happen. There is no point complaining. Itwas sheer bad luck and little bit of overconfidence from our side. q
Blue India
Things like this just happen. There is no point complaining. Itwas sheer bad luck and little bit of overconfidence from our side. q
Blue India
we played well people. we gave it our best but we did not have luck on our side. I think the purchase of Salah is a very good one because as Gabe highlighted, the total lack of width in our game can be very annoying with Hazard and Willian always looking to cut in and Ivanovic and Cole abject crosser of the ball. that game would have been won yesterday if we had a Ryan Bertrand and Azpi in the LB and RB positions. especially when Ba came on. Bertrand is a very good crosser of the ball and Azpi is no slouch from the RB position. Schurrle would have done well to but he was not going to replace Hazard or Willian in that game. Those boys were outstanding...... hands up to the boys., they gave their all.... can someone comment of that Eto's goal?????? was it a goal or not... it almost caused a fight in my office this morning.. kindly treat
Dwonder
Good article @GabeU. IMO 1) Ba should have come on in the 2nd half early. He would have stretched their defence. Eto was coming in his way. Azpi should have been moved to RB. Matic should have come on early in the 2nd half too. Mikel did well though. Willian's crosses were not goon from set pieces.
B2K420
well said nelyvanile. Lets all stay positive
BIG_R
and Mr D Wonnder
BIG_R
sell mikel and bring kroos problem solved
habbo
i think by now we all should have understood the reason why mou has persisted with iva over azpi at LB. For those who don't know, it is because mou wants us to be dangerous in every aspect of the game which in this instance its in set piece. the players we are using nowadays from the midfield up are not the tallest nor the best headers of the ball. if we take away iva, we will only have two recognisable ones in terry and cahill/luiz. Hence playing iva is a way of adding to our set piece prowess and truth is you just don't know when it might come in handy.
kolagold25
@Nelyvanile just echoed my thoughts, there is vertually no remedy other than persistence for the so called "park the bus" formation, and if you are lucky, you get a goal or two. for those calling for Mata, just one question, is Mata more creative than Iniesta and Xavi? even they found it difficult to unlock the Chelsea defence when we parked the dinosaur, for me, Mikel played perfectly yesterday and was not the reason for our draw, if anything he did better than Ramires, seems we like to let players who failed to put away their chances when they came off the hook and instead blame the players who never had a sniff at goal. and how come each time we lose or draw,some here suddenly feel like better managers, at the same time writers, flood here with farce of articles on what the problem seems to be and how it can be solved, the nerve on you fans, if i wasn't a christian, I'lld have cursed yall out.
Tugay08
good article but don't agree with all of it, as newly said we shouldn't come all out and pick on the team the moment things don't go in our favour, he players gave their all yesterday, even the shield at the back Mikel ventured forward and impressed yesterday, as nely said west ham played like lions, fighting for everything and they got rewarded with a point, I agree with the width aspect but even at that, a winger won't do much in a game like the one we played yesterday, Willian and hazard found space but the west ham players were resilient, kudos to them, we should work on our set piece and have a special kick taker in the team.
desmondadonis
good article but don't agree with all of it, as nely said we shouldn't come all out and pick on the team the moment things don't go in our favour, the players gave their all yesterday, even the shield at the back Mikel ventured forward and impressed yesterday, as nely said west ham played like lions, fighting for everything and they got rewarded with a point, I agree with the width aspect but even at that, a winger won't do much in a game like the one we played yesterday, Willian and hazard found space but the west ham players were resilient, kudos to them, we should work on our set piece and have a special kick taker in the team.
desmondadonis
Basically a good article & not much in it I'd disagree with. It really was one of those nights when you simply have to say "well done" to West Ham, they got it right just as we have done before, in our case against some of the best goalscorers on the planet. And yes to pace with wingers; Schurle has it, so too Salah & while neither is an out & out winger, surely both are capable of playing that way. With that wonderful hindsight that makes great tacticians of us all, it might have been prudent to play Ashley last night as he would have at least offered width on the left, perhaps would have got to the bye line a few times too. With those changes to line up & Demba Ba coming on at 1/2 time, we may have cracked them.
analooish
A good piece that adds so much value to the Chelsea discourse; and I presume wasn't informed just by yesterday's draw home to WHU but something that has been subsisting in your subconscious for sometime now. So, well done GabeU! I know you have a strong chin to take the unnecessary jabs and flaks thrown your way as a result of airing your opinion by means of a well articulated piece, as I'm hardly surprised having also got some myself after penning something similar following the loss to Everton earlier in the season which I titled "Rhapsody From Goodison Park"! For whatever it is worth, this article gets a double thumbs up from me as it highlights as well as lays bare some of our salient albeit latent deficiencies as a team, which takes only the discerning to spot, and highlight in such a readable prose! For the umpteenth time then I reiterate; Chelsea football club NEEDS and DESERVES a 'goalscoring striker'(if you permit such grammatical contraption). Also, having provided for one of our other cardinal deficiencies I had been moaning about - a line-hugging out and out winger in the form of Mo' Salah - one yet remains: a regista to complement the defensive solidity of Nemanja Matic! For yesterday, Mourinho made a costly mistake with the central midfield he started with, and as a consequence was duly outwitted by Big Sam! I won't say more.
HGH Magic
interesting read
Taimur
Apparently we will sign 18 year old wonderkid striker from Hadjuk Split of Croatia called Pasalic.
syed230183_chelseafc
Eto has five shots yesternite but only one was on target{shot straight at the keeper}, hazzard was also guilty of weak shots on three different occasions, not mentioning his love for unneccesary dribbles when he should have been direct and precise ,even lampard despite his impressive goal record against them was below par yesternite....were all those the fault of the supposed wrong pivot?....some fans here just love leaving substance and chasing shadows.
Ige Bosun
sayed - Pasalic is not a wonderkid, but might be good if developed right. He is quite good, but nowhere near Chelsea capacity of yet, and he is rather slow for a striker I'd say. Also, he is 18 so don't expect to see him in first team anytime soon if at all. Fee was 3mil euro though.
zg2000fs
he isn't. striker, he is a midfielder and for his age he is good according to reports, developing him properly is the key, I agree to @igebosun's criticism of hazard's shot power a times, he got some opportunities to shoot yesterday and he did it weakly, not blaming the lad but if he wants to attain ronaldo'd heights he needs to score more and consistently
desmondadonis
he isn't. striker, he is a midfielder and for his age he is good according to reports, developing him properly is the key, I agree to @igebosun's criticism of hazard's shot power a times, he got some opportunities to shoot yesterday and he did it weakly, not blaming the lad but if he wants to attain ronaldo'd heights he needs to score more and consistently
desmondadonis
if he works hard and learns from Jose the way Lamps did, then its possible he could have as big an impact. Maybe more.
BIG_R
Hazard that is not this Pasalic, I have no idea who he is
BIG_R
just another random croatian kid chelsea bought :)
zg2000fs
Come on....we created so many scoring opportunities. It was just one of those days. Even Ba nearly scored twice in the short time he came on. Our problem was the same as usual....we could not score. Normally Frank puts those in....but he hit the stands a few times yesterday. Some of Eden's shots normally curl back but yesterday its the other way. Problem was our striker....Eto is past it. I counted 3 times Oscar crossed for him but he wasnt there and the ball went past the goal. Then you had Ivanovic either overshooting, mis kicking and or making the wrong decision. We could have won by a 3 goal margin yesterday but without a striker...we were just like the toothless Barca, Arsenal and co we have beaten before. As Kaku said....this team has always been playable this way. Only difference is before Jarvis would have scored in the last minute. Put Aguero and Negredo in this team and we would have run out winners....a fit RVP would have converted one of those chances we created. Eto of 5 years ago would have scored a hatrick. Our problem is we have no striker....
OCBlues
I didn't get a chance to respond from work but I assume this point has already been covered in prior posts. GabeU makes very logical points. IMO JM selected the wrong players considering everyone and their brother knew that West Ham were going to park the bus. OK so lets select Mikel, a pure defensive midfielder that provides nothing to the attack and lacks creativity. Moreover, lets select Ramires, a B2B that lacks distribution and finishing skills. Come on...JM is becoming way too predictable. Here was a game to go 4-3-3 with Matic, Oscar and Schurrle in the midfield. JM needs to get more skill in the pivot which provides quicker transition to counter attack. For Gods sake..for these weaker teams that park the bus we DONT NEED A PURE DM ON THE PITCH IN A 4-2-3-1. Of course rant is moot if one of our forwards would have scored on one of their many many chances. We gotta get a CF that is a difference maker. But, this game clearly shows the need for midfield creativity, speed of play and skill. Just look at Liverpool with Suarez and Sturridge..where would they be without them. Look at the quality of Arsenals midfield. And CFC has no CF or playmaking passing pivot specialist. Mikel is OK if he plays with someone that handles the ball. QUIT PLAYING MIKEL WITH RAMIRES/LAMPARD. PURCHASE A CF THAT CAN SCORE.
lamarochs
Matic, oscar and schurrle in midfield?? What? I stopped reading after that... Pure dream stuff
kolagold25
OCBlues, If West Ham had played like that against Man City there is no way Man City would have beaten them 9-0 on aggregate. Crystal Palace parked the bus at the Etihad a few weeks ago and Man City only beat them 1-0, yet City normally average at least 4 goals at home.
CobhamBlue
I noticed that lately I agree with kolagold25 a lot. I might as well just wait for him to sum it all up and then just put a big fat +1 below it. Well said.
zg2000fs
I just was hoping with time Brana gets pushed back to CB and Azpi to RB, with Mikel making way for Luiz in midfield. Now that we sign Zouma I am not sure what will happen, but still I hope that means Luiz is pushed to the midfield and Mikel makes way for him.
Pavel Permiachkin
So why did Mourinho let Fulham sign Mitroglou?
foreign_viewer
Pavel Permiachkin, It probably means Luiz will be pushed out of the door in the summer (for £35m mind you)
CobhamBlue
I am aware that is why I said "I hope". Who knows if you haven't noticed recently Luiz has actually been getting the nod ahead of Mikel in midfield.
Pavel Permiachkin
@Cobhamblue....The other side of the coin is that where Chelsea are crying "park the bus", City put 9 past them in 180 minutes! So unless if you are trying too imply that West Ham chose to "park the bus" ONLY against US and not City.......then question is why it worked against us and not against City.
OCBlues
@Cobhamblue....The other side of the coin is that where Chelsea are crying "park the bus", City put 9 past them in 180 minutes! So unless if you are trying too imply that West Ham chose to "park the bus" ONLY against US and not City.......then question is why it worked against us and not against City.
OCBlues
 

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