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Discussion in 'Bluemoon forum' started by Bigga, 27 Oct 2017.
Like many, you're not thinking about my point.
But, sure, carry on...
As the season goes on we will need to rest Fernandinho, De Bruyne and Silva no doubt about it. The problem so far has been that Gundogan is only just getting back to full fitness, Bernardo is still getting up to the speed, intensity and lenient decisions against City players and Yaya is completely and utterly finished as a player.
Danilo looked great in midfield even if it was only for 30 minutes earlier in the season, he certainly looked capable of providing cover for Fernandinho but we don’t see him everyday in training so it’s hard to judge. If Gundogan is going to be used only in the attacking roles then we do need to bring in a new holding midfielder, ideally in January.
Next 3-4 games are extremely important. Win them all and we're up for probably easier next round tie in CL and we'll fairly demoralize any contenders in Premier League. Rags would probably be out of the race if they don't beat both spurs and chelsea, spurs have rags and arsenal in next 3 league games + madrid in between, we could open some significant gap of 8-9 points ahead of anyone, maybe even more in best scenario. That would be huge and would cover us in some bad patch that will surely come.
The tiredness is coming very soon, specially in most important area - KDB. He doesn't have engine to play like this for long. He is pressing and doing defensive work much more than before and he had periods when he looked pretty drained in previous years.
So guys, please find some energy for next week or two and then you have some space to breathe a bit.
Pep is all about triangles, which when you lose the ball usually allows us to have three pressing players in the vicinity of the lost ball to win it back. Watch the build up play, it is all about having two options, which allows at least one favorable outlet. As one option gets closed down, another option is supposed to open up. Watch the triangles in the middle of the park, as players provide options and angles for a pass. As that brings in more opposition players to close it down, then it is incumbent upon the player on the ball to switch the play.
The problem for the opposition is that it relies on them to have better players than City have, because it results in one on ones in key places, which is where pace and accuracy of passing is so important. If we can suck in the opposition, this creates the one on ones in behind them, where we have players like Sané, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus, Silva, KDB, Bernardo and possibly Sanchez soon. Find the defender that wants to find himself one on one with any of those players in the last 25 yards and I will show you a liar!
I mentioned this two weeks ago, when noting that KDB is heading for a hamstring. Pep has key players who make his system work....
Goalkeeper who can act as a sweeper, both with and without the ball.
Central defenders who understand who is going to drop, and when.
A DM who understands when to drop into the slot between the CBs and when to slide across the field ahead of them to make the triangle to pass the ball out.
In the midfield diamond, he needs wide players (in the 3, this is actually David and Kev!) who know when to come inside (for support) and when to go wide (to open up the defence for the slotted pass in the inside right/left channel), and who will fight for the ball if the pass goes astray or is miscontrolled.
Upfront, he needs a CF who can come and be part of the teambuild up, allowing both rotation in behind him and movement of the defenders to create the slots mentioned above. This is where Jesus excelled beforehe even arrived, and where Sergio has elevated his game. While, out wide, he needs the players to understand when to pull wide (as David and Kev slide inside) to both accept the ball and spread the defence, when to accept the wide ball and take on the man, and when to set off on the angle for the slotted ball.
From the cheap seats, it is a ballet...where your own choice of movement is determined by that of your team mates. THIS is why those key players (3 midfielders and EITHER the wingers or flying full backs) are so important. Walker, for me, is the only one who is still learning the where and when of bombing on, but he is athletic enough to cover uphis own mistakes at times. Unfortunately,this is where Zinchenko looked a bit vulnerable at times against Wolves, as he was occasionally caught out, but didn’t have the stamina to get back a time or two.
So far, this season has been an education for me. I have watched each game at least twice, trying to see the triangles, watching when a player realizes he needs to make his move, either in to space or to create the space, and to watch the quality of the passing. If anything, it is the quality of the passing that has impressed me most, because I actually expect top pros to have the legs to run for 90 mins. However, seeing them pinging passes around in the last 15 minutes, controlling it on the run (while obviously tiring) and then distributing it with equal aplomb, has been a revelation. Seeing a full back or winger in full stride in the latter stages of the game getting around, or inside, his man and whipping a ball in for the collapsing attack and defenders running backwards is an awesome sight, and something we have never witnessed before.
These players BELIEVE they can beat anyone, and they act like they believe they can score on every attack. While the number of chances missed in recent games has risen slightly, I think it is fair to say fatigue has played a part. As this thread attests, and I agree, we need to see those squad players elevated, both into the starting XI AND in their performance levels over the coming weeks and months. Clearly, Bernardo is not quite at “Premier League-Pep” speed yet, and Ilkay needs some injury free game time, but as ready made replacements for David and Kev, they need to start stepping up to give them some respite, even if it is only 20-30 mins some games.
All that said, this is shaping up into a ridiculous squad of talented individuals gelling into a world class team.
The future is Blue!
I see what you are getting at perfectly. I do think your worrying a bit prematurely because we do seem more cohesive all in all. The tiredness does have the whiff of a possible slump or at least sets the stage for a possible slump.
I think in the league we will not be so cavalier with the amount of changes we make to our starting lineup. The cup match was a good grounding for the squad i feel, we also won so got a slap in the chops without a severe penalty. In short i feel we added the cohesiveness of the squad and reinforced our winning attitude.
I do not outright dismiss your worry though. I look at it like this, we have come a long way and i expected next season for us to really rock. With that i mean stick anyone in and we do not miss a beat. I accept that a lot of changes atm do not help but we can cycle all our subs during a match currently (given a strong starting 11) and stay strong.
No 'Plan B' is one of the laziest cliches in football. Pep and indeed most top managers have more plans than there are letters in the alphabet, just most fans or pundits are too ignorant to recognize them. Nothing wrong with this, we're not experts. We don't do it for a living. The same starting 11 doesn't mean the same plan. Players get tired, concentration drops off; People should prepare themselves for the inevitable slump we'll go through. It's fine, as long as we're on top at the end.
I'm sure it could only be City fans who would be expressing concern at this moment.
We have the best squad in the league. We are unbeaten. We have broken goalscoring records. We are playing fantastic football. There is no negative.
With Ilkay and Bernardo yet to hit peak form, we will only improve, or at least have a backup of the highest quality. Phil Foden will also return from international duty and will provide another option. Vinnie is on his way back and will provide a further option. These are the best of times. Roll on 3pm!