These ads are only displayed to guests.
Please login to remove them.
In recent months there's been no end to the derision directed at our "tippy tappy" football.
Yet tonight, we turned in a dominant offensive performance with just that style. We scored all four goals through the middle of the pitch and it is where the majority of our other chances came. It was NOT
width that created our goals tonight. And we've not heard a peep of complaint about it.
What this signals to me is that the frustration has not been that we were playing "tippy tappy" football, but that we weren't playing it well enough
. This is due to Silva being horrifically off form, Balotelli erratic and Dzeko (who's not quite suited to this style anyway) largely non-existent.
It's also due to our ball pressure being significantly less intense than it has been when we've been on form this season. But tonight with a fourth high workrate, close down, defend from the front type player (Tevez) West Brom had great difficulty grabbing extended possession.
When you have four high work rate players (and I think Silva and Nasri are both overlooked in this regard), and add in a player or two here or there at certain times (Barry, Clichy, Yaya is also excellent in this regard etc) it creates real confusion in the opposing ranks and leads to turnovers in dangerous areas.
Yes, this all sounds common sense but it's what we've been missing. We've not harried
our opposition enough, which even if it doesn't lead to a goal it establishes momentum in our favor and instills confidence in the team.
What this says to me is that when Tevez goes (as he will) and Dzeko too, we should be looking at players like Lavezzi, who also has a high workrate and closes players down consistently throughout matches. (I do not know if Hazard has a similar style, so can't comment.) In fact, rather than going after another big striker (we'll have Mario, who I expect we'll keep perhaps largely because we won't get an adequate transfer fee, and Guidetti will return) we should be targeting two
quick, tippy tappy players, leaving us with something like this in terms of depth:
Is this overkill? I don't think so when you consider that its basically two CAM/wide attacking midfielders (Silva, Nasri), three out and out strikers (Aguero, Balotelli, Guidetti), and two wide forwards (READ: NOT TRADITIONAL WINGERS
) (Lavezzi, Hazard).
Add in Martinez (who can slot in at CB if required, meaning we don't have to sign another "world class" CB if we keep Kolo, which I expect we will) when De Jong goes (he didn't sign a contract on 100,000 GBP, and his value has gone down, but he won't think it), and offload AJ if we can get 12 million GBP out of him, and our transfer dealings would not be that far from breaking even.
Tevez: 25 million
Dzeko: 20 million
De Jong: 12 million
AJ: 12 million
Total: ~70 million GBP
Hazard: 30 million
Lavezzi: 25 million
Martinez: 15-20 million
Total: ~70-75 million GBP
Throw in the transfer fees for Adebayor, Santa Cruz, and the other hanger ons, and we'll also be looking to add a regista. And that would make this a COMPLETE
, four fronts competing — and CL winners quality — squad.
And it'll play tippy tappy football.