Who will be our main rivals this season?

Gundog’s Gundog

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Will be interesting to see how Chelsea come out of this mini slump. Outclassed by us and fortunate to beat Soton either side of a flat performance in Europe albeit in a very tough game.

It’ll be us or them as champions, the dippers are yesterday’s news.
 

alexmcity

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When people say that we'd have been better off with a CF yesterday, they think that the CF would have done all the work that the player he replaces did but would have been more clinical on top of it.

Problem is that's far from guaranteed. Arguably, we have more control in big games with a false 9 than with a proper CF. Pressing is better and we are less predictable.

To put it differently, there are trade-offs between playing with a CF and playing with a false 9, and it's far from clear that we'd be better off with a classical No 9. Personally, I think that this team is probably slightly better than the 17/18 team. I know, that's a bold claim, time will tell.
 

marco

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i had a moan when the fixtures came out but i'm glad those games are over now,chelsea have played liverpool but most of them have to play each other so will drop points,we enter a nice run of games now so win those and hopfully clear by a few points come xmas
 

FromPollockToSilva

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Chicago, formerly Prague, originally Calderdale
When people say that we'd have been better off with a CF yesterday, they think that the CF would have done all the work that the player he replaces did but would have been more clinical on top of it.

Problem is that's far from guaranteed. Arguably, we have more control in big games with a false 9 than with a proper CF. Pressing is better and we are less predictable.

To put it differently, there are trade-offs between playing with a CF and playing with a false 9, and it's far from clear that we'd be better off with a classical No 9. Personally, I think that this team is probably slightly better than the 17/18 team. I know, that's a bold claim, time will tell.

There are trade-offs, and I think the false-9 is pretty good in big games as it gives us the ability to squeeze teams with possession and pressing. I don't know if we could have played the game we did at Chelsea with Agüero or Kane, for example

However, in tight games against teams that have less quality and are defensively very deep, there are times when having more of a focal point would help us

It's also a paradox of Pep's teams that several players would play better individually if given a different role and/or if there were a striker to play off (Sterling, Grealish, Mahrez, De Bruyne and Foden, to varying extents), yet the overall team performance is exceptional with this shape
 

Brightwell Bros.

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1 Oct 2014
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2,536
When people say that we'd have been better off with a CF yesterday, they think that the CF would have done all the work that the player he replaces did but would have been more clinical on top of it.

Problem is that's far from guaranteed. Arguably, we have more control in big games with a false 9 than with a proper CF. Pressing is better and we are less predictable.

To put it differently, there are trade-offs between playing with a CF and playing with a false 9, and it's far from clear that we'd be better off with a classical No 9. Personally, I think that this team is probably slightly better than the 17/18 team. I know, that's a bold claim, time will tell.
I think this is very true against Chelsea.

I don't think we would have suffered too much yesterday replacing Grealish with a player who can press out of possession, but we would have benefitted from someone running in behind and taking up the right spaces in the box.

And if we'd had a striker against Southampton we'd now be joint top!
 

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