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Hobitez 124 posts  |  Last Activity: Oct 3, 2013 10:43 Member since: Jan 16, 2012
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  • Reply to

    MUCH Better!

    by Jason Sep 29, 2013 18:19
    Hobitez Hobitez Oct 3, 2013 10:43 Flag

    Colyn/Dave, I hear all your points. I am not 100% convinced of the 3-5-2 and we were playing good football before but it definitely suits the current available personel, of that, I think we all agree. Colyn, I think it is a fair comment that we have conceded a lot of the possesion we had last year but it does look to be a straight swap for silly decision making in possesion from our defenders and it seems to be getting better results so I am a little bit lost in it all really.

    Whatever the formation, I think we look at our best with Suarez-Sturridge as a partnership, not with one out wide for the other but as a traditional tag team. When PC is fit, I want to see him playing behind those 2, not out wide, maybe in some games but not in general. For me that only really leaves the 3-5-2, a 4-1-2-1-2 (we dont have the players for really) or a 4-3-1-2 which I dont think anyone has really done since that awesome mid noughties Milan side.

  • Reply to

    MUCH Better!

    by Jason Sep 29, 2013 18:19
    Hobitez Hobitez Oct 2, 2013 15:57 Flag

    I agree, that explains the drop in possesion, territory but probably also looks the reason for us being more dangerous on the counter due to the onorthodox nature of our runners. If the left and right back in a back four are in their normal positions then you would assume they can pick up a pass deeper and under less pressure so more likely to keep the ball then when they are 15 yards furthur up the pitch. I wondered what was going on after us talking for so long about playing with an identity, a fixed style but if the results continue then I can't complain!

    I think the change is heavily due to the options we have available. To have Agger, Kelly, Johnson, Cissokho, Allen and Coutinho missing would have destroyed us in the last few seasons. When you have centre halves playing so well I guess you just go with the logic, likewise, when you have those 2 strikers, you have to try and get them both in the dangerous positions. I see a future in the 3-5-2 though, with Allen and Agger returning this week, we may well see an increase in fluidity over the erratic Sakho and combative Lucas.

    Can you imagine this starting eleven though:
    Mignolet
    Toure Skrtel Agger
    Johnson Gerrard Lucas Enrique
    Coutinho
    Sturridge Suarez

    That would take some beating!

  • Reply to

    MUCH Better!

    by Jason Sep 29, 2013 18:19
    Hobitez Hobitez Oct 2, 2013 15:20 Flag

    Hi Colyn/Jason, I keep seeing people talking about a back 4 but in the last 2 games now, we have played a 3-5-2 with Toure-Skrtel-Sakho making up the back 3 and Henderson and Enrique playing as wingbacks. I certainly don't think we found ourselves pushed back against United but we were definitely soaking up some scary looking pressure at Sunderland. I am hoping Allen will be fit to replace the banned Lucas against Palace and agree his mobility might actually improve us, especially in a home game against, with all due respect, a weaker team.

    The Gerrard/Lucas pairing doesnt look one to dominate games, they can be fluid at times but when under the cosh they go a bit direct, of course Gerrard spraying balls around looks fantastic and can get you a goal in an instant as it did against Sunderland. By the looks of things we might not need to talk about someone doing the Xabi role come January, the man himself is looking quite likely for a return, which would be awesome. Yes he is older but he was always slow in the first place, of course he has a good passing range but it is the quality of his short passing and constant availability for a pass that could take us a couple of steps forward.

    I don't want to be wishing or waiting on January but there is certainly something missing in the centre. Look at us, finding problems when we are sat in 2nd place :)

  • Reply to

    Dropping deep

    by Loki Sep 16, 2013 23:00
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 18, 2013 14:39 Flag

    It certainly keeps happening but we are picking up points for fun. I'm not convinced there was a tactic at Swansea, as D said, when PC got injured, the game just changed. The ball just wouldnt stick on the counter, there was a time late on when we had 5 players in front of the ball. I think it is just us coming into the season still, when we take a lead we focus on getting ourselves right defensively then try to play but it just isnt as fluid. I think Sturridge isnt fit and the focal point running out of energy makes a big difference. My feeling is that we are exerting a lot of energy early on. Again though, Swansea have very fast wingers, you dont really want Kolo and Skrtel playing high lines in the closing stages when they can be opened that easily with one ball over the top.

    I am not trying to be clever, I am just thinking out loud! The difference between this and the other games is that Swansea werent just taking potshots from far out like United etc, they really had us rattled. Hopefully Agger or Toure will be fit enough to return to the starting eleven on Saturday.

  • Reply to

    Arsenal finally got their MAN

    by Ref, It Was Me! Sep 2, 2013 22:44
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 16, 2013 13:04 Flag

    I am not really sure what you are disagreeing with? All I said was that Arsenal have clearly improved their team without addressing the supposed weaknesses, that is exactly whats happened. I have to say though, the 'dominance' of Arsenal at Sunderland is very exagerated, they could have been home and dry by halftime was it not for woeful finishing from Walcott but Sunderland should have had the equaliser and if not Sagna should have been red carded for the last man foul on Altidore, then the game would have been different. Also, Sunderland have only won 1 match since Di Canio has been manager, they are bottom of the league and the poorest team so far.

  • Reply to

    Andy Carroll - Worth the mention..

    by Jason Sep 10, 2013 11:52
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 10, 2013 16:24 Flag

    Completely agree with the Lambert comparison, but on a lower level you could cite Bobby Zamora to for the way he became hot around his late 20's, even RVP was not world class till 2-3 seasons ago. How about Didier Drogba who arrived at Chelsea aged nearly 28? He took a season to come into himself there, I remember Hansen and co laughing at him on MOTD, saying they would much rather play against him then Djibril Cisse, how wrong were they?!

    In terms of us, it was a bit like giving a Jousting lance to a samurai, effective weapon but clearly in the wrong hands!

  • Reply to

    Studge is made of glass

    by Loki Sep 9, 2013 16:36
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 10, 2013 13:01 Flag

    I would definitely play Sturridge even if he is a bit of a concern, Swansea away can be such a tough place to go and that pace and trickery on the counter attack will be very important. I would rather take the risk of injury in that game and risk playing Southampton at home without him. Obviously Suaro will then return. As Jason was saying, Victor Moses is capable of deputising and Aspas was scoring freely in pre season, I think we will be fine.

  • Reply to

    Andy Carroll - Worth the mention..

    by Jason Sep 10, 2013 11:52
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 10, 2013 12:57 Flag

    I havent seen anything saying it was a ruptured Achillies, just a load of reports it was the same part of his foot with no expected return date. Either way, it is a bit sad for the lad, he wasn't quite up to becoming a Torres, Suarez, Owen for us but he is a good player nonetheless and never showed any lack of effort, he didnt pricetag himself. We definitely did well to recoup the amount we did and it is really telling now. You can almost guarantee the 2 games he plays this season will be against us though! On the other hand, I would happily take any bet on offer that before his career is up he manages to score 20 goals in a season, I am certain that it will happen eventually, can't see the injuries lasting forever, it is quite common in big strikers at a young age!

  • Reply to

    Didn't deserve to win - I love it!

    by Loki Sep 1, 2013 15:59
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 4, 2013 16:15 Flag

    Absolutely, I am a left footed centre back but I prefer playing right side! Not that I play much anymore, just a full time manager now! I presonally prefer it right side as most attackers (at this level, anyhow!) like to take you on on their right foot so they play into your hands more often then not. The big difference between me and Sakho is if I get it wrong, I wont be catching nobody!

  • Reply to

    Arsenal finally got their MAN

    by Ref, It Was Me! Sep 2, 2013 22:44
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 4, 2013 10:09 Flag

    I think he will prove to better in the league then Coutinho, Mata, Silva and co, he is a phenominal talent. In that way, Arsenal have to become better because it should free up a bit of man marking away from the Carzola's and Wilshires whilst undoubtedly providing more service for Giroud or Walcott. Again, just like everybody knew back in May, creativity is hardly an Arsenal weak point, really they could have done with a keeper (A better one!), a centre half, a holding midfielder and a striker. They got in a keeper that will surely be back up, Flamini could well do that dirty role in the middle, whilst they dont really have much cover for Giroud as a proper striker. Starting 11, they look strong as hell, outside of that, they look a lot less convincing. I have to say though, I would rather sign Mezut Ozil alone then Ash Williams, Demba Ba, Julio Cesar and Felaini put together! Funny old game.

  • Reply to

    So what our strongest team?

    by Loki Sep 3, 2013 00:06
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 4, 2013 10:00 Flag

    Certainly in defence, I dont think anyone knows our strongest 11. In Toure-Skrtel-Agger-Sakho there is very little to choose between them as well as having a variation of style depending on the match. The backs against the walls stuff really suits Skrtel, he had a great game against United. Toure is very good against a powerful striker as he can match them up for strength. I guess Sakho will be the guy you play against pace with his athletic reputation. It is a great problem to have. Skrtel should start the next match though, I agree. If I was asked our strongest 11 right now, I would go:

    Mignolet
    Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique
    Lucas Gerrard
    Suarez Coutinho Moses
    Sturridge

    It will change every week though, it is nice to have strength in depth. I would drop Aspas without a thought but Hendo really deserves to be in there after his start, his name just ruined the team sheets asthetics!

  • Reply to

    Didn't deserve to win - I love it!

    by Loki Sep 1, 2013 15:59
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 4, 2013 09:54 Flag

    That is very true but it is a weird way that most of us look at left footers. For years, pairs of right footed centre backs have partnered up to great effect, Terry-Carvalho, Ferdinand-Vidic, Carragher-Hyppia, Campbell-Toure, it is no big deal but for some reason, it feels wrong to have 2 lefties!

  • Reply to

    CB's

    by Jason Aug 30, 2013 14:00
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 2, 2013 11:08 Flag

    Sakho, Llori and Moses all confirmed now. Looks like Real are going to go all in on Suarez today, I hope we dont budge unless there is a replacement coming our way.

  • Reply to

    Didn't deserve to win - I love it!

    by Loki Sep 1, 2013 15:59
    Hobitez Hobitez Sep 2, 2013 10:57 Flag

    Especially after his perormance against Notts County! Johnson was defensively excellent I thought, Hendo with that amazing work rate again. We are winning games without getting to anywhere near our level which has to be a good thing. Last year we would play well and lose or draw so hopefully we can carry on with the momentum into Swansea.

  • Reply to

    CB's

    by Jason Aug 30, 2013 14:00
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 31, 2013 11:31 Flag

    Reports here all saying the Sakho deal is £13m rising to £19m! Also, it is suggested both are having medicals today. I doubt very much that Kolo will play, if Skrtel is fit I would start him and let him have a dream send off match, can't be a much better way to say goodbye then a home match against Manchester United. That way, Kolo can be ready and fit for the end of the international break. The Yarmelenko story is nonsense as far as I can tell, when the press asked Rodgers about him he said "who?" then the reporter said his name again and he said "where does he play? Never heard of him!". Could be a smokescreen but he looked pretty sincere!

  • Reply to

    Did the owners pull the plug again?

    by Loki Aug 23, 2013 07:53
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 28, 2013 13:53 Flag

    I dont think we have much hope of getting either. Ozil is linked with a £40m+ move to United whilst Di Maria is linked with arsenal at £30m plus and doesnt want to leave at all. Great players but we dont have time to flirt with players we are unlikely to sign.

  • Reply to

    We've learned to be resilient

    by Loki Aug 25, 2013 13:55
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 27, 2013 15:16 Flag

    I tend to agree with Dave here. I know the second half was uncomfortable viewing with most of the play in our half but Villa are absolutely bang at it, they must be the most on song team in terms of the performance level they can aspire to deliver. We are probably playing around 70% of our level whilst they are in the high 90's. Benteke wants to roll his man and get face to face with defenders, Kolo never gave him a moments peace, Agbonglahor and Weimann both want to pick up the pockets between midfield and defence and run at people if not get the ball over the top. We sat deep, yes, not particularly cavalier but we arent Barcelona yet (not that they are infalable!) so it just seemed like good tactical, winning management to me. We could have been brighter on the counter though in all fairness, that late foul on Sturridge was a clear pen so the pressure would have been off then!

  • Reply to

    Did the owners pull the plug again?

    by Loki Aug 23, 2013 07:53
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 27, 2013 15:06 Flag

    I was kinda of the thinking that BR was going to use Suarez on the right, Sturridge would be hard done by to lose his place whilst he is playing like this. As Loki was saying, BR keeps saying a 'left' winger not just wingers in general. I like Aspas but seem him as utility, can't see him being much more then a Dirk Kuyt with a trick kinda guy. Moses speculation is growing and growing, I could see him working out in a Sturridge kinda way.

  • Reply to

    Did the owners pull the plug again?

    by Loki Aug 23, 2013 07:53
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 24, 2013 10:46 Flag

    You came to your senses on Moses in the end :) They have so much wide attacking quality it is just stupid at Chelsea, Moses looks the odd ball in the pack. You know you have an embarrasment of riches when Juan Mata is a contender to be sold (lets not start there, that is never happening!). Moses would definitely do us a turn on the right hand side. Mourinho has stated now that every player they bring in will result in one being removed as he only wants a 21 man squad, Willian is in now so somebodys for sale! Agree on Turan really, love him as a player but too expensive, aware also that Shaqiri is unlikely but again, is a bit surplus at the moment. Agbonglahor I threw in on a whim of the last 2 games but Ben Arfa I really, really rate.

    I keep seeing this Yarmolenko stuff but lets be honest, none of us have heard of him, we all did the wiki, you tube etc but that is a gamble if ever I saw one.

  • Reply to

    BR: "more signings in ‘next 3-5 weeks" - 11/7

    by Paddy Aug 22, 2013 14:21
    Hobitez Hobitez Aug 24, 2013 10:32 Flag

    I think our problem was not getting a marque signing over the line early, you get one in and everybody else takes notice, they see the project and the momentum and it goes from there. From my understanding, we bid £27.5m for Willian and it was accepted only for Spurs to bid £30m, having had his medical he was made aware that Chelsea had bid £32m even though they needed to only bid £30m to get discussions. Roman just flexing his financial muscle to keep Spurs behind them.