Frank Lampard | Chelsea manager

TheMagicFoolBus

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There's so much talk of xG and the likes in this thread and for me the point is that its dangerous and misleading to be seeking too much comfort from that.

You didn't lose 12 and concede 54 simply because Kepa was throwing them in. There's been a real imbalance in the team IMO, a little naivety about game management, and signing a new keeper won't change that. It might help to paper over the cracks, but no more than that.

I think Lampards had a decent season but i would have.....maybe not serious concerns, but there is definitely a question mark about his ability to find that balance, because you can sign all the attacking talent you want but when they have an off day (and they will) you'll lose the game.

Does it mean that Chelsea won't be dangerous next season? No. I reckon it will stop Chelsea from kicking on to challenge the elite though unless Lampard can address this, and maybe he will and this post will look stupid in a years time.
I don't think any Chelsea fan is 100% satisfied with our defense - I think that anyone who watches us week-in week-out would understand that addressing our finishing in the final third and upgrading our goalkeeper are far and away the best ways to improve the squad. None of our defenders are world class, but axing them would leave us in a terrible position in terms of recruiting a replacement and on top of that I'm not convinced our CBs can't do a job in front of a decent keeper.

And yes, it's not as though Kepa was chucking them in literally, but it is undeniable that our defence was far more on edge when he played - see our most recent performance against Wolves with a 38 year old Caballero in net. The level of assuredness was night and day.

I think the point you bring up about finding the balance is fair - at times we've been prone to push on more than would be advisable (especially our fullbacks) and this has led to issues on the counter. That said, I don't know the extent to which I'd blame Lampard for this - personally I'd rather go for the 3 points and push our players on instead of settling for a single point.
 

Open Goal

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I feel I can make it more clear to United fans and possibly our fans also, to understand a bit more what the root of the problem is with our defense. I dont fully believe the problem is on just one player, but more so the system that we play and the players not being good enough to play it correctly.

Both of Lampards Derby and Chelsea teams have been primarily attacking teams, focused on moving the ball into forward areas through the midfield. Out of possession as well, his teams have tended to focus on pressing the opposition in an aggressive fashion, although this has worked to the detriment of his sides at times therefore Kepa and the defense has been made to suffer for this. Lampard’s initial days at Derby saw him lining his side up in a formation that closely resembles a 4-3-3, and sometimes adapts itself into a 4-2-3-1 system. This setup is Lampard’s first choice at Chelsea as well, with his side lining up in either of these two variations for large portions of his tenure thus far. While the configuration of the three central midfielders tends to vary from game to game, the two wide forwards tend to drift into the middle of the pitch irrespective. This has largely to do with Lampard’s broader beliefs – he wants his team to get on the ball and play it through midfield. Passing combinations and triangles form a big part of the attacking tactics. Defensively, this set up allows him to press his opponents high up the pitch and play a flat back four in an offside trap.

This configuration has brought Lampard great success in attack, but has often left his team crying for defensive stability. Lampard has responded to this by adding another center back to the mix at times. He’s gone to the three/five at the back formation, protecting them with 2 midfielders in front of the defensive line. This system has worked very well for them against teams that attack them, but has worked very poorly against teams that like to sit back. The best resemblance of this was the Sheffield loss. Lampard has made no secret of the fact that he likes his team to get on the ball and dominate games. Chelsea’s possession and shooting stats bear that out. Their average possession stats (57.4%) place them third in the league, and average shots per game (16.6) are second only to Manchester City. This can largely be attributed to his tendency to crowd the middle of the park. Aside from the three men in midfield, Lampard also gets his wide men to cut inside. This allows his players to work combinations in the middle of the pitch, as well as open up space for the full backs to provide width. This is fairly similar to the set up Lampard employed at Derby, with Derby also performing well on possession and shots per game stats during his season in charge there.

Another aspect of Lampards teams is the aggression his team shows on the ball. With quick movement from the forwards, the midfield is decidedly more ambitious with its passing. This has come as a big change for us Chelsea fans especially myself, I had grown accustomed to the metronomic midfield passing seen during the Sarri regime. The attacking contributions of players like Jorginho and Kovacic have shot up this season, with the duo recording 5 assists and 4 goals between them, as opposed to a combined total of 2 each last season. Outside of just the numbers as well, their ability to pass and dribble have been crucial in driving Chelsea’s attacking unit forward. It’s also a crucial part of the system Lampard plays, because stripping the midfield of creativity leaves the team bereft in an attacking sense, as the energetic movement of the forwards is useful only when it is complimented by penetrative passing.

Attack hasn’t been the most pressing concern for Chelsea this season, primarily because the adventurous approach Lampard tends to take on has left him with lots of defensive issues. His default approach, keeping with his positive view on football as a whole, has been to press the opposition to win the ball back high up the pitch. While it is easy to compare this approach to that of his famous peers like Klopp, Lampard has been slightly more conservative in this respect, with his players stepping up the aggression of the press when they notice a loose touch or a mistake.

It has to be said, Lampard’s take on pressing isn’t as proactive as that of his peers, and he tends to use it as a purely defensive tactic, and not an attacking one, like Liverpool are known to do. This may also have to do with the fact that Lampard has tended to have slower and more laborious midfielders at his disposal at both Derby and Chelsea (with the exception of N’golo Kante, whose season has largely been disrupted by injury). Consequently, this has led to our team primarily shipping these two types of goals:

1. Counter attacks: Both Chelsea and Derby have shown glaring weaknesses on the break during their time under Lampard. Chelsea stand at a concerning third place in the Premier League table for goals conceded on the break, with his Derby side standing joint top for the same statistic last season. The tendency to commit full backs as well as midfielders into the opposition third often comes back to haunt his sides. Chelsea and Lampard learnt this lesson the hard way on the opening weekend of this season when we lost 4-0 to United.

2. Lack of midfield protection: The likes of Jorginho and Kovacic have earned great praise for their contributions in attack, but sadly, we cannot say the same about their organisation without the ball. This is another trend Lampard struggled with at Derby, as players like Tom Huddlestone and Bradley Johnson failed to provide adequate cover to the defence. At Chelsea too our midfield has been overrun far too often, with opposition midfielders thriving in the huge gaps between the lines.

In what is a very positive sign though, Lampard has shown a willingness to adapt and change his tactics, both in game, and for specific games. The primary variant has been the three at the back system, which has yielded mixed results. It has taken Chelsea to wins against the likes of Spurs, and Wolves, but flopped badly in a 0-2 home defeat to Southampton. The biggest benefit from this system has been the addition of a covering man. With the Chelsea midfield getting caught out as often as it does, the back line are left vulnerable to runners and movement in behind the defence. This is where the spare man has added value.

Although we have had negatives during his short career as a manager so far, Frank Lampard has shown great promise. He’s displayed a will to learn, and an adaptability that is key for a manager to succeed at any level. Lampard has shown he can work with younger players as well as established ones, and build a strong connect with the dressing room, the fans, and the press. The general nature of his football philosophy is well defined, and in conjunction with Jody Morris, he looks well on the way to ironing out the few flaws in the team with signings this summer. We need to finish better and need a rock in that defense to shore up our defensive lineup in total. I believe Kepa will be sent out on loan and most likely Onana will be signed (im still hoping its Oblak but I doubt it). We also need a leftback, but I think we will be okay with Azpi and Marcos Alonso for another season.
 
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UNITED ACADEMY

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Saying this confirms that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Again, you're arguing that Zouma should ignore the calls of his teammates and head the ball regardless when it's literally 2 yards off the line. Zouma listening to the calls and ducking out of the way is a point in his favour; arguing otherwise is just idiotic given the potential for the ball to go anywhere. Unless you're positing that Zouma is guaranteed to better aim a header than Kepa is a punch, which would be a whole separate kettle of fish.
Again you are making it sounds like I blame on Zouma alone here. The shouting in that situation is unnecessary in the first place and Zouma wasn’t even part of it.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Again you are making it sounds like I blame on Zouma alone here. The shouting in that situation is unnecessary in the first place and Zouma wasn’t even part of it.
Yes exactly, the shouting is totally unnecessary because any competent goalkeeper comes and claims the cross that's 2 yards off his line regardless of what the defenders are shouting. Blaming the defense for not clearing that cross is just idiotic.

Yes I'm making it sound like you blame it on Zouma when you post things like "Zouma evaded the ball". Well no fecking shit he did, because he got calls from his fellow defenders. Again, blaming this on anyone besides Kepa is utterly nonsensical.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Yes exactly, the shouting is totally unnecessary because any competent goalkeeper comes and claims the cross that's 2 yards off his line regardless of what the defenders are shouting. Blaming the defense for not clearing that cross is just idiotic.

Yes I'm making it sound like you blame it on Zouma when you post things like "Zouma evaded the ball". Well no fecking shit he did, because he got calls from his fellow defenders. Again, blaming this on anyone besides Kepa is utterly nonsensical.
You have the chance to clear, you are in the best position and best player to deal with it, clear the feckin ball, the keeper saw Zouma was the best player to clear it. The shouting is totally unnecessary but only causing confusion in that situation.

Yes I blame Zouma, I never say I don't but he's not the only one fault for that Van Dijk's chance. If you can't see it then I can also say the same thing of utterly nonsensical it is not to realise the defenders were ball watching & just shouting. Single out player when it wasn't just him but others to blamed as well.

You do it with action not with your mouth only.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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You have the chance to clear, you are in the best position and best player to deal with it, clear the feckin ball. The shouting is totally unnecessary but only causing confusion in that situation.

Yes I blame Zouma, I never say I don't but he's not the only one fault for that Van Dijk's chance. If you can't see it then I can also say the same thing of utterly nonsensical it is not to realise the defenders were ball watching & just shouting. Single out player when it wasn't just him but others to blamed as well.

You do it with action not with your mouth only.
This is up there with the most insane hill I've seen someone die on on this forum, and I was here for Treble_Winning. It couldn't be more obvious that you've never played the sport beyond a youth level - imagine claiming that shouting to coordinate a defense causes confusion. Utterly ridiculous.

Blaming Zouma for that VVD chance is just proof that you've no idea what you're on about.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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This is up there with the most insane hill I've seen someone die on on this forum, and I was here for Treble_Winning. It couldn't be more obvious that you've never played the sport beyond a youth level - imagine claiming that shouting to coordinate a defense causes confusion. Utterly ridiculous.

Blaming Zouma for that VVD chance is just proof that you've no idea what you're on about.
You're not reading mate.

Amazing how much professional footballers can get away from critics by ball watching. Look at that Zouma wasn't the only one who was ball watching. I can pick minimum 3 players who's to blamed for it. Of course I don't expect you to see it because in your mind there is only one person to blamed for mistake. I blamed the team, you blamed individual.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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You're not reading mate.

Amazing how much professional footballers can get away from critics by ball watching. Look at that Zouma wasn't the only one who was ball watching. I can pick minimum 3 players who's to blamed for it. Of course I don't expect you to see it because in your mind there is only one person to blamed for mistake. I blamed the team, you blamed individual.
Yes, it's amazing how much they get away with when 6 of them are screaming for one to do the bare minimum of their fecking job.

It's genuinely hilarious that you are apparently blaming the entire team for defending a set piece properly when a single individual caused all the issues via his inaction.

This claim of ball-watching is also amusing - 20 minutes ago you were claiming that Zouma was shying away from the ball and now you're claiming he was ball watching. Which is it?
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Yes, it's amazing how much they get away with when 6 of them are screaming for one to do the bare minimum of their fecking job.

It's genuinely hilarious that you are apparently blaming the entire team for defending a set piece properly when a single individual caused all the issues via his inaction.

This claim of ball-watching is also amusing - 20 minutes ago you were claiming that Zouma was shying away from the ball and now you're claiming he was ball watching. Which is it?
Players aren't not defending it from the danger but just watching where the ball goes. I'm more amusing how you are trying to find excuses for this.
 

Mindhunter

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I feel I can make it more clear to United fans and possibly our fans also, to understand a bit more what the root of the problem is with our defense. I dont fully believe the problem is on just one player, but more so the system that we play and the players not being good enough to play it correctly.

Both of Lampards Derby and Chelsea teams have been primarily attacking teams, focused on moving the ball into forward areas through the midfield. Out of possession as well, his teams have tended to focus on pressing the opposition in an aggressive fashion, although this has worked to the detriment of his sides at times therefore Kepa and the defense has been made to suffer for this. Lampard’s initial days at Derby saw him lining his side up in a formation that closely resembles a 4-3-3, and sometimes adapts itself into a 4-2-3-1 system. This setup is Lampard’s first choice at Chelsea as well, with his side lining up in either of these two variations for large portions of his tenure thus far. While the configuration of the three central midfielders tends to vary from game to game, the two wide forwards tend to drift into the middle of the pitch irrespective. This has largely to do with Lampard’s broader beliefs – he wants his team to get on the ball and play it through midfield. Passing combinations and triangles form a big part of the attacking tactics. Defensively, this set up allows him to press his opponents high up the pitch and play a flat back four in an offside trap.

This configuration has brought Lampard great success in attack, but has often left his team crying for defensive stability. Lampard has responded to this by adding another center back to the mix at times. He’s gone to the three/five at the back formation, protecting them with 2 midfielders in front of the defensive line. This system has worked very well for them against teams that attack them, but has worked very poorly against teams that like to sit back. The best resemblance of this was the Sheffield loss. Lampard has made no secret of the fact that he likes his team to get on the ball and dominate games. Chelsea’s possession and shooting stats bear that out. Their average possession stats (57.4%) place them third in the league, and average shots per game (16.6) are second only to Manchester City. This can largely be attributed to his tendency to crowd the middle of the park. Aside from the three men in midfield, Lampard also gets his wide men to cut inside. This allows his players to work combinations in the middle of the pitch, as well as open up space for the full backs to provide width. This is fairly similar to the set up Lampard employed at Derby, with Derby also performing well on possession and shots per game stats during his season in charge there.

Another aspect of Lampards teams is the aggression his team shows on the ball. With quick movement from the forwards, the midfield is decidedly more ambitious with its passing. This has come as a big change for us Chelsea fans especially myself, I had grown accustomed to the metronomic midfield passing seen during the Sarri regime. The attacking contributions of players like Jorginho and Kovacic have shot up this season, with the duo recording 5 assists and 4 goals between them, as opposed to a combined total of 2 each last season. Outside of just the numbers as well, their ability to pass and dribble have been crucial in driving Chelsea’s attacking unit forward. It’s also a crucial part of the system Lampard plays, because stripping the midfield of creativity leaves the team bereft in an attacking sense, as the energetic movement of the forwards is useful only when it is complimented by penetrative passing.

Attack hasn’t been the most pressing concern for Chelsea this season, primarily because the adventurous approach Lampard tends to take on has left him with lots of defensive issues. His default approach, keeping with his positive view on football as a whole, has been to press the opposition to win the ball back high up the pitch. While it is easy to compare this approach to that of his famous peers like Klopp, Lampard has been slightly more conservative in this respect, with his players stepping up the aggression of the press when they notice a loose touch or a mistake.

It has to be said, Lampard’s take on pressing isn’t as proactive as that of his peers, and he tends to use it as a purely defensive tactic, and not an attacking one, like Liverpool are known to do. This may also have to do with the fact that Lampard has tended to have slower and more laborious midfielders at his disposal at both Derby and Chelsea (with the exception of N’golo Kante, whose season has largely been disrupted by injury). Consequently, this has led to our team primarily shipping these two types of goals:

1. Counter attacks: Both Chelsea and Derby have shown glaring weaknesses on the break during their time under Lampard. Chelsea stand at a concerning third place in the Premier League table for goals conceded on the break, with his Derby side standing joint top for the same statistic last season. The tendency to commit full backs as well as midfielders into the opposition third often comes back to haunt his sides. Chelsea and Lampard learnt this lesson the hard way on the opening weekend of this season when we lost 4-0 to United.

2. Lack of midfield protection: The likes of Jorginho and Kovacic have earned great praise for their contributions in attack, but sadly, we cannot say the same about their organisation without the ball. This is another trend Lampard struggled with at Derby, as players like Tom Huddlestone and Bradley Johnson failed to provide adequate cover to the defence. At Chelsea too our midfield has been overrun far too often, with opposition midfielders thriving in the huge gaps between the lines.

In what is a very positive sign though, Lampard has shown a willingness to adapt and change his tactics, both in game, and for specific games. The primary variant has been the three at the back system, which has yielded mixed results. It has taken Chelsea to wins against the likes of Spurs, and Wolves, but flopped badly in a 0-2 home defeat to Southampton. The biggest benefit from this system has been the addition of a covering man. With the Chelsea midfield getting caught out as often as it does, the back line are left vulnerable to runners and movement in behind the defence. This is where the spare man has added value.

Although we have had negatives during his short career as a manager so far, Frank Lampard has shown great promise. He’s displayed a will to learn, and an adaptability that is key for a manager to succeed at any level. Lampard has shown he can work with younger players as well as established ones, and build a strong connect with the dressing room, the fans, and the press. The general nature of his football philosophy is well defined, and in conjunction with Jody Morris, he looks well on the way to ironing out the few flaws in the team with signings this summer. We need to finish better and need a rock in that defense to shore up our defensive lineup in total. I believe Kepa will be sent out on loan and most likely Onana will be signed (im still hoping its Oblak but I doubt it). We also need a leftback, but I think we will be okay with Azpi and Marcos Alonso for another season.
Great post. Very informative and well researched.
 

blue blue

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Its a close debate
I feel I can make it more clear to United fans and possibly our fans also, to understand a bit more what the root of the problem is with our defense. I dont fully believe the problem is on just one player, but more so the system that we play and the players not being good enough to play it correctly.

Both of Lampards Derby and Chelsea teams have been primarily attacking teams, focused on moving the ball into forward areas through the midfield. Out of possession as well, his teams have tended to focus on pressing the opposition in an aggressive fashion, although this has worked to the detriment of his sides at times therefore Kepa and the defense has been made to suffer for this. Lampard’s initial days at Derby saw him lining his side up in a formation that closely resembles a 4-3-3, and sometimes adapts itself into a 4-2-3-1 system. This setup is Lampard’s first choice at Chelsea as well, with his side lining up in either of these two variations for large portions of his tenure thus far. While the configuration of the three central midfielders tends to vary from game to game, the two wide forwards tend to drift into the middle of the pitch irrespective. This has largely to do with Lampard’s broader beliefs – he wants his team to get on the ball and play it through midfield. Passing combinations and triangles form a big part of the attacking tactics. Defensively, this set up allows him to press his opponents high up the pitch and play a flat back four in an offside trap.

This configuration has brought Lampard great success in attack, but has often left his team crying for defensive stability. Lampard has responded to this by adding another center back to the mix at times. He’s gone to the three/five at the back formation, protecting them with 2 midfielders in front of the defensive line. This system has worked very well for them against teams that attack them, but has worked very poorly against teams that like to sit back. The best resemblance of this was the Sheffield loss. Lampard has made no secret of the fact that he likes his team to get on the ball and dominate games. Chelsea’s possession and shooting stats bear that out. Their average possession stats (57.4%) place them third in the league, and average shots per game (16.6) are second only to Manchester City. This can largely be attributed to his tendency to crowd the middle of the park. Aside from the three men in midfield, Lampard also gets his wide men to cut inside. This allows his players to work combinations in the middle of the pitch, as well as open up space for the full backs to provide width. This is fairly similar to the set up Lampard employed at Derby, with Derby also performing well on possession and shots per game stats during his season in charge there.

Another aspect of Lampards teams is the aggression his team shows on the ball. With quick movement from the forwards, the midfield is decidedly more ambitious with its passing. This has come as a big change for us Chelsea fans especially myself, I had grown accustomed to the metronomic midfield passing seen during the Sarri regime. The attacking contributions of players like Jorginho and Kovacic have shot up this season, with the duo recording 5 assists and 4 goals between them, as opposed to a combined total of 2 each last season. Outside of just the numbers as well, their ability to pass and dribble have been crucial in driving Chelsea’s attacking unit forward. It’s also a crucial part of the system Lampard plays, because stripping the midfield of creativity leaves the team bereft in an attacking sense, as the energetic movement of the forwards is useful only when it is complimented by penetrative passing.

Attack hasn’t been the most pressing concern for Chelsea this season, primarily because the adventurous approach Lampard tends to take on has left him with lots of defensive issues. His default approach, keeping with his positive view on football as a whole, has been to press the opposition to win the ball back high up the pitch. While it is easy to compare this approach to that of his famous peers like Klopp, Lampard has been slightly more conservative in this respect, with his players stepping up the aggression of the press when they notice a loose touch or a mistake.

It has to be said, Lampard’s take on pressing isn’t as proactive as that of his peers, and he tends to use it as a purely defensive tactic, and not an attacking one, like Liverpool are known to do. This may also have to do with the fact that Lampard has tended to have slower and more laborious midfielders at his disposal at both Derby and Chelsea (with the exception of N’golo Kante, whose season has largely been disrupted by injury). Consequently, this has led to our team primarily shipping these two types of goals:

1. Counter attacks: Both Chelsea and Derby have shown glaring weaknesses on the break during their time under Lampard. Chelsea stand at a concerning third place in the Premier League table for goals conceded on the break, with his Derby side standing joint top for the same statistic last season. The tendency to commit full backs as well as midfielders into the opposition third often comes back to haunt his sides. Chelsea and Lampard learnt this lesson the hard way on the opening weekend of this season when we lost 4-0 to United.

2. Lack of midfield protection: The likes of Jorginho and Kovacic have earned great praise for their contributions in attack, but sadly, we cannot say the same about their organisation without the ball. This is another trend Lampard struggled with at Derby, as players like Tom Huddlestone and Bradley Johnson failed to provide adequate cover to the defence. At Chelsea too our midfield has been overrun far too often, with opposition midfielders thriving in the huge gaps between the lines.

In what is a very positive sign though, Lampard has shown a willingness to adapt and change his tactics, both in game, and for specific games. The primary variant has been the three at the back system, which has yielded mixed results. It has taken Chelsea to wins against the likes of Spurs, and Wolves, but flopped badly in a 0-2 home defeat to Southampton. The biggest benefit from this system has been the addition of a covering man. With the Chelsea midfield getting caught out as often as it does, the back line are left vulnerable to runners and movement in behind the defence. This is where the spare man has added value.

Although we have had negatives during his short career as a manager so far, Frank Lampard has shown great promise. He’s displayed a will to learn, and an adaptability that is key for a manager to succeed at any level. Lampard has shown he can work with younger players as well as established ones, and build a strong connect with the dressing room, the fans, and the press. The general nature of his football philosophy is well defined, and in conjunction with Jody Morris, he looks well on the way to ironing out the few flaws in the team with signings this summer. We need to finish better and need a rock in that defense to shore up our defensive lineup in total. I believe Kepa will be sent out on loan and most likely Onana will be signed (im still hoping its Oblak but I doubt it). We also need a leftback, but I think we will be okay with Azpi and Marcos Alonso for another season.
Good post but you haven't addressed the defending from set pieces and corners especially. Its a significant factor also.

I don't understand how Rudiger has become a dodgy player. In his previous full season he was a true leader in defence but isn't the same player now. It seems he has lost confidence. I still believe he can be that player again. I also think Zouma gets a rough ride and has been the better CB.
Kepa seems to stay on his line far too much and doesn't dominate the 6 yard box. I can't see that Frank is telling him to stay on his line and the defenders to stay on the 6 yard line when a cross comes in. There's space in between and its either a coaching issue or Kepa just isn't doing as he is told. I honestly think the defense can improve just by changing the keeper. It may not solve all the defensive issues but it will help.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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They're watching where the ball goes as it lands 2 yards from the line. Mind boggling that you can blame anyone but the goalkeeper.
If that's not what you called a ball watching I don't know what else you want to call it. Good defending? Sounds bollocks to me if that's called good defending.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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If that's not what you called a ball watching I don't know what else you want to call it. Good defending? Sounds bollocks to me if that's called good defending.
Do you also call it ball watching if one player watches his teammate contest a 1v1 aerially? Or do you demand that they attack the ball as well for no reason regardless of whether they potentially put off their teammate?
 

Mb194dc

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I feel I can make it more clear to United fans and possibly our fans also, to understand a bit more what the root of the problem is with our defense. I dont fully believe the problem is on just one player, but more so the system that we play and the players not being good enough to play it correctly.

Both of Lampards Derby and Chelsea teams have been primarily attacking teams, focused on moving the ball into forward areas through the midfield. Out of possession as well, his teams have tended to focus on pressing the opposition in an aggressive fashion, although this has worked to the detriment of his sides at times therefore Kepa and the defense has been made to suffer for this. Lampard’s initial days at Derby saw him lining his side up in a formation that closely resembles a 4-3-3, and sometimes adapts itself into a 4-2-3-1 system. This setup is Lampard’s first choice at Chelsea as well, with his side lining up in either of these two variations for large portions of his tenure thus far. While the configuration of the three central midfielders tends to vary from game to game, the two wide forwards tend to drift into the middle of the pitch irrespective. This has largely to do with Lampard’s broader beliefs – he wants his team to get on the ball and play it through midfield. Passing combinations and triangles form a big part of the attacking tactics. Defensively, this set up allows him to press his opponents high up the pitch and play a flat back four in an offside trap.

This configuration has brought Lampard great success in attack, but has often left his team crying for defensive stability. Lampard has responded to this by adding another center back to the mix at times. He’s gone to the three/five at the back formation, protecting them with 2 midfielders in front of the defensive line. This system has worked very well for them against teams that attack them, but has worked very poorly against teams that like to sit back. The best resemblance of this was the Sheffield loss. Lampard has made no secret of the fact that he likes his team to get on the ball and dominate games. Chelsea’s possession and shooting stats bear that out. Their average possession stats (57.4%) place them third in the league, and average shots per game (16.6) are second only to Manchester City. This can largely be attributed to his tendency to crowd the middle of the park. Aside from the three men in midfield, Lampard also gets his wide men to cut inside. This allows his players to work combinations in the middle of the pitch, as well as open up space for the full backs to provide width. This is fairly similar to the set up Lampard employed at Derby, with Derby also performing well on possession and shots per game stats during his season in charge there.

Another aspect of Lampards teams is the aggression his team shows on the ball. With quick movement from the forwards, the midfield is decidedly more ambitious with its passing. This has come as a big change for us Chelsea fans especially myself, I had grown accustomed to the metronomic midfield passing seen during the Sarri regime. The attacking contributions of players like Jorginho and Kovacic have shot up this season, with the duo recording 5 assists and 4 goals between them, as opposed to a combined total of 2 each last season. Outside of just the numbers as well, their ability to pass and dribble have been crucial in driving Chelsea’s attacking unit forward. It’s also a crucial part of the system Lampard plays, because stripping the midfield of creativity leaves the team bereft in an attacking sense, as the energetic movement of the forwards is useful only when it is complimented by penetrative passing.

Attack hasn’t been the most pressing concern for Chelsea this season, primarily because the adventurous approach Lampard tends to take on has left him with lots of defensive issues. His default approach, keeping with his positive view on football as a whole, has been to press the opposition to win the ball back high up the pitch. While it is easy to compare this approach to that of his famous peers like Klopp, Lampard has been slightly more conservative in this respect, with his players stepping up the aggression of the press when they notice a loose touch or a mistake.

It has to be said, Lampard’s take on pressing isn’t as proactive as that of his peers, and he tends to use it as a purely defensive tactic, and not an attacking one, like Liverpool are known to do. This may also have to do with the fact that Lampard has tended to have slower and more laborious midfielders at his disposal at both Derby and Chelsea (with the exception of N’golo Kante, whose season has largely been disrupted by injury). Consequently, this has led to our team primarily shipping these two types of goals:

1. Counter attacks: Both Chelsea and Derby have shown glaring weaknesses on the break during their time under Lampard. Chelsea stand at a concerning third place in the Premier League table for goals conceded on the break, with his Derby side standing joint top for the same statistic last season. The tendency to commit full backs as well as midfielders into the opposition third often comes back to haunt his sides. Chelsea and Lampard learnt this lesson the hard way on the opening weekend of this season when we lost 4-0 to United.

2. Lack of midfield protection: The likes of Jorginho and Kovacic have earned great praise for their contributions in attack, but sadly, we cannot say the same about their organisation without the ball. This is another trend Lampard struggled with at Derby, as players like Tom Huddlestone and Bradley Johnson failed to provide adequate cover to the defence. At Chelsea too our midfield has been overrun far too often, with opposition midfielders thriving in the huge gaps between the lines.

In what is a very positive sign though, Lampard has shown a willingness to adapt and change his tactics, both in game, and for specific games. The primary variant has been the three at the back system, which has yielded mixed results. It has taken Chelsea to wins against the likes of Spurs, and Wolves, but flopped badly in a 0-2 home defeat to Southampton. The biggest benefit from this system has been the addition of a covering man. With the Chelsea midfield getting caught out as often as it does, the back line are left vulnerable to runners and movement in behind the defence. This is where the spare man has added value.

Although we have had negatives during his short career as a manager so far, Frank Lampard has shown great promise. He’s displayed a will to learn, and an adaptability that is key for a manager to succeed at any level. Lampard has shown he can work with younger players as well as established ones, and build a strong connect with the dressing room, the fans, and the press. The general nature of his football philosophy is well defined, and in conjunction with Jody Morris, he looks well on the way to ironing out the few flaws in the team with signings this summer. We need to finish better and need a rock in that defense to shore up our defensive lineup in total. I believe Kepa will be sent out on loan and most likely Onana will be signed (im still hoping its Oblak but I doubt it). We also need a leftback, but I think we will be okay with Azpi and Marcos Alonso for another season.
Very good post, agree with you. .

Agree Kepa is past the point of no return for the moment, loan to Valencia (or similar) now best for everyone.

Convinced we'll get a new left back, looks like Lampard wants Ben Chilwell and he wants to come, fee could be a big problem though, so we might end up with cheaper alternative. Havertz likely coming as well though don't think we actually need him, squad will be stacked with those two additions and a keeper to replace Kepa.
 

DarkLord

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He has done well for a rookie manager in his first season with Chelsea. I don't think many tip them for top 4 especially when Hazard left, it was foreseen as crisis for them. Was 4th for most of the season, secured 4th and only lost out on 3rd on goal difference, led Chelsea to a FA Cup final. If he wins them the FA Cup, I think he has done remarkably well.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Do you also call it ball watching if one player watches his teammate contest a 1v1 aerially? Or do you demand that they attack the ball as well for no reason regardless of whether they potentially put off their teammate?
I call it ball watching when his team mates can actually defend it but instead of trying to defend it, they are ball watching and hoping for the best from the keeper. There is a reason why I asked you whether is it good defending or no, because end of the day there are players who can actually defend it by either clear the ball or don't let Van Dijk to have so much space to shoot.

For a Chelsea fans, I expect you to have witnessed what real defenders like Terry & Carvalho do but it seems they haven't really shown it to you aye? Let me show you what real defender should do rather than shouting at keeper.

 

TheMagicFoolBus

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I call it ball watching when his team mates can actually defend it but instead of trying to defend it, they are ball watching and hoping for the best from the keeper. There is a reason why I asked you whether is it good defending or no, because end of the day there are players who can actually defend it by either clear the ball or don't let Van Dijk to have so much space to shoot.

For a Chelsea fans, I expect you to have witnessed what real defenders like Terry & Carvalho do but it seems they haven't really shown it to you aye? Let me show you what real defender should do rather than shouting at keeper.

Got it, so you'd rather possession be conceded needlessly and increase the odds of an own goal happening.

Also, as long as we're using isolated video clips, bet this fella wished he'd "ball watched":

 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Got it, so you'd rather possession be conceded needlessly and increase the odds of an own goal happening.

Also, as long as we're using isolated video clips, bet this fella wished he'd "ball watched":

So the fact that Van Dijk was able to get so much space and took a free shot is because defenders don't want to get near him because they are afraid for own goal? :lol:

You are something else mate.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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So the fact that Van Dijk was able to get so much space and took a free shot is because defenders don't want to get near him because they are afraid for own goal? :lol:

You are something else mate.
And the entire shot attempt by Van Dijk could have been avoided if our keeper did the bare minimum. You're arguing that defenders should always intervene which is just asinine - it's perfectly normal for a goalkeeper to be expected to take one step forward and catch a ball under no pressure and our defenders going for it would only make it more difficult. Not sure why this is so hard for you to comprehend.
 

Dorris

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Saying this confirms that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Again, you're arguing that Zouma should ignore the calls of his teammates and head the ball regardless when it's literally 2 yards off the line. Zouma listening to the calls and ducking out of the way is a point in his favour; arguing otherwise is just idiotic given the potential for the ball to go anywhere. Unless you're positing that Zouma is guaranteed to better aim a header than Kepa is a punch, which would be a whole separate kettle of fish.
You deal with it unless the keeper screams for it. That’s pretty standard stuff.
 

Dorris

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6 of his teammates were screaming "KEPA" at the top of their lungs. Zouma was correct to infer that meant Kepa would go for the ball.
It’s the keepers call not the other players. If the keeper isn’t shouting he isn’t dealing with it, so deal with it yourself.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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It’s the keepers call not the other players. If the keeper isn’t shouting he isn’t dealing with it, so deal with it yourself.
I just don't think you can blame Zouma when all around him his teammates are shouting "KEPA". Identifying an individual voice amidst all of that is challenging.

Also it just occurred to me that Kepa's name is maybe a problem here - hard for Zouma to distinguish between everyone shouting "KEPA" & Kepa potentially shouting "KEEP".
 

Dorris

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I just don't think you can blame Zouma when all around him his teammates are shouting "KEPA". Identifying an individual voice amidst all of that is challenging.

Also it just occurred to me that Kepa's name is maybe a problem here - hard for Zouma to distinguish between everyone shouting "KEPA" & Kepa potentially shouting "KEEP".
I think it’s on them both, obviously Kepa should be coming for it. To be fair it can’t be comforting as a CB having him between the sticks.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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I think it’s on them both, obviously Kepa should be coming for it. To be fair it can’t be comforting as a CB having him between the sticks.
Fair enough. And I agree about the comfort factor - it's surely not a coincidence that the defence looked far more assured in front of Caballero on Sunday.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Fair enough. And I agree about the comfort factor - it's surely not a coincidence that the defence looked far more assured in front of Caballero on Sunday.
So now you accept it that it wasn't just Kepa's fault but defenders also need to take blame for it. This would have been easier for you if you actually listen to me yesterday.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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So now you accept it that it wasn't just Kepa's fault but defenders also need to take blame for it. This would have been easier for you if you actually listen to me yesterday.
I reserve the right to change my mind spontaneously and for no good reason!!

Also, I'd say it's ~97% on Kepa and 3% on the defence, if I can be arbitrarily specific.

That said, I'm glad to have had the conversation and I apologise if I've come across as a dickhead - appreciate you engaging in good faith!
 

Skills

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He's done well. Thing with Chelsea, they'll just sack him whenever they think he's not going anywhere. They don't worship there managers and rip up the entire club for their sake.
 

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Is he still better than Solskjaer then? :p
 

SilentWitness

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I think United have shown with Maguire that you don’t need a player who is 9/10 every week to ensure the defence improves but getting a defender like Maguire who is commanding and can organise and lead a defence is crucial. He might have a 4/10 one week and 9/10 in another week but he has overall given Uniteds defence a much needed improvement and lift. Chelsea absolutely need a defender like that in their side.
 

Superunknown

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Really hope he blows their budget on Kai and don't go for defenders! Love how they leak goals.
They look good going forward with Pulisic, but they look beatable. I'm more annoyed now at the semi-final loss after watching this game.

I'm not sure how far they can stretch their funds for just this window. They might get one defender in...maybe...
 

duffer

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They look good going forward with Pulisic, but they look beatable. I'm more annoyed now at the semi-final loss after watching this game.

I'm not sure how far they can stretch their funds for just this window. They might get one defender in...maybe...

We've got loads. FFP is done.