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30 May 2020 20:09:43
Ed001, if you had to rate Chelsea's current CBs (the first team ones as well as Ampadu and Guehi), what would your order be like?

{Ed001's Note - that is tough, I was just looking through, a lot depends on if you include potential or just on right now. Also a back 3 would see Azpilicueta as probably the best of the lot but he is not a centreback in a back 4 at all. I won't go on potential as that might never be realised, but if it was Ampadu would be top, with Guehi and then Tomori.

For me it would be Zouma (just), then Christensen, Ampadu, Rudiger and Tomori are too close to choose between and Guehi is just below them. There is very little to choose between any of them to be honest. The problem is Zouma has had some bad injuries and took a while to get back up to speed. Rudiger seems to miss too many games and has the intelligence of a chicken, all here, there and everywhere. I think Ampadu will make a huge difference to the team when he plays, whether in midfield or defence. He brings calmness that is lacking from Zouma and Rudiger and is excellent on the ball.

Defending is as much about building an understanding between defenders and that was badly lacking at times last season. It wasn't helped by not having a defensive-minded midfielder in front to protect them, but there was no real partnership in the centre until Christensen came back in. Rudiger, Zouma and Tomori rely too heavily on their pace to work that well together. They need someone alongside them who reads the game better. So Zouma might be the best actual defender you have, the best centre-back pairing would be either Christensen or Ampadu alongside any of the others. If that makes sense? Not sure I explained myself well there!}

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30 May 2020 22:26:03
I absolutely got what you said Ed and I somewhat agree.

I am just surprised you think Guehi has such high potential. I haven't watched him much, but I thought his trajectory would be similar to JCS rather than Tomori's or Ampadu's.

{Ed001's Note - Steve Cooper has spoken of him in glowing terms mate.}

31 May 2020 00:09:40
Saying that I’ve said for a long time I’d like to see Christensen played as DM to give us an aerial presence and good ball qualities there. It’s of no surprise he plays there for Denmark often. Think he’s too soft for a CB.

31 May 2020 00:04:57
I think if Jorginho leaves Ed then we should be after Ndidi for DM. Leicester probably wouldn’t sell and if they did they’d probably ask for stupid money though. But the reason we concede so making goals is because Jorginho offers no protection to the back four. We basically need someone to just stay there and follow runners into the box a bit like Matic did when he rejoined and had great form. Just need someone more mobile than him for me and that’s Ndidi, he’s great in the air too. Think a Kova, Ndidi, RLC/ Mount trio would have a bit of everything 👌🏻.

{Ed001's Note - Ndidi is certainly one of the better players in that role.}

31 May 2020 09:26:26
Oh I like reading that, Ed. Think I'm in full agreement. I rate Zouma as probably our best defending CB right now. And I hope he can strike a partnership with Christensen soon, as they bring an excellent mix of speed, power and intelligence in theory.

Then play Ampadu or someone similar in front of them and suddenly we should look a lot stronger defensively, allowing more freedom for Pulisic, Callum, Mount, Ruben, Barkley etc.

Nice to read that Guehi is rated highly, though I'm not surprised. He looked good against United in the Cup, and while not that tall he looks strong physically while also being good on the ball. One to keep an eye on, and would be good if he can have another season at Swansea next year.

{Ed001's Note - Ampadu or Christensen or Ndidi in front of the defence, or even just letting Kante play in his proper role in central midfield, would change this team immensely. Right now the balance is off. Too many players are attack-minded and not enough who think about the defensive third. It seems odd to continue to play Kante restricted to the right side and 15 yards too far forward to help out properly defensively as well! I am shocked Lampard has not looked to change that.}

31 May 2020 10:57:39
I think Lampard's obviously trying to find the right balance. Earlier in the season, with Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic, we had little offensive support from midfield. At other times the opposition were on top of our defence With hardly any interruption from the midfield.

I thought we looked at our most balanced just before the season was halted when we had Gilmour, Mount and Barkley. But I'm wouldn't expect consistency from these guys over a longer period of time, Gilmour and Mount because of their ages and Barkley because, well, he's Ross Barkley.

I hate to say it, because of his age and the fact he's only played a couple of first team matches, but I don't think we're too far away from Gilmour being the constant in our midfield. Playing a combination of Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Kovacic (who has probably been our best player this season but could see his mins cut) or either of Ampadu or Christensen alongside him. That additional two would obviously be dependent on who the opposition are and how we set the team up. But I see our midfield being very dependent on Gilmour dictating games in the not too distant future.

{Ed001's Note - Gilmour has been incredibly impressive, might be a bit soon for him to step in consistently. He will almost certainly have at least one more growth spurt which will affect everything from balance to technique.}

31 May 2020 12:06:50
I think Gilmour will be quality he’s too creative to be holding though. For me he’s more like a Verratti type of player he’d be better on the right of the midfield three next to a holding player.

31 May 2020 14:50:47
I think Lampard has continued to play him there because he reckons Kante has quite a bit to offer in attack as well. And I believe he may be right.

But where I think our problem is, and you mentioned it already, is the fact that Jorginho plays that holding role. He simply can't screen the back 4 to allow Kante and the others to be a bit more attacking. Now if you replace Jorginho in that role with an Ampadu or Ndidi, it frees up the other players.

Think getting a proper DM really would help us immensely. They're not flashy, but they allow others to be. Ndidi, Ampadu, Rice etc. All good options to me.

31 May 2020 15:02:22
Agree with Jackson, although I’m not a fan of Rice when Especially when we have Ampadu. I am a fan of Ndidi though and his mobility.

31 May 2020 17:48:51
Hey ed001 you say about playing kante in the more defensive role which am sure all of us want to see.
But my question is why do you think lampard has stuck with jorginho in that role although most of us see that he isn't suited to it (in this league that is)

{Ed001's Note - I don't mean in a defensive role, he is not suited to that, he is more than a holding mid. I just mean a little bit further back and in the centre, rather than off to the right.

As for Jorginho, I got the impression that Lampard had realised it wasn't working and moved away from using him as first choice by the end of the season.}

31 May 2020 17:57:47
Yeah I was trying not to say defensive midfield role aswell but trying to point to a more defensive position.

I really hope so with jorginho. I would much rather see mount and ruben in there with kante and kova.

But that's just my opinion.

{Ed001's Note - certainly looked like Lampard had moved away from him in the final few games. Unless he just wanted to rest Jorginho, which seems unlikely.}

31 May 2020 21:13:21
Jorgi was banned for the last few games of the season, if you mean the final two matches, Ed?

{Ed001's Note - ah was he? I thought he picked Gilmour when he was banned and then carried on without Jorginho when he was back? It has been so long now I have forgotten to be honest! Had other things on my mind the last few weeks.}



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