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05 Nov 2018 14:19:17
Afternoon guys, quick question does anybody think it's time to try Matic at CB?

He appears to be struggling with the stamina and mobility required to play in midfield at the moment.

Smalling has been poor recently. When the ball is in the air he's probably our most commanding defender but he's terrible with the ball at his feet. He struggles against the more agile, mobile attackers and with upcoming away games against Juventus and City I fear the worse.

Matic has the physicality to play the position. He's an intelligent footballer and generally reads the game well. He's calm and assured in possession and he might just provide us with the composure we need to build from the back and get better possession of the football. I'm not saying he's the long term solution but at the moment he may just provide the solution to our defensive problems.

I think our slow starts recently have been exaggerated by our inability to keep possession of the ball early in games. Every goal kick goes long, we lack the courage, bravery and composure to take the ball in tight areas. We look to play the ball long too soon rather than building the play and we invariably surrender possession too easily. When this is combined with the fact that we drop very deep to compensate for our defensive fragilities it fills the opposition with confidence and encourages them to press us higher which causes us even more problems. It's no coincidence to me that we've been able to improve in the second half as the energy and intensity of the game drops which affords us more possession and enables Pogba to influence the game more easily.

I think Matic might just give us the composure we need to settle us down and play some football. I think Pereira could be used as a deep lying play maker and Herrera to add some bite and energy in midfield.

I think Lindelof, Matic and Pereria should be able to manipulate and keep the ball better allowing us to build from the back more readily.

I thought Sanchez looked much better upfront. His link up play, movement and mobility were an upgrade and he was instrumental in getting us back into the game. I hope he gets a run of games up front.

Whilst results have been better, our performances are still frustratingly erratic and until this improves I'm not convinced results will remain as encouraging over the medium to long term.

Agree5 Disagree0

05 Nov 2018 14:49:09
Think he should just play in mid mate, needs a rest. Will only see the best of him if he's fully fit and energised, we've badly overused him imo.

05 Nov 2018 14:56:55
or we can play one the other many centre backs we have.

what is up with bailly. or rojo.

its shown with lindoff a run of games in the team.

sick of playing player out of position.

05 Nov 2018 14:59:35
Matic is a very good player when he is on form. But unfortunately he has been woeful this season. As you both have alluded to, the guy looks knackered. He is reaching a point for me where he cannot play every week in the middle. He just doesn’t have the legs to get around the pitch especially where he is having to do double work covering pogba when he is out of position. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a back 3 with lindelof and bailly either side. Has a good passing range and would be able to take the ball out of defence. This would then allow us to have a more dynamic midfield with more legs by playing pereira/ Herrera/ Fred. It would also allow us to play mata centrally instead of shifting him to the right. Matic wouldn’t work back 4 imo. Would get shown up against the likes of Aguero. I too hope to see Sanchez played centrally again. Thought he looked far more threatening and dangerous with his runs and movement. He will score plenty of given the time and a run as striker.

05 Nov 2018 15:19:03
It was always relatively obvious that Matic would struggle this season. Historically he always starts well then taxes as the season progresses. His stamina over a season has always been poor. Therefore, in a season after he has had a reduced rest period due to international commitments it was always likely he was going to struggle.

I wouldn't play him at CB due to the lack of mobility be more likely to be exposed. If he is struggling with central midfielders then what is he going to do with mobile strikers and in cutting wingers?

I think he needs to be tested more. I'd like to see a midfield three of Herrera, Fred and Pogba.

05 Nov 2018 15:41:23
He's been pretty terrible since the first month or two for me.

Just a body taking up room, occasionally intercepting and picking a good pass, but mostly hampering the speed of our play, losing his man and making other midfielders/ defenders over compensate for his lack of mobility and general poor awareness at times.

Aside from his height (which is irrelevant from an attacking point of view as we can't deliver, and defensively as we look a shambles whenever a ball comes in), I don't see what he brings better than Herrera or Pereira back there. I'd even have Fellaini over Matic and that is saying something.

£50m spent on a player way past his best (clearly Kante taking his place tricked whoever said 'go' on the deal, because Matic was declining rapidly at Chelsea irrespective) . It would be like us signing Fabregas in January because Jorginho plays now, but like Matic somebody will buy Fabregas and feel the pain - hopefully not us but I wouldn't be surprised.

05 Nov 2018 17:17:09
I agree bolger that we don't want another player playing out of position.
Matic looks knackered to me. Take him out for a couple if weeks as he has done with lukaku.
Bailly has been awful when played anytime this season. I thought he was our potential long term no1 but i just see him jumping in and la king composure all the time.
Can he get himself together and up his game like shaw and martial and respond to the challenge? I don't know its up to him. I thought he was the warrior type but maybe he is a bit soft and easy going for jose.

05 Nov 2018 17:41:02
I don't think he will be consistent in any position. Past it.

05 Nov 2018 18:21:33
Badly in need of a rest.

I think he would also benefit with Herrera in beside him doing the majority of leg work. Looked a better player when Herrera was introduced.

But don't be fooled, he is a cracking footballer.

05 Nov 2018 18:47:04
Shappy - I'm really not convinced by Fred I don't get what kind of player he is yet? Yes he has energy but he's not really a ball winner, his passing is erratic and he gets pushed off the ball too easily for my liking.

I was under the impression he was a bit like Kante but more creative. I was excited by what I'd read about him. I suppose if he was we'd have some player. Early days granted let's hope he improves and finds his role in the team.

Pogba is better with energy around him and pace ahead of him. We still haven't found the right combination to allow him to flourish. We need two tenacious, hard working, ball winners next to him and then pace, movement and mobility ahead for him.

For France he had Kante and Matuidi to do his running and win the ball with Greizman and Mbappi providing the pace and movement.

Football is about finding the correct balance and combinations and we just don't seem to have the right mix.

I suppose Fred does have the energy and Herrera brings an intensity that we definitely miss when he doesn't play maybe that trio could work?!

05 Nov 2018 20:49:26
Round holes and square pegs come to find. But sometimes it does help slow the water leakage so who knows what happens if actually tried. But I think Matic needs a rest, he has been playing regularly for quite a few seasons and he is getting on a bit. If he still doesn't recover his form even after some rest then maybe we all have to accept that he's legs are going and we won't be seeing the best of him.



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