|What We Learned From West Brom Match : 17.11.12|
2-1 to West Brom after 94 minutes at The Hawthorns. 3 headers and many wasted chances left us without a win in our last 4 PL matches.
What We Learned :
1. Gary Cahill > Luiz
2. New striker needed
3. Defense without Terry is woeful
4. Romeu-Mikel isn’t working
5. Squad rotation isn’t Di Matteo’s forte
6. Mata is our best playmaker
7. Winter Blues continue
1. Gary Cahill > Luiz: For me, Cahill is our new Terry. He is composed, calm, relaxed and makes quick decisions that don’t cost us. David Luiz is a very talented player and his personality is one of a kind and you just can’t hate him. However, Luiz’s recent performances have been poor and he continued that streak v West Brom, Cahill still stole the spotlight in defense. His performances compared to Luiz this season have made it clear that he is our #2 center back. I wouldn’t be against selling Luiz in the winter and bringing in someone like Cahill or Terry.
2. New striker needed: This is the most obvious observation. Torres : Doesn’t shoot; passes more, Sturridge : Doesn’t pass; shoots more. This is so frustrating and it has me worried because we have to go through a month and a half without a clinical finisher. Torres didn’t make any effort to score today and Sturridge did, but couldn’t finish. It’s something that’s cost us points and this is leading to our downfall and release of the Premier League lead as well as chances of going back up, soon. Cavani, Falcao, Lewandowski, Long, Suarez – it’s your choice, Roman.
3. Defense without Terry is woeful: It’s John Terry’s first game away due to injury and it’s really tough on us. Terry is a crucial part of our defense and trying to work without him is very, very hard. His physical presence in the box (ours and theirs) is something you can’t replace and his leadership is out of this world. We’ve conceded 12 goals in our last few games without Terry and with Terry we had the best defense in the league. David Luiz just can’t seem to do what Terry does.
4. Romeu-Mikel isn’t working: It’s too defensive and it sets us back. We play rather defensive with them and when attacking, they don’t have the edge to finish, shoot or pick a pass. Also, both are slow on the ball and don’t track back well enough. Ramires-Mikel or Ramires-Lampard are the only combinations that lead us to victory or solidity in that position. Di Matteo must stop using Romeu and Mikel together as it is absolutely fatal to our chances of willing.
5. Squad rotation is not Di Matteo’s forte: Di Matteo seems to be struggling with squad rotation. It’s quite obvious with Romeu-Mikel. Some say that resting is why Mata, Oscar and Ramires didn’t play, but that’s bad for us. We must focus on individual games instead of the long stretch. 3 points was much needed today and we didn’t get it. If we don’t get a win or draw against Juventus, it’s official that RDM isn’t doing well with the rotation business.
6. Mata is our best playmaker: With Mata, we’re brilliant and we can dominate every team and create as many chances as we can. It’s brilliant to see for us. Without Mata, we lacked something in shape, size and form of Mata. We couldn’t just surge forward and create opportunities which were limited in this match. We must find an alternative to Mata’s creativity if we chose to rest him, because without him, we aren’t the same team (for bad reasons). It’s definitely something that hurts us and Di Matteo must find a way to use him in every match.
7. Winter Blues continue: November continues to trouble us and it’s a big concern for us. We must pick up our form and eliminate the bad run of matches, because it will peg us back and back in the table and make winning the PL much harder. Di Matteo must master squad rotation and hopefully the Club World Cup in Japan gives us some confidence and a trophy to bring back to the Bridge and form for the PL.
Other Points :
1. WHERE IS MARKO MARIN?!
2. Luiz/Bertrand -> bench
3. Title race is still on, but marginally.