Tags Posts tagged with "midfield"

midfield

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Tiemoue Bakayoko was impressive with Chelsea recently, as Conte himself noted speaking at a press conference ahead of next clash against Manchester City.

The Italian manager is set to pick-up the best starting XI with Fabregas, Bakayoko and Kante all in for a place in midfield: “You must consider game by game to consider all the situations, – Conte confirmed – you have to consider which teams are you facing: strong, medium, relegation battle etc”.

Then, about the former AS Monaco midfielder, he added: “I think now Bakayoko is fit and playing very well, he’s a lot of room for improvement, he has to improve some situations during the game”.

Conte also confirmed that Danny Drinkwater is the only Chelsea player to be ruled out of Manchester City clash with a calf injury.

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Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante believes new signing and compatriot Tiemoue Bakayoko will properly replace Nemanja Matic, who ‘for sure, was a good player for Chelsea’.

“I know he was in Chelsea for many years – Kante added – I had the chance to play one year with him and he was a very good player for me. We spent a good season together”.

Matic joined Manchester United on a summer £35m move from Chelsea: “He left now, he plays for United but Bakayoko has come and I think he’s a good player, and that we can do very well with him. Some players joined the club but it is like that in every club”.

“We try to make them feel good quickly and to understand how we play, how we train. I think they did very well. Bakayoko scored his first goal. Zappacosta scored his first goal and it is good for them and good for us. We need everyone this month.”

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Writing on Chelsea‘s official website, Blues legend Pat Nevin praises new signing Tiemoué Bakayoko, saying he is not only as good as Nemanja Matic, who he replaced at Stamford Bridge, but he is also better than the Serbian midfielder for another important aspect:

“Nemanja Matic has gone and has made a fine start at United, so well done him. He did a great job for this club and we are grateful for that,” – Nevin wrote – “Many were quick to suggest it was a mistake to let him go, but if Tiemoue is as good, he is also crucially six years younger and that counts for a great deal when you are building a squad.”

 

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has confirmed he’s ready to face competition from new teammate Tiemoue Bakayoko as the Frenchman joined the Blues last week from AS Monaco on a £40m move.

“I think the manager has said himself that it’s a long season ahead with lots of games and we will need all of the players to be ready for when he needs us, – Fabregas explained – I’ve been competing for 15 seasons. That will not put me down after what happened last season and how I stood up for it. I’m ready for anybody”.

!I feel great, I understand the philosophy of the manager very well and I know what he wants from me. I know what I need to do to help the team”.

 

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Former Chelsea star Claude Makelele believes new signing N’Golo Kante needs time to learn how to be a leader on the pitch as he showed during his experience at Stamford Bridge between 2003 and 2008.

“Defensive midfield is a difficult position – Makelele told Uefa’s official website You must be a leader. You must work with your team-mates in midfield”.

“Anyway, I like N’Golo Kante but is he better than me at this? I do not know. He still needs time to fully learn the job, to learn about football.

Then Makelele added: “He is a young player I really like, and I hope he will be better than I was.”

kante makelele

 

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PSG manager Laurent Blanc praises his players after the good performance at Stamford Bridge that let them go through the Champions League round of 16.

The French coach especially had nice words for Angel Di Maria and Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

“We had to think of a way of giving Chelsea problems,” Blanc said in his postmatch media conference.

In tight matches such as these you have to win the midfield battle, and pose a tactical problem to the opposition in midfield.

“Angel Di Maria did that well and Adrien Rabiot can do that when he plays higher up the pitch. It allows us to keep the ball with greater ease. Di Maria gave Chelsea a problem from start to finish, they never knew where he was — but we did, and could give him the ball. That tactical aspect worked very well.

Zlatan performed at the level he has been performing throughout this season,” Blanc added.

“You [journalists] often have doubts about whether he can perform at other levels, because it’s Ligue 1, it’s true. He showed tonight that he can produce this in the Champions League.

“He has terrific attributes. He keeps centre-backs occupied, he has great vision, he can steer the game, come short and can set up our play which is very important.”

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French sport newspaper L’Équipe report that Chelsea are really keen on PSG French central midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Following the departure of Ramires is certain that the Blues will look for another central midfielder in next summer transfer window.

While the Frenchman is not against a Premier League move, PSG is the club of his heart and the French side staff continue to view Matuidi as a crucial part of the Les Parisiens project.

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Eden Hazard © Francesca Ceciarini

José Mourinho explained why he left Eden Hazard on the bench against Aston Villa: according to the Portuguese manager the Belgian wasn’t doing enough work for the team, maybe playing more in a selfish way:

“I left [Eden] Hazard out because we are conceding lots of goals,” revealed Mourinho.

“We need to defend better. We need our midfield players to be just worried about the central area of the pitch, not to be worried about compensating for the left side or the right side.

“Playing with Pedro and Willian, the midfield players don’t have to look to the left or the right. Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work on very good offensive players, Hutton and Richardson, and later Amavi. They allowed the midfield players to be very comfortable, and to have performances like Ramires and Fabregas had, totally controlling the centre of the pitch.

“It was just a tactical decision leaving super quality on the bench but bringing tactical discipline and hoping that the team could be solid. I continue in that way or he [Hazard] comes in our direction and tries to replicate the same work Willian or Pedro did.”

Mourinho also admitted that he didn’t speak to Hazard to explain him why he didn’t start:

I told the players this is not the moment to think about themselves, to moan, to try to be selfish in their approach – this is the moment for the team, just the team and nothing else. I asked them exactly that: to look at the picture in a different way to a normal situation, to look at a picture where I have to try to make decisions to bring results back, and when the results are back and we have better stability in our confidence levels, then go back to what you are.”

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Vincente Del Bosque has admitted there is a lot of competition for places in the Spanish squad, especially when it comes to the midfield.

Subsequently, Blues midfielder Cesc Fabregas may never be seen as a first choice starter for his country.

He was left on the bench for the entire 90 minutes during their 1-0 victory over Ukraine last Friday, and he claimed he always knew he would have to fight for his place.

Spain have a surplus amount of quality in their midfield, with the likes of Andreas Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and David Silva all fighting for places.

His coach stressed the fact that Fabregas may have to sit on the bench on  occasions, despite having a very good first season at Chelsea:

“Fabregas is one of the players who is named in the squad regularly, but there was much competition in the midfield area in 2012, when we played six midfielders.

“There are less midfield places now that we play with a striker, so sometimes he is picked and at other times we play someone else.”

Fabregas will be back in action for Chelsea when his side face Stoke City at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

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