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Man there's such a clusterfook in our midfield right now. A good problem to have.

Suho, your last comment reminded me of a poster from a Chelsea forum I saw today. He comes to the opposite conclusion. The comment got quite a bit of likes so I'm assuming a fair few agree with him.

"Really need to dispel this myth i keep seeing rehashed that goes something like: “he’s good on the ball but doesn’t offer much in the final third, his decision-making is poor.”

this couldn’t be wider of the mark. His decision-making is one of his key attributes. Has a great sense of when to play it safe and when to look for the killer ball. And he delivers killer balls in spades.

before someone calls me a fanboy, I will say there are some legitimate gripes about Kovacic, but this ‘poor decision-making/ineffective in final third” thing is just not one of them."



Anyway doesn't really matter. He's killing it at CM and we have Vlasic who plays up front who does the things Kovacic can't.
:D

What I mean is that too much of the time Kova looks great, he's got enough skill and speed that he's always going to look like he's having a good game. He's exciting when he's on and taking it to the opposition. But he lacks that final pass (doesn't produce it consistently enough) and he doesn't score enough. Now, I can accept that because he plays deep and in terms of run and cover, plus all of his on-ball qualities, he's become top notch.

Obviously, Modrić is world class and even when he's not providing assists or scoring he controls the game. He knows exactly what has to be done when he's on the ball, always makes the right pass, holds onto it when he has to, plays it first time when he has to etc.

Now, since Kova is never going to be the player I/we thought he'd be - a guy who would use his elite dribbling in the final third - to be truly elite he has to learn how to influence a game without necessarily getting the stats (like Modrić without being Modrić).

Essentially, I think he needs to improve his decision making. That's probably the simplest way to put it. :D I also feel like saying he has to learn how to read the game better but that might be pushing it.

Ps. I have to admit I've hardly watched him this season and I'm basing a lot of my judgment on highlights and the fact he's having a great season but Chelsea are struggling. Of course, judgment also coming from his NT games.

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Frank Lampard's comments after Chelsea's 3-0 loss to Bayern in the Champions Leauge.

‘I thought there were a couple of performances in our team, namely Kovacic, who played with a personality and a quality that makes you go, “okay, he can play in pretty much any team with that level”.

Kovas decision making and confidence level have vastly improved under Lampard and he was by far the only bright spot for Chelsea yesterday. His command and dominating presence allowed him to set up a few chances for Chelsea that 'easily' should have been converted into goals.


The move to Chelsea is exactly what he needed. A terrific option off the bench for our National side, and depending on the opponent's style of play, a potential starter in a midfield that to say has depth would be an understatement.
 

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For some reason, guys like Brozovic, that have that “**** off” attitude, can usually blow shit off and play his game.
The Reason

This is due to the "Living is Easy with Eyes Closed" equation or "What he don't know won't hurt him" rule.

Since the situation does not enter his mind, there is no need to fear it, and therefore he doesn't.
 

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Re: Kova

Thinking about it more, highlighting decision making as his major weakness probably isn't completely right. He's far from a dumb or unintelligent player, it's more the fact that he shies away from responsibility on the ball that bothers me.

Again, he plays deep so it would be silly to expect him to always take risks but it's frustrating watching a player with so much talent almost always playing safe. In the right system teams need that type of player but looking at him as an individual it would be great to see him cut loose. Eventually, when he gets into the NT XI alongside Broz that's exactly what I'd love to see.

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Re: Kova

Thinking about it more, highlighting decision making as his major weakness probably isn't completely right. He's far from a dumb or unintelligent player, it's more the fact that he shies away from responsibility on the ball that bothers me.

Again, he plays deep so it would be silly to expect him to always take risks but it's frustrating watching a player with so much talent almost always playing safe. In the right system teams need that type of player but looking at him as an individual it would be great to see him cut loose. Eventually, when he gets into the NT XI alongside Broz that's exactly what I'd love to see.

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Try investing some time to watch how he plays on Chelsea.

You might find yourself living in a shotgun shack, and you may find yourself in another part of the world, and you may you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile, and you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself, well how did I get here?

And you may ask yourself how do I work this? And you may ask yourself where is that large automobile? And you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful house! And you may tell yourself this is not my beautiful wife!

😎
 

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Kova was really good against Bayern. Some great bursting runs and some nice passes that lead to chances as well. I agree with Suho though. I have seen him play like this at Real Madrid. Not noticing really that much difference in his game. He's a very good player but end product will never be a big a part of his game.
 

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I watched him last season and I catch his highlights for most games this season. I don't think he's any better or worse than his last season in Madrid.

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My suggestion was based on your comment where you admitted to hardly watching him this season. He has definitely improved when we compare him now to his last season at Madrid. On playing time alone he has improved, without even going into other areas of improvement.

He has much more confidence in his play, he never had a game with Madrid like the Bayern game the other day. And he never received the playing time in Madrid when compared, that in terms of player development is an improvement. He has cemented himself as an automatic starter versus that not being the case last year, another improvement. The accolades he is getting from the Bayern game, and from his play in the EPL overall have been deserved, and he never sniffed any of those accolades at Madrid, other then doing a fine job of marking Messi, and this shows an upward trajectory on development improvement.

No comment on the song lyrics? lol!

Lighten up Francis!! 😊
 

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Kova was really good against Bayern. Some great bursting runs and some nice passes that lead to chances as well.
Agreed.

I have seen him play like this at Real Madrid.
Spidey, I just don't see that my friend. He had some good moments I agree, but not as consistently or confidently recently as with Chelsea, and he was never getting the praise like he is getting now.

Not noticing really that much difference in his game.
He's pulling the strings better, jumping into plays better, and is more consistent in his play due to having more game time versus his stay in Madrid. He stands out more and seems to have more grit from playing in the EPL, which is what he needed. Also, and I have no proof of this, he just seems much happier.

Let's put this into perspective.

Question

Kova has 2 Champions League trophies, and how much play time did he get in those games?

Answer

A grand total of "0" minutes play time combined.

With Chelsea he is playing on a regular basis, which alone is a difference and an improvement as he was not playing as much with Chelsea last year as well and now he has cemented his place in the team as a key man. On the ball, he is so slick, able to shimmy away from defenders with a change of pace and find his team-mates in dangerous areas with incisive passing.

He's a very good player but end product will never be a big a part of his game.
Now in regards to the end product, I still view him as more of a deeper playing midfielder role that sets up plays with through balls and accurate passing, while doing his best to control the pace and tempo with his excellent dribbling. He can influence games without goals and assists mind you and I am not sure who mentioned this but there was a comment from someone, I believe it was from “Suho down to Brighton”, but I am far too tired and marginally drunk to look, that said he lacks that final pass, and that is simply not true at all as of late, as the Bayern game can attest.

Kova is not without criticism, far far from it. In my eyes he really struggles with us and league play when he gets a chance to shoot for a potential goal. So many times when he does get chances, the shots are either fluffed or directed poorly at the goal, and are anything but poor attempts. This area has improved with Chelsea this year, and Lampard is bringing him out of his shell slowly, but this is his current Achilles heal so to speak.

If he could ever get any scoring touch, and I realize that is a big if, look the phuck out! Everyone thought he was going to be the next Modric, but there is only one Luka Modric, they broke the mold when they made him.
 

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Anyone knows about Marko Raguz playing for Lask Linz?
From the last comments he is their best player, he is from Croatian décents, 21 y o can play upfront and on the wing.
They have a great season.
 

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Hey Pivo i have watched Mateo probably just as much as you have as i had such high hopes for the kid especially after he had that great game against Iceland. The biggest difference i have noticed in Mateo is he is very consistent and he's taken more of a leadership role this season with Chelsea. I think Lampard told Mateo do what you do best dribble out the press and drive forward with the ball as there are few better then you at this. Last season Mateo was more cautious in Sarri system hence why many Chelsea fans did not want him back basically calling him a sideway passer. This season most Chelsea fans have said Mateo has been there player of the season. Have i is seen Mateo play this well at Madrid yes i have just not for this long as he did not get the chance at Madrid. I really thought Mateo was gonna lock down a starting spot a couple of years ago at Madrid when he had a great preseason and was unbelievable in the super cup games against Barcelona. Unfortunately he got hurt shortly after that and it took him a while to regain his form at Madrid after that injury. Mateo is playing with alot of confidence and it show. He had no fear against Bayer Munich midfielders. I don't think Kova will ever score many goals as his shot is not that good. I do believe he can get more assists with better finishers as he has gotten better with his decision making on this long sprint runs. Lots of time he would lose the ball because he would kick the ball to far ahead or just make the wrong pass. Rarely see that anymore with Mateo which is a good sign.
 

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Hey Pivo i have watched Mateo probably just as much as you have as i had such high hopes for the kid especially after he had that great game against Iceland. The biggest difference i have noticed in Mateo is he is very consistent and he's taken more of a leadership role this season with Chelsea. I think Lampard told Mateo do what you do best dribble out the press and drive forward with the ball as there are few better then you at this. Last season Mateo was more cautious in Sarri system hence why many Chelsea fans did not want him back basically calling him a sideway passer. This season most Chelsea fans have said Mateo has been there player of the season. Have i is seen Mateo play this well at Madrid yes i have just not for this long as he did not get the chance at Madrid. I really thought Mateo was gonna lock down a starting spot a couple of years ago at Madrid when he had a great preseason and was unbelievable in the super cup games against Barcelona. Unfortunately he got hurt shortly after that and it took him a while to regain his form at Madrid after that injury. Mateo is playing with alot of confidence and it show. He had no fear against Bayer Munich midfielders. I don't think Kova will ever score many goals as his shot is not that good. I do believe he can get more assists with better finishers as he has gotten better with his decision making on this long sprint runs. Lots of time he would lose the ball because he would kick the ball to far ahead or just make the wrong pass. Rarely see that anymore with Mateo which is a good sign.
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 🥂
 

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Agreed.

Spidey, I just don't see that my friend. He had some good moments I agree, but not as consistently or confidently recently as with Chelsea, and he was never getting the praise like he is getting now.
You'll agree it's a bit easier to get into the Chelsea XI these days than it was getting into Madrid's XI 2-3 years ago. In other words, I fully expected him to play at Chelsea and eventually start getting the recognition his talent deserves.

He's pulling the strings better, jumping into plays better, and is more consistent in his play due to having more game time versus his stay in Madrid. He stands out more and seems to have more grit from playing in the EPL, which is what he needed. Also, and I have no proof of this, he just seems much happier.

Let's put this into perspective.

Question

Kova has 2 Champions League trophies, and how much play time did he get in those games?

Answer

A grand total of "0" minutes play time combined.
He's definitely going to be happier because he's playing regularly. At Madrid he had to wait for injuries or rotations to get into the XI.

Yes, he didn't play in the CL finals but he did make some excellent contributions in the earlier stages. If you ask me whenever he played they didn't lose anything in terms of quality and cohesion with him in the XI. In their 4-3-3 with guys like Ronaldo and Bale up front and those attacking full backs the type of player Kova is perfectly suits that system. Kova just got sick of waiting around for a starting spot.

With Chelsea he is playing on a regular basis, which alone is a difference and an improvement as he was not playing as much with Chelsea last year as well and now he has cemented his place in the team as a key man. On the ball, he is so slick, able to shimmy away from defenders with a change of pace and find his team-mates in dangerous areas with incisive passing.
As I said above, him playing regularly is not in itself an improvement, Chelsea brought him in because they knew he had the quality to step right in. All those qualities you mention he also had them in Madrid and Inter. Obviously, maturity and experience will make him better, that's natural since he's still only 25.

Now in regards to the end product, I still view him as more of a deeper playing midfielder role that sets up plays with through balls and accurate passing, while doing his best to control the pace and tempo with his excellent dribbling. He can influence games without goals and assists mind you and I am not sure who mentioned this but there was a comment from someone, I believe it was from “Suho down to Brighton”, but I am far too tired and marginally drunk to look, that said he lacks that final pass, and that is simply not true at all as of late, as the Bayern game can attest.
Yes, I said he's not consistent in providing that final pass. I don't watch full Chelsea games but I do catch all of his highlights. Of course, these things aren't always a fair measure as he's always reliant on teammates to take advantage of his good work (a problem this season with an average Chelsea outfit).

I still don't think he has enough decisive passing. Comparing him to Modrić in his Spurs days when he wasn't scoring or assisting too much but was involved in almost all of their substantial attacking play. Whether it was getting it to the guy who makes the assist or always getting the ball into the most dangerous areas. And knowing when to play safe and when to take a risk.

Kova is not without criticism, far far from it. In my eyes he really struggles with us and league play when he gets a chance to shoot for a potential goal. So many times when he does get chances, the shots are either fluffed or directed poorly at the goal, and are anything but poor attempts. This area has improved with Chelsea this year, and Lampard is bringing him out of his shell slowly, but this is his current Achilles heal so to speak.

If he could ever get any scoring touch, and I realize that is a big if, look the phuck out! Everyone thought he was going to be the next Modric, but there is only one Luka Modric, they broke the mold when they made him.
His lack of finishing polish bothers me the least. In terms of the NT, we're going to be using that 4-2-3-1 or maybe (eventually) a 4-3-3 and his position in those formations is going to be deep. With the emergence of Vlašić, a genuine central AM who gets goals and plays direct, and Brekalo, Rebić, Pašalić who are those genuine attacking mid/wing options, the role of our CMs is clear cut. In previous years we've had to rely on the likes of Modrić and Rakitić to play that AM role, even on occasion Broz and Kova - with varied/limited success. IMO if Kova doesn't improve a lick from this day on, in combination with the emerging talent above we're still going to have a top class midfield.

I'm just looking for that little bit extra from him. Would love to see a repeat of his Iceland performance once in a while. :)

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Halilovic had a solid game last night. Started for once and was responsible for two goals (one assist). Could have easily had a third assist, but the finishing was piss poor.

He's still plagued by the same lack of defensive effort and decision making, but I was impressed by his ball control, bursts of speed, and passing. Could be an interesting wildcard for the Euro Cup if he continues to start for Heerenveen.
 

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Halilovic had a solid game last night. Started for once and was responsible for two goals (one assist). Could have easily had a third assist, but the finishing was piss poor.

He's still plagued by the same lack of defensive effort and decision making, but I was impressed by his ball control, bursts of speed, and passing. Could be an interesting wildcard for the Euro Cup if he continues to start for Heerenveen.
Halilovic biggest problem has always been his head. He always had really good technical ability on the ball but that's not enough in today's game. I doubt even if he continues to start and play well he for Heerenveen he will be on Croatia's squad for Euro 20. To much competition ahead of him.
 

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He actually was called up by Dalic for one of the qualifiers but I doubt he is close to the Euro squad but he is still young enough to be part of the team down the line

Pasalic with an assist for Atalanta
 
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