Despite my reservations about the validity of the story, and my cautious attitude towards many people’s assumption he’ll just provide us with a 30+ goal injection automatically, there’s no doubt that should we sign him, we’ll have signed a genuine world class player. But In order for us to guarantee he’ll be worth whatever outrageous demands Athletico will want for him, the work to prepare for his arrival would need to start now.
Falcao’s touch and movement are sublime, technique practically flawless, and his finishing (both with his feet and his head) is up there with some of the best I’ve ever seen play the game. But with and without the ball away from goal he offers very little indeed, and as such is almost completely reliant on those around him to push the ball where he wants it to be – facing the goalmouth with a defender left for dead behind him (he’s the ultimate poacher really). He also isn’t much faster than Torres. So as good a player as he is, if we fail to respect these limitations as we have done in the past, we’re merely setting ourselves up for another gigantic fall. Falcao personifies the phrase ‘signing a great player, isn’t the same as making a great signing’. Falcao’s skill profile is even more limited than Nando’s, if Falcao was to suffer a lack of confidence (however it might happen) we stand to lose a lot more of the player than we did when Torres lost his pace and touch. Somehow I don’t see him evolving into this extra midfielder the way Torres has this past 12 months at times. So if we did make a move for him, we need to be certain we’re in a position that’ll see him score a hat trick from his first match, cos he’ll win any team trophies that are structured towards him.
It’s not about signing players that fundamentally have the right mentality, we’ve done that this summer, it’s now about changing the way we play full stop. I can understand RDM’s dependency on Mikel-Lampard; they practically got him the job last season with their CL heroics. But as a combination now, they’re stopping us from progressing in the direction we’re steering towards. Lampard has proven he can’t time any of his runs the way he could in the 4-3-3, and while being an excellent long range passer on the counter can’t progress the play in a possession game. Mikel is just too slow. Together they act as a massive cog to a team trying to play their way through opponents, and in the greater picture end up giving Torres (and potentially Falcao) less opportunities to test a defence. One of the two players occupying that position must play the role of what I like to call ‘tempo setter’, someone who moves the ball quickly and pushes a defence back with two thirds of his passes. That could very well turn out to be Oscar, but in order to give him a bedding in period (which I see as inevitable) he needs to be put there now and persisted with however painful at times. But if he just isn’t adapting quickly enough, we can’t mess around if we intend to bring in Falcao, we’ll need to sign a readymade one along with Falcao.
The attacking third of our offence isn't as much of a concern now, nor is the lack of width as Hazard doesn't require massive holes in a defence to thread through a pin-point killer pass
But the point I’m stumbling towards is the preparation would have to start now. If I have to watch 45-50mil signing Falcao needing to drop back to get a touch I’ll descend into a psychotic rage F