After reading a fan post about some big "flops" have signed, there was some stuff I wanted to adress. What was supposed to be a comment turned out a bit longer so I decided to create an own FanPost in order to put forward some thoughts.
This whole post is derived from two assumptions:
1. Any particular player will need a team that plays to his strenghts in order for him to perform at his highest capacity.
2. Any particular crop of players will need a new player who plays (better) to their strenght in order to perform at their highest capacity.
The first assumption has been addressed to Torres in the past by the majority of us, anyways this is not a post about Torres so lets put him aside for once. The focus lies with the second assumption. As it stands one can interprete it as the chemistry among a team. We are going to leave aside aspects of how chemistry is built, develobed and nurtured and rather focus on the effect it has had - the role it has played - in the past and today on the performances of our team.
Honestly, looking at some of our performances I believe our team lacks a lot of chemistry in to many departments. People (the manager and some fans) have been talking about the lack of balance or the missing game-plan. In my opinion this is are just signs of the lack of chemistry within the team.
Looking at most of our games even some we won, I never got the feeling this team plays like they had a particular "intelligent" plan. The word "intelligent" stands for the idea that the team "looks like they know what they are doing". Now there is no collective brain on the field to coordinate each player but rather 11 individual minds and phisical beings. Therefore each one of those 11 minds must have an idea of what the other 10 minds are thinking of - to make that happen is the job of the manager -. But on the other hand each player has his specific attributes, attributes that were good enough to let him become a professional player and therefore should not be doubted. These attributes of the 11 players must match up to - this is again the job of the manager -..
Now here is where I see a particular problem we have had not only this season but for some seasons going. The set of players does not form jet a team ready to rule Europe (the world). In the past - way back when makelele still played - we used to have a crop of players that worked like a well oiled machine. We were decent on the eye - I loved to watch players like Gudjohnson, Robben or J. Cole - and the results and performances were basically flawless. Put short, in my opinion we were for some time with barcelona the best team in the World. Always favourites of winning the one with the big ears. Those days are long gone!
Now we are comparing ourselfes with teams like Tottenham and the Arsenal of today. Now looking at the talent we possesed then and the talent we posses now, inducing the much needed chemistry into the team should produce a hell of a team for the future. But therefore we need the right tinkering. Big signing or not the players we bring in must come with some much needed characteristics.
Improving the chemistry
On the striking departement:
First, any new striker must be a pure goal poacher. One who is blistering fast on the first few meters and therefore enjoys/has no problem moving around in a packed defence with little space (hyper effective in small space). Other than that he should posses a good shot from outside the box and his vision and passing capabilities should be decent enough for him to rack up some assists. Now this is just a short summary of some attributes I believe a striker needs to fullfill both assumptions mentioned above, you are free to add and discuss them.
I came to this conclusion through a broad personal assessment of the games we have played this season. Reviewing our games - mentally - I see us having two ways of attacking. Either we build up rather slow and with minimum risk, trying to bring the ball in and around the box. Suppose we arrive there we tend to take out the tempo and play the ball from one side to the other trying to find space so the players outside the box can play a one-two - combination - with the striker/ player around the box or slighly in it, and then get a shot. The other way we attack is through fast transitions and counter attack (something most teams have learnt to do in modern football so I wont go to much into this as this will always be a part of any teams game). The described striker would fit the role perfect to improve our first game-plan. As to be honest this way of playing has never been as effective as it should be, when looking at the amount of time we try to make it happen and the time it has actually worked for us.
On the midfield:
Now I personally would add a Middfielder to the current roaster. One who is very comfortable on the ball. That means he doesn't loose it easy. Mikel fits that bill but he holds on to the ball more through physicall power than rafiness. So the new player should hold on to the ball through his agility and fast thinking rather than physical strenght. On top of that he should be albe to take more risks in his passing while keeping the completion rate high. This would improve our first game-plan as it would enable the other players to settle faster in and around the box and therefore give the opposition less time to adjust their shape. On top of that said player would higher the circulation speed of the ball around the box.