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Open Thread: 31 August 2022

Wednesday Edition of the Daily Merengue

The Daily Merengue is a place where you can feel free to discuss all things football. Do not be alarmed by the overt RMCF bias. It’s in the name!

Shoutout to the mods who do a fantastic job, Valyrian Steel, Kung_Fu_Zizou, Juninho, NeRObutBlanco and YoSnail.


The ball progression vs Espanyol

Look in the chart below how Kroos and Tchouaméni were the outliers in ball progression vs Espanyol.

Asensio is staying, but will Odriozola leave?

The current transfer window ends at 3:30 AM, September 2. There is no much time left for new signings or departures, even though Odriozola might return to Real Sociedad or to join Villarreal, which considers him their stand-out option for RB.

Regarding Asensio, the new report is that he is staying and Ancelotti wants use him the same or more than last season. According to Transfer Market, Asensio played 2.109 minutes in all 21/22 competitions, which made him the 15th most used player in the squad. Just for comparison, Rodrygo was 14th most used player, with 2432 minutes played. Below Asensio, we have Camavinga (1696 mins.) and then appear names with less than 1000 minutes played in the whole season, the likes of Hazard, Marcelo, Jovic and Isco, etc.

Hazard not yet convincing

Per report, Ancelotti still thinks Hazard doesn’t have the required physical level for most demanding games. Carlo’s idea behind Hazard a false-9 is so he has few meters to run. The player is happy at Madrid and is loved in the locker room. The coach will try to use him, but if there are offers, he’ll give the green for his sale. Let’s be honest, Hazard sale is highly unlikely. Hazard hasn’t played last season enough to convince other clubs he is worth of a transfer and has a high salary.

At this point, I’m not seeing Hazard very much used this season. Giving this new false-9 use, do you see Carlo bringing the best forward out of an important/difficult game to put Hazard in (unless, of course, Benz is injured/needs to rest)? Of course, Hazard might still play at LW, but when Carlo will be willing not to have Vini’s incredible speed and talent in 1 vs 1 situation to put Hazard in (unless Vini needs a rest, in which I think Rodrygo is the first option and to use someone else in the RW)?

Carlo was even asked about using Hazard vs Espanyol: “I didn’t want to unbalance the team. Putting on another forward would have been a risk, with Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinícius all on the pitch”. Giving this answer alone, it is clear that Hazard use is likely to be limited: when Carlo is going to take the risk to unbalance the team? It didn’t happen vs Espanyol, so it won’t happen in a more important game. In other words, a new team dynamics is required when Hazard plays along with Benz and Vini. One option is to use a sort of diamond in the midfield, with Hazard as the CAM role. Carlo used like this in the 2nd leg vs City, with Modric occupying the #10 role, but it is clear that Hazard and Modric have different profiles.

In the middle of this, we have:

Daily poll


Do you think Hazard will be an important player this season?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Yes, Ancelotti will figure it out a new dynamics with him
    (116 votes)
  • 15%
    Yes, because an injury will occur
    (86 votes)
  • 63%
    (357 votes)
559 votes total Vote Now

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