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3 minutes ago, Nick said:

I agree with just about all of that - especially in regards to Wilf’s many superior attributes.

 

There for me is just one problem.

 

Look at the way we have been playing with a DCM that can hold, pass (forward and not just lay off) have skill on and create space off the ball.

 

In terms of movement and with ball at feet Mendy is an entirely different level to

Wilf.

 

We need both for different situations and styles of set up.

I agree we need both . “Horses for courses “ but if it was a straight up question between the two ?
Wilf was asked to play as a single pivot ? Mendi is playing as a two with Youri . No reason why wilf could not do the same as mendi in this different formation ? 
 

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8 hours ago, King of Gipsy Lane said:

Mandy is unplayable and un-droppable right now 

Well you came and you gave without taking

But I sent you away, oh Mandy
Well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking
And I need you today, oh Mandy

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2 minutes ago, crisp packet said:

I agree we need both . “Horses for courses “ but if it was a straight up question between the two ?
Wilf was asked to play as a single pivot ? Mendi is playing as a two with Youri . No reason why wilf could not do the same as mendi in this different formation ? 
 

Well there’s the question.

 

Which formation / choice of DCM facilitates Youri and Maddison on the pitch together being able to get forward more? Pro’s and cons to both.

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If it’s strongest 11 then you have to play N’Didi. There’s no defensive midfielder like Wilf in the league, the only thing Mendy has over him is he’s better on the ball, he’s a massive player for us. Mendy has been brilliant so far and arguably our player of the season so far. 

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Wilf is one of my favourite players, a force of nature and for me, he would always be one of the first players down on the team sheet, but even I am coming around to the idea that we might actually be playing better with the quiet efficiency of Mendy in the side?   

 

It's a difficult call, but Wilf has been first choice for years, he is statistically phenomenal, he played a huge part in our survival in 2017 and has stayed loyal to us when I am sure that there must have been envious eyes cast in his direction.  Would he accept rotating with Mendy and being benched at times? 

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I'd keep Mendy in.  The rest of the midfield benefit from having Mendy as a deep lying, ball playing midfielder.

 

Ndidi is a brilliant ball winner but I lose count of how many times he gives it away.  If we are looking to dominate possession in games then Mendy has to stay in the team IMO.

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Hopefully we have enough games and good enough management that both men are happy in the way they are deployed. It might require that we start seeing being 'dropped' as 'tactically rested' - I mean, wouldn't it be nice if Vards could (on occasion) be reliably rested for the good of his longevity?

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Watching us play with Mendy this season makes me think that we invited more pressure when N’didi was playing.

 

He was far less comfortable on the ball and if was pressured I often thought he played the wrong ball or lost possession all together. I certainly don’t think he’s capable of beating the press like Mendy can do. He doesn’t show for possession off the Centre Backs as much as Mendy, which is why Cags and Evans spent so much time passing it between them last season. This often meant that Tielemans and Maddison were having to come very deep to receive the ball off the defenders which then meant there was a big gap between them and Vardy, hence why it seemed we were passing it sideways so much last season. 
 

I think Ndidi is the better player overall as his defensive work is genuinely world class, but I don’t think we would have got the results against City and Arsenal had Ndidi been playing instead as Mendy was instrumental in those games and I think Ndidi would have invited even more pressure in those games without being able to provide the pivot between the defence and attack.

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The other area Ndidi improves the team is in a high press, again going back to 4141. At the moment we are sitting a little deeper, not quite a low block but certainly deeper lying back 3 and 2 in the middle. Trying to control it a bit more and counter. 

 

The 4141 high press suits Ndidi as he has license to hunt the ball, he can win the ball higher up and set attacks going with an easy ball forwards to one of the 4 in front of him. He doesn't need to control the midfield. Mendy looks lost in that formation and it doesn't really suit Tielemans either. Youri's isn't an all action game pressing and chasing the ball. He's more controlled and cultured. Necessity is the mother of invention and we might have stumbled on a formation and personnel that is really effective, but maybe at the expense of Ndidi.

 

Final point Mendy and Ndidi can play together but not in midfield, Ndidi did a great job as a centre half at the start of the season with Mendy in the middle and maybe there is room for him in a back 3. 

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6 minutes ago, Dusty said:

Watching us play with Mendy this season makes me think that we invited more pressure when N’didi was playing.

 

He was far less comfortable on the ball and if was pressured I often thought he played the wrong ball or lost possession all together. I certainly don’t think he’s capable of beating the press like Mendy can do. He doesn’t show for possession off the Centre Backs as much as Mendy, which is why Cags and Evans spent so much time passing it between them last season. This often meant that Tielemans and Maddison were having to come very deep to receive the ball off the defenders which then meant there was a big gap between them and Vardy, hence why it seemed we were passing it sideways so much last season. 
 

I think Ndidi is the better player overall as his defensive work is genuinely world class, but I don’t think we would have got the results against City and Arsenal had Ndidi been playing instead as Mendy was instrumental in those games and I think Ndidi would have invited even more pressure in those games without being able to provide the pivot between the defence and attack.

Fair points about the second half of the season but first half he was phenomenal in that single pivot role. Then he got injured and by the time he'd returned our season was already heading off the rails.

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If it was an either-or decision where one of them would play 100% of the time I genuinely think I'd go for Mendy, which would've been unthinkable prior to this season. He's better on the ball, links the defence and midfield excellently and seems to really bring the best out of the rest of our midfield. It'd be a close decision though.

 

Thankfully, they both play slightly different roles and it means we'll be able to pick the best player for whatever tactic we opt for in a given match. And given that we're hopeful of maintaining our place in the EL/CL for future seasons, we'll have enough games that they can both have plenty of gametime as we manage and utilise the full extent of our squad - the same as we do in attacking midfield for Tielemans/Maddison/Praet, for instance.

 

When those two are fit there's good argument that we have two of the top 3 CDMs in the prem, alongside Kante. Our recruitment has been excellent for the last few years, but to get it so right in one position not just once or twice, but three times is ridiculous. 

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I don’t think we need an either/or debate here. We need a proper squad if we are going to try and battle on multiple fronts in Europe and at home. 
 

Mendy has been superb, but I have detected that his energy levels seem to suffer towards the end of games - anyone else see that? He is so intelligent and retains the ball so well; Pappy is integral to the way we break out when we play a more defensive formation.

 

I think Wilf is a huge physical presence and a fantastic asset - he is relentless in tackles and interceptions and a dynamic and unselfish player that is a huge asset to any team.

 

i think we could even play them together to close games out and to contain the attacking threat against some of the top sides.

 

 

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I agree with the posts that say it depends on which system we use.

 

Wilf would be great when playing a back 4 as would enable us to have more creativity in front of him due to the ground he covers. Can also fall into a back 3 when we don’t have the ball if needed.

 

When playing three at the back I think he’d be wasted but a great player to bring on to shore things up.

 

Fantastic problem to have though.

 

Would certainly be looking at getting Papy an improved contract in January as he’s definitely earned it 

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