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If Mendy continues to play with the confidence and fluency he has shown of late and we continue to win matches I think he will retain his place. However I'm sure Brendan will slowly introduce Ndidi rather than bringing on Morgan later in games and gradually he will work his way back. We now have two outstanding defensive midfielders and to be fair Mendy has shown glimpses in previous years but due to injuries has not had a consistent run in the side.

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Some etch-a-sketch memories on here. Almost everybody was gushing over how good Wilf was at CB in the opening stages of the season. We fell apart when he was injured last season as well, Mendy is playing well in a specific system that is almost perfect for him.

 

It’s a nice problem to have though 

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2 hours ago, Captain... said:

Yes and no, individually Wilf is better but it's a team game and Mendy and Youri work better than Wilf and Youri.

 

I've said before 4141 Wilf is the 1 hands down.

 

4231, 343, 3421, 442 I'd want Mendy and Tielemans in the middle. Mendy doesn't have the stand out characteristics of Ndidi, pace, power, tackling but his passing, control, positioning and "teamwork" are superior. He brings the best out Tielemans.

Not sure about the positioning or  teamwork points. 

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Imagine this question being asked at any point prior to this season!

 

As seems clear to most, they are different players and each has attributes better suited to certain roles than the other. Ndidi is the absolute man in front of a back four and he allowed the likes of Maguire and Soyuncu to play out/stride forward. Mendy looks good and better suited to the current system as one of a central pair ahead of a back three. 

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What a question! Mendy does not deserve to be dropped and Ndidi also doesn't need to now be rushed back in either. I think Brendan is looking to swap players dependent on their individual assets and on the opposition. Given we are in europe, and the target is surely to be again next year too, games will come thick and fast. Brendan wants trophies so cup runs are also important. It's a lovely problem to have. We have a brilliant defence, our midfield is superb and Vards leading the line. Exciting times!

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25 minutes ago, Bert said:

Not sure about the positioning or  teamwork points. 

I wasn't sure how to express the "teamwork" bit, Mendy brings others into the game more and I think he has brought the best out of Tielemans, it's almost a traditional ball winner ball player partnership.

 

That's not to say Ndidi isn't a team player it's just his most effective role is a solitary screen in front of the back four. In terms of positioning that also relates to being a solitary screen, your job is to cover the width of the pitch so positioning is not as important when you are hunting the ball. I felt both he and Mendy struggled as a double pivot in that they were trying to occupy the same space. It was also Puel's instructions to drop deep off the ball. 

 

Either way it is a good dilemma to have, Mendy has stepped up in this new role and I would say is preferable to Ndidi in this formation.

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53 minutes ago, Stadt said:

Some etch-a-sketch memories on here. Almost everybody was gushing over how good Wilf was at CB in the opening stages of the season. We fell apart when he was injured last season as well, Mendy is playing well in a specific system that is almost perfect for him.

 

It’s a nice problem to have though 

Well that's the question, when Ndidi is fit do you change the system to suit him, or keep the system that suits Mendy's game?

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343 - Play Mendy. Been great at beating the press and turning defence into attack very quickly. Doesn’t have to worry too much about winning the ball back because of the set up and also this allows him more time on the ball when teams don't press, does the simple stuff well.

 

4141 - Play Ndidi. Offers protection to the 2 Centre backs, one of the best ball winning midfielders in Europe. Tracks his man better and adds the extra height. With our 2 full backs racing forward in this system we're massively exposed, so he's needed as the extra defender

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Mendy has done really well since he came back into the team especially since he was on loan and looked like he might leave, but Ndidi has been great for us and is clearly more valuable in terms of transfer fee and how many more clubs would want him. It’s just great that we have both and both have the potential to do very well.

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Ndidi for me of course. However I understand having Mendy if in this 343 against the best teams as his positioning is good. Wilf could come on if when mendy tires in those games.

 

What for sure I don’t agree with is 4141 formation it HAS to be Wilf and also against the weaker- average teams it should be Wilf for sure.

Playing 5 at the back and Mendy vs teams like Sheffield Utd is really limiting how far this team can go imo.

However Wilf isn’t fit yet so for now Mendy is doing well and we’re winning. When Wilf comes back though he’s straight back in for me, I think some people on here have forgot how good Wilf is.

Him and Ricardo fully fit will take us to the next level.

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It's worth noting that Puel - who knows all the players involved very well - initially planned to pair Mendy with Tielemans rather than Ndidi, obviously feeling they were more compatible as a pairing.  It's only because Mendy got hurt in warmups before the Spurs game (Youri's first with us) that it never happened.

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5 hours ago, Beachyboy said:

Centre half surely with the injuries we seem to get there in a 343

In emergencies owing to injuries, sure. I guess I was posting on the assumption everyone was fit.

 

Ideally, the middle cb is an experienced player in that position and leads the defence (ie Evan's or Morgan), and the outside cbs have the ability to bring the ball out from the back and/or pick a pass into players in space ahead (fofana and fuchs excel at both, justin and soy can run the ball out).

 

Ndidi could do a job in these positions, but wouldn't be as natural a fit compared to the other players.

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