Lampard’s system requires setting up with a high block. The problem, however, is when you create a high-block press while maintaining a deep defensive line, a large gap of space opens between the midfielders/attack and the defenders. This occurs even when Lampard starts a match with deep double pivot. Why? To pinpoint why, I’ll split the team into two sections; first section includes both DM pivots and the forwards, second section will analyze the four in the back-line.

And there was a moment where we were looking at them from this position here and Chelsea without the ball had a block of SIX and other FOUR. Tammy Abraham was staying up, Barkley was staying up, Mount was staying up, Pedro was staying up. Now a days you look at the good teams, and all the good teams they defend compact; Higher block/lower block.

Jose Mourinho commenting on Man utd v Chelsea 4-0

Every idea can be negated – this is why all lapses must be covered. To be effective in pressing, you have to be compact, by forming solid blocks.

The lower block is more defensive, the higher block is more offensive, is more aggressive but always defend in block. So , there are principles of play that doesn’t have to do with the system you play, it’s just a basic principle, you’ve to defend COMPACT. This and Chelsea was never that so it was easy for them, for United in the moment they recover the ball to find space to counter attack.

Jose on the principle of play

Defending compact is a basic principle, it doesn’t have to do with the system you play – you must always defend in block.


Defending high is risky and demanding, offside trap is the organizational tool to perfect this play. To execute offside trap a central leader is required to organize the other back men. At Chelsea, our back line has failed to do this severally, thus explaining why FL settled with lower defensive line.

Zouma failing to help the backline in keeping Firmino offside in the build up to Mane’s goal in Super cup final + Christensen lack of concentration vs Norwich away; are epitomes of poor offside trapping from our central defenders.

Lampard, now have two options – Buy a leader at centre-back or Change the system to adapt midfield to supporting the defence deep.

Changing the system for the midfielders means no more pressing, it will affect the attack and goal scoring; it means less men upfront. I think buying a leader at central defensive department would be the best option.

One thought on “DEFENSIVE IMBALANCE: High Defensive Line Could Solve our Problems.

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