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The North-East View: Changchun slip out of top ten as defensive issues increase

After having an exceptional 5-game unbeaten run, Changchun have posted back-to-back defeats against Shanghai East Asia (2-1) and Guangzhou R&F (3-1), with the teams defence being primarily at fault for both loses.

The Good
It’s not all doom and gloom for Changchun, however, as the chemistry and overall performances of Eninho and recent signing Szabolcs Huszti have been a bright spot for the team.

Huszti and Eninho have linked up well in recent matches.

Huszti and Eninho have linked up well in recent matches.

The two import players have connected well on a number of passes and Huszti was awarded the penalty that lead to Eninho scoring his 9th goal of the season in the 2-1 loss at home to Shanghai East Asia.

If it wasn’t for the stellar play of these two foreigners then Changchun could very well be looking at a relegation spot, which is what happened in the previous season.

Changchun have put some good results on the board this season, beating Guangzhou Evergrande both home and away as well as the recent 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua that initially saw Changchun climbed to 9th in the table.

If Changchun are to keep pushing forward then they will be hoping to lean heavily on both Eninho and Huszti for the foreseeable future.

The Bad
The defence. Changchun’s defence has conceded 7 goals in the last 3 games and in the most recent 3-1 defeat to Guangzhou R&F they conceded two penalties. Another penalty was conceded in the 3-2 victory over Shanghai Shenhua.

Changchun have let opponents have too many attempts at goal.

Changchun have let opponents have too many attempts at goal.

For all the skilful play of their forwards, particularly those mentioned above, the defence has been out of sorts recently despite originally having some pretty strong showings against teams like Guangzhou Evergrande and Dalian Aerbin.

In a previous report, it was discussed that Changchun’s defence was predictable as the same formation and same players were being played week-in, week-out.

One other area for concern is the recent ‘tensions’ that have arisen in matches.

In matches against Dalian, Shanghai Shenhua, East Asia and now Guangzhou R&F, Changchun and opposition players have gotten into heated exchanges that disrupt the flow of the game.

If Changchun players continue to let emotions get out of control it can lead to them losing focus and ultimately causing them to drop points in games that really they should be claiming at least a draw.

Something must be changed about this to ensure the team doesn’t continue this losing streak, with two more away games left before finally returning to Changchun in early-September.

The Future

It's not all doom and gloom.

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Changchun have completed the first of three away matches in a row, this will be a tough test for the Dongbei side as they’ll be looking to bounce back and regain the form that saw them climb to 9th in the table before suffering two disappointing setbacks.

If the defence can regain their previous form and the attacking duo of Huszti and Eninho can continue to shine then things don’t look too bad for Changchun.

A top ten finish is still going to be their goal for this season and if they can achieve this then they’ll be looking to push even further next season, attempting to reach the former heights of the 2007 and 2009 seasons, when Changchun won the Chinese Super League and finished runners-up respectively.

James Reeve is a British sports writer and editor for Wild East Football. James is an avid fan of Changchun Yatai, having been a season-ticket holder in 2015, and has been involved with Wild East Football for a number of years.

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