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Everything posted by Superblue_1986

  1. Álvaro Morata

    I always wondered if Batshuayi had been given a fair crack, especially after his short period at Dortmund. However since then it's become even more apparent how incredibly limited he is. I'd agree with your assessment on Tammy, he doesn't quite offer enough at present. However I do think his goal scoring record this season potentially justifies giving him a chance next season when we're so thin up top. Morata is easily our most talented striker but it just goes to show how important the right mentality, confidence, etc is needed to go with the technical ability. If his head isn't right, at times we might as well have been playing with 10 men and now he's settled and happy with Atletico I can only see this situation being worse if we brought him back. It's incredible that Giroud could find himself undisputed first choice next season but that's what we may have to prepare for. At least with Giroud you know what you will get and he will fight and give 100% every game. He's also an excellent link player and target man. We will need to rely on (1) wingers and midfielders running beyond him and getting goals, and (2) good crosses from wide positions and it could still work well. Unfortunately with the exception of Hazard's link up play with Giroud we currently don't do either of the above particularly well and will need to be worked on a lot this summer.
  2. Álvaro Morata

    I don't see any positives to that if it were to happen. Morata clearly doesn't want to be here, hasn't settled in England and has such a fragile mentality. Bringing him back will do more harm to him as a player and if he's unmotivated and unhappy I can't see us getting much out of him. He's been a really poor signing and, like Bakayoko, we look to be in a position where we could get really lucky and potentially get our money back on him. He seems to be doing well enough at Atletico that they will likely look to buy him inside his loan period so I think we should just leave him there and hopefully recoup on him in the coming season. If the ban stands we will be in a pretty rough position but I would take Giroud over Morata every day of the week.
  3. Mauro Icardi

    I don't believe he is good enough to justify the "circus like" baggage that comes with him. He's a pure goal poacher which is great if the team is built in this way to supply him, because he is a very good finisher. My biggest worry even more than the baggage (I think we can all excuse this if somebody is performing for the club), is just how good is Italian football at present to judge if they'll be a success in England. On top of Sarri struggling to get his style working well over here compared to in Italy, Jorginho has also struggled with the frenetic pace and power of English football, as to has Higuain. Even more alarmingly is that Bakayoko looks like a world beater over there, and struggled to control a football over here. You only also had to see Juventus Tuesday night be ran all over the pitch by a vibrant, positive Ajax side. I think Italian football is much slower than English football in particular and I would worry about Icardi, who doesn't have breathtaking pace anyway, being able to cope with the demands and intensity over here to be a success.
  4. Nicolas Pepe

    I haven't seen an awful lot of Pepe but his goal scoring record has been very good. If to try and compare him to someone, would it be fair to say he has similarities to Mane, albeit on the opposite wing? I wouldn't be against this as we need more goals in our team. To be honest if we get a transfer window, selling Hazard and Willian and using the funds (and likely a little more on top) to buy a left back, Pepe, striker and promote Reece James and despite losing our best player I think we would be a far better balanced team.
  5. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    I wouldn't agree that we were content that summer, we spent more than enough that summer to suggest it was or should have been a 'big' transfer window (including breaking our transfer record at the time), the problem was the quality of our recruitment. The only success from that summer was Rudiger, the rest have tanked. Our recruitment in recent seasons has been overall very poor, with players who have left not being replaced adequately. I do agree however how far we're behind City and Liverpool at present. It won't take a quick fix and papering over cracks this time, the club as a whole including us fans need to be prepared that this may take time and patience to get us back to that level challenging again,
  6. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Fair point, it has taken a long time for him to play these players but I do think playing them away at Liverpool is a big indicator that he is ready to run with them as a big part of our squad moving forward. I don't think what he's doing is revolutionary but a part of me does worry if Sarri walks in the summer, will we revert back to square one with a new manager wanting to play a completely different way and suddenly Willian/Pedro are ahead of CHO in the pecking order, etc immediately based on reputation, giving under performing players yet another chance. At the moment everything is pure speculation but if the club let some players leave in the summer and looked to refresh the squad with some academy and loan players and Sarri is open to working with them, as well as continuing to develop the likes of RLC and CHO, that may not be a bad choice. Especially if we are restricted in the summer with a transfer ban. I think he has improved RLC and CHO as the season has gone on, especially tactically. Now this may be just as much down to the players learning and adapting to Sarri's methods and tactics but if that is the case then it adds further strength to a plan to try and bring through a couple more academy players next season because they seem to be the biggest positives currently.
  7. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    It has been an extremely tough watch and as I said earlier I am still somewhat on the fence with regards to his project and future. I would say the last month (besides the Slavia game) our playing out from the back seems to have significantly improved from earlier in the season. Players do seem more comfortable with the ball when being pressed and some of our one touch to get out of tight areas has looked good. I can see now others are on a similar wavelength how Jorginho operates in this manner and his importance to this part of the system. Getting out of that first press, particularly against West Ham and Liverpool it was clear to see the potential and how much space can suddenly be created in behind to spring an attack. Unfortunately that part of our game still isn't in sync. I would agree that I don't think Hazard's style perfectly fits Sarri, and Willian is the same. Whilst aesthetically pleasing, dribbling past 2 or 3 players is very rarely as effective as passing through the lines and their natural game to hold on to the ball probably does slow down and damage our play at times. It may well be that less talented and reputable players can successfully replace Hazard if they fit the system trying to be played. The biggest thing though is a goalscorer. We do and have created chances this season but are simply not clinical enough. The football that the likes of Klopp and Pep play is very good but they are also extremely fortunate to have a number of goalscorers in their squads. It is no coincidence that the last two title wins were when Costa scored 20 goals for us, freeing up the burden on others such as Hazard. The title wins prior to that we had numerous players chipping in with significant goal scoring. Until we find someone up top who will regularly score us minimum 15-20 league goals a season it will remain a struggle because there aren't enough goals throughout the rest of the squad.
  8. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Yes making improvements to their game but also there seems to be a pathway developing that players will get chances if they do work on their game and improve which is a huge motivator. I've always felt that the first one or two getting through the academy would be a catalyst for more. Christensen was a game changer last season, but the higher profile of RLC and CHO this season I think is the big one. Somebody mentioned on here the other day about a core group of academy players coming through who will have grown up together and played in a number of youth sides together being a potential huge positive for the club getting that good team spirit and I think there is a big possibility of this happening next year.
  9. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Fully agree. I've always been a huge fan of RLC because he has enormous potential particularly given his size and strength in the middle to just hold players off with ease. But similarly, it was a struggle to see where exactly he would fit into a team but Sarri should be given a lot of credit for his work with him because he's now looking at being a very promising player in that attacking midfield spot and I think he has enough goals to his game to back that up also. I've also noticed with CHO that he didn't play particularly well against West Ham and Liverpool but he did a lot of tracking back and the hard work that not many attacking players are willing to do. This is what Sarri has suggested held him back earlier in the season and again, this appears to be paying off now. Reece James for me is a must next season to come back. I would agree with Mount too, he can essentially replace Kovacic in the side although I'm not sure which player Sarri will look to use as the deeper midfielder if Jorginho is unavailable. Maybe Ampadu gets more opportunities next season as a utility centre back/defensive midfield option? I would also bring Tammy back next season too. I think this summer will be a case of now or never for him and if Higuain goes back in the summer we need another striker (potentially two if Giroud doesn't sign a new contract). I'm not sold on him being good enough to become our first choice (although there were question marks over RLC doing the same as recently as weeks ago), but he has a higher upside than Bats and I think could develop to be a good second choice striker for the club, leaving us to concentrate on just needing to bring in one top drawer goalscorer down the line, rather than a whole new strike force.
  10. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Ironically the job he has done with RLC and CHO this season has been a huge positive for the club as both have come on leaps and bounds as the season has progressed and are now both arguably first choice options. Sarri's style is such a culture shift away from what a large contingent of players are used to under Mourinho and Conte before him and that would be an extremely difficult thing to change within the more experienced older players. Even with a transfer ban, if Sarri was to keep his job, I think he needs to look at the progression of RLC and CHO and realise that some more trust in younger players may be needed, who he can mould into his ideology and style having been fairly unexposed to anything in particular yet in their careers. There are 3 or 4 players we could easily integrate into this squad, plus Pulisic coming in next season to start the process of refreshing and rebuilding this squad. If the club are to go 'all in' with Sarri and are prepared to take a couple of steps back initially to make bigger progress moving forwards then they should also be taking this opportunity to get some of the younger players coming through too.
  11. The Board

    Absolutely. No doubt our board have made mistakes and changes do need to be made, but actually replacing Abramovich is a huge call and sometimes it's better the devil you know. Even in recent seasons Abramovich has still sanctioned big moves in the transfer market. It's a completely different discussion that most have not worked out. With the money being pumped into English football currently, more foreign investors are viewing the clubs as a potential cash cow.
  12. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    I am by no means Sarri's biggest fan and the jury is still very much out on him for me and whether he gets next season here. However I have sympathy for him today. A few weeks ago we tried going toe to toe away at City and got royally embarrassed. He changed our tactics for the league cup final which went infinitely better and rather than being stubborn and sticking to his principles (which he has been ridiculed for at times this season) he changed the tactics to keep us in the game as long as possible. When Liverpool's biggest creative threat comes from their full backs, I can also understand Sarri wanting to move Hazard away from a wide position so he wasn't expected to keep dropping back to track the Liverpool full backs. In the first half we were pretty solid for the most part and also offered a threat on the counter, and the tactics seemed to be working. Keep Anfield as quiet and nervous as possible for as long as possible and then potentially have a go in the last 20-25 minutes. Some faith was finally shown to the likes of CHO, RLC and Emerson in a huge game too. The game today showed how much more clinical the teams at the top are at present compared to us, and currently we're just not good enough at present.
  13. Mason Mount

    Did you ever watch Lampard? There was so much more to his game beyond his goals its laughable to suggest otherwise. It's like the idea that Terry is this brave, body on the line, stopper/blocker style defender only, when his ball playing ability with both feet is rarely mentioned.
  14. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Arsenal hoping to just sneak top 4 as per usual.
  15. 10. Eden Hazard

    If we are to have a ban I'd rather we have it now whilst we're in a state of transition anyway than defer it. It would give Sarri potentially an extra year to get this style to work (if he stays) and some of our loan and young players potentially a chance to stake a claim, before we can buy players again and go big if required.
  16. 10. Eden Hazard

    The grass isn't always greener! I feel the same. I can understand Hazard having that urge to play there if it's been a lifetime goal/dream of his but they are a squad in need of a serious rebuild. They've lost their best player and as you said they will view Hazard as his replacement and Hazard is no Ronaldo. Other key players such as Marcelo, Ramos, Modric, Kroos, Bale and Benzema are in serious decline and need replacing. For Hazard personally this is coming at the worst time and regardless of the quality of their squad, those fans are probably the most demanding and impatient in world football. With the mentality that he portrays I do believe there is still part of him that has doubts over this move. We may be in a rebuilding stage ourselves but he's idolised at this football club, with him and his family well settled and kept private. I don't think he's currently there yet, but if he were to stay and play the remaining best years of his career here, I do believe he would be on that level as a Chelsea legend that the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba are.
  17. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    It pushes everybody to step up and perform now rather than feeling comfortable with their position in the team. The only players currently who are undroppable for all the main games are Kepa, Kante and Hazard. The rest of the team need to perform to get in. I would love to see Willian or Pedro play a blinder on Thursday night and help win us the game. It gives Sarri options and decisions to make with more players pushing for their best form in the run in. Barkley came on last night and got a great assist for the second goal. He needed that because his place is under huge threat from RLC's performances recently. We haven't had enough of that this season but hopefully the penny has dropped for Sarri just at the right time.
  18. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Agree. He's not leaving before the end of this season at the earliest now for sure, so the crowd really need to back him and the players for a big push in these last few games. Let's see where we are at come the end of the season and re-assess things then. If we've achieved top 4 and/or won the Europa League it would be a solid season given some of the struggles we've had at times.
  19. Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

    I thought Azpi had one of the best games I've seen him play for a while tonight. Looked much more defensively solid and got forward regularly. I also felt our playing out the back was much improved today. Even at times in the second half when West Ham were pushing and pressing high, we were calm and played some pretty good one touch stuff at times to get out of tight spaces. Definitely some marked improvement in performances the last couple of games. Hopefully a big result on Thursday and then its the acid test next weekend.
  20. 10. Eden Hazard

    Phenomenal tonight and hopefully he's picking up and hitting some key form at a crucial part of the season. If we lose him next season with a transfer ban it'll be a rough year as we're limited to what we can do. However even with a transfer window in the summer, I've said previously it's foolish for the club to think we can go out and replace him because we can't. There isn't another player available capable of the creativity that he provides. If we have to sell we need to invest the money in other areas of the squad the same way Liverpool did when they sold Coutinho (specifically buying Van Dijk and Alisson). We need two new full backs and a striker, that's where the Hazard money should go towards investing. A 20 goal striker would mean we're not looking for one of our wide players to put up similar numbers, and two full backs capable of getting up and down the pitch will provide more width and create more chances than our current full backs at present. It's a case of trying to share out some of the workload that Hazard currently does for the team on his own, rather than expecting to bring someone in who will take up that mantle.
  21. Kurt Zouma

    I wouldn't be opposed to him coming back next season. Even with a transfer ban, some of the squad does need freshening up and he is a proven Premier League player who could be extremely useful. I don't know why but however I have a feeling though if we can get our ban overturned or deferred that we'll sell Zouma to fund back buying Ake.
  22. Kurt Zouma

    Watched the game today and I was very impressed. He still has that turn of pace seemingly despite his injury and he is a big, powerful presence. I always worry when we don't play with Rudiger that we lack that strength and power at the back and become susceptible to being bullied. He would be the perfect player for me to rotate with Rudiger. He was never the greatest player on the ball but I think he's serviceable. The only time he could be problematic is against some of the top teams who will be bold to press us high up the pitch. 75% of teams will look to defend deep and counter attack us and with that in mind, Zouma's ability on the ball shouldn't be an issue so long as he keeps things simple.
  23. Tammy Abraham

    Many players have more natural talent than Lampard. That's why he was so good and is so idolised at Chelsea because his commitment, desire and work ethic pushed every possible ounce of talent he had out of him and he massively overachieved in his career compared to the player at West Ham or even in his first couple of seasons at the club. I don't ever see anyone playing at the top level in a natural centre midfield role for that many years and put up those numbers. 2009/10 when we won the league he scored 23 league goals, that is borderline insane. And calling Lampard a traitor is a complete embarrassment. The club let him leave at the end of his contract, he could do whatever he wanted to and in my opinion completely earned that right.
  24. 10. Eden Hazard

    Agree with the right wing position that it could be upgraded but I think having two quality full backs will take a significant load off the wingers to be providing creativity and width. I think it would actually benefit Willian and Pedro who both like to come inside, and it would also benefit Pulisic who I think would be more prepared to operate as an out and out winger having an overlapping option to try and double up with. Pulisic does look raw but i think given the money we've spent on him we have to give him an opportunity first to stake a claim for that position before we spend even more in that position. Especially as mentioned previously we are in a greater need in other positions at present in my opinion. Agreed, it would give us more time to try and convince him but this has been an issue for 18 months now and no sign that he's prepared to commit. I would also be more worried that if Madrid didn't want him, other clubs would. I know Hazard has suggested it's only between Madrid and Chelsea but if Chelsea have blocked his chance to go to Madrid there's nothing stopping him sticking two fingers up and moving elsewhere. Any club in England for starters would have him.
  25. 10. Eden Hazard

    They will if he's available on a free transfer. IF we can trade in the summer, I wouldn't replace Hazard directly. If we spend £50-100m on a new winger he'll be constantly compared to Hazard with little patience given. Assuming Willian and Pedro stay next season, develop Pulisic and CHO to be the first choice options in those positions. CHO in particular could take over Hazard's role and the crowd would get massively behind that. The money should be invested in other areas of the team, namely up front and in the full back positions. If we lost Hazard and his production next season, and 'made do' with CHO, Pulisic, Willian and Pedro but in turn brought in two quality full backs and a 20 goal striker I think everybody would take that.