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BlueLion.

28. César Azpilicueta

Started by BlueLion.,

2,401 posts in this topic

Wow, such a lot of Azpilicueta hate.

Yes - I agree, I think that, for the large part, he has been quite poor in general this season. He seems to be exposed for pace time and time again, though I don't think that the formation helps in that regard, as it's the quick opposition turnover where they exploit the same behind the full-backs that kills us time and time again. The Kepa incident also demonstrated his worrying lack of leadership skills. Let's face it, Cahill would have marched Kepa off of the pitch, he wouldn't have stood for such insubordination. Terry would have probably torn him a new arsehole. 

But I don't think one below-par season should tarnish his reputation. Let's not forget, that for the past few seasons he's been playing predominantly as a CB, and then on occasion a RWB. It's a complete positional change for him. As a full-back, he is probably a square peg in a round hole, as his offensive contribution is lacklustre. He can't cross at all well, apart from when he seems to be in a bit of space in a deeper position, floating a ball in. He can't beat a man, and his crosses from the byline are woeful. You have to give him some sympathy, as he is at least performing manfully, there's never a half-hearted contributed from Azpilicueta. He deserves a fair whack of criticism, granted, but the bloke looks exhausted and playing him every single game in a high-pressure system isn't going to be helpful. He's getting older, and the years of playing match after match look like they've caught up. Like @Jason just said, he's working better in a deeper defensive block, and if Sarri has any sense, he'll continue with that lower press for the remainder of the season, as those past two games (City and Spurs) are where we've looked as good as we have in months. 

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5 hours ago, lucio said:

is there a more uninspiring sight in world football than him running forward to join the attack?

Only one. 

Seeing the matchday lineup from the CFC official twitter with Alonso as a starter.

lucio and Johnnyeye like this

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36 minutes ago, Sir Mikel OBE said:

Before that penalty his performance was worse than Alonso's....which is saying a lot.

 

29 going on 40. Get rid.

He was doing great in a 3cb system... so were Luiz and Alonso....

perhaps manager is forcing the wrong system for the players he’s got?

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1 hour ago, Robchels said:

He was doing great in a 3cb system... so were Luiz and Alonso....

perhaps manager is forcing the wrong system for the players he’s got?

you are  looking at 2016-17

2017-18 tells a different story

he is 30yo from next season on

he is only going to get worse as a fullback

time to sell him NOW

thanks for the memories Azpi, but we need the present, not the past

plus we need to break up the Spanish contingent

they are already a poison

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13 minutes ago, Vesper said:

you are  looking at 2016-17

2017-18 tells a different story

he is 30yo from next season on

he is only going to get worse as a fullback

time to sell him NOW

thanks for the memories Azpi, but we need the present, not the past

plus we need to break up the Spanish contingent

they are already a poison

Perhaps, but 30yo CB is only starting his prime years... That would also open the RWB to a midfielder type, say Pedro/Moses for ex.

Considering the transfer ban, they are not going anywhere, so it's really up to the manager to use them in their best position. If that means switching to 3 in the back, so be it. 

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11 minutes ago, Robchels said:

Perhaps, but 30yo CB is only starting his prime years.

not to be rude, but that is pure rot

this isn't the 1970's and 80's (and before) anymore

and we are not in Serie A

Azpi is only going to get worse and worse

he is spent

time to sell! especially if we win the non-deferral appeal and have a 2019 summer window

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In Spain's national team Dave played CB in a four-men-defense, under Ernesto Valverde I think. Anyone seen him? Do you think it's possible? He is not quick enough to be a great threat at attack or to handle 19-20 year old boys running around him, but he is a great fighter and a good defender. He is 1,78m, the size of Carles Puyol, who was a real pain in the asss despite of his   size and won everyting.

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2 minutes ago, nyikolajevics said:

In Spain's national team Dave played CB in a four-men-defense, under Ernesto Valverde I think. Anyone seen him? Do you think it's possible? He is not quick enough to be a great threat at attack or to handle 19-20 year old boys running around him, but he is a great fighter and a good defender. He is 1,78m, the size of Carles Puyol, who was a real pain in the asss despite of his   size and won everyting.

his defence has been shit lately

if we are not going to play a back 3 (and even then maybe)

OUT

he offers nothing of league winning, CL challenging play at this point

no sentimentality from moi at this shambolic point

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He's definitely not had a good season. He shouldn't be rapidly declining at 30 years old, this isn't 20-30 years ago. The number of games I think is more likely having a negative impact on him and he's also been shunted around his entire Chelsea career to suit the needs of each manager.

I've already mentioned on a few posts here that I would love the club to take a chance next season on Reece James. He has all the attributes of the archetypal modern day full back, and I believe he would thrive if given the opportunity here.

However Azpilicueta is one of the players I definitely wouldn't discard entirely. For one his versatility is priceless. He's played across the entire back line for the club throughout his career and can still fill in those spots still.

Also, with the likes of Hazard, Cahill and Luiz potentially on their way out he is one of the few left who played at Chelsea with the old guard. He saw first hand how influential and important the likes of Cech, Cole, Terry, Lampard, Drogba all were not just on the pitch but behind the scenes in the dressing room. He can still play an important role off the pitch following their roles and offering vital experience, especially if the club were to finally put some trust in our youth.

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16 minutes ago, nyikolajevics said:

He is 1,78m, the size of Carles Puyol, who was a real pain in the asss despite of his   size and won everyting.

Height is where the similarities end imho. Puyol was an exceptional CB, as was Cannavaro who is even shorter. Both vastly more physical and better at defending. Azpi, for me, a bit too laid back and not aggressive enough to be a good fit in a 2 CB pairing. Those two would hassle the fuck out of you until you lost the mood to play. For example, who would you play against Drogba in a physical battle, Puyol or Azpi?

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39 minutes ago, Vesper said:

not to be rude, but that is pure rot

this isn't the 1970's and 80's (and before) anymore

and we are not in Serie A

Azpi is only going to get worse and worse

he is spent

time to sell! especially if we win the non-deferral appeal and have a 2019 summer window

I think exactly the opposite. 

Back in the 90s (or even worse before) very few players would be able to play at a high level past their 30s. Nowadays we see a lot more players doing that, even attackers, which was unheard of back then. This is certainly due to advancements in physical preparation, nutrition, and science in general. Of course there are individual factors that will affect their longevity... can’t see eden playing until 35 for ex.

in other words, this analysis has to be done in a case by case bases and scientifically. They have the numbers, from routine physical tests, lung capacity, power, etc. they can see the decline if any.

point being that when the team fails as spectacularly as we have, it is difficult for fans to assess individual performances, because all players will be exposed and look inneffective.

While I do undertand you may think he’s spent, I’d rather wait for the next manager with a new system and perhaps formation to have a better idea.

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39 minutes ago, Superblue_1986 said:

He's definitely not had a good season. He shouldn't be rapidly declining at 30 years old, this isn't 20-30 years ago.

Its the opposite

almost ALL fullbacks are now burn out amazingly once they hit 30yo (or even before)

look at Marcelo

but let me not stop there, as many who know me will see what I will now post

WC fullbacks

LB

Macelo is literally the only one 30 or older (if you still count him as such) NO other ones are anything remotely close (NO, Kolarev and Monreal and Filipe Luis and Ashley Young are not even close, if you think so, I truly have to question you discernment as they have been massively injury-plagued and have been burnt like toast innumerable times)

Jordi Alba is 29, and the only WC one at that exact age, so you have to go all the way down to 28yo to start to find multiple great LB's

 

RB

Unless you count the genetic freak (and for last two years utter fraud, as his making the FIFA all world Eleven for 2018 was a JOKE, especially as he only played around 20 games then), Dani Alves)

then

Azpi  at 29 is the only WC RB above 28yo that any sane person would claim is indeed at that level (and I say bullshit atm) 

there are NO others over 28yo atm

Sorry but Zabaleta, Lichtsteiner, Juanfran (Juve RIPPED him apart, he looked every bit the 34yo he is), and Valencia are shit NOW. Hella great in their day, but father time crushes all men (and women)

so NO

pure rock solid global quantitative and qualitative evidence shows that it is NO shock Azpi is crashing and burning as a fullback, especially given the insane 4300 to 4700 minutes  a season he plays. for years now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Robchels said:

I think exactly the opposite. 

Back in the 90s (or even worse before) very few players would be able to play at a high level past their 30s. Nowadays we see a lot more players doing that, even attackers, which was unheard of back then. This is certainly due to advancements in physical preparation, nutrition, and science in general. Of course there are individual factors that will affect their longevity... can’t see eden playing until 35 for ex.

in other words, this analysis has to be done in a case by case bases and scientifically. They have the numbers, from routine physical tests, lung capacity, power, etc. they can see the decline if any.

point being that when the team fails as spectacularly as we have, it is difficult for fans to assess individual performances, because all players will be exposed and look inneffective.

While I do undertand you may think he’s spent, I’d rather wait for the next manager with a new system and perhaps formation to have a better idea.

 

Azpi is toast, he maybe useful as reserve CB, especially in a back 3 (I could see him as a starter there at RCB IF he pulls his head out of his arse)

but

as a pure RB, (let alone a RWB, where offence is truly needed)

he is plummeting off the cliff

my track record of predictions since I joined here is damn good and I am sticking to this one hard

 

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33 minutes ago, Vesper said:

Its the opposite

almost ALL fullbacks are now burn out amazingly once they hit 30yo (or even before)

look at Marcelo

but let me not stop there, as many who know me will see what I will now post

WC fullbacks

LB

Macelo is literally the only one 30 or older (if you still count him as such) NO other ones are anything remotely close (NO, Kolarev and Monreal and Filipe Luis and Ashley Young are not even close, if you think so, I truly have to question you discernment as they have been massively injury-plagued and have been burnt like toast innumerable times)

Jordi Alba is 29, and the only WC one at that exact age, so you have to go all the way down to 28yo to start to find multiple great LB's

 

RB

Unless you count the genetic freak (and for last two years utter fraud, as his making the FIFA all world Eleven for 2018 was a JOKE, especially as he only played around 20 games then), Dani Alves)

then

Azpi  at 29 is the only WC RB above 28yo that any sane person would claim is indeed at that level (and I say bullshit atm) 

there are NO others over 28yo atm

Sorry but Zabaleta, Lichtsteiner, Juanfran (Juve RIPPED him apart, he looked every bit the 34yo he is), and Valencia are shit NOW. Hella great in their day, but father time crushes all men (and women)

so NO

pure rock solid global quantitative and qualitative evidence shows that it is NO shock Azpi is crashing and burning as a fullback, especially given the insane 4300 to 4700 minutes  a season he plays. for years now

I'm not expecting him to be world class. Your point may be valid with regards to the absolute top level, but a number of full backs are still good, reliable and serviceable at that age even if they are no longer in their prime.

Azpilicueta 5 years ago would still have had limitations offensively if we had played in a way which needed him for width so nothing really is new there.

I think a fresh Azpi who isn't slogged to death in the right circumstances can still be important, especially when needing to see games out. 

He needs phasing out, but I don't think he needs bombing out.

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20 minutes ago, Superblue_1986 said:

I'm not expecting him to be world class. Your point may be valid with regards to the absolute top level, but a number of full backs are still good, reliable and serviceable at that age even if they are no longer in their prime.

Azpilicueta 5 years ago would still have had limitations offensively if we had played in a way which needed him for width so nothing really is new there.

I think a fresh Azpi who isn't slogged to death in the right circumstances can still be important, especially when needing to see games out. 

He needs phasing out, but I don't think he needs bombing out.

If we want a max return on selling him, then this summer is the last (already depleted) go round

if we don't have the summer window, then stay he must, but as long as we do not have a fool like Sarri in charge, I, at that point expect Reece James to be given fair shot to bench him

I am so sick of watching him play each week at a dodgy level.

and btw

you say that top level doesn't matter? Serviceable is acceptable?

try looking at the teams who win the big 5 leagues and the CL

they don't have just serviceable' fullbacks

unless you think us being at Valencia, Everton, Roma, Marseilles, Arsenal, RB Leipzig, Inter Milan (post Mo) etc etc level is oki.

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42 minutes ago, Vesper said:

If we want a max return on selling him, then this summer is the last (already depleted) go round

if we don't have the summer window, then stay he must, but as long as we do not have a fool like Sarri in charge, I, at that point expect Reece James to be given fair shot to bench him

I am so sick of watching him play each week at a dodgy level.

and btw

you say that top level doesn't matter? Serviceable is acceptable?

try looking at the teams who win the big 5 leagues and the CL

they don't have just serviceable' fullbacks

unless you think us being at Valencia, Everton, Roma, Marseilles, Arsenal, RB Leipzig, Inter Milan (post Mo) etc etc level is oki.

I haven't said top level doesn't matter. I've said that squad players don't need to be top level. No club in the world has a squad full of top level players. But you do need some players who are experienced and reliable professionals who will look after themselves and come in to do a job when called upon and Azpi strikes me as that sort of person. There are plenty of players who have played into their 30's at big clubs and won trophies. Ivanovic and Ashley Cole did for us. Gary Neville, Evra, Valencia, Lahm. Are they on the decline? Yes, but they are still capable of doing a job for their club.

If Reece James for example came in and either shared workload next season with Azpi or developed to a level to be first choice and Azpi as backup then I would be very happy with Azpi being a reliable, 'servicable' and versatile squad player.

I'll put it to you as such - Reece James comes in and plays well and becomes first choice. Towards the end of the season we're in a cup semi or final, or a big game in the league and he's injured. Would you rather Azpi to come in and fill in for him who you know is defensively and tactically reliable or Zappacosta who might be better attacking (which I actually think is even up for debate) but defends worse than most wingers? They're the only choices we have if we're stuck, as likely, with this transfer ban.

Or, say Reece James comes back and struggles. Would you be more comfortable with Azpi in the team for a period or Zappacosta?

I want the rebuilding to start this summer with or without this ban, but we can't just sell half the squad and hope for the best. Players already on the periphery like Zappacosta can be sold because they haven't been good enough since they arrived and their game time could be given to someone else like Reece James who would also then hopefully start chipping away at Azpi's game time too until he's first choice. But I think completely selling Azpi would be a big mistake. We're not going to get big money for him this summer. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't much difference in transfer fees we could get for Azpi and Zappacosta. And on that basis you sell the worst of the two which is Zappacosta and in my eyes there's no argument to that.

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