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About spadefx

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    On the Bench

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  1. Actually hoping to see Morata start this. I understand the logic in rotating him out, but I see this as an ideal game for him to be involved in. He's scored and setup a few so far, but he's not looked properly in-sync with the team nor totally comfortable with the physicality of the league (yet). That'll come with time on the pitch, and tomorrow night might be a very beneficial test for him.
  2. Good win, the opposition didn't have much sting nor defensive savvy but we got the three points, some nice goals and some minutes for players still bedding in, can't ask for much more! Willian was the standout for me, looked the most dangerous of our attackers throughout and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. And Zappacosta's goal was a bad cross all day long, but another promising shift from him, very energetic and hopefully the confidence boost will help him settle in. Boost with the Roma Altetico game ending a draw too, this could be a very tight group. Great feeling to be back!
  3. That was a good match to watch, I don't think Leicester are as threatening a counter-attacking side as they have been but we kept them relatively contained. We were wasteful up top but we scored enough to win, so long as we're improving and picking up points I can't moan too much. Personally felt Fabregas struggled to make an impact higher up the pitch. I can see a 3-5-2 formation working when we have less of the ball but I think Willian may have been more effective in that role today. My only complaint comes after their goal, where we almost started to play too casually in an attempt to slow the game down. Better sides will punish us if we dither in possession and we were light in the tackles towards the end, nearly letting them in behind. Zappacosta looked promising when he came on. The end product wasn't quite there but that should come when he settles in. There were a few really good performances but Kante once again gets my MOTM. Another superb all round display, and a fine goal to win us the match. Now for Tuesday night, its been too long without!
  4. We officially have an incompetent board

    I think this has the potential to be remembered as quite a good summer window, all things considered. The vast majority of us would've been fine with a Matic for Bakayoko swap on last season's performances, and with the transfer fees effectively identical that's what it is. Costa severed his ties so his exile/exit was inevitable. There were very few high quality strikers available and I'd argue with Morata we have every chance of having brought in the best one. We've brought in much needed depth in defence with Rudiger fitting in well so far and Christensen putting in an excellent shift against Spurs. Zappacosta looks very capable of challenging for the RWB position, and Drinkwater comes in as an experienced hard-working all-rounder to give us another option in central midfield. There weren't many players available that would realistically improve our 11 from the start. I don't think we paid over-the-odds for anyone and we haven't forked out massive wage packets for the sake of it. We're starting this season in a stronger position than we did last year (admittedly our squad was small then, and very much in need of multiple reinforcements), we've broken our transfer record, and we've done it all relaitvely quietly behind the noise of the Manchester clubs' intakes. Time will tell, but I think we're looking good, and amazingly for current Champions we're flying under the radar, which tends to be when we succeed. I think this could be a very good season for us.
  5. Welcome N’Golo Kante

    Every time I watch him play I'm amazed. He's tireless off the ball, relentlessly harasses opposition, and seems to take tackles & interceptions so neatly in his stride. The speed at which he can move from 'knicking' the ball to moving it on and setting us an attack is second to none in my opinion. Clearly been working on his close control and distribution and its showing. Absolutely one of the best midfielders around at the moment, and a complete bargain when you consider this season's going rates.
  6. Danny Drinkwater

    Confused as to why he'd want to move from regularly being one of the first names on Leicester's team sheet to likely being our 4th choice central midfielder. That said, I'd actually be quite happy to have him here. He's a reliable, hard-working midfielder that would slot in when needed without much disruption. I think he's a better all-round footballer than many give him credit for, and while he may not have the creativity or physical traits of the league's best he doesn't often put a foot wrong, and won't lose many battles through lack of trying. There are a few players in our side prone to hiding or stropping when things start going against us, and I think he'd actually be a positive influence against that sort of attitude. Despite the transfer fee (and its reasonable given the current market) I'd be pretty happy with this deal.
  7. Have Moses or Baines had a touch in this game? Either both are marking each other out of the game or there's a funny smell on that side of the pitch.
  8. Excellent goal - and a lot of credit to both Azpi & Morata for not switching off after the scramble, that attack could easily have been over. Great movement, great cross, great header.
  9. That was a beautiful finish from Fabregas, and a goal we really needed before Everton start to grow into this game. Great ball from Willian in the build up too, he's been excellent so far.
  10. Feel for Christensen as I felt he had a better game than Rudiger last weekend, but it makes sense if they're all training for particular positions in the three. Very attacking lineup. Hope we can get the goals and stifle Everton's counter. Now to hunt for a stream I guess...
  11. Another bonus from this game is that we're seeing some genuine competition for places in the back three, and I can easily see Bakayoko keeping Fabregas out of the side if we switch back to two central midfielders next weekend. Rudiger, Bakayoko and Christensen in particular had very solid full debuts.
  12. Justice done, well fought result against a good side with some (yet again) ridiculous refereeing decisions going their way. Alonso take a bow. Kante and Christensen were also excellent. And also yet again, shout out to Martin Tyler who nearly burst when Spurs equalised, before barely uttering Alonso's name in disgust when we got the winner. Truly the icing on the cake.
  13. Tottenham consistently get away with battering ram tackles, and knee high stud-led slides against us. Haven't had a reasonable referee's performance since that game 2 years ago when they finished with 9 players on a yellow. And even that was ridiculously lenient.
  14. Decent game, but we definitely look like we could do with a few more weeks of pre-season. Not convinced Batshuayi spearheads a title challenging side, and Morata (and those around him) will need time to gel and bed into the squad. The Kante-Cesc partnership leaves us vulnerable in the middle, and by the looks of it we've only one (unfit and as yet untested Bakayoko) alternative likely to displace/play alongside. Our wing backs played well going forward but both made positional errors at the back, and going into a season with more games and still no real competition in these positions is another concern. We're actually an injury/suspension away from a real problem in quite a few positions. Cahill and Kante were the best of an OK bunch today for me. The loss isn't a disaster but it reitirates what we need to do. Hopefully a win in league day 1 will get everything on track.
  15. David Luiz back at Chelsea

    Interesting that Brazil were using him in the holding midfield role again (although there was a lot of rotation in that lineup). I've always liked him in midfield, although my memory's a bit foggy as to how often & well he actually played there, versus how long this forum spent complaining that he should be used there. More suited to the role he's currently playing with us now I reckon, but it'd be interesting to see if he ever features there again for us.