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About spadefx

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  1. 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.
  2. Assuming this continually resurfacing rumour is just his agent/RM trying to engineer some sort of interest at anywhere near the money Madrid wasted on him. Can't see why we'd be remotely interested in him (or any AM, given the number of other positions needing strengthened). He's not an upgrade on Oscar, who was deemed surplus. The position he fills doesn't exist in our system, and if it did we have at least 3 players suitable for it (and in my eyes considerably better for it than Rodriguez).
  3. The quotes out today are nothing short of embarrassing. Costa's played his last game for us then, and he'll be a very difficult player for us to replace. Looking at squad selections & the way Conte used his substitutes this year it seemed like Costa was his main man offensively. Even consistently withdrew Hazard before him if ever we needed a change of attack - that suggests faith in the player to me, so quite surprising if its true Conte/Chelsea are now (possibly again) trying to force him out the door. Regardless, Costa's made no secret of not enjoying his life off the pitch as much as he did in Madrid. Fair enough, but there's ways and means of expressing a desire to leave, and it has to be done internally. Unless the club has been royally stabbing him in the back these quotes are (again) so unprofessional. Really disappointed to see this today, sour note to kick off a goodbye to our best striker since Didier.
  4. I'm usually pretty pessimistic when it comes to transfers, so here goes: Ideally - Koulibaly/Van Dijk, Verratti/Naingollan, Lukaku/Sanchez Realistically - Conti, Tierney, Bakayoko, Morata I think the spine of the team's critical, with a starting centre back & central midfielder top of the priority list, but I can also see it being a difficult window for us. Costa may well stay which could throw a spanner in the works for any potential striker signing, and there's a lot of competition for the names I've listed.
  5. I think all things considered he's had a very good season, he's been a key part of a Premier League winning squad which shouldn't be forgotten, although many will remember the poor performances first (and there were none greater than last night). Matic is a very good shield to have in front of a defence - he's relatively safe in possession, he's positionally very disciplined and he generally covers ground well. There's a reason we've conceded the second least number of goals in the league, and its because we're consistently difficult to break down. His weaknesses have been exposed by the better teams in the league, however. He's slow to release the ball which often hinders our attacking moves, he looks uncomfortable controlling a ball not played to feet, and he doesn't have the pace to catch players if they break through that line. Xhaka had the beating of him yesterday, as have many of the top teams central midfielders this season, and its too key an area of the park to concede if we want to push on and progress next season. We've had to rotate Cesc and Matic to suit the occasion, but in reality we need a player capable of offering quality at both ends of the park. Its a position we need a new starting player for before any other, and I'd be very surprised if we go into next season with Kante alongside Matic or Cesc. If Matic leaves, which I think he should, he can hold his head high - he's been a mainstay in two title winning seasons, which isn't something many players can boast.
  6. Well done Arsenal, they wanted it more and in all fairness it should've been over by half time. There's actually one positive in this defeat - it reinforces the need for improvements in the squad, and will wipe out any over-confidence before it had a chance to grow. Cahill had a good first half. Pedro and Kante put shifts, although the quality was missing. Costa had moments of fire-in-the-belly raw bulldozing, but also disappeared for the majority of the match. Our wing backs were very poor (I'm just going to skip over that dive), Welbeck ran Luiz and Azpi ragged, Hazard & Matic's effort levels were apalling. A sour end to a very good season, and a cup final gifted.
  7. On a side note - to avoid the horrific "commentary" from Danny Murphy you can get the 5Live audio on the red button, and BT Sport have it too. It is awful on all three to be fair, but the other two are lesser evils.
  8. If Cahill wasn't on the pitch this would be over, very lucky that we still have a chance to make the obvious change (Cesc for our Serbian statue). Confident we can still win this, but everyone could do with stepping it up a few gears. Maybe remind them it's a final?
  9. Matic has finally shown up! I did wonder for a bit if he was just going to jog around aimlessly and back out of tackles all day!
  10. Think this lineup will be very close to that for the final. It's a week off from this and I'd expect continuing match sharpness trumps the wrapping players in cotton wool argument, Luiz may be the exception as it looks like he's been playing through an injury for weeks now. Not sure if Terry will start but he'll at least come on for the sign off, this one will be for him as much the fans for this season. Hoping we can end the league on a real high with a comprehensive win and I think we will. We've kept the momentum with the Watford win and I don't see Conte allowing his side to take the foot off the pedal for this either.
  11. Chalobah, and Azpi excelling in the wing back roll have been the best points about tonight for me. There's been a yo-yo of class moments then poor decision making from the younger players. There's a lot of talent on the pitch without a great deal of first team experience, and it can't be easy in such a changed side. We've earned the luxury of this rotation night, and despite the sloppy goals conceded I'd say it's been pretty damn successful!
  12. Fabregas has made himself difficult to drop, but Matic too has been quietly performing very well since around the 80 minute in the FA Cup semi. So if Kante's fit to return I reckon Pedro misses out, which will leave us a lot of attacking pace on the bench if we're looking for a late goal. WBA don't roll over, and Pulis will use every trick in the book to upset our rhythm and deny a title win on his turf. It'll be a battle but we're on the ascendency again and I really fancy us to power through and get this done on the night. Roll on tomorrow!
  13. Great win, made sweeter that it was once again against the media narrative. Magnificent goal from Matic to seal it, no surprise he snuck up on that because he was invisible for the entire game. Thought Ake played very well, agreed with Luiz MOTM. Kante did well against Wanyama and Dembele, can't stand either of them but they're definitely the best central pairing we've faced this season. Big win, the double's still in reach. As Conte says - keep working!
  14. Good scoreline, and a decent performance. Just wish Alonso hadn't stooped down to their level at the end, pointless petulance. No surprise he got punished where they haven't been though. Genuinely stunned we got the penalty too, Atkinson might as well have a Spurs shirt on. I assume the linesman gave it.
  15. Lineup looks good to me. I would've started Hazard and Costa but Spurs have had the beating of us largely in the league fixtures so mixing it up a bit makes sense. Big game for Bats, Pedro and Willian. And lets hope Ake can slot in well in Cahill's absence. Buzzing for this!