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Ready Player One

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  1. Ready Player One

    Andreas Christensen

    He isn't nervous on the ball at all. He loves taking lots of touches on the ball, and getting his head up. Too much for this system IMO. It's noticeable how much he slows down play when he is in the team. People in front of him stop moving because he's going to take a lot of touches. He is very conservative with his passing too. That's especially true compared to Luiz, who plays very quickly and looks to make things happen (which is great in this system). I think Christensen would have suited Jose better, and did suit Conte better. Luiz suits Sarri a lot more than Andreas. What I didn't think I'd be saying last season is: Luiz looks a better defender right now too. There is no way you can drop Luiz for Christensen. In all honesty, this is the best Luiz has played for us, over both spells. I've never been "a fan" of his, but he is playing brilliantly right now. I don't know if it's the more open style suiting his pro-activeness, or if he's "just clicked" with Rudiger, or what, but he's been great this season. Of course, if Christensen leaves, it'll be another KDB, Lukaku or Salah...because there is an absolutely top player in there. I think he's a gem. There was a top player in all of those three and we all saw it (well, maybe not Salah, even his biggest fan didn't see him having a 40 goal season in the Prem)...but the people in front of them were playing better, and Luiz is playing better than Christensen. There is something about us that means players in that situation don't seem to wait it out. TBH I think it's a boardroom thing of trying to play moneyball and selling unhappy players at a certain value; rather than risking them running down their contract, letting them be unhappy for a season or more, and punting that they'll come good later (as Utd have seemed willing to do with Luke Shaw, for example).
  2. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    IMO the problem against West Ham was that for the first time this season we took loads of touches on the ball. Sarri has had us popping the ball about really quickly, even in pointless areas. It has a knock on effect of everyone being on the move, everyone having to be alert, and everyone having to take responsibility. Maybe it was tiredness. Maybe it was lacking Pedro. Maybe it was just players doing what they thought was best. Maybe a mixture of all three. But for the first time this season we look laboured. Players were arriving where they were supposed to in order to receive a pass, and the pass didn't come. So they stood there. And when the pass did come, they were marked up and we were trying to force things. I don't think you can blame Sarri for that. I think the players didn't do what he wanted them to.
  3. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    TBF, When Jose was here, the argument was "why don't we take Eden off when we go in front? Why is he playing 90 mins every week?". I'm with you tho. If you had taken lampard off with 70 mins played at 2-0/3-0 then he'd have complained. The very best players (which Eden is among), aren't getting subbed off regularly.
  4. Ready Player One

    Alvaro Morata

    no offence, but you are aware of the history of this club, yes?
  5. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    While I take your point, Hazard will have been training almost every day since he was 10 (maybe longer depending on the system he came through) and he has been training at our club, under some of the best managers in the world, since 2012. Eden came back on what? The Monday/Tuesday before the season started? He's worked under Sarri for 3/4 days, comes off the bench and he's so blazingly obviously the best player on the pitch that it's unreal. Sarri didn't teach him that. He IS that. Sarri should be working on the tactics that provide him a platform. FWIW I think he is. He's's not going to come here and tell everyone to play like whatever player he had at Napoli did. Particularly Eden. Well, I hope he's not. When people suggest that, I'm sorta reminded of the story of Moyes at Utd telling Vidic and Ferdinand to play more like Jaglieka. I think Sarri is smart enough not to do that sort of thing. I definitely agree that Sarri's style will suit what Hazard wants to do more than Conte's style or Jose's style. In fact, I somewhat suspect that his appointment was (at least partly) because of Hazard and the sort of football he wants the team to play. Not because he can "teach" Hazard, but because his style of football will suit Hazard. 1. Well. They are certainly facts. I'm sorry you don't like me bringing them up. 2. I don't think I do. Actually, I like what Sarri wants to do. I'm looking forward to this season. I do worry that he may not be pragmatic or experienced enough for this role. I think there will be periods this season where we will need to abandon our (his) principles a bit (particularly the "knocking it about in deep areas to invite teams onto us" tactic). And I think we have a few players who don't fit what Sarri wants to do (noticeably up-front). Pragmatism will definitely be required to work around that IMO. As much as he needs to "teach" certain players, I think he needs to learn about, and from, these players. 3. No. I think they are comparable as examples of the top players in the world, guys who are clearly above other players at their clubs. "The Man", so to speak. At Chelsea Hazard is "The Man". And if we want to keep him, we should probably be pandering to him as those players are pandered to. 4. Well, we've literally had two managers who have been "expert tacticians" piss off the players to such an extent that there has pretty much been an open rebellion. Twice in a row. I wouldn't walk into that scenario and tell our best player he is doing it all wrong. Sarri certainly doesn't have the status to do that. And I don't think he will. That would be AVB levels of stupid with the same result that AVB got IMO. Just IMO. It's OK if your's differs. It's all good. Cruyff was basically the definition of a brilliant maverick, and the concept of total football was essentially invented to facilitate players like him drifting wherever they wanted.
  6. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    Ok. TBH I was thinking something similar, but I wasn't going to insult anyone by saying it. Coaches can tell you whatever they want. But if you can't do it, don't want to do it, don't think it's right, think your way is better, or think (know) that you know more than your coach...then it won't matter what is said. If you know you do something well, or you think it's the right thing to do...you do it. A coach also needs to have some kind of authority, and I don't think Sarri has a position of authority to "teach" Hazard any more than AVB did to "teach" Lampard or Terry. Change is more about seeing untapped aspects to your game, a coach can help with that, but really, you're the one doing that work. If you don't want to do that work, then you won't change. Look at Ronaldo. I don't think he is at the top level because of the coaching he has received since he was 22-23. I think he did that, through his own work ethic, intelligence and desire to be the best. And at a certain level, the very top level, where we find guys like Hazard, coaching is more about "maintaining a level" and not changing fundamentals. I don't see any particularly "coaching" you could give to Eden Hazard to make him better. I would say I don't agree with his mentality, but if coaches like Jose or Conte can't make him change that, I doubt he will. At this point, he is what he is. And, TBF "what he is" is one of the very best players in the world. It's not just mentality. Take Amir Khan. You could give him the best defensive coach in the world in Virgil Hunter, train him to jab and move for literally years, and he's still going to revert into a wide-open brawler the first time he takes a tap, and get sparked the first time anyone lands clean. Under pressure, you go back to what you know. TBH I think a lot of that is that Barca is set-up perfectly for him, with players who are literally there to compliment him, while Argentina is whatever Argentinians are available. I also think he has been very, very good for Argentina; and his contribution is under-rated. I certainly don't think the difference in level is down to coaching he gets in those few weeks he's with the Argentina squad. Fair enough. I do think a more attacking system will suit him more. I think he will enjoy himself more, and hopefully be more productive. I don't think Sarri will "teach" him, but hopefully he can unlock him a bit by making our tactics more about him. So fair point.
  7. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    Well, you certainly don't tell Messi or Ronaldo or Neymar to do things they don't like, or think aren't the correct way to utilise them, and expect to keep your job. These guys have their own ideas about how to play football. I think Eden does too. I think it's the trade off managers have to make with immense talents. No player is a robot, and that is true of the very best players most of all. The bolded bit...honestly? I think the reason we played Azpilicueta at LB was because he was the purest defender at the club and Jose didn't expect Eden to track back even if he told him to. I also think Matic was supposed to pick up that slack as well. I think Eden played lip service to it. But that is just my opinion. Jose did mention it however. "Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and to leave his life for him" https://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/may/02/jose-mourino-eden-hazard-chelsea-sacrifice-himself
  8. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    I have no axe to grind against Sarri. I hope he does well. I like a lot of his ideas. He is relatively unproven by the standards of manager we have had recently however. Which could be a good thing in many ways. Time will tell. Hazard is one of the top attacking players in the world. He is 27, not 20. He's not going to significantly change under any manager. Why would he? Sarri's job is to get the best out of these players, to find the tactics that work. Not to "teach" them (although there are players at the club he can certainly mould in certain ways). If you think someone who has won literally nothing is going to "teach" Eden Hazard then you are in for a surprise IMO. FWIW, I think he is on the right track with getting far more players up the pitch than Conte (I think Hazard was frustrated by Conte's preference for numbers in defence rather than attack) and by preferring 1-2 touch, short-passing football with lots of movement, which I think will suit Hazard. Of course, this is based on the idea that Hazard is so far and away our best player, and we are so desperate to keep him, that we will build around him, and do things like make him the captain and give him free reign. That could be incorrect. I apologise again if you think I am being unreasonable. Or am winding you up. Or mad. Or weird. Or mental. Or need to go outside and have a word with myself. Players who have won nothing are a bit more likely to listen. Especially when the manager is coming off two trebles in two years. If anyone (Sarri, Conte and Jose included) went to Barcelona and told Messi where to stand...he'd laugh at them. He's Messi. When Pep told Messi where to stand, Messi did it. Not because Pep was a big deal (he wasn't at the time) but because Messi was even less of a big deal. Once Messi knew what he was, how to be effective, how he wanted to play, no-one was going to come in and say "Lionel...stop dropping into midfield, I want you to be here, not there...". You build around him. Because he's Messi. IMO.
  9. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    Firstly, yes. The players here didn't listen to AVB because they were Frank Lampard and John Terry and Didier Drogba and who the hell was he? Did he have good ideas? Yes, actually. But they knew better. Because, well, look who they were. Look what they'd done. Secondly, Players are what they are. You can tell (for example) Azpilicueta to attack more, but his first thought will always be defending. It's not only who he is, and the way he thinks, it's what he's best at and he knows that. Players aren't robots following instructions. And a lot of our players are incredibly experienced. Moreso than a former accountant who has never done it outside Italy (and didn't really do it there). I want Sarri to succeed, and I like his ideas, but he isn't going to "teach" the majority of these players. Thirdly, all those having a go at me because I don't think Eden Hazard will be the exact same Eden Hazard he has been at the end of this season as he has been his entire time here...that's why I don't post here very much, and I don't expect you'll be apologising when I'm right. He may do a few more one-twos if you put more players around him to play them with him...but he will always drop deep, he will always dwell on the ball, and he won't score or assist significantly more. He is what he is and he plays how he plays, and you're not going to change him. Mourinho and Conte and Wilmots were always on at him "do this, do that, score more, get in those positions". Often publicly. Did he change? Nope. I apologise if you disagree or think this is a wind-up. Just ignore it either way. Thanks.
  10. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    I don't think he did listen to Conte. I think Conte built around him. Same with Jose TBH. And he isn't "poor" at anything. You're being silly. He just has his own way of playing the game, and doesn't have the drive to be a goal/assist machine like Messi or Ronaldo. Frankly, if he did, Jose was the guy who could have turned him into that 4/5 years ago. 1. Sarri can't teach anything to Eden. He wouldn't know how. 2. When it comes to being a top quality attacking player, Hazard will be the one telling Sarri what he needs, not the other way round. Sarri will be learning from Eden. How could he not? 3. Even if Sarri did tell Eden what to do, he would at most pay lip-service, and at worst, simply not listen. He knows what he is and how he wants to play. Sarri's job is to set up a system to get the best out of that. You're not going to change him at this point. 4. Our best chance of keeping Eden is making him the Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar of this club. A player who "out-ranks" the manager. No need to be offensive. You can agree or disagree without it.
  11. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    No offence mate...but Hazard won't be taking tactical advice on how to be a top attacking player from Sarri. There are lots of meanings in that sentence, and I mean every one of them.
  12. Ready Player One

    How much time will Sarri get?

    imo he's our best CB at this point. as for how long sarri gets? this will be a difficult season. i don't think our squad is ready for what he wants to do and i worry he isn't pragmatic enough to turn it around like conte did early in his first season. i hope he lasts a year, because that would mean we'd be in the race for top 4 and might even have made it. two years in a row out of the cl (3 years out of 4 out of the cl)? that's unthinkable. if we're not top 4 at xmas, we may get another run with guus. on the other hand, he seems a cheery guy, and i don't think he'll piss off the players like avb, jose or conte seemed to. so many he can avoid the "palpable discord" that ended those guy's tenures. if that was really what did for them, that is.
  13. Ready Player One

    2018/19 squad

    judging by pre-season so far; it's quick, one/two touch short passing football in deeper areas to invite the oppo on to you, and fast breakaways when they over-commit. it's just a "hype" name for his tactics though. there isn't really a "definition". i'm sure he's more flexible than having one thing he demands and everything else is banned. most successful managers are pragmatic and play to the strengths of the players at their disposal (to greater and lesser degrees).
  14. Ready Player One

    2018/19 squad

    maybe the mistake isn't with the managers appointed, or the signing of the players, but the fact that we have seemingly done both irrespective of the other? giving mourinho and (particularly) conte a load of technomidgets isn't going to help them, and giving sarri a team of guys who "eat grass" and don't have the same technical level isn't going to help him. we didn't get sarri because he was the best man to coach this squad. we got him cos he was available and we were looking. same with the others really. the problem is changing direction. buy a load of technical players, then bring in managers who want grafters. spend 5 years building a squad for them (kinda on the cheap, because you've sort of got your eye on sacking them anyway), then bring in a manager who wants technical players. and we say "he'll need time", but he won't get it. we've hyped him up, "sarriball" and all that. if this team is midtable at christmas, these players won't be happy just because we're playing tiki-taka. the board won't be happy. he won't still be manager next season unless we at least get top 4. then it's back to square one. who do we bring in? "dunno...who's available?".
  15. Ready Player One

    Marcos Alonso

    I actually am a fan of this guy...but he doesn't suit this system at all and will be left struggling. He isn't a guy you want in a high line back 4. Sadly, those who think Emerson is some sort of speed merchant who will do better are in for a shock. We're either going to have to change the system to accommodate the players we have (move to a deeper line, or have a more defensive pivot whose job it is to help out FBs, or back to the back three, I don't know), buy a replacement (in a position we have spent over £60m on in the last 3 years) or look for an out of the box solution (maybe Azpi back at LB and Christensen at RB...or someone from the youth team getting promoted...again, I don't know). The two LBs in the first team squad right now do have great qualities, but they are not right for the system Sarri is trying to get us to play at the moment. IMO.