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  1. opinionsarelike

    Giroud or Morata?

    i struggle to see any team, let alone a team with our deficiencies, win anything other than the odd fa-cup (which of course is something, but shouldn't be our amibition level) with a striker like giroud up front. playing the frenchman, or any other archetypical targetman (big, strong, slow), makes defensive organization so much easier. if you break down the different dimensions a striker operates in, you have (simplified): a) crosses, b) with their back against the goal and c) the threat to run in behind the defensive line. with a player like giroud, you are basically forfeiting option c). teams are getting so well organized and defenders are getting so quick that against a typical target man, they can just push their defensive line up however high they like without having to worry. as for morata, he's been piss poor for a couple of months, but i still think we'll be better off as a team with him playing rather than giroud. morata can, and will, with his pace, stretch out the opposition, which will give much needed room for hazard, willian and our other players to work in.
  2. opinionsarelike

    Cesc Fabregas

    pirlo has largely defined that role, at least redefined it in modern standards. whilst fabregas' passing is very good, he lacks pretty much every other quality that made pirlo tick in that role. pirlo was immune to high pressure (essential in that fairly isolated role), fabregas certainly isn't. pirlo was tactically more-or-less perfect (which made up for his lack of physical gifts), fabregas isn't. pirlo had complete awareness of the tempo of the game (hence called 'the metronome'), fabregas hasn't. fabregas has always been a maverick of sorts. in arsenal, he played a role completely devoid of any tactical responsibility. he fell through in barcelona, failing to adjust to their tactical and technical schemes. fabregas would be one of the first names on the block that i would get rid of in the summer. since he can't run, he a) can't dribble the ball without running a severe risk of losing the ball, b) can't press, c) can't cover midfielders from the opposing team and d) can't make good and frequent runs off the ball to create space. what you're left with is a player who's only use is if he's got a force field around him, allowing him more time and space on the ball than modern football teams will give him. and that's not enough, at least not when he's one of our highest earners in the club.
  3. opinionsarelike

    The John Terry Appreciation Thread

    Steve Bruce has done with John Terry what Brian Clough did with Dave Mackay in Derby - get a huge character in, who albeit past his prime will give the squad a reference point both tactically, mentally and physically. A stroke of genius from Bruce, who will probably get rewarded with a promotion come May.
  4. opinionsarelike

    Holding Out For An Unsung Game-Managing Hero

    Jorginho is top drawer, his one-touch play is outstanding and has purpose, but you won't get him easily off of Napoli. And even if he were to be sold from them, he's by far their most important player to their system, other clubs have more pulling power in terms of a) stability, b) attractive playing style (yes, I believe this is an important aspect) and c) money. Weigl has stagnated a bit imo from what looked to be a surefire world beater a year ago, but at least here you could maybe negotiate with Batshuayi in a deal. Ndombele will be top class, but he's still rough around the edges and could do with another year or two in France. He doesn't play the deep lying playmaker role either, as you pointed out "the special one", but as a ball carrier through the lines he looks to be second to none. Milinkovic Savic is obviously the one to get, he's much better in a much worse team than what Pogba was in Juve, but every club sees that, and we won't get him due to him probably costing over £100 million. He also plays further forward than the role Dorset is asking for (and I agree we need to strengthen). The club that gets him is lucky, though. Fabinho is the one we should have gotten from Monaco, but didn't, so I don't even think he's a possibility.
  5. opinionsarelike

    Reasons for why this season has been underwhelming?

    It's definitely a combination of many things. The most glaring one to me is that the players are simply not good enough. I don't think any other manager would have won the league convincingly with Cahill (last years version), Moses, Alonso, Luiz and Pedro as regular starters. The tactial switch to three at the back massively hid Cahill and Luiz' deficiencies. Moses and Alonso are rejects from clubs way worse than us, but performed very well due to Conte's (last years) tactical advantage over his opponents. Moses is simply a fundamentally poor footballer, his best (only?) ability being that he can cover 40-60 meters very fast and often, and Alonso is world class at everything a full back doesn't need to do well, and below par at things they need to do well. As for Pedro, he's never been particularly technical, and he's lost pace from his early Barcelona days, where he performed a very specific off the ball role, a role he doesn't get in our club due to the lack of a generational midfield (Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta) and the greatest footballer ever feeding him. With three at the back being found out (or not having the advantage it did last year), players have regressed to their true level (which is way below what a club of our stature should aim for). I reckon we have four players that have the level required to keep us in contention for the biggest trophies, Courtois, Azpi, Kante and Hazard. Christensen will get there as well in time, but it still leaves 6 positions up for grabs. Where do we find those players, with our "in and out"-policy/0 net spend philosophy, and get them to our club with possibly losing out on the CL? And what about the insecurities around our managerial situation? Ampadu and Hudson Odoi could be two, but they are years away from being consistent performers at the highest level. Mount maybe, I like him a lot, but still years away. If we lose out on CL qualification, I'm fearing the worst for our summer, the worst being that we sell Hazard and Courtois, and keep the players not good enough. Maybe a tactical switch, as you've said, is the right thing to do. If there ever was a time for it, now should be just about right. 1 full week until our match against City, where I think our three at the back formation will get made into mince meat anyway, and 1 full week until Palace. If we could play 4-3-3 or maybe 4-2-3-1, we could at least field 4 attacking players as opposed to 2 or 3 (3-5-2 or 3-4-3). That alone should make opponents fear us more, and give us more forward outlets in building from the back, because we've reached a point where opponents doesn't fear us anymore (not that they need to, either).
  6. opinionsarelike

    Alvaro Morata

    Adrian Mutu in disguise. I guess getting your GF preggers is one hell of a drug, too.
  7. opinionsarelike

    Callum Hudson-Odoi

    Bailey is the real deal. He might struggle initially with the Premiership (step up from Bundesliga), but he's another Sané in the making. He's too quick, technical and effective for most full backs and centre backs to deal with. However, if we could keep Hazard (should be our main priority this summer, both because it shows our ambitions and because he's our best player) and one of Pedro or Willian (Willian is better, but also has a higher sell on value), we could go into next season with Hazard, Willian/Pedro, Bailey and Hudson Odoi for as our wingers/nr. 10's. That's an upgrade on what we've had this year, and will give Hudson Odoi the right amount of chances as a 17-18 year old.
  8. opinionsarelike

    Callum Hudson-Odoi

    Hudson Odoi has within the span of a year gone from being the best player in the U17 team, to the best player in the U19 team to now be the best player in the U23/Development team when he plays there. And when he's featured for the first team, he hasn't look out of place either. Many players struggle with the age group transitions, having to find new ways to impact the game (often because they are not as physically dominant as they were before, or because they need to reduce the time they spend on the ball). Hudson Odoi has played his normal game in every age group he's been involved in so far (with the same result - he passes with accuracy, makes correct decisions on the ball, rarely loses the ball and beats players for fun), and surely that must be the safest sign of someone who's going to make it. I've previously said that Hudson Odoi is the best youth player I've seen play for us, and I stand by that. He was the best player in the U17 final against Spain last year (as a 16 year old), doing whatever he liked with the spanish right back. Hudson Odoi is miles better than what other players in our club in his mould (pacey wingers, "small" attacking players) has been before, Boga, Musonda, Brown and many more. A start, and maybe even a cameo, against United might be too early, but if he were to be given playing time I'm confident he would have done what he's always done throughout different age groups - perform.
  9. opinionsarelike


    even though willian has gotten better as the season has progressed, i still don't think he's good enough for a team with our ambitions and status as a top european team. a player who was seen as not nearly good enough for us was kalou, and he had better production than willian, who i think have improved very little the 5 seasons he's been with us. my opinion of willian is that i think he fools a lot of people. on a seasons average he will, in 4 out of 5 games, a) dribble the ball far away from oppos goal, b) lose the ball in dangerous areas (far away from oppositions goal) and c) get paralyzed and make the wrong decision when closing in on the opposing 18 yard box. in 1 out of 5 games, he will do the same, but pull it off. in that match, where everything he tries works, he will typically grab a couple of goals, maybe an assist or two as well. this makes his average production seem decent i suppose (maybe 2 goals and 2 assists during a 5 match period), and pundits and/or fans will think that he's turned a corner or that he should start permanently, but then he has his 3-4-5 matches where he does next to nothing once again. i've attached a picture that in my opinion shows what i've been trying to write; four-five games on the spin where he does nothing, then maybe a game where he assists and/or scores 2-3 times. willian is decent i guess, but he wouldn't start in any of the top four-five teams in england, and shouldn't be for us either. if we could get the opportunity to sell him next summer, and replace him with someone younger, faster and more productive (i really like the look of leon bailey), i think we should do that. i don't think willian will improve to the level we need to compete for the biggest trophies, and the brazilian probably has a decent sell-on value.
  10. opinionsarelike

    *Official* Pedro to Chelsea

    did he really only get good once he was sold? if we look at de bruynes form in the league, he has delivered on the same level every year bar his very few games for us. the sore thumb, the outlier, is his stint in a blue chelsea shirt - he's been the best player (and one of the best in his league) in every other team, both previous to him being here and afterwards. 11/12 (last season in belgium): games: 22 goals: 8 assists: 10 minutes: 1813 min 12/13 (loan to werder): games: 33 goals: 10 assists: 9 minutes: 2966 min 13/14: for us: games: 3 goals: 0 assists: 1 minutes: 132 for wolfsburg (from january): games: 16 goals: 3 assists: 6 minutes 1496 mins 14/15 (full season with wolfsburg): games: 34 goals: 10 assists: 21 minutes: 3051 mins 15/16: games: 25 goals: 7 assists: 9 minutes: 2003 mins 16/17: games: 36 goals: 6 assists: 21 minutes: 2884 mins
  11. opinionsarelike

    Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi

    i disagree that the players you've mentioned, bar christensen, were as good as hudson odoi and ampadu, yes.
  12. opinionsarelike

    Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi

    I have to disagree. Hudson-Odoi is the best youth player I've ever seen coming up through our ranks (didn't watch enough of Terry's uprising). Many youngsters are flashy, might have superb technical skills individually and/or be physically very talented (especially compared to other youth players), but they lack both decision making, composure and productiveness in the final third. Hudson-Odoi has that (in abundance - I'd argue he's top of the crop individually as well), but he's also super effective. Every touch he makes has a purpose - and he has end product. He fits the modern attacker to a T, having both the individual abilites and also the decision making in the final third. Mason Mount is another player I've been extremely impressed with. He has produced at every level (U17, U19, U23 and now he's the best player for Vitesse). His biggest problem is probably that he's not quite fast enough to be a speedy winger, and that most teams doesn't play with an outright number 10 anymore, so he will need to adapt (maybe to a box-to-box role). But in my mind he's by far a more talented and productive player than Musonda, Brown and Boga (the players you mentioned in his 'position'). Ampadu is another Christensen for me. By far the most talented defensive player we've seen since him, at least. He's so good that he's basically a plug-and-play player in Conte's system at 17, performing both as a midfield player and a defender. His most stand out feature is probably that he doesn't make mistakes, and that's rare for young defenders. His floor is in my opinion a lot higher than every player you mentioned bar Christensen. He will almost certainly at least become a servicable player for a Premiership club. His ceiling, based on his technical ability and composure, is a top quality player for a top club, hopefully for us. Christensen was almost certainly going to be a top player barring any injuries, and Ampadu gives out the same vibe for me.
  13. opinionsarelike

    Antonio Conte - Now Officially Manager

    this is probably like cursing in the church, but terry and lamps have been a part of teams (scolari, avb, third season in mou's second spell) underperforming more than this chelsea side, who i think are performing pretty accordingly to expectations.
  14. opinionsarelike

    January Window 17/18

    doubt anyone knows enough about him, unless you're a red star belgrade fan as well, but conte bought him when he coached juventus.
  15. opinionsarelike

    Michy Batshuayi to Chelsea

    i think batshuayi is genuinely trash. he looks heavy and at the same time weak, he is slow and lazy, and he looks to be about as bright as a black hole. batshuayi is a reactive player. he reacts to passes, he reacts to crosses and he reacts to our pressing. there's nothing proactive about the guy. i have absolutely no faith in batshuayi's abilities for a club of our magnitude, not now and not ever. he's so fundamentally lacking it hurts. it's a shame, because he hasn't complained a second about game time and has acted as the model professional, there's just nothing in him for me.