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opinionsarelike

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  1. opinionsarelike

    Another defender or two in January?

    My point seems to have wooshed over your head. Godin is a top, top defender. Now. He wasn't prior to getting a defensive mastermind as a coach. Alderwiereld had the same tactical mastermind as a coach, and wasn't outstanding at all. He is now, in a different system. So, back to my point. Sarri's brand of football obviously requires a specific type of defender. Who is that player? We can only say Koulibaly for certain, but he would be a world record centre back signing. And like I pointed out, he was seen as an erratic but athletic defender, who turned good after Sarri worked with him for years. Given that we have Christensen, a highly touted prospect, and Ampadu waiting, I'd be willing to take a chance on them, rather than spunking out a bucket load of cash on someone who might or might not (see: my original point) turn out good.
  2. opinionsarelike

    Marcos Alonso

    Alonso at left back is an experiment worth having a real go at. He has production most attacking minded players dream of. What Alonso needs two or three touches to do, other players need 15-20 to do the same damage. One of the most effective players I've seen in a blue shirt. Sarri needs to look at his team and try to figure out how Alonso can be on the pitch. You'd have to assume that when Hazard gets back, and Kovacic gets rolling, it will help defensively. Hazard will pin back the opposing full back and wingers a lot more than Willian, and Kovacic is much better defensively (and imo offensively) than Barkley.
  3. opinionsarelike

    Another defender or two in January?

    I totally agree with this, but who is world class and gettable? Bonucci, seen as one of the premier defenders in the world when he was at Juve, looked like Luiz at Milan. Koulibaly was a meme before Sarri came in. Alderweireld didn't look very good in Atletico. Godin was seen as a mistake prone defender prior to Simeone. The list is pretty long on players who have succeeded in certain systems, and failed in others. Some defenders have it, they are clear cut champions. I just don't see anyone presenting themselves at the market both in terms of current production, potential and availabilty. At this point, in this current market, I reckon we'd be better off taking our chances with Christensen, who was very good before the whole team stunk it up last year.
  4. opinionsarelike

    Jorginho is a Blue

    I think once (if) you get it right, it's the best and most consistent way of defending. One of the reasons for that is that there is so much money in football these days, which means that even bottom table clubs can spend xx million pounds on attacking talent. They will create chances, and some times they will score. One corner, one freekick, one lapse of concentration is all that matters for someone to score. Still adament that Spains national team between 2010 and 2012 was the best defensive side football has seen. They were unbelievably boring to watch, but you couldn't take the ball away from them. In order to play like that, you have to make mistakes along the way (like we did). At least Sarri sees that, and will work on it. He's not one to scuff away the defensive aspect of the game.
  5. opinionsarelike

    Jorginho is a Blue

    Sarri's Napoli was a good defensive team, with 32, 39 and 29 goals conceded in his three years there. And however good Kepa will be, I guess all of us at least expects him to be better than Pepe Grandpa Reina. Sarri knows how to organize a defence, he just needs to get everybody on board with the quick transition from pressing hard to the established defence. Right now we press well, but aren't quick enough to get back and track runners from oppositions midfield. That, and not have every single player getting sucked towards goal on crosses, of course. I guess it's one thing at a time. At least we can attack without Hazard now, which we haven't been able to do consistently since forever.
  6. opinionsarelike

    Jorginho is a Blue

    The way Jorginho plays is almost entirely down to his starting position on the field, though. When he's the sitting midfield player, he can drop deep and recycle possession when needed, or turn (without a huge risk of losing the ball) and start play. When the ball is passed back to him, he sees the whole pitch and can ping those one-touch passes, which he's close to best in the world at. Kante is a good player with the ball, but he's not even close to having Jorginho's thought of mind and silkiness on the ball. I think that our defensive woes today is more down to our lines getting too far apart, and everyone getting sucked in towards goal, rather than having Jorginho as our deepest midfield player. Sure, Kante is the best at sweeping in front of the defence, but you'll lose the heart beat and brain of the team if you put him there over Jorginho.
  7. opinionsarelike

    Chelsea V Arsenal (PL) Sat 18th Aug 17:30 UK

    I think that a surprise start from Hudson Odoi could throw Arsenal's original game plan out of the window. He tore them a new one in pre-season against a much faster right back than what he will face today (Bellerin vs Lichtsteiner). I fully expect two of Willian, Pedro and Hazard to start, and I completely understand why Sarri would do that. But I think that the tactical nuances from a mental and physical standpoint is key to tight games like these, and Hudson Odoi is not only faster than those three, he has also gotten the better of that team only weeks ago. Arsenal won't have prepared for him, and with how litte senior video footage there is on Hudson Odoi, they won't be able to do it in the hour before kick off.
  8. opinionsarelike

    Eden Hazard

    I definitely think that Total-Football has a valid point. If you could have Hazard dribble 25 yards away from goal, or 45 yards away, you'd probably pick the former every day of the week. When Messi came through at Barcelona, he was chasing balls and pressing all over the pitch. Guardiola identified that he would be better off "resting" (hence people calling him lazy) once the opposition passed through the first line of press, to save his energy for the game deciding moments. A player of Hazard's skill level is more damaging further up the field and should probably get the same-ish instructions to maximize his potential. Lorenzo Insigne is a player pretty similar to Hazard, just worse at everything. He roamed, dribbled and got 5, 3 and 2 goals in the league prior to Sarri. The three seasons under Sarri he got 12, 18 and 8. Sarri's Napoli was more offensive than Benitez', but Insigne was played further up the pitch and made more productive off-the-ball movement with Maurizio. One can only hope that Hazard will gain x amount of goals with some tactical adjustments.
  9. opinionsarelike

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    I am pretty optimistic as to how our players will grasp Sarri's style of play, especially if we get Rugani and Higuain. Even though I don't know enough about the former, and don't care a lot for the latter, they will, in combination with Jorginho, form a central line of players from defence to attack familiar with the boss' methods. Azpilicueta, Hazard and Kante won't have a long time with the squad before Huddersfield, but they are so good and adaptable that they are basically plug-and-play players in whatever system presented to them. They will get it. If we can secure Golovin in the nearby future, who I assume will play in a midfield trio of Jorginho and Kante, the only positions in our first XI that needs clarification are the right wing spot (what happens with Willian) and our goal keeper situation. Of course, this is still Chelsea, we might still f**k it up, but this is a completely different situation than when we hired the parking lot general AVB. He was, and still is, a joke, who inherited a squad not ready to transition. Maybe there will be some growing pains, maybe the combination play won't click perfectly from the get go, but we have a lot of individual ability and ingrained winners mentality to bail us out early on.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. opinionsarelike

    Alvaro Morata

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

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