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About DaRick

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    First Team Squad
  • Birthday 20/08/1989

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    Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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  1. Jorginho gets criticised for his defensive abilities (which are still a bit lacking but he has slowly improved since his debut in this respect), not for his playmaking abilities (which are beyond reproach). In truth, criticising Kante for not creating better chances than our playmaker is harsh because that was never Kante's role (and Kante's vision is not bad anyway). One area I would like Kante to contribute more in relates to finishing. Also, playing Kante for 90 minutes against PAOK probably largely explained his comparative lack of vitality today.
  2. Pedro was probably injured due to colliding with the PAOK goalkeeper, whereas Christensen was possibly not fit to play after the game against PAOK.
  3. A reverse wasn't beyond the realms but the manner surprised me. I expected West Ham to concede at least one goal but instead they were far more solid than Pellegrini's teams usually are - Zabaleta did a good job of stifling Hazard despite his lack of pace. Pedro is more crucial to Sarri's system than I realised (though I was hoping that he'd be fit for this game). Against teams that set out to defend, we require his movement to suck defenders out of shape. Willian can be dangerous when we set out to counter-attack, but he IMO doesn't have the movement (or finishing) to break down solid defences. I would expect Giroud to cause problems against a deep defence, but he looked fairly ragged for someone who didn't play much against PAOK. His finishing has always been inconsistent, but his heading is often laser-sharp and so him missing the target altogether was disappointing. Not that Morata did any better. Losing Rudiger to injury would be a blow - definitely our best CB. Will Sarri play deeper as a result with Cahill, or try Azpi at CB with perhaps Zappacosta at RB? Or will he just play the way he usually does? Against Liverpool things could turn ugly if we do. Agree that we lacked the vitality that we displayed against Cardiff as a side - Sarri might have done well to rotate more against PAOK than he did with hindsight. EDIT: I will note that this result is actually an improvement over last season's, which shows how badly we underperformed last season as a whole.
  4. Experience? (I would have picked Christensen too BTW, though neither are really great in a 4-man back line.)
  5. Arnautovic injured is good. Pedro unavailable is not, but Pellegrini's sides tend to be quite porous at the back so it may not matter.
  6. Bad weather? Crap, that'll undermine any possession-oriented game.
  7. Having Hernandez/Carroll out will help because those two have a good record against Chelsea. As for burning our high line with pace, I'd actually be more worried about Felipe Anderson than Arnautovic in that respect, even though Arnautovic's attacking movement is more dangerous. Pellegrini has gone from a (failed) 4-2-3-1 to a more successful 4-3-3, so I expect him to line up with that formation against Chelsea. Not that it is beyond Pellegrini to try something different... His sides have always been shaky at the back, so I expect West Ham to concede at least one goal. I expect Hazard to regularly burn Zabaleta for pace and Masuaku to leave a lot of space at the back - he isn't the best at defending. As for their midfield, Mark Noble is positively glacial these days and in all honestly should have been relegated to the bench. I'm not sure why Pellegrini thinks that he can play a pressing game particularly effectively. We should be able to dominate their midfield in light of Noble's lack of mobility if there is a 3 vs 3 situation. We should win this game, but I expect goals to be scored and a reverse is possible.
  8. Well said. I will also add that while Christensen is a better pure defender than Luiz (particularly in terms of positioning, concentration, decision-making), his passing range is IMO just average, he loses composure when pressed while on the ball and he is not particularly quick either, so there's every chance he would be caught out in a high defensive line as well.
  9. Huddersfield (A): 2017/18 - 3 points, 2018/19 - 3 points Arsenal (H): 2017/18 - 1 point, 2018/19 - 3 points Newcastle (A): 2017/18 - 0 points, 2018/19 - 3 points Bournemouth (H): 2017/18 - 0 points, 2018/19 - 3 points Not counting Cardiff, we've won 8 more points in these corresponding fixtures than last season, plus Bournemouth have been playing quite well this season, so we could easily have dropped a number of points.
  10. I think 3rd. IMO we have enough firepower to wipe away lesser teams sans any injuries, but against the Top 6 our defence will be a real problem. As for the rest of the Top 6...
  11. DaRick

    How should we treat the Europa league?

    In the group stages, just play second-string sides for the most part. Once we enter the KO rounds, we can contemplate playing our regulars. It really depends on how much chance we have of making Top 4. As it stands we have quite a good chance of doing so and so in that light I think that the EL would serve as an unnecessary distraction. Should that change (or look like changing) then we should then go all out to win the EL.
  12. Lucas Perez apparently refusing to warm up for West Ham now... Seems that the West Ham circus just keeps on a rollin' regardless.
  13. Meanwhile, Everton have been disappointing at home versus West Ham - Yarmolenko showing why he was highly rated while at Dynamo Kiev with a curling left-footed effort past Pickford from range. A bit ominous to see West Ham kicking into gear just in time to face us...
  14. DaRick

    Herman Crespo - Home and Away

    My favourite Argentine player. He never really felt comfortable in England, but 20 goals in 49 games is a respectable record.