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SydneyChelsea last won the day on December 30 2016

SydneyChelsea had the most liked content!


About SydneyChelsea

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  1. Remember that transfer fees are usually amortised now, so 100m is really 'only' 20m/year which is a pindrop compared to Real's revenue.
  2. Conte and Juve weren't even the first in Italy to popularise Three-at-the-back formations. Walter Mazzari's Napoli made it fashionable again, including against us in the Champions League in 2012. Brendan Rodgers used it to great success with Liverpool in 2013/14. 3-4-3 will probably supplant 4-2-3-1 as the formation of choice come next World Cup, and no doubt we will see more boring "analysis" on the trend. With most teams opting for a lone striker and overlapping fullbacks, it gives you a good chance of a numerical advantage on the counter.
  3. You say that, and a lot of people believe it because it's comforting, but is it actually true? Firstly, Arsenal have had their fair share of "nasty" players over the last decade, with this year's 30m signing Granit Xhaka chief among them, yet they are no closer to the title than ten years ago. Secondly, of the teams that have actually won the title, only Man City with Nigel De Jong comes to mind as a team who had a player as embracing of the dark arts as Diego Costa. And what about Ferguson's title winning sides, or Mourinho's? Did any of those have a player on Costa's level? At Liverpool, Suarez made Costa look like a saint, and yet they didn't win anything. Tottenham are consistently dirty against the top sides, and yet they were beaten out by Leicester and eventually Arsenal too. There is no question that competitiveness is important, and some players have it more than others, but unfortunately Costa crosses the line of competitiveness. We just conflate aggression with competitiveness because it's more outwardly observable.
  4. Decided to have a look at this since again, it's a testable argument. I used the stats at again, and as per your argument I went looking for 'decisive' contributions. I looked at any change in game state that significantly changes the player's team's chances of winning (e.g goals at 0-0, 1-0, equalisers, game-winners) and excluded games where they scored 'consolation' goals or late goals in drubbings. I took into account EPL, FA Cup and Champions' League games. Both players have a similar number of appearances and assists so I excluded them as well. Lukaku has had 11 decisive contributions this year. Kane has had 12. So Kane might be slightly better on paper, playing at a higher level and in a few less apperances, but Lukaku also stands out in a significantly worse team. I think we're splitting hairs if we're comparing the two, because Kane is certainly not "miles" ahead of Lukaku as above. Oh and as per my previous post, both are "flat-track bullies", with Kane slightly more likely than Lukaku to fill his boots in one game, but as pointed out before these sorts of players are just as integral if we want to be competitive in the league.
  5. I've been watching more of Morata this year and while I think he's an excellent attacker, I don't know if he's the striker that we need, or if he's a direct replacement for Diego Costa. One of the things we will lose if Costa leaves is a more-or-less clinical finisher who will get 25-30 goals per season. Morata doesn't strike me as exceptionally clinical nor much of a finisher in general. He is an excellent creator both on and off the ball, and he would fit leading the line to a tee, but if we sign him we would also need to sign a guaranteed goal threat. He's a good goalscorer, he scores in important games, but we need someone who can score regularly against Bournemouth, Stoke and Newcastle away just as much as we need someone to score against Arsenal in the FA Cup. Perhaps he's a little like Karim Benzema in that he's a perfect "glue" for an attacking trident, but not capable of being the main goalscorer.
  6. When we're talking about consistency of scoring, the numbers above show otherwise. For the record, Lewandowski also hits that magic number of 60%, but obviously in a much weaker league.
  7. A couple of people have raised the argument that Lukaku's goal return is explained by him scoring lots in one game followed by dry spells. I guess the argument from some seems to be that a player who scores in many games of a season is better than one who scores just as many but in fewer appearances. This is a testable prediction, so let's look at the statistics. To quantify this, i've used the records from which keeps track of what games players have scored in. We then divide that by the total number of appearances to see what percentage of total games the player scores in. For time's sake these stats are not perfect, as they include all competitions - they could be cleaned up by looking at league appearances only. However, since the argument above relates to the frequency of the player scoring ignoring all other factors, we don't lose out on too much. That said, if accuracy grates you, feel free to look it up yourself and correct! Also, I excluded the obvious suspects (Ronaldo and Messi) and also the likes of Cavani and Lewandowski who are a top-class players in a league obviously below their station, thereby skewing their stats. It's fairly obvious that these guys both score lots, and score often, and that's why they're the best in the world. I also included Vardy and Giroud's "best ever" seasons as they were integral to their team's fortunes that season. 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15 Suarez 56% 62% 42% Costa 58% 44% 61% Aguero 42% 38% 49% Kane 47% 38% 43% Higuain 47% 54% 35% Vardy 48% Giroud 34% Lukaku 53% 39% 33% I think most people would agree that Suarez, Costa, Aguero, Kane and Higuain are all around the same level of talent, however it is clear to see that Costa and Suarez score lots of goals but significantly more often than the others' in this list. If we look at the numbers, we see that exceptional strikers score in around 60% of their appearances, as evidenced by Suarez and Costa's best seasons. "Good" strikers tend to at least score in about 40-50% of their appearances. Lukaku's record is not all that different from Higuain/Aguero/Kane, and it's clear to see he's made a huge improvement scoring in 53% of his appearances this season. The idea that he pads his record against certain teams, as opposed to scoring regularly, is a bit of a myth. Sure, he's not in the same class of Costa or Suarez when it comes to consistency but there are also excellent strikers out there who also miss out. That said, when we bring some more context into these statistics, there are many more questions that need to be answered for my money, particularly on whether Lukaku is a suitable direct replacement for Costa. Lukaku, unlike virtually all the other strikers on this list, is the primary attacking threat in his team. This season, he's creating roughly as many shots and being as clinical as Costa (, albeit with much more time on the ball. It's hard to say that playing in the Chelsea system would reduce his effectiveness or increase it because he's actually playing with other genuine attacking threats. If he can maintain his current level of chance creation and finishing ability, then he'd be an unquestionable success. Getting Lukaku is one thing, but I think we also need to consider a replacement for Pedro/Willian too if we truly want to get to the next level, and that makes Lukaku's price tag look rather unappealing.
  8. Unfortunately due to law changes, the only place you can easily watch midweek games is The Star. There is also the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills, but it's usually full of West Ham and Spurs fans.
  9. You realise "tika taka" turned one of the worst Barcelona sides of all time into a world-conquering force, right?
  10. How do you know this isn't actually the case? Agents 'agree terms' on behalf of their clients all the time. Other than that, it's nothing like "slander" so maybe we can untwist those knickers now? On another note, isn't it great to read through a thread on a football forum and see not-so-subtle xenophobia go unchallenged. What a f**king joke. When non-Brits behave in the exact same way as British clubs have been behaving for decades it is apparently a cause for moral panic. Football has always existed in an economic bubble. Serie A clubs spending big in the 90s is functionally no different to Man United, Madrid and Chelsea in the early 00s, City and PSG more recently or now China. Money is what drives success in football. If that wasn't the case then Arsenal would win trophies. Here's the thing; your precious Little England doesn't have any sort of implied right to the best players. The English Premier League is not the Holy Grail of football. Dismissing players who choose to play in China is rich when for the last two decades the EPL as a whole has relied on it's superior wages to attract players, let alone what we've done at Chelsea. Private investment from China is not a threat but a natural change to the market. There is no reason why, given the level of investment, the best players in the world should not go to China and make the Chinese Super League the best league in the world. Money breaks tradition, and given how much sh*t our club has endured by bitter fans around this very fact, arguing against that is laughably hypocritical. "f**k China"? f**k Europe, f**k UEFA, and f**k tradition, I say. Couch it in whatever reason you want, but I suspect some people are not being honest and just saying they don't like the idea of non-Europeans being major players in football.
  11. Just read this forum. People were arguing he was sh*t, because Mourinho couldn't make a mistake.
  12. Pushed out Mikel #ConteOut
  13. I'm not sure where this nonsense is coming from to be honest. What evidence is there that shows the media is not giving him credit? How does that sit when every outlet from the Mirror to the BBC are starry-eyed over how the 3-4-3 has supposedly revolutionised the EPL?
  14. I'm not a jinx, I promise. Alli has been playing so far forward he has effectively been playing as a second-striker and the 3-5-2 vs 4-4-2 situation I described above unfortunately may have played out against us. The reason why I mentioned Spurs, City and Liverpool in my earlier post is because they sit at the intersection of having the correct players to exploit the "weakness" in our tactics. One of the problems with specialisation in football is that we tend to pigeonhole our players a bit, and Alli is one of those elite midfielders who never quite fits a neat pigeonhole. He's just a bit of a nightmare matchup for our squad as it is, to be honest, being both a physically and technically talented player who can dribble, score, defend and assist, and is able to use these attributes in other positions (such as operating as a second striker) and loves to play wide and come centrally. Alli was always going to be a problem player because if he played in central midfield, he was too good a dribbler to press effectively, and if he played in attack, he'd exploit the 'weakness' of the 3-4-3 system by playing in the vacant space out wide while also having a favourable matchup against Azpilicueta or Cahill (for different reasons). As I said before the weakness of a back-three formation is that it allows a lot of room between wingback and the outside central defenders, which means plenty of space and chances to cross. In most of our games this season, it hasn't been a problem because our back-three were mopping up crosses against lone strikers all game long. With Dele Alli playing so far forward it allowed Spurs to have at least two bodies in the box at all times, which is much harder to handle. Add to that Alli was matching up on Azpilicueta, and you can see the problem. You can even see that Kante and Matic "let" Eriksen take the cross thinking it's a less riskier option than pressing him. At the end of the day though, It's a real stretch to say Tottenham dominated us and on another day we probably take home the draw if not more. We know the weakness in the system is that we will concede more chances from crosses, but I'd bet Conte is willing to take that risk because crosses are inefficient. If a team wants to try and win by pinging crosses at our back-three we will still probably win more than lose. I think Conte will be more frustrated that we didn't create more chances, and for me too, that's probably a question more worthwhile answering.