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Ready Player One

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About Ready Player One

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  1. Ready Player One

    Two Year Transfer Ban?

    I can't talk about all of the 29 cases, but the Bertrand case, we are bang to rights, and it's amazing we thought we could get away with that.
  2. Ready Player One

    Jorginho is a Blue

    i worry about him, not because he's a bad player (which he isn't IMO, regardless of his relative struggles), but because he doesn't seem to gel with Kante, and "Getting the best out of Kante" will be one of the things the next fella says at his first press conference.
  3. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    Emery's Arsenal are in pretty much the exact same position as us, but no-one is talking about sacking him. We created this high pressure environment for managers, this culture of "player power", and it's not going to change unless we choose to change it. The scenario will be exactly the same for the next guy. Whoever that is. We're dumping girlfriends the first time we see a wrinkle, or grey hair, and wondering why we don't have long term relationships. And no manager who genuinely wants a long term project would touch us with a barge pole, because everyone looking at us knows we're not a long term project. We're a whirlwind romance, but one that could get you a few trophies on a CV and a big payoff when it ends. And that's what managers want from us. The thing is, I don't think we want to change it. I think we do very well out of what we do, and we use that to justify it. But don't expect things like "this manager is the one it will be different for, we'll give him time, he'll overhaul the squad, and integrate the youth". It's not going to happen.
  4. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    United fans were saying the same thing before Solksjaer took over! New manager bounces are a thing. We've done pretty well off them too. If your board genuinely think of them as a tactic on the sport side, you're setting yourself up for a lot of boom and bust. I don't doubt that someone could come in, play more conservatively and go on a run, probably get us top 4. But then the next season you've got the same pressures as the last and the board will do the same the next time things go tits up. So you don't gamble on youth players you've never seen play, cos every loss is one step closer to you being axed for the next bounce. The players who've been there and done that will get the nod on rep alone. No manager who knows they are a bad 10 game run from the sack even if they won the CL or League a few months before is playing unknown quantities. And it creates an atmosphere where those core players can "stop playing for the manager" cos the manager is expendable and they are untouchable, and every set-back just ramps up the pressure on the manager because the club absolutely will sack you for the short term fix. We set that in stone years ago. It's not right or wrong TBF. Like I say, we've done well out of it. But it's boom and bust. One thing it is though, is depressing to watch over and over. Someone asks you if you're excited about your new manager, and you say "yeah, but he'll be gone by christmas". And it's only half joking. But hey. There's been great times too. Never thought I'd see us win what we have. Never thought we'd have this many cup finals and crunch games. Even now, trip to Wembley coming up. Big game. Cup final. Can't ask for much more than that as a fan. Que sera sera.
  5. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    Pressing is really hard TBF. It's hard work. It's difficult to get right against players who are good on the ball and who pass quickly. Sarri knows that, and we actually invite the press ourselves, just like City did today. We drop deep, split the CBs, knock the ball about one touch at the back. We want teams to press us, because it leaves more space for us further up the pitch. If pressing always worked, our tactics wouldn't work. Also, two of our front 3 are Hazard and Higuain, and we're asking those guys to press from the front like they're Shane Long? Against City? That's, at the very least, risky. It played into City's hands, and I don't blame the players. At the same time, if this is what Sarri wants to do, no ifs ands or buts, then from his perspective he may as well do it regardless of whether it works in the short term, and wait for us to give him the right players to compete with City on those terms. The question is whether he'll be here long enough for that wait to pay off. I suspect not.
  6. Ready Player One

    Our Full Backs

    I'm a huge fan of Kante, but today he was arguably our worst player IMO. I don't think he should escape criticism, even if the criticism I could aim most at him was that he was doing what the manager told him. We needed him in front of the defence, not forlornly chasing CBs and getting easily by-passed. In terms of this thread, the FBs were poor too, but again, they were completely exposed. Still, those who want Alonso dropped for Emerson are getting their wish. That sub was Sarri publicly dropping Alonso. There was no other reason for it. I think we're reaching that point where there is going to be "palpable discord" again.
  7. Ready Player One

    Sarri's system, Jorginho and our progress

    I think the "fast-paced" part of that has gone missing. It was great when we did it. Maybe the players lost faith in it. I don't know. But it's slow passing and not much moving right now.
  8. Ready Player One

    Marcos Alonso

    TBF, I agree with this. So rather than get into a conversation that is casting wistful glances at oppo FBs, I'll compare him to Ivanovic. Good player, got important goals, added height to the side (and right now, we are a very small side), but lacked a yard of pace and got caught out sometimes because of it. We could upgrade, sure, but he's good enough, and managers aren't generally breaking the bank for FBs (Conte and anyone with a blank chequebook excepted) so we should probably get used to him. Especially as he is on £150k a week or whatever. Even if we wanted rid, I have no idea who would match those wages.
  9. Ready Player One

    Eden Hazard

    For the very best players in the world, that is exactly what it is.
  10. Ready Player One

    Marcos Alonso

    It is, because it's based on one guy being in the form of his life. Alonso was in the team of the year last year, and no-one was talking about Robertson. Not what I said though. I said it would be equally unfair. It would be the diametric opposite. Neither would be balanced. Never said it was you. Keep your hair on.
  11. Ready Player One

    Marcos Alonso

    TBF Robertson has been the outstanding LB in the league this season. That's not really fair. You could equally say "compare him to Shaw or Young, and we're well sorted at LB because at least we aren't being forced into playing either of those sh*thouses". In fact, the guy who said there isn't a worse player at any top 6 side, well, Utd are top 6 now, and literally every single one of their defenders is utter crap. The standout is Chris Smalling. That says it all.
  12. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    I think our players do "get it" tactically. I think they took to "Sarriball" like ducks to water and our start to the season we played it pretty much perfectly. I think other teams have come up with plans to stop it. They know how we're going to play, and frankly, they know the XI too. There is nothing wrong with any of that per se, teams have game plans to stop other teams, and having a fixed starting XI is a statement of intent that you intent to "do you" rather than worry about them. The problem is, it's working for our opponents and not working for us. Sarri is right if he gets results. He's wrong if he doesn't. Rather than the players not "getting it", I think they are losing a bit of faith in what he's trying to do. I also think a few are questioning whether they are being used correctly. I don't think that decline is terminal though, and hopefully having a proper striker can refocus the team/give opponents something different to think about. I don't have a problem with this, but a lot of people say this is where it went wrong for Jose and Conte. For me, sometimes you should tear into the players. Let it be known that "this" isn't good enough. But it gets used in hindsight to criticise managers for "losing the dressing room". I think the problem for us isn't a manager criticising the players or not, but that we constantly sack managers and the players know it.
  13. Ready Player One

    Maurizio Sarri Officially Appointed

    I remember this quote better. "Transfer Market is the refuge of the weak. It is for those who can't train their players. I'm a coach. Give me a group of players and I will coach them." TBF that's what I'd say if I wanted the Chelsea job too. It's funny, because he is much less of a "make the best of what you have" coach than either Jose or Conte. No pragmatism, no compromises. Sarriball or nothing. Not necessarily a bad thing. But a thing. Some might think it a good thing. And they could be right. Depends how you look at it I suppose.
  14. Ready Player One


    While it's easy to empathise with those who want a more productive player than Willian, I think the other players really like playing with him. He's selfless, works hard, is always showing for a pass, and never hides even when everything is going to crap. He's everything you want in a team-mate, but maybe not what you want as a fan.