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opinionsarelike

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  1. In the terms of absolute impact on games, week in week out over a period of years, I reckon Kante is the best midfield player we’ve had. Lampard is a greater Chelsea player due to his part in those great teams between 04-12, and was more damaging at his best. Essien also probably had a higher peak level due to his physical prowess. But in terms of dominating 90 minutes, every week, throughout the span of three-four years (counting his Leicester days), you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s done it better than Kante. He’s the best runner ever to grace the football pitch, and has very underrated technical skills.
  2. Not getting Paredes, especially at this price, would be completely fine. He’s not particularly good, and was always going to be a back up. I also really like Mount, but the board are living in cuckoo land if they believe he a) can play the Jorginho role, b) that Mount is good enough to start most games for us next year or c) that our midfield options are so good that Mount can be the first backup for that player as our most offensive midfielder. The lack of a functional striker has somewhat hid the fact that we lack a working midfield dynamism. Barkley is not it, he’s at best a back up for a top team due to his lack of spacial awereness. Loftus-Cheek has talent, but can’t go through 90 minutes without placing his hands on his hips at 60 min player (which is critical, given that he’s been living as a professional athlete for 4-5 years already) and looks to be about as robust as Sturridge. Kovacic has buckets of talent, but will never give us what we need in that specialist role Hamsik fulfilled for Sarri at Napoli. I’m all for not blowing massive amounts for backups, which Paredes would have been. But the money then would need to be reinvested into the first XI. And if Higuain performs as we only can wish, finding that offensive midfield player should be very high on the priority list come summer.
  3. It's so frustrating and confusing. Some times, the club makes these purchases which seems in line with what the club tries to do. Pulisic is an example of that; young, pacey and can be formed into a better player. Yes, we did probably overpay, but we overpayed for the correct type of player. The club must've known that our striker situation was uncertain last summer. We gave Morata one more chance, which was probably the correct one given the investment and the toxity Conte brought in his last 3-4 months at the club. I don't really want to talk about Giroud, he's in my opinion awful, and we sacked probably the only coach who will work with that sort of player. Safe to say that our gamble didn't pay off. But that's okay, not every gamble pays off. However, the club should have had every scout on the look out for a new striker since August, week in and week out, so that we could get someone in in January if all things went tits up. So, here we are, in January, and the names we are linked to are seemingly Callum Wilson, Gonzalo Higuain and Jamie Vardy. The former will cost a fortune, barely has any knees left and hasn't played a full season in years. Higuain is declining, and will have to move to a faster league. He's also old and a wage drain. Jamie Vardy is a 31 year old striker who lives on the shoulder and running in behind, however we don't get space in behind. How come these are the alternatives we end up looking at, when the club fully knew that we made a gamble on Morata this season? I just don't understand what the club does at times, it makes no sense to me how we try to hardballl sometimes. You have legends like Lampard and Terry, who only got 1 year deals, but then you run the club into such a state of panic that you give out a 1,5 year contract for Giroud? And we're definitely looking at the same for Higuain, Juventus wants him off their books so we'll have to keep him for at least 1,5 years.
  4. No, Sarri was already the coach of Napoli when Paredes was in Empoli. Here’s how I look at the situation. Paredes comes in, and starts a maximum of 15 games a season, because a) whether you like it or not, Jorginho is Sarri’s guy and b) Sarri doesn’t rotate much. So, you’ll spend 30 million on a back up with little room to grow, and I am really against that logic. Secondly, Paredes would play the same specialist role as Jorginho plays now. This role is most likely gone when Sarri leaves, which wouldn’t be the most unnatural thing for Chelsea to do. Barella in the other hand can already do a very good job in all three midfield roles, with the extra bonus being that he can be further specialized in one role later down the road, if the club sees the need for that. This flexibility will be worth its weight in gold when we’re changing our manager and most likely our style once again. When I look at Paredes, all I can think about is Xhaka. Both are world class at spraying the Hollywood ball, however Sarri does not want the Hollywood ball. Both are tough in the tackle, but also indisciplined and slow legged. Both have a mean shot, except when it hits Row Z, which is much more often than not. I think Barella is the better player now, and no doubt will be the better player in the future. In my opinion, Jorginho’s backup can be found within our ranks, seeing as he won’t play many meaningful games at all. Barella has a great relation to Zola, seemingly has an admirerer in Sarri and plays alongside Jorginho in the national team. I believe this little guy will be the future to the next midfield he’ll join. That being said, I fully expect the board to choose the cheaper, easier solution. Signing Barella seems too logical from various aspects that I’m certain they’ll pick the wrong option.
  5. Yes! Spuds let us have the ball so much that Harry Kane felt the need to take two minutes on the ground, despite never being injured, just to try and stop our momentum.
  6. When Mourinho shut down his opponents in the first leg of a cup tie, he was praised with terms such as “masterclass”. Well, if not for a wrongly given goal, I’ve rarely seen us shut down such a good team away from home, and this dates all the way back to Mourinho’s first stint here. Still don’t agree with the criticism of Jorginho either. Referring back to the starter of the thread; remember last year, when we couldn’t play out from the back for toffee? That has changed, and the main factor is Jorginho’s ability under pressure and willingness to get the ball. People expected the reincarnation of Pirlo, but Jorginho’s role is much more akin to Busquets’ role in Barcelona. Jorginho also plays as our third deepest player when in possession. If you’re measuring him on goals and assists, you might as well start measuring centre backs on the same basis. I think this team would be so so so much better with a proper striker up front. It relieves so much pressure having a threat in the middle. Giroud could try until tomorrow and still not get to the first post in time, he’s done and dusted for a top team. Morata is done at the club, and that’s a correct decision, but against Forest he gave us what we needed yesterday. Sarri has solved 50% of the equation, because we are now good in defense. The offensive play will need training ground time, and some new players.
  7. Man City's style is to pass until you find openings. Luckily for them, they are very well drilled (took a year, watch Guardiola's first year for measure - they had plenty of Southampton-games ...), which makes it so that they always have moving targets to hit passes to. The system is the same as all of Guardiola's teams; it is to take control of the ball, never let the opponent get it, and if you lose it you're chasing the ball as hard as you can. That is Sarri's vision of football as well, as a matter of fact he's looked at as a more direct version of Guardiola with his buzzword-esque term "vertical tiki-taka". But it will take time, and there will be games where it will look stale. I'll give you one thing, though, and that is that Guardiola truly understands the value of pace and width. Their two wingers are electric, and hugs the touchline when they don't have the ball. Once they get the ball, they seek to the middle, only to be overlapped by two electric full backs. We have Hazard and Willian on the flanks, or "flanks", because they don't stay wide. Hazard can be excused, he's good enough for it to work most of the time, but Willian serves very little purpose offensively in our team. As far as our full backs go, we have Alonso who I reckon is slower than dirt, and always looks to underlap, whilst Azpilicueta isn't much of a threat going forward. This is my major gripe with Sarri; he sticks with players who I, at least, think as so far off of his vision of high octane football. It's the same mistake Conte and Mourinho made, trusting players who does not perform and/or doesn't fit the system. If anything, that will be his downfall, not his system or style, because that has already proven itself in the Premiership.
  8. Is that why Guardiola beat the points record by some distance playing a style many deem as indirect, with many small and physically not-so-big players?
  9. Fair enough, but why not focus on what Hudson-Odoi actually possesses; great attacking ability and an actual goal threat. Or, look at it like this. Hudson-Odoi must improve in the defensive aspect of the game, but has (potentially) exceptional qualities in the offensive phase. Willian has exceptional defensive skills as a winger, but has produced numbers offensively more akin to a defender his whole career. Both are attacking players, and my understanding of attacking players is that they should contribute more in attack than defense. We need a striker, that's obvious to anyone with eyesight, but when the optimal striker solution seems elusive, the offensive production needs to come from other areas of the pitch. Willian and Pedro have both tried, but can't string 90 good minutes, let alone 3-4 matches, together. Can Hudson Odoi really do worse than two goals and three assists in 20 appearances (most of them starting with the best players available)? I think he would produce more. Would we become weaker defensively? Probably, but that's not where the shoe pinches in this side, we are actually a pretty decent defensive team (which of course is partly due to Willian and Pedro's defensive qualities). And if we really are going to keep banging on about the defensive phase, which arguably is easier to teach than the offensive phase, how is Hudson-Odoi supposed to learn this at the training ground? You need match intensity, repeatedly, in order to improve your actual form in matches - that's the specificity principle in both theory and praxis. I really support Sarri's vision for our team. I like the football, and think it's the way forward in the modern game, but old dogs can't be taught new tricks. I completely understand the pressure of getting results, but when the old dogs don't give you results, the defense of Sarri's selections become, at best, weak.
  10. Barella has cult hero written all over him. I have watched him the last year, and he has all the hallmarks of a great, great modern day midfield player. I think he would be absolutely incredible in Sarri's high octane vision of how football should be played. Not to mention that Zola was assistent coach in Cagliari when Barella got his debut. It almost makes too much sense; getting in a young, two-way midfield player who tackles, runs, shoots and passes well.
  11. I think the movement Guardiola's teams have, with two rampant full backs, two attack minded midfield players and a very mobile trio up front, would have made Jorginho's qualities stick out. It's night and day difference to how the Italian played for Napoli, with their well drilled system and willing off-the-ball runners, and the static players in front of him in today's team (where everyone barring Kanté seems unwilling and/or unable to make good runs). I do agree that it is a hypothetical, but Jorginho was undeniably a big target for Guardiola. Maybe Fernandinho would have played the more difficult matches for them, but then again, Guardiola fielded two number ten's in his midfield against a pretty decent Liverpool-team.
  12. Callum Wilson has respectively 5 (13), 6 (20), 8 (28) and currently 9 (16) goals in Premier League, whilst playing for an offensive minded, decent team. When he played for the best team in the Championship, as a 22 year old, he netted 20 goals in 45 appearances. Tammy Abraham, as a 19 year old, playing for a team that came in 17th in the Championship, had 23 goals in 41 appearances. He then had 5 goals for the third worst team in the Premiership. Now he's back at championship, still younger than what Wilson was when he was there, and has 16 goals in 20 matches for a poor Aston Villa-team. If we were to buy Wilson for the quoted 40 to 50 millions, it would be one of the worst purchases in our history. Can he turn out good? Maybe, though I doubt it, he's just not good enough in my opinion. But that is besides the point; we already have a homegrown, talented striker on our books, born and bred through our system. Wilson is neither young, nor jumping off scale with his quality, and this would be another Drinkwater in the making, leaving another position to be strengthened after a half-arsed purchase.
  13. Another comparison is Sterling. He had an electrifying season during the Slippy G-season, at 19/20 years old, but stagnated. He then massively improved with the proper instructions, given by a manager with a similar philosophy to Sarri, and is now one of the best wide players in the league. Sterling too was seen as all pace and trickery but little end product, just like Pulisic is now. The common denominator is that both are/were young enough to teach them how to make better decisions.
  14. I disagree with most of your post, but on this one I even have Guardiola's backing. Jorginho was one of City's biggest target last summer, and would have started there if not for Sarri's arrival in Chelsea.
  15. Giroud has to have one of the most comfortable jobs in the world. He can go through a world cup, playing for by far the best team in the world who won the Cup based on great defensive performances and individual attacking prowess, not register a single shot on target, and still be heavily praised. In the modern game of football, where both mental and physical pace in combination are so important, Giroud is more or less a dinosaur. It's not really about what he has, because he's decent at his niche, it's what he doesn't have, which is everything else. He isn't quick enough to get his shot off regardless of where he's at on the pitch, he isn't quick enough to get on the end of crosses, he isn't quick enough to stretch the opposition and create space for team mates, he isn't quick enough to press effectively. When Conte wanted his target man, whether that was Llorente, Benteke, Giroud or another big lummox, that was the moment I saw no future for him at our club. As a club, we've gone from being the underdogs to becoming a force in European football. Conte's ancient vision of what a striker should be; you'd be hard pressed to find a team in the last 15 years who's succeeded with that sort of striker up front. The Horst Hrubesch's of the world doesn't work anymore. Not because they aren't there, but because football is played at such a pace that they can't keep up. Defenders are slowly becoming sprinters, and gone are the days where the likes of Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister could patrol the 18 yard box at a walking pace. It's actually kind of funny, because Giroud and Morata represents two complete opposites. For all the grief I am giving to Giroud, he truly does give his all. He's a cult hero in that sense. His problem is that his 100% is 50% too little. Morata on the other hand, gives 50%, when his 100% would probably have been good enough. They are both crap, just in their own, unique way.

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