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  1. Vagabond

    Mateo Kovačić

    In the current lineup with the false 9 he is helping Alonso and Willian, if Morata/Giroud are on the pitch he's creating space for Eden instead of Willian. He is also helping in build up play which relieves pressure from Jorginho, as well as being able to change the tempo with incisive passes. He also puts in the occasional world class tackle. I also disagree with anybody claiming Kante or Jorginho have been poor overall this season. Alonso and Willian are on/off sadly, but I really don't know how that would lead you to substitute Kovacic for RLC or Barkley as it will only make matters worse.
  2. Vagabond

    Mateo Kovačić

    We are also winning games with 75% posession and 90% passing accuracy, I don't see your point. It's like you're thinking that losing is somehow worse just because we had more posession or that the team with most posession has to win. What matters is the structure of the team and in the current structure Kovacic is a lot more useful as he upgrades the players around him in a way the other two guys don't. Them being keen on getting into the box and scoring the occasional odd goal is all nice and well, but if you're exposing your backline since you already have the offensive Alonso and the defensively deficient Jorginho you're just setting Luiz up for failure when he gets run at.
  3. Despite the general meltdown after that game, I don't think it was that bad. We did hit the post twice. On another day people would've been saying we were just unlucky. I'm positive for this game, because we had our best performances when the opponent is opening up a bit. Strangely enough I'm more concerned about the home games this season than the away games.
  4. Vagabond

    Mateo Kovačić

    Thanks for the welcome, I make it a habit to lurk on a message board for quite a while before deciding wether to join or not. :) You are right. I probably should've written Ruben is not under a similar scrutiny instead of under no scrutiny at all, my mistake. The thing is, there is not even a consensus on what position RLC should play, yet people want him to start. Some instead of Kova or Kante, others instead of Willian, I even heard people talking about Conte's idea to play him as a CF instead of Morata or Giroud. It's weird. The media also very obviously wants him to play because of the national team and doesn't really care wether it is at Chelsea or not, hence his transfer is and on/off topic for journalists and fans alike this season, even though he got a lot more playing time than many expected. That's very good for him and will boost his confidence, but he still has time and he also needs it before being considered a serious starting option. As of right, I would seriously doubt anybodies footballing sense that would start him ahead of either Kovacic or Willian for that matter. He is the first on my substitutions list though most of the time, which is what Sarri does. The reality about Kovacic is that he will not start scoring regularily any time soon, his shooting needs a lot of work and he's not very tall. In Madrid he had others doing the attacking for him (Ronaldo, Bale, Marcelo, Vasquez, Asensio, Kroos.. even Casemiro and Modric) so there was seldomly any need for it. His job was doing the dirty work in midfield, retaining posession and beating presses. La Liga is a lot less physical too, so I wouldn't be surprised if he puts on a bit of additional muscle mass. What I'm trying to say is that many of the requirements are obviously very different now with Morata, Giroud, Willian, Kante and Jorginho not being goal machines. Expecting him to adapt in just a few months is simply a bit much to ask. For Mateo it is still a new country, new club, new league. I tend to say that in football quality always prevails and Kova is pure quality. He will make his way regardless, the question is wether he will do it at Chelsea, Real Madrid or another PL top club. I can not stress enough how sick it would make me feel to see Kova boss the midfield for Arsenal or Tottenham after we let him go.
  5. Vagabond

    Mateo Kovačić

    Oh come on. RLC is a homegrown english lad. You denying that people are looking at him differently than at a guy on loan from RM is just silly. The only reasons to start RLC over Kova are not planning to keep Mateo and wanting to develop Ruben. Both are valid reasons, but at the moment Kovacic is a better player than both Ruben and Ross. Simple as that.
  6. Vagabond

    Mateo Kovačić

    Considering that many fans don't recognize his contribution to the team at all and are calling for RLC to start over him (who is supposed to provide a goal threat but did nothing in the 30 minutes he was on against Leicester... but obviously isn't under any kind of scrutiny)... could you really blame him? He is -after Eden- the most technically gifted player in the squad, provides a constant passing outlet, is as immune to pressing as his countryman Modric, has to cover for Alonso as well as the definsively terrible Jorginho AND could've even bagged two assists yesterday with a good ball on Willian and an ok ball on Hazard. Instead, he was the first player to be substituted and now people are "let's call him out for not scoring goals" Merry Christmas btw.