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Everything posted by DaRick

  1. Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the fireworks that scatter over the page if you type 'Chelsea FC' into Google are a nice touch.
  2. Looks like we'll be talking about 'one night in Porto' alongside 'one night in Munich'. One cannot reasonably describe the kaleidoscope of emotions that I feel right now, but I'll try and synthesise them into two neat little phrases: LONG LIVE CHELSEA! CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!
  3. I watched it a lot 20 years ago or thereabouts (when it was popular in Australia), and I still revisit it every once in a while. You must be from a country where Dragon Ball was more popular. I only saw a little bit of Dragon Ball because it was on cable TV here rather than free-to-air (unlike DBZ). @Scott Harris would confirm that DBZ was far more popular in the Anglosphere than DB was.
  4. Maybe he meant that Frank didn't seem to be able to demoralise the opposition with his moaning, because that's what that poster would probably have been doing if he was in Frank's position,
  5. Wow, when I last turned in, it was half-time. From what I could tell, we struggled to break down a well-drilled defensive line? So what happened? Did some of Kai's positional magic open up space for someone? Did Werner win another of his penalties using that electrifying acceleration he has? Is Ben Chilwell suddenly a quicker, more agile Marcos Alonso? So many questions, not all of them good, and so possibly not all of them can be answered properly! Jokes aside, can't argue with 4-0! KEEP SMASHING THAT CRYSTAL!
  6. If the PL really wanted to gift Liverpool their PL title then they would have just done what the Belgian Pro League did - cancel the season early and award the runaway leaders (Club Brugge) the title. It's pretty obvious that the real reason why the season was completed was because of non-football related factors (i.e. broadcasting/sponsorship).
  7. For mine Zappacosta embodies the Chelsea squad player: he puts in an honest shift and doesn't disgrace himself when he plays, but his overall output falls short of the expectations that we place on our first-teamers. But in the midst of all that mediocrity are bound to exist one or two glorious moments that sear into your conscious. I'll never forget that goal against Qarabag - it might have been a happy accident, much as Zappacosta probably regards his time at Chelsea as being a happy accident, but wow, what a strike! I hope he does well at Genoa. They would want him to, given how they've been circling the relegation zone over the past couple of seasons. Anyway, no hard feelings Davide. We'll always have Qarabag.
  8. I thought his debut was average, but not really awful. He showed some good movement at times, but the 4-2-2-2 requires more defensive ability from the 2 AM's than he actually has. His work rate and defensive acumen are the weakest parts of his game, and it showed. He almost conceded a goal because he was watching the ball rather than Lewis Dunk.
  9. Unfortunately I couldn't watch this game live, but the highlights gave me the following impressions: - Our performance wasn't great. Frank's decision to use a 4-2-2-2 was clearly influenced by Leipzig and thus designed to help Werner acclimatise. Werner himself did looks good, as others have said. He's obviously rapid, but he also showed good movement to stretch Brighton's defence throughout the game and good anticipation to latch on to that pass from Jorginho and win the penalty. However, there were other issues with the formation. Mount did well because the attacking midfielders in a 4-2-2-2 not only need to display good movement off the ball but also need to track back. Those are Mount's strengths. Unfortunately, the one thing that was consistently criticised about Havertz was his relative lack of work rate and defensive acumen, and it showed. Lewis Dunk almost scored because Havertz was ball-watching and so failed to mark him properly. Kante and Jorginho were fine - the latter dictated the tempo as he always does, while Kante was his willing self. He's been playing as a kind of volante for a couple of seasons now, so his role in this game wouldn't have required a major adjustment. Our full-backs are probably not suited to the formation long term - Alonso is Alonso, while Reece James is less a two-way full back and more somebody who gets up the pitch a bit and then crosses the ball (he had a great game, mind). To consistently get the best out of him, I think you probably need an attacker ahead of him to cover the space near the byline, because James seems to lack the pace and energy to do that. So I'm sceptical that 4-2-2-2 is the long-term answer. - Ruben should have suited a 4-2-2-2 reasonably well because his role was to interact with teammates by linking up play. So he had some freedom to roam and look for the ball. Unfortunately he just looked as if he hadn't played for a decade. - More of the same from Kepa. No obvious howlers but beaten by a long shot yet again. This one was very well-placed, but Kepa's positioning was again not ideal and he seemed slow to react to it. He got a touch on it, which suggests that he could possibly have kept it out had his positioning and anticipation been better. - Zouma was excellent. Neither of Brighton's forwards are the strongest, quickest or tallest and Zouma took full advantage of that fact by bullying them both aerially and on-the-ground. His game on-the-ball was ugly as usual, but it worked. - From Brighton's POV, Graham Potter's 3-5-2 did a decent job cancelling out Frank's 4-2-2-2, because it not only gave them an extra-man in defence, but their wingbacks more freedom because Havertz and James aren't really two-way players. As usual, they created a lot but couldn't finish and (regrettably from a patriotic perspective) Ryan had a poor game. They should come about 15th again, but to rise up the table they need someone besides Maupay who can actually score goals. - On this showing, we're going to struggle against Liverpool. 3 at the back will not work against a 4-3-3 with two inside forwards with lethal pace, acceleration and off-the-ball movement, especially since our wingbacks are not the quickest. There are no great options, but given the personnel matching their 4-3-3 may be the best solution because our fullbacks will be protected more and Kante will be given more freedom to win the ball than he would be in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2.
  10. Arsenal has improved defensively, but I don't think they create nearly enough, and over the long run Willian will not be the creator that they need.
  11. Apparently he might have gone and changed his mind. Part of me thinks, "What a soft cock! All that drama for nothing!" Another part of me sympathises with the man who faced the prospect of leaving his childhood club. Another part is relieved that he won't power up Man City. Another part is mildly peeved because I don't like Barcelona.
  12. Obviously his father is his agent. I don't see any evidence that Messi is willing to drop this matter, and while the Barcelona board are drooling nitwits, it would IMO take a special kind of drooling nitwit to potentially let Lionel Messi go on a free.
  13. Even Fernandinho isn't that germane to this discussion because in his Shakhtar/early Man City days he was less of a box-to-box midfielder in the Essien/Kante mould and more of an all-round midfielder - to be sure, there were aspects of a ball-winning/box-to-box midfielder there, but he also functioned as a bit of a regista, in that his passing was (and remains) very good and he had just enough vision to bring the ball out from the back and properly distribute it. That was never true of Essien or Kante.
  14. Apples and oranges, with respect. There was more to Drogba and Terry than their physical attributes. Both also were key leadership figures. Unfortunately, Kante is much more like Essien - his game is built primarily around his physical attributes. Once those go he won't be anywhere near the same player. Plus in technical terms he is IMO even more basic than Essien was - he's a less accurate passer and has a more erratic first touch, so it's not like you could try and reconvert him into a regista or anything (I know you weren't suggesting that BTW). Also, while he is a nice guy he has never struck me as being a natural leader. He impresses me as more of a supportive type of personality who works hard for the team's benefit and gets good results. If his style of play is catching up with him - and there are signs that it might be, in light of him nearing 30 and his ongoing fitness problems - then we would do worse than to consider a stupid offer should one come in, given his general lack of suitability for Frank's intended style of play and our ongoing issues at GK (replacing Kepa won't solve everything, but it would for mine do a great deal). If one doesn't come, of course, then I wouldn't suggest that we should rush to sell him. He's shown that he can do a job in the bigger games, when we set up more defensively. But it doesn't seem that he's as irreplaceable as he appeared even a season ago.
  15. Well, I guess the title "Nothing at All" wouldn't attract too many viewers now, would it?
  16. The day that QPR cease to exist will be a good day, indeed. The very definition of a cruddy, two-bit club. A veritable skidmark on the buttock of English football, and indeed football worldwide. Probably on Mars, too.
  17. It's been inferred because we've been linked to him for a long time.
  18. Ivanovic overtook him after he got injured and after it became clear that this Bosingwa was a shadow of the one we saw in 2008/09. Nobody has criticised his initial performances for the club in any depth, and I don't remember him being good enough to hold his own on account of his pace and ability to intercept the ball (both had mostly gone by the time he left). Beletti started off alternating with Paulo Ferreira and Essien for right-back, then became a utility player. Obviously my brain cells are decaying. IMO Filipe Luis acquitted himself well during his season here, at least when he played. He did look a bit lightweight at times, but given his performances I thought he was hard done by. Still got a PL and League Cup winners medals! And we sold him back for a reasonable amount anyway. I addressed the fourth bolded part above. At face value, I tend to agree because the language barrier would at least ostensibly reduce communication issues. However, context matters. Basically, whether or not a transfer is 'good' depends on: 1) the player's cost, 2) the type of player you want, 3) at what time, and 4) in what position. Also, playing for Sunderland (as Marcos Alonso did prior to joining Fiorentina) doesn't guarantee that you'll be a key player in a 2016/17 PL win.
  19. Yeah I was less than enthused about Pulisic's signing, but he surprised me. I'm not enthused by this one either, but surely Frank's smart enough to make this work?
  20. Bosingwa was actually pretty good in his first season (2008/09) but after his injury in early 2009/10 he was a far diminished shadow of the FB we saw before. Belletti was just a utility player who'd fill in from time to time, with the odd long-range strike (notably against Spuds). He was about as useful as he could been given his advancing age and unstable gametime. Zhirkov couldn't get past Malouda (in-then career best form) and so Zhirkov often had to moonlight as a left-back. That game against Bolton (2009/10), where he ran Bolton's right-back ragged and curved in a cross for Anelka to finish, showed what he could have done under more felicitous circumstances. David Luiz's time here has been marred by inconsistency, but you can't call him a failure given his efforts in securing countless trophies. He was outstanding in 2016/17. The point, though, is that for all of the bolded there were extenuating circumstances, such as the trophies this lot gave us, that make us forgive their flaws and inconsistencies. RE your point, I agree that it is a bit of a crapshoot to go for players in foreign leagues. Not just due to language issues, but also because each league has it's own general style. I could expound my thoughts on this if asked. However, as we've seen with the likes of Sidwell, Drinkwater and Barkley, Home-grown PL experience is not a guarantee of anything. The player could fly off the rails due to personal issues ala Drinkwater, fail to fit into the club culture (yes, each club's culture is different - a young man from Swansea may find Fulham overwhelming - plus clique culture is a real thing among Anglos), get injured, or just plain disappoint. Of course, there were mitigating factors for the three listed. The point is that both English and non-English players are subject to a variety of factors that could derail any such transfer. RE Chilwell: 50 million pounds? Well, at least it could have been 80! Seriously though, Leicester fans have said that he started well and then trailed off badly after October/November. Chilwell is apparently a reasonably fit player, so this suggests that we may have to rotate him with Alonso/Azpi when required (typically in games against lesser opposition and/or in cup games). No doubt Leicester didn't really have that luxury. Oh, and see if Chilwell can improve here in that respect. Hopefully we won't injure him in the process, though. 😔 Chilwell's defensive positioning isn't all that and I hope Frank recognises the need to get a defensive coach in to deal with our defenders. He is a bit more dangerous going forward than Emerson, particularly with those crosses. EDIT: Leicester's players couldn't take advantage of them, but I can imagine Giroud heading Chilwell's crosses to devastating effect, either into the goal or having an onrushing Werner commit the coup de gras after he holds the ball up. Even Tammy/Werner could take advantage sometimes! He does look rather lightweight and that should be dealt with. Unfortunately, we can't call him a more mobile Alonso because he doesn't have Alonso's lungs or goal threat (though he did score 3 last season - something to work on?). In sum, like all incoming Chelsea transfers, I wish Chilwell the best at this great club! I do have reservations over his transfer in terms of whether his performance justified the expenditure and the implications of him backfiring badly with Chelsea ala Drinkwater. I will say I had reservations over Pulisic's transfer and he proved me wrong. Let's hope Chilwell does the same. His upside is enough for me to hope that he can. The worst-case scenario is that we've wound up with an Emerson/Alonso hybrid anyway.
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