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Everything posted by SydneyChelsea

  1. Pedro is playing in a role very familiar to him from his Barcelona days. He was such a valuable super-sub to them because of his tactical intelligence and work off the ball. While he is suited to the system, it is daft to plan a system around a 32 year old. Willian can play the same role, but he needs instruction to do so.
  2. No it really didn't, Ivanovic was targeted from 2013 onwards. Even so, Ivanovic remained an actually excellent defender, but it became increasingly clear that he couldn't do both attack and defence. Alonso is ruthlessly effective in attack and having Jorginho and Hazard in this form makes that doubly so but I think the key difference between him and Ivanovic is that currently there are more glaring issues with our defence (Luiz), whereas Ivanovic was the main issue. My hope is that having Kante in a "free" role (as opposed to sitting above the defence) will allow him to cover our fullbacks more effectively once he adjusts to the tactical changes.
  3. Squad investment isn't the answer. The consistent issue with Mourinho is that he relies on the transfer market to fix tactical problems. Football has moved on from the plucky counterattacking football of Mourinho and Benitez and the mid 00s. Mourinho has become a tactical dinosaur because of his stubborn refusal to coach organised attacking play.
  4. Problem with Alonso is the same as Ivanovic under Mourinho. A great attacking threat who doesn't have the pace to get back and defend. We found with Ivanovic that the former didn't outweigh the latter so let's hope it doesn't come to that with Alonso.
  5. He's done for as a coach at the top level. For the sake of his health and reputation he needs to take time away from the game.
  6. Well it's not that hard to understand the context. Sarri's Napoli were, on paper, arguably a weaker side than Walter Mazzarri's side that we beat in 2011 for example, and while Napoli were a strong team they were emblematic of a much stronger Serie A overall than that of the mid 00s.
  7. Mosquitoes are the deadliest creature in the world to humans. They kill over a million people a year due to the infections that they spread. Malaria is the most obvious killer but dengue fever, yellow fever etc are far more deadly.
  8. Players like Jorginho always bring out the worst in pundits. On one hand you have pundits who, upon Jorginho making a 5 yard backpass, condescendingly tell us that we just don't "get" Jorginho and what he offers to the team, how we just don't comprehend his tactical and technical brilliance and no one can pass a ball five yards like he can. On the other hand you have pundits who, upon seeing Jorginho doesn't run like a headless chicken, immediately dismiss him as a liability and a soft, a bit feminine even, no place in the thunderous masculinity of English football.
  9. The regal way he moves the ball when pressured, passes the ball backwards with confidence and self-assurance, the way he rarely gets forward and allows his teammates to shine in attack...I know it's early days but I can't stop seeing the resemblance in him. It's like we've finally replaced Mikel.
  10. Pedro has always been a "coach's dream" sort of player. All his managers from Guardiola to Conte have spoken one way or another about his tactical awareness and goalscoring nous. He is just the ideal squad player; he has played with the likes of Hazard, Messi, Iniesta etc and yet wins their respect as a matchwinner and teammate. Obviously his physical skills are on the decline but he can still make a contribution and set an example of professionalism few can match.
  11. One thing I really like about him is that he actually catches the ball. We haven't had that in a keeper since Cech. Courtois was so frustrating constantly parrying shots, you'd have your heart in your mouth into someone swept away the rebound.
  12. It was made clear that Zidane never wanted him, having full faith in Navas, and a lot of Madrid fans share that view.
  13. I agree that we have a midfield that has the potential to get the best out of him. With Jorginho creating from deep and Kante working defensively, it immediately eliminates two of the problem jobs for Kovacic. I reckon the key is to keep it simple for him, either carrying the ball in transition or running hard off the ball to make opportunities for Jorginho/Kante/Hazard. The problem so often with players who are talented at everything is that coaches are reluctant to let them specialise and I think Kovacic has been a victim of this.
  14. www.goal.com/en-au/amp/news/the-mateo-kovacic-mystery-why-croatia-ace-has-struggled-so/28linowbbawn1fbw3fswesbxn Interesting, if somewhat sobering article on Kovacic. 24 and he struggles to identify his best position at the top level of football. He's clearly a player with a lot of natural talent but his circumstances are limiting.
  15. f**k me Azpilicueta is a good looking bloke.
  16. He is potentially a top level player but his career stagnated at Madrid because of Isco's renaissance. Kovacic is often unfairly compared to Modric because they share the same nationality but he is more akin to Ivan Rakitic of anything. He's tall, strong, quick and has very good dribbling skills that allow him to carry the ball on the counter-attack. I think he will suit Sarri's style more than most, as his skillset is very similar to Marek Hamsik (though not a proven goalscorer).
  17. It's nice to read a wave of positivity around the club of late. Hudson-Odoi certainly made a big impact on people this pre-season. However when a youth coach with the record and experience of Sarri tempers expectation, we would do well to listen. The 17-year-old body is not designed to train and play at the intensity that first-year footballers experience, and as someone already pointed out in this thread, the Premier League's record on teenage superstars is actually pretty damning over the last 10-15 years. For every Rooney or Fabregas there's been untold Jack Wilsheres, Michael Johnsons, Ross Barkleys etc and even then, Rooney arguably looks spent beyond his years. Bellerin, the player who put CHOs name in lights at his expense, serves as a warning. Once the fastest player in the league, niggling and major injuries have robbed him of his former speed. Ousmane Dembele, who CHO resembles most closely in style and talent, should be another cautionary tale, copping two knee injuries in his debut season for Barcelona. And while knee injuries are not longer the career death sentence they once were, let's hope that CHO is treated in such a way that we remember him for more than a pre-season ragging of a Arsenal has-been.
  18. I think Hazard's best days are starting to be behind him, but at the same time we are not in a position to sell. Even if we were to take 220m we would not be able to purchase a player to directly replace him because we are not in the Champions League. He is worth far more to us as a player than an asset right now. If we were to accept a massive bid, we realistically would not be able to spend it and see a return on it until next season, by which time inflation would reduce the value of Hazard's transfer. Champions League qualification is the ultimate prize, worth 100m in finances itself. I'd rather use keep Hazard and sell him for 100m in a year's time than accept a useless 200m now.
  19. At Chelsea, we call them Jose's Jilted Lover's Club. Right @Liam?
  20. It seemed Bakayoko was playing the deeper of our two CMs, with Kante pushing more forward. I wonder if that was by design or by choice? It makes sense away from home to a team like Atletico. Obviously we don't want to throttle his best asset but it shows great discipline from a young guy who is naturally accustomed to powering forward with the ball.
  21. We Chelsea fans are so conditioned to managers coming to Chelsea and proclaiming they want to stay here from decades only to be sacked months later, that it would be a welcome irony if the man to buck that trend is the one who insisted he was leaving all along.
  22. That's hardly an unpopular opinion. In fact it's probably the closest thing you get to unanimity on this forum.
  23. It's a tricky one, but I understand now why the club would see someone like Matic (depth issues aside) as disposable. Matic's style has made him a liability against high-tempo sides in the past, particularly where we are not in control of the game. He was found consistently chasing the shadows of Alli, Dembele etc. Bakayoko promises to add a dynamic to the midfield that realistically we haven't seen since Essien was at his peak.
  24. Pretty sure it derives from the Latin mea culpa

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