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Everything posted by SydneyChelsea

  1. Although from a personal ethical standpoint I am against clubs pursuing players as assets, this is the legal reality that players have to abide by in the current system. I think one thing that is fundamentally missed in a lot of the subsequent commentary is that Chelsea only commenced proceedings against Mutu when he started shopping himself to other clubs; to the club it appears a unilateral breach of contract. The legal argument is essentially that he took one of the club's assets (his footballing ability), deliberately devalued it and ended its association with Chelsea (through his own actions by taking drugs) and then moved that asset for free to another business (Serie A clubs) who initally were not required to compensate Chelsea. It means he profited from the situation and did not compensate the club. This same situation is codified in the Spanish transfer system, where players are able to buy out their contracts and have a club assist them with cost if they wish to transfer clubs (the transfer fee). Had Mutu done this properly he would have surely sought advice on the new clubs compensating Chelsea appropriately (ie paying a fee and not trying to jump on a bargain sale). It's obviously tempting to characterise Chelsea as the big bad business harrying a former employee, particularly in an age where drug law liberalisation gains increasing popularity. What has become clear during the course of these trials is that Chelsea did actually extend offers of appropriate support and the chance for Mutu to deal with the problem in-house but this was roundly ignored, hence the argument of unilateral termination. The real villains of the piece are in fact the Serie A clubs who courted Mutu, sensing a freebie but ultimately abandoning him when it was decided they actually needed to pay. Once these clubs washed their hands of the matter Mutu realises he was saddled with their debt and blame and resorts to every appeal possible. Legal stuff aside, I question whether Mutu's conduct would pass muster in the experience of an ordinary working person. Would my employer allow me to deliberately devalue one of their sensitive assets, then move it at a bargain rate to a competitor? Hell no, most working people would be in a world of legal trouble. So why should a multi-millionaire be exempt? When you add in that the club offered genuine support and he refused, instead seeking to leverage the situation to win a transfer elsewhere, and then doubling down on appeal when FIFA ruled his buying clubs needed to share the burden, it becomes a sad story with no real winners but in actual fact Chelsea have the least to blame. Chelsea could yet turn this into a huge win by reducing or excusing him the monetary debt but the clubs who exploited the situation and Mutu have gotten away scot-free.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. There is no free dataset for the time period you are looking at. WhoScored is the closest and they only have data from 2008 onwards. You will probably need to purchase the dataset from Opta.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Think we dodged a bullet not signing him. Just doesn't have the pace to be a top player in his position, and a history of knee injuries doesn't bode well. Everything about him screams Mata to me, good player but just not good enough.
  15. It was made clear that Zidane never wanted him, having full faith in Navas, and a lot of Madrid fans share that view.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Fekir strikes me as a Mata-type player; skilful, decent goalscorer but lacks the pace to be a top top threat. I think he would still fit in really well and would be a major statement of intent, but there will be better players available next season.
  19. f**k me Azpilicueta is a good looking bloke.
  20. 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).
  21. Great signing. At his best, Kovacic plays with shades of Toure or Vieria, or Essien at his best.
  22. A release clause in Spain applies to only the selling party and the player. A player is entitled to buy himself out of his contract at any time and the release clause is the agreed price. Where it gets interesting is that only domestic clubs are allowed to meet the clause directly; overseas clubs must meet the clause requirements, plus taxes (VAT, income tax on the transfer payment) which makes it significantly more expensive. That's why Barca, Madrid, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid appear to stock their teams with Spanish players on the cheap. If Kepa's fee is just €80m, either his actual clause is in the €35-40m range or Athletic Bilbao were willing to sell and waive taxes.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.

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