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César 'Dave' Azpilicueta


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A magnificent servant to the club and rightly will go down as one of our finest fullbacks of all time.

However his levels are really dropping. He never had amazing pace but he is getting slower and slower and making poor mistakes that could have really cost us these last 2 CL games.

I think Frank recognized this that players like him and Alonso their better days are behind them and he tried to get the likes of James and Chilwell to bed in and accepted they would have growing pains.

TT is looking more short term towards extending his contract imo. A good run in the CL and getting Werner and Havertz to perform likely enough, so is basing that on more expierence players.

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3 hours ago, nonotnowjim said:

That's 2 recent close calls on pens that I feel should have been given against him. One against Athletico when he wrapped his arms around a player, and the one last night where he pushed the player in the back. 2 utterly stupid things to do, which had zero benefit to the team. Frankly, I think he was saved in both cases by the players he fouled going down overly dramatically. What happened to "with age comes wisdom?

I think it depends on the player. Azpilicueta has always been your blood and thunder type of player, so he is one of those players that would make desperate tackles when his age starts to catch up with him.

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As the rest have pointed out, the problem with Azpi is as soon as he gets turned easily he has panicked and made rash challenges and his immediate reaction is to pull back the player.

We have been extremely lucky against Atletico and now Porto, and luckily we have had strong referees.

Lets not forget for one minute, if that Atletico penalty was given, we would probably be out, and if Porto got one, this tie would be completely in the balance too. That is not acceptable at this level, and someone of his experience should know better, because at the highest level in two Champions League matches, he has nearly cost us them both.

We also have to remember he did the same thing in last year's FA Cup final, with that clumsy challenge on Abameyang. For me that more or less cost us the cup, and meant we ended up trophyless for the first time in a while.  Someone needs to be having a word with him, but eventually it will come back to haunt us like it did then. And heaven forbid if we make it through to the semis or final, he completely messes it up for us.

 

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Personally see defensive weaknesses in both Azpi and James which is why I think we need to strengthen here in the summer. 

For a couple of seasons Azpi has done that RCB role yet I think the day is now dawning when he may need to be benched before he costs us. 

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Interesting to see some of the comments here - I thought he was brilliant against Porto. Seemed like the one player, above all, who wanted the win. He was particularly influential during that scrappy period in the first half when we had lost control of the midfield. Had we not held strong then we would surely have lost. 

That RCB role suits him to a tee as well. 

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19 minutes ago, Strider6003 said:

Personally see defensive weaknesses in both Azpi and James which is why I think we need to strengthen here in the summer. 

For a couple of seasons Azpi has done that RCB role yet I think the day is now dawning when he may need to be benched before he costs us. 

Both of their weaknesses at the moment is speed. James is a great at defense and offense but he's a bit slow to do both in a span of 5 minutes which is why he doesn't bombard as often.

I think Azpi lost his composure a lot compared to when he was in his prime

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Ballack & Blu said:

Thought Dave looked a bit exposed on the right last night, but still did a half decent job, think a top right back is a must, unless Reece just holds it as his own, a better defender than RWB..

I thought he did fine. I'd say he was largely tasked with halting Marcelo which he did comfortably. I think we've got enough cover at RB. Both James and Dave do well with CHO as needed. 

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I don't remember much going on through his side to be honest. He did quite well against a much oder Marcelo, and even when Vinicius doubled Marcelo, Azpi still hold the defending position. I don't like him as RWB, but he did not do bad last night defensively, it's just that he hasn't got the attacking ability of James or CHO.

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10 hours ago, RMH said:

I don't remember much going on through his side to be honest. He did quite well against a much oder Marcelo, and even when Vinicius doubled Marcelo, Azpi still hold the defending position. I don't like him as RWB, but he did not do bad last night defensively, it's just that he hasn't got the attacking ability of James or CHO.

The problem is, neither do they right now. Neither of them are creating enough, James seems to be struggling to beat his man because he lacks pace and Hudson-Odoi's end product needs a lot of work.

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2 minutes ago, Scott Harris said:

The problem is, neither do they right now. Neither of them are creating enough, James seems to be struggling to beat his man because he lacks pace and Hudson-Odoi's end product needs a lot of work.

Add to that James's end product has become erratic too. Earlier on this season it seemed almost every forward pass or cross looked dangerous. Now the one time he tried against Real has become too normally, overhit. 

Right now Christensen on merit deserves a place in our beat defence, and Dave replacing the RWB allows that.

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2 minutes ago, axman2526 said:

Add to that James's end product has become erratic too. Earlier on this season it seemed almost every forward pass or cross looked dangerous. Now the one time he tried against Real has become too normally, overhit. 

Right now Christensen on merit deserves a place in our beat defence, and Dave replacing the RWB allows that.

Yep, it's crazy how quickly things have changed. It wasn't long ago that we were getting frustrated at our players not scoring from his crosses.

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8 hours ago, Scott Harris said:

The problem is, neither do they right now. Neither of them are creating enough, James seems to be struggling to beat his man because he lacks pace and Hudson-Odoi's end product needs a lot of work.

I agree that James has regressed in the attacking front, but he still has the capacity of going forward and Azpi does that less often than James. That is what we needed though, to attack on Marcelo's side and James would have run him up and down (even if his end product is not as it was, he'd would have carried Real Madrid players out of position and tire them). The same with CHO, he is defensively suspect, but he goes forward and carries defenders with him, unlike Azpi. I love Azpi, but I think that other than defensive solidity he doesn't add much as RWB. I'd rather have him as the RCB or simply a RB in a 4 at the back system.

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I can completely understand Azpi starting at RB against Real. You want experience there to keep the likes of V.Junior and Marcelo quiet, and I thought he did a great job doing that. I can imagine Junior would be causing James a lot of problems if he started, purely due to lack of experience at the highest level.

When James is experienced enough to start huge games, I would then only use Azpi as a centre back and find a back up for James.

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On 29/04/2021 at 07:22, axman2526 said:

Add to that James's end product has become erratic too. Earlier on this season it seemed almost every forward pass or cross looked dangerous. Now the one time he tried against Real has become too normally, overhit. 

Right now Christensen on merit deserves a place in our beat defence, and Dave replacing the RWB allows that.

That is more on how james deliver his cross. James is a fb not a wb. He is at his best delivering from deep not take on player and then cross. 

If you recall james had good partnership with cho last season, same with Willian. Winger who can keep the ball high, attack then create space for james to cross. 

Edited by Bob stark
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1 hour ago, Bob stark said:

That is more on how james deliver his cross. James is a fb not a wb. He is at his best delivering from deep not take on player and then cross. 

If you recall james had good partnership with cho last season, same with Willian. Winger who can keep the ball high, attack then create space for james to cross. 

Fair point Bob.

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43 minutes ago, nonotnowjim said:

Don't think I have ever seen a Chelsea player so knackered as Dave last night. With about 10 mins to go, he had sped forward into an attacking area -  it we lost the ball, and he could hardly move to get back. He left it all on the pitch. Captains performance 

All through the match he had a look on his face that said 'They will not succeed, even if I have to maim that Madrid scum'. Better not have a disagreement with him when he looks like that.

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