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2018/19 squad

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Really hope we keep Batshuayi and he is given a chance and isn't sent out on loan again. The thought of going into a season with just Morata, Giroud and Abraham is the one area where we look pretty weak.

Not saying Bats improves that greatly, but IF he could perform like he did in Germany, he could quite easily become our main striker. At least give him a chance.

 

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IMHO, this is going to be 2014 season like - how was it - "two big arabian breed of horses  and one little pony". With exactly the same teams.

We've got great players in defense - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz - 3 out of 4 proven, stable, world class ballers. the left back is a bit tricky, but hell, Alonso was in the best team last season and Emerson was one of the biggest talents in the world before the injury. So I'm absolutely fine with the back 4 and their subs.

Midfield - probably our biggest advantage. this is a rock solid mid lane, I can't see any team outplaying, outrunning or get the control over the ball against these 3 - Kovacic, Kante and Jorginho. Even their subs look like bodybuilders - Barkley, RLC, Ampadu - damn, I like the physicality of this group. 4-3-3 is going go bring another revolution to the league - paradoxically one of the greatest formations of all time is barely played nowadays and it will give us huge, huge advantage in this key area. 

the front court is the biggest issue. Even our best player has proven unreliable of scoring goals. Willian has never been a natural finisher - neither with his shots, nor with his assists, nor with the decision-making process. Giroud is a world champion, great forward, but he can be the most useful if he builds his play around the two behind him. Can Willian and Hazard score so many goals as Griezman and Mbappe? I doubt it. If it works out - we'll be in the race, if it doesn't, we'll have to go with Mitchy or, sadly, Morata, and bench Giroud and play static forward, because these 2(Morata and Batschuay) are not capable of getting back, playing quick, with one touch, deflection or tricky touches. Olivier could do that, we saw his contribution for France in WC, but we just need Hazard and Willian sharp enough in front of the goalies. 

Anyway, we strengthened our biggest flaw and turned it into our biggest advantage. this could be very useful for the big games and the away games - this midfield I mean. But at home, against weakest sides, with 3 midfielders not capable of scoring, with untrustworthy Willian and Hazard and big, big question mark in the forward, I expect the banana heel for this team to be the same potential opponent, WH 2014, 19th century opponent. 

 

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1 hour ago, Giordano_Bruno said:

IMHO, this is going to be 2014 season like - how was it - "two big arabian breed of horses  and one little pony". With exactly the same teams.

We've got great players in defense - Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz - 3 out of 4 proven, stable, world class ballers. the left back is a bit tricky, but hell, Alonso was in the best team last season and Emerson was one of the biggest talents in the world before the injury. So I'm absolutely fine with the back 4 and their subs.

Midfield - probably our biggest advantage. this is a rock solid mid lane, I can't see any team outplaying, outrunning or get the control over the ball against these 3 - Kovacic, Kante and Jorginho. Even their subs look like bodybuilders - Barkley, RLC, Ampadu - damn, I like the physicality of this group. 4-3-3 is going go bring another revolution to the league - paradoxically one of the greatest formations of all time is barely played nowadays and it will give us huge, huge advantage in this key area. 

the front court is the biggest issue. Even our best player has proven unreliable of scoring goals. Willian has never been a natural finisher - neither with his shots, nor with his assists, nor with the decision-making process. Giroud is a world champion, great forward, but he can be the most useful if he builds his play around the two behind him. Can Willian and Hazard score so many goals as Griezman and Mbappe? I doubt it. If it works out - we'll be in the race, if it doesn't, we'll have to go with Mitchy or, sadly, Morata, and bench Giroud and play static forward, because these 2(Morata and Batschuay) are not capable of getting back, playing quick, with one touch, deflection or tricky touches. Olivier could do that, we saw his contribution for France in WC, but we just need Hazard and Willian sharp enough in front of the goalies. 

Anyway, we strengthened our biggest flaw and turned it into our biggest advantage. this could be very useful for the big games and the away games - this midfield I mean. But at home, against weakest sides, with 3 midfielders not capable of scoring, with untrustworthy Willian and Hazard and big, big question mark in the forward, I expect the banana heel for this team to be the same potential opponent, WH 2014, 19th century opponent. 

 

I think your pushing it calling Rudiger and Luiz world class ballers.

Also I don't think ampadu will play any games in midfield this season. We have loads of options, and for me he's an outstanding centre back prospects, but at centre midfield, like David Luiz, he isn't going to be good enough. 

Other that though, I pretty much agree. Our season will come down to whether we can score enough goals I think. 

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It was quite refreshing to hear Sarri saying the squad is complete (after the constant moaning last season). I'm not convinced we can challenge for the league, but we should be able to get top 4. My main concern is still with the strikers. Morata is almost useless in front of goal, Bats is leaving on loan and Giroud doesn't score enough, but we will see how it pans out.

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Dave for captain for the season anyone? He’ll be captain tomorrow but I think it should be permanent, he’s a guaranteed starter and one of our best, and most driven players 

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9 hours ago, RMCM said:

Dave for captain for the season anyone? He’ll be captain tomorrow but I think it should be permanent, he’s a guaranteed starter and one of our best, and most driven players 

Either him or Hazard.  I'd be fine with either.

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On 10/08/2018 at 06:54, Nibs said:

Really hope we keep Batshuayi and he is given a chance and isn't sent out on loan again. The thought of going into a season with just Morata, Giroud and Abraham is the one area where we look pretty weak.

Not saying Bats improves that greatly, but IF he could perform like he did in Germany, he could quite easily become our main striker. At least give him a chance.

 

I knew when I posed that it was unlikely. Feel sorry for Bats and I can't see this season being much of a goal-fest!

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59 minutes ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Seen something today saying that Sarri wants to keep Lucas Piazon around for this season... 

That IS interesting. A proper blast from the past. I wonder if he'll play at all? 

Sarri may have blocked him going to AC Milan but maybe one of the other Italian clubs might go in for him. 

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1 hour ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Seen something today saying that Sarri wants to keep Lucas Piazon around for this season... 

Wouldn't another foreign player have to leave to open a spot up? 

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1 hour ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Seen something today saying that Sarri wants to keep Lucas Piazon around for this season... 

What I had originally read, was that it was for the month. That he wanted a good long look at him before deciding if he should go out at the end of this month.

I still think he goes by August 31st

 

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1 hour ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Seen something today saying that Sarri wants to keep Lucas Piazon around for this season... 

I said this in the preseason thread he seems to like him bit he is surely behind CHO and Moses so i cant see him getting any game time unless 1 leaves

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I just realized how big a change our squad had this summer. We changed from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3 and to completely new idea of playing from the back with a new coach. Luiz is back in the spotlight, Jorginho is commanding things from midfield, Kante is in a new advanced role, Alonso has a new role in the back, Moses is probably out of his regular job, Kovacic is in to give us a completely new dimension to our midfield, Tibo is out to give way to a much better keeper with his feet distributing the ball to outfield, Azpilicueta is again a right back, hopefully Callum Hudson-Odoi gets his chance to prove himself after a great pre-season. 

We change a lot don't we... 

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Luiz, is an interesting change in a back four as he always looks capable of a bad error yet it appears that Sarri wants that offensive edge with his better ball skills. I read some time ago that Sarri does not mind conceding as his focus is on outscoring the opposition.

With a stronger midfield and Hazard, Pedro and Willian playing regularly it might feel like we have new offensive players again.

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2 hours ago, Strider6003 said:

Luiz, is an interesting change in a back four as he always looks capable of a bad error yet it appears that Sarri wants that offensive edge with his better ball skills. I read some time ago that Sarri does not mind conceding as his focus is on outscoring the opposition.

With a stronger midfield and Hazard, Pedro and Willian playing regularly it might feel like we have new offensive players again.

You saw two seasons ago Pep insisted on playing with Bravo in goal as it is such a big part of City's system. To be able to build up from the back under heavy pressure. That is the whole basis of his football. To make basic errors as a keeper is much more acceptable if you can make a short pass to your defender instead of hoofing the ball up the field. 

Same goes to defenders who are supposed to be able to crate under pressure. Luiz is very good at that. His ability on the ball is better than Cahill hoofing it up the field to Hazard who has 50-50 chance of getting it. This is why Sarri can use him although 90% of pundits and fans wonder why he is starting. I think he will make some mistakes but who wouldn't. 

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