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  2. If his contract lasts to 2019, then no one can sign him without our permission till Jan 2019 - the season after next, and even then he is committed to us to summer 2019. So his contract length really is not an issue. The only issue would be is if a Chinese club really wanted him for next January, and were discussing now an offer we could not / should not refuse. Then we'd need a replacement this summer.
  3. Quote of the Week
  4. I think, and I stand to be corrected if wrong, that the rule change since we won the CL that sees the EL winner qualify for the CL allows them to join in addition to, rather than instead of any other clubs from that nation.
  5. Is anyone able to make sense of why, when we won the CL, we knocked Tottenham off a qualification spot, but when Utd win the EL, they dont knock Liverpool off a qualification spot? That seems to be more than a bit daft.
  6. Keeping Costa is going to rely on Costa himself. His contract ends in 2019, he either signs a new deal this summer and stays or he has to be sold. There's no way we can risk taking him into next season with the possibility he becomes available for clubs to sign on a free come January. If he chooses to stay, then I have no issue keeping him, but he has to renew his contract. As for Abraham, talk is that both Newcastle and Brighton are heavily interested in him. Good chance he'll spend a season on loan in the EPL, which will be good for him. Traore is an interesting one. His talent suggests he could get a chance but he's not quite polished enough at the same time. He's very left footed and loves to cut back inside onto that left foot. Any good defender will pick up on this and force him outside, which is where he lacks a little of that dribbling ability and technique to still remain a danger. Judging by what bits and pieces I've seen from his spell at Ajax, it would seem he played more as a left sided AM than a striker. Don't think he'd play much upfront here anyway because he lacks the physical size and strength to lead the line and hold up play. Would definitely like to see some of these better loan players though get a run in pre-season to stake a claim.
  7. Agreed. That's the obvious angle to go for this summer. Unless of course we get started real quick with a good signing or two made official in June;) Other stories likely to run, and run and run is Hazard/Courtois to Real Madrid, Costa to China/A Madrid/Inter/Milan, Willian/Matic to Man U, Azpi to Barca/Real Madrid, Fabregas to Inter/Milan etc.
  8. I think you're straining credibility there Dave. When Jose Mourinho holds up 1 finger in that way it only ever means one thing. That's fair enough when appropriate some might say, although I would much prefer understatement and an unassuming behavioural style myself. In fact, one of the most humorous things I've noticed to come out from last night's victory for Manure is the post-match press conference given by JM, in which he claimed the victory to be a "victory for the humble"! I've got to give it to him there. The idea of JM assuming the role of standard bearer for the humble is akin to Donald Trump claiming his victory was a triumph for the intelligentsia! Even then, JM couldn't stop himself from going too far. He went on to say that it was a victory for the humble because it was a victory for a team that had accepted its limitations and simply tried to nullify the strengths of the opposition and squeeze the best from the far inferior resources and talents at their own disposal. It was an amazing statement from a Manure manager and I wonder what his players might have felt about being portrayed as inferior, plucky johnnies, valiantly overcoming the far superior capabilities of their opponents. Might have sent the wrong message there by talking too much again I reckon. Finally, in that same press conference, (here's the link - http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40043371 ), JM also makes it clear that qualifying for the CL next year by winning a trophy, rather than by finishing 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, is a superior achievement. I don't think so and I don't think you do either. He only said it in a doomed attempt to defray the fact that, after spending a vast amount of money, he had managed to take his team to a finishing position of 6th in the PL.
  9. Today
  10. It's a no brainer when it's based on reputation. Isn't so clear cut when one factors in player form. Since 6/03/17 against West Ham, Costa's had one genuinely good stand out game - his double against Southampton on the 24/04/17, which also included an assist. He scored one against Middlesbrough at the start of this month (8/05) and was solid although not spectacular. Otherwise one would need to go back to that West Ham game for his last genuinely impactful game. In what's nearing nearly 3 months of football, he's scored a total of 4 goals (West Ham, Southampton (x2), Middlesbrough) and had 2 assists (Southampton and Sunderland). Although I do expect Costa to start, I'd honestly prefer Michy because of his form and better looking play in general. I'd lean to Costa if he was playing well and just not getting the luck but even his general play has been incredibly underwhelming. Not something that aids the team overall.
  11. Well if this Belotti character is such a good player, perhaps we could try to get him while keeping Costa? If we bring home Abraham and Traore, we'd have; AM/S: Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Traore, Loftus-Cheek, Costa, Belotti, Batshuayi, Abraham That would give us a good base for 3-4-3, 3-4-2-1, 3-5-2, 4-2-4 variations for the "3"'s and "4"'s... Maybe add another player to give us 10 options for 3-4 starting positions. Good mix of established stars and young talents. We'd have enough games to let RLC and Abraham start around 7-10 games next season. Add some sub appearances and its perhaps better to keep them here where we can control their development better?
  12. This makes him the only viable starter imo. Michy may get a chance from the bench should the wrong Costa show up. But it's in games like this Costa has the potential to make all the difference. It's a no-brainer for me.
  13. Absolute rubbish I'm afraid. What I am doing, is questioning why you ridicule him for winning a European trophy, the one they were missing, that qualifies his team for next years Champions League. I'm just baffled you fail to see the obvious. And by the way, I'm hardly trying to big up the achievement. They've won two trophies and sure, the last one at best ranks third in importance. But I still don't see this as an opportunity to ridicule. It comes across as a bit tasteless if you ask me. Lets not pretend you know what his one-fingered message meant. It could have meant a lot of different things. How surprising you immediately jumped to conclude the worst possible interpretation. Also note how I refrain from concluding anything. Now that we've set the positioning properly, let's try to have a grown up discussion on this or not do it at all.
  14. I'm afraid it's true. He prefers Jose to do well over Chelsea any time, as long as his special one is standing in the right place of course.
  15. Quite - if anything Kante is the new Essien (also very slight, though he didn't look it in the tackle). Chasing everything down, winning ball after ball, and giving it to Ballack or Lampard to start the next attack. The thing about Maka is that he rarely actually tackled, just turned the oppo into going the wrong way - often straight into the tackle of someone else in blue. Still in terms of impact, Kante is at least as good.
  16. Apparently Gibbs is also now an injury doubt for Arsenal also.
  17. The TREBLE !!!!!!
  18. Well, there's nobody qualified than yourself when it comes to identifying spoilt children. And with respect to the last part of your sentence, it's crystal clear that you're much more excited and pleased with JM's "success" than you are with Conte's. Crystal clear!
  19. Not to mention the Charity Shield!
  20. Yeh, but if they hadn't won last night they would have been in the Europa League again, which would have been far better for us.
  21. Allelujah! Absolutely spot-on, all of it. The last para in particular sums up exactly what was always true about him, always, even when he brought us the initial great success, it was absolutely all about him.
  22. Apart from the way they look, I dont see that many similarities. Makelele used to patrol the area in front of the back 4, making crucial tackles and interceptions. Was a brilliant ball player too. Would take passes in horribly difficult positions, control, turn, lay it off. Kante is much more of a hunter of the ball, and far more suited to the 2 in CM, rather than Maka who played behind a 2.When Kante played behind 2 CM at the start of the season, I thought he was pretty average as the best bit about his game, the hunting, was being very limited. both great players, but very, very different.
  23. Absolutely. Self-effacing modesty from a genuinely great player. How common that is in today's game! In today's world for that matter!
  24. Or joining in even.
  25. It was said in a dramatising way, yes. Although, I'd still say Michy is in better form overall and that's shown in both players general play. Costa just looks out of sorts, be it in front of goal and just in his general play. In saying that, he's got the quality to make the difference. Just a question of which Costa is going to turn up.
  26. I think we're rather disappointed that people with brains have become such stroppy spoilt children who can't stand any success by others. Personally I dread the idea of man U supporters reading this forum. I still doubt that he is off - but I do appreciate a response that simply takes an opposing view, rather than throwing out insults without daring to take an opinion.
  27. We were linked with him at one point, but as you say the main two have been Lukaku and Morata. The latter may not be an option either anymore as there's reports that AC Milan have already agreed a deal with him.
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