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Posts posted by Karan

  1. http://thechels.info/wiki/2015-16_Loanee_Statistics

    Just had a look at this online and given that we'd need to revamp the squad and given there's a call for the youngsters to be called up it'd be worth seeing how many from these list would actually be of any use for next season. 

    FWIW I don't see anyone who'd be ready to come and command/claim a starting eleven spot in the way Courtois, De Bruyne and to an extent Lukaku could. So he best we're looking at are effective squad players who would have a decent chance at getting a regular spot in the team in the way Zouma seems to have had this season (even if like me you are still not convinced of him). 

    Potential squad players IMO who could add some depth to next season*: Van Ginkel, Christensen, Moses, Pasalic, Ake, Solanke, Baker.

    I'm tempted to add Cuadrado to that list because I'm not sure whether Juventus would rather spend on him if Oscar were to leave in the summer. Tactically I think Cuadrado is a very good player, but perhaps not got enough confidence to apply himself in the PL. 

    Christensen, Pasalic, Solanke & Baker have all had decent loan spells so far You could only consider them successful if they continue the same performance levels till the season end. But if they were to maintain the same then they would be worth a look at in preseason. Solanke still would need a season more just to see how he would build on the current season step up. But he'd still IMO merit some consideration for a first team squad place come preseason. 

    Two players who I perhaps considered decent enough to make a step up with the loans they've had were Kalas and Omeruo. The latter especially is a big disappointment given he'd have been more useful than Papy given that he had AFCON success and even played at the World Cup. 

    Another loan chance to assess more clearly: Boga, Brown, Perica, Swift, Pantic, Nathan, Bamford.

    For the likes of Boga, Brown, Pantic, & Nathan, a lot more game time would be beneficial for their development so I wouldn't be too quick to sell them off. Bamford and Swift are perhaps worth another look at more so in the hope they have breakout seasons. 

    As for the remaining in the loan army, probably more of the same ie. loan and loan and loan till they reach a value worth selling at. Crude way of looking at it but thats how it goes. 

    *subjective list

  2. Pep to City is a done deal. I'd be very surprised to learn differently. Like Bob said, Pep is likely to have been on the market for a while and the only two positions that's up for grabs at that point is United or City. The old Barca connection at City makes them the obvious choice...

    Only to humour ourselves - if Pep was coming here he'd have to re-build the squad completely. At least 3 new CMs, a couple of strikers plus a few AMs. That's not even counting our defense needs rebuilding due to unrelated reasons. The money involved with going with Pep is so great that it almost makes it laughable to suggest it's an option. £200m would be unlikely to cover it. It's not realistic for us (unless we say **** FFP now that Playjni is banned - isn't that hilarious by the way? I take great pleasure in having that muppets being banned.).

    My money is on Simeone, Conte or Hiddink staying another year due to lack of suitable candidates. My main worry is no one wants to come to this loony house and we are stuck with Brendan Rodgers, Alan Pardew or the Fat One again. That would be horrible in so many ways.

    Having seen Citeh and their performances so far this season I'd argue that Pep would have to spend a lot of money to rebuild that midfield. Don't see Yaya Toure sticking around after this season. And I certainly don't see Delph, Fernandinho, Fernando as the kind of midfielders Pep is comfortable with in his teams (see Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets & Thiago/Alonso/Vidal/Martinez). He'd probably have to spend a lot more reinforcing their attacking options with Aguero and Silva injury prone and only De Bruyne and Sterling in their prime.

    Interestingly it was stated in one of the reports that Pep said we need 10 new players to rebuild the squad. The Telegraph states that Simeone wants 5 new players to add to the squad (not to mention the final veto on transfers at the club). If I'm not mistaken JM wanted 3 new players in April to improve the squad's quality (defender/midfielder/attacker) - not including the like for like replacements. But the board in their infinite wisdom decided that no additional quality was needed.

    Talk about a 'Palpable Discord'.

  3. You could equally argue that it is JM's cowardice.

    Given the choice of putting Lukaku ahead or equal to Torres he decided to go for Eto'o.

    Alternatively if Lukaku didn't back himself against Eto'o, Torres and Ba he certainly was never going to do so against Costa, Drogba and Torres (in that order).

    I'm not denying the club ( in particular than JM) had a role in this eventuality. The disillusionment was certainly evident at the end of the 2011-12 session when despite reaching two finals, and sacrificing the league he wasn't getting any major opportunities apart from some in the beginning and a start at the end (iirc). He was certainly an odd impulse buy at the time despite having the likes of Drogba, Kalou, Sturridge, Torres, Anelka on the books. AVB didn't seem to have any use of him and RDM was always going to go to the tried and trusted.

    While the WBA loan was necessary I don't think his single minded determination helped him with his loan to Everton. He may have needed games to be in the Belgium WC squad but he'd had have been better off playing and competing at a higher level.

    Surely that's Everton's transfer budget blown out.

  4. I think the key thing is to have 6 top class defenders with some flexibilty so we have at least 3 who can play CB, 2 can play LB and 2 RB.

    Cahill, JT, Ivanovic Azpi and a new LB means we have that with just 5 players. That allows us to either add a 6th or even to go with the 5 + 2 or 3 of the younger and marginal players (PVA/Omeruo/Zouma/Kalas*/Bertrand*/Ake*/Chalobah*)

    * = more likely to be out on loan.

    I believe it will probably be one of Zouma or Omeruo as the 4th choice CB (and backup RB). Probably expect a half season battle between them to decide who says on beyond the winter transfer window while the one heads out on loan.

    I like the idea of a left footed left back who's abit good at crossing. :) Cole for all his merits has not been as consistent or as effective since the 2009/10 season where his all round game was excellent (May have been down to Malouda as well). Luis from whatever I've seen looks a good solid option to add to the squad and Azpi is perfect to play the versatile fullback on either side.

    Can't see Bertrand staying for the season, van Aanholt perhaps - that is if we're keen to add more options in the homegrown contingent.

  5. Liverpool actually had a number of injuries to key players last season and Suarez was banned until October, they still did well to sustain that title challenge. Interestingly, we have actually been blessed that key players haven't suffered injuries, long term any way. I wonder what we've done differently that a team like Arsenal doesn't considering that a player hasn't been injured long term since 2012, it seems we have different approaches to training and resting.

    Playing a game every week with no fixture congestion makes it easier to cope without the injured or suspended players. Added to the fact that they had no major expectations on them apart from the last few weeks - where they eventually bottled it. Wasn't it towards the last few months of the season where Rodgers barely made changes to his starting 11?

  6. I'm a big Luiz fan and felt he got more stick than he deserved at CB. He was never what I want from a central midfielder though.

    Seems we've got great money and he'll no doubt grab himself a league title or two, so no real losers here.

    Best of luck to him.

    Couldn't agree more. A jack of all trades but master of none. I bet he'd be a decent alternative as a striker if given the opportunity.

    As a midfielder he may have been a part of a team that outmaneuvered Citeh and destroyed Arsenal but his future or lack of it as a central midfield was evident in Atletico's dissection of us at the Bridge. Always felt that he would improve at the back and some games the season before gave some evidence of the same. Guess we won't know of that in the PL.

    In the end he played his part in Chelsea winning 2 European trophies and scored some lovely and important goals along the way. Great financial return allowing for a good chance to reinforce other areas of the squad. Good luck to the geezer!!

  7. A midfield of Matic Fabregas and Oscar can be tremendous. I'm hoping that we sign another midfielder so that we can use a three man midfield next season as often as possible.

    At present our central midfield options are Matic, Ramires, Mikel, Van Ginkel, and Fabregas. Tiago is probably an imminent signing if reports are to be believed (prob will be confirmed on July 1). Throw Oscar and to a certain extent Willian into the equation and you have enough options for a 433. And for the big games you probably would expect to see the tactic adopted.

    One of probably Mikel or Van Ginkel may end up leaving, the latter on loan perhaps so you're down to 5 for the 3 central slots.

    One of the curious bits prior to the transfer was the supposed interest in Koke and Pogba as Mourinho's preferred choices. Curious as in they're both completely different profiles and in the end we landed Fabregas, which perhaps gives more weight to the supposed interest in Koke. Nevertheless an interesting signing to say the least and one which seems more like taking advantage of an opportunity that arose in the market. Slightly skeptical on how he'll adapt at Chelsea but then I was sceptical of the Willian signing as well.

  8. But you should not sell him to manure James. Come on, it's a no-brainer.

    No one other than ManU are bidding for him - or no one other than ManU are desperate to bid for him at the price they have. PSG was an alternative - they haven't come back since summer. There was talk of Real Madrid but they've sold off Ozil, got in Isco, settled on a system with Modric pulling the strings. The other option was Atletico but I'd be damned if we sent another player out on loan to them, and they'd not be able to afford Mata's wages.

    Mata wants to leave with the intention of more playing time to get into the Spain WC team. This despite him having only 15 games max to play for them - and a minimum of 18 games with Chelsea (excluding FA Cup game v Stoke).

    What do you suggest Chelsea have done? Tinker the current system (which is starting to work effectively) to accomodate Mata? Keep him, allow him to leave in summer (which seemed inevitable) and get lower amount?

  9. Interesting to note that no one else was interested in bidding a huge sum for him. With all the talk of PSG bring interested they must have considered that they could have got him for less in the summer. Probably gambling on the fact that with a reduced level of playing time and impact on Chelsea's first elven he'd be available for the same amount we bought him for in the summer.

    Comes down to desperation levels from 2 fronts - ManU with an intent to show they can attract big players after the Fellaini sweepstakes that symbolized their summer; & Mata desperate to get to the Spanish NT for the 2014 WC. Had this not been a WC year he in all certainty would have stayed till the seasobn end.

    Questions whether he could have adapted or whether he was given a chance to have been done to death here and there's probably no definite conclusion there. But its evident that for the first time in 4 seasons we actually look a lot more structured and balanced as a team and also more like a team thats comfortable with pushing for the top on a consistent basis. Shaping the squad and playing 11 and getting it to the required level was always going to have some casualties and in this case it was Mata.

    Mata's been excellent for the club and I'm sure the club's given him equal in return. Would have liked him to stay the entire season as I'm sure he'd have had a role to play - max 16 games to play for ManU, minimum 19 for Chelsea. But in the end its more his decision with the WC in mind and we get a sizeable 37m in the coffers (with all the fancy FFP implications in mind).

  10. If we want options then Schurrle gives us options. Where last season we were rather limited in the shapes we could use, this season Jose will want pretty much the full compliment. To my mind Schurrle's future is as a goalscorer, with very good instincts for finding space, excellent acceleration from a standing start and a fantastic right foot, he could be lethal making runs from deep and getting in behind defences. He does a solid job defensively out wide using his fantastic pace and energy, and he's a happy worker. He has the ability to kill defenders in the last 20 minutes of games or tire them out in the first 70. He would add immediate cover for Hazard, and he's more experienced with a greater knack for goalscoring + penetration in the final third than Victor Moses. Where Marin was regarded as unusable last season, Schurrle will be a good squad player with a very high upside and a tendency to score match-changing goals out of nothing.

    Sounds like the 3rd player to effectively add to the trusted JM 'transitions' methodology. At this moment only Hazard and Ramires have that ability to be effective and lethal on the counterattack. Moses was abit underwhelming in this regard last season, even if he score his fair share of crucial goals. While I do think Lukaku will be another one added into this potential mix.

    Can't afford to not have good attacking depth especially if we want to go the distance in 2-3 competitions next season.

  11. I believe the club have been trying to do the right thing, getting Lukaku to stay to fulfil the Club Trained requirements. Unfortunately Lukaku forced his own loan move with those stupid comments in his interviews. For better or for worse, we are a club that usually give in to player demands to keep them happy, so...

    Don't think there was anything stupid in what he said. He was emotional about his lack of playing time and rightly so. He's been playing since the age of 16 (and regularly may I add), so its clear he wants to continue to play more. No harm in being vocal about that.

    If anything the club needs to shoulder the blame for not knowing what exactly to do with him. We started the season with Drogba, Torres, Anelka Kalou & Sturridge as the strikers at the club. That in itself was a clear indicator that Lukaku, was never going to surpass any of them to get proper match time. Plus AVB's comments made it abundantly clear of Romelu's status at the time - something along the lines of we signed him because it was too good an opportunity to miss.

    I'm not too fussed about the lack of Club trained homegrown players. For almost 3-4 seasons now we've been competing with a squads of 21-23 (out of the required 25). This season will be no different. Lukaku would have been useful now as probably the backup to Torres, if Sturridge wasn't being lined up there (I say this assuming that's the case). But if he's going to get competitive PL action week in week out under Clarkey (someone who may coach him well) then I have no problems there.

  12. Depth at RB which was needed after Bosingwa's departure.

    We'll need an attack minded RB given we'll be either chasing games or inevitably countering teams who'll be defending deep. Hopefully his crossing is decent enough - Bosingwa used to get into excellent crossing positions only for the final cross to be a woeful overhit attempt.

  13. Fully agree to be honest.

    Our style of play is far too congested and slow. WBA play a more open attacking game and Lukaku thrived with that extra space (just as our attackers here would).

    The wonders of actually getting the ball forward quickly into your strikers before letting a defence settle.

    Also helps if the opponent has a defender less and is attempting to chase the game.

    Not that Lukaku didn't look effective in what he did. Did alot of his basic work well. Making Carragher look like an idiot was just a pleasant bonus.

    A possible 36 PL games for him to really adapt to the PL and refine his game - hope he copes well with pressure that WBA will surely come under this season.

  14. Before adding my earlier post I checked for Copa America and Champions League double winners as far back as the 1999 Copa but found none. Got bored after that. :)

    I got curious.:)

    At first I thought Kaka was the player in 2007, having won the CL with Milan. Brazil won the Copa that year. But because he was exhausted he didn't play the Copa.

    Having checked back, and I mean way back, through quick referencing there is actually no one who's achieved this feat which seems staggering.

    A quick check back into the pre Champions League era (when it was called the European cup), took me way back to 1957, when an Argentine by the name of Rogelio Dominguez, a Goalkeeper came closest to achieving it.

    He won the Copa America (South American Championship) with Argentina in 1957, and joined Real Madrid later that year. He was in the Real Madrid team that won the final in 1959. Argentina also won the Copa in 1959 but his name isn't included in the Argentina squad.

  15. One of the most professional, hard working, diligent, smart, approachable, dedicated players any club could ever wish to have. Severely lacking any great ability, but never stopped trying, constantly squeezed a few extra bits of quality out of him with each passing season. Made a total dick out of me on several occasions for resenting what he COULDN'T do rather than simply appreciating his effort in a squad he had no part in putting together.

    I hope wherever he goes he gets incredibly filthy stinking rich, keeps plugging away for his country and has a wonderful life.

    Perfectly put.

    Was always a better sub than a starter but never stopped working hard. Always expected the day for him to leaving would come with new strikers/attackers coming in every season but he kept on plugging away and still managed to make some impact.

    Honestly will miss the guy at Chelsea. Best of luck to Sala!!

  16. The next time when the team is under pressure and you just want it all to get erased in one moment, the real impact of Didier Drogba will be known. Probably one of the best big game players ever - atleast in my view. A man who literally carried the team and the other strikers in the team on his shoulders.

    Signs off on his own accord delivering the CL as a parting gift. Heynckes was right - he's the showman of the highest order (meant in the most positive sense).

    Would love to see him back at Marseille but somehow Shanghai seems the favoured destination.

  17. lol..Do you know why this is so funny.

    Enlighten me. :)

    Ok mate. Detail the ruses he did at Chelsea & Inter Milan to get a new contract.

    Threatening to walk out in case he didn't get any support from the hierarchy at the club, every time there was a controversy (read Frisk gate, controversies with referees in Italy, confrontations with managers in both countries). Rewarded at the end of his first season at both clubs with a new contract. He didn't get one at Real last season although he did get alot of power in controlling the footballing operations. This season with him being in a strong position again he's decided to play the field by suddenly popping up in London amidst talk of him leaving Real (see him do the same at Chelsea in 04/05 and 05/06 when Inter was his then speculated destination).

    If you're convinced that he's bound to leave Real at the end of the season then fair enough. I'm of the opinion that he's simply assessing his options only to strengthen his position at Real Madrid.

  18. Been away for quite sometime but have managed to keep up with whats happening. So here's my two pence worth.

    AVB was not sacked because of player power. He was sacked because of a string of poor results, dire performances and inept management. His bizarre and immature comments to the press didn't help either. I'm amazed the owner has been so patient this time. It's been clear for some time that Villas Boas has been out of his depth, had lost the dressing room and had lost the plot. Sacking him was the only option. He might well go on and do well elsewhere. But he was not the man for Chelsea right now. Any manager needs the players to pull in the same direction. If you alienate half the first-team squad and the performances are as truly dire as they have been, then something's got to give. I've not agreed with Abramovich in the way he's sacked managers before or the way he's acted in the transfer market recently, but this time I can't fault his decision.

    Pretty much summarizes everything on AVB's Chelsea reign. The delay from Roman this time was more down to him agonizing about his own decision in the summer to appoint AVB in the first place. I wasn't comfortable with the timing of the Scolari sacking but it was right. This time I was half expecting him (AVB) to be sacked (even if I didn't want it to happen) and it got to a point when I started feeling sorry for him. The only question was if we did sack him, did we have the right caretaker to come in and stabilize things and try and get the CL spot.**

    For what its worth I was pleased when we signed him as manager as I felt he knew the way things worked inside the club, especially with the players (since his time as JM's scout), and that he'd have the savvy to use that to his favour. Having worked with the senior players you'd have hoped that his previous credit with them (albeit as a part of JM's team) would have done him some favours. He started well enough though and for a while I didn't mind him imposing a certain set of rules on the squad, only because things were allowed to get lackadaisical under Ancelotti's reign in his second season.

    I was slightly confident after the ManU loss, that despite the hideous number of errors we made, we still created chances. And that just like ManU have eventually done (in the last few months) we'd tighten up defensively and be able to play in a similar attacking manner. But neither the gaps in midfield were being plugged nor was the defensive shape being addressed. Too often this season we've been left exposed at the back. Till his last day at Chelsea those issues weren't being resolved (except perhaps to a minimal extent in the Citeh and Valencia games).

    His constant ramblings about the 'project' (easily one of the most reprehensible football terminologies out there) were starting to get annoying. This was never his project. It was and is only Roman's project and he was too eager to please RA in trying to implement it. He may have actually got some success had he been clever in managing the squad. Hopefully its a lesson learnt for him.

    ** I don't think we'll get the CL spot. Had we not sacked AVB it may have been slightly more predictable. Sacking him has only reduced the odds slightly. Arsenal have shown some surprising levels of resistance while Spurs probably have an easier run in than us. Add that to our CL and FA Cup games and we have a difficult task at hand.

    Is a backdoor entrance into the CL possible? By winning it? We can and should overcome Benfica. Barca? We'll have to defend as vigilantly as we tried at Citeh last Wednesday (structure, organization and shape all evident). But they have alot more quality (and Messi) to breakdown our defence. By the way winning the CL and relegating the perhaps 4th place Spuds into the Europa would merit RDM getting the job. :)

    From what I've read Roman seems keen to shuffle everything this summer so the FA Cup might just be the best possible send off for some of the players.

    I have missed a trick here - why is Guardiola guaranteed to be available in the summer? I don't really want him anyhow.

    I doubt he'll be available in the summer. His backroom staff have apparently signed contract extensions. So I believe he's likely to stay. Plus his players are making a real case for him stay.

    I doubt Chelsea will be his PL destination. Arsenal seem the more logical fit.

    Mourinho isn't coming - all a ruse to get a new contract at RM. I wonder whether he did that at Chelsea and Inter before? :)

    I'm half expecting Luciano Spalletti to be our next Coach, given his experience at working with a Russian club owner and being able to create some decent footballing sides.

    To many senior execs and players looked after their own backs when the chips were down and left him an isolated man.

    The lack of support from the board has always been an issue. Right from the days of Grant's appointment. We threaten to have some structure at the club. Only for the wrong men to be slotted into roles. Buck and Gourlay are never going to speak out in support and will only turn up when they're directed to. Emenalo, given his title, is only a support cast member.

    Rather than appointing a coach or manager, RA might as well appoint a stronger Director of Football - who he trusts - to execute his project or vision.

  19. That one decision alone should end his career.

    Van Persie clearly wasn't time-wasting, he's entitled to have a shot, and even if he isn't, it wasn't a huge liberty, just have a quiet word with him and carry on.

    Like Ovrebo, he will just carry on.

    This is where the inconsistency between English and continental referees becomes evident.

    In England the referees are more keen to allow the game to flow even if it is to the detriment of players. Which is why you'll see Rooney, Carragher, Rafael, De Jong, et al and in the interest of being fair David Luiz also, get away with certain fouls. Contrast that to a continental referee and you'd see all those people mentioned and their errors being punished for yellows/reds.

    The referees on the continent in general are pedantic and stickler for rules. Van Persie was already treading a dangerous line from the Alves foul and because of the Barca players reaction it stuck in the referees' mind. Post the the yellow card he also did commit another silly foul.

    Unfortunately most English sides (including us*) are not very good at playing the referees like the way Barca or any other Italian or Spanish side do.

    *We used to be a bloody cynical side at times under JM (watch Inter last season)**. Nowadays it seems an edict from within the club to not be overly demonstrative since Frisk gate and even more since Ovrebo gate.

    ** A particular game: Barca V Chelsea at the Nou Camp, group stage. Barca played dirty, we responded in kind. They didn't like it one bit - we got on their nerves and drew 2-2. The end of the match saw a hilarious overreaction by the Barca players and manager (Rijkaard).

  20. Needs to learn on how to hold his position and co-ordinate more properly with the RB and his CB partner. Too reckless at times (especially after scoring the goal). His attitude to closing down the forward is excellent but once figured out by strikers (ie. Rooney, Hernandez) it nearly cost us with the likes of JT, Ivanovic being left exposed to counter attacks*. Such shackling of the opponents is good but needs to be done in areas where the threat of losing the ball is more for the opponent.

    At the risk of being negative, at times he seemed as reckless and hurried as Boulahrouz was in games (Everton, Spurs come to mind) after he'd made a good start to his Chelsea career (see the shackling of Ronaldinho at the Bridge). What distinguishes Luiz is his ability on the ball, quickness of recovery and a better anticipation of the situations.

    Whats also in Luiz's favour is that the remainder of this season will be a good lesson for him and will prepare him properly for the start of next season - see Vidic's start in the PL and how he benefitted from a mixed first 6 months of the season.

    I do love the cynical side of any defender. Only wish we did it more as a team in general. We've been too soft this season for our own good.

    * A designated DM would also be helpful.