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About Sciatika

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  • Birthday 08/01/1959

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  1. Personally, I think we are a better side than Everton and, presently, Man Utd. I think Liverpool will drop off after the NewYear as Klopp's system will introduce a huge amounts of fatigue and injuries. He appears to think we have a midwinter break. I also expect Arsenal to have a dip in the Spring and Spurs will bottle it as usual. Even Man City have weaknesses but I still think the title will be theirs in the end. I think, if we put in a decent run up to Xmas, we have every chance of making top four this year.
  2. Yes, they were weaker sides. But also the press is much better. The formation change has helped by being more solid in defence (and in front of defence). It helps the attacking players because they can be more central and the likes of Kante and Matic can get on the front foot. Also, we should never forget that, in the prem, the margins of victory and defeat are very small. We might have got a draw against Liverpool and were cheated of a win against Swansea.
  3. Doubt it will ever happen.
  4. Perhaps he should have been playing for the seniors.
  5. Christensen wont be back till next season. At that time, Terry is probably not renewed (or, if so, will be used very sparingly). So we have four CBs (Zouma, Luiz, Cahill and Christensen) for 2-3 places depending on tactics. All will probably have injuries during the course of a season. And they will all be rotated. So they will all get games. The club may decide to replace one of them or not. To me there is no single "best" team. It depends on all sorts of factors (location, opposition, competition, fitness, form and so on). Generally, some players will be more backup than others but that will be reflected in being picked to start, on the bench or not at all. Christensen may better than Cahill in some respects and not others. BAckups might be young players being given a chance or an older player who has something to offer the circumstances of the match. Zola was a backup for for 2001-2 season. Should we have sold him? No, He had one of his best season in 2002-3 (when he was 37).
  6. Yes, you need to renew the squad as they become too old or where there are better options that are available. My (limited) impression of Milan was they they had a lot of very old players. We don't. The only old players in your list are Terry and Bran. I still believe that JT is better than anything that is available at the moment for a sensible price. To me, the latter is a decent backup for the squad at RB/CB until the end of season. I doubt we will renew. I think Cahill will also become increasingly a backup behind Zouma, Luiz and Terry and wont be renewed either in 2019. The rest in your list are all less than 30 - not old. Mikel is there where we want a traditional DM. I would not be surprised to see him only play in the fixtures where we need more cover but he is now a backup player and will probably not be renewed next season either. We are moving some on. We are just not completely replacing the squad. This is not sentiment, it is practicality. Its very important to maintain the ethos of the club and you achieve that by keeping a strong core of players. As to the ones we keep, there may be better players out there in their positions, but most are untested in our league or not available at a price we want to pay. If we need a CB, I would not buy a Bonucci at the amounts that are rumoured because that exceeds his value. Actually, I would bring back Christensen, instead. Also, to me, there's no point in moaning about what people did in the past - what players were bought and sold - they did what they believed was best at the time. I think it was thought that players like Salah and Cuadrado would give us more pace on the flanks. It didn't work out - it sometimes doesn't. I'll admit I didn't get Falco or Pato. I think we were just trying to bolster our striking lineup - not sure. We will just have to disagree on Oscar. I see what he brings to the game and, apparently, you don't.
  7. I don't tend to take the view that our players are crap and should be replaced. To me, they are still very good footballers but have to be used properly - in the right context. Of the people you mention, JT is still probably the best CB in the league for positioning and ability to read the game as well as leadership qualities. He does not have much pace, but he never really did. Comparing KDB and Oscar is like comparing chalk and cheese.They are very different players. KDB is more of an offensive player and works best in a team where he has no responsibility whatsoever - he just has to make and score goals. I am not knocking it, its a handy knack to have. But Oscar, on the other hand, is a way better in transition, at winning the ball further up the pitch. I think that's essential to our playing style moving forward. Oscar also has a better pass completion rate. You moan about MIkel, but he is probably still our best pure DM. That's a role that Kante can cover but its not what he is best at. You could question whether we need that anymore. Personally, I thisnk that Bran and Matic should now be used as squad players but I still think they both have something to offer in specific games.
  8. It's OK, Lewis Baker does those on either foot.
  9. I thought the new 3-4-3 formation showed a lot of possibilities but is clearly a work in progress. Would be interesting to see a Zouma-Luiz-Tomori in the EFL Cup. Would also like to see Chalobah get more time in the middle of the four with Kante. To me, the two biggest issues are: - The quality of the crosses, particularly from set pieces, was very poor. Far too many played too low or too high. They need to spend a lot more time on the training field working on that. - Many passes were played behind where they should be. They need to play to where the player will be not where he is or behind him. Way too often our attacks were breaking down or becoming slow because of poorly placed passing or taking too many touches. Think where you will play it before you receive the ball.
  10. Still true
  11. -----------Courteois Azpi-----Luiz---Terry----Alonso Moses--Oscar--Kante---Hazard ----------Batshuayi---Costa
  12. Sorry if its already been posted, but:
  13. I think I have learnt a couple of things this weekend. The first is that Arsenal will not win the league. How can a team so dominant miss so many chances, so many poor passes, and that defence is as dodgy as ever. They may be better than us but still nowhere near good enough. Personally, I have never believed we would win it either so that's not new to me. All I want is to see us challenging for top four. I think Liverpool will play well until Xmas and then drop off as the insane levels of energy demanded of them catch up with them in the Spring. Man Utd are not good enough either, so its looks like its Manchester City's season at the moment. The seocnd thing I learnt was that there are real possibilities in the "three at the back" version of Chelsea when we get Zouma (and Terry) back but its going to tak an awful lot of work in training. The WBs need to completely re-assess how they play, one-on-one defence is back to front for the CBs because you have to play the player into the middle not wide. We need much more energy in central midfield. I am not sure that is a transition you can do mid-season.
  14. I suppose so. We had Azpi. We sent Kane, Ake, Rahman, Wallace and Kenedy on loan. JCS is left-footed though don't remember him playing back. How about Jay Dasilva?
  15. I dont think the problem with Luiz is his reading of the game, I think its that he allows his enthusiasm to get the better of him. If his side is in the lead, it does not matter. That's why he was a success at PSG - mostly they were winning. But when his side is behind, he constantly tries to win the ball. That's a really bad idea when playing a decent forward who is protecting it because it means you either have to go through the player and give away FKs or go round and get on the wrong side, What he should be doing is playing the player not the ball. He should allow the attacker to have the ball but guiding him to a place where he can do no damage or forcing him to make a pass. He needs to spend more time talking to Azpi or Zouma who are both way better in one-on-one situations. Luiz is better in possession than out of it.