jones

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About jones

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  • Birthday 05/05/1986

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  1. Lampard a star player at 21? He came to Chelsea at 23, and most people back then (Chelsea fans included) thought 11mp was over the top. Took him a couple of years to become a star for us. But hey, if starring for West Ham is the new benchmark, our squad is suddenly solid gold. Anyway, the point was that is hopeless to write off a player at 21 off just because his age. What actually speaks for RLC is that he has had very little game time until now. His body has not taken started taking its toll yet from playing week in week out. There is a reason why someone like Drogba is still playing, and why Lukaku will hang up his boots way sooner than his idol. RLC has tons of potential, and for sure clock is starting to run out on him becoming a world-beater, but a season on loan playing week in week out at a PL team, may see a sudden and dramatic rise in performance levels. Had he already had 100 matches in the Championship, I would be way more skeptical. Not saying I would put my money on RLC becoming our next Lampard, but there for sure is unlocked potential there. And he is not that far away a real push for a starting place in the 3-4-3. A season on loan can turn things up side down.
  2. To think that Lukaku would find it easier to score for Chelsea than for Everton is ludicrous. Teams facing us stop up shop and go all in for one point. When you are top of the league, the opposition's motivation increases big time. Most teams facing Everton will fancy their chances. There will be more opportunities for a player like Lukaku at Everton than at Chelsea. His goal per game ratio is great, but a lot of his goals have come at the end of games where they are already one or more up. Compare that to Costa, whose goals are more often match- or point winning, and you will probably see that the value of Costa's goals exceeds Lukaku's by some distance. I would be happy to take Lukaku back, but I would never be happy if that was at the expense of Costa. Picturing those two together is way more interesting, but I guess that would mean changing formation to 3-5-2 or 4-2-4. And I am not sure how beneficial that is for us on the balance of things.
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/28/chelsea-arsenal-alexis-sanchez-no1-summer-transfer-target?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter Interesting set of players being mentioned with us. Conte's leverage in the negotiations over a new deal. Alaba and Sanchez would go straight into the starting XI and leave Alonso and Pedro on the bench. Exactly the kind of players we should be looking at. Costa will be very hard to replace, so hopefully we can give him a new mega deal so that we can calm the nerves of us supporters. Morata and Lukaku, even if both were to arrive, does not feel like an upgrade.
  4. Partly true. I think Hazard should be great in 3-5-2. Pedro is a decent wing-back, albeit a lot better in 3-4-3. Willian has been unconvincing in 3-4-3, but that could be down to his off the pitch difficulties this season. A weakness with 3-4-3 is that very few strikers can play that role effectively. And that those who can are world class, and will not accept sitting on the bench.
  5. RLC has taken further steps this year, no doubt about that. Started the season almost as an outcast, but is now preferred ahead of Michy (e.g., Stoke). If he has impressed Conte that much, it says a lot. And now, he is part of the younger half of that U21 team. Approximately 80% are 21 or older. And age is not that much of an argument, you see a lot of players finding their peak later in their careers. Lampard, Drogba etc. In the opposite way players like Rooney and Owen tailed off in their late 20s. What Ruben needs is games. He is more than good enough to be an automatic starter for the bottom half of the PL. A full season playing week in week out will hopefully help him develop what he needs in order to excel under Conte: 1) ability to use his physique; 2) work rate and stamina; 3) final third contributions. 1 is a low hanging fruit and will come with experience, 2 is mostly about mental application and this is where I am most concerned, 3 will hopefully come with experience and confidence as he has the skill set to succeed here. There has been a lot of talk about what his best position is. I can't see any more suitable roles than the AM behind Costa in 3-4-3. If he can develop his physical game, he will be a mega asset breaking down teams.
  6. But Lukaku and Morata won't come here if we are going to play with one striker, and Costa is still here ... So if one of them is bought, it would surely see Conte play more with two strikers, or mean that Costa is on his way out.
  7. People will shoot me for this, BUT: If Hazard left, I would not begrudge him. I would be seriously sad and disappointed, but I could possibly not hold it against him. He has been here five years, and has been absolutely instrumental to everything the club has won (and currently are winning) since he got here. While the fans adore him for his talent, I honestly don't think he has gotten the love he deserves. When going through a rough patch last season, there were not much patience with the most talented player to have ever played for Chelsea. And how often are fans chanting his name? I think his attitude is the best you will see from a player of his calibre. He is being kicked in and out every single game, and on almost every occasion gets on with it without complaining. Smiling and laughing in post match interviews, raising his hands and taking the blame if he has been sub par. He is a humble guy, very far from the me, myself and I character of his peers Ronaldo and Messi. If it is true that he did not want to leave on a low after last season, then that is another positive characteristic we should value as well. We were quite lucky to get him in the first place I think. Coming off of a 6th place finish in the league, behind Newcastle. "I am signing for the European Champions", he proclaimed back then. Not much sign of that pedigree since. And you could not give him the blame for that. Conte is the fifth manager he has had in his five years here. Even though things look promising now, we don't have history on our side when arguing he should stay "just one more year". If he continues in the PL, where teams set up their tactics to kick him sore, his career will be cut short. For sure. Softer opponents, more football and a realistic push for the CL at Real Madrid, to play under his boyhood idol Zidane - would you really hold it against such a great servant to the club?
  8. Exactly the kind of game Cesc shall start. We need to keep the ball and not get stressed by their for sure physical approach. Pedro's home record gives him the nod over Willian. Hopefully Hazard will be 100%, but I agree he should not be risked ahead of some tough matches.
  9. Height is my only concern too. But we have started matches with Kante and Fabregas before, so it is not like it would be a blocker. And when you play the top teams of Europe, like Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus etc, height is less of a concern than it is away at Stoke or WBA. Someone like Matic will still be an important asset in that squad. As for Fabregas, I expect him to play the same kind of role he has played this season. Not first name on the team sheet, but an important utility player. We have only two clean sheets in the PL in 2017. Our defence is not that great. Cahill is clearly our weakest link, and I am not sure Christensen is there yet. Zouma should go on loan to get a full season playing every week, and even though Aké was recalled he is not certain to stay beyond the summer. I don't see it as our top priority, and Conte may spend his money on other players instead, but in an ideal world we buy a top class CB and bring back Christensen as well. I would love to add a top class AM as well, ideally someone like Griezmann who can play CF also. Add Llorente to that, and we have a pretty interesting squad. One that can switch between systems, 3-4-3, 3-5-2, 4-2-4.
  10. Forget about Isco and Bakayoko. This is what we need to do in the summer, imo: PRIORITY #1: There is one player we should be doing everything in our powers to get. Marco Verratti is the complete player, and would give us arguably the best midfield in the world when partnering Kanté. He is the right age, should have the right mix between experience and hunger, knows Conte very well (and likewise) and will give us the edge we need in those tough CL knock-out matches. If we want to challenge on both fronts next season, this is the guy we need. PRIORITY #2: Keep Hazard, Costa and Courtois. Hazard and Costa are irreplaceable, and if we can't keep them I would not be surprised to see Conte change formation. That is how important they are. Courtois has proven his worth this year, and it would be a massive blow to a great defensive team if we needed to replace the GK. (Even if it is much easier to replace him than the first two.) PRIORITY #3: First-team ready players to give proper competition to the rest of our First XI. Even though Cahill, Moses, Alonso and Pedro has been great this season, we need to push them with quality next season. That means adding 1-2 center backs, two new wing-backs, an attacking midfielder and an experienced back-up to Costa (as Bats is likely to leave).
  11. In terms of numbers, Baker for sure has delivered. 14 goals and 5 assists in 30 matches clearly indicates he is one of the best players in Holland right now. If he wanted to come back to Chelsea in the summer, that had to be his goal at the season's start. But does anybody know how he has improved? Has he become more of a complete CM, or is he more specialised as a creative player? Is he as consistent as his numbers indicate, and are the Vitesse supporters as impressed with him as Chelsea fans keeping track of his goal scoring ratio? Even if he is tearing it up in Holland, I can't see him playing in the first team next season. Mostly because we currently have four CMs in Kante, Matic, Cesc and Nate, neither of them will leave, and what we need there is a top quality signing and not an up and coming local lad. Timing does not work in his favour. But if he can get himself a PL loan, and continue his rise there, he for sure has the skill set to replace Fabregas when his contract runs out in two years. He is still only 21 (turns 22 in a month), so would benefit way more from playing regularly at top level than playing in a reduced role at Chelsea.
  12. This is a very good point. You can't have 11 players like this, but you need 3-4. To question Costa's value to this team is shocking.
  13. Great win, but silly to concede in injury time. First time I have seen Fabregas in the deep Pirlo role flanked by Matic and Kante. Could see Conte mix up between 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 next season. I think we need more tactical flexibility, as teams will start to better know how to break us down. It will also allow us to use players' versatility in order to build quality and depth without adding too many numbers: In order to fully compete next season, we need five capable first team CMs, five capable first team AMs and three capable first team CFs. 13 players for five positions is clearly over the top, and would not work from a squad happiness perspective either. But we clearly need more players than we have now. Let's say, for the example's sake, that we increase our current 9 players for these 5 positions to 11. Batshuayi out on loan, and Llorente, Griezmann and Nainggolan in. 5 CMs (where Fabregas could also play AM), 4 AMs (where Griezmann could also play CF) and two CFs. Every player offers proper competition. There is also enough versatility to be tactically flexible and help us adapt to injuries on key players. And there should be enough games to make sure everyone is satisfied and on their toes to offer the preferred XI proper competition. That for me is the right amount of quality and depth.
  14. Yeah, the only selection dilemma is Matic vs Fabregas. I would go for the latter based on recent form, but has a feeling Conte wants to bulk up for this one. West Ham a threat on set pieces. Will for sure be a tough game. We are going to need Costa and Hazard on top.
  15. This was brilliant! Fabregas gets the MotM because of his decisiveness, but how good was Kanté?? Has clearly upped his game in the last couple of games. Even more impressive performance given he played with the less defensively capable Fabregas. The preferred duo going forward? Azpi and Pedro at their reliably brilliant usual. They are just perfect fits for this formation. I would say Azpilicueta is the first name on the EPL team of the year sheet. Miles ahead any RB (or RCB) in this league. Costa and Hazard were good, and slightly better than their current form curve. Positive, but hopefully they will both raise their game even further. We need that. A little underwhelmed by Moses lately. Has for sure dropped in performance levels compared to when he was flying a couple of months ago. Will for sure be interesting to see what kind of competition Conte will add at RWB in the summer. Alonso and Cahill with a usual consistent performance. Great header by Llorente, really impressive. But a 100 % focused Courtois would have saved it. Not blaming him, but that would never have gone in had it been a CL final. I can really picture Llorente coming here in the summer though. Michy for sure will go on loan, and we need someone who can play the complete forward role in place of Costa. While we bulk up with loan army players, experience is needed.