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Everything posted by jones

  1. I think most Chelsea fans hope that Costa is staying. Yes, he tailed off after christmas, but overall had a very, very good season. You raise some points over his form in Europe, although I think that is more of a coincidence. In his last season for Atletico he bagged 8 CL goals. And I think we needs another CF to help take the burden off Costa. This season, he started almost every game and never got subbed (unless we were leading by a lot). Playing with the energy levels of his, it is not exactly surprising that he did not manage to sustain his world class form for 45 games straight. But I agree only to some extent that w should cash in on him if he does not sign a new contract. 70m for a 28 year old is a lot. The problem is that CFs are expensive, and if they don't work things go horribly wrong, like with Torres. Changing a 70m CF for another 70 or 100m CF involves a lot more risk than "he is banging in goals for them, so is gonna do the same for us". That is why my preferred solution is that we bring in another top CF that can help take the burden off Costa. Someone like Morata would do. 25-35 starts each and a lot of sub appearances should keep them both fresh and content/competitive. Lets us continue with 3-4-3 and if we also bring in an AM like Sanchez we can use him as that third option.
  2. For sure. I think we will spend massively this summer. Just seemed like people thought we suddenly were going to spend even more because of the prize and TV money. A lot of that are already budgeted.
  3. Important to remember that these funds are not bonus money we can spend on new players. The club have already included a large chunk of that in their budget for the year. Clearly, there will be more money available this summer, but it is not like this is "new money" the club just can play with.
  4. Oh, they do want to sell him. Two years left and Lukaku stating he will not sign a new contract effectively means that either they sell him this summer, or they have absolutely no negotiation power next summer. 100m is of course way more than any club will pay. Considering Lukaku has had an even better season, at least in terms of goals, his value has increased slightly. But Everton's bargaining situation is a lot worse than 12 months ago. So the price should not be any higher than what they demanded one year ago, which was 65m or something?
  5. Just take a look at this:
  6. Arsenal does not stand a chance against us. Koscielny suspended and Gabriel and Mustafi are big doubts doubt. Mertesacker, who has not played for months and the unproven Holding in central defence? Their only chance is Anthony Taylor, who is one of the worst referees in the league.
  7. Lukaku in a 3-4-3 is not worth close to 100m. In a 4-2-4 or 3-5-2, it is easier to picture him having success, although 100m will always be over the top. But if we buy him, and change formation, I really hope we do that because Conte wants to change formation, and not because Emenalo only wanted to give him Lukaku and then Conte had to. At the end of the game Yesterday, it was pretty clear that Batsuhayi played up front, with Pedro playing off him. Willian had dropped deeper, and it looked like he was playing on the left of the three with Fabregas deep and Kante right. 20 minutes in a dead rubber game should of course not be taken as an indication to what Conte wants to do, but it can give us an idea of what is possible to do with our current players at least. Costa, despite what some short-term memory fans think, has been absolutely brilliant in 3-4-3. Leading the line like he does - very few CFs are capable of that. If he leaves, we should prioritise buying a like for like. But is that realistic? Aubemeyang perhaps. Maybe our only option is to switch to 3-5-2 if Costa leaves. But where does that leave Hazard, Pedro and Willian? Hazard and Pedro to play up top? And Willian as a box to box midfielder? Fingers crossed that we manage to keep Costa. Reports today that we are after Lukaku and not Morata, and that we are undecided on Batshuayi. But I guess the "exclusive reports" will vary a lot during the next week. Very intrigued to find out what plans Conte has for us next season. Surely, JT knows a lot more than most of us do, and as he said after the match Yesterday: "I will be very surprised if we don't bring in 5-6 top, top players".
  8. Thank you is not enough. Nobody will ever come close to what he has achieved at this club as a player. He was one of the world's best defenders for, I guess a decade, and won absolutely everything he could win at club level - for Chelsea. More than one trophy on average per year. Will never be replicated. But for me it is the person we are going to miss the most. The way he picked himself up when he had a hard time. That goal against Burnley. How, instead of complaining when the FSW benched him, he dug deep and rose to new absolute highs the seasons after. Or when he helped us when we needed the most. That goal against Barcelona. How he sacrificed himself. Head first into boots, and that Diaby situation in the LC final. And the winning mentality he has carried on through his entire career has for sure influenced many of his team mates. His support for the youth team. Just how he wore that captain's armband with so much pride. Every time. How he has grown over the years. He for sure had a few episodes he has regretted, we all know that. But we also know that we all do. A media that has always been after him has never been met by a bitter man. Calm, respectful but yet straight-forward and clear whenever asked difficult questions. And Chelsea first, always. JT is one of us, and he is the most successful player in PL history. A captain any club will envy us for. They will never admit it, but they do. The day would always come. No player plays forever. But we should all be thankful for seeing a Chelsea boy lead us to glory and success for almost twenty years.
  9. Wow. That "article" is absurd and an absolute farce. Would be taken down/convicted (don't know what to call it) in the Association of free Press in the country where I come from, and probably in most developed countries too. This is not journalism. Either you write an opinion article where you argue for any bold statement, and express views from both sides. But this is reported as news, just with extremely opinionated formulations. It is as far away from journalism as you can come. It makes Breitbart look like the New York Times.
  10. Yes, let the FA cup final players play, but most importantly make it a great day for JT. Courtois - Azpi, Luiz, Cahill - Moses, Matic, Kanté, Alonso - Willian, Costa, Hazard Pedro and Fabregas on for Willian and Matic at half time. And then, with 26 minutes left on the clock, throw on JT. Let Cahill come off, for a symbolic captain to captain moment, and switch to a 4-2-4. With Moses at RB, and Azpi at CB, it is an extremely attacking 4-2-4. And who is partnering Costa up top? JT of course! Let him enjoy himself on his last day. Way more important than a clean sheet. Would be absolutely brilliant, wouldn't it?
  11. First of all, what I obviously I agree with you on is that Conte's system of preference will affect what players we bring in and in which areas we spend big. What Conte has built here so far is this: a very good first XI playing 3-4-3 very effectively and of PL Champion quality. So even though I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull a trick, the most likely scenario is to further build on 3-4-3. The problem this season is that Conte only has 12 outfield players he trusts to start important games. Then we have two young players who seems to gradually grow into the squad and Conte's trust, and who I expect to get slightly more influential roles next season (Aké and Chalobah). The rest of our squad is either in development (RLC, Aina, Kenedy), square pegs for round holes (Batshuayi, Zouma) or not good enough (JT, sadly). These six players are offering the depth we want, but not the quality we need. And neither will be here next season. Next season will demand us playing 15+ more games, and even more importantly: we need our best players to be on top at the end of the season to challenge for the CL. That means: 1) We need at least 6 new outfield players to add to our current 14. 2) We must rotate more. Not only in domestic cups, but in "easier" PL games as well. The problem in the PL is that no game is easy. So when you add 1+2, it means that the players we shall bring in has to be players that allow us to rest Kanté and Hazard for Swansea at home. It means that we should aim to strengthen the first X1, not aim to strengthen our squad players. The way Conte talks about strengthening for next season, is an indication he is thinking the same. If we assume Christensen is coming back, I suggest we go out and buy 5 top players: 1 CF, 1 AM, 1 CM, 1 LWB and 1 RWB or CB depending on where Azpi will play next season. To illustrate an example: Morata, Sanchez, Verratti, Mendy and van Dijk will cost around 250mp, which is not unrealistic given many sources mention Roman will provide a 200mp budget and we can easily sell players for 50mp+. A squad like this is a massive improvement in quality and depth, and should let Conte rotate properly to make sure we are not jaded Mourinho-style when we approach the final stages of the season: van Dijk/Christensen - Luiz - Cahill/Aké Azpi/Moses - Kanté/Matic/Chalobah - Verratti/Fabregas - Alonso/Mendy Sanchez/Pedro - Costa/Morata - Hazard/Willian
  12. You really fail to get the point. Of course we can include a bunch of youth/academy players in the squad, but if they won't play a lot, what's the point? They will be better off going on loan. An important factor to consider is timing. The timing was perfect for Chalobah last year, it is not at all this year for Baker. And despite a very decent season in Holland at 22, I would compare it to what MvG had at 20 the summer he signed for us. Baker is not going to come in and strengthen us at this point, and we don't need another "body". It is a lot better for Baker if he takes another step on loan, rather than come in when the timing is bad. And your last paragraph does not make any sense. You are basically saying exactly what I was saying (1. bring in a top class CM, 2. send Baker on a new loan, 3. Chalobah to continue to contribute), right after you claimed my post was nonsense. Hungover?
  13. Come on. I wrote "nowhere". He played less for Napoli than he did for us. One year ago, most people thought he would never even play a game for us. He is not easily good enough. He can be if he works hard and takes his time.
  14. Sorry boys. We should improve our squad to be able to challenge for the CL also. Do you really think we should give that responsibility to Chalobah and Baker? I am all for giving youth a chance, but winning trophies shall and will always be the main objective for this club. Chalobah came from "nowhere" and did well, but he will not start an away knock out tie in the CL next season. We need to strengthen with players that leave Matic and Fabregas on the bench. Chalobah should take his time, and build on the confidence he surely must have gotten after this season. He should be able to get 5-10 more appearances and a couple in the CL next season to further cement himself. Matic has done well, but I can see him leaving after next season making way for Chalobah - if he continues to build on his decent (nothing more!) season here. I think Baker needs a season on loan to further prove himself at PL level. Now is just not the right timing. Fabregas is one of my absolute favourites, but he is going to play the utility role next season also. And with two years left on his contract you can perhaps hope that Baker can replace him in a couple of years. I think people have too high expectations to what our youth prospects can become. Many seem to think that it is either becoming the next JT, or bust. Pipe dreams. I think the aims should be to try and make decent players. If we can refrain from spending on Merieles, Kalou, Bosingwa etc but instead have a few academy players complementing a spine of world-class players, that would be absolutely fantastic. Chalobah, Baker, Abraham etc are all showing tremendous potential, but let them become decent players for us, before we try and see if they can become new club legends. That's what we did with JT ...
  15. I think you are right in the sense about allround players. Conte seems to like players that can do everything quite well (Pedro, Chalobah, Moses), rather than players with some extreme qualities (Fabregas, Batshuayi). As much as I have always rated de Rossi, I can't see how he gives us the quality we need in CM. We have a nailed on starter in Kanté, two slightly ageing utility players in Matic (29) and Fabregas (30) and an up and coming stability player in Chalobah. I can't see why a 33 year old would offer us what we need. In my opinion, that is pretty obvious: an allround top class CM approaching (not nearing the end of) his best years, that is good defensively but perhaps even more specialised in playing the ball than Kanté. Martin1905 mentions Verratti and Nainggolan, who both fit that bill. If we got one of them, I would be thrilled, but I massively prefer Verratti. His talent is wasted in Ligue 1, he is simply a genius. And he can tackle and defend, plus knows Conte from his Italy days. We seem to have a good eye on Bakayoko too, who I am not convinced by. Seems like a Yaya Toure meets Matic clone, but for me is way too sloppy or lacks concentration. He is only 22, but I hope we prefer someone slightly more experienced. We will see, though. Interesting summer coming up, and I expect a big budget to help us strengthen with 5 top players. In addition to Christensen and a likely Begovic replacement.
  16. Harsh on JT, who has been absolutely fantastic for one and a half decade, partnering up with at least 10 different CBs. Carvalho had the pleasure of always playing alongside JT ...
  17. Pointless comparisons - he is where he is. 10 minutes of decent performance so far? Yeah right. He is a boy with a lot of potential. He is obviously quite a long way from realising all of it, but his raw talent can be an asset for many clubs. If Brighton tried to push for him six months ago, you would expect them to try again this summer. To be fair, they play with two strikers up top and currently have three pretty average CFs. I guess they all offer some kind of stability, but you need that bit of x-factor. RLC's ability to break away and exploit space can be a very important asset when they face tougher opponents next season. To let him play off the main striker is for sure what they tried to get in January, and in retrospect that was when RLC should have gone on loan to the CH.
  18. No doubt PL clubs are difficult. And logistics is a good point. But never have there been more candidates than this year. And there are at least three clubs that are more likely than not to take one of ours. If Huddersfield is promoted, then you can almost guarantee they will take one of Brown or Palmer. Bournemouth should be a club we will try and send a good prospect to as well, since Eddie Howe is not afraid of playing positive and attacking football. It would be my preferred club for Abraham, but Baker and Palmer are also offering them something they don't have - and lack. Only King of their attacking players is an automatic starter, the others are too volatile and undependable, so it should not be impossible to be given a fair chance there. IMO, Baker could cherry pick from the second half of the table. Swansea would suit him, and you would imagine with Clement there, that they could be another club taking one of ours. RLC at Championship level? I can see the arguments, but it won't be his or the club's priority. He is on 60k a week, an under 21 regular for almost two years and has more PL starts for Chelsea than any 21 year old, English player has had since JT. Both parties will aim higher than CH. Whether that's a good idea or not remains to be seen, but I think there will be enough suitors for him - and both Newcastle and Brighton has had him on his radar. We should probably steer well clear of clubs like WBA, Stoke, Burnley and Palace, as their risk-averse approach correlate badly with giving on-loan youngsters many chances. Leaves us with Southampton, Leicester and Everton - and I guess only Abraham and Baker could go there and claim something. But even that may be too much of a step for them. Aina is perhaps better off in the Serie A. He needs to improve his defending, and I guess the Italian staff will push for a couple of Serie A loans as they are very well aware of the quality of the defensive school in Italy. 5-6 is perhaps two too many. But at least two of Baker, Abraham and RLC is realistic, plus one of Palmer and Brown if Huddersfield is promoted.
  19. I imagine so too, but it is not a slam dunk either. We should at least try to convince him: Outline a two year plan. Guaranteed to at least play all domestic cup games. Trained by world-class coaches. Be a part of one of Europe's top clubs, likely to win at a few trophies. Likely to get game time in CL. After two years, either he will replace Courtois (no guarantees he will stay forever), or he will be sold to a top club. Yes, 2nd GK is a hard sell. But playing for Chelsea is difficult to turn down. Pickford has played 150 senior games, which at 23 is a lot for a GK. Being part of Chelsea and all that comes with it, will develop him in another way than playing week in week out for Swansea. If I were Pickford, I would at least consider this option.
  20. Izzy Brown and Huddersfield to play Reading (and John Swift) for promotion. If they are promoted, you would expect either Brown or Palmer (currently injured) to go there on loan next season. Both of them have been very good for Huddersfield, but as far as I know PL clubs can loan maximum one player from other PL clubs. Palmer also attracting interest from Bournemouth, which seems like a good fit. Baker, RLC and Aina should also aim for PL loans, they are more than capable imo, but with youngsters taking PL loans we know by experience how often they turn out to be unsuccessful. Tomori played some part in Brighton's promotion, but it is perhaps too soon to expect him go there again and get regular starts in the PL? Abraham's season has made him such a top target for many PL clubs, that I guess we can almost demand guarantees over playing time. Very intrigued to follow him next season. In other words, could be looking at 5-6 English Chelsea prospects on PL loans next season. The last time we had a successful PL loan for an English player, I guess was Sturridge at Bolton? And the season after, he was an important squad player/starter. Others in contention for PL loans: Boga, Musonda, Kane, Kenedy. Could be even more interesting to follow the PL next season.
  21. To be fair, Begovic has been dreadful for us, so he shouldn't be too hard to replace. He was a good PL GK before he joined us, but in terms of performances only Turnbull spring to mind as worse than him in recent years. Not blaming him though, can imagine how hard it is to perform as a 2nd choice GK. I still hope we will try to convince Pickford. He won't be a starter at any of the top 6 clubs, and if he gets LC and FA cup starting guarantee here, maybe that is more attractive than going to West Ham or Swansea?
  22. Wow, what a game. An absolute joy to see John Terry score the opener. He was in tears, and it is just so right that he gets a goal at the end of his tenure. And to be fair, now is the right time. Don't even care to talk about what did not go so well Yesterday. The man is a legend and a hero, and to finish his career at Chelsea by winning the title for a team that looks able to dominate for many years, it really is the perfect timing for a moment nobody really wants to see happen. I am guessing he will start against Sunderland, possibly being subbed in the 26th minute and carried off the pitch Drogba-style. Willian had a great game, and Conte has a difficult decision to make on him vs Pedro in the FA Cup final. Matic vs Fabregas is more of a tactical decision, but is probably hard to make also. Chalobah had a volatile performance - some really good passes, but were also too slow on the ball and out of position defensively. I think it is 50/50 whether he stays next season, as he has played very little football the last two seasons. Great to see our hero Batshuayi get another one, it means so much to him, but like many of his starting buddies Yesterday probably won't be here next season. Sadly, Yesterday also showed why there will be many ins and outs this summer. Our next bests are just too far behind. We were a shambles at the back, and especially Zouma. His involvement in goal #2 and #3 were like looking at a 17 year old debutant. Hope he can get a loan to a Serie A club where he can play regularly in a back three. Question marks raised over Aké as well, both the header for goal #1 and his positioning on goal #2 does not help him winning over Conte's trust. But there is still something about him that makes him a safer bet than Zouma. Oh, and Lee Mason. What a troll. Worst ref? Fabregas' winner was special. Fantastic to see how much we want to win a dead rubber game. Can only do good for our confidence going into the final. Expect all 11 starters to feature against Sunderland.
  23. And while we are on the RWB position. I have previously had my doubts as to how effective Azpi can play that position, but after watching him there Yesterday, I think it is clear that he can. Only question is whether Conte thinks he is best at RCB or RWB. And that will probably determine whether we buy a new CB or RWB this summer.
  24. May be true. But I'd rather we spend on players with the right mentality, than just thinking Conte can work his miracles on anyone.
  25. All valid points, but that is not enough for me. Is he a winner? Does he have a similar mentality to the spine of our squad? I really don't think so. He is very much Arsenal to me, a number four. And why has he not managed to break into their side?