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About bluecueball

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  • Birthday 08/17/1987

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  1. We saw what Fabregas can do when given space, but to be fair David Luiz can pick a 40 yarder too, which in part is what this new system has allowed the latter to do: be the extra man. As long as there's an understanding of his limitations, Cesc can be used to good effect this year and he would be perfect in helping unlock the teams that park the bus - as he always has been. But I think in an ideal world, Conte would love Nainggolan in alongside Kante - which would be frankly ridiculous - everyone else would be better off packing up and going home if that was the case. Chalobah is getting minutes too which could give us another option long term.
  2. West Bromwich playing well, so could be deceptively tricky. On form anyone would back us though, our only concern is suspensions racking up soon.
  3. Isco looked good the other night, would be perfect to fight Pedro for the 2nd AM spot. Need a big signing to compete with Kante and Matic - Nainggolan / Verratti? Also need cover for wing back positions - Ake to return as he can play multiple positions. Ramires would also have been good as RWB which is a shame, maybe Aina can step up when required.
  4. Thing is, you're right that a lot of the players look mediocre or that they haven't adjusted. But on paper, if Jose can galvanise them there's no reason they can't compete. Look at Leicester - a couple of star players but generally just a well oiled collective team. Look at what Conte has done for Moses. A front 4 of Mata, Pogba, Martial and Rashford is properly good if it clicks. Lots of pace and dynamism. I think Valencia is a top RB, Smalling is top 4 level, as is Bailly and Shaw. CM they are probably weakest, but Herrera is good at recycling possession and Rooney still has a work ethic and drive. Mkitaryan was one of the best players in Germany last year and if Mata can cope with the prem then I think he can too, once he adjusts.
  5. I'm not saying that it's a classic United team but I think a lot of the pieces are there for a top team on paper. This is easily top 4 quality IMO: De Gea Valencia/dunno - Smalling/Jones - Bailly/dunno - Shaw/Blind Herrera/Carrick - Rooney/Fellaini Mata/Lingard - Pogba/Mkitarian- Martial/Depay Rashford/Ibrahimovic
  6. Yep I actually think he is still a top manager and will turn it around, for a season or two at least. And when I say safe, there is a qualifier that it's safe within the group. That's when they all share a common goal and belief and aren't fighting eachother. It doesn't mean that he can't discipline them, but it's that everyone trusts eachother and are ready to fight against external sources. At the moment, I don't believe that the group consider themselves safe from eachother / Jose and that's why there's no trust and average performances. Leicester last season were a classic case of the group feeling 'safe' and ready to take on all comers.
  7. Allow me to amend my statement - I think he is building his mandate to do things his way - which includes signing his own players, beginning in Jan. I think we'll see Fabregas leave in Jan and a medium-to-big replacement brought in - £20m+ mainly because he doesn't fit in his vision. It appears that one of Conte's strengths is understanding his squad's strengths and weaknesses and fitting tactics etc. around it. But I think he'll also want to add his players to this squad ASAP.
  8. Fair point. Maybe Christensen next season but my view is that it's likely to be Terry AND Cahill's last season at the club so we'll probably recruit in Jan or the summer.
  9. I have a theory on Jose and why he seems broken. One of the principle roles of a leader is to make the group feel safe. Togetherness & security within the group is what characterized Jose's first CFC squad so strongly that it eventually led to us winning the Champions League (with Drogba, Lamps and Terry key leaders) some 4 years after he left. Most places he has managed, he's created this group togetherness. Porto, Chelsea, Inter. And part of what forges the strength is giving belief and responsibility to the group, showing that you trust them. At Real it all went wrong. For whatever reason, the group rebelled against him and it has caused him to fear his players or, more accurately, to fear a lack of control over them. Because at the other clubs, players would follow him - it was a reciprocal trust and belief. But once that broke down at Real, that was it. Since then, he has become a control freak, scared of his players and desperate for them to do what he says. He shackled Hazard with defensive responsibilities. He is convinced there were moles in the dressing room. That's why he's constantly speaking out against them in public - he believes that there is a giant conspiracy against him. His strategy of 'being the lightning rod' to detract from the players' pressure actually just brings more scrutiny to the club and increases the pressure. Players do not feel safe when their manager is a loose cannon, constantly shooting his mouth off and slagging them off in public. So until he can learn to trust his players again and make the group feel safe, he will continue to get average results.
  10. Importantly, Conte is building his mandate to bring his players in his January. Sustaining this form is down to having a squad that can play it, not just a great* first XI. Outside of Moses and Alonso, maybe we do have the players in the squad to do the WB roles but I'm not banking on it. Keen to see if he can bring through Chalobah for the position next to Kante. *Funny thing is, I never thought a great first XI could include Moses, Alonso or Matic but it just goes to show if you craft a proper team then you've got a great one.
  11. Beyond anything else, Conte is crafting a team. With square pegs in square holes, everyone is contributing towards something greater than the sum of their parts. Much like the Italy side in the summer, ours features a lot of names that you wouldn't place in a Europe first XI. Moses, cahill, alonso etc. But as part of the collective they create a perfect dynamic. Tactically it's very clever too. Release Pedro and hazard from their defensive responsibilities. Solidify the middle lines with 4 workers. Have defenders that are all comfortable in possession and defending out wide if needed. Plus, if you skew the team slightly and drop alonso to left back, it would rotate to a perfect 4-4-2 /4-2-4. Neat. Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Alonso; Moses, Kante, matic, Hazard; Pedro, Costa. What is most exhilarating is the ebb and flow of possession as we spring into the counter. The way Hazard shifted the ball before striking his goal was beautiful and deadly. Great stuff!
  12. Luiz was boree, the manager has several options, it's a rubbish league - made sense for all concerned that he left.
  13. If kids go on loan for experience with the intention that they'll improve and then challenge for a squad place then that's great, but I don't like us buying players 18+ then putting them on loan. the loan army would be fine in the eyes of many if it actually produced first team players for Chelsea but on the whole it hasn't. Id rather we only loaned our kids, which I know the bulk are, and then simply bought for the first team.
  14. Michael I can see your point of view. If I'm honest I'm disappointed in how we conduct our transfer business in general but perhaps that's because I follow us closely and don't follow other clubs so much, maybe they're as a bad as us? I'm certainly not happy with our loan army either but I understand why we need it...back to Luiz anyway: When he was playing at PSG I was sad he wasn't with us any more, and felt we'd lost a big part of our identity. He has his baggage but overall I think his strengths outweigh his weaknesses. He is an undeniable leader. We saw at PSG against us how he can ignite a team to find that winning motivation, but equally he can't sustain it over a season, and for that reason I think he'll always be just a big game player. But that has its massive upside. Plus, Systems can account for weaknesses and Conte is smart enough to find a way to do this. Would very much like our centre backs next season to be Zouma, Luiz and Christensen though. straw poll: who will be a better signing for us, Luiz or Alonso?
  15. Haha I have no idea what you're on about as I'm not a rugger fan but we seem to have signed our loose head prop anyway....#30.