A Blue Essien

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About A Blue Essien

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  • Birthday 05/30/1983

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  1. Good work out. Pretty obvious that Bayern were stung by their previous 4-0 defeat and came out to win this game. They pressed high and in numbers and kept the ball well. Unsurprisingly, we were a little sloppy in possession and were unable to move the ball forward cohesively. The sticky conditions, awful pitch, and obvious lethargy due to all the traveling played a part. Regardless, it was heartening to see how we adjusted by pressing high up ourselves, and moving the ball quickly and vertically. We ended up dominating the game with Bayern holding on. It was good practice to chase the game and it shows the determination that runs through the team. Trying not to focus too much on individuals, but I thought Courtois should have done better, for at least one of the goals. A quality keeper like him really shouldn't be caught out from 25 yards. Cesc showed the good and the bad in his game. On the ball he's lethal, without it, he's a bit of a liability really and Conte knows that. He'd be brilliant in a 3 man midfield and I wouldn't be surprised to see us revert to that for some of the bigger games. Our WB's are absolutely essential to our play and we need some quality options to rotate. Currently we have no one else at LWB. We need to move quickly. We're very short on AM's and we desperately need some quality there. LWB and AM is where I would splash the cash. An additional CM and RWB can be dependable squad members. Finally, I thought Morata looked pretty sharp for someone who's traveled across the world over the past week. Good touch, decent pace and footwork and he put himself about. Exciting little cameo and it wets the appetite to think how he would combine with the likes of Pedro and Hazard.
  2. Morata should get some time here to stretch his legs. The poor guy has traveled across the world over the past week and gone straight into training in hot and humid weather. I expect him to be a little sluggish. Really hope Christensen gets a start and at least an hour under his belt. He deserves it. Also hope Boga gets a start. and builds on his previous performance. I wonder if Musonda will feature, seeing as he trained yesterday. Otherwise I expect to see many of the same faces from the start. Conte isn't messing around.
  3. Yes, we're very light there. The fact that we may have to change formation because of a couple of injuries only proves how light we are. Morata is nothing like Torres. Torres was completely reliant on his pace, once that went he was a shadow of his former self. Morata has a more all round game, without relying on any one specific trait. Yes, it certainly seems like a mass media briefing. The news came out at the same time with the same information. I'm not sure if it was particularly wise to give specific names, but now that it's out there, it's up to the club to deliver.
  4. As others have mentioned, we look sharp and fit, which is a relief as I was a bit worried about being under-cooked and not having enough warm up games. Conte obviously won't allow that, so hopefully we're quick out of the blocks once the season starts. Last summer Conte was still coming to terms with the squad and the formation he would use going forward. He, as well as the squad, are a lot more familiar with each other now and the fluidity is there to be seen. Now it's just a matter of integrating the new signings and bringing in a few more faces.
  5. Yes. Embarrassing and hilarious at the same time. Not that it matters to City; money means nothing to them. And no one really bats an eyelid because, well, no one really cares about City. I'd prefer to add a proper quality AM, but I wouldn't be against keeping Boga, Musonda, and Baker if we actually use them. At the very least we could play them in the domestic cups. We really can't afford to stretch our core 15-16 players in those competitions. Pretty sure Musonda was injured and returned to us for treatment. Well, I think we'll bag someone this week. Sandro would be a dream so not getting ahead of myself. It's gone quiet though, which I suppose isn't a bad thing. Add another CM and yes, I'd be happy with that.
  6. This. And this. Madrid will be going all in for Mbappe. They also need to look at the FB positions now that Coentrao and Danilo are gone. Barca are going all in for Coutinho, as an Iniesta replacement. Backup LWB as it stands. Hoepfully we're bringing someone else in. Yes, very good, and it expands upon all the concerns that have been voiced here. Still quite worrying how much work remains to be done. Also, quite worrying that Conte was close to leaving, but I suppose encouraging that we've convinced him to stay. Yes, Remy would be a logical 3rd choice. May as well use if if we have him, though as you mention, his fitness is a concern.
  7. Boga's certainly ready physically, but there's still a rawness and naivety in his play. Having said that, his directness is a breath of fresh air and you make a very good point in regards to him flourishing around better players. He will have to start upping his output though. I'd love him to stick around and get serious minutes, but we've been here before so I'm not holding my breath.
  8. The way he's going I don't see why he shouldn't be leading the line come the start of the season. It's up to Morata now to prove he deserves to start.
  9. Welcome Alvaro. Good signing this. He's someone Conte has wanted for several seasons and he's closer to the finished package now. Will be a step up for him in terms of responsibility and adjustment to the league, but he has all the attributes to succeed. He's a unit, with good technical ability and pace. Seems a team player so should fit in well. With Morata and Michy, we have two extremely talented strikers to rely upon for the long term. Exciting times.
  10. It'll be interesting to see how we approach this. Start the first XI, ala Fulham in the previous game with all change at half time? Or mix and match? We need to handle our first XI very carefully.
  11. Yes, agree with all of this. The glutton in me wanted Kante, Bakayoko, Cesc, Matic AND Chalobah. The former. They don't have a scooby. Yes, though we still need another CM (assuming Pasalic is off, which seems likely) and ideally an AM. I don't think the Sandro deal is dead yet, it's just gone quiet. It'll be dead if/when he signs a new contract. The conspiracy theorist in me believes that we're using Matic as bait. Include him in the Sandro deal and we'll sell him cheap. If you're not going to include Sandro, then he'll cost 40m by himself. Let's see who blinks first. Anelka. He's nothing like Morata but fits Dave's description to a tee.
  12. Yes, starting to come together. Those are some very good buys. Still, lots of work to be done. I would love Baker and/or Pasalic to get a chance. My worry is that we send them out on loan and leave ourselves short. That's the worst case scenario. Good posts. Agree with both. Fully agree with 1-3. Think you're a bit naive with 4. Matic and Costa are almost certainly gone, and we're just waiting for confirmation on Zouma. 5 remains to be seen and as of now I'm loathe to include u21's as squad fillers, seeing as they're rarely usable. Yes, agreed. Those 3 positions are the priority. Good question. Mendy was actually my first choice LWB, keeping in mind that Sandro was never really likely. Unfortunately I think City are odds on to sign him. Assuming the likes of Marcelo and Alaba are unavailable, I guess we'd have to look closer to home and look at squad options like Bertrand or Cresswell. Then there are the likes of Jonas Hector, Alex Telles, and Fouzi Ghoulam, all of whom are rated, but I don't know much about them. Yeah, Baba's basically in the same position as Zouma was in last summer. We should probably look to loan him out in Jan.
  13. Well, it looks better than it did a week ago! The scary thing about that squad however is that to start the season you'd have to take Hazard and Bakayoko out. So if the season were to start tomorrow, it would look like: Courtois; Azpi, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kanté, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Willian Subs: Caballero, Rüdiger, Christensen, Kenedy, Baker, Musonda, Batshuayi Very short. But, like I said, it's better than it was last week, so whilst there's still a lot of work to do, it's starting to come together.
  14. Yes, I agree with this. Still don't think we're interested though. We stick with him, of course. He's only 23 after all. At this rate I'd take him. And people were wondering why I was worried a couple of weeks ago. Like I said some time last week, I've never seen us start pre-season with such a shallow squad. Matic and Costa haven't trained and haven't traveled. They're as good as gone I reckon. Zouma's actually in Stoke at the moment. Just waiting for the announcement. Hazard and Bakayoko will be back around mid-September, at best. Great news. Now it's time to back him. I dare say an extension would then follow. Important goals in important games that led to a first league title in years. Tedious, isn't it? Yeah, I really do think Morata's our first choice. However, I'm not overly confident that we'll sign him, seeing as Madrid are really digging in.
  15. Yup, he's gone. Makes sense, lets hope he gets the playing time he needs. Yeah, could be. The net has certainly been spread far and wide. I really hope we do this to Man U in regards to Matic. You would think so, but I get the feeling that we're just not interested in him. Dortmund seem pretty happy to sell and I reckon a deal wouldn't be that difficult to complete. I think we'll wait to see who Milan land and take it from there. IMO, Morata's our preferred option. Bit harsh. In that case, any new signing is a [insert former club] reject. Definitely. It's also a message to the fans. This. I wish. We really should throw an offer in there, if for no other reason than to start a fire.