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About GJH

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    Chelsea FC
  1. Transfer Talk Topic

    No, he was sold for the reasons that meant he wasn't able to get into the team. If Mata is sold, it'll have been for those same reasons. I don't particularly like the idea of selling to any domestic rival but it's not as if there aren't players more suitable than Mata out there. Look how quickly CFC reacted in the Willian deal.
  2. If you're only pressing out wide, you might as well not press at all. Comparing them doesn't mean much either, they are two fundamentally different types of no. 10. Mata will come deep if necessary but Oscar will do it naturally and that gives you an extra man in midfield, as well as someone who can actually win the ball back in their own half. It also creates problems for the opposition: do their CM/DMs stay and protect the CBs or do they chase Oscar and concede space in a very dangerous area? In the 3-1 loss to Napoli, Drogba and Mata were marked by 5 players (3 CBs, 2 CMs) - Oscar won't be taken out of a game like that. Just because it's not broken doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. Winning things with Mata isn't even proof that there's nothing to fix. I don't know how you're so informed on what Mourinho's 'task' is but you basically highlight the problem with your own argument: leaving Mata as the 10 is counterproductive to strengthening the defence. Similarly, if you have two midfielders behind Mata who are there purely to cover for his shortcomings, you're limiting/weakening the team by relying on an individual (who can be contained) to do their job, every single game, without fail. Typically, you end up with players like van Bommel or de Jong, too. The funny thing is, JM had near enough the same problem at Madrid. Ronaldo can't be relied upon to work for the team, so the CMs had to cover for him. It doesn't work and it can always be exploited.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    This whole thing would be quite funny if the club weren't going to pay £31m+ for Willian.
  4. Transfer Talk Topic

    For this to work, I think the clubs have to be satisfied with their replacements. You might not have like-for-like alternatives to Luiz and Rooney but players in their roles are definitely obtainable, even if it means restructuring slightly in another area. Whereas, with Fabregas, there's no one more qualified to play in that midfield than him and he's the only senior option they have to compete with Iniesta and Xavi (even if he's never going to actually replace the latter). It also means that, since they don't seem to trust Alexis, they'd lose their only alternative to Messi. Finding an alternative to Luiz would be much easier for them.
  5. Transfer Talk Topic

    "I'd just like to remind anyone we will not taking questions on Wayne Rooney today, erm.. oh no, it's not Steve, is it?" I don't think there's anything of substance being said at all, honestly.
  6. Transfer Talk Topic

    Well, while Atletico really can't afford to keep €60m players, the wages he's probably on at Monaco surely helped him out the door, so there's room for some cynicism. But if Falcao is available again and the asking price isn't excessive, I hope he is seen as a genuine alternative to Rooney, despite their differences.
  7. Transfer Talk Topic

    I don't think it would be that certain. He was quite emotional before leaving Atletico, enough for it to be reasonable to think he would seriously consider an alternative to Real if there was one. If Monaco have to sell to reduce wages, they might have to accept less than £50m too.
  8. Official: Romelu Lukaku Joins Everton

    You're happy to talk about the benefits he'd have at a club that finished in third but not those he gets at one which finished in eighth. WBA are a team that like to attack more towards the end of games. Opposition get tired and they concede more chances. It's a very good strategy for a club that, with respect, can't attract world class playmakers. This is reflected in Lukaku's scoring record. I think more than half of his goals have come from about the 70th minute onwards. Shane Long often does what Steve Clarke has called "the horrible shift", which is harassing defenders for 60/65 minutes. Those drained players then have to deal with an energetic 20 year old who already has a distinct physical advantage. There's also less pressure and it would've been very rare for Lukaku to come up against teams that would have 9 men defending deep. Incidentally, he is caught offside nearly as much as Benteke (highest in the league). That doesn't exactly bode well considering the nature of the 'three brilliant attacking players behind him'. If he can't work with restricted space in front of goal, it's going to be difficult for him to score and clearly that's the measure by which he is judged. I'm not saying Romelu wouldn't have something to offer in theory. The issue is that it's very possible there will be three strikers at the club next season, not including Lukaku. That makes it difficult for him, even just because of seniority issues. I think the quality of training is a massive part of player development but playing actual games is so valuable because it allows him to refine his skillset in the environment in which he'll need to utilise them most effectively. Risking that development on the basis that, under very different circumstances, he scored more goals than the current options is wrong, imo. It might be better if he were loaned to a side that approached games more like his parent club but having him around someone like Steve Clarke has its benefits too. It really seems he is keen to play as much as he can. To be clear, this is less about him as an individual and more about expecting Lukaku's relative success to translate from one situation to another. We talk about this when players move between leagues but it happens much less when it comes to clubs which can be just as diverse.
  9. Official: Romelu Lukaku Joins Everton

    So he would currently be first choice, then? I think you're looking at his success with very little context.
  10. The people that are fixated on the penalties usually forget about the quality of his other goals too. Just off the top of my head I can think of Villa (h & a), Newcastle (a), West Ham (h) - all since the end of December.
  11. How many clubs have managed this? You either gamble (repeatedly) on the good alternatives or risk bigger money on big names. In both situations, it's probably not going to work out at some point, you just have to accept it. Most £30m+ long term signings are actually quite good. Torres was an exception because he was incredibly overpriced and the wrong type of player with an already questionable injury record. I don't think it was quite the same for Shevchenko, he was quite unfortunate. Act sensibly enough to avoid the blatant mismatches and you'll usually get what you pay for - marquee signing or lesser known talent.
  12. Official: Eden Hazard Joins Real Madrid

    Yes, especially considering the possible nature of the environment. However, being comfortable or happy doesn't mean he isn't prepared to leave under certain circumstances. Recently, Jurgen Klopp said that Shinji Kagawa cried for before leaving Dortmund.
  13. Official: Eden Hazard Joins Real Madrid

    You don't have to be a selling club to be in a vulnerable position. It's not like there are no other teams that can offer him what he has the opportunity to have here and then some - a great wage, trophies and CL football. His increased value only gives him more of a right to say that he should be playing at that level and a £55m fee is purely guesswork. I'm not saying he will go, or even that it's likely but mismanagement has us chasing a top four finish with an incomplete squad despite far greater long term expectations and aspirations. I wouldn't blame anyone for wanting out of that when they know it may continue.
  14. Official: Eden Hazard Joins Real Madrid

    Another outstanding goal today, I'm glad Hazard is shooting a bit more. He has a great shot and it seems he is accurate wherever he hits them, top or bottom corner, near or far post. It's so important that the club retain him in the summer. Supposedly the amount of game time he'd get was a major factor in his arrival but I worry what failing to qualify for the Champions League would mean and that extends to others, Mata in particular.
  15. And what club will have him? Basically every club wouldn't need him or couldn't afford him. Atletico is the one that gets mentioned every time. I don't want to oversimplify complex financial issues but they owe absurd sums of money (hundreds of millions of €) and yet, at they same time they are starting to compete for trophies again. When they sold Aguero, he went for nearly double his initial fee. That money was used to buy Falcao and while he won't make the same 'profit' because of his higher initial price and third party ownership, he, like Aguero, has undoubtedly helped to make the club more successful - two Europa League wins, two Super Cups and one Copa del Rey final in the last three years. When, or if, Falcao goes, I think you can bet on them investing in a young/South American talent. It's a way for them to generate some money via player development and appease the supporters at the same time. I can't see where Torres fits into that. Even if his wages were heavily subsidised, he still isn't going to compete for a first team place at Atletico for the very same reasons he won't compete for a first team place at Chelsea. Liverpool turned him into a player that was exceptional at a few specific things and now he isn't capable of them anymore (through diminished ability, confidence, a combination of the two or however it is rationalised), he's arguably a worse player than he was around six to ten years ago. Disregarding limited interest and whether he actually cares about playing football anymore, should he somehow be loaned out, the assumption is that he will be paid more than many players who are actually useful to the club. It's a complete lose-lose situation.