Juni

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Everything posted by Juni

  1. Following Chelsea's Loans

    You can pick and choose players who had good/bad loans all day long, it's irrelevant. The concern over Gilmour at Norwich is whether or not he's getting an education out of possession and whether or not they trust him to progress the play in midfield like Chelsea did and like Scotland do. Early returns on the latter are not promising, but he'll undoubtedly learn more defensively and off the ball in a team that will spend plenty of time without it.
  2. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    The gap has been closing massively, a lot of PL money and the requirements of a Category One EPPP academy means everyone has to invest and improve, so it's harder to be as good as Chelsea have been, though not impossible, and worth noting that things aren't terrible at all, just those 5 years or so where they won everything stands out as being even more special (and it's only after the fact that you realise how special it was). Tbh the biggest takeaway I got from the Arsenal game was just how much a good coach has improved them. They were heading nowhere under Steve Bould, then hired Kevin Betsy in the summer, and it's like night and day watching them. They've always had quality players but now a damn fine coach working with them too.
  3. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    It was, somewhat. Their goalkeeper has ten senior caps for Estonia, the lad who was sent off has a senior cap for Tunisia (squared against McClelland having one for Northern Ireland mind), Balogun has played 12 first-team games, Akinola is 20, Lopez in his age-20 season, as is Alebiosu. Chelsea's oldest player was Mbuyamba (20 in December) and started five players still eligible for U18 football including 16yo Brodi Hughes. All of that said, it was a very poor performance in several regards.
  4. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Droy and I have rarely agreed on academy discussions over the years but I always enjoy them for that very reason. I see a lot more than most people are able to but that doesn't mean I'm right nor that I shouldn't ever reconsider my position. I'm right about Guehi though. ;)
  5. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    If it's all about winning trophies and not having a sense of identity and soul and a connection with the club, then it doesn't really matter what colour the shirt is or what's on the badge. Might as well support PSG. I'm not asking for a whole squad of academy products but I am asking for them to be treated with the respect their ability deserves and for just as equal a chance as some utter waster like Hakim Ziyech gets just because someone's reputation is riding on having given the nod for a £30m transfer.
  6. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    It's very simple. You have four CBs out of contract next summer and two of them in their 30s. You move on from at least one of them now and give Guehi 20-25 games in a 55-60 game season (and he is absolutely good enough), a platform to then stake his claim for more the following season. I guarantee you that would be acceptable but it won't be. They might sell Zouma but they'll probably sign Lacroix and it's that sort of behaviour that puts off talented academy players. Essentially you're also saying that Mount and James would've been acceptable sacrifices for the 'greater good' too btw, because Chelsea are apparently good enough to be able to overlook talents of their abilities in normal times. Don't worry though, there'll be another chaotic collapse in the next twelve months and they'll lurch into another direction again soon enough.
  7. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Don't think for a moment his family and his agents don't know what Chelsea are up to and what their intentions are for him. They see stories linking Chelsea to other big-money CBs and, rightly, take the decision to further his career elsewhere. Chelsea lose an asset they could've instead trusted instead of doing what they've always done, which is knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. And again, I ask you to consider how different things might've been for each of them if they'd been afforded the same experiences as Mount. Look at Chalobah, a 17 year-old bossing the Championship, who went on to play well for a Chelsea title-winning team in relief of the starters. Nobody can tell me he wouldn't have at least been able to hold down a long-term rotation spot in midfield given the right opportunity at the right time, but he was instead then sent to ****ing Billy Davies at Forest and then to Burnley? **** sort of chance did he have?
  8. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Guehi has done everything Mount and James did, perhaps more, but hasn't got a favourable manager in the dugout so doesn't get the same treatment. There's no way you can say Mount and James made it because they were good enough without recognising they had help in breaking through the closed door that so many of their predecessors were frustrated by. How many of them would've scaled new heights had they been given the chances Mount and James were given? Development isn't linear and it is absolutely affected by where you end up being forced to play. If Lampard wasn't here, Mount would've definitely been loaned out again, because Chelsea had previously shown no interest in giving a Championship player a chance in the first team, and there is a strong possibility he'd be nowhere near the first team now, or at the very least not the player he's become. Surely this much has become obvious over the last decade? Chelsea have won just the two PL titles in the last decade while ignoring the academy btw, and had just as many disastrous seasons, it's hardly like the alternatives have been much better. But sure, put your faith in the board that at best stumble into good fortune rather than the only part of the men's side of the club that has been a consistent and undeniable success.
  9. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    And yes, you could absolutely convince Guehi to sign and do one more year of loan if you weren't feeding him absolute bullshit that anyone with any remote detection could smell a mile off. As soon as Frank was sacked, the academy players knew the score. Only one returning successful academy loanee has ever been given the meritocratic opportunity to impress in the first team outside of his reign and that was Christensen. Count the academy grads/returning loanees who committed to long-term deals before a ball had been kicked under Lampard. It's really not hard to work out what the players think.
  10. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    If you're not offering pathways to players you have developed in-house and who are clearly good enough, you are wasting your time and your money. Go ahead, sink another year into a declining Thiago Silva, spend £30m on a CB nobody will remember in two years, and pretend it's a sustainable theme while forgetting exactly why Chelsea are currently Champions of Europe.
  11. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Reports are one thing. Convice him there's a real pathway and he'll sign a new contract. There isn't, so he can't be convinced. A problem entirely of Chelsea's own making.
  12. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    I doubt they'd be quite so bad as to warrant that little playing time.
  13. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    I don't see signing him back for £40m (which is pie in the sky ****, he won't come back) as cheaper either.
  14. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    Decent absolutely wins you PL and CL titles when those players are getting Zappacosta's minutes and Barkley's minutes and Emerson's minutes and free up big money to go and buy Havertz or Werner or pay Thiago Silva or whatever.
  15. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    It's a good job nobody in the PL needs decent PL players then right?
  16. New Kits

    They're always pretty in isolation and people who produce them know how to use Photoshop, but actual kit designers also take into account how the kit looks on players, on the pitch, in front of cameras and a bunch of other things that your casual designer doesn't think about. Also, nobody cares what the kit looks like after it's been worn a few times.
  17. Following Chelsea's Loans

    You probably have, and it would've been the same goal, I've just been quite lazy this season in getting them uploaded around the time they were scored.
  18. Following Chelsea's Loans

    More than that, they have a full-time independent tutor who oversees their programme and takes the lead on post-secondary education (so in Jack's case, he won't have attended a school to do his A Levels, but done them on-site at Cobham (like all the schooling now) and in his own time, only going into a school for examinations as the law requires. There are a few other cases over the years but they're exceptions rather than the rule - Solanke went to Vitesse just before his 18th birthday, Cork and Bertrand both went to Bournemouth as 17 year-olds waaaaaaaaaay back when, and the odd case in between. It's mostly because it's too young to loan players out in general, but educational requirements will play a part from time to time.
  19. Following Chelsea's Loans

    School-age players have been loaned before but it's rare. Jack Wakely went to Basingstoke last season while still doing his A Levels but he was still training at Chelsea half the weeek.
  20. Guardiola managed one season in Spain's third tier, Zidane had 18 months in Spain's third tier, and I find his TD shadowing experience a bit insignificant. I certainly have no issue with those providing cogent arguments against his appointment, I just disagreed with the notion that no big serious club would consider hiring a manager off the back of one year's experience at a lower level, when history tells us that plenty of them have, to mixed success.
  21. Without considering why they went on to succeed, were the decisions to hire Guardiola and Zidane by the two biggest clubs in the world too much of a gamble, or are they not serious clubs?
  22. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    It varies, but the answer is 'not much' after their GCSEs (which are required by law of course, and Chelsea have had mostly good results from their relationship with the school they work with, the lads are educated on-site at the training ground). Some lads who are academically-minded do pursue a near-full A Level load (Richard Nartey and Ruben Sammut have done this, for example), others might dabble in extended education but they mostly sign their pro deal on their 17th birthday during what would be their Year 12 season and don't go a lot further.
  23. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    There's no doubt it's a more competitive environment to sign players now, the education thing isn't linked to that though, it's a mixture of whether the club feels the player is good enough to warrant that investment from Year 9 upwards, and whether the player and his family would rather stay in their current school because it suits their work-life balance better. Going into the full-time programme often means moving out of home and into digs earlier than usual, so that's a big upheaval for a 14 or 15-year old kid, and it doesn't suit everyone. It just means that if you come into your scholarship 'cold' as it were, you're learning more on the fly than you would be if you'd have spent a year or more getting ready for it on a (near)full-time basis. One other thing, fewer players aren't coming through the integrated education programme, there are loads this year and a good number in the next two years, it was just this particular group that didn't have as many.
  24. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    I appreciate that isn't actually brief, but then it's hard to be. I suspect I'll write more in-depth in my season reviews anyway.
  25. Chelsea Reserve & Youth Team

    I'll try to be brief; this year's group of first-year scholars aren't as good as those that have preceded them, nor are they as good as the ones to come. It happens, it doesn't mean they're bad players, but when a perfect storm of events happens that challenges them more than your average year, you end up with a little drop in performance. The most tangible difference for them is that only two among them were in the club's full-time education programme before becoming scholars, so the rest were on day-release and had less exposure to the day-to-day environment by comparison to those that went before them. One of those two was Tino Anjorin, who was too good for that level, so moved up to the U23s full-time before getting injured. Ian Maatsen did the same, so you've taken away the two best players in the squad, while you could also have had Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu if you wanted, plus Jon Panzo left. That's a core few teams can afford to lose, and when you consider that the previous years of dominance have come with a strong balance of second years, first years, and the odd talented schoolboy, you're now fighting without that experience and depth of talent. There was also a change of coach, which brings about new learning all-round, and even Myers himself missed a chunk of touchline time mid-season after rupturing his achilles. You're also fighting against REALLY good Arsenal and Tottenham teams in the league - teams with that depth and breadth of experience across three age ranges - and they ran into Man Utd in the FA Youth Cup. They were their own worst enemies in that match but United are a very capable side and the lad that scored the hat-trick to knock them out played against PSG in the Champions League a couple of months later. So there are some mitigating circumstances for the Under-18s, but no excuses, because that's the way this stuff goes. There's no entitlement to success, there will be down years, and it makes the success they have experienced all the more incredible when you apply that sort of context. I don't necessarily think youth success is a great predictor of senior success on an individual level but, when the games programme at this age group is heavily centred around 'Learning to Win', I do think there's inherent value in the mentality it teaches you and requires to meet every challenge along the way. There are lessons to be had in winning and losing but it's ultimately down to how each player handles those experiences in their journey, and while we can learn from what's gone before us, desire is the one true wildcard that you can't legislate for.