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About zaffo

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    Chelsea / Juventus

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  1. The problem I see with Hazard joining Madrid right now is the timing. With Ronaldo still there, Bale and Benzema. One of them isn't going to play - which is probably Benzema, but it could still mean Hazard ends up spending time on the bench throughout the season like Isco and James have done. Would he be satisfied with that potentially happening, or would he rather be the main man here?
  2. Have you seen the goals Lukaku scores? He's scored some equally important goals and won matches off his own back too. Don't think anyone can really discredit the worth of his goals in comparison to Costa. Both have scored important ones for their respective clubs. In saying that, Costa has been absolute rubbish for us in Europe.
  3. 1) You can't really compare Lukaku to when he was first here to the one that is now. He was like 18? A kid. Yes, he didn't set the world on fire with the few chances he got here, but he was also incredibly young and raw. The development he's had since he left has been invaluable and wouldn't have come about without the regular football he's played. 2) His attitude? I mean, I can see how it would rub some up the wrong way. But there's also no crime in being confident in your ability and wanting to play football at the highest level. He's served his apprenticeship with his time away at WBA and with Everton. He's now 23 years old and a proven top flight scorer. If Everton can't make the CL then that's no fault of Lukaku's. He's done his job probably better than anyone else over the last couple of years in his position. Wanting to leave to develop further isn't a crime. Show's he's hungry. 3) Yes, we could have given him CL football. But the question is, would he actually have played enough for it to be a factor? Probably not. He excelled at WBA on loan and came back to limited opportunities. Sure, staying and fighting could have seen him establish himself. On the flip side, he could have ended up warming the pine and barely playing. He quite easily could have ended up in a similar situation to that of RLC - talented young player but quite raw and lacking a solid foundation of senior football. For me, he made the right decision for the benefit of his career. He opted to leave and play regularly during an important developmental period of his career. In the end, I think it's safe to say his decision has been justified with what he's gone on to achieve thus far. If he wants to come back, if the club want to bring him back, I'd welcome it with open arms.
  4. RLC is raw. Raw in the sense of senior football and what is required to not only be a presence during games, but to also be understanding of the important tactical aspect senior football contains. He has the ability to influence games and he's shown that in glimpse already. On the other hand he's also shown his inexperience at this level and why his opportunities have been quite limited. IMO I don't consider him to be a lazy player. I believe that to be slightly misleading and a bit of a stick for some to beat him with because of the style of his play and rather claim demeanour. Similar was held against Anelka being a sulk because of a more reserved image he put forward. He's a big lad and I think some have this impression of a young dynamic midfielder/attacker who will freely move around the pitch etc. He isn't that sort of player, not yet anyway. I'm sure a lack of both match fitness and sharpness plays an impact in that also. When players don't play regularly and have no real form or fitness behind them it's not uncommon it see them play in spurts. That's largely how RLC plays, in spurts. With a solid match fitness base behind him and game time, consistency hopefully follows. For now, the biggest question mark is where he fits exactly? It would appear in a 343 he's one of the AM options, with the odd opportunity upfront if we push into a 352. He's a bit of an awkward player positionally. Doesn't have the engine (yet) to play central midfield properly. While not quite the tricky dynamic attacker that plays further forward.
  5. And there lies the problem we have. Playing 352 means there's no ideal place for Hazard, Pedro and Willian. 343 gives these players all a more natural position but also means playing one CF. Obtaining another quality CF to play reserve behind Costa is a challenge. Unless, as you said, Costa goes and it becomes a replacement situation. Rotating both CF's would be tough if one of them is performing and scoring goals regularly, as Costa has done this season.
  6. Let's not forget these rumours of him leaving have been ongoing every summer since he arrived. He's made that quite public recently with his desire to return to Atletico. In saying that, unless a team comes to the party with a serious offer containing serious cash, a move is less likely to occur. The catch is that he's also got a deal that runs out in 2019 iirc. So, we may be put in a position where we'll put the wheels in motion to move him on if he doesn't extend. Regardless if Chelsea is his best fit or not. I can't see us willing to lose an asset like Costa for nothing. A decision is going to need to be made within the next 12 months, one way or another.
  7. You mean that Everton system that WBA utilised when Lukaku had his first successful spell out on loan prior to his Everton one?
  8. Losing Hazard would be the worse of the two situations. As good as Costa is, he has his own short comings as well. People like to nit pick Lukaku's weak points, however Costa has a few similar of his own (first touch, passing). IF we lost Costa, Lukaku is the most suitable replacement out there when you factor in age, proven experience, and type of CF. Belotti is the other who'd be a suitable alternative, although not quite as proven. Costa also needs to sign a new deal this summer otherwise we're running the risk of him leaving for peanuts soon after. Another aspect to factor in.
  9. I think it's important to make sure we have a range of versatile players, I don't see Isco as that. He's an AM and that's about where it ends (from what I've seen of him anyway). Not so bad if we stay with 343, however 352 and he becomes a square peg. For me, it's important that if we're to bring in any AM of any sort that they're adapt enough to also playing upfront as a forward. This is why, although older, Alexis Sanchez is the better fit. Conte tends to like players who can play a few positions, with Pedro, Willian and Hazard already here. Not sure Isco ticks the box. Likewise. Although, needs to sign a new deal first.
  10. Vidal at 30 would still be a good move. He's adapt to playing both deeper and more advanced. He know's Conte's system and wouldn't need to adjust to that, simply the league itself. While another quality CM adds some additional class to really make a push in the CL next season. He could easily offer another 3-4 good quality seasons. Whichever route we go, I think it's important we don't close the doors on players like younger players like Chalobah and Baker. Who both have promise and can make contributions to the team in such positions. Although I think Chalobah's contract may end at the end of 2018, but is in talks about a new deal. So any move we make at CM may impact this. Also worth remembering both Matic and Fabregas have their contracts ending in 2019 too. If we can get Vidal for a reasonable price, then we could use that extra money possibly saved from spending on a younger star elsewhere in the squad.
  11. Will ultimately come down to making sure we finish the season standing in the right places. If we do that, we've got it in the bag.
  12. Seriously, Nobly. I'm allowed to navigate this forum however I choose to do so, as is everyone else. If that means ignoring a thread for x amount of time, or not. I've chosen to do that with this thread (and others) in the past. However, because it can also be rather quiet on here at times, now and then I'll pop into some of the threads I tend to avoid to see what's drumming up activity. Sometimes it will result in maybe contributing a post or two, sometimes it's just for a quick gander before clicking the back button and moving on. I'm sure others do likewise. Sure, I agree there can be some good reading by all had in here. Won't get me disagreeing with you on that. Of course, when it remains in check. With that said, and the way this thread has operated for quite some time, my opinion is that little will change long term. Maybe initially people be a little more cautious with the manner in which they post - however in few days, a week or two, or a couple months down the line, we'll see the exact same crossroads being reached. This thread has a cycle as history has shown. Doesn't take much for the wheels to be set back in motion. Ultimately, time will tell. So by all means, may you continue to enjoy it while you can.
  13. Should have kept it closed for the foreseeable future imo. This thread only has one direction and based on previous history, you'll be stepping in once again to close/clean it up. Will witness from afar and see what unfolds going forward.
  14. Really? Because you're doing one hell of a job trying to dismiss every other persons opinion on the matter, even when the stats clearly favour against your theory of being a predominately counter-attacking team - not to mention both manager and players dismissing this notion themselves. If you personally couldn't care less, you'd not try to push **** up a hill and argue otherwise, no? Thankfully we're all conditioned to left of field views courtesy of Droy, so this isn't anything new. I've witnessed more Conte games than most people on here have had hot dinners (unlikely, but dramatically emphasising my point, no need to try and argue this too), not that it makes me any more right or wrong, it simply allows me to hold a greater familiarity and insight into how Conte coaches. I've spoken and explained a lot on here, some even by request, about Conte prior to his joining/as he joined to shed light on the sort of manager he is due to many being unfamiliar besides what they saw at the Euro's and in CL ties. Overall, most of which I've talked about has been on the mark - aside from Azpi at CB. Thus I'm quite comfortable with my understanding of his methods. Now, more back to the main point. His sides CAN play on the counter if the match situation unfolds to do so, that was no different at Juventus. No one is arguing that we don't play counter attacking football at times. The key word there is "at times". However, his sides are never entirely based around the counter-attack. It's merely ONE facet of his system that can be utilised providing the match situation unfolds in such a manner. Given we have majority of possession in most matches (54% as you've been made aware), being a predominately counter-attacking side would require us to spend more time without the ball. We'd also be making less passes, we'd be playing far more direct football, while we'd camp more players forward and look to cut out the midfield more frequently. Conte's teams, be it at Chelsea or elsewhere, have never done this. Basically, everything that is required to be a predominately counter-attacking side we're not doing with any frequent consistency over long periods of games. Just as the case was at Juve, where once again his sides held majority of possession, passed a lot, had a high average of shots on goal, etc. Yes, we'll spend periods of games sitting deeper and soaking up pressure luring sides forward. When you analyse our performances over the 90 odd minutes in most games, we're only playing a small percentage of games in this manner for any sort of extended period. We spend more time on the front foot than we do on the back. We're a side that is comfortable in either conditions, that's the beauty of a Conte side. There's multiple ways he can approach a game or get the side to play, all while we remain defensive sounds and organised. Again, that doesn't translate into us being a predominately counter attack focused side. I can, and I'm sure others have too, see that you're not going to bend on this matter despite all the sensible and informative information that's been laid out my those who've engaged in this conversation with you. That's naturally you're call. For me personally, I can't really say more than I already have. It's all becoming rather repetitive. But hey, it's really all just semantics, right?
  15. Certainly a deliberate method Conte employs at times. What it does is it actually lulls the opposition onto the front foot and aids us with more space going forward, as long as we move the ball quickly. Opposition sides are likely to want to pressure us excessively early on and look to score on the break. This essentially flips the script and gives the opposition more of the ball at times early, essentially dragging them further up the pitch and leaving us with space to exploit - either on the counter or by simply good passing and movement within general play. For what can be perceived as a rather cautious approach it's also quite attack minded in a sense if we're able to capitalise. Which, from some stats posted earlier, shows we tend to score a high percentage of goals within that first 30 min block. Clearly works. On the other hand there's also games where we start on the front foot and more conventionally aggressive. Being able to play various ways throughout a match makes it extremely difficult for sides to shut us down. From there, the important aspect is making sure we do take the chances we get. Thankfully we've managed to do that for the majority of the season to date.