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Harvz

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I think Messi is an arrogant, spoiled little spine-less prick. He is not Chelsea, and I don't care how good he is. Winning the league without him will feel a lot better than with him.

Thankfully, it is never going to happen.

Just out of interest, can you explain why you think he's spineless? When I watch Barca, the Messi I see gets kicked to absolute pieces like Hazard week in week out and just gets up and carries on.

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Let's buy Messi - it is high time UEFA punished some club for feeding him with HGH.

At best Bony would be joint second striker here as he is so immobile, and anyway with the way Droy goes on about Matic's turning circle if Bony was to rock up I'd imagine Droy would have a full blown fit before the end of Bony's first 10 minutes on the pitch.

Not quite - unless Bony was picked to play at DM with the turning circle you describe.

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Ham   

A lot of critics of Messi and Bony in here.

Messi not good enough anymore and Bony is slow and cumbersome.

My eyes have seriously been playing tricks on me.

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Your comment is about saving face after you claimed Messi is passed it...

It's hard to discuss something with you isn't it? I suggest you look up the word 'prediction' and the expression 'saving face'. When you can properly distinguish between those two we can take this up again.

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1+2) You might be right there.

IMO, you'd have to try Messi on the RW, with Fabregas as the 10 and Hazard on the left, with Mikel and Matic holding. Idea being that no team can defend both wings against those two, especially with Fabs in the middle, picking out Costa.

The wings would be defensively more vulnerable, but you'd have the advantage of a strong centre and not least, Messi.

But whatever happened, if you get Messi, you play Messi, even at the cost of benching Hazard or Fabs.

3) The pull of a big name ist strong. Look how everyone fawned over Torres, defending him to the death. Messi is a much bigger name than Torres, so it's not hard to see the appeal of it, IMO. Rationality loses out to emotional appeal.

Yeah but do you pay £150m+ to chuck him on the wing though? Seems like waste if you ask me. If we're paying that kind of money sponsored by TA and Adidas people will expect him to take centre stage. Not to be a supporting cast kind of guy. See - he's not even here and already it's plain he isn't for us;)

The wings would be very vulnerable which would spell bad news for Ivanovic. We'd have to reinforce our defensive right side (RB and RCB) and Mikel is way to immobile to be left in the middle only with Matic as support. It would take some surgery for that to work I reckon. The partner to Matic would have to be high energy and another ball winner. Rami would seem an obvious choice if we are looking at what we already have.

Anyhow - it's all academic and thank **** for that.

3) Yes - rationality has certainly lost out to emotional hysteria. Some posters have proved that with certainly and James is already trying to convince himself. I did like Jones post though. I second that.

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Just out of interest, can you explain why you think he's spineless? When I watch Barca, the Messi I see gets kicked to absolute pieces like Hazard week in week out and just gets up and carries on.

Doubt it.

I've never seen Messi playing with shredded socks and bloody ankles. Say what you will about Hazard, he doesn't get half the protection from the refs that some other players do. Imagine the uproar in the media should Walters try to assassinate Sterling like he did Hazard. He'd have a 10-match ban before you could punch a DJ.

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Yeah but do you pay £150m+ to chuck him on the wing though? Seems like waste if you ask me. If we're paying that kind of money sponsored by TA and Adidas people will expect him to take centre stage. Not to be a supporting cast kind of guy. See - he's not even here and already it's plain he isn't for us;)

Anyhow - it's all academic and thank **** for that.

That's the gist of it.

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nateevs   

1+2) We would almost certainly have to change the way we play. At RW I think Messi would run the risk of being marginalised. At S I think he'd really struggle and I think we would lose some of our edge. Costa is doing a brilliant job not only scoring but the way he approaches the game and what he offers is when we sit had the ball.

If we did sign Messi he'd almost certainly play as a 10 I reckon which in turn would mean a Matic/Fabregas CM partnership would have to be re-considered with Fabregas the obvious one to be left out in that case. A Messi/Fabregas/Matic central line in the middle would be lightweight and short on pressing ability. We'd be unbalanced.

So signing Messi wouldn't mean a vast improvement I reckon. We'd have to sacrifice other players to accommodate him. The FM fans only see this:

-------Fabregas-Matic

Willian------Messi-----Hazard

There is nothing to show that Messi will be marginalised on the RW. Messi started out his senior career in Bara playing on the RW. Messi can match Willian's work rate defensively but the more important thing is that he will quadruple Willian's threat, creativity and output that pressing on the right wing will become less work for Messi than it currently is for Willian.

How do I come about this? The threat that Messi carries will be so immense that most teams will play two defensive players on their left or one defender and one wing back. This negates attack on our right.

So without changing system, we can keep Messi on the right, play Oscar in the hole and Matic/Fab in the pivot - excatly as we play now. If we will be lightweight with Messi on the right, then we are already lightweight.

Edited by nateevs

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^ Seriously - just stop.

If you think you'll be getting the Messi of 2011-13 by chucking him on the RW you better think again. You are aware he played as a striker right? You have watched him play?

Just as good as Willian in terms of work rate? Not convinced.

I think we should stop here. Not enjoying this discussion with you at all.

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