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Only one way to find out, throw him in at the deep end. We did it at Anfield, and the kid answered. For those who say he had protection that day, he got the same protection that the rest of our defenders got on a regular basis last season. So I guess they must also be poor too.

If he can't stand out at Vittesse, Koln or Middlesborough, the absolute most he deserves is one more shot at Middlesborough.

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You don't argue with James. You pick on him. James Prescott has a post, then comes along the semi-colon to tell him how childish he is being. Getting fed up with it to be perfectly frank.

I personally have him on the ignore list. No one actually responds to him unless its Bob, and two posters in the last 10 or so pages have responded to say that they will put him on ignore as well.

Perhaps Bobs posting annoys you, but you just said that James annoys you as well. Why don't you even handedly dole out your criticism?

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If he can't stand out at Vittesse, Koln or Middlesborough, the absolute most he deserves is one more shot at Middlesborough.

Except that he did 'stand out' at Vitesse, and likewise at Boro. What happened at Cologne, I don't know, other than the fact that he went there on a 6 month's loan, and never featured.

He went to Vitesse at 18, and was good enough to make 37 appearances for them (mostly starts) in his first season. Iirc, injuries resulted in his appearances being reduced the following season, although he still made another 11 appearances. If you watched him at all during his time at Vitesse you'd know that he was indeed, a stand out performer. I think that injuries again played a part in his anonymous 6 months at Cologne, but then it might have simply been that the coach went with his senior players instead.

At Boro, he came into the squad midway through the season (after basically not playing for 6 months), and slotted straight into right back a) because that's where Boro were short, and b) because the manager had already had an established CB pairing. Once again, he was good enough to make 17 appearances (16 starts) in his 'second position' if you like. And I can tell you that they missed him during the play-offs, as he had to return to Chelsea because of the loan rules (not, before anyone says it, that I'm saying that his absence was the reason that they didn't get promotion!)

Kalas is, imo, a very talented defender. Whether he ends up being good enough for Chelsea, time will tell. I just think that when you say that he didn't 'stand out' at Vitesse and Boro, you're being a tad misleading.

I believe that both Kalas and Christensen (or one, or the other) could have provided some depth to the defense for us this season (particularly as they can both play CB or RB), so I was surprised to see them both sent on loan. Having said that, they'll both probably get a lot more game time where they are, and that'll probably benefit them in the future.

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xCELERYx   

Everyone seems to have got it into their head that our defence has all of sudden lost quality like they shat it out or something. Our whole team have looked flat footed in the last two games, not just Terry, Cahill and Ivanovic, hell even Azpi looked a little tired. If we sign Stones, is that the end of our problems in defence, no because our problem isn't the personnel more then the fact that we look like it's the end of a long season rather then the start.

We looked jagged in pre-season and we were not panicking with £30M+ bids, our back 4 was fantastic last season, no one deserves to be dropped just because a kid will be signed for £30M+.

No one is saying that signing Stones automatically solves our issues in defence. The signing of Stones gives us another option to challenge with a different set of qualities, not just for now but also long term. He may even come in and displace one of JT/Cahill within the next 6-12 months, no ones ultimately knows at this point. However, we have looked horrible in defence thus far. We've had experienced players making stupid mistakes, not just once, but multiple times over. People wanting to see a change are basing their view on what is being shown thus far, poor performances. Nothing more, nothing less. What the defence did last season and in pre-season means jack all once a new season starts. We require performances in current time, which simply haven't been delivered over the first two games of the season.

Our problems are not the starting line up, it's a quality side that dominated the league last season, the problem is that non of them have competition and they look like they have got used to playing without the ball. We have almost forgotten what to do with the ball, which is why our defence is leaking goals, 1 of the goals was a mistake by Cesc against City, 1 was Kompany holding Ivan(but could have been stronger(Jose made a sub on a corner which is a school boy error)), and Aguero would have left Stones on his arse for the 1st goal.

Well, yes. Our problems are in the starting line up. If they weren't we wouldn't be seeing the performances we've seen, nor be in the position we are, let alone be having this disucssion. Again, last season means jack all. You may as well be using the side from 2004-05 to make your point. It's all completely irrelevant. Players haven't performed, period. These are experienced players we're talking about here. They'll all be aware that they aren't performing at the level needed and that's on them as individuals. Yes, there has been some managerial decisions that have contributed but once you're on the pitch a certain level of performance is expected, and thus far has fallen considerably short.

Our back line is a title winning back line, Stones will only make them play better and not get a look in. The only way Stones will get ahead of Zouma let alone our starters, is if the club decides he has to play due to his price tag.

Over the summer the debate was if Terry had 2 or 4 years left, 2 bad games and he isn't good enough for 2 more months. If our club is thinking long term then they should leave Stones where he is, because he won't get a look in once our world class back line get match fit.

The biggest joke is; we are bidding £30M+ for a centre back who is supposed to be the next big thing, yet we haven't got a bidding war going on. We are being mugged.

You're taking the whole thing to the utmost extreme of the extreme. Once more, last season means nothing now. Stones makes us better because of the added competition, yes. While also being a very good player in the EPL for his age in his own right. He will get games because he's deserved of games. Because Terry is 35 and cannot play each week. Because Cahill is 30 and is prone to dips in form. Because we lack pace in defence overall. Because a partnership of Zouma and Stones could be what sees us through for the next 10 years. There are a multitude of reasons as to why signing Stones works, both for the present and for the future. His price tag is irrelevant to him getting games. If it played a part, we'd be seeing Cuadrado starting week in, week out. But we don't.

No one is saying Terry isn't good enough, unless you believe everything written in the media. He's still an excellent defender. However, there is no denying that he doesn't have pace about him. So it will mean that against sides, like City, who are quick in attack, he or Cahill may be sacrificed at times for someone like Zouma/Stones who offer extra leg speed.

So, because an abundance of clubs aren't lining up to sign a player automatically derides them of being a potentially quality one in the future? Really? Yet, if you believe the papers Stones has been linked to both Man City and United this season. He was also linked with Arsenal last year. Maybe, just maybe, some clubs aren't interested because the player simply isn't of great need to them? That could all change in a years time. Which is why we'll push to do a deal now because there is that possibility that if he has another good season his value and interest will increase, making the chances of obtaining him more of a challenge.

From a personal point of view, I'm honestly not fussed if we sign Stones or not, albeit we will need a CB within the next 12-24 months at the latest. Stones ticks plenty of the boxes, hence why he's a serious target. He's within the right age bracket, he's considerably experienced for his age and within the EPL already. Being English is an added bonus. He's highly regarded and many speak of his game to be a hybrid of Rio and Terry. While yes, he may be expensive initially, if he delivers on the potential he has he could prove to be excellent business for a position he could hold for the next 10 years. Which, if broken down correctly world make his transfer be worth £3.5m a year for 10 years, if he's purchased at £35m. Peanuts really for a club of our stature. Hardly "being mugged".

I feel like some lose all rational when it comes to Stones and address the whole transfer in an extremely linear way.

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GURJ SS   

If he can't stand out at Vittesse, Koln or Middlesborough, the absolute most he deserves is one more shot at Middlesborough.

At Vitesse he stood out, but at Koln he didn't get picked(always a danger when loaning out players), and at Middlesbrough he took a very difficult situation in his stride. You may not feel as though he stood out while out on loan, but he certainly stood out for us when it mattered, which is the most important thing. We signed him up for 3 more years and then loaned him out yet again, if he didn't stand out then why give him a new contract.

In loaning out Kalas, a centre back who is able to also play at right back we have left ourselves thin. In doing that we are now being held ransom which is also making us look very silly, we are throwing silly bids about for a player who we wouldn't have needed.

The one thing Kalas has never needed is to be carried, he has been loaned out multiple times and responded with positivity. Also Kalas has never needed to be carried by his defensive partner, where as Jagielka has had to carry Stones. Jagielka is the guy who marks the striker, while Stones is left as the free man, we don't need to spend £30M+ on a free man.

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GURJ SS   

Zaffo:

Using our squad from about 4-5 months ago as a example, is not the same as using a squad from 10 years ago. They are the same players, players who are defending the title they won. I'm all for saying that every season is a new season and you have to prove yourself again, but if players from last season don't matter then I would have liked us to start the season with Laporte and Zouma as our centre backs.

Terry doesn't need to play week in and week out, that is what Zouma is around for. Cahill was probably dropped for about 5 games during the entire season, I wouldn't call that a dip in form.

It isn't the defence, it's the entire team that has a started badly. They all look a mess on and off the ball, the defence is no different to the attack. In fact we could be at this moment bringing in a player like Isco or Griezmann, instead we are wasting money on a player like Stones.

I don't listen to the papers, I have read the forum and seen how quick Terry has been dismissed. Also isn't it worrying that both City and Utd thought that the price was too high and backed away. Both could do with another centre back.

A hybrid of Rio and Terry is just English media hype.

If we were breaking fees down like that then we could sign Koke, Isco and Griezmann tomorrow, it would only set us back £15M a year, peanuts for that sort of quality.

Terry and Cahill will play the majority of the time, if one doesn't play then Zouma will play, but not if Stones is signed. The talk of a hybrid of Terry and Rio, we already have one in Zouma. If Everton had Zouma, we would be willing to swap Stones for him, the grass always seems greener.

Personally I think we are making a huge mistake, as Laporte has a buy out clause of £20M and is better then Stones.

Edited by GURJ SS

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Except that he did 'stand out' at Vitesse, and likewise at Boro. What happened at Cologne, I don't know, other than the fact that he went there on a 6 month's loan, and never featured.

He went to Vitesse at 18, and was good enough to make 37 appearances for them (mostly starts) in his first season. Iirc, injuries resulted in his appearances being reduced the following season, although he still made another 11 appearances. If you watched him at all during his time at Vitesse you'd know that he was indeed, a stand out performer. I think that injuries again played a part in his anonymous 6 months at Cologne, but then it might have simply been that the coach went with his senior players instead.

At Boro, he came into the squad midway through the season (after basically not playing for 6 months), and slotted straight into right back a) because that's where Boro were short, and b) because the manager had already had an established CB pairing. Once again, he was good enough to make 17 appearances (16 starts) in his 'second position' if you like. And I can tell you that they missed him during the play-offs, as he had to return to Chelsea because of the loan rules (not, before anyone says it, that I'm saying that his absence was the reason that they didn't get promotion!)

Kalas is, imo, a very talented defender. Whether he ends up being good enough for Chelsea, time will tell. I just think that when you say that he didn't 'stand out' at Vitesse and Boro, you're being a tad misleading.

I believe that both Kalas and Christensen (or one, or the other) could have provided some depth to the defense for us this season (particularly as they can both play CB or RB), so I was surprised to see them both sent on loan. Having said that, they'll both probably get a lot more game time where they are, and that'll probably benefit them in the future.

Bamford stood out at Middlesborough and made a PL loan, not the Chlesea first team squad.

Did Kalas stand out at Middlesborough to the same degree as Bamford? I don't watch the games, but I suspect no. Better than Omeruo, but that is it.

At Vitesse did Kalas stand out the way the Van Ginkel stood out - because van Ginkel made the Premiership, just. I suspect not. Did he stand out the way Wilfried Bony stood out - because he made the premiership and went to Swansea. Again I suspect not, but tell me please. And did he stand out the way Traore stood out last season?

I'm not expecting him to look a good player at Vitesse, Koln or Middlesborough. I'd expect him to be the best in the team by the age of 20 and best in the league at 21. Much as Bamford was best in the division last season, and still doesn't get a look in at Chelsea.

On top of that there is the other question - what is best for Kalas this season. I don't think there is a PL team in the country that would give him 10 starts this season, so the best thing for Kalas is to be at a club like Middlesborough.

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1) Bamford stood out at Middlesborough and made a PL loan, not the Chlesea first team squad.

2) Did Kalas stand out at Middlesborough to the same degree as Bamford?

3) At Vitesse did Kalas stand out the way the Van Ginkel stood out - because van Ginkel made the Premiership, just.

4) Did he stand out the way Wilfried Bony stood out ........did he stand out the way Traore stood out last season?

5) On top of that there is the other question - what is best for Kalas this season.

1) Imo, he should have made the squad (of course, you already know that....:).). But then we brought in Falcao and kept Remy, so there was no point.

2) No, but then he was only there for 6 months, and played at right back? Did he really need to stand out the way a striker does, or should he be judged as a right back? Impressive, he was.

3) I'm assuming that you meant van Aanholt, so the overall answer is yes, but differently. VA is an attacking fullback, who needed to improve on his defense - so in terms of getting down the flank and putting in crosses, etc., van Aanholt gets the tick. Defensively though, Kalas was far more impressive. He can still join in the attack, but it's his poise, judgement, and technique is far superior. If you'd watched him, you'd be agreeing with me.

4) Again I have to ask why you wish to compare a defender with strikers and attacking players? Of course they 'stand out' more, compared to defender. Does that mean that he wasn't impressive? Not imo.

5) I've already said that, like Bamford, the likes of Kalas and Christensen will get more games on on loan than they would this season at Chelsea. It's not an issue. However, that doesn't translate to them being unable to give quality cover this season. I wasn't surprised that either went on loan, it just seemed a waste (from the squad's point of view) that both were loaned, given that they do have talent, and both can play two positions. I would have been handy to have one of them around this season. Just my opinion though. And given how frequently JM turns to young players, they're certainly better off where they are.

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Sarin   

What I don't understand in all of this, is why people seem so eager to dispense with Cahill? He's a good player, a seasoned international, and somebody who rarely let's us down. We know that JT isn't going to play for ever, and isn't the object of bidding for Stones, to bolster our options at CB? If we sell Cahill, and then JT either gets crocked (or fades out), then we're down to Zouma and Stones - so we'd end up back in the transfer market trying to buy at least one other CB, or possibly two.

Cahill IMO is a good player, but not a stand out.

Our team is setup to protect the two centre paring to an extent, also to protect Terry's lack of pace.

Cahill seems to have a good understanding with Terry, and when the two play together he usually does ok, without being outstanding.

Reliable, without being a stand out.

I think most will admit that there are a lot better defenders out there than Cahill though.

He has been a good signing, but he is hardly one of the best defenders in the world.

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With the signing of a new LB, in Baba, would Jose switch Azpi to RB, as Ivan is having a mare at the mo?

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