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10 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

Instead of the actual De Bruyne who we had in the palm of our hands but ended up leaving because Jose didn't play him because, wahey, he didn't 'track back'.

I don't think we had the actual KdB in the palm of our hands.  It looked like a not very good fake to me.
Besides if it taught KdB to track back, I have no doubt KdB is greatful.

11 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

But yes, who knows how good Van Ginkel could be? I'd love to see him do well here.

I'd love to see him do well.  I'd hate to see him get half a dozen games and then get sold off at the end of his contract cheap.

 

16 minutes ago, James Prescott said:

Mount is the long-term hope in midfield. He's a leader, and for me embodies the best of Lampard and Fabregas. He's not quite ready yet, but one more year on loan, and he will be. 

Certainly is the mid-term hope now.  Best thing since, er, Baker.

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8 hours ago, Nicholas Anelka said:

I liked Van Ginkel whenever he played for us

Which wasn't very often. He managed 4 games for Chelsea (at least 1 off the bench) before doing his ACL. Since then it's all been loans.

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xCELERYx   

Hypothetical here but would it be worth "blowing the team up" to use an expression more common within the NBA circle? As someone who is also an avid follower of the NBA, I've often pondered the notion of biting the bullet and going into full rebuild mode. Obviously the two sports are different in terms of transfers/trades and a salary cap, along with relegation. But the notion of having a clear-out to obtain assets to rebuild can sort of be carried over. Instead of getting draft picks in return, we'd be getting money for the sale of our players. Using that money, plus the general transfer budget offered, it would be utilised to rebuild the team to be more competitive with a longer term view.

This may mean a short term decline in performances, but at the same time it could be what is needed to actually have a clear plan in place that flows from the board room to the playing field. Appoint a manager with a playing style and approach that fits within the vision, and then back him by buying players that then also have the qualities and characteristics to fit. Once the foundations are in place, the idea would be to follow that blueprint as a framework going forward. We'd target certain types of managers that suit going forward, we'd look to sign only players who capable to play in the desired way and so forth. Obviously it can be tweaked and fine tuned as you go along, but it would provide a bit of an identity that the club currently lacks because of it's frequent history of sacking managers and constantly upheaval of playing systems - not to mention the board being the main decision makers in recruitment. 

In basketball your coach will have his own system and philosophy, while a GM will usually aim to sign players based on the coaches recommendation/system used. Currently there's a big disconnect for a club like us in comparison with say a Liverpool, Man City and even Tottenham. They all seem to have clear communication and are working from the same sheet. They've got their manager in place who has his system and style, then have gone out and largely targeted players who generally compliment the approach they're taking. With us, we're a bit of a mix n' match. We've had managers who play one way, signed players who play another way, then wonder why they've struggled or the team has failed to perform as expected. Something we're also currently seeing now under Conte and this current squad.

Cliff note; I wouldn't quite expect a football club to have such a drastic upheaval as an NBA team would. We'd still keep certain players already on the books, etc. But we'd also more actively look to equip our manager with the right resources to have the best chance of success.

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Sea foot   

Look how the fees went sky rocketing when RA first started splashing the cash and teams knew we had money so we ended up paying over the odds. If we had a massive clear out and had to buy big, how do you think other teams would react?

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xCELERYx   
1 minute ago, Sea foot said:

Look how the fees went sky rocketing when RA first started splashing the cash and teams knew we had money so we ended up paying over the odds. If we had a massive clear out and had to buy big, how do you think other teams would react?

We'd obviously still keep players that would be suitable. In the same breath, we're also not signing mega priced players as it is either. So, I don't think it potentially alters much in that regard either. Plus, their would still be far more wealthier clubs around who could spend more. 

We also wouldn't need to go out and sign mega stars from the get go. Again, it's about building for a more sustainable long term and not so much to make an immediate impact. We'd likely keep the same policy of signing younger players who have potential and resale value - just ones that are a better fit. Ditching the unwritten rule of signing players who are 30+ or so would also be relaxed more, which would mean adding experienced players when needed and utilising the free transfer market more than we've done in recent times - even utilising loans in would be a possibility. Players joining would be ones that fit within a certain mould and are right for the coaches system. Rather than just buying based on potential alone regardless of if said player actually fits the club or not. 

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jones   
7 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Hypothetical here but would it be worth "blowing the team up" to use an expression more common within the NBA circle? As someone who is also an avid follower of the NBA, I've often pondered the notion of biting the bullet and going into full rebuild mode. Obviously the two sports are different in terms of transfers/trades and a salary cap, along with relegation. But the notion of having a clear-out to obtain assets to rebuild can sort of be carried over. Instead of getting draft picks in return, we'd be getting money for the sale of our players. Using that money, plus the general transfer budget offered, it would be utilised to rebuild the team to be more competitive with a longer term view.

This may mean a short term decline in performances, but at the same time it could be what is needed to actually have a clear plan in place that flows from the board room to the playing field. Appoint a manager with a playing style and approach that fits within the vision, and then back him by buying players that then also have the qualities and characteristics to fit. Once the foundations are in place, the idea would be to follow that blueprint as a framework going forward. We'd target certain types of managers that suit going forward, we'd look to sign only players who capable to play in the desired way and so forth. Obviously it can be tweaked and fine tuned as you go along, but it would provide a bit of an identity that the club currently lacks because of it's frequent history of sacking managers and constantly upheaval of playing systems - not to mention the board being the main decision makers in recruitment. 

In basketball your coach will have his own system and philosophy, while a GM will usually aim to sign players based on the coaches recommendation/system used. Currently there's a big disconnect for a club like us in comparison with say a Liverpool, Man City and even Tottenham. They all seem to have clear communication and are working from the same sheet. They've got their manager in place who has his system and style, then have gone out and largely targeted players who generally compliment the approach they're taking. With us, we're a bit of a mix n' match. We've had managers who play one way, signed players who play another way, then wonder why they've struggled or the team has failed to perform as expected. Something we're also currently seeing now under Conte and this current squad.

Cliff note; I wouldn't quite expect a football club to have such a drastic upheaval as an NBA team would. We'd still keep certain players already on the books, etc. But we'd also more actively look to equip our manager with the right resources to have the best chance of success.

I don't follow basketball, so can't really relate to that, but generally speaking the most fragile and important thing you have at a club, or company for that matter, is culture. A clear out would be the same as building a new culture. A lot of our players that could have been upgraded in a "Moneyball world" are still very important culture bearers. Cahill, Luiz, Pedro, Fabregas etc. If all of these players left at the same time, what would be left? Azpilicueta would have one hell of a job as captain, that's for sure. The importance of delaying John Terry's departure with that extra year, probably meant a PL trophy. Even if he barely played. Burnley is an example of a bunch of players who are continually over-performing. It is not because of Sean Dyche, it is because of the culture he is built. 

And I know fans will say that our culture is not even remotely close to what it was in the days of Lampard, Terry, Cech and Drogba. That is true. But I'd take the winning mentality of this bunch of players over the bottling Spurs, the spineless Arsenal or the under-performing superstars at United. 

Building a new culture from basically scratch is as risky as changing formation to 2-3-5. 

Edit: Even if this season has been a disappointing one, it is far from black all over. If we can bolster our attack with 2 new world class players, and bring back two of the best loan players, we will be fighting for the title again next season.

Edited by jones

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8 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Hypothetical here but would it be worth "blowing the team up" to use an expression more common within the NBA circle? As someone who is also an avid follower of the NBA, I've often pondered the notion of biting the bullet and going into full rebuild mode. Obviously the two sports are different in terms of transfers/trades and a salary cap, along with relegation. But the notion of having a clear-out to obtain assets to rebuild can sort of be carried over. Instead of getting draft picks in return, we'd be getting money for the sale of our players. Using that money, plus the general transfer budget offered, it would be utilised to rebuild the team to be more competitive with a longer term view.

I guess it depends whether you take the standard view, that we have a great set of players and have already kicked quite a few out in the last 2 years.  Or the conspiracy view that the only reason we got above 10th place last season was the manager.  
Actually there is a third version - that the tactics at the start of last season were so so negative (8 in the box regularly) that the manager got rescued by the players, who compromised by letting Conte have a 3rd CB, while all the other players were allowed to get on with their job.

 

2 hours ago, Sea foot said:

Look how the fees went sky rocketing when RA first started splashing the cash and teams knew we had money so we ended up paying over the odds. If we had a massive clear out and had to buy big, how do you think other teams would react?

Ivanovic, Costa, JT, Oscar, Matic, almost half the team in 2017.  I don't know whether Zaffo has noticed, but Conte has already had a massive clear out.  While keeping some brilliant players too and adding Kante and Morata.

39 minutes ago, jones said:

Building a new culture from basically scratch is as risky as changing formation to 2-3-5. 

We are still running with the Chelsea culture from 2004-06.  Part JM, plenty JT, SFL, RC, Gallas, Essien, Maka, DD and others (Cech).
As seen in Azpi, Luiz, Cahill, Costa, Alonso, Kante, Willian, Pedro, Courtois.

One could argue that the team culture has been too strong for some managers to cope with.  One could argue that it should be.

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xCELERYx   
On 3/10/2018 at 9:25 PM, jones said:

I don't follow basketball, so can't really relate to that, but generally speaking the most fragile and important thing you have at a club, or company for that matter, is culture. A clear out would be the same as building a new culture. A lot of our players that could have been upgraded in a "Moneyball world" are still very important culture bearers. Cahill, Luiz, Pedro, Fabregas etc. If all of these players left at the same time, what would be left? Azpilicueta would have one hell of a job as captain, that's for sure. The importance of delaying John Terry's departure with that extra year, probably meant a PL trophy. Even if he barely played. Burnley is an example of a bunch of players who are continually over-performing. It is not because of Sean Dyche, it is because of the culture he is built. 

And I know fans will say that our culture is not even remotely close to what it was in the days of Lampard, Terry, Cech and Drogba. That is true. But I'd take the winning mentality of this bunch of players over the bottling Spurs, the spineless Arsenal or the under-performing superstars at United. 

Building a new culture from basically scratch is as risky as changing formation to 2-3-5. 

Edit: Even if this season has been a disappointing one, it is far from black all over. If we can bolster our attack with 2 new world class players, and bring back two of the best loan players, we will be fighting for the title again next season.

Obviously we'd have to be smart about it still, we'd keep the players who are still viable within the new approach because that saves having to utilise resources to replace those players immediately. In saying that, with the way the board has operated over the last few years and with the transfer market prices increasing, our net spending being less, and sales being our main source of spendable income - a clear out would help fast track something that we should have slowly begun doing years ago once we lost the golden core of players. In my eyes, we've really failed on that front since with how we've handled the squad and turning over a new chapter.

This would be a chance to sort of reset with more defined plan in place, where we sign the right sort of players that fit the club's vision - both in terms of playing style and mentality. The biggest bonus would also having a manager being on the same wave length as the club - because his own methods would be in line with player recruitment policy held by the club. 

Now we're sort of neither here nor there. We don't really have an identity these days or the sort of culture that is going to breed success. While regardless of if Conte stays or a new manager comes in, there's a rather significant disconnect within the squad in terms of quality and practicability. While I don't envy the lack of success of the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham etc. I do somewhat feel they've at least bought into the vision of the managers they've hired and aimed to recruit accordingly. Rather than sort of just bringing players in and getting a manager to make something out of what's on hand. 

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jones   
1 hour ago, xCELERYx said:

Obviously we'd have to be smart about it still, we'd keep the players who are still viable within the new approach because that saves having to utilise resources to replace those players immediately. In saying that, with the way the board has operated over the last few years and with the transfer market prices increasing, our net spending being less, and sales being our main source of spendable income - a clear out would help fast track something that we should have slowly begun doing years ago once we lost the golden core of players. In my eyes, we've really failed on that front since with how we've handled the squad and turning over a new chapter.

This would be a chance to sort of reset with more defined plan in place, where we sign the right sort of players that fit the club's vision - both in terms of playing style and mentality. The biggest bonus would also having a manager being on the same wave length as the club - because his own methods would be in line with player recruitment policy held by the club. 

Now we're sort of neither here nor there. We don't really have an identity these days or the sort of culture that is going to breed success. While regardless of if Conte stays or a new manager comes in, there's a rather significant disconnect within the squad in terms of quality and practicability. While I don't envy the lack of success of the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham etc. I do somewhat feel they've at least bought into the vision of the managers they've hired and aimed to recruit accordingly. Rather than sort of just bringing players in and getting a manager to make something out of what's on hand. 

Not sure you got my point. Being smart about it is NOT fast-tracking replacing culture bearers at the club. An example from within: in the period 2014-2017 we won two league titles. In the same period Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (2014), Petr Cech and Drogba mk2 (2015), John Terry and Nemanja Matic (2017) left. But not at the same time. That was absolutely key for us maintaining any kind of continuity, still we have really struggled when big personalities left ( 2015 and 2017), simply because there were nobody there to properly take over. And bringing Drogba back in 2014 was an answer to the loss of Ash and Lamps. That was being smart about it. Underestimating the importance og leadership and culture, like getting rid of two many at the same time, is not being smart about it. 

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xCELERYx   
On 12/03/2018 at 7:05 PM, jones said:

Not sure you got my point. Being smart about it is NOT fast-tracking replacing culture bearers at the club. An example from within: in the period 2014-2017 we won two league titles. In the same period Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (2014), Petr Cech and Drogba mk2 (2015), John Terry and Nemanja Matic (2017) left. But not at the same time. That was absolutely key for us maintaining any kind of continuity, still we have really struggled when big personalities left ( 2015 and 2017), simply because there were nobody there to properly take over. And bringing Drogba back in 2014 was an answer to the loss of Ash and Lamps. That was being smart about it. Underestimating the importance og leadership and culture, like getting rid of two many at the same time, is not being smart about it. 

I've not said that we should gut the entire side and offload everybody to start again all at once, that's not viable on any level. We'd still keep players, just those who fit the plan going forward. The players you've mentioned were a special breed of player. They were largely the spine of the side and some of the most elite players in the world that had a hunger to win and work hard. They held the side together through years of constant managerial changes. Cut to the present and those players don't really exist within our squad anymore. The ones who do offer some sort of leadership (Azpilicueta, Cahill, Fabregas and Luiz) aren't in the same bracket as those before them and three of those four have had their struggles this year and could well find their time at the club over in the next season or so. 

So, while I agree with what you've said. We're in a different time now with a different set of players and a club that is no longer at the levels it was in those prior years. As I touched on in a prior post, we should have started this process years ago once the likes of A.Cole, Cech, etc all left. Instead, we sat on what we had because it was ultimately cheaper to do. Now we find ourselves with the sort of squad we have no that lacks a true collection of leaders, quality and identity. If we're not careful there's a genuine chance we'll slip right back into the pack if we maintain such a disconnect between the board, manager and transfer policy. 

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