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16 minutes ago, thevelourfog said:

Positive or negative take on it aside, I think this is wrong; I think we're looking at the average match day squad looking quite different than this time last season. Kepa, Jorginho and Kovacic seem likely to be in most XIs. My guess is we'll be seeing a lot of RLC and Barkley in the front three positions, and Emerson also playing a fair bit; not summer signings of course but players who will be meaningfully available to a manager for the first time. I would have liked an AM or two signed, but we on paper have a reasonable level of quality (if clearly not the exceptional level we've been spoiled by) in better numbers than before. 

Personally not rating this window until it ends. That we have better numbers now than is usually the case means I can't fully relax until August ends with Hazard, Kante and Willian here. Any one of them go now and the window has been a disaster. 

Yes very different.  We bought so many players last season that it would be absurd to make big changes this summer, and the biggest events for me are the retaining of Kante, Hazard and Willian.

Kepa, Jorginho and Kovacic seem likely to be in most XIs.
I can't think of any other clubs that have brought 3 starters into the first team.

I still can't believe we will have a full squad by September.  3 or 4 players sold or on loan I expect - still very full for us.
There are always pros and cons with big or small squads and it is not always about a perfect balance.  Starting a season is a bit like going off on a Mountain trek.  Carry too many supplies and it will slow you down.  Just as too many players can lead to bad attitudes and quarrels.  Not enough supplies and you will travel faster but are taking a big risk.  This season we are not in the race to get to the mountain peak first.  No point in risking a small squad (let alone anything as bare as 15/16 or Sept 2017.
 

My guess is we'll be seeing a lot of RLC and Barkley in the front three positions,
That is their opportunity, not least because Kante, Jorginho and Kovaci are all prime age and likely to play a lot of games, with Fabregas being the main competitor at CM.
I suspect that they are some way behind Willian, Pedro and Hazard in the pecking order, and not that much ahead of CHO for the odd 10 min cameo spots.

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bert19   
1 hour ago, Martin1905 said:

Given the choice between Walker or Alonso I know which one id pick. Pace only gets you so far.

Alonso has been brilliant for us, I really can't get my head round why so many people want to see him replaced by someone that's inferior but quicker. 

All this talk about him not being able to play in a back 4 would hold more weight if we played him as a proper wing back last season rather than a left back in a 5. We shall soon see but I'd confidently claim he will be one of the best left backs in the league this year. Again.

Yes, he absolutely has been.  I think he deserves a bit more respect than he gets to be honest.  Also, it's not like we're light in that department given we have Emerson who has done perfectly well despite having limited chances so far.  Azpilicueta was a more than decent option in that left-back role under Jose too. 

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3 hours ago, Johnny Bee said:

I know quite a few Fulham season ticket holders (half my family are Fulham, fortunately I chose the right half) and they all think that both players are poor particularly Piazon.  Kalas played a bit more (29 starts) but Piazon only started 16 games, neither integral and I think we will be lucky to get a set of kit and a Mars bar for them.

Ok, fair enough. I did not see much of them actually play other than the odd five/ten minutes here and there and looked more at their stats and took into consideration Piazon's injury. 

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paulw66   
13 hours ago, James Prescott said:

So I said I'd wait till the window was over to post on transfers again. Here I am.

My assessment? 7/10 window. Miles better than last summer. 

Sarri - yes, a manager, but one who will shape the football philosophy of the club, build something and leave a legacy, who seems to be willing to give youth a chance.  Excellent long-term appointment - not just a CV manager - and he wants to be here.

Kepa - one of the best young keepers in Europe, seems to have a solid, calm temperament and be a good organiser, who fits with Sarri's style of play. A guy who can be with us for a decade. Gotta pay big for big players, and we paid it. 

Jorginho - simply the best at what he does, looks a class act. 

Kovacic - one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe, with huge potential. 

Chelsea were smart, paid the money and got deals done. Apparently working on Kepa for weeks but media never got wind of it, he was our first choice, not Alisson. 

Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek are like new signings. Both will give us quality strength in depth. Sarri rotates his midfield meaning both RLC and Barkley will both get games. Having seen both in pre-season, it only confirms my view they are totally different players. But if I'm honest so far I'm leaning more towards RLC than Barkley - RLC will thrive in this system IMO. Hudson-Odoi is a world class talent who needs developing. Give him starts in cups, Europa league and even some league games, and other significant sub appearances, and he'll improve. He's got the right attitude too IMO.

Ampadu if anything looks even more impressive. Our best defender in pre-season, he's a leader, he's mature way beyond his years in his attitude and performances, and I'd be perfectly happy if he started in the league. He's like a new CB signing for me. 

Jorginho, Kepa, Kovacic, RLC, Ampadu, HO, Barkley and even Emerson are almost like new signings. Tammy Abraham seems likely to be third choice ST and is useful - will be good to see him develop, Sarri is impressed with him from reports I've read. 

The other big thing, is Hazard is still here. Madrid wanted him but we priced them out of a move, and he's staying here. This is a phenomenal achievement given how much he seemed to want the move. Kante staying is good given PSG were sniffing around - now we need to get them both to sign new deals. 

We still have some deadwood at the club - Cahill (now our 5th choice CB for me), Drinkwater, Bakayoko for example. I hope these guys can be moved on soon. I'd hope we'd keep Michy as I think he fits perfectly with Sarri's system and style of play, but he looks like being loaned. 

I think this is a building process. Next summer I can see us signing a new LB - Alonso is simply abysmal in a back 4, a total liability and can't defend. Most chances we gave away in pre-season came down his side, that's just a simple fact. And we'll also need to sign a new RW as Willian is 30 now, and Pedro will surely be sold next summer. If Morata has a poor season - jury still out on him, has to get 25-30 goals this year to keep his place IMO - then we'll sign a new ST as well. 

All in all I think we've done excellently. 3 top class signings who will improve us, who are better than what we have and will be starters for the first team. Marina deserves credit for this, and it's a massive improvement on last summer.

I think with the squad we have, 3rd place and winning the Europa league is viable. 

It will take time to adapt to Sarri's system, tactics and style - Napoli won once in his first five league games - but once we do, it'll work like clockwork. I expect us to start slowly, start picking up pace in October and finish the season strongly. Then with further additions next summer, we can really start to push City. 

Welcome back James. The window without you wasn't quite the same! 

13 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Such impressive self-control.  I salute you.

 

Agreed - was very surprised

13 hours ago, Gormangorman said:

Almost.

Didn't sort out GK situation until the last minute so had to spend 71 million on an unknown quantity.

Have Kovacic on loan but only as an incubator for Real Madrid until he goes back and replaces Modric and we will never see him again.

Still hasn't adequately sorted the striker situation and kept Conte for so long the new manager has only had a few days to try to start to overhaul his new squad.

So no she won't be getting gorman love quite yet, soon perhaps.

You need to stop believing every tabloid you read. Kepa already said we after him for weeks.

Edit - unknown quantity for you, maybe. Real Madrid were interested a few months ago, so I imagine he is a known quantity to many, including the Spain manager who picked him in their squad.

With regards to the striker situation - I am not sure there was anyone out there that we could realistically get. Higuain was mentioned but would have been £50m+ for a near 31 year old. Genuinely not sure who else was available and better than what we have

8 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Overall we're basically going into this season with the same set of players and gambling on the prospect that they came good (again).

Completely false. Compared to this time last year, we have added to the squad Jorginho, Kovacic, RLC, Emerson, Barkley and Giroud and possibly you could throw in CHO as now being a realistic starter. That is a much stronger squad. The GK situation is one in, one out, so no change. 

3 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

Given the choice between Walker or Alonso I know which one id pick. Pace only gets you so far.

Alonso has been brilliant for us, I really can't get my head round why so many people want to see him replaced by someone that's inferior but quicker. 

All this talk about him not being able to play in a back 4 would hold more weight if we played him as a proper wing back last season rather than a left back in a 5. We shall soon see but I'd confidently claim he will be one of the best left backs in the league this year. Again.

Don't really get the Alonso hate. Surely in a back 4 he will need to do less running, so pace less of an issue?

Edited by paulw66

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BlueWill   
16 hours ago, Ham said:

No pleasing some.

How can you heap praise on she who allowed Conte's vanity to reap havoc, whilst also ignoring Gorman's comment about the unresolved striker situation?

Gotta pray Kepa doesn't get injured because WC & RG are not EPL standard.

 

Edited by BlueWill
Clarity - user name replacing 'him'

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hatty   

But his name is Kepa!......kepa! .......As a youngster..... what position did you think he would want to play if that is your name? Take away the 35M for the most average keeper I've seen at this club and its a 30M signing..... for someone who might actually dive or care to save a goal once in a while.

And...... his name is kepa!

phonetically: keeper......, goal 

KTBFFH!

Edited by hatty
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1 hour ago, BlueWill said:

How can you heap praise on she who allowed Conte's vanity to reap havoc, whilst also ignoring Gorman's comment about the unresolved striker situation?

Conte's vanity was at least cured sacking him.  The striker situation was actually resolved back in January - a very competent No 2 in WC winner, Giroud, giving us a bit more time to sort things out.  I don't think a single decent striker changed hands this window other than a 33 year old.

1 hour ago, BlueWill said:

Gotta pray Kepa doesn't get injured because WC & RG are not EPL standard.

Nor were WC and Eduardo last season.  I can't think of many GK2s in the top 6 who are of EPL standard.  Cech/Ospina I guess.

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hatty   
2 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Conte's vanity was at least cured sacking him.  The striker situation was actually resolved back in January - a very competent No 2 in WC winner, Giroud, giving us a bit more time to sort things out.  I don't think a single decent striker changed hands this window other than a 33 year old.

Nor were WC and Eduardo last season.  I can't think of many GK2s in the top 6 who are of EPL standard.  Cech/Ospina I guess.

this is a good point

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