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BlueWill   
On 10/08/2018 at 7:36 PM, Ham said:

Not sure I've necessarily heaped praise on Marina. Credit where it's due though for the work done this summer, despite everything being done a bit late.

The striker situation has hopefully been improved by an emphasis on attacking football and having more attacking players on the pitch at any one time and only 4 at the back.

Wasn't ignoring any points in GGs post. More a comment on the fact that he's one of the most negative miserable posters on here, particularly this summer. It's been relentless and that didn't change after what many on here consider to have been a good window. 

 

 

Well I don't remember the exact detail and I've no axe to grind with you. I was incensed by what Conte got away with last year, regarding the board's indecision as criminally negligent. So even if they'd done spectacularly well I'd certainly reserve my  judgement and no I don't expect them to get everything right . 

I don't get how the striker situation is resolved by playing more attacking football. A striker putting away 1/15 is still that irrespective of how many chances we create. If others weigh in with the goals does that mean we'd resolved the striker situation? Resolved the goals situation yes, but not the striker situation. It's also safe to assume that if the striker is failing and being bailed out by the efforts of others that we are exposed to risk elsewhere on the park. Ultimately, if our main striker continues as a 1/15 we could drop him and rely on MF or a junior striker which might look a productive resolution against (say) Cardiff whereas away to Real Madrid we'd need to get lucky or have our expensive top quality striker convert the really difficult chances when our 1/15 would almost certainly be found wanting.. 

I became very negative myself last season, so maybe I didn't notice the negativity of others as being particularly bad. I am still nervous about Eden.

 

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BlueWill   
26 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

I'm still sticking to the idea that we are work in progress, planning to compete at the top level in 2020 or 21.  For that reason I am quite happy to put up with some mediocrity for this season and maybe a little for next.
For me, and I suspect the board, there is no hurry.  

I hope people noticed our strategy changed enormously between Summer/Winter last season, and Summer this season.

The money went on long term players - Jorginho and Kepa.  There were no back up fullbacks, or back up strikers (while the back up GK3 is clearly treading water till a better alternative arrives or Blackman achieves GK2 status).  No urgent filling of gaps.

We are back to 2012 and long term planning.  It just gets better from here.

You said "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".

No, I disagree it wasn't resolved and 'a bit more time' doesn't sound like 3 years. Indeed, I think it highly unlikely that we're planning to spend the next 3 years out of the UCL if we're paying world record GK prices and doubt very much that was the message given to the most expensive keeper in the history of football.

Long term planning is very much easier as the European Champions than a team failing to make UCL in 2 of the last 3 seasons and doing poorly in the year you did make it. Long term planning also doesn't mean dumping your manager mid November.

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23 minutes ago, BlueWill said:

You said "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".

No, I disagree it wasn't resolved and 'a bit more time' doesn't sound like 3 years. Indeed, I think it highly unlikely that we're planning to spend the next 3 years out of the UCL if we're paying world record GK prices and doubt very much that was the message given to the most expensive keeper in the history of football.

Long term planning is very much easier as the European Champions than a team failing to make UCL in 2 of the last 3 seasons and doing poorly in the year you did make it. Long term planning also doesn't mean dumping your manager mid November.

So there are two "striker situations".  One is can we rely on Morata for now.  The other is what do we do in 2021 when we need a top striker.
As you''ll remember in 2013 we made do with Torres, but in 2014 we replaced him with the real deal, Costa, + Drogba as backup.  2014 was the year when we went from JM's little ponies to real stallions.  A lof of final jigsaw piece decisions were made then, in and out.

For me the Jan 2018 decision was about how to back up one dodgy striker when you only have Michy as back up.  Sure it is not PL winning solution, it was the stay in the top half of the table solution.  And it was addressed, even if it wasn't the decision you'd have liked.

Yes - Long term planning is easier if
a) you get the lucky breaks that year in the CL having had better teams for the previous 8 years
b)  Players are cheap and the owner thinks prices are going up
c)  so that means you can find out which young players everyone else is bidding for, and just pay 15% more - which it the guaranteed way not to buy duffers by mistake
d)  there is no Man City or PSG buying the best (including yours) out there.

So Yes, long term planning is a lot harder than it was 6 years ago.  But at least we have made a start.  I am much happier with that than with buying sticking plaster players to keep the 2014-17 team together.

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2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

I'm still sticking to the idea that we are work in progress, planning to compete at the top level in 2020 or 21.  For that reason I am quite happy to put up with some mediocrity for this season and maybe a little for next.
For me, and I suspect the board, there is no hurry.  

I hope people noticed our strategy changed enormously between Summer/Winter last season, and Summer this season.

The money went on long term players - Jorginho and Kepa.  There were no back up fullbacks, or back up strikers (while the back up GK3 is clearly treading water till a better alternative arrives or Blackman achieves GK2 status).  No urgent filling of gaps.

We are back to 2012 and long term planning.  It just gets better from here.

Sure - but let's not pretend we do not have a trong core of players that are in a great age bracket. With that I mean that a lot of the long-term planning has already taken place. 

Kepa (23), Bulka (18), Azpilicueta (28), Zappacosta (26), Rüdiger (25), Christensen (22), Ampadu (17), Alonso (27), Emerson (24), Kanté (27), Jorginho (26), Kovacic (24), Loftus-Cheek (22), Barkley (24), Hazard (27), Moses (27), Morata (25), Abraham (20)

On top of this, we still have Luiz (31), Fabregas (31), Pedro (31) and Willian (30). 

From next season, the "final-piece-of-the-jigsaw-type-signings" would be;

1. World class CB in the 26-29 years age bracket

2. World class striker who'll get you 30 goals a season

3. One new top class AM to rival Hazard and Willian and ready to take over from Pedro

Hopefully enough to break into the top two and make it a top three. I think we are in a situation now where we can cherry-pick 2-3 top class additions each summer over the next 3-4 seasons to make this team win trophies consistently. 

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56 minutes ago, The_Ghost said:

Sure - but let's not pretend we do not have a strong core of players that are in a great age bracket. With that I mean that a lot of the long-term planning has already taken place. 

Oh yes.  I wouldn't count most of the younger ones (eggs not hatched) and I'd write off , Zappa, Emerson, Barkley (all 3 unproven as yet)  Kovacic (not ours), Moses and Morata  (proven not good enough) and the older guys

So I'd say  the "core" is just

Kepa (23),  Azpilicueta (28),  Rüdiger (25), Christensen (22),  Alonso (27), Kanté (27), Jorginho (26), Hazard (27), 

8 players, of which I'd say 6 are very good.  But definitely short of our next Costa.
Added 2 this summer, lost Courtois (but no one else!), which is progress, but I don't see the team peaking next year.
Life would be a lot easier if some of the kids really broke through, but they haven't except Christensen just.

Edited by Droy was my hero

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26 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

So I'd say  the "core" is just

Kepa (23),  Azpilicueta (28),  Rüdiger (25), Christensen (22),  Alonso (27), Kanté (27), Jorginho (26), Hazard (27), 

8 players, of which I'd say 6 are very good.  But definitely short of our next Costa.
Added 2 this summer, lost Courtois (but no one else!), which is progress, but I don't see the team peaking next year.
Life would be a lot easier if some of the kids really broke through, but they haven't except Christensen just.

Regardless of whether the core is 5, 6, 8 or 10 players - by adding 2-3 quality players each window we are in a good shape over the next 4-5 seasons I'd say. Sure - over this time period City and perhaps Liverpool are bound to outperform us. But I still think we may hold off Man U and Spurs. It won't go down as our most successful team but that is more to do with other teams doing so well than us doing badly. 

If we want to cream out one more title win out of this lot, 2-3 ready-made star signings next summer could do the trick. But the smart moves would probably be to look to the next 3-5 years. But at some point that time horizon needs to be cut down to the present, much like July 2014 panned out. 

Edit: and you are talking about the core as more of the starting quality. I say that the others on that list can still be PL squad players. That they have already proven. The question is to what level. Too often have we found ourselves short of options in the squad due to our lack of English players (ok, HG). Now we have them, we should be thrilled. For once we start a new season with a proper squad - 3 GKs, 20-21 senior players and 2-3 U-21's. Yay!

Edited by The_Ghost

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chara   

Not sure if this is the right place but although I agree with most Morata views I still am ,barely, a Morata wisher. Watching all the preseason games it looked to me as if no one playing at CF or whatever it is called now got any real service ...I realise I am not as analytical as many here and some are way above me but every game looked the same up top..missing key players of course.

Who would anyone bring in who could alter the situation?...forget dream transfers and look at reality..no one really who would answer the question from where I sit...

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1 minute ago, chara said:

Who would anyone bring in who could alter the situation?...forget dream transfers and look at reality..no one really who would answer the question from where I sit...

Which is exactky why we didn't.

The club invested heavily in Morata 12 months ago, I assume the idea is to give him another go under a new manager and see what happens. There was literally no one we could have bought that was better than what we already have and that is saying something.

If someone was available and good enough I have absolutely no doubt we would have bought them.

The biggest problem and another reason we stuck with Morata is that the situation isn't going to change any time soon. There is a severe lack of top quality strikers, worse than I can ever remember. There's not even the ones you look at and think maybe if he has another good year he might be worth a punt. There's no one.

Our best hope of having a top class striker any time soon is hoping Abraham develops into one.

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