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3 hours ago, thevelourfog said:

Not using the kids much and pushing for top 4 ... Not sure it would ultimately be doable, but I could see sense in it and think it might be worth a crack. A tough job, but one worth attempting.

Pretty sure it isn't doable.  And Luiz being sold strongly implies there is no intention to (whatever SFL says about being determined to compete in every competition).

The real question here is what the club intends to do with 2 summers budget.  Stay at Arsenal level - 5th/6th?  Or build a much stronger team with 5 or 6 A-class buys of the level of Kepa & Jorginho last year and Pulisic this year (judging Pulisic on his price alone right now).

 

2 hours ago, paulw66 said:

That's simply not true,

6 goals in the PL last season, at a rate of 1 every 164 minutes. 

Played well the only other time he was given a decent run under Hiddink in 2015/16 too. 

Sorry - 15/16 he was given 4 starts in a row in April.  Didn't impress me.  Hiddink didn't start him again for the last 5 games in May, either.
And Conte didn't start him at all in PL in 16/17 either.
 

Last season it took him again till late March to get a few regular PL games - despite getting umpteen chances in FAC, LC, EL to make an impression and despite competing against Barkley and Kovacic.  Just before injury he did have a couple of good games.  That is all he has done.  

2 hours ago, paulw66 said:

but one can't have a balanced discussion with you about RLC. 

Perhaps you can't.  He has had 4 fit years in the Prem, your standards for being good enough seem remarkably low.

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2 hours ago, thevelourfog said:

That's the big question that none of us can know the answer to, and I think some of us are more worried and less optimistic about the response to.

For my part, I don't find it hard to imagine the club have lower than usual expectations this year. There would be lots of legitmate reasons for this. What I feel absolutely confident about though is that their expectations and aspirations do go much, much beyond 'bringing through' academy products and that when the see fit and the time comes they will be ruthless with any personnel they do not consider up to scratch.

Not using the kids much and pushing for top 4 ... Not sure it would ultimately be doable, but I could see sense in it and think it might be worth a crack. A tough job, but one worth attempting.

Using the kids a lot and not caring too much about what that means in the here and now ... Easy job to the point that it'd be utterly pointless, and one that would swiftly end the Chelsea careers of our few remaining elite players, as well as a fair few of the kids.

Trying to find a balance so that we at least do not fall away entirely and potentially even compete depending on our rivals, and do not find ourselves being humbled regularly ... A really bloody tough job, possibly not one that is really doable. This is the job I think Lampard has, even if some of us would rather it was one of the first two.

Regarding your final paragraph. I don’t think this is as hard as is made out by some. The criteria to measure this is difficult to quantify,  but we have some very high quality  experienced players who cover approx 7/8 positions in the team. The ‘bringing through kids’ term gets used a lot with little context behind what I believe most who advocate this actually want.

I believe most fans who talk about our academy players just want them involved and with a clear path to the first team. I don’t believe anyone wants them to be given 25+ plus starts and if we finish 12th then so be it. With the experienced quality players we have, I see no reason why we cannot play 2/3 academy players most weeks and still compete for anything between 7th - 4th. Now we could come 5th doing this but end up 30pts behind the league winners, which is why I mention to the criteria to measure things.

I think what your final paragraph describes is how Frank is approaching the season and I believe many fans are of a similar line of thinking. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but we all know goals change games and how important the first goal in football is. We have 1pt from 2 games, in both of those games we have been very small margins from potentially being 2-0 ahead in both games which completely changes the picture and feeling around the club and fans.

I have faith  in the quality of the academy players being integrated alongside international quality first team players, that we can still compete for 4th - 7th position.The experience they will have picked up and with the addition of 2/3 high quality players from maybe January , puts the club in a very strong position from next summer imo.

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10 minutes ago, LeBoeufsGolfBall said:

Regarding your final paragraph. I don’t think this is as hard as is made out by some...

... I have faith  in the quality of the academy players being integrated alongside international quality first team players, that we can still compete for 4th - 7th position.

Quoted the two things that make clear where we diverge. 

6th and 7th place aren't positions we 'compete' for; they would represent failure, a failure I think we can assume based on all available evidence will result in coaching and/or playing staff being moved on. I can see us finishing that low, sure. I'm not sure I'd call that optimism. 

I think it is quite possible, even if not what I consider most likely, the club are writing this season off. But if they are, it'll be keeping powder dry so they are able to bring in players to take starting places. Our kids will have to have absolutely outstanding seasons, not simply okay ones, to be better than the players you'd expect us to be bringing in when we next can. 

Edited by thevelourfog

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24 minutes ago, thevelourfog said:

Quoted the two things that make clear where we diverge. 

6th and 7th place aren't positions we 'compete' for; they would represent failure, a failure I think we can assume based on all available evidence will result in coaching and/or playing staff being moved on. I can see us finishing that low, sure. I'm not sure I'd call that optimism. 

I think it is quite possible, even if not what I consider most likely, the club are writing this season off. But if they are, it'll be keeping powder dry so they are able to bring in players to take starting places. Our kids will have to have absolutely outstanding seasons, not simply okay ones, to be better than the players you'd expect us to be bringing in when we next can. 

I should have stated that when I say compete, I’m referring to for a CL spot. I don’t believe we can compete to win it or even be in the running, but 4th-7th competes for a CL spot......unless 15pts behind 4th in 6th which is not competing, nor do I see that happening personally.

I get what you are saying about new players coming if we end up finishing 6th as example. I’m just not convinced it will be necessary in numbers, I think our crop of players will perform very well and prove themselves even if we end up 6th. A high quality centre forward added to these players for next season will make a huge difference. I genuinely feel we integrate what we have an add a max 2/3 players in the right areas and we improve hugely overnight.

Edited by LeBoeufsGolfBall

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4 minutes ago, thevelourfog said:

Our kids will have to have absolutely outstanding seasons, not simply okay ones, to be better than the players you'd expect us to be bringing in when we next can. 

This - the goal is not to be better than Barkley, Zappacosta of a 32 yo in order to get starts.  The goal for our youngsters has to be as good as Kepa Kante Rudiger and Jorginho so they will be of use in 2020.
 

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7 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

This - the goal is not to be better than Barkley, Zappacosta of a 32 yo in order to get starts.  The goal for our youngsters has to be as good as Kepa Kante Rudiger and Jorginho so they will be of use in 2020.
 

And if they are somewhere in middle after this season?? ie not quite at the levels of very good expensive internationals, but of a higher level than Barkley, Zappacosta

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24 minutes ago, LeBoeufsGolfBall said:

And if they are somewhere in middle after this season?? ie not quite at the levels of very good expensive internationals, but of a higher level than Barkley, Zappacosta

You mean like RLC is close to or Christensen is now?  Then the experiment has been a waste of time.  The Academy has cost a fortune.  RLC has cost a fortune in wages.  Nevermind the ones that never got close (yet)  like Musonda.
If you run a team around not quite good enough players you become Arsenal.

There is re-building and there is competing.  Competing means cutting a load of marginal players - Lampard Mata Cech and Torres - Schurrle, KdB, Lukaku, Bertrand.  The timing has to be based around what the team is going to do, not the remaining potential in the player.  If we buy for 20/21 to be a good year, then only ready players can be considered.
If we buy to win stuff 21/22 some may have a little time yet.

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2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

You mean like RLC is close to or Christensen is now?  Then the experiment has been a waste of time.  The Academy has cost a fortune.  RLC has cost a fortune in wages.  Nevermind the ones that never got close (yet)  like Musonda.
If you run a team around not quite good enough players you become Arsenal.

There is re-building and there is competing.  Competing means cutting a load of marginal players - Lampard Mata Cech and Torres - Schurrle, KdB, Lukaku, Bertrand.  The timing has to be based around what the team is going to do, not the remaining potential in the player.  If we buy for 20/21 to be a good year, then only ready players can be considered.
If we buy to win stuff 21/22 some may have a little time yet.

I have not really followed this conversation but this is a very valid point. The idea of spending 2-3 years trying to implement the youth is a very dangerous game and one that probably leads, as you say, to becoming Arsenal and I would say that is still a goodish outcome as that means top 6 and competing for the odd cup. 

As I have said on numerous occasions, the only teams to have implemented 3 or more youth players at the same time in the past 30 years and still competed at the top end of the European game are Utd and Barca. However, those teams did so whilst having top quality experienced players with a history of wining and they still brought big. 

For me, as much as it is nice to see the youth players getting a chance, the circumstances in which they are is due to an absolutely shocking transfer planning by the club (or for others Conte.) I say this because if the season ends up with us outside of the top six and no cup win the financial consequences of this and the lack of CL football is going to prove us with a massive challenge for the club both to afford new players and attract them. This even with the players doing great is a problem as we will still have holes. 

Furthermore, people are talking about Mount, James, RLC, CHO, Pulisic and Tammy as if they are guaranteed to be top players. This I think is somewhat fanciful as there is nothing more than hope and bright flashes here and there to support this as almost all of them have only done so at a lower level, with the exception of Pulisic. This is not me saying that they won't succeed, but rather that all we have at this moment in time is hope and hope cannot be lived off for years on end; unless of course you're happy to be an also ran. 

Edited by King Kante
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Leo91   

Noticed how Inter got Conte the targets he wanted. Lukaku and Barella. 

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8 minutes ago, Leo91 said:

Noticed how Inter got Conte the targets he wanted. Lukaku and Barella. 

Has he said he wanted them?  Nice for the players if he has.  Imagine what it must be for a player to hear his manage never wanted him.  

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