Sir

Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

1,301 posts in this topic

5 hours ago, Michael Tucker said:

You can't say that with any certainty, and neither can I. Let's say instead, that we 'collectively' we haven't done a great job with him. And really, I'm not sure how you can arrive at the claim that our managers "had very little to do with it"? Their responsibility, their choice, unless you think that Emenalo does their job for them?

I didn't say anything like that. I think though, that he deserved better than he got (at least, to-date) - a chance, if nothing else.  Which really, IS what I said - nothing more, or less - and I'm really not sure what the (your) problem is with that?

I thought it was pretty clear that the person at the club who's responsible for loaning the 'loan army' lads out is Emenalo and his team. A first team coach or manager simply wouldn't have time to deal with those issues as we're talking about quite a few players. And it's been covered that he and his team are indeed the personnel at the club doing this. 

Of course, if one of the managers had said that any loan player should stay because they'd be part of the squad and a genuine option (see Moses this season) then I'm sure Emenalo wouldn't loan him out. Problem with Bamford is that he never showed that potential and it would have been unfair to him to have him stick around doing what Solanke is doing this season. Look at Bats. No doubt a lot better than Bamford and he's barely played all season! 

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True stuff.  But I'd add one thing.

While most players inevitably disappoint as they grow into adults (just a fact), the club does not (should not) be planning for the level the player will probably end up.  They should be planning for the player to be a surprising success.  
Thus if a player goes on loan to a good club and is not quite up to it - this is a mistake for the player but not for the club.  The right result for the club is Tammy Abrahams, the player who surprises us all by being even better than expected.

So if a player can't cut it at 19 in the Championship or at 21 in the Prem, the club's job is to find out as soon as possible, not to protect the player so he eventually makes it as a Championship player at 23 but with no transfer fee for the club and just the first 5 year wage bill.
 

In other words don't blame club or Emenalo, we are right to be setting these kids up for failure - that is the nature of being a potential football star.

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I have heard from several sources (including Dan Levene) that the club wanted Bamford to do another season in the Championship after his Boro season. But Bamford insisted on trying his luck in the PL. Also, they advised him to drop down a level when things did not work out last season, but Bamford rejected. Always easy to blame the club, and who knows what is true or not here, but when you so massively underachieve at three different PL clubs in a row, the player surely has to take more than part of the blame too.

 

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Style wise, Bamford is the kind of player that would have cleaned up in the 90s as a second striker. Le tissier, Sheringham, Zola, etc.

But I don't see him as a 10 or a 9 and he's not quick enough to play wide.

I still think eventually he could have a decent career in the prem but needs to knuckle down in the champ first to get his stock back up.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure where to put this as he doesn't have his own thread, but as he's an, albeit peripheral, member of the 1st team squad...

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/27/chelsea-ruben-loftus-cheek-England-under-21-denmark


Scored twice and by all accounts had a good game. I still think he could do with a season's loan to a Championship club to toughen him up and see if he actually has the core fitness to play 90 minutes week-in, week-out.

 

Edited by Bob Singleton

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RLC - 21 already and probably the oldest player in the team I guess.  He should be approaching his best levels by know (allowing for some inconsistency in form).
Yes 40 Championship starts might be the making of him, but it looks like we have a potential starter for a PL club in a year or two (or more likely star sub) rather than someone who is going to challenge the likes of Pedro, Willian & Hazard for a starting place here.

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RLC has taken further steps this year, no doubt about that. Started the season almost as an outcast, but is now preferred ahead of Michy (e.g., Stoke). If he has impressed Conte that much, it says a lot. And now, he is part of the younger half of that U21 team. Approximately 80% are 21 or older. And age is not that much of an argument, you see a lot of players finding their peak later in their careers. Lampard, Drogba etc. In the opposite way players like Rooney and Owen tailed off in their late 20s.

What Ruben needs is games. He is more than good enough to be an automatic starter for the bottom half of the PL. A full season playing week in week out will hopefully help him develop what he needs in order to excel under Conte: 1) ability to use his physique; 2) work rate and stamina; 3) final third contributions. 1 is a low hanging fruit and will come with experience, 2 is mostly about mental application and this is where I am most concerned, 3 will hopefully come with experience and confidence as he has the skill set to succeed here.

There has been a lot of talk about what his best position is. I can't see any more suitable roles than the AM behind Costa in 3-4-3. If he can develop his physical game, he will be a mega asset breaking down teams.

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10 hours ago, Bob Singleton said:

Not sure where to put this as he doesn't have his own thread, but as he's an, albeit peripheral, member of the 1st team squad...

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/27/chelsea-ruben-loftus-cheek-England-under-21-denmark


Scored twice and by all accounts had a good game. I still think he could do with a season's loan to a Championship club to toughen him up and see if he actually has the core fitness to play 90 minutes week-in, week-out.

 

RLC, in my opinion based on what I see when he does play, is in danger of limiting his own potential for selection.

By means of explanation for that opinion, he's got enormous potential as a player supporting the main striker, however and not to put too fine a point on it, he appears to either be lazy and/or lacking the workrate, discipline and concentration on the defensive side of his game.

We've got Eden Hazard, who appears to have been given a role where he has too tuck in when defending, if he can and is in a position to do so, but doesn't work his nuts off trying to get back there (Pedro/Willian try to do this job).

RLC with the best will in the world isn't going to displace the likes of Hazard. If he (RLC) doesn't make himself slightly more versatile then he'll be restricting himself (and his managers ability to pick him as a starter) into bit parts such as at Stoke when they were physically tired and he could exploit the space their tiredness created. He's not good enough (yet?) to demand a starting spot on just his abilities as a '10', played behind a lone forward.

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Posted (edited)

It will be interesting to see what Conte does if (God willing) we wrap up the league with 3 or 4 games to spare.

I never understood why, in 2015, Jose continued to pick the same players who had played most of the fixtures in the remaining 3 games after the league was won. 

If we win the league in late April, I would tell Hazard, Costa, and Luiz to go and sit on the beach. 

 

Edit - my team for the run in (dead games) would look like a league cup tie. 

Bego, Zouma, JT, Ake, Kenedy, Moses / Aina, Chalobah, Matic / Fabregas, RLC, Willian, Batshuyai....... 

Edited by paulw66

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^ Could be he'll try for the record points in a season? 99 is still possible, and the record is 95 (Chelsea 2004-5). The temptation to out-Jose Jose must be very strong.

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