Sir

Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

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1 hour ago, East Lower said:

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.

RLC is raw. Raw in the sense of senior football and what is required to not only be a presence during games, but to also be understanding of the important tactical aspect senior football contains. He has the ability to influence games and he's shown that in glimpse already. On the other hand he's also shown his inexperience at this level and why his opportunities have been quite limited. 

IMO I don't consider him to be a lazy player. I believe that to be slightly misleading and a bit of a stick for some to beat him with because of the style of his play and rather claim demeanour. Similar was held against Anelka being a sulk because of a more reserved image he put forward. He's a big lad and I think some have this impression of a young dynamic midfielder/attacker who will freely move around the pitch etc. He isn't that sort of player, not yet anyway. I'm sure a lack of both match fitness and sharpness plays an impact in that also. When players don't play regularly and have no real form or fitness behind them it's not uncommon it see them play in spurts. That's largely how RLC plays, in spurts. With a solid match fitness base behind him and game time, consistency hopefully follows. 

For now, the biggest question mark is where he fits exactly? It would appear in a 343 he's one of the AM options, with the odd opportunity upfront if we push into a 352. He's a bit of an awkward player positionally. Doesn't have the engine (yet) to play central midfield properly. While not quite the tricky dynamic attacker that plays further forward. 

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5 hours ago, jones said:

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.

Yes - I've checked, you are right, a lot of the players are older - I guess this competition started a while ago.  But RLC has still been playing international football at various levels for a long time.

The Lampard comparison is just wrong - he was a star player at 21.
And the Drogba comparison is just a wild exception.  If you could pick unknowns at 21 and give them professional contracts to turn them into superstars 3 years later them we would just abandon the academy and go trawling Hackny Marshes for 21 yo amateurs.  Meanwhile both Owen and Rooney had 12 years near the top - RLC is unlikely to get 9.

If it works out for him, we will all be pleased.  But there seem to be better chances in our squad - Fast attacking players usually mature early,  Chalobah and Ake (and Zouma or Chirstensen) have more time on their side.

 

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Lampard a star player at 21? He came to Chelsea at 23, and most people back then (Chelsea fans included) thought 11mp was over the top. Took him a couple of years to become a star for us. But hey, if starring for West Ham is the new benchmark, our squad is suddenly solid gold. 

Anyway, the point was that is hopeless to write off a player at 21 off just because his age. What actually speaks for RLC is that he has had very little game time until now. His body has not taken started taking its toll yet from playing week in week out. There is a reason why someone like Drogba is still playing, and why Lukaku will hang up his boots way sooner than his idol. RLC has tons of potential, and for sure clock is starting to run out on him becoming a world-beater, but a season on loan playing week in week out at a PL team, may see a sudden and dramatic rise in performance levels. Had he already had 100 matches in the Championship, I would be way more skeptical.

Not saying I would put my money on RLC becoming our next Lampard, but there for sure is unlocked potential there. And he is not that far away a real push for a starting place in the 3-4-3. A season on loan can turn things up side down. 

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7 hours ago, jones said:

Lampard a star player at 21? He came to Chelsea at 23, and most people back then (Chelsea fans included) thought 11mp was over the top. Took him a couple of years to become a star for us. But hey, if starring for West Ham is the new benchmark, our squad is suddenly solid gold. 

I can only assume you weren't around back in 2001, and don't recall just how hard it was to prise 11m out of Ken Bates - especially for a player who had already walked out on WHU after his Dad and Uncle had been sacked as coach and manager.  And he was still 22 when we bought him.  

He had 148 PL appearances already.

7 hours ago, jones said:

Anyway, the point was that is hopeless to write off a player at 21 off just because his age.

No one is writing off RLC right now.  All that is being said is that hype he was getting 2 years ago no longer applies.  He is no longer a teenager on the verge of breaking into a top club's first team.  He is one of dozens of players 21+ who are on the sidelines of PL clubs (including about a dozen at our club).  Some will still make it, but don't hold your breath.

Right now, Ake, Chalobah, Abraham and Palmer all look better bets.

 

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

I can only assume you weren't around back in 2001

 

Wrong.

1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

and don't recall just how hard it was to prise 11m out of Ken Bates - especially for a player who had already walked out on WHU after his Dad and Uncle had been sacked as coach and manager.

What has that got to do with anything? You claimed Lampard was a star player at 21. We bought a ready PL player, yes, but we bought the potential of a star player. Plus the fact that we overpaid because he was English. This doesn't even qualify as an argument, Droy.

1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

He had 148 PL appearances already.

Wrong. He had 84 PL appearances at the age of 21. For West Ham. That is not automatically a star player in my book. In comparison: Michael Carrick had 71 PL apps at the age of 21, that was four years before he went to Manchester. He also played a season in the CH at the age of 22. Was he a star player at 21 too?

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20 hours ago, zaffo said:

RLC is raw. Raw in the sense of senior football and what is required to not only be a presence during games, but to also be understanding of the important tactical aspect senior football contains. He has the ability to influence games and he's shown that in glimpse already. On the other hand he's also shown his inexperience at this level and why his opportunities have been quite limited. 

IMO I don't consider him to be a lazy player. I believe that to be slightly misleading and a bit of a stick for some to beat him with because of the style of his play and rather claim demeanour. Similar was held against Anelka being a sulk because of a more reserved image he put forward. He's a big lad and I think some have this impression of a young dynamic midfielder/attacker who will freely move around the pitch etc. He isn't that sort of player, not yet anyway. I'm sure a lack of both match fitness and sharpness plays an impact in that also. When players don't play regularly and have no real form or fitness behind them it's not uncommon it see them play in spurts. That's largely how RLC plays, in spurts. With a solid match fitness base behind him and game time, consistency hopefully follows. 

For now, the biggest question mark is where he fits exactly? It would appear in a 343 he's one of the AM options, with the odd opportunity upfront if we push into a 352. He's a bit of an awkward player positionally. Doesn't have the engine (yet) to play central midfield properly. While not quite the tricky dynamic attacker that plays further forward. 

Good post. RLC is in dire need of regular playing time and therefore a loan next season. The problem is that he's being treated as the jewel of the academy and kept around in the hope that he breaks straight through. As a result, he's arguably stagnated over the past 2 seasons. 

 

2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

No one is writing off RLC right now.  All that is being said is that hype he was getting 2 years ago no longer applies.  He is no longer a teenager on the verge of breaking into a top club's first team.  He is one of dozens of players 21+ who are on the sidelines of PL clubs (including about a dozen at our club).  Some will still make it, but don't hold your breath.

Right now, Ake, Chalobah, Abraham and Palmer all look better bets.

 

Yes, RLC is reaching an age now where either he pushes through or falls away. He has all the talent and physique to do the former, but sometimes it doesn't quite work that way.

As for the others, surely Ake is more than a bet right now, seeing as a PL team bid £18m for his acquisition? 

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47 minutes ago, jones said:

Wrong.

What has that got to do with anything? You claimed Lampard was a star player at 21. We bought a ready PL player, yes, but we bought the potential of a star player. Plus the fact that we overpaid because he was English. This doesn't even qualify as an argument, Droy.

Wrong. He had 84 PL appearances at the age of 21. For West Ham. That is not automatically a star player in my book. In comparison: Michael Carrick had 71 PL apps at the age of 21, that was four years before he went to Manchester. He also played a season in the CH at the age of 22. Was he a star player at 21 too?

You are welcome to believe that - but I wouldn't repeat it too much if I were you.

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Just now, Droy was my hero said:

You are welcome to believe that - but I wouldn't repeat it too much if I were you.

Huh? Let's just stop this now.

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16 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

 

Yes, RLC is reaching an age now where either he pushes through or falls away. He has all the talent and physique to do the former, but sometimes it doesn't quite work that way.

As for the others, surely Ake is more than a bet right now, seeing as a PL team bid £18m for his acquisition? 

Don't think Ake or RLC will be here next season. Same with Zouma and Musonda. They are currently offering depth without enough quality. Next transfer window we will have to improve the quality of our depth. That hopefully means adding 4-5 players to give our weakest first team players proper competition. We have a fantastic foundation, but if we want to take the next step and be competitive in PL and CL at the same time, players like Cahill, Matic, Pedro and Alonso need to be squad players pushing for starting places. van Dijk, Sanchez, Alaba and Vidal/Nainggolan/Verratti will cost a lot, but the alternative is risking to not build on our momentum. And lose Conte - remember he left Juventus because of their reluctance to spend.

Hopefully, we won't do the same mistake, and that would mean that players like Ake, RLC, Zouma plus a few of the promising players on loan like Baker and Abraham should be on loan next season. 

A squad like this next season?

Courtois (+ new back up)

Azpilicueta - Luiz - van DIjk (Christensen, Cahill)

Moses - Kante - Verratti - Alaba (Alonso, Fabregas, Matic, Chalobah)

Sanchez - Costa - Hazard (Pedro, Willian)

That is 18 outfield players for 10 positions, of very high quality. With a more congested fixture list, everyone should see a decent amount of game time. We probably need a few more bodies, but that could be players like Traore, Todd Kane, Kenedy etc - we don't need to buy players that barely will play when we have so much talent in the system already. 

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On 29/03/2017 at 8:59 AM, jones said:

Don't think Ake or RLC will be here next season. Same with Zouma and Musonda. They are currently offering depth without enough quality. Next transfer window we will have to improve the quality of our depth. That hopefully means adding 4-5 players to give our weakest first team players proper competition. We have a fantastic foundation, but if we want to take the next step and be competitive in PL and CL at the same time, players like Cahill, Matic, Pedro and Alonso need to be squad players pushing for starting places. van Dijk, Sanchez, Alaba and Vidal/Nainggolan/Verratti will cost a lot, but the alternative is risking to not build on our momentum. And lose Conte - remember he left Juventus because of their reluctance to spend.

Hopefully, we won't do the same mistake, and that would mean that players like Ake, RLC, Zouma plus a few of the promising players on loan like Baker and Abraham should be on loan next season. 

A squad like this next season?

Courtois (+ new back up)

Azpilicueta - Luiz - van DIjk (Christensen, Cahill)

Moses - Kante - Verratti - Alaba (Alonso, Fabregas, Matic, Chalobah)

Sanchez - Costa - Hazard (Pedro, Willian)

That is 18 outfield players for 10 positions, of very high quality. With a more congested fixture list, everyone should see a decent amount of game time. We probably need a few more bodies, but that could be players like Traore, Todd Kane, Kenedy etc - we don't need to buy players that barely will play when we have so much talent in the system already. 

Personally, I dont see that anything would be gained from sending Ake on yet another loan next season. He is ready and he is very useful as a versatile defensive or midfield option.

If you added say Llorente to that lot, plus a few of the best loanees, you would have a great and very deep squad, but there is no way we are going to get 3 players of the quality of Sanchez, Veratti and van Dijk in one window. It will be intersting to see which areas that Conte chooses to strengthen first.

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