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Michael Tucker

West Bromwich Albion 3 Chelsea 0

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I can't see any way that Mourinho will drop Ivanovic, after confirming last week that he wanted to play every game (a la JT). Also, watching Zouma come off last game, I can't see how he could possibly be fit to start.

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^Right. Ivanovic & JT play.

Zouma can't. Shame - 7 PL starts - one of which was for just 35 min. He has been fit right up to the point where JM was giving him games for free. Not much of a season for a guy that expensive, for a guy who is a long way ahead of any of our other U21s or loanees. If he were still on loan at St Etienne I daresay he'd be getting starts for France, not just a lot of bench sitting and one 81st min sub appearance.

Incidentally if anyone here thinks that the new kids - RLC or whoever - are going to get more starts next season than 6th choice defender Zouma has had this year, they are seriously deluded.

I don't see RLC getting another start this season. But perhaps one of the others - Solanke or Brown. Perhaps Solanke against WBA. Brown would just be a bit too provocative against WBA. Solanke for Hazard in his more recent 2nd striker role behind Drogba I suggest..

Remy was so disappointing against Liverpool that I guess JM wants to drop him irrespective of who else is available.

But mostly we have so few alternatives that most of the regularly just have to play.

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^Right. Ivanovic & JT play.

Zouma can't. Shame - 7 PL starts - one of which was for just 35 min. He has been fit right up to the point where JM was giving him games for free. Not much of a season for a guy that expensive, for a guy who is a long way ahead of any of our other U21s or loanees. If he were still on loan at St Etienne I daresay he'd be getting starts for France, not just a lot of bench sitting and one 81st min sub appearance.

Incidentally if anyone here thinks that the new kids - RLC or whoever - are going to get more starts next season than 6th choice defender Zouma has had this year, they are seriously deluded.

I don't see RLC getting another start this season. But perhaps one of the others - Solanke or Brown. Perhaps Solanke against WBA. Brown would just be a bit too provocative against WBA. Solanke for Hazard in his more recent 2nd striker role behind Drogba I suggest..

Remy was so disappointing against Liverpool that I guess JM wants to drop him irrespective of who else is available.

But mostly we have so few alternatives that most of the regularly just have to play.

Actually, I read that JM thought the Albion game would be "nice for Izzy". He also said that RLC would play as well as Ake against WBA. The reason for this, he said, was that there was nothing really riding on this game, whereas the one against Sunderland could have a bearing on the league and therefore he would be playing the regular season players in that one.

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Scooba   

^Right. Ivanovic & JT play.

Zouma can't. Shame - 7 PL starts - one of which was for just 35 min. He has been fit right up to the point where JM was giving him games for free. Not much of a season for a guy that expensive, for a guy who is a long way ahead of any of our other U21s or loanees. If he were still on loan at St Etienne I daresay he'd be getting starts for France, not just a lot of bench sitting and one 81st min sub appearance.

Incidentally if anyone here thinks that the new kids - RLC or whoever - are going to get more starts next season than 6th choice defender Zouma has had this year, they are seriously deluded.

I don't see RLC getting another start this season. But perhaps one of the others - Solanke or Brown. Perhaps Solanke against WBA. Brown would just be a bit too provocative against WBA. Solanke for Hazard in his more recent 2nd striker role behind Drogba I suggest..

Remy was so disappointing against Liverpool that I guess JM wants to drop him irrespective of who else is available.

But mostly we have so few alternatives that most of the regularly just have to play.

Zouma by all accounts has had a very successful season with plenty of opportunities.

RLC is a nailed on starter for this game also.

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paulw66   

Zouma can't. Shame - 7 PL starts - one of which was for just 35 min. He has been fit right up to the point where JM was giving him games for free. Not much of a season for a guy that expensive, for a guy who is a long way ahead of any of our other U21s or loanees. If he were still on loan at St Etienne I daresay he'd be getting starts for France, not just a lot of bench sitting and one 81st min sub appearance.

Incidentally if anyone here thinks that the new kids - RLC or whoever - are going to get more starts next season than 6th choice defender Zouma has had this year, they are seriously deluded.

I don't see RLC getting another start this season. But perhaps one of the others - Solanke or Brown. Perhaps Solanke against WBA. Brown would just be a bit too provocative against WBA. Solanke for Hazard in his more recent 2nd striker role behind Drogba I suggest..

In terms of the bolded bits........Zouma was nowhere near the French team whilst he was playing in France. He had his first call up this season. What makes you think he would be getting starts for France if he had remained playing in a noddy league?

In terms of the youngsters not playing as much as Zouma, well he has started 17 games. I don't think anyone has said they expect RLC to start 17 or more games next season. If he gets 10 that would be a good start, particularly with some added sub minutes here and there.

Why don't you think RLC will play again? I think it is highly probably he will start at least one of the remaining 2 games.

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Actually, I read that JM thought the Albion game would be "nice for Izzy". He also said that RLC would play as well as Ake against WBA. The reason for this, he said, was that there was nothing really riding on this game, whereas the one against Sunderland could have a bearing on the league and therefore he would be playing the regular season players in that one.

Interesting - and thanks. So my speculation is wrong. JM has a good point about the Sunderland game.

Zouma by all accounts has had a very successful season with plenty of opportunities.

By many accounts true. Still he started 7 PL starts as 6th choice defender and added just one other game where a full team was put out.

I think he will be very disappointed (and Gary Cahill will be very pleased with himself).

Zouma has failed to challenge Cahill - widely regarded as the weak link in the first 11.

In terms of the bolded bits........Zouma was nowhere near the French team whilst he was playing in France. He had his first call up this season. What makes you think he would be getting starts for France if he had remained playing in a noddy league?

In terms of the youngsters not playing as much as Zouma, well he has started 17 games. I don't think anyone has said they expect RLC to start 17 or more games next season. If he gets 10 that would be a good start, particularly with some added sub minutes here and there.

Why don't you think RLC will play again? I think it is highly probably he will start at least one of the remaining 2 games.

Zouma got his first call up in October 2013, just before his 19th birthday. I guess at about the time Chelsea were negotiation to take him in January. It is truly amazing the ability of agents to get their players in national squads at moments like this - France must be much the same as England.

The key word in the bold bit being "playing" - even if the word noddy is accurate.

Zouma didn't play much in the non-noddy games this season, and hardly at all at CB.

Our other kids are so far behind Zouma in readiness, they won't get near his 7 PL starts. with the exception possibly of Nathan who, like Zouma, steps in ahead of them all despite being no older.

On RLC playing at WBA - obviously that is just a guess - apparently a wrong one.

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What makes you think he would be getting starts for France if he had remained playing in a noddy league?

My guess is that he reasons that Zouma would have played more/started more games this season than he's done at Chelsea. And given that he has Terry and Cahill in front of him in the pecking order, it seems a reasonable point.

As for it being a 'noddy league', I'm really not sure what point you're making - surely it was his performances in that 'noddy league', that attracted Chelsea to him in the first place? Same with Hazard for that matter. Does it somehow make them less talented?

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1. My guess is that he reasons that Zouma would have played more/started more games this season than he's done at Chelsea. And given that he has Terry and Cahill in front of him in the pecking order, it seems a reasonable point.

2. As for it being a 'noddy league', I'm really not sure what point you're making - surely it was his performances in that 'noddy league', that attracted Chelsea to him in the first place? Same with Hazard for that matter. Does it somehow make them less talented?

1. yes.

2. I have certainly called France and many other leagues noddy leagues so I guess that is his point. But they are noddy leagues precisely because so many of their best players go to either the small handful of big clubs there, or to the many many big clubs here in the PL and Championship, very often to just sit on the bench. Money talks.

And if you want to play for France, it is better to be playing in the French noddy league than not play in the Prem or the later stages of the "Big Ears" trophy.

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Khobar   

Incidentally if anyone here thinks that the new kids - RLC or whoever - are going to get more starts next season than 6th choice defender Zouma has had this year, they are seriously deluded.

I don't think it particularly delusional to think that certain players would be capable of playing in 6-12 games during the course of a season. It's up to the players themselves to push their claim when they get the opportunity. Some experienced players such as DeBruyne, Schurrle and others didn't manage it so it's not an easy job by any means but why is it delusional to feel that a young player might actually turn out to have that special something that would encourage further games? Realistically, a Challobah or Loftus-Cheek can't be THAT far off the pace set by Mikel these days. And that's not based on the awful performance against Liverpool (where you felt the RLC performance was disappointing) but on overall performances over some time now.

If we are going to bring these youngsters on, this is about the right time as we have JT in the mix as an example to work with. Could be the perfect storm.

Wtf are the press going to whinge about if we start getting productive academy players into a winning first team? There'll be mass suicides I imagine :-)

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paulw66   

And if you want to play for France, it is better to be playing in the French noddy league than not play in the Prem or the later stages of the "Big Ears" trophy.

Is it? How many players in the France team play in France outside of PSG and Monaco?

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