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2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Certainly we once again have cleared the decks of any older players who were just making the numbers up.  After all who would want a 30 year old Ramires or Mikel around right now to add to the numbers or give a manager options he wouldn't use.

Trouble is if we wait a year then Cahill is 32, Pedro, Luiz and Fabregas are 31 and Willian is 30.

Knowing how this club works, how many of them are in their last year?  How many players do we need next year?

 

2 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

They are young players for a squad of 24.  Ancient for a squad of 16.

 

Matic 30 next year too - dispatched quickly!
Man U have Carrick at 36, Ibrahimovic, and Valencia and Young at 32 (today).
City have Toure 34, Fernandinho 32, Company & Silva at 31 (now).

We really do have a very different squad model to other clubs.  It is a deliberate policy, not an accident.

Some interesting points made. To begin with the conclusion, yes. We certainly do and yes, it is deliberate. 

Despite having invested £185m gross we have holes everywhere. Perhaps a good indication to the "why" is that we also sold for roughly £110m and sent 33 players on loan.

Of course that wasn't an accident and it has been going on for a good few years now. 10 year average net spend is £30m/season. This year we saw a net of £75m. That's big by our standards yet here we are with 17 seniors. 

I still think we may be able to maintain a good level of performance by also including some usable players from the loan army and academy. There are certainly usable players among the loan army. But I'd also add that we as a club have a severe deficiency of attacking players. That needs to be addressed in January and continued next summer. In this market, that will cost us. 

We simy have to start using the loan army players and academy products to be able to maintain a good squad size. But one has to ask whether that will ever happen with the current regime. 

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kev61   

Probably one of the most depressing performances I have witnessed as a Chelsea fan.We are champions and played like chumps.Arsenal are awful yet they were better than us.The minute I saw Kante and Fabregas together in the line up knew it wouldn't end well.

For the life of me I wonder what training sessions are like.It is apparent to anyone that has played the game at any level,we lack the basics .. passing,holding and decision making when we have the ball are atrocious.I don't want to be the prophet of doom and gloom but football in general is becoming less and less a spectator sport.

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xCELERYx   
41 minutes ago, kev61 said:

Probably one of the most depressing performances I have witnessed as a Chelsea fan.We are champions and played like chumps.Arsenal are awful yet they were better than us.The minute I saw Kante and Fabregas together in the line up knew it wouldn't end well.

For the life of me I wonder what training sessions are like.It is apparent to anyone that has played the game at any level,we lack the basics .. passing,holding and decision making when we have the ball are atrocious.I don't want to be the prophet of doom and gloom but football in general is becoming less and less a spectator sport.

The Kante and Fabregas partnership wasn't the reason for our lacking performance. In fact, you could argue that without Fabregas we would have really struggled to break Arsenal down and create chances. The reality is that he had the second most touches (only Azpi had more) and had 4 key passes. He ticked over our midfield and provided opportunities into the final third. 

Our problems stemmed from our inability to complete our passes and take our chances. Had we done a bit more of both of those then we would have comfortably walked the game.

Training has nothing to do with the basics. These are professional players, they should have grasp those already. Unfortunately for us, we've obtained players over the years who aren't excessively well-rounded. They excel in aspects but then lack in other important areas. Our midfield and AM options are prime examples of this.

We've got midfielders who are either powerful runners but lack technique with the ball (Kante/Bakayoko), or we have technique on the ball but lack athletically (Fabregas). Drinkwater could be considered our most rounded CM at this point. While at AM we've got a mixed bag that ultimately all lack a polished final ball. Pedro is the only one who offers some off the ball movement and isn't just a dribbler. 

We've get a mixed bag that needs some further fine tuning to be a polished side.

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kev61   

I respect your input but what a crock of shite.if we are getting  the basics wrong,so what should we be doing in training?.If a player cannot get the basics right they should not be in the squad.

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20 hours ago, WHYSOSLOWYEH said:

The problem we've got is that we can't afford to fall to far behind against a free scoring city (we play them in 2 weeks time), and a lucky Utd ( it seems the FA have given them such an easy start, Southampton and Palace up next for them, when are they going to play anyone decent?), it seems the FA were determined to have a strong Utd challenging for the title, and made sure Chelsea were under pressure straight from the start.

Indeed. They've had a ridiculously easy start. Throw in a joke of a CL group and they won't be tested until October. By October we would have already played Spurs, Arsenal, Atletico, and City.

I've said it before, but go into January within 5 points off the top and we have a real chance. Our run in is quite favourable. 

 

17 hours ago, bluehorn said:

You're right, Dave. Why didn't we build this summer though? Or the summer when Jose last won it? They won't sit still next summer, they're likely to add Sanchez and Griezmann, City and United respectively.

We were fortunate that Moyes came in and set united back at least three years, and we took full advantage of that with two titles in that time. They are well and truly back now though. Couple that with City's spending power and we've got some serious competition, and I'd argue catching up to do. I know that may seem ridiculous given we're champions, but our transfer policy the last few years has resulted in that.

It's a bit unfair, comparing us to the Manchester duo. United are a commercial juggernaut with revenues exceeding any other club in the world.

City, along with PSG, are oil rich state owned clubs for whom money is no concern. They're the 2 richest clubs in the world.

We're owned by a rich individual (as is pretty much every other club) and are trying to stand on our own two feet. It's not really a fair comparison. 

 

16 hours ago, GURJ SS said:

Centre back isn't a problem, we have enough quality at the club, including Zouma. Luiz will easily play for another 2-3 years at his level, Cahill on the other hand needs replacing now.

Cesc's style of play means he'll be able to play for a few more years yet.

Pedro and Willian on the bench? We could do a lot worse, I think we definitely need a top quality player to join Hazard and Morata in attack.

Tibo;

Azpi, Chris, Rudi;

Moses, Kante, Baka, Alonso;

?, Morata, Hazard;

Others: Zouma, Zappa, Drink, Musonda, Bats;

Older: Luiz, Cahill, Cesc, Pedro, Willian, 

When put down like that we haven't got a problem, if we hold on to the players we currently have(there's no reason to say we won't), anything we add is a bonus; if we get someone like Dybala, we will be boasting about how we've got the likes of Pedro and Willian on the bench.

Yes, I think we should go big for someone like Dybala in the near future. We're only a couple of pieces short of a top quality squad. 

 

13 hours ago, Sleeping Dave said:

 

Despite having invested £185m gross we have holes everywhere. Perhaps a good indication to the "why" is that we also sold for roughly £110m and sent 33 players on loan.

That's a bit harsh. The only real holes I see are at LWB, where we have no other alternative, and another quality AM. Could do with an experienced striker as well, with the hope that Tammy comes back soon as a proper second choice. We're absolutely fine at CB and CM.

As mentioned above, we're not that far off. 

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bluehorn   
1 hour ago, A Blue Essien said:

t's a bit unfair, comparing us to the Manchester duo. United are a commercial juggernaut with revenues exceeding any other club in the world.

City, along with PSG, are oil rich state owned clubs for whom money is no concern. They're the 2 richest clubs in the world.

We're owned by a rich individual (as is pretty much every other club) and are trying to stand on our own two feet. It's not really a fair comparison. 

I'm not lamenting the fact the Manchester clubs are wealthier than us, that would be juvenile. I'm embracing that fact and saying that in order to face that huge challenge this club needs to be better, at everything. Conte out-coached all of his peers last year, it's not a coincidence that so many teams now play a 5 at the back/3 + wingback formations. Conte proved himself the best, can we say that about the board? Absolutely not. Spending 15m net (inc Oscar sale in January) as champions is pathetic. As is chasing Stones all summer to end up with Papa. As is Chasing Sandro to end up with.. no one. As is being linked to Llorente before the window even opened, to a mad dash attempt on deadline day, to be pipped by Spurs. It's amateur, and we show no signs of improvement in how we identify and negotiate with targets to build a squad capable of competing in numerous competitions. 

That said, you are right in saying we aren't far off. We have some superb players, and are a very good team. That however only heightens my frustration! Imagine the difference Sandro and Llorente would have made to this side, and a Mahrez? Not capitalising on positions of strength has cost us on two occasions previously, I hope it doesn't again. 

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Flinkers   
18 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

Certainly we once again have cleared the decks of any older players who were just making the numbers up.  After all who would want a 30 year old Ramires or Mikel around right now to add to the numbers or give a manager options he wouldn't use.

Trouble is if we wait a year then Cahill is 32, Pedro, Luiz and Fabregas are 31 and Willian is 30.

Knowing how this club works, how many of them are in their last year?  How many players do we need next year?

Next year we have 6 first team players entering their last contract year:

Fabregas, Cahill, Pedro, Luiz, Courtois and Musonda.

The first 4 are already over 30, so even if we retain them it will only be on a year to year basis. If we get rid, that's four new players already, plus filling the holes left over from this season. Also, if Willian wants another long contract with us, his agent needs to be on the phone already.

TBH we'll either be spending big again in the next two windows or trusting that the players out on loan (after another season of league football) are then capable of plugging gaps.

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bluehorn   
6 minutes ago, Flinkers said:

Next year we have 6 first team players entering their last contract year:

Fabregas, Cahill, Pedro, Luiz, Courtois and Musonda.

Gosh that is potentially hugely problematic. It's time to abandon this bizarre 1 year only contracts rule we imposed on ourselves. Not a chance Luiz and Pedro, possibly Fabregas agree to that. Players want security and ££$$ guaranteed. With the amount of money in the game now, not to mention the inordinate amounts China can offer players, we can't afford to take a financial high ground. What would be the cost of replacing those players vs 1 years salary?

Edited by bluehorn

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8 minutes ago, bluehorn said:

Gosh that is potentially hugely problematic. It's time to abandon this bizarre 1 year only contracts rule we imposed on ourselves. Not a chance Luiz and Pedro, possibly Fabregas agree to that. Players want security and ££$$ guaranteed. With the amount of money in the game now, not to mention the inordinate amounts China can offer players, we can't afford to take a financial high ground. What would be the cost of replacing those players vs 1 years salary?

We're following the Arsenal blueprint and look how well that's going. Top stuff.

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Ham   

Reading these posts you'd think we were rock bottom having just been thrashed by Arsenal.

This place gets more negative by the day.

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