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Michael Tucker

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1 hour ago, Ham said:

Agree with this.  I think a lot of people are criticising Baka based on his reputation as opposed to his true performance today.  

I'd also be concerned with Luiz and can't see him featuring ahead of Christensen and Rudiger.

I'd also reiterate that we might well have picked up an absolute bargain with Barkley in the long run. He's got seriously quick feet and with a full pre-season and a different attacking approach, he could really flourish.

Ampadu and CHO are just amazing. Their ceiling is so high. 

The keeper really impressed me today with his sheer size and his cool distribution with his feet in the first half. 

Finally Jorginho is a proper baller. Like I said during the game, the most impressive thing was that he was directing players from the off as to where they should be and what he expected of them. He should make the transition to Sarri's style so much easier.

Spot on assessment, Ham. Baka wasn't as bad as people are making him out to be, and Luiz was far from the God some are making him out to be.  The new style certainly seemed to suit Pedro and Barkley. I think it may also suit RLC too, when he returns. Ampadu and CHO really ought to have long and successful careers in a blue shirt.

I'm not too worried just now, first game of pre-season, regarding missed chances... I will if we're still missing them come the Charity Shield game, though. I desperately want to give Morata the benefit of the doubt, and in the long-term I can't see the point of spending around £50m on Higuain. However, we need someone more reliable in front of goal... I just don't know who else that might be who may be available.

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Based on last season I wouldn't pick Bakayoko ahead of Ampadu in midfield. I'd even pick Ampadu ahead of Drinkwater as back-up to Kanté in the no.6 role. Pasalic playing ahead of Drinkwater was odd as I don't think he can get a work permit.

As Ampadu can also play in defence we will only need 2 from Cahill, Luiz and Zouma. We also only need Moses or Zappacosta, not both. Foreign spots are at a premium and we still need another attacking midfielder. 

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10 minutes ago, chiswickblue said:

Based on last season I wouldn't pick Bakayoko ahead of Ampadu in midfield. I'd even pick Ampadu ahead of Drinkwater as back-up to Kanté in the no.6 role. Pasalic playing ahead of Drinkwater was odd as I don't think he can get a work permit.

As Ampadu can also play in defence we will only need 2 from Cahill, Luiz and Zouma. We also only need Moses or Zappacosta, not both. Foreign spots are at a premium and we still need another attacking midfielder. 

I agree with this as my views on Baka are well known. I have maintained ever since I watched him at Monaco that he was useless and there has been absolutely nothing to suggest that he will come good.

As for Amapdu, I think his long term position will be CB, however as he is still growing I think DM is a position he can play for the here and now and he is capable of filling in for Kante when he needs the odd break. Although I could see it ultimately going to either Drinkwater or Baka as we may not be able to shift both.

For me the biggest problem with CM atm is that there are still no goals in it as we do not have a proper No.8, as whilst Kante/Ampadu, Jorginho/Cesc is great for the first two positions the rest of the CM - Drinkwater, Baka, RLC, Barkley - do not score enough. That for me is why will we see at least one more CM in and at least two of the above out either permanently or on loan. 

As for Zappa and Moses, I think this is one of the toughest decisions that needs to be made. Imo, Zappa is actually better suited to Sarri-ball but as we are struggling for HG players so it is likely that Moses will stay as the one that does stay is likely to be behind Dave. 

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RLC and Barkley might not be Lampard but they're both well-suited to playing the no.8 role. I don't see Golovin (for example) having a higher ceiling than the two we already own.

If we ship out Luiz or Zouma and Bakayoko we'll have enough foreign spots to keep Zappa and sign a new attacking midfielder. 

Courtois, Caballero, Bulka

Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Alonso, Emerson

Rüdiger, Christensen, Cahill, Luiz/Zouma

Jorginho, Kanté, Fabregas, Barkley, RLC, Drinkwater, Ampadu

Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, new AM

Morata, Giroud, Batshuayi 

26 players, 17 foreign, 6 home grown, 3 U21

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4 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

Can't read anything into that performance but Jorginho is going to be key to how we play.

Luiz should be kept at all costs, another player that will be key going forward.

I think a few things became quite clear to me after this game. 

1. There are a few players who will really struggle with this way of playing - Bakayoko, Cahill, Zouma, and possibly Morata. Rüdiger isn't the greatest passer either, but at least he's solid defensively

2. We are desperate for a new S1

3. Hudson-Odoi, Ampadu and Abraham must stay in the squad (and get plenty of minutes). All three are exceptional talents and are ready to play at this level. Let's see if they also can perform

4. Barkley is a great, great addition at £15m considering he can play both LCM/RCM and LW/RW in the 433 - no need for Golovin imo

I think the final squad will be close to; 

GK: Courtois*, Caballero*, Bulka

RB: Azpilicueta*, Zappacosta*

LB: Alonso*, Emerson*

CB: Luiz*, Rüdiger*, Christensen (CT), Cahill (AT), Ampadu

CM: Jorginho*, Kanté*, Fabregas (AT), Loftus-Cheek (CT), Barkley (AT), Drinkwater (AT) OR Bakayoko*

AM: Hazard*, Willian*, Pedro*, Moses (AT), Hudson-Odoi

S: S1*, Batshuayi* OR Giroud*, Abraham (CT)

Abraham, Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu to have potential loans second half of the season depending on how things go. 

Naturally, if Hazard/Willian/Kanté/Courtois leaves they will need to be properly replaced. 

 

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1 hour ago, Conte Kante said:

I agree with this as my views on Baka are well known. I have maintained ever since I watched him at Monaco that he was useless and there has been absolutely nothing to suggest that he will come good.

We played against a team who would struggle in league 2, apart from one run he still kept giving the ball away, barging players over when he didn't need to, and looked scared as soon as anyone gave him the ball.

compare him to Barkley who looked like he wanted the ball and tried his hardest to fit in..as for the back 4, no one apart from Ampadu stood out and looked like the system suited him

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Meet the new boss , same as the old boss .

Not quite , but once more,  we went one nil up early on , couldn't get a second and almost ended up giving it away towards the end .

There are no goals from midfield  in this side , Jorginho won't get any , neither will Fabregas , Kante doesn't , Bakayoko probably not.

Hazard will need to get 20+ for us to worry anyone , if he fancies staying ,  as Morata was woeful.

On the upside Barkley , CHO and Ampadu all good , Pedro dangerous in a natural role for him .

Early days , half the side probably won't even be here by the start of the season but you can play as many triangles and one touch passes you like but if the ball ends up in the stands you win absolutely nothing.

Also the kit is comically awful . 

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jones   

A lot to speculate on from this match in terms of Sarri’s plans. Here is my take on it.

Fabregas will be given a bigger role than I expected, played the full 90, both in an advanced CM role with Jorginho, and as a regista in 2nd half. Can fill several CM needs, but even if he is not the best defensively he has that biting quality Sarri thinks we lack and need in CM.

On the other side of the scale are Bakayoko (sloppy and undetermined) and Drinkwater (did not even play!!). Can see them both getting moved on, and it was a surprise to see Pasalic play 45 minutes, but he duly delivered. Much more composed playing one touch and moving the ball forward. Can even see him staying as a squad option. 

They don’t usually get praise, and they should not be untouchables by any means, but both Pedro and Zappacosta had inch perfect performances today, and are clearly good fits in Sarri’s system. As back ups to Willian and Azpilicueta they shall be important squad members.

Marcos Alonso on the other hand looks much more out of place, he simply lacks the pace and mobility that Emerson has in order to be all the played the LB needs to be. Expect competition between the two, but only one winner in the end.

Ross Barkley had, together with Jorginho, a stand out performance. Going forward, he quite clearly is everything we want in that no 8 role, better opposition will show us if he is defensively capable too. Sarri also tested him at LW where he was impressive, so it is fair to assume Barkley will play an important role this season.

Luiz and Ampadu were steady in defense, but lack of threat from Perth makes it hard to take away something clear. If Rugani comes in, it will be him, Rudiger and Christensen competing for the two spots. And since we are likely to have a CB4 who can expect less game time, that will be one of Luiz, Ampadu, Cahill, Zouma, and even Kalas (who was ok today). The rest will be sold/loaned. 

Someone who definitely should not be kept, and not even loaned, is Morata. Today just proved (again) that he is not the man for us. Even if his link up and movement was decent enough, Higuain would have bagged 2-3 goals against this lot. We. Need. Goals. Simple as that. Get us Higuain, and sell Morata while there still is some willingness to pay for him - he will do much better in a less physical league.

And then of course, impossible not to mention Hudson-Odoi. Been saying this for a while, but he is ready. If Hazard starts 45-50 games on the left, then CHO for sure can start the 10-15 rest. And it seems Sarri thinks so too: a starting role, 45 mins, and a glorious assist. 

Thought Bulka looked good (3rd GK?), and other than the ones already mentioned can not see any of the other loan/academy players being part of the squad. (Abraham is good enough to play some part, but needs regular game time.)

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Ham   
1 hour ago, Mark Kelly said:

Meet the new boss , same as the old boss .

Not quite , but once more,  we went one nil up early on , couldn't get a second and almost ended up giving it away towards the end .

There are no goals from midfield  in this side , Jorginho won't get any , neither will Fabregas , Kante doesn't , Bakayoko probably not.

Hazard will need to get 20+ for us to worry anyone , if he fancies staying ,  as Morata was woeful.

On the upside Barkley , CHO and Ampadu all good , Pedro dangerous in a natural role for him .

Early days , half the side probably won't even be here by the start of the season but you can play as many triangles and one touch passes you like but if the ball ends up in the stands you win absolutely nothing.

Also the kit is comically awful . 

On the bolded bit Mark, this was our first pre-season friendly and the second half in these games is always a complete shambles, thanks to unlimited substitutions.  

The first 45 minutes was the best indicator of how we'll look this season.

In defence of some poor control in the box in shooting positions by Morata and Barkley, it was absolutely sheeting it down.  Were there not a monsoon I'd like to think the ball might not have skidded away the way it did. Not so much an excuse as a possible reason. 

That said, I was disappointed to see Morata still throwing himself to the ground outside the box under every challenge. 

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34 minutes ago, Ham said:

On the bolded bit Mark, this was our first pre-season friendly and the second half in these games is always a complete shambles, thanks to unlimited substitutions.  

The first 45 minutes was the best indicator of how we'll look this season.

In defence of some poor control in the box in shooting positions by Morata and Barkley, it was absolutely sheeting it down.  Were there not a monsoon I'd like to think the ball might not have skidded away the way it did. Not so much an excuse as a possible reason. 

That said, I was disappointed to see Morata still throwing himself to the ground outside the box under every challenge. 

It's purely the worry I have that as a side we cannot buy a goal. There were certainly things to be happy about though but it's no wonder we're being linked with Higuain.

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