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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 0 Lyon 0 (Chelsea win 5-4 on penalties)

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I didn't see the game but if we're looking at signing Kovacic or any other midfielder I'd guess that Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater and Bakayoko were playing for one place in the final squad. Did any of them look competent?

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kev61   
8 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

There is a Rolls Royce version too.  The CB that did most to push into midfield last season.  Azpilicueta would be ideal at CM.

I agree lets try to utilise the players we have before splashing out.Let's try  Moses as centre  forward,let's try Alonso in midfield - all this should be tried on the training  ground first when you have a team that is not functioning.Square pegs in round holes can become round pegs in round holes with a bit of imagination.

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In more serious news the team sheet showed Brad Collins was assigned the no.25 shirt. How can this be allowed to happen?

Granted he's probably going on loan and the team sheet also showed Musonda on the bench, even though he was playing at Swindon, but is nothing sacred anymore?

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xCELERYx   
3 hours ago, kev61 said:

There is and he plays for us, Luiz.We have enough cover at the back that can put in a decent shift however in midfield we are weak.I would try Luiz  in there with Jorginho and Kante he Has to be better than Drinkwater or Barkley and no need to mention Yoko.

Luiz, as much as I like him, has the positional skill and discipline of a donkey. He's a stop gap CM at a stretch, nothing more nothing less. 

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5 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

Luiz, as much as I like him, has the positional skill and discipline of a donkey. He's a stop gap CM at a stretch, nothing more nothing less. 

I'd also make him 5th choice CB as he sees out his contract. But 1st choice cheerleader, training ground prankster and all round nice guy in interviews. I think Cahill has more to offer than Luiz this season.

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kev61   
9 minutes ago, xCELERYx said:

Luiz, as much as I like him, has the positional skill and discipline of a donkey. He's a stop gap CM at a stretch, nothing more nothing less. 

Would you prefer him to Bakayoko?

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xCELERYx   
1 minute ago, chiswickblue said:

I'd also make him 5th choice CB as he sees out his contract. But 1st choice cheerleader, training ground prankster and all round nice guy in interviews. I think Cahill has more to offer than Luiz this season.

I'm in a similar boat, I really appreciate the other stuff he brings and if we were still playing 3ATB he'd be a lock as first choice. However, in a back four he's not reliable enough as proven over the course of his career. His lapses in concentration, lack of discipline tactically and positonally, on top of his rash decision making, make it hard for him to be relied upon as a pillar of our defence. Rudiger has some similar issues, so I'd not be pairing either of those together at any point. 

I agree with regards to Cahill, he remains our best CB in terms of balanced qualities without glaring holes in his game. He's by far our strongest player aerially, is a physical presence, experienced, solid at ground level, tactically solid and still dependable. Despite losing a little pace, he remains the ideal CB for a back four system.

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xCELERYx   
24 minutes ago, kev61 said:

Would you prefer him to Bakayoko?

No, not really. As sub-par as Bakayoko has been here, I'd still pick him over Luiz as CM option. 

I'd rather see Ampadu, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Pedro and even Willian ahead of Luiz. 

 

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Zoowraa   
On 8/6/2018 at 11:18 PM, xCELERYx said:

We've got more square pegs in round holes utilising a back four system than we did in a back three - particularly from a defensive standpoint. 

Two CB's who are adventurous and positionally ill-disciplined, who have both played their best football in a back three (Rudiger and Luiz). A young CB who isn't physically imposing enough and still tentative when it comes to reading the game quickly (Christensen). An aging traditional CB who is strong in the air, physical but has lot a little pace and isn't fancy - although still competent on the ball (Cahill) - arguably the best option we have. Not a single combination that instils confidence and a solid foundation. Arguably, Cahill becomes our best option. 

Then we have two players (Alonso and Emerson) who have played their best football in the more advanced WB position. Which suited their more attack natured games. In deeper fullback roles, Alonso doesn't have the pace to get forward and back - nor the extra protection in behind. While Emerson has looked a little shaky still defensively as he continues to adjust to playing regularly again. Worth noting Alonso would also be moved from fullback to midfield at Fiorentina when they changed to a back four from a three. 

Right back is about the only solid position we have - and that largely is because Azpilicueta is moving back out to fullback. Even with that, there's a good chance his impact drops in comparison to the influence he had in a back three - he was arguably our best and most consistent CB prior. This leaves Zappacosta who is a sieve when it comes to 1vs1 defending - who would also at times end up playing in midfield for Torino I might add. Then there's potentially Moses left. Although more likely he ends up as AM depth again than our go to RB option. 

Good chance we ship a lot of goals this season and look vulnerable defensively more than we have in the past. One can critise Conte and his three at the back all they like, but it at least utilised the strengths of our defenders and did a better job of negating their limitations. It's difficult to see a back four doing any of this. 

Yep. Agree with this 100%. Overall happy with Sarri appointment, but the worry is we have a handful of players in the squad who will comfortably slot into what he wants. This list is basically Kante, Jorginho,Willian, Hazard, Pedro and Fabregas to a degree from our legit first team squad, then you have players like RLC,Barkely,Hudson Odoi who are probably versatile and young enough to adapt to what Sarri will want.

Problem is all those players can't play at the same time and they all pretty much cover midfield or attacking midfield. The rest of the players just stand out as looking completley unsuited to what Sarri will want.

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10 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

1. Ampadu was extremely good in a very average game.  Fortunately he is at the age where he just hangs around the team without occupying a proper squad position, so Sarri can pick him if and only if he wants to.

2. Kante looks like being encouraged to break forward this season - Good.  Jorginho and Hazard have clearly been informed.  One picked him out well and the other had a lovely backflick that made it 100% clear he expected Kante to sprint beyond him deep into the oppo half.

1. Agreed. It's quite surprising a 17 year-old can be so mature. He bailed Bakayoko out countless of times. He will stay with the squad. Main question for me when it comes to our CBs is whether we go into the new season with 4 seniors + Ampadu or 3 seniors + Ampadu. Considering how well he's played each time he's been given a chance, I'd feel rather ok with him as our CB4. Rumour has it that our two most expensive defenders (in terms of weekly wages) is Luiz (£120k) and Cahill (130k). Even if the exact sum may not be right, I'm sure they are both one of the most expensive defenders we have (together with Azpi). Can we sacrifice a 4th CB and an expensive one at that and use that to strengthen in attack? 

2. I fully expect Kanté to be our main engine in terms of pressing game and ball recoveries. Not to mention starting counter attacks with pace. Once the players are fluent in the new system I think we are up for some spectacular football. But we still need someone to score. 

 

8 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

I didn't see the game but if we're looking at signing Kovacic or any other midfielder I'd guess that Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater and Bakayoko were playing for one place in the final squad. Did any of them look competent?

Considering that RLC has been back for 9 days only he's already ahead of both. 

But short-term perhaps RLC is best utilised as a sweetener in a Zaha deal, where we buy Zaha outright and they get RLC on loan for another year. I think he will struggle for minutes under Sarri. At least initially. 

 

5 hours ago, chiswickblue said:

I'd also make him 5th choice CB as he sees out his contract. But 1st choice cheerleader, training ground prankster and all round nice guy in interviews. I think Cahill has more to offer than Luiz this season.

 

5 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

I'm in a similar boat, I really appreciate the other stuff he brings and if we were still playing 3ATB he'd be a lock as first choice. However, in a back four he's not reliable enough as proven over the course of his career. His lapses in concentration, lack of discipline tactically and positonally, on top of his rash decision making, make it hard for him to be relied upon as a pillar of our defence. Rudiger has some similar issues, so I'd not be pairing either of those together at any point. 

I agree with regards to Cahill, he remains our best CB in terms of balanced qualities without glaring holes in his game. He's by far our strongest player aerially, is a physical presence, experienced, solid at ground level, tactically solid and still dependable. Despite losing a little pace, he remains the ideal CB for a back four system.

Interesting points by both of you.

I had thought that Luiz and Rüdiger would be our preferred CB pairing. I agree 100% that both are a bit suspect defensively, in terms of awareness, positioning and concentration. But then again so is Cahill and Christensen. What scares me with Cahill is that he's a bad option in a high-press game because of his fondness to fall back into the keepers lap when under pressure, prone to defensive lapses when under pressure and lost some pace on top of that. I think he can be a liability in a back four playing a high-press. But then again, so is Luiz. We know this. But at least he will step up and put pressure on the opponent and not shy away from playing the direct passes from the back. 

Regardless of the pairing I see great weaknesses (Luiz - Rüdiger / Luiz - Cahill / Luiz - Christensen / Christensen - Rüdiger / Christensen - Cahill / Cahill - Rüdiger). We are one top class CB short no doubt. 

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