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If Hazard and Kovacic are fit to start then they have to in my opinion. They are both vital to how well we will do this season. If they are not quite ready then Willian will obviously play and I'd like to see Lotus Cheek start. Barkley has done nothing so far, even in pre season and is the obvious weak link right now.

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^ Harsh on Barkley IMO. Ross hasn’t set the world alight but he clearly has done decent work so far and, even though he should definitely lose his place is Kovacic is fit, should be a key member of the squad this year. 

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paulw66   
1 hour ago, Panda said:

I've lived in Newcastle since September 2012, and in that time Chelsea have lost 4 and drawn one. On all but one of those occasions I was in the ground.

The good news I am not at the game on Sunday and in fact I am not even in the city! So I will not be jinxing our team this year.

1-2 Chelsea!

Jolly decent of you. 

1 hour ago, Martin1905 said:

If Hazard and Kovacic are fit to start then they have to in my opinion. They are both vital to how well we will do this season. If they are not quite ready then Willian will obviously play and I'd like to see Lotus Cheek start. Barkley has done nothing so far, even in pre season and is the obvious weak link right now.

Agree. This is always a toughie for us. Need our best players out there from the get go. 

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52 minutes ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

^ Harsh on Barkley IMO. Ross hasn’t set the world alight but he clearly has done decent work so far and, even though he should definitely lose his place is Kovacic is fit, should be a key member of the squad this year. 

I disagree. He's done absolutely nothing since the Perth game, who were a pub team. Stands out like a sore thumb and will be lucky to receive any meaningful game time once Kovacic is ready and Fabregas is back.

he's tried hard, I'll give him that but it's nowhere near enough.

 

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4 hours ago, thevelourfog said:

My impression of Morata is that, as challenging as it will be, we need to play him into form and confidence. Even if I'd prefer Giroud, we need to try and build on the goal and decent enough performance on Saturday. 

I'd be inclined to keep things as they are; Hazard is essential to us, so I think we'll have to live with easing him back in for the season's sake, same goes for Kovacic. One change I might make is Barkley for RLC; I see them as in direct competition with each other for a meaningful role in the squad. Barkely has had a first chance to show what he's got, and I'd like to see what RLC has in response. 

Weird that geordies have taken to Kenedy and that they'll be lamenting he isn't available. I think he'd be a real weak link for them in our pressing game. 

Trouble is, that one goal and everyones hopes are raised. Everyone is hoping and feeling he's not a dud and a waste of 70 mill and if he scores against Newcastle....well , all our goal scoring problems are over. In my mind he's had enough games, enough pitch minutes and missed enough golden scoring opportunities in one season to embarrass most strikers over a career. He just cannot hold form. He scored 6 or 7 early on last season which should have given him masses of confidence but it didn't. Giroud all the way for me. Give him the service and he will get 15/20 in the Prem this season .still scratching my head why we let Bats go...maybe someone of his tender years needs experience and time to learn the game!! As an impact sub he is invaluable. Lets see how many he scores this season in Valencia. Started banging them in for Dortmund last season when he went. 

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paulw66   
5 minutes ago, NoblyBobly said:

Trouble is, that one goal and everyones hopes are raised. Everyone is hoping and feeling he's not a dud and a waste of 70 mill and if he scores against Newcastle....well , all our goal scoring problems are over. In my mind he's had enough games, enough pitch minutes and missed enough golden scoring opportunities in one season to embarrass most strikers over a career. He just cannot hold form. He scored 6 or 7 early on last season which should have given him masses of confidence but it didn't. Giroud all the way for me. Give him the service and he will get 15/20 in the Prem this season .still scratching my head why we let Bats go...maybe someone of his tender years needs experience and time to learn the game!! As an impact sub he is invaluable. Lets see how many he scores this season in Valencia. Started banging them in for Dortmund last season when he went. 

He wasn't £70m, it was nearer £50m plus add ons, which I presume he hasn't met yet. I'm willing to give him another season with this new style of football which I think will suit him better. He was also carrying a back injury which didn't help last season and still averaged a goal every 187 minutes, which is far from terrible in a team that played horribly defensively. Giroud is great with his hold up play, but he isn't all that mobile for a team that is trying to press.  For the record, Giroud averaged a PL goal for us every 203 minutes. 

As for Batshuyai, his all round game just isn't up to it. His performances against Burnley at home and Palace away at the start of last season were testament to that. His control and hold up play is awful, albeit he is a good finisher. 

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51 minutes ago, NoblyBobly said:

Trouble is, that one goal and everyones hopes are raised. Everyone is hoping and feeling he's not a dud and a waste of 70 mill and if he scores against Newcastle....well , all our goal scoring problems are over. In my mind he's had enough games, enough pitch minutes and missed enough golden scoring opportunities in one season to embarrass most strikers over a career. He just cannot hold form. He scored 6 or 7 early on last season which should have given him masses of confidence but it didn't. Giroud all the way for me. Give him the service and he will get 15/20 in the Prem this season .still scratching my head why we let Bats go...maybe someone of his tender years needs experience and time to learn the game!! As an impact sub he is invaluable. Lets see how many he scores this season in Valencia. Started banging them in for Dortmund last season when he went. 

I half-agree with you; one of my big concerns from mid-season last year was that we'd get rid of Conte and be left with a striker I couldn't see many other managers wanting.

From my perspective though, the trouble is that Morata is here and going nowhere, at least not until July next season and in all likelihood not even then. Either we try our best to make him useful (I.e. try to the furthest extent we can to play him into form, knowing that it may or may not work) or we give up on him now and have both a nothing on our books and a weak position to sell from.

There is a good footballer in there. Regardless of what any of us think, I can't see practically that we have any option but to try and coax that footballer out again. I think Giroud, for his other weaknesses, can cope with being out of the starting XI for a while and then still deliver what his strengths allow weeks or months down the line. I don't think Morata can.

Edit: and Bats, for me, just isn't good enough for Chelsea based on what I've seen him do at Chelsea, but I accept others rate him differently. 

Edited by thevelourfog

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Leo91   

Batshuayi just like Morata is a confidence player. But different in that the more games Bats plays the better he gets, he scores goals. Where as Morata gets worse the longer he doesn't score and isn't as clinical of a finisher than Michy. Just a strange signing overall, what player were the scouts watching when they convinced the board to sign him ? 

Edited by Leo91

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1 hour ago, Leo91 said:

Just a strange signing overall, what player were the scouts watching when they convinced the board to sign him ? 

“We desperately need a non-scoring striker, in the mould of a Torres, Sutton, Kezman or Fleck.”

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6 hours ago, Leo91 said:

Batshuayi just like Morata is a confidence player. But different in that the more games Bats plays the better he gets, he scores goals. Where as Morata gets worse the longer he doesn't score and isn't as clinical of a finisher than Michy. Just a strange signing overall, what player were the scouts watching when they convinced the board to sign him ? 

I am sorry but that is not true of Bats, he is absolutely diabolical off the ball, sure, put him between the width of the posts with a chance and he has a good chance of scoring but apart fron that he is garbage. 

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