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Everything posted by Bridgejunky

  1. Official: Eden Hazard Departs For Real Madrid

    I was a lot more doubtful about Eden before we signed him than most around here. Perhaps because of this, I find that I'm much more accepting than some about what we've seen from him since he arrived. While he was being linked I watched every all touches video I could find of Eden in action. I felt that in almost all of them the performance I saw was nothing special. In fact I remember finally seeing one in which I thought Eden had played brilliantly and posting to say that if that was the player we were getting then I'd be happy. Well, the reality is that Eden is both of those players. Rather ordinary a lot of the time, perhaps most of the time, but devastatingly brilliant when the force is with him. When Eden is on his game he doesn't just damage the opposition, he kills them stone dead. If he played like that in every game then we'd win seven trophies every season. History tells us that won't happen, it can't happen. Even though Messi has tried hard to rewrite the book, history's lesson remains that no player can be that good all the time. We don't need to worry about Eden on his good days, killing the opposition is always good and is worth waiting for. What I think he needs to master is how to contribute well as an ordinary player on his ordinary days. This means providing routine width, making good choices, achieving good passing accuracy and tracking back diligently. He can learn to do this.
  2. Ashley Cole

    Wow, so good to read a positive opinion of Ray's big brother. Hated the way The Bridge turned on him and all for the crime of wanting to pass the ball in an era when defending was about kick and rush. He and Marvin Hinton were way ahead of their time in that regard. As for Ash, what more can I say? It's love.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    Really good point, however delaying only really helps them if they believe they can get away without paying the debt at all. If they do eventually end up handing over the money then the delay will cost them added interest I'm sure. On the other hand, we might be able to beat someone else's offer by negotiating the Mutu fee away at a discounted rate. So, for example, if the fee is agreed at £60m, we could perhaps offer £50m and write off the debt. Obviously those are not likely to be the real figures but some deal along those lines might give us an advantage.
  4. New Stadium Plans

    I suspect that The FA would be begging us to play there. They've made a total mess of the new Wembely; right from putting Ken in charge of the project, to the design of the stadium itself. In the process they sacrificed cost control and huge amounts of the magic which made Wembley special. Now, all they seem able to think about is the financial burden imposed by the home of English football. I can't see them turning away potential revenue if we seek pernission to play there. Interestingly, if we did move in there, I think our own principles would be tested by the lure of money... Say we're playing Arsenal at home, how many tickets might we sell? 65,000 if we're being generous? Would the club then be able to resist the temptation to sell the other 20,000/25,000 tickets to Arsenal fans? That's a lot of money to turn away but what happens to home advantage if there are up to 30,000 Gooners in the ground?
  5. Mark Schwarzer

    The jumping off point for the can he, can't he discussion was speculation that FIFA would once again massage their rules to allow favourable treatment of Barcelona. How we got to Suarez in the first place has been lost in the mists of time. :) Meanwhile... If Mark should happen to browse this way, keen to learn what Chelsea fans think about him staying, he should be profoundly satisfied that his topic has wondered off in its own sweet, random way. You see there is no debate to be had on Mark's new deal; everybody loves it, everyone is thrilled. The only thing to sweat over is will we be able to hang on to him for 2015/2016 as well.
  6. Transfer Talk Topic

    I really don't like Nathan Ake as a left back* so Ashley's departure means that there is no adequate cover for that position in what remains of last year's squad. If Jose sticks with the 2013/2014 full back pairing then, young or old, returning loanee or new signing, the squad needs a second left back the boss trusts. That player, whoever he is, will, in effect, also provide additional cover at centre back by offering the option for Branna to go and play there. If left back if shored up effectively then, for me, we can put together an adequate set of CB options from a group that includes; Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic, Omeruo, Zouma, Ake, Christiansen & Chalobah. I'd be shocked if every name on that list is in the squad come September 2nd but we wouldn't need all of then to keep the centre of our defence fully staffed. I therefore don't see a big need to shop for centre backs. If Jose genuinely believes that Varane is the best of the best, and if Real are wiling to sell, then fair enough, try to get him. Other than that, it's definitely stick not twist at CB as far as I'm concerned. *In my opinion, Nathan's contribution at left back is comfortably less good than what he gives us at CB or at DM.
  7. Mark Schwarzer

    I suspect it originated with careless and lazy reporting. The document actually does state, in the main body, that expenditure on youth development is excluded from the break-even calculation. Someone reporting that without reading the qualifications in the annex could quite easily give the wrong impression. Add some imagination plus a round or two of Chinese whispers and hey presto.
  8. Mark Schwarzer

    Then you are in very bad company because I misunderstood too before May. :) Even then it was a struggle. The pertinent bits are in Annex X, paragraph g, sub-paragraphs 9-11 of the uefa Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations document. We're talking page 79 here!
  9. Transfer Talk Topic

    If this happens Dave the steam coming out of your ears will set off nuclear early warning systems all across the northern hemisphere! :)
  10. Mark Schwarzer

    I read the regulations back in May. Some youth development costs are excluded from the FFP calculation but not transfer fees paid for youth players and not the wages of any players aged 18 or over before the end of the accounting period in question.
  11. Transfer Talk Topic

    Sounds to me like you've already judged too Kezza! :) I'm guessing then that to judge and arrive at a favourable opinion is OK, but to judge and come to a sceptical conclusion is not OK. Well that's understandable, it's only natural that we want to start out with a positive attitude but it's a bit hard to ask people who had doubts this morning, to suddenly change their point of view instantly upon hearing that a deal has been agreed. As for your list of Costa's achievements, they, on their own, do not affect my opinion. Those are the kind of things people used to tell me when I posted negative comments about Nando's quality while he was at Liverpool and banging in the goals for them. There is however a big, big difference between my thoughts about Nando then, and my ideas about Costa now. Then I was certain that I was right because I had often watched Nando play and his limitations were, in my opinion, obvious. The situation with Costa is different; I don't watch Spanish football so have seen very little of Diego. As a result I'm not saying that he's not the man for us, I'm just saying that I have not yet seen anything which persuades me that he is the right choice. OK with you?
  12. Transfer Talk Topic

    ^ I would not have been disappointed if this deal had not happened. Let's hope that, six months from now, none of us will be disappointed that it has.
  13. Mark Schwarzer

    I'm tempted to refer the honourable gentleman to a question he asked some years ago but that might only tempt him to refer to an answer which I gave and no one wants that! :)
  14. Mark Schwarzer

    Regardless of the number of HG/Foreign spots available, I've never believed that both PC & TC would be in the squad next season. One will be our first choice keeper; the other is good enough to start for pretty much anyone, will want to play, is a very saleable asset and, if retained as a backup, would be an unnecessary burden on the wage bill. As others have said, the only question is which is which.
  15. Ashley Cole

    Completely agree TVF. Indeed I'd go further and say that Ash was the standard, the yardstick, by which other fullbacks of his era were measured.
  16. Mark Schwarzer

    Great news.
  17. Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

    Hello Seb, Given how often I bang on about players being unable to improve their basic talent level, let me start by saying I completely agree that the skills you list are things which can be improved. I also make you right about Patrick prioritising being a box player. I've often said that I believe players can improve in certain coachable things and that they can learn how to focus on their strengths and how to mask their weaknesses. Patrick's finishing is definitely his strongest asset. Once McClaren had had the time to assess Patrick all round contribution, the Derby manager settled for using him in exactly the role you suggest might suit Patrick at Chelsea, a situation sub. If PB is going to be a situation player he might as well do it with us as with the Rams. There are therefore two questions, one for Patrick and one for Chelsea. Is Patrick ready to accept this role?Are Chelsea willing to offer it to him?We can't know those answers of course but my guesses would be probably not, and, maybe Patrick's home grown status will help sway things in his favour.
  18. Transfer Talk Topic

    Well yes the odds are in your favour if you blindly say no to everyone but wouldn't any of us expect to out perform the odds if we apply a bit of judgement to the process?
  19. Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

    Hello CB, Just personal opinions on all of those of course. I like Kenneth, he has a chance I think. I also like Christian although I'd say he's on a near miss trajectory, but a miss all the same. Based on what I've seen, I don't believe any of the others have a chance at Chelsea. Selling them might therefore be the best way to help them continue their development. That said, I think you are right to say that the club might not be ready to make a decision on Wallace yet. As for selling Patrick sending the wrong signal, I hope that's not how development squad members would see it. I hope that we are recruiting young people with honesty and without false hopes. If we are then that gives us a chance to manage their expectations properly. For a young footballer, getting a post-eighteen contract at Chelsea is the equivalent of a young student getting a place at one of the top universities in the world. Granted the pay is better but it's still about a high quality education. A physics undergraduate doesn't enrol at Cambridge expecting to be offered the Newton Chair one day. Instead he or she has a right to expect a fantastic learning environment with enhanced employment prospects if they do well in their studies. The Chelsea offer to youngsters should be exactly the same; great facilities, great co-students to study with, great coaches to learn from and plenty of top quality work placement opportunities. At the end of the process Chelsea may offer you a job but, if we don't, you will still be the best player you can be and well placed to find work with an appropriate employer. That would be an honest prospectus to offer young men and I hope that's pretty much how we do it. If so, then helping Patrick find his first proper job would represent Chelsea delivering on our promises, not the opposite.
  20. New Stadium Plans

    Ah OK.
  21. New Stadium Plans

    City's average league attendance last season was 47,080. That's 99.31% of their 47,405 capacity. By comparison our average of 41,482 was 99.15% of capacity. City seem to be doing OK on seat sales. I remember there was a fuss at one game where some co-commentator was bemoaning an attendance of 47,000 odd and describing it as thousands below capacity but he'd just got that wrong. Maybe he got his wires crossed momentarily and had the St James Park capacity in mind.
  22. Transfer Talk Topic

    Pretty sure you must be right about this but it doesn't worry me. Money is surely a consideration for all footballers at any time but particularly so, we might guess, for players in the closing stages of their careers. If Schwarzer stays and continues to perform as he did last term then I won't wonder whether his motivation is money, his kids education, a chance for a medal, a mixture of all of those or something else altogether. As long as Mark does his work well, his reason for choosing Chelsea is up to him.
  23. Transfer Talk Topic

    This is a potential worry I agree but I'd be even more concerned about how we replace Petr in the dressing room and around the club. That'd be a big presence to loose but if the decision has been taken to go with Thibaut, and if Petr chooses to leave, then I have full confidence in Mark Schwarzer to serve as cover. Mark has made it clear that he's interested in a new contract with the club and I'm sure he's in the loop as far as the Cech/Courtois decision is concerned.
  24. Transfer Talk Topic

    The Drog is an excellent example. I watched him play for L'Om and, based on that, would not have signed him.
  25. Transfer Talk Topic

    Morning KP, I'd say that the two things are not in any way equivalent. In the absence of inside information, knowing what Chelsea might, or might not, do in the transfer market can only be guess work. Assessing a player on the other hand is only a matter of making up one's own mind and that should not require any guessing. :) Personally I wrote off the Chelsea chances of Carlton Cole, Gael Kakuta and Scott Sinclair within twenty minutes of seeing them play live. (Cole for the first team, the other two in youth games.) I'm certain that I could do so again but I fully appreciate that you would not share my confidence. :) I wonder though if you would agree with my opinion that it is much easier to spot a player who will definitely not make it, than it is to identify the ones who will? I say this because there are certain qualities a Chelsea level player requires. If a bloke doesn't have them, he doesn't have them and he can quickly be rejected. I doubt for example that it would take you, or anyone else, even as many as twenty minutes to decide that I'm not good enough to play for Chelsea. A ridiculous example of course but it serves to suggest that such judgements are possible. Once we accept this, it's only a matter of applying that judgement to players of a higher standard.