• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by The_Ghost

  1. Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

    Defensive midfield is a concern? We've got Jorginho and Kanté. Two of the best for those positions. If we matched that quality in every position we'd be the best team in the world by a country mile.
  2. Transfer Talk Topic

    Well, Morata himself has with direct quotes stated he's goig nowhere (and has bought a new, bigger house closer to Cobham). I pray that Giroud will be kept and/or Bats has his proper break-out season.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    You just watch Bats asking for it now lol. But honestly, what is this? What if his kids were born on the 1st? I agree with Droy below; He doesn't even considering himself top dog anymore. Pathetic. He can use whatever excuse he likes, but I don't buy it for a second. Maybe the club will sell him and go with Giroud, Bats and Abraham? Or maybe just even Giroud and Bats? Based on last season, I don't think I would prefer him over Giroud as our main man.
  4. Transfer Talk Topic

    Being a top player isn't about having technical ability. All players at this level has it. It is about producing your best as often as possible. That happens far too seldom with Morata. I think we will end up seeing Hazard being our S1 before this season is over (and unless Bats explodes under Sarri). I have zero hope of Morata being a 25 goal striker for us. Key in Sarri's system isn't bringing the striker into play. This style needs someone to finish the moves off and Morata is probably the worst guy for that - his finishing is awful.
  5. Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

    Great news. That means we have Willian, Pedro and Hazard on contracts until 2020. I suppose the club will have an ambition to extend Hazards contract. In July 2020 Willian will be one month away from his 31st birthday. I suppose he may be in for a two-year extension. Pedro turns 33 on 28 July 2020. Ditto. I reckon the RW1 is his for now. Question then is where does Willian fit in? In theory he could play the RW, LW and CM8 roles for us imo. Much like Barkley, Hazard and RLC, whereas Moses and Pedro are more pure RW options and not much else in this system. If we sign Zaha, where does he fit in? RW, LW or S?
  6. Transfer Talk Topic

    Apparently Sarri has said that Bats has a future here and like CHO he won't be loaned out. The same comments have not ben made of RLC, where Sarri stated that he has to assess his suitability once he was back.
  7. Transfer Talk Topic

    I think the main reason Chelsea are fuming with Conte is how he handled Costa. Appalling!
  8. Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

    So the game yesterday confirmed a few things for me but also raised a few new questions. 1. CHO will play a part this year - the boy is obviously ready to play at this level and perform 2. Abraham should be loaned out - his overall game needs improvement 3. We have a serious problem with S1 but it is unlikely to be rectified 4. We may have a problem with Alonso at LB 5. How will Sarri structure his midfield - where will Kanté play and what will that do to our ability to retain posession (if Fabregas is the one to be benched) GK1: Courtois 13 GK2: Caballero 1 GK3: Green - RB1: Azpilicueta 28 RB2: Zappacosta 21 LB1: Alonso 3 LB2: Emerson 33 CB1: Luiz 30 CB2: Rüdiger 2 CB3: Christensen 27 CB4: Cahill 24 CB5: Ampadu 44 CM4.1: Jorginho 5 CM4.2: Fabregas 4 CM6.1: Kanté 7 CM6.2: Drinkwater 6 CM8.1: Barkley 8 CM8.2: Loftus-Cheek 12 AMR1: Willian 22 AMR2: Pedro 11 AMR3: Moses 15 AML1: Hazard 10 AML2: Hudson-Odoi 20 S1: Morata 9 S2: Giroud 18 S3: Batshuayi 23 Loan: Bulka, Aina, Musonda, Piazon, Abraham, Bakayoko Sell: Willian (?), Courtois (?), Drinkwater (?), Cahill (?) The areas I see where we potentially would want better starting options is RW1, S1, CM8.1 and LB1. I don't think we will adress LB1 or CM8.1 this window and will let Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Alonso and Emerson fight it out. I don't think it is impossible that Barkley will have a good season while Emerson may take the LB1 shirt from Alonso before the season is over. RW1 is hard to improve upon, and would entail that we sell Willian for big money. But who is available? Martial is more of a left-sided player or a striker. Bailey, Zaha or Pulisic? The passport story of Willian is also weird, considering that an expiring passport would have been difficult to use during the World Cup in Russia. RW1 can easily wait until next summer, when Pedro's contract runs out (and Willian still have an additional year to go). S1 is the position I'm most keen to adress. But who is available and an improvement on Morata? Martial? Can he be that striker? As for our midfield I'm curious to see how it will be shaped once Kanté is back. Personally I'm quite keen on a Fabregas - Jorginho tandem that is mixed with a player that can score goals and assist. Kanté isn't that man. Obviously Kanté is too good to bench, so he will most likely be playing the midfield position next to Jorginho while Fabregas, Barkley and Loftus-Cheek in reality compete for the remaining position. In the games when Fabregas is left out, how will that impact our ability to retain posession? I also think that Fabregas will be very much first sub for both the Jorginho and Kanté roles, while starting a fair few as CM8.1 ahead of both Barkley and Loftus-Cheek.
  9. My point exactly. Although Barkley only had six month to go on his contract. But still.
  10. Transfer Talk Topic

    Let me participate. Given the current squads. 1. Liverpool 89 (75, +14 pts) 2. Man City 86 (100, -14 pts) 3. Chelsea 82 (70, +12 pts) 4. Man United 80 (81, -1 pts) 5. Tottenham 75 (77, -2 pts) 6. Arsenal 70 (65, +5 pts)
  11. He looks fit and strong, quick - probably in the best shape of his life. I think he'll have a good season. The fear as always with him is injuries. Let's see how it plays out. I'm far from ready to say he's a bad signing. At £15m he could prove to be a awesome signing.
  12. Looking good so far don't you think Michael?
  13. Transfer Talk Topic

    The more I look at City's squad the more holes I find. Yes -the starting XI + the first 7 on the bench are all top players. But it's thin and it's a World Cup year. I can't believe Pep is happy with his squad and preparations for the new season. On the other hand, they were playing on auto-pilot for most of last season and cruised it anyways so perhaps I'm cluthing at straws. But if teams have started to read them (much like happened to us), they seem to be set-up for a 'perfect storm' type season... We have all seen it before haven't we? Man U I'm decidedly unimpressed with. Lukaku, Sanchez, Pogba, De Gea. Yes - top players for sure. But their squad feels unbalanced and they are also light on AMs - desperately light should Martial leave. Their defence is also far from impressive even though they have strenghtened at CM. Tottenham is much the same but they look very vulnerable to injuries. Kane, Alli, Eriksen and Son all played a lot last season and this World Cup. 9/11 of their starting XI made it into the final four. That can't be stressed enough. I think they will have a tough season. Liverpool I think will be one of the teams who will improve upon last season. CL finalists and they ended the season very strongly beating City along the way. Fabinho, Keita and Shaqiri are very good signings. On paper they look thin at LW but in reality they have a bunch of players listed as CMs that can play there as well. Weakness at FB and S2. Otherwise the second best squad for me after City. Then to us. I don't see any glaring weaknesses anywhere. I see small weaknesses at S1 and perhaps Courtois lack of distribution skills. Yes our starting XI is very strong - top four with City, Man U and Liverpool. We probably have the second or third best starting XI on paper. We also seem to have acceptable depth now although the quality could be higher in sme quarters. But all in all I'm fairly confident. If I had to bet how the top 6 would end up today, I'd say something like this (considering squad, momentum effect coming on from last season and WC effects on the squad); 1. Liverpool 2. Man C 3. Chelsea 4. Man U 5. Tottenham 6. Arsenal
  14. Transfer Talk Topic

    Well said Martin! Also I am baffled by the negativity. I'm looking forward to the new season, finally some football that matters again! As things stands, I reckon we are ok compared to the other top 6 clubs; 1. Man C (4123) 100 pts: Ederson (Bravo) Walker (Danilo) - Stones (Otamendi) - Laporte (Kompany) - Mendy (Zinchenko) Fernandinho (Delph) De Bruyne (Gündogan) - D Silva (Foden/Diaz/Roberts) Sterling (B Silva) - Agüero (Jesus) - Sané (Mahrez) 2. Man U (4231) 81 pts: De Gea (Romero) Valencia (Dagot) - Smalling (Bailly) - Jones (Rojo/Lindelöf) - Young (Shaw) Matic (Fellaini) - Fred (Herrera) Sanchez (Mata) - Pogba (Lingard) - Martial (Pereira) Lukaku (Rashford) 3. Tottenham (4231) 77 pts: Lloris (Vorm) Trippier (Aurier) - Alderweireld (Sanchéz) - Verthongen (Foyth) - Rose (Davies/Walker-Peters) Dier (Wanyama) - Dembélé (Sissoko/Winks) Son (Moura) - Alli (Lamela) - Eriksen (N'Koudou) Kane (Llorente) 4. Liverpool (433) 75 pts: Allison (Mignolet) Alexander-Arnold (Clyne) - van Dijk (Klavan) - Lovren (Gomez/Matip) - Robertson (Moreno) Fabinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain) - Henderson (Wijnaldum) - Keita (Lallana/Milner) Salah (Shaqiri) - Firmino (Sturridge/Origi/Solanke) - Mané (Woodburn) 5. Chelsea (433) 70 pts: Courtois (Caballero) Azpilicueta (Zappacosta) - Rüdiger (Cahill/Ampadu) - Luiz (Christensen) - Alonso (Emerson) Kanté (Drinkwater/Bakayoko) - Jorginho (Fabregas) - Barkley (Loftus-Cheek) Willian (Pedro/Moses) - Morata (Giroud/Batshuayi/Abraham) - Hazard (Hudson-Odoi) 6. Arsenal (4231) 63 pts: Leno (Cech/Ospina) Bellerin (Lichtsteiner/Jenkinson) - Sokratis (Holding/Chambers) - Koscielny (Mustafi) - Kolasinac (Monreal) Ramsey (Elneny) - Xhaka (Torreira/Guendouzi) Mkhitaryan (Welbeck) - Özil () - Iwobi (Maitland-Niles) Aubameyang (Lacazette) Assuming those squads* remain fairly intact I'm not feeling overly pessimistic. Actually quite optimistic. The feeling right now is that City, Man U and Tottenham will do worse compared to last season while Liverpool and ourselves will improve. Arsenal is a bit of a wild card for me. Not sure what to expect, but they look really weak in AM and CM. Liverpool are weak at FB while they have strenghtened at CM and AM. Tottenham mainly unchanged, but will suffer from basically 9/11 starting players went to the final four in the World Cup. We had 3. Man C 5. Man U 4. Liverpool 3 and Arsenal none. Man C have a few holes (back-ups to Fernandinho and Silva) but is of course strong with the addition of Mahrez. But they feel a bit tired perhaps? They had lots of players at the WC and half the starting XI progressed to the final four. Man U has similar issues with lots of attacking players missing most of the pre-season while Martial seemingly wants to leave. It's easy to see why they are after Willian. I reckon Man U may have a dreadful start with multiple key players returning late. All in all I'm optimistic as long as we do not go out and do something stupid.
  15. Transfer Talk Topic

    AC Milan doesn't have the money to buy Higuain outright this season. But in general yes, there's a lot of shady business going on in Italy.
  16. Transfer Talk Topic

    Courtois, Caballero, Green; Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Luiz, Rüdiger, Christensen, Cahill, Ampadu, Alonso, Emerson; Jorginho, Kanté, Fabregas, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater; Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Moses, Hudson-Odoi; Morata, Giroud, Bats/Abraham 21 + 3GK + Ampadu & Hudson-Odoi. I agree. As close to anything optimal in terms of squad size (for me as well). I think this squad will be close to what we end up with. I like it. Interesting. Especially considering that most would label them central midfielders/attacking midfielders. Not really players in the mould of Hazard/Willian/Pedro who are more wide forwards. In my opinion of course. I see RLC and Barkley as primary candidates for one of the midfield spots (call it #8), but also suspect that we will see a midfield of Kanté, Jorginho and Fabregas more often then people expect. I have read a similar narrative in some sections of the media. I would prefer if we took a step back and built something for the long-term. The days when we can compete every year is gone. If we can seriously challenge 4/10 seasons we'll probably average two titles a decade. Add a few cups to that and that's probably where we are right now as a club.
  17. Transfer Talk Topic

    So in one swoop two of the most talked about transfer targets we seemingly have are bound to join AC Milan. Caldara (€40m) moves to AC Milan with Bonucci going back to Juventus*. Higuain (initial €18m loan fee, €36m to buy end of loan) moves to AC Milan as well*. * Source: Romeo Agresti (Goal) and Di Marzio With Rugani seemingly staying put at Juve, I reckon that's it for us in terms of CBs. It also seems that Morata will stay on. Will be interesting to see what happens with Abraham, Bats and Giroud. Willian has also seemingly confirmed he is going back to Chelsea and that he's happy at the club loving life in London. If this is correct, then perhaps we are only looking to strengthen CM further?
  18. Transfer Talk Topic

    The talk of Vecino was linked to his time at Empoli but also due to Sarri apparently not rating Bakayoko or Drinkwater which is easy to understand, the man spending £75m on these two need sacking! Well in all likelihood, the man spending £75m on these two is already sacked (Emenalo and/or Conte). Word now is that we have three preferred options for the 6th CM - Kovacic, Vecino or Ramsey. All three massive upgrades on Baka or Drink.
  19. Transfer Talk Topic

    I certainly think we are looking at the positions you mention. But I don't think anyone expected them all to be done in one window. It's unrealistic, something Conte didn't seem to understand. Could be one of the reasons why the club is seemingly upset with him. Reading between the lines, perhaps the club feels he aleniated too many with unrealistic expectations on potential incomings? For this window, the only critical positions I see us potentially being forced to act upon is GK1 and S1. Courtois should be granted his wish and sold this window. I know we lack serious options in the market, but one out of Pickford, Schmeichel, Donnarumma, Butland should be something to build on. I'm particularly impressed with how Schmeichel has developed over the past four seasons and he has a report with fellow countryman Christensen. Good age, peaking at 31 and has experience to try his wings at the very top. He's not a bad choice for the next four seasons. S1 must be resolved. Either Sarri is convinced Morata is a good enough for the type of football we want to play or he is moved on. Another sub-par season will destroy his market value. If he's sold, who do we go for? Higuain turns 31 December 10. I'm generally not someone who's scared of older players, but some strikers can decline quickly once the rut sets in so to speak. Last season was his worst by some distance in terms goals per start and goals per 90 mins played (0,51 and 0,52) for the Serie A and ECL. Now don't get me wrong, 0,5 is highly respectable but based on his own high standards that his worst output. He's had a glittering career spanning over Real Madrid (2009-2013), Napoli (2013-2016) and Juventus (2016-). 9 seasons at a top european level. 3 seasons has been in the 0,9-1,1 range (2009/10, 2011/12, 2015/16), 1 season in the 0,66-0,7 range (2012/13) and 4 seasons in the 0,6-0,65 range (2010/11, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2016/17). Is he on a decline? Can he do a job for the next 3 seasons? For the right price I think the club should buy. If we do buy Higuain, I reckon we should sell Giroud and keep Abraham and Bats. As for Willian/Hazard I reckon Hazard will stay with some risk Willian is moved on. If Willian goes, the candidates for replacing him seems to Bailey, Martial, Pulisic or Zaha. My point is that we should be able to transform this squad with another three potential signings (GK, AM, S) and have a super-interesting squad. We don't have to make an awful lot of deals. GK: Schmeichel, Caballero, Green DF: Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Luiz, Rüdiger, Christensen, Ampadu, Alonso, Emerson CM: Jorginho, Fabregas, Kanté, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Drinkwater AM: Hazard, Pedro, Pulisic, Moses, Hudson-Odoi S: Higuain, Abraham, Batshuayi True.
  20. Transfer Talk Topic

    Yeah I'm in this camp sort of. No way was Luiz out with a real injury. Maybe he had a small knock on his knee but it was used to cover the situation with Conte. I reckon he (Conte) has been gone since last summer (when he signed the extension).
  21. Transfer Talk Topic

    Rumours we have accepted a 75m (eur) offer for Willian from Man U. For arguments sake, what would people think of us selling Willian/buying Pulisic for roughly the same fee?
  22. Transfer Talk Topic

    Quite, so incredibly boring. Bob - mate, pls. Can we not just focus on the football and discuss that and leave out the personal insults? If you dislike Droy so much, just ignore him. If not for yourself and your heart, then for the rest of us. Revenge or not, I'm not sure we were that interested. Or maybe we were, and Sarri said no? Contrary to popular belief on these boards, I do believe our Manager/Head Coach has a very big say in who we sign - as long as the club doesn't deem the purchase irresponsible. As for transfer rumours; Apparently Pulisic won't sign a new contract at Dortmund and ourselves and Liverpool are the front-runners for his signature. Bidding starts at 70m (EUR) Pickford is our number one target should Courtois leave Musonda to stay on with the first team until a good development opportunity presents itself Hazard to be offered £300k + the captaincy to sign a new contract Cahill to be sold
  23. Transfer Talk Topic

    First of all, you replied with "^ The Courtois hatred is pretty childish, IMO." Of course I think that's a reply to me, as you indicate you are replying to my post with the arrow. Anyhow, calling someones views for childish hatred perhaps says more of you than me? Where, in that post, did I direct any childish hatred towards Courtois? I stated my opinion of him, that I would not miss him very much should he leave and finally what I have heard about his persona in the game. Anyhow, this is stupid. I'm leaving it here ok? No hard feelings at all just don't see a point continuing:)
  24. Transfer Talk Topic

    I suppose this is directed at me, which is a bit strange. But in this day and age, it's hard to state ones opinion without someone else being offended or wilfully misinterpret. So Luiz should be an automatic starter then in that case. Of our defenders, he's by far the one with the best ball skills.
  25. Transfer Talk Topic

    Courtois never felt like a Chelsea player to me. Plus, it's my very clear understanding he's a bit of a knobhead and extremely full of himself. Given his performances here and the promise he came with, I'm not sure he should feel so good about himself. Still a good keeper but not a top 10 keeper for me. I won't miss him for a second.