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Jordan La Cabra

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About Jordan La Cabra

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  1. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    Sarriball is far from in full swing, but that wasn't a bad performance on the whole. We were quite pedestrian at the start; passing sideways and going nowhere fast. As Mark Antony noted, Hazard is different class. His cameo was the highlight of the game.
  2. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    And they will be very happy with that. In recent years, it is rare to see the title winner go into the new season with no sub-plot threatening to harm their chances.
  3. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    There were more obvious areas of our squad that needed improvement than midfield, I agree, but the opportunity to have a player of Kovacic's quality would be hard to turn down, even if it's only for one season on loan. Something Barkley has in his favour is that he is flexible and could fill in as one of the wide forwards, as well as being able to play in midfield. As much as I want to see RLC do well, I have rarely been that impressed with him when I have seen him play, for Chelsea, Crystal Palace or England. The positive for him is that it looks like AC Milan want Bakayoko. RLC may find his chances limited at the start of the season, but I hope that when the Europa League group stage kicks in, he can get game time in it, find some form and then challenge to be picked for the first XI in the league - sort of like what happened with Jack Wilshere at Arsenal last season As for Zappacosta and Emerson, at the moment, they look like back up to Azpilicueta and Alonso. Liverpool, Wolves and Fulham have done really good business this window.
  4. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    The ball was very much in Real Madrid's court with the Courtois/Kovacic deal. Courtois made it clear he wanted to move and had a 'preferred destination'; couple that with that fact he had a year on his contract, Madrid were able to get him for a price way below his market value. With Kovacic, sending him on loan 'sweetened' Chelsea, but also means they can harden their stance on Modric. They wouldn't want to let Modric go even if they kept Kovacic, but now he's out on loan, they need to hold onto Modric even more. Kovacic is a player they value highly - apparently at around £70-£80m. He's a talented player; he's just playing in the same team as Kroos and Modric, two of the best in the world, so it's always going to be difficult to get as much game-time as he'd like. What would have been nice, from Chelsea's point of view, would have been if they could have brokered a deal with Real Madrid in which they gave them Courtois + £40m to sign Kovacic permanently. A deal like that, though, would have been a better deal for Chelsea than Real Madrid. Chelsea would have got rid of a player that didn't want to play for them, while signing a player for around half of his market value. The current deal favours Real Madrid. They get Courtois for a cut price, Kovacic gets to go on loan, play more games and potentially develop. If Kovacic impresses Chelsea and they want to sign him next summer, they will have to bid like any other team, as there's no option to buy. This means they'll have to fork out around £80m for Real Madrid to even listen. This a good deal for Chelsea, but an even better one for Real Madrid.
  5. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    The bolded is very true when it comes to the problems with Mourinho's Man United team. During his first spell and especially his second spell at Chelsea, he set his teams up to be hard to score against. Often that meant going into games against our rivals with a low defensive block. It could be frustrating to watch us defend deep against teams we should have been able to go toe-to-toe against, considering the personnel we had at our disposal, but we were so good on the counter attack that all it took was one break and we were a goal up. Our record against our top six rivals in 13/14 & 14/15 highlights this. In fact, in 13/14, we managed to do the 'double' over Liverpool and Man City by defending deep and breaking fast. We went on to finish third behind both these teams, because when we were tasked with having possession against teams that deployed low block tactics against us, we couldn't find a way through them and our strikers weren't clinical enough when we did get chances, hence why signing Fabregas and Costa in the summer was enough to help us win the league in 14/15. The performance against Liverpool at Old Trafford last season was as close as I've seen Man United look like one of Jose's prime Chelsea sides. As for Chelsea's recent business, I'm quite pleased with who we have ended up with. Kepa has cost a lot of money, but I am glad we have chosen to sign him ahead of some of the other names we were linked to. He has been given a seven year deal, too, which I don't recall ever seeing at Chelsea before.
  6. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    This is all so Chelsea. Do next to nothing from the end of the season until the final few days of the window, then desperately scan around Europe trying to get anyone that might be available, even if we had no link to them prior to the last days of the window. Chelsea have no clear transfer strategy. They aim for players that are available, players that someone else scouted or players that warm the bench at rival 'big' clubs in Europe. We are fast becoming the worst run club in the 'top 6'.
  7. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    It's a tad early to say whether Jorginho is good business or not, too - he certainly didn't look that great in the Community Shield. If Hazard's goal is to run down his contract and leave on a free, I think I'd be okay with that, as a fan. He is 27, at the moment; he turns 28 in January. With two seasons left to run on his contract, he'd be leaving in the season that he turns 30. You'd like to imagine that, by then, Chelsea may have seen his best years. Even if we were to keep him for this season and see him go for a cut price next summer, with only a year left on his contract, I think we'd have done quite well by having him at Chelsea for seven years.
  8. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    I have never been a big fan of Courtois, but he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. If he is replaced by Butland, it follows the trend of Chelsea selling their best players and replacing them with players of a much lower standard. Since we last won the title, we have sold Matic and replaced him with Bakayoko and Drinkwater; neither player made a mark and we ended up promoting Fabregas to the starting XI - the man Matic kept out of the side the season before. That same summer, we sold Costa, who was probably our most influential player in our two most recent title victories, and replaced him with Morata. Admittedly, I wanted us to sign him as Costa's replacement, but he has, so far, looked nowhere near as good as Costa. We are about to lose one more member of the spine of Chelsea's two most recent title winning teams and replace him with Butland. Butland is a good goalkeeper, but hasn't even been one of the best in the Premier League. He's still young enough that he could end up reaching that level, of course. But, my point is: if Chelsea continue to sell their best players and replace them with weaker ones, they will become no different to Arsenal in the post Emirates era. Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal have improved their squads, Man United have improved theirs, but less so, Tottenham have made no signings, but haven't lost anyone. Chelsea are the only 'top 6' team weakening their squad, which was already weak enough to finish fifth last season. For once, expectations might need to be managed. A top four finish would be an achievement, at this stage.
  9. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    I was hoping that if Man United were wanting to do some kind of swap deal to offload Martial that they'd be doing it with Chelsea, in exchange for Willian. If that were to happen, Jose would get a near 30 year old, (Willian turns 30 this week) who is already fully developed as a player, so Jose doesn't have to develop him or coax out his potential. Willian has played under Jose before, so Jose doesn't even have to coach him into his way of playing, tactically. In return, Chelsea would get a young, frustrated winger that wants to be a striker, who might fancy his chances of getting to play there more under Sarri, who helped convert Mertens from a winger into a striker, despite not having the usual characteristics of one. Mourinho tends to prefer bigger, more imposing centre-forwards, so I would be surprised to see Martial getting much game-time ahead of Lukaku up-front.
  10. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    Wonderful bicycle kick goal from Lewis Ferguson of Aberdeen to make it 1-1 away to Burnley (2-2 on aggregate).
  11. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    I was at a Bohemians vs Tottenham mid-season friendly at Dalymount Park in 2003. Though it was the Irish part-timers that prevailed, putting 3 goals by a much, much changed Tottenham side, whose biggest stars on the night were the likes of Sheringham, King, Carr, Etherington, Anderton and Doherty. Robbie Keane was there, but he didn't play. Chris Hughton was there, too, but in a coaching capacity.
  12. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    Defence is an area Chelsea look stacked in, on paper. Sarri prefers to play 433, so we will see a switch back to a back four, as we have done in preseason. It's when you try to compile our best back four with the players we have, that you begin to wonder if we are strong enough at the back. Take right back, for starters. Azpilicueta, Zappacosta and Moses are likely to be our three options, but I am unsure as to whether any of them bring the right balance. Azpilicueta began his Chelsea career at full back; while he was as strong defensively as any full back in the league, he wasn't quite as good going forward. He seemed to create more chances playing at RCB under Conte, as he was often left unmarked, occupying half spaces from which he could have time to cross the ball into the box. Moses was initially a forward, so making the transition to RWB was possible, but the transition to a complete full back might be difficult for him. Zappacosta might actually bring the most balance, but I would still pick Azpilicueta ahead of him due to his defensive ability and leadership qualities. Left back is a bit more simple. Alonso and Emerson should find the switch from wing back to full back easy enough. The only problem with Alonso is that he is a lot better in the final third than the defensive third. Again, wing back probably suited him more, as he had extra cover when going forwards. Hopefully, as Isk points out, a player like Kante can provide the cover needed when the full backs go forward. Trying to work out our best centre back pairing is tough. David Luiz had his best season during 16/17, playing in the middle of a back three. As much as I highly rate Christensen, he reminds me of the type of defender that would suit a back three more than a back four, too, as he likes to come out with the ball. Gary Cahill, clearly, can play in a back four, but I wonder how high up Sarri's list of choices he will be. Rudiger was our best centre back last season, but, again, that was in a three man defence. I think he played in a back three for Roma, too. I'd say Rudiger is most likely to start, it's just a matter of who should play alongside him, and none of the other three players mentioned are clear frontrunners, which is probably why Sarri showed an interest in bringing in one of his own choices. Side note: I've been very impressed by Ampadu anytime I've seen him play. I wouldn't like to see us sign someone new if it meant further blocking his path. The Europa League group stage would be a great opportunity to let him find his feet.
  13. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    I’m interested to see how my second English team, Nottingham Forest, get on this season. They have made some really impressive signings, with the help of Uncle Jorge, and head into the season as one of the favourites for promotion. Obviously it’s not just as simple as adding good players, but they will have been inspired by what Wolves did last season. Along with appointing Bielsa, Leeds have made a few decent loan signings in Jamal Blackman and Lewis Baker, both from Chelsea. Baker didn’t excel in the Championship last year, but he had a really strong spell at Vitesse, so the talent is clearly there. I am surprised Middlesbrough are letting Bamford go to Leeds, even though they could be getting £10m for him. He’s proven that he is a great player at Championship level.
  14. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    Would you consider him a ‘workhourse’? Having watched him at Chelsea for 5 seasons, I’m not sure I would. There have been spells through his Chelsea career that he has worked hard, but I wouldn’t say it’s consistent enough to consider him a workhorse, or even as a strong presser of the ball.
  15. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: 3rd Season Meltdown

    Chelsea are being beaten in the race for Golovin's signature by Monaco, whose technical director is our former technical director, Michael Emelano. And some Chelsea fans were glad to see him go, when he resigned in November. I hope Schurrle turns out to be a good signing for Fulham. He was another that I was disappointed to see sold during Mourinho's second spell. Fulham fans will already know how good he can be, as he scored a wonderful hat trick against them at Craven Cottage in a West London Derby. ETA: Reports on SSN suggesting that Man United have made an approach for Harry Maguire.
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