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Jordan La Cabra

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About Jordan La Cabra

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    Northern Ireland

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  1. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Remain in Europe

    Chelsea players out of contract at the end of the season: Cesc Fabregas: Up until his comments last week, stating how much he is enjoying working with Sarri and that he is open to signing a new deal, I thought that Fabregas leaving at the end of the season seemed the best option for both parties. Chelsea have got their money's worth out of him, and he has very little re-sell value now that he is predominately a bench player, who is into his 30's. He seems content with his role, even if he isn't playing as much. He could sign for another year. David Luiz: He admits that if Conte had stayed, he probably would have left the club in the summer window. Sarri has come in, restored him to the starting XI, and, so far, he is playing very well. Being first choice alongside Rudiger certainly strengthens his chances of getting a new deal. Gary Cahill: The club captain can't get into the first XI. There is talk of him leaving in the January window. That would disappoint me. I don't like seeing players that have given a lot for the club slip out in the January window. It happened with Ivanovic a couple of seasons ago. I suppose these players want to play, but it would seem more fitting for someone who has achieved as much as the club captain has to leave at the end of the season, rather than the January window. Olivier Giroud: At the moment, despite not having scored this season, he is still first choice striker. Morata has three goals in all competitions, but Giroud brings more to the team when he plays. It looks like Hazard enjoys playing with Giroud, as he can hold off defenders to give Hazard space to run into. Giroud has already chipped in with four assists this season. On current form, he should be offered a one year extension. Willy Caballero & Robert Green: Cabellero has only featured in the League Cup, while Green hasn't played at all. They are both 37 and 38, respectively - if they are happy enough in their roles, they may well be offered another year. We still have Eduardo on our books, who is featuring regularly on loan at Vitesse. Lucas Piazon: With no loan move for him in the summer, he is at Chelsea, at least until January. Would not surprise me if Chelsea renewed his contract, just so that they wouldn't lose out on making a profit from him.
  2. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Remain in Europe

    So far, things have looked good for Chelsea under Sarri. Since the defeat against Man City in the Community Shield, we are unbeaten in all competitions. In the league, we find ourselves second on goal difference, level on points with Man City and Liverpool. After last season, I said that I'd sacrifice Chelsea winning any trophies this season, so long as I enjoy watching us play again. Going back to the Liverpool fixture in the league - normally after a late equaliser from a rival I'd feel slightly frustrated; this time I didn't, at all, because it was so refreshing to see us actually try to take on a rival. Mourinho and Conte brought great success to Chelsea, but we played pragmatic counter attacking football against our rivals - even at Stamford Bridge. At least, now, Sarri gives the players freedom to express themselves and entertain the fans. Some of the passing combinations Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Kovacic, Barkley, Jorginho etc have put together have been exquisite. I was pleased to see Barkley get a goal and assist - the first Englishman to do both in a game for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in 2013. I didn't think he had a great game yesterday - Kovacic keeps the ball better - but the start, the assist and the goal will hopefully give him another confidence boost. He seems to enjoy playing under Sarri, as he is able to play in what he truly believes is his best position. So far, my only gripe with the system is Kante's role within it. Not that he is playing badly, I'd just like him a bit further back to help protect the backline more. One of the more interesting comments from a player on Sarri come from Fabregas. He says he is enjoying working with Sarri so much that he wishes he'd come a bit earlier in his career. This is coming from a player that is yet to make a league appearance this season.
  3. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Remain in Europe

    Mourinho did it, too - with Matic and Fabregas. In 14/15, Fabregas was able to play as the deep lying playmaker while Matic cleared things up in the middle of the park and helped protect the back four. I would like to see Sarri try a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Kante in alongside Jorginho, and with more emphasis on Kante providing defensive cover and less emphasis on him getting forward. The thing about Kante is that he will always put in a shift, no matter where he plays. He hasn't been playing badly in his new role under Sarri; it's just that he is probably the best defensive midfielder in the world, and we aren't playing him as one. The counter attack was on for West Ham on Sunday, so we will need more defensive cover against Liverpool, who will look to win the ball higher and spring forward quickly. Kante isn't much use to us if he up high in a wide position when we lose the ball; we need him around the middle of the park, so that we can have him available to stop the breaks. Like Matic in 14/15, Kante isn't just a good tackler or interceptor; he can pass, dribble and get forward, but it seems like that shouldn't be his main role.
  4. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    I wonder if they will consider reviving something similar to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
  5. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Interesting article on Xhaka by Sky Sports, following the debate over his role in the Arsenal squad on here recently. It reiterates what both sides were saying: his defensive complacency is an issue for Arsenal, but his importance to Arsenal's build up play often goes under the radar. Since the start of 17/18, no Arsenal player has given away more fouls, received more bookings, been dribbled past more or lost more tackles than Xhaka. On the other hand, in the same time, no Arsenal outfield player has made more passes into the final third than Xhaka's 535. Ozil is far behind in second with 236, though he does occupy a more advanced role than Xhaka. Another interesting stat showed that only de Bruyne, Eriksen, Salah and Hazard have been involved in more open play passing sequences that led to a shot on goal than Xhaka, since the start of last season. I think Isk made the point about Xabi Alonso when he was at Liverpool, that to make up for what he lacked in defensive abilities, there needed to be a willing defensive midfielder around him. With these stats for Xhaka, it would suggest you nearly need two defensive runners around him. Or else one N'golo Kante.
  6. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Ahhh, international break... Europe's leading coaches have asked UEFA to review the away goal rule.
  7. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Despite all that, Argentina is still Argentina and Messi is still Messi, so there will always be high expectations when Argentina play in a competition and Messi is part of the squad.
  8. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    It's always going to be difficult to narrow down the 'best' players in the world over the course of a year to just three and for everyone to agree, especially in a World Cup year. One could easily say that Mbappe, Griezmann or Varane deserved to be in the mix ahead of Salah. Varane is the player I would consider to have had most successful year of any player in world football, having been a key player in Real Madrid winning the Champions League and France winning the World Cup. The thing that may go against Messi is that he had an 'ordinary' year by his standards, which are a lot higher than those of any other player. We look at Salah's goal-scoring exploits as a wonder season, but Messi only scored one goal fewer, having played two few games than Salah, but Messi's exploits have hardly been spoken about because they are what we come to expect from him. Also, notice that the three people chosen were three players that had successful seasons in either the Champions League or World Cup. Obviously Salah didn't win the World Cup or the Champions League, but his club performed well and exceeded expectations by getting to the final of the Champions League. Salah's Egypt didn't perform well at the World Cup, but he lead them to the tournament, which was an achievement in itself, considering they hadn't been to one since 1990. Ronaldo won the Champions League with Real Madrid. He may not have had the best game in the final, but he still scored 15 goals in 13 appearances in it. Plus, he has a World Cup hat-trick against Spain to add to his list of achievements. Modric won the Champions League, and, like Salah's Liverpool in the Champions League, Croatia got to the final of the World Cup - and he was named player of the tournament. Neither of Messi's teams performed well in the Champions League or the World Cup, yet both went into the two tournaments with high expectations.
  9. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    The first Old Firm Derby of the season wasn't as entertaining as it was hyped up to be. Despite a low score-line of 1-0 to Celtic, the game was anything but close. A combination of the frame of the goal and some brilliant saves from Allan McGregor helped keep Rangers in the game, but Celtic bossed it. In fairness to Rangers, there were quite a few of their players playing in their first ever Old Firm, whereas the Celtic players are verging on veterans in playing - and winning - this fixture. You can see that Gerrard has clearly learned from Rafa Benitez, as he was employing similar defensive tactics to those his old gaffer has been using recently.
  10. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Rangers fans rejoice. The Old Firm specialist leaves right before the first one of the season.
  11. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Last time Chelsea played Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, Bournemouth beat us 3-0. I was there. Quite a match! Bournemouth are a good footballing side. Ever since they came up to the Premier League they have stuck to trying to play attractive football, which makes them a likeable club. Eddie Howe, Bournemouth's manager, spent time with Sarri when Sarri was Empoli's manager and Sarri visited Howe at Bournemouth, so there is a mutual respect there. Bournemouth are undefeated in the league; Chelsea have won all their games; both teams are in form, so hopefully it is a good game.
  12. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    I think he should stay at Tottenham. He has done a magnificent job there, but it still feels like they are on the cusp of achieving something, as they are still to win a trophy. With the emergence of a 'top 6', I think clubs and fans recognise that winning a trophy, not least the league title, is becoming more and more difficult for English clubs. Also, in English football, we are seeing that the style of play of a team is becoming a lot more important to fans. Personally, as a Chelsea fan, in the Abramovich Era, trophies have been everything - we have seen that from how managers have been sacked for not delivering them and the type of managers we have appointed: managers accustomed to winning trophies. Last season, Conte delivered a trophy, his second in two seasons, but was sacked and replaced with Sarri, who has won no major trophies as a head coach. People like Guardiola, Klopp and Pochettino have helped create the belief amongst fans that seeing your team progress and play good football can be as enjoyable as winning a trophy. Chelsea won the FA Cup last season, but the success of it felt hollow, considering how negatively we played in the final. Liverpool won nothing last season, finished one place higher than us in the league (albeit, that one position qualified them for the Champions League), but their fans were delighted with how things went because, at least, they were entertained. Obviously, you need to win something sometime, though; Pochettino hasn't won anything at Tottenham yet, so I think it would be a shame, from their perspective, to see him leave before he was able to bring them some silverware. As for Pochettino taking the Man United job - at the moment, I think the role he is currently in is a lot more appealing. Tottenham spent nothing over the summer and have spent a lot less than Man United in recent years, yet, in my opinion, they have a superior squad, and, by far, a superior starting XI.
  13. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Liverpool may have been given a tough group in the Champions League, but that's not the toughest draw they have been given today. They have been drawn against Chelsea in the next round of the most illustrious competition in English football, the Carabao Cup.
  14. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    I think it is easy to see why a lot of Chelsea fans sided with Mourinho against the players, the board and the media during the 15/16 season. Unlike at Man United, where he has had very limited success compared to their targets, at Chelsea, he was (and still is) the most successful manager in the club's history. Chelsea fans fawned over him during his two spells at the club, so many were always going to be against the sacking of the club's greatest ever manager. At Chelsea, he had a hero-status. Even after he left the first time, Chelsea fans still adored him. That only increased when he came back and won more in his second spell. Remember, he had only just won his third title at the club in the season before he was sacked. His status amongst Man United fans in his third season at the club is very different to what his status was amongst Chelsea fans, going into his 7th season as Chelsea manager.
  15. Jordan La Cabra

    Football: Sarri state of affairs

    Mourinho was quite complimentary of the team in his post match interview. He even managed to single out Shaw for his efforts. I thought Man United played well tonight, especially in the first half hour. Their desire to stay in the game even when a few goals down was good to see. But despite putting out what was probably their best performance this season, they still lost 3-0 at home against a team that struggle to win at Old Trafford. United have some good players, but they have no clear best shape or XI. Their line up and formation tonight was so random it was hard to work out what formation they were going to go for prior to kick off. And, looking at individuals, they probably have the weakest defence in the top 6.
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