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Iskaral Pust

Football: the winter break

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Not too disappointed about going out of the cup, and quite glad we avoided a replay.  We still have CL games ahead.  And I cannot criticize any players for struggling in such a disjointed mishmash, especially away to a full strength opponent who has been very good against ball-playing teams.

I'm not sure why Lallana didn't play, his experience would have been helpful.  I'm glad Keita played a full game but a bit disappointed that he didn't show something more.  Camacho, Jones and Hoever all acquitted themselves well for their age and experience.

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Klopp mentioned that he'd picked up a slight knock or something, possibly illness too.

I'm starting to get a bit concerned about Keita. He has some good moments, but he spends half the time chasing after his own dreadful touches. It's not just a matter of settling into the Premiership, he seems to have forgotten how to play football. Hopefully he turns it around.

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I really hope Ox comes back well next season he was really starting to add some quality to our midfield before he was injured, unfortunately Keita hasnt really found his feet as quickly as im sure he and Klopp would have liked. At this point I think Fabinho should be starting almost every league game, been really impressed with him. We really need a non injury prone 3rd centre back, Lovren and Matip are injured too often and make too many mistakes when they do play.

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Both Sky and the Guardian reporting that Bayern have paid Chelsea’s asking price of 35m for Hudson Odoi and that the player wants the move. 

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1 hour ago, lmanion said:

I really hope Ox comes back well next season he was really starting to add some quality to our midfield before he was injured, unfortunately Keita hasnt really found his feet as quickly as im sure he and Klopp would have liked. At this point I think Fabinho should be starting almost every league game, been really impressed with him. We really need a non injury prone 3rd centre back, Lovren and Matip are injured too often and make too many mistakes when they do play.

You really think the Ox will be the same player after such a long lay off?

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35 minutes ago, Mark Antony said:

Both Sky and the Guardian reporting that Bayern have paid Chelsea’s asking price of 35m for Hudson Odoi and that the player wants the move. 

Sky Germany are reporting the same although they claim a transfer fee of €35m rather than £35m. It would be a good  move for CHO because, whether it's € or £, that would make him one of the most expensive signings in Bayern's history and they wouldn't pay that much just for him to be a bit part player. Better than sitting on the bench or reserves for Chelsea especially when Sarri is known for his stubbornness in team selection. Surprised Dortmund didn't try to make him part of the deal for Pulisic. €30-€35m + CHO for Pulisic would have been great business for them. 

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This would be terrible business from Chelsea's end. 

A £30m+ transfer fee received for an 18 year old player who has only played 11 first team games looks clever, but a notoriously tight club like Bayern are only going to pay that kind of money if they believe the player is quality and ready to make the first team.

Any Chelsea fan that has watched Hudson-Odoi play knows that he is ready to make the next step and start games on a regular basis. Pedro and Willian are both over 30, so unlikely to drastically improve as players. Chelsea know what they are getting with those players; Hudson-Odoi is 18, and in many Chelsea fans' opinions, ready to play ahead of them. Even if the club disagree with that now, these players are getting to the age that the club will need to think about replacing them.

If Hazard leaves, Chelsea could be replacing three wingers in the next few summer transfer windows. In Hudson-Odoi, we have one of the best young talents in English football, who is already ready to compete with our current, aging wingers for places. Instead, the club look like they are going to let him go, which will end up costing them a lot more money than the transfer fee from Bayern will generate. Just look at how much it cost to sign Pulisic, another young winger, with 18 months left on his contract and no intention to sign a new one.

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Posted (edited)

Anybody watching this Carambar Cup tie between Spurs & Chelsea ?

At the moment I'm juste feeling that too many Chelsea players are just out of position. Hazard, ffs, isn't a 9 (even a false one), Azpi is better at CB, Kanté is better at DM, Willian is better on the bench.

This was a naughty VAR decision in favor of Spurs, not because Kane dived (by now that's common things to do uno) but mostly because he was arguably offside in the first place.

Looking forward to the 2nd half. I expect Sarri to somehow turn things around in his tactical display. If he doesn't, well, he probabky isn't as good as a manager than some said.

ETA: now it's becoming funny. If things keep going like that, by the end of the game Chelsea will have 16 shots to 3 and Spurs' GK will need new gloves.

Edited by Ser Glendon Fireball

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8 minutes ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

This was a naughty VAR decision in favor of Spurs, not because Kane dived (by now that's common things to do uno) but mostly because he was arguably offside in the first place.

The offside was tight (though I think the right call was made), but there is no way Kane dived there. Kepa wiped him out!

 

8 minutes ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

Looking forward to the 2nd half. I expect Sarri to somehow turn things around in his tactical display. If he doesn't, well, he probabky isn't as good as a manager than some said.

So one half determines how good a manager is. That’s not at all an overreaction.

 

As the first time I’ve seen CHO play live, I’ve been impressed by how good his decision making has been for his age. He is similar to Sancho in that way and in utter contrast to young English talent of previous generations.

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2 minutes ago, Philokles said:

So one half determines how good a manager is. That’s not at all an overreaction.

One half does not determines how good he is. His ability to put his display into question and adapt itself to the opposition, does. Not only by doing substitutions or modifying his system of play, but also by talking to his players in a way that give them motivation. 

(Not to mention that lining up Hazard as "striker" when you have Morata and Giroud at your disposal, is a dull thing to do however you look at it.)

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9 minutes ago, Ser Glendon Fireball said:

One half does not determines how good he is. His ability to put his display into question and adapt itself to the opposition, does. Not only by doing substitutions or modifying his system of play, but also by talking to his players in a way that give them motivation. 

(Not to mention that lining up Hazard as "striker" when you have Morata and Giroud at your disposal, is a dull thing to do however you look at it.)

Sarri is not the type of manager to make a major tactical switch in game - he has his system that he believes in and tends to stick with it even if it ends up costing him at times. At Napoli, he tended to go into matches with the same game plan whether it was Juve away or SPAL at home. Even his subs are quite predictable - 1st sub around 65 minutes and 2nd sub around 75 minutes like clockwork regardless of match situation. He deserves some criticism for not starting with Morata or Giroud at CF though - both are strong in the air and Hudson-Odoi is a good crosser but that avenue of attack is nonexistent with Hazard as a false #9. 

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2 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

To be fair, when you've got Morata at your disposal I can understand the desperation to find an alternative.

Fair point.

If anything, Spurs set up with their best XI (minus the GK) tonight. Meanwhile, our guys are enjoying some time in Salt Bae, Dubai. Hope it gives us some reasons to envision sunday's game in a positive way.

 

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More disappointing than the result was the fact Chelsea were unable to create many chances of note, despite having the lion’s share of the ball. Granted, Spurs did defend really well, but a team of Chelsea’s quality should be able to muster up at least one or two decent chances.

Our build up play is so slow, and often our players just seem to walk with the ball. In the first half, where there was a bit more space, Alonso and Hudson-Odoi were able to get into great crossing positions, with no one in the box to cross to. 

While neither of our strikers are firing - Morata apparently picked up an injury today and Giroud is just coming back from one - Hazard isn’t working as a number nine. He’s had a few good moments in that role against Brighton and Watford, but on the whole, he is too much of a playmaker to play that role for us. It worked for Sarri at Napoli moving Mertens to number nine, but I believe he is more of a forward than a playmaker.

If we are going to play with a false 9, I feel like Pedro would suit the role more than Hazard, as he makes better forward runs off the ball, and would be less likely to come deep looking to have the ball, leaving no one occupying the centre forward role.

On Hudson-Odoi: I thought that was another good performance from him. He’s a clever player that picks and chooses when to dribble or when to pass wisely, and manages to keep his movements unpredictable, by being able to go inside and out, due to his ability to use either foot. I certainly hope that wasn’t his last performance in a Chelsea shirt.

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2 hours ago, polishgenius said:

To be fair, when you've got Morata at your disposal I can understand the desperation to find an alternative.

Even if Higuain does arrive (which seems complicated if he is already on loan to Milan), I assume Chelsea will be pushing the boat out this summer in pursuit of a top striker.  I don't know who's realistically available but Higuain is no spring chicken, is not used to the pace of the PL, has lost form badly at Milan, and there's a reason why Juventus loaned him out in the first place.  He may offer some short term improvement but Chelsea need to move on from Morata and neither Giroud nor Higuain look like a long term answer.

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22 hours ago, Consigliere said:

Sky Germany are reporting the same although they claim a transfer fee of €35m rather than £35m. It would be a good  move for CHO because, whether it's € or £, that would make him one of the most expensive signings in Bayern's history and they wouldn't pay that much just for him to be a bit part player. Better than sitting on the bench or reserves for Chelsea especially when Sarri is known for his stubbornness in team selection. Surprised Dortmund didn't try to make him part of the deal for Pulisic. €30-€35m + CHO for Pulisic would have been great business for them. 

I assume the player prefered Bayern. There might be several reasons.

It's possible Bayern have talked to his agent earlier (legally a greyzone I think, they are not allowed to the player without Chelsea's permission, the agent is a different story), or he felt that Bayern offers him better prospects as in, too similar to Sancho at Dortmund, Bayern will have the vacancies once Robben and Ribery are gone by the end of the season, and Coman and Gnabry are injury prone, so he will definately get his playing time there, or Dortmund's contract offer was not as good as Bayern's.

Or a combination of the above.

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19 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I assume the player prefered Bayern. There might be several reasons.

It's possible Bayern have talked to his agent earlier (legally a greyzone I think, they are not allowed to the player without Chelsea's permission, the agent is a different story), or he felt that Bayern offers him better prospects as in, too similar to Sancho at Dortmund, Bayern will have the vacancies once Robben and Ribery are gone by the end of the season, and Coman and Gnabry are injury prone, so he will definately get his playing time there, or Dortmund's contract offer was not as good as Bayern's.

Or a combination of the above.

Yeah, Bayern are a much more attractive destination than Dortmund especially if chances of 1st team football are about the same at both clubs (or better at Bayern). I see that Salihamidzic has said that this is likely going to be Ribery's last season at the club. He's also come out and said that Hudson-Odoi is a player they absolutely want to sign. I think Hudson-Odoi is as good as gone - it's very difficult for any player to turn down such an offer from one of the super clubs. 

 

And something we all knew was happening anyway but is official now. Pavard will join Bayern next season. 

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This is when the white girl dancing coach comes in and says if they just BELIEVE in themselves, they can do it!

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