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31 May 2016 18:19:02
Ed001, I always find your input extremely insightful even if I personally disagree with it. With that said I was wondering what you feel we Chelsea need to improve upon to make sure this year is just a blip? I personally feel we have too many major players (Terry, Fabregas, Hazard) that you have to design a team around, poor form across the board, and a lack of an engine in the midfield. I was hoping you could toss your two cents in and as always thanks for your time and love the site!

t.k

{Ed001's Note - firstly I think you need to change your transfer policy and stop looking for players to sell on with all those loans. It is disruptive to the team, which is the most important thing. Every player targeted and bought should be with the aim of improving the team, not making money.

Secondly, you need a ruthless clearout, much as the fans love Terry, for instance, he needs to go for the club to move on. Big stars like him hold back those around him, not on purpose, it is just natural for others to defer to them. You need to build afresh.

The biggest priority for me though, has to be central midfield, you are right about the lack of an engine in there. For me you need a Kante, someone with pace and energy, instead of those slow cumbersome Mikels and Fabregas. Fabregas needs to play with more freedom to be effective, as he is hopeless at getting back and getting into position.

Build the defence around Zouma and Christensen (though I know it looks likely you will lose the latter, which goes back to my first point), and ensure Ivanovic never plays right back ever again.

I think Hazard would be fine with more movement around him up front, as he gets no time or space right now. He was the only player to be worried about last season, so teams were able to shut him out. No good having the likes of Willian alongside him, if there is nobody else providing an attacking threat. I know Willian works hard, but he offers next to nothing in the opposiing third, which is the most important part of his job. That needs to change.

Oh and a striker that actually suits the way the team plays would be good. No more Remys, who don't play in anything like a style that suits Chelsea. Even if Costa stays long term, he needs to be challenged by a potential replacement, not covered by a back up, if you want to see the best from him.}


1.) 01 Jun 2016 05:26:32
Much appreciated Ed!
I think Leicester show how important it is to set up a team that play to one another strengths, for instance they only played with two centremids but their centehalves bypassed them by lumping the ball forward for Vardy to have a run at more often then not.
I agree with you on the notion that we've become somewhat of a property holding group that just buys some players that will likely be flipped down the line in the hope that a minority progress to contribute to the first team.
I also am glad you brought up the winger opposite hazard as Willians production came primarily from dead ball situations. It's hard enough to attack a team when they sit back but even harder when they can flood towards one side of the pitch.

{Ed001's Note - actually if you look at what Leicester did, it was the midfielders and wingers that played in Vardy, not the defenders. They were creating space by having energy breaking forward, while Chelsea were the opposite in attack due to a lack of energy and pace. It was not long balls hoofed from the defence to Vardy at all.

If you just hoof it straight away, you get no angle on the ball, meaning it is either a straight up fight with a centre back or it runs through to the keeper mostly. That is why you go wide, to create an angle and make it possible to bend the ball into spaces for forwards like Vardy to run into.}


2.) 01 Jun 2016 07:41:31
Totally agree with the points made.


3.) 01 Jun 2016 09:39:56
I agree about most of that Ed but not about Terry although he shouldn't be starting he should still be here as third choice. Next year when he probably retires then Christensen needs to come back although you said it being unlikely. We do need an experienced CB there though someone like Marquinhos playing next to Zouma probably wouldn't work as they're too young. Bonucci would be my ideal CB to partner Zouma although it's unlikely just hope Conte can work his magic and convince him then the year after we'd have three quality CB's in Zouma, Bonucci and Christensen.

Spot on about CM. we do need an engine but I think which player we buy depends on the system were going to play. If we're playing a three man midfield it needs to be Nainggolan as he's great defensively but he can also offer something offensively because he has a decent shot on him in which I think Kante doesn't and he's more of a natural DM type whereas I think we just need a box to box player like Nainggolan next to Matic and Cesc.

We do need yo be ruthless though I'm prepared to see Pedro given another season as although inconsistent he does get in good positions and can score goals whereas Willian can't especially from open play. It might not be liked but I'd sell him and Oscar on. m to raise money for a proper player like Griezmann although unlikely. I'd just let Lewis Baker replace Oscar and let him rotate with Cesc I think he showed in the Toulon tournament he needs a chance under Conte.

Ivanovic, Cahill, Mikel, Moses, Marin, Oscar, Cuadrado, Willian, Salah, Remy should be the ones sold IMO. The likes of Tomori can be 4th choice CB.

{Ed001's Note - Kante is not a defensive midfielder in any way shape or form. He is far more than that.}


4.) 01 Jun 2016 11:14:17
Yeah personally I do think he's fantastic just with his work rate and tackling just think that Nainggolan is a better passer and shooter of the ball so I thought he would offer us more if we went to 4-3-3.


5.) 01 Jun 2016 13:11:12
Ed001: An excellent, unemotional overview hitting the nail firmly on the head. The issue we all have on the forum is for every unemotional statement we make we straight away have an emotional response with who we would like, how we should play and who should go. Ask ten different people the problem and nine out of ten will probably agree and then ask the solution and you would get ten completely different answers.

{Ed001's Note - very good point.}


6.) 01 Jun 2016 14:16:00
That's a very good point ed001 about Leicester's style of play that holds true when I look back at some of their highlights. As you said our lack of pace across the board made us incredibly easy to defend.


7.) 01 Jun 2016 15:56:12
I don't think Ed001 was talking about speed tk. We have plenty of quick players with pace. It's our speed of ball movement and players creating space for one another, at pace with high intensity, that we lack.

Our players stroll for 70 minutes every game.


8.) 01 Jun 2016 15:56:12
I don't think Ed001 was talking about speed tk. We have plenty of quick players with pace. It's our speed of ball movement and players creating space for one another, at pace with high intensity, that we lack.

Our players stroll for 70 minutes every game.


9.) 01 Jun 2016 16:49:22
Great point Melbourne and good to see your still popping your head in.


10.) 01 Jun 2016 19:40:48
What an epiphany moment Ed002! 99% of what I think.
So, most people are talkink about a defender, midfielder etc. I am talking about new board, technical director and replace Marina who is clearly out of her depth. I will say it once again: Football should come before the business. Is the strategy to become another Liverpool or a top club? Let's hear it please.

{Ed001's Note - Ed002?? I do agree though, the changes need to be right across the board, starting from the top and working downwards.}


 

 

17 May 2016 14:51:05
Might be selfish but I'm rather glad that Diego isn't on the Spain squad. His hamstrings continue to scare me and hopefully he can give them a rest this offseason. Guess we also need to hope he doesn't pack on the weight again.

t.k

 

 

08 Apr 2016 05:20:06
The assumption of posters that we will have a massive clearout suprises me. Let me start off by saying that while the club might have sold some players we wished they wouldn't have, they have made a habit of getting very good fees for the players we do sell (Luiz, Salah, Mata) . The easiest way is to Illustrate this is to look at two different cases.
Costa: he has done nothing to hurt his valuation in the nearly 2 years he's been here, we're about to lose 3 strikers from our current lot and conte clearly puts a lot of stock into having multiple top level strikers. With all of this said I have a really hard time imagining Atletico stumping up enough money for us to justify his exit.
Oscar: this move makes sense as he hasn't developed as the club hoped he would, were looking to buy in the midfield which will limit his time, and he has substantiated interest in a club that will be able to afford him (Juve will have a lot of money after this summer) .
If this club sells in the summer it will be on our terms and nobody else's. Rant over.

t.k

1.) 08 Apr 2016 10:27:26
That's not a rant t. k, just a very good "overview" of the situation. Completely agree re Oscar, he will be great for a European team domestically, but not for Chelsea domestically as the EPL is a different beast. Costa, as you state, is certainly worth no less than what we paid, the difference is that apart from Villa, any team in the EPL can trip up the "top boys" which is not the case in other top European leagues. Herein lies the difference IMO, in that the Barca's and the RM's play the same style week in week out whereas the English teams have to play two different styles, one domestically, and another in Europe.


2.) 08 Apr 2016 11:20:18
Certainly not a rant t. k., probably more frustration. If you look at out title winning team, that was never going to coast through the next year, it had its weaknesses. Now a season later, a dire season, we have not just got a few flaws in the team there are many. not least attitude. The papers are there to wind us up but I do believe in a number of the inquires they are reporting and at a guess we will buy three or four players which means at least that on their way. With Abramovich's lack of patience with our Managers I doubt he will show too much with a couple of the players. It is time for Oscar to go; too in and out and the EPL is too robust for him. I was never a Costa fan from start to finish and I felt he was coerced into joining as was Courtois and Costa will go with the jury still out on the keeper. Personally i thought our appalling transfer business last season held back the opportunities for some of the youngsters; honestly, are Pedro and Rahman any better than some young players we could name? Would we have go more out of Traore than we got out of Remy?


3.) 08 Apr 2016 13:20:17
I guess I just see a multitude of posts where half of the first team is getting sold and to me that's unrealistic. I fully expect all of falcao, pato, Mikel and Remy to leave. Two more examples are Hazard and Courtois.
Hazard has never been necessarily the best professional (overweight, talks consistently about other clubs, not the hardest trainer) and the club has gotten a lot out of him but he needs to perform at an elite level to justify his actions. If the club get elite money (presently there's interest from teams that could pay elite money) for him then I could see them thinking it's better to just move on.
Courtois on the other hand will have an enormous pricetag and I don't see too many clubs with an interest that could realistically make the transfer happen. PSG have no need, Barcelona are selling keepers to raise money for their needs, and that leaves Real who I believe have far more interest in DDG and there was a lot of talk that the new contract he signed had clauses to facilitate an easier move to Madrid.


4.) 08 Apr 2016 19:44:06
Courtois should knuckle down and repay the faith that Chelsea showed to him last season. We had a goalkeeper, who was better than him at the time, and sold him so that courtois could be our number one keeper for years to come.
Would our defence have been as bad this year if cech had been our keeper, I doubt it very much. Apart from making saves the keeper needs to organise his defence and give them the confidence that he is in command.
Mr courtois you have a lot to learn, Chelsea have given you the opportunity and have faith in you. Do you not feel that you are as much responsible for our poor season as everyone else.


5.) 10 Apr 2016 01:26:58
I think we all need to relax and see what Conte will do! We have lots of players out on loan that should return! We need a leader which is why I think John Terry should stay! Costa is our best striker And Higuin is streaky sometimes he is good other times awful! Defined not better then Costa! Courtois needs to stay Bergov to me reason we are in a bad state this season we never should have let Cech go to me really big mistake we made! Hazard, Pedro, Oscar will all be sold or let go but our problem is defense and I think we should bring Andres back from Germany, bring Cuadrado back from Italy! What we will buy isn't going to be easy cause no Champions League who will play for us, not as many as you think which is why if Conte let's Hazard leave I would try and get James Rodrigues or Isco or both! I think next season will be a rebuilding year and maybe not be in Europa League will be good for us for rest!

One comment I will say I don't care what people say the Mike Emenalo is the worst director and has no idea how to buy players at all! A player plays well on another team and we buy them and I'm sorry we sold two players now that if we had them we would be in great shape which is Kevin Debryne and Lukaku sorry but the Belguim Crew all together would have left Hazard playing better and no need for the others we brought in I'd take Lukaku over Costa and KD over Fabergas! We made some bad choice deals! Winning a league is great but sacrificing our best youth who were never given a chance by MOU didn't help! Yes Mata and Luis Schurlle great sales but those two and letting Cech go were not smart!

I see a couple years of patience and cohesion needed to get back on top! If players come because of Conte that would be amazing just don't see it! Remember Man U and Man City have money and Chanpions league possibilities Liverpool had Klopp and Arsenal are a couple players away so Chelsea isn't as intriguing which is why we need some luck! Today showed that we have long way to go with team we have and I would have played Kennedy in the back with Mikel and let Traore play upfront with Oscar and Pedro with Pato before letting Baba and Matt play if that was Hiddick plan! Baba and Matt are not Chelsea players!
Have a great Sunday and hopefully we can end the season with pride!


6.) 10 Apr 2016 15:38:21
Have to disagree with you Jets. You'd rather play an exciting young player in Kenedy out of position rather than allow Rahman more experience and time in order to settle and make the position his own? Or you'd rather play a DM that will likely leave this summer, out of position than a CB who could potentially end up as a decent squad player? Isn't that exactly what most fans are arguing against, playing players out of position rather than playing youth players?

Some of our signings haven't worked out recently and some of the players we've sold have gone on to become great players but to call Emenalo the worst director is rather laughable. Firstly he doesn't make all the decisions alone, secondly look at the signings Utd, City, Liverpool, Villa etc have made in recent years and you'll see that most of their signings haven't worked out either.


 

 

25 Mar 2016 16:06:52
One thing that intrigues me about the inevitable arrival of conte is the likely use of wingbacks. While I think this role would fit players such as baba and cuadrado very nicely, I think on the whole our usual guys wouldn't do great in that role. Dave would be forced to play on the right as he isn't capable of providing the width that role requires from the left (I'd actually be interested to see if he could play as a centrehalf in a back 3). This role would suit Kennedy better than as a traditional fullback but I still don't view it as a fantastic fit. I'm not sure Pedro is good enough defensively to perform this position. I do think this would be a really good role for Willian as despite his improved numbers this season, the majority have come from set pieces. I'm really excited for Ake's reintroduction but I'm not sure he has the make-up speed to thrive in this role (same fear about Dave) . Overall I'm very intrigued about the possible change as it's something very unique but I'm not sure how suitable it is to our best players.

t.k

1.) 25 Mar 2016 17:42:34
Assuming it's a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 of course? Conte is brighter than that, if he feels we don't have the players to play that system he won't. I actually expect him to switch between 4-3-3 and 3-4-3, possibly during a match as well. Exciting times ahead I hope.


2.) 25 Mar 2016 18:09:50
Yes, G8 that would be the assumption. I think a 433 suits is far more than any other system but especially in the midfield. Matic would have the protection of an additional runner in front of him. Fabregas' lack of mobility wouldn't be as exposed. Our defense would be better protected and overall it would suit players better in addition to not having to learn a new system. Up front I really don't think it's that different but our forwards would be more focused on eatablishing a press and would also have another midfielder behind them to make it less vital for them to get back. Overall with our current players I'm not sure why we aren't playing that system.


3.) 26 Mar 2016 07:31:40
I agree with you t. k, we should be playing 4-3-3 this season, our number 10 (position) doesn't contribute enough goals so leaving the 3 to press high with 3 behind is surely worth trying? Would help integrate Ruben as well. Let's hope Guus reads these pages LOL.


4.) 26 Mar 2016 11:18:33
Conte will play 4-3-3 lads. He did it at Juve and only changed to 3-5-2 because they had solid centre backs and players that suited a wing back position. I would quite like to see 2 forwards next season!


5.) 26 Mar 2016 19:48:48
I have always liked 2 strikers Nick so maybe an old fashioned 4-4-2 with 2 banks of 4. Second striker to drop back in when out of possession?


6.) 26 Mar 2016 19:48:48
I have always liked 2 strikers Nick so maybe an old fashioned 4-4-2 with 2 banks of 4. Second striker to drop back in when out of possession?


7.) 27 Mar 2016 14:15:23
Yes G8 we were ao dangerous with drogba and anelka up top.


8.) 27 Mar 2016 14:31:11
If Conte becomes new Chelsea manager and it seems he will. You have to be aware that he always plays formation with two strikers. None of his teams played 433 or 4231 or 4321. So, we can expect new strikers coming.


9.) 27 Mar 2016 14:55:24
Interesting, actually he played 343 against Spain, but with two central forwards Eder and Pelle. Candreva was 3rd striker and he is right midfielder.


10.) 29 Mar 2016 21:50:17
I'd love to see us playing with 3 attackers as our current wingers (other than Willian) haven't done much this season, especially on the left, so playing as more attacking players will be good for hazard and willian.


 

 

20 Mar 2016 03:55:52
Commonly there are questions on here about which former player we could use the most and usually I go with Frank. With that said the more I watch us the more I think the player we miss more is Michael Essien. Our midfield has been just completely overran this season on too many occasions to count. For all his strengths, Cesc is slow, doesn't cover much ground, and is poor defensively. Matic has to make up for the lack of a runner next to him and commonly gets pulled out of position exposing our defense. We desperately lack a midfielder with mobility and an engine that can take the load off of the rest of the team. We sold Ramires who had both of those qualities; however he was poor on the ball which hindered our buildup. I've found myself optimistic from the tabloids linking us with players of that ilk as hopefully the club have identified the need as well.

t.k

1.) 20 Mar 2016 08:48:29
Excellent t. k. I am in the Frank camp but I agree with all you said about the midfield being over run. Essien had a commanding manner about him and Makelele was commanding and could organise those around him.


2.) 20 Mar 2016 09:54:10
t. k. I can agree with you on your assessment why our midfield is falling apart. It's more up to formation and not only formation as it is but mainly how positioned are our CMs. They are lying too deep and that's a nightmare for Fabregas who is not defensive player. With given players we should be playing 433.


3.) 20 Mar 2016 13:03:58
Essien was an absolute powerhouse of a midfielder it was a shame when he done his cruciate that time he was never the same after it some player he was for us do.


4.) 20 Mar 2016 21:12:32
We definately need to change to a midfield three. A midfield engine like Vidal or Nainggolan would be perfect. Matic is class he's just in prolonged pot form I think a change in formation and a runner one side to help him will bring him back to his best. I agree on Fabregas as good as he is on the ball he's way to slow and he has a lot more negatives than positives.


 

 

 

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30 May 2016 17:39:35
I'm sorry but I simply disagree with the notion that we don't need an engine in the midfield. RLC has had most of his success in the #10 position and Baker plays in a very similar fashion to Fabregas. I'm all for promoting youth but this season we were terrible and if we think we're going to bridge that gap by integrating Lewis Baker then were going to be disappointed next year.

t.k

 

 

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29 May 2016 18:18:48
Hope everything's going well with the newborn ed018!

t.k

{Ed018's Note - things have been great with the kid. Thanks for asking}


 

 

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28 May 2016 00:50:41
There's a number of players we have varying levels of interest in but as we all know transfers are a two way street. For example our top two targets for midfielders are pogba and Vidal but both would be incredibly hard to get for differing reasons. As magic said, best to just wait a little bit.

t.k

 

 

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25 May 2016 15:12:07
While he provides tactical flexibility in that he can play centrally or wide, a lot of me thinks we already have guys who can perform his role. Kennedy and Baba have comparable physical capabilities off the left and RLC is comparable through the middle. One thing I will give him is that he's got an absolute cannon of a left foot and we desperately lack anybody that can hit it from outside the box.

t.k

 

 

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25 May 2016 13:26:44
The centrehalf in question was bonucci.

t.k

 

 

 

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02 Jun 2016 05:22:09
Defender-Marquinhos. Makes absolutely everything look easy. Reminds me of Tiago Silva in a lot of ways.
Midfielder-Naingollan (assuming Vidal isn't obtainable) . Both of these guys have absolutely everything in their locker and most importantly can run for centuries.
Attacking Mid-I really don't see the need to buy just another attacking mid assuming Griezzman and Reus aren't obtainable. Mkhitaryan is great in the #10 position but I feel this position will go out of style in the next 2 or 3 years and we already have Fabregas as a midfielder that needs defensive protection.
Striker-Lukaku. He has all the physical tools to be an elite striker but will really need to work on his touch. On a side note I think he does have an affinity for the club which I seem to put stock in for most likely naive reasons.

t.k

 

 

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01 Jun 2016 16:49:22
Great point Melbourne and good to see your still popping your head in.

t.k

 

 

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01 Jun 2016 14:16:00
That's a very good point ed001 about Leicester's style of play that holds true when I look back at some of their highlights. As you said our lack of pace across the board made us incredibly easy to defend.

t.k

 

 

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01 Jun 2016 05:29:26
Griezzman (forgoing one of the strikers although we'd need to bring in another with 3 going), naingollan (more proven on the ball than Kante, and although Verrati is better in my opinion he doesn't suit our needs as much), and Marquinhos (absolute gem of a player that looks incredible whenever and wherever he gets the opportunity) .

t.k

 

 

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01 Jun 2016 05:26:32
Much appreciated Ed!
I think Leicester show how important it is to set up a team that play to one another strengths, for instance they only played with two centremids but their centehalves bypassed them by lumping the ball forward for Vardy to have a run at more often then not.
I agree with you on the notion that we've become somewhat of a property holding group that just buys some players that will likely be flipped down the line in the hope that a minority progress to contribute to the first team.
I also am glad you brought up the winger opposite hazard as Willians production came primarily from dead ball situations. It's hard enough to attack a team when they sit back but even harder when they can flood towards one side of the pitch.

t.k

{Ed001's Note - actually if you look at what Leicester did, it was the midfielders and wingers that played in Vardy, not the defenders. They were creating space by having energy breaking forward, while Chelsea were the opposite in attack due to a lack of energy and pace. It was not long balls hoofed from the defence to Vardy at all.

If you just hoof it straight away, you get no angle on the ball, meaning it is either a straight up fight with a centre back or it runs through to the keeper mostly. That is why you go wide, to create an angle and make it possible to bend the ball into spaces for forwards like Vardy to run into.}