Chelsea 2018/19 - 3rd and European Champions. Sarri, not sorry

breakout67

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We will find out this season if this proves true

Hopefully we don't have to sign multiple players just to "release" him though that would be nice
Jorginho and Kante are simply a level above Kovacic. Anyone thinking he's going to transform Chelsea's midfeild is vastly overrating him. He's tidy with the ball (touch and dribbling) and that's it, gets caught napping quite often when tracking back and doesn't dictate the game all that much. Barely gets goals/assists either.

Pogba, Kante and Jorginho can hang with each other. Kovacic cannot. If you think that's stupidity then I have a bridge to sell you.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Jorginho and Kante are simply a level above Kovacic. Anyone thinking he's going to transform Chelsea's midfeild is vastly overrating him. He's tidy with the ball (touch and dribbling) and that's it, gets caught napping quite often when tracking back and doesn't dictate the game all that much. Barely gets goals/assists either.

Pogba, Kante and Jorginho can hang with each other. Kovacic cannot. If you think that's stupidity then I have a bridge to sell you.
Comparing Kovacic to Kante & Jorginho is irrelevant & misguided. He's several levels above Barkley, which is the proper metric. He is thus a major upgrade on the midfield as he was never going to compete directly with Kante / Jorginho.
 

Orc

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Jorginho and Kante are simply a level above Kovacic. Anyone thinking he's going to transform Chelsea's midfeild is vastly overrating him. He's tidy with the ball (touch and dribbling) and that's it, gets caught napping quite often when tracking back and doesn't dictate the game all that much. Barely gets goals/assists either.

Pogba, Kante and Jorginho can hang with each other. Kovacic cannot. If you think that's stupidity then I have a bridge to sell you.
Kovacic isn't being brought in to dictate the game. That's what Jorginho will do. He is being brought in to be the link between our midfield and our attack. He will hopefully be the most advanced CM where his excellent dribbling and ball retention can be used.
 

breakout67

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Comparing Kovacic to Kante & Jorginho is irrelevant & misguided. He's several levels above Barkley, which is the proper metric. He is thus a major upgrade on the midfield as he was never going to compete directly with Kante / Jorginho.
I'm not comparing them as players. I'm talking about the level they are at. You could get countless players to upgrade on Barkley. Most of them would not be able to match the level alongside Jorginho and Kante (especially Kante) in the midfield three.

Kovacic isn't being brought in to dictate the game. That's what Jorginho will do. He is being brought in to be the link between our midfield and our attack. He will hopefully be the most advanced CM where his excellent dribbling and ball retention can be used.
Don't think that has ever worked; where all a player does is dribble and retain the ball. Top teams need more than that. Either Kovacic has to add a bit of grit to his game to help out in defense or improve his final ball to get more assists and score some goals.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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I'm not comparing them as players. I'm talking about the level they are at. You could get countless players to upgrade on Barkley. Most of them would not be able to match the level alongside Jorginho and Kante (especially Kante) in the midfield three.

Don't think that has ever worked; where all a player does is dribble and retain the ball. Top teams need more than that. Either Kovacic has to add a bit of grit to his game to help out in defense or improve his final ball to get more assists and score some goals.
I'm not sure why one midfielder needs to match the level of the other two? Surely the correct comparison is to look at who the new midfielder is replacing.

Why does it matter if we have two world-class midfielders and one very very good midfielder? Isn't this a better situation than having two world-class midfielders and Ross fecking Barkley?
 

breakout67

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I'm not sure why one midfielder needs to match the level of the other two? Surely the correct comparison is to look at who the new midfielder is replacing.

Why does it matter if we have two world-class midfielders and one very very good midfielder? Isn't this a better situation than having two world-class midfielders and Ross fecking Barkley?
Kovacic is not very very good, he's a midfielder with potential and a raw game. I also don't see how the comparison to Barkley even makes sense. Kovacic starts once every few games and regularly replaces Casemiro in the team as a sub as the deepest midfielder.

Unless you are looking back at his Inter days you can't peg him as an advanced midfielder.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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Kovacic is not very very good, he's a midfielder with potential and a raw game. I also don't see how the comparison to Barkley even makes sense. Kovacic starts once every few games and regularly replaces Casemiro in the team as a sub as the deepest midfielder.

Unless you are looking back at his Inter days you can't peg him as an advanced midfielder.
The comparison to Barkley is happening because that's who he's replacing in the starting XI.

And yes you're right, he usually played deeper for Madrid, but I thoroughly disagree about his game being raw - he averaged something like 91.5% passing last year and had the highest dribble success rate of any midfielder. He has to improve his finishing and productivity in the final third, but I would argue that he does already qualify as a very very good midfielder.

He'll play further up but as a true box to box central midfielder - somewhat responsible for protecting Jorginho while making advanced runs into the box.
 

breakout67

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The comparison to Barkley is happening because that's who he's replacing in the starting XI.

And yes you're right, he usually played deeper for Madrid, but I thoroughly disagree about his game being raw - he averaged something like 91.5% passing last year and had the highest dribble success rate of any midfielder. He has to improve his finishing and productivity in the final third, but I would argue that he does already qualify as a very very good midfielder.

He'll play further up but as a true box to box central midfielder - somewhat responsible for protecting Jorginho while making advanced runs into the box.
So let's say he is actually very very good; he's very very good in a role that he's not going to play at Chelsea. As a dynamic midfielder he is raw, he has struggled for a start and it's why he's leaving.

Modric and Kroos were quite terrible for a lot of the season and even in the CL they were quite suspect regularly losing the midfield battle. Even then Kovacic couldn't cement a place. Then you consider that Chelsea are only getting him on loan. Do Chelsea even think Kovacic is very very good? Or is he a stop gap because Bakoyoko and Barkley have been poor until they can sort out another target?
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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So let's say he is actually very very good; he's very very good in a role that he's not going to play at Chelsea. As a dynamic midfielder he is raw, he has struggled for a start and it's why he's leaving.

Modric and Kroos were quite terrible for a lot of the season and even in the CL they were quite suspect regularly losing the midfield battle. Even then Kovacic couldn't cement a place. Then you consider that Chelsea are only getting him on loan. Do Chelsea even think Kovacic is very very good? Or is he a stop gap because Bakoyoko and Barkley have been poor until they can sort out another target?
I'm struggling to think of occasions where Madrid lost the midfield battle in the CL outside of the Bayern match, but on top of that surely this is the biggest reason why Kovacic would push to leave, right? If he can see that he'd do better but he still isn't being picked, that's immensely frustrating.

I do think that Chelsea think Kovacic is very very good - that Pep tried to purchase him is further evidence of this in my opinion. Also, although they were unsuccessful, Chelsea pushed hard for a purchase option on the loan, and I'd be shocked if Chelsea don't approach Madrid with a firm bid should he be successful. Not sure who else we could have gone in for for that role (Milinkovic-Savic? Fekir? Pogba :angel:?) - all would have been hugely expensive (and I'm not 100% sold on Fekir's knees or him playing deeper in midfield).
 

breakout67

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I'm struggling to think of occasions where Madrid lost the midfield battle in the CL outside of the Bayern match, but on top of that surely this is the biggest reason why Kovacic would push to leave, right? If he can see that he'd do better but he still isn't being picked, that's immensely frustrating.

I do think that Chelsea think Kovacic is very very good - that Pep tried to purchase him is further evidence of this in my opinion. Also, although they were unsuccessful, Chelsea pushed hard for a purchase option on the loan, and I'd be shocked if Chelsea don't approach Madrid with a firm bid should he be successful. Not sure who else we could have gone in for for that role (Milinkovic-Savic? Fekir? Pogba :angel:?) - all would have been hugely expensive (and I'm not 100% sold on Fekir's knees or him playing deeper in midfield).
Madrid midfield struggled against Spurs (both group games), Juventus (2nd leg) and Bayern (both legs). I think the final was their most convincing performance, quite typical that they were underperforming for most of the CL but showed up at the most important point.

I think Kovacic was a good purchase for Chelsea given the circumstances around the manager situation.
 

Kilmonger

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Overall I'm happy with the window we've had. I'm particularly glad we managed to get Kovacic in so we have a 3rd midfielder with big club, big match experience in there with Jorginho and Kante. RLC isn't quite there yet and as we saw against City last week Barkley looked in over his head.

Still very, very nervous about the left back spot if Sarri decides to go with Alonso as first choice. If we can get Morata's confidence up early I think he can be fine, but there's nothing you can do to suddenly make Alonso faster or more athletic. He just is what he is. His weaknesses were less pronounced in a 3-4-3 but he has looked woeful in preseason with the new tactics and formation. Really hope Emerson quickly becomes our LB.
A Fekir/Martial signing would have made it a really good window for me. But maybe Sarri can make something good of Willian and Pedro. We'll see.

As for Alonso, there's a reason his back 4 career has seen him play for the likes of Sunderland and Fiorentina. He's a very decent LWB but an average at best LB.
 

Orc

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A Fekir/Martial signing would have made it a really good window for me. But maybe Sarri can make something good of Willian and Pedro. We'll see.

As for Alonso, there's a reason his back 4 career has seen him play for the likes of Sunderland and Fiorentina. He's a very decent LWB but an average at best LB.
Alonso will be picked out and targeted by every opposition manager as a weak area to exploit. He's so slow that he'll get beaten for pace and a used by even mid to low table sides. Consider as well that Hazard plays on his side of the pitch and he isn't exactly one to help much in terms of tracking back. And then it looks as though David Luiz will be a prominent player for Sarri and he plays as the left CB on Alonso's side.

I'm already dreading the sight of Alosno and Luiz going up against pace merchants like Adama Traore or Zaha. :nervous:
 

AltiUn

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Strange that they didn't push harder for a striker.
Which strikers, who would be a big upgrade on Morata, moved this window? Genuinely curious but I feel like Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus aside the more exciting attackers seemed to stay put this window. That's actually probably why they were pushing so hard for Martial.
 

SwansonsTache

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Which strikers, who would be a big upgrade on Morata, moved this window? Genuinely curious but I feel like Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus aside the more exciting attackers seemed to stay put this window. That's actually probably why they were pushing so hard for Martial.
None moving, but given they currently are stuck with Morata you would think pushing out the boat for Werner or Icardi would have been on the cards.
 

AltiUn

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None moving, but given they currently are stuck with Morata you would think pushing out the boat for Werner or Icardi would have been on the cards.
Agreed, they really should've pushed for someone of that ilk, but barring Kepa who was a bit of an outlier they seem to be more money conscious in recent seasons, Werner and Icardi would have cost them a boat load so maybe that had something to do with it.

I think with all their excitement over the last few days it does seem to have slipped under the radar that Chelsea didn't really have a massively impressive window. Their midfield looks good on paper, I daresay even the best in the league, but there are big question marks over their attack and defence for me.
 

Kilmonger

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Alonso will be picked out and targeted by every opposition manager as a weak area to exploit. He's so slow that he'll get beaten for pace and a used by even mid to low table sides. Consider as well that Hazard plays on his side of the pitch and he isn't exactly one to help much in terms of tracking back. And then it looks as though David Luiz will be a prominent player for Sarri and he plays as the left CB on Alonso's side.

I'm already dreading the sight of Alosno and Luiz going up against pace merchants like Adama Traore or Zaha. :nervous:
Emerson will bench him soon. I'd honestly have kept Jay Da Silva and shipped Alonso out tbh but Marina isn't a DOF so I can't be hoping for too much. Think Luiz will also be replaced by Christensen soon enough. Just not suited for a back 4.
 

CechMate1

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Alonso will be picked out and targeted by every opposition manager as a weak area to exploit. He's so slow that he'll get beaten for pace and a used by even mid to low table sides. Consider as well that Hazard plays on his side of the pitch and he isn't exactly one to help much in terms of tracking back. And then it looks as though David Luiz will be a prominent player for Sarri and he plays as the left CB on Alonso's side.

I'm already dreading the sight of Alosno and Luiz going up against pace merchants like Adama Traore or Zaha. :nervous:

He didn't look very comfortable in pre-season from what I saw. We've been playing a high line and he simply doesn't have the pace to get back, also last season we played 3 at the back so there was always someone to cover him. In an attacking sense I feel he will struggle, while he's a very good finisher his lack of pace, agility and dribbling ability limits his overall attacking contribution

I like Alonso, he's a good player but he simply isn't a good fit in Sarri's tactical setup. I can see Emerson taking his place very soon
 

Orc

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Strange that they didn't push harder for a striker.
Which strikers, who would be a big upgrade on Morata, moved this window? Genuinely curious but I feel like Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus aside the more exciting attackers seemed to stay put this window. That's actually probably why they were pushing so hard for Martial.
Icardi would've been my top choice but he'd have cost well over £100m in this day and age and Inter appear to be getting more ambitious going forward now. Doubt they'd have even considered selling him.

Other than Higuain, there were literally no other sure fire upgrades available. The club are showing huge faith that Morata will come good. Very risky but also not really much of a choice.
 

CechMate1

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Courtois really is a prick of the highest order

“My objective was to come here. I have maximum respect for Atletico but now I’m at a club that I have always wanted to be at. I don’t think I’ve ever kissed a badge before. I dreamed of this moment when I was a kid. I have been a rival player here. Now I’m one of yours and I cant wait to wear the badge”

I know he was only on loan at Atletico but he spent 3 years over there, playing over 150 games, won multiple trophies and they were basically the team that helped launch his career as a world class keeper by giving him a platform and opportunity to perform in a major League. He then comes out with that bullshit


"Hazard is very happy that I am here, he is a great player and I would like to be always at his side. Let’s see what happens in the future, if he can come, it would be fantastic.,

So not only did he go missing and refuse to show up to training because he wanted to force through a move, his first interview as a Madrid player he talks about wanting Hazard to come and join him

He played over 300 games combined for both Atletico and Chelsea which enabled him to win 3 League titles and multiple other trophies but in the last few days he's basically shown no respect to either club.

I know he's a top GK but thank feck this guy is gone from us now. Maybe Madrid should remind him to close his legs when he comes up against Messi and Barca
 

AltiUn

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Icardi would've been my top choice but he'd have cost well over £100m in this day and age and Inter appear to be getting more ambitious going forward now. Doubt they'd have even considered selling him.

Other than Higuain, there were literally no other sure fire upgrades available. The club are showing huge faith that Morata will come good. Very risky but also not really much of a choice.
FWIW I think there's a good chance Morata could still come good for you, he's shown glimpses of his talent particularly in the first half of last season, he had quite a rough time off the pitch we may have contributed to his form.
 

TheReligion

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I'm struggling to think of occasions where Madrid lost the midfield battle in the CL outside of the Bayern match, but on top of that surely this is the biggest reason why Kovacic would push to leave, right? If he can see that he'd do better but he still isn't being picked, that's immensely frustrating.

I do think that Chelsea think Kovacic is very very good - that Pep tried to purchase him is further evidence of this in my opinion. Also, although they were unsuccessful, Chelsea pushed hard for a purchase option on the loan, and I'd be shocked if Chelsea don't approach Madrid with a firm bid should he be successful. Not sure who else we could have gone in for for that role (Milinkovic-Savic? Fekir? Pogba :angel:?) - all would have been hugely expensive (and I'm not 100% sold on Fekir's knees or him playing deeper in midfield).
I think the issue with Kovacic is Madrid won't sell. He's being groomed to replace Modric.
 

Johnny Love

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I gotta say if the back line can hold up it could be a great season for Blues. The additions to the midfield really transformed the team me think. If everybody clicks they will be something else going forward. That is one hell of a midfield and front line they have there.
 

gaucho_10

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Don't think that has ever worked; where all a player does is dribble and retain the ball. Top teams need more than that. Either Kovacic has to add a bit of grit to his game to help out in defense or improve his final ball to get more assists and score some goals.
Kovacic was the first replacement for Casemiro the whole last season. First man of the bench for Modric was Kovacic and when Kroos was not starting or being taken out Kovacic was the first to come in.

He also started in some important games (PSG and Bayern in CL and few classico's).



I'm not comparing them as players. I'm talking about the level they are at. You could get countless players to upgrade on Barkley. Most of them would not be able to match the level alongside Jorginho and Kante (especially Kante) in the midfield three.
So, Kovacic was not good enough to kick Casemiro, Kroos and Modric out of starting 11, but he was good enough to be the first cover for all three of them.

Since you're the one comparing levels, I suppose you think had Jorginho or Kante played in Real Madrid last season, they would have been starters?
 

Prometheus

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So not only did he go missing and refuse to show up to training because he wanted to force through a move, his first interview as a Madrid player he talks about wanting Hazard to come and join him

He played over 300 games combined for both Atletico and Chelsea which enabled him to win 3 League titles and multiple other trophies but in the last few days he's basically shown no respect to either club.

I know he's a top GK but thank feck this guy is gone from us now. Maybe Madrid should remind him to close his legs when he comes up against Messi and Barca
Never warmed up to him. He's one of those players who are hard to love, even when they are playing well for you.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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I think the issue with Kovacic is Madrid won't sell. He's being groomed to replace Modric.
Very true; it's why I can't see Modric being sold this summer. Remains to be seen whether Kovacic can force the move and if he'd be so inclined in the first place.

Frankly though I'm shocked Madrid let him go at all this year as I think he could have really helped them. Remains to be seen though - I reckon they might go for Milinkovic-Savic next summer, at which point Kovacic might be expendable? Time will tell I suppose.
 

El-Buitre

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Kepa is good and he will probably be Spain number one in the next big competition considering DDG was the worst GK at the last world cup (with Panama GK perhaps?) and was awful at the Euro 2016 aswell. I am so happy we got Courtois.. he was amazing when he was at Atletico and i'm pretty sure he will be amazing again since he is back in Spain with his family and such.
 

Big Ben Foster

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Kepa has to be one of the most appropriate names for a goalkeeper. It's up there with Neto and Handanovic.
 

Don _ Conte

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Kepa is good and he will probably be Spain number one in the next big competition considering DDG was the worst GK at the last world cup (with Panama GK perhaps?) and was awful at the Euro 2016 aswell. I am so happy we got Courtois.. he was amazing when he was at Atletico and i'm pretty sure he will be amazing again since he is back in Spain with his family and such.
Unfortunately I think he will be very good for you.

He was quality at Chelsea but never ever reached the levels of how he was playing at Atletico, not sure if it was motivation or happiness.

Do you think he will immediately start in front of Navas?
 

VorZakone

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Kovacic doesn't impress me yet. Seems like he lacks that 5-10% of quality that distinguishes top CM's from the rest.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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They didn’t really have any choice, he forced the move apparently.
True - also the reports today suggesting Thiago is going to Real might bode well for a permanent deal, which would be interesting to say the least.
 

Don _ Conte

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There'n no option to buy in this loan deal. Madrid rate him and aren't going to sell him that easily. He's just loaned and will return next season.
We will see, his comments suggest otherwise and even if there wasnt i think he will want to join us providing he does well.
 

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I think he doesn't expect to be coming back, whether he's at Chelsea or elsewhere. He's walked out on Madrid and they are likely signing Thiago it seems, and have Isco, Kroos, Casemiro, Llorente and Ceballos as well in his area of the pitch.