PL Matchweek 23

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by robertmac43, Jan 18, 2019.

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  1. S E P H

    S E P H @SEPH_WHL

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    He still plays? He's gotta be retired by now, fantastic player though.

    Yeah, not sure what anybody saw in him in all honesty. Everyone for the past ten years were saying how amazing of a player Kovacic was going to become and absolutely none of that has transpired, especially not offencive.
     
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  2. spintheblackcircle

    spintheblackcircle ...so that happened.

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    Was kidding, in another thread I asked for Robbie Keane back. Or Berbatov!
     
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  3. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    Not easy to change leagues.

    Fred, Jorginho, Keita, Fabinho and Kovacic were all big name central midfield signings. All been rather average at best. Jorginho probably the best overall, but he as well needs to improve.

    Fabinho might be the best example of a player who seems to finally starting to adapt. Was atrocious early on, but has played some excellent games recently.

    I don´t see a world class player in Kovacic, but if he can settle down somewhere I´m sure there is much more to see from him than what we have seen so far in the PL.
     
  4. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    His best attributes aren't really fit for Sarri's system. Crawling the ball up the pitch and Hazard coming deep for it at times, etc... Fast transition football is a rare thing with Sarri.
    And that's what Kovacic does best - defensively reliable, pacey and comfortable on the ball, but his biggest strength is picking the ball in his own half and absolutely blasting past people to open up the pitch for his teammates.

    Zidane's Real was perfect for that, and that's why Kovacic improved a lot at Madrid - both for "Real B" (side that basically won them the league with Kovacic, Isco, Morata, James, Vasquez, Danilo, Nacho, etc., who won a LOT of games while "Real A" was rested for CL - Kovacic had more minutes than Modric that season in La Liga, for example - Modric was injured a bit but yeah), and then last season where he (Kovacic) was basically a starter until his injury.

    What he does need to work on, if he wants to be truly world class, is off-ball movement.
    I may have been spoiled by Modric, who I consider possibly the best in the history of the game (yes) at opening up passing lanes for his teammates, but Kova's off-ball movement pales in comparison.

    TLDR; I don't think he will work at Chelsea under Sarri. He can't take the next step in that system, and Chelsea won't get a world-class CM to do what Sarri asks of them in that tight, closed system.
    And whether he becomes a world-class CM, I do not know. Potential is there though, and he could become one in a different system.
    (for example, I think he would fit Liverpool and Liverpool's system would fit him like a glove)
     
  5. les Habs

    les Habs Registered User

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    Nah, nobody for Spurs speaks Norwegian so it wouldn't work. However after having Pochettino at the helm they speak Spanish. So have I got a deal for you! Wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... Valverde for FREE at the end of this season. No, I'm serious, for FREE! We don't need any money. We don't even need Pochettino in return (LOL, we definitely do NOT need him in return).

    Meh. Overrated on this forum for years. He'll be 25 this Summer believe it or not. Moving to Madrid didn't him a lot of favors in that he didn't get a lot of playing time. You could say he won all those CLs with Madrid and made good money, but he was a rotational player who in three years played not much more than a league's season worth of minutes. Now one might say he helped win the league in 2016-17, but I didn't see him reffing any matches that season so I don't see how he contributed to that league win. One might also say he had more minutes in the league that season than Modric, but on top of that being a false statement assuming WhoScored? is correct in saying that Modric had 1892 minutes to Kovacic's 1689 minutes, Modric hasn't had a lot of "full" league seasons with Madrid anyway so I don't know how that'd be some sort of accomplishment. At the end of the day he's not a bad player and better than what he's showing for Chelsea, but he has a ways to go before he catches up to some of the hype.
     
  6. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    @LesHabs, you're right about the minutes, Modric did play a bit more in 16/17, just checked.
    However, my point was that Kovacic did get plenty of minutes considering how good Madrid was at the time - his issue was not getting them every weekend (which would benefit him more, agreed) but he played a total of 0 minutes in the 3 CL finals - and he said as much.
    He wants to play big matches - and he did last season, just not the final, again... lol.

    But yeah, agreed, potential is there - but he's not world class yet. And whether he will be, remains to be seen.
     
  7. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    Don't necessarily disagree, but that is also why I don't think he'll ever be world class. Modric could play for Chelsea under Sarri because he is. No world class midfield player goes from world class to fairly average because of a system in my opinion. A world class player might go from world class to good, but not average because of the system and style.

    I actually don't think Kovacic is as limited as your description there might suggest (I'm guessing you are exaggerating a bit).

    You could very well be right. I could see Kovacic doing better in the Wijnaldum-role at Liverpool (not that Liverpool would buy him as Wijnaldum is not surprisingly enough the better player). I also think he would fit the new Utd very well. Spurs the same. If/when Eriksen leaves for Madrid I wouldn't mind Kovacic and Isco coming the other way :D
     
  8. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    The thing with Kovacic is he has to think about his movements as a DM (which he played for Madrid at times) or a CM.
    They're not second nature to him yet, they're not pure instinct.
    There's a few reasons for this, but the most obvious one is that he played as trequartista or the old-school "10" for both Dinamo Zagreb and Inter.

    Whether he develops those instincts for off-ball movement and decisions remains to be seen...
    He's also somewhat "shy" in game. Our other midfielders, Modric, Rakitic, Brozovic... They want the ball, they offer themselves and they're unafraid of press or challenges. Kovacic can appear to hide away and disappear in the middle of the park without actually doing so - simply because he doesn't assume himself on the game like the other 3 do.
     
  9. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    I would agree 100% with that assessment. Another reason why I don't think he'll ever be world class.

    I remember when Modric was asked to play as a proper CM for Spurs. I wouldn't say he was bullied, but he certainly had games were he struggled. But I have never ever seen anyone with his mentality. He was a tiny young player being asked to play in a somewhat unfamiliar role in a new league. He might get tackle once and miss the pass twice. He would still ask for the ball the 4th time. All the best players got this kind of bravery (few as extreme as Modric of course, but you can be world class without being that good).

    Pochettino works very well with these kind of players. He is very good at building confidence - step by step. You could say the same about Klopp and possibly Solskjær of course (too early obviously to really tell).
     
  10. JeffreyLFC

    JeffreyLFC Registered User

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    Keita has been a huge dissapointment considering the hype but Fabinho has been unreal. I have only see him have one bad game (vs Arsenal) the rest he was flawless.
     
  11. Havre

    Havre Registered User

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    That is clearly an exaggeration, but I agree he has looked very solid lately. With Kante out of position he has got a solid claim on the best DM in the league if he can keep it up. Keita is more the opposite. Showed some flashes early on, but has strangely enough looked more and more lost. Pretty sure he'll bounce back though. Not lacking natural ability. Even if he could very well more end up in the "useful" rather than "superstar"-category.
     
  12. YNWA14

    YNWA14 Onbreekbaar

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    Yeah Fabinho definitely has had his shaky moments but on the whole he's been great since he got more comfortable. Keita seems to still be searching for that comfort zone.
     
  13. YNWA14

    YNWA14 Onbreekbaar

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    The media fuss about Salah's diving is cute, though not especially surprising. It's so odd that they don't make such a fuss about Kane or Alli's antics (just the first examples that came to mind, nothing personal vs. Spurs, every team has players that do it, I've seen Ashley Barnes throw himself all over the place against players half his size).
     
  14. Duchene2MacKinnon

    Duchene2MacKinnon Dybalascibar

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    He's not english therefore, he's a heathen.
     
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  15. JeffreyLFC

    JeffreyLFC Registered User

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    Salah treatment reminds me a bit of Suarez when he was with Liverpool.

    Although Suarez was way worse in his overall behavior. But when he was with Liverpool everything bad Suarez would do would be front page of the paper. Since he moved to Barcelona no english paper suddenly had anything to say about him.

    As for Salah, he has embellished and won penalties and now he is public enemy number one. All papers will try to find any controversies and put it as front page stories. I mean all players embellish fouls but for some reason they target Salah. He is not clean but it is weird considering he is not what I consider the worst diver and he has been many times hacked in the box with clear fouls but uncalled.

    I mean Hazard does it all the time with Chelsea, he feels contact in the box and he will go down. It's nothing new and I have never read as much backslash as with Salah.
     
  16. Creed Bratton

    Creed Bratton Registered User

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    Hazard is worse if anything but he doesn't get nearly the attention.
     
  17. Duchene2MacKinnon

    Duchene2MacKinnon Dybalascibar

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    There's no conspiracy against Liverpool. The only reason Salah gets more attention than Hazard is because LFC is bigger than Chelsea. So, what ever they do or their players do is more scrutinized good or bad.
     
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  18. S E P H

    S E P H @SEPH_WHL

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    Saviour Sven Mislintat has left our club. FFS.
     
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  19. Savant

    Savant Registered User

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    I mean Drogba was built like a tank, and was one of the biggest divers of his era too. I still think the biggest diver in the PL right now is Kane, but no one will say it there because he is English
     
  20. Duchene2MacKinnon

    Duchene2MacKinnon Dybalascibar

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    Oh, he's a ****ing disgrace.
     
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  21. robertmac43

    robertmac43 Forever 43!

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    Sucks. This coming summer window is going to be a massive test for Emery
     
  22. Savant

    Savant Registered User

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  23. Evilo

    Evilo Registered User

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    Conspiracy lol...
    Alli took a lot of heat for his dives. Hazard too.
     
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  24. Prntscrn

    Prntscrn Registered User

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  25. Live in the Now

    Live in the Now Registered User

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    I think Keita has not been so good due to injuries. Every time he has a really good game he seems to get injured.
     
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