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Season Preview 2019 – Part 2 06/08/2019

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.
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BURNLEY

INS: Jay Rodriguez (West Brom, £10,000,000), Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Leeds United, £2,500,000), Erik Pieters (Stoke City, £1,000,000), Joel Senior (Curzon Ashton, Undisclosed)

OUTS: Tom Heaton (Aston Villa, £8,000,000), Stephen Ward (Stoke City, Free), Anders Lindegaard, Peter Crouch (retired), Jonathan Walters (retired)

OUR EX-CLARETS: Nathaniel Chalobah, Andre Gray

THEIR EX-ORNS: Jack Cork, Sean Dyche (Manager), Tony Loughlan (First Team Coach), Matěj Vydra, Ian Woan (Assistant Manager)

RECENT ENCOUNTERS: A lamentable goalless draw at the Vic following up an eye-catching early marker at Turf Moor.

REPORT ARCHIVE:

Season H A FAC LC OTH
2018-19 0-0
2016-17 2-1 0-2
2013-14 1-1
2012-13 3-3
2011-12 3-2 2-2
2010-11 1-3
2008-09 3-0 0-4
2007-08 1-2
2005-06 3-1 1-4
2004-05 0-1 1-3
2003-04 1-1 3-2
2002-03 2-1 7-4  2-0
2001-02 1-2 0-1
2000-01 0-1 0-2
1997-98 1-0 0-2
1996-97 2-2 1-4

POSSIBLE STARTING ELEVEN:

Pope
Lowton            Tarkowski                Mee                  Taylor
Gudmundsson         Cork               Westwood                 McNeil
Barnes            Wood

VERDICT: So there really isn’t another Burnley in the Premier League.  Predominantly British squad, unashamedly pragmatic manager, a squad of capable solid scrappers, well organised and prepared to trust a system.  Difficult to imagine Ashley Barnes in any other Premier League side.

It’s tempting to go with the narrative that Burnley’s star is waning.  Certainly you have to wonder quite how long Sean Dyche’s heart is going to be in a job that he’s had virtually since leaving Vicarage Road in which time we’ve, you know. Where is there to go after seventh?  What can Burnley aspire to beyond that?

On the other hand this is still a solid enough squad.  Last year’s Europa League campaign was over by the end of August but slapped an extra six games in the Clarets’ schedule, surely contributing to only three Premier League wins by Boxing Day.  Key players were injured…  so sure, Burnley aren’t going to finish seventh again in a hurry but barring Dyche leaving – in which case all bets are surely off – Burnley will be safe enough.

CHELSEA

INS: Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid, €45,000,000)

OUTS: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, £88,000,000), Tomáš Kalas (Bristol City, £8,000,000), Ola Aina (Torino, Undisclosed), Jay Dasilva (Bristol City, Undisclosed), Kasey Palmer (Bristol City, Undisclosed), Marcin Bulka (Paris St Germain, Free), Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace, Free), Brad Collins (Barnsley, Free), Fankaty Dabo (Coventry City, Free), Todd Kane (Queens Park Rangers, Free), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig, Season Loan), Lewis Baker (Fortuna Düsseldorf, Season Loan), Jake Clark-Salter (Birmingham City, Season Loan), Conor Gallagher (Charlton Athletic, Season Loan), Luke McCormick (Shrewsbury Town, Season Loan), Matt Miazga (Reading, Season Loan), Charly Musonda (Vitesse Arnhem, Season Loan), Richard Nartey (Burton Albion, Season Loan), Mario Pašalić (Atalanta, Season Loan), Dujon Sterling (Wigan Athletic, Season Loan), Rob Green, Gonzalo Higuaín (Juventus, End of Loan)

OUR EX-BLUES: Nathaniel Chalobah

THEIR EX-ORNS: Danny Drinkwater

RECENT ENCOUNTERS: A narrow Boxing Day defeat and a less narrow defeat at Stamford Bridge in which a good first half wasn’t followed through.

REPORT ARCHIVE:

Season H A FAC LC OTH
2018-19 0-3
2017-18 4-1 2-4
2016-17 1-2 3-4
2015-16 0-0
2014-15 0-3
2009-10 0-5
2008-09 1-3
2003-04 2-2 / 0-4
1999-00 1-0 1-2
1981-82 3-0
1969-70 1-5

POSSIBLE STARTING ELEVEN:

Courtois
Azpilicueta         Rüdiger     Luiz               Emerson
Kanté               Jorginho
Pulisic                     Loftus-Cheek                    Willian
Giroud

VERDICT: Ignore, for a moment, the fact that it’s Chelsea.

It’s then possible to be happy for them.  There are things that are more important than success…  enjoying supporting your team.  The feeling that everyone is in it together, that you have a unifying force at the helm that you want to believe in because he’s him is a source of strength, an icon.

Then remember that it’s Chelsea, and relish the fact that this could go tits-up very quickly.  Much of which has nothing to do with Frank Lampard;  the transfer ban is a problem, most particularly in the context of Eden Hazard’s departure.  The Sarri experiment involved spunking a lot of money on Jorginho, a cog in that system, leaving the Blues now with a surfeit of sitting midfielders and a lot of players that are either pretty old or pretty young.  Hudson-Odoi and the imposing Loftus-Cheek are also out with injury for the foreseeable future.  Lampard’s one OK-ish season with Derby has been elevated beyond any reasonable credibility by many accounts, one blog seemingly comparing scraping into the playoffs as an epic overachievement rather than merely the sort of thing Derby do.

Chelsea are very much in the half of the top six who are there to be shot at.  There’s scope for any kind of outcome between fourth and mid-table.  Huge fun.

CRYSTAL PALACE

INS: Jordan Ayew (Swansea City, £2,500,000), Gary Cahill (Chelsea, Free), Stephen Henderson (Nottingham Forest, Free)

OUTS: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United, £50,000,000), Joseph Hungbo (Watford, Free), Bakary Sako (Denizlispor, Free), Jason Puncheon, Julian Speroni, Alexander Sørloth (Trabzonspor, Season Loan), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea, End of Loan), Lucas Perri (São Paulo, End of Loan)

OUR EX-EAGLES: Joseph Hungbo, Adrian Mariappa, Hayden Mullins

THEIR EX-ORNS: Ray Lewington (Assistant Manager), Andros Townsend

RECENT ENCOUNTERS: A trio of 2-1 victories that featured a tremendous Holebas fluke, a splendid Tom Cleverley strike and a Cup quarter final.

REPORT ARCHIVE:

Season H A FAC LC OTH
2018-19 2-1 2-1 2-1
2017-18 0-0
2016-17 1-1  0-1
2015-16 0-1  1-2
2012-13 2-2 0-1
2011-12 0-2 0-4
2010-11 1-1 2-3
2009-10 1-3
2008-09 2-0 0-0 4-3
2007-08 0-2 2-0 2-0
2005-06 1-2 1-3 0-0 / 3-0
2003-04 1-5 0-1
2002-03 3-3 1-0
2001-02 1-0 2-0
2000-01 2-2 0-1
1998-99 2-1 2-2
1995-96 0-4
1993-94 2-0

POSSIBLE STARTING ELEVEN:

Guaita
Ward                  Tomkins             Sakho            Van Aanholt
Milivojević     Kouyaté     Meyer
Zaha                           Benteke                  Townsend

VERDICT: The main story is Zaha, of course.  However it turns out.  At the time of writing it looks like going down to the wire.

He’s an extraordinary footballer.  But as significant as Zaha is that he is so significant.  A talismanic get-out-of-jail-free card upon whom so much of Palace’s fortunes rely.  Even if he stays this season…  it’s suddenly looking a bit precarious for Palace, who have a goalshy attack, a solid midfield that’s short of creativity and a half-decent but half-injured defence.  That defence now shorne of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Joel Ward is decent enough but definitely a trade down.

The Eagles may come out fighting and have irons quietly sizzling in the fire… but Selhurst is due a revamp and with the exception of odd rumours linking Palace with Alain Saint-Maximin (now with Newcastle), also seemingly on our list and more obviously a potential replacement for Zaha than something the current squad needs, it’s hardly surprising that more than half of a 500-strong website poll aren’t looking forward to the new season whilst the consensus predicted position is a good deal lower than the twelfth place of last season.

There’s a good deal of competition for relegation this season, as I may have mentioned, and I’m not sure Palace are favourites.  But they’re very much in the mix.

EVERTON

INS: Jean-Phillipe Gbami (Mainz, £25,000,000), André Gomes (Barcelona, £22,000,000), Fabian Delph (Manchester City, £9,000,000), Moise Kean (Juventus, Undisclosed), Jonas Lössl (Huddersfield Town, Free)

OUTS: Idrissa Gueye (Paris St Germain, £30,000,000), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig, £22,500,000), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic, Undisclosed), Nikola Vlašić (CSKA Moscow, Undisclosed), Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic, Undisclosed), Brendan Galloway (Luton Town, Free), Joe Hilton (Blackburn Rovers, Free), Phil Jagielka (Sheffield United, Free), Jack Kiersey (Walsall, Free), Ashley Williams, Josh Bowler (Hull City, Season Loan), Nathan Broadhead (Burton Albion, Season Loan), Kieran Dowell (Derby County, Season Loan), Luke Garbutt (Ipswich Town, Season Loan), Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke 04, Season Loan), Sandro Ramírez (Real Valladolid, Season Loan), João Virginia (Reading, Season Loan), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea, End of Loan)

OUR EX-TOFFEES: Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu

THEIR EX-ORNS: Pedro Conceição (First Team Coach), Antonis Lemonakis (Technical Scout), Hugo Oliveira (Goalkeeping Coach),  Richarlíson, Marco Silva (Manager)

RECENT ENCOUNTERS: An aggravating draw after we looked like securing our first victory at Goodison and a satisfying 1-0 win at the Vic featuring Craig Cathcart’s deft backheel.

REPORT ARCHIVE:

Season H A FAC LC OTH
2018-19 1-0
2017-18 1-0
2016-17 3-2
2015-16 1-1 2-2
2006-07 1-2
2000-01 1-2
1999-00 1-3 2-4
1983-84 0-2

POSSIBLE STARTING ELEVEN:

Pickford
Coleman        Mina         Keane            Digne
Delph              Gomes
Walcott               Sigurdsson                 Richarlíson
Kean

VERDICT: The thing about Mourinho was that his outlandish arrogance was quite charming when he was doing well.  Winning titles, winning Champions Leagues.  You convinced yourself that it was for show;  a clever strategy of deflection, if you were talking about Jose then you weren’t talking about the fact that Chelsea had just dropped points, or had gotten away with some iffy play or something.

As his star waned (after repeated Year Threes) his arrogance lost its charm somehow.  And so Marco Silva, who has been promising but never quite successful for any length of time, certainly not in the UK, hasn’t ever had that track record to trade off.  He’s just obnoxious.

And Everton fans know that this is as good as it’s going to get under Marco.  This kind of in-betweenness, kidding yourself that you’re “building” or “in transition” rather than merely being fiddled with.  Everton were flattered by their eighth place finish last season;  at the time of writing they’re hoping to bring back Kurt Zouma whilst expecting Idrissa Gueye to depart for Paris with Delph apparently a replacement.  That’s treading water at best, and doesn’t address a slightly wonky forward line or do enough for a defence that’s low on cover.  Should Everton improve, as we know, Marco isn’t one for hanging around too long if a better offer’s on the table in any case.

A Monday evening addendum:  interesting that after an active window and the eye-catching recruitment of Kean (who, for all his potential, is a youngster who few others were clamouring for), Marco is making familiar-sounding noises about the dramatic number of signings needed this week.  (Not Doucouré though, it would seem, for all sorts of reasons).

My money’s on tenth.

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Comments»

1. JohnF - 06/08/2019

Matt, I saw the VAR training which included that draw with Burnley and the disallowed Burnley goal was incorrectly disallowed. It could have been worse! Hope you and the family have had a good summer.


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