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It looks like like mourinho is after Witsel' date=' that would be a very good signing indeed.[/quote']

I think he would be an upgrade on the offensive side of Mikel whilst not giving too much away in the form of defense. We have been rumoured to be after him for a while, and then he seemed to be close to signing for Juve with all the Pogba and Vidal rumours.

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Martinez upset??

How dare any club bid for a player in the transfer window.!

I wouldn't look into it too much. This is a standard case of both clubs protecting their bottom-line.

Everton wants to guilt Stones into staying by turning on the PR story, since they know that in a vacuum a young defensive player like that would be extremely tempted to move to the English champions with perhaps the best defensive coach in the world who has time and again made average or good defensive players excellent.

Chelsea does its own little straw-man argument to try to make Everton look like fools for whining about a completely normal procedure.

In the end I have no doubt that if we offer good enough of a situation for Stones and his development, and the price is within our acceptable range, he's ours. There's not much a club can do to keep a disgruntled player who feels his development is better served by moving to a bigger club (whether it's true or not, every player has high ambitions and a desire to move to a bigger club) - it's better just to sell them for a premium price and bring in players who do want to play for your club.

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I wouldn't look into it too much. This is a standard case of both clubs protecting their bottom-line.

Everton wants to guilt Stones into staying by turning on the PR story' date=' since they know that in a vacuum a young defensive player like that would be extremely tempted to move to the English champions with perhaps the best defensive coach in the world who has time and again made average or good defensive players excellent.

Chelsea does its own little straw-man argument to try to make Everton look like fools for whining about a completely normal procedure.

In the end I have no doubt that if we offer good enough of a situation for Stones and his development, and the price is within our acceptable range, he's ours. There's not much a club can do to keep a disgruntled player who feels his development is better served by moving to a bigger club (whether it's true or not, every player has high ambitions and a desire to move to a bigger club) - it's better just to sell them for a premium price and bring in players who do want to play for your club.

[/quote']

The main thing will be the justification of the purchase. Mourinho has already stated that the current market inflation is something that is only going to get worse (albeit gradually). To many, this will just sound like a "Cpt. Obvious statement" from a man who generally likes to spew rubbish, but to me, it is the first (and most important) step towards justifying this (somewhat) absurd, yet potentially genius move. Prices are only going to hike up, and if Mourinho (who undoubtably has an eye for talent) sees this guy as the future, it would definitely be wise to get him now before the transfer fees hit a new high (breaching the 100M mark is what I have in mind for next year).

He's already succeeded in doing the one thing crucial in making this type of move work, and that is to completely unsettle the player and unveil the whole scenario to the public. Martinez is fuming (understandably so), but is ultimately handling the issue like a baby. And the more he loses his cool, the better Chelsea's chances are of landing their target - it's really that simple. Similarly, the same could happen to McCarthy if Martinez doesn't start focusing on the positives instead of constantly rambling on about the negatives.

Now, from Stones' POV, it's simply the question of how to force the move, and when to do so. It is pretty much guaranteed that he won't be an Everton player for too much longer (whether it's this season or the next, we are counting months here), as the club have very little to offer in comparison to a giant (yes, I can't believe I'm saying this) like Chelsea. Besides, he owes the club very little, as he's very far from the finished product, and would be earning Everton quite a bit of moolah in the process. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time a club spent ridiculous money on an untested youngster (Rio and Shaw are the two that immediately jump to mind), which is also part of the justification.

However, from a rival POV, I'm not too fussed, as I believe Zouma to be miles ahead of Stones in almost every single aspect of his game, not to mention his physical advantage(s). Nathan Ake is another youngster that I believe could fill a potential void created in the near future, but in his case, there is still quite a lot of work to do.

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The main thing will be the justification of the purchase. Mourinho has already stated that the current market inflation is something that is only going to get worse (albeit gradually). To many' date=' this will just sound like a "Cpt. Obvious statement" from a man who generally likes to spew rubbish, but to me, it is the first (and most important) step towards justifying this (somewhat) absurd, yet potentially genius move. Prices are only going to hike up, and if Mourinho (who undoubtably has an eye for talent) sees this guy as the future, it would definitely be wise to get him now before the transfer fees hit a new high (breaching the 100M mark is what I have in mind for next year).

He's already succeeded in doing the one thing crucial in making this type of move work, and that is to completely unsettle the player and unveil the whole scenario to the public. Martinez is fuming (understandably so), but is ultimately handling the issue like a baby. And the more he loses his cool, the better Chelsea's chances are of landing their target - it's really that simple. Similarly, the same could happen to McCarthy if Martinez doesn't start focusing on the positives instead of constantly rambling on about the negatives.

Now, from Stones' POV, it's simply the question of how to force the move, and when to do so. It is pretty much guaranteed that he won't be an Everton player for too much longer (whether it's this season or the next, we are counting months here), as the club have very little to offer in comparison to a giant (yes, I can't believe I'm saying this) like Chelsea. Besides, he owes the club very little, as he's very far from the finished product, and would be earning Everton quite a bit of moolah in the process. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time a club spent ridiculous money on an untested youngster (Rio and Shaw are the two that immediately jump to mind), which is also part of the justification.

However, from a rival POV, I'm not too fussed, as I believe Zouma to be miles ahead of Stones in almost every single aspect of his game, not to mention his physical advantage(s). Nathan Ake is another youngster that I believe could fill a potential void created in the near future, but in his case, there is still quite a lot of work to do. [/quote']

Spew rubbish - I think in professional settings it's called good marketing

Inflation - Don't think it matters too much, we can always sell our own players before buying if general price levels go up. Homegrown players are wonderful and are seldom available in the market so we're interested.

Unsettle the player - I think all players are interested in moving to the highest level possible. If Stones thinks that Everton is the best he can do in his career, he should stay. Otherwise, he'll be looking forward to a move. Chelsea isn't unsettling Stones, his desire to move to a bigger club has always existed. It's just that once he hears about concrete interest, his interest is heightened and he may be interested in making the most of the opportunity presented.

Martinez - I don't think him losing his cool matters much. As long as he doesn't do something stupid like Liverpool did with Sterling, what he says or does doesn't matter that much. His agent tells him he can do better. The club tells him to stay put for his own good. An ambitious young player like Stones will probably want to move as soon as it sounds reasonable. Nothing Martinez says or does will change that too much. Perhaps Everton can squeeze an extra season out of him with the promise that he gets to go the next season (Schneiderlin, Modric, Bale)

Agreed mostly on the last two paragraphs.

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Spew rubbish - I think in professional settings it's called good marketing

Agree to disagree. I respect Mourinho as the reputed tactician and strong man-manager he undoubtably is' date=' but like every other hot-head in world football (and there are so, so many nowadays), he spews an incredible amount of excrement (seemingly even more due to his flamboyance stroke nonchalance), and whether or not that is in a "professional setting" is beside the point really. I for one definitely do not consider that to be "good marketing", but that is once again an opinion and an opinion only.

Inflation - Don't think it matters too much, we can always sell our own players before buying if general price levels go up. Homegrown players are wonderful and are seldom available in the market so we're interested.

Of course it does. It's very naive to think that Chelsea will always be "that [emphasis] club making solid returns on every single so-called reject", even if they turn out to be world-class elsewhere (e.g. De Bruyne). The fact of the matter is this: Chelsea are currently in a very stable state, both as a club and as a business, which is great news for the owner, as he's quintessentially seeing his investments pay off, and at the same time has the wiggling room to experiment (and afford failure from time to time). Matic was one of those experiments, but so was De Bruyne. However, as luck had it, Chelsea ultimately won, even if De Bruyne ended up being the better individual. I'll definitely put my hands in the air and say this: I was one of many strongly questioning the signing [of Matic] (and release of KdB), but let's face it; Wolfsburg are not going to win anything major as long as Bayern are the way they are currently, meaning that Chelsea have got the better end of the stick here. Now, how many people would have predicted that? [And if you're saying "many", you are blatantly lying, which is why I will immediately make that question rhetorical.] This is a prime example of how Chelsea have ridden that luck over the course of the last three years. All said, Chelsea might have this dominance for the next five years for all you know, but do you really think José is the kind of man who will stick around for long? I mean, what makes this Chelsea different from the one Benitez had (bar Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas), or the one RdM one the CL with? In my opinion, not a lot, bar the manager of course, because what I see in José is a guy with the potential to smash Ferguson's legacy like a porn star tearing through a pristine hymen, but lacking the patience to put that potential into practise. Furthermore, I give him exactly five years before he finds something new and leaves Chelsea in the same state Ferguson left his United.

As for your "homegrown players" argument, there will always be "homegrowns" available, so I really don't understand you there. To me, this is mainly José saying: "what United can do (Luke Shaw and Rio Ferdinand), we can do too." Both have the potential to be world beaters [no doubt] (Stones being a possible Terry in the making, and Shaw's limit also being the sky), but realistically have a (very) long journey before being at that desired level. However, the main difference is the importance of the signing, which is why I think Chelsea might just be doing a bit of savvy business here (if they pull this off). They clearly don't need Stones, as I already mentioned Zouma's superiority and players like Ake, Suljic (opinion?) and others emerging, but this might just be his way of saying: "look, we are the best in England now, and are looking to prolong our dominance.", and that whilst acquiring top talent. [Also, all in the frame of Chelsea's period of stability, and Abramovich's ability to gamble.]

Unsettle the player - I think all players are interested in moving to the highest level possible. If Stones thinks that Everton is the best he can do in his career' date=' he should stay. Otherwise, he'll be looking forward to a move. Chelsea isn't unsettling Stones, his desire to move to a bigger club has always existed. It's just that once he hears about concrete interest, his interest is heightened and he may be interested in making the most of the opportunity presented.

[/quote']

If Stones thinks Everton is the best he can do in his career, he is quite frankly a loser, and whether or not I am offending Everton fans by saying that is something I really couldn't give a monkey's about. But in my opinion, he knows he can do better, and Martinez sure as hell knows that too. It is clearly of Everton's greatest interest to keep him and raise his market value, whilst making use of his talent to push themselves up the hierarchical ladder and build some sort of reputation. However, when a big club suddenly comes calling, there is always a certain (amount of) unsettlement, even for the most experienced players; and in this case, the unsettlement is immensely large, as the whole situation has literally emerged from nowhere. I mean, what must the boy be thinking now? "Are Chelsea really interested in me, or am I going to another one of those "hit and miss" cases?" [To clarify, every club has those in abundance.] "Will I get a chance like this again, or is this my only opportunity?" If it is hard enough for a veteran of Schweinsteiger's caliber, imagine how it must be for a 21-year old.

Martinez - I don't think him losing his cool matters much. As long as he doesn't do something stupid like Liverpool did with Sterling' date=' what he says or does doesn't matter that much. His agent tells him he can do better. The club tells him to stay put for his own good. An ambitious young player like Stones will probably want to move as soon as it sounds reasonable. Nothing Martinez says or does will change that too much. Perhaps Everton can squeeze an extra season out of him with the promise that he gets to go the next season (Schneiderlin, Modric, Bale)

[/quote']

Oh believe me, it is. Man-management is all about positive reinforcement, and what Martinez is doing now is far from that. He's more focused on criticising Mourinho's behaviour than he is on actually convincing Stones that another opportunity will present itself in the near future, and that the best for him right now is to stay and improve. If he just drills that into the boy, the battle is half-won, as Everton is by no means a bad platform to develop your game to an extent where big clubs are ready to pluck.

Besides, you are forgetting the fact that he is only 21 (and therefore incapable of making rational decisions - a fallacy of the highest order if I ever saw one, but the fact that he has absolutely no experience of this kind is something that make him incapable of deciding for himself, hence relying on people who are the closest to him [e.g. Martinez, family, ...]), and unless he is managed by a certain Mr. [insert swear word] Ward, I don't understand what his agent would/could do to manipulate him to the extent Sterling was. Yes, agents will be looking for the best for both them and their client, but we are talking about insignificant differences here (in comparison to the whole Sterling debacle, where it was a question of selling your best player to a direct rival).

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Martinez is a rookie in the Media and a Hypocrit.... Having a go at Mourinho for talking about a player in the media is only going to make journo's ask Jose more questions, and Jose being Jose will always answer them in the Mourinho way. Martinez also did this exact same thing Mourinho has done when he wanted Lukaku, swings and roundabouts, glass houses, etc etc.

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"That is unfair because I wanted to keep him. And he told me it was not in his personality to be competing for a position in the team. He needed a team where he knows he can play every game. He needs to know that he is important. He did not want a team where he thinks am I playing or not? He needs that trust, he needs that quality. He needs that security. So I was not happy when he left. So yes it's not fair."

"He didn't tell me he couldn't handle the pressure. He told me he wanted to play every weekend. I told him this is Chelsea, you are very young, you have Eden Hazard, you have Mata, you have Willian, you have Schürrle, and I cannot promise you that. And the first game of the season against Hull City he played. For the second game against Manchester United, he played. The third game of the season was the Super Cup in Prague, I decided not to play him. For the fourth match, in the Premier League, he was on the bench. And he was not happy. He told me he was not happy."

"He was not training very well and he was saying: ‘I can't give you more. This is just my way.' So yes, I accept that if this his mentality and it's his choice to go, it is better for Chelsea to make a good deal. Chelsea made a good deal and he was happy to go and I am happy because the kid is a good kid. And I am happy for him."

"Players have different circumstances. We sold him, made our money and it was fantastic because we bought him cheap and sold him for a fantastic price. And now Wolfsburg, if they make a fantastic deal, that is good for them."

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Not a great display today.Arsenal parked the bus effectively. We need better competition for places in our squad. Doesn't look like we will do it though.Huge concerns over Costa's hamstring problems.

Despite you being a Chelsea fan, not knowing what parking the bus means is comical. Arsenal was putting high line for the entire game, how is that parking the bus?

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Despite you being a Chelsea fan' date=' not knowing what parking the bus means is comical. Arsenal was putting high line for the entire game, how is that parking the bus?[/quote']

The whole second half Arsenal were defending deep.There is nothing wrong with that,but they did.They played a high-line in the early part of the game.

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30m would be over paying, but thats the market i guess. Baba for 15m or something its reasonable and he is the opposite of Dave on the left, so when we need some attacking from full-back he has the pace and crossing ability to make it work. Im getting more and more optimistic that Kenedy will get a work permit and given his cameo against Barca, a loan to a Championship or even lower Premier League team could be on the cards.

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30m would be over paying' date=' but thats the market i guess. Baba for 15m or something its reasonable and he is the opposite of Dave on the left, so when we need some attacking from full-back he has the pace and crossing ability to make it work. Im getting more and more optimistic that Kenedy will get a work permit and given his cameo against Barca, a loan to a Championship or even lower Premier League team could be on the cards.[/quote']

Ya Baba is a good reasonable price.Still think we are missing a trick by not buying another attacker/winger. Serious concerns over Costa's hamstring injury,I have had the injury myself and sometimes it takes up to 6 months to sort it,thats by doing nothing in that time.

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Ya Baba is a good reasonable price.Still think we are missing a trick by not buying another attacker/winger. Serious concerns over Costa's hamstring injury' date='I have had the injury myself and sometimes it takes up to 6 months to sort it,thats by doing nothing in that time.[/quote']

I think Willian/Oscar/Cuadrado/Hazard and occasionally Cesc is enough, especially when you add Traore and Moses who ive been impressed with, and always thought his direct bullish approach had a place on our bench. Costa is a big worry, but im confident Remy and even Falcao can do the job, it will just come down to the timing of Costa's set-backs, if he can stay fit for the big games and allow Remy/Falcao to play the lower teams it will be okay.

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I think Willian/Oscar/Cuadrado/Hazard and occasionally Cesc is enough' date=' especially when you add Traore and Moses who ive been impressed with, and always thought his direct bullish approach had a place on our bench. Costa is a big worry, but im confident Remy and even Falcao can do the job, it will just come down to the timing of Costa's set-backs, if he can stay fit for the big games and allow Remy/Falcao to play the lower teams it will be okay.[/quote']

I don't know,you can't be truly fit with hamstring issues,I should know! Watching the game last night I would be concerned.We don't look close to sharp enough,Oscar started great and faded badly.Cuadrado,Mikel,RLC were very poor.We need Fabregas back in midfield with Matic,he is not a number 10. Moses looked good last night however as did Begovic and Traore had a good attitude considering he was playing left back.

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He can be fit enough at least :P. Im not really going to judge anyones form based of pre-season, as long as the effort was there the result is null. We are always poor at friendlies, even competitive friendlies like the end of last season and the pre-season shields like against Arsenal and Atleti.

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