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Marcos Alonso


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Vicente del Bosque spoke about him at length when he was selected for Spain's squad and many of the Spanish football journalists were questioning the selection. 

For me he put it perfectly...

"Marcos Alonso is a dream for any coach. I understood perfectly why Conte took him from Serie 'A' to his Chelsea. He does what he's told, he does it effectively and he also has quality when it comes to understanding how his teammates play. Coaches want 5 players like that in any side competing for honours and the other 6 you want to be special. You won't win much with 11 special players, trust me". 

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I feel like Chelsea fans are a bit harsh on him. He's slow and not great defensively, but his movement is really smart I think, and he has good technique and seems comfortable taking part in smart attacking moves, rather than just running and crossing. Plus it's rare to find an effective attacking full-back with his physical presence.

He could be improved on, but only with a real elite left-back like Alex Sandro or a less proven but equally talented player who would probably need more time.

In the Premier League I would say only Mendy is clearly better than him. He's about on a par with Davies, Bertrand and Rose in my opinion. 

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10 hours ago, Cicero said:

He would get absolutely skinned alive in a flat 4. 

I just don’t think you’d play him in that system. He’s a wingback not a fullback. This was the issue Athirson and Christian Ziege had, the latter was a really good wingback, was very inconsistent in England when deployed at fullback. The game is narrower with banks of 4, the wingback role has quite a level of freedom. I’ve played left wingback, you get so much space but you have to be incredbly fit. I couldn’t hack it beyond a season. Exhausting.

So the point here is you wouldn’t play Alonso in a flatback 4. He fits the system well. Change the system and then the personnel is changed with it. I think what Conte got out of Alonso and Moses as wingbacks is astonishing consistency. It might not be world class but Chelsea aren’t going to spend that sort of money on fullbacks-wingbacks. Yes they were in for Sandro but ... how much effort did they make to really sign him when the cost was quoted at 60m? Alonso knows the Premier League, he was here with Bolton and whilst I don’t see him every week, he has 3 goals from that position and gets into goal scoring positions each week. I rate him. 

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He's an interesting one because defensively he's never been really caught out, I can only remember City away last season where you can say he was really at fault for a goal. He's looked poor defensively on many occasions particularly this season but it's been nothing significant enough that it would lead to a goal for example and therefore nothing's never been significantly highlighted, this is because he has lots of protection. When the likes of Azpi, Cahill, Luiz, Christensen make a mistake you can easily point at them because their the last line, players can go past Alonso or get in on his side but he'll always have Cahill or Luiz there or one of the midfielders. The opposition can get joy from our left hand side if the combination of Cahill and Alonso isn't doing well which doesn't happen regularly but enough for it to be noticeable, overall we're a lot weaker there. In contrast on the other side you don't get much change out of Moses and Azpi unless it's in the air. 

Alonso plays poorly under pressure and his lack of pace and mobility doesn't help us in attack. The only thing he offers is a fantastic free kick, he's one of the best free kick takers in the league and his height helps us given the nature of the Premier League but that's it. He's incredibly average in my opinion even when he's playing well. I wonder what Morata must think having gone from the likes of Carvajal and Marcelo whipping balls in to the likes of Alonso, Zappacosta and Moses.

Edited by carefreeluke
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Good player, good signing, never going to be a star player at the top end of the league but would easily get into most starting line-ups in the country. Which teams wouldn't he get into? City play Delph at left back, United play Ashley Young, Liverpool have Moreno or Milner, the rest apart from Arsenal and Spurs it isn't even a question.

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I like him and like the way he plays and fits in to the way Chelsea play. Pretty much has all the standard qualities you'd expect from a wing-back. 

And it's an added bonus that he gets on the scoresheet every now and then. 

Obviously Chelsea fans watch their team every week and more regularly than I do so they probably see his weak points more often, too. But if we were playing that system and we could get him, then I'd be 100% for it. 

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1 hour ago, The Liquidator said:

Would I be right in thinking it seems to be far more positive opinion about him Luke, than I think you was expecting?

Yes. Although, I mainly created the topic to see the general opinion of him as I was unsure on what it was. He's not very good still in my eyes.

It's true he divides opinion, my Dad for example hates both our full backs and he'll comment every time at the game that when either Alonso or Moses get the ball, it's the end of our attacks and that they should give it to someone who can do something decent with it. Talking to a Chelsea fan in the pub yesterday and he had a decent opinion of Alonso so it's one of those.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Didn't realise Chelsea fans were so fed up with him, I thought he was one of the best left backs in the league but I haven't seen Chelsea much and just go off what pundits are saying. Not a surprise that they're talking shite as usual.

Edited by UNORTHODOX
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4 minutes ago, UNORTHODOX said:

Didn't realise Chelsea fans were so fed up with him, I thought he was one of the best left backs in the league but I haven't Chelsea much and just go off what pundits are saying. Not a surprise that they're talking shite as usual.

Absolute liability. Has a nice FK and scores more goals than a defender should, which will obviously paper over the cracks in the pundits eyes. 

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26 minutes ago, True Blue said:

Is that in quality order or in general contribution for the club?

Quality order. I'm probably doing a dis-service to Alonso with having Baba there and Zhirkov, Baba has barely played and wasn't in Conte's plans, we still don't know what sort of level he is. Furthermore, it's probably a fair point that Alonso has offered more to the club compared to Zhirkov but if Zhirkov was at the club instead of Alonso when Conte came in, I'd argue Zhirkov would have offered more.

If we're looking for other positives (I'm scraping the barrel here) about Alonso it's his height which you have to say in this league is a factor.

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Just now, carefreeluke said:

Quality order. I'm probably doing a dis-service to Alonso with having Baba there and Zhirkov, Baba has barely played and wasn't in Conte's plans, we still don't know what sort of level he is. Furthermore, it's probably a fair point that Alonso has offered more to the club compared to Zhirkov but if Zhirkov was at the club instead of Alonso when Conte came in, I'd argue Zhirkov would have offered more.

If we're looking for other positives (I'm scraping the barrel here) about Alonso it's his height which you have to say in this league is a factor.

I'd go this way (quality - contribution)

1. Ashley Cole

2. William Gallas

3. Wayne Bridge

4. Ryan Betrand

5. Marcos Alonso

6. Zhirkov

7. Felipe Luis

8. Baba Rahman

Also i despise Gallas after his departure, but credit where it's due.

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9 minutes ago, True Blue said:

I'd go this way (quality - contribution)

1. Ashley Cole

2. William Gallas

3. Wayne Bridge

4. Ryan Betrand

5. Marcos Alonso

6. Zhirkov

7. Felipe Luis

8. Baba Rahman

Also i despise Gallas after his departure, but credit where it's due.

If you're judging the full backs on their performances for Chelsea, then fair enough, I agree with your list entirely. I was taking into account less their performances in a Chelsea shirt but more the overall quality of the player. One of worse things we did in recent years was getting rid of Filipe who has been one the key attacking players for Atlético Madrid, he struggled at times in a Chelsea shirt but overall never got enough playing time, he would have worked well in our current system. Filipe never got sufficient game time in which we could judge him more fairly, it was always games here and there. Quality player.

Azpi was also a left back for us for a couple of years.

Edited by carefreeluke
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