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  2. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    LONDON -- Antonio Conte insisted that he does not regret making Willian wait for a run in the Chelsea team, adding that he expects all of his players to earn their starting spots by displaying the right form and attitude. Willian has registered four goals and one assist over his past three Chelsea starts, and was the outstanding player on the pitch in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the first leg of the Blues' Champions League round-of-16 tie at Stamford Bridge, scoring once and hitting the post twice. It was a spectacular return to prominence for the Brazilian, who started just 15 Premier League matches as Chelsea surged to the title last season and has often been disadvantaged by Conte's tendency to favour a 3-5-2 formation against dangerous opponents in this campaign. But when asked if Willian's recent form means that he should have featured more this season, a bristling Conte replied: "Do you think that I am stupid when I put Willy on the bench? I have to try and make the best decision for the team, no? Maybe last season we won the title, or did I forget something? "Now he is playing because he deserves to play, not because there is some regret from the past. For what? If a player deserves to play, and shows me during the training session that he is on top of his form, and wants to work defensively, he plays. If not, [he will] stay on the bench, stay in the stands. Willian has found his best form of late for Chelsea. "This is not only for one player, but for all my players. This is what a winning mentality is. Not if one player is happy or if he is not happy if he doesn't play. It doesn't matter. I have to make the best decision for the team. "He is playing now and I am very happy with my choice. Willian deserved to start in the previous game, and played well. I did a fantastic choice, and I want to take credit for that." Chelsea's disciplined performance against Barcelona stood in stark contrast to their hapless displays in damaging recent Premier League defeats against Bournemouth and Watford, and Conte indicated that his team will take a similar mindset to Old Trafford when they face Manchester United on Sunday. "When you have this type of game, when you start the game as underdogs, you have to prepare," he added. "Every game we prepare, but for sure, when you play against a strong team, we must be intelligent. We must be intelligent to understand and change something. "Otherwise you risk losing, but not 1-0 or 2-0. If you want to go and attack without balance and without a plan, you risk losing in a bad way. Then, if you have a team that you know is able to dominate every game in the world, the approach is totally different." Conte also dismissed the suggestion that mental weaknesses could be responsible for Chelsea's recent inconsistency. "No, no," he insisted. "We missed only one game mentality-wise, against Watford. From the start of the season in every game our mentality was top. In this aspect, I must be very pleased because I have a group of players who work very well. There is always great commitment and great behaviour. "A winning mentality doesn't mean you have to win every game. A winning mentality is about the way you prepare the game, your commitment during training sessions, always at 100 percent and to have good behaviour with your coach, teammates, fans, the opponents. "To try in every game to start with one idea, to try and win the game... this is a winning mentality. It doesn't mean you are able to win every game. Sometimes the mind can switch off. For example, against Watford, it happened. Not only one player, but the whole team. But we learned a lot in that game."
  3. Today
  4. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    Nothing there to read between the lines. The press ask Conte leading questions and Conte states the obvious. Everyone knows we have a small squad. I'd imagine Contes targets have been set with some sort of rationale. He is on record stating that he will need to be sacked and will not leave on his own accord. So if the board sacks him in the summer after (say) a trophy less season, we will know for certain that the board is deluded.
  5. Watching a bit of #ogwt......Roxette....my ring tone and one of the finest tunes ever

  6. Yesterday
  7. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    Some of their fans are turning against him, Kev. Same as it was here (and other clubs). And given the way JM sets his teams up, is perfectly understandable. He basically plays negative football - but if he wins things, then I doubt that that'll matter too much. It'll certainly be interesting to watch, but I'm not ready to mark his passing, just yet.......:).
  8. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    The fans are turning against him which is the beginning of the end for any manager.
  9. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    What 'process', Kev? All I see are baseless and fact-deprived stories in the media - all played with a straight bat by Mourinho, and stubbornly ignored by the club. Of course, people will see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe - it's just the way these things work. "He is a goner next season" - What, at the end of his contract?
  10. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    Another 3 years at a big club. Remind me Kev, is that short for Chelsea RM or Man U, or is it unusually long?
  11. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    The process is already underway can you not see it?.He is safe this year but is a goner next season.
  12. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    Is pretty close, imo. Would start Giroud instead of Morata, though.
  13. Transfer Talk Topic

    Tbh, I think the majority of those players will be sold. In my opinion we will keep hold, then loan, one of Kalas, Hector and Omeruo and sell the other two along with Zouma and Luiz (although I would keep him) to raise some funds for our summer buys, as those sales would probably raise us something between £60-70m. As for CB replacements De Vrij on a free has us written all over it.
  14. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    Expect Cahill and Morata back in for this one. Maybe even Drinkwater for Fabregas, who after a very intense autumn is being used more sparingly. Start: Courtois – Azpi Christensen Cahill – Moses Drinkwater Kanté Alonso – Willian Morata Hazard Bench: Caballero, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Ampadu, Pedro, Giroud Injured: Luiz, Bakayoko, Barkley Misses out: Palmieri, Hudson-Odoi
  15. Official: Chelsea sign Alvaro Morata.

    You said there had been no legal appeal - but why would anyone appeal unless they were punished. (Every explanation or counter-argument is a change of subject to you.) Sorry - The EU Commission can't over EU law in an agreement with UEFA. That would surprise surprise require an amendment to EU law, which even the EU can't do on its own. Certainly the EU gave its blessing, and there was a lot of political support for FFP. But that adds nothing. As I stated above Now how the press took such an absurdity at face value without any questioning whatsoever puzzled me 6 years ago.
  16. Official: Chelsea sign Alvaro Morata.

    I wasn't discussing punishments for breaking FFP rules, so no idea why you should bring it up, other than your usual trick of trying to change the subject. Plenty of articles on this. This was the first of many listed when I used a search engine. https://www.soccerex.com/insight/articles/2012/european-commission-endorses-uefa-s-ffp-plans
  17. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    Apologies. I thought it was you saying that. We need a "sarcasm" button! 😉
  18. RT @Novelist: NOVELIST DEBUT ALBUM? DID HE PRODUCE AND WRITE IT HIMSELF? IS THERE'S PREORDER AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE? IS MAN STILL INDEPE…

  19. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    I think the sarcasm levels have confused a few people here
  20. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    It's ok mate, Bob can't help himself. He likes to jump on some people's posts without reading them properly or giving himself a little time to think. I wonder if he jumped on Zaffo's numerous posts about how bad our player's are as quickly as he did when he thought I had said it?
  21. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    Tbf Martin was having a pop at Zaffo.
  22. Transfer Talk Topic

    Precisely - though you forgot James and Miazga. And probably the best CB of the lot, Bakayoko (now, Ampadu perhaps later). And with top class AM and CM additions, we no longer need more than 4 CBs. Interesting idea. I suspect he'll move on anyway. Not really sure why PSG let him go, it is not as though he was not playing at all, and he was/is in his prime. Rather I suspect anyone on his current salary only has a few clubs he can talk to. Either he has to hang on till one wants him, or he needs to substantially lower his expectations (which takes time).
  23. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    No Bob, your wrong again. It's not me that thinks that of those players. I have long been a big advocate of our player's and how good they are. If you read the beginning of my post it might make some more sense. Then go back a page and see who has ludicrously claimed this is the worst Chelsea side in years.
  24. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    ... and yet all five players mentioned have PL Winners medals, are in a team currently in the top four and still in 2 of the 3 cups. The way you post, you'd think we were struggling below WBA!!!
  25. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    We've done quite well considering then.
  26. Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1

    The only lines any of us can read between are those reported on by the press. Apparently Conte is gone in the summer. Says who? Not Conte who has said he intends seeing out his contract. Not the club, who have said nothing but have spent money on players who suit Conte's style more than a possible future manager wishing to play, say 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Not the players who have said in interviews that everyone is behind him. The only ones who have claimed he is on his way out are the press and that's because a) as a club we tend to sack managers on a regular basis and b) like every club other than City, we've had a few poor results losing to teams we shouldn't really be losing to. 2 + 2 = 5
  27. Transfer Talk Topic

    I don't think the club have forgotten him. Clearly Conte has and will not use him much again this season. I suspect the club have asked him to stay and start again with a new manager next season.
  28. Manchester United vs Chelsea

    Only just realised who I quoted. I'm not surprised he thinks that. Willian is nowhere near good enough for us, neither is Pedro, Fabregas can't run or play in a two man midfield, Alonso can't play full back, our centre halfs can't play in a back 4 and Azpilicueta's height is a major problem playing centre half.
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