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  1. Past hour
  2. Qarabag vs Chelsea

    I would certainly have said Alonso early this season, but then his form drifted. Last two games have been good. Morata too has been up and down. But it is a purely hypothetical question. The coices are Pedro or Bakayoko or Drinkwater, and 3 CBs out of 5.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    Yes. City just lost Stones to a six week hamstring injury. Kompany is not likely to stay fit for that long period of time, and is not at the level he used to be. Mangala is a dubious defender. They will start dropping points at some point. They have been fantastic, but they have had a few fortunate results as well (scoring the winner seven minutes into stoppage time at Bournemouth and being overrun by Palace and RLC the first half hour springs to mind). What is positive for us, is that just like last year we used a few weeks to find the right first xi with the right balance. We have that now, and have been extremely solid of late. Quality in the first XI is superior to last season's first XI: Fabregas and Bakayoko are a lot more influential going forward than Pedro and Matic, and in the last 3-4 matches (Roma apart) I'd say we have been looking just as solid defensively as we did 12 months ago. City are still massive favourites of course, but if we can go on a similar streak as last year, the difference will be less than nine points come new year. Oh, and I think we were a lot better than City until Morata had to limp off after 30 minutes. That's when the game changed. Goes to show our strong first XI, but weak depth in certain areas.
  4. Following Chelsea's Loans

    I think it is because talking about Christensen is a tribute to the loan we sent him on. And that suits very few people's agenda.
  5. Qarabag vs Chelsea

    Courtois, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Kanté, Fabregas, Hazard and Morata should play all of our important games. I'd include Christensen but he does at least have a decent back-up in the squad.
  6. Today
  7. Following Chelsea's Loans

    Yes, agreed, my comment was more an observation about how we actually have an academy graduate who's made the leap, and the deafening silence around that. We're often portrayed as a graveyard for youth players, but Christensen is paving the way. As chiswickblue suggests, perhaps it's due to nationality?
  8. Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

    We'd only sell if Hazard explicitly asked to leave. We never keep players around if they don't want to be here. Hazard doesn't seem to be the sort to agitate for a move so it would probably take a huge bid to come in for him to ask for a move. As for replacing him, that's impossible of course, but I'd immediately throw over a 100m at Dybala. He's quality in his own right.
  9. West Brom 0 Chelsea 4

    Jonathan Moss.
  10. Said before many times Kante needed support in midfield.Bakayoko looks like a player that solidifies midfield with his athleticism that in turn allows Hazard and Morata to shine,however his touch is awful - maybe that doesn't matter in the modern game?.
  11. Transfer Talk Topic

    I agree with this.We are looking solid in every department with a bit to spare.That could change in our next few matches,however I don't see that happening.I think we will get a result in our next two matches - and for those that think the premiership title is done and dusted - we are entering into the most volatile period in the whole season.Come out of Christmas with a run of good results and the table can look very different.
  12. Official: Michael Emenalo leaves Chelsea

    Interesting. I have to say that this complete stadium rebuild is scaring the shite out of me. Did a stadium tour the other day and looked at the new model. It's not like the Dippers have done by just adding a few more seats..... it's a monumental task.....remove old stadium/build massive new one. How long will we be away from home? Where will we go? Will it break Romans bank? Will we suffer Arsenal new stadium syndrome? Questions questions....But then I suppose I'm just a worrywart.
  13. Official: Chelsea sign Alvaro Morata.

    Although his goal looked a simple one it actually wasn't that simple. It really impressed me the way he tucked it away with his left foot from a tight angle while slightly unbalanced. Quite easy to miss that chance and it would have looked a shocker. If him and Hazard can stay fit/injury free and get a run playing together, it could be a brill little partnership. But the business end of this season will be brutal for the players. We lose Morata at a crucial time by keep playing him with no rest or recovery, we will only have ourselves to blame. January window should be interesting.
  14. Yesterday
  15. Transfer Talk Topic

    Not really - Matic - as seen in his last 2 games, was always the defensive liability. I'm not really sure what you are arguing though. Are you saying that choosing 7 defensive players is a good idea because it allows us to select Fabregas and Hazard? Somehow I find that a ridiculous thing to say.
  16. Transfer Talk Topic

    I wrote "without being defensive liabilities". Fabregas for sure was a defensive liability in the pivot with Matic. Hazard was supposed to work back in Mourinho's system to support Azpi, but certainly did not deliver on that. I'd also add Hazard has been an even better player under Conte than he was under Mourinho.
  17. West Brom 0 Chelsea 4

    Semantics, Schmantics. Its a paper position. They do all kinds of stuff. We have seen this season the "WB" stick and play like conventional FBs in some games. We have seen big solid defenders like Ivanovic play in the paper position of FB, but on the grass spend the whole game deep into the oppo half as an orthodox winger might. It is find to use words to indicate general ideas about players and tactics. But defining an exact definition of each word just limits the language. We'd need at least 50 different definitions to cover the way PL "fullbacks" play nowadays. We'd be back to your idea of how a "LWB" has to be big enough to deal with tall strikers and a good defender while the RWB has to be a natural attacking player. In the end it is about players on grass with or without the ball against opponents, not systems on paper Courtois Willian, Azpi, Christensen, Alonso, Pedro Fabregas Kante Drinkwater Hazard Morata Would be a great 532. See - the system itself means nothing. Bench would be a bit of an issue though.
  18. West Brom 0 Chelsea 4

    A WB is technically neither a defender nor an attacker. They play that in-between position of a fullback and a winger/wide midfielder. To simply class them as a defender paints the picture that they contribute absolutely nothing to our attack, which is entirely incorrect. They spend a considerable amount of time in the final third of the pitch. Again, isn't so black and white. And we won the league last season with a 343. So, it's a moot point really. The league has also changed over time and this means systems change. Pedro's performances only improved once Conte took over and switched across to the 343. Prior to that he was quite underwhelming in his first season. As for Willian, he just doesn't fit well enough in any system that is going to require him to be more forward orientated. I really like Willian and I've backed him on a number of occasions, but I also don't allow that to get in the way of his limitations as a player. At this point, there's no need to disrupt what we have to include either Pedro or Willian into the starting eleven. He's done a lot better than I had expected at CB, I'm quite comfortable in acknowledging I was off the mark with that. But I'd rather see him at CB than return to being a limited LB like in years gone by. It's not the same position though, no matter how much you try and argue the cause it really isn't. They both take different sorts of players with different qualities. A WB is very much a hybrid position. But if you choose to think otherwise, so be it. More options doesn't mean better options. To start with, Rudiger is a much better CB than he is RB. Moses is a limited AM that struggled to establish himself across a number of teams and has really excelled as a WB since being moved. Why change that? So, instantly there you're taking two player from positions they're doing well in and moving them to ones they've often struggled to perform in. That doesn't make us stronger. Hazard on the left takes him away from the play and goal. He ends up isolated on the touch line and with no overlapping fullback play stops dead unless he does it all himself. Having him as a partner for Morata has seen him move closer to goal and provides him with someone to play off. This also has a roll on effect that benefits Morata. He becomes less isolated himself and he's always played better with a partner of some sort that allows him to link play. A tandem partnership is proving to be more beneficial to us then having both players spend more time isolated from each other just to accomodate a different shape and another "attacker". Again, you're viewing it merely as players on paper and completely disregarding the type of players we actually have. You're argument about the CM's is irrelevant because the same is going to happen in a 433 as well. We're still going to end up playing 3 of the 4 CM's we currently have. Just like the situation will be with the CF position. There's no way to escape that at present. We're a little light in areas regardless of what system we choose to play. Well, I said from the very beginning that Morata always worked best with a partner alongside him that he could link-up with. I've been saying this for years since he was at Juventus, you know, the other club I support and watch regularly. But you knew that already of course. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here, merely calling it as I see it based on years of prior experience of seeing Morata play. He's certainly done well on occasions this season, he's also showcased the less impressive side as well. My main issue, and again this was made clear from the start and has been an issue for years prior, is his consistency. If he can showcase a consistent nature to his game, regardless of who he's up against, then we'll have a very good CF on our hands. I've never questioned his ability, heck, I like Morata. I merely had concerns, valid ones at that, regarding aspects of his game. Ones that he's failed to improve on over the last couple of years. Maybe now that he's been essentially assured a starting position it may change. Only time is going to tell but his start has been impressive. That's an absolute crock. If 433 was such a good formation why did a lot of teams ditch it for the 4231 a few years ago? Why did Leicester win playing 442? How did we win the league last season with 343? 352 has been a successful formation in years gone by- outside of England. It's having a resurgence these days with a lot of clubs switching to it. I know for a fact that teams have been using it in Italy for years prior, naturally Conte had incredible success with it at Juventus. Napoli were always a dangerous side that played it a few years back under Walter Mazzarri. Egypt won the ACON with a back three IIRC in 2008 as well. Just because it doesn't follow the trend doesn't make it a inferior system. Even now after Conte's success we're seeing a lot of EPL sides switch to the system. Just as the case was with the 433 after JM's first stint here. Football evolves over time and there is no right or wrong formation per say. A lot of it boils down to the type of players on hand if and their qualities are best suited to the role asked. Right now, with our squad and players, 352 is the best fit and provides us the ability to get the best from Fabregas, Hazard and Morata - three of our key players. All this without creating an imbalance to the rest of the side.
  19. Following Chelsea's Loans

    Fankaty Dabo at Vitesse scored one hell of a goal at the wrongend weekend. You don't see many like that. From a different postcode as they say.
  20. Qarabag vs Chelsea

    I'm not sure we do have 7 untouchables right now. Not on current form. 4 or 5. Except for the fact that we only have about 4 fit players on the bench :)
  21. Transfer Talk Topic

    I'm pretty sure Mourinho managed to get Fabregas and hazard to thrive. You are right Conte is managing his limited resources well and we are doing OK. But we are only on game 1 of 15 in 7 weeks. It still seems right to be cautious about our prospects. And unless you think Zappaosta is a great deal better than Moses and Christensen a massive step up on Luiz, it is hard to see how Morata and Bakayoko are comparable with last years Costa and Pedro or Willian. Last years first team (with Fabregas picked) was a lot better than this seasons. Last seasons bench was a hell of a lot stronger too.
  22. RT @King_Fut: Hey @LAFC, we’ve done the job for you. Now it’s your turn to #AnnounceGaber.

  23. Official: Chelsea sign Alvaro Morata.

    Not surprised, but very impressed so far. Apart from the few games after his hamstring injury, he has been magnificent. Both in terms of performances and numbers. Been as important to us so far, as Costa was last season. Not giving us the same in terms of one man show, but certainly contributing more to the team and our tactical approach. 8 goals and 4 assists in 11 PL games, meaning a goal or assist every 67 minutes. And he has just about started to get his Hazard partnership going. Only injuries will hold him back from 25 PL goals this season. The club really needs to get some credit for managing to buy 4 year younger Morata for approximately the same as we sold the already gone Costa.
  24. Squad Status: 2017/2018 Season

    If Hazard does not sign an extension between now and the summer when he has two years left, it means the club has failed with their attempts to tie him down to a new deal. Which won't be a matter of money. He will be all over the rumour mill. It effectively means we will be forced to sell - perhaps already in the summer. 200mp is crazy of course, but it is what the price is going to be for one of only a few obtainable world class players. Our problem, as mentioned, is that despite that we can buy 3-4 great players for that kind of money we are not going to replace a world class player. A contract extension to Hazard would be as important to us as any new world class signing is.
  25. Transfer Talk Topic

    What are you on about? We just beat WBA 4-0 - our best result at the Hawthorns in ages, and have 4 PL wins in a row. We have finally found a formation and style that allows our two most important attacking players, Fabregas and Hazard, to thrive and have impact without being defensive liabilities. Something Mourinho failed to properly manage. We have been extremely solid defensively with this set-up, not conceding and barely having a shot on Courtois in our last three PL matches. We have the best first XI since 09-10, and once we get this one going we are arguably even better. This is not the time to rant.
  26. Qarabag vs Chelsea

    It's difficult to say who those 3 players are. Hazard, Fabregas, Kanté? Hazard, Kanté, Morata? Hazard, Azpilicueta, Alonso? We have at least 7 untouchables now and they're all going to need some rests during this marathon run of games up until mid-January.
  27. Following Chelsea's Loans

    If he was English the press would be all over him, just like they were with RLC recently.
  28. Transfer Talk Topic

    What are you talking about? Why do I need to grow up? Because I'm not happy seeing 7 defensive players line up at the moment and put the blame 100% on Conte? It has nothing to do with our club, other clubs or other players . He is quite blatantly showing that he wants to play with an ultra defensive formation. We could have bought any number of attacking options in the summer, or kept the ones we already have. Instead we bought in two more defensive midfielders and zero, ZERO, attacking midfielders. It's not the boards fault, it's not other club's falut, it's not other players fault. It is the managers fault. If we had ended up with sub standard players the blame could be laid elsewhere. We bought zero attacking players, other than a forward who replaced a forward, ZERO!!!! The board can be held responsible for many things but I refuse to believe that they could not get ONE attacking player through the door if the manager asked for one. He was quite happy seeing Traore, Oscar, Costa, Loftus Cheek, Abraham, Baker, Remy, Cuadrado, Atsu, Solanke, Salah and probably more all leave. Yes, I know there is various reasons why they all left and not all his fault, but the fact is all of those attacking players have left since he has come in. We have bought Morata and Bastshuayi. That's it in terms of attacking reinforcements. It says it all really. It's a fairly obvious trend. It's not something I'm overly happy with but I need to grow up? Please explain why.
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