JaneB

Leicester City 0 Chelsea 3

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27 minutes ago, SabCFC said:

I don't understand this revisionism with Lukaku, he actually won us crucial points early in the season. Arsenal, Villa, Zenith he was huge and his goals were match-winning really. We also played well with Lukaku at Liverpool or at Spurs....

I think having two reliable 9s with Lukaku & Havertz will be beneficial this season, especially when we'll be chasing a game. Actually, add Pulisic to the lot, he has incredible off the ball movement in the box and can be a different type of 9 as well  (yes)

Our performances have improved by keeping a core at the back of: Rudiger, T. Silva and Jorginho.   (and we were truly awful when all 3 were rested against Brentford)

These 3 give us complete control of the possession for one. Then we have improved our intensity *as a team* - that's not dependent on individuals, it's about everyone being in a similar good physical shape after a summer of international football and truncated preseason. One interesting stat that shows this is that the team has been running more and more Kms per game in the Champions League (so from September to November), proof of simply getting at the peak of the physical shape as I'm guessing it was planned. I remember some Chelsea teams that peaked in September ... only to look completely knackered in November, because of light summer training sessions. I'm guessing this was the opposite, some heavy conditioning in the summer so that the sessions can be lighter physically during the season. Chilwell taking time to get back to shape, Mount's slow start are proof of that IMO - I'll be guessing the Lukaku we've seen wasn't at his physical best after playing so much in the summer and barely getting time to be prepared specifically for this season.

The team also seems to have fully absorbed the more sophisticated tactical tweaks introduced this season - Chilwell & James in inverted positions when we look to beat the press, the interchanging of the positions in attack, the patterns of play (Kanté mentioned they have a "circuit" with him and James to French TV yesterday about his goal), the set-piece routines (Rudiger said this was a weakness of Leicester they've analysed - they conceded the same goal against Arsenal) ..(even the commentator knew Leicester had conceded an identical goal to Arsenal - yet oddly Brendan Rogers seems not to have known.  We tried the same move 5 mins later and no one was picking up Rudiger.   What I like about the Rudiger goal was Jorginho very clearly blocking off another defender, Ndidy?, from challenging Rudiger to the point that VAR could have given a foul against him.  Planned.)

....Still think this is 70% post-COVID Kanté, by the way. But it's enough to demolish N'didi & Soumaré. He's not even in CL final form.....     (Leicester had 38% possession, Man City had 60%, little wonder he was so much better against City.  And he wouldn't have scored that goal last season.  I agree there is more to come from Kante but we will need him much more in the big games than the others.

...

A lot of flak usually goes to Pulisic & Ziyech. I honestly can't comprehend that fans want the club to ship them off so fast, it's a bit absurd. Especially in the case of Pulisic, who's only 22-23 and clearly has a gear or two in him (which we've seen - basically carried the team to Top 4 post-lockdown when Lampard dropped any pretence of tactical solutions and reverted to One Route football), the same set of fans angry with the club for selling Salah or KDB too soon I suppose.  (Pulisic and Ziyech were excellent when they came on.  After a front 3 of say Lukaku, Mount, Havertz, and say Werner 4th choice, having Pulisic, Ziyech, CHO (argue about pecking order amongst yourselves) in 5th 6th and 7th place is a true luxury.   And explains why we let Tammy and Giroud go.  After Conte went without buying an AM, we bought Pulisic, Ziyech, Werner, Havertz and have  completely turned the team around.

Very encouraging signs from Ziyech since the Newcastle game, he picks a pass like no one else.  yup

The performance was really of very high standards. Just like Burnley,   :)    it's about replicating the performance and the results will follow.

Full of insight again.
Italics added by me

It seems to me that that a lot more PL teams are dropping right off and playing negative games than before.  I suspect that these tactics are not so much for us, but have been developed over 3 or 4 years of playing Man City and at times Liverpool.  We have been promoted to the Top 2/3 category rather than have forced the change ourselves.

The good news is that it will make the season as a whole much less exhausting and allow us to rest key players such as Kante a lot more.  The bad news is that it may make it harder to pick it up for the big games when they arrive or (Brentford) get a grip on games when teams refuse to acknowledge the difference in status.

3 hours ago, chelboy said:

I’m enjoying the team getting goals from every position but I do wonder how long some of the defenders/wingbacks can keep up such good G/A records for.

Alonso got  6 Pl goals in 16/17 in this system.  Cahill got 6.  Moses 3.  Matic and Kante 2 between them.  The 5 man attack with the WBs works well.  Alonso/Chilwell are playing as well or better than the 16/17 Alonso.  And James is a big step up on Moses.

But see above - so long as teams play negatively against us, our strikers will struggle , we will get a ton of corners, and the WBs entering the box will get the best chances.
Teams that play more positively will get caught out at the back by our strikers - who do not lack pace.

 

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5 minutes ago, boratsbrother said:

You dont pay 100 million for a striker and be satisfied with him "not doing badly."  He looked ok against a truly abysmal Arsenal reserve team, but apart from that he's looked bang average and nowhere near the world class forward we should expect for that kind of money. Our performaces with him in the team and more importantly, without him in team, have only reinforced my opinion that his signing was another hugely over priced panic buy.

Nor do you write him off after 7 games of not playing badly.
I guess a lot of people like to complain about the club and see problems which don't exist.

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Ham   

Just watching City v Everton.  City are being hailed by the commentator for having TWO academy products on the pitch. 

Edit: and now Guardiola being credited with the development of Mahrez. 

Edited by Ham

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48 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Nor do you write him off after 7 games of not playing badly.
I guess a lot of people like to complain about the club and see problems which don't exist.

But I'm not judging him just on the games he's played for us.  Even Stevie Wonder can see he is exactly the same, plodding lump which had 99% of the UTD fanbase happy to see the back of.

In the Premiership, he's a good level Everton player. Never has been and never will be anything more!

 

 

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JaneB   
42 minutes ago, Ham said:

Just watching City v Everton.  City are being hailed by the commentator for having TWO academy products on the pitch. 

Edit: and now Guardiola being credited with the development of Mahrez. 

Sterling not getting away with diving for a penalty for a change or maybe I'm being harsh.  Although he's scored now anyway :-(

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Holymoly   
7 hours ago, Bison said:

I wish the club/manager had the foresight to see which way his development was going. The money spent on Lukaku could have been used elsewhere or set aside for a real difference maker.

I think the narrative was that we were prepared to spend the money on Haaland but refused to entertain Raiola's ludicrous personal demands. When that ship sank late on we were left with little choice if we were to start the season with a bona fide striker. Also don't forget initially Lukaku wasn't that bothered coming back to SB and it was only with Conte moving on that he seemed to change his mind.

Lukaku is a strange case in that he has never settled at any club and become a "great" however his transfer fees don't seem to suffer. I'd like to think that we would still be able to get a reasonable amount back from the fee we paid if we were to trade up for a younger more prolific model. The alternative of course is we bring Hazard back for one last hurrah and the two link up for one huge season.

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1 hour ago, boratsbrother said:

But I'm not judging him just on the games he's played for us.  Even Stevie Wonder can see he is exactly the same, plodding lump which had 99% of the UTD fanbase happy to see the back of.

In the Premiership, he's a good level Everton player. Never has been and never will be anything more!

Rubbish.  Plain and simple nonsense.

53 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

The alternative of course is we bring Hazard back for one last hurrah and the two link up for one huge season.

Mount, Havertz, Werner, Pulisic, Ziyech, CHO
On the form of the last season and a bit - where does Hazard fit in amongst that group?  Never mind being a 31 yo (next window) former flying young winger.  5 goals in all comps for RM.

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Blue Rod   
8 hours ago, Bison said:

I wish the club/manager had the foresight to see which way his development was going. The money spent on Lukaku could have been used elsewhere or set aside for a real difference maker.

We were absolutely dominant yesterday and the first half was almost as good as I've seen us in a very long time. How much does Havertz mobility and ability to press from the front help? A lot. I really believe we don't get that kind of performance yesterday with Lukaku leading the line.

To be fair, it's not only Lukaku that we have wasted money on. It's fair to say that Havertz is a decent player, but for £75m, on which planet? I agree that he will improve, as most players do. But to justify his £75m price tag he needs to not just improve, but acquire a whole new sets of skills akin to becoming a whole new player.

Lukaku was always a solution looking for a problem. There is always this quasi-romantic view that if only we had this wonderful finisher, we would be scoring bucket loads of goals. Yes, Werner did miss a few sitters last season, but  we were never prolific at creating those kinds of striker's chances. 

Even when we perform brilliantly like we did yesterday, you could see that we are not really a striker's heaven. Our goals come from such unpredictable situations that a striker could be anywhere on the pitch at that time. That is a plus in itself

£50m on ball-playing No 6 to rival Jorgimho and Kovacic, or a No 8, if TT does not rate CHO ,would have been a better spend. On Havertz and Lukaku we've spent £175m, and neither is a ball player in the sense of increasing our goal chances.

 

Edited by Blue Rod

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10 minutes ago, Blue Rod said:

To be fair, it's not only Lukaku that we have wasted money on. It's fair to say that Havertz is a decent player, but for £75m, on which planet?

I think if you want anyone else (except perhaps me) to engage with you, you need to start off with a more credible statement of fact.

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4 hours ago, Ham said:

Just watching City v Everton.  City are being hailed by the commentator for having TWO academy products on the pitch. 

Edit: and now Guardiola being credited with the development of Mahrez. 

Amazing isn't it , I'm watching the Spurs Leeds game and although Spurs have improved massively in the second half , Martin Tyler is effusive in his praise for every pass they make , it truly seems he likes anyone except us .

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