My Blood Is Blue

Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0

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Ro61   
On 06/01/2022 at 7:11 PM, SabCFC said:

A convincing performance that should hopefully stop the nonsense that our players are crap or whatever. Spurs are much improved under Conte, as you'd expect, they dominated Liverpool, they played their main team (Dier the only noticeable loss for them), and we dominated much more, with some B team parts, that our friend Antonio is already trash talking his squad to a comical, but predictable level.

I said after the Brighton draw that people are looking for complicated reasons for our slump, including somehow deciding we were never a good team this season or the players were worthless, when it was obvious that injuries+COVID+schedule is the most rational explanation.

When we're fresh, relatively fit under Tuchel, we press teams to death, we play at a high intensity, and as a consequence, we play very good football and create tons of chances.

Ziyech, Havertz, Lukaku, Saul all fresh players -> 5 PPDA in the 1st half, 7 PPDA in the 2nd half - one of the highest pressing intensity stats of the season. And what was back? Top quality football. All the passing, all the patterns we've been used to under TT.

I truly believe that's the key part, not formations. Having Jorginho/Kovacic/Kanté all back (well, let's hope Kanté tests out in less than 10 days) allows to always have quality in midfield, fresh attackers allow a high intensity press, and suddenly the team is humming.

The formation - I think we've played variation of this 4222 in games since day 1 under Tuchel. In his first game against Wolves, CHO was a RW more than a RB, Ziyech & Havertz were the 2 10s with Kovacic/Jorginho creating that 4-men midfield.

I guess it's more unconventional when it's Ziyech playing instead of CHO or Pulisic. He cuts inside a lot more (but we've seen this from the WBs & James this season), and he has a lot less speed so it feels counterintuitive. Ziyech does have some of the highest workrate of our attackers, he's a pressing player coming from pressing machine Ajax, so I believe Tuchel knows this. It was said in the broadcast that he played the position with Ajax against Bayern once, that was interesting, maybe he volunteered. 

I believe it worked too because Tottenham's FB/WB are of really poor quality. You can leave Emerson a lot of space and he won't do much with it. It's a risk worth taking in that case.

Individually, it was pleasing to see Sarr and Saul much improved. I had, still have some doubts about Sarr's tactical discipline, but he's been really good in his past few games, there might be a player there, he's young enough not to completely discredit him. As a backup it's perfect.

Saul, I don't think he's improved suddenly as much as he's learned how to play in this league. He has learned that he can't rely on his ability to resist to the pressure and he won't be given the time he had in La Liga. He didn't hold onto the ball for too long, didn't try to take the ball and dribble past people, release the ball very quickly and even better, always knew where to pass the ball to before it arrived to him. Suddenly, he looks a different player. He looks like a really good player with excellent workrate.

He's been given a lot of crap, but it basically took him 6 to 7 games to adapt, that's not actually bad. RLC still hasn't picked up on these things and has 120 PL games, so I think Saul deserves credit.

If he can become a usable CM4 for the second half of the season/crunch time, it will be a successful loan in my book.

Some other noteworthy performances:

Azpi is playing as good as ever, defensively incredible.

Alonso, far from the scrub people think he is, if Digne or Dest are coming, they've got a long way before starting over him.

Mount playing on the left was refreshing. Similar to his role under Lampard - but this time, playing in a functional "hexagon" system.

Havertz was much better than against Liverpool and that's to be expected, he's a player who takes time to recover from injuries/COVID. The overloads he created with Alonso & Mount were interesting.

Werner/Lukaku works. It just works. They create space and chances for each other, and I hope we can see it more now (COVID/injuries). Southampton, Spurs in the league, Zenith, and last night. I'm really excited by the linkup.

I thought Mendy looked really off on the ball for the past month and in some games, it contributed to some agitation on the back in the buildup. I think Kepa's confidence on the ball will be a real plus in his absence. This might be controversial, you lose some things with Mendy (long shots, claiming crosses) but we gain some things with Kepa too. It's not Lampard Kepa anymore, he's not a joke.

Jesus!.Is football that complicated?.

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Ro61   
34 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

No it is that straightforward.

Good to know.I thought there was a absolute bollox talked at length. 

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2 hours ago, Ro61 said:

Good to know.I thought there was a absolute bollox talked at length. 

I suppose talking short bollocks has its merits.

Ridiculously rude response, pack it in.

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Ro61   
6 hours ago, thevelourfog said:

I suppose talking short bollocks has its merits.

Ridiculously rude response, pack it in.

I agree.I apologise profusely. 

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