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  1. 3 likes
    To be fair, it's more than one game. What happened today has been coming. Conte has been bottling the big decision in my opinion. We play with an absolute No 9. That is the role that Costa has. It is not a false No 9, but a pure No 9. That role is as irreplaceable as that of a goalkeeper. Whether it's the goalkeeper, or defender, or Hazard, or any player with the ball, when they look up, they want the green light from the No 9. To keep playing with number 9 of the form of Costa of he past 3 months, is just the signs of a manager who is bottling big decisions. Conte is sleepwalking into failure in the past 3 months. His indecision is infecting the rest of the team. I have heard all this crap - he is unlucky, he is having a bad spell, he is trying his best. It's all crap. If you employed an experienced plasterer, and he has the plaster hanging off the wall after two jobs, your response is, hang on, what are you playing at? No one would accept a pilot, even a rookie pilot, to keep overshooting runway for 3 months of flight, or a doctor to keep prescribing the wrong medication for 3 months continuously. So all these excuses for Costa is all nonsense, absolute crap. It's all football talk, the kind of talk that would not be accepted in any walk of life. Costa is sabotaging our effort, FULL STOP. I decided that for myself weeks ago. If Conte can't work that out, then we kiss the title goodbye, now. All the talk of no replacement is also crap. Any decent striker who is willing to genuinely try (rather than pretend) would be 100 times better than Costa for the team right now.
  2. 2 likes
    Costa was brilliant last night, not only did he provide an assist and two quality goals he was constantly running in behind their centre backs. His no look touch through to Hazard in the first half was sublime and really should have resulted in a goal. His second goal was a thing of beauty and showed the ability to play in small spaces in which I anticipate Lukaku may struggle if he does replace him. I've spoken up quite a few times in support of Costa in particular because I think he is a unorthodox player who attempts high risk dribbles. All players suffer dips in form and that brilliant pass I described earlier would have bounced straight through to the keeper 2 weeks ago. I believe its nothing to do with desire or effort but in actual fact he is a confidence player who is targeted every single week by at least two defenders and with no support from referees. Drogba, Rooney, Aguero, they are all streaky players who go 6 games looking like they have their boots on the wrong feet and then go 6 games where they are unplayable. I personally believe he gets a lot of stick due to the constant rumours about wanting out but if we are judging him on his performance his goal record is excellent. Many are very quick to turn on him but he has won us more points than any other player has in the league. Without him there would be no title that's a certainty! Thought it was clear that Southampton have spent much of the last 10 days working on set piece routines. With a delivery as good as Ward-Prowse I think any team would have struggled to deal with those corners. He was whipping the ball in with so much pace and accuracy it was too risky for Courtois to come out and they had predesigned movements where Gabbiadini would go to the far post. When a team has that much time to prepare I think you have to hold your hands up and say well done. Fabregas and Hazard were both delightful and if we can get them both on the pitch in this form with Costa back scoring then teams are going to struggle to contain us. Fingers crossed for a Palace win tonight.
  3. 2 likes
    I thought they both had decent games yesterday. Nathan was more involved as we were on the back foot for much of the time, but Michy was doing his best to occupy Spurs' 3 central defenders on his own, and made more attempts to get in the box in his 60 minutes than Costa has since January.
  4. 2 likes
    Ake was class. Answered all the people that said Terry should start. Terry has not played a game with this kind of intensity for a long time. What surprised me about Ake was he was not nervous or worried. He was very calm. He believes in his ability. Something a few players need to do in this team.
  5. 2 likes
    Maybe the virus has got to the manager
  6. 2 likes
    6 games to go: Chelsea: 4 home 2 away Spurs: 2 home 4 away Chelsea home games: Southampton, Watford, Middlesbrough, Sunderland Spurs home games: Arsenal, Man United bit of perspective, I'd rather be us with 4 pt lead than them.
  7. 2 likes
    The thing about Jose is he arrived at a time( to use a formula 1 analogy) when we had the best car on the grid but with a bad driver.Jose was the Lewis Hamilton that won us trophies with the best car.Now he is not the best driver but is blaming the car and all the technicians.
  8. 2 likes
    Apropos of nothing, anyone who thought Costa had a good game and Matic a bad game needs their head testing. Get your catchphrase bingo cards out for a full house.
  9. 2 likes
    Being rubbish as usual. He has been doing his best donkey act now for nearly 4 months.
  10. 2 likes
    Hazard almost transfered Stones back to Everton with that piece of skill at the end of the half.
  11. 2 likes
    the doubts people have over Lukaku are 100% justified. 1. He would cost a fortune 2. For a fortune, you want a top, top player 3. Lukaku socres a lot of goals against poor teams, or when games are won 4 goals v Bournemouth being an example 4. the last two league games exposed his faults. He cannot hold the ball up properly. Compare his performance last night versus Benteke against us. Chalk and cheese 5. BT Sport showed clips of his best moments / goals - it is all running into space. Teams set up definitely against Everton than they do against us. I am not saying Lukaku cannot score goals for us, but there is a definite question mark, especially considering he will cost north of 50m
  12. 2 likes
    People will shoot me for this, BUT: If Hazard left, I would not begrudge him. I would be seriously sad and disappointed, but I could possibly not hold it against him. He has been here five years, and has been absolutely instrumental to everything the club has won (and currently are winning) since he got here. While the fans adore him for his talent, I honestly don't think he has gotten the love he deserves. When going through a rough patch last season, there were not much patience with the most talented player to have ever played for Chelsea. And how often are fans chanting his name? I think his attitude is the best you will see from a player of his calibre. He is being kicked in and out every single game, and on almost every occasion gets on with it without complaining. Smiling and laughing in post match interviews, raising his hands and taking the blame if he has been sub par. He is a humble guy, very far from the me, myself and I character of his peers Ronaldo and Messi. If it is true that he did not want to leave on a low after last season, then that is another positive characteristic we should value as well. We were quite lucky to get him in the first place I think. Coming off of a 6th place finish in the league, behind Newcastle. "I am signing for the European Champions", he proclaimed back then. Not much sign of that pedigree since. And you could not give him the blame for that. Conte is the fifth manager he has had in his five years here. Even though things look promising now, we don't have history on our side when arguing he should stay "just one more year". If he continues in the PL, where teams set up their tactics to kick him sore, his career will be cut short. For sure. Softer opponents, more football and a realistic push for the CL at Real Madrid, to play under his boyhood idol Zidane - would you really hold it against such a great servant to the club?
  13. 2 likes
    Into the final straight now. 10 games to go, 6 of them at home. This being one we really need to bank 3 points. Palace have stabilized a bit, tightening up at the back, and will make things difficult. Once again, this will be a niggly, physical affair, and they too will try to kick us off the park. This is another one of those games where an early goal would really help. Couple of knocks to navigate. Hazard is still doubtful and I probably wouldn't risk him with City around the corner. Courtois has a knock too, but he should be okay. I'd play Cesc for this one. Yes they'll be physical and will look to get in our faces but we're at home and should be on the front foot.
  14. 1 like
    I agree. If we have a problem it is that outside the defenders, only Drogba or Michy contribute to defending set pieces. Mostly Matic does not man mark and when he does (as recently) it can be calamitous as he is neither good in the air nor at sticking with his man. Azpi on the other hand sticks to his man like glue. I'd add that Alli's headed goals against us were all about getting away from the defenders, not about out jumping them, and that players can even get away from Azpi if they spot the man on the ball has time to pick out their run easily - so that they are just running into space, not waiting to see where the ball goes. The latest goal was identical in all but using his feet not head. (Liverpool and Arsenal have scored similar goals - the issue is 90% about players close to our box with time to look up and pass/cross to a running target.) On the whole I am not unhappy. 3 of our defenders are very good in the air, including Cahill who is a mobile giant - and I can remember many years when Ashley Cole was the fourth defender of 4. The time to start worrying about our right sided defence is when fantastic crosses from our right are being put on our LHS.
  15. 1 like
    Given Spuds goal difference advantage (8 goals), I'd welcome a comprehensive stuffing tonight, please.
  16. 1 like
    Bournemouth game - Costa's shot goes off a defender and in so its an own goal (heckuva turn by him as well to get in a goal scoring position), Costa wins the foul that Alonso scores a free kick off of. There thats two examples in one game, same amount I gave for Bats. Costa may be off form, but he is more likely to get into goal scoring positions than Bats is. He may be off form, but Bats did nothing that Costa hasn't been doing. And since we know that Costa can be better than he currently is playing right now, I'd choose Costa. Again, thats not to say that I don't rate Bats as a player I think he can be very good, just that right now until we clinch the title I'm playing the guns that got me there
  17. 1 like
    Thought it was a shame that the fire brigade decided to have a fire alarm test at the Spurs end after 80 minutes.
  18. 1 like
    Costa is a bit of a strange one. And I'm not sure to concur with people saying that weak header was a sign of his commitment or not. There and then he has the ball in the air and is he going to think "I want out of this club" and therefore "I make a weak header"? There are other signsfor his non commitment like for example going down the tunnel without celebrating with the rest. But play wise he just ain't an Aguero or even Kane so that kind of lax touch or finishing is quite common from him. On the other side why didn't anyone point out how he was first to go to Hazard to celebrate his goal and then cheering and pumping up the fans as well? Is this a player who is not committed at least to the cause of winning the match and trophies at end of season?
  19. 1 like
    I'd keep Batshuayi in the starting eleven also. Keeping things in perspective (something a few posters fail to grasp judging by the Spurs match day thread) Michy did enough to warrant another start considering just how little football he's had. He has no real match fitness, match sharpness and nothing but training ground familiarity with the side. While he didn't set the world alight, he wasn't terrible either and his flick was a key factor in our opening goal. He had more of a positive impact in 60 minutes than Costa has had in the past month - without the antics. Would give him another 60 min or so and bring Costa off the bench once again. Thought Ake was excellent and he'd be hard done by if Cahill comes back in, Willian likewise with Hazard. Otherwise much will remain the same as usual I dare say.
  20. 1 like
    I thought Frank handled it perfectly, just enough to hint of sheer enjoyment whilst appearing to be neutral..
  21. 1 like
    A master of master classes by Conte.
  22. 1 like
    Not me , its a noddy league.
  23. 1 like
    Cesc has to start. Should have against United. We wont control the midfield without him. They will press Kante and Matic into making poor/wrong passes as they did in the previous games. Simple stuff really. Cesc starting is more important than Costa not starting. Its quite clear to see Costa will be leaving in the summer. He may be trying to play himself out of the club. Not sure what Conte is going to do but the amount of minutes Bats has gotten tells you he wont start. I do think Bats has been made an example by Conte of choosing not to play players he does not buy. Same could be said for Ake, I think Conte wanted to buy a defender instead of recalling Ake that's why he never makes it in the squad. The treatment of both players is bizarre considering situations we have been in this season. Even when 2-0 down Bats still does not come on but RLC and Willian do?. I think its more Conte sending messages to the board than it is their performances/quality. Both players are better players than the minutes they have had so far. Anyway beating Spurs would be a huge lift we need. It is going to be the hardest game of the season. If I'm honest I can't see where the victory will come from. They are better than us in every department at the moment.
  24. 1 like
    We win this 3-1 Costa, Hazard and Pedro with the goals. Then we will win our next 5 and wrap up the title. Up the Chels.
  25. 1 like
    Can you imagine how much he is going to be on the whole squad's case over the next few weeks to get the title sewn up before the Sunderland game. Good timing.
  26. 1 like
    ^^ His latest goal not quite so typical - a 31 pass build up. More of the kind of chance you get at Chelsea (and a great of example of what happens if you don't press out to the half way line) Cheeky finish though!
  27. 1 like
    Ake hasn't exactly been converted to a fullback though, has he. When Conte first joined he identified Ake (something Ake also confirmed himself) as a midfielder who could also play in defence. He played a bit of centre back and fullback at Watford, he played CB at Bournemouth and a little of both here in the brief time he's had since coming back. If anything, it shows that he doesn't really have an identified position - least of all in a role he's barely featured in at WB. Wouldn't really say Conte's "bottled important decisions", that's probably a little extreme. He could have certainly made some better ones at times, he's held his hand up when things haven't gone as desired. The Costa situation though is a tough one no matter if Conte sticks or twists. He could drop him and play with Bats, who is a completely different striker that lacks some of the understanding and qualities to play as a lone CF. The other alternative is to play neither and use Hazard or Pedro down the middle instead and use no recognised CF. That however cause's it's own problems. I've wanted Costa dropped for months, but I can also see why Conte has persisted with him to a degree. There's aspects of Costa's game that just aren't offered by our other forward alternatives. In saying that, it only goes so far and there comes a time (again, should have happened weeks ago) where a change should be made, even just for a game or two. After this latest performance by Costa and his general play being so sloppy, it's about time Conte bites the bullet. Give the man a suitable squad of his own choosing and it makes these decisions easier. At present, we've got a real mismatch of a squad which therefore limits what decisions can be made. He's certainly a manager that will make these calls when needed, just as he did at Juventus when he first took over. The stark difference between his first season here and his first season at Juventus is the squad on hand. He had more options to turn to at Juventus without his system being compromised. Not quite the case at present here. But hopefully that's something which can be address come the summer. The positives of what Conte's done certainly outweighs the negatives thus far.
  28. 1 like
    Anyone here think that Courtois would have saved that Rashford goal? When the striker is wide of the goal you make it easier for him by coming that far out.
  29. 1 like
    ^ Wash your mouth out (or whatever is the appropriate keyboard term).
  30. 1 like
    Sorry , I'm not having this. I've been reading the press putting a negative spin on anything Chelsea related for forty odd years.
  31. 1 like
  32. 1 like
    Because some cannot get over their ex, however lovely their current relationship is. Doesn't help when the ex comes to the party and spouts a few drops of acid.
  33. 1 like
    I agree that it's inappropriate to dwell on it on this thread Matt, but I suppose it's because it's naturally in context, given that we're playing them in a few days and given what transpired the last time we did. I agree with you entirely that right now we have a terrific manager in a number of different ways - tactically, with respect to squad deployment, man-management and also dealing with the media in a very straightforward and engaging manner. He's been excellent in of these respects I think.
  34. 1 like
    I was a printer back in the day when Murdoch and Thatcher went all out to break the NGA printers Union and take their jobs and give them to untrained electricians. Have never and will never subscribe to Sky or buy any of his rags. Have hated both of them since that day. One down one to go.
  35. 1 like
    Possibly Nobly. I haven't seen the post that you refer to as suggesting that JM's achievements were all luck. Where did that one come from? I think the more prevailing view on the forum, certainly mine, is that we were absolutely the beneficiaries of his approach and performance when he first came to Chelsea, until it started to go pear-shaped for the first time eventually. His approach suited the Italian league ideally and he did really well with Inter, before wisely deciding to move on sooner rather than later. His time at Real was mixed and his eventual return to us brought us an initial title but then again it all collapsed, this time catastrophically. Throughout all of this history his success in winning the prizes that he did was always accompanied by an unending series of unfortunate and somewhat unsavoury incidents which were all down to his own egomania and arrogance as far as I'm concerned. The awful stuff at Real, (poking someone in the eye from behind ain't gonna win you many plaudits) and he clearly totally lost our dressing room last year as well. All of his own making. So if you take all of that into consideration then its not surprising that there are mixed feelings about him and that's what I perceive on the forum largely, apart from those who are Jose diehards and will always bend over backwards to find any excuse for his "lapses" it seems. As for his achievements this season? Well he started badly and then turned tings around and produced a good run of games where United accumulated a good points return I think, albeit without winning over many of their older fans for style and so on and being very heavily Ibra-reliant. More recently, however, they've really struggled and floundered again, which is wonderful to see of course, whoever the manager might be. As for the Europa League? Well it is pretty ironical of him to talk up that success when one recalls him pouring scorn on it when Benitez did the same for us. Indeed Benitez did as well for us in his much reviled season as Jose has done at Old Trafford pretty much I think. very similar anyway. To be fair to JM with respect to the Europa League, I think he has more cited it as the best route for them to achieve CL qualification, rather than being any towering achievement in its own right and that's fair enough, because they do seem to be struggling to stay in the top 4 hunt to me. I do think that he now hates Chelsea though and would like to do anything to derail our title bid if and where possible. When we play them on Sunday, I expect the same approach from him as last time. That is the same tactical approach which, as Droy rightly says, did cause us problems for the first period of the match without doubt, but also the same unrelentingly physical approach to dealing with Hazard and attempting to rile Costa. I fully expect that because, as I say, he'd like to do anything to damage us. He got fired by CFC last time around and our new manager has achieved a spectacular turnaround and success with an alternative approach that has found a way of capitalising on the strengths of the players in the squad, rather than forcing an approach which they dislike and are not suited to. This must be enormously galling and significantly embarrassing to Jose, having the self-appointed "special one" tag and used to "being Jose Mourinho" non-stop. For that reason alone he'd love to beat us and will probably do anything he can, fair or foul in an effort to bring it about. On top of that, he's great mates with Pocchetino too, who is a diehard acolyte of his.
  36. 1 like
    With respect Matt, statistically, we are the least complacent side in the league.
  37. 1 like
    Yes but was he standing in the right place?
  38. 1 like
    has costa got his boots on the wrong feet?
  39. 1 like
    What makes you so sure we will beat them? When we have played them twice this season they have made us look a bit average. The only team who have done that home and away this season since we switched to 343. I think they know how to play us. Unlike City.
  40. 1 like
    After Hazard and Kante, our best and most consistent performer this season.
  41. 1 like
    R2FU99 -Take it as a compliment, they're just jealous.
  42. 1 like
    Must be in the minority but I really like that team. Superb to see Zouma starting a game again, lets not forget he was becoming a monster for us before his injury. Fabregas should start every game ahead of Matic so pleased with that selection too. Love the midfield Pep has gone with, Kante alone should dominate all 3.
  43. 1 like
    I'm very very very nervous about this. I'm frickin' working tonight too...
  44. 1 like
    Costa quote on tonight's match "..................so let's try to do our best and make the ball go in". Well precisely Diego so let's be having you.
  45. 1 like
    Cannot believe people think Lukaku is an upgrade on Costa, yet again he was totally non-existent tonight. I say it again, he is only any good when getting the ball played into feet and he has space to run into / space to run at defenders. As for working back and helping his team mates out forget about it.
  46. 1 like
    Thanks for your post BCFC22; it's always good to hear/read stories from those such as yourself who watch players rather than games... and much better than relying on a few video clips of loan players, which is what most of us have to rely on. There was a recent article about another of our loan players (Leis Baker at Vitesse Arnheim) that very much emphasised how grounded and humble he was, how he never gave less than 100%, how he was always happy to spend time with the fans, younger players etc. That he's also creating and scoring goals in Holland is the cherry on that cake. It certainly seems that the Chelsea academy is not just producing talented footballers, but what we might have called in a bygone age "decent young chaps"! Good luck to all of you at Bristol City for the remainder of the season, and thanks again for coming here and telling us first hand you thoughts on Tammy... a player that many of us desperately hope will not just have a bright footballing future, but a very bright CHELSEA future!
  47. 1 like
    The Chelsea I grew up with would have lost to both.
  48. 1 like
    I think we really need to consign that to the **** happens file. Any other game would see the team with eleven shots on target beating the team with three. For whatever reason , blind / incapable referee and linesman , keystone kops defending , Azpillicueta being targeted , octopus goalkeeper , we lost , play like that going forward in any other game we win. We will hear nothing but Chelsea are bottling it in the papers until we win again, let's not give them the oxygen and put City away.
  49. 1 like
    That can be applied to any transfer and player. Nobody is a sure thing. All a team can do is invest in a player who has qualities that serve the way a manager looks to play. You'd be hard pressed to find many, if any, other 23 year olds who've not only got Lukaku's top flight experience, but also his goal tally.
  50. 1 like