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About thevelourfog

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  1. Chelsea 3 Watford 0

    Watford turned out to be the perfect tonic; they offered absolutely nothing from kick off and then even less than that between Giroud's goal and Welbeck coming on. A decent performance characterised by few errors perhaps more than it was by anything especially impressive, but that's fine; a few more just decent performances without the most egregious mistakes and we'd be in a far better position. I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of player Mount becomes. Perhaps my own ignorance, but I pictured him as an attacking type before this season, but what I'm seeing is someone who does all the unglamorous work that makes other positions tick that bit better.
  2. New Kits

    The current one looks like a tube seat.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    Now now, I'm sure Happy is a very friendly and polite young man.
  4. Chelsea 3 Watford 0

    Please don't! Personally I want to see Jorginho back at the base, with Kante and Mount either side and a little ahead of him. Other than that, the rest of the team either picks itself or is about marginal calls. Perhaps James coming in again and Azpi switching left; he has poor last weekend but deserves games based on the season so far. But then I can't recall Lampard starting Azpi on the left before. The Watford that have come back don't seem to be the Watford who had picked up form. Capoue, Doucoure and Sarr are the exact sort of players I think we struggle most with.
  5. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    I'd have thought being able to defend expressly involves not making numerous silly technical and positional mistakes. Each of our defenders has, imo, pretty good individual characteristics and abilities. Put together, they very often seem unable to make proper or full use of them. Won't claim I know why exactly or what would fix it.
  6. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    It's running joke of mine with the woman I sit next to at SB that we're a bleeding heart charity; if you desperately need points, come on in. I don't think this is an especially controversial opinion. I'm willing to put my hand up and say also that I've not seen anything that especially inspires or enthuses me in Lampard's management this season. He gives great interviews and "honest appraisals" (as the official website has christened them) but I couldn't care less, especially when they often say the same thing over and over again. I was very clear on here when he was appointed in saying I doubted he'd get the grace and free-hit lots of press and supporters were saying he would. I suppose though the reality is I didn't expect to see that much in him this year, and it wouldn't have been fair on him as an individual or realistic given the wider context to expect much. There's a difference between being of the view that the club are likely to be as ruthless with him as they have been with everyone else, and wanting them to be. Said it a few times; I think we're having the also-ran season many anticipated or said they'd cope with and the fact that several other teams are as or more weak has inflated our position above what you'd usually get for our points. On a points per game basis we're on for 63/64; that's never been enough for CL football, and most seasons in the last 15 gets you 6th or 7th and some distance behind the chasers. I know we started the year in a weak position, but I don't consider 63/64 to be an achievement with the squad, but about or even slightly below par. We've lost only 2 games fewer than the Mourinho meltdown year, and it's not a huge gamble to say we'll equal that. The first quarter of next season is very important to Frank's career here imo.
  7. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    Yes; it is a well worn trope for full backs to get stick for not being able to be in two places at once. My issue for the third goal isn't that he doesn't catch the player. As you say, he's clearly being asked to play as an attacker in most phases of play and that is where his strength lies. He's not the quickest, so he's probably not going to catch the attacker anyway. The issue is when he notices and starts to track back; he hadn't even realised what was going on.
  8. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    I want to agree, but I suppose the issue is we really cannot defend. Perhaps there is simply an acceptance of this among the coaches and players at this point, and so a deliberate plan to not even try closing shop or to suck up pressure because we know it absolutely will not work. The 4 games since the return have really hammered it home for me; we don't have all the money or time in the world so will need to prioritise ruthlessly in the summer, and a CB and LB are so, so much more important than any other position. I know there aren't many brilliant CBs knocking about, but there are plenty who don't defend each set piece like it's their first.
  9. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    Crap result, but I fail to see how it was a markedly different performance to, for example, City. What others saw as a 'professional' performance, I just saw as City not managing to make anything of their dominance and our fragility at key points. We are, imo, a pretty nothing side by (ahem) big 6 PL standards. There isn't any aspect of our game that is special, for good or bad. It's rare for me to watch a game and think we have much control over what the result will be. What mood the opposition is in and how much marginals go their way make the difference. And I mean that as pretty strong criticism of us, not excuse making. On last night specifically ... Personally, I think VAR helped us out. There is an infraction, and it's a great call if the officials actually make that call in real time. To go back and deliberate over it for 3 minutes ... Nah, not for me and not what we were told VAR was for. Went our way last night, but the same revisionist approach to VAR has cost us dearly at points (Azpi vs Liverpool, Giroud vs Man Utd) and I'd rather see those sort of calls left alone. Quick browse of the press and the finger seems to be pointing at Kepa. He didn't do much right last night, but I don't think he's in the top 2 or 3 players to point the finger at for any of the goals. Azpi does very poorly for the first. Christensen and Rudiger are pathetic for the second. Rudiger again probably should show the player outside for the last goal, but the real shocker is Alonso not noticing the run in the first place. I don't especially rate any of our CBs or LBs as individuals and would happily see any and all of them replaced, but the real worry is they often seem less than the sum of their parts. I don't feel especially unhappy with the result, same way I didn't get too giddy last week. We're having that "this season is a write-off, top half would be acceptable" season so many talked about last summer, it just so happens loads of other teams are poor, too.
  10. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    Think I'd rather penalties against us than corners ...
  11. Media / Press

    This I would agree with, I guess there's just lots to talk about and lots of it inter-related. Some laws, here or in the US or anywhere else, disproportionately criminalise groups of people well before you even consider the values or beliefs of those applying (or not) them. I had the same thoughts RE: the BLM statement on Palestine, although have to confess I've not seen the statement itself and only the coverage. As I've said a few times in this thread, almost all popular BLM support has been about PR and PR only. That isn't of itself a bad thing; good PR can go a long way. It can also disappear quickly.
  12. West Ham United 3 Chelsea 2

    It's bizarre that it's just how atrocious West Ham are that is causing me stress.
  13. Transfer Talk Topic

    Vaguely recall reading that Silva is definitely off, that he's been very public about wanting to end his career back in his home town. Have I made that up? From the outside, it would seem crazy to move Aguero on ... I haven't noticed any slow down at least in his output, and it will be very hard to replace him this summer with such market uncertainty and a looming CL plan. Part of me doesn't want City to implode too much, too soon ... I think we're likely still a year away from being what we're aiming to be so would like some competition for Liverpool. I'd settle for City falling apart and us fast-tracking the rebuild, mind!
  14. Media / Press

    Happened to be browsing, wasn't waiting for a response to pounce. Your first paragraph ... I guess some times you'd know. But then even plenty of people who are very openly, unambiguously racist will tell you they're not because they understand, mindfully or otherwise, the baggage that comes with it as a label. I remember watching a documentary following a self-styled 'modern' KKK grand wizard in his day to day years ago. He was convinced he and the KKK weren't racist because he enjoyed "black cooking". And I don't think we always 'know' in a very mindful, conscious and immediate way why it is we think and behave the way we do; pretty much all neurological research would suggest we very rarely, if in fact ever, do. As for what impact are actions have had on others ... Also not necessarily an easy thing to know. So no, I don't think it's a certainty you'd know. I also don't think that view is an especially left-leaning one; it could easily lend itself to traditionally right-leaning ways of organising government, society etc. Second point, disagreed. Not at all obvious to me why a domestic police force needs military grade armoury. I don't envisage either of us changing the other's mind on this point.
  15. Media / Press

    Reasonable in tone, yes. 'Voice of reason', suppose that depends on how closely his and your voice say the same things. Catching up on it, it does seem that Henry knows more about what BLM as an organisation stands for than many other footballers and those involved in the game, who are perhaps playing catch up and only just realising what views they may have aligned themselves with. Fair play to him on that. There is a bigger discussion/debate to be had about precisely how it is you support the idea 'black lives matter' (I.e. as a belief or movement rather than the organisation) if you are opposed to the political and social status quo being at all disrupted (I.e. as organisations such as but not limited to BLM aspires to) ... But probably too big and contentious a discussion to be had here, and one I'm not sure I have the energy for given I think I have different politics to most here. I don't think you'd have to be pro-BLM specifically, but do think you'd have to back some pretty significant, disruptive and likely uncomfortable changes. Much of the discussion reminds me of some of my thoughts around the Terry/Ferdinand incident, and especially how the likes of The Mail and The Sun reported it. I think we're too caught up with the idea that being racist makes you a bad person. I mean, it might; you might consciously delight into your hatred. More likely though your thoughts, beliefs, behaviours are not ill-intentioned, but the partial products of the world around you. Too many of us can't hear when we've been racist, because we think that makes us a bad person, and the idea that we're a bad person just isn't tolerable. The way those newspapers othered Terry as a terrible person while themselves peddling racism is all part of that. I've certainly been racist. I didn't like hearing it, but it was true. Just as my own musing, I find the 'defund police' thing interesting. It's been lifted directly from the US organisation/movement where it is incredibly relevant but frankly does not travel well in my view. US police forces are, to my mind, terrifyingly militarised and omnipresent. They are literally given military surplus weaponry; it sounds like dystopia fiction but it is not uncommon for school-based officers to be armed as if they have been deployed in downtown Basra. In the UK I think the issue is much more that our police are asked to undertake far too many non-law enforcement activities that they are poorly equipped and trained for, and where really better results would be achieved by greater funding to different services (e.g. police often acting as the first line of mental health intervention). Edit: phone keeps changing 'defund' to 'defend' ... Really not the same thing!