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About thevelourfog

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  1. Pretty funny watching people who get very snide about perspectives that don't tally with their own get huffy about not being allowed an opinion. Think one of the tests for me here is how people felt about Mourinho when things were going well here. Because he's really not acting all that differently now.
  2. Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife ... The press write up Jose's digs at them as being digs at others. Always have, always will. We're one of the others now. Regardless of your position on Mourinho, you cannot watch a press conference and fail to see this. They aren't going to write 'Jose called us tossers', are they?
  3. Conte has played pretty much the exact same XI for nigh on five months. He's made changes for injury and suspensions, that's it. He played some kids in cup games. Literally every manager here and elsewhere has. I'm not gonna slate Conte for playing the same XI for obvious reasons, but this is IMO a revealing post. Wonder what has to happen for 'Conte fan boy' to become a pejorative here.
  4. Lukaku did what was best for himself and his career, made the decision that had the best odds for him. I wouldn't say it was 'courageous' as such, but it perhaps shows some integrity at least that he would look to start at a good club where (no disrespect, just honesty) trophies are unlikely over potentially sitting on the bench for a season. I don't think he can be blamed for making the decision to go, and nor can the club or any of the personnel here at the time be sensibly accused of 'cocking up' for allowing it. Keep in mind that Lukaku 'left' in Mourinho's first season, not second; the move from loan to permanent was just a technicality. At that point a very young striker had come back from a good loan spell and managed to get on the pitch from the bench in 3 of the first 4 games of the season and it seems likely that a senior striker was on the verge of being sold to accommodate him staying. It might be disappointing now seeing what has happened for Lukaku since, but I think anyone who imagines that a 20ish year old striker who scored 15-20 goals for WBA the season before should realistically be looking for more in the first two weeks of the season at a title challenger is being dishonest. That he didn't fancy the fight is an observation and not a criticism, but I think it is a fair observation. The problem and blame with Lukaku remains in how he was signed; it was absolutely shocking that so much money was spent on someone clearly not physically up to it and so far away from being ready, and plain incompetence that no one at the club thought about his loan situation, given he'd already played for Anderlecht that season, before bunging him on off the bench; that condemned him to a season of nothing and I don't think his relationship with the club ever or could have recovered from that. We've made far stupider decisions bringing people in than letting them go, IMO.
  5. I was (and still am, although from what I have seen of Arsenal this year I do feel his powers are waning) a big Cech fan, but my one criticism of him throughout the time he was here was that I must have sat directly behind him 40-50 times and not once heard a peep out of him compared to the noise opposition keepers made after the switch round. I don't get the impression he was that kind of leader. Courtois seems a bit noisier IMO.
  6. Nonsense. There is something in it not being about Chelsea specifically, of course; if Russian money had flooded into another club the traditional big red sides hadn't had to compete with previously, chances are that hypothetical club would have had a very similar last 13 years to us in PR terms. But you're being daft for no reason other than being daft if you refuse to accept the reality that being the club that we are comes with a great deal of slander.
  7. Must be the fifth or sixth home game in a row where we've done Arsenal and I've had a clear view from the East Upper of a few Arsenal fans having a punch up between themselves with literally no media coverage. Probably a late realisation, but with this game it properly dawned on me ... Wenger does literally no opposition scouting, does he? Was 100% sure on the way to the game that Giroud would be on Luiz and Walcott and Sanchez would mark the other two CBs with Arsenal holding a very high line, and thought that would cause us problems. Nothing. Ozil in the middle drifting around instead, and giving up entirely 20 minutes in after Kante embarrassed him a few times. He really, really is that up his own backside that he pays no attention to what other teams do and what might work to beat them. We were good. Alonso goal is never a foul but I can see why opposition fans and players would say otherwise; we might do if roles were reversed, but Alonso had the run on him and the arms were where you'd expect for a jumper with eyes only for the ball. Was a bit sad for Bellerin given that he got clattered having also competed with Costa first time round. He's the only Arsenal player I'd take and he was severely let down. The Hazard goal. Woof. Haven't seen a replay, will wait for MotD, but Gabriel basically assaulted Hazard. Ridiculous nothing was done. Burnley away will genuinely be a harder game.
  8. Completely disagreed. It's patent nonsense that the tactical set up can be divorced from a failure to execute 'fundamentals'. When you retreat and don't press, you kill any hope of a decent passing game. Can't be doing with this 'poor (relatively!) performance, the players failed, things went well, Conte did it' crap. Either Conte is the making things tick or the players are.
  9. Because generally people judge how well we played by the result, and not how we played at all. Although 'dire' is not the word I would choose ... We were poor by design; it really wasn't all that different to how we approached the home defeat to the same team. We did not try to win the game. Perhaps the excuses now are better and more legit than the ridiculous ones made back in September, but that is all that is different. It seems fairly clear that Conte's plan against anyone good is to apply no pressure anywhere but perhaps our own defensive 30 yards, which is always going to mean no real passing game. That isn't offered as praise or criticism necessarily, just an observation of what happens on the pitch. It's not an approach I personally enjoy watching and one that I think more often than not will make you come unstuck against a good team, but perhaps the plan is to just get points elsewhere. It worries me ahead of the Arsenal game. I don't want to see them picking passes unchallenged, especially when we've just seen how vulnerable they are when you attack them.
  10. I don't think Carragher or Neville look at things objectively. The strength in their analysis is that they don't pretend to; they are very open about seeing things through a partisan lens. You couldn't argue they aren't Liverpool and United through and through. No one is paid to be "neutral". Being "neutral" isn't possible. Mercifully I did not watch coverage with Gerrard, but no doubt he wasn't asked on to be neutral. Which is fine and good, but if it isn't clear already; that is all we set out to do. As has been the case in other games this season against sides of the same calibre, and not always with the same result. We contained Liverpool well, but knowingly and purposefully sacrificed concerted attempts to win the game to do so. Which is why possession and passing and so atrocious.
  11. The Russian window hasn't closed, has it? So he may not be gone but still going.
  12. Really not dissimilar in approach, or really even execution, to the reverse fixture TBH. Little to no interest in pressing in our own half and real difficulty playing out under pressure. Very telling IMO that our only prolonged and meaningful spells of possession came in the last 5 minutes with Fabregas on. None of which is a complaint as such; Liverpool made only a little more than us with much more of the ball and needed a win far more than us. An okay result made good by results elsewhere.
  13. What's the most passes we've put together in this first hour? Done a good job generally of staying compact but we've yet again not even tried to stand up to a pressing game. Dangerous.
  14. A fantastic servant and pound-for-pound one of the best deals this club has ever made.
  15. Busy month or so with work and life, so have drifted in and out of football, only really paying attention to the games I've physically been at. Only just now catching up and seeing how dreadful Liverpool's run has been. Have they been playing poorly with it, or just having results not go their way?