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About thevelourfog

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  1. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    With equal respect, I disagree that is true*, or at very least there is a consensus about it. There's only about 6 regular posters here, and we're all locked in a back and forth about it! Conte definitely played a role in not qualifying for the CL, in Costa leaving, in player recruitment shifting in focus (in a way that has transpired to be unhelpful), and in boring football. Same way he had a role in a PL and FA Cup win and some really good performances. What I've seen is one or two posters absolutely refuse to accept he played a part in anything that went wrong and say those things were the club's fault, and for me it is surprising that those one or two posters seem to finger point at Sarri and not the club now. * Unless we're talking about the match day threads or the small number of trolly posters who only ever say negative things, but surely no one reads that?
  2. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Quoting just these two lines for space ... I think this is one of the most frustrating things about long-running disagreements; they get stripped of any nuance, reduced down to their simplest form. I honestly do not think anybody on this forum has ever said that there was a falling out between board and Conte that was solely on him, never mind there being a consenus on it. If anything I recall there not being much agreement about whether or not there had ever been a disagreement, or at least there being questions about an uncritical acceptance of tabloid claims about one. There have, I think, been stronger views about the board and Conte allegedly going to war since his dismissal, but again that's a few people with strong views rather than a consensus you've rallied against. Similarly, literally no one has said that Conte was happy to bring in rubbish players because they were Italian or played in Serie A. It's a massive over-simplification of a few far more reasonable positions; that a manager or coach would favour a market they were more familiar with, and that a manager with a predeliciton for certain kinds of football would want certain kinds of players. I think Conte, much like Sarri, laid bare his strengths and weaknesses very early on. When some other circumstances clicked into place, the weakeness didn't matter so much. When those circumstances weren't as kind, the strengths did not really hold up.
  3. Literally every football manager gets sacked 'eventually'. You could trace back from that eventual moment to anything said or done. Ancelotti's likeability has not saved him from the chop virtually everywhere he has gone. I've not really seen much difference in what Sarri says to the press than what his predecessor or managers elsewhere say. It hasn't seemed especially candid to me. He comes out with the same asinine standard lines about coaching, transfers, defeats, our home grown players. If this is being candid, I'd have to admit to conflating being candid and being interesting.
  4. Quite. The internet has something for everyone. If I cared to Google, I'm sure I could find plenty of quotes from Napoli fans slating Ancelotti, praising Sarri, or calling for Minnie Mouse to be installed as manager. Who cares? Supporters aren't some hive mind- the majority of posts here are Chelsea supporters disagreeing with other Chelsea supporters. Luckily, we've had Ancelotti here so it's pretty easy to see through the nonsense comments there. Ancelotti picked basically the same 13 or 14 players here, abandoned his alleged preferred tactical set up for for something more comfortable after a month or so, and was very, very easily out-thought but a decent number of managers he came up against. Remarkably similar to how you might describe the countrymen who followed him in managing Chelsea, depending on what point you wanted to try to prove. The difference was that Ancelotti was picking Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba every week; players head and shoulders above most in the league. How many peak Coles, Lampards or Drogbas are in that Napoli squad now? Much easier to get a game when you aren't coming up against them. Honestly, Ancelotti's entire repuation and success narrative has been built around being an adept ego massuese/politician but we'll pretend he's an adaptable tactitican just to dig out Sarri.
  5. New Stadium Plans

    I'm not sure it is a fact, though. Signing players is always a risk, and there will always be a certain number of them who just don't prove good enough. I'd agree that some signings look sh*te from the off, but far more look reasonable for a long time before looking sh*te. There's a lot about it that is luck as well as judgement IMO. Add to that, none of the players we have signed who haven't turned out as hoped would cost anything like as much as the specific or kind of players you mentioned. The sadder fact, I think, is that we simply do not have the money to be buying players for huge fees and huge contracts. I think explaining our current malaise through club/board/management incompetence is too easy a narrative. What I'd see as 'the fact' is that no one buys crap players on purpose and no one purposefully doesn't buy players like those you mention when they can actually get them. Plus, we haven't got past Slavia Prague yet ;)
  6. New Stadium Plans

    If we could buy those players or those of similar standing, we'd have done it. Hell, if anyone could have bought those players they'd have done it. None have moved since 2017, nor seemed especially close to doing so. I think that tells a story. Very, very few clubs can buy an Icardi, and especially an Icardi at 2017 or 2018 prices. It's not a yardstick to measure Chelsea 2019 by. It's been a long time since our successes came from making top-of-the-market signings.
  7. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Taking early on a position that a Chelsea manager is rubbish and will get sacked is a no-brainer, isn't it? You can't fail. Emotions, isn't it. I can understand the position 'I don't like or especially rate Sarri'. What is daft is the 'someone one else would do better' position. And, worth saying, Klopp has still won absolutely f**k all at Liverpool, and that's odds-on to continue. Sarri is, at the very worst, a peripheral problem.
  8. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Does anyone know why the away fans were moved to the Shed? Think it happened when I was away at uni, so the only extended time I've not gone to games. Seems so daft on paper that there must be an ostensibly good reason for it.
  9. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    ^ Interesting back and forth. Don't want to buy into what I see as a bit of a Conte vs Sarri false dichotomy, but I suppose my instinct was that Conte's Chelsea conceded far, far more than a team playing as conservatively as his should have. The defending stats might look good in isolation, but defending often seemed our sole purpose and in that context the result did not match at all the effort. Pre-Conte Chelsea sides didn't do much or any better by and large, but they IMO took greater attacking risks. I keep coming back to the current problem, whatever its source, being that we do plenty of important things well but neither of the two most important things well enough. We don't attack well enough to justify a leaky ship (although almost did August-November 2018) or defend well enough to be so prosaic up front (again though, weren't far off November 2018- early February 2019). I feel Sarri has consistently come close to striking the balance but never quite managed it. By all means change the manager, but don't expect meaningful difference unless we change at least 5 or 6 players too.
  10. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Interesting (IMO) article on the Guardian today about how much managers really add or detract from sides... Suppose you can take it in a few directions if applying to Sarri (that if he isn't in the 20% or so minority who are worth 10 extra points a season then he isn't the right man for Chelsea, or less reasonably that he is the opposite minority who make things worse), but the takeaway for me is that managers generally only add value when the basics are there in terms of squad and ability. For years we had a squad that just needed the marginal extras a top-of-the-range manager could add, or was good enough that any underperformance was easily traced back to the manager and justified their speedy removal. I think that has gradually degraded over the last 18-24 months and we no longer have that squad. Whatever your opinion on Sarri, we simply do not have those fundamentals right now. There are more important things on the agenda than who sits in the dugout. Even one of those 20% managers who adds points wouldn't be able to do it without significant squad surgery.
  11. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Seems quaint now to remember how annoyed people got when terms like 'straw man' were used here. Funny how using the terminology but not the actual ridiculous straw men died out here. You're right, literally no one here said anything like Higuain was going to bang goals in left, right and centre. If anything it's pretty damning of Morata (and the manager who wanted him until it became more conveninent to claim he'd wanted someone else instead) that even a disappointing Higuain has been a real step up in CF for us. But 'Higuain will fix everything' is a comfortable (if imagined) point to argue against.
  12. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    I'm sure there's a specific word or term for what I'm trying to describe but I can't think of it ... Essentially, we were in the position where we could potentially showe we'd 'turned a corner' only because we had not been good enough in the first place to not be in that position, which is all the evidence needed to say that we were never really going to 'turn a corner'. I think there was always a bit of magical thinking (not picking on you, from Chelsea fans as a whole) about us building on 2 or 3 wins after some poor results, because having a couple of good results followed by bad results followed by good results followed by bad results is what has characterised our season, if not a fair few recent seasons. We're essentially a win off the top 4. I think any realisitic appraisal of the season in August 2018 or January 2019 had us either making the top 4 or missing the top 4 by a few results. Personally think we'll miss out and that's been my position all season, but I don't think there will be much in the final reckoning. There are simply too many not-quite-good-enough-to-be-taken-seriously clubs in the PL who need CL football; 2 are going to meet their bottom lines despite not being IMO especially worthy, and 2 are going to get what they deserve. It's not nonsense, and it's certainly not just Sarri's nonsense; the previous manager said the same thing, and I think you could say with certainty any other manager in post would be thinking along the same lines. But yes, it is unfortunate that height seems just about all Alonso has to contribute right now, and it's not a difference that really makes any difference. I'm not especially in love with Sarri and stopped investing in whoever happened to be our coach/manager/whatever they're called that season years ago, but I find it hard to watch us play and reach the conclusion that he is the problem, or even a particularly significant problem in the scale of things. We simply cannot attack; no one moves for a ball in midfield, no one pulls towards the posts, no one arrives late for a cutback, no one seizes on a transitional moment. These are big problems and they pre-date the current bete noires. If we go through this summer not being able to buy, we are finished for a good few years.
  13. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    I know bursting out laughing isn't how I'm supposed to react, but not sure how else to react to something so telegraphed. Do everything other than the two things that actually matter.
  14. Taking The Pee Out Of Liverpool (For Khobar)

    Every, without exception, football fan in England knows that Liverpool are roundly despised by the 'common man'. It's journalists who love them. Fair enough, love who you want and all, but I think it does expose a certain fragility in your opinions when the only way you can sustain them is by pretending no one thinks differently.
  15. Everton 2 Chelsea 0

    Everton have been, with the exception of Stamford Bridge, utter sh*te whenever I have seen them this season. Not offering that as an optimistic prediction, more because it gives me an uncomfortable sense of foreboding.