samhoward17

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About samhoward17

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  1. PAOK Salonika 0 Chelsea 1

    Good point I had forgotten Zappa came on the other day at RW. Strange that Emerson did not even travel given he tweeted he had no injury. Don't think he's even been on the bench this season, clearly not impressing at all in training. At the start of the season many were tipping him to take Alonsos spot.
  2. PAOK Salonika 0 Chelsea 1

    Having Fabregas back is great news and whilst he nay not be zipping around the pitch, his passing was very sharp. I too would love to see him alongside Jorginho as Cesc has proven time and time again that if he receives ball in space he is lethal. Bringing him into the side will speed up everything and give a cutting edge to our play that our possession has been lacking in parts this season. RLC down to 6th choice CM and it's justified. A few weeks ago he came on instead of Barkley and received a nice bit of praise from Sarri but then typically he picked up a knock now he's back to square one. If it wasn't already obvious a few weeks back he is gone in January. Whether this is on loan or permanent will only depend on if anyone can afford him. Pedro injury looked bad initially but the noise coming out seems to be that he is okay. It's great to have a big squad and playing a strong side to win the group early is the right call but this moment really highlighted how reliant we are on the 3 AM's. If Pedro is injured for any amount of time suddenly Moses will be seeing minutes in an attacking position. It would be crazy not to start Hudson-Odoi in the league cup now we have indicated our desire to compete on multiple fronts. Kepa worrying again. Looked very nervous with anything coming in the air. It's yet to cost us much but teams will start targeting him very quickly. Liverpool against both Spurs and PSG have been trying out set plays blocking the keeper and whipping it in under the bar with pace. How he adapts when this starts to happen will have a huge impact on our season.
  3. Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1

    First half was great despite the goal conceded. We created many chances, Kovacic should have had at least one and I would have trusted Pedro to burry his chance. Flipping the score just before the half was brilliant but we really did not come out in the second until Willian came on. I think we saw just how important Kovacic is to the side as while Barkley is certainly working hard, he is not doing much. The Everton Barkley had flashes of brilliance but would have frustrating moments where he would give the ball away. The Chelsea Barkley runs a lot and passes sideways. I can really only remember him having one shot this season. He needs to improve quickly as I suspect he will find his minutes restricted once Cesc is fit. Still a work in progress though a big positive is the amount of goals we are scoring late on. Even when we are not creating much we are tiring the opposition and the games will open up for us the later they go. My biggest worry at the moment, I hate to say is Kepa. He's not had much to do yet and I'm sure he's a good shot stopper but we really look under threat from set-pieces. He does not look comfortable at all with crosses coming in and our defenders are used to having Courtois who is 13cm taller and a lot stronger. De Gea had big issues in his first season coming from la liga but he is a few inches bigger than Kepa as well. We have to hope he can develop as we have committed to him long term now. For a very long time we have always had a giant in goal so maybe it will just take some getting used to. His kicking was much improved yesterday. West Ham have been playing with either Wilshere, Noble or both in their midfield so I am pretty confident we will cut through them. Their defence is shocking. I am concerned about this Liverpool game though. After seeing them yesterday they look like the real deal. Electric going forward and solid at the back, they have also given City big issues with their style of football. They are in Klopps 4th season so we shouldn't really be surprised. I would snap your hand off for a draw right now.
  4. Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1

    I think you've nailed the team there. Pedro must surely start after producing more than Willian in the last game and being one of our players of the season so far. In addition Willian has just played 2 games on the other side of the world whilst Pedro has been back at cobham. Putting to one side who is the better player, Pedro provides a much greater balance to our team. Willian and Hazard are both similar stylistically whereas Pedro is more direct, will run in behind and shoot on sight. We really need this as there is a lack of goals in our team however I do think should we start to kick into gear with Sarri we will see a few extra goals from unexpected sources. Giroud has earned a start as well. Especially against a Cardiff side who will no doubt sit deep and be very physical. Scored a great goal for France last week whilst Van Dijk was bouncing off him. Sounds like Fabregas has only been training for a few days although as Loftus-Cheek is apparently injured he may be back on the bench. A real shame for RLC if he is out for the next few weeks as he will miss the Europa and League cup starts he would certainly have got. Unfortunately by the time he is fit again Cesc should be firing and then his chances of minutes will be even lower.
  5. Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

    With Jorginho sitting and Kante on the other side (or slightly deeper) I see no reason why he couldn't play in a midfield three. I always thought he was fine in a midfield two when he had runners in front of him. I like Kovacic and long term he will most likely start in more challenging games but if we are dominating possession high up the pitch I would prefer a greater cutting edge in the final third. Personally I do think they perform different roles and also play in different areas of the pitch. Jorginho sits deep between the centre backs whereas Cesc has always roamed around the pitch and often makes runs in behind the full back. Cesc first thought is always for the killer pass whereas Jorginho is a brilliant recycler of the ball often using just 1 touch. Cesc sometimes struggles when he is unable to get on the ball especially when we are playing on the counter. Jorginho will feed the ball into him repeatedly, quickly and in space. I think we will find, like Pedro, that Cesc will be one of the quickest to adapt to Sarri as he is already schooled in this style of play. I am not saying he will nail down the third midfield slot for the season but in this transitional period where the players are still finding their feet in the new system I think he can accelerate the growth, he will certainly speed up the play. Cesc saved us countless times in Conte's first season, I just would prefer him to start. Watching us struggle to create in our previous two games I thought both were screaming out for Cesc. Against a packed defence there is not many better in the world at unpicking the lock with a pass and the next two games will likely be similar. There are plenty of games to play this season and it's great to finally have a squad. Whoever starts I doubt the opposition will be pleased to see a fresh Cesc or Kovacic coming on at 60 minutes. At the very least there will be some filthy football to watch.
  6. Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1

    Cardiff will come sit deep and try to frustrate us like Bournemouth and Newcastle. Would be amazing to get Fabregas back involved as this kind of game is made for him. Playing in a team dominating possession high up the pitch and Jorginho constantly feeding him the ball quickly will suit him down to the ground. With two sitters alongside him he will have the freedom to roam.
  7. Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

    I know some may have forgotten he existed but I can't wait for Cesc to return. Find a place for him in this side and you'll find the passing speeds up, the football goes from 3 touch to one touch and a greater cutting edge in the final third. Whilst the team is learning this new style I think he will be vital in the transitional stage. At 0-0 on Saturday I would have felt very confident had Cesc been warming up. RLC did have a good 15 minutes (against tired legs) but Fabregas would take our play to a new level especially against the bottom 14.
  8. It counts on fantasy football but has never been included as an assist by any major stats companies. Hazard would certainly have a few more over the years but then that begs the question of whether you could assist your own penalty.
  9. Exactly. Pep has always had one of the best defensive records in every league he has played in for this simple reason. Initially players such as Otamendi and Stones would be huge liabilities but they rarely make mistakes anymore. Koulibaly was considered a flop under Benitez but suddenly they were rejecting £60million bids one year later. I think with time our defence is only going to improve. The quality of the players we have is vastly superior to Napoli. I saw this on Twitter earlier which (if accurate) illustrates the budget constraints Sarri is used to. Total wages (gross) of the Serie A clubs. 1. Juventus - €219M 2. Milan - €140M 3. Inter - €116M 4. Roma - €100M 5. Napoli - €94M 6. Lazio - €66M 7. Torino - €43M 8. Fiorentina - €37M 9. Sampdoria - €36M 10. Bologna - €34M (@Gazzetta_it)
  10. I have been impressed with our start to the season so far. Clearly we still have a long way to go although we are already ahead of where I expected at this stage of the season. When Sarri started at Napoli he really struggled for the first months with just 2 points from his first 3 games and was heavily criticised in the media. It took him a while to get his methods implemented on the pitch however after a few months they began to motor. The season before he joined Napoli they scored 70, conceded 54 goals and finishing 5th with the more defensively minded Rafa Benitez in charge. Despite the tough start in his first season they managed to score 80 and (more interestingly) conceded 32 whilst increasing to 82 points from 63 with largely the same squad. Sarri’s reputation as an attack minded coach is well documented but following the 32 conceded in his first season he then followed this up with the below totals: 2016/17 – 3rd, GS – 94, GC – 39, points 86. 2017/18 – 2nd, GS – 77, GC – 29, points 91. These are some pretty impressive defensive numbers combined with the high goals and points totals. I do agree with the comments mentioning how we might get thrashed in a few, especially vs Liverpool and City, though I think over the course of the season this style will win most weeks as teams will struggle to lay a glove on us. Clearly at Napoli whilst they had to contend with Juventus they did not have to face the high intensity press of Liverpool, City and even Spurs to be fair. Pep certainly did not gain instant success and it would be naïve to think there will be no teething problems. I do worry about Luiz defensively and Kepa has yet to convince however it is very early days in the season. That we already have 4 wins from 4 is a huge bonus but it is clear from comparing us to Napoli our players are taking 2 or 3 touches whereas they would be knocking it around 1st touch. This will come with time and the fitter and more adapted we get the more impressive we will be. I personally still think Hazard is still carrying summer weight and Kovacic is yet to play 90 minutes. I think most of us were hoping for top 4 at best this year and providing our AM’s steer clear of injury we should be able to achieve this. If we qualify for Champions league and somehow win a trophy that would be a brilliant season.
  11. Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

    With only 3 real wingers we are going to need to rotate a lot if we are going to play the high press all season. Hudson Odoi, Barkley and RLC options for lesser opposition but our season will hinge on the fitness of Hazard, Pedro and Willian.
  12. Chelsea 3 Arsenal 2

    Personally I don't think Hazard is ready to start. Looked fantastic for 15 minutes against a tiring Huddersfield chasing the game however visibly he is carrying a bit of extra timber. He only played around 20 minutes in pre-season and he looked way off the pace in that game. Willian and Pedro are both fit and on form so I would start both and use Hazard as a second half weapon against tiring legs. Barring injuries I would expect no changes although would be great to get Cesc back in the squad. I have a vision of the Spurs semi from 2 years ago when we were behind and brought on Hazard and Cesc after 60 minutes. They completely took over and were impossible to pick up. It is nice to finally have a genuine squad.
  13. Huddersfield 0 Chelsea 3

    Seems a waste of a bench position especially when competition to get in the squad is so high.
  14. Huddersfield 0 Chelsea 3

    Apparently Fabregas has stayed at Cobham with a knock. Makes you wonder why he was playing against City last week a couple of days after using crutches.
  15. Squad Status: 2018/2019 Season

    Number one priority for Abraham should be game time and I do think it would be a waste to have him here sat on the bench, even if he is arguably a better fit than Batshuayi and possibly also Giroud. Meaningful minutes on the pitch will give him the best chance of being a Chelsea player in a year's time and not now. The Swansea loan was probably a bad choice. They sold their only creative outlet and he was given a thankless task up top on his own for one of the worst attacking teams in the league. He still would have learned a great deal more at Swansea than he would watching from the side like RLC did. Tammy is a very big prospect. His physicality added to movement means he gets into goalscoring positions consistently. This combined with a relentless attitude will take him a long way. 25+ starts this season should be the aim either in the Prem or Championship.