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About samhoward17

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  1. Chelsea 0 Valencia 1

    Yes Willian our best player and just as sharp as the weekend. That tackle on Mount was shocking. The pundits suggesting only a yellow, what a surprise! Incredibly reckless and probably caused some serious damage. Carrying on was also pretty stupid. Let's hope he's it's not too bad.
  2. Chelsea 0 Valencia 1

    Rudiger and Emerson out through injury. James, CHO and Kante all fit but not match fit. I would expect Pulisic, Pedro, Barkley and Giroud or Bats all to come in.
  3. Wolves 2 Chelsea 5

    Before the season my biggest fear was where the goals would come from, safe to say we aren't struggling. Tammy excellent again. All 3 goals were class in their own right and it's not hyperbole to say the hat trick was Drogba-esque. Strength, pace, dribbling, movement, finishing - he showcased it all. Forget the goals for a moment, his all round game is a massive upgrade on any forward we have had post Costa. The difference it makes to the team when the striker can hold off big centre backs, beat them for pace and consistently get into great positions. Let's hope his knock isn't too bad. It was good to see Frank finally acknowledge the need to rein it in a bit. Play the way we had in previous weeks and Wolves would counter us to death. Kamikaze attacking football will not get you top 4 (or maybe top 6). 2 goals conceded again very disappointing - we certainly need to improve defending set-pieces. Overall I thought we looked significantly tighter at the back, Kante and Rudi will only help further. Huge shout out to Willian who is clearly now finding his match fitness. Written off by many after a couple of bad games, I think he will flourish post Hazard. Having him back allowed a rest to Pulisic who has been decent but at 20 not consistent. Kova and Jorgy great again. Mount is so far ahead of Barkley already its embarrassing. Worst thing about the transfer ban is having to watch him play for another season. Once everyone's fit his minutes should diminish. Not good enough and will be replaced in the summer.
  4. Transfer Talk Topic

    On Kepa - hate to be a downer but it's not just this season, stats guys have been wondering what the fuss is all about for a long time. XG is a great tool to help us understand whether we are under or over performing and predict future performance. Kepa often comes out as around league average including when he was in La Liga. Not bad but we did spend a world record fee. Here's a few articles from last season including his performance at Athletic. I think the worry with Kepa is that while he rarely makes howlers, perhaps he is not making saves many others would. He is quite short for a GK and there has been a few occasions where he's got a weak hand to a ball which has gone in anyway. He's still young so of course there is plenty of time for him to improve and he certainly looks the part. The amount of clean sheets we got last season really highlight how well we defended as a team under Sarri.
  5. Chelsea 1 Leicester 1

    We were extremely lucky to hang on in the end today. The first half performance was pretty good and we should have been a couple goals ahead by half time. Unfortunately in the second we were all over the place and the sheer number of counter attack opportunities Leicester had was worrying. Even in the 94th minute they had a wide open counter with men over. Every time we concede a set piece it's heart in mouth. We look a very small team. Despite my concerns over them both, Zouma (bar one stupid decision) and especially Christensen were good today. Any centre back pairing would struggle with the opposition constantly running straight at them and the non-existent support they received. The midfield was the issue. Taking off Jorginho was puzzling however he did play 120 minutes on Wednesday. Kovacic tried to copy Kante's all action role which meant that the midfield area was completely vacant for the last half an hour. Creativity completely ceased after this substitution. Azpi as well is a huge worry. Every pacey left winger in the league will be licking their lips on current form. I would be very tempted to play Zappa but can't see it happening. Expect him to go on loan before the end of the window. Pedro is 32 and already clocked 300 minutes in the first week of the season. He can still do a great job if his minutes are managed but currently we are having to rely on him heavily. Last year he started to pick up injuries more frequently and today he should have come off after his knock. Willian is clearly nowhere near match fit, Pulisic is 20 - also needs to be managed and CHO is 18 coming off an Achilles injury. Personally can see Mount featuring a lot from the left and a return to 433. Some positives. Mount was excellent. Already he has shown an ability to shoot often and well from dangerous areas. He will get goals. Add this to his work rate and set piece delivery, at just 20 he looks like he will be important for us this season. Emerson's performances have gone up a level. Today he tailed off but I'll forgive that given he was out on his feet by the end against Liverpool. It's been a tough start to the season with a depleted squad. Next week it's vital we deliver an improved all round performance.
  6. Official: David Luiz Joins Arsenal

    Surely this can't be true? He only just signed a 2 year contract. Transfer fee would have to be irrefusable, £20 million minimum even if he's 32. He might have his flaws but he is integral this year.
  7. Chelsea 3 Sheffield Wednesday 0

    Of course, in regard to this I would like to see Alonso start tomorrow. I think Emerson deserves a run for the next few PL games as he seems to be hitting form whilst Alonso has been quite poor for a while now. A rest should do Alonso good and healthy competition might make him step up his game. After the Arsenal game when Sarri made his comments he mentioned that there might be a few small changes. Perhaps dropping Alonso is one. It never hurts to show that a senior player is not untouchable.
  8. Official: Chelsea sign Gonzalo Higuain

    I really liked his energy on the side against Spurs. Often he was screaming at the ref and asking for Tottenham players to get booked and genuinely seemed very happy to be here. One underestimated element of this signing could be the value he adds as a respected voice and leader in the dressing room. One that will back Sarri as well. Not sure how much to take from it but he looks sharp in this video. Of course he was unopposed against the goalkeeper however if anyone has seen Morata in the warm up before games you'll know this is a step up. The passion shown as well could hardly by further from the sulky cloud he replaced. Certainly looks confident.
  9. Official: Cesc Fabregas Leaves For Monaco

    I was extremely shocked when Henry got the job. I always thought he was awful as a pundit with most of what he said not really making any sense. Zidane an obvious exception but always thought defensively minded players make better managers. Incredible natural talents like Henry can find it difficult to understand why players can't do what he used to, perhaps Zidane would be the same if he were not managing a super team. All the Belgians seem to speak very highly of Henry but again they have some world class talents. I've heard that Glenn Hoddle used to rub some of his players up the wrong way as he would still be the best player in training and was not shy about it. Some of the stories that have come out, if true are quite comical. From the article above where he called an opposition players grandmother a whore. 'I regret my comments from the bench. It was a human reaction, I'm still human. I regret it. 'Sometimes I do it in English. Maybe in English it wouldn't have been as noticeable. No, I'm joking. I should not do it.' Probably ill advised timing for a joke. Emenalo has officially been sacked now and Jardim is back in. Reports are Jardim and Emenalo did not get along and the owner did not like the business that was done last summer. All seems very chaotic and a surprise as Monaco seemed to be a very well run club for the last few years. Poor Cesc might just be questioning his decision to go there.
  10. Official: Chelsea sign Gonzalo Higuain

    If he can avoid being blown over by a gust of wind or complaining about the rain he will be an improvement. I'm excited to see if we now have a player who will get to in the 6 yard box. If we do then this should lift the rest of the team.
  11. Transfer Talk Topic

    Plus the game against Wolves where he rotated the whole team and we ended up losing.
  12. Agreed. We are not free flowing yet but Sarri is right to prioritise the defence. On course for 81 points and 1 point off third place. Most predicted us 5th or 6th at the start of the season. Sarri took over a team playing a completely different style of play and had one summer with his best players not returning until 1 week before the season. Poch, Klopp and Guardiola have all had at least 2 years, Poch double and have their teams complete. Imagine where we would be if we had a striker that actually suited our system.
  13. Transfer Talk Topic

    Both Parades and Barrella look like quality players but also hard bastards which is okay by me. Need a few more who can go toe to toe with the thugs at Spurs and the rest. We have Luiz (who may leave) and Rudiger but not a lot else. In this regard we still haven't replaced Terry, Brana and Costa.
  14. Official: Chelsea Sign Christian Pulisic

    It's the exact same as the Naby Keita deal Liverpool made about 12 months before he joined. Sometimes in order to sign a highly coveted player you need to go early. I'm just happy he will be joining on day one of pre-season rather than deadline day. Also heard murmers that there's a transfer ban coming and this is our way of navigating it. That would provide a few problems.
  15. Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 1

    Thought we played well dominating the game, creating chances and not allowing any on our own goal. That we have so many clean sheets this season is a testament to how the team is defending as I don't think Kepa has been more than average. Azpi brilliant again, completely smothered their best player and one who has caused us a few problems in the past. His deliverys are improving as well just a shame that no one actually runs to the front post. Kante also brilliant and improving every single week with his attacking contributions. Earlier in the season many have asked why he is the furthest foward CM rather than Barkley / Kovacic. From Sarri's comments it seems they are also being asked to get forward they just aren't doing it as well or often. His ability to get in the box and then also get back into position should not be underestimated. Injuries in key areas did not help. When the only attacking option you have on the bench is Morata then you have issues. Let's hope RLC, Pedro or CHO are back quick because Morata attitude and performances look like he's already out the door. Is Higuain the long term answer? Not a chance but by virtue of being able to play 90 minutes without getting blown over by a gust of wind he will improve us for 6 months on a loan. A striker who actually gets in the 6 yard box will make a huge difference. Think it's time for either Emerson or Zappa to get a game ahead of Alonso who looks like he needs a rest. Not been in great form for a few weeks and his yellow card was probably a key indicator at his frustration with his own game right now. After seeing half a season of Barkley playing regularly I still do not rate him at all. He's gone from a frustrating number 10 who would give the ball away often but produce the odd spectacular moment to a nothing ball recycler who rarely does anything at all. The biggest issue is he still has the capacity to give the ball away, often in very bad areas, whilst the spectacular moments are almost never seen. Can press a bit but mostly a liability in defence. It drives me mad that he is on the pitch ahead of Cesc and the fact we may lose him because of it is mind boggling. Games like this are crying out for a player who can pick a pass through the eye of a needle. I have wanted to see Cesc and Jorginho together all season as I think they will compliment each other well but sadly I just don't see it ever happening.