Blue Rod

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  1. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    It was during the CHO - Sarri debacle that I first thought Pulisic could turn out to be surplus. And Mount wasn't even on my mind at the time. Many European pundits were writing how we could buy Pulisic and yet not find CHO good enough at least to come on as sub. Their positions are different but I got the gist of their comments In think we can and should play him, unless what he shows is training is a lot worse than what he does when he comes on. Because the few minutes I have seen him play, he has in total been more effective than Pedro, imho.
  2. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    They all seem to be able to find £50m for an average player but can't find the money to set up a decent youth system. Of course every single PL club can set up a youth system that produces at least a couple of players each season to suit their level, from title challengers to relegation scrappers. First they have to hire and back a manager who is interested in youth and confident in his coaching. Part of the reason managers go for experienced players is they are not sure they can train and nurture one. The other reason is they are slave to agents whom they believe got them the job. The next thing they must do is get rid of pushy agents. They are the people who stand to again most from big money transfers. If agents had their way, youth systems would be restricted to Conference. I reckon every second or third transfer of mature player ends up a disappointment or flop. If you introduce 2 or 3 players from your youth system each season, I can't see how you'd do worse than that.
  3. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    I'm with you on this, Kev. 3rd position is my target, and a realistic one. At this moment, and unless something big happens at Spurs and Arsenal, I dont see why we should aim for less. If the senior players have now decided to commit, after the rumoured meeting with Frankie and Jody, we should gradually find our place in the table. Performances like the one on Sunday from Willian can only help the youngsters step up to another level.
  4. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    Well, I try to find one thing he does well, but can't. His positioning, distribution, tackling are all poor. Take the S'ton goal, he seemed to be aware the guy was behind him, yet it was so easy for the forwad to get across him in the last moment. I will give him his header as one thing he is decent at. He's not exactly a young player. He might improve in some areas, but some flaws are beyond rectification. I don't know why he wobbles when trying to make a tackle. He looks like he's about to give away a penalty each time he's facing a striker in the box.
  5. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    A very good performance by the boys. MOTM was Willian. Whether it's defending or running with or without the ball he was fantastic today. He also showed a lot of stamina. Tomori has to tone down the risk taking. Trying to do a 3 - point turn at the edge of your 18 yd box when an opponent is nearby is never a good idea. As someone already says, I struggle to see any footballing skill that qualifies Zouma to play at this level. Even his physicality doesn't convince. He seems to be already going down before he could put in a tackle. His turning speed is like one of those lorries carrying extraordinary loads We are looking like a team to be reckoned with. FIFA must be wondering whether they chose the right punishment.
  6. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    I've been in two minds about Willian this season so far. I hope Lille marks a turning point. But under no circumstances would I boo a Chelsea player in front of opposing fans. I think Willian also needs to step up as a leader. The youngsters need leaders as much as anything else.
  7. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    Very bad acting indeed. A whole second had passed after the contact when he decided to throw himself down. Soon referees will be shooting the ball into the net to help Liverpool.
  8. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    If Kante sits alongside him all match, that problem should be reasonably managed. Problem is, Kante also has the natural ability to run with the ball when he senses an opportunity. His slalom skill at speed is as good as any deep-lying midfielder out there. If the attack breaks down and Kante is upfield, we should be able to support Jorginho in the middle. It means were are better off with a more mobile midfield where we attack and retreat, rather than camp at the edge of the opponent's box. Interestingly I watched Juventus against Bayer Leverkusen and didn't see a single moment of Juve trying that thing. You could almost say their goals came from counterattacks Perhaps we can take comfort in the knowledge that some of the greatest teams in European club football had players who were good with the ball and completely useless without it.
  9. Southampton 1 Chelsea 4

    I could never understand us booing Jorginho. Yes, he was at times out of his depth, and sometimes still is, in the work he is being asked to do. But it is the managers that put him in that position, a position which he is physically and technically not suited to. I like his professionalism, strength of character and his technical qualities. When we are in control of the game he is a key player. However, controlling the game and falling under a counterattack are two sides of the same coin. This is where Sarri and Lampard have both failed to work out what to do about Jorginho. One minute he is handing out passes like an aid worker in a refugee camp, the next, opponents pass him with the ball like he is not even on the pitch. Surely there has to be some kind of solution to the latter.
  10. Lille 1 Chelsea 2

    I agree; we need to make zonal marking work. Looking at the Lille goal, there was no marking, let alone zonal. We had 4 defenders standing in a line, with barely anyone moving till the last moment by which time the striker was already airborne and head and shoulders above his marker. No system of marking removes the need to anticipate and move up, down or across, ahead of your opponent. That has always been the essence of football; being ahead of your opponent, mentally or physically
  11. Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

    believe sounds like something I've been told. I actually observed and carefully studied it over several months. The dark side of Sarri was too glaring for eyes like mine to miss, I'm afraid.
  12. Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

    Or a rather more obvious reason Sarri left is, he would not have to face the unbearable pressure of playing the likes of CHO or dealing with the Kante question, forcing a celebration for a Kante goal, or hide his irritation at the "hype" over the little guy. Sorry to spill the beans.
  13. Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

    Or it could be said that Chelsea and Sarri met at the wrong points in their journeys. Sarri is a man desperate to get a few trophies under his belt. It's no surprise he feels that is much quicker with established, even if sometimes out of date, players. Chelsea on the other hand have dealt with exactly that monkey on their back, as it were, and successfully so. We are now at exactly the opposite phase, of rebuilding for the long term. You couldn't have found a more ill sorted couple. Incidentally Juventus have made the same mistake, and theirs will end the same way as Chelsea's. I cannot see how the likes of Higuain, and even Cristiano Ronaldo, represent a long term project or something that Juventus and their fans wished Allegri had given them.
  14. Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

    Agree. For all his weaknesses, Jorginho is a few times the asset to us that Willian currently is, for example. Performance aside, Jorginho's body language is just a lot more inspiring. And to show such "up-for-it" despite the stick he has received from our fans, me included, takes some personality. Sadly, it's not just Willian showing negative body language. I was rubbished for saying this last week. But I'll.say it again - there is something almost intentionally negative about the attitude and contributions of several senior players - Azpi, Alonso, Pedro, Willian. That every single one of them has underperformed their younger understudy so far takes some coincidence.
  15. Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

    God knows what stats Lampard uses to pick Willian and Pedro. Apart from age it must be highest number of misplaced, mishit balls?