chiswickblue

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About chiswickblue

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    Chelsea

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    Switzerland

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  1. I think people overstate the Eva effect. Pre-season was much better this year and the impact of not playing European football is massive. Those two factors, plus better signings (improving the quality if not really quantity of options) and some much-needed tactical flexibility are the main reasons for the contrast between last season and this.
  2. I agree with this team. Courtois, Luiz, Moses, Alonso, Kante, Hazard and Costa shouldn't even be in the 18. A bench of Eduardo, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Matic, Pedro, Musonda and Solanke will do.
  3. I'm not sure Shearer is the guy you want on your side when it comes to discussing elbows.
  4. Yes. Forums without different opinions and different personalities are boring places.
  5. We've already stripped our squad back to the bare bones, we shouldn't be contemplating selling anyone else. JT going into semi-retirement and a change in reserve keepers are the only outgoings I can imagine. Letting 3 senior players go in January and replacing them with kids is madness.
  6. We still have the same weakness that teams are seeking to exploit - our 3 least mobile players (Alonso, Matic, Cahill) cover an area of the pitch that the opponents try to get their best passers into, before delivering balls to the far post where our two smaller defenders (Azpi, Moses) struggle to defend the cross. It cost have cost us again. We're doing very well with what we have but there is an obvious weakness not easily solved without personnel changes. I think we're in a similar situation to two years ago - we won't be playing much free-flowing football now because a draw will often be enough. It's a shame because Fabregas, Hazard, Pedro and Costa in full flight is so good to watch. But I'd rather win the league than throw it away attacking recklessly.
  7. I meant to say when Azpi went off
  8. For those of us who couldn't get tickets despite for once being in the area, does anyone have any thoughts on Aké and Kenedy playing LWB? Assuming that's where they both played, with Aké going to LCB when Pedro went off. Loaning Aina and selling Ivanovic leaves us even shorter on the right.
  9. Musonda in Willian's place please
  10. Both Man City and Spurs have attacked two of our defensive weaknesses - Cahill and Alonso's lack of speed and Azpilicueta and Moses's lack of aerial power. So trying to make runs down the inside left channel and then swinging balls over to the far post has become the default way to attach us. This is of course compounded by a lack of midfield defensive support. Player-wise I think a switch of sides for Cahill and Azpilicueta could help compensate for the weaknesses of the wingbacks, as could seeing if Zouma can play RCB with Azpilicueta at LCB. In midfield we're still looking for the perfect player to play alongside Kante, or we could switch to three in the middle with only Hazard and Costa up front. If there was a perfect time for these weaknesses to be exposed it's January, when we can make changes to the squad and the FA Cup provides a chance for experimenting with the team.
  11. I don't think our Christmas schedule is as demanding as in recent years. After today's game we have 9 days til the next, then 5 days break and then 3. Basically one game a weekend, other than the Spurs game which is immediately followed by the FA cup. So I don't expect any widespread changes to the team, injuries permitting, other than our existing 'tactical' options of Matic or Fabregas, Pedro or Willian. I think the other 9 will play every match. Then lots of changes for the cup and then we go back to a game a week.
  12. Can we discuss the squad as it is now and how it needs to be improved without comparing it to last season? Ideally Cahill, Alonso, Matic and Pedro will become squad players and we'll have stronger players in their positions after the next two windows. Plus an alternative to Moses.
  13. Finally a selection dilemma! Matic or Fabregas, Pedro or Willian? Not playing in Europe is such a blessing. Can you imagine playing away on the continent three days after yesterday's physical and emotional ordeal? I know that my nerves need at least a week to recover.
  14. Without wanting to jump into the fun and games in the transfer forum these should be our priorities for strengthening the squad in the next two windows, in order of urgency: LWB (Alonso is the only option) CM (with Mikel, Fabregas and RLC seemingly not considered we only have 3) AM (we have 4 possible options at present) CB (can Terry and Zouma fit into 3-4-3?) RWB (can Willian play there? Aina is more of a defender and needs a couple more years) ST (can Batshuayi settle?)
  15. I think our team is: Courtois Azpi Luiz Placeholder Moses Kanté Placeholder Placeholder Placeholder Costa Hazard Lots of work to do in the next two transfer windows to build a consistent team that can challenge on all fronts.