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Everything posted by xCELERYx

  1. Chelsea 0 Everton 0

    I thought we were fairly average last season as well (at least the second half of the year) but for some different reasons. What worries me this season is that we're effectively playing two different sides - a team that plays the PL games, and then one that plays the EL/LC games. Despite this we're still looking lethargic with our play and void of any real assertiveness despite having the bulk of possession. Doesn't bode well from an overall perspective. We've also had a fairly kind start to the season in terms of fixtures - including playing the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd all at home. The true test of just how far we've come is going to be the stretch of games from January to effectively May next year. We'll have some genuinely tough away games against the other top sides, combined with one would imagine still participating in the EL and possibly domestic cup competition/s. This is where Sarri is going to earn his stripes.
  2. Chelsea 0 Everton 0

    You're not alone on this. Outside of a handful of games or so games I've found our football to be rather pedestrian in all honesty. Our unbeaten start to the season has flattered us a bit too as well, which has seen us defensively ride our luck on more than one occasion. Sure we have a lot of possession and pass it around a lot, but a lot of our play is slow, narrow and lacking in conviction. While we're also not seeing the best being extracted from a number of players due to tactical reasons. Things will only get tougher from here on in.
  3. Official: Chelsea Part Ways With Antonio Conte

    Conte is intense, which may not be for everyone, but he's often spoken about in a very fond manner by a lot of top quality players who've played under him. Ironically, the ones who have historically had issues with him are the type who aren't of that iron-willed mentality. He would have been a good fit with the squad we had that contained the likes of Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Carvalho, Cech, Ballack, Essen, A. Cole, etc.
  4. BATE Borisov 0 Chelsea 1

    What a mind-numbingly dull excuse of a game that was. The slow and narrow football we played reminded me of something we'd have seen under Mourinho a few years back when we were lost for ideas in the final third. In the end lucky to walk away with the win, and somehow blessed once more by poor finishing and a bit of luck.
  5. Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

    For me he wasn't level, his shoulder was ahead of the play and therefore in an offside position. I'd have been annoyed had that been a Palace player and the goal stood. Tough decision, but a good one in my books.
  6. Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

    Excessively underrated. Outside of Hazard he's out next biggest goal threat. Read something about two weeks ago now that Pedro had played at the time about 6,085 minutes in the PL for 23 goals and 13 assists. Which isn't too bad for someone who has also had bench role at times and doesn't really take many set pieces. In comparison Willian had 10,819 minutes of PL action since joining for his 26 goals and 23 assists. He's the ideal player for that right hand side. Just a shame he's 31 (32 to start next season).
  7. Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

    Don't count on it. This has the shades of typical Morata in full form. We'll experience his commonly had purple patch of form where you start to think he may just have finally strung it all together, only for normal order to resume. The question is just how long will his patch of form last? History suggests it can either be a handful of games to about 4-6 weeks. We'll need to wait and see. With that said I thought he did okay in this one. Both goals were taken well, although guilty of wasting a couple other good opportunities he should be taking. General game still lacked though from an overall perspective, but at least he was able to positively contribute. I can live with that as a bare minimum. On a side note; Luiz showcasing once again his poor decision making skill. No matter his ability on the ball, he's a liability when it comes to his primary job - defending.
  8. Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

    Thought he was offside personally, even after the replay. Have no real problem with that goal not being given in all honesty.
  9. Squad Status: 2018/2019 Season

    Not overly strange with how long it's taken for this to be confirmed. Keeping Cahill as captain disrupts nothing and the players obviously respect him. Also think it's a decision that pays respect or what he's done here over the years. Which is something I support.
  10. Squad Status: 2018/2019 Season

    There's a good chance we lose a number of players either in January or the summer. We've got three players already who are unhappy about a lack of playing time; Cahill, Christensen and Moses. We've got those who will be out of contract as you've mentioned. Then I can easily see another two or three growing discontent by seasons end if things remain as they are - Emerson, Zappacosta and Drinkwater. Three players who could all be playing regularly elsewhere. We could quite easily be looking at seeing 10 players (give or take) leaving. That's a huge problem, when you consider that we still have holes to fill in general and a serious issue upfront.
  11. Chelsea 3 Derby County 2

    Only just managed to catch the game this evening and it was certainly a strange match. Thought we were rather poor for the majority of it to be fair, which comes as no real surprise when you consider the number of changes made to the side and the minimal football most of those have played to date. The team lacked understanding and cohesion causing some sloppy play and players looking out of rhythm. Thought Derby were unlucky to not walk away with the win in the end. They played well and were unlucky to give up two own goals, although showed good fight to get themselves back on level terms - twice. Felt a little perplexed with Sarri's substitutions - none of which really made any impact. Although unless Christensen was injured, Sarri's decision to drag him may be what seals his fate. He didn't look all too pleased walking off. Got the win though and it was good to see Lamps at the Bridge again.
  12. On top of this it's generally the period where games come thick and fast. Rotation is going to be vital to keep players fresh, while still making sure we're competing in other competitions. Sarri won't have the luxury of ditching Europe to help efforts in the league, as he did with Napoli. Will be interesting to see how it handles it all. The other notable point is that our PL side has only really seen three positions being rotated so far - CF (Morata/Giroud), one AM position (Pedro/Willian) and one CM position (Kovacic/Barkley). That's going to have to change as the season wears on.
  13. Burnley 0 Chelsea 4

    This. Loaning Kovacic, irrespective if he stays or goes back to Madrid, is still a good signing for us and improves the team. He was signed because he fit the bill of what we needed in terms of another technical midfielder good on the ball who was equally astute from a tactical stand point. With the way transfer fees are these days, it's ridiculous that we don't make more of an effort to try and utilise the loan market more than we do. There's still plenty of value to be had in short term deals.
  14. Kante and Jorginho - The Conundrum

    Which says something doesn't it. My biggest gripe though is that our midfield roles aren't quite getting the best from Kante or Kovacic at present. Which when both are pared together can make our midfield a little dull at times. Adding Barkley helps with adding a bit more forward drive, but it comes at the cost of a more rounded Kovacic or the industry of Kante. There's still a hint of square peg round hole happening. It is however nice to see a bit more flexibility with players more inter-changeable. That's been a big problem for years, it's nice having a bit more balance.
  15. Burnley 0 Chelsea 4

    I thought Willian's yellow was fair imo. He went down looking for it and I know had that been a Burnley player trying to do that, I'd have wanted them booked for it as well. Morata's card on the other hand was 50/50. The fact he retaliated probably earns him the yellow, although could quite as easily not been given on another day. I think it was more about the ref wanting to keep control of the game and not risk anything over-spilling.
  16. Kante and Jorginho - The Conundrum

    Which I'd say also impacts either Kovacic and Kante. Good chance that RLC may get some more games now out wide with Pedro seemingly injured - given he came on for him vs Burnley.
  17. Burnley 0 Chelsea 4

    Hard to have both Fabregas and Jorginho playing together in the same side because of how little impact they have defensively off the ball.
  18. Chelsea 3 BATE Boris 1

    If this is in regards to the goal, don't think you can really fault Kepa for this. For me, the blame lies with Sarri and his desire to have his defenders watch the ball and not the man. There's a noticeable difference this season to how we go about defending set pieces, no one really goes out of their way to man mark, track runners or even have touch on an opposition player in their area. Everyone sort of just stands in an organised line and moves to where the ball seems to be directed without any real interest on where their man is. Everyone sort of just ends up caught ball watching. Had the cross been a bit lower it would have virtually been a free header to the BATE attacker who leaped up for the header, in this instance it was too high and travelled to the back post for a comfortable tap in. The reaction was as if we were bewildered that someone could have made such a run at the back post. Our defending of set pieces and corners this season has been terrible so far, and every time the ball is hit into the box we look uncomfortable, nervy and have trouble clearing our lines. Not overly reassuring to say the least.
  19. Kante and Jorginho - The Conundrum

    Mainly been a 433 so far, although 442 has also been used. Jorginho has played as the middle CM in the 443 and as the LCM in the 442. He gets a lot of the ball still and is generally up the top in terms of passes made. He's been the only regular midfield fixture though and has had different midfield partners in each of the three Nation League games played. The one vs Poland where they played 433 Verratti was played at LCM and both had a even split in terms of possession and passes made. Probably the biggest difference is that he gets forward a bit more with Italy and generally will average a couple of efforts on goal. Although the Italian team itself isn't as attack minded as we are under Sarri. Only a small sample size at the moment though.
  20. Chelsea 3 BATE Boris 1

    I'd probably recommend enjoying this while you can. I can't envision Christensen or Cahill staying around for too much longer if things persist as they are. Both have already expressed their displeasure with not playing regularly since Sarri has taken over, and there's a good chance that if one doesn't leave in January, we'll probably lose at least one, if not both in the summer if their situations don't change. On top of that, I can't see Emerson being satisfied with his position in the team either. He's rarely makes the much day squads as it is. With Alonso virtually a shoe in unless injured or suspended, it really only leaves games against noddy sides. He's too good of a player now that he's fit again to be in that sort of a position and could certainly be starting elsewhere if he desired. I can see him considering his future come next summer if he isn't part of a meaningful rotational system. As for Zappacosta, he was close to returning to Italy with Inter Milan at the beginning of this season as it was. Got a feeling he'll end up leaving at seasons end with a return to Italy. Moses reportedly will consider his future in January according to recent reports as well. That effectively makes three players knowingly unhappy at present - which is understandable given all three played regularly last season. Toss in the excluded Drinkwater and potentially RLC, the expiring contracts of Fabregas, Giroud, Cahill, Luiz and Willy, and there's potential for a mass exodus of players across the board in the next 12 months.
  21. Alvaro Morata.

    These "positives" often flatter to deceive. Don't worry, I thought exactly the same as you when he first joined Juve at like 22 years old. He looked to have a little about him that would develop with games, continuing to play along side other top players, and being coached by top managers. Instead he was a constant source of frustration with a game that was extremely inconsistent resulting in him being a player who just couldn't be counted on. His measly goal returns over the years should have been a huge warning for us - particularly when you get a chance to look over the goals he has scored and how they've come. Only once all that is taken into account do you realise just how limited of a player he actually is, despite showing glimpses of promise for a short stretch of play during the season where you foolishly think he may finally be getting it together. While I was staunchly against signing him from the very beginning, I didn't think he'd actually be this utterly useless. At a time where he should be entering his prime years, he's somehow managed to regress. Dropping Morata now for me is the only real viable option we have. Having him out on the pitch does us no favours even at a time when we're struggling upfront. I'd rather see us make do with Giroud, who at least can positively contribute in games and does a good job of bringing others into play. With a combination of Pedro or Hazard through the middle for the time being. While the minutes saved by not playing Morata could be better used to help along Hudson-Odoi develop and get first team exposure - a player who has actually shown promise. Which would be a positive move for the future. The club needs to hold its hand up and cut their losses as quickly as possible. We're obviously not going to recoup our money, so we either try and loan him out to get back as much as possible via loan fees until his contract runs down, or we flog him off for something in the region of £20-30m (if we're lucky) and cop the loss on the chin. Persisting with him helps no one at this point.
  22. Transfer Talk Topic

    Has been good for Genoa thus far, which has captured people's eye. Was consistent in Poland in his previous two seasons there as well. Ideally a larger sample size would be nice, at the same time we'll probably sit on our hands and do nothing. Watch him go elsewhere and be priced out of a move. Given our situation I'd be happy to take that gamble in January given our need. Upside is that it cannot be worse than spending £60m on Morata and believing that to be good business. Maybe we can send Morata the other way, Genoa may be a bit more his speed.
  23. Alvaro Morata.

    Conte didn't neglect this, he just didn't the midfield options to do it here. It was certainly part of his approach at Juve when he had more rounded midfielders who could actually push forward and grab a goal. Sarri obviously has better midfield options now than what Conte did, but there is still no real goal scoring midfielder outside of Barkley. It also doesn't help that Kante is playing that more attacking role So once again we're short that real goal scoring threat from midfield that can actually get into the right positions to be a threat. Hamsik for example was this option for Sarri at Napoli. Until we actually obtain an actual midfielder who has some of those qualities, this will remain an issue going forward. For me, I think a cheap remedy would be trying to sign Ramsey from Arsenal.
  24. Alvaro Morata.

    I politely disagree. There's absolutely no value in persisting with Morata going forward. He doesn't just go missing against top sides, he goes missing against virtually every team he faces. Unless he's literally spoon fed he contributes very little and it's often like playing with 10 men. He's just not a very good player and that's been the case from the beginning.
  25. Alvaro Morata.

    If we go down the path of using Hazard upfront at any point, I'd actually like to see Emerson come in at left back and have Alonso pushed up to attacking mid to partner Pedro.