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About bluehorn

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    Longing for Trump to be impeached. Supporting the Blues. Gin.

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  1. Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4

    William Hill shows odds for over 6 cards to be shown in the game at 5/1 and Erik Pieters (their left back) and Rudiger to both be carded at 11/1. The latter in particular looks good value, given Rudiger's record of yellows picked up last year.
  2. Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4

    The fixture last year has always stuck in my mind as a stark example of the nonsense spouted by mangers, in this case Mark Hughes. We had 64% possession, 20 shots to their 5, 7 on target to their 1 (a penalty). The penalty itself was pathetically soft, Cahill placing a hand on Walters was enough to send the big man hurtling to the ground. In a nutshell we dominated. Hughes after the game "we were unfortunate not to get anything" What?! And that the reaction of our fans and team was testament to how pleased we were to "get something" out of the game. I remember laughing as I watched the interview. It is in those situations I wish there were a third party during these interviews, "Mr Accountable" would be his name. His role would be to intervene when managers have the audacity to say they were unlucky in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and grill them on it. As MBIB states, Conte has a telling call to make regarding his choice at the back. In the absence of Luiz, does he revert to form or experience? Azpi Chris & Rudiger would be my call, it would be a huge shot in the arm for Christensen to get the nod in this fixture, I think he's more than up to the task. Perhaps the biggest test will be keeping 11 men on the field. Do that, and we should run out comfortable winners.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    Initial reported fee for Costa is 50m. I would say that given we were on the back foot from the off regarding this (everyone knew we wanted him gone, and that he only wanted Atletico) we have done good business here. I'll also add the fact his hamstring issues are well documented and I believe physically he is past his peak. Certainly doesn't run with the ball half as well as he did at Atletico. To play devils advocate, had the above circumstances not been in play, I think 90-100m might have been attainable. Lukaku was 90m, and whilst 4 years younger is not in the same league. Higuain was 75m I believe, and that was 2 years ago.
  4. Chelsea 5 Nottingham Forest 1

    I think it's great to see someone absolutely ecstatic about scoring their first goal for a club he's been at since he was 15, no qualms with that. I'm confused as to why so many have deemed it a great goal, it wasn't. It squirmed under the keeper and went in the middle of the goal. Any goalkeeper of any level would have been disappointed to concede that. That said, I hope he kicks on from this, soaks up every bit of knowledge he can obtain from training with Hazard, and becomes a genuine option for us.
  5. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    That's hyperbole and you know it. There weren't posts anything like "my word we were hammered" "that was a humiliating performance/result" "we aren't at their level" or anything even remotely indicating we had lost, never mind "hammered". What you will have seen were people worried before kick off, that Fabregas in a midfield two was a huge gamble (this proved correct). You'd have also seen people lamenting our lack of meaningful possession, creating of good chances, as well as criticism of individual performances. All absolutely warranted. I'm not telling you how to post. I will point out however that again you have come into this thread exaggerating legitimate concerns/opinions in an attempt to belittle the points made.
  6. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    2. You are right that a large majority of transfer rumours are manufactured for either coverage (Sky and newspapers) or for money (contract renewals) That said, in lack of a Transfer Ombudsman who reveals all, we have to make do with what we have. With Sandro we had months of speculation, quotes from their manager and chairman maintaining he's going nowhere (questions were at least being asked), that we only had 1 usable left back, and finally that clearly we wanted (and got) cover for Moses, which raises the question why wouldn't we do the same for Alonso? Especially given we have more cover at right back with Azpi being able to play there. So no, we don't know if we were legitimately interested. I'd argue however it looks better if we were! I'd rather that than the truth being we stupidly thought 1 left back for 60 games this year would suffice. 3. That summer we sold/released: Cole, Ballack, Belletti, Carvalho and Deco to name a few. Only bringing in (for the 1st team squad) Benayoun and Ramires at a total cost of 23m. Losing those players AND not replacing them was a huge blow to our chances. We faffed around with our interest in Aguero, deeming him too expensive, only for us to panic and splurge 50m on a finished Torres. Both the summer and winter dealings were ill planned and executed poorly.
  7. Chelsea 5 Nottingham Forest 1

    The reason Willian does frustrate is exactly what Mark says, he has exceptional ability and attributes. I know it's been mooted a few times on here over the years, but I still think he'd be a good fit as a rcm in a midfield three. They'd be less of an onus on him to get goals and assists, which isn't his forte. He could showcase what he's great at, running with the ball, travelling 20-30 yards to stretch teams, using his change of pace. I also think he has a good enough work rate and discipline to at least contribute defensively, and as part of a three he'd hardly be expected or needed to be the new Vieira. We don't play that formation so it's a moot point, just playing devils advocate.
  8. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    Why are there always responses like this when legitimate concerns are raised? An attempt to completely undermine/devalue an opinion by falsely implying we suggested/act as though we're "bottom of the league". We shouldn't have to caveat our concerns by declaring that we do in fact have a very good team, with some superb players. Do you disagree that our 1 year only contact rule could lead to some high profile, fist team departures very soon? Fabregas, Pedro, Cahill, Luiz. Do you disagree that chasing Sandro/llorente/Stones all summer(s) and ending up with nothing is poor to say the least? Do you disagree that our squad is exceptionally small (of adults) and that for the third time after winning the league we have hamstrung our manager? Feel free to disagree with me, I'm all for a debate. However, coming in and making blanket statement about our negativity offers nothing to a discussion on an "intelligent" forum.
  9. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    Gosh that is potentially hugely problematic. It's time to abandon this bizarre 1 year only contracts rule we imposed on ourselves. Not a chance Luiz and Pedro, possibly Fabregas agree to that. Players want security and ££$$ guaranteed. With the amount of money in the game now, not to mention the inordinate amounts China can offer players, we can't afford to take a financial high ground. What would be the cost of replacing those players vs 1 years salary?
  10. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    I'm not lamenting the fact the Manchester clubs are wealthier than us, that would be juvenile. I'm embracing that fact and saying that in order to face that huge challenge this club needs to be better, at everything. Conte out-coached all of his peers last year, it's not a coincidence that so many teams now play a 5 at the back/3 + wingback formations. Conte proved himself the best, can we say that about the board? Absolutely not. Spending 15m net (inc Oscar sale in January) as champions is pathetic. As is chasing Stones all summer to end up with Papa. As is Chasing Sandro to end up with.. no one. As is being linked to Llorente before the window even opened, to a mad dash attempt on deadline day, to be pipped by Spurs. It's amateur, and we show no signs of improvement in how we identify and negotiate with targets to build a squad capable of competing in numerous competitions. That said, you are right in saying we aren't far off. We have some superb players, and are a very good team. That however only heightens my frustration! Imagine the difference Sandro and Llorente would have made to this side, and a Mahrez? Not capitalising on positions of strength has cost us on two occasions previously, I hope it doesn't again.
  11. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    You're right, Dave. Why didn't we build this summer though? Or the summer when Jose last won it? They won't sit still next summer, they're likely to add Sanchez and Griezmann, City and United respectively. We were fortunate that Moyes came in and set united back at least three years, and we took full advantage of that with two titles in that time. They are well and truly back now though. Couple that with City's spending power and we've got some serious competition, and I'd argue catching up to do. I know that may seem ridiculous given we're champions, but our transfer policy the last few years has resulted in that.
  12. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    We're absolutely singing off the same hymn sheet here, Mark. The Manchester clubs were backed big time by their boards, not just in signings, but by not depleting their squads in the process. Lukaku and Matic were huge signings for them, it's also an absolute given that Griezmann is joining next summer, scary prospect. City went out and got two of the best fullbacks in the game, and even added to their wealth of talent in attack by signing Silva from Monaco, who just oozes class. Us on the other hand? If you include the Oscar sale in January, spent what? 15m net? Pathetic. The refusal to back the Manager has cost us on numerous occasions throughout the years. Mark speaks of lost momentum against Arsenal, how about the lost momentum of winning the league and AGAIN not pushing on? That said, Conte has to make do with what he has. He will need to learn from the mistakes made against Arsenal, and perhaps his biggest test will be getting the best out of Morata. I have every confidence he will.
  13. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    Agree completely with the above. Our attacking options are often at odds with how we're trying or wanting to play. I think for a very long time we have too often relied on moments of individual magic, I'd love for Conte to elevate our attack this year. Don't see it happening however, as he simply wasn't given the reinforcements/level raising signings to do so, another subject though.
  14. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    I agree with Droy that if Fabregas is to become a first team player, being part of a three in a 433 is certainly the way to go. Could we play that? I think we have the players, but we'd be barely utilising our best and biggest talent pool, our defenders, too many would miss out. I also don't believe Fabregas is great enough to warrant changing an entire formation for. An occasional attacking mid, but primarily game changing substitute from now on, for me.
  15. Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

    For the few suggesting a pirlo-esque role for Fabregas, when it comes to playmaking, Cesc isn't fit to lace his boots. Pirlo would dictate the play from deep, playing often sideways passes, rotating the ball and gradually stretching the opposition/wear them down. That is not Fabs strength, he is best playing decisive through balls, and is an accomplished finisher himself. He is our best passer, no question, but the deep role isn't for him. I don't believe his positioning defensively, making himself available, is up to it. It's an incredibly hard role, intellectually more than anything.