mastiffchild

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About mastiffchild

  • Rank
    CFCnet Member
  • Birthday 01/23/1971

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  • Location
    The frozen wastes of the Lakes
  • Interests
    Moaning. Whinging. Insomnia. Trying to find the common language between man and dog. Vintage Adidas. Writing songs. And that.

Previous Fields

  • Team
    Chelsea.
  1. Slavia Prague 0 Chelsea 1

    I think Sarri will rotate as much as he can with both our aged wingers starting alongside Oli up top. Kante, Barkley and Kova in midfield with Alonso, AC , AR and(sadly)Dave playing yet again at the back. Kepa will keep. Thing is he can swap in either Jorgi for Kante(but into Kovas role)if we syruggle to score or let Ampadu come on if we are coasting and can move around the strikers too but I worry about Azpi. He looked dead during the West Ham game and cannot play thursday and hope to mark Mane on Sunday. However, Sarri never rests him and he is already losing his legs even before being run into the ground by his manager. I doubt I'm alone in this concern but Sarri just doesnt seem to trust anyone else at RB. Surely Zappa, as a full Italian int can do a job once in a while if given strict instructions. I know he has been ropey but without a run of games what do we expect? I think its worth a shot to save Azpis old legs.
  2. Transfer Talk Topic

    I dunno. I think a lot of Jorgi talk is waaay wide of the mark. Two things: Sarri used the same player in the same system for three years in Serie A. I do not accept that Italian managers are more stupid than those here in the EPL and were less able to figure out these tactics(as we are forever hearing how Sarri has been "found out" by coaches here)yet Sarri and Napoli were very good using said player and system. The issue is more about surrounding players unsuited to or unable to adapt to Sarrri and his system. Without players in the right places at the right times Jorgi is simply not a useful player. However, should he have players that do the right things around him he becomes the single best choice there is for Sarri and dictates better than anyone post Pirlo. Secondly, Jorgi has had some good games for Italy where Sarri isn't in charge, I believe, and showed a propensity for a couple of roles that aren't exactly the Regista he plays for Chelsea-so maybe there's a hope under a new gaffer should Sarri leave though Jorginho's biggest issue would become a fanbase unwilling to trust the guy. Personally, I get why people can be frustrated with him at times but feel the issues aren't CAUSED by him and are more a symptom of the crap around him failing miserably to press, move or provide passing options after years of purely playing counter attack football. Sure, he isn't innocent and has had some shocking displays on a personal level but the big issue has been a lack of decent fullbacks and RLC being too frail to fill the number eight role we need him to. he gets fit and Emerson starts to fulfil his ore injury promise and it would get much easier for Jorginho imho. I also feel that Reece James could well become our best bet at RB if given his earned chance next season. He is easily the best RB in the Championship all round and suits Sarri well.
  3. Transfer Talk Topic

    Alongside the continual mentions of someday returning to Real in every interview and a less than heroic workrate towards movement this term I am finally tiring of Alvaro. I did feel we fans were being hard on the guy after he was clearly rushed back too soon with the back injury last season but now... I'm not sure he can make any difference as he doesn't like it in England, doesn't react to carrot OR stick for a manager, seems disinterested at times during every match and appears to be biding his time before moving and yet we have happily chucked any and every egg we can find in Morata's basket. I like his ability, pace and fail to believe he COULDN'T cope here but now worry he has little desire to make this work. Add into this a lack of realistic competition(Giroud cannot be number one Sarriball CF for any length of time as he cannot run in behind, against teams sitting deep he's an option, though) and there's no reason to believe he's liable to change. Hell, he stopped even making the right noises. I pray I'm wrong as I still rate Morata as a hugely gifted striker but you wonder what hope for a confidence based player who plainly wants out.
  4. Kante and Jorginho - The Conundrum

    I don't think we WILL need Kante to play centrally once each player knows their place in the defensive press or phase. For me having Kante able to press in the opposition half, in a Sarri system, should totally outweigh his usefulness to Sarri at a CDM and, tbh, Jorginho is a Regista, and a great one, but that is what he is and needs to be at the base of midfield if ANY of this is going to work. I have seen a few people saying that the defensive issues V Arsenal would be solved by swapping these two around but I disagree entirely. 99 per cent were already soved when Kovacic came on second half-we had no problems once we did what Sarri wanted. Secondly, Kante is a way better footballer than he is given credit for and is a total upgrade over Allan(Napoli) for this system. Don't we REALLY want Kante winning us the ball back higher up? Think of that destructive force KEEPING pressure on for us rather than being the safety at the other end, doesn't that make more sense in a possession based Sarri system? So, for me, these two are in the right spots if we are to persist with the flowing 433 and can only EVER be altered if the system changes hugely. In a 4231, even, we would end up with the same issue we ended up with unable to play Fab alongside Kante. I just want to give Sarri time with his 433, we have better players than Napoli in general and if it clicks Chelsea will be both a joy to watch and a deadly threat to all we play. Everyone knows what a joy Napoli were under this guy and our superior playing staff should take him further and Kante destroying teams outside THEIR box rather than ours is, seriously, a massive part of the plan. Imagine if Kante also adds five goals and five assists to his season stats-not unlikely-and keeps up the interceptions, tackles etc but moves them forward fifty yards so Hazard wins quick ball twenty yards from goal repeatedly each game. Hell, even if we do leave a hole now and then(and we won't leave many once we get going anyway)we will be so far out of sight it won't matter! I understand the concern but just don't see it being a problem and totally see Kante succeeding further forward and shocking a few people in the process.
  5. Squad Status: 2019/2020 Season

    I said it when RLC was sixteen and still say it today: Chelsea, and it's fans, are more critical of RLC than any other youth player I can ever remember. Whether it's because of expectation or the old, dead perceived lazy attitude( which I never saw once)the club have given RLC more broken promises than most kids we shaft. He's been asked to fight for his place before and was never given a chance. I doubt it will be different this time, either as, even with Christensen last term we needed freak events for a proven CL CB tro even get a shot so what chance Ruben getting a go if Kovacic or Kante get hurt? For me RLC is better than Barkley in literally every sense, ditto for Drinkwater and Fab is only better at a legs free playmaking role. As I see it, under Sarri , only the current, match ending trio are currently superior to RLC and for number 8 he's so easily our best option after Kovacic that it's not a debate yet even then he will get fewer chances than Barkley because he didn't cost a fee to sign. If Ruben has any sense he will leave for good asap. I pray I am wrong but the lack of time for both Ruben and Andreas is, so far, depressing to me. I have seen us mess kids about for too long and I would never tell any kid to join our, admittedly brilliant, academy as there is no hope of progressing. I swear, Ruben is, for me, our second best option for both advanced CM roles and NEEDS minutes for when injuries come but the paucity of minutes shows his hopes are slight imho.
  6. Official: David Luiz Joins Arsenal

    Sure, on that occasion it's a collectiuve screw up. However, you know as well as I do that collectiuve errors are also caused by and made worse by a lack of clarity brought about via a misunderstanding of tactics and coinfidence being undermined by a slew of poor personal showings over a long time. You know, too, that Ivanovic was beaten for pace and turned inside out to the point of often borderline fouls many, many times both last night and over the past year, Cahill has made backing off and being totally puzzled by simple movements something of a trademark and even Dave has started toi see his standards, defensively, slip rtadically lately. I accept that there's an element of the tactics bringing the midfield on top of the defenders making things even muddier especially last night but I don't accept thgat the same shortcomings, even if they didn't result in the goals against us that they shgould have, aren't still there in some individuals performances week in and week out. I'm not saying it's just the same players making the same errors but I'm puzzled if you're saying that Cahill and Brana have cleaned up their acvts personally. Big point with that is that when a team doesn't trust it's back four the natural instinct is for midfielders to help out "too much" and you can see it from kids games upowards and it leads to a lack of positioning and disasters like you've shown there-maybe I'm not so much disagreeing here as getting into a chicken and egg? Just because we weren't p[unished for the individual(and Cahills clearance counts for me)errors last night doesn'r mean they aren't still happening and those players don't need changing AND it also doesn't mean, in fairness, that some isn't tactically caused. Howevcer, as said, I'd much reather judge Conte once he starts(at least) putting these square pegs in their square holes because I fear whatever tatical changes he makes without doing so will result in short term fgains at best and games like last nights first half at worst. My big issue is why hasn't it really seemed to start yet? If you or I knew for sure the reason behind the low block maybe we could judge but as I suspect it's because he doesn't trust the back four I don't see it improving until he changes it and, again, signs of that actually happening are thin on the ground. Hoping KP will see changes.
  7. Official: David Luiz Joins Arsenal

    Do you suspect that last night's performances by Luiz/Cahill will alter Conte's thinking for Tuesday or Saturday? At LCFC Chels will likely boss possession and have pressure on the CB pairing only intermittently which suits Cahill more than Luiz(historically and imho) because David tends to wander more often with the spaces to wander into and in the past Cahill had better concentration than his partner. However, The King Power holds a few cards that could affect our whole back four for the Arsenal match-will Conte noiw want to finally change things more pernanently and start endging Brana out and Dave back across? Wiull he want to risk Alonso against Mahrez in his debut? Might he let Ola be a potential sacrificial lamb? I don't think it's a straightforward choice for Conte unless he's approachiung it, as I would, with the idea in his mind of just getting as settled a back four as possible and, at last, trying to get some blance to it in terms of left footers on the left etc AND in terms of goiung forward as well as back-if Hazard had an overlapping 25 year old Cole he wouldn't be double marked out of games nearly so often and Alonso is clearly okay going forwards so it must be time to try to alter something, surely? I think something has to be done so that Conte's worries about our back four stop dictating what he does with midfield because right now we are being way too reactive and a little timid, imho, because of our weaknesses at the back. Once Conte has done what he promised and placed people in their preferred or natural positions it will be much fairer to judge him-my concern is that this process doesn't seem to have started and I wonder why not? If Conte feels Olka, Alonso, Luiz have no chance of improving the defence in it's current malaise then did we miss out on several defensive signings in several positions and not just the obvious Koulibaly? I guess I'm just frustrated at seeing great servants liuke Cahill and Bane embarrassed on a seemingly weekly basis evcen when Conte picks a midfield to prop them up. Thees are guys who have walked through walls for Chelsea yet are being belittled because manager after manager has kept picking them anfd failing to sign replacements for them in wndow after window-Luiz was good last night and among the back four, for me, was alone in being so. It's a natural move, then, in my eyes to play Azpiliqueta at RB, Alonso at LB and Luiz at LCB at Leiceister-whether Conte goes with Cahill or Bane to partner Luiz is a good quandry but on last night's showing unless Luiz is awful at the KP then he's in pole to partner the returning JT at the Emirates. It was a terrible performance by Brana last night and having watched it back it only gets worse. I love the guy but surely it's time to get him away from the RB berth. Sure, try him at CB if he's got pace alongside him but it's way too manyt bad games in two years at RB to go on. Also, Cahill without JT is becoming equally shoddy and it says something that Luiz, after all the fans and media wailing actually looked outr most composed and effective defender last night. Whether that's that it was largely nonsense to begin with, of course, id open for debate!
  8. Transfer Talk Topic

    Been amused at all the Man U fans calling us fickle and dim over so much joy at bringing Dave back today. Obviously , we all know what his issue is but he brings more good than bad, is a star and my Italian mate reckons that Conte cured similar problems in an older Barzagli and Luiz has a better natural ability than he ever had. If anyone can stop the tactical lapses and defensive brain farts its Conte. If he does wholl be laughing?
  9. Transfer Talk Topic

    Is Jose just fudging the issue? I'm sure Salah can't be happy at his playing time this season and reading between the lines Shurrle hasn't ever bulked up (or toughened up enough) enough to do the job Jose demands of him and maybe he just can't? Whatever, the point is neither are really being asked to do a great deal in terms of allowing rotation so I didn't see why it was so important for Jose to say the need for them to want to leave was worth banging a drum over. I'm unsold on Douglas Costa and don't know if Cuadrado would be any sturdier than Andre is. Certainly unsure at quoted prices and must assume Jose is just trying to hike up any Shurrle price to try mitigate us buying this month. If either Salah or Shurrle were offering us much as cover or as options to change games itd be easy to bob along as we are but as Jose seems to have no trust in them in important games I have to ask just who is being helped by keeping them. I'd love to have a different option to William or Oscar behind Diego as atm only Rambo or moving Cesc seem to please Jose at all. It does make me wonder what a few injuries would do to us right now and I fear Jose was being full of bluster on Friday and would love a trusted option to make changes to yhose behind the striker
  10. The Run In

    Thought citeh deserved a point and raised a few eyebrows at how nobody seems to get booked for diving these days but our players. However, after Pell's idiotic "defensive" Chelsea winning would be a crime rant I guess I'm not as gutted as I wouldve been to see the dippers where they now are. To completely ignore the vast number of chances our strikers missed this season was bending the truth just to get at jose and from a man "above" mindgames it was a bit weak. How often have city or pool felt the need to play a false nine this season ffs? However, just hope we can finally put a good showing in in Wales as we are yet to give a decent account of ourselves since Swansea came up and our last two away matches in the epl were resolutely poor. Would be typical Chelsea to lose today but then pee on pools chips just to hand city the title. Villa and Palace really hurt now as our striking frailty was shown so clearly in those tight games where a great cf grabs you a chance when you play way below your level. Its sad that a problem we all knew we had in aug has kept costing us all season and you have to wonder exactly why all our summer eggs were Rooney shaped. So obvious yet we just struggled on when there must have been something we couldve done-hell even a recall clause for lukaku wouldve been something. We squirm through to silverware this term itll be with severe handicaps.
  11. Swansea City 0 - 1 Chelsea

    No brainer. We will have suspensions in cl no doubt but ignoring that we couldnt ever forgive ourselves if we just let the mickeys win anything. The way theyre pandered to by the uk press makes me loathe them more than sp*rs and the way ticketless fans turning up and playing a major part in the hillsborough mess is basically taboo to bring up in any way(whatever crass police actions went on the blame isn't just with one group at all)just puzzles me. Had it been us I dont see the mefia backing the fans in any way. Anyway, imagine if we play a poor team yhen lose in cl snyway? Besides the fa would kill us for messing with prem and allowing scouse wins is anathema to any sane person. Its never that dimple s choice and citeh will beat them heavily anyway.
  12. Official: Eden Hazard Joins Real Madrid

    Dunno myself but a mate said Wilmots was pretty out of line in exactly what he said. He may have a grudge over the treatment of kdb and lukaku but to make out playing with an aging ibra outranks everything a better chels and epl can offer is insulting and not his damn business. PSG and France is a backwards move but Real could be in for him seriously too. Given his huge steps under jose hed be foolish to move imho and you hope he has the sense to see that. We need to secure both haz and thibauly asap.
  13. Official: Eden Hazard Joins Real Madrid

  14. Swansea City 0 - 1 Chelsea

    Interesting game against truly inconsistent oppo. Got to think jose will want half a game for Cole so expect usual back five to change with dave going rb and Ash lb with Ivo on bench. Matic and rambo likely in pivot and same three am as last week despite, for me, signs in cl that Oscar's coming back to form. Up top its still hard to see us go with Ba with that team as he isn't a great mover and we wouldnt play to his strengths like we did desperate in cl. Torres may get yet another start with Jose still feeling Sammy is a homer and Hazards calf negates Shirly plsying false nine too. Early goal could make it a better trip to the principality than weve had lately but a very diff one to stoke. Press high and press hard.
  15. PSG 3 Chelsea 1

    We can sit and gripe about personnel issues all we want but its totally pointless right now. We have what we have and must make the best of it til summer and who is left standing after another damn world cup. Last night, and a lot lately, the issues seemed to be governed by a mix of tired choices and low confidence. Are we the finished article? No. Are we hopeless? Even less so. Tired minds and a lack of conviction leads to slow, bad or plain wrong decisions at both ends. Throw in a lack of decent bench options and a keeper who no longer appears to inspire confidence and this result was likely. Thankfully we know we have to go for it now and as a result the players wont be thinking so much tuesday. They dhould be freer and more decisive and with the talents we have that has to be liberating whoever plays. We often seem to be playing without taking the brakes off and now we can't. Having lost mata and de bruyne we can't just burn through the three though.