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2 hours ago, jangz said:

You talk about the problem but I dont think the solution is in hazard not performing.. all the teams that you spoke about play much more attacking football than us.. and have superstar attackers... BBC at RM, MSN at Barca, even city has better attacking support.. I will take Aguero over Morata (who has been very hit and miss) every day.. sterling/sane are playing better than Willian/Pedro and KDB over Fabregas..  Team helps a creative player.. right now its easy for the opposition, where you stop Hazard by double/triple teaming him..

I am sorry but I dont understand the frustration about hazard especially since as a club we need to building the team around him.. but I dont see that at all... he will easily improve the city team..

I dont agree with this at all. Conte isn't the most attacking coach - I agree, but this inconsistency and lack of killer instinct is a problem that has plagued Hazard for as long as I can remember. Only Mourinho managed to get Hazard to mount any sort of consistency and he did it by pure intimidation. Now, maybe the relationship they had eventually broke down, but I think thats more of a reflection on Hazard than anyone else IMO, because he clearly hasn't been able to convince anyone since that he's the best player in the league... 

How can he improve the City team if he wouldn't be able to get in? I can't see how its a problem with Conte's tactics when the guy literally gets in front of goal and misses/shoots straight at the keeper/chooses the wrong option! 

This is a similar argument to the one people made for Bakayoko when he first came here and I didn't buy it then either. These are basic things that are wrong with his game no matter what position he's played in / what setup he's featured in. 

Conte's tactics have made players like Moses, Azpili, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Kante, Fabregas and even Morata much better. Initially Hazard thrived in his advanced position as well and was scoring goals. To suddenly blame the setup just doesn't stick IMO.

Would I rather a 4-3-3? Definitely. But then you've also got to consider that the defence and midfield wouldn't be anywhere near as solid. When blaming Conte's tactics, defensive as they are, its amazing how people forget just how inconsistent Hazard, Willian and Pedro have been over the last few years. These aren't players who have any sort of track-record of consistency previous to Conte either.

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paulw66   
15 minutes ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

I dont agree with this at all. Conte isn't the most attacking coach - I agree, but this inconsistency and lack of killer instinct is a problem that has plagued Hazard for as long as I can remember. Only Mourinho managed to get Hazard to mount any sort of consistency and he did it by pure intimidation. Now, maybe the relationship they had eventually broke down, but I think thats more of a reflection on Hazard than anyone else IMO, because he clearly hasn't been able to convince anyone since that he's the best player in the league... 

How can he improve the City team if he wouldn't be able to get in? I can't see how its a problem with Conte's tactics when the guy literally gets in front of goal and misses/shoots straight at the keeper/chooses the wrong option! 

This is a similar argument to the one people made for Bakayoko when he first came here and I didn't buy it then either. These are basic things that are wrong with his game no matter what position he's played in / what setup he's featured in. 

Conte's tactics have made players like Moses, Azpili, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Kante, Fabregas and even Morata much better. Initially Hazard thrived in his advanced position as well and was scoring goals. To suddenly blame the setup just doesn't stick IMO.

Would I rather a 4-3-3? Definitely. But then you've also got to consider that the defence and midfield wouldn't be anywhere near as solid. When blaming Conte's tactics, defensive as they are, its amazing how people forget just how inconsistent Hazard, Willian and Pedro have been over the last few years. These aren't players who have any sort of track-record of consistency previous to Conte either.

Hazard wasn't consisent last season? Ok. 

You're not going to convince me that Sterling is a better player?

Moses isn't any better, he has just found a role but needs upgrading. Azpilicueta was class before Conte, Christensen matured playing in Germany, Cahill was in the team of the year in 2015, Alonso is difficult to argue becasue we never saw him pre Conte, and Fabregas was sublime in 2015, and was out of the team for large parts last season. Morata is scoring at the same rate as ever, just playing more often now than he did at RM or Juve. To argue Conte has improved those players is somewhat fantasy. 

Willian and Hazard have been consistently good for us since they joined, and Pedro.......well look at his CV. They are all excellent players currently stifled by a hugely defensive system. 

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The team has always been 4 or 5 from Willian/Pedro/Oscar,  Hazard and Costa with Fabregas supplying the ammo.

Hazard may have been the best of the 6, but the other 4 or 5 have been crucial too.  
We lost Oscar, and now we have lost a 2nd position for a more defensive player, leaving us with just 3 starting.

There is no point blaming the players, it is just simple counting that explains all.
(And this is always going to be a difficult part of the season for us).

 

PS - the only issue with Hazard now is that if he isn't getting quality ball he drops off deep to try and play a Fabregas role (often forcing Fabregas into an uncomfortable position in the box).  If Hazard is playing 2nd striker he can only really do that if others are getting in the box instead - mostly they are not.

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jangz   
25 minutes ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

I dont agree with this at all. Conte isn't the most attacking coach - I agree, but this inconsistency and lack of killer instinct is a problem that has plagued Hazard for as long as I can remember. Only Mourinho managed to get Hazard to mount any sort of consistency and he did it by pure intimidation. Now, maybe the relationship they had eventually broke down, but I think thats more of a reflection on Hazard than anyone else IMO, because he clearly hasn't been able to convince anyone since that he's the best player in the league... 

How can he improve the City team if he wouldn't be able to get in? I can't see how its a problem with Conte's tactics when the guy literally gets in front of goal and misses/shoots straight at the keeper/chooses the wrong option! 

This is a similar argument to the one people made for Bakayoko when he first came here and I didn't buy it then either. These are basic things that are wrong with his game no matter what position he's played in / what setup he's featured in. 

Conte's tactics have made players like Moses, Azpili, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Kante, Fabregas and even Morata much better. Initially Hazard thrived in his advanced position as well and was scoring goals. To suddenly blame the setup just doesn't stick IMO.

Would I rather a 4-3-3? Definitely. But then you've also got to consider that the defence and midfield wouldn't be anywhere near as solid. When blaming Conte's tactics, defensive as they are, its amazing how people forget just how inconsistent Hazard, Willian and Pedro have been over the last few years. These aren't players who have any sort of track-record of consistency previous to Conte either.

Well hope this helps you see what I mean.. but do also view this in the context that in Mou and Conte we have had couple of the more pragmatic coaches around.. so lets look at the output from Hazard's inconsistent and lack of killer instincts -

Below are numbers for Sanchez, Alli, Coutinho and Hazard in goals per game and number of games played... what you see is Hazard's goals per game is actually bettered consistently only by Sanchez(including Barca) but he outperforms Coutinho and Alli .. not only that he plays more often.. and available more for the team..

Sanchez Alli Coutinho Hazard
Games Goals/Game Games Goals/Game Games Goals/Game Games Goals/Game
29 0.28     13 0.23 34 0.26
34 0.56     33 0.15 35 0.40
35 0.46     35 0.14 38 0.37
30 0.43 33 0.30 26 0.31 31 0.13
38 0.63 37 0.49 31 0.42 36 0.44
19 0.37 21 0.24 14 0.50 18 0.33

I dont remember him missing goal mouth chances.. a couple here and there sure but so do Kane /Aguero/ Morata/Lukaku everyone.. 

Lack of goals is a problem with Conte's tactics.. because you only have 2 attackers in the team and a mid fielder in a slightly advanced role...  and the next best are your wingbacks.. one who can't cross the other who has no pace..  compare with the systems for Liverpool, City, Arsenal etc.. and you have your answers..The problem for Chelsea is that we create much fewer chances than the above.. and then if you miss a couple they tend to stand out. if you think he doesnt start over a Sane or a Sterling then I dont know how to respond.. that's purely your opinion and probably not shared by the majority here..

We are talking about Hazard -  why would you bring up willian and hazard to talk about inconsistency..  Also I dont know how Conte has improved the players you mentioned.. Most have either been performing consistently well or are new players or defensive minded for which a defensive system works..

We have a 343 to revert back too which seemed like a good balance with Kante and Matic.. the year we won.. or we can upgrade of Wingbacks.. or play a pure number 10 rather than fabregas..its Conte's job to solve this.. but you blaming hazard and questioning his ability and decision making isn't that well supported by plain hard facts..

 

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1 hour ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

Conte's tactics have made players like Moses, Azpili, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Kante, Fabregas and even Morata much better. Initially Hazard thrived in his advanced position as well and was scoring goals. To suddenly blame the setup just doesn't stick IMO.

 

1 hour ago, paulw66 said:

Moses isn't any better, he has just found a role but needs upgrading. Azpilicueta was class before Conte, Christensen matured playing in Germany, Cahill was in the team of the year in 2015, Alonso is difficult to argue becasue we never saw him pre Conte, and Fabregas was sublime in 2015, and was out of the team for large parts last season. Morata is scoring at the same rate as ever, just playing more often now than he did at RM or Juve. To argue Conte has improved those players is somewhat fantasy. 

Also disagree with BIEW.  Though he does say it is "Conte's tactics" that improved the players, not the players improved under Conte.

Certainly 3 CBs makes life very easy for Azpi, Cahill and Cahill.  Whether that makes them better players or just playing an easier role I'm not sure

It makes the WBs the benefactors of all the work of the rest of the team.  Generally if you dominate an opponent, their players are drawn to the middle, and who ever you put out wide gets a free run.  Alonso and Moses have had that free ride.  Alonso looks like the decent LB he probably already was who is enjoying himself.  Shame he isn't a proper WB, but he does his best.  Moses has gone from a poor RW to a poor RWB who still can't beat a man.  

Kante was probably player of the season before he arrived, so I'm not sure he has either improved, or that the system makes him a better player.  
Fabregas has been a great player all his career (about 12 or 13 years now).  I'm not sure he was better in 16/17 than 14/15, but certainly Conte's selection of Matic ahead of him did not help anyone.  Taking away even more passing options this season has probably hampered Fabregas more than anyone in the squad.

Morata is clearly a great striker in an attacking team, though perhaps with confidence issues.  Leaving him up front to battle like Drogba or Costa is probably the best way to showcase all his weaknesses while destroying his self-belief.  Right now the tactics are ruining him.

And that is just the players BIEW reckons the tactics have improved.

Still Conte this season is on a hiding to nothing.  No one can expect last season's form from so few players as he has this season.  
All in all 3rd place and still in 3 cups is 2 places and a cup better than I'd expect at this stage (and 6th + a semi is all I expected for the season).
And a lot of what I see as issues with his tactics can also be seen as the inability to play enough AMs often enough because of the squad.

Edited by Droy was my hero

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1 hour ago, paulw66 said:

Hazard wasn't consisent last season? Ok. 

You're not going to convince me that Sterling is a better player?

Moses isn't any better, he has just found a role but needs upgrading. Azpilicueta was class before Conte, Christensen matured playing in Germany, Cahill was in the team of the year in 2015, Alonso is difficult to argue becasue we never saw him pre Conte, and Fabregas was sublime in 2015, and was out of the team for large parts last season. Morata is scoring at the same rate as ever, just playing more often now than he did at RM or Juve. To argue Conte has improved those players is somewhat fantasy. 

Willian and Hazard have been consistently good for us since they joined, and Pedro.......well look at his CV. They are all excellent players currently stifled by a hugely defensive system. 

Hazard scored goals last season. Was Hazard really more important to us than Costa, an off the bench Fabregas, Kante, and our backline's consistency last season? I would argue not. This is in stark contrast to the player we saw under Mourinho (in my opinion!) that was utterly brilliant. 

I'm also not saying that Sterling is the "better" player. Sterling is scoring goals and keeping his place in a much better team. And I ask you again, do you think that Guardiola would honestly drop Sterling given his returns this season for Hazard in his present form? 

Fabregas was largely a sub last season but was doing pretty well off the bench. This year, Conte has found a way to incorporate an admittedly aged Fabregas into a consistent starting position. What Fabregas was in 2015 is irrelevant because he lost form quite a bit afterwards - from January 2015 onwards.

Morata is now a starter from being a bench player... improvement? I would say yes. Azpili is now one of the best central defenders in the league as opposed to a consistent makeshift LB. Alonso is arguably the best LB in the league. Cahill has aged but is still performing very well in a formation that plays to his strengths - just like we did with JT. Christensen is now a nailed on starter in a top 4 club in the Premier League from being a "good young player" in the Bundesliga. Improvement? Again, I would say yes. Moses is our first choice RB... see above for the same argument as to why he is better now.

Willian and consistency should not be used in the same sentence. If Willian produced Hazard like stats from 2014-15 during his time here, then yeah I would say you're right. Willian's best season was the season where we finished 10th. Pedro.. What on earth does Pedro's CV pre-Chelsea have to do with his performances in a Chelsea shirt?

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

 

Also disagree with BIEW.  Though he does say it is "Conte's tactics" that improved the players, not the players improved under Conte.

Certainly 3 CBs makes life very easy for Azpi, Cahill and Cahill.  Whether that makes them better players or just playing an easier role I'm not sure

It makes the WBs the benefactors of all the work of the rest of the team.  Generally if you dominate an opponent, their players are drawn to the middle, and who ever you put out wide gets a free run.  Alonso and Moses have had that free ride.  Alonso looks like the decent LB he probably already was who is enjoying himself.  Shame he isn't a proper WB, but he does his best.  Moses has gone from a poor RW to a poor RWB who still can't beat a man.  

Kante was probably player of the season before he arrived, so I'm not sure he has either improved, or that the system makes him a better player.  
Fabregas has been a great player all his career (about 12 or 13 years now).  I'm not sure he was better in 16/17 than 14/15, but certainly Conte's selection of Matic ahead of him did not help anyone.  Taking away even more passing options this season has probably hampered Fabregas more than anyone in the squad.

Morata is clearly a great striker in an attacking team, though perhaps with confidence issues.  Leaving him up front to battle like Drogba or Costa is probably the best way to showcase all his weaknesses while destroying his self-belief.  Right now the tactics are ruining him.

And that is just the players BIEW reckons the tactics have improved.

Still Conte this season is on a hiding to nothing.  No one can expect last season's form from so few players as he has this season.  
All in all 3rd place and still in 3 cups is 2 places and a cup better than I'd expect at this stage (and 6th + a semi is all I expected for the season).
And a lot of what I see as issues with his tactics can also be seen as the inability to play enough AMs often enough because of the squad.

As with Paul, I can understand these arguments. But the fact is that Moses was frozen out for most of his career and is now a starter at a top club, and the same can be said of Morata and Alonso. Fabregas did perform very well in his role under Mourinho during the title winning season, but I think that we can all agree he had trailed off a bit from 2015 January or about. Now Conte dropped him, just like you said last season, but he's found a way to protect his flaws a bit and he is now still one of our best players and starting for us again. I would argue that Conte found a way to incorporate Fabregas into his team rather than sell him off and chalk his decline up to ageing. 

The reality is that none of Alonso, Moses, Morata, or Fabregas post 2015 are players that are what I would call "top class". IMO, Conte has found a way to make them work in his system and justify their starting positions that they hold today.

I am interested to know which formation exactly people believe will make these players better...? 4-3-3? Backline would immediately need reinforcements, and we would definitely need to bring in a couple forwards and a striker as well. IMO, a 3-5-2 is the safest option we have right now.

Edited by Blue_In_Every_Way

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I think its the coach's job to make the best use of his squad. I notice a lot of people are consistently criticizing Conte and making it seem like Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Moses and Alonso are players who would walk into the starting 11 of a top club. I find this amazing to be honest because I would have thought that everyone would have known from experience that these players weren't exactly doing well pre-switch to the back 3 and wingback system. 

Conte is far from perfect as a coach and he's done a few things I have disagreed with, but IMO he's done pretty well with the weak squad at his disposal. Maybe if we give him 4-5 players who can really provide us with a consistent option we would actually see what we're looking for.

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1 hour ago, Blue_In_Every_Way said:

As with Paul, I can understand these arguments. But the fact is that Moses was frozen out for most of his career and is now a starter at a top club, and the same can be said of Morata and Alonso. Fabregas did perform very well in his role under Mourinho during the title winning season, but I think that we can all agree he had trailed off a bit from 2015 January or about. Now Conte dropped him, just like you said last season, but he's found a way to protect his flaws a bit and he is now still one of our best players and starting for us again. I would argue that Conte found a way to incorporate Fabregas into his team rather than sell him off and chalk his decline up to ageing. 

The reality is that none of Alonso, Moses, Morata, or Fabregas post 2015 are players that are what I would call "top class". IMO, Conte has found a way to make them work in his system and justify their starting positions that they hold today.

I am interested to know which formation exactly people believe will make these players better...? 4-3-3? Backline would immediately need reinforcements, and we would definitely need to bring in a couple forwards and a striker as well. IMO, a 3-5-2 is the safest option we have right now.

Moses is still an ordinary player - have you not watched him.  He gets all that time and space out wide and does so little with it.
Alonso is better and at times (much of last season and the start of this) very good.  But he is still mostly just benefiting from having 3CBs behind him while playing as a FB.  Nice work if you can get it.  It is not as if he is contributing more than the FBs at Man U or City (with 2CBs).

Fabregas - no point discussing him with you, if you haven't been watching his genius over the past 3 years.

Morata was a £60m player bought to replace Costa, who is struggling precisely because of Conte's tactics.  

Fabregas (who has never been picked so rarely in his career, not even at Barca) and Morata are being seriously damaged by the teams tactics.

The formation we should have is one that uses the best players - Kante, Courtois, Azpi, Willian, Pedro, Fabregas, Hazard.  For most leage games it should have 2 attacking FBs, 3 AMs and a striker - just like most strong PL teams have.
 

It is a fair point I accept that we don't have enough players to fill the squad.  But Conte has to take part responsibility for that.  Pretending he has no input on player transfers is far enough as a way of dodging discussion at press conferences.  But surely no one takes it seriously.

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