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Michael Tucker

Tottenham 5 Chelsea 3

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Blue Rod   

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Jose is an extraordinarily good manager. That's all. He's certainly not infallible.

Well, if I cut out the adverbs, that statement basically settles our arguments. Let's hope he lives up to the good sides of his reputation.

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Regarding our so-called attacking three behind Costa... when Oscar first arrived, he was a breath of fresh air, full of little tricks, swerves, dips of the shoulder, long range shots that often troubled the keeper (if not actually finding the back of the net). Where has that gone? This is only my suggestion, and I may well be wrong, but I believe it's been snuffed out of him by a manager who wants him to work harder for the benefit of the team. When we were in for Willian, I thought "great, a tricky winger with pace and a good shot". Where has that player gone to? For me the answer is the same as for Oscar. What is the point of having all these creative, attacking players if their natural game is slowly being strangled out of them? If we need hard working midfielders who can harry the opposition, work hard at keeping the ball, and work even harder at getting it back, then why not revert to 4-3-3 with Matic, Mikel and Ramires, and truly allow the players ahead free rein.

As PeteRobbo says, our only real attacking outlets are Hazard and Costa. Shackle them and we are toothless.

Based on our most picked XI, we are ever so weak down the right. Ivanovich and Cahill, both individually and as a unit, are a liability with our higher line and higher pressing game, and Willian offers us nothing as an attacking outlet. Cahill keeps backing off from opponents, allowing them shots at goal, while Ivanovich has little positional sense, and with his arms behind his back, allows opponent after opponent to send in crosses virtually unhindered. Felipe Luis cost us £19m. He was, as far as I can tell, a 100% Mourinho choice. Yet Mourinho doesn't trust him enough to start him in anything but a few cup games (notwithstanding when he deputised for a suspended Azpillicueta). How about an extended run for both Zouma and Luis alongside Terry and Azpillicueta... surely that back four can't do any worse that what I witnessed yesterday?

And further to that Bob, I'm beginning to get a little worried now about the Hazard contract situation. This is probably a case of my significant propensity for paranoia kicking in, but we've all read lately that the new deal for Eden is, according to Jose, all done and dusted. It's a very good, 200k new contract designed to get him to commit to us for the next crucial phase of his career. This sounds great. It's just that I always start to worry a little when a contract is said to have been all finalised and it's only a matter of time before it's signed and all that. My constant nagging thought is, well why hasn't it been signed then?

It now seems clear that pretty much our entire attacking capability rests on Cesc finding the passes, Diego maintaining his conversion percentage and, above all, Hazard single-handedly leading the bulk our offensive threat, both in terms of creating chances and, most recently, finishing them. This is why he gets kicked from pillar to post by the opposition for his trouble. My worry is that, as long as his new contract isn't signed and as it becomes clearer and clearer that .the burden of responsibility for our attacking play falls largely on his shoulders, then might it ever occur to him, or his agent, that better and easier, less physically demanding options could exist elsewhere?

Our other AM players have all been largely selected and groomed to supply work-rate and an attention to their defensive responsibilities, it seems to me. Mata was allowed to leave because he didn't fit into that mould, even though he did have a very good track record of creating opportunities and scoring his own share of the goals. However, if those like Willian, Oscar and the rest, who are better at that side of the game cannot provide an adequate share of the offensive capability that we need, then we're going to remain totally dependent on Eden. That will make life more and more difficult for him and may, just possibly, come into his thinking when he mulls over his new contract?

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Yesterday I was absolutely fuming with that result and performance. But after thinking abotu it for a while, it's probably just what the team needed. They haven't really been at the races for a few games and a good hiding hopefully has shaken some of them awake.

Also don't forget how many times United had a good kicking (sometimes from us) during their dominant period. it can happen to any team at any time. I still think we will win the league and I still think we'll win 1 cup. Hopefully 2 with a bit of luck....and next season we will be even better.

I think the first 12-13 matches spoiled us slightly into thinking that Chelsea were some unstoppable force this season.

I'd also like to know what Jose was thinking with the Salah sub. Baffling.

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As PeteRobbo says, our only real attacking outlets are Hazard and Costa. Shackle them and we are toothless.

Well if as rumoured they are both rested for Watford, we won't have to wait long to find out what the others can do without them.

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Have to admit, we are a fickle bunch. We got so used to the success in the last few months that every time we are reminded of the harsh reality of football at Chelsea FC actually being a Sport; more specifically a 90 minute game where a few minutes of lapses in concentrations results in what we just experienced. Its not unheard of.

How is Courteous and Matic escaping criticism based on this performance where Ivan, and Cahill are getting all the blame. As for bringing Salah into this debate, well I am not sure why he gets such a lot of stick on these forums; its not like has played a full 90 for us yet. Leave it to the manager to get it right with him.

Anyhow when all is said about this game, this is turning out to be the best season yet. Now City are going to lose at least a couple on the trot and we are unlikely to.

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Sciatika   

Given past peformance, I am surprised that it isn't being blamed on Mikel.

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Have to admit, we are a fickle bunch. We got so used to the success in the last few months that every time we are reminded of the harsh reality of football at Chelsea FC actually being a Sport; more specifically a 90 minute game where a few minutes of lapses in concentrations results in what we just experienced. Its not unheard of.

How is Courteous and Matic escaping criticism based on this performance where Ivan, and Cahill are getting all the blame. As for bringing Salah into this debate, well I am not sure why he gets such a lot of stick on these forums; its not like has played a full 90 for us yet. Leave it to the manager to get it right with him.

Anyhow when all is said about this game, this is turning out to be the best season yet. Now City are going to lose at least a couple on the trot and we are unlikely to.

Maybe because with Cahill and Ivanovic, the below average to poor performances have been happening for quite a while now.

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Have to admit, we are a fickle bunch. We got so used to the success in the last few months that every time we are reminded of the harsh reality of football at Chelsea FC actually being a Sport; more specifically a 90 minute game where a few minutes of lapses in concentrations results in what we just experienced. Its not unheard of.

How is Courteous and Matic escaping criticism based on this performance where Ivan, and Cahill are getting all the blame. As for bringing Salah into this debate, well I am not sure why he gets such a lot of stick on these forums; its not like has played a full 90 for us yet. Leave it to the manager to get it right with him.

Anyhow when all is said about this game, this is turning out to be the best season yet. Now City are going to lose at least a couple on the trot and we are unlikely to.

An ex Chelsea player once told me that 90% of football fans were clueless. Arguably, that's an underestimation.

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Yesterday I was absolutely fuming with that result and performance. But after thinking abotu it for a while, it's probably just what the team needed. They haven't really been at the races for a few games and a good hiding hopefully has shaken some of them awake.

Our Boxing Day performance v West Ham was superb. We were very good at Stoke too. Second half at Southampton we played well.

I really think the team just ran out of steam at Spurs, who scored from just about every attack. We had the chances to win that game.

Hopefully the players Jose rests tomorrow will benefit, although what we really need is for some of the fringe players to give him some real options. So far this season they haven't really done so, which is why he's been reluctant to rotate. That certainly cost us at Spurs.

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Harvz   

Hard to shake this result. I still feel violated! Watford are not high profile enough to help shake it completely... roll on the next Premiership game where we hopefully destroy by a margin of 3 goals or more.

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