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21 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

^Finest?  That is too much :).  My guess is the silent people can read as well as write.

Sadly , all the silent people agree with me. ;-)

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kev61   

There are two reasons why we are going to win the league this season - one is Antonio Conte and the second is Kante.

 

 

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xCELERYx   
11 hours ago, Ibn Battuta said:

Could Fabregas be the key to tying up the title? I need to see more but it seems like teams have figured that the best way to beat us is to push players up in the areas behind our full backs. Very effective because it puts a lot of pressure on our back 3/5 and makes things more complicated than before. Again I'm speculating because it hard to judge from the TV, but it seems like Conte has countered this by using Fabregas as a deterrent. A "you want to empty the middle and fill the flanks? Ok let's see what one of the worlds best passers can do with two, three more seconds on the ball" answer. With him on the pitch, there will be a lot, a lot, of chances to play deep through balls to Costa/Hazard/Pedro. Interesting. 

If we didn't have the bulk AM options we'd probably see more of Fabregas in a 352 playing a role similar to what Conte did with Pirlo. And we can't really switch to that system unless we drop either Hazard or Pedro, given one would be the most likely to partner Costa. 

We're be a more rounded side in a 352 imo. But working with what we have has gotten us to where we are. Always nice to have options though and that will be more important than ever heading into the business end.  

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Am very happy with that. I thought we played well with a good intensity and will to win. We started quickly and immediately put them on the back foot. The goal was inevitable and the only disappointment was not adding to it, which made the equalizer inevitable as well. Swansea barely touched the ball in our half, so of course they were going to score with the last kick of the half. Ridiculous.

I enjoyed our response, forcing a cracking save from Hazard, before Cesc hit the the bar. Yes, it became a little scrappy but that's only because we were so desperate to score. That endeavour, that drive, was plain to see and really reassuring. No nerves or freezing on display, just a desire to win.

Some thoughts:

1) Pedro's directness is a real asset, as is his two-footedness. Yes, his shot probably should have been saved, but it was curling and dipping and sometimes you have to ask the question. A goal and an assist for him and his numbers keep adding up. Don't think he'll win any individual awards but he's been fantastic. I've been harping on about adding another goal scoring AM, but we've already got one.

2) May as well call Cesc a goal scoring AM as well. Goal and an assist for him too. What a great pro. Deserves to start the majority of our remaining fixtures. New contract for him as well please.

3) Azpi, Hazard, and Kante were very good as well. As was Costa, despite the criticism on here. Worked his arse off, played a huge part in the opener, and got the goal to finish them off as well. One of those 4 will win POTY, and whilst goals usually provide the basis, I'm leaning towards our N'golo.

4) Thought Swansea played into our hands. With Llorente and Siggurdson as 2 of their front 3, they lacked pace up front and couldn't press us high up the pitch. That allowed Cesc time on the ball and he thrives in those circumstances. Additionally, they lined up very narrow which allowed Alonso and Moses to stretch the pitch. No surprise that we worked the ball well; we were allowed to do so. I think they only managed a couple of shots on goal? We fully deserved it.

5) A couple of very tricky away games next up. I'd be happy with 4 points. 

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8 hours ago, kev61 said:

There are two reasons why we are going to win the league this season - one is Antonio Conte and the second is Kante.

 

 

I think that is pretty much how I see it also.

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paulw66   
8 hours ago, kev61 said:

There are two reasons why we are going to win the league this season - one is Antonio Conte and the second is Kante.

 

 

 

25 minutes ago, Hugh Jars 99 said:

I think that is pretty much how I see it also.

Which it makes it sound like Kante carries the team, which of course, he doesn't.

Luiz, Azpilicueta, Hazard, Pedro, Costa have all had brilliant seasons.

Costa has now scored in 15 separate matches, which is a great achievement. 

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paulw66   

BTW, their equaliser......

1. Never a foul, but as a mistake, that wasn't a howler and could be forgiven but....

2. It was miles over the allotted time

I can excuse referees for getting free kicks for fouls incorrect. the game is so fast and sometimes it is hard to tell what happened even after 5 replays, but when all you have to do is read your watch, there is no excuse.

Before someone says, "injury time is a minimum of whatever is shown", the referees are supposed to blow up after that allotted extra UNLESS there has been a stoppage in that injury time. They use the term "minimum" to allow for the case that a player gets injured, or for any other stoppage during the time given. If none, (there wasn't) the whistle should be blown at the end of the added minute / 2 minutes, whatever. 

Why are they never brought to account? The same happened to us last year at home to Liverpool. 

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Don't worry , all these refereeing / Linesman incorrect decisions will stop once they go full time professional.

Oh.

Wait.

 

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42 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

 

Which it makes it sound like Kante carries the team, which of course, he doesn't.

Luiz, Azpilicueta, Hazard, Pedro, Costa have all had brilliant seasons.

Costa has now scored in 15 separate matches, which is a great achievement. 

Of course it isn't as simplistic as that - natch - but the bottom line is those two have been the catalyst for the other improvements squad, performance and result wise.

Conte obviously makes this lot of players tick better than last season. They seem fitter, happier, altogether excellent.

Kante gives that midfield stability, gives the back four confidence and cover.

Those players you mention have had the seasons they have had because of those two major influences. 

Edited by Hugh Jars 99

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