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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 2 Burnley 3

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50 minutes ago, jones said:

Horrible referee
Much has been written about Pawson, and I agree that I have not seen a worse refereeing display since Øvrebø 2009. You could always bring up the "Laws of the game" book and say that Cahill's red is correct. But it should still not have been given. Even if he "went in dangerously", there was no danger in his attempt as the speed of tackle was slow and he did not make any contact. The referee is not supposed to affect the game, this one massively did. There will always be pundits who agree or disagree on Cahill's red, and those things could happen. It was not the moment that made this one of the worst refereeing performances of the decade, it was everything else. First, there was no balance in the game - Chelsea was penalised for everything, Burnley for nothing. Every 50/50 went in Burnley's favour, and he failed to take action on two of Burnley's biggest cheats. One of Vokes' best moves is to throw himself into defenders to make it look like he has been fouled. Imagine the media and Twitter meltdown if Costa did it. Vokes did that several times too, and instead of seeing a clear yellow, he gets his team a free kick (and a chance to score) and the opponent a yellow card. Tom Heaton's time wasting was comedy. Both these players should have seen yellows, but instead they benefited massively from cheating and just continued to do so the entire game. These things affect the game perhaps just as much a red card. Craig Pawson has always looked not up to it, and today should be the nail in the coffin for his PL career. 

Lack of leadership on the pitch (first half)
Cahill makes a mistake and loses the ball, dives in with a tackle in what is a very unwise move. Even if the red is harsh, he knows who the referee is and he knows he booked Alonso after two minutes for nothing. Decision making like that from your captain is unacceptable. And his honorable reaction is just making it worse. It is like he accepts it. Pawson feels he made the right decision. Sad to say, but had he responded by complaining and shouting, like captain leader legend would have, I think Pawson would have given us less horror. That is how football works today. And I expect that intelligence from our captain. Now suspended for three games. Honestly, Cahill failed remarkably on his captain debut.

When Conte took Boga off and brought Christensen on, it was a move for defensive stability, for angry heads to calm down and get control of the game. But our most experienced players, the supposedly leaders, let their emotions take over. They should have lead us to half time with a clean sheet. They all crumbled. Fabregas' yellow is stupid and affects his defending for the rest of the game. The organization in defence was shocking, and that is Luiz' main responsibility - who was also too passive on goal number one and three. Courtois looked shaky and should have saved at least one of the first two. And where was our captain Azpilicueta, when his team went 1, 2 and 3-0 down at home to Burnley? We all know the days of Terry, Lampard and Drogba is over. But today was a really discouraging contrast. Just hope this was the low-point, and that low points like this is what these players need in order to improve. Our leaders have to take responsibility, and they have to show something completely different starting tomorrow.

Massive improvement and silver linings (second half)
It was a heroic response. Getting one goal back with 10 men, and then one more with 9 is impressive. But I think the performance as a whole was great, and there were a lot of positives to take from this second half. Burnley were hanging on, with 11 against 9! That tells you all you need to know. Morata was superb. A goal, an assist and a disallowed goal in 30 minutes, playing for a team with 10 and 9 men, is very impressive. He just looks quality. Getting our new CF off to a flying start is hugely important. Christensen and Rüdiger both shook off the first half, and duly delivered after the break. No doubt they will contribute a lot more than Terry, Aké and Zouma did last season. Alonso and Willian are also worthy mentions, both delivered experienced and influential performances in the second half.

Nothing like 2015/16
Bad results in pre-season. Losing to Arsenal in the CS. Dropping points at home to a lowly side in the PL opener. It is easy draw comparisons to our shambolic title defending season two years ago. But for me, still don't feel anything like it. Player fitness was an issue then, it clearly is not now. Lack of signings was an issue then, and it won't be now. Yes, we are three-four players short, but both Conte and the club clearly wants more signings, so we are going to get them. Plus, it has happened before with a lot of these players. They are not going to let that happen again. I don't think we will win the title, but I think things are looking a lot better than it did 24 months ago. If we could follow up last season's magnificent title with a safe top 4 place and a CL quarter final, I think I will be very happy. And even though we lose at home to Burnley in the opener, it still feels like a struck of lightning rather than a basket full of rotten apples.

Win or lose, up the Blues!

I disagree. This has the hallmark of 2015/16 for me. Poorly planned pre-season, referees clearly out to get us, the press baying for blood and us not having a proper squad.

Poor start, a very tough game against Spurs up next where we will be without Hazard, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Cahill and maybe even Pedro... Another loss and we are starting to be in absolute panic mode. 

Also not having you claiming lack of players isn't an issue. It's a massive issue and I don't even think it's likely that we have enough time to get the four to five quality players we desperately need. Adding another two may give us a false sense of security, but it's nowhere near enough for the season ahead. 

On 11 August 2017 at 4:57 PM, Sleeping Dave said:

So what's everyone's thoughts on the result? 

Always hard to gauge the form of teams right at the start. Heart says we'll win with a convincing performance the brain is, perhaps, fearing the worst. 

With the squad we have right now, it can get real ugly real quick if we start badly and get another one to two key injuries... Well any injury really and the squad is exposed. 

Right now we have a cocktail of disaster brewing in the basement. Fingers crossed we bring in another four quality players within the next 20 days. One transfer every five days kind of thing. Come on Marina! Get busy!

I've been warning for this all summer. Even Conte said we need to avoid another "Mourinho season". Seems the label he used was all wrong though. Mourinho isn't here any longer - but we may still experience a season where we find ourselves far off the pace in November.

There are a few positives from the game - Morata, Willian, Kante and Christensen. The comeback second half. But that's about it. This was a shocking performance but quite predictable and it's not because I'm negative by default, I try to make realistic predictions and us having a bad start wasn't too hard to predict in all honesty. 

What matters now is how we react and how many quality players the board gets in. If we don't see 4-5 quality players added, I'm gonna say the obvious right now - we won't make a top four this season. Just not going to happen I'm afraid. 

And if we do fail and have a bad season I'll stay true to what I actually believe and will blame the board/club and not the manager. Will be interesting to see how many will change their mind and start blaming the club instead of the manager this time around... 

Right now, I'm almost certain Conte won't be here this time next year. I hope I'm wrong...

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37 minutes ago, jones said:

Horrible referee
Much has been written about Pawson, and I agree that I have not seen a worse refereeing display since Øvrebø 2009. You could always bring up the "Laws of the game" book and say that Cahill's red is correct. But it should still not have been given. Even if he "went in dangerously", there was no danger in his attempt as the speed of tackle was slow and he did not make any contact...

One of Vokes' best moves is to throw himself into defenders to make it look like he has been fouled. Imagine the media and Twitter meltdown if Costa did it. Vokes did that several times too, and instead of seeing a clear yellow, he gets his team a free kick (and a chance to score) and the opponent a yellow card. Tom Heaton's time wasting was comedy. Both these players should have seen yellows, but instead they benefited massively from cheating and just continued to do so the entire game.

Feigning injury and diving are supposed to be a part of the new rules introduced this season, judged by a Panel of three the day after.Nothing will happen to either of the players involved in the Cahill sending off or the vokes dive.

I watched the game on American tv and the co comentator said that the player who was fouled by Cahill made the most of it and even said Cahill barely touched him.

And when vokes went down between Luiz and Rudiger(just after Luisa goal), he said it wasn't even a free kick, vokes just run into the back of Luiz.

what about the challenge by Arfield on Alonso, who only got a yellow after coming on as sub, that was waste high and should have been a straight red..

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Kezza   

We should be losing games up till September because the board says the season only starts in September and once we sign another three players. I don't see the panic here. It's still only only pre season, the window is still open and we are not playing against any big teams. Who goes into a title defending season with one senior central midfielder left to play and four youths who never got a look in. Don't be silly.

Edited by Kezza

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24 minutes ago, Kezza said:

We should be losing games up till September because the board says the season only starts in September and once we sign another three players. I don't see the panic here. It's still only only pre season, the window is still open and we are not playing against any big teams. Who goes into a title defending season with one senior central midfielder left to play and four youths who never got a look in. Don't be silly.

This is nothing but a monumental **** up by the club. Total amateurs and the fact that many of them have now been in a high profile position at a high profile club for about 10 years now makes me wonder if these people (competence when hired aside) are the right people. 

There were a few in here who didn't see the problem with selling off 75% of the players in our books with no replacements. The rest of us understood what it would mean. 

Absolutely madness. I'm incensed we've let this happen again. Incensed!!

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Ham   

I don't think there is a single person on here who thinks that getting rid of 11 and replacing them with 4 so far is acceptable. 

Everyone expects more signings before the end of August and perhaps the board hadn't anticipated that our threadbare squad would be decimated by red cards. They probably thought that we had enough to get past Burnley at home and players to come back from suspension and injury for the Spurs game whilst adding to the squad.

In retrospect it has been a disastrous decision of the highest order. 

The perfect storm. 

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jones   
9 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

This is nothing but a monumental **** up by the club. Total amateurs and the fact that many of them have now been in a high profile position at a high profile club for about 10 years now makes me wonder if these people (competence when hired aside) are the right people. 

There were a few in here who didn't see the problem with selling off 75% of the players in our books with no replacements. The rest of us understood what it would mean. 

Absolutely madness. I'm incensed we've let this happen again. Incensed!!

Very true. Still believe we will make signings and come good eventually, but season has already been negatively impacted by the club's failed transfer summer. No excuse, really. 

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jones   

And fwiw, I don't criticise selling the players we sold (wanted to leave and/or not wanted by Conte) or loaned (neither of  the necessary quality). The problem is failing to buy the players we needed to replace them with. Yes, it is a tough market. But their strategy of waiting until the end of the window has failed miserably. Market will be even worse for us after losing to Burnley. 

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52 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

I disagree. This has the hallmark of 2015/16 for me. Poorly planned pre-season, referees clearly out to get us, the press baying for blood and us not having a proper squad.

Stick a formula 1 engine on a vehicle with just 2 wheels and you can go even faster so long as you are ready for a massive fall.  Small squads for you and right now we have no squad at all.

Last season we had a mini-crisis and Ivanovic, Fabregas and Willian followed JT out of the team and 4 new players came in, with 2 superstars, Fabregas and Willian struggling to get game time for the rest of the season.
We could do that because we had players.  JM 15/16 and Conte as of now do not have that option.

On refs - I am sure the refs are out to get us, or will be as soon as we win a couple of games.  But very clearly we got 2 reds that we could have avoided - and have had plenty of advance warning - so it really is not the right time to start blaming refs and not the players yet.

 

31 minutes ago, Sleeping Dave said:

This is nothing but a monumental **** up by the club. Total amateurs and the fact that many of them have now been in a high profile position at a high profile club for about 10 years now makes me wonder if these people (competence when hired aside) are the right people. 

Oh yes.  But Conte (and JM in summer 15) must take some blame as well.  It is all very well leaking hints about resigning - but the head coach (or whatever he calls) needs to pre-empt this kind of incompetence.

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Kezza   
22 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

Oh yes.  But Conte (and JM in summer 15) must take some blame as well.  It is all very well leaking hints about resigning - but the head coach (or whatever he calls) needs to pre-empt this kind of incompetence.

Didn't he made it clear to avoid another Mourinho season and the need to sign more players? He pre-empt the incompetence and said it but that's as much as he can do. 

It's already 3 points dropped and likely more in the next 3 fixtures. I bet the board doesn't realise the gravity of this yet, or that the season has started, with real points at stake. You know it's not fair to have to keep asking Conte to do the impossible. Longest winning run, highest number of matches won, etc. But I won't be surprised that someone up there must be thinking along that line.

And then, decisions like letting Matic join a rival too soon, when Bakayoko is out is just appalling. Others are taking their time with us with Sandro and Drinkwater, or just merely trolling us into thinking we'd sign any of them.

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