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9 minutes ago, Ham said:

Refreshing to see just how direct we can be this season. We're playing far more like Spurs last season. Early crosses to the six yard box and shots on sight from outside the box.

In recent years we've tried to walk the ball into the net. Morata really has given us real options. 

Bakayoko really is an intimidating presence going forward too.

Happy days.

Yeh, I'm optimistic Ham. I like the look of Morata. A proper European central striker with intelligent running and genuine technique. I'm also pleased with what I've seen so far of Baka and Rudiger plus Zappa. We need more bodies for sure, but our quality remains high I think.

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Vinod   
16 minutes ago, PeteRobbo said:

Yeh, I'm optimistic Ham. I like the look of Morata. A proper European central striker with intelligent running and genuine technique. I'm also pleased with what I've seen so far of Baka and Rudiger plus Zappa. We need more bodies for sure, but our quality remains high I think.

The bench looks formidable as well

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24 minutes ago, PeteRobbo said:

Yeh, I'm optimistic Ham. I like the look of Morata. A proper European central striker with intelligent running and genuine technique. I'm also pleased with what I've seen so far of Baka and Rudiger plus Zappa. We need more bodies for sure, but our quality remains high I think.

Way too early to discuss Zappa. From yesterday I would say it was clear he knows the position but at the same time seemed weak in the 50/50s and off the pace at times. However, to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Baka does look good and he appears to have picked up the pace of the league well (which was my main concern). As for Rudiger, I am still a little unconvinced as he has a habit of getting tight for no reason, whilst although decent on the ball he is not more than a 7/10. That said, he does look like a good squad option which is good and at 24 still has room for improvement.

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Blue Rod   
13 minutes ago, Conte Kante said:

Way too early to discuss Zappa. From yesterday I would say it was clear he knows the position but at the same time seemed weak in the 50/50s and off the pace at times. However, to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Baka does look good and he appears to have picked up the pace of the league well (which was my main concern). As for Rudiger, I am still a little unconvinced as he has a habit of getting tight for no reason, whilst although decent on the ball he is not more than a 7/10. That said, he does look like a good squad option which is good and at 24 still has room for improvement.

Not a lot to disagree with. Baka seems cut out  for the PL. I think we will see more of his "hurricane" runs as he settles in. Kante can do the little slaloms, and they can both take it in their turns. Behind each of the two DMs lurks a pretty useful attacking player. As for Rudiger, defending is an art that is perfected much later in a player's development than say, attacking. Conte improves players. So as much as I have my reservations about Rudiger ( I thought Christensen looked better in the Spurs game) I trust Conte to improve both of them.  

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57 minutes ago, Ham said:

Refreshing to see just how direct we can be this season. We're playing far more like Spurs last season. Early crosses to the six yard box and shots on sight from outside the box.

In recent years we've tried to walk the ball into the net. Morata really has given us real options. 

Bakayoko really is an intimidating presence going forward too.

Happy days.

I wonder how many more times it'll be before he finally wins a free kick for being pulled back? He does look good though, going forward, and it's been a while since we had a midfielder who can win headers in the middle of the park (not counting Luiz when deployed as an emergency midfielder).

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Great win. So important to keep a positive momentum and build on a strong start straight off the bat. 

My MotM a toss-up between Morata and Kante. I'm delighted for the start Morata's had with us. Intelligent, good movement, great finishing. His link-up play far better than what he's been given credit for. Early signs very, very good. 

I'm not however very impressed with Bakayoko so far. Very happy when we signed him, rate him highly and his potential is insane, but I don't think he's started very well. Better this time than against Spurs yes. but I think there will be a while before we see the best of him. 

On the formation - not a massive fan. Think we become too defensive while lacking quality out wide. Penetration isn't the same... but it's a viable set-up for certain types of games. Prefer the 343/3421 remaining as our base though. 

 

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xCELERYx   
13 hours ago, Rob B said:

Watched the game, he was absolutely brilliant, as he was against Arsenal too.

What I don't understand however is this nonsense about him not being good enough on the ball.

He's more or less on par with Cahill and Azpi if you ask me. Certainly not as good as Luiz or Christensen, but then not many are.   If you look at United's CB pairing yesterday they had Jones and Bailly?! 

In my opinion, Kurt's loan was more about him getting regular playing time after his horrific injury,  and the fact we could command a £7m loan fee for him in an area where we're well stocked.  I fully expect him to be back with us next season. 

He often looks cumbersome when in possession, particularly when having to move the ball around quickly or under pressure. I suppose you could say he lacks a little composure and because his technical game isn't quite at a level of some of our other defenders he doesn't make the best option for a back three. 

This is usually masked more in a back two pairing because both CB's don't tend to get as many touches or are asked to play from the back in the manner a back three does. For me, that's where he's a better fit. 

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conference-call--leicester-v-chelsea.img
 

Conference call: Process progressing

NEWSSAT 9 SEP 2017

Antonio Conte reflected on another successful away day following Saturday’s win at Leicester.

Goals either side of half-time from Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante had set us up for a third straight win before Jamie Vardy’s penalty pulled one back for the home side, ensuring a nervy finale in the East Midlands. We held on though to maintain a perfect away record and move up the early league table, leaving Conte pleased with his side’s afternoon.

Inevitably, he was asked first about Alvaro Morata, who notched his third headed goal of the season after strikes against Burnley and Everton...

‘It’s a good day for the team, it’s a good day for Alvaro. It’s always important for a striker to score but for me it’s very important to see he is improving and he is more involved in our football. That’s the most important thing. If he scores I am very happy and I am pleased for the player.’

Conte also faced questions on his other goalscorer, N’Golo Kante, and his central midfield partner Tiemoue Bakayoko, who turned in an impressive display…

‘N’Golo, I think he played an amazing game. We are used to seeing this and he’s a fantastic player. It is incredible to see. He made good runs with quality and he is improving a lot his passes and finishing. I think he is very important to see this player is improving step by step and improving his weaknesses. Now, N’Golo is a really top player.

‘I think Baka is improving his physical condition. Also, he is starting to understand and adapt to our style of football. He has to improve with the ball because without the ball he is very strong. He is a young player and has good signs for us. He has a lot of space to improve, like N’Golo, and now he has to improve with the ball. You can see N’Golo is improving a lot, if you compare him to last season, and we want to work and improve Baka.’

There was more good news with the return of Eden Hazard from injury. The Belgian came off the bench to make his 250th Chelsea appearance and Conte was pleased to be able to call upon the No10…

 

‘This is good news for us. For sure he needs time to be 100 per cent but for us his recovery is very important. We all know very well the importance of this player for us. Now we must have patience to give him the possibility to improve his form, but I am pleased for him because after a bad injury it’s great to see him with us.’

Finally, Conte was asked if he felt the Blues had turned a corner after our tough start to the season…

 

‘I think for us it is very important to follow a way. This way is to work. Despite our bad start against Burnley, a bit of difficulty, I think to win three in a row is important for the players. We are doing very well.

‘I have great players, my players are reliable and I trust them. I think the mentality today was very strong, very positive, very good, until the penalty. I think we were in total control of the game, scored the first goal, the second goal. We conceded to a counter-attack when we lost the ball for the penalty, and after they tried to put some pressure on, but we created many chances to improve the scoreline.

‘We must be satisfied but I repeat, now we are trying to involve new players with the older players and this is a process. We need time. In football there is not a lot of time but we are working very hard.’

 

 
 
 

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Ham   
26 minutes ago, Michael Tucker said:
conference-call--leicester-v-chelsea.img
 

Conference call: Process progressing

NEWSSAT 9 SEP 2017

Antonio Conte reflected on another successful away day following Saturday’s win at Leicester.

Goals either side of half-time from Alvaro Morata and N’Golo Kante had set us up for a third straight win before Jamie Vardy’s penalty pulled one back for the home side, ensuring a nervy finale in the East Midlands. We held on though to maintain a perfect away record and move up the early league table, leaving Conte pleased with his side’s afternoon.

Inevitably, he was asked first about Alvaro Morata, who notched his third headed goal of the season after strikes against Burnley and Everton...

1504976021042.png

‘It’s a good day for the team, it’s a good day for Alvaro. It’s always important for a striker to score but for me it’s very important to see he is improving and he is more involved in our football. That’s the most important thing. If he scores I am very happy and I am pleased for the player.’

Conte also faced questions on his other goalscorer, N’Golo Kante, and his central midfield partner Tiemoue Bakayoko, who turned in an impressive display…

‘N’Golo, I think he played an amazing game. We are used to seeing this and he’s a fantastic player. It is incredible to see. He made good runs with quality and he is improving a lot his passes and finishing. I think he is very important to see this player is improving step by step and improving his weaknesses. Now, N’Golo is a really top player.

‘I think Baka is improving his physical condition. Also, he is starting to understand and adapt to our style of football. He has to improve with the ball because without the ball he is very strong. He is a young player and has good signs for us. He has a lot of space to improve, like N’Golo, and now he has to improve with the ball. You can see N’Golo is improving a lot, if you compare him to last season, and we want to work and improve Baka.’

There was more good news with the return of Eden Hazard from injury. The Belgian came off the bench to make his 250th Chelsea appearance and Conte was pleased to be able to call upon the No10…

 
1504976088622.jpg

‘This is good news for us. For sure he needs time to be 100 per cent but for us his recovery is very important. We all know very well the importance of this player for us. Now we must have patience to give him the possibility to improve his form, but I am pleased for him because after a bad injury it’s great to see him with us.’

Finally, Conte was asked if he felt the Blues had turned a corner after our tough start to the season…

 
1504993863866.png

‘I think for us it is very important to follow a way. This way is to work. Despite our bad start against Burnley, a bit of difficulty, I think to win three in a row is important for the players. We are doing very well.

‘I have great players, my players are reliable and I trust them. I think the mentality today was very strong, very positive, very good, until the penalty. I think we were in total control of the game, scored the first goal, the second goal. We conceded to a counter-attack when we lost the ball for the penalty, and after they tried to put some pressure on, but we created many chances to improve the scoreline.

‘We must be satisfied but I repeat, now we are trying to involve new players with the older players and this is a process. We need time. In football there is not a lot of time but we are working very hard.’

 

 
 
 

Interesting that he still publicly expects more of Baka. I've been mighty impressed already. 

I can see him becoming our Yaya. 

Throw in a fully fit Hazard and boom!

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xCELERYx   
10 hours ago, PeteRobbo said:

Yeh, I'm optimistic Ham. I like the look of Morata. A proper European central striker with intelligent running and genuine technique. I'm also pleased with what I've seen so far of Baka and Rudiger plus Zappa. We need more bodies for sure, but our quality remains high I think.

Morata has always had the knack of getting himself into good positions with intelligent movement off the ball. This will hopefully see us move away from having a "bully" sort of CF who has to power themselves into those positions - not that Costa got into the same sort that Morata does. Also, the ability to now have a genuine target in the box who can finish a header is going to be worth it's weight in gold. 

He still though needs to work on his hold up play as a lone striker and his overall game with back to goal. Not something he's had to do much of over his career so naturally a weak point. If he can get stronger physically and in a few other areas of his game then he has the tools. I'm still weary of how he'll go once he stops scoring and how he'll respond. 

9 hours ago, Conte Kante said:

Way too early to discuss Zappa. From yesterday I would say it was clear he knows the position but at the same time seemed weak in the 50/50s and off the pace at times. However, to draw any conclusions would be unwise. Baka does look good and he appears to have picked up the pace of the league well (which was my main concern). As for Rudiger, I am still a little unconvinced as he has a habit of getting tight for no reason, whilst although decent on the ball he is not more than a 7/10. That said, he does look like a good squad option which is good and at 24 still has room for improvement.

His one-on-one defending isn't as great strong point of his. He's not a huge tackler so to speak and is more about getting in front of his man, nicking the ball and breaking forward. Will be the biggest area of his game Zappacosta will need to work on. As for Rudiger, his concentration and decision making are the two areas he'll need to iron out. As you said, sometimes he gets in too close when he should just jocky more. Certainly something that can be worked on and at least we've got a solid option that is comfortable in either starting or coming off the bench if needed, while being experienced. 

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