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14 minutes ago, bluehorn said:

Agree completely with the above. Our attacking options are often at odds with how we're trying or wanting to play. I think for a very long time we have too often relied on moments of individual magic, I'd love for Conte to elevate our attack this year. Don't see it happening however, as he simply wasn't given the reinforcements/level raising signings to do so, another subject though.

Its not just a Conte issue though , we've relied on Lampard and Drogba to dig us out , then Hazard and Costa , now it's Hazard and Morata .

The elephant in the room in all of this is seeing how Jose is doing at United with the full backing of the board as opposed to the make do and mend approach of ours where they screwed Jose over countless times and are now trying the same tactics with Conte.

United were dreadful yesterday but relied on their quality players to get them over the line where ours were floundering or , hilariously not even on the pitch.

We are desperate for more quality in attack and midfield , desperate for a left wing back and these things lead to results like yesterday , which I actually cannot believe myself how angry it has left me , I just cannot shake the feeling of lost momentum , purely down to Conte not seeing Arsenal for what they are  , weak.

There's easing in players but there's no way on earth that Bakayoko and Hazard weren't 100% yesterday ,I'm so disappointed by Conte's performance yesterday.

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kratos   
26 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Its not just a Conte issue though , we've relied on Lampard and Drogba to dig us out , then Hazard and Costa , now it's Hazard and Morata .

The elephant in the room in all of this is seeing how Jose is doing at United with the full backing of the board as opposed to the make do and mend approach of ours where they screwed Jose over countless times and are now trying the same tactics with Conte.

United were dreadful yesterday but relied on their quality players to get them over the line where ours were floundering or , hilariously not even on the pitch.

We are desperate for more quality in attack and midfield , desperate for a left wing back and these things lead to results like yesterday , which I actually cannot believe myself how angry it has left me , I just cannot shake the feeling of lost momentum , purely down to Conte not seeing Arsenal for what they are  , weak.

There's easing in players but there's no way on earth that Bakayoko and Hazard weren't 100% yesterday ,I'm so disappointed by Conte's performance yesterday.

This.

Hazard would have given the Arse a real fear factor and Baka would have bullied them alonside Kanta.

As for Morata, going into war with another defender is not his game and the support has to adapt to him better.

Diego was always going to be a huge miss in these sort of games but that's now (no pun intended) a bridge too far.

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Average performance, average result. It's unsurprising to me that Arsenal were up for it and put in a much better performance than they have done so far. It's a pity we didn't score in that opening 15-20 minutes, where we dominated. Pedro really had to put that chance away. That goes in and it's a different game altogether. Fine margins.

Some thoughts:

1) Conte's been criticized, fairly I reckon. I was very surprised he went with Cesc in a 2 man midfield. It was a very un-Conte like decision. I think he went with the fittest XI he could put out and to be fair if we had gone ahead early, it may have proved to be a masterstroke. I think he will go back to basics from now on, with a Kante-Bakayoko shield and Cesc off the bench to change the game. 

2) In terms of individuals, there were too many non-performers. Cesc was oddly poor. Most of what he tried just didn't come off. It was a rare off day for him so let's cut him some slack. Would like to cut Willian some slack too, especially after having praised him midweek, but that was a very poor performance. He was a complete non-entity in the first half and only got marginally better in the second half. Seeing as Pedro wasn't great either, you simply cannot afford to have both of your AM's off their game. You're not going to win many matches when that happens.

3) Let's focus on some positives, shall we? Bakayoko was a monster in the second half. Sure, we didn't create much, but Arsenal created almost nothing. I think they had one shot on goal in the second half, as compared to about half a dozen in the first. Kante and Bakayoko are a very intimidating duo and it's about time they get unleashed together for a run of games. Throw in a fit Hazard and our strongest XI is just around the corner. 

I thought Morata was quite sharp, to be honest. Constantly made great runs, with very little support. He was constantly clattered by Mustafi and when he tried to give anything back, it was called a foul. Absolutely ridiculous. He's a very good player though and is getting more and more attuned to how we play and how the league works. Let's be patient with him.

Another clean sheet, which makes it clean sheets in 3 of our last 4 games. In fact, since the Burnley game, we've only conceded twice in 5 games, one which was an own goal and the other a penalty. And that's without our strongest and fittest XI. The fact that we're gutted that we could only draw at home against a top 6 team just shows how high the standards are for us, and how low they are for Arsenal, seeing as they're ecstatic with the point. Just shows the relative expectations of both clubs.

Let's take the point, learn from our mistakes, and move on. Let the others write us off. 

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14 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

 

I thought Morata was quite sharp, to be honest. Constantly made great runs, with very little support. He was constantly clattered by Mustafi and when he tried to give anything back, it was called a foul. Absolutely ridiculous. He's a very good player though and is getting more and more attuned to how we play and how the league works. Let's be patient with him.

 

And was booked for complaining to boot , yet again another game , another ref going into it with the mindset that we must be denied any 50/50 decisions and punished draconianly for any error.

Also considering Pedro spent absolutely no time out wide left he was still nowhere near close enough to Morata who pretty soon will get tired of flicking on headers to nobody and stop doing it entirely. 

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The problem we've got is that we can't afford to fall to far behind against a free scoring city (we play them in 2 weeks time), and a lucky Utd ( it seems the FA have given them such an easy start, Southampton and Palace up next for them, when are they going to play anyone decent?), it seems the FA were determined to have a strong Utd challenging for the title, and made sure Chelsea were under pressure straight from the start.

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2 minutes ago, A Blue Essien said:

1) Conte's been criticized, fairly I reckon. I was very surprised he went with Cesc in a 2 man midfield. It was a very un-Conte like decision. I think he went with the fittest XI he could put out and to be fair if we had gone ahead early, it may have proved to be a masterstroke. I think he will go back to basics from now on, with a Kante-Bakayoko shield and Cesc off the bench to change the game. 

I agree with a lot of your post, but this is selected as representative of a few peoples comments recently.

One thing we know about Conte is he likes continuity and he doesn't like bringing in new players quickly.
It seems to me a hugely Conte-like decision not to start Bakayoko.  In fact the big surprise was a sub so early as 45 mins - is that a Conte record?

He picked essentially the same 13 players all last season, but even then Alonso did not get a PL start until October 1st.  And the other August 31st signing, Luiz, only started on Sept 16th following a JT injury.  Even the most obvious change in the world - Fabregas for Matic, didn't happen on an occasional basis till half way through the season.  And with this squad it is clear that club and (presumably) manager intend that little rotation will happen again.

The other odd thing is Conte being criticized for being Conte, having been praised non-stop for a year for being Conte.  
We know what he is like, it worked last year once he sorted out the press.  10 points from 5 games is no disaster when 2 of the games are Spurs and Arsenal.  The real issue is what happens when the squad tires, not Conte.

 

1 minute ago, WHYSOSLOWYEH said:

The problem we've got is that we can't afford to fall to far behind against a free scoring city (we play them in 2 weeks time), and a lucky Utd ( it seems the FA have given them such an easy start, Southampton and Palace up next for them, when are they going to play anyone decent?), it seems the FA were determined to have a strong Utd challenging for the title, and made sure Chelsea were under pressure straight from the start.

It does look that way, doesn't it.
After the Arsenal game in September last year, City had 18 points from 6 games (13 in 5 now) and we were 8 points behind.  We finished 15 points ahead -  a remarkable

Chelsea P32 W27 D2 L3     and 

Man City P32 W17 D9 L6    (helped by winning their last 4 games).
City collapsed as soon as they came under pressure.  Fingers crossed!

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bluehorn   
1 hour ago, Mark Kelly said:

Its not just a Conte issue though , we've relied on Lampard and Drogba to dig us out , then Hazard and Costa , now it's Hazard and Morata .

The elephant in the room in all of this is seeing how Jose is doing at United with the full backing of the board as opposed to the make do and mend approach of ours where they screwed Jose over countless times and are now trying the same tactics with Conte.

United were dreadful yesterday but relied on their quality players to get them over the line where ours were floundering or , hilariously not even on the pitch.

We are desperate for more quality in attack and midfield , desperate for a left wing back and these things lead to results like yesterday , which I actually cannot believe myself how angry it has left me , I just cannot shake the feeling of lost momentum , purely down to Conte not seeing Arsenal for what they are  , weak.

There's easing in players but there's no way on earth that Bakayoko and Hazard weren't 100% yesterday ,I'm so disappointed by Conte's performance yesterday.

We're absolutely singing off the same hymn sheet here, Mark.

The Manchester clubs were backed big time by their boards, not just in signings, but by not depleting their squads in the process. Lukaku and Matic were huge signings for them, it's also an absolute given that Griezmann is joining next summer, scary prospect. City went out and got two of the best fullbacks in the game, and even added to their wealth of talent in attack by signing Silva from Monaco, who just oozes class. Us on the other hand? If you include the Oscar sale in January, spent what? 15m net? Pathetic. The refusal to back the Manager has cost us on numerous occasions throughout the years. Mark speaks of lost momentum against Arsenal, how about the lost momentum of winning the league and AGAIN not pushing on?

That said, Conte has to make do with what he has. He will need to learn from the mistakes made against Arsenal, and perhaps his biggest test will be getting the best out of Morata. I have every confidence he will.

Edited by bluehorn
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Holymoly   

OK, let's look at the positives:

1. We kept a clean sheet.

2. Err.....nope, that's it.

And there wouldn't have been that one if Arsenal had been capable of passing into an empty net.

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I dont want to come across as negative, but I have a hard time seeing how we are supposed to manage to end up above either Manchester clubs this season.

Their squads are on a different level to ours and above all - those teams score goals. We don't play attacking football like those two clubs. We focus on tight defense and counter attacks. We caught many by surprise last season. I don't think the element of surprise will save us this season. I predicted we'd finish third. I think that's about right. Probably gonna trail City and United by at least 10 points come end of season.

Feels like this year is about consolidating what we've got and to build for 2018-19. 

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bluehorn   

You're right, Dave. Why didn't we build this summer though? Or the summer when Jose last won it? They won't sit still next summer, they're likely to add Sanchez and Griezmann, City and United respectively.

We were fortunate that Moyes came in and set united back at least three years, and we took full advantage of that with two titles in that time. They are well and truly back now though. Couple that with City's spending power and we've got some serious competition, and I'd argue catching up to do. I know that may seem ridiculous given we're champions, but our transfer policy the last few years has resulted in that.

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