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GURJ SS   
On 14/05/2018 at 6:31 AM, BlueFizz said:

I don’t think they stopped playing. Like Jose’s last season, it just wasn’t that simple, or ‘dramatic’.

I think that numerous factors combined to weaken us, and then momentum, as it so often does in football took over.

We lost Costa. We replaced him with a younger Morata, new to the PL. We let Matic go and Bakayoko hasnt settled and Drinkwater just isn't as good. We didn't push on in the transfer market quite enough while other clubs did. Steve Holland left. Conte allegedly fell out with the board over transfers so started the season angry...

All these were factors and then, momentum took over...

A poor start, a lack of clinical finishing, City’s form, a poor run after Christmas, some erratic team selections, what seemed to me a public ‘sulk’ by Conte... all this built a negative momentum imo.

And at the crunch when we did build a late run, also imo, Conte’s decision to start without Giroud and Hazard against Huddersfield lost us our last, slim chance.

So, I don’t think the players stopped working - I think they stopped believing in all probability, just as many of us did. 

If I damn anyone it is Conte - for his ‘sulk’, his selections and in the face of a new ‘direct, attacking’ trend in the PL, his tactics. A season is a lifetime in football. What won us the title last year, looked outmoded this season but he didn't adapt.

 

 

 

They either stopped or aren't good enough, Hazard looked like a central midfielder being told to play in a wide or advanced position; he dictated the game to stand still.

Our changes to the team seem to be taking a while to settle, can't really blame them as there is no consistency from the club; new club, new manager...well for now; not the right structure to bring players into.

Conte picked from the players made available to him by the club. He can't win, he doesn't pick them and he gets blamed for not rotating, he picks them and he gets blamed for rotating.

The team Conte put out for Huddersfield should have been strong enough to win, no excuses, the players had a place to play for in the Cup final and they messed it up; but like today's game showed us it doesn't matter if Hazard and Giroud had played, actually the scoreline could have been worse.

Our squad hasn't got the attributes needed for the PL, we've only got one central midfielder with pace and no real dangerous speed in attacking positions; apart from a quick burst of acceleration from Willian and Pedro (who lack overall quality). Most have the quality but the wrong attributes to make a real difference in the position they play in. We've got too many players who pose no real consistent threat in 1v1 situations, I'd even go as far to say that we've gone no player that is able to, even Hazard decides to hold onto the ball instead of using his ability to go through a team - that's by choice, and it's pathetic mentality to see from a player who gets paid so much.

The biggest fall has been work rate, our players have been slow to react to everything, no pressing and no tackling. In attack the attacking players have been happy to pass the ball backwards and let the centre backs have the ball; it's been embarrassing behaviour from players who are rated as some of the best around.

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GURJ SS   
On 15/05/2018 at 0:50 PM, paulw66 said:

There was plenty to change. Got 4-3-3, even 3-4-3........we don't have the players to play 352 effecitvely

Pedro, Willian, Morata, Fabregas, any one of those 4 could have come on at half time. 

2nd half, we could / should have started 4-3-3 with Courtois, Azpi, Christensen, Cahill, Emerson, Kante, Barkley/Bakayoko, Fabregas, Hazard, Willian/Pedro, Giroud........

Our spine isn't strong enough to play 4 at the back. 

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GURJ SS   
1 hour ago, NoblyBobly said:

Do think players ever listen to a manager ranting on the sidelines? I'm not sure they do. Maybe the one nearest to him but the crowd volume must drown almost everything out. 

But you may be right...it's a collective thing...something that creeps it's way through a team like a silent cancer.  what we don't know is how that cancer started. 

Not directly no, but if they see their manager pointing and urging they normally get the message, and the thing that bothered me is that they did get the message but then 2mins later went back to doing nothing; last season Conte definitely had more energy and drive but the team was actually listening, this season it's like they have switched off and in turn he has also decided to switch off.

I agree, I actually thought Conte had got rid of it because it seems like a very similar problem to what Jose had, the players back then played but in a weird way also didn't play, they seem to be doing it this time too.

If they decide to turn up for the Cup game then I'll actually be even more annoyed, because they've collectively wasted by choice yet another 2 seasons of our club developing; and with the pattern emerging which top players will take the risk of having CL football one season and then a huge risk of not having it the next? I doubt they'll be many. Top players like established teams and established teams consistently push for top prizes, this current set up is putting previous work done down the gutter. A part of me thinks that our players do it on purpose for job security, because they seem to be unable to put their heads down and get results that will put them in a competition that will only make us as a club better; I'd blame the manager 60% like I blamed Jose for what happened, but with the same pattern emerging yet again I'm more convinced that we may have to lose some of our best(and higher profile) players to actually move forward.

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3 hours ago, GURJ SS said:

It's difficult to roll off a list of players because it's been what the squad as as collective haven't done.

It is also true that the squad was so bare for so long that no real injury details have been given out for a long time.  I strongly suspect that a lot of players have been playing when they shouldn't.  Which ones were just slacking, which ones were heroically struggling for the team and which had other personal problems which would probably have meant being dropped for poor form - we will never know these things for sure.

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BlueWill   
On 13/05/2018 at 4:24 PM, James Prescott said:

Antonio Conte has the worst in-game management I have ever seen ever.

2-0 down makes no changes. 3-0 down makes no changes. Does nothing 

He doesn’t give a toss about Chelsea. Cares only about his payoff, and happy to wreck our season in the meantime. 

Disgrace, should never be allowed back. Put Morris in charge for the cup final just so we don’t lose 5-0. 

Not just this season but several more too!

This has been a growing concern for several months now. The biggest mystery is why the board did not forsee the danger(s) and take decisive action. They can sit around blaming each other and everybody else. Ultimately this was someone's responsibility, they failed in their duty and that is unacceptable. Confronted by the consequences of those failings, Roman must himself take decisive action. Excuses count for nothing.  

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