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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 4 Cardiff City 1

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2 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

There certainly was in terms of performance but the style of football was very similar.

Let's not forget when we played 523 the first season, call it 343 if you want but the 'wing backs' played the same both seasons, much like they are now as full backs in a back 4 , but we still lined up with only 3 attacking players the majority of the time with Matic and Kante in midfield. 

The major difference between the two sides was Costa. I've said previously that Conte's teams are what they are and rely heavily on two or three players. When Costa left we fell apart.

Both seasons we sat back, defended deep and relied on quick counter attacks.  The first year it worked, the second we got found out, lost a key players,  and it didn't work. Very little difference in tactics, even with the tweak in formation. 

Let's not forget that the first year for about a third of the season (at the start) the football was quite dreadful. The middle bit we went like the wind and then the end third we went very pragmatic. All of the last season was dreadful. So in fact out of two seasons under Conte we played really well for about a sixth of that period. Our performances in Europe too were very poor. In the process he managed to alienate half the team to the point of one player photo shopping him out of the FA cup photo, the message being I presume "you didn't deserve this moment but we did".  

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paulw66   
24 minutes ago, NoblyBobly said:

Let's not forget that the first year for about a third of the season (at the start) the football was quite dreadful. The middle bit we went like the wind and then the end third we went very pragmatic. All of the last season was dreadful. So in fact out of two seasons under Conte we played really well for about a sixth of that period. Our performances in Europe too were very poor. In the process he managed to alienate half the team to the point of one player photo shopping him out of the FA cup photo, the message being I presume "you didn't deserve this moment but we did".  

The first bit was 6 league games (W3, D1, L2). Hardly a third. Games 7 to 19 were the 13 game winning streak, scoring 32 and conceding just 4. 

You mean the "pragmatic" last 3rd when we won 11 out of 13 games scoring 33 times?

We won 30 out of 38 league games that season, but because the second season was poor, history gets rewritten. By your maths, we played really well for a third of Conte's first season, despite breaking records. Ok. 

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5 hours ago, Martin1905 said:

There certainly was in terms of performance but the style of football was very similar.

Let's not forget when we played 523 the first season, call it 343 if you want but the 'wing backs' played the same both seasons, much like they are now as full backs in a back 4 , but we still lined up with only 3 attacking players the majority of the time with Matic and Kante in midfield. 

The major difference between the two sides was Costa. I've said previously that Conte's teams are what they are and rely heavily on two or three players. When Costa left we fell apart.

Both seasons we sat back, defended deep and relied on quick counter attacks.  The first year it worked, the second we got found out, lost a key players,  and it didn't work. Very little difference in tactics, even with the tweak in formation. 

Maybe little change in style, but in outcome.  

But the first season we scored 85 goals and although that alone isn't an indication of the style of football being played, it is an indication on how attacking the team is. Second season we scored 68. Yes Costa was a massive factor but I think we played much better football in Conte's first season. Because he could play his preferred game without limitations (few games, settled side). Second season the squad was nowhere near big enough to handle that many games and crucially we were light in key positions (strikers/AMs/CMs/LB). That coupled with the forced change to 5311 made us unbearable to watch second season imo. Plus his 3-man defense had been figured out by everyone and in the end it was just us and a few bottom sides that persisted with it. 

For me there was a clear difference in his two seasons where I thought we played good, albeit counter-attacking football with speed and flair during the first season; and slow, reactive cattenacci rubbish his second season. Respect the difference in opinion, no worries mate!  

 

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kev61   
15 hours ago, NoblyBobly said:

What Sarii has managed to do (maybe with a little good fortune) is get on a winning streak whilst still sorting out new tactics and players. Liverpool look more the finished article but we can get better. Sarri has had a good look at Morata and now I'm hoping he is going to have a good look at Giroud (no contest IMO) . I suspect he's having a long hard look at Luiz in this new back 4 and pretty soon he might try Christenson there. He is getting the best out of Hazard ,Willian and Pedro (something Conte failed miserably at in second season), and he is experimenting with Kante's position. On top of that we are bedding in a new keeper.  

I can see that sooner or later (maybe sooner) we will lose a game, but important ground work is being done here while at the same time we look down at every team in the league. Happy days.

It might be another false dawn but I think we have improved again after Conte's first stint.Imo Conte lost interest because he was not backed in his mind and wanted to go, that affected our performances.

We have a manager now that is getting the best out of our players - is it lucky? no I don't think so.We were destroyed by Man City in our first game I don't think it will happen again this season.

 

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7 hours ago, paulw66 said:

The first bit was 6 league games (W3, D1, L2). Hardly a third. Games 7 to 19 were the 13 game winning streak, scoring 32 and conceding just 4. 

You mean the "pragmatic" last 3rd when we won 11 out of 13 games scoring 33 times?

We won 30 out of 38 league games that season, but because the second season was poor, history gets rewritten. By your maths, we played really well for a third of Conte's first season, despite breaking records. Ok

Not completely no. For a very significant number of games that season we played both pragmatically (no major problem with that) and then quite often poorly. And then there were sections when we were sublime...but...they were in the minority IMO. If you are telling me we ripped that league apart like City did last season (or even something close) you are incorrect. Maybe the boundaries and performance lines are not as clear cut as 'first third bad, middle third good, last third pragmatic' but they were all in there somewhere. Here's how I saw it:

Games 1 -6 were poor. we got some wins playing badly in a 4-4-2 and then the wheels came off for Liverpool and Arsenal games. The nature of those defeats and Conte's complete failure to react to what was going on on the pitch and particularly make obvious subs had many calling for his head even at that early stage.

The change in formation brought immediate results with some terrific performances.  The Everton 5-0 one stands out for me. But still we had a Jeckle and Hyde in us . In October we had a shocking display against West Ham that got us knocked out the Cup, and then as winter set in and WITHIN that record breaking run were displays of dull but pragmatic football...wins by the odd goal against average teams were grinded out ...West Brom 1-0, Sunderland 1-0, Palace 1-0 in consecutive games . We got past Bournemouth and Stoke easily enough but then a decent Spurs team ended our winning streak beating us 2-0. 

And so to our spectacular 'run in' that you talk about. Our free scoring fearless reign of terror. Well it wasn't was it? Let me put some flesh on the bones with some results between March and the season end. 

We beat West Ham by the odd goal . We beat Stoke by the odd goal. We beat Palace again by the odd goal. We beat City by the odd goal.  We lost 2-0 to Man United . We beat West Brom by the odd goal. How exactly would you describe that run in then? Without analysing each game and performance (which I'm not going to do) but just looking at results the word 'Pragmatic' springs to mind.  Good for Conte and Chelsea.. we won the league...but more as roundheads than cavaliers.    

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A little late but still.

Nice game.  Pedro missed a lot of chances, and we just knew Willian would come on and score.  He scored and won penalty!  I think that both are very good, and arguments that one is so much better than the other miss the point.  Both are great, but coming on 2nd against tiring oppo makes it much easier to look good.
Zappacosta got a short run out as a winger.  Interesting.

 

There is a lot of Conte 16/17 about this team.  Winning by the odd goal without being apparently any better than the oppo.  Or winning by 4 without actually many chances.  And doing all this without a defence than can keep the oppo out.  Some of it is being blessed with a few really great players.  Some of it is what Kante adds.  Some of it may be manager lead, some should be superior fitness at the end, but a lot seems to be just mystery (less mysterious last year).
Currently we are 14 goals for, 4 against.  It could easily have been 10 for, 8 against.

But not much Conte in Sarri.  Thank God.  Sarriball is way different.  More fun too, which is a pleasant side effect.    And under Sarriball I do have confidence that we can always score quickly when we need to.  Just as I always had it for 6 and one bit seasons under JM, and under Grant and RDM.

I'm much happier about us as Work in Progress than as a finished good.  The defence needs to improve.  We need to stop Jorginho giving the ball away so much.  95% pass success is not the figure to focus on if he makes 200 passes.  It is the 10 times he gives it away in our own half that one must count.

But most of all the quick fix is going to be movement up front.  

Sarriball is pretty much PinBall football, with the ball whizzing around rapidly.  No surprise then that he players prefer to play Pinball with static players.  And the most static of the lot has been Morata.  Little wonder:

  • Morata has achieved so little
  • Alonso is our best striker (he does move across the box and no  one knows how to pick him up
  • Our goals mostly come from Alonso being in box or from the flashy skills of Hazard
  • The Static Giroud is so much better than the static Morata (if you pass or cross to a static Giroud with a giant CB breathing down his neck, he does have a 50/50 chance of keeping the ball).
  • We have beaten the weaker teams, struggled against Arsenal who were better for long periods, and looked woeful (early season) against City.  Pressing high will have that effect.

Many more chances will come when the CF starts to move, and Pedro/Willian/Hazard start to fill the spaces.

In the meantime we are looking a lot like Arsenal - everyone looking to make the pre-penultimate pass, no one the final assist or final shot.  Arsenal once had a cure for that - he was called Fabregas.  We need someone like Fabregas, and with the midfield 3 no one can say there is no room for him.

Of the candidates, RLC and Barkley do not look like claiming a role.  Kovacic looks great in a Pinball circle.  He does not look like the final ball man.  Still miles ahead of RLC or Drinkwater, let alone the guy that so often played that role last year.  Kovacic has impressed at times, but I suspect he may end up as an AM - more like Pedro than Fabregas.  Have I mentioned yet who I'd pick.

 

Sarri and "Looking at the ball"

A few comments/questions on this.  I think the quote goes back a few weeks to this:

Quote

The Italian was asked if the squad had been doing extra defensive work this week
‘Every week. I am not worried about the defensive phase because when I arrive in a new team I usually have problems for two or three months, so I think it’s normal. I am not able to play with five defenders because we are trying to defend by only looking at the ball. If I have five defenders I immediately lose metres on the pitch, I tried it five years ago but it’s not my way.’
 

For me he is saying something very similar to "standing in the wrong places".  The key is the bit about losing metres - he is talking about 5 defenders backing off and not challenge the men over the ball, who get to advance against a team in retreat.  He's quite right.

 

So the team has 15 points in 5 games, without ever looking that good, and with only one big game against a team that still finished below us.  Throw in a few games against teams that can punish a high press, and I think we are currently on course for a 75 point season, not a 114 point one.  But I also expect us to improve much further. And the purchases of Kepa, Jorginho, the loan of Kovacic, keeping Hazard and Kante and not kicking out any dead wood, all suggest to me that RA is thinking of a much shorter time frame for the revival than I was. 

I like Sarri even more than I expected to, and the team is doing much better too.

 

Edit - and how many penalties have we had this season already?

 

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JaneB   
5 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

A little late but still.

Nice game.  Pedro missed a lot of chances, and we just knew Willian would come on and score.  He scored and won penalty!  I think that both are very good, and arguments that one is so much better than the other miss the point.  Both are great, but coming on 2nd against tiring oppo makes it much easier to look good.
Zappacosta got a short run out as a winger.  Interesting.

 

There is a lot of Conte 16/17 about this team.  Winning by the odd goal without being apparently any better than the oppo.  Or winning by 4 without actually many chances.  And doing all this without a defence than can keep the oppo out.  Some of it is being blessed with a few really great players.  Some of it is what Kante adds.  Some of it may be manager lead, some should be superior fitness at the end, but a lot seems to be just mystery (less mysterious last year).
Currently we are 14 goals for, 4 against.  It could easily have been 10 for, 8 against.

But not much Conte in Sarri.  Thank God.  Sarriball is way different.  More fun too, which is a pleasant side effect.    And under Sarriball I do have confidence that we can always score quickly when we need to.  Just as I always had it for 6 and one bit seasons under JM, and under Grant and RDM.

I'm much happier about us as Work in Progress than as a finished good.  The defence needs to improve.  We need to stop Jorginho giving the ball away so much.  95% pass success is not the figure to focus on if he makes 200 passes.  It is the 10 times he gives it away in our own half that one must count.

But most of all the quick fix is going to be movement up front.  

Sarriball is pretty much PinBall football, with the ball whizzing around rapidly.  No surprise then that he players prefer to play Pinball with static players.  And the most static of the lot has been Morata.  Little wonder:

  • Morata has achieved so little
  • Alonso is our best striker (he does move across the box and no  one knows how to pick him up
  • Our goals mostly come from Alonso being in box or from the flashy skills of Hazard
  • The Static Giroud is so much better than the static Morata (if you pass or cross to a static Giroud with a giant CB breathing down his neck, he does have a 50/50 chance of keeping the ball).
  • We have beaten the weaker teams, struggled against Arsenal who were better for long periods, and looked woeful (early season) against City.  Pressing high will have that effect.

Many more chances will come when the CF starts to move, and Pedro/Willian/Hazard start to fill the spaces.

In the meantime we are looking a lot like Arsenal - everyone looking to make the pre-penultimate pass, no one the final assist or final shot.  Arsenal once had a cure for that - he was called Fabregas.  We need someone like Fabregas, and with the midfield 3 no one can say there is no room for him.

Of the candidates, RLC and Barkley do not look like claiming a role.  Kovacic looks great in a Pinball circle.  He does not look like the final ball man.  Still miles ahead of RLC or Drinkwater, let alone the guy that so often played that role last year.  Kovacic has impressed at times, but I suspect he may end up as an AM - more like Pedro than Fabregas.  Have I mentioned yet who I'd pick.

 

Sarri and "Looking at the ball"

A few comments/questions on this.  I think the quote goes back a few weeks to this:

For me he is saying something very similar to "standing in the wrong places".  The key is the bit about losing metres - he is talking about 5 defenders backing off and not challenge the men over the ball, who get to advance against a team in retreat.  He's quite right.

 

So the team has 15 points in 5 games, without ever looking that good, and with only one big game against a team that still finished below us.  Throw in a few games against teams that can punish a high press, and I think we are currently on course for a 75 point season, not a 114 point one.  But I also expect us to improve much further. And the purchases of Kepa, Jorginho, the loan of Kovacic, keeping Hazard and Kante and not kicking out any dead wood, all suggest to me that RA is thinking of a much shorter time frame for the revival than I was. 

I like Sarri even more than I expected to, and the team is doing much better too.

 

Edit - and how many penalties have we had this season already?

 

I didn't want him at all but can't say he's done anything yet to justify that opinion.  I mean we're top of the table (although I can't see us staying there), Hazard is flying and everyone seems a lot happier.  So far so good.

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34 minutes ago, JaneB said:

I didn't want him at all but can't say he's done anything yet to justify that opinion.  I mean we're top of the table (although I can't see us staying there), Hazard is flying and everyone seems a lot happier.  So far so good.

I guess it’s to controversial to say the team is picked based on pay packets, selling shirts and player power rather than ability?

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kev61   

I think what sarri is doing is putting round pegs in round holes especially in attack(best form of defense is attack)He has recognised our frailties in defense which jt could sort out if he was part of the coaching staff which he will inevitably be.

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