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Michael Tucker

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Chelsea 1

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40 minutes ago, The_Ghost said:

but have now regressed. 

We've certainly regressed from our form and approach earlier in the season. What we saw today was shapeless and pointless, and imo, fairly gutless by key players. They look like they've stopped listening to Sarri - but this has been going on (to varying degrees) for a few weeks now, and MS seems to have done bugger all to change things up. Maybe (hopefully!) this is the kick up the a**e he/we need to get back on track.

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3 hours ago, Michael Tucker said:

Maurizio Sarri said his side have a lot of problems to solve following our 3-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Blues conceded two early goals and struggled to exert any control over the course of the contest, falling to our first loss of the campaign at Wembley.

Reflecting on the performance, Sarri spoke of his frustration.

‘I knew very well we had a lot of problems to solve and today that was clear for everybody,’ said the Italian. ‘I hope first of all for the players, because I told them in the last week that we had big problems with our approach to matches and today was the same, but the level of the opponent was different and in 16 minutes it was 2-0. That was the first problem but today I saw a lot of problems because we played very badly, physically, mentally, technically, especially in the first 25 minutes, tactically, so we have a lot to work on and a lot of problems to solve. But I knew that very well before this match and now it’s clear for everybody, I hope firstly for the players.

‘We have to work in training. You know very well it’s not easy, unfortunately we have no time, we have to play every three days so it’s very difficult to have training just for improving the team and single players, we only have time to prepare for the next match.

‘But we have to do something because today the defensive phase was a disaster. I’m not talking about the defensive line, the defensive phase. The offensive players pressed very badly, the midfielders didn’t defend well and as a consequence the defensive line was a disaster.

‘It was clear after five minutes of the match that it was very difficult to use Jorginho as usual. We had to get the ball from the centre-backs to the opposite full-backs, that was the only way to have one or two seconds of playing the ball. We were surprised because they normally play with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, but today they played 4-3-1-2.

‘After five minutes the situation was very clear. We lost a lot of balls and against Tottenham it’s very dangerous to lose the ball in your half because in short counter attacks they are one of the strongest teams in Europe. It was a disaster and after 20 minutes 2-0 was the minimum.’

Sarri was asked if the decision not to award Eden Hazard a penalty, at 2-0, had an impact on the outcome

‘I don’t think so because for 90 minutes there was a difference. I have to study the 90 minutes, not only one action. I don’t know if it was a penalty, I saw it from 50 or 60 metres away. From the bench, in my opinion, it was a penalty but Tottenham won very well.’

He also explained why at one point in the game we played with Hazard up front

‘Because I had to do something different in order to change the match, but it wasn’t important because today they were better than us, 11 players out of 11. I wanted to change the match with something different but I could have changed 11 players with the same result.’

 

It than not a lot of verbiage for  I don’t have a plan B?

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xCELERYx   

We've been extremely fortunate to ride our defensive luck all season, and right now it looks like that luck has finally run out. This sort of a belting has been on the cards for awhile now and it comes as no real surprise that it happened in this fixture.

This game highlighted everything I dislike with playing a back four with this group - the fit just isn't there and we're not maximising the strengths of our players effectively. Sarri taken arguably our best defender over the last few seasons in Azpilicueta who seemed to find a new level as a CB in a back three, then pushed him back out to fullback where he's never really made much of a contribution and has since struggled. He's put David Luiz back into the heart of a back four and it's the same old story with him being defensively inept. While he's reduced Alonso's strengths by playing him as a fullback and nullifying the impact he has in the final third - this is a player who had scored 13 league goals in the previous two seasons and now currently has 1. Rudiger is the only player who hasn't really seen his game massively dip so far.

On top of that it's also negatively impacted Cahill and Christensen in the process because of their marginal roles and could likely now see us lose both players sooner or later. 

What really irks me the most though is how this system has impacted one of the finest defensive midfielders in the league with Kante, and reduced his influence on games tenfold to where he virtually has no real defining impact on games and looks more lost than anything else in his new role. 

While whoever's idea it was to still persist with Morata needs to be held accountable. It's been clear as day for YEARS that he's not a reliable CF and never has or will be. He needs to go, plain and simple. With all our other struggles it's often like playing with ten men on the pitch when Morata is upfront and merely compounds matters further.

We should have seen this sort of hammering at the hands of Arsenal earlier in the season. That should have raised warning signs, even with the win, and instead we've papered over some substantial cracks all season by knicking results in games we didn't really deserve much from, but alas nothing. Even the last 4 or so games have highlighted our slow, laboured, unimaginative and dull play. Sarri has shown absolutely zero intuition to change anything - as was the case at Napoli. 

This is why high possession and passing stats mean absolutely nothing to me. Unless you've got the cream of the crop in players, winning takes hard work, grit and some heart. None of which we've shown and desperately lack across the pitch. We used to have that in spades across the pitch, now we're lucky to have two or three players in the entire squad with that sort of drive and leadership.

While the players are equally accountable for not executing some of the basics well enough, particularly the ones who've blown hot and cold for years. Players like Luiz, Morata and Willian have been around long enough to have gotten their **** together by now. While the likes of Barkley, Jorginho and Kovacic etc need a real wake-up call. 

Hopefully this serves as a reminder to everyone that if they are serious about making the top 4 this season, a vast amount of improvement is needed to make that happen. 

What an absolute ****-show.

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4 hours ago, kev61 said:

A really bad team performance but some individuals really stood out and should be dropped for the next game - Luiz,dreadful, I never rated him as a central defensive player try him in midfield if we're stuck - Jorginho,I really don't know what he offers and of course the lost  soul up front that tries to look like a professional footballer but fails most of the time.

Kovacic was very poor but I think there is something in him,Sarri was to blame also if you are being overrun you ditch the normal way you play and get players behind the ball and above all Kante.

This is where Sarri earns his corn - no need to panic just yet but that was as bad a performance I have seen in a long while.

I don't know about Sarri earning his corn but I do know he has had plenty of free lunches already this season. That gravy train seems to have finally hit the buffers .

I've never really been in a blind panic about us lately  (mainly because I was just happy to see Conte gone), but I have had a sense of foreboding  and a growing frustration that big problems were being masked by several flukey and fortunate results. The EL and Everton games also indicated  that we had lost momentum, and with any high level sport, momentum is everything. Getting it back is harder than losing it. 

The worse thing is that the problems we have , seem obvious to the layman ( Luiz can be very poor in a back 4, Kante is not an attacking midfielder but he is about the best DM in the world , and Morata is yet again stinking out the joint). If Sarri still can't see this Kev, then Houston we have a problem. Do you still think we are nailed on for top four?

I will keep calm for now but let me know when I can panic (  I'd rather not leave it until the last minute though).

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, NoblyBobly said:

I don't know about Sarri earning his corn but I do know he has had plenty of free lunches already this season. That gravy train seems to have finally hit the buffers .

I've never really been in a blind panic about us lately  (mainly because I was just happy to see Conte gone), but I have had a sense of foreboding  and a growing frustration that big problems were being masked by several flukey and fortunate results. The EL and Everton games also indicated  that we had lost momentum, and with any high level sport, momentum is everything. Getting it back is harder than losing it. 

The worse thing is that the problems we have , seem obvious to the layman ( Luiz can be very poor in a back 4, Kante is not an attacking midfielder but he is about the best DM in the world , and Morata is yet again stinking out the joint). If Sarri still can't see this Kev, then Houston we have a problem. Do you still think we are nailed on for top four?

I will keep calm for now but let me know when I can panic (  I'd rather not leave it until the last minute though).

 

 

 

Sky Bet had us 4/1 to finish outside of the top 4 before the game. 

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6 hours ago, NoblyBobly said:

The worse thing is that the problems we have , seem obvious to the layman ( Luiz can be very poor in a back 4, Kante is not an attacking midfielder but he is about the best DM in the world , and Morata is yet again stinking out the joint). If Sarri still can't see this Kev, then Houston we have a problem. 

And as far as I can tell, we do have a problem. I seriously don't know what Sarri is doing, other than for tightening the noose around his own neck. 

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It's funny isn't it ? Here we all are discussing the apparent downfall of another manager whilst the players stroll around like they don't give a fig what happens , again.

However , I'm of the opinion that some of our ills can be combatted by returning to man marking in defence .

Zonal marking does not work in the hurly burly of the Premier league, it's made fools of decent managers before Sarri .

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Anyone heard anything about the Hazard injury? - possibly the most important thing that happened yesterday.

7 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

Sarri taken arguably our best denly fender over the last few seasons in Azpilicueta who seemed to find a new level as a CB in a back three, then pushed him back out to fullback where he's never really made much of a contribution and has since struggled.

Nice assist against Spurs recently.

 

7 hours ago, xCELERYx said:

While he's reduced Alonso's strengths by playing him as a fullback and nullifying the impact he has in the final third

He plays as advanced under Sarri as he did under Conte - as has been remarked upon many many times this season on here.

 

7 hours ago, NoblyBobly said:

I've never really been in a blind panic about us lately  (mainly because I was just happy to see Conte gone), but I have had a sense of foreboding  and a growing frustration that big problems were being masked by several flukey and fortunate results.

We have been getting results above our standard of play.  All we have really discovered is that we didn't achieve 3 years of re-development over one summer.  There is a lot more to be done.  Morata immediately.    Luiz  Willian Pedro  Fabregas and Giroud are all players who are great if we are challenging for a title now, but not for 2 years time.

I expected Sarri was here as part of a 3 year squad revamp.  We were kidded it might take much less, but that was just a tease.  

 

No Fear.  Since the Man U draw, the first game where the oppo neutralised Jorginho, nobody fears us anymore.  Fear, justified or not, is a great impact to make.  It is essentially what won us the title in 16/17, especially since no other team stood out.

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Just now, Mark Kelly said:

It's funny isn't it ? Here we all are discussing the apparent downfall of another manager whilst the players stroll around like they don't give a fig what happens , again.

However , I'm of the opinion that some of our ills can be combatted by returning to man marking in defence .

Zonal marking does not work in the hurly burly of the Premier league, it's made fools of decent managers before Sarri .

Looking at 4 or 5 penalties that Spurs attempted to give away, I'm not so sure.

OK the two fouls were Atkinson's mistake.  Come VAR he'd have to give them without review, because the not enough of a push" lame excuse will not longer work.

But from corners with all that holding, Spurs could have given 3 more penalties.  From the first day VAR they will be given.  No team will be able to hold and shove like Spurs did (and we didn't in defence).  Man4man will soon be redundant and everyone will be zonal.

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