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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 1 Leicester 1

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johnboy   
8 hours ago, Johnny Bee said:

My expectations for this season are that we are competitive in a cup or two and finish top 6.  The transfer ban gives us a unique opportunity to see exactly what our youth setup is made of.  I and many fans have been screaming out for our youth to have a chance and this season they will.

I suspect we will see performances that will provide great optimism (Wednesday) and others (today) where the reality of the situation is all too clear.  I always felt that a draw was the most likely scenario, Leicester are a good side, Rogers is a good manager and on the back of 120 minutes in midweek we were always going to run out of steam at some point today giving Leicester a route back in to the match.  I was surprised that SFL did not make a few more changes given the midweek game, I thought Alonso would get a start as well as Willian and Rudiger/Tamori.  Emerson was superb, Willian awful when he came on and the centre of our defence played pretty well so maybe Frank got it right and the fact we have a weaker squad than normal means that when the Champions league starts and we are playing 2 games a week this sort of performance could come along all too often.

On the game today we started superbly, fell off the pace and did not perform in the 2nd half.  A draw was probably a fair result over the 90 minutes but given Leicester finished so well it is understandable that they will feel they could / should have got the win.

The defence did well for me, Zouma has put his nightmare against Utd behind him and showed a range of passing today that I was not sure he was capable of, Christensen was his usual tidy self, Dave is not the player he was 2 years ago and going forward is a liability (did he hit one decent cross) however Emerson was great again.  For me, Emerson has been one of our best players so far this season.

The midfield three was too disjointed today.  I like a midfield 3 of Kova, Jorginho and Kante.  The way that they interchanged on Wednesday was a delight.  Mount is a superb talent and did well today, but I question whether he has the tactical awareness yet defensively.  As the game wore on the midfield three looked more and more disjointed.  This could of course be down to fatigue.

Pulisic did ok but he is young and will have games where he does well and others where you would not know he was playing, today was more the later.  With Pedro you can flip a coin as to whether he is great or not, today he was not.  What he does do is work and so I can forgive him when he is off the boil although some of his decisions today in the final third did have me ripping my hair out.  That said I would pick him every day over Willian, in my head Willian is an amazing player, talented, skilful, forward thinking, in reality he is lazy, frustrating and a poor decision maker.

The biggest problem for me is up front.  I just don’t see Giroud or Tammy being the answer.  Giroud can hold up the ball but is so slow and static that we have very little threat in the box when he plays.  Tammy has improved, shows good movement and better hold up play (than a few seasons ago) but will he get us 15+ goals?  I doubt it.  Maybe Bats will do the job but the fact that SFL has not used him yet tells me he does not fancy him. 

The next three games should provide an opportunity to get some decent points on the board and take a bit of pressure off.  Whatever happens though we must stay behind Frank and the team, this season is a season of transition.  Give the younger players game time, work out who is good enough and who isn’t and next summer give Frank the opportunity to spend some money to strengthen where we are weak.

We have a well-educated, well spoken leader who is a hero to us all as our head coach with a unique opportunity to develop our youth and give them the opportunity to shine.  I pray that he and the team do well enough to keep the wolves from the door and he gets the opportunity to do his thing and bring success to our club over the long term.  There will be bumps (like today) but I have faith that he is the right man to do it given the time.

Carefree!

An excellent  post with some very good points. I would add that it was always unlikely that we would keep a clean sheet today. Maybe when Rudi returns we may have a chance. In the box I don’t think that we have a keeper who is dominating enough yet. 

I like you think Frank is articulate & will get us there, probably not this season but hold on & give him time.

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10 hours ago, OfWolfAndBiggs said:

Very similar to what Klopp did at Liverpool when he first took over. 

Good point. I think a lot of people underestimate how difficult it is to do what Lampard is trying to do. 

A fast and technical high-press game takes time to implement. I don’t expect us to see real results from this until next season. 

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I am a Willian fan but his passing was shocking yesterday.

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BlueFizz   

Far away in sunny France, I watched the first 25 mins or so on a small phone with poor reception. 

Great start but the moment Kante didn’t score I thought: this will slow down and slip away from us. 

I walked to a sunny harbour for a beer, hoping to be proved wrong - one of my kids sending me annoying texts about the game - e.g ‘Leicester are looking lively’ - which made me hope we’d scored again.

Halfway through the beer I decided I’d take a draw and it being my holiday this wish came true.

Now I need to find a sports bar showing PL football on the Ile De Re for Norwich.

Come on you blues!

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We were extremely lucky to hang on in the end today. The first half performance was pretty good and we should have been a couple goals ahead by half time. Unfortunately in the second we were all over the place and the sheer number of counter attack opportunities Leicester had was worrying. Even in the 94th minute they had a wide open counter with men over. Every time we concede a set piece it's heart in mouth. We look a very small team. 

Despite my concerns over them both, Zouma (bar one stupid decision) and especially Christensen were good today. Any centre back pairing would struggle with the opposition constantly running straight at them and the non-existent support they received.

The midfield was the issue. Taking off Jorginho was puzzling however he did play 120 minutes on Wednesday. Kovacic tried to copy Kante's all action role which meant that the midfield area was completely vacant for the last half an hour. Creativity completely ceased after this substitution. 

Azpi as well is a huge worry. Every pacey left winger in the league will be licking their lips on current form. I would be very tempted to play Zappa but can't see it happening. Expect him to go on loan before the end of the window. 

Pedro is 32 and already clocked 300 minutes in the first week of the season. He can still do a great job if his minutes are managed but currently we are having to rely on him heavily. Last year he started to pick up injuries more frequently and today he should have come off after his knock. Willian is clearly nowhere near match fit, Pulisic is 20 - also needs to be managed and CHO is 18 coming off an Achilles injury. Personally can see Mount featuring a lot from the left and a return to 433.

Some positives. Mount was excellent. Already he has shown an ability to shoot often and well from dangerous areas. He will get goals. Add this to his work rate and set piece delivery, at just 20 he looks like he will be important for us this season. 

Emerson's performances have gone up a level. Today he tailed off but I'll forgive that given he was out on his feet by the end against Liverpool. It's been a tough start to the season with a depleted squad. Next week it's vital we deliver an improved all round performance.

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I spent the afternoon watching an Elvis Tribute Show anxiously wondering what was going on at the Bridge but managed to avoid the score as I wanted to watch the game after.  I had turned of my phone and radio and drove home in silence with the remains of Elvis still buzzing in my ear. Well the first 25 mins I couldn't believe we were only one nil up. However the following hour left me a bit All Shook up. It was like we hit a metaphorical wall. I Just Can't Help Believing that once the initial adrenaline of our first home game had dissipated , we had nothing but an empty tank. A combo of several not fully fit players , some coming back from injuries, 120 mins plus pens in stifling heat and a 12 hour plane journey will take its toll. The disappointment of losing the Super Cup after such an effort must also have its own psychological damage. Kante had the temerity to play like he was one player and not two, the midfield generally looks very lightweight and were too easily brushed off the ball as the game progressed. It was Always On My Mind that if we give a team that many corners while zonal marking,  sooner or later a good delivery will come in, a player will make a well timed, unchallenged run and jump and Kepa will be picking the ball out of the back of the net. I'm saying to myself  'Don't Be Cruel ' but Dave is looking a real liability. I hope he re-finds some form soon. 

And so to our forward line. I like Giroud but this is a massively long season with cup comps, CL ties, umpteen Premier league games and he's 32. Tammy is going to get lots of chances soon but he needs to realise that It's Now or Never. If he doesn't make a serious impression this season, next year we are going to spend a lot of dough and probably on a forward. But I'm still keeping the faith. On the plus side I Can't Help Falling in Love with Mason Mount. A bit more bulk, a bit more experience and we have a little gem on our hands. And when RLC comes back it will stiffen the midfield and when CHO is back we will at least have someone who can cross a ball. 

As for Lamps, this has been a real baptism of fire. United, Liverpool and a gritty well drilled Leicester. Two draws and a defeat is something to work on. I like hearing his interviews and his honest assessments. Such a pleasure not to have have it in broken English with ultra strong Italian accent as we have had for 3 years. But now it's time for Little Less Conversation and a Little More Action. He's on a steep learning curve but I think he will be just fine. I imagine him coming back out to the empty stadium when everyone had gone home and just looking around him. Remembering all those games that he won for us with his silky skills, dedication and unerring eye for a goal. The echoes of the crowd chanting his name. The illustrious team mates he played with. Everyone these days seems a pale imitation wearing a white cat suit, shades and a dodgy wig. But lets give them time. SFL now faces probably the biggest challenge of all and the learning curve is a steep one.

I imagine as he walked away, someone turned the lights out and announced "Lamps has left the building".  He'll be back for an encore or two...it's in his blood.

  

 

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2 hours ago, samhoward17 said:

We were extremely lucky to hang on in the end today. The first half performance was pretty good and we should have been a couple goals ahead by half time. Unfortunately in the second we were all over the place and the sheer number of counter attack opportunities Leicester had was worrying. Even in the 94th minute they had a wide open counter with men over. Every time we concede a set piece it's heart in mouth. We look a very small team. 

Despite my concerns over them both, Zouma (bar one stupid decision) and especially Christensen were good today. Any centre back pairing would struggle with the opposition constantly running straight at them and the non-existent support they received.

The midfield was the issue. Taking off Jorginho was puzzling however he did play 120 minutes on Wednesday. Kovacic tried to copy Kante's all action role which meant that the midfield area was completely vacant for the last half an hour. Creativity completely ceased after this substitution. 

Azpi as well is a huge worry. Every pacey left winger in the league will be licking their lips on current form. I would be very tempted to play Zappa but can't see it happening. Expect him to go on loan before the end of the window. 

Pedro is 32 and already clocked 300 minutes in the first week of the season. He can still do a great job if his minutes are managed but currently we are having to rely on him heavily. Last year he started to pick up injuries more frequently and today he should have come off after his knock. Willian is clearly nowhere near match fit, Pulisic is 20 - also needs to be managed and CHO is 18 coming off an Achilles injury. Personally can see Mount featuring a lot from the left and a return to 433.

Some positives. Mount was excellent. Already he has shown an ability to shoot often and well from dangerous areas. He will get goals. Add this to his work rate and set piece delivery, at just 20 he looks like he will be important for us this season. 

Emerson's performances have gone up a level. Today he tailed off but I'll forgive that given he was out on his feet by the end against Liverpool. It's been a tough start to the season with a depleted squad. Next week it's vital we deliver an improved all round performance.

Good points on Emerson and Mount. I think by the end of the season they could be established players who are players that we can relie on. I think Mount has the most work to do atm as he still needs to work on tactical discipline but I think this will come with experience. However, at the same time he needs to be managed. As you said, midfield started to give the ball away a lot and I think this was due to both Giroud running out of puff/being subbed as he is the backboard and because Mount was getting caught out of position. 

As for Emerson, I have said it elsewhere but this is his season. He is 24 now and been here for 18 months, if he wants to establish himself he needs to do it this season which it does look like he is doing atm. The only issue I really have with him atm is his recovery runs as yesterday he was laboured in the second half, hopefully this is just a fitness issue and he can get better at this as the season progresses. 

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9 minutes ago, NoblyBobly said:

I spent the afternoon watching an Elvis Tribute Show anxiously wondering what was going on at the Bridge but managed to avoid the score as I wanted to watch the game after.  I had turned of my phone and radio and drove home in silence with the remains of Elvis still buzzing in my ear. Well the first 25 mins I couldn't believe we were only one nil up. However the following hour left me a bit All Shook up. It was like we hit a metaphorical wall. I Just Can't Help Believing that once the initial adrenaline of our first home game had dissipated , we had nothing but an empty tank. A combo of several not fully fit players , some coming back from injuries, 120 mins plus pens in stifling heat and a 12 hour plane journey will take its toll. The disappointment of losing the Super Cup after such an effort must also have its own psychological damage. Kante had the temerity to play like he was one player and not two, the midfield generally looks very lightweight and were too easily brushed off the ball as the game progressed. It was Always On My Mind that if we give a team that many corners while zonal marking,  sooner or later a good delivery will come in, a player will make a well timed, unchallenged run and jump and Kepa will be picking the ball out of the back of the net. I'm saying to myself  'Don't Be Cruel ' but Dave is looking a real liability. I hope he re-finds some form soon. 

And so to our forward line. I like Giroud but this is a massively long season with cup comps, CL ties, umpteen Premier league games and he's 32. Tammy is going to get lots of chances soon but he needs to realise that It's Now or Never. If he doesn't make a serious impression this season, next year we are going to spend a lot of dough and probably on a forward. But I'm still keeping the faith. On the plus side I Can't Help Falling in Love with Mason Mount. A bit more bulk, a bit more experience and we have a little gem on our hands. And when RLC comes back it will stiffen the midfield and when CHO is back we will at least have someone who can cross a ball. 

As for Lamps, this has been a real baptism of fire. United, Liverpool and a gritty well drilled Leicester. Two draws and a defeat is something to work on. I like hearing his interviews and his honest assessments. Such a pleasure not to have have it in broken English with ultra strong Italian accent as we have had for 3 years. But now it's time for Little Less Conversation and a Little More Action. He's on a steep learning curve but I think he will be just fine. I imagine him coming back out to the empty stadium when everyone had gone home and just looking around him. Remembering all those games that he won for us with his silky skills, dedication and unerring eye for a goal. The echoes of the crowd chanting his name. The illustrious team mates he played with. Everyone these days seems a pale imitation wearing a white cat suit, shades and a dodgy wig. But lets give them time. SFL now faces probably the biggest challenge of all and the learning curve is a steep one.

I imagine as he walked away, someone turned the lights out and announced "Lamps has left the building".  He'll be back for an encore or two...it's in his blood.

  

 

1. Our whole side is lightweight which is an issue I have brought up on various occassions. Rudi will help a lot in this regards but we should be looking to beef up Christensen, who I think will turn into a great defender, as his main draw back is his physicality atm and then Mount. Mount to be fair, is only 20 so some of this should come in time. Also, I am taking about a half a stone/a stone of lean muscle and not turning them into beefcakes before anyone starts complaining about speed. 

2. Problem with have with corners/set pieces is that Kepa is the first GK with have had in 15 years that is a shot stopper rather than a GK that dominates the box and collects the ball. For me, we really need the defenders to step up here as he is not going to do the work Cech and Courtios did which was esstentially own the box in these situations. 

3. He is. Zappa is really going to have to be tried as it is starting to get very obvious now. The problem is that the club/SFL seem to have decided that it is Dave/James which means we will not see Dave being replaced for a month or so which is a bit of a worry if he cannot get any form back. 

4. I think that is a bit harsh on Tammy. I have always maintained that this year was too early for him and he should have had another loan. For me, there is hardly any examples for CF playing the lone CF role to a high level consistently until they are in their mid-20's. I for one hope he does not get cut loose based on this season as in 2-3 years time I reckon he will be a very handy player. 

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7 minutes ago, King Kante said:

For me, there is hardly any examples for CF playing the lone CF role to a high level consistently until they are in their mid-20's. I for one hope he does not get cut loose based on this season as in 2-3 years time I reckon he will be a very handy player. 

He will be very handy but we can't wait 5 years. The reality this season is that it's him or Bats. Next season that will not be the case.  He is big, he's quick, he's mobile but he needs to show very quickly that he can hack it at a club like Chelsea. CHO has done it , Mount will do it, RLC although 22 has shown he can do it and I reckon Ampedu will be back one day as a regular. Tammy has a whole season to show us and it's a luxury not many young players get.

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1 hour ago, NoblyBobly said:

He will be very handy but we can't wait 5 years. The reality this season is that it's him or Bats. Next season that will not be the case.  He is big, he's quick, he's mobile but he needs to show very quickly that he can hack it at a club like Chelsea. CHO has done it , Mount will do it, RLC although 22 has shown he can do it and I reckon Ampedu will be back one day as a regular. Tammy has a whole season to show us and it's a luxury not many young players get.

Oh, do not get me wrong. I am not saying keep him on as CF1 for the next 3 years and then all would be good. I mean that really he should have been loaned again this summer and probably next and then we should've been looking at integrating him into the side. My worry with Tammy is that he will struggle this year then be sold/loaned, never to return again. 

My real issue with him is with the club in that we knew last Jan we were in dire straights at CF and they sat on their hands and only got Higs on a 6 month loan, which was always looked like a bad call. For me, they should have got someone in at that point in preparation for this Summer. 

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