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Michael Tucker

Chelsea 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0

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chara   

OK..have to balance out the Kepa critics..I'm all for pointing out weaknesses but at least add good points...had Kepa not body blocked Brighton on the edge of the penalty area..a technique TC could never quite get right...we may have been looking at a different result..and I recall Kepa coming for a long ball at his far post.....I accept the points made against him but there is more to his game than that...unfortunately for all the ability of the youngsters at the back there is no JT to marshall the defence and I shudder to think what it must have been like playing behind DL..as pointed out either 9/10 or 4/10..a steady 7/8/10 would have made a huge difference to the whole back line.

Seems we are watching the sort of flowing football we have forgotten...bound to be blips but something to smile about watching the present squad.

We enjoyed the winning times but how often did it make us smile watching a game?...Smiling at the results and appreciating the tactics but somehow as often as not something was missing especially as the JT etc era passed.

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8 hours ago, Droy was my hero said:

No - surely the big difference between now and other times is that younger talents are so so so much better than the ones who have been knocking around before.
We have never had anyone as good at 20/21 as Tammy/Mount/ (it appears) Tomori since er, JT and Morris.  And we have never had anyone do a year in a championship team and be player of the season at the club as they did at Tammy (Bristol C),  James and Tomori did.

Of course 2 players come close - CHO and Christensen - and both got plenty of opportunities from aging Italian managers.

De Bruyne and Lukaku May disagree on not being of sufficient quality.

Also remember that both Mount and Tomori have had the opportunity to impress their manager a year ago, who now has this job.

Ake had loan opportunities as did Josh, Chalobah (Nathaniel) Palmer, Mancienne, Sinclair. There’s been lots of very talented youngsters, however the point I was trying to make is that our club has been very results oriented whereas I think that SFL may have been offered a ‘freeish-hit’ this season - not that he or the club would admit it. 

Example: Ross Barkley is my penalty taker when he’s in the pitch. Two penalties later and he’s taken neither. 

 

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chara   
43 minutes ago, East Lower said:

De Bruyne and Lukaku May disagree on not being of sufficient quality.

Also remember that both Mount and Tomori have had the opportunity to impress their manager a year ago, who now has this job.

Ake had loan opportunities as did Josh, Chalobah (Nathaniel) Palmer, Mancienne, Sinclair. There’s been lots of very talented youngsters, however the point I was trying to make is that our club has been very results oriented whereas I think that SFL may have been offered a ‘freeish-hit’ this season - not that he or the club would admit it. 

Example: Ross Barkley is my penalty taker when he’s in the pitch. Two penalties later and he’s taken neither. 

 

Surely whilst being young neither KDB or Lukaku came through the academy?

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46 minutes ago, East Lower said:

De Bruyne and Lukaku May disagree on not being of sufficient quality.

Also remember that both Mount and Tomori have had the opportunity to impress their manager a year ago, who now has this job.

Ake had loan opportunities as did Josh, Chalobah (Nathaniel) Palmer, Mancienne, Sinclair. There’s been lots of very talented youngsters,

Lukaku was 24 when he went to Man U and probably 23 before he was good enough to be on our bench.  We sold him for a big profit at a time when we were winning big trophies.  KdB very similar.  You could argue that the team was unusually good at the time when they and Salah were trying to break in (and they were all very highly rated and experienced players before they arrived - they had already had their "year in the championship").  3 players we paid a good price for and then sold on for a profit (and there are other young players who did actually break into the team around the same time at similar ages - Hazard, Azpi, Oscar, Courtois) 

There is certainly an argument that the team around 14/15 to 16/17  was much much stronger than it is now, and so that has been a factor why players have broken in now.  But I don't see how anyone can argue that previous Academy players have been as likely to do well for us as Mount/Tammy/Tomori/James.  They are a class and a half better than "Josh, Chalobah (Nathaniel) Palmer, Mancienne, Sinclair",  And I reckon Ake.  There has been a lot of hype for pretty ordinary players.  Josh more than anyone (a political game by CA IMO)

1 hour ago, East Lower said:

however the point I was trying to make is that our club has been very results oriented whereas I think that SFL may have been offered a ‘freeish-hit’ this season - not that he or the club would admit it. 

I'm sure that the board has set lower expectations for this year - not that that means SFL will find it any easier to meet them than Sarri found meeting say 4th, or Conte found meeting top 2.  And not that SFL will be given any extra time if he misses the expectations for this year (perhaps 6/7th or CL QF).

We won't really know what is happening unless we got through a bad run.

1 hour ago, East Lower said:

Example: Ross Barkley is my penalty taker when he’s in the pitch. Two penalties later and he’s taken neither. 

They all screwed up - Ross shouldn't have taken, captain Azpi should have intervened, SFL should have given clearer instructions.  The only thing any of them got right was to lie about it all afterwards.

 

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24 minutes ago, chara said:

Surely whilst being young neither KDB or Lukaku came through the academy?

True, however as DWMH pointed out they had experience. Their ‘loans’ were the season or part of a season spent around the first teams at Gene and Anderlecht respectively. As the comment was about the young ones now being of better quality, I believed it was appropriate to bring these two into the conversation. Conjecture now, but if De Bruyne was with us now at 21 with SFL as manager, he’d not have left as he’d have had more game time.

JM found it very difficult to get either of them game time for us. That’s not a criticism of JM as I think that he had different pressures and priorities at that time. 

I love that we are integrating our younger players into the first team currently, but the situation we are in in terms of losing our best player, the transfer ban and the managers recent history with us and his assistant managers direct knowledge of our younger players have contributed greatly to them getting their opportunities. 

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21 hours ago, Michael Tucker said:

Frank Lampard's Chelsea revolution has galvanised the club and energised the team

Frank Lampard's young Chelsea side is not without its flaws but the fans are behind them and the win over Brighton was another step in the right direction 

Chelsea's meeting with Brighton was less than a minute old when the first chorus of 'Super Frankie Lampard' sounded around Stamford Bridge. It started in the Matthew Harding Stand and carried over into the East Stand. By the final whistle, all four sides of the stadium were joining in.

The 2-0 victory was only their third of the season and their first at home. They sit 10 points behind leaders Liverpool and will drop out of the top four if Arsenal avoid defeat against Manchester United on Monday. For these Chelsea fans, though, the legend in the dugout and the young, vibrant team on the pitch are providing more than enough encouragement.

The mood has changed dramatically from last season, when Maurizio Sarri's methods left many fans cold. Last weekend, those same fans applauded their team off despite a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool. This time, they had something tangible to celebrate. The three points were welcome. More significant, though, is the feeling that the club finally has a clear direction.

 

Perhaps the transfer ban has worked in their favour. On Wednesday, there were 10 academy graduates in the 18-man squad to face Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup. Against Brighton, there were seven.

"I don't really consider age," said Lampard afterwards. His attitude is a major departure from that of his Chelsea predecessors, and it has had a galvanising effect.

 

As Lampard has repeatedly pointed out, though, Chelsea's young players are not just being thrown into the team for the sake of it. It is partly borne out of necessity, but this is no vanity project. The win over Brighton provided more evidence that they are there because they are good enough.

Tammy Abraham should have added to his tally of seven Premier League goals, but he was a handful for Brighton all afternoon, his understanding with former academy team-mate Mason Mount plain to see in some of their combination play. Neither of them scored, but it was Mount who won the penalty for the crucial opener. The assist for the second, meanwhile, came from the returning Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was thrown on ahead of the £58m Christian Pulisic

Amazingly, 13 of Chelsea's 14 Premier League goals this season - with the exception of N'Golo Kante's strike against Liverpool, set up by Cesar Azpilicueta - have either been scored or assisted by academy graduates. It's still only September but it's already more than in the whole of last season.

The profile of the team has changed dramatically. In each of the last five seasons, Chelsea's starting line-up had an average age of over 27. This season, their average of 25 years and 176 days makes them the fourth-youngest side in the Premier League.

The young players have been emboldened by the trust of their manager and there is a youthful energy to Chelsea's attacking play that wasn't there before. They are fun to watch but they are effective too. On Saturday, they peppered Mat Ryan's goal from start to finish.

Consider the statistics. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have scored more goals this season. Chelsea rank second for shots, shots on target, and chances created from open play, while only City score higher for expected goals, which is to say that their opportunities are high on quality as well as quantity. Chelsea have completed more dribbles than any other side.It is doubly impressive considering they lost Eden Hazard in the summer and it is not just on the pitch that Chelsea's make-up has changed. Lampard's history with the club is well known but it's also significant that his assistants - Jody Morris, Eddie Newton, Chris Jones and Joe Edwards - are all either academy graduates or former academy coaches themselves.

Lampard commented on how Chelsea's youngsters have been helped by the senior players in the squad on Saturday, but their existing bonds with the coaching staff have been just as important. Take how Hudson-Odoi, after setting up the second goal, could be seen sprinting over to Chelsea's technical area to receive tactical advice from Morris, his former coach with the U18s and a man who knows his game inside out.

What's perhaps most encouraging about their latest performance, though, is that it brought the first clean sheet of the season. And what's more, it was achieved with a pair of academy graduates with a combined age of only 44 in the heart of the defence. Andreas Christensen was impressive and so too was Fikayo Tomori.

Indeed, it was largely thanks to Tomori's speed, awareness and anticipation that Brighton did not create more openings. Time and again, he could be seen shuttling across into the full-back positions to snuff out danger. This Chelsea team is full of speedy attackers, but according to Premier League tracking data it was Tomori who registered the highest speed on the pitch against Brighton. He even made the most sprints.

Like the rest of Chelsea's academy graduates, he is growing by the game. Indeed, it was notable how assured he was in possession against Brighton. No player had more touches and his passing accuracy rate topped 90 per cent. At one point in the first half, he produced a through ball for Mount that the departed David Luiz would have been proud of.

There are still flaws among Chelsea's young players, of course. There are errors and there will be more. But the fans are excited by what they are seeing and right now their support is unwavering. When Hudson-Odoi over-hit a routine pass for Willian in the second half, there were no groans of frustration. Instead, they applauded the intent.Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Abraham, Tomori and Christensen all played important roles in the victory and their ranks could be swelled yet further in the weeks ahead. The 19-year-old Reece James made an impressive debut against Grimsby and will provide a younger alternative to Azpilicueta at right-back, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek - arguably the most gifted of them all - is still to return to fitness too.

It's little wonder, then, that these Chelsea fans are excited about where the club is heading. This is an exciting team full of young players they can connect with and a much-loved manager who is adamant that this is just the start.

"The important thing now is that we take it forward, that we take it to Lille and we take it to Southampton, because we can't rest on that," said Lampard afterwards. "Where we are slightly young and slightly transitional, daily improvement is our main aim. We must carry on."

This is exactly what I had hoped would happen and it seems it really is happening.

Remeber having a discussion with Droy earlier in the pre-season when he said we won’t start a league game with four academy graduates. I thought he was wrong then but now I’m 100% certain he is.

Christensen, Abraham, Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Tomori will all play huge roles this season. Lofts-Cheek returning from injury and James having a very good debut against Grimsby. I think we will see all 7 of them starting in the same team at some stage in the league. 

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44 minutes ago, The_Ghost said:

Remeber having a discussion with Droy earlier in the pre-season when he said we won’t start a league game with four academy graduates. I thought he was wrong then but now I’m 100% certain he is.

True - though that was before Luiz went, which effectively gave one place to Christensen while Tomori plays because Rudiger is injured (+ to be fair Tomori is out playing Zouma).

 

48 minutes ago, The_Ghost said:

Christensen, Abraham, Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Tomori will all play huge roles this season. Lofts-Cheek returning from injury and James having a very good debut against Grimsby. I think we will see all 7 of them starting in the same team at some stage in the league. 

Kepa
James,   Christensen,   Tomori,    Azpi
Kante,   Jorginho,   RLC
CHO,   Tammy,   Mount

Very hopeful.  To achieve that would mean Azpi playing LB, Rudiger injured, Kovacic, Barkley, on the bench (fair enough), and a front 3 of Tammy, CHO and Mount with Giroud, Willian, Pedro and Pulsilic all benched.   Perhaps 7 with Gilmour and Maatsen if we get an easy cup game again (best hope is FAC3 if we are still in with a CL chance).  But Tammy and probably Mount would get rested for that.  (And RLC is going to really struggle to get into the team when fit).

And I think you are still falling for the argument that we are playing kids because that is the new policy.  Which is grossly unfair on the ones playing now.  They are playing on merit because they have more merit than most of our senior pros and all our earlier kids bar the two that broke in under Conte and Sarri.

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I think one of the big reasons Sarri quit was because he just didn't fancy another season with a transfer ban,  having to make do with some "getting on a bit" players and a bunch of academy kids. He had a good offer from Juve so I suppose you can't blame him. Lampard and Morris on the other hand relished the idea. Although it was very early in their management careers, they thought it an opportunity too good to turn down. They also had a very very good idea how good these bunch of kids were.  They were right and Chelsea  were right to take the gamble. Although the season is long and a lot can go wrong,  Sarri might be having one or two regrets about his decision.  

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13 minutes ago, NoblyBobly said:

 Sarri might be having one or two regrets about his decision.  

Somehow I doubt that.  

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1 hour ago, Droy was my hero said:

Somehow I doubt that.  

For what reason mainly? We know we had a transfer ban which was a blow, but we are a very big club  that pays great wages to its coaches and this season was different and special...a real chance for a coach to fight against adversity and prove himself in a different way. The club wanted him to stay and build on the first season.  The premier league is maybe the best and most exciting in the world. He could pit his wits against the likes of Klopp, Pep and Ponch. 

If you're right and he has no regrets at this point, it can only be that he thinks there was nothing more he could do for us. If that's the case his leaving  was the best thing that could have happened . 

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