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  1. 4 points
    Despite you being better qualified. Amazing.
  2. 3 points
    If you read my posts you would know that I don't think we are ****, just not Premier League winners this season. As far as post count is concerned I have been unwell for the past 6 weeks, but I do not, in any case, as demonstrated in my disdain for you, measure the worth of a forum contributor by the volume of his contributions.
  3. 3 points
    My goodness. We beat leicester and Juve less than 10 days ago for a combined 7-0. We were absolutely magnificent. And then we lose all of our 3 main CMs. Saul totally looks done, both of our starting wing backs are unavailable. And people wanna seriously crib over "poor performances". Seriously? With trevoh injured, we barely have enough bodies to put in mid and defence, and yet we are winning. Some people are just irritating.
  4. 3 points
    That was the standard Werner game. It doesn't matter if he's working his way back from injury or at peak fitness, that was Werner as he is almost all of the time. A performance of no technical quality whatsoever, snatches at every opportunity and creates virtually nothing for himself or others. Really hard to believe he has made it this far considering he doesn't have an ounce of skill in his game. There is nothing skilful about the way he receives or runs with the ball, can't take players on, no finesse in his shooting etc.
  5. 3 points
    I had to Google the opposition. Turns out they're from North London and the England captain plays for them!
  6. 2 points
    Klopp has been at Liverpool for 6 years. Guardiola has been at City for 5 years. Tuchel has been at Chelsea for 10 months.
  7. 2 points
    Nice try. My comment wasn't about Jorginho the player. It was about your childish defence of his crucial errors. Against Man U you claimed Kova and Kante would have made the same mistake and today you falsely claim that there were a dozen passes to Mendy as bad as Jorginho's. You'd get more respect if you criticised him just once without any whataboutery.
  8. 2 points
    Inevitable. We are living in a time when evil prospers.
  9. 2 points
  10. 2 points
    Don't understand the hate on Lukaku, whoever we have as a striker doesn't matter, we don't cross, we don't play through-balls, we don't play into his feet. We don't know how to supply a striker.
  11. 2 points
    My problem is fixed now. Thanks. I don't suppose you can do anything about the drivel that sometimes get posted.
  12. 2 points
    World's best football club. Official.
  13. 2 points
    I think that perhaps Sunday's team was the result of TT planning way in advance and taking roatation into the equation. Watford, West Ham (away) and Zenit (away) all with only 3 or four games apart. From here to the New Year most of the Premier League will be playing twice a week and for the lesser clubs this will be a stretch so our experience should prove crucial however Leeds (after flying back from Russia), followed by Everton and Wolves before the League Cup qtr final are games that we should be winning but if TT get's too cute with his rotation it could see us out of the title race entirely by Christmas. Back to basics in this game please.
  14. 2 points
    I've had time to provide a considered response to tonight's game. WOW!! That is all.
  15. 2 points
  16. 2 points
    All 3 goals scored by Cobham!
  17. 2 points
    Very good performance. We flew out from the start, got our lead in the first half and then controlled the second half as Leicester chased for the goal to get them back in it and then we went for the kill and got it. Brilliant, simply brilliant. CHO great performance today, James and Chilwell yet again just so good and Silva at the back... well he is just a Rolls Royce of a player, we are privileged to be watching him at our club, top top player.
  18. 2 points
    I'm surprised Joe never mentions this
  19. 2 points
    Did you watch any of Azeem Rafiq's testimony to the House of Commons committee? If not, maybe you should (it's on iPlayer, YouTube and elsewhere). All non-white players (including Rafiq) were given the name "Kevin" by Gary Ballance and Alex Hales. When two white men call anyone and everyone not white "Kevin", then yes, it's being racist and discriminatory. “Kevin was something Gary [Ballance] used to describe anyone of colour in a very derogatory manner. It was an open secret in the England dressing room. Anyone who came across Gary would know that was a phrase he would use to describe people of colour.” - Azeem Rafiq Another player at another team did the same, only using "Steve" instead of "Kevin" I'm not keen on Azpilicueta being called 'Dave'. It's not racist, but it is disrespectful. It says "I can't be bothered to learn how to pronounce your name"
  20. 2 points
    And it could have/should have been more! Their drive and enthusiasm for the game is infectious. Top players and a top coach.
  21. 2 points
    But you simply cannot predict how many talented youth team players will make it at the top. They are kids, with different levels of motivation, ambition, skill and entourage. We had the best coaches and the best infrastructure in England in 2009, 2010, 2011 - and the youth teams were already winning, yet very few players of the era went on to have careers at a top level. So I'd reckon betting everything on the academy producing year after year is what's unsustainable. The academy has produced 3 or 4 RBs recently, but the academy might produce players at positions that are locked, or not produce in positions where we're in need. It's anyone's guess. Youth systems are by definition unsustainable in their ability to produce players with the right timing. La Masia is the perfect example, for a few years it produced world cup and Ballon d'Or winners, then it produced the likes of Munir, Bojan & so on for many years, these guys were killing it at U18, Barca B level, yet failed to make the step up. Remember that's what Arsenal did around the early 2010s under Wenger. They made the academy the core project of the football club, literally counting on it to continue to produce the players it provided a few years earlier (of course, that was only successful because they still had great players in the team, Cesc burst out into the scene with Vieira besides him ... the latter young guys had Coquelin). The result is that Arsenal passed on the opportunity to win a few more trophies right before City became what it is today. This is what I mean when I say the priority is winning when you can. The window can be even smaller than you thought. In 3 or 4 years Newcastle might become City II and we'll kick ourselves for not taking advantage of that small window of having a good enough team that can win the CL and take it to the level to win a few more major trophies. A youth project when your expectations are lower works*, but context is important. If you can win now, you go and try and win. IMO it's arrogant to think that success will come no matter what/when. This league is the NBA of football, you build your ready-to-win superteams once you have the 2-3 star players, with veterans to play role players and one or two rookies will get game time during garbage time - meanwhile if you get high draft picks, you know you're going to suck for a few years to develop the young players. What I think Chelsea do better than most is the loan system that allows the players to develop either to integrate back into the team or sell them at a premium before even making an appearance into the team. That's a sustainable model because 1) the brand of the academy itself will make it easy to sell both good and average prospects for above market value 2) kids will flock to the academy knowing that having Chelsea on their CV means a fast track to the PL. Being a Chelsea Academy Player of the Year is a guarantee of getting a big move at this point - similar to how managers know having Chelsea on their CV is a guarantee of a future good job - whether they fail or get sacked. The latest development of including buy-back options (by leveraging the interest of multiple clubs in a player with a year left on their contract like for Livramento) shows precisely that the board know what they're doing. A good academy will always get poached. You look at La Liga and there are dozens and dozens of players who came through La Masia. In fact, Barcelona got poached by Arsenal a few times and they got Cesc Fabregas at 16. It's inevitable, PSG lost out on Coman, Kouassi, Barcelona lost out on Dani Olmo. It's a wild game where agents and families hold all the cards, the clubs are handicapped by the short contracts (in France, PSG is lobbying to get the first pro contract length upped from 3 to 5 years). I imagine CHO's agents enjoyed that season he was out of contract. It is what it is. We've used to our advantage and we've been victims of it. The loan system and buy-back options are the best way to make the most of the situation - it's clear the club is very aware of both the reality of the title winning window and the make-the-best out of the academy system. (*it's no surprise Mount, James emerged right in the rebuild years of the post-Mourinho/Conte core squad, and United had a few more talents emerge during post SAF crisis years under LVG and Mourinho - less so under the stable Top 4 years of OGS, or that Arsenal have finally a new crop of youth team players like Saka & Smith-Rowe with an 8th place team).
  22. 2 points
    Thought yesterday was our best performance of the season. Sure, we've played well against better opposition, mainly Spurs, Arsenal or even Southampton, but this was a complete 90 minutes performance that shows we're in the right direction in terms of the process. You can control performance, you can't always control results. I think it's a testament to TT that he's getting this type of performances even while including "rotation" players in attack. That's a good sign. I believe we can have a big advantage in the next few months in terms of freshness. Some of the top teams are playing the same attackers every game (especially Liverpool and United), and I honestly believe that catches up to them (Chelsea have been a victim of that in the past). I have to say, the month started with a terrible performance at Brentford and I feel like we've made huge progress since - in terms of finding a style of play that suits this season's personnel more than last season, and it should be now easier to integrate Lukaku back in the team. We have better use of width, of double-teaming on the wings (James+CHO which can be reproduced with Werner+Azpi like v Southampton), we've created chances for Havertz almost every game, we've seen a variation of WBs playing at 8s and how they can more fluidly switch things up during the game without needing live game instructions, how to exploit better a variation of 3-1-6 against extreme low blocks (Newcastle, Malmo) or 3-2-1-4 with one number 10 and a split striker pairing like against Burnley, and the nice tweak against Malmo of having two right-sided attackers and two left-sided attackers for more directness and quicker deliveries. This to say, we'll have more difficult games after the break but TT has gathered a lot more film and data for multiple tactical plans he's tried. For example, City really hurt United yesterday with the space between the CBs and FBs that Utd were incapable of defending, as well as low crosses which could have led to multiple own goals. This is something he can exploit with already existing, proven solutions. I really liked the idea of a single 10 with a split striker pairing with CHO even more advanced than Havertz, creating lots of space for James on the right. This was also the case last season in TT's second game. At HT, he subbed off Tammy, played Mount as the 10 - Pulisic and Werner upfront and we created a lot more. I can only imagine what a fit Mount would have done with the space generated for Barkley. Mount always keeps the momentum going for quick passing moves. Let's hope he can finally kickstart his season for good after the break. One regret I have for the game yesterday were the late changes. I felt all of Barkley, CHO & Havertz were knackered after the hour mark and our press faltered just before the equaliser. It forced James to drop deeper instead of pressing the FB, which left them time to get a few crosses/lobbed passes behind the offside trap. TT needs to be proactive with his changes; especially if you lose that pressing intensity when the lead is tight. One interesting stat - every outfield player except Kanté had a shot yesterday. We weren't clinical, but this shows how every player can score. Rudiger, Christensen, Silva even Jorginho had great chances on set-pieces (very good routines, Anthony Barry is doing a great job, I heard Utd got a guy from the Chelsea academy for set-pieces and they haven't score one yet. Guess this answers why we went for the outside hire), Havertz/Barkley/CHO had chances; and funnily enough, on the CHO & Barkley chances - James and Chilwell were completely unmarked and with a great angle closer to goal. Don't change what works, WBs are going to have better chances inside the box it's the design of the system and we should not feel defensive about it.
  23. 1 point
    In more promising news https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mateo-kovacic-set-to-return-in-welcome-boost-for-injury-hit-chesea-90grn2d6r
  24. 1 point
    Longest match day thread of the season by far. 40 pages and counting, lots of criticism, lots of I told you so's. Get it in whilst you can because some of you are going to look ridiculously silly but then again you only come on here for these moments, haven't been any for a while, doubt there will be another any time soon, so make the most of it.
  25. 1 point
    In what sense? We desperately need our best players back. We are desperate for Kante & Kovacic so Jorginho can be rotated and rested without chaos in midfield. If by some miracle all three of them could stay fit for the rest of the season now I think we'd have a great chance. Chilwell was also a big blow but I suppose we can't hope for a quick return in that case. But midfield is our heart and the foundation for everything we do. So we need to get our best midfielders fit and in form. Then we can do anything this season.
  26. 1 point
    Doing a rolly polly whilst twirling a ribbon on a stick is a lot harder than it looks!! 😉 🤣
  27. 1 point
    Well there is but they're both loaned out.
  28. 1 point
    I wish we had signed Silva about 5/6 years ago. He was wasted in the French league.
  29. 1 point
    When you slang off academy stars everyone has good old laugh on how low you will go for attention.
  30. 1 point
    Our recent form when I'm watching is much worse than when I can't ... And four weekends of NCT classes kick off for me from Saturday, so enjoy the game everyone!
  31. 1 point
    True. Our plan A would win us most games or at least give us control of the match. But to win a PL title, we do need to have a plan B ready at hand and deploy it on time. And if we don't have plan B, we need to be prepared to ramp up plan A. We don't seem to be doing either.
  32. 1 point
    We played very well. A couple of observations: You have to question Werner’s inclusion here. Low block United side looking to play attack. It was simply not a good fit with him out there. Alonso looked rusty (understandable) Jorginho should never be the last man. No matter how good and safe he is with the ball. JFH was very harsh but perhaps he needs those words. CHO has become much better at positioning himself correctly. What is surprising is that his positioning is better than his on the ball contribution. United are a mess. It’s hard to make sense of that squad composition. Makes you appreciate the coherent requirement policy we have had. Not perfect but not this..
  33. 1 point
    No kante and kova, no Ben on the left. Jorginho needs to be at the top of his game.
  34. 1 point
    yeah, plenty of choices, Azpi, Saul, Werner, Alonso. The nice thing is that Azpi is clearly not fading, it is just he is being challenged for his place by James, Christensen and Chalobah. Hard to block him from all 11 places, he'll find a way back in.
  35. 1 point
    A wonderful second half performance , Ziyech very good , really happy for Werner , such a hard working if unlucky player . Reece James , stunning . Magic stuff.
  36. 1 point
    to be fair, I think a lot of ours are significantly younger than the max limit. we've always pushed the youngsters to play "above" themselves, and it can sometimes mean some harsh lessons.
  37. 1 point
    Absolute garbage. Nothing makes sense about this rumour.
  38. 1 point
    Great to see him back, and scoring. Has a real knack of getting those type of goals in and around the 6 yard box. More so than any other of our attackers, I would say. Just need to keep him fit and he's a real plus. (appreciate this has been the difficult bit) Averaging a goal every 2.65 games in the PL since his arrival
  39. 1 point
    And while I’m at it, well done Claudio!!!!
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Absolute nonsense , made up for the press , no coach would say otherwise. Is that how to do it?
  42. 1 point
    Lukaku, Alonso and Mount all trained yesterday.
  43. 1 point
    and I am targeting having a go on Rita Ora..........after winning the euromillions.
  44. 1 point
    I know!!! It's just SSG and the nauseating hype that surrounds all things Liverpool, past and present. Brings out the worst in me I'm afraid :-(
  45. 1 point
    With all due respect to this clearly effort piece, I don't really get his point. It seems to be all: board is bad, success is unsustainable. I don't understand how Chelsea's model is supposedly unsustainable. Sustainability in football seems awfully misunderstood - stability of coaching doesn't really guarantee much. If anything, the state that both Ferguson and Wenger left their clubs in, doesn't inspire me to trust that kind of stability that is simply one-man or one-idea over-reliance. I feel like the stability at Chelsea is pretty clear: a really strong stable top management structure that's been here for so long it has outlasted any other structure at the superclubs in Europe. Barça changes presidents and boards every few years and they're either at the top of Europe or in complete turmoil, lots of clubs changed ownerships, Utd has changed Glazer's lackey men over the years, Arsenal changed CEOs more than I can keep up with, even Bayern has had some turbulent changes at the top. These are clubs with "identities" and traditions and style and DNA and whatever marketing terms they like to use for their brands. I think the sustainability at Chelsea is clear: the top management knows what this game is about, it's about winning when you can, never delaying success because this sport is very much about cycles similar to "winning windows" in the NBA or the NFL. When you're ready to win, you go and win. I don't understand what he wants in regards to academy products. Does the club need a defined identity for the academy? I doubt it. Why limit youth players to one style of football? To be a top footballer, you need to be extremely well rounded, that's what it takes to be at a top club. Foden was always amazing on the ball at City, he only started playing when he developed physically. That should be and was the lesson of the McEachran days - good players on the ball because of trying to be La Masia II simply doesn't cut it, physicality, workrate, tactical understanding of the game and even pro football minutes are needed to play for a top PL side. The most exciting thing about the recent academy graduates in our current squad is how well rounded they are. They can play for any manager we bring in. Did he just praise Lampard for playing players who were obviously not good enough? Yeah, James is better than keeping Zappacosta, think we all knew that in the summer of 2019. The only player good enough on that list was David Luiz. But we went on to concede 54 goals in the league that season so hard to say that was particularly a good decision when articles were pouring that season about how we lacked leadership and experience at the back. Is buying top talent from the market more unsustainable than academy youth players? I find that hard to believe. A club like Dortmund doesn't rely on its own academy products, they go and buy the best young talents around Europe because their academy can't produce top talent constantly. Heck, Ajax doest that as well. Barcelona was saved from the early 00s crisis by a once-in-a-lifetime generation of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets - they hit the lottery cause otherwise they could have been in trouble. And guess what? They are trying to rely on La Masia to save them again, and they do have good players but they're nowhere near that category of talent. It just doesn't happen that often. In the same way, as good as Livramento is right now, or Harvey Vale or Soonsup-Bell, the reality is that, the odds that they're as good as Reece James and Mason Mount - as in, CL winning quality - are slim. Top talent is rare. Top talent from your academy is extremely rare. It's not sustainable to just say, hey we're going to build the squad around the 2020 PL 2 winning squad. When they're very good, it's a welcome bonus - but you can't just bet on that if you're a serious ambitious team. To fight for trophies, especially in a league as competitive as the PL, you build around top talent, more likely than not, that's from the outside. It's just a game of probability. And Barcelona's fall isn't because they stopped trusting La Masia, that's the political easy answer to why they've been completely mismanaged. Their wage bill exploded when their homegrown players became superstars and used their power to ask for outrageous wages which they've accepted. Busquets, Pique, Sergio Roberto, Jordi Alba were all on +250k per week wages, with Messi of course. So it's not really just going after Griezmann or Dembele - their La Masia core was just as expensive. And his quip about Sarr or Barkley is unnecessary. Sarr started 3 games, 2 were meaningless. Barkley started 1 game. If they weren't proven players with many seasons at top flight divisions, Tuchel wouldn't have picked youth players. He'd have played RLC v Burnley, and would have played Chalobah/AC/Azpilicueta at Brentford. I don't understand his point. Vale is doing well with the Dev Squad, but he's not utterly dominating either. Certainly there's no capable CB in the Dev Squad at the moment, including the young guy from Barcelona they got. The good players are all on loan and that's how it should be. If they're so good, they're already playing pro minutes on loan on a fast track to the first team. Levi Colwill on loan in the Championship at 18 shows how much he's rated. That's how it should be in my opinion. It's funny he quotes United's youth record. Greenwood is clearly a top, top talent - but he's a striker playing at winger because he doesn't know yet how to play striker. Rashford was brought on by Van Gaal when United were hit by an injury crisis, McTominay was the same under Mourinho - and effectively under OGS, only Greenwood (who would have made it pretty much at any club with his above average finishing quality) is a full contributor to the Utd team in the last few years. That's the guy claiming "Youth, courage, success" as his mantra. Tuchel played a 17 years old Kouassi at PSG against Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16, a crucial game too. And he had all of Thiago Silva, Kimpembe and Marquinhos that season. I think if there's an incredible talent currently at Cobham, he will spot him.
  46. 1 point
    I remember the kids at school ..the non sports ones especially..grabbing the coattails of the Glory Glory spurs days....a life time of loathing has followed.... And for CarefreeM....the old days on the terraces were not as romantic as may seem at a distance...I remember..especially one game against spurs appropriately enough...the terrifying surges down the steps and although as a fit strong young man I felt no real fear now I am sure I would not be able to handle it all. Some time back a poster on here ..can't remember who...mentioned the incident at Fulham Broadway Station when a ticket collectors booth was carried away as if in floodwaters by the crowd pressure.......amusing as a memory but a moment of extreme danger..... The fatal crowd events in Glasgow on more than one occasion seem to have been forgotten...might be worth a sobering lookback for us all....
  47. 1 point
    Curtains for @Mark Kelly
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    Having a slight player in CM (or more particularly DM/playmaker as he plays) is ANY team isn't a great idea. At least till he has 3 or 4 years of adult football behind him. This issue is NOT Norwich. The issue is whether Billy is good enough to play there. As I pointed out - there is too much pleading for Billy as a special case for a special kind of team and not enough questioning as to whether he is up to it. (Answering the questions- is he up to it? and now? - is the whole point of a loan. Maybe it is not the loan but the answer people are objecting to.).
  50. 1 point
    It's one of life's big mysteries to me that the absurdly clueless Redknapp is actually employed by anyone in the capacity of an expert when his entire career can be summed up in one short phrase. "How about white suits , boss ?"