Blue Rod

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Everything posted by Blue Rod

  1. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    Two major schools of attacking football have evolved in Europe since the 80's - the Arrigo Sacchi school, and the Dutch total football school. The Sacchi method is highly prescriptive in terms of the distance you must maintain from key opponent players at the point of transition. When you see Conte gesticulating like a maniac, he is telling his forwards to keep that distance. It allows you to exploit the space behind the defenders. It is a defence + counterattack school on which Italian football since the 80's is based. The Dutch total football, which Pep exemplifies is 100% about space, wherever it pops up (rather than your opponents) Your system is a moving jigsaw and you conquer the space and receive the ball. To me, it is the more logical and more natural of the two schools. The person with the ball and the person due to receive it quickky spot the same space, and a pass is executed without delay. No second guessing required. You can apply this in defence, midfield, and attack. Positional discipline is It's difficult to tell what Tuchel's attacking philosophy is. Last night, you could hear the pundits were puzzled why there were no movements upfront when a player has the ball. You'd think, next time, we will play the ball out quicker, and there will be lots of movement up front. I doubt it. It looked like some players have already downed tools.
  2. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    Something deeper has gone wrong behind the scene; call it dressing room issues. I'm afraid to say that my intuition is once again proving to be right. I do get a lot of flak for it. But as it seems to come.feom the same guys, I have learned to wear it as a badge of honour. All I can do is say what I think and fear. No Chelsea manager under RA has ever recovered from the situation that TT is in at the moment. Tuchel may get more time. (And to be fair, Lampard did get his mercy time, even though the end was a foregone conclusion). He can blame the effect of covid. That might buy him another season. My bet is, if he survives this season, he won't last till middle of next. When I said early in the season that TT may be suffering from the second season syndrome,(SSS) there were many rolled eyes, and as many hands wishing they could reach my throat. I can now say that his is one of the worst cases of SSS. His methods can be decoded with a broken Amstrad machine - Win the ball, take a deep breath, keep it, allow opponents to return to their half, then start probing. Keep the middle in shape and exploit the flanks. Opponents have worked out that you can allow Chelsea to pass the ball around while you return to shape, tighten up the middle and wait for the cross. If you are going to use Lukaku as a classic old-fashioned 9, you must make sure he is isolated with a single defender. Winning the first ball (with your head, mouth ior backside) is not where it ends. The second ball is what matters. If Lukaku is surrounded by 2 or 3 defenders, he's never going to win that second ball. That is where the early ball becomes a good transition. Costa used to make a party of it. It leaves you 1v1 before others come to the aid of the defender. Lukaku himself needs to pull his man all over the place, to try and isolate him. If the defender is happy to stick with him, then spaces also open up. All this must happen in transition, not when their 10 players are behind the ball. Lukaku is getting the ball pretty late and surrounded by 2 or three markers. The ball bounces off his shin, and is comfortably collected by the next defender. To cut the long story short. Tuchel hasn't progressed his football one bit since the start of the season. The players are completely shot of confidence. Watching them play is like watching a lorry driver who doesn’t know where he's going but must keep the lorry moving.
  3. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    When your head is only half way out of the sand. What happened to your xG machine? It normally shows that most of us were watching with our screens upside down. Things must be pretty bad if it's no longer disloyal to state that we were outplayed by Brighton.
  4. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    Looks like Kepa was bending backwards to get out of the way
  5. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    It's starting to look like one of those where we are in front and playing for a draw instead.
  6. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    CHO's shooting getting worse by each game. Mount can't even hit a simple pass these days. Worrying times.
  7. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    Did you forget your Jorginho 4-D glasses? Can't find mine either.
  8. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    We are second to every contested ball.
  9. Brighton 1 Chelsea 1

    Couldn't agree more. Pulisic doesn't know when to run with the ball and when to play an early pass-and-move.. His game is all about getting his head down and running with the ball, then deciding what to do with it, if he's still got the ball, which doesnt happen too oftem these days. It shows a lack of awareness of his teammates or the game entirely, something that CHO has in spades, despite his shortcomings. Tuchel should have spent more time developing Mount, Havertz and CHO as our first choice front line. Any player coming to replace them would have played to the template. As it stands, no one seems to know what the other person is doing when we have the ball. Players are just making up the tactics as they go. It is an unacceptable situation for a team of our calibre.
  10. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    Exactly. I raised a similar comment about Lampard when every single player was underperforming and Rudiger was not fit for Championship football according to some of our fans. Suddenly Tuchel turned up and every player was transformed. Some people just can't accept that no manager, not even Tuchel himself is above scrutiny, no matter what they have won. RDM's CL feat was arguably a harder accomplishment. But it did not make him a saint. Some of these players have always had limited abilities. But they were nowhere near as bad when we signed them. I am seriously worried about the board and the club, and unless you are one of those who think your mission on earth is to defend and praise the establishment, you should be. These misfiring players are on huge wages. There are few incentives for them to move. And which club will pay Lukaku £325k and Werner 270/ week and take them from us? Marina's case may be turning out a classic example of what happens when a company hands control to a Finance Director. The books start to look good, but before long, the company's performance starts looking south. Another downside of having a Finance person at the top is that professionally they like total control. They are not the type that can be easily overruled. The basis of our success over the years has always been that we have a team capable of competing even when the players were getting on a little bit. That is how managers came and went and we just kept marching on. I am baffled how we ended up spending so much money these last 3-4 seasons and ended up with so little in the way of quality - no character, no spine, no leadership upfront, no footballing skills..., no ability to pull the team out of a difficult situation, no match-winning performance. All this "give it one more season and he will start to shine" is fantasy. Sooner or later, the penny will drop. I believe that RA has always operated with his own personal advisers. There is a scenario where the magical transformation fails to materialise next season, and RA wields the axe.
  11. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    That's exactly the problem. We've been adding players to the team.instead of improving it. Nothing wrong with adding a squad player like Zappacosta. When you spend the kind of money we've been spending, you expect more than just a number.
  12. Official: Chelsea Sign Kai Havertz

    I personally think he's worth around £40m. I'm very impressed by him. A lot is said about his goals and assists. Less talked about is his ability to harass opponents off the ball almost Kante-like. His energy is Duracell Plus.
  13. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    We could also be brave with our passes. Early in the match Azpi pulled up in an advanced position with acres of space in front. A simple pass was clearly on. Instead the player (can't remember was it Pulisic or Kovacic) ignored him and played it back. A few moments later, Pulisic ran with the ball, or rather stumbled on with it when a quick pass was on, and lost the ball. This pattern was repeated. We don't seem to want to play any pass that carries any weight or risk, even when we come up against some bottom half team. We get more forward passes and more direct play from Rudiger and Silva than from our midfield and forward line. But it always feels like the two are doing their own thing. Thec best thing in the first 35 min was our press. We pinched the ball off them so many times, but we just lacked any idea what to do with it. City didn't have that problem. Once they won the ball they were on the offensive straightaway.
  14. Official: Chelsea Sign Kai Havertz

    That is what it says online. I've also checked similar bright young players in Europe and they are all in that price bracket.
  15. Official: Chelsea Sign Kai Havertz

    That is the official valuation of Gallagher. Chelsea would ask for more, but I would be surprised if any club would offer more than £40m. This makes the £73m or so we paid for Havertz an absolute joke.
  16. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    Tuchel must have had a plan how he was going to play him, or did he not? Many of us here could see a performance like today's from Lukaku without being an expert. In another thread, I have already commented on the perils of signing a player based on goals scored in a foreign league. We don't seem to have learned from the Werner experience.
  17. Official: Chelsea Sign Kai Havertz

    I don't duck anything. If Conor Gallagher went on the market today, his official independent valuation is around £26m, which is 1/3 of what we paid for Havertz. The stats actually flatter Havertz. When you actually watch and compare both players, the gulf is wider. There is energy, intensity, power, poise and more in Gallagher. I don’t see any of those qualities in Havertz. Our obsession with goals scored in foreign leagues has landed us in the current mess. Werner, Havertz, Lukaku, are players who looked very good on goals scored before we signed them, despite their limited footballing skills. Now look where they are. Goals scored is as primitive as it gets a tool for assessing players. Good all round football skills are more important. That is why, goals aside, Gallagher just looks head and shoulders above Havertz. When Michael Emenalo was asked what he saw in Kevin De Bruyne, he didn't once mention his goal stats. He said the player rarely misplaced a pass. Granted, he is not a striker. But the principle is transferable.
  18. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    Sorry, I forgot Mendy He's a good signing. Kovacic has been good, but for the kind of money we've been spending, you'd expect us to have a Michael Essien quality in that position. Jury is still out on Chilwell, for me.
  19. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    I think we may be falling into the all too familiar trap of idolising a manager so that others can take the blame for their shortcomings. I'm not at all saying that Tuchel is a bad manager. However just as his predecesdors can't escape blame for us signing Pulisic, Werner, Ziyech, and Havertz, Tuchel can't escape blame for Lukaku turning up here. Let's keep it fair. Football is ultimately about exploiting your opponent's weaknesses. In the CL final, Tuchel did that against Pep. Today it was the other way round. Players' weaknesses aside, it just didn't look like Tuchel had a formula for how we were going to beat City. We just tried the same thing we've been trying all season. You could say the same about his post-match interview. I've been saying it long before Tuchel arrived; we haven't signed well. I don't know why some fans think they must defend a player or manager once they put on a Chelsea badge. Everyone should be judged fairly. Silva is our only quality signing of the past three seasons.
  20. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    I'm not saying we're a dreadful team, but this sounds like one of those motivational speeches when you're 5 - 0 down. "Hey guys, you know what; you drew the last 5 minutes of the first half."
  21. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    I wasn't a big fan of Tammy. He could never time his run to a cross. He could only deal with ball to feet. But he was still better than Lukaku as a striker and as a footballer in general.
  22. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    No one is calling for Tuchel's head. And sacking a manager is never a disaster unless you then make a disastrous appointment. It can be a disaster if any club ever gets in the mindset that they can't get on without a certain manager, even one as prolific as Sir Alex Ferguson.
  23. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    Even though day happens in the same 24 hours as night, the difference is largely that you can see without a lamp.
  24. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    I've just watched the replay. He actually moved to his right after the shot has been played. In the end his effort didn't even look like a dive, more like a fall to his left side. He could have gambled that, as Silva was shielding KBD from his (Kepa's) right, then the shot was likely to come to his left. KDB was also leaning that way. He would have had to play through the legs of Silva to get to the right of Kepa.
  25. Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0

    This game exposed a lot of truth about our current situation. To me, none of it is new. For all his abilities, Tuchel lacks attacking ideas. I expect a lot of flak for it, just the last time I said it. When we win the ball, we seem to freeze. This happens even on the edge of opponents 18 yd box. There is no transition. It is the same every match, and no matter who plays. Playing it back or sideways seems the default position. And yet, your best chance of unsettling your opponent is the second after their attack breaks down. This is a fundamental, almost non-remediable flaw in Tuchel's approach. There is another way; you win the ball, and immediately go on the offensive and leave half your opponent team running towards their own goal and behind the ball. Still we could have even won this match if not for the next problem I'm going to write about. Our signings over the past 3 years; in fact, since Emenalo left, have been awful. Lukaku doesn't even look like a £40m player, never mind £100m, £325k/week player. Werner is on £270k a week. I can think of 10 better PL players on 40k/week. I don't think Havertz would have done any better. Ziyech was only ever a one trick pony. If he can't find the time to hit his diagonal pass, then you are left with a very average player. Kepa actually took a step to his right after the shot has been played. Only he knows what he saw. And we are talking about the world's most expensive keeper. None of Kepa, Pulisic, Havertz, Werner, Ziyech, Lukaku is worth the money we spent on them, I'm afraid. The reason even interim managers did so well was because we had made good signings. I think we've gone off the rail with our signings over the past three or four seasons. We seem to be obsessed with playing the ball amongst ourselves. It gives us the illusion of being in control. I'm not the least impressed by it. If we cannot break down a team after they have just lost the ball, what chance have we to break them down when they are back into shape? If Tuchel doesn't change something in the way we play, I worry for his future past next season.