Blue Rod

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  1. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Couldn't agree more. Revamping our midfield should be an even bigger priority than the search for another striker. The tweak to the team that got us to the CL trophy in Porto was the absolute best that TT could have done given the time he took over. But let's not forget that some of our previous managers have tweaked a team that was even more moribund and got somewhere great or nearly great only to get a kick in the teeth the next season for failing to make the major changes. As a defensive unit, our midfield worked pretty well when the three have been fit - Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic. As a creative unit, it has been pretty poor for the past three seasons. With Kante and Kovacic off, it has now also lost its defensive credibility. So we have a midfield that is both poor at defending and at creating, with the defence picking up the responsibility for both. Yes and no. I don't think anyone would want a Fabregas in his final playing years, (any more than we would want to re-sign Didier Drogba right now) But there is something about having a midfielder, whatever you may call him, who makes other forwards get into a position of advantage the moment they touch the ball because they know what could come. Neither Jorginho nor Kante or Kovavic does that. (Kovacic is our third choice by overall quality, but he is actually our most offensive/direct of the three) There seems to be an expectation that the ball is going sideways or even backwards first. This is emblematic of our current midfield. If an attacking midfielder cannot carry the ball forward as quickly as it is needed, then he must let his passing do that work. The latter is what a Fabregas in his prime gives you. Our current midfielders are struggling with both, I'm afraid.
  2. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    I'm pleased that we scored lots of goals in the two matches. But DWDWL is not a title winning form. As I said before, the lack of goals from our forward line was going to start affecting our results. It was only a matter of time. I am hoping that we have reached a turning point, and our forwards can now start firing in the goals. Defenders can only score you so many goals. I appreciate where you are coming from. But sometimes you have to look reality in the face and be objective. I was saying this when we were 3 pts in the lead. The response was; how dare you?, get a life, ... etc. We are now 3 points behind the leaders after a weak run of results, and I'm still getting the same response. Oh well. .
  3. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Of course we have a 5 man attack. We have 11 players on the pitch just like other teams. Just having 5 men in attack is pretty meaningless if they don't arrive at the right place (never mind stand at the right place) at the right time, and you know that. I refer you back to the example in my earlier post. 4 players may have arrived after the cross. But watch the match again, if you have a recording. At the moment of the cross, there was absolutely no other Chelsea player near Havertz. It's not only ManCity, Liverpool load up their attack with several runners arriving at the same time, and so do Bayern Munich, another high scoring side that does not depend so heavily on their defenders for goals. This is not to say that they are better teams overall. But on the specific issue of why our attacking game is struggling, this is an important comparison. People used to refer to Antonio Conte's.Chelsea team as defensive. But whenever they were on the offensive, there were runners all over the pitch. Again it was about swift transition and overwhelming the opponents numerically before they could get back in shape. Tuchel might find other ways for the team to score goals. But at the moment, we are struggling, and have been struggling.
  4. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Could it be that the genius of our defence is one side of the same coin as our cowardly attack. It takes a brave tactician to commit players to attack. Sitting back and defending may not be all it's cranked up to be, after all. I watched ManCity game on MOTD last night. They didn't just switch from their end to the opposite box in a flash, they had 5, yes 5 attacking players on the edge of Watford box when that ball arrived. In contrast, when Havertz broke with the ball to a crossing position, there was zero Chelsea player anywhere near the West Ham box. And this was a match which we supposedly controlled. Slow transition allows opponents to re-group. We then pass the ball around the edge of their box without penetration. We are controlling the ball without controlling the game. This is how I imagine things. Our No 6 wins the ball, looks up and immediately hits an offensive pass. 3,4,5 players are running to support the attack. The opponents are running helter-skelter tracking the ball and our players. What we have instead is Jorginho looks left, right and left again, hits one nice little pass to the nearest person, sideways or backwards, job done. The opposition allows him that pass while they regroup. Jorginho racks up good passing stats. It looks controlled, but is ineffective as an attacking football. Opponents have also worked out that we are not a high scoring side in the PL. So they can win or draw by scoring a couple of goals. They will gamble with little spells of open football to grab those goals. Even when they come out and play openly, like West Ham did in short spells we still didn't punish them. We have to rebalance our game. Good defensive stats only win you a title if you score goals.
  5. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    You don't need computer generated stats to see that our midfield with Jorginho at its centre has been the least creative of the past 20 yrs (at leaat) This is an observation, not an opinion, by the way. Lukaku brings up an issue I once raised and got castigated by those seeking to show their holiness. Rudiger, Silva and Mendy are examples of good signings. Havertz, Werner, Ziyech, Lukaku are the opposite. To spend such a colossal amount of money and not even end up with a single standout player is just poor. That said, we are where we are. The manager must get his team playing. It's now looking like the wrong decision to send Broja and Gallagher on loan. A less risk averse manager might have kept both players and possibly save us £100m in the process.
  6. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Yes, Lukaku is a £100m problem. But I disagree that we controlled the game. West Ham deliberately started defensively. We managed a goal from a corner. They then went open. It looks like we actually played to their plan.
  7. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Mathematically of course, we are in a title winning position, which makes my observation even more frustrating to me in person. But I made my point even when we were leading the table by 3 pts. We just do not ooze the confidence of any of the sides that have won the league in my recent memory. That we might start doing so in a couple of months is something I can only pray for. Solid defence is the rock on which a title challenge is based. But you can't win a title with your defence having to do everything - defending, controlling the game, creating, scoring, etc. It's like a passenger flight where the pilots are serving meals and demonstrating the emergency procedures. Our midfield + forward play has not been good enough, for several months now. We have been held together by the defence. Today was a day when our midfield and forwards were called upon to pay back and save the blushes of the defence. They couldn't do it. That is our imbalance, in a nutshell.
  8. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    I've been saying for weeks that we don't look like a title winning side, much to the annoyance of our ultras. Time to review our blasphemy law perhaps..
  9. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Poor Mendy. Obviously not the one that saved our backside numerous times this season. To hell with the idea that you can't always control the game, and if you are presented with an open game, you must make sure you outscore the other team.
  10. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    A good day to be a resident contrarian, to see the goals that nobody else saw, pull out the brilliant stats that the average fans didn't notice, ignore the trajectory of our performance leading to this result. I just wish I could be made one. I have no idea what Michael Tucker did with my application.
  11. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Bad acting 😳
  12. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    We should calm down and play direct.
  13. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Lack of anticipation from RLC in the build up to WHam effort.
  14. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    God, RLC. Losing the ball like a drunken sailor with money.
  15. West Ham 3 Chelsea 2

    Good work rate by Mount