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11 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

TT will have some decisions to make in three weeks time with both Mount and Jorginho out. Personally I'd play a midfield of Kante and Gilmour but that won't happen with so much riding on it I guess. Big call if TT swaps in Ziyech to play for Mount. Quite a few players will have a lot to prove before the return leg to try and get a place in the side, Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech, etc. Silva would be a welcome addition too to lend some coordination to the defense as I'm sure AM will be a totally different beast in March.

As it stands now, I'd go for something like this:

 

Mendy

Azpi - Silva - Rudiger

James - Kante - Kovacic - Alonso

Pulisic - Werner

Giroud

However, if Havertz can find some form he could easily come in for this one and make a big difference. The other option is to play Gilmour in place of Jorginho and ask Kante to do the Mount role, but I don't think TT will do that.

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Bison   
3 minutes ago, My Blood Is Blue said:

As it stands now, I'd go for something like this:

 

Mendy

Azpi - Silva - Rudiger

James - Kante - Kovacic - Alonso

Pulisic - Werner

Giroud

However, if Havertz can find some form he could easily come in for this one and make a big difference. The other option is to play Gilmour in place of Jorginho and ask Kante to do the Mount role, but I don't think TT will do that.

Without Mount, a healthy Havertz has to prove his worth in that game. Huge game for him if he's fit and available.

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bert19   
5 minutes ago, Bison said:

Without Mount, a healthy Havertz has to prove his worth in that game. Huge game for him if he's fit and available.

Agreed - I'd say a fit Pulisic is ahead of him in the pecking order for now, but Havertz definitely has an opportunity to get himself in. He looked genuinely annoyed when he got the ball in space ready to run last night and the ref blew for the foul on Kante.  Felt like he knew he had an opportunity to do something, knew what he would try and then had it ripped away from him by the whistle. 

Did anyone else notice Ziyech seemed to try about 800% harder when he came on last night too? Looked much more up for it? The cynic in me says he was shop-windowing himself in front of a CL audience, but I also slightly wonder if the CHO Sub on/Sub off thing perhaps served as a bit of a wake up call to some others too? 

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10 hours ago, Erland Johnson said:

I think pairing CB's is important. You can see how Stones is performing for City this season and Christiansen is a very similar player if not better.  A ball player alongside a brute works. Two brutes don't work. Two ball playing CB's is also questionable. Christiansen isn't as weak as many like to make out. He has the frame to improve and he isn't scared of a tackle.

CB pairings are important but if you pair most half-decent PL centre-halves with Diaz, they’d look ok. He is right up there with the very best. 
 

Same with Van Dijk. He even makes a very ordinary, but quick defender like Gomez look good.

AC lacks the ability to concentrate on his own game consistently for 90mins and doesn’t appear to be demonstrative enough and needs ‘leading’, as opposed to being a ‘leader’. An important trait for a central defender, in my view.

On the Suarez ‘performance’ last night, he also appeared to have a little flick back with his foot at Rudiger. Nasty, vile sort of a character. BT commentators and panel, seemed to treat both of his transgressions as a bit of a “that’s how he and Simeone play” scenario. There was also the instance where he went down holding his face as though Iron Mike had planted his best right hook on him, when actually he took a tap on the chest. 
 

Shouldn’t have been on the pitch, if the ref’s standard was the foul by Mount/Azpi was a booking. Also his legs have gone, nowhere near the nuisance he used to be in terms of closing the ball down  

 

Edited by East Lower

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paulw66   
32 minutes ago, Holymoly said:

TT will have some decisions to make in three weeks time with both Mount and Jorginho out. Personally I'd play a midfield of Kante and Gilmour but that won't happen with so much riding on it I guess. Big call if TT swaps in Ziyech to play for Mount. Quite a few players will have a lot to prove before the return leg to try and get a place in the side, Pulisic, Havertz, Ziyech, etc. Silva would be a welcome addition too to lend some coordination to the defense as I'm sure AM will be a totally different beast in March.

The fact he took Kova off tells us everything, as he was a booking away from missing it too. Not a huge fan of the Kova-Kante double pivot, but am pretty sure that is what it will be. 

The Mount booking was scandalous BTW. 

3 minutes ago, East Lower said:

CB pairings are important but if you pair most half-decent PL centre-halves with Diaz, they’d look ok. He is right up there with the very best. 
 

Same with Van Dijk. He even makes a very ordinary, but quick defender like Gomez look good.

AC lacks the ability to concentrate on his own game consistently for 90mins and doesn’t appear to be demonstrative enough and needs ‘leading’, as opposed to being a ‘leader’. An important trait for a central defender, in my view.

On the Suarez ‘performance’ last night, he also appeared to have a little flick back with his foot at Rudiger. Nasty, vile sort of a character. BT commentators and panel, seemed to treat both of his transgressions as a bit of a “that’s how he and Simeone play” scenario. There was also the instance where he went down holding his face as though Iron Mike had planted his best right hook on him, when actually he took a tap on the chest. 
 

Shouldn’t have been on the pitch, if the ref’s standard was the foul by Mount/Azpi was a booking. Also his legs have gone, nowhere near the nuisance he used to be in terms of closing the ball down  

 

BT seemed intent on laughing off what Suarez was doing........it may sound soft, but surely pinching someone is violent conduct? if you think what you can get sent off for these days. 

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7 minutes ago, bert19 said:

Agreed - I'd say a fit Pulisic is ahead of him in the pecking order for now, but Havertz definitely has an opportunity to get himself in. He looked genuinely annoyed when he got the ball in space ready to run last night and the ref blew for the foul on Kante.  Felt like he knew he had an opportunity to do something, knew what he would try and then had it ripped away from him by the whistle. 

Did anyone else notice Ziyech seemed to try about 800% harder when he came on last night too? Looked much more up for it? The cynic in me says he was shop-windowing himself in front of a CL audience, but I also slightly wonder if the CHO Sub on/Sub off thing perhaps served as a bit of a wake up call to some others too? 

I think the break Havertz has been given by TT is probably exactly what he needed, he did not look right at all before the break, I don't just mean in the way he was playing, but his body language just screamed of someone who mentally was in a bad place and I hope he's been given the time to get his body and mind right and now under a new manager who probably understands his game a lot more, he can begin to thrive. I still believe he will be a massive player for us.

Ziyech I'm still not sold on, I just worry he's a one-trick pony, which is fine in Holland where the quality isn't good enough to stop that trick even if they know about it, but over here at this level he's been found out very quickly and at the moment just looks like he is sulking to me. But, he did look to give a little more effort last night, but that's not difficult when you think where the starting point was for him in terms of effort over the last few appearances. Ziyech is the one out of all our new signings, I worry about the most.

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bert19   
4 minutes ago, My Blood Is Blue said:

I think the break Havertz has been given by TT is probably exactly what he needed, he did not look right at all before the break, I don't just mean in the way he was playing, but his body language just screamed of someone who mentally was in a bad place and I hope he's been given the time to get his body and mind right and now under a new manager who probably understands his game a lot more, he can begin to thrive. I still believe he will be a massive player for us.

Ziyech I'm still not sold on, I just worry he's a one-trick pony, which is fine in Holland where the quality isn't good enough to stop that trick even if they know about it, but over here at this level he's been found out very quickly and at the moment just looks like he is sulking to me. But, he did look to give a little more effort last night, but that's not difficult when you think where the starting point was for him in terms of effort over the last few appearances. Ziyech is the one out of all our new signings, I worry about the most.

I don't disagree with anything you've written here.  

I think people may be underestimating how hard it's been coming to the PL this season too.  We've even seen experienced players like Thiago struggle.  Havertz is only 21, has moved to a new country mid-pandemic, had Covid and has been living under lockdown conditions.  I suspect that's been hard for any new players at any new club.  It's been hard to adapt to his new city, meet people, get into the culture and way of life here, make friends etc. London's one of the most vibrant and diverse cities on the planet, it's a pretty different place at the moment though.

Add the compression of an already-hectic fixture list and Chelsea's general struggles and it's not that much of a surprise that he, Werner and Ziyech have all struggled really.  I've never doubted Werner and Havertz are trying though, or that both will come good with a bit of patience. We've spent a lot of time not playing to their obvious strengths either. 

Ziyech I am a bit worried about though - it may just be how he is, but he has looked really like he's not bothered at all on a few occasions now and definitely hasn't worked hard enough on a few others (Barnsley and Man City spring to mind).  I'm hoping he can and does pick up, but I honestly wouldn't be shocked if he leaves in the summer. 

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Blue Rod   
35 minutes ago, Bison said:

Without Mount, a healthy Havertz has to prove his worth in that game. Huge game for him if he's fit and available.

I hope that Havertz will be fit for that second leg. Because this will be the best opportunity for him to show his qualities in a Chelsea shirt. Mount covers so much ground. He is literally everywhere across the front. There is an upside to it. But there is also a downside in that Havertz would not have as much freedom playing together with Mount. Every creative player needs a bit of freedom to roam. Lets see if Havertz can step up. 

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31 minutes ago, paulw66 said:

The Mount booking was scandalous BTW. 

BT seemed intent on laughing off what Suarez was doing........it may sound soft, but surely pinching someone is violent conduct? if you think what you can get sent off for these days. 

On the Mount yellow, and I’d admit I’ve looked at it only twice - it was as much ‘Dave’ as it was Mount. Could we appeal it on the grounds of mistaken identity??

BT’s in match and post match teams treated the Suarez fouling/behaviour as though ‘well it is Suarez and therefore it’s part of what he does and endears him to Simeone’. They ought to be quietly brought to task on it. I wonder if they’d treat the behaviour the same way if had happened against teams wearing red??

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paulw66   
3 minutes ago, East Lower said:

On the Mount yellow, and I’d admit I’ve looked at it only twice - it was as much ‘Dave’ as it was Mount. Could we appeal it on the grounds of mistaken identity??

BT’s in match and post match teams treated the Suarez fouling/behaviour as though ‘well it is Suarez and therefore it’s part of what he does and endears him to Simeone’. They ought to be quietly brought to task on it. I wonder if they’d treat the behaviour the same way if had happened against teams wearing red??

The fact Suarez played for Liverpool will give him a pass forever in this country. 

Imagine if it was Costa..........against Liverpool 

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