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Everything posted by DYC.

  1. Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff

    Hazard needs to go for the hattrick. Pedro should get a goal as well. Disappointed by the midfield today. Not surprised by defence.
  2. Didier Drogba

    Didier Drogba proves why he has to be Chelsea's top dog - and that means Fernando Torres must start on the bench against Manchester United Struggling Spaniard can make bigger impact as a substitute against Manchester United, but the Ivorian powerhouse must be the one to lead the Blues' line on Tuesday By Wayne Veysey at Stamford Bridge Apr 10, 2011 9:30:00 AM There are some big beasts in the Chelsea jungle. But there is only one top dog – and that is Didier Drogba. Following Fernando Torres' deadline-day switch, a pack of feared predators have been queuing up to bare their teeth at the point of the attack. But on the evidence of the audition for Tuesday's season-hinging match at Manchester United, only Drogba has the bite to compliment the bark. Chelsea's centre-forward required careful guarding against Wigan Athletic. He ran the channels, bashed defenders out of the way in a manner in which only he can, created space for others with smart movement and banged in shots from all angles whenever he had a sniff of goal. In manager-speak, he put in a shift. He was also wasteful, too, in his desire to breach the dam erected by Roberto Martinez and prove he is lord of the manor at the Bridge. Excellent free-kick positions were wasted and team-mates were sometimes ignored as he strove in search of something that would guarantee his master's approval. Carlo Ancelotti claims he already knows his team and the system he will play at Old Trafford in the quarter-final second leg. He provided a big hint by binning 4-4-2 and starting with the 4-3-3 formation that has been Chelsea's bread and butter since the Jose Mourinho days. Drogba alone up front, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda either side of him and a three-man midfield patrolled by Frank Lampard, Ramires and John Obi-Mikel. Like John Terry, who was not in the matchday squad, Torres and Michael Essien were 'rested'. Feeling blue | Torres has failed to score in 648 minutes at Chelsea since deadline-day move As a dress rehearsal, it can be said to only have been a partial success. By the end of the first half, as Chelsea searched for greater cutting edge, Anelka was playing alongside Drogba. At half-time, the ineffective Mikel was withdrawn and Yossi Benayoun was summoned from the bench for his first Chelsea appearance since September 22. By that point, it was back to the 4-4-2 formation originally introduced to shoehorn Torres into the starting XI. Anelka made way for the Spaniard a third of the way into the second period after linking well with Drogba but failing to offer the kind of threat of which he is capable. Torres' 31-minute performance was a considerable improvement on his previous 617 minutes in the blue shirt. He was industrious, lively and found himself in some excellent goalscoring positions. There was everything but the goal. How the Bridge willed him to break his Chelsea duck. Malouda's goal coaxed Wigan out of their half and provided the kind of space behind the centre halves that would have been an amusement park for the Torres of two years ago. One Drogba cross narrowly avoided his lunging body. A long ball from the back sent him clear on goal but Torres' first touch, not for the first time in a desperate 10 weeks in west London, let him down. With the clock counting down, Benayoun side-footed a short pass into his path in the penalty area with no Wigan defenders in sight. The crowd held its breath as Torres shaped to pull the trigger. Surely, this would be it. Torres' connection with the outside of his right boot was true. The ball was heading for the back of the net. But Ali Al Habsi, whose reflexes had been in good working order all afternoon, stretched out his arm at the last millisecond and diverted the ball to safety. It was a mighty fine save but something is still missing for the Chelsea No. 9. You feel Torres in his 2007-09 pomp would not have given Al Habsi the opportunity to show off his athleticism. With his job and legacy possibly depending on the outcome of the Champions League quarter-final, Ancelotti cannot afford to indulge Roman Abramovich's marquee signing from the start on Tuesday. For the Italian, it has to be Drogba leading the line, with two creators either side of him. Just the way the Ivorian likes it. The support act is not one that suits him or Torres. They both have to be the main man. Malouda is likely to get the nod over Yuri Zhirkov as Saturday's Spring sunshine reawakened the player that had laid dormant for six months. Yossi Benayoun is fit to start after making his first appearance for Chelsea since September 22 on Saturday but it would represent a gamble by Ancelotti to prefer him to Anelka, whose versatility and awareness should guarantee him a starting point. He is also the club's leading scorer this season with 16 goals. Poor Salamon Kalou, scorer of nine goals this season – the same as Torres – will once again be shunted out to the sidelines. Whatever the future of the Big Four strikers holds beyond this season, Ancelotti must concentrate on the here and now. It will suit Chelsea, and perhaps Torres too, for the club's record signing to be an impact substitute against United's tiring defenders. That means letting the club's top Drog off the leash from the first minute. Link
  3. 20. Callum Hudson-Odoi

    Same story, different season. Youngsters will most likely barely feature during the season. Whoever is in charge of Chels will always have more interest in producing results rather than developing raw youngsters and academy products. The Chelsea way is to go out on loan, greatly impress and you might get the chance to come back and be a part of the squad. Only a Messi level talent has a shot of making the jump from academy to first team regular or first XI. The only way I can see the dynamic at the club changing is if the coach has four or five full seasons under his belt, feels comfortable in that manager seat and wants to create a legacy.
  4. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Not enough love for Alonso's first touch. It took out any chance of Bellerin dispossessing him or clearing the ball away. Perfect control.
  5. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    So strange to see a Chelsea manager say he wants one centre midfielder and two wingers on the bench. I love it. This also confirms Moses is a winger in Sarri's eyes and (most likely) ahead of Hudson-Odoi in the pecking order.
  6. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    (Check the *EDIT) He'll improve defensively when Chelsea manage to keep the team compact. It's less of a problem in the Serie A or La Liga but he'll always struggle when there's too much space between the lines in English football. He'll be fine in Europe though.
  7. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    He plays in front of defence but he's a playmaker. He wasn't bought for his defensive ability. When the club signed him I already mentioned his defensive weaknesses so I'm not surprised. EDIT: He'll improve defensively when Chelsea manage to keep the team compact. It's less of a problem in the Serie A or La Liga but he'll always struggle when there's too much space between the lines in English football. He'll be fine in Europe though.
  8. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    Pedro is never a striker for me. Definitely not in a possession team. He does not possess the awareness to move in the centre. He needs to face the goal at all times. He doesn't know how to play with his back to goal and make the right decisions when receiving the ball in the centre of the pitch. He needs to play on the flanks. Hazard is a better fit in the centre but Chels become a too nice up top. Not enough willingness and urgency to get the ball in the goal. And it also makes the team a bit too short overall without playing Morata or Giroud. Becoming a lot more vulnerable in dealing with set-pieces.
  9. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    Luiz is an enigma. He's very important when Chelsea are in possession as his passing game gives Chels an edge offensively. But his defending is suspect and he can let you down from time to time. Christensen is the better defender (though he lacks that physicality Luiz brings) but doesn't offer that edge Luiz does, making Chelsea weaker offensively. If Christensen manages to get that weight up, he'll force himself into the team.
  10. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    When Hazard and Kovacic enter the starting line-up, Giroud has to play. Especially in home games. Morata is slowly getting better but not there yet. I think Giroud with his target man abilities is more useful to the team right now. And I think Morata could prove to be effective off the bench. But I'd go for Morata in most away games. You want more mobility and speed in away games (Chelsea not being one of the fastest teams in the league).
  11. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    Excellent second half performance. Chels were suffocating Arsenal. I was just waiting for Chels to score. It took a while but it eventually happened, and it was completely deserved. Alonso was a beast. His late runs into the box are a problem. When Chelsea control the ball and get forward, he will be a very useful asset. And he was good outside of the goal and assist. Good touch, calm and clever passing and really covered that left flank well. Jorginho's positioning is fuxking excellent. I love midfielders who know how to move. He's always in the right positions, providing passing options. Body constantly in the correct direction to turn into space. Accurate and strategic passer. Very intelligent in his decision-making. Knows when to keep it simple or when to go for the forward pass. Never afraid to play an early ball in behind or ping a through ball. The sight of this type of midfielder in a Chelsea kit makes me so happy. Hazard is a boss. A game changer. He was bloody unstoppable. His timing when going for the burst and dribble was impeccable. His control over the ball simply too much to handle. They were shaking in their boots only a minute after he entered the pitch. There was no way he wasn't going to influence the score. Kovacic showing very encouraging signs. Moved into the right spaces and was very confident on the ball. Nice instant chemistry with Hazard. I'm excited about the prospects of that Jorginho-Kovacic-Hazard link up.
  12. Diego Costa

    If Costa and Griezmann manage to stay fit and firing, and Koke and Saul form an effective centre midfield duo, I think they'll win the league. Very smart transfers this summer. They've built a well-balanced squad and possess so many versatile players. Only downside is they only have 18 senior outfield players. They'll have to stay fit. Superb Costa goal yesterday. That was Drogba-esque. When he's fit and in the mood, he's a serious problem.
  13. Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    WTF? Kante's voice completely threw me off. Sounds like a bad voice over but it's real?
  14. Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea

    Good win considering the circumstances. Always nice to pick up a clean sheet but defence remains a serious worry for me. Hazard, I'll love you through thick and thin. That was some funny stuff. Can't wait for him to shed the pregnancy pounds.
  15. Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea

    How is fat Hazard such a problem? Haha, this is ridiculous.
  16. Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea

    I can't believe a manager like Sarri would field Moses as a winger. He's useless in that position. And this means he's ahead of Callum in the pecking order. Shocking decision for me. Alonso is clearly rated higher than Emerson. Emerson must be really poor. LB is gonna annoy me all season And I'm not a fan of Luiz-Rudiger in the centre at all. But oh well, let's see what this game brings then.
  17. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Me too. Last season was brutal. I would just fall asleep watching games. This coming season should be much more enjoyable.
  18. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    It's not about faith. I base my outlook on the season on the quality of the squads and the severity of changes the clubs go through. One of the best midfields is possible, yeah, but Jorginho and Kovacic will have to prove themselves. It's not a given. Defence is a problem for me and the team lacks firepower. Chels is going through a big change and three teams are simply stronger for me. They would have to underperform to finish lower than Chelsea I think. I'd consider 4th and the Europa League and/or FA Cup a succesful season. And then continue to build from there.
  19. Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea

    Kante is crucial, man. Without him the midfield is too soft and lacks mobility. It's not ideal but he needs to play Think Azpilicueta is Chelsea's solution to a calm and commanding presence in the centre of defence. His lack of height is of course an issue but I'd still play him there. And to be honest, he's very decent in the air. It's not like he's terrible in this area. Finding the right partner is tricky. Luiz and Rudiger compliment him better because their big, strong and good in the air but I just don't trust them. Christensen is the better defender imo so I'd pick him. Alonso offers height and aerial prowess and experience, but he'll always be exposed because he's so slow and he's not a natural defender. Paulo Ferreira for example was anything but quick but he could defend. Playing on the left with Hazard or Callum in front of him makes it even worse as they both don't offer much protection. Emerson with his athleticism should cope better. Even though I do prefer Moses over Zappacosta, the latter is in better shape right now and offers more aerial prowess. (That backline is an issue, regardless of who you play. But I prefer calm and clever players in the centre and athleticism on the flanks.) Kepa and Kovacic just got here. Same goes for Hazard who just got back and is still rusty. No reason to rush the process. Caballero Zappacosta - Azpilicueta - Christensen - Emerson Kante - Jorginho - Barkley Pedro - Morata - Hudson-Odoi Kepa; Rudiger, Alonso; Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Giroud That's what I would go with but it's whatever, we'll see who'll play.
  20. 17. Mateo Kovacic

    Yeah, I'm not bothered about the inclusion of an option to buy or not. Why worry about something that is completely out of your control? All I hope for is he kills it here and falls in love with the Chelsea experience, and Chels make a permanent move happen in 2019. If not, I hope Chels get a good replacement when he leaves. Simple.
  21. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Big ass squad. Not just the 'red players' will have to leave. 25 senior players alone (+ Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi) is too much. So I wonder who's leaving. Looking at the quality of the top6 squads, I rate City's, Utd's and Pool's team higher than Chelsea's. Chels also going through a big change in terms of style. So City to retain the title, Liverpool and Utd chasing City and Chels, Spurs and Arsenal for 4th for me. If the transition under Sarri goes well, Chels should finish above Arsenal. Spurs failed to strengthen so that could possibly hurt them. Though compared to last season they do have a fit Alderweireld, Rose, Wanyama, Winks and even Dembele to certain extent. Hopefully finishing 5th last season and a fresh start under Sarri will fire this lot up to secure that top 4 finish at the very least. Maybe add the Europa League and a cup to gloss up 18/19 and set a winning mood.
  22. 17. Mateo Kovacic

    Nahh, there is too much money involved for some kind of (verbal) understanding. This is business. Any deal is on paper. And like the Rodriguez to Bayern deal, we'd know about the clause and sum involved to sign him if there was one. The better he plays the higher his fee will be in 2019, if they decide to sell him at all, and the more interest he draws. If he produces a stellar season, you can bet the financial elite will be at Real's door as well.
  23. General Transfer Talk

    Utd signing Zouma instead of Alderweireld would be great. A fit Alderweireld would elevate their backline. Zouma would simply be yet another CB on their roster. He's younger but is he better than Smalling, Jones and Rojo? I don't think so. Utd signing Willian would be great. While he would help balance the team out, he would not take them to a new level. And he wouldn't last long having just turned 30. A Martial + cash offer for Zouma + Willian is something I'd happily take. Make it happen, Utd.
  24. 17. Mateo Kovacic

    Real only had one striker so the move to bring him back made sense. Also from a financial standpoint. Think they sold him for €20m to Juve, brought him back for 30m and eventually sold him for 60+ mil, so yeah. They knew he was worth something. As for Kovacic, very talented but unproven. I can only hope he hits the ground running because there's no time to adapt with this deal. I am looking forward to the prospect of this new midfield though. Games in 18/19 shouldn't be as painfully dull as they were in 17/18 .
  25. 17. Mateo Kovacic

    Morata didn't join Juve on loan. Juve bought him but Real sold him with a buy-back clause, which they activated when he went back to Real. Juventus actually wanted him to stay.