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Everything posted by DYC.

  1. 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 At half-time, the ineffective Mikel was withdrawn and Yossi Benayoun was summoned from the bench for his first Chelsea appearance since September 22.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
  2. Eden Hazard

    My guy is gone. Strangely enough I'm fine with this. I've been ready for this moment. Seven years is a long time. I did not expect him stay this long when he joined and I'm glad I got to watch him play in Blue for that long. He came with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Most crumble under that kind of pressure but he never let the pressure get to him. I was always highly impressed by that. His fitness always astounded me. Rarely missed a game and completing the full 90 min pretty much all the time. And the amount of fouls he would just absorb, including a ridiculous number of nasty fouls, yet he would just get up and play on. Never complained, never got angry and never sought to get some sort of (physical) revenge. That level of self control... I've never seen that in all my years watching football. Very inspiring to say the least. And he's such a likeable guy. Funny, chill, humble but a bit brash still, and very warm and inviting. Oh yeah, and happy. My kind of guy. I'm grateful for the memories. Not just a Chelsea legend but a legend of English football. Thoroughly enjoyed watching him play.
  3. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    If the ban sticks, there's no point in sacking Sarri. Chels aren't even candidates for the title or CL. No manager can change that so keep Sarri (and Hazard) if that's the case. If the ban does not stick, I'd like a different manager. I don't trust Sarri's eye for talent. If Chels had a proper technical director who would have the most say in player purchase and sales, then I wouldn't mind another season of Sarri at all. For example, Jorginho can never be the key man right in the centre of the pitch in a PL side with (future) title aspirations. The whole Alonso thing, Kovacic, Higuain... Chels don't want to be Napoli. Napoli didn't win shit. You need to turn it up at Chels. Whatever happens to Sarri, this squad is not the business. A confusing defence, a soft midfield and a pathetic front line. Hazard only with a year left on his contract. Same with Odoi. Two average strikers over 30. Chels still can't sign a proper fullback...
  4. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

    Points will be dropped left and right. Question is who will drop the most points. I guess a decision will have to be made because I forgot about the EL for a sec. Either go for a top 4 finish or go for EL glory. This team can’t do both.
  5. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

    He’s always done after 60 min. Sad.
  6. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

    I just realised Chels have turned into Arsenal. Soft and unbalanced. Top 4 still possible though. Let’s see if they have what it takes. Proper technical director, please. Poorly assembled squad. But if that transfer ban sticks, it’s going to hit Chels hard.
  7. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

    They’re comfortably the better side in terms of quality.
  8. Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

    Can't go into this game with the same game plan. Liverpool are fast and energetic all over the pitch, and they have a high-scoring forward line. The midfield battle will be very physical. Firminio will harass the holding midfield player (key position for Chels obviously). Chels will be less fatigued because of the rotation, but this is a game against a better side. Sarri must make changes. I'd go for this. Kepa Azpilicueta - Rudiger - Christensen - Emerson Kante - Luiz - Jorginho Odoi - Hazard - Cheek Caballero; Alonso; Kovacic, Barkley; Pedro, Willian, Giroud I just hope he finally shows us he can make changes in order to beat the odds. Do something.
  9. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    I don't understand the Guardiola comparisons. Guardiola is an elite coach and a proven winner. Sarri is neither of those things. He’s more Pellegrini than Pep. I doubt Sarri will suddenly find great succes at Chelsea. I'm more interested in his successor and a new technical director. That will give me an idea of where Chels is heading. But I'm fine with him staying for another season if he's finally willing to give the young players regular playing time. Developing talent is crucial for Chels right now. The club obviously doesn't possess the purchasing power to bring in world-class players. Developing the likes of Reece James, Ampadu, Christensen, Cheek, Odoi (and others) and buying a couple of up and coming stars in key positions is the only way to compete in the long run. Chels can't compete with the Mancs' spending power anyway. And Liverpool assembled a team fitting a certain vision and have comfortably surpassed our team. This Chels squad is more a collection of random players. Need to finally stick to a plan and execute. But I do question whoever's in charge of transfers right now. And I’m not with Sarri taking charge of transfers either. Really need a proper technical director
  10. Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

    Send Higuain back. Batshuayi can do this for ‘free’. Another striker way past his prime to add to the list. Good thing it was a loan.
  11. Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

    Sarri should’ve made these changes a long time ago. That’s on him. This might save him. Team looks vibrant.
  12. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    Eden better start scoring goals on the regular again. Need a hot streak in the final six games.
  13. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    That's too wild for me, haha.
  14. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    Yeah I actually see Cheek as an old-school 4-4-2 wide midfielder. His body shape alone when receiving the ball in the centre of the pitch is off. Which is why he's often forced to turn backwards. His positional awareness has also always been lacking for me. Not to mention his stamina issues. He's at his best when he is facing goal with the ball at his feet, initiating transitions from defence to attack Andd he needs that space you get on the flank. Sadly he lacks that burst of accelaration and speed to be an out-right winger. I actually rate Odoi as a prospect. You don't attract this kind of attention and interest if you aint got the goods.
  15. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    Come on, I can see that. I didn't say defensive midfielder, I said holding midfielder. As in the midfielder who sits deep. Agree with the last part. Though Cheek has never been tried at LCM. This is only his second start in the PL
  16. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    I'd even take 3-4-3 or 4-4-2.
  17. Chelsea 3-0 Brighton

    Jorginho can't play lone holding midfielder in the PL. He needs support if you're gonna play him. Both Kante and Jorginho are better suited to a double pivot in front of defence. He can continue to play his normal game but has less ground to cover. This allows Kante to play his normal game too. Kovacic is better suited to a midfield two as well. The balance with the lone holding midfielder is off. Making the defence appear (even) weaker.
  18. Sarri But Not Sarri Thread

    Letting Costa go was not the problem. He is done. Fetching that huge fee for him was a win for the club. The problem was his replacement who flopped spectacularly. Finding a quality striker is very difficult. Finding a quality striker playing ‘Chelsea-ball’ is extremely difficult. All those strikers flopping is no accident. Chelsea strikers never score 30+ goals in a season. I think Drogba is the only player to score 30+ goals in 06/07 & 09/10. We fans shower a striker with praise if he scores 15-20 goals even though we see forwards all over Europe scoring at a very high rate. Outside of those two seasons, Drogba’s peak tally was 16 (Lampard really was a gift from heaven). And when you think about that, isn’t it funny how Hazard is criticised for scoring 15-20 goals a season? Anyway, I disgress. Chelsea striker purchases is basically a lottery.
  19. Chelsea 0-0 Man City

    In midfield? And make midfield even softer? That does not sit well with me.
  20. Chelsea 0-0 Man City

    I’d rather see Alonso in left midfield than leftback. I’ve always seen him more as a midfielder than a defender/fullback. His troubles at LB do not surprise me. And Chels is too soft and predictable in midfield for me. He’d add some physicality and Alonso can get into the box and cause trouble. Let Kante sit deep instead and support Jorginho, which allows Odoi to attack them hard on the right I know this is out of the box but that just how I think. I need Sarri to do something. He’s so rigid. People love comparing him to Guardiola but Pep makes (slight) tactical tweaks and employs players in different positions all of the time. He’s nothing like that and he’s losing me because of it.
  21. Chelsea 0-0 Man City

    Kepa Azpilicueta - Rudiger - Luiz - Emerson Kante - Jorginho - Alonso Odoi - Higuain - Hazard
  22. Gonzalo Higuain

    Good move considering the circumstances. If he does well, Chels have a striker for 6-18 months. If he doesn’t do well, he goes back. I think a lot of people overrate Chelsea’s pulling power. It’s fun to fantasise about top talents and players joining the club but most of it is unrealistic. Chels can’t do much better than this in a winter window. That’s reality. I still think Lacazette is the among the most ideal strikers for this system. I wish the club would go for him but no noise sadly. I hope a fullback is added to squad as well. This team is in desperate need for new fullbacks on both flanks.
  23. Willian

    Most players producing high key passes numbers take set-pieces. Hazard of course does not take set-pieces, bar the odd corner here and there. His key passes come from open play. That's the major difference. And Willian will do enough for a Chelsea player to get on the end of his crosses, but the quality of his delivery isn't that great. I think you'll agree Chels haven't exactly been threatening from set-pieces. I think the criticism Willian receives is exaggerated, but I understand the frustation because for years Chels have failed to bring in an upgrade. But this is nothing new. Willian has shown us who he is from the go. Pretty good player but never decisive. Supporting cast as I like to call him. If Chels possessed more quality overall, he would not be problem, but that's not the case. And the funny thing is, though I've never been a fan of Willian, he's the best right winger Chels have had in the Abramovich era. The likes of Joe Cole and Anelka had good spells but it never lasted long. And people love to talk about Robben but Robben was not a right winger back then. He could do a job there but he was better on the left in those days. And Robben wasn't great in Chelsea colours. He was exciting to watch and very talented, but inconsistent and struggled with his fitness. Never hit double figures either. He just played in a better team.
  24. Spurs 1-0 Chelsea

    Kante really has no business spending so much time in the attacking third. Odoi has a lot to learn still but you can’t tell me he’s not good enough to be a serious member of the first team. This is the type of talent that could explode at any time.
  25. Spurs 1-0 Chelsea

    I don’t understand why Sarri never changes the shape of the team. My only gripe with this manager. Take off Barkley for Giroud, switch to 4-2-3-1 with Hazard at #10, and attack this lot.