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Vesper

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  1. Johnnyeye liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Willian   
    Pre Roman our Euro trophy haul was higher than Arsenal has in their entire 135 year history
    Banter football club at euro level
  2. Muzchap liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Chelsea v Leeds   
    My last post before we get ready and go out for our birthdays
    Why Chelsea hate Leeds. And does it matter any more?
    https://theathletic.com/2236979/2020/12/04/chelsea-leeds-rivalry-hate/

    It is the kind of question that might get asked in a sports quiz among friends or down the local pub: what is the most watched football game between two clubs in the history of UK television?
    To the younger generation it would be understandable if their guesses included Manchester United v Liverpool or Arsenal v Tottenham. The answer is Chelsea v Leeds.
    In 1970, 28.49 million people tuned in to watch the two sides battle it out, quite literally, in an FA Cup final replay which the west London club won to secure the second major trophy in their history. Only England’s World Cup triumph in 1966, Princess Diana’s funeral, a special documentary on the royal family and the dramatic return of spaceship Apollo 13 has attracted more viewers.
    The incredible figure reflected the country’s great interest in what had become a fierce rivalry, one which older Chelsea supporters still regard as the second most important behind Tottenham but may come as a mystery to the new generation. After all, the teams’ grounds are 200 miles apart and until this campaign, the clubs hadn’t been in the same division for the previous 16 seasons.
    A lot of FA Cup finals don’t live long in the memory, but what happened in 1970 left a lasting impression on those who saw it. Chelsea won the rematch 2-1 (and celebrated below) after the first encounter finished 2-2, but it was the ferocious tackling that people still speak about.

    Earlier this year, Premier League match official Michael Oliver re-refereed the game using today’s rules and admitted he would have sent 11 players off. On the night itself, Leeds striker Mick Jones was the only one to get booked by referee Eric Jennings.
    But that clash was 50 years ago. There have been another 50 fixtures between Chelsea and Leeds since then, the last of which was eight years ago in the EFL Cup. What relevance does this contest have for fans of either club today? “The reason the rivalry has carried on is it’s been handed down,” Chelsea historian Rick Glanvill explains. “I have two sons who are Chelsea fans. When they came with me to games, they would hear the stories. For some people, it might be when they were in the pub before a game, a Leeds match would be on the TV and their supporters are singing about Chelsea. That would raise questions.
    “It’s something that would regularly come up. If someone said, ‘I see Leeds are winning’ a member of the group would say ‘dirty Leeds’. The younger ones ask why and then it’s explained to them. It’s part of the pageantry of football.”
    That sense of loathing doesn’t seem to be quite what it once was. When The Athletic conducted a poll among Chelsea fans in April over which team they despise the most, some questioned why Leeds, who picked up just 4.1 per cent of the vote, were on the list of options alongside Spurs (58.6 per cent), Arsenal (26.7 per cent) and Liverpool (10.6 per cent).
    But as Chelsea prepare to face Leeds on Saturday evening, many of their followers still can’t wait to see hostilities resume even if, apart from the lucky 2,000 ticketholders, they are having to watch from home.
    Glanvill continues: “This all stems from what happened between them in the late 1960s. They were involved in a lot of big games near the top of the table and in cup competitions. Then there was the 1970 FA Cup final. It was a case of familiarity breeds contempt. It was like what Chelsea and Liverpool went through when Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez were managers and kept playing each other in the Champions League as well as the domestic competitions.
    “But why Chelsea v Leeds resonated so much is it was about more than just football. At the same time society was changing. When the Swinging Sixties was happening, one of the epicentres of that was Chelsea. They were the King’s Road club, glamourous, stylish, had a feeling of youth and the buzz of London. There was a creative explosion. Due to that, the media attention focused more on Chelsea and Leeds felt left behind because of it.
    “The media played up the differences between the two teams. Leeds were stereotyped as Yorkshire grit, salt of the earth. Don Revie, their manager, had his players playing bingo, that’s how they passed the time. Whereas Chelsea were going out to expensive restaurants with fashion designers and photographers. It played into the ‘southern softies’ mantra. Revie actually said ‘southerners are too soft to win the title’.
    “It was a football civil war. It reflected the north-south divide. I think events of late have added to the socio-economic divide, the feelings of resentment that London gets everything and the north is treated differently. The residue of those football clashes is what you hear echoes of in the songs you hear today.”
    Go on YouTube and type in “We all hate Leeds’ or Leeds’ version of “Wash your mouth out son” and you will see clips from both sets of supporters singing about the other even when their teams are playing somebody else.
    Chelsea fan and broadcaster Rory Jennings can vouch for that. “Before fans were prevented from going to games by COVID, anyone who went to Stamford Bridge would pick up on it. Chelsea will be playing a lower league club in the FA Cup on a Tuesday night and there will be a song about Leeds.
    “Is it still a rivalry? 100 per cent. It’s ingrained. The animosity, the venom, the hatred, it’s still palpable. We’d sing about Leeds every week. It’s still alive. It’s not as ferocious as it once was, but now we are playing each other again, and there are things at stake, controversial decisions, it will all come flooding back.”
    Jennings was a teenager when Leeds last came to Stamford Bridge in 2004. The visitors, whose relegation from the Premier League had been confirmed a fortnight before, lost 1-0.
    “It was rough,” he says. “That was one of two occasions where I’ve been scared being at a game. It was really bad. They brought so many fans down, lots without an intention of going to the match and Chelsea aren’t shy in that department either.
    “The final day of the season usually has a carnival atmosphere. That wasn’t the case this day. There were riot police, horses. There was venom in the crowd. As far as how Chelsea fans viewed Leeds football-wise that day, it was dancing on their grave.
    “There is a cultural difference. In their eyes we are Cockney upstarts. They feel they’re a proper club with a soul and we’re this tinpot club who won the lottery because owner Roman Abramovich took over. We are the flash Londoners, Millwall with money.
    “To someone who doesn’t get it, the strength of feeling, go look at that 1970 FA Cup final. It may feel like an irrational rivalry but it stems from years of angst between the two clubs.”
    The host of BlueLionsTV, who likes to be referred to as NiiNii, shares the dislike of Leeds but has noticed on his channel and Twitter account that the sentiment isn’t shared universally.
    “There are so many modern fans who it might not matter too as much, new fans who look to Manchester United or Arsenal instead,” he says. “Judging by what I’ve seen from Chelsea fans online, you don’t see Leeds being talked about as much. There wasn’t too much chat about it when they got promoted from the Championship, there hasn’t been earlier this week ahead of the game. Maybe that will be the case closer to kick-off.
    “It needs something to get it going again. Most rivalries come down to who are we most competing against to win this trophy, to get that position. Some rivalries get a little bit lost over time because they’re not as relevant. To a lot of people it doesn’t matter.”
    No doubt Chelsea coach Frank Lampard will make sure it matters to his players. He was playing for the club in midfield when the fixture last had a bit of competitive spice to it. When he joined from West Ham in 2001, Leeds were big spenders and on a three-year run of finishing above Chelsea in the table (1999-2002).
    And his own frosty relationship with Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa means the final scoreline will be just as important to him personally as what three points will do for Chelsea’s title challenge.
    For Jennings, who is one of the 2,000 in attendance, there is a lot at stake. “My in-laws are all Leeds fans,” he says. “There has been a lot of exchanges between myself and the brother-in-law all week. Leeds fans have this moral superiority thing going on of, ‘We’re a bigger club, we’re box-office’.
    I’m pleased they’re back in the Premier League so this game is back on again but not only do I want Chelsea to win this, I want them to be relegated.”
     
     
     
     
  3. Muzchap liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Chelsea v Leeds   
    VIDEO: CHELSEA V LEEDS | A HISTORY OF THE RIVALRY...
    https://www.chelseafc.com/en/videos/v/2020/12/03/chelsea-v-leeds---a-rivalry-renewed----oyk64cRx

    Type: Features
    Posted on: 04 Dec 2020, 08:00 AM
     3:37 MINS
    It may have been a while, but there's certainly no love lost between Chelsea and Leeds United. We took a look through the history of the fixture ahead of the rivalry being renewed on Saturday...
  4. Atomiswave liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Super Frank Thread   
    we added a new set piece coach
    Anthony Barry 
    The key man behind Chelsea's set-piece solidity - and it's not Thiago Silva or Edouard Mendy
    https://www.football.london/chelsea-fc/fixtures-results/chelsea-mendy-silva-anthony-barry-19225837

  5. Muzchap liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Sevilla - Chelsea   
    you left out Ziyech

  6. Muzchap liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Sevilla - Chelsea   
    thankies!
  7. Muzchap liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Sevilla - Chelsea   
    Cesc Fabregas sends classy tribute to former Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud after four goal haul against Sevilla
     
  8. Johnnyeye liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Sevilla - Chelsea   
    We are unbeaten in 15
    last loss was to the dippers
  9. Vesper liked a post in a topic by Blues Forever in Non-Chelsea Transfer Pub   
    I don't see this is happening, Kimmich is clearly the most important player in their midfield and he also doesn't like playing as a RB. With Alaba and Boateng are definitely leaving they still have Kouassi, Sule, and Hernandez at there i don't see Pavard as a CB unless all of them got injured.  
     
  10. Atomiswave liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Super Frank Thread   
    Lampard deserves credit for keeping so many players happy
    https://theathletic.com/2236532/2020/12/03/lampard-rotation-giroud-hudson-odoi/

    In the midst of Olivier Giroud Appreciation Night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Frank Lampard took the opportunity highlight the other big positive of what, given the context, must be considered one of Chelsea’s most impressive performances of the season against Sevilla.
    “To make nine changes for the game… players were deserving to play, because I’ve seen them training well,” Lampard said. “Some players can get their heads down if they’re not playing lots of minutes, and that’s always the worry when you make that level of changes.
    “But the focus and concentration of the team (was there), the moments to suffer, which we always will do against a team like this in the first half. We dealt with things, we defended well, we were organised, and some of our play was great, whether it was our comfort on the ball, our counter-attacking at pace to cause a threat to them. There were so many big pluses from tonight and we need to continue with that.”
    This was a double victory for Lampard. Chelsea are now guaranteed to progress to the Champions League knockout stage as winners of Group E, giving them seeded status in the round of 16. While that doesn’t guarantee a longer European adventure than last season — Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain could all end up in Pot 2 — it does improve the chances of further progress. Since the current tournament structure was introduced in 2003-04, group winners have advanced to the quarter-finals in 94 of 136 ties, or 69.2 per cent of the time. There can also be no February rematch with Group A winners Bayern Munich.
    But just as significantly in the more immediate term, beating Sevilla renders next week’s match against Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge a dead rubber. Lampard can now unashamedly prioritise tricky Premier League games against Leeds United and Everton either side of it, giving Chelsea the best possible chance to maintain domestic momentum heading into a festive fixture schedule their manager has repeatedly described as “brutal”. For now, at least, most of the selection decisions should be straightforward.
    Squad rotation was always going to be one of the big challenges for Lampard in the first half of this season, particularly when it became clear that Marina Granovskaia wasn’t going to be able to find favourable suitors for Chelsea’s surplus players in a relatively dry summer transfer window. While he might have given more minutes to certain individuals — Callum Hudson-Odoi has done well to keep his morale up while Giroud, making his first Chelsea start since September, provided an emphatic reminder of his enduring value — the evidence suggests he has got more right than wrong over the last three months.
    Chelsea have fielded more players (26) in the Premier League than any other team so far this season. That is due in part to the fact that Lampard oscillated between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero before Edouard Mendy arrived to settle the goalkeeper situation, and also shifted between different tactical systems before arriving at the expansive 4-3-3 that has powered the team’s run of seven wins in eight games.

    Despite using the early months of the season to bed in new signings in key positions, deal with untimely injuries and search for a coherent on-pitch identity, Lampard has reached the first week of December third in the Premier League, only two points off top spot — with Chelsea’s joint-best tally of 22 goals in the competition scored by 11 different players — and qualified as Champions League group winners with a game to spare. It has been a collective effort that reflects well upon the manager’s ability to keep everyone invested in the project.
    Lampard regularly insists that everyone at Cobham is training well, but the proof of a healthy squad dynamic is what happens on the pitch. The fluidity in Chelsea’s play and the comprehensive nature of their victory over Sevilla was the ultimate vindication of the culture he has established, even if it must be noted that Julen Lopetegui also made seven changes. Arguably most encouraging were the solid performances in defence of Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen, two players who hadn’t started for more than six weeks.
    Political problems have been navigated with bold decisions. Rather than freezing out Antonio Rudiger after the market dried up at the end of the transfer window, Lampard has brought him back into the fold, making him the deputy of choice for Thiago Silva — who has been rested at the right times — and being rewarded with improved form. Mendy’s form has largely solved the other big headache caused by dropping Kepa, but Lampard has also prioritised defensive stability ahead of giving Chelsea’s club-record signing another shot at rehabilitation in one of the lesser Champions League group games, even while rotating elsewhere.
    Only two senior outfielders have been utterly reduced to the role of bystanders: Marcos Alonso, who has paid a high price for “coachgate” at West Bromwich Albion in September, and Fikayo Tomori. The latter’s lack of minutes has been harsh and harder to explain, but his argument for playing time will only get weaker now that all four of the centre-backs ahead of him in Lampard’s pecking order have contributed to clean sheets in recent weeks. Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have not been significantly missed from midfield since leaving on loan.
    We are now less than a month away from January, which will provide another opportunity to find solutions for those in the squad who are unhappy with their status. Lampard, for the first time, has everyone fit and available — even Billy Gilmour, who got his first senior minutes of the season off the bench against Sevilla. Chelsea will need them all, particularly to get through the 48-hour turnaround between Arsenal away on Boxing Day and Aston Villa at home on December 28. You can expect Lampard to voice his displeasure at the situation, but he is better equipped than most to deal with it.
    Three months into a uniquely challenging season, Chelsea are pretty much exactly where they hoped they would be in the Premier League and Champions League. More promising still, for the greater tests that lie ahead, is the fact that Lampard has managed to keep almost all of his players with him so far.
  11. NikkiCFC liked a post in a topic by Vesper in The Pub - Discuss Anything   
    madness!
    and SO Italian!
  12. OhForAGreavsie liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Chelsea Transfer Pub   
    Of the top 100 under 18yo players (non Chels, two are ex Chels, the 2 at Bayern now) on the planet ranked by value
    we could have signed FIVE under the new rules, all the other 95 are not eligible
    let that sink in
    you will never again (at least for the foreseeable future) see a great young foreign player on an EPL club who was trained and raised up by that club (other than the ones currently in the system as I assume they are grandfathered, if they are not grandfathered in, we are fucked even harder)
    those born in 2002 will be the youngest ones eventually left, 2003 and on are SOL
  13. Vesper liked a post in a topic by Jason in 18. Olivier Giroud   
    GIROUD: I WANT TO STAY AT CHELSEA AND WIN MORE TROPHIES
    https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2020/12/03/giroud--i-want-to-stay-at-chelsea-and-win-more-trophies?cardIndex=0-4


  14. killer1257 liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Fashion, Art, Design, Lifestyle   
    Converse Chuck 70 Hi
    https://www.overkillshop.com/de/converse-chuck-70-hi-169352c.html

  15. killer1257 liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Non-Chelsea Transfer Pub   
    good, if we do not go for Zakaria, I want him to stay out of the EPL
    he would add so much to our direct rivals
  16. killer1257 liked a post in a topic by Vesper in 17. Mateo Kovacic   
    Lampard says Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic was brilliant against Tottenham
    https://www.thechelseachronicle.com/club-news/lampard-says-chelseas-mateo-kovacic-was-brilliant-against-tottenham/
     
    BREAKING DOWN MATEO KOVACIC'S MAN-OF-THE-MATCH PERFORMANCE V SPURS | THE DEBRIEF
    https://www.chelseafc.com/en/videos/v/2020/11/30/breaking-down-mateo-kovacic-s-man-of-the-match-performance-v-spu-coHNKEh3
  17. Milan liked a post in a topic by Vesper in The European Leagues & Competitions Thread V2   
    for only 2000 it was really lively
  18. Atomiswave liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Super Frank Thread   
    Lampard deserves credit for keeping so many players happy
    https://theathletic.com/2236532/2020/12/03/lampard-rotation-giroud-hudson-odoi/

    In the midst of Olivier Giroud Appreciation Night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Frank Lampard took the opportunity highlight the other big positive of what, given the context, must be considered one of Chelsea’s most impressive performances of the season against Sevilla.
    “To make nine changes for the game… players were deserving to play, because I’ve seen them training well,” Lampard said. “Some players can get their heads down if they’re not playing lots of minutes, and that’s always the worry when you make that level of changes.
    “But the focus and concentration of the team (was there), the moments to suffer, which we always will do against a team like this in the first half. We dealt with things, we defended well, we were organised, and some of our play was great, whether it was our comfort on the ball, our counter-attacking at pace to cause a threat to them. There were so many big pluses from tonight and we need to continue with that.”
    This was a double victory for Lampard. Chelsea are now guaranteed to progress to the Champions League knockout stage as winners of Group E, giving them seeded status in the round of 16. While that doesn’t guarantee a longer European adventure than last season — Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain could all end up in Pot 2 — it does improve the chances of further progress. Since the current tournament structure was introduced in 2003-04, group winners have advanced to the quarter-finals in 94 of 136 ties, or 69.2 per cent of the time. There can also be no February rematch with Group A winners Bayern Munich.
    But just as significantly in the more immediate term, beating Sevilla renders next week’s match against Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge a dead rubber. Lampard can now unashamedly prioritise tricky Premier League games against Leeds United and Everton either side of it, giving Chelsea the best possible chance to maintain domestic momentum heading into a festive fixture schedule their manager has repeatedly described as “brutal”. For now, at least, most of the selection decisions should be straightforward.
    Squad rotation was always going to be one of the big challenges for Lampard in the first half of this season, particularly when it became clear that Marina Granovskaia wasn’t going to be able to find favourable suitors for Chelsea’s surplus players in a relatively dry summer transfer window. While he might have given more minutes to certain individuals — Callum Hudson-Odoi has done well to keep his morale up while Giroud, making his first Chelsea start since September, provided an emphatic reminder of his enduring value — the evidence suggests he has got more right than wrong over the last three months.
    Chelsea have fielded more players (26) in the Premier League than any other team so far this season. That is due in part to the fact that Lampard oscillated between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero before Edouard Mendy arrived to settle the goalkeeper situation, and also shifted between different tactical systems before arriving at the expansive 4-3-3 that has powered the team’s run of seven wins in eight games.

    Despite using the early months of the season to bed in new signings in key positions, deal with untimely injuries and search for a coherent on-pitch identity, Lampard has reached the first week of December third in the Premier League, only two points off top spot — with Chelsea’s joint-best tally of 22 goals in the competition scored by 11 different players — and qualified as Champions League group winners with a game to spare. It has been a collective effort that reflects well upon the manager’s ability to keep everyone invested in the project.
    Lampard regularly insists that everyone at Cobham is training well, but the proof of a healthy squad dynamic is what happens on the pitch. The fluidity in Chelsea’s play and the comprehensive nature of their victory over Sevilla was the ultimate vindication of the culture he has established, even if it must be noted that Julen Lopetegui also made seven changes. Arguably most encouraging were the solid performances in defence of Emerson Palmieri and Andreas Christensen, two players who hadn’t started for more than six weeks.
    Political problems have been navigated with bold decisions. Rather than freezing out Antonio Rudiger after the market dried up at the end of the transfer window, Lampard has brought him back into the fold, making him the deputy of choice for Thiago Silva — who has been rested at the right times — and being rewarded with improved form. Mendy’s form has largely solved the other big headache caused by dropping Kepa, but Lampard has also prioritised defensive stability ahead of giving Chelsea’s club-record signing another shot at rehabilitation in one of the lesser Champions League group games, even while rotating elsewhere.
    Only two senior outfielders have been utterly reduced to the role of bystanders: Marcos Alonso, who has paid a high price for “coachgate” at West Bromwich Albion in September, and Fikayo Tomori. The latter’s lack of minutes has been harsh and harder to explain, but his argument for playing time will only get weaker now that all four of the centre-backs ahead of him in Lampard’s pecking order have contributed to clean sheets in recent weeks. Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have not been significantly missed from midfield since leaving on loan.
    We are now less than a month away from January, which will provide another opportunity to find solutions for those in the squad who are unhappy with their status. Lampard, for the first time, has everyone fit and available — even Billy Gilmour, who got his first senior minutes of the season off the bench against Sevilla. Chelsea will need them all, particularly to get through the 48-hour turnaround between Arsenal away on Boxing Day and Aston Villa at home on December 28. You can expect Lampard to voice his displeasure at the situation, but he is better equipped than most to deal with it.
    Three months into a uniquely challenging season, Chelsea are pretty much exactly where they hoped they would be in the Premier League and Champions League. More promising still, for the greater tests that lie ahead, is the fact that Lampard has managed to keep almost all of his players with him so far.
  19. Vesper liked a post in a topic by NikkiCFC in Jack Grealish   
     
  20. Vesper liked a post in a topic by killer1257 in 17. Mateo Kovacic   


    Gesendet von meinem VOG-L29 mit Tapatalk

  21. Johnnyeye liked a post in a topic by Vesper in Sevilla - Chelsea   
    We are unbeaten in 15
    last loss was to the dippers
  22. Vesper liked a post in a topic by Atomiswave in Super Frank Thread   
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/55100050
  23. Vesper liked a post in a topic by Jason in 18. Olivier Giroud   
    Giroud is on the cusp of another Chelsea renaissance
    https://theathletic.com/2235439/2020/12/03/olivier-giroud-chelsea-tammy-abraham/
    The decision for Chelsea coach Frank Lampard appears to be a no-brainer: Olivier Giroud scored four goals against Sevilla to ensure Chelsea qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as group winners, so has to lead the line instead of Tammy Abraham against Leeds United on Saturday, right?
    That was certainly the consensus among fans and pundits as they watched the club’s impressive 4-0 victory in Spain. Within minutes of the final whistle, former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle and midfielder Joe Cole couldn’t have been more emphatic.
    “He has to play at the weekend after scoring four goals,” Hoddle told BT Sport. “He can’t wait to get out on that football pitch again. He has so much confidence. He has that belief now of ‘I’m scoring goals. I’m in this rich vein of form’. It’s very difficult to leave him out. He’s earned that.”
    Cole concurred: “He’s given Frank a massive headache, a good headache. Does he go with Tammy? You have to go with Giroud with his four goals. What a player.”
    The thing is, it’s not that simple. For starters, one suspects Abraham was named on the bench against Sevilla because Lampard had already earmarked him for the first XI against Leeds.
    Lampard knew the question over Giroud being picked instead was coming during his post-match media duties and didn’t give much away other than to warn that it is “a tight turnaround” but also something he will have to think about.
    It is not the first time Lampard has been in this position. Abraham was first-choice striker for the first five months of last season, but an ankle injury in January gave Giroud the opportunity to impress. He did just that, scoring nine goals in a 15-game spell and keeping the England international on the periphery, even after his return to fitness.
    This campaign has seen the situation reversed once again, albeit only once Lampard decided new signing Timo Werner should operate more on the left-hand side of the attack rather than straight down the middle. Abraham, who was an unused substitute in Seville, has had nine starts to Giroud’s two over the last three months.
    But why would Lampard consider sticking with the 23-year-old after Giroud reigned in Spain? Having already got a hat-trick, the Frenchman seemed to be making his argument when he took a late penalty rather than giving the opportunity to a team-mate.
    Well, on top of being fully rested, Abraham is in pretty good form himself. He has a return of five goals and four assists from 15 appearances this season, although he missed a few good chances to add to that tally during last weekend’s goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
    However, it is about more than just stats. As one source explains: “Lampard loves Olivier’s professionalism and what he can do. He is highly regarded for the type of forward he is. The issue is over the lack of threat he poses when a ball is played in behind and the pressing off the ball.
    “I think Lampard sees what happened tactically in the FA Cup final loss to Arsenal as an example. With Giroud not having the speed to run in behind Arsenal’s defence, Arsenal pushed higher up the pitch and were able to press Chelsea more. Going forward, I believe he just has a different plan for what he wants the team to do, how he wants them to play.”
    Still, it should be pointed out that things have begun to change for the better for Giroud of late. As reported by The Athletic last month, the 34-year-old decided in the international break that he will have to leave Stamford Bridge in January if he doesn’t get more playing time.
    It is understood Giroud would not like to leave Chelsea, in an ideal world. But the former Arsenal striker has been warned by France coach Didier Deschamps that his place at the European Championships next summer will be in jeopardy if he is not featuring at club level more regularly. At that stage, he had been granted just 154 minutes of action this season.
    Lampard, who enjoys a great relationship with Giroud, appears to have responded to the potential threat by giving him 119 minutes (one start, three appearances as a substitute) in the four games Chelsea have played since.
    Sources have told The Athletic that this switch in Giroud’s treatment is a positive step and should it continue, may mean he stays until next summer after all.
    What happens — particularly in regards to the number of appearances — over the next eight weeks remains crucial. High-profile clubs are making their interest known. Adding someone of Giroud’s experience and calibre for the second half of the season would improve the options of many managers that are competing on multiple fronts. In saying that, Chelsea are showing positive signs they could win silverware too.
    Even if Abraham remains ahead of Giroud in the pecking order for the visit of Leeds, the busy schedule should provide the latter more opportunities. Saturday’s fixture is the first of eight in the space of just 29 days for Chelsea. Rotation will be necessary.
    Significantly, Lampard enthused post-match about what Giroud’s presence can do for the side. “It was not just his performance,” he said. “When you play him and utilise his strengths, there’s a real balance in the rest of the team.”
    Giroud now has two perfect hat-tricks — a goal scored with his left foot, right foot and head — for Chelsea, having first managed the feat against Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League last year. His record in European club competition since the beginning of the 2018-19 campaign shows he has the joint-third most amount of goals (with Erling Haaland on 16), trailing only Lionel Messi (18) and Robert Lewandowski (26). That would be some asset for Chelsea not keep on the bench until his contract runs out in the summer.
    As Giroud went to take a seat in the stands following his late substitution against Sevilla, Abraham walked over to give the veteran a warm embrace and congratulate him on four magnificent goals. He clearly enjoys having him around.
    Chelsea can only benefit from the competition continuing between them.
  24. Vesper liked a post in a topic by The Skipper in 29. Kai Havertz   
    Thought he was really good today. Developing into that sort of 'brain of the the team' type player. We look so much more cunning and decisive in the final third when he plays. I feel his composure on the ball helps his team mates feel more composed too. It's proper radiant. It's crazy that he's only 21, absolute gem of a player. 
    Patiently waiting for when he starts really really producing in the final third. 
  25. Vesper liked a post in a topic by NikkiCFC in 29. Kai Havertz   
    Yes, he is so good on the ball. All of his 3 assists this season came from the middle, this is what we needed. Sky is the limit for him, we are so lucky to have him!