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Everything posted by Superblue_1986

  1. Eden Hazard

    Whether he does or not, I think he would have regretted it far more if he hadn't have tried his hand with the move to Madrid.
  2. Chelsea - Spurs

    Yeah earlier in the season we were scoring early goals in a lot of games, and it opens teams up to try and play which benefits him. Recently, especially at home, when struggling to break teams down it hasn't happened nearly enough.
  3. Chelsea - Spurs

    I thought he played pretty well against United when he came on too, certainly better than he has in recent weeks.
  4. Chelsea - Spurs

    Perhaps, although in recent weeks he hasn't always been starting games. I think what he does off the ball for the team is better than any of the other attackers we have but he's been pretty disappointing recently on the ball. Last two games though he's started looking like the player he was in the early weeks of the season. Need a couple more to play themselves back into form and a couple coming back from injury and try to build some momentum.
  5. Chelsea - Spurs

    Mason Mount looks someone who has really benefited from the break we had.
  6. Chelsea - Spurs

    Very good first half performance. Delighted for Giroud to take his opportunity. Still look vulnerable and nervous at the back though. Think we're going to need at least a second goal to win this match.
  7. Chelsea - Spurs

    Possibly. It's hardly like Caballero has done much of note to make the shirt his own. I'd be surprised if Kepa doesn't win his place back at some stage, but I'd be equally surprised if he's still number one next season.
  8. General Chelsea Stuff

    Think this is true. There's no big football teams around here. Villa is probably the closest and that's an hour away. When I started school in the early 90's I was the only Chelsea fan in my year, and I can't even remember there being any other Chelsea fans in the whole school. Most were jumping on the United glory train around this time, and the rest from what I can remember were Liverpool or Arsenal fans. Not many could understand why I was supporting a team scratching around the bottom half of the league. The 94 cup final didn't help much either!
  9. Chelsea - Spurs

    Christensen has been a very dubious decision to start in recent weeks, but he does seem better suited to a back three so hopefully will bring the best out in him. This clearly isn't just a move to shock Kepa into knuckling down, it appears Lampard has lost complete faith in him. I can't say I blame him with how poor he's been, particularly in the last couple of months, however Caballero is equally as poor, if not worse. Pleased to see Giroud getting a game but we have to play to his strengths. Barkley and Mount have to play close to him and get on the end of knock downs and the wing backs need to be crossing the ball for him to attack. Hopefully at worst we see him backing up Tammy moving forward instead of Batshuayi. Desperately need a spark. A couple of players playing themselves into form, somebody scoring in 4 or 5 games in a row, just something! Hopefully today and the magnitude of the match will do just that.
  10. General Transfer Talk

    What makes a mockery of this is because Leganes couldn't stop the move as Barca activated the release clause, Leganes then asked for dispensation to sign a replacement but were refused. It's a huge flaw in their thought process with this.
  11. Super Frank Thread

    I think everyone agrees completely with this. I've never taken comfort in dominating the ball. It's certainly something from which could and should be built from, but ultimately if we're not scoring goals from our dominance then it remains a problem.The biggest flaw in our team is finishing, this is clear. We're the most wasteful team in the league and aren't clinical enough. But then in hindsight, should we have expected anything more? When you look at our attack minded options - Pedro's numbers have declined significantly since the Conte title winning season and he's starting to show his age (nearly 33), Willian throughout his Chelsea career has only averaged around half a dozen goals a season, Batshuayi is poor (hence why he's been loaned out to three different clubs) and Giroud perhaps should have played more this season but let's not pretend like he's some goal machine. His numbers last season were massively inflated due to the goals he scored in the Europa League where we played a fair few poor teams. I think Lampard has missed a trick not utilising him more in the last couple of months against compact teams who are forcing us to play out wide rather than through the middle, and especially since Reece James has stayed fit for a run of games (as he seems to be the only player on our team who can consistently cross the ball), but I still wouldn't be expecting him to 'solve' our lack of goals. Loftus-Cheek started showing signs at the back end of last season that he could be a regular goal scorer from midfield and really kick on this year but he's been injured. That leaves us relying on four youngsters - two of which were unproven in the Premier League (if anything Tammy was written off for his season with Swansea), one coming from a foreign country and had never put up outstanding goalscoring numbers, and one off the back of a serious injury. Realistically we've been fortunate that Tammy went on a hot streak that helped us rack up a lot of wins earlier in the season. Creatively it's a similar issue too. The main midfielders we have - Kante is a ball winner and Jorginho and Kovacic are both better suited to controlling, dominating and recycling the ball. Neither are a Fabregas type that can create from deep and they rely on players to create around them who they can ensure the ball regularly gets to. Again though in attack we have very little creativity. We don't have a Mata type (although hopefully the Ziyech signing will help with this) and Pulisic and CHO are very much in the mould of Hazard in terms of their capability of beating players and creating pockets of space that way but neither are anywhere near that level at present. Apart from Reece James (who is also still quite raw in parts of his game and needs time), the rest of the full backs don't offer any real width and can't cross the ball in. With Hazard taken out of this squad it does highlight how poor we've allowed the squad to get really over the last few seasons. Conte's first year papered over a lot of cracks, but a number of players haven't been adequately replaced and trying to change our style and philosophy from a more defensive style to an offensive one has added to the difficulties (although now we've started this shift I don't think we should revert back). Spurs didn't buy players for a season and whilst they fell down in the league, they still maintained 4th and made the Champions League final. Liverpool didn't buy any first team players of note last summer and have continued on from last season. There is no way that the club should have been affected as badly as it has been by a transfer ban, where too many players have been kept at the club to age, stagnate and/or decline and an influx of academy players on mass was needed to try and reinvigorate a stale squad. A more pragmatic manager this season likely wouldn't have overseen these losses at home and a more solid and stable defence will have helped in some games, but it wouldn't have helped from an attack perspective. If we're struggling to score goals from 12-15 shots every game, how are we going to score many goals from 5 or 6 shots? We may not have lost as many games as we have but would we have won as many, particularly earlier in the season when we left ourselves open and vulnerable defensively but were scoring a lot more goals. Because whilst the number of games we've lost is alarming and quite frankly inexcusable, the reason we're in 4th is we don't draw as many games as a number of the other teams. We are definitely at a crossroads I feel this coming summer. With or without Lampard in charge, we've got a good core of young players and in my opinion a strong central midfield core to build upon, but if we fail to buy players in some real key positions then these problems are not going to go away regardless of who the manager is.
  12. Super Frank Thread

    I don't think it's necessarily defensive football in general, but the stats back this argument up at least during Mourinho's second tenure. In the second half of Mourinho's title winning season we were creating barely any chances but would nick a 1-0, or grind out a draw. Fine as a short term measure to get the results we needed to win the league that season but the following season once Courtois was injured long term and Terry and Ivanovic in particular were showing their age, we were no longer able to keep those clean sheets and the team had become used to playing in a way which created very few chances. Conte's title winning season was a little similar although not quite as dramatic but we weren't creating huge amounts of chances but the stats showed we were a lot more clinical than most if not the whole league. Again, long term this isn't sustainable and we struggled much more in the second year when we weren't as clinical. At least this season stats back up that we're creating a lot of chances and should be scoring a lot more goals than we are. Obviously doesn't mean much right now when we're struggling but does offer hope that either we keep creating chances and someone hits a hot streak like Tammy did earlier in the season, or hopefully next season with a couple of good attacking additions that are capable of finishing these chances, the foundations have been laid to kick on. I completely get that it's not all about stats and they can be misguided at times but some of our stats this season are bordering on ridiculous for how abnormal they are because we literally have one of the worst attacking stats in the league with regards to missing chances, not hitting expected goals targets, etc AND we also have the worst defensive stats in the league with regards to numbers and percentages of shots conceded compared to faced/on target. Lampard is far from blameless at present. I've remained positive on him throughout but there are some things that are starting to make me worry and I question some of his line ups, tactical decisions, etc. However at some point you also have to look at how pitiful a number of players are performing against what should be expected of them and nearly every stat suggests the quality within our squad at present is miles off.
  13. Super Frank Thread

    Somebody who was told he was no longer needed by the club. If I was in his shoes and a club the size of Man City came in and said they wanted me for a season I'd do the same thing. If people can't look past one season that Lampard had at the age of 37 (and also had no impact on City winning trophies because we won the League and League Cup double that season), in comparison to the years of service he gave this club for the peak of his career and more then I find it embarrassing to be honest. Cech went to Arsenal, Mata to United, Cudicini and Poyet to Spurs, and so on. All discarded because they were no longer first choice but gave great service to the club. Do you think the same about them too? Although Monday night you were begging for Batshuayi's legs to be broken so he never played for Chelsea again, so maybe I shouldn't be expecting anything less?!
  14. Super Frank Thread

    A few months ago I'd have agreed for the same reasons. I just wonder with Mourinho going to Spurs, if sub consciously a lot of Chelsea fans would feel a bit of a "one up" on Spurs by getting Poch, especially as you said when he's still well liked amongst the Spurs fans and also many are yet to be enamoured by Mourinho and his style of football. Question - would you have him at Chelsea?
  15. Super Frank Thread

    Whilst I wouldn't try arguing that this wouldn't happen, because previous history by the board suggests there is a good chance of that, I think it would be a huge mistake if we took that step. We've spent the last 2 seasons buying players and trying to change a philosophy and style of play from a more defensive, pragmatic brand to a more open and offensive style. If we move back to a more pragmatic manager, he'll be left with a team split in half of young players more suited to an offensive brand and the other half of older heads clearly in decline who suit a defensive brand. We'll be back to square one again and another couple of years away from getting near the top teams. A big summer window that allows us to bring another four or five players suited to this style of football and ship more of the deadwood out will be huge. If Lampard was to go, then the next manager has to be of a similar ilk to Lampard and Sarri with regards to philosophy and identity, and also be prepared to continue coaching and developing younger players as around a third of our first team squad now is players aged 22/23 and younger. I don't rate him as highly as some do on these forums but as an example if Lampard was sacked, and it was a choice of somebody like Poch or somebody like Allegri or Simeone then I'd go with Poch 100% because he'd be the most suited to try and follow through with what the club has already started over the last couple of seasons.
  16. Super Frank Thread

    And at the very least the club will get millions in transfer fees for some of these players. However I think now though some are getting established within the Chelsea squad and even internationally, they'll have much more chance here even without Lampard. The most difficult thing was always going to be breaking in and getting those opportunities initially. The culture of the club has largely prevented this for years with regular managerial changes, who are coming in with very much a short term view on the club rather than building for the long term which is usually at the expense of giving some of these younger players a chance. The biggest case in point of this is Loftus Cheek who should have been given chances way before last season under Mourinho and then Conte.
  17. Super Frank Thread

    I understand your stance on it but if the club wasn't in this state, the job wouldn't have been there for Lampard this summer. He benefited from the club being in a position of difficulty. And like I mentioned before, he could have waited but that offer may never come round again, you can't ever expect it to. And whilst you can claim Lampard is selfish for taking the job on, I don't think what he's tried to do this season has been selfish because he's tried bringing through a number of younger players on mass and trying to develop a more progressive style of football. We could see the teething problems this would create last season with Sarri, and that was with one of the best attacking players in the world in our team. I still stand by my opinion that, whether Lampard is here long term, the younger players will all be better for and as a result of this season and have all been tied down long term to the club which looked very unlikely before Lampard came in this summer. In a transitional year where we couldn't improve the squad through the transfer market and lost our best player, it is a big long term positive that can be taken and we hopefully can look back 3 or 4 years from now and appreciate the difficulties we're suffering now was worth it.
  18. Chelsea's Transfer Targets

    Tammy is more than good enough as a squad player/rotational striker. Still has a lot to do in my opinion to be the long term first choice for us, but he and we need competition in that spot. Giroud is just too old and static to fit into what Lampard wants the team to do, and Bats is one of the worst strikers I've seen at the club since the mid 90's. I just wonder with the signing of Ziyech for what appears a relatively modest fee in the current climate, the club opts to spend a larger proportion of the transfer budget (or Hazard money) on a striker rather than a pursuit of Sancho. The bigger problem at present is I don't think there is a vast number of strikers I'd have full confidence in us buying and they hit the ground running here. The market for strikers not just now, but in the last 3-4 years (basically since we sold Costa and the two main options on the market were Lukaku and Morata) has been pretty rubbish compared to previous years.
  19. Super Frank Thread

    Definitely more than that. We lost one year 3-0 at home under Ranieri too, think it was 2001 because it was the same year we battered them 3-0 at Old Trafford and they did the reverse on us later in the season.
  20. 17. Mateo Kovacic

    If Kante's injury is a few weeks, there's no excuses now for Lampard to not try to revert back to what was working so well before Kante came back to fitness and was shoehorned into the team at the expense of Jorginho and Kovacic's partnership. Once Kante went off last night, it was again clear that both play better with each other than with Kante.
  21. Super Frank Thread

    I took on a job very early in my career that I wasn't qualified or experienced for and knew it too, but I talked myself into an opportunity and I backed myself to work hard, continue to learn and develop and if it didn't work out at least I'd have no regrets that I didn't try to push and maximise myself. Making that decision was the best thing I could have done and gave me the platform and experience to become fully qualified in what I do by the age of 21 and my own business by my mid 20's that has given me far more flexibility around my kids. For me that all boils down to mentality. Hiding behind a lack of experience or qualifications for not pushing yourself and going as far as you can is no excuse. How much do you really want something and believe in something, or is there just an excuse for a 'get out' because there is always an excuse for everything in life; You'll always find one. Lampard will have known he lacked the experience but clearly would back himself to take such a daunting job full on, and when that opportunity has been offered he's a fool to turn it down. Lampard has probably identified that although he was taking us over in pretty dire straits, United and Arsenal were also both a shadow of what they once were also and if he could get through this first year intact and be given a summer to rebuild the squad properly with some of his own signings then things could really kick on from there. And despite all the negativity at present, we're still very much in the hunt for the top 4 and could well get it. Everybody wrote last season off around Feb/March and we finished 3rd.
  22. Super Frank Thread

    You cannot blame Lampard for taking the job one bit. For someone like him who is a legitimate legend of the club and has always maintained such a great relationship with the fans and staff, if he's offered the job he'd be a fool not to take it because that opportunity may never come about again. Management is so cut throat, all it would have taken is a bad season this year at Derby and his career could have been as good as done. At the very least now, even if this ends in tears, managing such a big club will increase his stock regardless to get another job at a smaller Prem club or back in the Championship. The risk was well worth it for Lampard. If anybody is to blame for this it's the board. They have decided to make the move for Lampard, and they have also made the decisions over the last few years of changing managers with differing styles and philosophies whilst failing to adjust the squad accordingly (and it's not that we haven't spent money because we have, just very poorly). The squad we have is a shadow of what it once was. However if there is one big positive in my opinion of this season, and I think the main reason they went for Lampard in what was always going to be a difficult year, is we now have half a dozen players aged 22 or under who will benefit hugely from this season and the development of playing regularly at the top level. All of them will have varying success in their careers, but at worst all have proven that they're good enough for a place in this Chelsea squad moving forward. This time last year we were looking down the barrel of relying on an ageing squad, two of our better younger players couldn't get a sniff at a game, and the rest were in loan purgatory. They are all now tied down (with the exception of Tammy) to long term contracts with a lot of games under their belts this season. I firmly believe that if Sarri had stayed we would have struggled just as much for scoring goals, etc but still been relying on the likes of Luiz, Pedro and Giroud in our team. Take Hazard out and this squad has been allowed to become absolute bang average over the last couple of years. This year with the circumstances was always likely to be a couple of steps back to move forward but I do still think an element of good groundwork has been laid for the future, but it is absolutely imperative that we get the right players in this summer to move forward with. I originally felt we wouldn't bring in more than 3 or 4 based on how the board have operated in the past, and that the rebuild would take two summers. However how early we've moved for Ziyech outside of the transfer window makes me hopeful that there will be more activity this summer than I expected. I personally think Lampard deserves a season with a better squad to truly assess him, however regardless of if he stays or goes in my opinion the younger members of the squad coming through has made the difficulties of this season worthwhile because the long term impact and gain should be far greater than the short term problems we have now.
  23. Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd

    True but I think when it's this far down the road with both clubs confirming it, managers and players openly talking about it, etc it's pretty remote that deals like these usually don't happen. If it wasn't as close to done as it appears, surely other clubs would have come in the last week.
  24. Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd

    Completely agree. I'd much rather be clinical! The stats though game after game would suggest we should be winning most of these games and we're not. I know stats aren't the be all and end all of things and a game isn't decided on stats but they are still a very useful indicator to identify trends, strengths, weaknesses, etc. The lack of goals we're scoring from the amount of shots we're having and chances created, and the goals we're conceding from a small number of shots on target is alarming. A clinical striker and a top centre back and/or keeper and we'd almost certainly have at least another 10-12 points on the board. Too much of a lack of ability and character at both ends of the pitch is really letting us down this season.
  25. Chelsea 0-2 Man Utd

    His comment on social media about being 'Happy with his next move' suggests that it is as good as a done deal. I understand the finality of things but I'd be astounded if he isn't a Chelsea player next season.