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6 minutes ago, ZaynChelsea said:

I also saw Anti football when we fucked up against Newcastle, West Ham, Southampton...

If that was anti-football then i'm a monkey's uncle. 

Your agenda is obvious btw. We play some of the most progressive football in the league. 

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I can't actually believe how well coached we are. Puts it in further perspective when you see the garbage United and Arsenal are spewing. I love the fact Frank isn't so stubborn to try and do it

Very confused, can only assume the ones being somewhat negative did not watch the game? Aside from Dave and Zouma, I thought we played really well against the European Champions. I was shocked at time

Our pressing game was superb, and made all the difference today! 4-3-3 with Mount and Havertz to harass opponents and Kante to sweep up behind...that's the way to go. And we have two bombing

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Mystery Kovacic absence may continue unless Lampard tweaks his system

https://www.chelsea-news.co/2020/02/mystery-kovacic-absence-may-continue-unless-lampard-tweaks-system/

Frank Lampard made several tweaks to his team against Leicester in the desperate search for goals, and one would have imagined that one of those changes would be the introduction of Mateo Kovacic.
While famously goal shy himself, the midfielder gives the team a spark it otherwise lacks, and has the classy touch and dribbling skills to open teams up.
The fact he was left out again was really puzzling. Earlier in the season, Lampard took pains to individually praise the former Real Madrid player’s performances. How has now fallen so far down the pecking order?
Yes he’s been involved in a few bad results, but so has everyone who has played this season. Fans online and at the ground are mystified by his absence.
We write every week that we expect to see him back in the team soon, but maybe we shouldn’t be so sure. Clearly, unless they work on something new in this two week break, he doesn’t fit in with how Frank Lampard wants to play this season.

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Mertens, Cavani and Rondon: Chelsea stalled striker hunt as club gamble that current squad can secure fourth

https://theathletic.com/1576630/2020/02/02/chelsea-striker-mertens-cavani-transfer/?source=shared-article

When the substitutes’ board was raised in the 83rd minute at the King Power Stadium to show Ross Barkley coming on for Tammy Abraham, recent Chelsea history suggested Frank Lampard had picked a key moment in a key match against Premier League top-four rivals to send a political message.

It was a day that had summed up the problems that drove Chelsea’s fraught and ultimately failed striker search throughout January. After a litany of missed first-half chances from Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount, only Antonio Rudiger’s first Premier League goals for 15 months prevented Leicester from handing Lampard’s men a ninth loss of the season.

This late substitution wasn’t quite Jose Mourinho deploying Andre Schurrle as a false 9 at Old Trafford in 2013 while publicly pursuing Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, or Antonio Conte pointedly handing an unfit Barkley his Chelsea debut in a Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal in 2018 to highlight his lack of squad options.

But given the Chelsea head coach’s demeanour only 24 hours earlier at Cobham, the cynic’s interpretation was tempting — even if he later explained: “We have spent a lot of time this week on how we press without the ball and I thought Ross has been playing pretty well recently. It was just a case of bringing him on, [getting] he and Willian in those positions to maybe get a bit more ball because at that point it hadn’t really stuck for us much up there. It was just a choice.”

Olivier Giroud did not even travel with the Chelsea squad to Leicester, having trained with his future in the balance on January transfer deadline day. “It was nothing to do with his frame of mind, no,” Lampard insisted. “But he has had a few days where a lot of scrutiny has been on him and around him. I think it was case of travelling without him.

“We will all go away for a week away from each other. It’s probably what’s needed for everyone and we will come back and work hard, and Olivier is here. If he shows himself in training — because that is how I pick the team generally — then he will get his opportunities.”

Lampard had cut an agitated figure at Cobham on Friday as he admitted that, with almost 12 hours of deadline day remaining, the window was “95 per cent shut” for Chelsea. He even spoke faster than normal, his eyes darting quickly from left to right, any smiles vanishing from his face almost as soon as they appeared.

And in his keenness to paint his team as “underdogs” in what remains of the top-four race, his praise of Bruno Fernandes as a “world-class” signing for United and his invocation of “work” as the only solution to Chelsea’s problems, there were ominous echoes of the Conte who became content to use his media engagements to lob verbal grenades on his way to a toxic divorce with the board.

But the message here was slightly muddled, the obvious annoyance a little aimless; for Lampard also admitted that he wouldn’t have been satisfied by Chelsea buckling to pressure — both from the management and an expectant fan base — and talking themselves into a questionable deadline-day deal, as United later did with Odion Ighalo.

“The reality is I have an idea here as well of where I want to get to and I don’t think any knee-jerk reaction from myself or from the club would have been positive,” he insisted. And the reality of the January transfer window for Chelsea, as it was for other clubs, was a choice between doing something underwhelming or doing nothing.

As first reported by the Telegraph, sources have told The Athleticthat Chelsea were presented with an opportunity to take Salomon Rondon on loan from Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang on deadline day. His arrival would have freed up Giroud to leave but would also have meant replacing the man who will likely lead the line for France at Euro 2020 this summer with a striker who scored 35 goals in 140 Premier League appearances for West Brom and Newcastle.

Chelsea opted not to go down the route with Rondon that United did with Ighalo, and the episode provided a fitting end to a January window that, having begun with the optimism born of a successful transfer ban appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), ended with as much frustration inside Cobham as played out on social media.

Agents had been alerted to Chelsea’s desire to do business in January even before the CAS decision was handed down and sources have told The Athletic that Marina Granovskaia met with the representative of Napoli forward Dries Mertens before Christmas to gauge his level of interest in a January move to the Premier League.

Lampard’s interest in Mertens sprang as much from his ability to play in a variety of attacking roles as his elite goalscoring pedigree and there was hope that his expiring contract might present a rare opportunity to acquire a quality forward relatively cheaply. The Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis quickly shut that possibility down. Mertens is also injured, and three goals shy of passing Marek Hamsik as Napoli’s all-time top goalscorer. It was a non-starter.

Chelsea enquired about Edinson Cavani once he made it clear he was unsettled but were only prepared to take him on loan. Paris Saint-Germain wanted a sale and not even Atletico Madrid, the player’s preferred destination, could match the €20 million asking price. That level of expense made no sense for an increasingly injury-prone 32-year-old who is paid more than N’Golo Kante, the highest earner at Stamford Bridge.

The only other high-profile striker who actually changed clubs late in the January window was Krzysztof Piatek. Representatives acting on his behalf offered him around the Premier League but Chelsea were not interested in spending on a striker who could not even hold down a regular starting place in a struggling AC Milan side.

Chelsea’s long-term targets were not available in January. Jadon Sancho and Borussia Dortmund agreed to revisit his situation in the summer while Timo Werner had no desire to leave RB Leipzig in the midst of a Bundesliga title race and a top-scorer battle with Robert Lewandowski. Wilfried Zaha and Moussa Dembele were both prohibitively expensive, and neither enjoyed unanimous endorsement in the club’s transfer discussions.

In this barren landscape, Chelsea were determined not to repeat the mistakes of the recent past — most notably the disastrous summer of 2017, when pressure from Conte played its part in around £55 million being spent on deadline-day deals for Danny Drinkwater and Davide Zappacosta that the club are still reckoning with.

Nor was it palatable to allow Giroud to leave without securing a replacement, regardless of his desire to safeguard his starting spot for France at Euro 2020. The optics in particular of sending him to Jose Mourinho and Tottenham, then watching both reel in and overtake Chelsea in the final stretch of the Premier League top-four race, would have been virtually impossible to recover from.

So in the end, Chelsea decided to stand put, prioritising the summer over the present. It is a calculated gamble that this squad, managed by Lampard, can get over the line to fourth. If it works, they will be in a perfect position to pursue top-tier names and take the team to the next level.

Lampard is invested in that long-term vision but he also knows that, like every other Chelsea coach in the Roman Abramovich era, he is being judged on his results right now. “We are fortunate that we have a nice group of young players at the minute but we have to keep looking forward and we are,” he told Match of the Day after victory over Hull City in the FA Cup.

“But for this season, short-term [recruitment] needs to be done. For the bigger picture, of course there is a plan, but for now, when you look at it, we want to finish in the top four. At the minute, it is quite clear to me where we can improve so we have to look to that.”

This is the tension that spilled out of Lampard on deadline day and the tension that might have surfaced once more if Chelsea had paid for their missed chances against Leicester. Instead, Rudiger’s equaliser gave him the chance to deescalate the situation heading into the winter break.

“It’s gone,” Lampard said of the transfer market. “I am not interested in the window, I am not interested in talking about it. I am interested in the point we got and what we do going forward.”

After sitting out the January window, Chelsea will remain a flawed team between now and the summer. Lampard’s decision to drop Kepa Arrizabalaga for Willy Caballero at the King Power underlined that, to achieve this season’s targets, he will need to navigate difficult problems at both decisive ends of his team.

But the public attitude of Chelsea’s head coach will be every bit as important in ensuring that he will be the man to oversee the club’s longer-term rebuild.

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19 hours ago, DDA said:

I still cant believe Chelsea fans genuinely preferred Lampard over Sarri as our manager.

You reap what you sow. 

 

This wasn't really a thing because Sarri wanted to leave so I don't think it was ever between Sarri and Lampard, it was who to replace Sarri who was obviously outbound. I think Sarri would have wanted to leave to be honest whether that interest from Juventus was there or not. His football hadn't endeared itself to our fan base last season and was almost certain to be an even harder watch this year without Hazard and RLC, and with the glut of injuries we had heading into the season start.

I was pro Lampard in the summer and I fully stand by that still because what I felt would happen has which is that he would be willing to place faith in our younger players which I doubt another continental manager would have done. Someone like Allegri say, is he really going to play Tammy over Giroud, Mount over Barkley, CHO over Pedro, Tomori over Luiz?

At the stage we are at currently which even last year is miles behind City and Liverpool, the building blocks need to be put into place. With the transfer ban, this season felt like a complete free hit of a season to try something new.

Whether Lampard proves to be a success as our manager or not, he has helped already to lay some new foundations at the club with a number of young players who will be well served for this season of invaluable experience playing regular first team football. I expect all of them to have long careers in the Premier League ranging from good to excellent and the hope is all will continue to develop from this. What is also a really important side point to this is they have all, bar Tammy, committed long term to Chelsea and I am pretty sure Lampard has had an extremely large influence on this that a pathway is now available at Chelsea.

I think this has also opened the eyes of the board that more trust can be placed into the academy providing first team squad players. The longer term picture hopefully being that our recruitment can centre around 2 things - the best young talent and the highest level of talent we can attract, instead of mid-range squad fillers eating significantly into our transfer budget.

And the other positive of this being that it hopefully encourages the next talented crop of youngsters that there is finally seemingly a pathway into the first team squad.

The bonus of everything is we're still bang in the race for top 4, with no one yet capable of stringing any semblance of form together.

The key is going to be this summer, top 4 or not this season. Can the board and management start really re-shaping this squad properly to push back up towards the top 2 again.

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4 hours ago, ZaynChelsea said:

And Zouma was a beast when Mourinho was here. 
Lampard hasn‘t improved any single defender.

Think Tomori would have something to say about that.

Clear agenda here.

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3 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

So many questions...

Why is Kepa a shadow of a player he was last season? 

Why constant rotation in the back 4? 

Why were we much better defensively last season? We conceded 39 goals last season (10 in two games), already 34 in this one. Don't tell me it's because of Luiz 😂

Why he dropped Tomori, Alonso and Kovacic from starting 11 after all of them played big part in our winning run earlier in the season? 

Why he dropped completely Giroud and Pedro after Super Cup where they were among our best players? Why Michy over Giroud? 

Why he wants Willian to stay? 

What's going on with Kante? 

Pulisic was known as RW and CHO as LW. We he switched them? 

Why he refuse to try Pulisic on AM since his stats show he is best there?

Why is Mount undroppable after playing bad for 4 months now? He only didn't start some big and important games because of tactics not performance related. Even Kepa and Willian got dropped last game because of bad form. Frank wanted badly to buy new striker which shows he wants competition for Tammy as well. Only Mount seems safe no matter how bad he plays. With playing Barkley deeper and suggesting earlier same for RLC is he ever going to have competition? 

Azpi again on LB? 

There's a lot more tactics/formation/substitutions related bad decisions like in Valencia away, Arsenal away, Southampton at home games... 

This is just some things I'm not happy with I wanted to point out. 

He of course has my full support and I don't even want to talk about sacking for at least season and a half more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are all the questions being asked by those of us who aren't blinded by the fairy tale love story. Spot on. 👏

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3 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

So many questions...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many questions.., but it is not difficult to answer 

Why is Kepa a shadow of a player he was last season? 

I don't think anything really change with Kepa

Why constant rotation in the back 4? 

Injury. Now everyone is back, lamp simply played his preferred players. 

Why were we much better defensively last season? We conceded 39 goals last season (10 in two games), already 34 in this one. Don't tell me it's because of Luiz 😂

Sarri slow possesion football

Why he dropped Tomori, Alonso and Kovacic from starting 11 after all of them played big part in our winning run earlier in the season? 

With kova it is simple, 433 / 4231. 42321 means mount will play as kova is not an am. 

Why he dropped completely Giroud and Pedro after Super Cup where they were among our best players? Why Michy over Giroud? 

This one I have no clue. 

Why he wants Willian to stay? 

Willian is our best winger. 

What's going on with Kante?

Nothing wrong. 

Pulisic was known as RW and CHO as LW. We he switched them? 

Puli is better as forwaed and CHO is better as Winger

Why he refuse to try Pulisic on AM since his stats show he is best there?

From start I don't think so but in certain situation I am no sure. 

Azpi again on LB? 

Played very well offensively against Leicester. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Pulisic was known as RW and CHO as LW. We he switched them? 

Is that really an issue? I was surprised that Pulisic could be effective on the LW and he has been more effective in that position for us than the RW, albeit he played at RW very early on before he settled in. Anyway, I don't see this as an issue and it'll give us the flexibility that we can switch the two's position easily moving forward.

4 hours ago, NikkiCFC said:

Why constant rotation in the back 4? 

The back 4 selection appears to be more settled of late, albeit with a RB being used at LB. Biggest problem, IMO, is the center backs. We have 4 of them and Lampard seems to like each of them one way or another and can't decide who to stick with. Won't take long before we suddenly see Zouma/Tomori again and we'll continue to wonder why we struggle so much defensively. 

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Just putting this out here...

Derby County
57 games
14 clean sheets
70 goals conceded

Chelsea
36 games
7 clean sheets
49 goals conceded

Total
93 games
21 clean sheets
119 goals conceded

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35 minutes ago, Vesper said:

He is rapidly ageing

Aint we all Vesp he does it no quicker than anybody else:D

In spite of your dislike for him Barca must see something about him, 'cos allegedly they're still interested in him.

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10 hours ago, communicate said:

Willian is our best winger. 

...you're kidding, right?

10 hours ago, communicate said:

What's going on with Kante?

Nothing wrong. 

Something IS wrong with Kante. He has been poor to average more constantly now. There hasn't been a WC performance from Kante for a very long while.

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Something IS wrong with Kante. He has been poor to average more constantly now. There hasn't been a WC performance from Kante for a very long while.
He was injured a lot because Sarri overplayed him. Even Kante is human

Gesendet von meinem SM-G920F mit Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Jason said:

Just putting this out here...

Derby County
57 games
14 clean sheets
70 goals conceded

Chelsea
36 games
7 clean sheets
49 goals conceded

Total
93 games
21 clean sheets
119 goals conceded

It's a clear area needed for improvement no doubt about it.

I wouldn't read too much into the Derby stats. There are only two teams this season in the Championship who have conceded less than the games they've played and it is such a ridiculously close and competitive league more often than not.

I also wouldn't compare him to Sarri last season. This idea that Sarri got us playing attacking football is a bit of a myth. After Spurs ripped us apart we played football looking to control and dominate possession rather than an attack minded approach which allowed us to keep things relatively tight most of the time, and more often than not relying on Hazard to open up a team or create a chance.

Without Hazard this season Lampard has opened us up far more. Probably a little too much at the start of the season as his lack of experience showed quite a naive approach but I think the all round defensive side of our game has improved compared to the first couple of months of the season. Still very much a work in progress but how open we were in some games early on was alarming and caused some massive problems. We do seem to be much more compact now between the lines but there is still a lot of improvement to be done. Silly mistakes and errors are still prevalent too, and need to be eradicated. Especially when a number of times the mistakes are being made by more experienced players in the squad so the excuse of younger players cannot really be used. 

With us, the clean sheets is definitely something that needs to be improved. In games this season where we are struggling to break teams down, we have to be making sure that we stay tight at the back. Obviously the lack of killer instinct in attack doesn't help with this as just encourages teams to go after us as a game wears on, but some games we've literally conceded just a couple of chances and conceded from it. They might still be on the face of things poor results, but losing to Newcastle, Bournemouth and West Ham all fairly late on by 1 goal - that's an extra 3 points which could be big come the end of the season in deciding our top 4 aspirations.

He needs the opportunity also to bring in players though if he sees fit to improve the situation. Liverpool's first full season under Klopp he conceded 50 goals in the league and was averaging I think around 1.2 goals conceded in his first 2 and half seasons at the club. The additions of Alisson and Van Dijk to their defence cannot be understated in helping to change their fortunes around. 

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Just now, bigbluewillie said:

Aint we all Vesp he does it no quicker than anybody else:D

In spite of your dislike for him Barca must see something about him, 'cos allegedly they're still interested in him.

Wilian is simply not good enough at this point, and he is not going to get better as a 32, 33, and 34yo.

Even Messi, at 32yo, is having a poor season (for him)

As for Barca

they didn't want him enough this January to pay jack shite for him

Barcelona laugh off Willian, Richarlison rumors

Laughing at, not laughing with

https://weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com/chelsea-fc-transfer-rumours-news/2020/1/30/21114537/barcelona-laugh-off-willian-richarlison-rumors-report

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On 3.2.2020 at 5:43 PM, Superblue_1986 said:

It's a clear area needed for improvement no doubt about it.

I wouldn't read too much into the Derby stats. There are only two teams this season in the Championship who have conceded less than the games they've played and it is such a ridiculously close and competitive league more often than not.

I also wouldn't compare him to Sarri last season. This idea that Sarri got us playing attacking football is a bit of a myth. After Spurs ripped us apart we played football looking to control and dominate possession rather than an attack minded approach which allowed us to keep things relatively tight most of the time, and more often than not relying on Hazard to open up a team or create a chance.

Without Hazard this season Lampard has opened us up far more. Probably a little too much at the start of the season as his lack of experience showed quite a naive approach but I think the all round defensive side of our game has improved compared to the first couple of months of the season. Still very much a work in progress but how open we were in some games early on was alarming and caused some massive problems. We do seem to be much more compact now between the lines but there is still a lot of improvement to be done. Silly mistakes and errors are still prevalent too, and need to be eradicated. Especially when a number of times the mistakes are being made by more experienced players in the squad so the excuse of younger players cannot really be used. 

With us, the clean sheets is definitely something that needs to be improved. In games this season where we are struggling to break teams down, we have to be making sure that we stay tight at the back. Obviously the lack of killer instinct in attack doesn't help with this as just encourages teams to go after us as a game wears on, but some games we've literally conceded just a couple of chances and conceded from it. They might still be on the face of things poor results, but losing to Newcastle, Bournemouth and West Ham all fairly late on by 1 goal - that's an extra 3 points which could be big come the end of the season in deciding our top 4 aspirations.

He needs the opportunity also to bring in players though if he sees fit to improve the situation. Liverpool's first full season under Klopp he conceded 50 goals in the league and was averaging I think around 1.2 goals conceded in his first 2 and half seasons at the club. The additions of Alisson and Van Dijk to their defence cannot be understated in helping to change their fortunes around. 

Agree. If you put hazard in our current team you can add 10-15 points and we would have secured 3rd place already. Overall our play has stagnated IMO but relies less on individual play from hazard or Rlc. We create plenty of chances regardless of opposition we just fail to convert them. But we have definitely improved as a team collectively. 
we need one more proper central defender and better left back and a deadly striker and we would be back among the top teams. It’s just our deficiencies that cost us more than they should due to lack of individual quality to paper over cracks.

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3 hours ago, Jason said:

Just putting this out here...

Derby County
57 games
14 clean sheets
70 goals conceded

Chelsea
36 games
7 clean sheets
49 goals conceded

Total
93 games
21 clean sheets
119 goals conceded

People can spin it anyway they want but that makes awful and worrying reading.

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