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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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I have been saying to sell Kante, for very valid reasons (and playing him as the sole holder is semi madness)


rolling with Jorginho as our starting DMF in a 3 man midfield is going to help destroy us

our offense looks beyond dogshit with him slowing us down to a walking pace

and he is dross defensively

all these buys and DMF is still a huge issue

all the unsaleable SHIT (and ultra expensive) buys are catching up to us


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Lampard is struggling to find balance between creativity and control in midfield



In July, Frank Lampard outlined what he looks for in a midfielder. “If we feel like we are going to have a lot of control, generally I play with midfield players that can play high, can play on the side, and can do the defensive duties as well.” His words were in direct response to questions about why Jorginho, for so long a stalwart at the base of midfield, had fallen out of favour.

Jorginho’s presence in the Chelsea team to begin this season, and against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, is a sign that Lampard still doesn’t have the midfield he wants. N’Golo Kante playing just in front of the defence, as he did for the final stretch of 2019-20, is no longer considered a long-term solution. Billy Gilmour is still sidelined, though recovering well from knee surgery. Declan Rice remains, for now at least, a West Ham United player. Five different central midfield combinations have been trialled in Chelsea’s first five matches of the new campaign, but a true balance between creativity and control is yet to be found.

Far from performing badly against Spurs, Jorginho had a trademark game: 120 touches, 102 passes with a 92.2 per cent success rate and even a nerveless penalty in the shootout. There were flashes of the possession interplay with Mateo Kovacic that underpinned some of Chelsea’s best performances without Kante last season, particularly during a first half in which Tottenham offered little resistance. Once the home side ramped up the intensity after the interval, the control the pair had afforded Lampard’s team proved brittle.

Between the 46th minute and the 70th, shortly before Kovacic was replaced by Kante, Chelsea’s share of possession dropped to 46 per cent. Tottenham pressed their opponents high and hard, pushing up wing-backs Sergio Reguilon and Serge Aurier to overload Lampard’s back four, and regularly looked to switch the play quickly into crossing positions. It didn’t immediately yield the equaliser, but it did seize them the initiative; during this stretch they had six shot attempts to Chelsea’s one.

It was not until the 70th minute when Jose Mourinho brought on Harry Kane for Japhet Tanganga, a striker for a centre-back, that Chelsea came back into the game. Mason Mount, isolated from Jorginho and Kovacic for long spells as a No 10, fluffed two great chances to play Timo Werner clean through on goal either side of Callum Hudson-Odoi blazing a shot over the bar — with an unmarked Tammy Abraham screaming for a pass — after racing into the space vacated by Eric Dier’s perilously timed toilet dash.

Wastefulness and poor decision-making in the final third were issues that crippled Chelsea at times last season. Given the quality and extent of the club’s attacking recruitment in this transfer window, it is hard to imagine them having anywhere near as many infuriating experiences up front this time around. More concerning is the apparent ease with which they can still be pushed onto the back foot by increasingly desperate opponents, despite having no shortage of players capable of keeping and passing the ball.

Jorginho saw out the 90 minutes but could find no way to effectively slow Tottenham’s pressure, instead picking up a booking for a foul on Tanguy Ndombele to initiate the sequence that led to Erik Lamela’s equaliser — a goal that highlighted, among other things, the ineffectiveness of Chelsea’s midfield shield.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg lines up the free kick just inside the Chelsea half, with Dier a few yards behind him. Werner is alive to the threat of Reguilon advancing on the left flank, with Lampard’s defence staying narrow to deal with Kane and Lucas Moura. Kante is the closest player to Lamela while Emerson Palmieri is higher up, closer to Aurier than the Argentine.


The moment Hojbjerg lays the ball back to Dier, things start to go wrong. Abraham, Mount and Hudson-Odoi make no real attempt to pressure the ball while Kante jogs back into midfield, away from Lamela, with Emerson still too far away from the rest of Chelsea’s defence to pick him up.


As the ball is flighted out towards Reguilon, both Kante and Emerson are too slow to recognise the threat Lamela poses at the back post. He even has time to take a touch in the penalty area before slotting in the equaliser.


Emerson is primarily to blame; he has no business being so much higher up than the rest of the back four when Chelsea are defending a lead late in the game, and he then shows nowhere near enough urgency to recover. But the sequence also underlines Kante’s lack of instincts for tracking opposition runners in his own defensive third. He is the best seek-and-destroy midfielder in the world operating higher up the pitch, but this isn’t really his game. The problem for Lampard is it isn’t really part of Jorginho or Kovacic’s skill sets either.

Rice, a defensive midfielder with extensive experience as a centre-back in youth and senior football, is much better equipped to address that particular need. Do not underestimate just how unpalatable it would be for West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan to be seen to be selling their prized asset to Chelsea, and to Lampard in particular, but the question will be asked pretty forcefully in the final days of the window.

Lampard cannot rely on Chelsea prising Rice out of West Ham. The smart assumption is that he will need to balance his team with what he has. That means finding a midfield configuration that he trusts for the most important matches and sticking with it, and perhaps making other tweaks around the edges; aside from Emerson’s mistake against Tottenham, the regularity with which Lampard’s full-backs find themselves stranded ahead of the ball feels like a systemic flaw.

The presence of Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva should bring a little more stability to Chelsea’s creaky defence, as well as allow Lampard to be more consistent with his selection than last season. But arranging his midfield in a way that maximises his new attacking weapons without leaving his back line exposed might well prove to be the trickier — and ultimately defining — test of his coaching mettle.


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Barkley Makes Way & Mount-ing Pressure on Lampard
Straight Outta Cobham: A show about Chelsea - podfollow.com
Host Matt Davies-Adams & The Athletic's Chelsea experts, Simon Johnson, Liam Twomey & Dom Fifield, reconvene following Mason Mount's missed penalty and Chelsea's untimely exit from the Carabao Cup...

But has Mount been unfairly criticised? What is Lampard's 'brand of football' and what does Ross Barkley's loan to Villa mean for Loftus-Cheek?

Plus, the guys look ahead to the Crystal Palace game - a side poised to exploit Chelsea's weaknesses - and assess new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's debut too.
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Barkley Makes Way & Mount-ing Pressure on Lampard   300   https://theathletic.com/podcast/139-straight-outta-cobham/?episode=46   Host Matt Davies-Adams & The Athletic's Chelsea experts, Simon Johnson, Liam Twomey & Dom Fifield, reconvene following Mason Mount's missed penalty and Chelsea's untimely exit from the Carabao Cup...


But has Mount been unfairly criticised? What is Lampard's 'brand of football' and what does Ross Barkley's loan to Villa mean for Loftus-Cheek?


Plus, the guys look ahead to the Crystal Palace game - a side poised to exploit Chelsea's weaknesses - and assess new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's debut too.

At least these guys are patient and know that Lampard needs time


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Fair play to Frank. He says it how he sees it. He doesn't bow down to players or other managers whether right or wrong. Reminds me of a certain other manager who is now regarded as the greatest of all time..... 

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1 hour ago, DDA said:

Fair play to Frank. He says it how he sees it. He doesn't bow down to players or other managers whether right or wrong. Reminds me of a certain other manager who is now regarded as the greatest of all time..... 

Heres hoping he is as successfull

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The Telegraph

Friday October 2 2020

Football Nerd

Why Edouard Mendy faces a challenge adapting his distribution at Chelsea


By Daniel Zeqiri


Chelsea have addressed their most glaring problem from last season by buying Edouard Mendy to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal.

Kepa's statistical performance last season was frankly horrendous, and despite their defensive problems Chelsea would have had Champions League football wrapped up well before the final weekend with a competent goalkeeper.

The early signs are good for Mendy, who was extremely solid for a competitive Rennes team in Ligue 1 last season.

However, Mendy's tendency in France was to kick long from goal kicks, and he will need to adapt and be more measured at Chelsea. Playing out from the back has been a topical subject following Liverpool vs Arsenal on Monday night.

I analyse Mendy's distribution here and whether it should be a concern for Frank Lampard.

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Will Abramovich give Lampard time to build a squad like Klopp and Guardiola?



Not good enough. Tactically naive. Time to go. These were just some of the sentiments expressed by supporters about Chelsea coach Frank Lampard following their Carabao Cup exit to Tottenham.

The level of vitriol from sections of the fanbase was surprising. Nobody would suggest it has been a good opening to the season, but the progress and promise of what happened in Lampard’s 2019-20 debut campaign seems to have already been forgotten or discounted. There is only one opinion which truly counts at Stamford Bridge and that is obviously what the hierarchy, most notably owner Roman Abramovich, thinks. History shows patience is not a virtue in the blue corner of west London when things are going awry.

But Chelsea are not only just five games into 2020-21, but Lampard’s plans for the squad are also in their infancy too. One transfer window, even if over £200 million has been spent in bringing seven new players through the door, isn’t going to fix the malaise that was allowed to develop long before the former Chelsea midfielder returned as head coach.

Between 2015-19, Chelsea spent more than £650 million on 29 players. Having three different managers — Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri — come and go in that time before Lampard took over meant the squad was always going to be subject to a lot of change. The vast majority of those 29 have now left, either permanently or on loan. Of the 11 remaining, only N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic and Mateo Kovacic can feel confident they are part of Lampard’s long-term thinking.

Players such as Jorginho, Emerson, Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga have had game time, but Chelsea are prepared to listen to offers for all four before the window shuts on Monday. Veterans Willy Caballero and Olivier Giroud have featured too, however their ages mean this is surely their last season at the club.

In other words, before this summer’s exciting splurge on Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Chelsea haven’t recruited very well. They failed to capitalise on winning the title in 2015 and 2017 by strengthening with great quality. It made the transfer ban of last year an even bigger blow, especially for Lampard as he couldn’t make the kind of changes any new appointment in the dugout would want.

There is an element of luck when it comes to recruitment. No one can ever be 100 per cent sure that a signing will work out. There was understandable optimism, for example, about Alvaro Morata’s arrival in 2017. He had shown ability at Juventus and Real Madrid, yet simply failed to cope with the pressure of being Chelsea’s front man, and was not helped by a niggling back injury.

But a lot of cash has been frittered away on players such as Davide Zappacosta, Baba Rahman (a knee injury didn’t help him either), Michy Batshuayi and Emerson. They’re obviously not terrible footballers, but hardly the kind you need to compete for the Premier League or Champions League every year.

Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater didn’t exactly set the pulses racing after being bought for a combined £75 million in 2017. They have just 29 Premier League starts for Chelsea between them and it’s over two years since either appeared in the first team of a club now back in the unenviable position of frantically trying to offload them ahead of Monday night’s transfer deadline.

A manager will always have to take responsibility for bad results and inevitably pay the price for when things go wrong. Lampard knows this. But Chelsea were never going to be a quick fix, no matter who was in the dugout, because of mistakes made in the past.

Chelsea’s decline as a major force in the game is borne out by their failure to get past the Champions League’s last 16 since their run to the semi-finals in the 2013-14 season. Reaching the last four of that competition used to be commonplace — they got that far on seven occasions between 2004-2014 and went on to make two finals, including lifting the trophy in 2012.

When Lampard held talks with Werner and Havertz about joining Chelsea, he talked to them about a three-year project to get the side back to challenging for the biggest trophies on a regular basis, a view he’s bound to have also shared with the board. It is encouraging he has been backed to such an extent and notable that the top brass granted his request for a new goalkeeper. But with that comes much greater expectations.

One of the accusations being labelled at Lampard from fans and pundits is that there haven’t been many signs of improvement so far. It is hardly a surprise considering the new arrivals have just 12 starts between them in all competitions, with Ziyech not featuring at all yet because of a knee problem while another important squad member in Pulisic has also not played a game because of a hamstring injury.

On top of that, this isn’t “Lampard’s squad” yet. There will be players the Englishman inherited that he doesn’t see adapting to his way of thinking or right attitude, let alone his style of play. The Athletic has been informed the atmosphere is a bit tense at the moment because there are a few individuals who are angling for a move and/or frustrated about not being involved enough. An indication of this came in the aftermath of Saturday’s draw with West Bromwich Albion and Marcos Alonso’s lack of discipline.

It is going to take more than one window for Lampard to address all of this and an inevitable question the powers-that-be at Chelsea will face should negative results continue is how long are they prepared to wait? But they only have to look at some of their Premier League rivals to see the rewards that can come if you’re patient.

Take Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, for example. They are a formidable force now, but a lot of work was involved to get here. A glance at the league positions alone show that after Klopp arrived in October 2015, the team finished eighth, then fourth in each of the following two years before mounting a very strong title bid in 2018-19 (finished one point behind Manchester City) and winning the Champions League final. Arguably the ultimate goal, being crowned champions for the first time since 1990, came this summer after a dominant year at the top of the table.

It wasn’t just about incomings, like the arrivals of Sadio Mane in 2016, Mohamed Salah a year later and Virgil van Dijk and Alisson in 2018. During Klopp’s first pre-season tour, defender Mamadou Sakho was sent home from the USA for missing treatment sessions, being late for a team meal and also for the flight over there. The France international never played for the club again, and it sent a message to the group that the coach wouldn’t tolerate any indiscipline.

Like Chelsea are now, Liverpool were struggling defensively at that time. Centre-half Martin Skrtel and full-back Jose Enrique went through the Anfield exit door too. Two strikers inherited from Brendan Rodgers who didn’t meet Klopp’s requirements, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli, were also moved on.

As has been well documented, the decision to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018, meant they could make the key acquisitions of Van Dijk and Alisson that year. But it wasn’t just about the money the Brazilian forward brought in to fund these transfers — Klopp is very passionate about unity, so it never sat well with him trying to make someone stay who didn’t want to be there.

Pep Guardiola experienced teething problems on joining Manchester City in 2016, as the rather underwhelming third-place finish in his debut season demonstrated. He came under a lot of criticism, but then won back-to-back Premier League titles in his second and third years.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach showed his biggest ruthlessness in the goalkeeping department, something Lampard can relate to having just brought in Edouard Mendy to effectively start ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga, who the club had made the most expensive player ever at the position just two years ago.

Guardiola wanted a ball-playing goalkeeper at Manchester City from the outset. He had a meeting with Joe Hart but the long-time England No 1 didn’t really show any interest in changing his game, so his career there was over. He spent two seasons out on loan until his contract expired. Claudio Bravo arrived from Barcelona to take over, but after struggling in English football, Ederson was bought the next summer to replace the replacement.

Having City’s riches obviously helped in the market and other important players in Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane and John Stones all arrived within the first 18 months under Guardiola.

There were issues between Guardiola and key midfielder Yaya Toure from a very early stage. Toure wasn’t ignored completely over Guardiola’s first two seasons, as his total of 48 appearances shows, but he was gradually phased out and played little part in the 2017-18 title triumph before leaving for Olympiakos.

Mauricio Pochettino has no silverware to show for the five years he spent managing Tottenham, however no one can dispute he took the club to another level. His first campaign saw Spurs finish fifth, then they had two good attempts at becoming champions only to end up third behind Leicester in 2016 and runners-up to Chelsea a year later. There was also the very notable achievement of getting to last year’s Champions League final.

The Argentinian showed a ruthless streak too.

Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor weren’t given squad numbers for the start of the 2015-16 season and soon left for Everton and Crystal Palace respectively. There were other members of what has been referred to as the “bomb squad” who Pochettino got rid of 12 months after joining from Southampton — Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue. They were joined by Andros Townsend, who paid the price for having an on-pitch row with club fitness coach Nathan Gardiner and was sold to Newcastle. Pochettino made it clear that you were expendable unless a player was 100 per cent committed to his methods.

These departures made room for Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb to become regulars — although the latter also ended up as a fringe figure after a falling-out with Pochettino, got loaned out for 2016-17 then was sold that summer.

It may be stating the obvious to highlight managers making changes, because everyone does. But Lampard will surely believe he shouldn’t be judged until he has had an opportunity to make the Chelsea squad more closely mirror what he wants.

The problem is, many of those who have been sacked from his position by Abramovich felt exactly the same way.

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4 minutes ago, ZaynChelsea said:

Watching our play is a boring pain in the ass

He's sticking with Jorginho so expect Sarriball. 

I actually think our defending has improved but our attacking has become worse 

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Vindicated. Great performance great result. Pulisic fit again.

the best was the amazing defense. IMO our best back 4 combination. Absolutely flawless, zouma a tank, Azpi and Silva provided the leadership when needed. Chilwell with one of the best LB performances in years. Simply a great team performance but shit tactics and coaching I guess -.-

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3 minutes ago, Magic Lamps said:

Vindicated. Great performance great result. Pulisic fit again.

the best was the amazing defense. IMO our best back 4 combination. Absolutely flawless, zouma a tank, Azpi and Silva provided the leadership when needed. Chilwell with one of the best LB performances in years. Simply a great team performance but shit tactics and coaching I guess -.-

If people are gonna tell others not to criticize Lampard after a defeat or even a draw, then I think the same people shouldn't go overboard and say Lampard is vindicated after one win. If people are gonna say this takes time, let's see what will happen in the coming matches, weeks, months after a bad result, then it's the same case here after a win.

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