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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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12 hours ago, Jason said:

 

I'm guessing they started the comparison's at United 10-11 because our double winning side were pretty crap at defending them aswell :lol:

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Do Chelsea really have the strongest squad in the Premier League?

https://theathletic.com/2246470/2020/12/08/chelsea-squad-premier-league/

CHELSEA-SQUAD-3-scaled-e1607468782115-1024x683.jpg

It’s the kind of debate that fans of rival clubs love to have but will never agree on: Who has the strongest squad in the Premier League?

You can understand why supporters will hope, let alone argue, that the answer is their own team, because more often than not, the greater strength in depth you have, the better your chance of ending the season with silverware.

It is even more important to have plenty of options at your disposal in the current campaign, with the fixture list condensed into eight months rather than the usual nine.

The discussion has really come to the fore over the past few days courtesy of two high-profile voices. If Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is to be believed, Chelsea are best equipped to handle the congestion and “favourites” for the title because of it.

Klopp’s views were echoed by former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who said: “You could maybe argue that Liverpool and Manchester City have a stronger XI, but in terms of back-up players right now, that strength of squad (at Chelsea) is absolutely fantastic and it doesn’t feel like the team would be weakened too much no matter who was playing.”

Some might dismiss the sentiments of Klopp in particular as mind games but are the pair right to regard Chelsea so highly? The timing of their comments is not a coincidence. Since losing to Liverpool in September, Chelsea have gone on a nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League (it is 16 in all competitions if you’re not including the penalty shoot-out loss to Tottenham Hotspur in Carabao Cup) and climbed up to third place, within two points of Klopp’s defending champions and their co-leaders Spurs.

However, it is what head coach Frank Lampard’s side have been able to do with his selections in the Champions League during the first eight days of December which has probably done more to cause the Liverpool manager concern.

Last week, Lampard made nine changes to the line-up and Chelsea became just the second English club to win at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium. That “weakened” team did so in emphatic fashion too, securing an emphatic 4-0 victory.

Then, with top spot in Group E already secured, Lampard went one better by bringing in 10 different players, despite Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi missing through injury, from the side that had triumphed over Leeds United on Saturday for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Krasnodar. It included handing first Champions League starts to teenagers Billy Gilmour and Tino Anjorin, the only men in blue on the night not to be senior internationals.

Understandably, Lampard is doing his utmost to play down Klopp’s views. No manager wants that kind of pressure. However, Klopp’s and Carragher’s general sentiments about Chelsea growing into a significant force is shared within the corridors of power at Stamford Bridge.

Technical and performance advisor Petr Cech knows what a good squad looks like, having won 13 major trophies as a player for the club from 2004-15. The success was kickstarted by Jose Mourinho’s arrival as manager in 2004 and the lavish spending of owner Roman Abramovich, which began a year earlier.

Abramovich showed his intent in the last transfer window to improve the quality Lampard has at his disposal. Over £200 million was paid out for Edouard Mendy, Ben Chilwell, Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, while former Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva arrived as a big-name free agent.

Cech sees a connection between past and present. Speaking to the Champions League Magazine TV show recently, he said: “I think we are in a similar position to where the team was in the 2004-05 season.

“We have players who came in of a younger age, players in their mid-20s with a lot of expectation and hunger to succeed. We have a young manager and everybody is driving forward and hungry to succeed. I believe there is a similarity to that team. It is important we keep winning and put ourselves in a good position to attack the next part of the Champions League.”

That is some call from Cech to make, given the quality of the team he played in and what Mourinho’s men went on to achieve in 2004-05. They won the Premier League with a then-record haul of 95 points and claimed the League Cup too. The current generation have a lot more to prove before being seen on the level of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Lampard the player and company. Lampard the manager won’t see himself as having Mourinho’s standing either just yet.

But that’s a debate for another time, if and when some trophies have actually been collected. What is more apt is the competition they’re up against now and whether they deserve such accolades.

Tottenham can certainly argue their case as a strong group. Mourinho made eight changes for the Europa League match at LASK last week and yet the starting line-up still cost over £200 million in transfer fees. They also got to field the rather talented Real Madrid loanee Gareth Bale.

Liverpool have been severely weakened by long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while a number of key individuals including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson have also spent time on the treatment table. Yet they are still two points ahead of Chelsea and most of their players have the Champions League, Premier League and Club World Cup on their CVs. Their attack is arguably stronger now that Diogo Jota has joined forces with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Manchester City aren’t exactly short of numbers too, although they do seem to be increasingly reliant on Kevin De Bruyne. The fitness issues of the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero mean there is a big void for heir apparent Gabriel Jesus to fill. Manchester United’s inconsistency and Arsenal’s struggles in the bottom half of the league rule them out of the strongest-squad conversation as things stand.

But what about Chelsea? Carragher made out that any of the back-up players could just step in if someone gets injured and the quality wouldn’t be affected. But some perspective is required — and that was before the 1-1 home draw with Krasnodar last night, in which a Jorginho penalty, awarded for a foul on Tammy Abraham, brought the only goal of a laboured performance.

There is a reason why Chelsea are now regarded as title challengers rather than just simple top four contenders. That is a significant step.

Mendy and Silva are a major factor why the defensive record has improved. Should either of those two miss matches for a length of time, Chelsea will be back to the uncertainty of last season, when Kepa Arrizabalaga was in goal and Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen played next to Kurt Zouma. Krasnodar took advantage of that, as well as signs of age in Cesar Azpilicueta’s legs, to take the lead.

Left-back was another weakness until Chilwell arrived from Leicester City. Emerson is ahead of Marcos Alonso in the pecking order as his No 2 but Chelsea spent £50 million on Chilwell because of that duo’s struggles.

N’Golo Kante, who started just 20 Premier League games in 2019-20, is in outstanding form as the deep midfielder. Jorginho’s speed of movement and pass aren’t considered fast enough for the way Lampard wants to play. The fact Lampard turned to Kante and Werner with 16 minutes to go against Krasnodar, to inject some energy into the home side, spoke volumes.

And Lampard must be concerned that wide players Christian Pulisic, Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi have all suffered hamstring issues at various junctures. Lampard said yesterday that Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi would be out for about two weeks after their latest setbacks. Reece James and Mason Mount are key men to his system as well.

Havertz provided a measured response when asked to compare Chelsea’s squad with others around Europe. “There are not many (better), we have a lot of good players in our team,” he told BT Sport. “But we all know we have to improve a lot because we have some new players, young players as well. We have a lot of talented players and that is a good sign for us.”

Agreed. This is not a piece to say Chelsea have a terrible squad and Klopp doesn’t have cause to be alarmed.

However, if Lampard is to beat Liverpool and other clubs to this season’s trophies, it will be because of the first string, not their understudies.

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I don't post often but just wanted to say Lampard is absolutely delivering those improvements in the last 2 months, long may it continue, he seems to learn from his mistakes and improve upon it, top class manager in the making. Don't think we have enough for title challenge but easy top 4 finish and QF in CL would suffice for me this season.

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2 minutes ago, Jason said:

We had more points after 12 games last season (26) than we have after the same number of games this season (22)...

That surprises me cause I remember so many crappy games last season..then again can't remember when exactly. Know December was a bit testing.. 

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1 hour ago, Laylabelle said:

That surprises me cause I remember so many crappy games last season..then again can't remember when exactly. Know December was a bit testing.. 

We actually did decently well in early parts of last season. It was December that things went sour.

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Carlo Ancelotti: What I really think about Frank Lampard at Chelsea FC

Carlo Ancelotti rates Chelsea FC's start to life under Frank Lampard since his appointment at Stamford Bridge

https://www.thesportreview.com/2020/12/chelsea-fc-news-ancelotti-lampard/

Frank Lampard

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that he has been highly impressed by the start Frank Lampard has made to life as Chelsea FC’s manager.

The former England midfielder was brought in at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2019 and he led the Blues to a fourth-placed finish in his first season in charge.

The west London side spent big in the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy to strengthen Lampard’s squad.

The Blues have made a solid start to the new season and are currently considered to be one of the main contenders for the Premier League title as things stand.

Ancelotti led Chelsea FC to the Premier League title and FA Cup during his time in charge of the west London side.

And the Everton boss has now admitted that he has been highly impressed by the way Lampard has begun life in charge at the west London club.

Speaking in an interview before Everton’s home clash against Chelsea FC on Saturday, Ancelotti said: “I think he’s doing really well.

“He did really well before Chelsea, he did really well last season and Chelsea are doing really well now.

“He has a fantastic squad, a fantastic team and so his job is really good.

“Our relationship has changed because before it was a relationship between a manager and a player, now it’s between colleagues.

“I am pleased and I am happy to see him again. Chelsea are in a really good moment. I think after a difficult start they start to play like they want and like they are able to do.”

Chelsea FC will return to Premier League action on Tuesday night with a trip to face Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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We cant seem to complete a pass all over the pitch in the last two games. I don't know what we have been training but not good enough, the intensity, the drive and speed of play is not there. And is our tactic only to cross into the box? :blink:

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A lot of posters ovrr here were mocking Lampard's doubters after a few good results against bottom-half opponents. I said I am still yet to be proven that he is capable against better opponents and they made fun of me too. I hope they are happy now. 

This is unacceptable after spending 250m in the summer. 

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