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Everton 1-0 Chelsea

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Man of the Match  

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  1. 1. Who is your Man of the Match?

    • Mendy
    • James
    • Zouma
    • Silva
    • Chilwell
    • Kante
    • Mount
    • Kovacic
    • Havertz
    • Werner
    • Giroud
    • Abraham (sub)
    • Gilmour (sub)

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Oh, shit. Everton were already in a rough patch of form with James in their side. Without him they aren't nearly as dangerous. That's their best attacking player out and both starting fullbacks.

Continuing with the 4-3-3 with Abraham and Werner flanking Giroud was laughable. 

Remember when we had a fit Pulisic after the restart last season? For a significant number of games? Good times...

If playing Pulisic is risky and Kai has to play I would rather we go with 4-4-2:


   Kova  Mount


 Giroud  Werner

It fits better to both German boys.

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How do Chelsea overcome a north-west hoodoo? It’s a case of mind over matter



Chelsea are heading into a festive fixture schedule that could define their season: six Premier League games in 22 days, culminating in a 48-hour turnaround between Arsenal away on Boxing Day and Aston Villa at home before Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge on January 2. But it is Saturday’s trip to face Everton that might actually provide the most reliable barometer of this team’s burgeoning title credentials.

Goodison Park has not been kind to Chelsea in recent seasons. Their last eight visits — seven in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup — have yielded just two victories: a madcap 6-3 win in August 2014, burnished by a Diego Costa double, and a 3-0 victory punctuated by a Pedro screamer in April 2017. Both were significant moments in what proved to be title-winning campaigns under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte respectively.

Five of the other six meetings have been losses. Some more scarring than others.

Steven Naismith’s hat-trick in a 3-1 defeat in September 2015 provided compelling evidence that Mourinho’s second spell was doomed while six months later, Romelu Lukaku struck twice to knock his former club out of the FA Cup and ensure that the most miserable season of the Roman Abramovich era would end trophyless. Last season’s 3-1 loss was a low point for Frank Lampard, with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin embarrassing Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen as caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson hugged a ball boy and roared on the touchline.

Chelsea’s struggles in the north west extend beyond Goodison Park: their Premier League record at Old Trafford in the Abramovich era stands at three wins, seven draws and eight defeats. They also have a losing record at the Etihad Stadium and have lost as many times as they have won (six) at Anfield.

But such difficulties on the road against enduring domestic rivals is understandable. Everton’s dominance at Goodison Park is less readily explained — particularly since it doesn’t extend to Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea have won six and drawn two of the last eight meetings between the teams.


“I’d love to say there’s one overriding reason for it but there never, ever is,” Pat Nevin, who made more than 100 league appearances for both clubs during a distinguished career, tells The Athletic. “Everton have been slightly harder to read over the years whereas Chelsea, you generally know what you’re getting. With Everton, you can turn up one week and it’s great and the next week it’s absolutely horrendous. Everton are a team you don’t know what you’re going to get from and that probably doesn’t suit Chelsea.”

Is it pure coincidence or is there a psychological element at play? When talking about a team’s record at a certain stadium over a number of years, there are no straight lines to be drawn. The sequence of matches spans different groups of players and different managers, and every individual match exists within a specific context at a specific point in a season, but as sports psychologist Dan Abrahams explains, it’s possible for mental hang-ups about certain opponents or fixtures to embed themselves within a club over time.

“A players’ confidence, their capacity to compete, is heavily influenced by the narrative they create on a day-to-day basis — the stories they tell themselves,” he tells The Athletic. “In simple terms, self-belief is influenced by four things, one of which is performance accomplishments or past experiences. What you’ve done in the past will influence your self-belief. You can extrapolate from that, as a player, that if you’ve played badly, your team has played badly. If you’ve got a poor result at a certain ground time and time again, that’s going to influence your self-belief.

“There are people around the organisation — including the media — and people inside who have been part of the organisation for a long time, so while a player might be fairly new, there may be people around them at the club who say, ‘We don’t do very well at this ground’. All kinds of conversations take place and those things can cause a stress response. There’s also the media creating narratives around the game and players pay attention to that — it’s very difficult not to and those narratives can influence them.”

Nevin witnessed this during his own career.

“I know some players who did (think that way),” he admits. “It never happened with me because I’m far too logical for that. It’s a year later, a different group of players, a different 90 minutes, different conditions — there are a million different things and games are more often changed on moments anyway. There were games where you’d think, ‘Ah, we’ve been unlucky there’ but you don’t think, ‘We’ll be unlucky again’ — well, at least I didn’t. I know some people who did and it affected them.”

If this phenomenon exists at Chelsea now, it could take the form of people around Cobham associating a trip to Goodison Park with a particularly difficult game based on the memory of recent disappointments. Everton players, in contrast, can draw confidence and belief from recent home wins over Chelsea, even if they weren’t involved securing those results themselves. On both sides, there is the potential to generate a self-fulfilling narrative: positive or negative.

Can the same be true of fans in a stadium? Abrahams thinks so.

“When people feel like they can win — we’ve got a name for it: Winners’ Effect — they release testosterone,” he explains. “They release testosterone, they feel powerful. They feel powerful, they win. It goes in a cycle, the Winners’ Effect. Extrapolating from that — it’s impossible to prove or probably demonstrate scientifically — but it makes sense that if you’ve got enough people in the stadium who feel confident about their team, we may turn up the testosterone, which makes them louder. That’s just extrapolating from what we know about individual psychology.”

Chelsea have encountered some pretty intimidating atmospheres at Goodison Park in recent years. Everton’s dislike for the club whose rise has been powered by Abramovich’s billions was further stoked by the failed public pursuit of John Stones in the summer of 2015 and the acrimonious defection of Ross Barkley to Stamford Bridge two years later.

“I don’t know if Goodison Park has been that intimidating recently but it can be when everyone’s up for it and maybe the Chelsea game is one they quite like,” Nevin says. “It’s also the usual southern vs northern thing that’s always there.”

The UK government’s COVID-19 restrictions ensure that Goodison Park will not be a cauldron of noise on Saturday; Everton are allowed no more than 2,000 supporters in the stadium and there will be no travelling Chelsea contingent. “I know it’s only a couple of thousand but it makes such a difference (compared to playing behind closed doors),” Nevin adds. “But it makes a difference for both teams in a good way, even though there won’t be any Chelsea fans in there. It just feels normal again.

“Part of that cavernous echo disappears. I don’t know the number of fans you need to kill that echo but 2,000 is enough. It makes it feel like a football match again — not a training game.”

Chelsea also go into Saturday’s match with arguably more positive momentum than they have enjoyed at any time since that April 2017 clash in Conte’s title-winning season. Winning in similarly convincing fashion this time around would be a real statement to the other contenders at the top of the Premier League and likely bolster confidence for much more than just their future trips to Goodison Park.

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Who is gonna play on place of James? The tiny Brazilian I suppose

Tbf James has not really been in super great form most recently. Richarlison is more dangerous rn and he has good chemistry with DCL. I expect them to sit deep. We really should win thsibif we get our act together. Tough test tho 

games like these vs the Upper mid-Tier Clubs away at Everton, wolves, arsenal are the ones that will decide if we can Mount a challenge. 

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Just watching the sky sports videos of the greatest goals in this fixture and still to this day I'm at a loss at how we allowed Jermaine Beckford off all people to score a solo goal running from one end of the pitch to another performing FIFA street esque skill moves in the process.

Just, like, how?

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Why does it feel like we play in the late kickoff every weekend? <_<

Annoying having to wait all damned day for our match. 

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Frank Lampard talks up Carlo Ancelotti ahead of Everton showdown


Frank Lampard talks up Carlo Ancelotti ahead of Everton showdown

Frank Lampard rates Carlo Ancelotti's greatest managerial strength as his ability to harmonise "difficult" squads.

Current Chelsea boss Lampard will pit his wits against his old Blues manager Ancelotti when the west Londoners face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday night.

Italian coaching great Ancelotti steered Chelsea to the 2010 Premier League title, with Lampard racking up 22 goals and 14 assists.

Ancelotti guided Lampard and his Chelsea team-mates to the 2010 title

And now, after getting a taste of the managerial experience, Lampard admitted he has a new understanding of Ancelotti's talents, that had a packed Chelsea squad singing from the same hymn sheet.

"I remember the season very well out of a lot of my seasons, because it was a season I didn't start very well," said Lampard. "And Carlo came in and played a diamond formation, and I played at the top of it.

"I was finding it very difficult to get my games fluid, I wanted to improve my chances to arrive in the box.

"I went quite a few games without a goal, and I remember having a really honest conversation with Carlo and he was very open with how he dealt with it with me.

"And I was really, really impressed – not just because it meant my position changed slightly and I managed to start playing better – but just how he handled that for me, which was a tough period for me.

"And from then on the season just went from strength to strength, for the whole team. He got a tune out of the whole team.

"It was a very good squad, a very strong, but maybe a difficult squad and overloaded in some areas.

"And now in this job I really understand that you have to try to find balance in a squad, and he found a perfect balance that year in that run-in, so he should take a lot of credit for that."

Everton won their first four Premier League matches under Ancelotti this term, but have claimed just one victory since.

Chelsea will head to Merseyside looking to extend their own run of nine league matches without defeat.

Lampard revealed he continues to respect and admire Ancelotti's candid coaching, and his relaxed but focused approach.

"He had a very laid-back demeanour about him, which I appreciated," said Lampard.

"But underneath that was a hard edge, that was very evident.

"I certainly enjoyed his general laid-back demeanour with me.

"I wasn't a player who craved too much conversation with my manager, I just wanted to do my job.

"But with him I always felt comfortable when I was having those one-to-one conversations.

"I've got really specific moments with my time with him that I remember, one was the evening that he left the club and he actually came and had a couple of beers with us in The Plough over the road at Cobham.

Ancelotti, his assistant Ray Wilkins and Lampard share a joke at San Siro

"And another time when I was playing in America with Andrea Pirlo, and we were in Vancouver and we had dinner together in an Italian restaurant, and it was just a fantastic evening.

"So I just have a high regard for him, and the personal touch.

"The great thing with it is that it's very straight, very honest, everything he does, which is really refreshing."

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6 hours ago, Dan Lee said:

We will win. Do not worry too much, guys!

Yeah if I was analyzing this game as  neutral I'd say we'll have far too much pace and movement for Everton.

However being a fan there's always that paranoid side there :lol:

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3 minutes ago, Jason said:

Think Kovacic is starting tonight...

Yup, he is.

Pulisic nowhere to be seen...maybe Lampard is taking a precaution.

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4 hours ago, MoroccanBlue said:

Have a sneaky feeling we will see the return of Mount at RW....

If anything, it should be Havertz at RW. 

Called it. Don’t think Pulisic will ever be a top player at the rate. His body won’t let him. 

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Pulisic out injured again...

Suddenly we have basically zero attacking quality to bring on of for he bench with CHO, CP, and Ziyech all out with hamstrings. 😑😑😑

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