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Took us from 10th to finishing 4th. This has to be credited. Yes, we lost the final game but he gave us the chance to fight for the top 4 after that Lampard fiasco. And we did it. With luck. Again. Ju

I tell you what, it you're so convinced this season is going to be shit, would you be willing to put your money where your mouth is? If we finish outside the top four I'll donate £200 to the foru

A manager taking responsibility? Preposterous!

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I think the top 4 this season will end up finishing a fair distance from the pack and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if any of them went on to win the league. I think all carry some positives and negatives.

Two big issues for us last season we've at least addressed being (1) we're starting the season with an elite coach and to boot, one that has now had 6 months experience in the league and with the squad, and (2) buying a striker who regardless of what people think of him should score goals.

Unless someone goes and puts a 100 point season on the board, I'd be shocked if we're not much closer this season. Another trophy or two to add to the Super Cup this season and getting to within 5-10 points of the top of the table I think would be a very good year to continue to show progress and build on. 

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1 hour ago, Mana said:

I agree it doesn't happen overnight, but you are talking as if these players are new to the club. They have been playing first team football for at least 2 years, some of them 3+ years. 

Yes but the squad underwent major changes over the last two summers (excluding this year). In 2019, it was all about using the academy players. In 2020, we bought new attacking players. Then of course, a pandemic happened and threw everything out of the window. Players suffered injuries or COVID in Havertz's case. Players suffered loss of form, confidence. Manager got sacked midway through the season and a new one was appointed. Add all of that up and we have a not-so-smooth circumstances with the team. With minimal changes to the squad this time around and having a proper coach as manager for a change, it's not silly to expect the players to improve, both as individual and collectively. If they don't, then we can talk about changes next summer.

2 hours ago, Mana said:

You look at Werner for example. Hand on heart, be honest. Do you think he'll score 20+ goals in a season for us? Will he be that type of player we all wish he'll be? Yes we don't know. I'm not God, I don't have a crystal ball. But record HAS shown from other players...with an exception of Drogba if a player doesn't do well in his debut season, most likely he's a flop of a player.

No, I don't see Werner getting 20+ goals per season for us but I do expect him to score at least 10-15 goals, considering he's a wide forward rather than an out-and-out striker. Do that and he would be a serviceable player for us, just like the likes of Pedro etc.

I don't know why people are keen to label players as flops. How exactly is Werner a flop when he literally played a full part in our Champions League success last season (and I'm not just talking about the goals) for example? Not putting Werner in the same pedestal as Drogba but think Mourinho once said that one should judge a player's legacy when he leaves the club (or something along those lines). So how about we see what Werner does with his Chelsea career? Moreover, just as a player can fall away after starting well at a club, the same logic can be applied the other way round. Morata is probably one example and another is Pulisic. The latter did well in his debut season but hasn't been the same since, despite not suffering any serious injury since last November. 

2 hours ago, Mana said:

Then we have players from the other end of the spectrum like Alonso, Jorginho etc. who are very limited players at least in a Chelsea shirt. You seriously can't think these players will improve overtime to the standard we want them to be?

Those players are limited but I would say they have been serviceable to the team at the very least.

When I mentioned about players improving, I meant the younger ones as well as collectively. 

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If Tuchel wins at least one more trophy, he'll become the 4th manager in the club's history to win at least 3 trophies, after Vialli (5), Mourinho (8) and Ancelotti (3). BUT if the Community Shield is excluded, then he would the 3rd.

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Super smart from tuchel to let it go into pks too so to end the penalties curse. 😉

Tuchel’s squad management seems to be spot on for the start of the season. He’s playing the most fit, which clearly gives us an edge considering how uneven it is typically at this time. 

kudos to the preseason prep because we have several players flying high at the moment. While perhaps not match fit just yet, they are all running like dogs.

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14 minutes ago, Vesper said:

If we win the FWCC we are only 1 trophy behind Real Madrid since 2004-5

21 v 22

but Barca have fucking 35

Bayern 36

PSG 30, but fuckall in Europe

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On 12/08/2021 at 03:00, Mana said:

Well if we have a terrible season but somehow got both of those trophies then I guess I can't complain...

It will be hard to overlook the entire 38+ game season though just because we won 3 matches that lead us to the SC and CWC (IF we win it).

I've always seen these super cup type of matches as extensions of the trophies that lead to them (Champions League, League title, etc) rather than their own standalone achievements. For that reason they aren't considered major trophies and winning only those and nothing else would be a failure.

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"To be totally honest, I see us as the number four, that cannot be the favourite in the next year," he said. "They have to close the gap to three, two and one. We said during the campaign in the last half-year we set the bar high and look to close gaps during 90 minutes, and that's what we'll try to continue.

"This is the Premier League, a tough competition. It's on us, we are in this role and in the role of the hunters, we have to close the gap to Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

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4 hours ago, Warning_Hazard said:

"To be totally honest, I see us as the number four, that cannot be the favourite in the next year," he said. "They have to close the gap to three, two and one. We said during the campaign in the last half-year we set the bar high and look to close gaps during 90 minutes, and that's what we'll try to continue.

"This is the Premier League, a tough competition. It's on us, we are in this role and in the role of the hunters, we have to close the gap to Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Since he is here we are 2nd after City so he doesn't have to close the gap on others. 

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17 hours ago, Atomiswave said:

We had much confidence vs CP, so much poise. And TT came out of it as a tactical genius didnt he.

There's not a manger in the world that I would have ahead of TT.

And yes I include Guardiola and Klipty Klopp.

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‘I think we have now with Romelu the chance also to play with two strikers, like they did at Inter with him, or to continue with three strikers. We will see now how this works out and we will find a solution for the players around him.'

As expected, tactical tweaks are about to be unleashed now with a typical No. 9.

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Dancing, double sessions and the Backstreet Boys - how Tuchel got Chelsea ready for the season.

Chelseas start to the season couldnt have gone much better. Played two, won two and a first trophy the UEFA Super Cup already in the cabinet.

It is already a positive indication of the work coach Thomas Tuchel put in during pre-season, his first as Chelsea coach having taken over in January this year.

Tuchel had obviously proved himself as a top manager to his players, let alone the outside world, by taking Chelsea to a Champions League triumph in May. But those weeks leading up to the start of the 2021-22 campaign has provided even more insight into how the 47-year-old likes to operate.

As he has pointed out in press conferences, it hasnt been easy. Chelseas vast contingent of returning loan players, fringe talent and academy prospects meant he has been having to organise up to 42 players at one time or another. But speaking to club insiders and people close to the situation, a picture emerges of a man who is relishing the job.

This is not an individual who is basking in the glow of beating Manchester City in Porto. As one source tells The Athletic: "He has treated pre-season like an open canvas. He was telling the boys, Look, dont think because we won the Champions League, thats it. There are players who he has looked at, who perhaps he isnt seen much of, with fresh eyes. That has been noticeable for someone like Trevoh Chalobah.

"He went into it telling people, This is your chance to shine. He has been saying this in front of the group. He was letting them know. He doesnt like people to feel comfortable. Hes going to make your life a living hell if you think youre just going to come back from your break and play in the first team.

"One of his messages to players is he wants to see them work harder, drive harder. He has said it openly in some of the press conferences, like his comments about Ruben Loftus-Cheek after the Arsenal friendly (said he wants the midfielder to keep on going 150 per cent because 100 per cent is not enough). But he says it to their faces as well. No-one can be comfortable, he wants to see more and more."

Clearly for a lot of those involved while internationals were on holiday following their exploits at the European Championship, or the Copa America in Thiago Silvas case, there was little chance of forcing their way into the senior squad. Big money transfer disappointments of yesteryear like Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Tiemoue Bakayoko, who cost £90 million between them, havent been given a squad number and told to organise moves elsewhere.

Having so many players facing inevitable disappointment could have led to a toxic atmosphere in the camp. Far from it. Footage from Chelseas camp in Ireland showed the kind of spirit Tuchel generated. In one training drill between two teams, he said the losing side would have to perform a Backstreet Boys song in front of everyone before dinner.

"This wasnt the only thing hes done to keep things fun," another insider added. "Theres been more singing and dancing, basketball competitions. Everyone is buzzing. Players feel like theyve benefitted from the first opportunity to work on things over a concerted period. They didnt have that last season because it was fixture after fixture when he arrived. They have got to work under him, go away with him. Players have got to see even more that he is cool, a nice guy." 

Undoubtedly you will always find someone who have feelings of angst or resentment. That is normal, especially when youre not being given enough minutes or being picked in what you think is your best position. But there does seem to be a lot of respect for the man in charge regardless.

With such a large squad at his disposal and at different levels physically, he has had no choice but to split them up into three or four groups. The former Paris Saint-Germain manager has leaned heavily on his fitness coaches to draw up a programme to suit each section. He is thought to be very happy with the contribution theyve made.

Understandably there will have been a temptation to bring all the internationals, the ones who made up the majority of the first team, back into the fold as soon as possible. But Tuchel made a point of pulling individuals to one side, explaining that he would be careful with them and not look to rush them back. As its turned out, some were clearly too important to ignore like Jorginho and Mason Mount, who were involved in the European Championship final on July 11 and yet started Chelseas 3-0 win over Crystal Palace having come on as substitutes in the Super Cup final three days before.

Keeping harmony in the camp appears to have been one of his main goals. "He has just been really chilled out," a source reveals. "He had to go to Ireland with a group where the majority knew they wouldnt be playing for him. But he kept a really positive vibe, you would see his arm around players offering words of encouragement. 

"Tuchel is very meticulous in his planning, but it was not regimented. It was not a set group and the rest havent felt included. People would come in and out. He took double sessions but you would see one group working on something in the morning and then hed change it up in the afternoon. He has kept everyone on their toes. It is a contrast to some previous managers who just concentrated on their trusted lieutenants and didnt interact so much with the others.

"He was also involved in every element of the session and did a lot of one-on-one stuff. He was very vocal with specific players giving them instructions and would occasionally stop training, put an arm around someone and tell them whats what."

Tuchels positive mood is infectious but it helps that he is in such a happy place himself. Signing a contract extension until 2024 in June has provided a bit more stability, well as much as one can get when being in the dugout at Chelsea.

Significantly, he is no longer living in a hotel and has moved into a house with his wife and two children. They had to remain behind in France when Tuchel took the Chelsea job.

As he said last week: "Work is work and family is family but of course now that I have found a house I dont live in a hotel anymore, it makes life much more enjoyable."

When Tuchel was appointed, much was made about how he had had altercations with all his former employers at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and PSG before he left. Given Chelseas track record of hiring and firing managers, it didnt exactly sound like a marriage made in heaven.

But so far so good and not just because Tuchel has won two bits of silverware. For example, the transfer market. Chelsea have only just completed their first significant signing of the summer with the £97.5 million acquisition of forward Romelu Lukaku. It has taken a long time for the club to get their man, so much so the Belgian has missed pre-season and the opening matches.

It has been noted how some coaches in the past would have caused a tense atmosphere during the close season over the lack of early business. But Tuchel, who insisted on his arrival that he had learned from mistakes made in the past and had changed his ways, has stayed true to his word. Communication with director Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech, Chelseas technical and performance advisor, has remained relaxed throughout. Tuchel was hoping all along to get two or three players to improve the side but was said to be fairly relaxed if it didnt happen. He is obviously pleased the Lukaku deal came good though.

Such is Tuchels demeanour around the place, one source describes it as "like hes been around for years rather than six months". Tuchel is also content delighted that he is left to his own devices when taking training sessions. This is in stark contrast to his experiences at PSG and Dortmund. It is understood he already regards Chelsea as the best club he has ever been employed at. He and his staff have enjoyed having a kickabout with some of the non-football staff.

One always feels wary when writing about managers enjoying their life at Chelsea this much because it is a club where things can change very quickly like the wind.

The Champions League success has raised expectations, not just among the fans but the hierarchy too, even more so following the investment in Lukaku.

Tuchel has been doing his utmost to keep appraisal of the situation under control. He accepts they are title contenders, which is why he has been talking about Chelsea being "the hunters". Yet he regards winning the Champions League as very much ahead of schedule and is wary that the majority of this group werent involved in the clubs last Premier League triumph in 2017.

What many fans want to know is if he has been trying some alternative formations. Sources have confirmed he has looked at four at the back as well as his favoured three-man defence system. It is understood attacking players have been tried out in various roles. This is why youve seen Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi at wing-back as well as further up the field.

Predominantly stamina seems to be the priority. "Tuchel worked on fitness big time," one source explains to The Athletic. "There has been a lot of running, looking at number stats. Ultimately, to play the way he wants to play, you have to be super fit. You have to go up and down that pitch. Forward press, side to side, its a demanding shape no matter what position you have. For example, he asked one of the players to be more aggressive in his play, more ambitious, play with more spark and he got a reaction. 

"Training has been more intense than what they were used to under him last season. The intensity was frightening. Double sessions every day for two weeks."

It is a measure of Chelseas complicated preparations that Tuchel arranged a friendly behind closed doors against National League side Weymouth FC on Sunday to give people like Thiago Silva and Hudson-Odoi a run-out.

Tuchel doesnt expect his men to be fully up to speed until after the next international break. They cant afford a slow start to the campaign as they have tough fixtures against Arsenal and Liverpool before that interlude, then Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City after it.

But the Chelseas manager couldnt have done much more in the circumstances to put them on the right path.

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