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Curbs: No Change Under Grant


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Curbishley plays down Grant's impact at ChelseaAlan Curbishley: assured of a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images The West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has ignited a potential war of words with his Chelsea counterpart Avram Grant by insisting the Israeli has done nothing to evolve Chelsea since becoming the manager there and is "picking up" wins because of the foundations left by his predecessor, Jose Mourinho.Curbishley expects the side he encounters at Stamford Bridge in Saturday lunchtime's Premier League fixture to mirror the one West Ham played last season in both style and line-up. Such comments are sure to anger Grant, who has put great emphasis on the improving quality of Chelsea's football since he became manager in late September in an attempt to step out of Mourinho's shadow and establish his worth at the club."They're talking it up but if you care to look at it, there's not much difference," Curbishley said. "Drogba is a handful, the midfield three are as strong as you get, John Terry plays when he's fit and the other players are put around them. The side is well established and they play a certain way, it's just carried on."When he [Grant] took the job on he must have thought, 'I'm gonna win more than I lose with the squad I've got.' The foundations Mourinho left were there for everyone to see and he's taken over nice and quietly and picked up the results."A comparison between Grant's 14 matches in charge of Chelsea and Mourinho's last 14 indicate the club is not only winning more regularly but doing so in more flamboyant style. Chelsea have won 10 times since the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on September 23, Grant's first as manager, scoring 30 goals in the process. Running from the end of last season and until the 1-1 draw at home to Rosenborg on September 18, Mourinho's last match in charge, Chelsea won only four out of 14, scoring 14 times.But as far as Curbishley is concerned, the only difference at the club is the persona of the man in the hot seat. "He [Grant] was the perfect solution for the change Chelsea wanted. He's quite reserved, different to what they had."Curbishley also criticised the so-called big four's attempts to influence referees, days after Chelsea were charged with failing to control their players during the 2-0 victory away to Derby. The club has also only just paid a £30,000 fine for threatening behaviour towards the referee Mike Dean during the defeat at Old Trafford. "The big four teams definitely get after the ref a bit more than other teams," Curbishley said. "All the top teams are that way inclined - decisions are disputed, especially when they're at home."Curbishley is hoping Freddie Ljungberg will be in contention for the weekend fixture after missing Sunday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham with a migraine. Dean Ashton, a long-term injury concern, could also start.
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A comparison between Grant's 14 matches in charge of Chelsea and Mourinho's last 14 indicate the club is not only winning more regularly but doing so in more flamboyant style. Chelsea have won 10 times since the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on September 23, Grant's first as manager, scoring 30 goals in the process. Running from the end of last season and until the 1-1 draw at home to Rosenborg on September 18, Mourinho's last match in charge, Chelsea won only four out of 14, scoring 14 times.The glaring change after Grant is that we are scoring alot of goals early on. In those last Jose days goals were a bit difficult to come by. It was more of a heart attack football. With grant we are getting goals in first half.

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im not sure we have been playing alot better and going forward has looked alot better we play more as a team and so much smarter on the break so i think he has improved us alot in that factor but wheather or not its him doing it is another story

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Curbishly is right about our style of play, the team has the same players, it plays usually in Jose's formation and Grant has simply got the kind of players we needed back desparately from injury (Lamps, Drogba) and picked on where Jose left off. The team has always played like a cohesive, strong unit this is nothing new. The players often scored great goals, this again is nothing new but every time we see a goal now or a pass that is slick its a case of "you wouldn't see that under Mourinho" - you would but people choose to pretend we never did anything like this, how the hell did we win two back to back titles then? Playing chess on the pitch or quality football?The foundations of the squad have always been strong and the team spirit brilliant, aside from the intial shock when he left and losing against MU a few days later I don't think anything much has changed and I'm baffled as to why Grant is reaping praise for the so called amazing turnaround in results and style of play when all he has done is let the team get on with it. The opposition has been so poor overall that he didn't really have that much hard work to do than pick the players we usually see and tell them to get on with it and do what they have been trained so well to do already - WIN.As for comparing results how can you possibly compare across seasons, that's ridiculous.They are taking Grant's number of games in charge and then just checking back and including the end of last season and the start of this for Jose. How can you compare the end of a long hard season when we were dead on our feet and always tail off our results to a new season in late September, October when the players are fresh and just starting to play some competitions?If they are going to compare, perhaps they should contrast Grant's games against Jose's games for exactly the same period last season covering late September, October and November when weather conditions and players form and fitness would generally be the same. I think they would be surprised to find that Jose scored just as many goals if not more against far better quality opposition in all three competitions over that period than Grant has this.Yet apparently we are playing so much better, attacking football.

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Oh please god let us stick 6 goals past this bunch of twats and their retarded manager, i can't stand them.....
Lol would be a great retort. I think he's right though, even if he is stating the bleeding obvious. Grant should just say the same about Charlton :D , and ask just what is the attraction of heading pikey clubs ? And are you a Pearly in private ? Jose would.
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There has been a change in the way we play, at the moment it is not that hugely different, that is because you just cannot change the style of play that drastically overnight, it's impossible. But players are playing with more freedom, we are attacking in larger numbers and constantly going for the kill and then when in front to keep going.As time goes on it will get better, also with the addition of some creative players it will also improve the way we play more. At the moment it is good, but there is a long long way to go yet.

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Your optimism and postive attitude is commendable Esk. Seriously.Bit of a glass half empty man meself -what I've noticed is we've been exposed at the back, and it hasn't been exploited or found out due to luck, and calibre of opposition so far.
Don't worry i am not for one second implying that it is down to Grant :D it is 100% down to Ten Cate. It isn't a ground breaking difference yet like i said, but the difference is still there. Like i have said many times now (before jose left and after) part of ou lack of creativity is down to the lack of personel to play that way.Exposed at the back? Whilst i would agree that the defence is under a bit more pressure due to us attacking in more numbers the clean sheets speak for themselves, and rightly so. Our defence is strong enough to be able to say to the midfield and attack "You attack, we are strong to cope with a counter attack"...
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I thought Malouda was to be a replacement for the 'creatves' eg Duff and Robben, and to be fair he started off as such. Kalou, I've noticed is definitely in his element when on the left, and with SWP on the right Pizarro could come good when Drogbas out. I can see a forward/attacking midfielder arriving in January.The defence has looked solid but theres been a few times in the last few games when with a combination of luck and opposition fucking it up we've winged it.

or may be greg, its just that our first choice back four haven't had a run of games together...
Like a knife through butter Aroop, you're right again :D Grants a twat though
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I thought Malouda was to be a replacement for the 'creatves' eg Duff and Robben, and to be fair he started off as such. Kalou, I've noticed is definitely in his element when on the left, and with SWP on the right Pizarro could come good when Drogbas out. I can see a forward/attacking midfielder arriving in January.
Malouda is definately of the physical type of player we have seen come into the squad recently and certainly wouldn't call him creative in the same way that J.Cole is or Robben and Duff were... Kalou has a lot of promise and certainly one of our more threatening players, a bit up and down still - a little infuriating at times. SWP is a little too direct but at times can open a team up....I would like to see a real creative winger and a midfield playmaker to make us tick better going forward.
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I dont know why the club doesn't bring in Stoch or Sinclair. At least give them a few run outs.
I couldn't agree more!!! I am bemused by the Sinclair thing, he is a first team squad memeber, done excellant when given a chance but never gets a look in. The only reason i can think of is there are too many too keep happy (Malouda, J.Cole, SWP, Kalou) although the only one who has had any real form has been Joe.Stoch would be well worth the gamble, was aparently going to get a go in the Carling Cup earlier in the year but something happened that meant he couldn't. I would give him a run out against QPR he has proved he can play against the big boys and run rings around them......
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