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About spadefx

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    On the Bench

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  1. This is awful viewing. So passive, bare minimum effort all round, and constantly complaining to the referee. We're actually making Southampton look half decent. How have we become so lazy and petulant? Hazard the only attacker the looks interested, but nothing's coming off for him. Barring a major attitude change at half time this is absolutely ending with a loss.
  2. Agree Willian is in the better form, and quicker on the counter, but can't see Hazard being benched if fit. Wouldn't want to see either sit this out to be honest, it's a tough call.
  3. Can see a return to a 3-5-2 shape for this one. Bakayoko was once again very poor last night, but I can see him coming in for Willian, and (theoretically, at least), bulking up the centre of midfield. Regardless of who we've play alongside Kante in there we've been getting overrun with 2 in the middle, so it makes sense to me. While Morata was still a mile off where he needs to be against Leicester, I'd like to see him continue over Giroud, who hasn't offer much beyond his physicality. Hazard alongside obviously, despite Pedro's goal and Willian's excellent recent form (barring yesterday). Two really good options from the bench, however. Spurs have plenty of clinical finishers even with Kane out so at lot of this will depend on how well organised we are defensively. Reckon Conte will appreciate that and he has the time to set up a good game plan. Every game's a cup final now, hope we can get the three points when this comes around.
  4. Until Morata's prepared to take a few bruises it's just not going to work with him leading the line. Too scared of getting hurt for me, and defenders are clearly figuring that out. Frustrating given he's shown plenty of times he has the physicality to more than hold his own in these battles.
  5. Tony Gale is unbearable to listen to, and our defensive shape has been awful. We have three central midfielders and I've yet to see two contribute defensively or follow their man. Cesc justifies his selection as only he, Hazard and Morata have looked capable of creating a chance, but Bakayoko's barely contributed a thing. Lucky to not be two down, and absolutely crying out for a half time change. If Bakayoko remains on the pitch with the option we have on the bench I'll be stunned.
  6. Eden Hazard

    Not sure I understand the logic behind this 'rumour' circulating. Hazard's never seemed one to be effected by media speculation, and by all accounts seems pretty settled here. He's a family man, and taking face value from his interviews are settled and happy in London. I'd argue we match Man Utd's domestic and European ambition, and while we're not on their level commercially, we can comfortably match whatever wages they offer. He'd be joining a side with a manager he clearly didn't thrive under, who evidently tried to convert his role into one he didn't enjoy, and Hazard absolutely plays better when he's enjoying his football. I can see a French or Spanish move at some point in his career if he has his heart set on it, however he won't be the star man at those clubs, and wouldn't be allowed the freedom in attack he has under Conte, so I don't see it happening any time soon. Bizarre rumour all round for me. Not likely to happen, not likely to unsettle the club/player.
  7. Chelsea's UCL credentials

    Pretty happy with the draw, we have a knack of really stepping it up for the big games, and on recent evidence are plenty guilty of being complacent when we have the 'favourites' tag. When everything clicks with this side we're capable of beating anyone, we've got plenty of big game players in the squad and there's very few teams better than us at setting up to sit deep and counter. Nothing to lose as everyone will expect we drop out, but I can't help but fancy us and can't wait for the matches.
  8. We played the last 20 against West Ham with a back 4 (Azpi, Cahill, Christensen, Moses), so it wouldn't be the biggest surprise if we went with it. For me there has to be changes, I can understand sticking with the same lineup & formation going into the game on Saturday given its worked of late, but we barely threatened at all in the 90, and the effort (or lack thereof) from several players has to warrant dropping. For me: (3-4-3) - Courtois - Azpi, Christensen, Rudiger - Moses, Kante, Drinkwater, Alonso - Pedro, Batshuayi, Hazard
  9. 15 minutes, in desperate need of two goals as even a draw is no use whatsoever, and there's maybe 3 players somewhat interested in closing down or getting in the box going forward. An unacceptable attitude. West Ham have wanted it more today, but I don't feel like they had to strain particularly for this. A rollover first half, and only a marginal effort increase in the second. Totally deserved defeat when the full time whistle blows.
  10. Attacks just collapsing on the wings. Zappacosta continually attempting more than he's capable of and losing possession, Alonso just recycling or punting a hopeful cross any time he finds space. Really need to sacrifice a defender (preferably Zappacosta, who's been just as useless at the back) for a player with some end product, seeing as we only have 2 on the pitch. Preferably soon, before WH ride this momentum and hit us for 2.
  11. Unfortunate that Drinkwater's out, as I assume he'd be a definite starter after sitting out midweek. Think this could be a dangerous game to rest key players, or lose the 3-man midfield, so I suspect it'll be a similar lineup to Wednesday barring Alonso's return and possibly a start for Rudiger. Same situation as most weeks, 3 points needed and well achievable if we're at the races, but a dangerous opponents just as desperate for points. Hopefully Hazard continues his magnificent form.
  12. As ever, potential banana skin, and a a team not to underestimate. Absolutely no idea what lineup/formation we'll go for in this one. Pedro, Willian, Luiz & Rudiger could all feature, I doubt Cesc will sit out again, and if Moses is nearing full fitness he should return too. Could definitely see quite a few changes.
  13. A few thoughts... A point's frustrating, but it was probably a fair result on the balance of chances. Anfield's never easy, particularly when they raise the game for clubs like us, I'm not too disappointed. Good reaction after going the goal down, worried our heads would drop but we pushed them, and Conte made the bold changes. Perhaps Cesc starting would've improved the result, but Drinkwater put in a very good shift, kept Coutinho quiet, had a nearly assist and a nearly goal. As will be rightly discussed, Bakayoko had an awful game. I'll forgive the touch ahead of their goal, as that was a tricky spot, but he barely put a foot right at any other stage. It'll be interesting to see if Conte considers a Cesc, Drinkwater, Kante trio. I think Danny's tenacity might be a good compromise for the physicality we'd (in theory) lose without Bakayoko. Azpi was excellent again, as was Kante. Hazard faded, but tore them to shreds first half. Zappacosta was hopeless going forward, and not much better defensively. Roll on Moses returning. Willian again making a big contribution, but I don't see where he fits in from the start. It's rarely dull watching us anyway, I'll take a point gained, roll on the next one now.
  14. Interesting one. A few great first half performances, and a few woeful. Bakayoko might as well be at home, completely absent defensively and he's been more effective at starting Liverpool attacks than their entire midfield. And Zappacosta, I can't fault his effort or work rate, real knack of being in the right position, but awful in the tackle and so wasteful in the final third. Alonso's done OK against their danger man, particularly given the pace difference. Azpi, Kante, Drinkwater and Hazard have kept us in this and kept us threatening. Need to introduce Cesc and (if fit, hopefully) Moses early. Fancy us in this half.
  15. Key thing for me is that we don't let the heads drop if we go a goal or two down. Liverpool are very dangerous going forward, but they don't close games well. Can see there being a few goals in this, and as long as we have the legs (and shooting boots on) in the latter stages I fancy us taking three points.