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  1. Antonio Conte - Now Officially Manager

    Do not forget those woeful Norwich performances!
  2. Antonio Conte - Now Officially Manager

    See my comments above. I am not sure he did not lose the players as the January transfer window opened. He talked a lot in the media about needing "players". Meanwhile, his current players overachieved to win the title last year. Every match since January 1st has had the same feel. How we have not lost more is beyond me. We look woeful. Something happened between the players and Conte. You can see it on the touchline. So perhaps many may feel he has brought it on himself. Jose is doing it a bit at United right now as well.
  3. Antonio Conte - Now Officially Manager

    Sad this is, really. Not sure where it all started to unravel. Perhaps the handling of Costa in the summer started the ball rolling, who really knows? The team has never looked quite right all year long. Slowly you could see the life draining from Conte on the touchline match after match. No longer managing each pass, etc. Not celebrating goals. The press conferences have become the snow ball rolling down hill that cannot be stopped. Conte is consumed by it. Coaching a large English club, in London no less, is one of the most pressure packed jobs you can take. The pundits dream up story lines and then watch to see if they can play out over time. They can be the ultimate haunt if you allow them. 2018 has been as horrific as mystifying as to where this has all come from. It seems to coincide with the opening of the January transfer market. Though Conte has a point we need an upgrade with 2 or 3 world class additions, the majority of these players did win the title last year, even if extremely as overachievers. Perhaps this has not sat well with the core players. No doubt the desire, passion, etc has been missing all of 2018. The Norwich games were just awful, only Norwich did not even have talent enough to beat us. I have been a huge Conte supporter and fan. I hate to see it end this way so quickly. Was hoping for three years at least. Unfortunately, I think we can all see clearly now. With the divide created by Conte and the Board, and perhaps with the players now too, this needs to end and soon. The last two matches have to be the worst two back-to-back match performances from Chelsea in 25 or more years, especially considering the competition. Other than Hazard's wizardry, we looked like a bunch of League Two players playing Watford in the 4th round of the League Cup. I believe the players are doing him in now. He even eluded to it in the post match comments, something to the effect in England, players can get the coach sacked, but not elsewhere. Oddly, with the right manager, we could revive the rest of the year and squeak into the Top 4 I think. Need some life breathed in. New training methods. New tactics. New formation. I know, eventually a lot of new players, but that is another topic for another day. The next couple of days shall be interesting. I just cannot see him surviving much longer. He is a great coach. An honest man to a fault perhaps. But this is a tough job. It is not for everyone.
  4. Players are no longer interested. You can see it.
  5. This as bad as it has been in many years, like 30. Beyond lethargic tonight. No one interested in playing. Can’t string two passes together. Should be down by 3. Baka’s worst performance yet. We may lose 4-0.
  6. Well, we should be down 2-0 already.
  7. It is interesting when we have the Pedro Willian Hazard front three, we tend to all stand around in and out of the box while one of the three dribbles, and dribbles, holds, and dribbles, etc. Other teams seem to pass quicker and more decisively while we dribble with little movement from the other players. Without Cesc, I am not sure we see much more than dribbling. Luiz and Cahill could get ugly. Don’t listen to me lads and play your hearts out. We need all three points tonight. Come on you Chelsea!!
  8. Sad tonight's match at Watford appears so pivotal for so many reasons. But nonetheless, here we are. My cynical side says Hazard will have hurt himself getting on the bus, Willian will have strained his hamstring rolling over on the bed this morning, Giroud will have put on 10 extra pounds in a week and not be match fit and Courtois sprained an ankle playing basketball and our XI will just be trash. Hopefully not. This match just has trouble written all over it. Interestingly all of our recent loanees seem to be off to nice starts. Not saying we need Batshuayi, Kenedy, etc back right now, more that I am curious if they are allowed to play with more freedom and less stress, which is why they have started well. I also realize Batshuayi played against the worst defense in the Bundesliga. Oh, well, which ever XI show up for the Chels, I support and hope they are focused tonight. Come on you Chelsea!!
  9. Good morning my Chelsea mates! Since we are all still reeling a bit from Wednesday's calamity and do not kickoff until Monday, I thought I would get a little analytical and look at two pressing issues: 1. Chances of finishing Fourth or higher and 2. Assessing our tired and thin talent. First, let's look at our chances at Top 4. There are 13 matches remaining (39 available points). Using a golf analogy, the projected cut line is 76 points, which is the pace Liverpool and we are playing, 2.0 points per match. Additionally, the history of the PL, the highest number of points for a fourth place club is 76, accomplished twice: 2016-17 Liverpool and 2007-08 Liverpool. Furthermore, 75 points is the most ever for a fifth place club, again accomplished last year by Arsenal at 75 points. So, it would appear 76 points is the bogey. Given the high degree of separation this year between the top 5 and the bottom 15, the number for fourth could be just a tad higher, say 78 or so. I believe 77 may just be the magic number for us to be fourth or higher, which is 27 out of the remaining 39 available points. Or nine wins. You can really group our remaining 13 matches into three categories: Likely Wins (4) West Brom, Palace, West Ham, Huddersfield; 50/50 or better (7) at Watford, at Burnley, Tottenham, at Southampton, at Swansea, Liverpool, at Newcastle; Likely Losses (2) at Man Utd, at Man City. Need to win all of the likely wins and win 5 of the 9 in the other two categories combined. Beating Tottenham and Liverpool at home will go along way. Looking at our competition: Man United still has Chelsea, Liverpool, at Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool still has Tottenham, at Man Utd, at Everton, at Chelsea Tottenham still has at Liverpool, Arsenal, at Chelsea, Man City Arsenal still has Tottenham, Man City, at Leicester, at Man United I believe this will all come down to the last couple of weeks in May. On to the roster. I think will all agree the team is tired from lack of depth and mentally tired from a lack of change in tactics. I feel the mental part really shows fatigue in gong forward. We seem out of ideas. Being out of the title race early has hurt motivation some, but not as bad as the collapse two year ago. Courtois - Obviously a world class player, but if Willy is staying, I am not sure there is a huge drop off if Courtois left in the summer. If the price is right, maybe Willy - I have been pleased. Not sure how long he is signed for, but quality number 2. Much better than Begovic or Schwarzer Azpilicueta - MOTY in many recent campaigns and just a tireless worker. Mr. Steady. Would not want to lose Cahill - Personally, I like Cahill's career overall, but has slipped the past two years and unfortunately is playing his way out Luiz - The Return of Side Show Bob this year. He was a huge reason we won the title last year, but has lost the plot. Headed elsewhere this summer Rudiger - Shows some ability. Not up to prior Chelsea levels at the position, but I think he cares and plays the best he can Christensen - The future at CB. Very fundamentally sound. Keeper Alonso - Brings skill to the wing and set pieces that is sorely needed in this squad. Lampard-esque at free kicks. Gets lazy at time defensively, but a keeper Zappacosta - See Rudiger Moses - Probably benefited the most from the Conte system change last year, but with every game slides further and further down the list. I like the guy but we need an upgrade Kante - a bit of an off year for him, but a must have in midfield Bakayoko - Though not earning his price tag yet, he is quick, strong and physical. With the right coach, could improve into something good in my opinion Cesc - Has been a tremendous part of two titles. Incredible vision and passing still, really slow and liability in midfield. This may be his last season in Chelsea blue but I applaud him for his past four years. Very likeable and would be missed Willian - We all know he is not the best finisher, but he gives us pace going forward, always seems to care, can create, will get defensive minded when needed and a good teammate. Need to keep certainly Pedro - Was excited about this signing a few years ago. Outside of maybe a three month stretch last year, kind of a meh player. Probably leaves soon. Barkley - not much to see thus far. Seems out of shape and needs to really work hard in training. Ultimately, I am not sure this signing does much for us. Hazard - Most talented player on the pitch most any game. Needs another star or two to go with him so teams can not focus on him and punish him physically. This is his SIXTH year for the Chels. He will be sold sometime over the coming few years I would think while his value remains relatively high. Hard to believe he is already 27! Seems just a kid at times. Likeable as well. I hope we keep for at least two more seasons and look for additions to go with him not sell him for additions. Morata - Great start. Teams figured out quickly not to allow him to beat you over the top and then bam, complete shut down. Huge disappointment thus far physically and with his flops. Very likeable guy. Has little to no hold up play and struggles to score with his feet. Massive potential. Had high hopes. Uncertain if he can adapt to PL style of play. Batshuayi - Off on loan. Still think there may be something there. Would hate to sell. A new manager might make a difference. Needs to improve hold up play and not always looking to score when he has the ball at his feet. Musonda - Off on loan. Quick, smart and skilled. Young. High hopes for him. Hope playing at dreaded Celtic further develops him. Ampudu - Young. Really young. Bright future. Giroud - Good addition as a second option at number 9. Experienced and proven. Just a little older. Should add quality depth for next 18 months. Conte - Well, we all love the guy, I think any way. He may have run his course. I am certain the board is tired of his press conference quotes. The players may have Conte fatigue too. Very good coach, and thankful to have him. An honest man with character. He won us a title. You can kind of tell by his sideline reactions or lack thereof he is moving on emotionally. He may have lost the plot tactically at the moment, though not much to work with depth wise with injuries, etc. He yearns for Italy I suppose. Would be shocked if he returns. Wish him the best and hope he gets us top four this year and FA Cup title. Whew, that's it. Tell me where I have gone wrong. Come on you Chelsea!!
  10. Olivier Giroud to Chelsea

    Wow, a striker with skills with their feet. We have not had one all year.
  11. Olivier Giroud to Chelsea

    No, I am pretty sure City will stop after Mahrez.......and Suarez.........and Neymar........and Messi, oh wait, they'll never stop.
  12. Olivier Giroud to Chelsea

    I think some on here are getting confused with the need with this signing. The Club was and is currently not looking for a first choice number 10. We just paid a ton for Morata. The club was looking for the number two choice behind Morata that may occasionally start. Though Batshuayi has scored a few recently, he is not what they or Conte are looking for at the moment. So Giroud is to be plan B throughout the rest of the year. He would have been great to have tomorrow night with Morata injured. This was NOT meant to be a marquee signing. It is a replacement for Batshuayi when we almost signed Llorente in August. Big upgrade over Llorente in my opinion. He is not Carroll, nor Crouch, nor Barnes or even Loic Remy (ha!). Giroud is a solid addition for the price and he has a lot of PL and CL experience. Welcome!!
  13. Olivier Giroud to Chelsea

    Telegraph reported he was already in route to Swansea when the deal was struck. Would be surprised if he plays. Heads back to London after the game.
  14. Who in blue heaven do we even have able to play in this one? Courtois? Isn't he still out? Though I am fine with Willy. Morata? Injured. Willian? Injured. Cesc? Still injured? Musonda? Out to Celtic. Batshuayi? Out to Dortmund. Barkley does not appear to be in very good shape at the moment. I am just not sure where the goals come from with no Morata, Willian, Cesc, Batshuayi, etc. Is there ANY chance that Giroud has his physical today since he is already in London and even gets into this game? Conventional wisdom says absolutely not, but our attack is going to be really WEAK with only Hazard, Pedro, Drinkwater, Moses and Alonso on the wings. Ideas?