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SydneyChelsea last won the day on December 30 2016

SydneyChelsea had the most liked content!


About SydneyChelsea

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    A Touchable
  • Birthday 25/02/88

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    Sydney, Australia
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    Good music, good food, good football

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  1. Unfortunately due to law changes, the only place you can easily watch midweek games is The Star. There is also the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills, but it's usually full of West Ham and Spurs fans.
  2. You realise "tika taka" turned one of the worst Barcelona sides of all time into a world-conquering force, right?
  3. How do you know this isn't actually the case? Agents 'agree terms' on behalf of their clients all the time. Other than that, it's nothing like "slander" so maybe we can untwist those knickers now? On another note, isn't it great to read through a thread on a football forum and see not-so-subtle xenophobia go unchallenged. What a f**king joke. When non-Brits behave in the exact same way as British clubs have been behaving for decades it is apparently a cause for moral panic. Football has always existed in an economic bubble. Serie A clubs spending big in the 90s is functionally no different to Man United, Madrid and Chelsea in the early 00s, City and PSG more recently or now China. Money is what drives success in football. If that wasn't the case then Arsenal would win trophies. Here's the thing; your precious Little England doesn't have any sort of implied right to the best players. The English Premier League is not the Holy Grail of football. Dismissing players who choose to play in China is rich when for the last two decades the EPL as a whole has relied on it's superior wages to attract players, let alone what we've done at Chelsea. Private investment from China is not a threat but a natural change to the market. There is no reason why, given the level of investment, the best players in the world should not go to China and make the Chinese Super League the best league in the world. Money breaks tradition, and given how much sh*t our club has endured by bitter fans around this very fact, arguing against that is laughably hypocritical. "f**k China"? f**k Europe, f**k UEFA, and f**k tradition, I say. Couch it in whatever reason you want, but I suspect some people are not being honest and just saying they don't like the idea of non-Europeans being major players in football.
  4. Just read this forum. People were arguing he was sh*t, because Mourinho couldn't make a mistake.
  5. Pushed out Mikel #ConteOut
  6. I'm not sure where this nonsense is coming from to be honest. What evidence is there that shows the media is not giving him credit? How does that sit when every outlet from the Mirror to the BBC are starry-eyed over how the 3-4-3 has supposedly revolutionised the EPL?
  7. I'm not a jinx, I promise. Alli has been playing so far forward he has effectively been playing as a second-striker and the 3-5-2 vs 4-4-2 situation I described above unfortunately may have played out against us. The reason why I mentioned Spurs, City and Liverpool in my earlier post is because they sit at the intersection of having the correct players to exploit the "weakness" in our tactics. One of the problems with specialisation in football is that we tend to pigeonhole our players a bit, and Alli is one of those elite midfielders who never quite fits a neat pigeonhole. He's just a bit of a nightmare matchup for our squad as it is, to be honest, being both a physically and technically talented player who can dribble, score, defend and assist, and is able to use these attributes in other positions (such as operating as a second striker) and loves to play wide and come centrally. Alli was always going to be a problem player because if he played in central midfield, he was too good a dribbler to press effectively, and if he played in attack, he'd exploit the 'weakness' of the 3-4-3 system by playing in the vacant space out wide while also having a favourable matchup against Azpilicueta or Cahill (for different reasons). As I said before the weakness of a back-three formation is that it allows a lot of room between wingback and the outside central defenders, which means plenty of space and chances to cross. In most of our games this season, it hasn't been a problem because our back-three were mopping up crosses against lone strikers all game long. With Dele Alli playing so far forward it allowed Spurs to have at least two bodies in the box at all times, which is much harder to handle. Add to that Alli was matching up on Azpilicueta, and you can see the problem. You can even see that Kante and Matic "let" Eriksen take the cross thinking it's a less riskier option than pressing him. At the end of the day though, It's a real stretch to say Tottenham dominated us and on another day we probably take home the draw if not more. We know the weakness in the system is that we will concede more chances from crosses, but I'd bet Conte is willing to take that risk because crosses are inefficient. If a team wants to try and win by pinging crosses at our back-three we will still probably win more than lose. I think Conte will be more frustrated that we didn't create more chances, and for me too, that's probably a question more worthwhile answering.
  8. Aha! I knew we had a thread on this somewhere. I've been meaning to post in this thread for sometime. These days, journalists and fans are pronouncing the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 dead. Ten years ago, in a post-Mourinho world, football journalists declared that the 4-4-2 was dead, buried and cremated thanks to the new 4-2-3-1/4-3-3. I remember reading years ago that Arrigo Sacchi and the Italian coaches who developed the 4-4-2 formation did so in response to the dominant 3-5-2 formations at the time. Sacchi reckoned that by playing wide and by evenly spacing his players, he could dominate three-at-the-back formations and his adoption of pressing and fluidity from "total football" (by integrating Gullit and Rjikaard) meant that defensive, counter-attacking formations were penalised. Going with two strikers assisted by overlapping wingers allowed Sacchi's Milan to better deal with 'sweeper' who was so often the key playmaker in the 3-5-2 by playing wide and cutting him completely out of the game. Finally, in later years, managers began to realise that the three central defenders were often dragged out of position by this newfound aggressiveness and width. So maybe, if we want to ping a particular formation, maybe the bog-standard 4-4-2 is what sides need to go with?? Maybe we have a rock-scissors-paper scenario, where 4-4-2 beats 3-4-3 beats 4-2-3-1 beats 4-4-2....? And why has a previously-redundant formation made a comeback? I'll post a little about this later in detail, but for now, my answer to the question is that formations are less important than other aspects of tactics, such as mentality (press or sit deep) and the skill sets of the players in teams. In particular, it's the interaction between these two aspects that determine how successful teams can be. The reason why wide play doesn't threaten Chelsea's back three as much as the wingers in those original 4-4-2s did is because the style of the winger has evolved drastically since. The winger is now essentially a forward and a goalscorer who cuts inside to create or shoot. He has little intention to hug the sideline and cross or stretch the play, and besides, most of the play is passed up through the centre and the focus is on "winning the midfield battle" ever since Mourinho demonstrated that 3 beats 2 in midfield. The great thing about this 3-4-3 is that it simply bypasses the midfield battle by playing around it. Kante and Matic don't need to interplay or weave through traffic in the centre; their job is to get the ball to Hazard or Costa to do that in the opponent's box. The 3-4-3 works so well now because the players have changed and they no longer play in a style that made it redundant. Maybe if a team could control the ball continuously through the midfield, they might have a shot, but only a handful of teams in the world can do that, let alone the Premiership. Spurs, City and maybe Man United if Mourinho lets them. It's a strong system, but it's not infallible, obviously. Systems are not designed to be infallible, merely to maximise the odds in your favour. Conte's system magnifies our strengths and minimizes weaknesses which means that we have a successful system that in the short term is very unlikely to be dominated. Whoever plays Chelsea plays on our terms. However, all that's needed to beat Chelsea is a good set piece, a world-class long range strike etc and some solid defending. Goals are inevitably conceded, it's just a matter of when you do and how you respond to them. Regardless of what formation you choose, set-pieces and penalties are always risky and it's possible a team will score from them and defend their lead.
  9. That doesn't mean that Luiz, individually, is a great defender. Given he still makes the same mistakes and has the same issues, it points to tactical genius on the part of Conte that minimises the consequences of his errors, rather than any earth-shattering improvement from Luiz.
  10. Being able to score goals is crucial to having a good defense. In any sort of contest you need to be able to back up your threats. Teams will not fear your defenses if they do not fear consequences for them throwing numbers forward, and that is exactly what happened under Mourinho. Mourinho's problem was that he thought that the only way to improve a defense is to become even more defensive. The football world has long-since changed since that was last a viable strategy. When clubs like Bournemouth are able to spend 15m on an attacking player, more and and more clubs have quality attackers that will consistently create chances against teams that concede possession unnecessarily. We saw that in spades last season, with the amount of last-minute and late goals conceded after taking a lead, simply because other teams knew we didn't have the ability to punish them in attack on a consistent basis. I think he's wasted out wide in any position. He lacks pace to play like Victor Moses or Willian, for example. I've only ever seen him play for Betis, but his best periods were when he was allowed to drift inside and play more centrally, because he combines extremely well with other players and is a great short passer. He'd be an awesome option in Pedro's role.
  11. Apologies for bringing this from the grave, but this is such a poorly contrived article. The author invents a conspiracy ("the media hates him" - even though most media have been gushing with praise over Luiz's reform) and then hedges his bets by patronising the audience by saying we can't possibly begin to understand him because of nebulous "passion". Most hilariously, of course, rather than provide some argument of substance the author elects to appeal to tub-thumping populism - "Everyone knows all stats are completely useless". In my posts earlier in this thread, it was evident that statistically David Luiz was no worse or better than any other top-level CB. The statistics defied my own attitude that he was error-prone and a defensive liability and I simply couldn't find any statistical evidence to back those opinions up. As a person who initially loved Luiz, but was extremely sceptical when he returned to Chelsea (see my earlier posts), I still remain to be convinced that anything has actually changed in Luiz's playstyle. The "I told you so" brigade have no doubt been quick to elevate Luiz firstly to the best CB in the squad, then the league, then the world and eventually the universe simply for doing his job to an acceptable level. I wrote a detailed post about the deficiencies in Luiz's game, particularly on @just and @g3.7's criticisms of him as a fundamentally poor defender. He lacks the technique to defend properly and this leads him to errors and compromised situations, his biggest weakeness being his penchant to chase after the ball-carrier rather than hold a position. I still think this very much the case, and the last few games (particularly Spurs, City and West Brom) continue to underline that for me he is a fundamentally poor defender. However, Conte's system and the switch to the 3-4-3 means that Luiz's inevitable mistakes are less consequential and I think this is where the real improvement originates. Luiz's inclination to step out of position is less of a liability when you have Azpilicueta or Cahill always sweeping behind him. For example, against West Brom, he was caught out of position on two occasions by Salomon Rondon but it was of little consequence as Azpilicueta and Cahill were available to sweep behind him, and therefore he could aggressively try and win the ball back. Conte's changes have meant that Luiz's innate deficiencies are minimized, and it is wonderful to see a manager opt for a tactical rather than a chequebook solution to Chelsea problems. Luiz can operate more freely and with less pressure because he is no longer the last line of defense.
  12. All three players were flops, but all of those signings were "worth" their fee, on paper, the day we signed them. Overpaying, is spending 30m on an unproven Andy Carroll or Memphis Depay or whatever the hell Man City paid for John Stones. The reality is that we have rarely paid for players above their market value. In recent times the closest I can think of are perhaps Willian and Oscar, who we paid above a fair price for given their transfer situations. Shaun Wright-Phillips is perhaps a better example where you can conclusively say his performance was down to the simple fact he wasn't as at the level required. I can think of a few examples where we have overpaid and it still worked out. Hazard, Essien, Duff, Ferreira...and Frank Lampard.
  13. How much more can one have their cake and it too?
  14. Of course, because some people are not here for the glamour of winning trophies but want to see the club do well in the long-term. It is still very early days with Conte. For all we know, this "revolution" may turn out to be another Leicester, or worse, a John Gregory-style Aston Villa. Looking at the long-term, it's important that people recognise and criticise where the club is failing to develop younger players. Winning titles means having squad depth, and integrating and developing your younger squad players is crucial to long-term success.