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  1. 31 points
    Dorset

    Why Conte Must Roll Away The Stone

    “We played with fear. To play football in a great club, it means you must have a personality. It’s simple to play when there is the confidence. Especially in this type of moment, you can see who is [ready to play] for a great club, to play with personality and also to risk something.” Antonio Conte's most telling words after the Watford defeat and, perhaps, the first indication that radical change in player personnel will happen if he is allowed to continue in his job. For continue he must, not only to right the wrongs he has openly admitted to regarding team selection, but also to put an end to the continual flow of managerial departures every time the going gets tough at Stamford Bridge. It has become the Bridge of Perpetual Sighs throughout Roman's rule, as we the fans mourn the passing of a managerial loved one far too often for our own good, let alone the well-being of the club. The Guardian's Barney Ronay has already referred to this latest performance as 'a 90 minute Viking funeral for the Conte era' pronouncing death by missing adventure in the rest of his article. Sadly, he is probably right, but if ever there was a reason for breathing fresh life into the boss, as opposed to giving yet another coach a kiss of death call, it is the young talent emerging from the Academy and the mandate he has to get it into the first team as soon as possible. For Conte that time is right now, or next Monday to be precise, against West Brom in what amounts to an archetypal risen-from-the-dead moment when he has to roll away the stone currently blocking the pathway from Academy to first team football and allow some of the kids to venture forth into the cold, unforgiving light of a Premier League match. Much as he might want to send out the same bunch of regulars to redeem themselves, Conte can't, unless he wants to dig his own grave in a sub-plot generously offered to gullible fans by the media in exchange for their loyalty to the Italian. Instead, chances have to be given to as many of the side just defeated on penalties by Lincoln City in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final as he can justifiably shoehorn into the starting eleven, with at least one other waiting in anticipation on the bench. Suicidal many may say, but surely some sort of statement of future intent is necessary, even if it means leaving a few previously damn near permanent members of the first team out of the picture altogether. Without wishing the current three-day respite to turn into gardening leave longevity, my casualty list has to be headed by Tiemoue Bakayoko, though I have some sympathy for him, confronted by late replacement referee Mike Dean, who as per usual needed no second bidding to make a spectacle of himself by giving Baka two early yellow cards simply for being not very good. Gone are the days, it seems, when you had to cut a player in half 'Chopper' Harris style to warrant a yellow, although I doubt Watford players would have been treated in the same way by this official, who throughout his career has been nothing if not scrupulously unfair and totally inconsistent. Radicalism being the watchword and paying due regard to Andreas Christensen's injury, other names listed should be defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz, making way for a quartet of Under-21 players who have shown they are worthy of fast-tracking and, while in the mood to cull anybody who didn't perform against Watford, I'm afraid to say a decidedly jaded Victor Moses sits on the bench alongside the following:- Willy Caballero, Reece James, Emerson Palmieri, Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and Willian. Next, the starting X1 that will need a captain and Thibaut Courtois and Dave are the obvious candidates, but, in keeping with the whole Children of the Revolution vibe I want Conte to bring to this table-topping squad, they should both stand down in favour of Ethan Ampadu [deputising for Andreas Christensen] and before the laughter on this site gets too loud let me point out that it will not be too long before this kid proves his leadership qualities for his country, let alone his club, so the sooner we tap into this JT-esque attribute the better. Now for the full team in 3-4-2-1 formation:- Thibaut Courtois; Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Ethan Ampadu; Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, N'Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso; Edin Hazard, Callum Hudson-Odoi; Olivier Giroud. Such a high level of radicalism is wishful thinking, of course, but it would be nice to know exactly how far in this direction Antonio is prepared to take us, if at all. To give those Watford selections an opportunity to redeem themselves en bloc is in itself bordering on an admission of defeat and would only serve to strengthen the belief that he sees no real alternative to more of the same with, hopefully, a different outcome. That, to my mind, if it proved to be anything other than an emphatic victory, would be a worrying sign - no kick up the backside for the players who thought they were in the comfy seats without competition for them and, perhaps more importantly, no indication that the Conte era can be extended beyond the one season wonders label it will obviously have stuck on it should we not start the development process immediately. Stumbling on in similar fashion after scrapping and scraping a victory against West Brom would be like watching a much-loved boxing champion start to take far too much punishment far too early in their career. Roll those punches Antonio. Risk something. Trust in the enthusiasm and personality of youth and remember how young you were when you made your Serie A debut.. Roll away the stone.
  2. 23 points
    Mick Harford

    Super Frank's Derby County

    Rams fan here. Must admit I never thought I'd be joining a Chelsea forum unless it was to talk about that 6-4 game back in about 88. I've semi-adopted Chelsea as my team to follow in the Prem due to Frank coming to us. A plus is that Mick Harford played for us both, and he's my favourite ever outfield player for the Rams. Just to give an idea, last season under Rowett was very divisive for us Rams. Yes we won a few, but by God we were dire and uninspiring. Then we went on long runs without points or a win. Some fans were firmly pro-Rowett (ex-player and all that) and some were anti, with others (myself) just hoping for some continuity given the succession of managers that we have had in recent seasons. But I cannot stress how poor the football was, following Derby was a chore at times it was that uninspiring and devoid of excitement. I'm sure those of you that follow football know that we annually fall off a cliff after New Year, and we duly obliged by limping into the Play Offs last season. There is also a larger story behgind transfers at teh club and the over reliance on certain agent(s) which has led to an unbalanced and bloated squad. Then Rowett went, and the usual names were mentioned as a replacement, and we heard the name Lampard mentioned. A load of us thought "why not?" as we've literally tried experienced with promotions under belt, ex-player, previous manager, highly rated assistant and none have worked. Frank has been a breath of fresh air, he speaks well and with a purpose. None of the cliched platitudes that get trotted out usually, what he says makes sense. He has brought in youth (39 was consider youth for Rowett) and has manoeuvred a few out. We are blessed to have borrowed Mount off you guys for a season, the guy looks quality and to my mind even passes that go astray are due to players not being on his wavelength rather than inaccuracy. Tomori, to my mind, is a rock. That is not to say both are without faults, but they are young and are why they are on loan at Derby and not still at Chelsea, they will learn and grow. The buzz is fantastic around Frank as well, bit of worldwide coverage that we've not had since THAT season in 2007. As it stands for a novice Frank has done really well, Leeds outclassed us and we were beaten by the better team, Millwall could have been a draw or snuck a win but we got lucky at Reading so swings and roundabouts and all that. Also we are lucky that Jody M came with Frank, he seems top class and I reckon eventually both of them will return to Stamford Bridge, but it was great to watch that documentary on him on YouTube again. I'll post in here periodically to keep you abreast of how things are going, but until then best of luck for the season ahead.
  3. 22 points
    ForeverCarefree

    Gonzalo Higuain

    Only been in England for a day and already reached more cup finals than Harry Kane.
  4. 22 points
  5. 21 points
    That would require a very huge FA Cup rule change
  6. 20 points
    dkw

    Christian Pulisic - Official

    This is a 20 year old who has played 114 times for Dortmund, yet people have decided he is a Commercial purchase, nothing special, overrated before he's even played a single minute for us. Unbelievable.
  7. 20 points
    Davey Baby

    *Official* Pedro to Chelsea

    At the risk of upsetting yorkley and having my entire post dismissed as just "stuff" and having him bare his arse* at me, I'll wage into the debate about KDB. When a young player breaks into the first team, if they're to have any chance at all, you have to be a bit patient. I remember Lampard at the age of 23 coming to Chelsea. He wasn't that good. I remember people saying he was sh*t. I also remember people calling for patience. You can't rush to a judgement with new players, particularly young ones, and Lampard wasn't even that young. What Lampard did have was a nurturing manager, and that's where he got lucky. By the time Jose came along he was already a fabulous player, as was JT. Jose may have taken their game up a notch but had he arrived at Chelsea three or four years earlier there's no way JT or Lampard would have even been at the club, and if they were, their development would have been stifled, and they'd never have become the same players. KDB was bought by Chelsea with an immense reputation. He was already a Belgian international. He had inspired Genk to the title, as well as other domestic cups. He was getting goals and assists galore, and he was a teenager. This was a prodigious talent, and in those days, we had enough clout to get him. He spent the next year and a half on loan, with a year in Germany, where he scored 10 goals in 30 games. Not bad for a 21 year old kid, playing his first season in a major league. Not a bad goal tally, considering he wasn't a striker, he either played central midfield or on the flank. I remember saying at the time, on this forum, that he reminded me of David Beckham, and I predicted he would be even better. I'm not blowing my own trumpet. It was obvious he had quality. We knew he had quality. That's why we went out and spent good money on a teenager. So, a year and a half after signing, he finally gets his chance, and what a debut, man of the match in a resounding win, Sky giving him the award. I remember that game vividly. I had waited a long time to see him in a blue shirt and I was very excited to see him develop. It was clear he had massive potential. I also remember that game for another reason. We were 2-0 up at HT, playing some lovely free-flowing stuff and the second half promised to be fun, except, sadly, Jose had different ideas. "Fun" wasn't what Jose did. The football was clearly too free-flowing. The players were playing with a carefree abandon. At half-time he rectified it, and the second half turned into a non-event, but I'm sure Jose was happy with it, because the players were no longer ignoring his instructions. There was the warning sign right there. Jose put the handbrake on at half-time and ordered the players to conform to his structure, and, having played Hull off the park in the first half, he succeeded in sucking all the life out of the game. I remember being very disappointed. Tellingly, KDB didn't feature in the next match. He had impressed everybody watching but not the manager, and therein lies the story. KDB got a few games after that, I'm not sure how many but not many, and then he was out, because he wasn't doing what Jose wanted him to do tactically, or maybe because he simply wasn't interested. I have a hunch (which is backed up by a reliable source) that KDB felt that Jose was too intent on making him a better defensive player, rather than a better offensive one. KDB wanted a little creative licence, a little freedom on the park, and in that sense it soon became apparent he had the wrong manager. KDB wasn't obeying his instructions to the letter and Jose lost patience, rather quickly, and took him out the side. KDB was given scant opportunities after that, the odd game here or there, but Jose felt this wasn't a player who hung on his every word and worshipped the ground he walked on, so he was sold. It was a pitiful lack of judgement, but KDB had got his judgement bang on. Jose was happy. He could turn Oscar into Lee Cattermole instead. There are those that say he deserved to be sold, because he did nothing in a blue shirt. Laughable. He. Wasn't. Given. A. Chance. Same with Salah under Mourinho. Not. Given. A. Chance. A handful of games does not constitute a chance, especially when you're young and foreign, and especially when you're new to a big league and a big club, with all the pressure that brings. Some managers want to build, some want to nurture, some are only thinking of the short-term and go into a sulk when they can't have ready-made stars to fill every position. Jose was one of the latter. He wasn't interested if a player was going to be good tomorrow, and KDB had shown enough promise hitherto in his career to suggest he was going to be very good tomorrow, otherwise I don't think Wolfsburg were going to smash their transfer record for him. They knew something we didn't. They knew he was f**king good. KDB and Salah played a handful of times for Chelsea, and yet we have fans saying they deserved to be sold. How could they possibly know? They hadn't seen them for any meaningful period. They'd watched them for about ten minutes. The problem wasn't the players. It transpires it was the manager, giving them too many messages, messing with their heads, telling them to track back instead of forward. Either way, people shouldn't be too quick to judge. Give a player a little time, before you make your assessment. You never know they just might surprise you. Look at Lampard. So KDB went to Germany, and immediately won POTY in the Bundesliga, just like he'd won the award for best young player when we'd loaned him to Germany previously. Fancy that. He was good before he joined us, and good immediately after. Maybe he was good when he was with us. He just wasn't given a chance. He could have stayed at Chelsea of course and picked up his wages but he took a step down because he wanted to play and he knew he was good enough. Sadly his manager at Chelsea wasn't so astute. It was the best career move the player ever made. Of course many Chelsea fans felt we got good money when we sold him, and they were happy to see him go. I wasn't one of them, but there you go, we all get some things right and some things wrong. Since he's left however, it's been amusing watching people trying to convince themselves he isn't that good. He was great in Germany but it was only Germany. He looked good for City but what had he won for them? He never turned up in big games apparently. Strange, because all I ever saw was a great player, a top player, who was only ever getting better. * It's a great arse. Let's make no bones about it.
  8. 20 points
    Back in 2005 both Jamie Carragher and Rafa Benitez came out and said Steven Gerrard made the right decision in turning down a move to Chelsea to remain with Liverpool for the rest his Premier League career, but 12 years on chances are they will think differently if asked about Ross Barkley biting this particular bullet. Scouse centre backs and their cult hero managers may view things differently to the rest of us (special nights and all that) but even they cannot fail to see this was a career-making offer the Evertonian couldn't refuse. The fact that Stevie G chose instead to stay true to one club and wallow in title-free splendid isolation for the rest of his days says more about his lack of nerve back then and everything about Barkley's ambition now. Chelsea's reputed long-held belief in and pursuance of him is also the clearest indicator yet of the club's chosen path post-Conte-driven success and pre-Abramovich-driven Stamford Bridge renovation, that fast-approaching nomadic state during which we will need to be as penny-pinching as Arsenal were immediately after their Highbury move, but hopefully without displaying the same haughty martyrdom that accompanied it back then, a state of mind that has only served to undermine their title ambitions ever since. Remember, Chelsea bid £32m for Gerrard all those years ago and initially offered a mere £35m for Barkley this time around, so our move for him made obvious financial sense and with Antonio Conte also said to be an admirer there were no negatives other than there being nothing not to like. The boss has subsequently shown signs of distancing himself from this comment and perhaps all other deals, but there is no denying the transfer coup when measured against the outlandish sums spent in recent weeks on players of relatively similar age and ability. Moreover, continuing the comparison with his Liverpudlian counterpart, Barkley is thought to fit perfectly into Antonio's preferred 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 formations, much in the same way as Gerrard would have slotted into Jose's 4-3-3 alongside Lamps and Makelele. In the end it was 'The Bison' who played the hoped-for Gerrard role, replacing Tiago in what was a typical Mourinho power-based decision. It goes without saying that Conte would have done exactly the same thing, preferring muscle in midfield himself, and now there is every likelihood we will see Barkley, Kante, Drinkwater, Bakayoko and the one exception to this rule, Cesc, fight it out for three places every week. Like it or not (and, by the look on his face of late, he doesn't) it is clear that the boss sees these players in these formations as the only way forward and is content/resigned to work with them in a somewhat make-do-and-mend attempt at counteracting Pep Guardiola's all-conquering system. As we all know, it will take a shock of seismic proportions to stop Manchester City walking away with the Premier League title this season and, if every fawning pundit in the land is proved right for just once their life, the Champions League trophy and World Club Cup will not be far behind. Antonio's doing his hamstrung best, Jose's being well funded to do his worst, Arsene's done his usual, Klopp's pressing for all he is worth and Potch has strutted his Spursy stuff, yet to no avail. Guardiola is The Man, we are now told in one never-ending stream of print and podcasts, and his team is The Team, not only of the season so far, but also of the rest of it, the next, the one after that, on and on until he tires of world domination and books in for another of those New York sabbaticals. But to be fair, anyone who has watched City play of late could not fail to be impressed and they are undoubtedly the best team we have come up against other than the singularly inspired Roma outfit in that group stage game at the Bridge. Their points record also speaks for itself, so why should there be any doubting their credentials when it comes to predicting an unprecedented decade of domination? Well, have the last few months really been so spellbinding in terms of the football played and the tactics deployed? Has the aesthetic difference been so stark, between Pep's boxing clever style and Antonio's 3-5-2 formative overhaul of last season as to warrant so much effusive praise being heaped upon the Catalan? I think not, though others will disagree and it is, of course, a contentious subject for debate. However, perhaps the more pressing matter for Chelsea fans is not the prospect of City domination, but the ways and means of our suppressing it [ahead of our rivals] should the nightmare become reality. Options are limited, due in no small part to our impending stadium renovation, but nevertheless the first to be considered has to be matching fire with fire, finance with finance. Of course, option A - Financial Doping of the Wenger kind is no longer as effective as it once was, even though it now appears to be the acceptable face of capitalism in some quarters, those Abu Dhabi boys having used it to the fullest effect to get them where they are today while receiving nowhere near the amount of criticism levelled at us in the past. Still, moaning about it does not help the situation, which is summed up by realistic acceptance of the fact that City will outbid any other English club in the transfer market if and when it wants to and the rest of us must put up with what amounts to the second rate from now on. That said, Virgil van Dijk isn't second rate and he chose Liverpool ahead of City, but at a hefty price. Alexis Sanchez is also no second-rater, but in the end his agent drove too hard a bargain for everyone bar United, a club Arsene Wenger has grown to respect as being more like his own, apparently. Turning a blind eye to the hypocrisy of placing clubs with 60/75K capacity stadia on self-sufficient moral high ground whilst at the same time looking down on the rest as either financial dopers or no-hopers, the Frenchman appears only too pleased to do Sanchez business with an Ed Woodward who noodley-doodles all the day in preference to taking twice as much from the coffers of cash rich but classless Man City. Quite frankly, mock though the media may do at our links to Carroll, Crouch, Dzeko et al, Chelsea is better off out of all this tawdry, grossly inflated, double-standard dealing, both literally and metaphorically. A second, far more radical, option B would be to Give the Head Coach Increased Powers, lock, stock and barrel, including sole responsibility for everything on the transfer front. This radical change in policy would find favour with all those fans who continually criticise the board for every failure in the transfer market, but would Conte really want the increased workload and in this day and age isn't the whole concept of giving your manager a free rein an impractical proposition unless you have unlimited funding and can afford to make the occasional £50m mistake? Consider too that a once reined-in Conte may still simply go for highly experienced players rather than make greater use of the Academy, an acceptable strategy for many and not necessarily a bad thing if it meant continued success while we were away from the Bridge, but it is also worth recalling at this point that when Jose had much less on his plate and much greater clout over transfer dealings he chose to sign off on the permanent departures of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Mohamed Salah. Suffice to say, this option is fraught with danger and perhaps we would do well to remember the time Chelsea paid £13.2m to bring Andre Villas-Boas to Stamford Bridge to enact his Barcelona-lite ideas that had previously worked for him at Porto - in just over a year AVB was gone, the club having spent an unprecedented amount of time, effort and compensation to achieve very little, the remit being to drastically overhaul the club in a way many feel Conte should be empowered to do now. The onus would be on the Italian to deliver within budget, which in itself might be off-putting, but Conte has recently indicated he accepts the current Mancunian duopoly when it comes to the marketplace, stressing the need to overcome it in the only way possible... work, work and more work. Encouragingly, he has stated he is prepared to do this with the players at his disposal, even going so far as to say that he is happy with the current crop and his presence at both FA Youth Cup and Chekatrade Trophy games is also a sign that he feels there may be more where Andreas Christensen and Ethan Ampadu came from. It is because of this work ethic and an acceptance that, albeit grudgingly, living within our means and making the most use of our own resources is a necessity proving to be the mother of a new invention, a third way emerges which is arguably the only realistic one if the club does not want to forever follow in the footsteps of the North West Wastrels. So, what was already a remarkably fallow field of options is narrowed to just one, option C - An Academy Pipeline Fuelling The First Team Squad and supplemented by the purchase of players on the manager's wish list, over time and whenever financially viable. With a core of Academy players graduating each year, not only becoming part of the first team squad but being regularly used, we would in one fell swoop reduce the need to buy to merely satisfy squad depth requirements. No more short term fixes, the Drinkwaters, the Zappacostas, the hulking centre forwards Plan B-ing their place in the squad when Tammy Abraham does the job just as well, if not better, it would be a clear policy change and a pathway for Academy players. And to answer those sceptics who believe that the quality simply isn't there to call on, I would ask them to take a quick look at these recent Development Squad teams and their achievements:- FA Youth Cup - Chelsea 4 Sc**thorpe United 0 (Man City go out 6-5 on penalties and Man Utd go out 3-1 on penalties) Chelsea team (4-diamond-2) Jamie Cumming, Reece James (c), Marc Guehi, Ethan Ampadu, Juan Castillo, Conor Gallagher, Tariq Uwakwe, Billy Gilmour, George McEachran, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Martell Taylor-Crossdale. FA Youth Cup - Chelsea 7 West Brom 0 Chelsea team (4-2-3-1) Jamie Cumming; Tariq Lamptey, Marc Guehi, Jon Panzo, Juan Castillo; Conor Gallagher (c), George McEachran; Tariq Uwakwe, Tino Anjorin, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Daishawn Redan. Checkatrade Trophy - last 32 MK Dons 0 Chelsea 4 (Man City went out 4-3 on penalties to Chesterfield and Man Utd did not put a team in) Chelsea team (3-4-3) Eduardo; Reece James, Ethan Ampadu, Jake Clarke-Salter (c), Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Kyle Scott, Kenedy, Charly Musonda, Michy Batshuayi, Callum Hudson-Odoi. Checkatrade Trophy - Quarter finals Chelsea 3 v Oxford Utd 0 Chelsea team (3-4-2-1) Marcin Bulka; Dujon Sterling, Reece James, Ethan Ampadu, Trevoh Chalobah, Juan Castillo, Kyle Scott, Ruben Sammut (c), Harvey St Clair, Callum Hudson-Odoi; Daishawn Redan Some names appear repeatedly, others forever to be referred to as World Cup winners and six of them, Ethan Ampadu, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Dujon Sterling, Kyle Scott and Trevoh Chalobah, having all been involved with the first team squad already. The link established, these players train exclusively to mesh with the playing style of the first team and here is the first core of graduates ready and waiting to fulfil their roles at the highest level next season. This half-dozen includes 17/20yr-olds, but age should not be a factor any more (the Oxford United team average age was 28yrs, Chelsea's was 18yrs) just bring them in and concentrate all financial resources set aside for transfers on world class players in the next age bracket of 21/25yr-olds. The loanees could also play their part, Tammy Abraham having already been mentioned and guaranteed to return to stake his claim alongside the likes of Charly Musonda, Kenedy and Jake Clarke-Salter. The mantra should be 'if you are good enough, you are old enough' and in this new environment no position, save that of a Hazard, a Kante or Courtois, would be safe from the threat of a young usurper like Callum Hudson-Odoi or, as has already occurred, Ethan Ampadu Over the next few months Chelsea's priorities under Antonio Conte are the duel challenges of Barcelona in the Champions League and the need to consolidate our position in the top four of the Premier League. Failure on the first is acceptable and to a certain extent anticipated, but to end up fifth or lower in the league would signal the end for Antonio, a situation that may be more of an inevitable and acceptable way out for the Italian (who would obviously cite a falling out with the board as a major factor) than a failure on his part to shape our future after winning the title in his first season. The man may well be jockeying for position right through to the summer, and who can blame him given the club's record on managerial appointments over the last decade, but if he genuinely wants to stay, to work and work with this squad, he does have this third option. Giving a longer rein to the kids means a longer reign for Conte and the Abramovich hobby horse is there for someone, at some stage, to ride for all it is worth rather than be continually confined to the stables. Imagine a Premier League five years from now in which the same top six clubs are fighting for the title with squads assembled at vast expense and there in amongst them is Chelsea, primarily an in-house creation constructed at half the cost, containing younger, hungrier players, all of them on long term Mino Raiola and Jorge Mendes-free contracts, the Academy pipeline fuelling the system and setting an example for the rest to follow. It could happen, it should happen... and if Antonio doesn't want to spearhead it, then Roman should bring in someone who will.
  9. 20 points
    No real Chelsea fan ever wants us to lose!
  10. 19 points
    abramovich

    Big Pete Retires

    Don't care that he's been with Arsenal last few years, he's always been and will remain CFC legend. The man won everything at the club, put his body on the line, and was pure class on and off the pitch.
  11. 18 points
    Official statement from Antonio. At least he had the class and grace to thank everyone.
  12. 18 points
    If anyone wants to know who’s going to win the Grand National, PM me.
  13. 18 points
    Charles Ryder

    RIP Ray Wilkins

    https://weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com/2018/4/4/17199606/ray-wilkins-tributes
  14. 18 points
    Charles Ryder

    RIP Ray Wilkins

    Franco Baresi prior to tonight's Derby della Madonnina. https://twitter.com/btsportfootball/status/981572691244195840
  15. 18 points
    What a difference a year makes. This time last season I was so taken with our new manager, who despite not getting the players he'd asked for managed to put together a brilliant title winning side, which was just what the doctor ordered after the 2015-16 10th place fiasco. Now it's the opposite feeling. i still blame the board and owner for not backing him in the transfer market but that's no excuse for giving up and bitching and moaning at every opportunity about your hard lot in life. Disgraceful is what I call it. Magnificent in his first season and absolute shambles in the second. It's not even that we've been losing, it's the defeatist attitude coming from someone whose job is to motivate the players. I've already said it on this very thread, he should have walked in the summer, I'm sure he would have had no problem getting a job in a top club after the title winning season. If he's such a man of principle that he reminds everyone who'd listen at every presser how he was let down by the club, why not just leave and go where you'll be appreciated? No, he chose money and a bigger contract for the same duration. So why then are you constantly bitching how tough your job is? Non one forced you to stay. Shut the f**k up and get on with it. We have a separate thread to discuss how sh*t our board is, so I won't mention them here. But there's simply no excuse to fail like the team did this season. Cry all you want about broken promises, about the players you didn't get, and crappy players you got instead, the fact is, you've had more than enough to finish in a top four spot and you f**ked up. This is on you.
  16. 17 points
    mclovin83

    Jose Mourinho thread

    Can't say I am sad about this. In fact, I am happy he has left having never won a top level trophy with United. They are the first and only club that he has been at where he has not won the domestic title. In relative terns for Jose, it's been a failure at United. You do wonder if, when he looks back in a few years and see's the United job as the sh*t stain on his career which it is, whether he will regret sacrificing his relationship with Chelsea fan's to try and be 'one of them' I am sure over time the animosity between Chelsea & Jose will diminish, but there is a part of me that feels he had his chance to cement his legacy in Chelsea folk law and he somewhat chose to sacrifice that with his actions as United Manager, which were not needed. He could have been the bigger man, but that's just not Jose. Sad in a way that this is probably how his time in the Premier League will end. In his prime (2004-2006) he really was something special. The best Chelsea team I have witnessed was under his control, and I will never forget that. What he has become is a shadow of that man however, and a rather pathetic excuse of a top flight Manager. He has become reminiscent of a past his best heavy weight boxer who should have retired years ago.
  17. 17 points
    Forget formation, forget style, forget Sarri ball, that was won by commitment. End of.
  18. 17 points
    Hey lads, PAOK fan here, it was a honour playing with a club like yours. Chelsea is one of the most dominant clubs to ever play in Toumba Stadium and we faced lots of decent ones the last 5 years( Schalke, Ajax, Dortmund , Benfica, Tottenham etc.). I have never seen a club destroying us like you did today. just another level of football. You gotta respect the way Sarri's clubs control the game. Tactical masterpiece. I guess you are dissapointed by the incompetence of PAOK against such a strong rival, but you also have to take into account that our club plays with its 3 arch rivals in the next 10 days for Greek league and domestic cup, so our coach decided to play very conservative. People here are obsessed with those matches and losing them will be a disaster probably. Losing with dignity from Chelsea is not a big deal though.. Even full strength the difference of the clubs would be chaotic though, like 2-3 goals difference at least. Wish you luck for PL this year, it is a disgrace such a team not to participate in CL. See ya in London.
  19. 17 points
    Raven8er

    Jorginho is a Blue

    Met the man himself today during the meet & greet here in Perth! Didn't speak a word of English but was always smiling and (from help by his translator) expressed how happy and honored he is to have signed for a club like Chelsea and thanked the fans for his welcome to the club! He even argued with the staff at the store so he could stick around to sign autographs and take photos with some of the supporters that were told they were too late (despite being at the event on time), quality bloke!!
  20. 17 points
    Ewell CFC

    Next Chelsea Manager

    Can’t really see any big deal. If a manager gets sacked mid season his replacement takes over and normally witnesses an upwards bounce in results, despite having spent no time with the players. The World Cups in full flow, all our competitors are in the same bout re participants being late back to training. Regarding signings who else has set the world on fire? What is it about this forum and fair weather fans who like nothing better than a good old moan up. Edit- there’s something about the miserablist mindset of our more negative contributors, who somehow think by moaning all the time, it’s somehow connected to them “ caring more” about the club. Load of bollox- we all care but are able to realise that spreading false gloom isn’t necessarily pleasant for the readers.
  21. 17 points
    Valerie

    We want you to stay Courtois

    Don't forget to make a large donation towards the upkeep of this forum that allows you to post your drivel. The donation button is at the top of the page. Thanks.
  22. 16 points
    You're not going to watch your team in a European Final because we might lose? Shocking mentality.
  23. 16 points
    Give the man a break. We call for RLC and CHO, they did not start but were his first two subs, neither pulled up trees and with 20 minutes to go he changed his system and pulled Jorginho for Willian. He showed flexability at last and Hazard gave us a moment of magic to get a point. Wolves came to spoil the game, nothing wrong with that but we are not best withut Costa or Drogba to break down those teams. We fought first minute to last. The ball did not break for us. By United standards we should have had a pen for the handball the player kicked on to his own outstretched hand and the hazard one could easily have been given as a pen rather than free kick. Higuain was centermeters from a tap in, and on another day dave blocks their goal not deflects it in. We were unlucky. We dominated them and deserved to win and Sarri showed ambition with his changes. I thought he and the team handled the game very well and tried to the last against a fine team with a solid game plan.
  24. 16 points
    I think people in the match thread after tonight's win slagging off Sarri and the way we play aren't very clued up on football. All I see is everyone moaning saying we aren't making any progress and are boring to watch.. here's how I see it the first few months went smoothly and we transitioned to phase 1, it's stagnated now but it's still getting better and here's why: 1) Jorginho - he is the scapegoat unfortunately because he's sarris favourite, but I've noticed over the last 2 months he has improved so much defensively tonight he constantly hassled spurs and won it back, yes he can't shoot but he is finally shielding the defence and I believe it's not so much when Sarri gets a couple of players he wants Jorginho will go up another level, but when he keeps getting more physical and used to the league like he is really showing now. 2) Kante - coincidentally at the same time Jorginho is better shielding the defense Kante has been brilliant going forward recently and looks so much better passing, making runs and even shooting ! So that criticism of Sarri ruining Kante for Jorginho can now Be put to bed, hence the system is working and he's improving the players. 3)Azpilicueta - anther criticised at the start of the season has totally turned his form around and it's another reason why we look so much better at the back and he's now outperforming alonso each week going forward! Look how much solid we are recently has nobody noticed this? Because I never see it spoken about. Everyone moaned that Sarri had us open at the back AVB style, well we are the second best defence in the league and look great now in defence and playing out from the back too. now Sarri has said he just needs to solve the problem of a blunt attack now that we are more solid at the back and people doubt he will because if you think about it he's stuck to his system and improved us in every way - we play out from the back nearly as good as city spurs and Liverpool - we dominate the ball against all teams even spurs away - Kante is evolving into an even better player somehow - Jorginho is toughening up and getting effective defensively, this is night and day for me I constantly notice him tracking back chasing wingers and covering and breaking up play now. - Hudson -odoi will feature a lot now and Sarri will see he is the difference to sharpening up the attack imo we are just a striker and LB away from really flowing and looking brilliant. Hazard and CHO on the wings with a top number 9 and we are set. Don't see why everybody has to be so negative, we played really f**king well tonight! Maurizio is some coach and we're going to be some team when it clicks
  25. 16 points
  26. 16 points
    And they dare to call us rent boys
  27. 16 points
    I feel obliged to respond to this one, as it is something I have seen a lot of since the game from everyone ranging from Chelsea fans, to the media, to rival fans. I have even seen Liverpool fans outraged and offended on Mourinho's behalf. This is a fan base who have loathed the man for over a decade, and who refused to ever give him any credit or respect as Chelsea manager on the grounds that Chelsea's success under him was "bought". A fan base who have sung the very words "f**k off Mourinho" in every game they have ever come up against him, are now jumping to his defence when Chelsea fans do it. It's almost as if they couldn't give a sh*t about him, but that this is just a nice big stick to beat Chelsea fans with. As someone who used to worship the ground that Mourinho walked on, my take of the situation is this: - In a nutshell respect is, and always will be, a two way street. Juan Mata was applauded by the "classless" Chelsea fans every time he came up to take a corner, and again when he was subbed off. Zola was given a hero's welcome every time he returned as West Ham Manager. So there are two examples of former players and Managers, who have joined rivals, and still been given a hero's welcome on their return. - Furthermore, Jose Mourinho himself returned with Inter in 2010, knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League, and didn't receive any 'abuse' what so ever. -Before we get into why he may have received 'abuse' this time around, let's just get that in perspective. The 'abuse' consisted of approximately 10 seconds of "f**k off Mourinho" in the 96th minute in response to Mourinho seemingly trying to attack a member of the Chelsea dugout. At the time it was unclear who or why he was trying to attack anyone, but it certainly appeared he was the aggressor, as he was being physically restrained whilst going in the direction of the Chelsea technical area. - As I said before, respect is a two way street. It was always going to be difficult to continue to love Mourinho whilst United Manager, but not impossible. In my opinion, Mourinho has made no effort what so ever to maintain his legacy as a fans favourite at Stamford Bridge, and in fact has shown it a complete disregard. Lets break that down... - After the 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho took the defeat very badly (to say the least). He was outraged that Conte celebrated the 4th goal, and attempted to give him a telling off (obviously in full view of the camera, not behind closed doors). This then continue for the following season and a half, with Mourinho going to war with Conte in childish fashion, resorting to making references from anything ranging from match fixing to hair loss. It was as petty and disrespectful as you can get, and Conte deserved his criticism too, but Mourinho didn't need to go to war with Conte, he chose to. - After victory at Old Trafford under Mourinho decided to wait until the camera was on him once again, and then proceeded to thump Manchester United crest several times to the camera. Now I am not one to get precious about something like this, after all he was Manchester United manager, but again I would ask why he felt it necessary to do this? If he was interested in preserving his legacy as a Chelsea fan favourite, then I'm thinking after inflicting defeat on his former club (and the fans that once worshiped him), he may choose not to do this. - Upon his second defeat at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho got involved with the Chelsea fans and chose to gesture to them with his three fingers to signify the three titles that he won with us. Emphasis on with us, not for us. This was apparently in reaction to negative chants which were reported to be "You're not special anymore". Fairly tame stuff, and something you would think he may be able to rise above, Hell, he could have even hit back in his post match interview with something along the lines of "Chelsea fans can say what they want about me, but I will always love them for the faith they showed me in my darkest moments". That would have been an example of him acting like a 55 year old man who was taking the high ground and directing his comments at an entire fanbase for their loyalty over the years, not a select few who chanted something in the heat of the moment. Instead, he decided to go with this: "The fans can call me what they want. I am a professional. I defend my club. Until the moment [Chelsea] have a manager that wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’m the No1. When they have somebody who wins four Premier Leagues for them, I’ll be No2. For this moment, ‘Judas’ is No1.” In my opinion, it was childish, petty, and drove a wedge between many Chelsea fans who probably never sung a bad word about him. He chose to refer to himself as "judas" despite there being no such chant. At best, his comments were super defensive, at worst they were inflammatory. - He has made various comments about United being a bigger club than Chelsea during his time there. I actually don't care about these comments- United are a bigger club than Chelsea, but once again I would question why he needs to go on record spelling it out. One such example is ""Chelsea is a big club. Liverpool is a big club,” Mourinho said, before adding: “Manchester United is a super big club.". Basically, he could have said that United were the biggest club in the world, but he chose to mention Chelsea and make it clear that United are bigger. - On Sunday, (albeit under provocation), he decided to try and chase down the Chelsea assistant Manager to physically confront him for celebrating. People can make their own minds up about whether that was justified or not. After the incident he walked over to the travelling United supporters and applauded them. He then turned to the Chelsea fans (the family enclosure I will add) and did his three finger gesture again. Here we have a 56 year old man, a multi millionaire no less, getting involved with hand gestures to the family enclosure because he didn't like a chant directed at him. he could have been the bigger man, he chose not to be.... - In his post match interview there was no positive words to say about the club, as there never has been in any of his post match interview (win, lose or draw), and he chose to say United controlled the game (despite having less possession, less shots, less shots on target, less corners and less passes). No credit given at all. I quote Mourinho himself "When you go to your direct rival the love affair is over" This was obviously reference Lampard moving to City, but I think this is the way he see's it; Mourinho has well and truly moved on- he cares about United, and himself. He doesn't care about preserving his legacy as a Chelsea fan favourite. I think that is clear. He is happy to go to war with anyone and everyone at the club, from Conte to the fans. And that is what he has done. Had Mourinho chosen to behave differently, I am certain he wouldn't have been subjected to the 'abuse' he has received.
  28. 16 points
  29. 16 points
    Beerqueen

    Thibaut Courtois

    Courtois' heat map so far
  30. 16 points
    Zeta

    Thibaut Courtois

    Hopefully his ex moves to London now.
  31. 16 points
    bluedave

    Willian

    Managers make last minute subs all the time to waste a bit of time. Weird that it would suddenly be interpreted as a “f**k you” to anybody.
  32. 16 points
    Forget about the CL, forget about the league, all we need to have in mind is Ray Wilkins. He's the reason we should put our best performance this season! We must pay him the respect he deserves.
  33. 16 points
    Upsetter

    RIP Ray Wilkins

    Devastatingly sad news, for his family and friends especially, but also for the extended Chelsea family. We truly have lost one of our own, another link with what many older fans will always think of as "our" Chelsea. Ray was the same age as me, lived next door to my uncle way back when. Not that I knew him well, more of a friend of a friend, same goes for his brothers. You'd often see Ray on the Underground on a Saturday morning on his way to the match. At the time he was already a first team regular, our youngest ever Captain, and a full England international - somehow I can't imagine meeting any of the current crop of players under similar circumstances. Not a dig at the modern game, just an indication of how much things have changed. Described as a footballing nomad, no matter where he went, no matter who he played for, at heart Ray Wilkins was Chelsea through and through. RIP Ray Wilkins 1956-2018
  34. 16 points
    R.I.P. A great club stalwart over the years.
  35. 16 points
    The Liquidator

    Eden Hazard

    Some of our fans don't deserve Hazard. Some of the things I read about this player sometimes is appalling. 2 time PL champion, arguably the best player in 2 title winning campaigns under two different managers, 3 time CFC player of the year (all time record), one of the only 3 Chelsea players to win the PFA player of the year, most team of the year appearances by any Chelsea player ever. Yet some of you talk about him like he's nothing in a moment of adversity or/and dip in form and just right off what he's achieved. He's been very loyal to us. He didn't hand in a transfer request like Suarez did. He didn't hand in a transfer request like Coutinho did. If he wanted he could have left last season or the season before. Let's show some loyalty in return to a Chelsea legend. It's only fair.
  36. 16 points
    We went for it much more over these 2 legs than we did when we got past Barca on the way winning the Champions League in 2012. A combination of mistakes and bad luck led to a different result this time. Conte has rightly been blamed for some poor results recently but I don't think you can blame him tonight.
  37. 16 points
    dkw

    Worst in 35 years

    In the past 6 years Chelsea have won: The league twice The FA cup The champions league The European cup The league cup That's better than every other English team in that time period.
  38. 16 points
    It's also really easy to fake:
  39. 16 points
    Chelsea crisis continues as they move up to 2nd
  40. 16 points
    Big disappointment ? He was bought in as a decent CB and has gone on to achieve far more than anybody expected of him. He's been far from a big disappointment, if anything, he has exceeded expectations. 6 trophies with the club in 6 full seasons as a regular starter. 3 of those season's he has been included in the team of the season. How anybody can say he has been a big disappointment is laughable. He wasn't signed to be the next John Terry and nobody expected him to be.
  41. 15 points
    Sparkz

    Sarri - In or Out?

    No pre-season No top class striker First time managing outside of Italy Top 4 finish, runners up in the League Cup and a good chance to make the Europa League Final. We also have two players from our academy in RLC and Hudson-Odoi who have basically broken into the first 11 He's made mistakes, been stubborn and been frustrating at times but has actually done a very good job to be fair to him You also have to take into account the fact that he's playing a completely different system to what this squad is used to and that takes time
  42. 15 points
    mclovin83

    Callum Hudson-Odoi

    It looks like people are desperate for someone to blame in this scenario, but I don't really see it like that. It's just an unfortunate (and pretty rare situation) in that the player seemingly wants to leave Chelsea. Does that make CHO a snake? No. He just wants to leave. Is it the clubs fault? Not for me. He has been grown and nurtured by the club, and there is a contract offer on the table which most 18 year olds would consider a statement of intent alone at a club like Chelsea. Is it Sarri's fault? Again, not for me. We would all like to have seen him play for in the first half of the season, but he has just turned 18 and is literally breaking into the first team in front of everyone's eyes. He is now getting a respectable amount of minutes, and there is every reason to believe that if he is good enough he will take a starting place. When you consider that Hazard is likely to leave in the summer, and Pedro & Willian are in the final stages of their career, there is even more reason for him to believe their is a long term role in the starting 11 at Chelsea. On Sarri's part, he has made it clear CHO is good enough, and is in his plans. He has spelt it out in no uncertain terms. So I am not having the narrative that CHO is a snake, or that this is 'typical Chelsea' messing it up. He just wants to leave. He may regret it, he my not. But it is what it is, no need to find someone to blame. What I would say, is that Chelsea need to boss this situation. Bayern have been fairly aggressive in their persuit, and equally CHO has thrown in a transfer request days away from the close of the window. Chelsea need to make a statement that we are in charge, not CHO, and not Bayern. Personally, I would continue to play him, and refuse to sell until the summer, unless a suitable replacement can be brought in. This is the same stance we would take with Hazard if he wanted to leave in January, so I don't see why CHO should be treated any different. We will still get a substantial fee in the summer, and we can also give CHO 6 months of playing time to ensure we have given him every opportunity to consider the offer on the table from Chelsea. I am not a fan of keeping unhappy players in the camp, but this is a fairly unique situation, and one I think we need to dig our heel in on. It has been done to us many time before (Stones most recently, after he handed in a transfer request), so i would like us to show we are calling the shots on this one.
  43. 15 points
    I can't believe you started this thread...
  44. 15 points
    That rating for Azpilicueta is ridiculous. He was shaky in the first half, but he was fine in the 2nd, didn't put a foot wrong. A 6 out of 10 is more realistic. 2 is for the Titus Bramble's of the game. You also don't see the value of Kante. Just because he doesn't need to be saving our ass's all game, it doesn't mean he isn't effective.
  45. 15 points
    I completely disagree with that, it was a penalty by a player full of confidence, he made it look effortless.
  46. 15 points
    Munkworth

    RIP Ray Wilkins

    Just shows you that wherever he went he was loved. Not many people can have that effect.
  47. 15 points
    yorkleyblue

    Marcos Alonso

    Oh goody, another new clown joins the circus!
  48. 15 points
    coco

    Conte In? Or Conte Out?

    You lasted 3 hours 26 minutes.
  49. 15 points
    ForeverCarefree

    Marcos Alonso

    I get the impression a few people feel the same about yourself.
  50. 15 points
    f**king unbelievable by professional players.

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