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  1. It looks like, and has looked like for the past year, that Lampard and Morris are trying to revolutionize football by playing the rare low line-high press system. It's safe to say it hasn't worked out, and probably won't either. Either Frank fixes it or we're looking at a season alternating between high highs and low lows.
  2. Palace pressed like mad men against Manchester United at Old Trafford to great success, so they obviously felt that pressing us as hard wouldn't give the same results. I think Havertz helps Jorginho (and the rest of the team) a lot. The German is never afraid to receive the ball and provide another outlet to bypass the press. I think Havertz is pure magic and one of the most innately gifted players I've seen play for us. Jorginho has the same bravery and is never afraid of putting himself on an island where if he makes a mistake it's disastrous. I get that he is polarizing and probably has as many weaknesses as strengths, but every top club that wants to dominate games at their premises need a player like him. If you deem him not good enough that's fine, but then you need to replace him with another player of his type.
  3. Ah, the ghost of Sarri still haunts us to this day. Almost ruined us! On a serious note, this is really unfair on Sarri. Hazard had his best statistical season for us under Sarri, mainly because he didn't have to play as a wide midfield player and therefore could receive the ball 15 meters further up the pitch. However, if you want to argue this point, then you would also have to argue that Lampard got bailed out last year by Pulisic (who Lampard didn't have all that much faith in early in the season) and Giroud (who played third fiddle, even behind Michy Friggin Batshuayi, for large periods of the season). Or you could argue that both Sarri and Lampard gave the correct instructions to get the most out of the offensive players they had at their disposal. It's one or the other, moving the goal posts just because one was a chain smoking tramp/failed banker/fackin' sarri (sorry) and one is a club legend isn't very nuanced or productive. Sarri had his flaws, but he did a good job with us. He even coached Kepa, Azpi, Rudiger (who we are now willing to sell to Spurs), your best buddy Luiz and Alonso, with your other best mate Jorginho as the player screening said defenders, to the comfortably third best defense in the league. Did we play dross football at times? Absolutely, but maybe Sarri recognized that he had to keep the ball at pretty much all cost and give tactical instructions till it because tedious for the players unless he wanted to ship three goals each game?
  4. I get that the guy isn’t popular, but haven’t Pep Guardiola disproven this? Over 100 points, 99 points, Liverpool getting an injury prone Thiago who can maybe play 35 games for them a season (and he’s worth it, even if he’s small and not athletic). Just because Havertz won’t be called the bison, or weigh 85 plus kilos or run box to box like Colin Bell doesn’t mean that he won’t be a success. Football has changed, and in my opinion for the better. Premier League has lagged behind in Europe for almost a decade, and the fact that we’ve started to turn a corner is because of the influx of European talent into the league again. Havertz is from the top drawer. In basketball you have players called an unicorn. Someone who has a catalogue of abilities that doesn’t make sense. Havertz is lightning fast, has a silky touch, top spatial awareness and a vast array of passes in his locker. And he’s 1.90 meters tall. That’s a unicorn. In my opinion he’s as surefire as Hazard was for success, and the only thing stopping him is injuries.
  5. I am not one of the revisionists in regards to Sarri. Think he’s a very good coach, think he did a great job here; but given the way the relationship with particularly the match going fans got rough, he had to move on. That’s life. Lampard was the correct hiring at the correct time. He did a very good job last year, albeit some of it due to the fact that he wasn’t Sarri (One Of Us TM). This is not that different to what Di Matteo did after Villas-Boas was here. I will say one thing as well, the players we’ve gotten now wouldn’t be here if Lampard didn’t sell his project well to Marina and Roman. Sarri, who wasn’t interested, nor Conte, who has the charm of a spoiled toddler, wouldn’t get Roman to buy him anything other than the bare necessities. This is a great ability to have as a coach. Unfortunately, and this is my opinion, that’s his by a country mile best attribute; he’s a good talker. He says the right things at the right time. However, it’s time to put the money where the mouth is. Never mind trolls on Twitter or here, Roman will demand improvements, and improvements rapidly. The excuses will only carry him to a certain point, and if he gets Declan Rice (still think he’s completely mediocre and will have a career likened to Scott Parker, where he’ll eventually find his role in a Spurs-like team) i think he has to deliver one of BPL or CL this or next season.
  6. Fully agree. Sarri (Failed Bank Clerk TM) got the basics down pretty well given that he only had a year (and a relatively short pre-season as well). We pressed very well, we played out from the back very well to the point that other teams stopped pressing us altogether and we had pretty much always the correct amount of distance between our lines. Mind you, this was with more or less the same group of players. Now our pressing consist of our attackers running one by one, hoping that their appearance scare the opposing defenders enough to boot it up the field. Our passing out from the back is beyond a joke, where our defenders treat the ball like lava and unless Jorginho plays (yes, I know he has other flaws), none of our midfield players have the ability nor bottle to make themselves available at all times. Lastly, the distances we have between our lines makes us look more like an AFL team, only that they play on a pitch that’s twice as big. These are all the basic, simple principles that Lampard has to get right before we can even dream about anything other than becoming a Tottenham or Arsenal-like club, where we place in the top four and play some good football, but ultimately fail to compete for any honors due to the fact that we don’t do the basics well. Yes, we are still waiting for a couple of attacking players, but at this rate we would expect them to score at least three goals every game, because every match we play turn into a game of Pinball where we simply doesn’t have any clue about how to control a game.
  7. Arteta’s first year reminds me a lot of what Sarri did his year here. Get the basics correct first (passing out from the back, short distances between defense, midfield and attack and teach the players how to press properly) before playing the expansive football both of them aspire to play.
  8. I like Reece a lot and can’t see any reason as to why Lampard would bench him, even if he makes a couple of mistakes. An offensive full back will always have a problem defensively, mainly because they are playing catch up as soon as the opponent have the ball. Look at Liverpool, they play three midfield players with defensive characteristics in order to cover for their bombarding full backs. Trent Alexander Arnold is absolutely irreplaceable for that team, as is Robertson. They do suspect defensive things all the time, especially TAA, but their attacking output makes up for it. We should hold Chelsea to the same standard; attack to win, and Reece is one of our finest attacking players.
  9. Out of all the things that Lampard is still working on, the fact that he is completely unable to find a balance in regards to our midfield is the most baffling thing. You have Jorginho, who’s a mainstay at one of the up and coming national teams in Europe at the moment. You have Kovacic, who plays fairly regularly for a very good national team and you have Kanté, who looks very good in France’s team. Regardless of whether you think Jorginho is too lightweight, Kova not direct enough and Kante not good enough on the ball, you should still be able to form a decent midfield out of these players. Especially when you factor in that Havertz can shoulder a lot of the creative burden. The fact that Lampard seems to think that Declan Rice, who’s completely average on the ball, is the solution to this conundrum doesn’t assure me for the future. I get that he shouts a lot, is a Chelsea-boy and has grit, but there is not a single top club in Europe who plays with such a poor ball handler at the base of the midfield. If we absolutely must pick up an English defensive midfield player, Phillips from Leeds would be a far better alternative for what we as a club aspire to be; a modern, dominant team.
  10. Not at all a fan of the constant complaining about every team and their mother have their cup final against us. We are just a terrible, terrible defensive team where almost every time the opposing team manages to pass quickly past our lackluster press it ends in a clear cut chance. Not to mention our set piece defending. The reason why absolute dross scores on too often is because we hand it to them on a plate, not because we’re cursed with an unlucky charm. Blaming the latter is small club mentality.
  11. i thought i had seen it all, but this is a new one. one (of the many) things sarri was absolutely slaughtered for was that he wanted everything to go through jorginho for better or worse. the u-shape started with conte's satanic 3-4-3, when there were no deep lying midfield player who could receive and pass the ball quickly through the lines. ironically, whether people think jorginho is the answer or not, we tend to play past or beside the midfield without him because kante nor kova are good enough at the fetch-and-pass game. this in turn makes our possessions turn into a u-shape.
  12. it would be an absolute travesty for a club of our ambitions and stature to play five at the back (which is what it is), especially counting the spending we've done in our attacking department this summer. agree a lot with g3.7 here. with each day lampard looks more like what ranieri was to us before mourinho came in and put the pieces together. blooding in a couple of youth players, being likeable and playing a relatively attractive style of football, but ultimately hinders himself with his constant tinkering of our line ups and failing to establish a system that creates consistent results.
  13. Having Jorginho on the field isn’t just about getting a good passer in the team, it’s about all the angles he creates for his teammates. When he drops deep, he presents an option for the player with the ball at all times (Pat Nevin called Jorginho our bravest player for doing so). If the player in possession chooses a different player, then Jorginho has created an autostrada through the middle for someone else to receive the ball. If Jorginho receives the ball, he will quickly ping it diagonally to the other CB or to one of the full backs for them to pass it up the field, or, if he has time, turn around and break the lines with a sharp pass. He’s one of the most spatially aware players I have seen. Jorginho probably has as many weaknesses as he has strengths, but in our team, his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. With a center back pairing of Zouma and Rudiger (or the other CB’s we can field), Jorginho is an absolute necessity. If we buy the next Terry and Carvalho, maybe you can do without a player like Jorginho, but not now. These are all tangible reasons to play Jorginho, and with his leadership skills it’s a no brainer, as far as I’m concerned. Kovacic and Kante are far better players individually, but I hope the experiment Frank has done with benching Jorginho is over now. His job is to break up play and get the ball effectively to the last third, and that’s a job he’s doing with flying colors this year.
  14. This could definitely be argued. However, the intent under Sarri was always to play like a big team, which in my opinion Conte never had. We couldn't do it under Sarri, maybe he tried changing too many things too fast without the correct personnel, but he stuck to his principles no matter the opponent. I believe we are reaping the benefits of having a squad that's used to play possession, play out from the back at all times football right now, not to mention the inclusion of Loftus Cheek and Hudson Odoi, albeit maybe too late, in the squad. We've grown over the years. Mourinho came and and implemented a siege mentality, us against them, backs against the wall and all that, but the modern way of football is to have the dominant teams dominate in a much greater extent than ten years ago. We aren't the underdogs anymore, and it's about time we acted like what we are, one of the premier clubs in Europe. For that, I think Sarri was the right appointment and I also think he did a great job. He kickstarted the project Lampard is now fine tuning. At the end of the day, both Sarri and us made an upgrade. Conte, since we are in his thread, is a terrific coach when things are going his way. He also has one of the most skewed moral compasses in football. Him taking over Inter is like Terry accepting a job at Tottenham. I don't care if it was a good opportunity for him, as I wouldn't if Terry took over Spurs; both would be dead to me.
  15. It was a joke, with the joke being that Sarri was the one at fault. I don’t think Sarri nor Lampard are at fault - the shackles are constructed by Barkley’s limited footballing skills.
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