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Everything posted by Socrates

  1. Credit to Gareth Bale and Harry Kane. As for our game, it’s a good thing it didn’t matter in the end. Hope Mount, Pulisic and Werner find their shooting boots by next week. The proverbial banjo and cow’s backside come to mind.
  2. Yep. I'd take a win on Tuesday over the FA Cup. Much more important game for us. Hopefully Tuchel will have learned a few things from today's poor performance. Mendy will surely start as well so that's already a positive.
  3. That was a hell of an important win. It didn’t look likely just before half-time. We were facing a penalty, potentially 2-0 down, and we hadn’t created much. Credit to Mendy for keeping his wits and realising in time what Aguero was up to. It changed everything and we came out and played well second half. Some frustrating off-side calls which we really need to work on. But eventually a fantastic strike from Ziyech. We survived that dive from Sterling, thankfully the ref, having given them a soft penalty already, wasn’t going to give them another. Then brilliant play from Hudson-Odoi and Werner in particular to set up the winner for Alonso. Fantastic win, performance, and mentality. Unexpected. But we could do with sealing a top four finish before the CL final. Results went our way in other games too. This is shaping up into a hell of an end to this season. Who’d have guessed?
  4. I really don’t see the strategy here. We’re more likely to qualify for the Champions League by getting points against teams like West Brom, aren’t we? Trying to prioritise Champions League is a big risk and means we’re more likely to fall between two stools. That looks more likely after today. I think Tuchel has done pretty well up to now, but today was a completely self-inflicted disaster. You can’t underestimate teams like that. It’s not like the French or German leagues where so-called “lesser” sides politely roll over for you.
  5. What on earth was Tuchel thinking? I just wish Tuchel would start our strongest players against teams like West Brom. He can take them off second half if they need a rest. We’d lost the game at half time, 2-1 down, ten men, and the wrong players on the pitch. It was a disaster. Why did Tuchel make the Porto game a priority? We’re not going to win the Champions League. Today was a must win game. A good run in the CL is a bonus. But let’s not get carried away. Top four is our priority.
  6. Really nice performance. Good to score that second goal so we could relax a bit. Could’ve been more but Pickford made some good stops. Very impressed by how Tuchel has transformed this squad in such a short space of time. Not just the confidence, but the passing, the solid defending, the movement, everyone seems to know what they are doing. Wasn’t expecting such a radical transformation but credit to the players for buying into Tuchel’s ideas. We look a completely new side.
  7. I think Tuchel has done well FWIW. Considering we were in free fall when Lampard was sacked, he's done well to steady things, stop us leaking goals and we at least are now competitive in games. We're a much more solid unit and our defence has been transformed beyond recognition. We certainly have a base to build on. We still have issues that need sorting. None of which are entirely Tuchel's fault. Giroud and Abraham are limited strikers and Werner's confidence was shot. Tuchel is still trying to work out his best options upfront. I was disappointed he started with Ziyech and Giroud today. It was a strange decision and let their defence off the hook. I'd like to see him try variations of Werner, Pulisic, Havertz, Mount. With Hudson-Odoi on the wing with Alonso/Chilwell. At least it'd be more adventurous and pacy. Would we really lose that much more defensively? It's not as if Giroud and Ziyech are known for tracking back.
  8. Disappointing. We probably had the best chance. Ziyech should have scored with a shot from inside the box. Giroud struggled and didn't hold up the ball very well. Ziyech got better but was largely ineffective. Pulisic and Werner would have given their defence more of a test. But both started on the bench for some reason. Defence was solid again. That's been a definite improvement. Rudiger and Christensen were very good today. Midfield was busy if uninspired. Reece James put in a couple of good crosses when he came on. Mount had a good game and is really the only player who looks capable of opening things up. Balance of the team is still not right. We're just not scoring and the games are running out.
  9. Fantastic result. After a shaky start, we defended really well. We kept going, kept our concentration, got a great goal and saw the game out. Really disappointed that Mount and Jorginho will be missing for the return leg. Thought they were our best players. Going to be tough without them. Wasn’t expecting that good a performance to be fair, but that was a really professional and disciplined display. Christensen, Rudiger and Alonso at the back were terrific. Never thought I’d say that a month ago.
  10. Well that was interesting. It’s been a while since we looked so well organised. Thought we really controlled that. Silva was terrific at the back. Probably MOM. Kovacic and Jorginho excellent in midfield. Long time since one could say that. Jorginho also in contention for MOM. He was superb today. CHO as wing-back giving us a lot of threat. Mount such a composed player for his age. Pulisic looking as if he’s getting back to form. A lot of positives for Tuchel. He’s clearly a smart manager and not afraid to change things. He wasn’t worried about bringing off Tammy at half time, who was having a stinker. Lots to build on. Just needs to get our strikers firing but that was a breath of fresh air to see us looking like a proper football team again.
  11. That was really poor. We held our own for the first five minutes. Fell asleep from a set piece. Didn’t learn our lesson and they scored from the next one. We had a chance to get back in the game with the Mount free-kick after the penalty that wasn’t given. But he didn’t get it anywhere near the goal. They then went down the pitch and scored and it was game over. They had two more good chances. We didn’t create anything of note till the chalked-off Werner effort. But 4-0 wouldn’t have been an unfair result. Leicester took their foot off the pedal as we were well beaten. No need to exert themselves more than necessary. A lot of poor performances all over the pitch. We looked as if we’d barely been coached. Players didn’t have a clue, a direction, an option. We were just making it up as we were going along. What on earth do we do on the training pitch? It was lamentable. Sorry to say this as Lampard was a genius player. But he’s out of his depth at this level. We need to get a proper manager in. This squad is crying out for some tactical discipline and nous. It’s not a good time to bring in a new coach. But we can’t allow this to go on.
  12. I don’t think today was the day to experiment by playing Werner through the middle and bringing in Ziyech after an injury lay off. I’d personally have saved that one for Morecambe in the FA Cup.
  13. That was down to Lampard. He's feeling the pressure and making really poor decisions. There was no reason to bring back Chilwell and James when they were clearly unfit. They both had poor games. If you are going to bring them back, presumably to put crosses into the box, then why is Giroud on the bench? Against a club he would've relished playing against? Why wasn't a frustrated Werner given a break, if only for one game, so Hudson-Odoi could start a game? He looked sharp. Why was Kante at one point playing centre forward and Abraham out on the wing? Why did Havertz come on and Giroud left on the bench? Why is Jorginho still taking penalties? Never mind starting ahead of Gilmour. It's just one poor decision after another, from line-up to tactics to in-game management. It was a masterclass in disaster. I loved Lampard as a player. But watching him so clearly out of his depth, is really sad. I know we have issues in midfield which need addressing in the next window. But we should be doing a lot better. And we shouldn't be losing against a really poor Arsenal side in the way we did today. It was pathetic, demoralising, and worst of all, totally unnecessary.
  14. Started well, got the goal, then lost our way from around 25 min mark. Very bad luck to lose Reece James then Chilwell. Azpi looked rusty but settled down and we were pretty solid at the back. Don’t recall them having a clear chance. Silva and Zouma were very good. Not that we we were entirely in charge. We were very wayward second half until Kovacic came on. Good win considering the injuries and changes.
  15. I’m glad someone else noticed this. I thought I was dreaming, watching him do this over and over, playing the ball backwards. Did any of his crosses find anyone? He mistimed one I remember that turned into a shot. Otherwise, asleep at the back for their goals. Almost like he doesn’t want to get involved as a defender. Expected more from him.
  16. Well, we rescued a point after an abysmal first half, so the team deserves some credit. But Alonso and James should not really be starting against Premier League opposition. We spent a lot of money on attacking players but are still somehow lumbered with Kante and Kovacic in the middle. We really need to sort out that mess as soon as possible. Not sure Frank knows what his best side is, but it sure shouldn’t include Alonso, James, Kovacic and Kante in the same starting line-up.
  17. I wouldn’t take notice of figures like 80m. These deals usually involve an upfront fee with bonus add-ons. Also, if things don’t work out with him, he’d still be worth a good fee in three or four years. And if it does work out, we’d have a solid left back for the next five years at least. FWIW I think he’d be an excellent signing given his age, and proven PL experience. I think some of the other overseas players being touted are more of a risk, even given they’re cheaper. The other thing to consider is that Lampard seems to want an English-based defence. Not because he’s being patriotic, but presumably because the players won’t take so long to adapt to the PL, and will be better at communicating with each other. I wouldn’t compare this deal with Kepa, where we really panicked after the departure of Courtois. In hindsight we’d have been better going for an English keeper anyway. If anything, the Kepa deal proves why Chilwell would be a better option. Scout your players properly and don’t rush into deals with the overseas flavour of the month.
  18. I think the rumour is we’re selling Emerson to Inter Milan. Can’t imagine we’d also sell Alonso as that would leave us with no cover at left back. What’s our situation with regards to youth team left backs? Surely Lampard would want cover if Chilwell is his first choice?
  19. Ben White is a very good prospect and paired with Declan Rice would be an improvement on what we have. I can see Tomori being loaned out and one of Christensen, Rudiger or Zouma being sold.
  20. Fantastic news if confirmed. Top quality young striker. And a strong statement of intent. I think we’re still due the transfer fee for Morata so that would make it a nice piece of business all round.
  21. I wonder if we’re setting up Lampard to fail. He looked really upset at the Press Conference today. Failing to seriously back a manager in the transfer window, when he explicitly asks for backing, usually means you’re on borrowed time.
  22. Yes it does. Lampard asked for signings to make up for the lack of transfer activity last Summer. Not necessarily first choice targets. But a couple of signings to deepen the squad, add more experience. Take the pressure off Abraham specifically. The Board had several weeks to bring in at least one option. To support Lampard. It was a test. And they couldn’t manage it. Says a lot about where we are as a club and where the Board are in relation to the manager. Really doesn’t bode well.
  23. Hasn’t he been out injured for a while? I guess we’re in full panic mode then.
  24. I see Minamino has started again for Liverpool. Signed in December. Been training with the first team for a month. Started two games already. Nobody is expecting him to tear up trees but has been introduced gradually into the set up. Got to admire how professionally Liverpool identify and introduce their targets into their system.
  25. I think the funds are there. It’s likely just indecision, uncertainty and possibly incompetence. Waiting till the last day to sign one likely stop-gap player is just a terrible way to do things. It’s blindingly obvious that you need to get players in earlier to give them time to train and adjust and even maybe play a cup game. Bringing in someone at the end of the window then asking them to hit the ground running, especially if they come from abroad, is really dubious. At this stage in the window we’re better off signing someone already playing in the Premier League. But, to be honest, I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. By the look of it, neither does Lampard.
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