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Everything posted by SydneyChelsea

  1. My favourite part about it is that his shot didn't even make the goal line. I think that letting go of De Bruyne was a horrible mistake but Salah was genuinely rubbish for us. He also deserves a lot of credit for going to Serie A and working his arse off to be something other than Egypt's Gronkjaer, because he could have coasted there on promise alone. Of course he absolutely nails one of those shots for Liverpool when he plays against us
  2. Me too, but regardless Colwill will always have more senior experience than Mbuyamba. Barring severe loss of form or injuries, it's hard to see Mbuyamba getting to the first team anywhere ahead of Colwill.
  3. Did anyone watch the full game against Macedonia? He missed two easy chances, scored two more difficult ones and yet was pretty average all around against a C-grade team that would struggle in League 1. I'd dearly love him to succeed but he just doesn't have the mental tools to be consistent at the top level. Batshuayi in a different shirt.
  4. He's also competing against Levi Colwill, who is younger and already one of the breakout stars of this Championship season. By the time both are in line for first team selection Colwill is likely to have 40-50 games more senior experience, and at a higher level that Mbuyamba.
  5. I think Havertz is the best suited player to complement Lukaku actually. Lukaku says himself he dislikes playing as a central striker as his preferred move is to attack from the right-hand side. Havertz is at his best when he has space to attack the centre. We saw glimpses of how this should work against Arsenal with Lukaku dragging the CBs out of position and allowing Havertz to attack the space or get in behind the CBs. I think that ultimately we need to start looking away from the 3-atb system and start looking at moving to a 4-3-3 with Havertz as the central forward. Our defence is nothing to write home about this season despite the miserly goal count - we are overperforming our Expected Goals Against (xGA) which suggests we are conceding chances from 'good' shooting positions. That's due to some great individual performances from our defenders and keeper rather than the system. Understat's xG model predicts that we should have conceded 8 goals from our 7 games this season - we have only conceded 3! For comparison, our defence was so strong last season that the same xG model predicted we should have only conceded 11 goals from Tuchel's 18 games. It's times like these that great coaches make winning changes, so over to Tuchel.
  6. I 100% agree, but remember what Salah was doing for Chelsea at the same age: Not every player makes the jump from promising star to actual champion, however. I think there are some glaring weaknesses in his ability - such as unwillingness/inability to beat a player - that need to be ironed out if he is to be a top player. Right now his skill set seems to be completely but only suited to a false-9, deep striker role but you can't wed yourself to a niche position/role at the age of 22 and hope to have a long and successful career.
  7. Not a bad plan. Unlike City, Chelsea or PSG, Newcastle are starting from rock bottom and do not have the allure of a world city to entice younger players. Post-Brexit work permit laws will prevent them adopting a Sevilla/Dortmund/RB Leipzig approach of collecting young talent and top 4 is probably beyond them this season. That restricts them to young British players carrying a premium, or established players that won't mind playing in Europa. There are plenty of players out there who will fit that bill - Barcelona, Madrid and Juve execs will be thanking their lucky stars.
  8. Both is the correct answer. Kante is the best presser and tackler in the team, but it means nothing if he is the only one doing it. We saw this under both Sarri and Lampard. Arguably the biggest tactical change Tuchel brought was actual organisation to the press, something that both Sarri and Lampard unfortunately failed at. Kante was repeatedly criticised for ball-chasing and being out of position. With no structure to the press, however, it was doomed to fail regardless of what he did. A Kante who isn't winning the ball upfield is a neutered Kante. Getting that effective press back has to be Tuchel's priority. We're playing way too deep a defensive line which gives the opposition too much space on the counter-attack. Our xG against has suffered this year despite our amazing defensive record - more a testament to the quality/confidence of our individuals in defence rather than the team's organisation as before. In attack, Lukaku is receiving the ball too deep to be effective and there are few runners close to him to receive his layoffs when he does hold the ball up. Werner is receiving the ball and running at defenders instead of attacking the space behind. The net result is that few players are able to break the opponent's lines/shape and it's all too easy to defend. In saying that if Ziyech was in top form and hitting those deep crosses he is capable of we'd be laughing but it seems silly for a team to hang their fortunes on an inconsistent player.
  9. What a dick Anyway on an unrelated note: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47131088#:~:text=Ex-Manchester United boss José,separate fine of €2m.
  10. Which is exactly what we did for 90 minutes and lost
  11. I mean Kane is the perfect deep-lying forward, offers anything Firmino does with the ability to score 20+ goals a season. Lukaku is also capable of this kind of player but needs to be receiving the ball out wide on the right.
  12. I don't agree in general about your stance on Lukaku but I do think this is a great post, in particular challenging the idea that a clinical Lukaku is a better outcome overall than an effective attacking unit. Lukaku was bought because we had a great attacking system that created a lot of chance, that needed a clinical finisher. We've stopped creating chances, the chances we do create are even lesser quality, and we are relying on a single 'clinical' player to produce. This is a risky proposition because when Lukaku fails, we all fail. Just two weeks ago Tuchel and Chelsea were being feted for having 15 different goal scorers in 14 games. If you were to review the squad after the last two games that seems like a distant memory. There does need to be a bit of perspective here and we can't draw conclusions from just two games to assume that our tactics in "big games" are broken. Yes, Chelsea beat City three times but of those three occasions only the CL final was the most comprehensive and even then, City had great chances to take control of the game. It's difficult to read too much into that. Game state is an important thing we should never discount. I agree 100% about the "false 9", and not just in the forward position but all around the pitch. A good pressing, well-organised defensive team causes an opposition to regress to a 4-6 block; 4 attackers, 6 defenders that remain rigid in their positions and patterns of play. This allows the defensive team to 'control' the attacking team, shepherding them into unfavourable situtations where they lose the ball. And for a perfect example of that we need only to watch the Champions League final where Man City were forced into hoping their wide players could beat Chilwell/James 1v1. One of the problems we have at Chelsea is that if you press us effectively and in an organised manner, we will fall into the trap of not just a 4-6 block but a 2-8. This is because we have so few players in any given teamsheet that are able to break the lines that an organised press effectively results in us playing 2-8 or 1-9 - think of Werner/Lukaku vs City. We need players to break the lines and that's where the 'false' nature of having Mount and Havertz in the starting line-up is so crucial. Mount, Havertz and Kante are the only three players we have who routinely break through lines with their running and are a plausible goal threat. Kovacic, Pulisic, Jorginho, Alonso etc are all good at one thing or another but are so poor in other aspects that it can be exploited. Saul Niguez should 100% be that player but is a long way away from being consistent. Basically we need Conor Gallagher back
  13. It's sort of the reality at the moment - English football has never been more competitive, but the best English teams are still behind Bayern and PSG in the CL. Mind you, both teams have the luxury of using their domestic games as training exercises.
  14. Quite the opposite. Italian football is more attacking but the quality of defending is abysmal compared to 4-5 years ago.
  15. He looks really good - dare I say it, with more end product than either Mount or Gilmour right now. He is a very attacking midfielder who is always in the box playing as a second striker. Tactically, I wonder how many top teams would be able to accomodate a player like that - we've seen similar players like Shinji Kagawa fail at a top team for that reason.
  16. Maybe we need to stop sending Pulisic to the USA to avoid him getting injured in meaningless games
  17. We're all locked down here in Sydney too, so it's not like I've got anywhere to be on a Monday night! I can see us putting together a run of 14-15 games unbeaten but that's meaningless when the other title challengers are capable of putting together 15 wins. It means they have less to fear from the head-to-head match ups as the strength of their teams means they can run down challengers in the long run. In any title-chasing season, every team expects to have one difficult run that they need to conquer, and in that context our recent run would be excellent but for the fact we have to do it all over again! As it turns out, we have to do the entire reverse run of these fixtures after Christmas. Based on likely form (and Chelsea's historical predilection to stutter over Christmas/NY), this run is potentially harder: Aston Villa (A) Brighton (H) Liverpool (H) Man City (A) Tottenham (H) Brighton (A) Arsenal (H) Crystal Palace (A) Leicester (H) While the one saving grace is that the majority of the fixtures are at home, unless we fix our attacking plays every single one of those teams bar Man City will be happy to come to Stamford Bridge, sit deep and play for the draw on the counter. Neither City nor Liverpool have anything difficult in the lead up to our New Year fixtures against them, and will likely coast into them with momentum. The run home from there is quite easy on paper with just Leeds (A) and Manchester United (A) looming, as the remaining London derbies are at home. However, again neither City nor Liverpool have much to worry about their on their run home, so there will be intense pressure on an inexperienced squad (and coach, to an extent) to pick up what should be a relatively straightforward 33 points. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that if Chelsea won it, it would be one of the most difficult title runs ever.
  18. We did, actually! In 2014-15, Chelsea never managed more than 4 wins in a row, although we had two lengthy unbeaten streaks and managed to string together 3-4 wins multiple times that season. Leicester managed just two 5-game winning streaks in 2015/16. Even so, each five-win streak was part of a larger unbeaten run consisting of at least 7 games, with an 11-game unbeaten run to finish the season. However it's fair to say the competition has fundamentally changed since then, with 4 teams legitimately capable of challenging for a title with extended runs. It's marathon to see whose run will last the longest.
  19. Exactly this. In fact, we might even be to blame - four of the top six winning streaks in the EPL happened after Conte's Chelsea in 2016/17, all of which resulted in a title Man City - 18 wins - 2017/18 Man City - 15 wins - 2018/19 Liverpool - 17 wins - 2019/20 Man City - 15 wins - 2020/21 Unlike the early and mid 2000s where a plucky point up north to Newcastle or Blackburn was a cause to be celebrated, it simply won't do now - we have to go there and win.
  20. Less than a week ago many on this forum jumped @just (with some even resorting to call him a troll...) and yet what was said then was proven true. Tuchel took off Kante and our team suffered. You simply don't take off the best player in the world and expect to be competitive let alone win games against top teams. Jorginho, Kovacic, Lukaku and especially Werner and Azpilicueta were abysmal in attack. Tuchel, lauded this week by media sycophants as the "best manager in the world", made some real clangers and would probably hold himself accountable more than most. Tuchel has often warned that we lack energy in attack and that was yet again apparent. One glaring squad weakness is the lack of players who are able to dribble/run at opponents, with only Lukaku and Pulisic seemingly willing to do so. Mitigiating this requires fast ball movement and energetic pressing, neither of which were evident. Tuchel is often found yelling on the sidelines for the defenders to push forward and hold the high line, which is designed to stop the risk of situations like Gabriel Jesus and others taking pot shots from distance. The high line removes the element of luck from deep crosses and shots outside the box, and plays to our defenders strengths - in James, Azpilicueta, Thiago, Rudiger and Christensen we have 5 of the top 10 one-on-one defenders in world football right now and it is extremely hard for players to beat them around the outside. As soon as we drop deep, it allows more space for midfielders to pass into the channels from threatening positions, plus opens up the opportunity for long-distance shots. It also means we have more space to cover when pressing and when we do win the ball back, it has to be a long pass to a forward who is further away from goal. Chilwell was also a big miss in a game like this, because of his ability to run with the ball and his speed in attack and defense. We desperately needed players able to carry the ball, with Kante the only one capable. Kovacic was unwilling to run at players in midfield which is strange given that has been his most outstanding attribute of late, and while Rodri gave a transition masterclass at one end, Man City's players were just happy to let Jorginho have the ball and shepherd other players in to poor passing lanes. Subbing in Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a gamble but a good sub on Tuchel's part, as he was exactly the sort of player needed. A fully-fit and firing Saul would have been perfect for this game, too. Yet, in Kante we had the best player in the world in that role, and he was taken off early for some strange reason. In the aftermath it will be interesting to see the passmap because it seems like the midfield were acting as if Werner, not Lukaku was the target man. Our best moments were when Lukaku made short work of Laporte with his back to goal, but failed to find a final pass to Werner. Similarly, Werner was given a few situations where he was 1 vs 1 with Dias or Cancelo and could not capitalise. The romantic notion than Lukaku's strength or Werner's pace alone are enough to force defences into submission was proven wrong. Havertz is really the best option for games like these although his unwillingness to dribble and beat players will always limit him until it improves. But all is not lost despite the apparent mood shift on this part of the forum. It was one bad game, against one of the few teams with the players to actually exploit the weaknesses Chelsea have in attack. In fact it's nice to have a coach who is reflecting on his own mistakes more than critcising referees/FIFA/UEFA/the lizard people. City created little of note (no uncontested chances, for example) prior to Gabriel Jesus's goal and even after Chelsea were forced to come forward they were not their usual self. The real problem is that if this is City's best, Liverpool will beat them because they won't make the same mistakes in attack and that puts us a little behind in the title race.
  21. I think the game has changed so much that no longer applies. A good striker covers all ills and his ability to bully the lesser lights elevates our ability in the league.
  22. I only could watch extended highlights but CHO's absence in them and commentary in here seems to speak to this too. Whether it was light-hearted joking in preason about CHO "hiding", or his more stern comments about CHO refusing to play for England U21s, you get the impression Tuchel needs Hudson-Odoi to take more responsibility in games and be less anonymous, and he just isn't doing that.
  23. My lasting memory of Gronkjaer was the regularity with which that specific play ended up in Row Z, but also the ease with which he beat defenders of all sorts to get the shot off. I was and still am a massive fan but watching Duff, Robben and even Joe Cole a few short years later made me realise what a genuine winger would have brought to the table.
  24. Calling Spurs a big game gives them far more credence as a club than they deserve. Surely West Ham are a bigger derby at this point.
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