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Bournemouth v Chelsea (PL) Sat 29th Feb 15:00 GMT

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We got Liverpool, City and Everton (unless I'm missing someone) of the supposed toughest fixtures remaining. Looking at others fixtures, it's going to the wire. Injuries has affected us this season, or at least the latter half of the season anyway. 

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4th for another weekend at least. It feels inevitable that we will drop out of it though. Once again, the weaknesses in this group were exposed. Basically, teams just need to sit off us for a bit, put pressure on in the second half and we crumble. We have one defender in this whole team that can defend, Azpilicueta, everybody else is terrible. We have sacrificed defending for ball playing cb's and it's made us a much weaker football team. The same goes with the midfield, it has zero stength in there, just weak ball players. Play a simple ball through them and we are in big trouble. Jorginho and Kovacic are our best CM pairing this season, no doubt about that, but in the long run, it will never bring us success. Jorginho and Kovacic will eventually be bullied as a pairing, they aren't Xavi and Iniesta and this isn't La Liga. There is almost zero physical presence in this team, almost every single one of our players on the field today was lightweight. Kante will bring some physicality to our game, but we will never take full advantage of it if we are going to keep giving him a free role and have him running around like a headless chicken.

We seriously need some muscle in this team and players that aren't going to crumble at the slightest bit of pressure. Loftus-Cheek's presence alone would improve this team, and he's good on the ball too. I can't wait until he is back playing. He won't be back to his best for a while, but it would be nice to see a player in our team that won't be bullied by the opposition so easily.

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3 minutes ago, Scott Harris said:

4th for another weekend at least. It feels inevitable that we will drop out of it though. Once again, the weaknesses in this group were exposed. Basically, teams just need to sit off us for a bit, put pressure on in the second half and we crumble. We have one defender in this whole team that can defend, Azpilicueta, everybody else is terrible. We have sacrificed defending for ball playing cb's and it's made us a much weaker football team. The same goes with the midfield, it has zero stength in there, just weak ball players. Play a simple ball through them and we are in big trouble. Jorginho and Kovacic are our best CM pairing this season, no doubt about that, but in the long run, it will never bring us success. Jorginho and Kovacic will eventually be bullied as a pairing, they aren't Xavi and Iniesta and this isn't La Liga. There is almost zero physical presence in this team, almost every single one of our players on the field today was lightweight. Kante will bring some physicality to our game, but we will never take full advantage of it if we are going to keep giving him a free role and have him running around like a headless chicken.

We seriously need some muscle in this team and players that aren't going to crumble at the slightest bit of pressure. Loftus-Cheek's presence alone would improve this team, and he's good on the ball too. I can't wait until he is back playing. He won't be back to his best for a while, but it would be nice to see a player in our team that won't be bullied by the opposition so easily.

Yep. We need to go back to basics. Strong CBs, fast FBs that can defend in 1v1s, 1 strong, athletic CM and a striker that is coldblooded and strikes fear into opposition. And a tall GK with good reflexes.

Edited by Deino

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1 minute ago, enigma said:

I still stand by the belief that we are overachieving so far. Even more so with the key injuries we have. 

If this is overachieving then I'm truly terrified at what our standard should be.

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1 minute ago, 2211 said:

Safety net is probably the wrong phrase.

I kinda meant there would be another place up for grabs if we can hold our nerve.

We need to grind out the rest of the season as best as we can. It's not an easy task, but hopefully we have enough to scrape through and qualify for CL.

It's been a real struggle since late November, but if we can hold our nerve until the end of the season and start backing Frank properly in the market during the summer I think the club will start doing well again. Good to see we've already signed Ziyech.

We showed our hand from late September to mid November, and looked like a proper top 4 team that could match it with the best. Unfortunately we haven't sustained this form for long enough.

Would love to win the FA Cup, but if relinquishing it means we finish top 4 (or 5) then I'll take it.

We've also been lucky that teams around us are not any better. Leicester's been on the decline since Christmas, United always tease their supporters when it looks like they've turned a corner only to revert back to their inconsistent ways again and Spurs are nothing flash under Mourinho, and we know that City is under a cloud with a CL ban.

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25 minutes ago, Sindre said:

Pathetic. Sort it out Lampard. 

This isn't just the players.

Maybe it is. Take Hazard out of Sarri and Conte's team and we have the same problems. Without Hazard, Sarri and Conte would have us fighting for top 10, not top 4.

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4 minutes ago, 2211 said:

Safety net was probably the wrong phrase.

I kinda meant there would be another place up for grabs if we can hold our nerve.

at the moment fella we cant hold our own pints never mind our nerves as its all gone to pot in last few games .

after that United 0-2 defeat i had in me head win the next 2 PL games and things are looking up .

we beat Spurs ,but still managed to allow them to score as they was sh*te that day ,then today we let a sh*te bournemouth 

who on  recent League form and position and direction are in the Championship next term ,score 2 goals .

 

its dam frustrating i tell yers chaps 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Deino said:

If this is overachieving then I'm truly terrified at what our standard should be.

To be honest, the signs have been there for 2/3 seasons now. Under the last season with Conte we finished 5th. Under Sarri we just made top four. Now we have lost Hazard, we should be floating around 6th/7th maybe. 

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4 minutes ago, enigma said:

I still stand by the belief that we are overachieving so far. Even more so with the key injuries we have. 

I think we're on par now, and that's from someone who believes Frank inherited a very tough job to begin with and was dealt a difficult hand.

The good run we had from late September to mid November has been cancelled out by the last few months of poor performances and some bad losses to ordinary opposition.

Most people had the team finishing between 4th to 8th at the start of the season. It's highly likely that this will be the case.

As I said earlier, if we can scrape through and grind out a position that gets us CL qualification, then I think we'll all take it considering the circumstances of this season.

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25 minutes ago, charierre said:

Are you watching an old replay of a pre season match perhaps?

I thought we got back control of the match after he came on in place of Jorginho. His positioning is usually very good, which helps our balance and shape, and at 6'2 he adds some welcome physicality and steel to our midfield. Did he screw up a couple of times ? Sure. Should have done better with the shots. But then he's actually got himself in the position to be able to take those shots. He had 3 attempts in the 30 minutes he was on the pitch, which is more than Jorginho, Kovacic, Pedro and Willian had between them.  Maybe if he actually had a run of games, he'd get some match sharpness back in his game, and he'd be getting those efforts on target more ?

The fact that Lampard turned to Barkley ahead of RLC today, says to me that Lampard rates him and trusts him more than most on here, although possibly it's also a sign that RLC is not as ready for action as we are being told.

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4 minutes ago, enigma said:

To be honest, the signs have been there for 2/3 seasons now. Under the last season with Conte we finished 5th. Under Sarri we just made top four. Now we have lost Hazard, we should be floating around 6th/7th maybe. 

Exactly that!

Poor recruitment and planning in that department has caught up with us. As good at getting the best price Marina is you have to hope that with Cech now acting as a liason between the coaching staff and the board we get back on the right track. It seems as if Zyiech is a Lampard signing which is a good sign of the set up working well, now we just need to get through the season and back him properly.

Edited by DukesOfHazard

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Frank will probably come out and talk about poor finishing, as usual, but as usual that won't be the real story. The real story is our inability to defend. The real story is our soft centre. It's pitiful, embarrassing, and it's becoming a joke.

 

Let's not forget Bournemouth had plenty enough chances to win this game, as we did, so poor finishing can apply to both teams. Yes we had the lions share of possession, but against Bournemouth, that is always going to be the case. There's no merit in having most of the ball, there's merit in knowing how to win. We cannot keep a clean sheet to save our lives, that's the real story of our season, not poor finishing.

 

All season long we've conceded from corners. It's a real problem. Again today, predictably. We had a million corners of our own today, far more than them, but they score from one and we don't. We have two CBs who are good in the air, Zouma and Rudiger. Neither are great CBs but nor are Christensen or Tomori great CBs, so you play the two who are good in the air. It's that simple. Sure, we're still vulnerable at corners with Zouma and Rudiger, but they're far more likely to get their head on the ball than Christensen, and furthermore, they're far more likely to score from a corner at the other end. Why does Christensen go up for corners? Anyone? What does Christensen do that Zouma can't? Anyone? Christensen's become an untouchable lately. No matter how sh*t he plays, he keeps his spot, a bit like Kante and a bit like Mount. I'm really starting to question Frank's judgement. Christensen should be nowhere near this side.

 

None of our CBs are too hot, that's why Frank is still undecided on his best two. That's why Frank has started playing three, to make us more secure, but nothing works. In this scenario we have to realise the importance of corners and set pieces. They make the difference in games like today. We can't score from a million corners, they get a few and score from one. Play your best two in the air. It's a no-brainer.

 

Edit: Other than that, James was the pick for me, Giroud played well, and not much else. A really poor two points dropped. They were there for the taking, and it's not all about the finishing, whatever our manager says.

Edited by Davey Baby

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4 minutes ago, Scott Harris said:

Maybe it is. Take Hazard out of Sarri and Conte's team and we have the same problems. Without Hazard, Sarri and Conte would have us fighting for top 10, not top 4.

Hazard was a class above the rest of the squad. This cannot be underestimated.

Conte (2017/2018) and Sarri (2018/2019) faced their own troubles but having someone like Hazard always alleviated the problems up to a certain point. Frank does not have this benefit.

A rebuild of the squad has been awaiting us for a while. I just hope we can finally start getting in the thick of the transfer window again considering the amount of money we possess from some high profile sales.

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On 27/02/2020 at 09:08, axman2526 said:

I hope, whatever team is picked, we see two key things going forward:

1. Every game matches the desire and work ethic the players showed against Spurs. This should be a minimum expectation, similar to how Chris Wilder puts it for his side.

2. We start to learn from our mistakes. We need to see improvement and cohesion from both the defensive side and offensive side as a team.

As a bonus, lets get back to enjoying watching our side play as well.

So a no on both points and the bonus point as well. A shame, big opportunity with the Foxes losing and our top 4 rivals facing each other this weekend.

 

Do not need to go in to the details as it is the same issues as almost every game we have had these past few months.

 

Unlike Bayern Bournemouth are sh*t and this result is truly awful. Everyone involved, bar Alonso, should hang their heads in shame.

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4 minutes ago, DukesOfHazard said:

Exactly that!

Poor recruitment and planning in that department has caught up with us. As good at getting the best price Marina is you have to hope that with Cech now acting as a liason between the coaching staff and the board we get back on the right track. It seems as if Zyiech is a Lampard signing which is a good sign of the set up working well, now we just need to get through the season and back him properly.

The board have sat on their hands after winning the title twice. They have done this for the past, maybe, five seasons now since Jose's second season going into his third season. This is why I place most of the blame on the board for not strengthening each time we won the title. Now look at the state we are in.

We lost our best player (mainly contributed due to the fact the club didn't  build around Hazard) and were left to use what we have. I place little blame on Lampard here. Look at Utd and Spurs, both bought and strengthened in summer/winter. I know we couldn't,  but again that's the board's fault for that. 

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we're in poor shape but isn't the whole Premier League really in poor shape this season? with 10 games left only 7 clubs have 40 points or more - people can argue that it's more competitive than other top divisions but imho the overall standard is dropping 

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17 minutes ago, Scott Harris said:

4th for another weekend at least. It feels inevitable that we will drop out of it though. Once again, the weaknesses in this group were exposed. Basically, teams just need to sit off us for a bit, put pressure on in the second half and we crumble. We have one defender in this whole team that can defend, Azpilicueta, everybody else is terrible. We have sacrificed defending for ball playing cb's and it's made us a much weaker football team. The same goes with the midfield, it has zero stength in there, just weak ball players. Play a simple ball through them and we are in big trouble. Jorginho and Kovacic are our best CM pairing this season, no doubt about that, but in the long run, it will never bring us success. Jorginho and Kovacic will eventually be bullied as a pairing, they aren't Xavi and Iniesta and this isn't La Liga. There is almost zero physical presence in this team, almost every single one of our players on the field today was lightweight. Kante will bring some physicality to our game, but we will never take full advantage of it if we are going to keep giving him a free role and have him running around like a headless chicken.

We seriously need some muscle in this team and players that aren't going to crumble at the slightest bit of pressure. Loftus-Cheek's presence alone would improve this team, and he's good on the ball too. I can't wait until he is back playing. He won't be back to his best for a while, but it would be nice to see a player in our team that won't be bullied by the opposition so easily.

Have we? Because they all play sh*t balls. If it wasn't for our midfield, we would never get the ball out of our third. 

And another reflection, some wanted back Ake, who had a mare in our first goal, though I haven't watched all game. He is not an answer to our horrible defending.

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2 minutes ago, enigma said:

The board have sat on their hands after winning the title twice. They have done this for the past, maybe, five seasons now since Jose's second season going into his third season. This is why I place most of the blame on the board for not strengthening each time we won the title. Now look at the state we are in.

We lost our best player (mainly contributed due to the fact the club didn't  build around Hazard) and were left to use what we have. I place little blame on Lampard here. Look at Utd and Spurs, both bought and strengthened in summer/winter. I know we couldn't,  but again that's the board's fault for that. 

They're definitely to blame. Conte was and still is a world class coach and although he liked to winged they didnt back him whatsoever and we lost him, i'm still a little bitter about that haha.

There wont be a dominance in the league like Fergie had with Utd due to the number of quality teams now but you only had to look at how they operated each year bringing in one or two players to directly compete with the starting 11 to keep it fresh, we bought players after title winning seasons as if not to upset the balance of the first 11 and let the new signings sit it out on the bench or worse. Whilst that's going on the starting 11 get complacent as they know they'll play no matter what.

No harm in healthy competition, keeps everyone on top of their game.

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2 minutes ago, carrickblue said:

we're in poor shape but isn't the whole Premier League really in poor shape this season? with 10 games left only 7 clubs have 40 points or more - people can argue that it's more competitive than other top divisions but imho the overall standard is dropping 

Outside Liverpool and Manchester City, the other four teams included in the so-called big 6 have dropped off.

Teams such as Wolves, Leicester City and Sheffield United have all improved though.

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4 minutes ago, Jezz said:

Outside Liverpool and Manchester City, the other four teams included in the so-called big 6 have dropped off.

Teams such as Wolves, Leicester City and Sheffield United have all improved though.

Even City have dropped off quite alarmingly ... 6 defeats in 27 games so far ...

If you look at the "Big 6 Mini-League" they are currently even below us in that LOL, on points per game basis.

Edited by Sexyfootball

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