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19 Aug 2018 12:00:04
What do people think about what seemed to almost a free role allowed to Kante in the first half that saw him popping up in the box on the end of long passes or almost scoring with a header but not doing as much of his usual work in breaking up play / winning the ball back?

I was worried that this was exposing the defence in the first half, less so when Kovacic came on for Barkley in the second. Don't get me wrong, I also thought Barkley had a good game but was thinking that Kante would have snuffed out some of those Arsenal chances if playing more of his usual break-up attack game. so more often a bit deeper and not leaving Jorginho/ defense too exposed. when Arsenal got the ball.


1.) 19 Aug 2018 12:32:49
It was a little strange, we got caught out by the same Arsenal cut back from either flanks 4 times in the first half.

I wouldn't say it's Kante's job to stop 4 of these cut backs, it's more than that. Both Alonso and Azpi got beat too easy for the cut back opportunity to even arise.

Maybe Kante in his usual position stops them but he cannot play the regista role unfortunately. I think Kovacic will be an asset here as he can tackle and has knack for crunching tackles and tracking back and more so than Barkley and RLC. I like the depth of our squad now, hopefully the more we play the better we get.

2.) 19 Aug 2018 12:34:56
I thought the same, Kante's new role as it appears is leaving holes in our break up play which he is a master at and with Kovacic a likely starter from now we cannot rely on Jorghino as that is not his game. Barkley looked better but he does not rack back and is still fading too quickly. It was clear from Sarri's comments that he expects a lot of tracking back when required which 'one or two' do not like doing. Luiz looks lost and it cannot be going unnoticed by Sarri and in his preseason Ampadu looked very good, I am not convinced that Sarri is taken by Christensen. Anyone else worried by Willian and this constant slowing play and then disappearing.?

3.) 19 Aug 2018 13:15:45
We are all happy with the seasons start.

The dream of winning the Premiership is all but over for Arsenal, not that was ever a realistic dream but such is the nature of a football supporter, the start of season allows us all to dream!

I’m not going to get carried away with early season results and I’m not going to praise OR be critical of individual performances.

We play Newcastle next week who are a bang average team until they play us and then they turn into an image of Brazil.

I think we will have much better idea of how the season will pan out after the upcoming international break. The signs so far are encouraging.

4.) 19 Aug 2018 17:09:01
I thought Sarri plays zonal defence. Problem is we kept being wide open to the cut back. Bu
T this happened in other games pre season.
I have concerns about luis in defence. Just not sure he can be relied upon. Problem is if we are that open at the back against city or Liverpool we will lose. We look good going forward but we need to be able to defend leads.
I agree thought Barkley had a good game.

5.) 19 Aug 2018 20:43:50
I would like to know what you guys and the Eds think of RLC not really getting chance sofar. If this goes on then we are sure to lose him aswell. Im not complaining about Kovacic loan deal at all. I tjonk it was brilliany. Just concerned that if things don't work out for us to buy him come season end and RLC want to go. We wod be loosing a really good prospect. Maybe we can use him more in the Carabao cup and even Europa. who knows.

6.) 19 Aug 2018 22:22:47
I think Chelsea fans are struggling to evaluate RLC .

When I’ve seen him playing live for Chelsea at the Bridge I can’t say I’ve been overly impressed. I’m also not sure how he fits into this Sarri shape.

He has always struck me as a genuine number ten but from what I’ve seen his work rate is not marvellous.

Tammy, I just haven’t seen enough of him to make a judgment or balanced comment.

Hudson Odoi looked very good in pre-season but I’m not sure he play many Premiership games.

Youngsters need to be given a chance to prove themselves but the manager has a job and that is to win matches.

In my opinion it will always be a problem at a club like Chelsea to blood youngsters. They will have to be exceptional or maybe lucky to find the playing time required to prove their talents.

It’s a tough gig!

7.) 20 Aug 2018 17:15:15
Its known that the owner likes high scoring games. he would rather win 8-7 than 1 nil. This style and manager is ideal. And i love 433. couldn't bear contes 3511.

8.) 20 Aug 2018 21:10:08
Regarding the last comment on conte, I think his 3511 was more suited to a high pressing game than the current 433 we now have. If you look back at the run of games we had under conte were we won like 13 in a row, we pressed really high and looked a good team but as soon as we allow teams to play then we became vulnerable.
I’m a fan of sarri Napoli team and I am confident he can get Chelsea playing some really good football as we have already seen in stages, my only worry is we look very out of shape defensively and teams are a lot more difficult than in serie A. regarding Kante I’m impressed with his energy and willingness to break forward but his real quality lies in breaking up attacks which is more what we need to allow Jorginho to be more free. I think a slight switch to 4231 would give us the freedom attacking as well as having Kante hold that midfield.

9.) 21 Aug 2018 10:44:03
A) 🔺 (Midfield shape A)
B) 🔻 (Midfield shape B)
C) flat midfield shape
Initially, i thought midfield shape A would serve us better than B esp in big games because of Kante's ball winning/ defensive midfield qualities (complementing Jorginho infront of the defense) but obviously Sarri goes with shape A which is more attacking. From what I can gather from Sarri's interviews, he wants to press more and wants the players (esp midfielders) to close up spaces that appear infront and defenders- behind. I could be wrong but I fell it's a system that will be very efficient with constant running and pressing for 90mins (when players get up to speed) .

10.) 22 Aug 2018 09:15:55
Imagine if we had an aguero or a kane. Someone who can bang in 2 or 3 hatricks a season. I don't see morata being that guy. I think bats could have been. Also pedro is getting on. But yeah we look better than last season.

11.) 22 Aug 2018 10:50:37
I believe that Morata can become that player.



04 Jan 2018 12:19:39
Looking at the betting odds on January window, seems that Ross Barkley most likely ie odds on in betting signing. Not quite a De Bruyne then - oh that we still had him! RB a gamble? Still early days, and bookies offer perhaps some faint hope for us getting Vidal or Sandro. or Mahrez and, even more remotely but for me most excitingly, Aubemayang (who of these would you most want? ) .

But despite all the paper rumours, perhaps not much will happen. Anybody got any news?
Happy New Year to all, and especially to the Eds including that long term favourite of mine and many others so sadly plagued by fake CFC fans on this site the legendary Ed002. But input of all Eds (including Eds 1 and 18) hugely appreciated.


1.) 04 Jan 2018 13:57:45
Happy new year to you mate. Not necessarily transfer news but apparently Courtois said he is close to sign a new deal at the club! . Also stated he encourages Hazard to sign as well and expects him to. Personally that beats any transfer we could make this window if it happens. I said a while ago Courtois is more replaceable than Hazard but there is no doubt he is world class, the performamce last night was one of his best in a Chelsea shirt. It's obvious to see the areas we need to improve in. I'd expect a new striker and a midfielder like Barkley. A lot of people have underrated Barkley, I'm pretty sure he's created the most chances in Europe for players under 22 which is very impressive. Dream window for me would be Sandro, Auba, Vidal and maybe Mahrez. Realistically Mahrez, Barkley and any decent striker to play with Morata or just to help add some goals from the bench would be great. But this is January and we know how hard it can be to get quality players without paying ridiculous sums so we'll have to wait and see.

2.) 04 Jan 2018 15:29:03
Thanks LondonBlues90. Good news if TC signing and encouraging EH to as well. Both absolutely key players, near impossible to replace and keeping them essential for CFC going forward. EH has been sparkling of late, TC some fantastic saves esp. in some big games. So yes, not just a matter of who we bring in but who we can hang on to, though a dream window would be welcome! If Barkley could rediscover early, slightly like AFC's Wilshire, form he might indeed be the bustling, strong and creative mf additionthat (with Vidal too?! ) would strengthen us where we need it, but also help grow our home grown/ English component in squad.

3.) 05 Jan 2018 23:04:19
i think that it is for midfield players for this window guys. (maybe even for 2 windows)




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19 Jan 2020 15:39:47
Trying to cheer myself up after yesterday's disappointment - last minute losing goal always a particular blow to the stomach - I looked back at stats for Klopp''s first three seasons. He took over from Brendan Rogers on 4 October 2015 when LFC 10th after 8 games and got them up to 8th place finish at the end of the season. The next two seasons LFC were 4th, then 2nd last season and now likely to win league of course. Klopp now widely seen as great manager. Frank took over after we had finished 3rd last season, but having sold our best player and with a summer transfer ban. Who knows what the next month or so will hold, and it looks to be a very tricky period as some have said, in which we could well drift down from our current 4th spot. But so far I think that most would agree that he and the squad have exceeded expectations, we, Frank and the club have been able to have a food look at the youngsters some of whom (but not all) will be good enough long term, and he has yet to be able to make his first signing. So yes I am worried about consequences of not getting ECL football next year - but then LFC not in that position when Klopp making first summer signings having finished 8th - but am still excited by the project in hand that is rebuilding with what will become a combo of youth and experience and surely a more consistent side next season. But, yes, of course would love quality reinforcement or two before 31 Jan, but if not possible to bring in now perhaps Pulisic-type deal of buying a player or two (like Sancho or Werner) now (while still in top 4!) to loan back to selling club until the summer might be. And if so this would decrease the concern about not getting players cos of finishing outside top 4.


1.) 19 Jan 2020 16:17:10
Like your post JBS.

The blame game is understandable but it does get boring when it’s the same players getting criticism regardless of how they play but then I guess I’m pretty stubborn with my opinions!

We have a young team and manager and we have to remain positive.



19 Jan 2020 10:38:08
I don't think any one player is solely responsible for the bad results we've been having, in same way that one player seldom responsible for good ones (Eden, Diego and Didier now gone! ) . Have both thought Jorginho slow and poor in terms of incisive passes in some games, covering the entire pitch and energetic team with energy in some others (especially Europa League games last season, and he started better this season) . Perhaps both observations true, but that in general the extra pace of Premier League - compared say to Seria A or European competitions, when a bit more chess like - can make him look off that pace. His performance at Spurs has been singled out for praise by some, but he could easily have been sent off for tug back - in part a result of lack of pace -and thus second yellow before his critical contributions and that might have cost us the game. Yesterday there was a moment when he lost the ball, was completely outpaced and Newcastle almost scored whereas Kante you feel would be able to chase player down/ nick it back quickly. And yet and yet . Jorginho does work tirelessly for the team in making himself available for out ball and is part of what is arguably strongest area of the squad at then moment (that enables us to retain so much possession) ie midfield players esp if RLC getting back to fitness, Ross B showing form again, Kova and Kante generally outstanding if latter not always perhaps played in right position. So might be a matter of getting selections/ formation right in terms of who we are playing.


1.) 19 Jan 2020 11:39:14
Agree with most of your post, I don’t understand what our obsession is with trying to mould the worlds best holding midfielder into a box to box player. We either need to play 4231 with kante next to Jorginho but as a holding player meaning Jorginho can have more freedom or drop Jorginho and get a more creative player in midfield so kante can play CDM. I’m not a big fan of having azpilicueta play LB and I also don’t think Christensen is good enough. I’d like to see tomori play more next to rudiger.
I don’t think a lot will agree but I think CHO would of benefited more from a loan out. Pulisic started to hit some form but is sadly injured. Signing sancho is a must even if he doesn’t join until summer. I’d also like us to try for cavani Who I think would be well suited to the premiership
Plus a really Lacey attacking left back, not Chilwell.



19 Jan 2020 10:19:14
One other general weakness imho this season has been set pieces including corners. We had tons of these yesterday, especially corners, where delivery was poor and/ or we put little or no pressure on their defense. Shouldn't we also be expecting more from good positioning and bulldozing determination in the box from our centre backs as in John Terry mould (or Van Dijk for LFC nowadays) .


1.) 19 Jan 2020 10:51:47
I agree JBS, at both ends of the pitch it’s very poor.



18 Jan 2020 22:19:31
This is officially a roller coaster season, no longer just my August prediction based on youthfulness of squad and manager, loss of Eden and the transfer ban. Fact that we are still fourth a minor miracle resulting from poor form of others competing for 4th Champions League spot . but for how long will we stay at 4th? Some reinforcement before 31 Jan probably necessary if we want Champions League football next season. Yet can we get that proven quality that might really improve us and secure ECL football in a January window?




15 Dec 2019 20:35:15
Having been at the Bridge yesterday I was also very disappointed at the way we struggled to break down pretty poor opposition who set up 4-5-1 and at times it looked a bit of a repeat of the West Ham game. We created far too few clear cut chances. Most round me saying we'll never make top four this season and this is more like what we expected before the season started given young team/ manager plus transfer ban. CFC to get back to top a two season min project.

Having said that perhaps its also a problem that we've not done huge amount of rotation yet had many games in short space of time and several players looked knackered eg Pulisic and Mount plus Rudi looking rusty still with many missed diagonal passes. plus also poor set pieces . poor crossing (cf our wingbacks with LFC's) and little dynamism/ movement in midfield, getting ball into channels, until Kova came on (though he took some minutes to settle) . We do need more attacking midfield options if Reuben out for much time. back remains dodgy and if Ross B not fully fit or fully up to it. Am still completely behind the rebuilding project, we need to be patient, but a couple of well chosen reinforcements in January would of course be welcome .





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21 Jan 2020 10:51:54
Agreed and all the very best to Eddie in this new venture if reports accurate.




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31 Dec 2019 10:50:10
I agree with J and don't think Upemacano is likely in January (and don't think was on Ed002's list) . Would guess Ake and perhaps Sancho possible in this tricky winter window, but Ed002's list of possibilities (my thanks added to those of others for this) of course the best guide as always to what might or might not happen.




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18 Dec 2019 12:05:27
I think I saw Hulk in a hoodie near Fulham Broadway.




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15 Dec 2019 20:36:46
I agree with TomB we must give Kepa more time and decent settled first choice back four to protect him better.




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17 Jun 2019 14:32:12
Getting Steve Holland back would be wonderful, but seems highly unlikely that he would agree to come back as a number 2 to Frank. Yet we could certainly do with some personnel with more managerial experience in the dug out I'd think.

Along with all others, massively hope that if Frank is our new manager he can find - and be given the time to find - success in this. We all know how bright he is, and how committed to CFC, and I still have a couple of his number 8 shirts! But he would be taking over at an immensely challenging time and with so little experience that it is hard not to be a tad worried for the immediate future. Leave aside feeling pretty exhausted by seemingly never ending managerial musical chairs (had wanted both Conte and Sarri to stay longer) .

Had hoped Lamps would be our manager in about five years time ie after he'd really learnt more of the trade, built up his own confidence/ cv OR if manager now, at least have a more grizzled old managerial pro alongside to help. Anyway, let's hope for the best!





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02 Feb 2020 22:11:35
Yes obinna 123 I though Shearer's comments spot on and of course coming from one of the best strikers of EPL era.




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02 Feb 2020 22:10:13
Yes though Spurs very lucky indeed in first half. could have been two or three behind and then a v different match. Their Jan signing did well.




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02 Feb 2020 12:00:24
Nicely put CFCShak!




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02 Feb 2020 11:59:00
Yes thanks for fun posts G8 and great to sere you back posting again TomB, hope that means you are on the mend?




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01 Feb 2020 20:15:09
Tammy is still young and has shown plenty of the range of skills needed to be a top class striker. Interestingly, his conversion rate when compared to others may not be as bad as some - including me - have sometimes wondered when seeing him miss a great chance/ s (as happened again today) .

Here's a link below (from Pride of London) though to a piece comparing him with some other top strikers, reflecting that he does have poor conversion rate in Champion's League but that Messi does too! So clearly it's also about how/ whether a striker can get into positions to miss as well as score if this makes sense.

But point is that top teams usually have considerable goal threats from a range of players and more than one trusted striker and at the moment so much of the burden of expectation on TA given lack of assistance in this respect is to play every important game and score more often than he does.

tammy abraham shooting percentages