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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)




JBS's banter posts with other poster's replies to JBS's banter posts


08 Jun 2019 09:26:10
Great farewell post by Eden and I like others wish this Chelsea legend all the very best with his future, including scoring many more beautiful goals -- except of course if playing against us if we meet Real Madrid in the ECL next season (though we would give him a rousing welcome back to the Bridge)!

What I liked about the man, beyond his peerless footballing abilities, was that impish sense of humour and fun (often on display in post-match interviews), the fact that he seldom complained though probably fouled more than any other in the league, and his seemingly genuine modesty and delight for the success of team mates -- this could be compared to some other skilful greats in the game who I will not name but may have played for Real Madrid! .

Like TomB and perhaps a few others, I have been a CFC supporter for many decades and Eden was the most impressive player, purely in terms of hypnotic dribbling skills (with end products! ), I ever had the pleasure to see at the Bridge - and I've watched many over the years who were spell-binding at times if only most obviously Gianfranco Zola and Arjen Robben, right back to Pat Nevin and Charlie Cooke. (now that really dates me! ) . Such skills are reason enough on their own to pay money to watch a side, and we can only hope that the likes of CHO or Pulisic and hopefully others (brought through or bought) might in time attain something near a similar level (a dream if they could surpass it! ) .

So farewell Eden. Right now you seem irreplaceable, were simply the best. You will most certainly be hugely missed.


1.) 08 Jun 2019 11:10:11
Nice post, JBS :)

2.) 08 Jun 2019 11:21:00
Fantastic post JBS, Hazard is certainly up there with some of the best ever Chelsea Legends. Two more for your list would be The King and the one and only Jimmy Greaves.

There is NO feeling like walking into your home stadium and being so ridiculously excited to see one of your own players perform. Hazard was one of those players.

We have lost a special player and we now await another.


3.) 08 Jun 2019 12:17:03
Thanks for your replies Jackson and TomB. Quite right TomB, not sure how I left The King off my list, he was extremely gifted and absolutely my boyhood hero! Unfortunately Jimmy Greaves had left the Bridge by the time I was got there for the first time. Yes, we await our next super hero, Come on the Might Blues indeed!



16 May 2019 08:55:17
Any updates on injury to RLC? Seems madness to have played this charity game - however good the cause - before UEFA Cup final (and on artificial surface) .


1.) 16 May 2019 10:47:00
The Evening Standard are suggesting it could be a ruptured achilles. Really bad news if true.

2.) 16 May 2019 11:16:19
Thanks for this Titan. Oh no, if ruptured achilles this is v bad news indeed and probably wold mean RLC out for rest of the calendar year.

3.) 16 May 2019 11:32:15
I agree JBS. Worryingly I think he could even be out for longer than that. If it is true, I really feel for him. He was really starting to show how good he is on a regular basis.

4.) 16 May 2019 13:28:56
JBS, the pitch was awful but it wasn’t artificial.

5.) 16 May 2019 14:16:59
I'm guessing we still have to wait for the scan first (that is if it's not been done) cos it could also an injury that isn't serious; but I think a ruptured Achilles (that Achilles tendon) is better than a ruptured ACL. I wish Loftus cheek the best.

6.) 16 May 2019 14:44:09
You really DON'T need a scan to tell if there's an Achilles rupture. Any scan would be to define then grade and likelyhood of an operation. A total rupture would be very clear from a simple test.

7.) 16 May 2019 20:42:11
As a qualified physio I can tell you that you don’t need to have scans for a suspected ruptured Achilles. I could tell you if it’s ruptured in 30 seconds through testing his ankle. I’ve seen so many reports in papers today about the “suspected injury” that are purely guesswork and half of what they’re saying isn’t accurate for an Achilles injury. A young, fit player like RLC should pretty much make a full recovery if he is rehabbed correctly. He’ll be out the final regardless as an ankle sprain is 4-6 weeks minimum. Can’t see us winning the final to be honest. Roman has messed up big time making the team play this friendly. Could quite easily have been done in pre-season!

8.) 16 May 2019 22:35:08
This injury could have happened at any time at any place. It’s no ones fault.

It’s pointless thinking about any players injury other than to wish them a speedy recovery.

We will still stuff Arsenal.


9.) 17 May 2019 08:20:31
Chelsea Nick, from your experience how long do you think it will take Loftus cheek and Hudson Odoi to make a full recovery after surgery to their ruptured Achilles tendon? Thanks.



29 Apr 2019 12:34:20
Yes, apart from the first 20 mins or so I also thought we performed well, and Kovatic grew as game proceeded (and would have taken off Jorginho well ahead of him myself), as did Luiz, and Dave A. Hazard looking ever dangerous, and Alonso - after slow start - played well beyond his well taken opportunistic goal. Pedro also v lively when he came on and of course had that great saving header off the line from Rojo, who did not deserve to be on the pitch after that dreadful tackle on Willian and has a record of nasty tackles against us that have gone unpunished/ insufficiently punished.

We would surely have had much better chance of winning with in form/ stronger/ fitter striker up front, and Higuain caught offside far too often.
Would again have preferred Giroud to start, but I suppose there's Europa Cup semi-final on Thursday to consider and Higuain could have won it for us with last minute good movement that at last tested De Gea again but.




22 Apr 2019 22:08:09
Oh dear as I feared Burnley took points off us and we were unable to cash in favourable weekend results. Sorry to say that Jorginho yet again cannot seem to find an incisive forward pass. But to be fair it was really those two set piece moments of sloppy defending that lost us this game. Just not good enough. Hazard worked his socks off, some wonderful trickery, acceleration and passes but just not quite enough for us to get second half winner.


1.) 22 Apr 2019 22:27:11
The less said the better.

2.) 22 Apr 2019 23:09:39
Very strange game with just a few positives and a lot more negatives.

My guess is there will be a lot more twists and turns over the next couple of weeks.

Very sorry to hear that Odoi’s injury might be a bad one.

3.) 23 Apr 2019 00:26:39
Just can't beat teams that pack their box. Southampton, Everton, Leicester, Wolves, Burnley, they all came to Stamford bridge just looking to defend and we struggled in all of them. We don't have the quality to break these teams down, and even when we do like tonight our shambolic defence end up ruining it. End of the day seems like no team chasing top 4 actually wants it, never seen teams slip us soo much and i'm sure they'll be more to come. Gutted about Odoi, he'll come back strong but it's never nice to see a young player go through an injury like that. Hopefully Kante's is nothing serious.

4.) 23 Apr 2019 05:48:33
We miss someone who can have a pop from outside the box to break down teams who sit back and defend. we also miss a strong leader in that team who can give out instructions on the pitch, pull the strings during the game.

If we can get both in one, that for me will be a good summer.

5.) 23 Apr 2019 09:34:46
Well what we definitely also miss is a genuinely world-class creative midfielder with the capability of the killer-mass-defence-splitting pass like Cesc at his best, City's Silva or de Bruyne etc (Hazard can do this of course, but he's making these as a forward from wide positions) .

6.) 23 Apr 2019 10:21:35
Agreed JBS, but i feel we have lost a little of the fight we had in the earley days of JM . we will not lose attitude is amiss . and that stems from PC JT FL DD who were our spine.

They have not been replaced . i still feel we are physically weak for the english league too and we need those strong big players who are massive LEADERS.

7.) 23 Apr 2019 10:41:24
Kante beside ndombele or doucore ( spelling ) of Watford would add some power and drive and protection, or even ndidi of Leicester’, two no nonsense ball winners who have big engines and win the ball and pass it. Would mean big change, 4231 and other personnel added, a CAM, threat down right ( Pulisic / Cho ) . But it’s the protection and 2/ 3 of those players would I imagine be reasonably cheap in today’s market, I wouldn’t class any of these as leaders thou., those days are long gone, rudiger is a bit I suppose.

8.) 23 Apr 2019 11:15:33
Agree with lack of leadership compared to days of that great spine you mention dareryk, and would be good indeed to have a manager in place for long enough - and with the vision (perhaps aided by director of football) - to rebuild at least a semblance of one over time cos yes Matt it's certainly long gone right now. I like some of your picks to bolster the midfield eg Ndidi and Doucoure, and might add Gueye of Everton, and of course Loftus-Cheek at best certainly has that power and drive, but who could/ should be that CAM with real flair?

9.) 23 Apr 2019 18:23:31
I personally like Verratti although I doubt we could get him.



19 Apr 2019 11:54:54
Managed to get to the Bridge last night with my son and a friend of his. Had good seats in Row 13 of East Stand Upper. Certainly a game of two halves! CFC look far superior in almost every department in first 45 - much quicker and tellingly decisive with the ball in midfield than we have quite often been with Jorginho at base of our defence playing in that keep-ball but failing to make cutting defence passes way. Instead there were some great interchanges between Hazard, Giroud and Pedro and behind them Kante, Kovatic and Barkley. So we were far quicker to the ball at that stage and more effective with it than our Czech opponents. But only in second half for us to look at times so vulnerable and lacking in intensity (with exception as ever of Kante, what a gem) it seemed as though we might just let Prague snatch an extraordinary and dreadfully embarrassing victory.

Of course dropping of intensity understandable given that we were leading 4-1 at half time (5-1) but we almost fell apart rather than showing any ability at game management so that they came back to 4-3 and could have equalised on a couple of occasions setting up nerve shattering end and danger of them going through on away goals. Fact that Hazard seemed to take a couple of knocks early on and was substituted c 60 mins (should have been earlier given games to come? ) didn't help, nor did Pedro going off (he'd been having a fine game) . Jorginho looked well short of confidence when coming on to boos. Not acceptable in my book whatever you think of him, he's our player, and it can only make his confidence fall even further. Callum H-O not given much time to impress, and was largely anonymous but we all know what a prospect he is.

Anyway, we got through and must have great chance of making final and showdown with Arsenal. The Prague supporters in fine form once in the stadium - I saw some kettled by police in the Fulham road on my way there, with beer cans etc strewn all over the road (and many had making much use of the Courtyard pub much earlier) - and the atmosphere was pretty good. But our second half performance and Sarri bringing on Jorginho to boos was an unhappy element of the evening.





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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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07 May 2019 09:42:06
Interesting comment on Dybala ed.002 and thanks for it. Dybala perhaps not the right striker for CFC.




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23 Jan 2019 20:30:35
Talking of SA players, there was also the highly likeable Phil Masinga (Leeds and SA in the 1990s) who died very recently. RIP Phil.




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23 Jan 2019 20:27:26
Survival is one thing, but we should want to flourish! To make top 4 we need strengthening this window beyond Higuain. Fact that PSG want to hijack (perhaps already have hijacked) CFC attempt at deal for Parades suggests to me that he's someone who has been scouted by a number of top teams and might have been just want we needed in terms of improving our midfield and offering competition/ alternative to Jorginho.




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20 Jan 2019 20:13:21
Betting odds don't suggest there's much in this in terms of transfer this window, would have to be a very well kept secret for odds not to be suggesting possibility. unless this is about the summer?





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13 Jun 2019 20:21:02
Yes, and Herrera along with studs up Rojo (any chance he's leaving? ) always seemed intent on doing one of our players a permanent injury.




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12 Jun 2019 09:16:06
Tend to agree and think that especially with transfer ban shadow there we must keep Kovacic who played v well in Baku and if gaining more consistency in second season could become a very important player for us.




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08 Jun 2019 18:24:11
Agreed, we really do not need a trouble-maker in (and/ or outside! ) the dressing room.




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08 Jun 2019 12:17:03
Thanks for your replies Jackson and TomB. Quite right TomB, not sure how I left The King off my list, he was extremely gifted and absolutely my boyhood hero! Unfortunately Jimmy Greaves had left the Bridge by the time I was got there for the first time. Yes, we await our next super hero, Come on the Might Blues indeed!




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31 May 2019 09:11:02
Yes agreed and Christensen another player I much hope we can keep.