August 13, 2019 at 9:38 am #1774256
wow 999 what an array of passing, strength on the ball and general skill. A beast of a player alright. Appears the next level will not be a problem based on what I see here. To be honest never seen him play before myself.
Found this highlights reel for anyone else that wants a look. Just turn down the background music as its likely to drive you insane 🙂August 13, 2019 at 9:40 am #1774257
Reece James has an unreal range of very accurate passing so what we lose with Luiz gone this guy will pick up. Obviously the club have it under control.August 13, 2019 at 10:15 am #1774265
67, First rule of highlight reels is beware of highlight reels they only show the good bits check out Baka’s highlight reel. 🙂
Pleased to have seen Reece in the flesh his highlight reel doesn’t lie, I think he’s going to be a player as is Mount.Cheers 9’sAugust 13, 2019 at 10:44 am #1774273
If Rudiger returns to full fitness and we have Kante also fit, i see no reason why James can’t be deployed in the place of Azpi. mind you that Azpi has been a guaranteed starter for the last 5 years under the different managers that led Chelsea. but this time things have moved, football is moving away from the traditional right backs, and is moving towards the more attack minded right backs. something that is not Azpi’s strengths at all. at least James will have the hunger and if given the believe i see no reason why he can’t be our first choice RB.August 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm #1774313
I am excited about james too, but right now we are counting on azpi. We all know lamps will give james a chance when he is fit.August 13, 2019 at 1:52 pm #1774336
Ditto Lucky.August 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm #1774339
Interesting tweet from Mark Worrall from yesterday who is an “over land and sea” Chelsea fan of many years and an author of number of books on Chelsea which are well worth a read.
“This morning we’re asking is José Mourinho a bitter, jealous, unemployed, football manager desperately seeking attention to try & stay relevant… or is he just trying to be edgy for the TV cameras… or is he right in his slating of #Chelsea… or is it all of the above???#cfc
17%José is bitter & jealous
16%José is trying to be edgy
45%José is right about CFC
22%All of the aboveAugust 13, 2019 at 3:29 pm #1774364
Personally, feel Jose I right. after the dust settles, we need to admit that what he said was right. and deep in my heart, I feel that he is a secret Chelsea fan. and he was disappointed with our 4-0 beating. I think he feels he missed the job to one of his old students. and knowing Mourinho and his ego, he won’t give compliments and that is his nature. i don’t see anything sinister there. other than he would have loved to be allowed to get one better over United.August 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm #1774377
I do not think Jose is right. He would not rate Alonso if he were our manager. We have to rebuild our team and FL is doing it. Jose did not do it nor Conte nor Sarri. Now we are rebuilding under FL. How painful it will be, we will endure it. We don’t have any choice as we have the transfer ban. Best to do it now than later.August 13, 2019 at 5:15 pm #1774382
Great post Aindro.August 13, 2019 at 7:07 pm #1774408
I agree with Aindro, Youngblue.
You would think the special one would be a special pundit but his criticism and analysis was as dull and predictable as any other lazy pundit he has criticised. Lets just take his opinion that Alonso, Kante and Giroud should have started and see how much sense it makes.
Firstly Alonso, well for him to play someone else would have to miss out, that would be Emerson in this case, but he was one of our best performers and it is far from certain we would have been better if Alonso played so Jose’s opinion is redundant and I side with Lampard.
Secondly Giroud, Ok, there is no doubt that he is a very experienced and talented target man who can be very useful for us, but you can not start players you are pretty sure will have to be subbed, and he is better as an impact player, has been his whole career. Lampard is trying to give Abraham the chance to develop in to our number 9 and these experiences, especially the bad, are crucial to his development. If we had played Giroud there is no guarantee he would have had the chances Tammy had, let alone put them away, and of course we would have forsaken Tammy of his chance
Kante, this is easy, Jose is dead wrong. Kante came on for minutes to help recover from injury and still tweaked something. He was not fit to start and therefore did not. Jose’s assertion that you start him anyway and bring him off if need be is so stupid I can only deduce he going out of his way to find criticisms. We have a hell of a season ahead of us yet jose thinks risking our most important player for the sake of one result is the way to go! No way Jose!
He also said Mount shouldn’t have played, presumably to be replaced by Pulisic. Well I am sorry jose but you missed the whole point of the selection. Lampard set us up not to park the bus and look for draw/lucky win. He set us up to dominate midfield and the game. Mount instead of a winger was crucial to this and it almost paid off. We did dominate the midfield and the game for large periods, anyone can see how the dynamics changed with the quickfire double of goals after 60 mins. If we had played Pulisic instead of Mount we wouldn’t have managed this. I can understand anyone who would have rather started Pulisic ahead of Pedro, but that is a different point, and would only have led to another criticism from jose anyway if we played the inexperienced Pulisic ahead of champion Pedro.
If we had all the resources in the world like we did in Jose’s first spell and we were required to win the league he would be in some aspects right, but this is not what this Chelsea is up against, we know that, Lampard knows that, and Jose knows that too which is why his comments are cheap and redundant – perfect for sky sports then 😊August 14, 2019 at 1:17 am #1774458
I am disappointed that we lost 4-0. The morale must be low. Moreover if we lose again in the Super Cup that’s pretty likely. But Chelsea have to rebuild if we want to compete again in the near future against City Pool or any other team. Jose won in his 2nd stint due to astute signing in Costa and Cesc. But he did not prepare our future. He sold Lukaku and bought Etoo. Dunno how Conte won us EPL. It was a miracle. Now as a club, we are trying to build a future team by integrating our young players. It is painful for sure. But we have to tryAugust 14, 2019 at 3:26 am #1774460
Great post Lucky.August 14, 2019 at 7:51 am #1774486
Lucky, makes some great points above.
I also think Jose is hurting currently re not having a job and you won’t get 100% sensible comments out of him about either United or Chelsea in particular under those circumstances.
Jose has always said controversial things Sky have taken him on because they expect him to say controversial things which get people excited and that will continue whilst he’s on Sky.
But he will also make some good points particularly tactically and I think he was right in suggesting Chelsea were too open v United but that discounts the facts that we wouldn’t have been quite as open as we were had Kante and Rudiger been fit enough to play.
But they weren’t no matter how Jose tried to dress it up,Willian was coming back from an injury too at the Copa America and Jose wasn’t privy to the medical information provided to Frank about who is available medically for selection or not.
But Jose is Jose stick a microphone in front of him and with his ego and devil may care attitude you never know what he might say and it’s always been the same ever since he uttered “I’m not out of the bottle I’m a Special one” but if you sift the nonsense from the sensible there’s always likely to be a nugget or two in the sensible and he’s nothing if not entertaining.
Shame to see him like this though imo allegedly he’s worth over £90m better to just sit at home or in the stands when you don’t need to work waiting for the right opportunity to come along than do what other failed Managers with not one thirty second of his track record do on Sky.August 14, 2019 at 8:25 am #1774496
Thought provoking article by George Perry from “The Pride of London”.
Frank Lampard’s comments about Reece James in the wake of Chelsea’s opening day loss could be an optimistic manager looking forward to a talented youth making a full return to play or an ominous toll for Cesar Azpilicueta. James’ return may have more influence on how Lampard arranges his side than who he includes in it.
Cesar Azpilicueta wrongfully bore a lot of public criticism for three of the four goals Chelsea conceded at Manchester United. Those who thought Azpilicueta put in a poor performance took a stark read of Lampard’s post-game comments about Chelsea’s extensive injury list. After mentioning Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Lampard said “Reece James coming back, who is going to be a big player for us, I think.”
Yesterday we examined the plays building up to Manchester United’s goals. Assigning the bulk of the blame to Azpilicueta for the third and fourth goals requires a willful disregard of the 10 seconds before each goal, spells that implicate several other Chelsea players (and the referee) in the situation reaching Azpilicueta in a state of extremis. Even the first and second goals showed many of the same defensive issues.
We focused on the actions of the Blues involved, but did not look at how Chelsea’s structure enabled these situations.
Throughout the game at Old Trafford, Chelsea lacked a cohesive presence among their defenders. The main reason Cesar Azpilicueta came in for so much blame is because he was often the last man back.
Blaming him requires exonerating the centre-backs for not being where they needed to be on the transitions to defence. This, in turn, has its roots in the centre-backs playing such a high line when Chelsea were in possession. Likewise, both Blues’ full-backs played high up the pitch in possession.
This left them in a scenario Chelsea experienced repeatedly last season. Azpilicueta, the slower and more defensive of the two, stayed deeper. Emerson Palmieri is much faster, but not only does he linger higher up the pitch but he often starts his recovery runs a step or two too late. The effect is that both full-backs are chasing the play: one has positioning and reaction but less speed, the other has speed but worse reaction and less advantageous positioning.
Chelsea can survive this if they have N’Golo Kante, or at least one centre-back tending the deeper position with the physical skills and presence to bottle up the play. Antonio Rudiger was usually that player last season, and he often took the blame for situations similar to Cesar Azpilicueta’s on Sunday (except Rudiger normally had to cover in vain for David Luiz). But both Rudiger and Kante are out with injuries.
Maurizio Sarri lived with these deficiencies, because they were not worth him learning and implementing something new. He relied on N’Golo Kante to keep being N’Golo Kante despite persistent and unbecoming criticism.
Antonio Conte covered for many similar issues by playing a three-man defence. Not only did the three centrebacks give Chelsea the stability and permanent deep coverage they needed in all phases of the game, but two of them balanced out David Luiz. Additionally, the system addressed the now-perennial shortcomings at full-back, with the added bonus of Marcos Alonso’s revelatory turn at wing-back. Finally, Conte – like his countrymen Claudio Ranieri before and Maurizio Sarri after – had Kante.
The simplistic solution upon Reece James’ return is to put him in place of Cesar Azpilicueta, relegating Azpilicueta to the John Terry role of 2016/17 with a few more cup matches.
Not only would that be a disrespectful overreaction, but it would scarcely even qualify as a band-aid solution. The Blues would still be shaky at left-back, with the competition between Emerson and Marcos Alonso surely not resolved after a few preseason games. Emerson had two good shots on David de Gea, but that’s not what Chelsea need most out of their left-back. And if it was, Marcos Alonso is a proven offensive threat in several areas of the game.
James on the right could put Azpilicueta into a three-man battle for left-back. Azpilicueta started his Chelsea career and made his reputation on the left, so it there would be a certain symmetry to him entering the closing stages of his career in the same role.
However, playing around with full-backs still leaves the centreback situation unresolved. Among everything Frank Lampard accomplished with Derby County last year, defensive stability of the kind Lampard knew as a player at Chelsea was not among them. We need to see how the return of Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante impacts the flow of play around Chelsea’s centrebacks, but the various permutations of the last few years, the players involved and Lampard’s growth curve as a coach suggests there may be recurring deficiencies for much of this season.
Like Antonio Conte, Lampard may find his answer in a three-man defence, and Reece James could be the player who allows everything to come together.
Reece James would be the clear choice for starting right wing-back, which would free up Cesar Azpilicueta to re-enter the pool of centrebacks. This would give Chelsea five centrebacks competing for and rotating through three slots. Marcos Alonso and Emerson would compete on the left, with Alonso likely to win that battle.
This arrangement, complemented as always by N’Golo Kante in midfield, would plug up the channels between the centrebacks and the full-backs that opponents exploited throughout last season and on Sunday in Manchester. It would also give Chelsea an added man to close off and close down runs in behind; and prevent a ball-far player coming around the outside of the ball-watching Chelsea defence to pop in a cross or rebound on the blind side.
The Blues would be able to play two centrebacks further forward in support of attacking possession while still having one defend deep. The wing-backs would obviously play higher as well, giving Chelsea what they currently want out of the full-backs without the defensive exposure and the absurdity of the “defensive full-back” constantly chasing back to interdict 1v0 or 1v1 counter-attacks, as Azpilicueta repeatedly had to do at Old Trafford and last season.
Among the many interesting possibilities would be how Chelsea would look combining a shape identified so strongly with Antonio Conte’s circuit-based methodologies with Frank Lampard’s decision-model approach. Chelsea have only known a very particular application of the 3-4-3 and 3-5-2. After three years of two coaches with very similar methodologies, Lampard would be injecting a new element into how the shape comes to life.
With the current crop of players, many of whom learned a three-centreback system from Jody Morris at Chelsea’s academy, the Blues could push the envelope for this structure in the Premier League.
BREAKING DOWN THE GOALS AGAINST: Azpilicueta stranded and scapegoated
One of the surprises of Chelsea’s preseason was Frank Lampard’s decision not to try a three-man defence. Especially as the David Luiz situation started to boil behind the scenes, a three-man back-line could have mollified the discontented Brazilian while addressing his and the side’s defensive short-comings.
Perhaps Lampard chose not to worry himself about a three-man defence when his best – perhaps only – option for right wing-back was still months away from the XI. Better to focus on what he would use with the players he would have for the first part oft he season.
Reece James’ return will be a major lift for Chelsea’s defence, Lampard’s options and squad depth. However, in no way is his return zero-sum viz. Cesar Azpilicueta.
Chelsea have enough defensive issues without entertaining a false choice between two top right-backs. The answer may be in the “and,” and not the “or.”August 14, 2019 at 9:56 am #1774524
I did consider 3 cb’s but I think we have too many wingers and attacking mids to switch imo without hugely reducing the opportunities for players like mount, hudson odoi and pulisic. Besides that we lose numbers in attack that can no longer be compensated for by the sheer brilliance of hazard. I hope we can use a back 5 when needs be but I dont think it suits our squad overall well enough to be our main system.August 14, 2019 at 10:00 am #1774525
Nine, jose was right in that we were not compact enough when losing possession, but even chris sutton could have worked that out after we conceded 3 counter goalsAugust 14, 2019 at 10:19 am #1774533
Just thinking but if lamps had any long term plans for 5 at back why would he deem luiz as surplus? We have 2 for each position in 4231, that some of those players are not ideal for their roles, ie alonso and zappa, less so azpi, is unfortunate but its what happens when we have new manager every year.
You must be logged in to reply this topic.