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Old 01-29-2014, 07:41 PM   #1066
wxwax
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Great picture!

Give West Ham credit. They parked the bus and did a great job of it. You could criticize Mourinho for putting Mikel and Ramires in the pivot. That's a very conservative line-up and it showed in the lack of attacking flair until he brought on Lampard.

Mourinho had the cheek to complain about West Ham's tactics. Partly that's out of frustration, knowing that City demolished Spurs. And partly it's the hypocrisy that every manager seems to indulge in.

But in truth, since Chelsea won the Champions League by parking the bus, Chelsea fans everywhere have forever forfeited the right to bitch about anyone who does it to them.

Let's take this opportunity to remember that it is Jose Mourinho himself who came up with the phrase "park the bus," about Spurs in the 2005-05 season.

Quote:
"As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid 50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. There was only one team looking to win, they only came not to concede - it's not fair for the football we played."
Pretty much word for word what he said today.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:52 PM   #1067
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BTW, in this mid-week set of fixtures we probably saw Manchester City take a lead in the Premier League that they won't relinquish for the rest of the season. Today was moving day.

The only bright note from Chelsea's point of view is that Kun Aguero has a hammy and will probably miss Monday's match.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:02 PM   #1068
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i would still be afraid of Dzeko and Negredo. Both large skilled strikers, which is what you need against Chelseas defence.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:14 PM   #1069
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i would still be afraid of Dzeko and Negredo. Both large skilled strikers, which is what you need against Chelseas defence.
Oh yes, they'e really good. Man City are stacked, there's no doubt about it. I'm not sure that Chelsea's defense is vulnerable to any one kind of attacker. Terry and Cahill both have decent size.

I would venture to guess that the majority of Chelsea goals have been conceded on set pieces, when the team's overall lack of size comes into play. That's why I think that adding 6' 4" Nemanja Matic will help.

I think everyone knows how Chelsea will approach Monday's battle. They absorb pressure and hope to unleash counter attacks. I would expect to see defensive-minded players in the pivot (Matic/Mikel or Matic/Ramires?) and possibly Schurrle for Willian, although Willian does battle all over the pitch. Chelsea have developed a very effective press this season. But they may sit a bit deeper on Monday and defend in numbers.

Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Julian Draxler. He should give them some of the depth they lack. Worringly, Wenger apparently thinks he can use him as a back-up striker. We're talking about a player who has scored one goal this season. If I have my facts right, that seems like a bit of a stretch.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:46 PM   #1070
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Oh yes, they'e really good. Man City are stacked, there's no doubt about it. I'm not sure that Chelsea's defense is vulnerable to any one kind of attacker. Terry and Cahill both have decent size.

I would venture to guess that the majority of Chelsea goals have been conceded on set pieces, when the team's overall lack of size comes into play. That's why I think that adding 6' 4" Nemanja Matic will help.

I think everyone knows how Chelsea will approach Monday's battle. They absorb pressure and hope to unleash counter attacks. I would expect to see defensive-minded players in the pivot (Matic/Mikel or Matic/Ramires?) and possibly Schurrle for Willian, although Willian does battle all over the pitch. Chelsea have developed a very effective press this season. But they may sit a bit deeper on Monday and defend in numbers.

Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Julian Draxler. He should give them some of the depth they lack. Worringly, Wenger apparently thinks he can use him as a back-up striker. We're talking about a player who has scored one goal this season. If I have my facts right, that seems like a bit of a stretch.
I don't think Draxler will switch in the winter window. He wants to make the world cup team and has to play. They might agree to a summer move already. That could be the preferred option for all involved parties. Draxler is blocked for the Champions League anyways. Schalke can look for replacements already, Draxler has time to learn or improve his english before moving and there are no more distracting rumors leading up to the summer.

The thing that would amuse me would be a transfer of Holtby to Dortmund. That would mean hell for the next Schalke-Dortmund derby.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:19 PM   #1071
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Schalke sound like they plan to keep Draxler. Holtby ends up at Fulham, a team which could very well go down. I thought he looked decent when he played for Spurs, I'm surprised they loaned him out.

Someone floated the idea that Manzukic is the latest striker to be unhappy working for Pep and that he may agitate for a move this summer. Naturally, Chelsea came up in that conversation.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:36 PM   #1072
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Gigantic win by Chelsea today.

Once again (like Seattle) proving that defense trumps offense, they go to the Etihad and shut out Manchester City in a Stadium where City put up pinball scores. And they exposed City's flaw -- their defense looked confused, disorganized and left huge space throughout the game.

This keeps Chelsea in the title hunt and also keeps it a three horse race. A fantastic tactical battle. Chelsea didn't start Oscar, the guy who is usually their playmaker. Mourinho elected to go for power and pure pace instead. And it pays off. Chelsea defended well and consistently won the second ball by getting to it faster than City.

City were still dangerous and could easily have had a goal or three. Silva missed two excellent chances. But they never got into the flow. The game was played at a pace and with a rhythm which suited Chelsea. Hugely enjoyable and it dispels my Manning hangover.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #1073
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Jose Mourinho leads the civilized world in metaphors. This season he called his young midfielders "beautiful little eggs" which needed nurturing before they hatched.

Monday he was asked if the Premier League was a three-horse race and he said "two horses and a little horse which needs milk, help and learn how to jump."

One of the great things about the Bundesliga is how affordable the tickets are. I see that you can get a Bayern season ticket for 140 Euros. Amazing. But the tickets aren't transferable and there have been lots and lots of no-shows.

So now Bayern has told its season ticket holders that if they don't show up for more than 8 matches in a season, they'll lose their tickets. It's such a different world compared to England, where fans want to go but cannot afford the high ticket prices. One hope if Chelsea ever builds a new stadium is that there's a section for younger fans which has less expensive tickets.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:00 PM   #1074
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Laudrup was sacked from Swansea. Such a bad move by the swans....
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:01 PM   #1075
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Laudrup was sacked from Swansea. Such a bad move by the swans....
Two managers this season lost their jobs because of a single player. Steve Clarke lost Romelu Lukaku, couldn't score goals and was canned. And Laudrup lost Michu, his best player. The Premier League is a very harsh mistress. The difference in money between the Prem and the Championship is so vast that even the shadow of relegation costs managers their jobs.

Six Prem managers have been fired this season. That's just under one-third of them. Yikes.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:16 PM   #1076
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Two managers this season lost their jobs because of a single player. Steve Clarke lost Romelu Lukaku, couldn't score goals and was canned. And Laudrup lost Michu, his best player. The Premier League is a very harsh mistress. The difference in money between the Prem and the Championship is so vast that even the shadow of relegation costs managers their jobs.

Six Prem managers have been fired this season. That's just under one-third of them. Yikes.
I've read that Laudrup also did not show any interest in prolonging his contract, more or less saying he'd be gone the moment somebody "bigger" winked naughtily at him.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:30 PM   #1077
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I've read that Laudrup also did not show any interest in prolonging his contract, more or less saying he'd be gone the moment somebody "bigger" winked naughtily at him.
Yes, I think that's probably true. He almost left after last season.

The Daily Mirror published a hit piece on him on Wednesday. The gist of it is that he was uninvolved in daily training, would cancel if it rained, was extremely lax on discipline, that player delegations had gone to management to complain about him and that the dressing room was divided into cliques.

The capper for the owner was that after the weekend loss, Laudrup flew to Paris for two days. His commitment was open to question.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 PM   #1078
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well if thats true i wouldve fired him too. shame though, he was having them play pretty well after brendan left.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:12 PM   #1079
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well if thats true i wouldve fired him too. shame though, he was having them play pretty well after brendan left.
I hope your boys can knock off the Arsenal tomorrow!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:21 PM   #1080
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me too!
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