Keep your mails on Frank Lampard and anything else coming to email@example.com.
Sad, regrettable but Lampard has passed his sell by date
I have spent weeks pondering what the Chelsea supporters we sit with in the Matthew Harding Lower are thinking.
Whilst the players have to take their share of blame the real problem is coaching ineptitude. Frank and his coaching team are hapless, clueless and one dimensional. Team selections are baffling as are his positional decisions.
Azpilacueta, Jorginho, Emerson, Gilmour and Giroud deserve more respect.
As for tactics Chelsea have just one approach and they have been found out. Never seen so many square balls since the 1970s.
Sadly despite the hype around money spent Chelsea still lack quality in key positions. Tiago Silva may well do a Deschamps – one season and gone.
The saving grace is none of the current mess is new. We are used to this. We are not building a dynasty. Never were. Chelsea supporters are used to highs and lows.
Johnny Nic judging Chelsea harshly
Johnny Nic’s article in Chelsea appointing Lampard completley ignores the elephant in the room of the transfer ban that was in place when he was employed first. Now take a step back and look at it, the board had to appoint a manager who would satisfy the fans and who would also want the job at the time. It’s very easy to say there are many of better managers in the championship which is probably true, but any of them would have had their head on the block after the first hiccup. With the transfer ban most the top level managers available would have steered well clear, it would have been a massive risk for any established top level manager as the chelsea job is difficult enough without the transfer ban added in.
So the board were left with a conundrum of appointing a manager who would realistically be a stop gap until the opportunity to get an elite manager on board presented itself, they also had to find a manager who the fans wouldn’t turn on if things went up shit creek too soon. Lampard is by no means the perfect manager for Chelsea right now but that does not mean he wasn’t exactly what was needed at the time he was appointed. Any Chelsea fan who thought lampard was there for the long run was wearing rose tinted glasses, it would have taken a premier league title in the first couple of years for Lampard to be seen as a realistic long term option. As far as I can see Lampard was brought in to serve as a stop gap manager which he has done well and now he will be moved on to bring in a more tactically astute manager. (Please please please let it be Hasenhuttel, if said it before and I’l say it again he’s the most underrated manger in any league).
Aaron CFC Ireland
Why Lampard should stay (for now)
The Lampard situation is intriguing. F365 and others who are sick of ‘jobs for the boys’ think he should go because he’s underperforming this season so far. For what it’s worth, I agreed completely that he shouldn’t have got the job in the first place because of his club legend status. By any logic of assessing his managing credentials, he was too inexperienced for such an elite job.
I’m also sick of the blatant media defence, with weak excuses such as that embedding lots of new players into a squad is a tough ask. Any manager out there – football or otherwise – deals with integrating new staff. It’s Lampard’s job as Manager to manage that. Embed them in at the right pace and time, protect and encourage them. The current failures are primarily on Lampard, and his shifting of blame in post-match interviews isn’t helping.
BUT, he should stay… for now. The guy did get Chelsea to a Champions League spot after a 38-game season last year, which should at least challenge the notion he’s out of his depth. His challenges this campaign are new: second season syndrome; managing superstars instead of kids; handling the pressure of higher expectations…etc. I don’t want him sacked to rebel against the nepotism or his chums in the media. I want him to stay (for now) because he should get the full 38 games this season to properly judge him. The 2019/20 campaign should afford him that opportunity.
Lampard out? A more elegant solution…
Lampard out? Not for me, Clive. Surely the solution is to give him till the end of the season, then bring in someone with title-winning experience to work alongside him. Someone he can naturally dovetail with, where both know their role and responsibilities, and add up to the sum of their parts.
Yep, a Gerrard-Lampard axis off the back of Rangers breaking Celtic’s run of titles is a match made in heaven…
Two slices of luck for Man Utd
Football can be funny sometimes. All title winning teams get their share of luck, fortunate decisions and things that go their way.
Manchester United received two such moments of fortune when Chelsea played Fulham.
One, Anthonee Robinson foolishly got himself banned…he has been playing really well of late and will be a huge miss for them, in both halves of the pitch.
Two…and I’m surprised F365 missed this in their feature, is that Decordova-Reid is now also banned. He picked up a yellow for a quite brilliant tackle, perfectly timed and won the ball, but the ref had a bad view and saw it differently. Thanks ref.
Decisions like this often have big outcomes, and whilst I expect Fulham to be a very difficult side to beat, the task is made slightly more comfortable with these 2 players missing.
If Manchester United are to keep grinding out results and winning when they don’t play at their best, then these are the under-appreciated small moments of good fortune we will need during the second half of what could be a very good season for us.
On that, Manchester United have been remarkably consistent for a year now. The only real slump in form came as a result of no pre-season. I remember discussing with a friend (Chelsea fan…fun times for me) after 3 or 4 games that I never expected United to start well due to fitness and sharpness, but to improve as the season goes on…I’m so glad I was proved right! I also predicted a slump for Liverpool. Man City achieved 100 pts, then 98, then a huge drop off to 81. Liverpool achieved 98, then 99…and are on track to achieve somewhere around 80-85 pts (in my opinion). I think it is impossible, physically and mentally, for a team to achieve ridiculous points totals for 3 consecutive seasons in the Premier League. This is precisely why, after last season, my feeling was that Manchester United don’t have to improve by 30 points to catch Liverpool…they just have to meet them somewhere half way, and they will be close. So far I have been proven correct again! (Cries as Fulham win…) However, I did also predict Martial to be top scorer…I figured 38 games being fed by Bruno and Pogba can only mean goals goals goals. How could a man be so wrong.
Finally, a word on Thiago. My feeling when we ‘”missed” out on him was that he just doesn’t suit Liverpool. He isn’t a 100mph player that relentlessly presses the opposition into submission. Don’t get me wrong, play him in midfield alongside any of Henderson/Fabinho/Winjaldum/Ox and for the most part it will work…but i think in order to see the best of him you have to play a different way to what we have become accustomed to from Liverpool. Of course, with their defence back he will improve massively, but without them I think it further highlights (at least for me) how he doesn’t fit that system. Liverpool need to adapt to bring out the best in him, and hopefully in return that will make them a better team than the one on current form. O think that is exactly their problem at the moment, they are an outstanding team going through a mini-transition to cope with the loss of their most influential player whilst also trying to integrate new players. Nest season, providing VVD returns at his best (and that is a big IF), I expect a return to 90-95 pts for them. Boohoo for the rest of us.
Finally part two, Man City are back and they don’t even have a proper forward. Leicester will be there at the end, as will Spurs. The top 6 will be missing Chelsea, but will look quite familiar come the run in. Villa and Southampton to battle Chelsea and the Arsenal for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th.
Keep up the good work folks ✌💛
Tommy (Martial could still finish top scorer….) Vincent MUFC
So one of the magic solutions to Liverpool’s problems being talked about is to sell Salah for £100+ million and reinvest the money on a younger, hungry forward. It’s a nice idea, brilliant even, if Liverpool could pull it off. It may turn out to be another Coutinho moment.But the question is: who will be the buyers?
Naturally, Real and Barca are the two most prominent names in the gossip columns but I doubt either are in a position to sanction such an expenditure.
Barcelona barely have a pot to piss in and their top targets this summer are soon-to-be free agents Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay and Garcia, as well as…erm…Bellerin and United outcast Diogo Dalot. That’s a frankly depressing transfer wish list for a super club but it says a lot about Barca’s financial position. Besides, Salah will be 29 before next season, it didn’t exactly go too well the last time Barca spent a fortune on an almost-30 superstar (Griezmann) and the purchase of Coutinho remains a dark cloud hovering over the club. Even if the funds are available – which they evidently aren’t – they will be minded not to repeat the same mistakes.
Real may be able to afford it having saved all their pennies last summer but it seems they have other priorities. This summer is perhaps their best opportunity yet to sign Mbappe and with a year remaining on his PSG contract, they will be confident in getting a decent deal. Given the vast difference in age and the potential for Mbappe to get even better, spending £100m+ sum on Salah – who, even now, is hardly an upgrade – will feel a tad underwhelming. Even if Mbappe somehow becomes unattainable, a 28+ years old wide man looking to leave England after a wildly successful time playing for a ‘Big six’ club may just feel too Hazard-ous for Real’s comfort. A sensible club (which admittedly isn’t Madrid’s strong suit) may prefer to spend that sum on Sancho.
That just leaves PSG, and Inter are always interested in Premier League’s ageing stars. It won’t happen. Inter are not known to buy at the top-end of the market and PSG seems a long shot. They are not exactly the free-spending moneybags they once were.
So it’s unlikely the transfer market will come to Liverpool’s rescue. Klopp will have to find a way to coach his squad into form. After all, other struggling managers have been derided for always looking to the market rather than coaching what they have, with Klopp usually the go-to example. Well I guess now we’ll see if that reputation is well earned or he has just been a lucky beneficiary of a competent recruitment structure and Barca’s daftness.
We need to talk about Leicester…
A few words on Leicester after a superb win last night. It’s another exciting year to be a foxes fan, and we’ve been blessed with those over the past few years, beyond what any of us could have imagined.
Almost player for player I think we are a better team than the 15/16 heroes, Mahrez being the obvious exception. I’m amazed we’ve held on to Ndidi for as long as we have, by my reckoning he’s easily one of the best destroyer midfielders in the league, and I honestly don’t think Kante would get back into this team right now. Tielemans has really rediscovered his form this season after a largely indifferent last season. Maddison and Barnes seem to have both added goals to their game, taking the pressure off Vardy. We seem to have improved in the full back areas despite shifting Chilwell. Also a word for Little Wes, who is certainly destined for bigger things than us.
All that said, any title talk is beyond premature. Until we get to the stage where the list of teams that can’t catch us is bigger than the list of teams that can catch us, it’s a nonsense. The league is so tight and when all the games in hand have been played it’s all but certain we won’t be sitting so pretty. Top 4 remains the goal, and we know all too well that progress towards that can be thrown away much quicker than it is gained! Right now I’m just enjoying the ride.
Anon (are we still doing brackets?), LCFC
Quick questions…Could Leicester do another Leicester?
Has Frank Lampard been sacked?
If not, does he have compromising pictures of Abramovic?
What’s the latest excuse from Liverpool fans?
Keg Breezy, Nairobi, Kenya
West Ham are quite good
I just wanted to swim against the tide of obvious, luke-warm takes about Chelsea not being very good. Last night West Ham beat West Brom in a fairly quiet, business-like manner (apart from the Snodgrass issue…I’ll ignore that for now). That puts them on 32 points from 19 games. It took until matchday 35 to reach that total last season. In fact, 32 points from the first 19 games is a club record in the Premier League at the halfway point.
They barely get any kind of mention in think-pieces, mailboxes or the pods (aside from excellent original points like “hurrhurr Moyes got Covid and they won”, or “ummm yeah the stadium and the horrible fans not being there or something” or “Haller is only terribly lazy and a calamity when he actually gets the ball because the system isn’t built for a world-class striker like him”.
But despite the lack of fanfare, they’re having their best ever Premier League season. There is no longer a fear of complete capitulation whenever the opponent attacks. Every player is performing to their absolute peak. Losses against Newcastle and Arsenal in the opening two games appear to be complete outliers at this stage, they’ve only lost to Liverpool, Utd and Chelsea since which is nothing to be ashamed of at all.
These 32 points have been built on solid defending and efficient attacking. A lot of the wins have been by the odd goal. These wins wouldn’t have happened in previous years. Draws to Brighton and Palace would have been losses, wins against Fulham and Sheffield Utd and West Brom would have been draws.
Moyes has created a team full of desire, work-rate and professionalism. That’s impressive in any circumstances, but to do it while making a transfer profit AND to do it in the circus run by Gold, Sullivan and Brady is simply a miracle.
Who knows where they’ll end up this year, but having played everyone once, West Ham deserve more of a mention than simply being used as a point of comparison for failing big clubs.
What’s happening with Wolves…
In response to mark MCFC email
Agree firstly about some other topics would be nice, I want to talk about what’s happening at wolves? Are some of the players and managers family in Portugal? Are they struggling through lockdowns ( as we all are?) Or is it the change in tactics? Would love you hear wolves fans thoughts on what’s happening this season? Our defence is leaky as hell.
My own thought is the sale of jota and Doherty isn’t helping and injuries to Jimenez and Jonny as well. Or maybe it’s just a combination of everything.
Colin Wwfc Dublin (In nuno we trust)
The greatest game on earth deserves better
I think the mailbox contributors (and the vuukle commenters definitely do) need to take stock of what’s important in life. So much moaning about football. Football! The greatest game on earth.
We’re lucky that matches are still going ahead. It’s one of the little bits of live entertainment we have in our lives right now, and people just moan and moan and moan. Football lets us escape from Covid and Brexit for a few hours each week. It’s a vaccine against the dark fog of despair that is broadcast daily.
Liverpool are in crisis – nah just had a few bad results. Chelsea are in crisis – nah they’ll still be around next season. Arsenal … etc. etc. Bury fans have every right to moan, that’s a real bloody crisis.
Enjoy what we have, while we have it.