Welcome back, Chelsea. Now ditch the spreadsheet, Sarri…

Date published: Thursday 4th April 2019 8:55

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea

Email your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…


Chelsea are back – for how long?
I know that there has been criticism in the Mailbox over whether Chelsea fans would have had patience with Klopp or Guardiola, and the answer is a resounding “yes” because there was year-on-year improvement, there was an obvious plan, and the club, the players and the fans were squarely behind those coaches. The “Fraudiola” and the “Flopp” insults came from elsewhere, so easily discounted as bitterness, envy and, dare I say it, tribal envy.

The difference with Sarri at Chelsea is that Sarri seemed so myopic in his selections. He plays his favorites, ignores the incredible talent he has on his bench, played Excel-football with substitutions at mathmatically-correct intervals and was floundering.

Last night he seemed to finally get the message – Giroud, Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek get the starts and we come out 3-0 winners. And please don’t give me “it was only Brighton”, it was “only Bournemouth” a few weeks ago and we got pasted 4-0. I wonder who picked the starters? It doesn’t seem to me that spreadsheet-man had the only say in selection last night.

We had the right players in (mostly) the right positions, and played Chelsea football. Welcome back.
Steve (Please, Arsenal, win your game in hand and go back over the Spuds), Los Angeles


…After a long long time, I felt genuine excitement at seeing a Chelsea team sheet yesterday. Sarri finally had to give in to fan and media pressure and started Hudson-Odoi yesterday. And we promptly won, with the CHOsen one doing pretty well (also in the “defence phase”).
3 academy graduates started and all of them did well, with Loftus-Cheek scoring a banger. More of them will get a chance if the transfer ban is upheld, but Hudson’s and Loftus-Cheek, the hyphen brothers, will be the torchbearers, the ones who paved the way. Buzzing for next season!( with or without Sarri, though I personally hope he gets to stay)

P.S: Bring in Jake Clarke-Salter and it’s a party!

Preetish, Munich


…Sarri can’t drop Ruben and Callum back to the bench now? Surely?

What a difference it makes having players working and making runs off the ball. So much width with the fullbacks having no idea whether the wingers will cut inside or beat them outside.

Jorginho looked much more threatening and far happier as he constantly had options. I bet Higuain was asking Willian on the bench “Why can’t you f***ing do that?”

Three academy players in the starting XI -with rumours of more being kept around next season? Yes please.
Adam (Foden, what a talent), Birmingham


…Huge result tonight, much improved performance compared to that awful Cardiff game, Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Odoi showing why they deserve to start week in and week out and also a shout out to Jorginho who dictated the play all game, overall top performance.
Mikey, CFC (The race for the top four is ON!)


Sarri still in danger
I know it’s easy to come down hard on Chelsea fans calling for Sarri’s head but as fan who wants progression but also has thought that it might be best that he goes, here’s why I think it’s gone this way in terms of fans vocally getting on the manager’s back:

– Sarri’s stubborn attitude to formations, rotation (particularly with poorly performing players), tactical nous and therefore substitution management.

– Unwillingness to play interesting young players when the tried-and-trusted isn’t delivering.

– Overall temperament. That walk-off moment in the League Cup? Not befitting of a PL manager, and certainly not one of Chelsea’s stature.

– Paucity of performances in big games and overall. If there’s anything that will get a Chelsea manager sacked, it’s being drab and directionless in big games and most games overall. As CFC always cite when they sack a manager: “We aim to be competitive in all competitions” and “recent performances..etc”. This is the club’s way of saying that, even if this is a transitional year, they still expect both a strong fist of domestic cup competitions and a professional attitude towards the PL and European trophy tournaments.

That last point is the most important. We’re a fan-base who have seen the absolute prime of a steely spine of a side. I know it sounds cliche but we’ve seen Drogba, Lampard, Cech etc *literally* win a CL almost by themselves: That is some standard to set, but they set it and in many, many performances before that final in Munich.

So…yeah. I saw a comment on Twitter responding to said article from a Gooner that said “I often wish we had Sarri at Arsenal” and that pretty says it all for me! Passing? No direction? Lackluster effort? Losing big to top teams? My nightmare has become real.
Stu, London


City’s breaks
Excellent piece from Sarah Winterburn, and to take it one step further, I think that if you could somehow replay this season over again 100 times, this seasons point total would for City would be one of the lowest. They have dropped points to a hand ball goal, a missed penalty, and multiple wonder strikes. They also controlled large portions of all of these games. The only games that they arguably were lucky to win were Tottenham away and Liverpool at home, and in both games they did plenty to win.

The most amazing thing about this City team is that they are significantly better than the team that won 100 points last season. With a few more fortunate bounces, they could actually be looking at a 110 point. That sounds insane, but it really could have happened.

They are now 15 wins away from wining the quadruple, and with the possible exception of Juventus away, they will be favored in every game. The scary thing is that next year, they are going to be even better. KBD will be healthy and Sterling, Sane, Bernardo, Jesus, Foden, Stones, and Laporte are not yet even in their prime. David Silva, Fernandinho, and Aguero will all be a year older, but the squad is so deep that work loads can be managed to keep them fresh. This doesn’t even take into account the new international caliber CB, LB, and CM that will be brought in.

No matter how this season ends, I have greatly enjoyed watch City develop in the juggernaut they have become. And I can’t wait to keep watching them in the future to see what insane heights they can continue to hit.
Ryan, MCFC


Were not really here
If anyone needs cheering up this morning, Man City claim their attendance last night was 53559.

I’m sure they’ll base it on tickets sold (although even that’s a doubt…unless their owners bought 20000 tickets to the game).

It’s sort of sad and hilarious in equal measure that they’ve built this incredible football side and can’t inspire enough local people to go fill the stadium on a Wednesday night. It also makes you wonder why they don’t just charge £20 for tickets to convince people to go watch.

Also look forward to the responses about lack of income to attend, Liverpool isn’t exactly upper class but Goodison and Anfield manage to get packed out every week. Same goes for Newcastle.
Minty, LFC


Be the bigger man
Mr Ted: “In my opinion, someone being abused in any way – be it racism, sexism, homophobia, whatever – should be entitled to react in whatever way they see fit.”

My bold.

So if I called you a f*cking Manc c*nt does that give you the right to punch me in the face?

Of course it doesn’t.

It’s how you react to crap like this is what makes you as a person. If you take the moral high ground and don’t let it affect you, you become a stronger person. As someone who’s had it all my life as a fat scouser, are you saying that I can react however I like?

Cheers, I reckon next time someone abuses me in the mailbox for being a scouser, I will report you to the police, get your IP address and hunt you down and break your fucking nose. But that won’t happen because I’m a white man and therefore there is no “hate crime” legislation against me so I just have to suck it up.

See how ridiculous your statement is? “Anyone who is abused has a right to react in any way they see fit”.

I’m hopping over to Manc-land tonight with an AK47 coz Gary Neville said he hates scousers and the fans sing it too, wah wah wah
Fat Man (tongue firmly in cheek)


When is an own goal an own goal?
Sorry if you are going to give Son that goal, then Salah has to have his goal on Sunday.
Gary in Germany


Ref reward
During the Arsenal-Newcastle game, the ball went behind and it was clearly off a Newcastle player. While Lacazette appealed for a corner, Anthony Taylor awarded a goal-kick.
Now I don’t really think the decision was that important – it’s the kind of minor (understandable) mistake that happens dozens of times a season. But what I did notice was the commentator (can’t remember who it was for the life of me) praising Taylor for being decisive and dismissing Lacazette’s claims.

My question to the mailbox (specifically to the referees in the audience) is: Is this really the best way to reward referees? ‘We don’t really mind you making small mistakes, but just show authority regardless’.
I myself am considering getting a license, and know it’s pretty hard to get everything right, but I can’t escape the feeling that this allows referees to get away with smaller errors on a regular basis.
Girish (props to Spurs – stadium looks fantastic), AFC, Chennai


Hurrah for Hugo
So, are we allowed to praise Lloris or is it still trendy to only criticize him? Still appreciate him.
The Disenchanted One


Spurs siblings
Great news on the win of course, but the real story here is how my little sister scored a ticket for the game last night against palace on the exchange for £4.50. Four pound sodding fifty. Software error. That will be the same little sister that was a mascot when we were kids.

Bitter? You’re bitter. I’m not bitter.
Jon (bitter), Lincoln


Ole out
Kenny Dalglish? More like Ole Di Matteo.

Dalglish had completed a successful managerial career and although wasn’t the most successful manager ever, he did well, managed a few teams near the top, and eventually returned to his old club in their time of need.
Ole has minimal managerial experience, and none at the top, but was a successful player at United, much like Roberto Di Matteo.
Both had great initial impact but there were always doubts about Di Matteo’s ability, with people thinking he was just leaving the players to it, pretty much what we saw with Ole’s initial games.
When it came to managing in the transfer window, or in poor form, Di Matteo couldn’t hack it, got sacked, and his lack of managerial success has proven everyone right, he was right place right time, and profited greatly for it.
Now Ole has to do some management, but he hasn’t actually shown anyone he’s capable of it, and yet there he sits with his fat three year contract, ready to be terminated in November next year whilst United sit in 9th, and so the cycle continues.
KC (thought he’d be rubbish when he became permanent, thought it wouldn’t be until August)


…With the debate about Ole’s managerial capabilities lately how about we take a look at the results? Mourinho got fired with United in 6th. As I look at the table it seems they’re in 6th. Massive improvement there! When he took over they had quite the win streak. Kind of cooled off since. If we look at the opponents when he took over, kind of seems it was great timing. Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and then Newcastle. Surely they didn’t want Jose sticking around at that point and putting a string of results together so they couldn’t get rid. Add getting rid of the cancer of a manager that threw half the squad under the bus, any other manager would of got an uptick if performance with some positivity.
I guess what I’m saying is, I’m glad they gave him the contract now. Don’t see any top players wanting to play for them in Europa League with a manager I’m sure most top players never heard of. Guess that’s why they want to throw £100m Dortmund’s way for Sancho(if multiple reports are to be true). Probably pay him £200k/week too.
Adam (Doubt Ole finishes next year.)


Taking a chainsaw to United’s squad
Well well well much will be made of Ole’s 3rd loss in 4 Losses will happen Zidane has already lost at Madrid , Pochettino has a similar recent record before the move to the new stadium, but in the end it was quite evident that a lot of these players do not deserve to wear that red shirt after this year
* it is a travesty that Young is this close to a testimonial that one year extension should only mean he maintains his dj role he should play about as much as valencia did this year
* A right full back has to top our priorities Young is a liability and Jose was wrong Dalot is potentially a better winger than defender right now.

* Was that really Mctominay scoring generally being a nuisance and possibly the best player on the pitch , Making me hope Matic spends more time on the bench, well I never one of the few positives on the day.

* Whoever did an invasion of the body snatchers move and stole the Pogba from the first five game of ole’s reign, could you please return him , We aren’t going to be able to pass this impostor to Madrid if he decides to go and we will need that version back if he stays .

*I’m sorry but De Gea needs to get his head right he’s been our best player for the last decade but maybe the contract situation has changed something this is the second game in 4 were he has been involved in a mistake that has cost us points ,Those in charge should get it sorted once and for all

* Scouring through the reserves and loans the following should be gone by summer Fosu Mensah, Wilson , Bortwick Jackson (unfortunately ), Most of the old folks like Darmian and Valencia know they are done. A few fans will pop a bottle of champagne if we can get rid of Rojo and one of Bailly/Jones/Smalling depending on their preference
* The right DOF is also important so we don’t continue with the mistakes of the past , We need the right players in and our youngsters need to go on the right loans 90% of them ending up in League one or worse is not great for their development

* Looking at this squad starting early in the europa may not be the worst thing we get the players we want bedded in , and give more games to the Tuanzebe’s Greenwoods and Chongs of this world …………………………….this team needs to be taken apart with a chainsaw
Timi , MUFC

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