WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

the exile 4:25 Thu Dec 17
Team for Chelsea
Plenty to discuss for this one - seems funny now but it was only a few weeks ago that we had almost universal agreement that the team picked itself.

First up, Haller. I advocated dropping him for Palace and I would still say that his overall contribution leaves much to be desired, but we have to hope his worldy will have given him some much needed confidence.

Fornals - I don't much care if he runs around like Mo Farah. His recent performances have been gradually getting worse - he rarely makes a telling contribution in attack, making mostly simple, sideways or backwards passes, frequently losing possession, never carrying the ball forward, and his finishing is diabolical. Lanzini is no world-beater but he contributed much more against Palace and should keep his place.

Diop looked shaky so Balbuena should reclaim his place. His injury was only supposed to be minor, so I am hopeful that he will be back.

Formation - it seems crazy to me that the loss of Masuaku seems to have prevented us from playing three at the back. Surely there must be a solution, even if not an ideal one. We're going to have to do a lot of defending in this game and I think a back three will suit us better. I would be inclined to play Lanzini at LWB - as I said, not an ideal solution but one that enables our best formation. If it doesn't work we either bring in Johnson or move Coufal over to the left and bring in Fredericks on the right.

Injuries - Cresswell certainly tweaked his ankle and apparently Bowen was playing with a knock. I think Rice might have taken a bit of a knock too, but hopefully all recoverable.

Balbuena Ogbonna Cresswell
Coufal Rice Soucek Lanzini
Bowen Haller Benrahma

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mr Anon 9:31 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
daveyg 9:25 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea

Everyone else is isolating

daveyg 9:25 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
When I said 6 defensive subs I didn't actually think he would do it ?

Tomshardware 5:43 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
This will be an interesting test for us.

daveyg 5:25 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
I'm not feeling optimistic about this one after Liverpool and Man Utd gettinga sack full.
Haller not scoring with that chance against Man U has let them in to the title race.He owes us more than an over head kick. With Lanzini out our best rotation alternative is down to Yarmolenko and Dawson.
Hope to see some youngsters on the best but knowing Moyes we'll have 6 defenders on the bench.

Lato 3:40 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Balbuena Diop Oggy
Vlad Cress

Super Tom Rice

Bowen Haller Fornals

Don't Think Benny will start this one. Rest of the subs who knows?

Darby_ 1:12 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
With Lanzini out, we may as well drop back to a 5-4-1 with Johnson on the left. Not ideal, but we might scrape out a draw.

Hopefully it'll give Cresswell a bit of room for his crosses.

Lertie Button 1:07 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
You need a squad to rotate and sadly we don't have one. Our lack of options comes back to haunt us

pdbis 12:48 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Sorry, make that 9 subs now.

violator 12:28 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Ooops, beaten to it

violator 12:27 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Lanzini out

paulon 12:23 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Lanzini is out - done his hamstring

Mr Kenzo 12:13 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Balbuena Ogbonna Cresswell
Coufal Rice Soucek Lanzini
Bowen Cpt Tom Moore Benrahma

pdbis 12:02 Mon Dec 21
Re: Team for Chelsea
Will Defoe Mk II be fit enough to be on the bench tonight? We really do need a striker or two on the bench now that we can have 7 subs named.

Lee Trundle 10:03 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
"Why do so many people feel that a back 4 is the best way to play football?"

Because the teams who win league and trophies in most of the top leagues use a back 4?

threesixty 10:00 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
Why do so many people feel that a back 4 is the best way to play football? It’s as if a back 3 is more “only if we have to”.

I dont understand.

If you can get 2 more attackers at the front more regularly with wing backs and still provide more defensive stability, isn’t that better?

Also, having a natural sweeper in a back 3 cleaning up seems good as well.

Stretching teams by using overlapping wing backs is the best way to break down stubborn teams. I dont think we ever look comfortable in a back 4.

Texas Iron 6:19 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea

Yes I agree lack of rotation is a factor but we don’t have good backups in almost all positions...

Mex Martillo 5:00 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
Admiral Lard 11:28 Sun Dec 20, it’ll be interesting to see how Moyes handles the fixtures over Christmas and New Year, which having had a midweek game have already started.

I would say he has to do some squad rotation over this period. Especially with our defense, as I think our younger outfield players may handle most fixtures.

Alternatively, if he doesn’t to he will be forced to due to injuries.

I think many of our younger players can probably handle it, Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma and Haller. Also Fabianski as I think goalies generally handle lots of matches better as it is more concentration than physical.

I don’t think, Balbuena, Cresswell and maybe Ogbonna will handle every game. Good chance for Diop and perhaps some of the youngsters.

Admiral Lard 11:28 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
I am not sure the squad is thin, perhaps its more a case of a higher level of rotation.

Currently Moyes and his team are playing it old school with the same team in regardless.

The issues arise when, for example, Issa Diop is asked to play against Benteke with no game time. One moment of rusty thought and Palace score.

Diop is our best central defender but, Ogbonna and Balbuena have done a fantastic job in keeping him out once he'd recovered from injury.

The Arthur/Cresswell combination down the left has been fantastic but, we do not have another left sided player with whom this can work. Snoddy is much underrated but he lacks the pace to provide the same service as Arthur and Fornals plays inside left, not the wing.

Yarmolenko looked understandably rusty coming back from illness, but we know he has a wand of a left foot when on form.

Benrhama is interesting, he reminds me so much of Antonio when he first joined us. I remember watching him at Villa Park on Boxing Day 2015, 5 or 6 games into his West Ham career. All I could think at the time is "This is a disastrous signing". He seemed completely out of his depth. Then produced a peach of a pass to for Cresswell to score. Now look at him, when fit he's probably the first name on the team sheet.

Benrhama looks a similar mixed bag of talent and naivety.

Over all IMHO we have decent squad with a few in need of development. My concern is the policy of no rotation unless absolutely necessary backfires when we have a couple of key injuries. We have good player coming back but not quite in touch.

goose 10:58 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
I think we’ll go back to a back 5 again.

Balbuena comes back in for Fornals or Benrahma.

Texas Iron 10:50 Sun Dec 20
Re: Team for Chelsea
We rally have a very thin squad...

Not much quality beyond our regular starting eleven...

Lose key midfielders or defenders and we are fucked,,,

And our attacking options also thin...

Bare bones ownership...

the exile 8:51 Sat Dec 19
Re: Team for Chelsea
Longelo featured in a couple of the pre-season games and I thought he started in one of the Carabao games as well. Struck me as very good going forward. He wouldn't be ready to play LB in a back four but I wouldn't mind seeing him given a go as LWB.

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