Antonio Conte needs to strip everything back to the basics that won us the league last season.

After Chelsea's woeful defensive performance last night, and that being in addition to the most part of this season with the amount o...

After Chelsea's woeful defensive performance last night, and that being in addition to the most part of this season with the amount of goals we have conceded, Antonio Conte must strip everything back to the defensive foundations that brought us Premier League glory last season.

That's my view on our whole situation. Everything last night was wrong from the team selection, to the formation and the players individual performances which, as you can imagine, have been dissected in every corner of the media and press this morning.

The amount of goals we are conceding is scandalous. Roma have put SIX passed us in two games demonstrating that we have major, major problems that must be addressed ahead of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this Sunday.

The problem we have had is that we have not had a settled back three if you consider that both David Luiz and Gary Cahill had to serve three match suspensions. All this chopping and changing personnel playing them in different positions has not helped us to try and get to grips with our defensive shape.

Toni Rudiger was all over the place last night playing on the left hand side of our defensive three. He pushed up into midfield numerous times, finding himself caught out of position when Roma won the ball back in midfield and exposed the area of the pitch he should have been protecting.

Now I like Rudiger and his athleticism but last night was a major flag for me with him. In the big games such as last night, you must retain your defensive shape and your discipline. These teams will hurt you in a single moment with any form of defensive lapse and their second goal is demonstration of that point.

Thibaut Courtois stated that he called for the ball to be cleared away but Rudiger misheard his call and let the ball go passed him. That's the uncertainty I am talking about, players are still trying to get used to him as he is playing alongside them and building that form of relationship takes time.

Starting Cesar Azpilicueta as a wing-back is not an option for me anymore because he has become so important. Why buy Davide Zappacosta as cover for Victor Moses if you are not going to play him? In my view he should have started.

Now people moan and groan about Gary Cahill which I will never understand as I beg to differ. He gets stuck in, he puts his body on the line and he formed a fantastic defensive line playing alongside David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta last season. That MUST be installed as the starting three from now on because they know each others games and understand each other. This will bring some cohesion on Sunday and will give Thibaut Courtois confidence having these three in front of him.

It's distinctly obvious that we miss N'Golo Kante in our midfield and his energy. It's also very clear that Cesc Fabregas cannot play as part of a two-man midfield against good opposition. Time and time again he became exposed as did Tiemoue Bakayoko. What should of happened is that Antonio Conte needed to have put three players in the middle of midfield with Eden Hazard playing in behind Alvaro Morata. Danny Drinkwater should have come in next to Bakayoko and Fabregas to sure things up in that area.

I would adopt this formation on Sunday but play Kante in there in place of Fabregas next to Bakayoko and Drinkwater. It will give us a defensive foundation to hopefully close down any space in behind our midfield that has been exploited time and time again this season so far.

There is only one way to sort this situation out and to sort our our calamitous defending - revert back to type. For me it's the only answer. 

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  1. I agree that Rudiger had a poor game but he wasn't alone, he's a quality player and one we should persevere with. I also agree that Cahill puts himself on the line but with the ball at his feet he's a liability. Luiz is also a liability due in the main to his ill discipline. My back three would be Azpilicueta, Christensen and Rudiger. That may change next season with Zoumas return.

    Zappercosta should have started at RWB last night and, whilst I'm not a fan, Drinkwater alongside Bakayoko. I've said since the day he joined that Fabregas tackles like my Mum, has no pace and tends to disappear. If anything he's got worse and his rightful place is on the bench to call on should we be chasing a game late on.

    If we don't get 3 points at Qarabag we could still fail to qualify. As they've drawn home and away with Athletico and given Roma a tougher game than we have, it's by no means a "gimme" away from home.

    Still, look on the bright side, just United at the weekend and for once the press can come after us without making stuff up.......

  2. If I was Antonio Conte I would first of all make sure that my players, fans, staff etc. know that I want to STAY here and build something. If there is ambiguity then, doubt will start to creep in and team morale and work rate will suffer. I think we have already seen proof of this.

    Second, I would sit down with Luis, Azpilicueta and the rest of the defense and talk things through. What is happening? Go back to basics as you stated in your post. Make totally sure everybody understand that this is not good enough.

    Third, I would make sure that I have two central midfield players who can protect the backline. Maybe try Kanté and Drinkwater together.

    Fourth, I would tell Morata, Hazard, Willian and Pedro to work their socks off during matches. I would also press higher with the whole team. Try to take the initiative more in games.

    Lastly, I would make sure that I as the boss, would lead by example. For example, during press conferences make a statement of intent. Showing all that I am energized, committed and ready to lead my troops out. Don't sulk, inspire your team.

    Thanks, Anders


    1. Great pointers. The coach acts as though he won't be around for long.

  3. It's not a coincidence that Chelsea team are weaker this season with Fabregas having more playing time

  4. It,s games like this that send me back to an earlier-time watching my team play maybe a Crewe-Charlton-Bristol etc etc,on a bleak Saturday but at least even back in those long -distant days we had players who gave 100% week-in week-out,not always pretty to watch, but 95% of the time I went home from those games not feeling Cheated by most of my teams players.I just wish some of those who put on the Shirt last-night have the B - - L s to look at themselves in the mirror and say = yes I played great to,night,really put in a shift and earned my money.from start to finish the whole game was shambolic,some might say we had chances,but taking the whole-game, we were never in the race.we have to ask just ;WHY;this keeps on happening,no matter who the Manager this is a constant thorn in our Club,I have my beliefs as to why and I won,t bother repeating them again,but yet again the ;; nedia;; circle.s our club for a blood-letting,like many I really don,t want Antonio to walk away,and I,m sure we are not in another Jose v Players situation,but very-clearly something is wrong behind the scenes,and that needs to be sorted out yet-again,maybe yet another Roman training-session coming-up,I really don,t see an end to this occurring again and again,,when once again we should have all been looking forward to another year of progress and kicking-on after winning the league,,you know sometime,s as much as I,ve enjoyed/loved the Roman glory-years,games like last nights,and even a few other more ;;recent-games;; remind me that maybe I really did enjoy the virtually trophy-less OLD-days....rant over must get the Jim Bean out that might help give me a clearer view.

    1. Not sure that they could ever "earn" that amount of money for playing a football match but I understand the sentiment. Despite the power that freedom of contract and being a multi millionaire offers, players attitude and commitment tends only to falter if allowed to do so. Unfortunately at our club it not only seems acceptable but, at times actively encouraged. Like you, I have a view as to where a large part of the problem lies but I'm tired of repeating it.

      Let me know how you get on with with Jim Beam.......Glen Moray doesn't work.

    2. You know Norman that sometimes you have to say it and get it off our chest, my view won,t change anything that,s a given,but I know I,m not the only one with a view on -what the heck-is going on behind the scenes at CFC,anyone with half-a-brain can see that something is,nt right,and I,m not talking in regards to Managers/Coaches or whatever title they have now,some in the past ;Yes; but I,m referring to the like,s of Jose-Carlo-Conte etc,it,s a weak argument when people say ;;but look what we,ve won by doing it that way;;my reply is always the same,where would we have been IF had backed-stuck/by some of these managers,certainly as I see it it could not have been any worse,as yet-again here we are again,,and I like Conte and how he goes about things,yes he make,s mistakes all managers do,but it would not surprise me at all if he you and many other CFC fans I,m just sick and tired of the inner-workings of our club.,the J.B worked a treat I can see a few more being lined-up in the not to distant-future I recommend it,good health.

    3. Your absolutely right, that's why the majority of posts on here are negative. When things are going well there maybe a desire to post but when they're going badly there's a genuine need.

      We'll likely be talking again at the weekend - my friend Glen will be at my side - Cheers!

  5. I don't think the excuse now has to do with the number of games we are playing. Being in Europe is a privilege and we must enjoy the moment. I like Conte a lot, but I think he is undoing the good work he did last season, by moving players around too much. Stick with what worked for you, Don! Luiz, Rudiger and Caesar for me can be a top partnership. Courtois will do better when he knows his denfense won't change all the time. Zappacosta should make the wing back his home. Alonso is off the pace at the moment and Willian for me is playing like he doesn't wanna be here. I like the Kante, DrinkWater and Bakayoko partnership. I believe this will bring out the best in Bakayoko. The attackers need to understand themselves and get used to each other's game. Hazard, Pedro and Morata should play together for a while for the chemistry to be formed. It's so ridiculous how we can be dissected by any team. Get the selection right and motivate the lads to give off their best.




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