Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace :: Time to regroup #KTBFFH

Well, 2015-2016 is off to an horrid start for Chelsea.

Here was our starting lineup:

Here were our available subs:

We opted to sub Willian off for Falcao, Azpilicueta off for Kenedy, and Matic off for Loftus-Cheek.

The recipe for last year’s success is not working this season, and we need to change things up right quick if we want to get a top 4 position as we have only earned 4 points from 4 games, and only 1 other team has let in more goals than we have.

Ivanovic is clearly the target, the way in behind our back line, the weak point through him our opponents know they will cause trouble and disarray. We should move Azpilicueta to Right Back and let Kenedy own Left Back, reserving Ivanovic for Center Back duties as a substitute or as a starting replacement for Cahill.

Fabregas is clearly misfiring. He is not the same player that he was last season. His passing is poor, and it is affecting the team. Replace him with Ramires ASAP.

Matic is off his game. He is not bossing the midfield like last season. If he doesn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck, our midfield will continue to fold to the opposition. Replace him with Mikel for the time being to shore up the midfield.

Hazard is haphazard. I’ve seen no real purpose or organization to his movement and passing. He just doesn’t look sharp, and he doesn’t look dangerous. I’m not sure if he can influence the game, but let Loftus-Cheek take over Hazard’s duties for now. [EDIT 8/29/15 9:36am Pacific] How did I forget about Oscar? Once he is available, he should take charge.[/EDIT]

Willian has been poor. He takes a lot of shots—none of which are on target. I would suggest pulling him off and switching formation to remove a 5th midfielder.

In lieu of the 5th midfielder, we can add on a 3rd forward. We could go with Pedro, Diego Costa, and Falcao up top:

Courtois

Azpilicueta – Cahill – Terry – Kenedy

Ramires – Mikel – Loftus-Cheek

Falcao – Diego Costa – Pedro

That’s just my two-cents. Whether right or wrong, something has got to change, because our current strategy just isn’t working as we are falling flat on our face.

I couldn’t be more happy that a long international break is here. We need to regroup.

#KTBFFH

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City 3 – 0 CFC

Well, it has been a long time since I last published a blog post.

It has been an even longer time since I last wrote about football.

But here I am today with a ton of time on my hands and a myriad of thoughts about the state of affairs for my beloved Chelsea—2 games into the 2015-2016 season with only 1 point of a possible 6 to show for it.

We lost today 3-nil away at Manchester City. To be frank, it was horrid.

Why did we line up as follows (I don’t know if this was the official setup, but these were all of the starters)?

Begovic

Ivanovic – Cahill – Terry – Azpilicueta

Matic – Ramires

Willian – Fabregas – Hazard

Diego Costa

Sergio Aguero’s goal came due to a fatal error by Cahill. I thought he should have been subbed off at half; Mourinho instead opted to sub off Terry.

Ramires and Fabregas looked knackered. Fabregas was rather imprecise throughout. I thought that the two should be subbed by Cuadrado and Falcao, respectively, although I had forgotten about Remy, whom I feel is much more deserving than Falcao.

We lacked offensive. We lacked defensive. We were poor. That’s not exactly the compelling statement we want to kick off the season.

I should say that our worst game last year saw us lose 3-nil to West Brom, so it is entirely possible that we have gotten the worst of it over for the rest of the season. I realize that is highly optimistic, but I’d rather not be cynical.

Here were my comments on the game as I watched it. Note that around the time I felt like City were holding back, they ended up netting 2 more goals. Credit to them.

Here are some post-match musings through Twitter and the like.

I think something is wrong in the dressing room. It’s almost as if we are resting on our laurels or we have a sense of entitlement. Titles are earned; they are not given. Wake up, lads!

I’m confused by this excerpt. When I read the full article, I became more confused. Mourinho stated that Chelsea were the best side in the 2nd half, but it was City who scored twice in the latter half and not Chelsea. However, his final quote should be noted: “We couldn’t capitalize on the second half.” We couldn’t convert. We lacked offensive options, drive, determination, and will.

Per the full article, I agree: “Chelsea looked sluggish in midfield as Silva, Sterling and Toure ran rings around the, and they failed to find their rhythm in a rambunctious encounter.” Additionally, “. . . the reigning Premier League champions were most disappointing in midfield as Ramires, Hazard and Willian floated around without purpose and Nemanja Matic raced around like the Tasmanian Devil trying to put out fires in the engine room. His usual partner in crime, Cesc Fabregas, was nowhere to be seen and this display reeked of a man low in confidence and unable to live with the cut and thrust of his powerful opponents.” This game was lost in the midfield, allowing City to put the pressure on the back line, who capitulated 3 times.

https://twitter.com/worldsoccertalk/status/632958761640964097

This just hurts to see.

Meanwhile, we now signed a proper left back. I suspect that Ivanovich is going to be fighting for a center-back position between Cahill and Zooma, although Terry may be phased out as he is the slowest one of the lot. In Ivanovich’s old spot, Azpilicueta will move to the right back.

Well, Week 2 is over. Mourinho needs to sort things out in the locker room. We need to make a resounding comeback next week against West Brom next week—the very team we lost 3-nil to last year. I expect a strong, compelling, inspiring comeback next week against all odds just as Abramovich will, which I believe will motiviate Mourinho and his men.

Chelsea 4-1 Norwich

It looked dyer from the outset, but the Blues quickly turned it around and dominated the end result, beating Norwich 4-1 courtesy of Torres, Lampard, Hazard, and Ivanovich, respectively. Mata proved crucial in distribution.

Go Blues!

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Chelsea had their first game of the season against one of the traditional top sides, and they came away with three very nice points. The Blues scored on a pair of set pieces on Saturday, with Torres getting on the end of the first and a Juan Mata delivery settling into the back of the net for the second. . . . (WAGNH: “Arsenal 1 – Chelsea 2: Initial reaction and community ratings”)

Chelsea came away with the away win in this London derby against Arsenal thanks to goals from Torres and Mata.

To summarize the magnitude of this win, I give you an excerpt from WAGNH:

Chelsea had managed to more or less cruise through the opening stages of their 2012/13 Premier League campaign, but they’d yet to achieve a signature result. Wins against Wigan, Reading, Newcastle and Stoke are all well and good, but it’d be difficult to proclaim that the Blues had reached their old level without beating more serious competition. Undefeated Arsenal at the Emirates was always going to be the first major milestone of the new season.

And the Blues came through with flying colours. Roberto di Matteo kept his front line more or less unchanged despite a relatively poor performance against Stoke City, and they answered with goals from both Fernando Torres and Juan Mata — goals against an Arsenal side which had only conceded twice in their opening five fixtures. At the other end of the pitch, sloppy defending gave the Gunners far too many chances, but Petr Cech came up huge to preserve what was eventually a 2-1 victory. (WAGNH: Chelsea come away from Emirates with impressive win”)