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Is a Change in the Wind?

Following his midweek outburst, after the FA Cup fixture at Middlesbrough, it is being reported that the Stamford Bridge hierarchy are far from happy with Rafa Benitez.

In fact, this morning, the tabloid press are adamant that his 'interim` reign could be coming to an end with Chelsea set to sound out the Russian Federation with regards to borrowing the former England boss Fabio Capello for the remainder of the season.

Previously, Chelsea borrowed Guus Hiddink in a similar manner and it is believed that such a move, with Roman`s intervention, could succeed with Russia having only two internationals between now and the end of the season, both of which match those weekends the Premier League is closed down for international football.

Would the 'interim` appointment of Fabio Capello go down well with the Chelsea faithful or should we stick with Rafa until May?

The floor is all yours.

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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 3 2013

Time: 11:06AM

Your Comments

the situation is pretty complex...Rafa has not convinced me that we'll make top 4 with him at the helms...yesterday's was good...we had clear chances which we dint convert and I tot Foster was fantastic...but the nervy end that has come to characterize our play since tubby has been in charge causing us to drop vital points against small teams still persists...we have cech to thank yesterday cos the result could have been different...and tubby subs were all wrongly timed and does make me question tubby's overall philosophy and understanding of this team...clearly I dont think our dropping points is only as a result of fatigue and loss of concetration by players alone, it has a lot more to do with tubby's selections, how tubby sets up the team and the timing and quality of the substitutions he makes...if cech had not made that reflex save yesterday, we would have said the players should take a look at themselves as they are professionals and cant hold on to a one goal lead against brom..forgetting that prior to that time..the timing of tubby substitutions as well as personnel changes were mostly wrong...our next four matches are crucial for me...Fulham, Westhamm, Soton and Sunderland...up until 6th april...we should take maximum 12 points from those not even 10 points will be acceptable...if the board thinks tubby cant achieve this and capello can...the sack will be good...and if they wanta give him time hoping somehow his head will function properly and he will get things right for the remaining matches, then they might wanta keep him in charge...whatever happens, the jury will always be out on Rafa benitez...he needs to get his s.hit straight for the sake of his career and our top 4 finish ambitions..'ll look on with hope.
^^^can tubby really win 5 out of 5? that is westbrom, fulham, westham, soton,and sunderland...he has only done that once in the last 7-8 years...(the season liverpool came second in the BPL...winning 9 out of the last 10 bpl matches)....hmm...we'll wait and see....
Capello???....Dat wud be a very big mistake...He's a gud coach and all but to take over Chelsea with about 20 games to go(+ FA cup and Uefa Europa) isnt acceptable at all...whats d worst dat can hapun???...We lose both cups and dont qualify for the UCL next season?...I'm sure we'll win a cup and qualify in 3rd position
Capello???....Dat wud be a very big mistake...He's a gud coach and all but to take over Chelsea with about 20 games to go(+ FA cup and Uefa Europa) isnt acceptable at all...whats d worst dat can hapun???...We lose both cups and dont qualify for the UCL next season?...I'm sure we'll win a cup and qualify as 3rd
Absolutely! I would take him over Rafa any day. A man of discipline and fairly respected by the English lads including our own captain. A little bit of harmony is what we need right now. We know how the media tend to feed on baseless rumours,but I hope there are little crumbs of truth in this one.
Capello for the last 2 months and if he can guide us to a top four finish and maybe the fa cup then I don't see why he shouldn't stay for two years. The same can be said for hiddink, heynckes, Pellegrini and my personal favourite bielsa. I have said that we are not ready for a young ta
Talented coach. We need proper experience to knock some sense into the board. The best thing about older coaches is that they have been their and done it.
Very good manager.but comin to cfc now is 50/50,it could work tremendously and it could equally backfire indifferent on this one..i just hope the best decision is made
Lampard controlled himself and did not venture forward on every single occasion against West Brom and that is why they was not a single counter attack by West Brom, hope he does that more often, his tackling was goo too as I slate him normally.---------------We need players in the pivot who can pass the ball first time Forward not side ways or backwards, can put thru/defence splitting balls to Ba, who can win 2nd balls---------------- We need a winger who can put first time crosses in, that can atleast beat the first defender, whose final balls are top quality---------------Biggest thing for me is: We need to play One touch footy close/in the opposition's 18 yard box, we take 2,3,4 touches, all of the players do that, If we play one touch footy close to the box or in the box it will give opposition defenders less time to move and they WILL make mistakes, this is why our play looks DISJOINTED, players are not sure where the other person is, there is a lack of understanding, Rafa needs to work on this in the training, that is if he is still there by the end of next week-------------Moses needs to work on his final balls, Azpi was lucky not to score an own goal and did not venture forward that much.
Rumours until confirmed
@Layorh, you aptly echoed my thoughts on this,even with extra.
If this happen then I'll think someone at chelsea is taking a peek at some comments on VC, I believe I wrote a comment in the same line about a coupla weeks ago, fabio capello till the end of the season would be perfect, one thing is sure with capello, he is a no nonsense coach and the type that picks his players on form, a tactically capable manager and I'll applaud roman if he makes this happen latest by thursday.
There is no way we'll play man utd, spurs, liverpool and get anything from those games with the way we have been playing since the beginning of the year.
I would not mind Capello at all to be honest, he was a good manager with England, statistically the best manager if you can believe it. Plus a proven manager at the top level with Real Madrid, Juventus and Roma at club level.
Yeah.Terry and he are great pals.He will have everyone's support.Get him please.I want RAfa to get sacked.That can only happen if we lose games.But at this stage,we cannot afford to lose.@Desmond,I think we'll win at Old Trafford in the League.It is on 5th May.League will be wrapped by then.Fergie will play the youngsters.
Fabio Capello until the end of the season .....would be a disaster! ...Fabio Capello - as non-interim manager or not at all and it might work!. But I believe we should stick with Rafa until the end of the season. I would find it ard choice to ake between Capello and Mourinho at the end of the season.
The chances of capello coming to chelsea for a 2months reign is less than 10%. This rumour is just the handiwork of lazy journos. Keeping chelsea in the news sells for them. Hindink came then cos roman was the one that brought him to russia and was paying his wages with the hope that he would help then qualify for world cup 2010. That isnt the case with capello's appointment. Sack rafa and put holland in charge, he wont be any worst than the s.hit rafa is dishing out for us. The unity rafa's sack would bring to the dressing room and the 100% support and backing from the SB faithfuls would see us through to top 4. But should rafa remain in charge, i am sorry but the odds is that we wont make it. We would just chock when it matters most, cos our last 5 fixtures involves playing spurs, liverpool, man utd and everton.
Chelz Akamz
I was just discussing with my brother and he said that chelsea fans and mgt are busy looking for high profile managers while we as a club have got the potential of turning one of our own into one. Jose and AVB were a nobody until porto gave them the platform to launch their careers. Same goes for pep and barca. There re other examples. My point is that a coach like steve clarke for example learnt from one of the best coaches. He has also shown what he can do at west brom with very little budget. There is no way he wont succeed at chelsea if he is properly backed and given time. Look at what he did with lukaku who at the begining of the season was just a say talent but is being gradually refined over the course of the season. Same could be said about RDM who was sacked not because of the fear that he wouldnt have recovered from the mini-slump he was going as we were made to believe but because roman never wanted him in the first place cos he is not a big name manager. How about chelsea creating their own big-name manager. We have what it takes to do so i.e money, excellent training facility and a good academy. What remains is patience and endurance from fans and owner.
Chelz Akamz
Its a real problem....On one hand, for Capello to come in would be another major PR issue with the Chelsea hating press going crazy...Also how would another managerial change affect the younger players???? On the other hand...I have no confidence in Rafa...none...his player selections and substitutions are just crazy...He continues to play a combination of Mikel/Ramires/Lampard in the pivot which is an acknowledged disaster IF the other team presses our midfield. Ramires can't pass and Lampard can't defend..Furthermore, Lampard is never is position to defend as he is always caught up out of position. This allows the opposition to easily counter attack....I believe Capello would instantly command respect and would be able to motivate the team..However, it would also mean the end to Torres as he has been sheltered by Rafa....My gut says we would have a better chance to finish in the top 4 with Capello...I see continued risks with Rafa..too many issues with Rafa...Terry/Rafa...Fans/Rafa...Roman would have to accept the PR disaster to sack Rafa...You know the english press would go crazy about not giving Rafa enough time to finish the job...Then, if by chance Capello doesn't deliver a top 4 finish the press will forever bash Chelsea...The Chelsea hating press would have a field is a big risk to Roman...I would prefer to go with Capello but it will be a PR disaster.
@akamz, RDM would have been our pep, I had that believe in him even when I was slating him for being inexperienced, RDM is gone and I don't see him coming back after the humiliation a servant of the club suffered from the hands of roman, but clarke is someone that can only work well if he is trusted, this man spent almost 20 years at chelsea and would be good for the club, for now I believe he is a 2nd class manager with a potential to be a world class one if he keeps working steadily. Adi viveash is worth a shout too.
Who cares what the press thinks? CFC is a hated club and sacking an unpopular, supremely dismal manager for doing a poor job isn't going to make public perception any better or worse. Frankly, I'm amazed Benitez is still in the job, and I can only attribute it to a lack of options. My concern isn't with what anyone thinks; I do worry about how another change would impact the players. I don't know how they'd react, and I believe it's worth considering that a change may backfire and destabilize the players' confidence. Or it may not. I want Tubby out, but not if the squad suffers. It is crucial we make the top four.
Fair point lamarochs, fair point....rafa is a risk that might yield positive returns in the long run (top 4), but the signs that are on ground doesn't need an injun to read it, rafa is *****s poor, the team under him has no life and no fighting spirit, under him u'll always have ur heart in ur mouth and I must say u'll do a good job of learning a new memory verse whilst watching his team play. All in all, he is not worth the risk, wut we are not all knowing are we?
But we are* and @radio, I share the same views, sack the fatso bear the consequences, the press will have a field day of calling our players mediocre players if we don't make top 4
is there any chance for us to bring back hiddink ???
haji ahmed
Cant you guys see past the Rafa issue??? Get over it and support him and the team for the rest of the season...Come what may , he is gone! It may just make the difference between making a top 4 position or not! Next season we can start afresh with either Capello or Mourinho with some confidence from our current squad and our potential new players. We need to put stability abover any other issue. If you want to bare your teeth and keep your grip on the bone (Rafa) ... fine , but expect to drop out of the top 4.
Bale 1 Arsenal 0
Spuds 2 Arsenal 0
Spuds 2 Arsenal 1
If only arsenal can get a draw! Cant believe am rooting for them.
Chelz Akamz
If only arsenal can get a draw!
Chelz Akamz
Just back from the game,it was terrific to see Rafa quieten the boo boys. If we took our chances it could have been six.
Spurs are beatable if we have a tactical manager... Very beatable
@desmond i cant giving up that 3rd spot. I think they will finish 3rd cos their run-in games are less difficult than ours. They are defensively far better than they were earlier in the season. So even with a 5points advantage over arsenal, we would still a big degree of consistency to beat then to 4th.
Chelz Akamz
Our run in is tough and I believe we're dropping down to fifth because of it. Capello coming would be interesting, and might be able to jar us out of our stupor, but why would he take the job now? I just don't see a big upside for him. I think we're stuck with Benitez until May and have to hope that our players will somehow rally themselves and successfully fight for that fourth spot.
@akamz, we could have avoided this cats and dog fight if rafa haven't been a complete idiot, but that is for another day, if we beat spurs we'll be topping them with a point and we'll see what they'll play against city and pool, that spurs midfielders are combative and I don't see know how we'll accomodate mata in the team, moses can deal with walker (who is their weakest link), while hazard's trickery can deal with assou ekoto, now I don't know who we will use in the middle, but we should not make the mistake of playing lamps in that game, spurs are way too fast, very fast when u give lennon and mickey mouse too much pace, if we are on form, we'll beat them comfy. But if rafa is still our gaffer then, we'll find it hard, very hard to beat them
Off-topic but AVB set up high pressure on Arsenals midfield and it worked relatively well. This high pressure on our midfield with the Mikel/Ramires/Lampard pivot would be a complete and utter disaster just like what happened at Man City...You watch..Everyone in the world knows Chelsea has a very poor midfield.
fulham,west ham,southampton,sunderland win all these then we have spurs at home. If we dare dream and win all of these which lets be reasonable it should be totally doable then 3rd would be ours as spurs have a harder run and so does arsenal! the only thing to worry about is rafa benitez and his ability to get this team to win 5 games in a row,well 6 if you count WBA! capello i would take tomorrow if it could happen. the thing is if it is to happen it has to happen now,not in 2/3 weeks once we are struggling even more and looking like we are falling away. another thing that would come from having capello is that JT loves him and capello stuck up for terry over england and basically lost that job over it! so we would know JT would give this manager his full backing and i guess that would then bounce around the whole squad and we might just see the team pushing that little bit harder. but with all that said i still think rafa will be with us till seasons end,unless we do go into free fall.
@Lamarochs. We played high pressure against Arsenal home and away. Most recently high pressure was responsible for our 2 goals at the bridge against Arsenal.
A three man Oscar, Ramires and Luiz midfield would sort out Spurs. A front three of Hazard, Ba and Mata would good enough to beat them.
Who is watching Lucas Piazon? The boy is a germ we need him and his coach next season.
Spurs are clearly not kidding around..these guys mean business. I dont like our chances against them at Stamford Bridge because let us not forget when we beat them earlier this season, Bale and Dembele were not in that squad and they are on a high while we are floundering. For our sakes we better be ahead of them with a significant points margin because if not, by the time we face them i have no faith in us defeating them if we need to to ensure a 3rd BPL position. As regards Capello...i doubt if he will come..i remember after AVB was fired he was contacted to serve as interim manager till summer and he famously told Roman that "Capello does not do interim" It will have to take something special to convince him to spend 2 mths of his valuable time to bail us out but if we are going to do this we need to do this asap..we are running out of games and once the Gunners get kicked out of the champions league by Bayern this coming week they will suddenly have no other schedule pressures other than the BPL and trust me it will have an impact..they will get better.
Yes, because 3 managers in one season paints a great picture of stability.
If we put on our scorin boots on the day then we would beat spuds
RadioactiveD - unfortunately the press is an issue...The constant PR effects ticket sales and sponsorship deals...Bad PR also effects younger players and players that are considering transfers..The Chelsea circus is none stop..Unfortunately Chelsea is poorly run and lacks a professional PR department that can handle issues like these....Seriously, the board understands the circus and is the reason why Rafa is still manager...They don't want to face the bad PR...their professional reputations are now on the line and I believe Roman will be more careful going forward...
Hi Guys, I don't wish to gloat at your predicament and would never do so, although I do think it's self inflicted. I have to chuckle at the confidence shown here, (confidence or wishful thinking?) with comments similar to "we can beat spuds comfortably". Spuds are not 3rd in PL for no reason, they must be doing something right. Anyway, good luck for the run in. (except against spurs. :-) )
Spurs is back in third place in the standings. I really fear for Chelsea. We are in serious danger of being overtaken by Arsenal who seldom drop points against teams weaker than them. Whereas Chelsea had dropped points against teams such as Reading, Southampton and QPR.
Blue Day
"If this happen then I'll think someone at chelsea is taking a peek at some comments on VC, I believe I wrote a comment in the same line about a coupla weeks ago..." <--- yes, Roman read your comment and now he wants Capello for the job... :)
As long as we make top4, I don't care who's @ the helm really because we should be backing the team all the way, not nitpicking
@lamarochs i disagree to an extend. did u see hw many times spurs lost the ball in their midfield. because arsenal was pressing continuously since arsenal dont have a striker like RVP they couldn't convert the chances. first half typical arsenal having all the possession and chances but no goals but conceded 2. even though spurs and AVB should be credited in this position but if rafa had good tactical vision we could have won some easy games which he bottled which allowed spurs to catch. Spurs is not that special. if we can press like what we did against arsenal and west brom we can get 3 points.
Great win by Rafa and the boys yesterday, the 1-0 scoreline flattered West Brom given the vast chances we created but didn't score (Oscar missed 3 sitters) I'm sure we'll make top4, Arse's were spanked earlier so it's 5 between us and them. Ofcourse it doesn't help that we still playing on 3 targets and they in 1, but they'll most likely lose to Man$hitty and we'll just have to match or better their results henceforth. Gladly no team outside the top4 has a chance of winning the Champs League so top4 is guaranteed Champs League next season, that's our aim
@arun, I noticed the same thing, their team is not as strong as I thought, their pivot of dembele and scot parker is very tight, but we can break them down if we have quality passers in the midfield, clive walker is one of their weak links, he is mostly brawn than brains, a strong skillful player like moses can take care of him if he hits a fine form "easily", assou ekoto is more difficult to beat, but a player like hazard would do the business, where I am worried about is the band of three in the middle, I believe as someone said a 3 of rammy/mikel,luiz and oscar will get the job done....
Get Capello with performance related bonus, get us top 4 as caretaker with a promise of DOF. Otherwise we will all be sitting here wondering why Tubby wasn't sacked when we went 19 points behind Manure.
Or when we go 5th in the table.
@Hot Spur Should I tell you the reason you are in 3rd???? Its simple, we could not preserve our lead against Southhampton, WestHam Reading & NewCastle & One more thing, we did not have a true #9 from the beginning of the season, he had numerous chances to score & help outscore the opposition but he wasted them, he is not even in the correct position atimes. Anyway, all of that is about to change as Ba will play most of our EPL matches.
....a strong skillful player like moses can take care of him if he hits a fine form "easily"...Joke of the day LoL Moses "strong skillful"?? Maybe for the Afcon LoL
I think you guys are the ones missing the point. Things would be very different had Ba joined since preseason. Still, dont be so sure you will make top4, you are too dependent on Bale, your strikers can't score and your defence is still porous, you won against Arsenal cos of 2 really bad defensive mistakes. They created quality chances but couldn't finish it as they no longer have RVP. Another thing I noticed was Bale looked faigued and subdued. If he gets injured and misses 2 or 3 EPL games I wonder where you guys will be, cos Wenger will not give up, they will bounce back and fight for top4. Btw, you still have Chelsea to play @the Bridge( a place you find it hard to win), Liverpool and City, two crazy teams I woudn't want to play against atm.
well said SAMEX and I'm confident we'll beat Spurs @ the bridge especially if we play the manner we played vs Arsenal and most recent West Brom (ironically under Rafa) we need to press higher up the pitch, although Mata, Hazard, Oscar can't defend effectively they should pressure the opposition into making mistakes
@Hot Spur there are still 10 games remaining, If we can win our next 5 games, we may even finish above City, you guys are ahead of us for the first time this season and you are already thinking you are there. Lol!! I have watched alot of football to know that that is not how it works and things can change quickly. I guess we should wait till the end of the season.
After Saturday's match it got me thinking: why revert to 4-3-2-1 formation, when defending, in the following order from left to right: Cashley, Cahill, Iva, Azpi at defense, Luiz, Mikel, Ramires being the "CM" 3, Hazard and Mata playing behind Ba. When attacking, Hazard moves wide (LW) and Ramires moves to CAM (he can't cross so it's unwise playing him out side imo) and Mata moves towards the RW (he can cross better than most, and is good on the counter). That way, we'll still benefit from Ramires' box to box abilities but still retain a "healthy" pivot of Luiz and Mikel, players who don't venture as forward often.
I know this raises questions about Oscar, but he'll alternate with Mata every following game with each player being subbed around 70th minute to prevent fatigue but still retain attacking impetus. Ramires can alternate with Ake (incredible talent-in the making) Luiz and Mikel can alternate with Lamps till Romeu's better. Upfront, Hazard can alternate with Moses and Ba with......our attacking mid ;)
@MQ I dont also care, Capello or Rafa, its the players that matter, they should fight for top 4, even If the likes of Marin, Paulo, Ake, Yossi, Turnbull start against ManU @Old trafford, they should fight to win, defend together, keep the shape and attack together. Players dont become crap overnight, when you look @our games against Sunderland, Arsenal, and Westbrom, it was all down to the players. They played with so much passion & hunger, they played like they wanted the 3 points. Thats all that matters. I dont care who plays in the #10 role, we can win without Mata If we play our hearts out.
With spurs winning yesterday i really really hope that Arsenal collapse after this. If arsenal go and finish strongly then i can see them getting 21 to 25 points. So it gives them the total of 68 to 72 points. Our next four PL fixtures is way more important before that fixture against spuds. We MUST get the maximum 12 points to put consolidate top 3 or establish a solid lead over arsenal in the 4th place. With spurs having some touch matches to come its absolute must for cfc to win the next 12 points. With rafa at the helm i am dreading for it. If by some miracle we win the next 4 them i can say 100 we will finish in the top 3. Anyway lets see
Personally, I am glad there is some daylight between 4th and 5th position. Let Arsenal fade into mediocrity.
@GabeU one thing i hate absolutely about RB is his absolute madness in rotation. RB cant win 5 games continuously. This is the biggest diff between him and great managers like Jose. If You tell a manager like Jose that his team need to lose a match3-0 but he will win the remaining 9 he will gladly take it. But guys like RAFA will take 6 wins and 4 draws and gloat about how he is unbeaten for 10 games. Even though the invisible achievement of Arsenal is good yet i will rank our 04 season even higher bcz of the number of wins and points racked up by us. RAFA will NEVER win more than 3 games continuously. Remember QPR? We are on a golden run until that time but he decided to Rest each and every good player for that match and we lost the match. Our team went on a downward spiral that even now we are not able to arrest it. Simply put RB stinks in leagues. He may win a cup over a very good opponent but he cant do $hit in league
@ForeverChels i am also glad that spuds won yesterday. With our shaky form and rafas tinkering problems i dont care whether its a 3rd or 4 th place. We must put some serious divide between us and the 5th place before our tough run of fixtures after the sunderland game.
I dont know if im barking up the wrong tree here but has jose changed his ideas on playing youth players- hes put a lot of faith in Varane and morata over this season when he could have easily stuck to the tried and trusted. if we did get him back would he do the same with Lukaku, de bruyne, piazon, ake, josh, chalobah, courtois- he's exceptional at man management so he could keep them happy. if so id love him back. But of course its not up to me, and if truth be told he will be off after 3 years and of course roman wil ahve to want him back. Looking at the papers in france it seems his agent has met with roman on several occasions and would prefer a return to us. Im not saying this will happen, but i know weve all said that Jose isnt the best at playing and developing youth players, but i look at the Varane and morata example and think maybe hes change his tune.
Blue1989 just hit the nail on the head pal..... Rafa stinks to high heavens, his antecedents are there for all to see, but as samex said the players needs to play their hearts out when they are selected... That is the only way we can achieve top 3 under the clown, not through his selections or tactical nous, it is when we play with our hearts. Our veterans would be immense for us at this time
It is not just about the players setting their hearts out. Watch Rafa set us up for counter-attacking against Spurs at the Bridge......
@blue1989, u can also add callejon to the duo, perhaps mourinho is getting more patient with youths as he grows with age? Offtopic!!!! LOAN REPORTS ====>
Like ForeverChels I'm happy that there is a bit of daylight between 4th and 5th. No offence to the gooners but they with their 60 thousand plus stadium and expensive ticket prices can afford to finish outside the top 4. We simply can't and between them and the Spuds I'd say they are a bigger threat. So sorry gooners but I say better you than me.
Non-subject as according to Capello..."Capello dosnt do 'interim'" ts just a question of who at the end of the season. Even I wouldnt take the job if offered until the end of the season. Mourinho or Capello or other I would be torn between Capello or Mourinho - as im not familiar with the others . IF we stick with Rafa until the end of the season and get behind him , the extra effort he maymake could get us the top 4 spot . IF we go through turmoil of another change now, it could be disasrous
No use of sackiing Rafa...If We drop to 5th, it is always better to take a year off Champions league, atleast we will understand our shortcoming and rectify it....If we end up playing CL next year without sorting our deficiency in team, we will have another bad season...why go for short term fix...atleast from now, lets not rush onto decisions...Wait till summer, evaluate ur team and its position, decide on the future course, appoint the right manager, give him plenty of time....
No use of sackiing Rafa...If We drop to 5th, it is always better to take a year off Champions league, atleast we will understand our shortcoming and rectify it....If we end up playing CL next year without sorting our deficiency in team, we will have another bad season...why go for short term fix...atleast from now, lets not rush onto decisions...Wait till summer, evaluate ur team and its position, decide on the future course, appoint the right manager, give him plenty of time....
I dont want Capello now at chelsea...Infact anyother manager at chelsea...I wish we finish 5th, out of CL...Financially, we wont get much affected, as next year we are getting the new PL money much more than CL money...but if we finish on 5th, we can concentrate playing good football in PL with first team members, COC, FACup, EL with youngsters....but we need a good manager with clear thoughts.
@desmond my only worries will be the 2 pivot players. even though i love lampard he should not start. i think we should start luiz-mikel or Mikel-ramiries. i m saying this because rafa as we know will not change the shape. in this match tactics should be simple counter attack. its AVB and he demands possession which is meaning less for me. RB has to set up an organized team like jose did against Barca where get the ball spray it. we have players like moses, oscar,hazard,BA ,mata who can score the goals.
@Blue1989 Very good examination. He is incredible at motivating and bringing players confidence out. Drogba thanked mourinho for this stating mourinho once said ''with you i could win any battle'' hopefully he can make LUKAKU a superstar too
@arun, do you mean a midfield of mikel/luiz and oscar? Or rammy,lampard and oscar, or perhaps, mikel,rammy and oscar? Whichever combo would definitely have their hands full with the pace of lennon, bale and the ruggedity of dembele and scot parker, that team will play their hearts out and concentrate for thr duration of the game
I reiterate that the spuds team are spankable, if and only if we get it right
Seems Rafa is beginning to fall in love with Oscar, must be due to his work rate and skill set. I think he will start as the #10 on Thurday. Mata should rest.
@desmond the formation will be 4-2-3-1 since tubby being tubby he wont change that. but what he has to change will the pivot players. Lampard is big no for me. what chelsea has to do to counter attack. as both of their(spurs) full backs will always be other half and we have acres of space to exploit and if we have BA then it will not be easy for their CB to handle. i would use MAZACAR but since bale is super form i would deploy moses who has the pace and tracks back well. so my dilemma would be whether to include mata in line up because the way oscar work for the team i have to make a sacrifice but the way mata is scoring goals esp in london derby i dont what to do. what is ur opinion @des ?????
Cech Paulo-Terry-Cahill-Ryan Mikel-Rami Moses-Oscar-Hazard T9, On Thursday.
Or Cech Paulo-Terry-Cahill-Ryan Mikel-Lamps Hazard-Oscar-Marin T9
And play Cech Azpi-Terry-Iva-Cole Luiz-Rami Moses-Mata-Hazard Ba against United.
SameX - Your argument is ridiculous. You say spurs are 3rd because Chelsea didn't do this and that. Well by the same token I could say that if spurs had won all their draws and losses they would be top of the table, lol. If's and but's are irrelevant. The real reason spurs are third is because they scored more points than Chelsea - simple. Further, you talk of strikers, spurs are also short of a good striker. Too dependant on Bale, and "if" he gets injured? Not true, he was out injured for a period but it didn't affect results. Your arguments are all "If's", and if's don't score points on the pitch.
SameX - No I don't think it's all over, far from it and I didn't say anything remotely similar to it being all over. What I did was to question the thinking that Chelsea can beat the team that currently sits 3rd in the table "comfortably". There are no "comfortable" games in the PL and most certainly not against teams at or near the top. Even the very bottom team wasn't "comfortable" for Chelsea was it.
well said hot spurs. no ifs or buts. the table don't tell lies. spurs we better than us this season and we can only have ourselves to blame for this. If the board had persisted with RDM we would not have been having this issues now. Even the AVB we discarded as not good enough is showing he can cut it at the highest level and it might be karma that his team is now 3rd on the table and doing well. Kudos to tottenham and their players for imbibing his philosophy and going all out to support there coach even thru difficulties. can't say the same for our players and board.
Yes please. Anyone would be an improvement on Benitez but Capello would be better than most. Been there and done it at the very highest level (as in actually done it, not just talking himself up the whole time like Benitez). Do it Roman, do it NOW!
Good to see some sense coming from a Sp*rs fan, thanks Hot_Spur for a sensible opposition perspective on our site. My personal opinion is that I can't see Chelsea beating any half decent side right now. That's not to say we won't beat ManYoo or Sp*rs, you never know in football but I don't have any of the optimism I have had going into big games in recent years. We are struggling enough with the lesser sides so I just don't see where any optimism is coming from, under Rafa I find it hard to see anything other than a defeat to Sp*rs. Much as it pains me to say it, I'd take 4th behind Sp*rs right now like a shot if offered! What I would say, however, is that Sp*rs are only just ahead of us and have been doing very well, pretty much playing to their maximum potential. They are also heavily reliant on one, albeit exceptional, player in Bale. Chelsea on the other hand, are just behind whilst playing well below their capability and less reliant on any one individual (though I shudder to think where we'd be without Mata to be fair!). Sp*rs are third on merit right now, no question but put someone in charge at Chelsea who actually knows what they are doing and I still think we are some way ahead of Sp*rs. No point talking in those terms though, fact is they are 3rd and we are 4th and we are looking over our shoulders rather than up the table as it should be. We were 5 points behind ManYoo when this idiot took charge. Gosh, you're right Rafa, we really are so lucky to have you, I didn't want to challenge for trophies anyway!
@arun, sorry I replied late, been reading, I am in a dilemma too about mata, I want oscar to play due to his work rate and his developement, but can we ignore mata's brilliance? That problem is what both RDM and rafa faced and it can only take a genius to play them all together without losing points every now and then, my take on this issue would be a tad controversial as I have been one of the peeps who advocate that oscar should only be played as a no.10, if we want to beat spurs I think we need to revert to a solid hardworking 4-3-2-1 formation. With rammy-oscar-mata in the band of 3, hazard-moses in the band of two with hazard on the RW to take care of assou ekoto, while moses takes care of walker and cover for ashley cole at the same time, with Ba as the only forward, u'll notice that this formation is lined with very mobile, pacey and technical players. But discipline will be required from the band of 3, huge discipline. Mikel can come save our bacon in the 2nd half if we are fortunate enough to take the lead, we can revert to a 4-5-1 to choke the midfield in the 2nd half
Change or no change...Just we make top4 is priority, who "leads" us there is trivial really
....I think we need to revert to a solid hardworking 4-3-2-1 formation. With rammy-oscar-mata in the band of 3, hazard-moses in the band of two with hazard on the RW to take care of assou ekoto, while moses takes care of walker and cover for ashley cole at the same time, with Ba as the only forward....Playing Ramires, Oscar, and Mata as defensive mids?? Lord have mercy
The big problem with Chelsea right now is the ball movement - we ove the ball far too slow. As brilliant Mata is he sometimes kills other players because his ball movement is focused on himself. He should not e played on the right or as a winger as he is not a winger. He is always cutting inside and ends up passing backwards. To be honest there are games when the coach subs Hazard instead of Mata. Compare Mata to Lennon - they play pretty mch same position but Lennon does a better job. The key to beating Spurs is not playing Torres. I think at the moment Oscar is our best player!!!!
@desmond yaaa this is a big but a luxury problem we can afford. but we can employ mazacar only if we play a pivot of rami-mikel or mikel-luiz. then i think we can afford mata not to come and help in defending. but what i like about mata is he always rise to occasion. I prefer mazacar because on form they are this fixture i will choose them even though they have wingers. i think we need two mobile midfielders so that means ramiries has to start and who will be his partner????? luiz or mikel. one thing we have to do irrespective of players is press. press press. spurs were caught out countless time yesterday. if chelsea used same tactic that they have used against arsenal then i think we can beat them. why i m not putting any other formation is simply because RB will not change his formation. he will use this formation till he dies. so that means we have to choose players based on formation even better formations are available.
BlueFortune I think the key to beating ANY team is to not play Torres. I find it baffling how a guy who was once probably the best striker in the world, can become so ineffective.
Johan cruff,anyone??

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