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A Horse Named Stranger

Football: pool in to the Final Spur of the season

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Seems to me that Chelsea need to be stay aggressive. Arsenal have too much speed and movement up front if they stay back.

And just as I type that, Pedro scores. Winning the ball back works, methinks, plus the Arsenal defence really isn't very solid.

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A long way back for Arsenal now. Chelsea have been better in the 2nd half. Arsenal really should have made their superiority count in the 1st half though.

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It’s not looking good for Arsenal now. They haven’t really been in the game this half.

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...oh, dear. Altogether too agressive there from Maitland-Niles (who has been good today, I think).

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, that’s probably that.

As soon as Arsenal were asked to spend a reasonable amount of time on the back foot it was never really likely to go well. Their defence just isn’t anywhere near up to scratch.

ETA: On the plus side they aren’t too bad in attack. That’s a goal and a half.

Edited by ljkeane

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Great strike from Iwobi, which should keep things interesting for a while longer.

Perhaps 3-0 really is the new most dangerous lead!

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Posted (edited)

Scratch that. Lovely piece of play by Giroud and Hazard. As soon as Chelsea started moving the ball quicker in the final third, Arsenal's defence has been at sixes-and-sevens.

 

ETA. and the big shocker is that Sarri finishing 3rd, losing out narrowly to City in the League Cup and winning the Europa League might not be enough to keep him in the job.

Never change Chelsea's board, never change.

Edited by Consigliere

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And Özil walks off the field. We all know it's over, but wow, what a great teammate...

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Posted (edited)

Despite the fact he’s just blazed a good chance wide this Joe Willock looks a good player.

ETA: There are a few Arsenal fans in Baku re-examining their life choices about now. 

Edited by ljkeane

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This final didn’t deserve a five goal second half. Even then it still felt so flat.

Hazard has basically confirmed he is off on BT.

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What should be really concerning for Arsenal fans is that a couple of weeks back, David Ornstein mentioned on BBC Radio 5 Live that if Arsenal fail to qualify for the CL their transfer budget is expected to be around £40m.

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Nice for Giroud to play, score and assist.  It’s been harsh on him to have Higuain starting ahead of him almost every game.

Well done to Chelsea.  A very up and down season but very respectable results: third place finish, two finals and a European trophy.  Short term managers work for them yet again.

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1 hour ago, Consigliere said:

ETA. and the big shocker is that Sarri finishing 3rd, losing out narrowly to City in the League Cup and winning the Europa League might not be enough to keep him in the job.

Never change Chelsea's board, never change.

Well, I think there is a bit more to the Sarri situation than that, namely the fact Juventus want him. The above makes it sound like they are going to sack him simply because 3rd and winning the EL wasn’t good enough.

Basically what we have achieved this season is as good as we could have hoped for at the start of the season, so Sarri has definitely achieved his targets. The problem for Abramovich regarding Sarri is a couple of things:

Firstly, there are certain factions of the Chelsea fan base that will not warm to Sarri, even with what he has achieved this season. Abramovich clearly doesn’t like having managers that the fans don’t like, otherwise he’d have given Benitez the job after achieving exactly what Sarri has this season.

Secondly, the transfer ban poses problems for Sarri because he isn’t the type of manager that adapts his style based on what players he has available. He has a specific style and tries to adapt the players to the style.

Clearly, given some of the results we have had this season, a vast number of players in this squad aren’t well suited to his style. Sarri needs a few windows to build this squad, in a similar way to Guardiola did at Man City. With Hazard leaving and the club being unable to sign players, we won’t only stall because of the ban, we will probably go backwards.

Surely, if you were Sarri and faced with the option of staying at Chelsea and not being able to sign anyone, or go to Juventus and continue the great work they are doing in Serie A, it would be a pretty easy choice to go back to Italy.

Personally, I don’t think he deserves to be sacked, if it’s going to come down to that. I’d have said something very different after being beaten 4-0 by Bournemouth and 6-0 by Man City, but since the League Cup Final, Sarri began to show he could adapt his system and our results did improve.

It was nice to see Sarri winning his first major trophy after a long career working his way up in football management. 

Hazard all but confirmed that he is leaving. I have to say ‘fair play’ to Hazard for his honesty and not giving typical robot-like answers most footballers give when asked questions about leaving a club. 

He’s achieved great things and given the fans some of the best performances they’ve ever seen at Chelsea. Unfortunately, at this point in time, Chelsea aren’t able to match his ambition.

 

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