‘Boring’ Chelsea ‘bottlers’ deserve our utmost sympathy

Thomas Tuchel has overseen a Brendan Rodgers-style capitulation at Chelsea, while Manchester City will have no such post-Fergie struggles.

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Feeling sorry for Chelsea
I feel a bit sorry for Chelsea. Being forced to play on their only week off since November whilst Liverpool and Arsenal get games postponed for no reason.

Chelsea are knackered. You can see it. They’ve had periods with no defence. No midfield and no front line and still are in 3rd. They’ve had no games postponed whilst having 6 or 7 covid cases. We’re forced to play u23 players on the carabao Cup quarter final. Chelsea are really held to a higher standard than everyone else. The workload, injuries and covid cases have been crazy.

If Liverpool lost TAA or Robertson for the season Liverpool wouldn’t be half as good. If city lost cancelo and walker they wouldn’t be the same. But James and Chilwell injured shouldn’t make a difference. Double standards in the media world are crazy.
Geralt of Rivia


It finishes Brighton 1-1 Chelsea, after watching those 90 minutes I must say I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod


Not feeling sorry for Chelsea
I think it’s high time for the football hype machine to accept some responsibility about the egregious and sensational hyperbole associated with Thomas Tuchel, this Chelsea team and Lukaku. I’m going to cut straight to the chase and make the simple point that Chelsea’s Champions League win last year was a fluke. A fluke in the same way Liverpool 05 was a fluke or Graeme McDowell’s US Open was a fluke. The idea that it was a foundation for a dominant title run seemed myopic and reactionary.

In August we were fed a diet of sensationalism suggesting Chelsea were imperious, Tuchel was a genius and the embarrassing rubbish about Lukaku being smarter, faster and wiser after his time in Italy. We have borne witness to a title capitulation befitting of a Brendan Rodgers calibre manager.

In late September I wrote in saying that Chelsea were boring and that Lukaku was appearing to be flop long before he came out and embarrassed the club and the hype machine replied suggesting that dissenters were fools. Tuchel is another Brendan Rodgers, call me a fool but the capitulation with Dortmund against Liverpool said it all about him. Forget the magic of the cup, he bottled it when the pressure was on and bottled it again now that Chelsea were marked as champions. The fiasco with Lukaku reveals that he is also a mercenary who followed money over football principles.

Please bring some balance to the coverage because it shouldn’t be the case that the mailbox is saying that the emperor has no clothes.
Jamie, Eire


Thomas Tuchel’s passiveness has been exposed. Chelsea are a boring watch and are like a poor tribute act to City’s possession-based brand, except with less flair players.

It may be good enough to win a cup (last year’s CL final is proof), but it’s not effective enough over the course of an entire league season. Of the 46 goals Chelsea have scored in the league, 14 have come from defenders, and another six were penalties. The former stat is completely unsustainable, and so it has proved now they are in a patchy run of form.

Even last year, Jorginho finished as their top scorer, with a mighty seven in the league, all penalties. Their shiny new striker, Lukaku, has brought no improvement to their attacking woes.

With Brighton largely dominating the second half but hampered by a continued lack of thrust up front, Tuchel only rang the changes with ten minutes to go. Ole and most recently Rangnick have been criticised for their lack of proactive substitutes until it’s too late- Tuchel should be in the spotlight more given Chelsea’s relative status compared to United at present.

I can see Roman getting restless again.
Brian, Wexford.


Is Tuchel going to end up being Di Matteo part 2?
Minty, LFC


Post-Pep City will be fine
I’d love to look 3 years down the line at a post-Pep City and see the wheels, if not coming off, then perhaps getting a little tired and wobbly.

Bill Kilcline sees a situation similar to when Fergie left Utd, but that would be a wholly inaccurate comparison.

From an investment and long-term planning point of view, this was completely ignored well before Fergie’s departure. Fergie was the most successful sticking plaster in history, his relationship with the club and his ability gave the Glazers an excuse not to invest, in the squad AND in the club. Fergie was the only thing holding the club together. When Fergie left, there was no plan, no infrastructure, no system to fall back on, not even any continuity planning. For a company worth over a £bn this was borderline criminal; I still cannot get over allowing Gill and Fergie to leave at the same time.

We’re still in pretty much the same position, the fish rotting from the head down.

As good as Pep obviously is, this is absolutely not the case with City. It pains me to say, but they’ve built a modern club properly. Will they struggle post Pep? Probably. It’s almost inevitable given the length of his tenure, success and own personal imprint on the club, but will they fail? Unlikely. I see them defaulting more to a Chelsea, always in the conversation, only ever a season away from winning the title again. Perhaps they won’t have the consistency they have now, but with the resources at their disposal and the structure they have in place, I don’t see them going anywhere.
Marky B. MUFC. 


Hey there, think you might get a few of these, but for me the Fergie and pep situations have a few key differences.

Pep will be leaving a superbly funded football brand that has spent well on every level of their organisation and product, from the bottom up, and being able to afford the sort of non playing people who notice Man Uniteds mistakes in all levels of club operations.

City will also have advanced notice, rather than begging a retiring man to stay again and then forgetting about it; they will have the best squad in the world with a huge budget to attract whoever is the best manager in the world at that time, whom they can then pay the most.
Man United are a marketing brand that started out in football, but since the 90s their entire structure had been geared towards maximising marketing income, internationally for their various business partners, as well as the sports promoters. This is why they target the young and have to dominate all friendly media, and competing brands have to be eliminated from coverage where possible – even when not playing, or with nothing new to say. To sell the advertising first they have to sell that the product has reach, so faking supporter numbers is in the financial interests of the sports promoters, and of course the club itself. (Just not the companies over paying for advertising).

Having experienced 20 years of the same fluffing we see from the Tory press today for Bobo the clown (and for the same, offshore financial benefit) the club were entirely unaware that none of them were doing the football bit. Unaware that they had a threadbare, over promoted, ageing squad, or over sold, under talented youth, no internal football management structure at all, no plan for the future and no idea that the football element of the brand would need such a plan. The hierarchy then set about internal wars at director level to ensure individual directors retained their income, regardless of the quality of product now being produced, or it’s long term viability. Long as it serviced debts this quarter, everything could be fixed with a liberal application of someone else’s cash in the future and it would be a different directors fault. Don’t think Moyes was the problem here.

That’s why they’ve been awful ever since. They lied about what they were; with help on all media coverage, changing match scheduling (for example to play at home after champions league games), leaning on refs with the back pages, etc. All while competing against a side that was challenged at every stage by these same processes, but still won. City are now more powerful than Newscorp & it shows. They learned, while United gazed (glazed?) through rose tinted spectacles at a past that never existed, and is only available in the Sun, or anywhere else that will sell you your insecurities back to you for their profit.

You can’t solve lies, they don’t exist in the real world, but that is the only place solutions do exist. So you have to end the lies before you can even find the real problems to try and solve.


They are very good
Is it really a one horse race? (of course it is, lolz)  But honestly, by the time December started City were basically neck and neck with both Liverpool and Chelsea, with the latter being grandstanded the most.  In a month and a half it looks like City are miles in front and uncatchable, but the form of Liverpool and Chelsea didn’t exactly plateau, there were just a few badly timed draws in sequence while the City winning machine continued on.

We shouldn’t be thinking of the Premier league as a one horse league; the other competitors are quite good.  They just happen to live in the same time period of an extraordinary team who hardly draw any games, and lose even less.  Their closest competitors any other year would be thought of highly.

City are just too good for football frankly.  I think they’ll win the champions league this season, last season Pep decided to have a gamble in the final, see what he could achieve with a team set up the way it was.  They’ll qualify through the other teams on their path who aren’t too good for football and they’ll get to the final and take it seriously this time, with the bulk of the existing squad having experience of being on that stage.

The Premier league is fine, they just happen to have a team that aren’t necessarily head and shoulders above the rest, but are “classic” level.  It’s like the realised potential of the 1982 Brazil team.  A classic team no doubt, let down majorly by the bullishness of one Paolo Rossi.  I don’t have a crystal ball but they would have waltzed that World Cup as seems to be common thinking of they weren’t knocked out in arguably the best world Cup match that ever happened.  When Italy came out on the victors side, they already had their toughest test.  We might have been looking back at that World Cup as a one horse world Cup, but Paolo Rossi was greedy that day and the rest of the tourney.  This is just the Brazil 82 team uninterrupted, so far.

My earlier point though about the sequence of draws incurred by Pool and Chelsea, the table looks bad, but that’s more owing to a sudden cocktail of dropped points v accrued points.  This has taken place over about a month and a half period.  A lot can happen in a month and a half.  In about 45 days it will be the beginning of March and things might look extremely different.  Wait and pray for City to lose 3 out of 5 and the other two to win games they previously drew.  Suddenly things look a lot more different don’t they?  After City came back from like 10th to win the title last season and do so by a canter I avoid the narrative, no team should be able to do that, but this City are just nuts.  The rest of the Premier league is better a standard than it’s ever been, but the truth is that the top dogs in it are better than anybody’s ever been.
Dave (Brazil 82 were a myth, City 20 – 25 maybe aren’t), Dublin


Dear F365

Couple of points on your recent article by Ian King. Firstly Manchester City have recently reported our accounts and clearly demonstrate that like most successful teams of the recent past we are funded by TV revenue, prize money and noodle partners. We also recoup a fair chunk of money by selling players. When every other team does this they are called organic. When City do it we get called dirty money oil cheats.

Even if you add up what it cost for the Sheik to buy Manchester City plus you assume every penny spent since has come from his own pocket and not from organic sources like tv revenue, prize money, player sales and our own noodle partners then the club is currently worth more than he has spent. The main difference between our owners and others is not how much money comes in but how little goes out.

Secondly last time I looked there are two football teams on a pitch or 1.5 if you’re playing Ronaldo FC. As it stands today City have have had the second highest number of shots on goal but the highest number on target. We have only been outscored by Liverpool. We also miss the highest number of big chances and the only team to hit the woodwork more than us is Arsenal.

It seems to me that City are doing their best to create excitement and if the games aren’t exciting then perhaps look at opposition managers and how they approach the game. It takes two to entertain.

The narrative emerging this season is that City are just too good and this is somehow unfair. I concede that City are good. What I’d propose is some kind of handicap system for City to give everyone else a chance. We should be made to play the rest of the season with a suicidal high defensive line, no specialist left back or striker, send our leading scorer to AFCON and play a midfielder in goals.

That should even everything up and allow other teams to compete with our over resourced and covid free squad that featured 4 players on the subs bench against Chelsea that played against United in the PL2 later that night.
Richard (bored and alone at the empyhad)


Defence of the dark arts
Bit of a retort for my old mucker Levenshulme Blue who always seems to generate a reaction in me for some reason.

Liverpool apparently engaged in the dark arts to get a match postponed.  A first leg semi-final in the lowest priority competition for the club for which we gave away our second leg advantage.

This is the match that we, according to your little conspiracy theory, faked tests to get out of and yet in the two weeks prior we chose not to employ this dark art tactic for two of our most difficult away games in the Premier League (the club’s number 1 priority) against better sides Chelsea and Tottenham when we were missing our entire first-choice midfield + VVD in one game (Spurs) and Alisson, Matip, Robbo, Firmino and Klopp in the other.

Can you see where your theory might not have been entirely thought through?

City had 4 teenagers with less than 60 minutes on the bench against Chelsea?  Amazing, Liverpool had 3 teenagers on the bench for their match with Chelsea who had a similar amount of first team minutes.  Do you know who else City had on their bench against Chelsea?   Bestest defender in the world Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan who has stats of 1 in 2 for goal involvements this season and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus.

On whinging and excuse making I think, quite frankly, you’re making it up.  Of course, if a question is asked about how the team are coping with the disruption, and Klopp answers ‘it’s tough because of a, b and c’ that’s explaining the situation/answering a question not whinging and excuse making.  Unless you’re inclined to find a stick to beat the man with.

Following defeat at Leicester Klopp said ‘‘What we did with the balls was just not right. We played a really bad game, so it was well deserved [for Leicester].’ And ‘The circumstances too – Leicester played two days ago, they deserve it, absolutely’

Any mention of players missing or Covid?

Guardiola hasn’t complained?  Maybe it’s because your squad of 18 first team players bought for £40 – 60m each (in the main) means that you can rotate 2 or 3 players on a game-to-game basis thus minimising burn out/injury in these busy times with little if any drop-off in quality.  That option just isn’t available for other teams so perhaps you’d like to consider that as well as ‘mental fortitude’, having 18 interchangeable players bought for astronomical sums might offer a slight advantage in a season disrupted by illness and injury?
James Outram, Wirral


Another day, another anti British article from the f365 writers. Wayne Rooney may not be Pep Guardiola, but there is something to be said for a bit of passion and pride surely? Or is it all just statistics, spreadsheets and flavor of the month(year) formations? Is there not room for a bit of good old British screaming, shouting and PASHUN!!!!!!!!!!??????

Now… im an Irishman, so have a very healthy dislike of the Brits (read: English), but the anti Brit sentiment on this site is getting a bit much.

F365 seems to have drawn a bit of a parallel with British Managers getting preference over Johnny Foreigner as some sort of racism/xenophobia. So, ill just say this to whoever at F365 that needs to hear it…

Wayne Rooney is not responsible for the war in Iraq.

Frank Lampard did not take the 6 counties from Ireland.

Harry Redknapp did not invade the Falklands.

Its ok to have Sam Allardyce type characters in the league. Its fun. Its different. Jesus it would even be refreshing these days. Or do we just want mid tier German managers these days who talk a good game, go on a good run, but ultimately fare not much better than the Mike Basset type characters. Jurgen Von Truglesnort may sound cool, but he only plays slightly better football and is far less banter.

Yes BANTER!!!!! Its also ok to like a bit of BANTER from your managers. Its fun. its ok. Dont worry, it doesnt make you a monster, despite what John Nicholson thinks…

I dont need to see sh*t european managers in the English leagues. Nor do i need to see sh*t English managers in Spain/Italy/France etc… Its ok to have a footballing identity in your country, even if that identity is drawn from a false sense of entitlement from your shameful history. Few in your country understand your history. Thats why James MacLean gets booed for not wearing a poppy each year.

But thats you. Thats England. Thats what i want from English football. I want Walkers Crisps, Vindaloo, Casual Violence, Brexit, Del Boy, The Sun and of course granny sh*gging!

So yeah, im rambling… but Wazza. Get him in there.

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