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Beating Spurs More Important Than Chelsea Winning 14 Premier League Games In A Row

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Chelsea winning 14 Premier League games in a row

We will find out tomorrow if Chelsea winning 14 Premier League games in a row will become a reality. It would be an incredible record, but let’s stay focused. The most important thing is that victory would put Chelsea 8 points clear at the top of the table.

Whilst the record of Chelsea winning 14 Premier League games in a row would be nice the points are more important.

If we win then we will stride further away from the back, but if we lose there will be four teams almost within touching distance.

Confident Of Getting A Result?

Given our form it is possible to be over-confident, winning has become a habit after all. If we play the way we have been recently we have a huge chance of getting the points.

However, the game is far from a foregone conclusion, Spurs are playing decent football at the moment and getting the right result will be a real challenge.

All of our core of players will be available and Antonio Conte will have the choice between Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. Playing away from home the logic is that Matic will get the nod, however I trust Conte’s judgement either way.

Tottenham Fans Looking For Revenge

Tottenham fans are getting quite excited about the opportunity to end our run and get revenge for last season.

That is one narrative although I will be hoping Blues fans will be crowing breaking the record against a rival.  I am sure that whoever wins will go to great lengths to remind their rivals for years to come.

The record is not the most important thing, it certainly would be sweet to go 8 points clear and break a Premier League record in the process.

Whatever happens tomorrow Chelsea will hold the record for most consecutive Premier League wins, it would be better not to share the honour with Arsenal though.

Why Chelsea Should Pretend The Transfer Window Is Still Closed

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David Luiz Chelsea transfer deadline day highlight

We are now in January which means that we are now in transfer silly season with the tabloids and online transfer rumour sites going into overdrive.

The latest example of this was Chelsea being linked to Arturo Vidal simply because he liked an Instagram post featuring his former manager. The fact that his former manager is Antonio Conte does not mean that he is destined to become a Blue.

Admittedly one outrageous Chelsea transfer has been confirmed as Oscar heads to China for all the money (and maybe some of the tea). This windfall for a player who was not even getting into the Chelsea team has raised the prospect of a transfer war-chest this January.

Conte and the Chelsea board should leave things until the Summer and not look to buy or sell anyone in the core of the first team.

The Team Is Settled

Chelsea have used the fewest number of players in the Premier League so far this season highlighting how balanced our starting line up is now that we have moved to a 4-3-3 formation.

Bringing in new players could upset the harmony in the dressing room and the balance of the side. Whilst Michy Batshuayi could go out on loan, I would want an existing member of the Chelsea squad to be recalled from loan to replace him.

The Team Is Winning

We are currently top of the table having equalled the record for most consecutive victories in Premier League history. It would be foolish to risk this by buying or selling any of the players that have put the Blues in that position.

Transfer Fees Are Crazy In January

Nobody likes selling players in January so they are rarely priced at their true value. Chelsea have been burnt by this in the past, most notably when buying Fernando Torres.  it makes no sense to

Instead we should try and sit January out and let others make transfer mistakes as they look to play catch up.

5 Non-Football Changes At Stamford Bridge In 2017

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A look at Stamford Bridge in 2017

There is a happier vibe at Stamford Bridge in 2017 than there was at the start of 2016.

Whilst Antonio Conte gets on with making magic happen on the pitch, here are some things we would like to see at Stamford Bridge from a fan perspective.

Replace Singha

The beer of choice at Stamford Bridge in 2017 is Singha.

Beer and football go hand in hand but unfortunately Singha does not qualify as a football beer. It might be great for a curry but on match day it is far too fizzy and sweet to drink in only 5 or so minutes you get to drink it.

Singha paid a princely fee to be sponsors but with the deal set to expire this year, it would be great if we could find a better partner.

Faster Entry Into The Matthew Harding

The Matthew Harding stand at Stamford Bridge is a great place to watch football, but with kick-off approaching it takes far too long to get in the ground. Sure you can get there earlier but queuing is far from fun.

It would be great to make getting into the Matthew Harding faster so fans get more drinking time and there is less stress before the game.

Pay For Food/Drinks With Your Season Ticket

Paying for food and drink using pre-loaded cards is a pain when you only visit the stadium once (Amsterdam and Munich come to mind). However, with huge queues before kick-off and at half-time a system of payment that is faster than cash should be welcomed.

Contactless is a good start but being able to pay using our membership or season tickets could be a great way of speeding things up and reducing the hassle at half-time.

Making A Real Effort To Tackle Touting

Chelsea make a token effort at tackling touts and fake websites. Yet they are as popular and successful now as they have ever been.

Touts are everywhere on match days. We overheard a ticket being sold for £370 for the Spurs match outside Fulham Broadway shopping centre.

We need to find more ways to deter touts online and around the ground to keep tickets at face value for as many fans as possible.

The Shed End Back

Chelsea fans have had to share the iconic Shed End with away fans for over a decade now, it would be great to find a way to change this. Whilst having the away fans close can stoke the atmosphere it’s annoying during cup games when the entire stand is surrendered.

If not for next season, the ground redevelopment should bare this in mind when submitting and finalising plans.

 

Chelsea Failure To Qualify Champions League Is Firing Title Challenge

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Chelsea failure to qualify champions league

The Chelsea failure to qualify Champions League football would be a good thing, but so far there have been plenty of positives to not playing in the elite European competition.

Being out of the Champions League is like a bonus code for videoslots.com been a blessing in disguise and we look like the champions we were in the 2014/2015 season once again.

Liverpool showed the value of playing fewer games than your rivals in 2013/2014 when the Scousers were only a Steven Gerrard slip and Demba Ba finish away from winning their first Premier League title.

It is too early to dream of the title too much, but it certainly looks like we are going to be in the hunt.

Benefit of Chelsea Failure To Qualify Champions League

Playing just once a week has given the players longer to rest and left our team sharp, this is having a huge impact on the results on the pitch. We are not having to get key players like Costa and Hazard through two games per week meaning they are fresh and producing results on the pitch.

We are not having to get key players like Costa and Hazard through two games per week meaning they are fresh and producing results on the pitch.

From a personal perspective, it has made this season more affordable, less games means less cost. Although I would gladly pay to see the Blues than sit at home whilst our rivals play for the trophy with the big ears.

Chelsea failure to qualify Champions League Painful

Watching the other teams in the Champions League has been painful, even if we have enjoyed watching Spurs crash and burn. It has been great to see Leicester prove doubters wrong (again) and progress to the next round. Manchester City and Arsenal have taken care of business.

These two minor bright points do not mask the fact that it is painful to see other British teams in the Champions League without Chelsea. It may be a false sense of entitlement but it is where I think/hope we belong.

The novelty of having a full week to play has been tolerable for one season, but the thought of being cast aside for more is unbearable. It is unlikely that key players like Diego Costa and Eden Hazard will even entertain the prospect

Thankfully the early indications are that Antonio Conte has us in a great position to finish comfortably within the top four.

Analysing The Conte Effect As Footballing Masterclass Continues

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Smart Bets graphic on Conte effect

Life is pretty good as a Chelsea fan at the moment as the Conte effect takes hold. Our traditional rivals have been stumbling and we top the table, something that seemed like a distant pipedream only a couple of months ago.

Since Antonio Conte switched to 3-4-3, Chelsea have seen vast improvements on the pitch, according to research carried out by SmartBets, the customisable odds comparison site powered by bettingexpert.com

This data may go back to the 18th of November but the victories over Tottenham and Manchester City have been anchored in the change in system by Antonio Conte and the passion of the team to carry it through.

The games against Spurs and Man City also saw the Blues show the character and desire to win that they have. Chelsea went a goal down in each of these games but powered back to take the game away from their rivals.

The Conte Effect

Smart Bets graphic on Conte effect

These stats show what we have seen on the pitch in stat form, we are stronger going forward and tighter defensively. Combine the two and you get a team that is hard to beat

Chelsea are down to an average of 52.6% in the possession statistics, but this shows that Conte’s side are doing more with the ball when they have it. Pass succession is up to 83.2% from 81% and their unpredictability is proving hard to handle.

The inclusion on wing-backs Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso allows Eden Hazard more freedom and Chelsea have completed an average of 15.1 dribbles per game using the new formation, which is the second highest in the Premier League.

An average of 66.2 direct balls per game is already higher than the 62.5 accumulated during the start of the season and the Blues are topping the table in most goals from open play.

Conte has brought defensive solidity to Stamford Bridge with his side conceding just 8.4 shots per game, compared to last season’s 12.7.  They’re also averaging 21.8 tackles and 17.2 important interceptions since reverting to 3-4-3 – which is considerably higher than last season and the first six matches.

Long live the Conte effect

 

Conte Overcomes Chelsea November Curse

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November has been a tricky month for Chelsea managers in recent years, however three wins saw Antonio Conte Overcome the Chelsea November curse and top the table.

The month of November has caused problems for Carlo Ancelotti, Felipe Scolari and Roberto Di Matteo in the past.

With the international break sandwiched in the middle of the month, Conte was fortunate to have two out of the three games the Blues played at home. However, Everton and Tottenham are tough opponents.

We now going into December with a busy Christmas and a tough trip to the Etihad, but now we have a firm base to build on to consolidate a top four finish and possibly push for better.

Conte Overcomes Chelsea November Curse

Getting two victories from these games is a notable achievement, in the away game of the month Chelsea were expected to beat Middlesbrough.Something they did with a controlled performance that kept the run going and added some steel to the praise that has been heaped on the Blues.

The run continues, we have now one seven games on the trot in the Premier League. The victories against Tottenham and Manchester United were magnificent in different ways. By beating our former manager comprehensively a monkey was removed from our back.

The defeat against Tottenham showed grit and determination and helped us get one over on our London rivals, nothing is sweeter than walking out of Stamford Bridge with that feeling.

Are We In The Title Race?

Seven games won on the trot and topping the league in November are good signs for our season. However nothing is won this early in the season and the competition at the top is the toughest it has been for years.

We have a team full of confidence and our star players are performing. If we have a good December the belief will grow and anything can happen. Now though it is just nice to get past a normally tricky month on a high.

Victor Moses Wing Back Role Hope To Chelsea Youngsters

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Victor Moses Wing Back

There are 30-40 professional footballers that should take heart from seeing Victor Moses wing back role for Chelsea. Seeing Moses bursting up and down the wing for the Blues is a beacon that joining Chelsea is not footballing pergatory for everyone.

He gives youth products hope that being sent out on loan does not mean they will not get a chance at Chelsea.

Moses joined Chelsea when we were Champions of Europe and Wigan were still in the Premier League. I remember travelling to Wigan for our league fixture against them and Moses being serendaded with “Victor Moses we’ll see you next week” as rumours he was joining Chelsea grew.

Victor Moses An Eternity On Loan

He played a bit part role under Roberto Di Matteo and then the other manager that year as we won the Europa League. With the arrival of Jose Mourinho he was deemed surplus to requirements and sent out on loan to Liverpool.

Two more seasons of loan spells followed, despite Moses showing flashes of talent during every pre-season. He must have been feeling this time a year ago that his career at Chelsea was over.  Then last season happened and Antonio Conte became manager and Moses got his customary pre-season chance and took it.

Convincing Conte he had something to offer and surviving the annual loan farming that occurs.

Victor Moses Wing Back Born

 

Moses started the season as an impact substitute coming on for the last 15-20 minutes of the odd game. The defeat to Arsenal forced Conte into a tactical rethink and “Victor Moses Wing Back” was born.

Since then CHelsea have played 6 Premier League games without conceding and Moses has been ever present. He has been the break out player of the 3-4-3 formation with a perfect defensive record supplemented by one goal and one assist.

It looks like Moses is now the first name on the team sheet and growing with every game, his attitude seems perfect. Young Chelsea players should look to him as an example of patience and the right mental attitude.

See Victor Moses season stats here – http://www.espnfc.co.uk/player/112547/victor-moses

Can Chelsea Keep Former Player Quiet To Continue Winning Run Against Toffees?

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Chelsea goal celebration after WIllian scores against Burnley
Image courtesy of @J_D_Fletcher_ on Twitter

Chelsea look to extend our run of four consecutive Premier League victories at home to Everton. Things are certainly feeling good around Stamford Bridge. Conte had one of the best Octobers that Chelsea

Things are certainly feeling good around Stamford Bridge. Conte had one of the best Octobers that Chelsea have had in recent months but continuing this into November will be dependent on keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet.

Antonio Conte had one of the best Octobers that Chelsea have had in recent months but continuing this into November will be dependent on keeping Romelu Lukaku quiet.

The former Chelsea striker has been on fire this season and if you believe Football Focus pundit Dean Saunders he will score again today. The man who ended Paul Elliott’s career claims it is inevitable he will score against us.

Lukaku Motivated To Punish Chelsea

The motivation will obviously be there Lukaku felt he was not given a chance at the Blues and despite a Champions League medal. This bitterness to his time here is bound to drive him to produce a performance. He has of course done this before with his goals knocking us out of the FA Cup last season.

The Belgian is a fine player, but lacks the right mentality or consistency for a Premier League season as the number one striker for a top 6 side. On form though he is one of the best strikers in Europe so understandably many want to see him back at the Bridge.

His form will prove a major test for the 3-4-3 formation that has sparked the fine run of results. It will be vital that Lukaku is kept quiet and marshalled by the spare man in the middle, with the wing backs cutting out his supply from out wide.

Let’s hope he has a quiet night at Stamford Bridge and does not raise his game to prove a point once again.

Can we start to mention the “T” word?

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Antonio Conte has played down the significance of being contenders to finish at the summit next May like a cool, calculated poker player who knows he has a very strong hand, but it hard not to believe that Chelsea have a realistic opportunity of challenging for the title.

Four straight wins, combined with four clean sheets, is certainly the form of potential champions. Anyone who tells you otherwise are either cautious of getting their hopes up after just ten games, or support one of the other teams currently at the top.

Betway continue to shorten our odds on finishing as champions in the latest Premier League betting market, and going by our latest performance, it is easy to see why. I was thoroughly impressed by the comprehensive and convincing manner of our 2-0 victory at Southampton, given how difficult it is to go to St. Mary’s and get a result.

Two superb goals and an excellent performance to boot, Conte seems to have found the perfect formula to get us bang on form at both ends of the pitch.

I think it is easy to see just how big an impact Conte has made since arriving at the Bridge. He walked through the doors amid an air of optimism following a strong Euro 2016 campaign in charge of Italy, but instead of rushing in like a bull in a china shop and making wholesale changes, he stuck with the same system that his predecessors used and gave the players an opportunity to impress.

If we are being honest, we should not have felt surprised at what happened; the team looked flat, unorganised and lacking confidence as Chelsea were a carbon copy of the side that endured a never-ending nightmare last season.

It was enough for Conte to enforce the style of play that proved so successful during three years in charge at Juventus, as not only has a switch to a back three made a big difference to how defensively resolute the team are, but a greater emphasis on building from the back and moving the ball quickly allowing us to enjoy some superb football.

We can all agree that Eden Hazard’s return to his brilliant best is more than welcome after a year where he was completely unrecognisable from the player who was simply irresistible throughout the 2014/2015 campaign.

The Belgian wizard has really been on top of his game alongside Diego Costa who, despite the continuous rubbish about his over-aggressive persona, is scoring goals for fun at the moment and may long it continue. You would also be hard pressed to find anyone who has seen Victor Moses play as well as he has been as a Chelsea shirt, with the Nigerian winger reborn as a right-sided wing-back who offers excellent protection at the back and a real threat going forwards.

I could name more who have really stood out, but the greatest quality of Conte’s Chelsea team is their collective spirit and unity; you could see just how much the win at Southampton meant to the players who worked hard for one another, with the only criticism being that they did not win by a greater margin.

It is no surprise that Chelsea’s odds of winning under Antonio Conte on Betway’s website, both in terms of every game that comes along and the Premier League title, are extremely strong right now. Every aspect of our game is on point at the moment, with Conte working wonders to build a structure back three that includes a player in David Luiz that many felt was not disciplined enough to focus on doing the dirty work in defence. Combine that with our ability to break down opposition forays into our half through N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, along with fast-paced attacks and clinical finish at the other end, and what you have is a team capable of mounting a serious title challenge.

Antonio Conte has played down the significance of being contenders to finish at the summit next May like a cool, calculated poker player who knows he has a very strong hand, but it hard not to believe that Chelsea have a realistic opportunity of challenging for the title.

Four straight wins, combined with four clean sheets, is certainly the form of potential champions. Anyone who tells you otherwise are either cautious of getting their hopes up after just ten games, or support one of the other teams currently at the top. Betway continue to shorten our odds on finishing as champions in the latest Premier League betting market, and going by our latest performance, it is easy to see why.

I was thoroughly impressed by the comprehensive and convincing manner of our 2-0 victory at Southampton, given how difficult it is to go to St. Mary’s and get a result. Two superb goals and an excellent performance to boot, Conte seems to have found the perfect formula to get us bang on form at both ends of the pitch.

I think it is easy to see just how big an impact Conte has made since arriving at the Bridge. He walked through the doors amid an air of optimism following a strong Euro 2016 campaign in charge of Italy, but instead of rushing in like a bull in a china shop and making wholesale changes, he stuck with the same system that his predecessors used and gave the players an opportunity to impress. If we are being honest, we

If we are being honest, we should not have felt surprised at what happened; the team looked flat, unorganised and lacking confidence as Chelsea were a carbon copy of the side that endured a never-ending nightmare last season.

It was enough for Conte to enforce the style of play that proved so successful during three years in charge at Juventus, as not only has a switch to a back three made a big difference to how defensively resolute the team are, but a greater emphasis on building from the back and moving the ball quickly allowing us to enjoy some superb football.

We can all agree that Eden Hazard’s return to his brilliant best is more than welcome after a year where he was completely unrecognisable from the player who was simply irresistible throughout the 2014/2015 campaign.

The Belgian wizard has really been on top of his game alongside Diego Costa who, despite the continuous rubbish about his over-aggressive persona, is scoring goals for fun at the moment and may long it continue. You would also be hard pressed to find anyone who has seen Victor Moses play as well as he has been as a Chelsea shirt, with the Nigerian winger reborn as a right-sided wing-back who offers excellent protection at the back and a real threat going forwards. I could name more who have really stood out, but the greatest quality of Conte’s Chelsea team is their collective spirit and unity; you could see just how much the win at Southampton meant to the players who worked hard for one another, with the only criticism being that they did not win by a greater margin.

 

 

It is no surprise that Chelsea’s odds of winning under Antonio Conte on Betway’s website, both in terms of every game that comes along and the Premier League title, are extremely strong right now. Every aspect of our game is on point at the moment, with Conte working wonders to build a structure back three that includes a player in David Luiz that many felt was not disciplined enough to focus on doing the dirty work in defence. Combine that with our ability to break down opposition forays into our half through N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, along with fast-paced attacks and clinical finish at the other end, and what you have is a team capable of mounting a serious title challenge.

I do not want to get carried away and believe, with some certainty, that we will finish as champions come the end of May, but the next few fixtures could prove decisive. Facing Everton at the Bridge before yet another international break (yawn) will be a strong test of our credentials, with following games against Middlesbrough (A), Tottenham (H) and Manchester City (A) also not standing out as what some would define as “easy.” We are currently a point behind the league leaders at present, and if Chelsea remain in a similar, or better, position at the start of December, then the “T” word could grow in volume.

 

 

Sad That Olympic Stadium Crowd Trouble So Predictable

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Olympic Stadium Crowd trouble has been an issue at the Olympic Stadium ever since West Ham moved in

Last night is the reason why football fans can’t have nice things, the Olympic Stadium crowd trouble was so predictable.

The taxpayers buy an expensive stadium and allow West Ham United to use it for pennies and how do the fans react. By fighting at every game and literally ripping seats from the ground.

Once again football fans and not the action on the pitch was what made the nightly news.

Some reading this may harp back to the 80’s and glorify this, but its not my thing. Whilst not a prawn sandwich eater, I like my football without the prospect of a chair or a fist to the face.

West Ham United and Olympic Stadium Trouble

The annoying thing about last night is that everyone knew what was going to happen but the club’s rent-a-steward army were still unable to keep things in check.

Chelsea fans, West Ham United fans the stadium security and the police all knew that the steps and segregation were inadequate.

Football is not the sanitised operation like hosting an Olympics, it needs experienced stewards that can build a rapport with home fans and stop situations escalating.

It is unacceptable that E20 the company that manage the Olympic Stadium have failed to get it together after three months of football at the stadium.

Olympic Stadium Crowd Trouble and West Ham United

West Ham United and the Olympic Stadium management company knew what to expect.

We know this because there has been crowd trouble on some scale at almost every game West Ham United have played.

Thankfully nobody in attendance was seriously hart by the coins, chairs and assorted missles being thrown. Undoubtedly there were Chelsea fans involved, however this is one crowd disturbance where the blame does not lie at our door.

The game did not sell out and Chelsea were denied a full allocation, there is no reason why West Ham United and the stadium could not have stopped it happening.

Moving to a new stadium is always tricky, moving groups of fans to different areas and then staffing your stewards with temps was never going to work out well.

Let’s hope they get their act together before our next trip in the league to the Olympic Stadium. Olympic Stadium crowd trouble is a preventable problem.