Opinion

The Manager

'It is true that I think we are building something important.' - Antonio Conte

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Chelsea's celebrations at the final whistle against Stoke on Saturday gave an indication of just how big those three points could be. Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand believe that no one can catch Chelsea now.
Stoke away is always a potential banana skin with our hosts being much stronger at the bet365 than they are on their travels and for many this game would have had this marked as a possible draw or even a Chelsea defeat as part of their Accumulator betting tips.

Has Jose Mourinho finally met his match in Antonio Conte at Chelsea?

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As Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho clashed on the touchline on Monday night during Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Manchester United, it became clear to me that Mourinho has more than met his match in the passionate Italian.

Let me start by talking of Mourinho and the chants from the fans on Monday night.

Frank Lampard talks Antonio Conte - What he is doing at the moment is fantastic.

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Having played under ten different managers in thirteen years at Chelsea, Frank Lampard was asked recently of Antonio Conte and whether or not he could create a dynasty at Chelsea.

We are very quick in this country to talk up players or teams when they are doing well, but also very quick to knock them straight back down again.

Antonio Conte to sign contract extension at Chelsea. Your thoughts?

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According to reports in Italy, Antonio Conte has agreed and signed a contract extension at Chelsea until 2020 which is excellent news and reward for his outstanding work at our club this season.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season (as long as we finish in the top four) Antonio Conte deserves all the credit in the world for what he has done for our club.

What do you make of the apparent dig at Antonio Conte's Chelsea tactics by Jose Mourinho?

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Sitting in sixth and a massive fourteen points behind Chelsea despite being on a fifteen match unbeaten run, Jose Mourinho has taken apparent aim at Antonio Conte and the tactics he has adopted at Chelsea.

Looking at Mourinho from the outside now, you begin to see him in a slightly different light compared to when we adored him here at Stamford Bridge.

John Terry talks about life on the Chelsea bench under Antonio Conte.

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As always, there is plenty of comment, opinion and speculation surrounding John Terry and his current situation at Chelsea. Our Captain, Leader, Legend has responded in true JT style!

Life for JT on the bench. Having spent 19 years at Chelsea Football Club, leading the team through the most successful period in our history, you would be hard pushed to think that the current situation he finds himself in on a week-to-week basis isn't easy.

CONTE: I prefer all my players show me every single day that they deserve to play.

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Antonio Conte spoke to the assembled media in his pre-match press conference yesterday and when asked if he he would make any changes to the side that beat Leicester last weekend he offered no clues if he would.

As you can imagine, any changes to incorporate Diego Costa's return to the side after injury would be harsh on the players who put in a fantastic performance.

Chelsea Midfield hails Antonio Conte despite calls for him to go out on loan.

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has hailed Antonio Conte despite calls for him to move out on loan by many Chelsea fans urging him to continue his development with regular first team football.

I for one have featured RLC on here in recent weeks as reports had previously appeared stating that Slaven Bilic was interested in taking him on loan to West Ham, having made just four appearances in all competitions this season so far.

Champions League

The Spuds’ Secret

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As an avid fan of soccer who has played and coached at various levels, I am a keen student of what is reported by the always trustworthy British sports dailies. In particular, I read with a discerning eye about managers. I ask myself: how do they manage so well?

And how can I imitate them?

Nou Campy

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Last Wednesday, FC Barcelona beat PSG in the second leg at home in the Camp Nou to advance in the Champions League. Barca features three of the soccer's best attacking players Messi, Neymar, and Suarez and, before the first game, they were expected to advance past the Parisians. Then, Barca went and lost the first leg by four goals.

A Decay in the Art of Trash-talking

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One of my favorite football pathologies is when a team is losing and fans observe that no player is yelling during games, and complain about a "lack of leadership." The three assumptions behind this argument: (1) Leadership is atomic and individualized, (2) Leadership is the same as yelling, and (3) Leadership enjoys a causal, not correlative, relationship with results, all make me chuckle.

Ex-players

Should Chelsea re-sign Romelu Lukaku this summer - Yes or No?

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With reports that Romelu Lukaku has indicated to Everton that he is unwilling to sign a new contract because of his desire to play in the Champions League, I am asking the Chelsea fans on here if we should re-sign him this summer.

Having notched his 20th goal of the season last weekend, there is little doubt that Romelu Lukaku has found his feet in the Premier League and is now classed as one of the top strikers.

OPINION: Do you agree with Pundits comments about Didier Drogba?

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Michael Owen has been featured in a new documentary that focuses on the art of scoring goals and has given an opinion of Didier Drogba that I wondered if you, the football fan reading this post agrees?

We have seen plenty of legendary goalscorers in the Premier League throughout it's existence and in particular those that played here before Drogba's arrival.

Is N'Golo Kante better than Claude Makelele?

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N'Golo Kante delivered another sensational performance against Arsenal following on from the previous outstanding performance against Liverpool. Is he better than Claude Makelele?

It sounds a ridiculous question doesn't it based on the fact that Makelele had a tactical position on the pitch named after him but it's a question that deserves merit based on how good our summer signing has been.

Ex-Chelsea World Cup winning Captain believes it's time for John Terry to leave.

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Having played just six minutes of Premier League football since mid-September, John Terry has been encouraged by Marcel Desailly to quit the club and move on.

As featured on another blog post just posted on here, John Terry has spoken of spending his time on match days on the Chelsea bench and has stated that he hopes that he doesn't play again this season because that means the team keeps on winning games.

Sam Hutchinson: The Play-off Final mean't more to me than anything at Chelsea.

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Sam Hutchinson is fast becoming a success story at Sheffield Wednesday, albeit one of the best midfielders in the Championship.

Sam Hutchinson is one of those players while at Chelsea, we all had really, really high hopes for. As with many others, he was touted as the first player to breakthrough into the first team since John Terry and looked well on course to do so.

Academy

These two youngsters are earmarked for Chelsea first team squad next season.

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According to various reports, Antonio Conte has identified Tammy Abraham and Andreas Christensen as the next of our Academy to integrate into Chelsea's first team squad next season.

John Terry is the last product of our Academy to become a first team player on a regular basis and ever since then, everyone is crying out for someone to make that step up.

John Terry believes the opportunities are there for the Chelsea youngsters now.

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As with every season, the debate rumbles on over the players that have come from our Academy being given a chance in the first team. John Terry believes that there ARE opportunities to do that at Chelsea now.

It's a debate that will continue to be had amongst the Chelsea fans, in pubs and clubs up and down the country.

Chelsea

Counting on Conte

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One of the best parts about sports is that, within a certain frame of assumptions, we can enjoy a heavy dose of unpredictability. Last season, nobody, not even a super computer with all the world's knowledge and really really nice spreadsheet tech with dope algorithms could have predicted Leicester's title.

Chelsea's lack of European football is not an advantage - Do you agree?

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If Chelsea win the Premier League this season, Antonio Conte's side will not receive the recognition they would deserve because they have not had to play any European Football this season.

We hear Pundits on TV all the time harp on and on about how Chelsea are fresh, have time to prepare for games at the weekends properly and should be fitter and stronger than other teams who play in Europe this season.

Chelsea Midfielder - I don't know if this is my best form for Chelsea, but I always try to give everything for the team.

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Nemanja Matic is back to his best this season and has found the same consistency he had when we won the Premier League title two years ago. He remains a vital part of our Chelsea team.

Think back to near the end of last season and our victory at Bournemouth. On that day, Matic popped up with a goal but refused to celebrate giving an insight to how unhappy he appeared to be at Chelsea so it looked at the time that he would be looking to leave in the summer.

Chelsea v Arsenal: The arguments for and against Cesc Fabregas starting tomorrow.

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Chelsea take on Arsenal in the lunchtime kick-off at Stamford Bridge tomorrow and I am asking whether or not you think that Cesc Fabregas should start?

The game is our second massive encounter with title rivals in the space of five days having drawn at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Back post nightmares - How should Chelsea solve the obvious weakness in our defence?

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Having watched Chelsea play really well and look more than comfortable against Liverpool last night, it became very frustrating to see us concede another goal from a ball to the back post. So how are we to defend that area better?

It was bad enough to see Tottenham do it to us once, giving Eriksen the space and time on the ball to lift his head up, have a look to see Dele Alli at the back post, to then plonk the ball into the perfect area for him to attack and score.

Liverpool v Chelsea - This is how Chelsea will beat Liverpool tonight.

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Antonio Conte's Chelsea team travel to Anfield tonight to kill off Liverpool's title challenge. This is how Chelsea WILL beat Liverpool and extend our lead over the Merseysiders to thirteen points.

Liverpool under the pressure of expectation.

Look at the two sides in comparison heading into the game this evening.

Is it time to introduce Cesc Fabregas from the start in games for Chelsea?

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This subject has been debated throughout the local pubs and in the stands around Stamford Bridge. Should Cesc Fabregas start more games that he misses out on between now and the end of the season?

On Sunday against Hull City with seventy minutes to go, Chelsea were winning 1-0 but Hull to their credit were putting up a good fight.

Sir Alex claims Mourinho and United unlucky not to be challenging Chelsea for the title.

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Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of how unlucky Jose Mourinho has been in his first season at Manchester United and claims that they would be challenging Chelsea for the title.

As with everything in life you can say "what-if?" but it doesn't hide the reality. The reality is that Manchester United are sitting FOURTEEN points behind Chelsea in the Premier League table with sixteen games to go and have a real fight on their hands to finish inside the top four.

Conte heaps praise on Diego Costa and reiterates he remains focused on Chelsea.

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Diego Costa will be the focus of the attention in the build up to the game this afternoon against Hull City and Antonio Conte has re-iterated his focus is on Chelsea and heaped praise on our top scorer.

What a difference a week makes in football. Last week, Costa was left out of the squad that travelled to Leicester with an official explanation being because of a back injury.

Ranieri on Kante: He was better suited at Leicester - Do you agree?

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Claudio Ranieri believes that N'Golo Kante was better suited playing for Leicester than he is currently at Chelsea and I would like your opinions.

Without question, Kante made a massive impact last season at Leicester and became the real driving force in there midfield.

Nathan Ake's back - Will he feature for Antonio Conte and Chelsea this season?

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Antonio Conte decided to take up the option to recall defender Nathan Ake from his loan spell at Bournemouth this past weekend. Do you think he will feature for Chelsea before the end of the season?
I have to be very honest and say that I was as surprised as anyone when the news broke that Ake was to leave Bournemouth and return to Chelsea early.

Diego Costa talks and Chelsea fans should listen.

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In the 85th minute against Stoke on Saturday, Diego Costa created a sublime goal from nothing, scored with a predators venom and stands out as the player of the season so far.

Diego Costa has been speaking to Chelsea TV in recent days and has spoken of plenty of things from possibly leaving the club back in the summer, the Manager and of changing his style this season and it's really interesting to hear.

Jim Curtin

Loving Jim: Apologizing for Curtin in 2017

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Jim Curtin has a lot to prove in 2017. How Union fans measure that improvement is up for debate.

A chat about the 2017 Union: Part 4

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Dan Walsh and Peter Andrews have some thoughts about the 2017 Union. About a week's worth of thoughts, actually. Part four considers what this season holds for Jim Curtin.

Antonio Conte

The Magician Cesc Fabregas makes this claim about our game - do you agree?

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Cesc Fabregas has given an interview to Chelsea TV and has raised a point for debate. He has stated that these days, it's more difficult for talented players to succeed in the game. Do you agree?

For me personally, Cesc Fabregas is the perfect example of a player who finds himself in exactly that situation this season having given way to Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kante in the heart of Chelsea's midfield under Antonio Conte.

PEDRO: Has he given Antonio Conte his first real selection headache of the season ahead of Liverpool?

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It's taken just over a season but finally, we are beginning to see the Pedro we all used to sit an admire at Barcelona. Has he now given Antonio Conte his first real selection headache of the season ahead of Liverpool at Anfield tonight?

He has been a revelation this year whether he has played at part of our attacking three or at right wing-back when required in the cup competitions and it's his willingness to work hard for the team without the ball in addition to the obvious quality that he has that has impressed the most.

Diego Costa

Chelsea teammates leap to the defence of Diego Costa.

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Diego Costa made a goal-scoring return to the Chelsea team in our 2-0 victory over Hull City and some of his Chelsea teammates have leaped to his defence stating that he is fully focused here at Chelsea.

We could not have wished for a better afternoon for Costa on a personal level.

QUESTION: Should Antonio Conte select Diego Costa to start against Hull on Sunday?

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The whole Diego Costa situation seems to by dying down now to the point that we can all focus on the football. I am asking you if you think that he should start against Hull on Sunday?

Before you answer there is plenty of things to consider ahead of this weekends game being shown live on SkySports at 16:30 as part of their Super Sunday treble.

The Rest

When football doesn't matter - 22nd July 2017 - #Westminster #WeAreNotAfraid

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England did win yesterday. I'm not talking about the borefest against Germany, which was slightly less tedious than under the previous England manager but still, dire. I'll give him a few more months before I make him the latest object of my ridicule.

Yesterday afternoon a maniac went onto the streets of London in a car and used it as a weapon.

Victor Moses extends his contract at Chelsea after a season to remember.

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Victor Moses has signed a contract extension with Chelsea until 2021 and is a well earned reward for his outstanding breakthrough season under Antonio Conte.

Victor Moses has spent four years at Chelsea believe it or not having signed for the club back in 2012 from Wigan Athletic.

Dominic Solanke: To be released at the end of the season after ridiculous demands were ignored.

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Dominic Solanke will leave Chelsea at the end of the season when his current contract expires with plenty of interest in his services. But for ridiculous contract demands, he would still be a Chelsea player next year and beyond.

People talk of our Academy and the succession of youngsters coming through it only to be sold on for profit.

Jose Mourinho: Miserable, jealous with a chip on his shoulder, you can see how some people don't like him.

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Jose Mourinho looks like someone with a serious chip on his shoulder these days and has made a number of comments in recent weeks as he tries to start his mind games.

When asked if being paired with Chelsea in the FA Cup Quarter Final and a trip to Stamford Bridge, Jose responded in typical fashion.