Opinion

EURO 2016

The BIG Question: Was Euro 2016 Really That Good?

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It's done. Euro 2016 is finished, over and done with, done and finished with, finished and over with. Done. Now we can talk about it.

Did you actually enjoy it? Pies can't quite convince ourselves either way. Wales and Iceland aside, the group stages were generally passable with odd moments of genuine drama.

Let’s Hear It For… Iceland, The Team England Should Be Desperate To Emulate!

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As tempting as it was to devote an entire morning to chastising England for wilting like knackered spinach in Nice last night, instead Pies thought we'd take the chance to begin by paying earnest, proper tribute to the rightful victors.

Sincerely, and with no traceof bitterness or condescension, Iceland were outstanding.

The BIG Question: Pick Your England Squad For Euro 2016

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The big(ish) news today is that Roy Hodgson is planning toannounce his England squad for Euro 2016 on Thursday,a fullthree weeks before UEFA's deadline on 31st May.

Having seen a number of prominent players succumb to injuries over the past couple of weeks, Hodgson is reportedly cobbling together a provisional squad that will includeseveral more players than the 23 he'll eventually be taking to France in the summer.

Champions League

England - English clubs in Europe - Can someone answer me this question?

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Why do we not play our games at Premier League pace? It's my main gripe when it comes to watching England in the Euro's, with Chelsea and other English teams in the Champions League. Why on earth do we allow ourselves to get drawn into a slower tempo which suits the opposition?

Look at England last night, what a joke that was and Roy Hodgson deserves all the stick he is getting being honest.

Reqiuem for a Team

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When Florentino Perez hired Zinedine Zidane as manager, the prevailing narrative was simple: he had messed up the hiring of Rafa Benitez in the summer, and Zizou would play the part of the Di Stefano "player-coach" who filled in coaching gaps. Instead, he's showed a touch of Del Bosque: a manager with a gift for managing egos and clear tactical ideas plus a bit of game-planning.

The Champions League Final and the Boy Who Would Be King

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Many years ago, I wrote this piece on Dirk Kuyt for this odd thing called a "soccer blog" and that many people named "the Run of Play." The premise was simple: Dirk Kuyt, then at Liverpool, was really slow, but worked really hard, and scored ugly goals from time to time. This was back in 2009. Kuyt was a stark contrast to Liverpool's other striker at the time, Fernando "El Nino" Torres, who ran like the wind and scored goals with the same ease as you and I blink.

A Little Bit of a Peptalk

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Everybody is writing about the Champions League, but I still have my two cents to give. In particular, Pep Guardiola, my arch nemesis (as a Madrid fan), has come under criticism that is both unjust and kinda ridiculous. Of course, Pep does not get along with every single player ever, insists on a certain aesthetic to his teams, and has not won every single trophy ever.

Chelsea

Antonio Conte bound to put Chelsea on the right track

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Last season will be a season to forget for all Chelsea supporters. It is not just about how the title defence collapsed in a catastrophic manner; it is all the hurt and disappointment we had to endure. It all began with the first game of our title defence; Courtois was shown red, and there was the infamous fall-out with the then first team doctor, Eva Carneiro.

"Conte is a big coach and I’m convinced he will be an excellent one at Chelsea."

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Gianluigi Buffon has spoken to the media of Antonio Conte and believes that he will be an "excellent" coach at Chelsea after Euro 2016. He has also spoken of his methods and the way he interacts with his players.

We are all looking forward to the new season and to Conte's arrival after the nightmare that we all had to witness last year.

"I am very happy at Chelsea and I want to show everyone that I will be back even stronger after my injury."

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Kurt Zouma has revealed that he will miss the start of next season as he continues to battle back from the horrific knee injury he suffered against Manchester United last February. However, he has said that he is determined to come back stronger!

Zouma had really developed his game since he came to Chelsea and had cemented his place in the team under Jose Mourinho with Gary Cahill the player forced to make way.

This Chelsea Midfielder reportedly told that he WILL be a key player under Antonio Conte!

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The future of Oscar at Chelsea seems to be up for debate after every season. These passed few weeks he has been linked with Juventus but according to reports, Antonio Conte has told him that he will be a key player for him here at Chelsea.

I really, really rate Oscar and agree with Conte that he can become a key player after watching the Italian performance the other night against Belgium.

"We don't know if he is leaving, but for us it would be a huge loss!"

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The future of Diego Costa at Chelsea is up for debate and will remain so right up to the end of the transfer window a month or so into the new season. With reports that Diego Simeone has demanded his signature for Atletico, we sit and wait to see what is going to happen.

With Chelsea's difficult year putting an end to a run of qualifying for the Champions League every year to bed and now we face a year without any form of European competition.

Chelsea South American Loanee speaks out and states that he "expected more games!"

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Alexandre Pato was wasted at Chelsea in my opinion and the player himself has spoken out over the lack of first team involvement under Guus Hiddink. Unfortunately, he leaves us with this reminder in what has turned out to be his only goal for Chelsea.

Speaking recently, Pato spoke of his time at Chelsea and a conversation he had with Guus Hiddink about playing time.

Five strikers for Antonio Conte to consider signing after Euro 2016 for Chelsea

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Signing a striker must be Antonio Conte's number one priority this summer. The Italy head coach will take charge of the Azzurri at Euro 2016 in France next month before finalising his move to Stamford Bridge after the international tournament.

Diego Costa has struggled to inspire confidence at the forefront of Chelsea's attack for the majority of the 2015/16 campaign and the soon-to-be Blues boss will be looking to improve Chelsea's faltering strike force.

Gary Cahill New England Leader?

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It seems like just yesterday England was littered with defensive choices that included John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and others, whilst the likes of Gary Cahill sat as a prospect vying to one day take their place. That day is here. The Chelsea defender has been a regular for both his English Premier League side Chelsea, and country, England.

Fernando Torres - "I felt lost at Chelsea."

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This weekend, Fernando Torres will be hoping to lead the line with Atletico Madrid as they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League Final in a repeat of the final two years ago. Having won it already with Chelsea, Torres was quick to point out that winning this one would mean so much more.

Is there a need for Gonzalo Higuain?

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Let's face it: Chelsea's season was disappointing and the club ended up way below its own standards. Many reasons for that can be found at the back with the team giving up a staggering amount of 53 goals. It is a statistic previously unheard of at Chelsea.
What about their offensive output though?

Terry has opportunity to seal Chelsea legacy

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"JOHN TERRY" (CC BY 2.0) by JULIAN MASON

After looking like coming to a disappointing end, John Terry has given himself the opportunity for one last hurrah at Chelsea in the 2016/17 season.

The 35-year-old penned a new one-year deal to keep his career at Stamford Bridge alive just as it appeared his 18 years with the Blues had come to an end.

CHELSEA CLOSURE! It's been a nightmare but could it be the kick up the arse we needed?

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As Chelsea's season came to a close last Sunday I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief and I was thankful for the fact that our nightmare season was finally over. I just wonder if it will turn out to be the kick up the arse everyone connected with Chelsea needed?

I happened to tune into Match of the Day on Sunday night, watched the Chelsea coverage and immediately turned over as they stated it was the worst title defence ever!

"I am really happy here and have no regrets about the decision I made to join Chelsea."

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Pedro has had a much better finish to his season in recent months. Having signed for Chelsea for £21m from Barcelona, he has spoken of how he has no regrets about signing for us and how settled he has become here.

I really rate Pedro and stand by the fact that he has had a much better end to the season.

The Eden Hazard goal for Chelsea against Liverpool - Back to somewhere near his best?

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Without question, Eden Hazard has come back from his injury problems with intent to prove people wrong and my god he has done that in the last few games. His goal against Liverpool last night is right up there with the best he has ever scored for Chelsea!

Hazard has a swagger about his game again, the same body language and attitude to his opponents as if to say "you can try to stop me but you can't!

EX-Chelsea Legend signs for the Tampa Bay Rowdies - What a player he was for us!

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Joe Cole has announced that he is leaving these shores to head over to the North American Soccer League to sign for the Tampa Bay Rowdies next season. The three-time Premier League winner with Chelsea was one heck of our a player for our club and I just wanted to write a quick post to celebrate his time here.

Chelsea's New Kit Launch - What do you think of it and the clubs two-tier approach to pricing?

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Chelsea launched next season's kit this week and I think it's fair to say that the reaction hasn't been what both Adidas and Chelsea would have expected. With the club adopting a two-tier approach to the replica shirts this summer, fans have the opportunity to buy a "normal" replica shirt for around £50 but also have the choice to purchase a more expensive authentic version for £90.

Chelsea v Tottenham: Who starts for Chelsea tonight as we look to end Tottenham's title bid?

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Tonight all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge and especially those up in Leicester as Chelsea take on Tottenham with anything less than victory for the visitors will hand the Premier League trophy to Claudio Ranieri's outstanding Leicester team this season. Tottenham come here under immense pressure and it will be interesting to see how they cope!

Chelsea Star: "I thought the fans were booing because they didn't want me to be replaced".

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Eden Hazard has spoken out recently over his poor season, the fans reactions and of his aims between now and the end of the season. In what has been a testing time for all of us, some sections of the Chelsea support had turned on three of our key players in our title winning season last year with Hazard being one of them.

Have Chelsea identified the next Frank Lampard?

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Chelsea to this point have never been able to replace Frank Lampard and his goalscoring exploits from midfield in my view but according to various reports, it looks as though Chelsea have identified someone who could offer goals from that position and will turn to the Bundesliga to try and lure him to Stamford Bridge.

jose

"I was not to blame for Jose Mourinho's sacking!"

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Eden Hazard has spoken while away with Belgium in Euro 2016 and responded to the Newspaper L'Equipe's question of his involvement in the Jose Mourinho sacking at Chelsea. He has denied any involvement and states that he was behind him.

Jose has gone and we all have to move on but I wanted to post this up because I believe that it's important as he also talks about the future.

Jose Mourinho to be appointed Manchester United boss - Who cares we move on!

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Jose Mourinho is set to be appointed the next Manchester United boss despite Louis Van Gaal winning United's first silverware since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Chelsea fans have made their feelings known on social media this weekend but who cares seriously.

I love Jose Mourinho as much as the next person for where he took out Football club and for the success he brought to us.

conte

Antonio Conte - What are your first impressions after watching Belgium 0-2 Italy last night?

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I am interested to read your opinions of Antonio Conte after watching the Italy performance and victory over Belgium 2-0 last night. What did you think of the way he set his side up, his players and of the overall performance?

I have to say that we all thought that Belgium would come out on top and I only say that based on the general opinion that the Italian side was one of the worst in recent times on paper.

Ex-Chelsea Manager sings the praises of Antonio Conte!

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The appointment of Antonio Conte seems to have reached it's peak a fair few weeks ago and now has slipped back under the radar. For Carlo Ancelotti however, he has been keen to sing the praises of the new man in charge to put him back in the spotlight.

With the developments regarding our previous manager (before Hiddink) dominating the pages of our newspapers for what seems like ages, Antonio Conte has carried on with his preparations for Euro 2016 which is due to start this Friday.

John Terry

John Terry signs new contract - We await to see if he remains as influential.

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It's the news that most of us have wanted to hear since the turn of the year as Chelsea Football Club confirm that John Terry has signed a new one-year contact at Stamford Bridge. Although it's excellent news, we await to see just how influential he remains.

As I posted here this morning, reports had emerged over the terms of the new deal that Chelsea publicly offered last week.

The John Terry Contract Offer - £60K per week and FOURTH choice! - Would you sign?

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Dan Levene a respected Chelsea Journalist has posted an article following up on the Chelsea contract offer to John Terry and has revealed the shocking terms the club have offered. I want to try and understand what YOU would do if you were JT?

As I posted the other day, JT has led us through the most successful period in our history and has literally won it all.

Chelsea and John Terry: Pubic standoff a worrying time. He has earned the right to finish how he wants.

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Yesterday afternoon Chelsea fans heard the news that the majority of us wanted to hear- "John Terry has been offered a one-year contract" and with it a sense of relief. However, there seems to be more than meets the eye and it's not as straight forward as many of us would like!

I posted the other day on here that Terry who met with Chelsea on Thursday, would be told that his time at the club is up despite plenty of calls from the Chelsea fans to sign him up.

The Rest

Chelsea - What a waste of time that was!!

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It's the 1st July and the summer transfer window is open and player contracts have expired. With that Chelsea have announced that Marco Amelia, Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao have all left the club - What a waste of every ones time that was!

As we all know Amelia was brought in as cover in Goal with Thibaut Courtois injured and out for a few months, so he provided backup to Azmir Begovic and never featured.

Vincent Nogueira was unique, but not irreplaceable

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With Vincent Nogueira gone, what should the Union do now?

Frank Lampard - Quite simply the best £11m Chelsea ever spent.

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Yesterday 14th June marked fifteen years to the day that Claudio Ranieri spent the best £11m Chelsea EVER spent when he signed Frank Lampard from West Ham. Thirteen years and 211 goals later, Frank Lampard will always be remembered as a Legend.

Many people at the time were wondering who would replace Gus Poyet who had come to prominence as a goal scoring midfielder at Chelsea.

MLS, Liga MX, and Theory vs. Practice

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Everybody wants to talk about TV viewership and make unflattering comparisons between MLS and any other league. As a fan of MLS, I know intimately well both the current challenges, the flaws of the league, and just how far the league has come in the last decade and how much more work is left to do.

The FIVE Chelsea players that Jose Mourinho could look to sign for Manchester United.

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With the deal to take Jose Mourinho to Manchester United due to be announced as early as tomorrow, here are the FIVE Chelsea players I believe he could attempt to sign with his reported £200-£300m war chest this summer.

One thing I will say before we go into too much detail is that Chelsea will not be willing to do business with any of their direct rivals for the top four next season and it would take ridiculous amounts of money to persuade the Chelsea hierarchy to do business.

The Jozy Question

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After a stunning youth World Cup about a decade ago, Jozy Altidore has failed to meet your lofty expectations. Some are delusional. Some are mad. Many are sad. I, however, am philosophical as always. How did Jozy get to this point: a striker who seems to get more injuries than goals?

The answer(s) may bother you.

Chelsea Manager continues to focus on the possibility of relegation this season than the mistakes he has made.

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I am getting increasingly frustrated and becoming bored of Guus Hiddink and his press conferences ahead of our games now. The reason I say that is because he continues to harp on about how he saved our season and guided us away from relegation rather than focus on the mistakes he has made in the biggest games of our season.