Podcast: What’s going wrong at Chelsea?

NOW WE ARE TALKING! | Chelsea 2-0 Dortmund Review The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. NOW WE ARE TALKING! | Chelsea 2-0 Dortmund Review
  2. Scared, Potter?

In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee), Dan (Admin – @danbarkzr) & Rob (Admin – @CFCRobL) gave their thoughts after our uncomfortable 1-1 draw with Brighton. They also discussed Thomas Tuchel’s faults so far in blue, the front three dilemma involving Mason Mount and Romelu Lukaku, switching formation once again versus Spurs and Marina’s terrible squad planning in the Summer!

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Make sure to check us out on all our social media platforms, including our website, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, ITunes, Amazon Music, Google and Youtube.

Podcast: Chelsea vs Spurs Preview & wing-back situation!

NOW WE ARE TALKING! | Chelsea 2-0 Dortmund Review The Chelsea Spot Podcast

  1. NOW WE ARE TALKING! | Chelsea 2-0 Dortmund Review
  2. Scared, Potter?

In our latest episode of The Chelsea Spot Podcast, Paree (Owner – @CFCParee) and Danny (Writer – @danny_new_) gave their thoughts of our comfortable 5-1 victory against Chesterfield against Spurs. They also look ahead to the game against Spurs on Wednesday, as well as giving their thoughts on a potential formation change and the current wingback situation. 

Click your preferred streaming platform –



Make sure to check us out on all our social media platforms, including our website, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, ITunes, Amazon Music, Google and Youtube.

Are we playing unsustainably in the League?

We’ve won a trophy already, find ourselves top of the Premier League 8 games in and still remain in all competitions. There should be nothing to complain about, right? Wrong. With Chelsea, there’s pretty much always something to complain about, except this time it’s quite an important topic. The big question at the moment is whether our current way of playing is sustainable enough to win the title this season, and I strongly believe there is a link between this question and switching to four at the back, so I will discuss both matters in this piece.

As everyone will know by now, things at Chelsea change very very quickly. Last season on the December 5th we beat Leeds 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to take us to the top of the league, but in less than two months Frank Lampard found himself sacked from the job and Thomas Tuchel came in to replace him who went on to win the Champions League.

Credit: BBC Sport

We could very much be in a similar position in 2-3 games’ time, with us definitely being the favourites for our next few Premier League fixtures against Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley. I’m not saying Tuchel is going to get sacked in two months and I definitely do not want anything like that to happen either, but we as fans genuinely shouldn’t rule out the possibility of something mad happening because a quick switch in mood around the camp due to a few losses can change everything.

The tiny chance of that happening is certainly based upon the fact that we’re top of the League, except we almost definitely shouldn’t be looking at the stats. Although, as I argued in the latest podcast episode, I don’t think it’s been anywhere near as bad as some people have made out and that the eye test and context is more important in this case.

I disagreed with the other boys about our season so far…

Without doubt, especially in some games, we are overperforming. The stats quite simply support that. If you watched the game vs Brentford, you could see that we deserved to lose and that Mendy saved us big time, as he has done quite a few times this season – his shot save percentage so far is 96% while no other goalkeeper’s percentage in the League is higher than 83%. Our expected goals conceded is 10.1, and we have only conceded 3. That is truly remarkable and is credit to some incredible goalkeeping and defending at times. However, as you can see with Brighton finally cashing in on their xG and currently finding themselves in the top 4, the stats do normally catch up and it would suggest the method of defending to a high level and relying on individual attacking quality isn’t sustainable in the long run. And if you don’t think that’s the way we play, then you’re just wrong to be honest, and Andreas Christensen would also disagree with you:

“We are by no means a defensive team but we know that if we get that right we have a big chance of winning games with the quality we have up front. Not conceding is where we start and then we must score goals.”

Andreas Christensen
Brentford vs Chelsea result: Blues edge past hosts to stay top as Edouard  Mendy keeps Bees swarm at bay | The Independent
An incredible performance from Edouard Mendy against Brentford (Image Source: Getty Images)

However, this is where I have disagreed with most. I’d say the game against Brentford was a bit of an exception, and personally was the only one where we’ve won and I’ve felt that we’ve completely deserved to lose. If the performance against Brentford was happening on a regular basis, then I would totally agree that there would be no way we would win the League this season, but I simply don’t think that has been the case. Looking at our results: we weren’t amazing against Crystal Palace, but we fully deserved to win; Arsenal was a comfortable victory and we played some great football; Liverpool we played decently in the first half and due to the unfortunate red card we had to defend brilliantly in the second half which led to a fair result; Aston Villa was a game which we maybe could’ve conceded one or two in, but some great defending meant we were fine and our third goal should summarise the football we played that game; Tottenham we won with ease despite the shaky first half; Southampton they really only had one huge chance which was the pen given away and other than that we dominated especially when Mason came on, and Brentford we have talked about.

I think there’s a lot of context to the Brentford game which isn’t being mentioned, and also to why our football hasn’t been the best this season. This game was straight after the international break where players would have been both physically and mentally tired, so important players were left on the bench and the lineup was mostly made up of players who had been at Cobham the previous two weeks. I mean, this could literally be seen by us starting Malang Sarr in a Premier League game, who in general did have a solid game but in the last 20 minutes was the main culprit for a lot of their big chances. We were trying out a new style of play with the 3-5-2 formation, and we as fans in our minds should be treating Brentford as a top 6 team and see the result as a huge positive. I do wonder whether under previous Chelsea managers that result and performance would have been deemed as a sign of a ‘title challenging squad.’ I’d argue that under Sarri, Lampard and even Tuchel last season we would have crumbled very quickly with the heavy pressure they were putting us under (4-0 loss to Bournemouth, 3-0 loss to Sheffield United and 5-2 loss to West Brom all coming to mind…)

And with the rest of the season, one small but very simple reason which I’m sure is a big factor to the way we’re playing is that we haven’t played our best line-up for most of the games. Our most important player in Mason Mount, has missed quite a few games due to injury or controlling his fitness levels due to playing so much last season, and our wingbacks are so important to the system yet we haven’t seen our best ones start together yet. It’s vital with our formation that our wingbacks are able to get forward and offer some threat, so when opposition teams see Marcos Alonso and Azpilicueta out wide they will be much less afraid than if it was Ben Chilwell and Reece James. Hopefully, if all three can start getting into the team regularly, we’ll see a huge improvement in the way we play.

The key reason Frank Lampard is getting the best out of Reece James and Ben  Chilwell at Chelsea - football.london
These two are so important to the way we play… (Image Source: Getty Images)

Another thing is that our issues have changed over the last two seasons. Under Lampard, we were creating many chances but not being clinical. Under Tuchel, we have struggled to create chances: 2nd highest in the League last season in ‘Shot Creating Actions per 90’ compared to 6th highest now. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but unless there is a change in tactics or style I can’t see that drastically changing. Even last season was a struggle with this formation with us finding it very difficult to break down the ‘worse’ teams and just off the top of my head I can remember many frustrating games where we dropped points: West Brom, Aston Villa, Leeds, Southampton and I’m sure there are many more. This season, those issues pretty much remain, and it’s arguably got worse. In the last few games, it looks like we have decided to sit a bit deeper and almost try and invite other teams onto us to stop them from sitting too deep, which has meant we are playing a bit more on the counter which could be one of the reasons for Timo Werner’s sudden introduction back into the team. Although one of his best qualities is creating space for other people and he did have a pretty decent game against Brentford, he is creatively nothing compared to the likes of Mason Mount, Hudson-Odoi and even Hakim Ziyech when he’s up for it. And, this is a huge problem because at the moment pretty much none of our attackers are on form (or being given the chance to play in their real position…) which simply means our only creative outlets have completely gone, and it’s the big reason for Romelu Lukaku’s struggles in the last few games.

It is very simple – if you think our current problems lie with Lukaku then you are wrong. Put any other striker in this team, and they are struggling just like he is. Yup, any striker in the whole world. There is literally no service to him – it’s so simple to see. First of all, we’re creating roughly one proper chance for him per game and no striker in the world should be expected to score each of these because that’s pretty much impossible. He needs chances to get into games and test the keeper, except he’s getting barely any of that right now. Secondly, I really don’t think we’re playing to his strengths, as Antonio Conte stated a few weeks ago. We’ve started to use him as a target man when that should only be used once or twice in the game when we’re under pressure, except that’s becoming a common occurrence so we may as well have just bought Akinfenwa. If you watch Belgium and the way he plays for his country: he’s out wide, interchanging with De Bruyne and Hazard, running down the wing, shrugging off defenders – like his debut against Arsenal except that’s the way he plays consistently. We have barely seen that for the Blues.

“He always has to be played, but at Chelsea they don’t quite understand how to use him. If they understand, Chelsea will become the team to beat.”

Antonio Conte

Obviously, he’s a top striker so give him chances and he’ll score most of them. In the Premier League, he’s only got an xG of 3.68 which is 6th highest in the League, and for one of the best forwards in the world who we’ve signed for 97 million pounds, you’d want and expect some better service for him. We need to find more ways to be creative for him – whether that’s crossing it from Reece James a lot more which we haven’t seen too much, or trying to get other players to link up with him well. As Tuchel has said, most of the players have struggled to do that apart from Mason and Mateo Kovacic so hopefully that can improve as they continue to play many games with each other.

Credit: Sky Sports

Loftus-Cheek’s introduction into the team completely changes things though. He has replaced Jorginho in midfield and is sitting the deepest out of the three… and has looked entirely comfortable. He’s done the exact same passing, exact same ‘dictating the tempo’, and instead of escaping the pressure via passing backwards or sideways or the occasional in between the lines pass to Mason, he’s simply dribbled past their whole midfield. A bit similar to the kind of things Kovacic does, but from a much deeper role and his height, physicality, defensive abilities and end product if pushed higher up the pitch probably makes him a preferred option to the Croatian too. Personally, I just think the manager would prefer someone of Ruben’s physique who does everything which Jorginho does if not better in the attack. Imagine you’re one of the wingbacks. Would you prefer receiving the ball at a pretty slow pace deep into your own half leaving you with the two options of going backwards or having to go past the opposition team, or would you prefer receiving the ball higher up the pitch at pace when most of the team has been beaten? There’s only one option for me. Hopefully, this means that the wingbacks can create a few more chances and I’m really interested to see how we play when Reece, Chilwell, Mount and RLC all start together.

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek reveals his message from boss Thomas Tuchel -  Sports Illustrated Chelsea FC News, Analysis and More
What a comeback for Mr. Lewisham Ballack! (Image Source: Getty Images)

Into the second part of the article which as writing I’m going to keep very short and sweet due to Tom writing a piece on it the other day: the form of Loftus-Cheek certainly opens up the opportunity to play 4 at the back temporarily. I’m of strong belief that no manager needs to have a Plan B, except that for this Chelsea squad it makes perfect sense to play 4 at the back when we’re drawing in the 60th minute or in certain cup games. Personally our best football this season has come in a weakened team against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, where Reece was playing both inside and out wide changing the formation to four at the back at times. Most of our players improve so much when we play four at the back, and it just feels like we play so negatively at times to cover up a certain midfield duo (your words not mine). Chilwell and James go back to their natural positions, so do Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech and Pulisic. Mason Mount returns to play his best football as an 8, Loftus-Cheek is able to attack more, Kante has more freedom in midfield and most importantly more chances are created for our world class striker Romelu. Tuchel’s press conference ahead of the Malmo game was certainly pretty convincing in that they are potentially looking at changing formations to create more chances for the attackers, but it just seems like we have been crying out for this for weeks.

“One solution could be to change formation, put more offensive players. Let’s see.”

Thomas Tuchel

Yes, it does create weaknesses in other places in our team which is the big reason we’re playing 3 at the back right now. But, I do think the positives in creating more chances and putting more players in their natural position is larger than the negatives of not having a natural defensive midfielder and having a slightly shaky defender next to Thiago Silva. And, like I said before, this isn’t something which should be chucked in from the start, but more used as ‘emergency’ and if things aren’t going well, which you could argue is on it’s way if things don’t improve.

Do you think we’re playing at a sustainable level? Do you think we should have 4 at the back as a backup formation? Let us know on our social media platforms!

Written by Paree

4th August 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea are preparing their new bid for Romelu Lukaku to be submitted this week. No official proposals for Erling Haaland. (Fabrizio Romano)

Lukaku is ready to move to Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku has been impressed with Chelsea’s determination to try and seal a deal.

Chelsea are willing to pay the Belgian around £250,000 a week and make him the most expensive signing ever in the clubs history.

Manchester City asked about Romelu Lukaku in March and their request was denied.

The sale of Tammy Abraham could help to fund the Lukaku deal. (The Telegraph)

Jules Kounde

The Kounde deal is still a priority for Chelsea. (Fabrizio Romano)

Chelsea are not willing to pay Kounde’s £68m release clause. (Guardian)

Jules Kounde has an agreement in principle to join Chelsea, but the Blues deem the price claimed by his club too high for now. (Julien Maynard)

Kurt Zouma

Zouma has refused to join West Ham.

No agreement between West Ham and Zouma as of now. (Guardian)

Kurt Zouma is not heading to Sevilla. He is not included in the deal for Jules Kounde. His priority is to stay in UK. If no agreement is reached with an English club, he could stay at Chelsea for another year. (Julien Maynard)

Tammy Abraham

Arsenal and Aston Villa remain interested in signing Tammy Abraham.

Villa would like the Englishman on loan, which would spark interest from Chelsea to secure a new contract for the striker.

Written by Frankie

3rd August 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea have made a formal bid for Lukaku that consists of €100m guaranteed and Marcos Alonso also. Inter have rejected the offer as they deem Lukaku as ‘untouchable’ and they want to keep him.

Inter expect Chelsea to try again for Lukaku soon. (Fabrizio Romano)

If Chelsea bid up to €120m for Lukaku, Inter will find it hard to say no. (DiMarzio)

Romelu Lukaku’s agent is pushing for a move to Chelsea, he says yes to the move, very hot situation, Inter wont accept unless Lukaku says yes also. (Alfredo Pedulla)

Romelu Lukaku To Decide Future Based On Where He Thinks He Can Win More Trophies.

the lack of any incoming offers for Lautaro Martinez, Inter may be forced to reluctantly part ways with Romelu Lukaku, should a cash offer north of €120 million arrive from Chelsea.

Regardless, no final decision has been made by the player as of time of publication since he is very happy at Inter and the Blues have so far had two offers of cash plus a player as part payment rejected, as Inter are only interested in cash, in any event. (SempreInter)

€15 million per season in wages has reportedly been rejected by Romelu Lukaku as he wants to remain at Inter for now. (SempreInter)

Jules Kounde

Chelsea are yet to reach an agreement over a fee for the France centre-back and are likely to need to sell a defender to make the transfer happen. (Guardian)

Declan Rice

West Ham’s valuation of £100m for Declan Rice has put Chelsea and Man United off signing the Englishman this summer. (The Telegraph)

Signing Declan Rice next year makes a lot more sense for Chelsea and the price will presumably be lower next year as he has already rejected two contract offers from the Hammers.

Armando Broja

Udinese have asked Chelsea to take Broja on loan until June 2022.

Talks between the Italian club and Chelsea are ongoing and with a new striker potentially coming in, it would make a lot of sense to loan Broja out again. (Fabrizio Romano)

Written by Frankie

28th July + 29th July 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Tammy Abraham

Chelsea are preparing to slash their asking price for Tammy Abraham by at least £5m.

Arsenal, West Ham and Aston Villa are all interested in the 23-year-old but every club listed here is unwilling to pay the £40m asking price Chelsea have set at the moment. (The Sun)Jules Kounde

Chelsea and Sevilla are discussing to reach an agreement for Jules Koundé/Kurt Zouma swap deal. Talks progressing – Chelsea now offering around €30/35m (£26m/£30m) and Zouma included in the negotiation.

Personal terms will never be a problem for Kounde and Chelsea, he wants to play Champions League football and likes the idea of a Chelsea transfer. (Fabrizio Romano)

The deal could be completed in the coming days. (DiMarzio)

Sevilla have told Chelsea to increase their offer for Jules Koundé, and the deal could run into further complications after West Ham entered the race to sign Kurt Zouma from their London rivals.

Chelsea have proposed paying €35m (£30m) for the French centre-back and including Zouma on top of that. Sevilla have made it clear they want at least €45m in addition to Zouma.

Sevilla like Zouma and would be open to signing him as part of a deal. (The Guardian)

Koundé agreed personal terms with Chelsea two days ago – he’s buzzing to join Chelsea. (Fabrizio Romano)

Kurt Zouma

Crystal Palace have reportedly joined the race for Kurt Zouma as personal terms seem an issue for Sevilla regarding a Kounde, Zouma swap deal.

It is claimed Palace have made contact with the Frenchman as they look to completely renovate their back-line this summer. (SportWitness)

West Ham have entered the race for Zouma. They are willing to pay £20m, which is unlikely to convince Chelsea to sell. (The Guardian)

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher will have a medical at Crystal Palace later after opting for the Eagles on loan over Leeds.

Thomas Tuchel has been really impressed by the midfielder in pre-season but can’t guarantee him regular PL minutes, which is what Gallagher wants. (Sam Inkersole)

Romelu Lukaku

Inter star Romelu Lukaku has reportedly snubbed a potential return to Chelsea, despite being offered a higher salary.

However, Lukaku wants to stay at Inter and refused to continue negotiations with the Blues. (Football Italia)

They approached him, who thanked the Blues for their interest, but he ‘politely said no’. Thomas Tuchel’s side tried to convince him by offering over €10M per season. He wants to stay at Inter Milan. (Gazzetta)Marquinhos

Chelsea have no chance to sign Marquinhos this summer. (Fabrizio Romano)

Marcus Bettinelli

Bettinelli (29) has signed a two-year contract with Chelsea as he becomes third choice goalkeeper for the upcoming season.

This is a free transfer as his contract ran out at Fulham recently.

Erling Haaland

“In the conversations with Mino Raiola about the Malen transfer, I did not have the feeling that we would have to meet again soon about Erling. And we have already emphasized 1000 times that we do not want to give it up.” – Sebastian Kehl

Sebastian Kehl was also asked if Haaland would stay at Dortmund and his reply was simply, “Yes”. (BILD)

Ann-Katrin Berger

Berger has signed a contract extension to keep her at the Blues until the summer of 2024, with the club having an option to extend for a further 12 months.

Written by Frankie

17th July 2021 , Chelsea Transfer News Roundup

Armando Broja

After a good loan spell at Vitesse, Broja has reportedly agreed to a new five-year deal with the Blues. This will mean Broja’s new deal will last until 2026. (Fabrizio Romano)

With many youth players snubbing new deals in the last few months at Chelsea, this long term contract could inspire the likes of Tino Livramento to sign a new deal with the club.

Myles Peart-Harris

Football London reported today that Peart-Harris will leave Chelsea in the next few days and join a Premier League side.

Peart-Harris is apart of the trio that have rejected new contracts with Chelsea. (Lewis Bate, Tino Livramento and himself)

Dynel Simeu

Simeu’s contract expired last month and he rejected a two-year contract from Chelsea. Simeu is understood to have agreed a deal with a Premier League side.

Raphael Varane

Marca have reported that Chelsea are ‘heavily interested’ in signing Raphael Varane.

With Guehi departing and Chelsea centre backs not signing deals with contracts running out soon, the centre back ordeal may be underestimated.

To try and pry Varane away from the clutches of Manchester United would be an immeasurable task, considering they have reportedly agreed personal terms and a fee for the Frenchman.

Ike Ugbo

Sport Witness have released a report today claiming that West Ham have joined the race for Ugbo.

Countless European clubs have reportedly been interested in the 22-year-old and a fee of around £5m-£10m has been discussed but Ugbo remains at Chelsea for the time being.

Ugbo featured in the second half of todays pre-season friendly against Peterborough which likely means a deal that would see him move away from Stamford Bridge is still quite far away.

Olivier Giroud

Giroud today completed his move to AC Milan.

The deal is supposed to include “significant add-ons”. These add-ons have not been reported as of yet but we presume they are performance based or achievement based.

Marc Guehi

The 20-year-old centre back was seen holding up the Crystal Palace shirt next to Palace manager Patrick Viera.

This all but confirms the deal that sees Guehi move away from his boyhood club.

Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku

The Athletic reported that “should Chelsea concede defeat in their pursuit of Erling Haaland, then making one more attempt to re-sign Romelu Lukaku will be on their agenda”.

This same source told that “Romelu Lukaku has always felt that there is a case of ‘unfinished business’ at Chelsea”.

The source continued: “However, senior figures at Chelsea were surprised by reports suggesting they believe a bid of £150 million would be enough to land Haaland this summer as they are of the view that Dortmund have no interest in selling him this window”.

Harry Kane

The Athletic have reported that “Chelsea would also like to sign Kane and have sought to establish his intentions. Some industry sources believe that might be more appealing to Levy because a cash-plus-player deal involving players such as Tammy Abraham, for example, may be more realistic in terms of affordability and positional requirements than what City could offer”.

The idea of Levy selling Kane to London rivals has always prevented any advanced rumours but the option of including Tammy Abraham in the deal might persuade him.

Henry Lawrence

Henry Lawrence looks set to join Wigan on loan, following in the footsteps of the similarly versatile Reece James. (The Sun)

The 19-year-old going to Wigan could be the blossoming of a healthy relationship between the Latics and the Blues. And with the influx of youth stars at Cobham ready for senior football, Wigan could become a common place to send our youngsters.

Robert Lewandowski

Chelsea are ready to try and swoop in for Lewandowski in a £50m deal. (The Sun)

Seemingly failing with every move to try and lure Haaland away from Dortmund, we seem to have looked to Dortmund’s rivals Bayern Munich to try and bring their 32-year-old goal scorer to Stamford Bridge.

His age is noted as a potential issue but Lewandowski’s numbers just seem to get better and better with age. Signing Lewandowski is a massive risk and depending on how badly Roman Abramovich and Thomas Tuchel deem we need a new striker will determine whether we bring in Lewa.

Conor Gallagher

Chelsea will allow Conor Gallagher to leave on loan for the upcoming season. (The Sun)

Crystal Palace and Newcastle will be the two main teams battling for the cntral midfielder.

Chelsea are not looking to sell the 21-year-old and feel another loan will be beneficial in his career and help him to establish a place in the team in the next few seasons.

Written by Frankie