These are emails exchanged between a fan of the pod and one of our hosts. Enjoy these unfiltered thoughts from two fans.
I hope all is well, at least as well as it could be after today’s shit show. The thing that stood out to me most, was how Cesc is not a serviceable player as a holding midfielder, unless we got to 3,5,2 with Bakayoko-Cesc-Kante, Cesc looked slow and out of sorts. I don’t want to bash him, it just isn’t the position for him as he isn’t good enough defensively.
Lampard called out the board that we need more signings, I don’t see anyway we can be successful on any of the 4 fronts without another holding midfielder and a wing back. Do you guys think we will make deadline day signings like last year (Alonso/Luiz?)
Not sure about getting VVD from Southampton, but I think we will get Drinkwater for better or worse and I am hoping we get a serviceable wingback (just not Candreva in a swap for Christensen!)
Anyway looking forward to the pod, sure you will discuss the harshness of the ref, 3 yellows and a red… which I’m not sure about straight red. Hopefully my question about signing will make it to the pod if you get a chance, really curious about your guys take.
Can’t remember if I replied to your last email about the summer update, so apologies if not. We all took a little break from the Pod in June to recharge for the upcoming season – hopefully you understand!
I personally didn’t watch the game as I’m currently responding on my phone from a beach at a cabin in rural Minnesota 🙃 but watched Twitter enough to feel like I have a decent idea on how things went.
Even without this match we all know Cesc can’t play in a 2-man midfield. We lose too much of what he’s good at and force him to defend an uncomfortable amount over 90 minutes. Another true box-to-box or holding mid is 100% required.
Wing backs, wingback, wing backs. Has to be the number one priority even over a CM. Zero depth in that position is a recipe for disaster. If Sandro and Candreva don’t come in sooner than later, I fully expect at least one wingback we’ve never heard of (a la Alonso last season) to arrive on deadline day for £25-30 million. Only way Christensen leaves is if we pick up VVD and I don’t think that’s needed at this point, but he wouldn’t hurt us, that’s for sure.
Obviously we’ve been talking about signings all summer during the transfer window so I’m sure it’ll come up again.
Very wise of you not to watch the game today, as we just haven’t played up to our capabilities the last two matches at Wembley. Today’s performance have me concerned about the game against Burnley and especially against Tottenham on 8/20. It is clear the only defensive mid we have right now is Kante (with the sales of Chalobah and Matic) until Bakayoko is healthy. This may sound crazy, I would like to play Luiz as a holding midfielder next to Kante, and we give Christensen a chance on defense. More recently we have seen it done with Zouma, but years ago Luiz played holding mid under Rafa and it was the best he looked at Chelsea until Conte took over. He is able to spring players (notably Hazard and Mata) with long balls and was able to make smart interceptions – cover a lot of ground defensively. Again, is it risky to pull him from the role of leading our defense? Yes, but we have no one else to play with Kante, Cesc cannot handle the defensive responsibility (it stunts his playmaking ability and defense has never been his forte), so either Bakayoko is ready, we purchase Drinkwater or someone capable of playing as a true defensive mid or I say we insert Luiz. Here is a video of him in that role in 2012:
Sadly I don’t think we will get Sandro… which means as far as I am concerned we should never loan or sell a player to Juve again. I would like to sign Candreva, he is a bit up there in age and cost will be an issue for the board. I would really prefer we get Bertrand, proper Chels and boosts our English player total, plus he is younger so I would be willing to pay more.