5:22 AM EDT, Tue October 17, 2017
Conte not reacting to Chelsea’s latest defeat with hugs and cuddles for the players

Conte not reacting to Chelsea’s latest defeat with hugs and cuddles for the players

Mamma mia! And we’re back into feelsbad territory as Chelsea insider Matt Law starts down the path well traveled towards palpable discord and all that fun stuff. Hold on to your hats! The Blues have lost two in a row. Last season that meant sack rumors in September. This season that’s not really a thing (yet), though partly because they’ve been usurped by exit rumors (even though Conte’s recently revealed that he’s settled in London and so, circumstances willing, presumably is happy to stay for a bit longer). Meanwhile, in the background, the constant simmering “clashes”...
Roker Report 52 mins ago
Is it time for Tom Beadling to be given his chance?

Is it time for Tom Beadling to be given his chance?

With a host of central defenders currently occupying the treatment room, should Simon Grayson give young defender Tom Beadling his chance to impress? I think it’s clear for all to see that Billy Jones is not a central defender. However, with injuries and sickness affecting Lamine Kone, Tyias Browning, and Marc Wilson Sunderland have resorted to calling upon the former West Brom player to partner John O’Shea in the centre of Sunderland’s defence. Aye... things are that desperate. But if truth be told, it’s difficult to comprehend why Simon Grayson has resorted to playing an average...
FIFA 18 predicts Chelsea vs. AS Roma

FIFA 18 predicts Chelsea vs. AS Roma

Simulating and playing Chelsea’s next Champions League match on FIFA 18. Can the virtual Blues beat virtual Roma? In this series, I will use FIFA 18 to simulate as well as play the next Chelsea FC match -- with the difficulty on the highest level, because much like Chelsea FC, I occasionally like to make things difficult on myself for no reason whatsoever. This is the second post in the series, and based on interest and feedback from the first post, we’ve flipped the order of the videos, since the actual play-through with commentary is probably more interesting than just the game itself...
The Fighting Cock 1 hour ago

S7E19 – F*** Real Madrid

Flav & T are joined by We Are Sunday League author Ewan Flynn. Dreaming of destroying Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, skimming over the Bournemouth result. Flav fills in for Windy with the half-time update. Sunday League football discussed. Pochettino lauded. We Are Sunday League is available from all good book stores.
Bitter and Blue 1 hour ago
Manchester City squad named for Champions League match against Napoli

Manchester City squad named for Champions League match against Napoli

The full list of players available for Tuesday’s big game The next Manchester City match is upon us! The Blues welcome Napoli to the Etihad for what promises to be an amazing Champions League game, and Pep Guardiola has a big squad to choose from. This is the full list of players available for tonight (18 players will be in uniform): Goalkeepers: 1. Claudio Bravo, 31. Ederson Moraes Defenders: 2. Kyle Walker, 3. Danilo Luiz, 5. John Stones, 15. Eliaquim Mangala, 24. Tosin Adarabioyo, 30. Nicolas Otamendi Midfielders: 8. Ilkay Gundogan, 17. Kevin De Bruyne, 18. Fabian Delph, 19. Leroy...
How should Chelsea line up against AS Roma in the Champions League?

How should Chelsea line up against AS Roma in the Champions League?

Chelsea have lost two in a row, and that’s ratcheted up the pressure on the team and the head coach heading into Wednesday’s Champions League clash against AS Roma, a potentially pivotal encounter that could set up Chelsea for an easy second set of games in the group stage. A win against Roma would make it three wins from three in our return to European competition, and it would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout rounds. With a busy schedule and several injuries and plenty of other concerns, reducing the intensity of the schedule would be a welcome development. Losing two in a...
Roker Report 3 hours ago
Round Pegs, Square Holes: Simon Grayson’s continued tactical ineptitude is costing Sunderland

Round Pegs, Square Holes: Simon Grayson’s continued tactical ineptitude is costing Sunderland

Simon Grayson has the players at his disposal for a successful championship campaign - if only the Yorkshire-man played to their strengths. Some managers prefer playing to a specific system and subsequently sign and coach players to fit into their system - Sam Allardyce and Gus Poyet are two ex-Sunderland bosses who exemplify this perfectly. Meanwhile, others are more adaptable to the group of players are their disposal and mould their tactical approach around the strengths and weaknesses of the group they inherit. Rafael Benítez has done this superbly at our local neighbours up the road,...
Royal Blue Mersey 3 hours ago
Tuesday’s Toffee Bites: Who could replace Koeman?

Tuesday’s Toffee Bites: Who could replace Koeman?

In today’s links: the fans are fed up, bookies pick Koeman’s heir and Pickford impresses How did we get here? The summer was so promising. No reasonable person was expecting a title challenge, but most thought Everton would push for the top four. It hasn’t happened, and now the season is turning into a relegation battle. This is the part of the schedule where the Blues should be picking up points, not losing them. Next up? Lyon and their dangerous attack. Joy. In case you missed it Everton 1 Brighton 1: Rooney salvages a point with last minute penaltyWhat can we learn? Monday Memes:...
Bitter and Blue 4 hours ago
Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Team News, Preview, Predictions

Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Team News, Preview, Predictions

Are you ready for an European classic? If you watched Liverpool and Manchester United on Saturday and screamed to yourself “I AM NEVER WATCHING FOOTBALL AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!”, worry not: there is a game coming up that will make you fall in love with the game again. I promise. Manchester City and Napoli clash on Tuesday night at the Etihad in what could very well be a Champions League classic. These two teams are undoubtedly the best in Europe in this early season, and the best thing about it is that both love to play the same way: keep the ball a lot, pass the ball a lot, shoot the ball a...
Bitter and Blue 7 hours ago
Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Predicted Lineups

Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Predicted Lineups

Who starts on this huge European game? MANCHESTER CITY When it’s all working so well, don’t change it. Even the fan of rotations Pep Guardiola will agree with that, so expect pretty much the same team that started in the wins against Stoke City and Chelsea. The only possible change is Sergio Agüero in place of Raheem Sterling, but Sterling is in such incredible form that it makes sense to keep him in the starting lineup and have Agüero come off the bench, which isn’t really a bad option to have if you’re a coach looking to change a tough game. Even though we’ll see the same team...
Cartilage Free Captain 8 hours ago
Tottenham 1-0 Bournemouth: Player ratings to the theme of fonts

Tottenham 1-0 Bournemouth: Player ratings to the theme of fonts

A good font can make or break your project (or your front-of-kit sponsor logo). Tottenham Hotspur won a league game at Wembley Stadium! Rejoice! OK, it wasn’t the BEST of matches. Sure, Harry Kane didn’t score. And fine, Spurs were a miracle reflex save from Hugo Lloris from conceding an own goal and quite possibly dropping points. But it’s a win! Go to hell, Wembley Curse! For today’s theme, we’re dipping a toe into my professional, non-football-blog-manager life. As part of my day job I do a fair amount of typesetting and graphic design work. Consequently, I pay close attention...
Bitter and Blue 10 hours ago
Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Bitter and Blue Community Lineup

Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Bitter and Blue Community Lineup

Your votes are in! As we do before every match here at Bitter and Blue, we give the fans an opportunity to participate in a contest and choose their lineup for the next Manchester City game. We’ve done the same for Tuesday’s Champions League group stage match against Serie A leaders Napoli, and you don’t want Pep Guardiola to make any changes. You have overwhelmingly chosen the same team that started against Chelsea and Stoke City, which makes sense given those were some of the best performances we’ve ever seen from Manchester City. Pep usually makes changes from game to game, but...
We Ain't Got No History 11 hours ago
Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Tactical Analysis

Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea, Premier League: Tactical Analysis

Crystal Palace become latest team to manage to disrupt Chelsea’s usual 3-4-3 flow Palace’s early pressure After such a poor run of results (seven games, seven losses, zero goals scored), any sort of positive start from Chelsea could have killed off any sliver of belief or confidence remaining at Crystal Palace. Without such a start however, Palace were able to gain a foothold in the game, cause problems for Chelsea’s ball possession, find spaces during counters, and, at long last, score their first Premier League goal of the season early on the in game. Crystal Palace used their front...
The Short Fuse 12 hours ago
Raheem Sterling never thought about joining Arsenal

Raheem Sterling never thought about joining Arsenal

But hold on with the anger and snark. It is, or should be, well known ‘round these parts how I feel about transfer season, and transfer rumors. TL;DR - I hate them both. Transfer rumors are like winning the lottery - you have about a one in a billion chance* of winning the lottery, and about one in every billion transfer rumors turns out to actually be true, or to have any substance to it whatsoever. Additionally, most of them are unverifiable as they’re happening, and almost all of them can’t even be corroborated after the fact; they just float on the wind like leaves, and...
Bitter and Blue 13 hours ago
Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Players to Watch

Manchester City vs. Napoli, Champions League: Players to Watch

Four players to keep an eye on ahead of a huge European game Manchester City have enjoyed a superb start to the season in all competitions, but on Tuesday night at the Etihad they’ll face a true test against a great European team when Napoli come to Manchester for the third match of the Champions League group stage. Napoli are a truly sensational attacking team that can score goals against anyone, and their style is simply beautiful to watch. Maurizio Sarri is a wonderful coach, and his ideas are very similar to those of Pep Guardiola. So it makes sense to expect a really, really, really...
Roker Report 13 hours ago
Arsenal U23s 2-0 SAFC U23s: Maja’s return spoiled by defeat - Match Report & Player Ratings

Arsenal U23s 2-0 SAFC U23s: Maja’s return spoiled by defeat - Match Report & Player Ratings

Despite possessing the returning Josh Maja in their ranks, Sunderland U23s lost this evening in convincing fashion to a strong Arsenal side. Here’s how the game went, and how the lads rated. Arsenal U23s 2-0 Sunderland U23s Goals from Chuba Akpom and Vlad Dragomir condemned Sunderland to a comprehensive defeat at the Emirates, with the home side running out 2-0 victors. Despite getting in level at half-time, Sunderland were second best against Arsenal’s under 23s who coasted to victory after their early second half goal. Rees Greenwood missed Sunderland’s golden chance at 1-0 to...
The Busby Babe 14 hours ago
Mourinho and Manchester United must show more attacking ambition against title rivals

Mourinho and Manchester United must show more attacking ambition against title rivals

If United are to challenge for the league title, Mourinho will have to do more than just park the bus in big games. Manchester United deserved a point from Anfield, but that doesn’t change the fact that United didn’t look like potential champions at all on the day despite a valiant defensive effort from the midfield, defense, and David De Gea. Liverpool, the first big 6 team United have faced this season, dominated the stats sheet, but failed to find the net. United looked content with a point from the first whistle, and the only real chance was a quickfire chance from Lukaku, who was...
We Ain't Got No History 15 hours ago
Chelsea Loan Round-up: Goals for Abraham, Van Ginkel, Mount, Rodriguez; others

Chelsea Loan Round-up: Goals for Abraham, Van Ginkel, Mount, Rodriguez; others

Loan Army action from the past 30 days ENGLAND Tammy Abraham has been ever-present for Swansea City, starting three of their last four games. The one game that he was on the bench for, versus Watford, saw him introduced for the second 45 minutes and score his side’s equaliser. Abraham started against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, as Paul Clement finally decided to drop Renato Sanches and opt for a midfield three of Leon Britton, Tom Carroll and Leroy Fer. Luciano Narsingh, a winger, started in Swansea’s front three instead of the injured Wilfried Bony and provided Swansea with some...
Cartilage Free Captain 15 hours ago
Zinedine Zidane hails Harry Kane as “complete player”

Zinedine Zidane hails Harry Kane as “complete player”

No, you still can’t have him, Zizou. Gosh, Harry Kane sure gets a lot of accolades lately, doesn’t he? He deserves them, and now he’s getting praise from the manager of Real Madrid, too. Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for the Tottenham Hotspur striker, calling him “a complete player” in a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League match between Madrid and Spurs at the Bernabeu. "He's good at everything and he's always thinking about the goal in everything he does. I don't know what will happen in the future. But in the present, what he is doing has made him a...
Coming Home Newcastle 16 hours ago
CONFIRMED: Newcastle United is Up for Sale

CONFIRMED: Newcastle United is Up for Sale

The club announced Monday that St. James Holdings Limited is actively seeking a buyer IT’S. HAPPENING. The official ownership group of Newcastle United, St. James Holdings Limited, announced on Monday through the club that it is actively seeking new ownership groups to submit bids for the club. The full text of the release can be found both here and below, and more information from Friend of the Blog Lee Ryder can be found here. The release follows weeks of significant speculation around the future of Mike Ashley’s relationship with Newcastle, speculation that reached its peak...

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