Chelsea in crisis as Mason Mount among three players getting all the flak

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has been disappointing Credit: PA Images

Chelsea look in a bit of a mess and the Mailbox is particularly frustrated with Mason Mount and Jorginho. Plus, we have mails on perfect players, Richarlison and more.

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Chelsea cracked badge timeChelsea are in crisis. Man United fans everywhere rejoice, we can breathe easy for a while.Melveaux

…After another embarrassing display away to an athletic, all energy team, Chelsea are in crisis. Again.

I think there’s still a hangover from last season and the sanctions. Transfer business couldn’t get started on time. Barca playing havoc with the European Market. Look at Arsenal. Business done early and flying. Tuchel doesn’t really seem to know what to do with the team. Players (Jorginho, Mount, Havertz) constantly not performing yet given a start time and time again. No attacking plan that doesn’t involve Reece James.

Some signings look good. Sterling looks a level up from our other attackers and Cucurella looks a good buy. But the midfield is a problem. If we won’t buy another midfielder then look to Ampadu or Gilmour rather than keeping on with Jorginho. I don’t know how he sorts it out. But he needs to do it quick. They could be eight points behind Arsenal come Thursday.

I would like to be positive but bar the Spurs game this Chelsea team looks lost with no semblance of it getting better.Geralt of Rivia

…Southampton man marked us out of the game. We were hounded and forced to keep going back esp after the first 25 mins.

The channels to midfield were non existent, all the CBs could do was to pass it forward to wings for anything to happen. Mount seems burnt out with no guile and is always trying to just find Sterling who was getting crowded out in box or outmuscled. There is only so much Sterling can do on his own.

Pulisic was bright, lost ball a few times… but must start on the right or middle in place of Mount. We need a proper striker like Auba to be able to dominate. Things will look much better when Auba and Fofana walk thru the doors this Thursday.B cfc (Sterling doesn’t get enuf credit incl winners section from last week)

Story continues

Saints have clawbackabilityHassenhuttl’s Saints are still finding clean sheets hard to come by – nothing new there – and boast a batch of promising young players being blooded for the first time – once again, nothing new.

What is pleasingly new is the ability to claw back something from losing positions. In recent seasons, there was a sinking feeling of here we go again every time we went behind. In three of five games this season, though, they have got a result after trailing and it suggests an admirable level of doggedness in this squad which heretofore had been a little bit missing. Bella Kotchap has looked incredibly consistent for a 20-year old; Lavia at just 18 has not been far behind.Remy the Saint

Perfect players for certain managersWas thinking about Kulusevski and I realised, the guy seems to me like the perfect Conte player. By that, I mean, he is likely to do better with Conte as his manager than any other manager and he suits what Conte wants from his team and a player in his position. He embodies Conte’s style in that he is often described as ‘mechanical’, in a good way, I reckon.

I am not saying no other manager can get something or as much out of him as he is currently producing, I certainly think Klopp can. He doesn’t sound like a Guardiola winger to me, but he will probably make him a midfielder or fullback or striker or goalkeeper and still make him one of the best in the world at it. But sticking to reality, Kulusevski is the Conte player, it is no wonder he tried to sign him at Inter too.

For Guardiola, I will go with Rodri; Guardiola systems usually revolve around the pivot player but Rodri may just be the most suited one yet to Guardiola as a manager. He is a player who is probably the closest thing to ‘Guardiola the player’ and Guardiola makes it so that his limitations are well covered. The result, one of the best players in the world in the whole of 2020/21, truly farcical he was not nominated for the ballon d’or.

For Klopp, probably, Alexander-Arnold, though I feel like Salah will be a more correct choice. But let’s just go with Alexander-Arnold. Nothing more to say here, as the Liverpool fans have said a thousand times, he is unique and Klopp sets up his system to take advantage of his strengths which should earn him the title of ‘One Of The Best Playmakers In The World’ and hide his weaknesses which is a little lapse in the defensive side of the game. But you know what, many fullbacks are almost or just as bad as him in defence while offering not nearly quarter of what he offers in attack. He is for me one of the most desirable players in the world. A true generational talent and Klopp perfectly takes advantage of that.

For ten Hag, de Jong. He just knows how to use him. In the first, second and third phases of play. The perfect ten Hag player. It is sad we are not likely to see him at Man Utd, would have made for a very interesting pivot with Casemiro. Let’s see what Xavi makes out of him, I still wish to see him at Man Utd though.

For Tuchel, I can’t make out anyone that particularly stands out. Maybe Mount but could say the same for Lampard as well. No Mount does not qualify.

For Arteta, it is a bit early, but I will say Xhaka, his use of Xhaka this season in a very advanced areas from the pivot has got him playing at never before seen levels at Arsenal, his underrated ability and technical qualities that could genuinely rank him as one of the best in his position if used correctly, somehow portrays Arteta. A more promising coach than most realise, probably best in the world good. But after only four games, I should probably leave it at no one particular stands out too.

Honourable mentions go toSolskjaer – BrunoDyche – WoodSa’ad

Liverpool fan losing the faithI am an avid football fan and watching/ playing football has been a big part of my life for the past 40 years. However, I’ve increasingly realized that the passion I had for my team (Liverpool) just isn’t what it used to be a few years ago… to the extent that I’m now pretty apathetic to results.

Now, as a dad of two young boys with increasing responsibilities and pressures both at home and at work, it’s perhaps inevitable that my devotion to watching/ following football has waned slightly over the past few years. But I really think it’s much more than that and perhaps chimes with some of the thoughts shared by other mailbox contributors. It’s hardly a revelatory statement… but it all comes back to money.

Most major clubs these days are either wholly (or partly) owned by investment companies or used as a vehicle for sports washing: I find it increasingly difficult to see why I should cheer a victory for Liverpool any more than I do (say) when Tesco announces its quarterly results. Most owners clearly see fans as useful idiots: they cash in on the emotional connection between fans and ‘their’ club when in reality, the club is no more ‘theirs’ than my local branch of HSBC is ‘mine’.

Obviously on the pitch, Liverpool have achieved considerably more success than Utd over the past few years which I believe has greatly shielded FSG from the level of antipathy directed at their counterparts, the Glazers. I firmly believe that (like the Glazers) all of the actions FSG take are 100% about increasing the value of their asset and absolutely nothing else. (You only need to look at their decisions around the ESL, staff furlough and season ticket price hikes to see this.) You might say: so what, who cares? But it leaves me cold.

It honestly makes me pretty sad writing this as supporting Liverpool has been a big part of my life and I have some amazing memories of watching big matches with my dad and mates at Anfield and in various pubs around the UK and Ireland. I’d love to think John Henry would be choked up reading this but sadly I very much doubt it.Tony (Southampton, UK)

Laughing at the Manchester United ‘protests’Dear Aman. Thanks for explaining why United fans are donning green and gold. The reasons you gave though just sound like the normal travails of football fans throughout history and the reason why so many of us are bemused is so many more of us have suffered much more indignity than having Fellaini throwing elbows around wearing our kit.

1) Something cannot both be legal and daylight robbery. I’m certainly no fan of leveraged buyouts but if you examine your own history the seeds for this were laid in 1991. Taking dividends from businesses you own is also a normal thing for business owners to do.

United also enjoyed a period of success under the Glazers ownership and have spent huge amounts of money on transfers, wages and manager compensation since. The value of the club has also grown substantially in that time from the almost £800m that it cost Uncle Malcolm. Hard to argue the Glazers have done nothing.

2) As a Manchester City fan I could talk for days about the perils of owners spending their own money on their own football club. Unless the football fraternity want to offer Manchester City a huge apology then arguing that the Glazers haven’t spent any of their own money is just not going to wash. Plus they’d have to raise the money from the businesses they own in the form of dividends or something.

3) Can’t argue that Old Scaffold is a dump. We’ve been telling you for years. Not to worry though if the worse comes to the worse you can always come use City’s ground again. We have plenty of spare seats and we don’t need it on Thursday nights.

4) Hmmm not sure the Glazers own the monopoly on buying bad players and I’m reasonably sure every manager under the Glazers will have seen the players play before unlike (and I’m picking a name completely at random) Bebe or someone. Every fan of every club in the world could give you a list of a hundred failed transfers but at least yours wouldn’t have Steven McManaman on it.

5) According to your own annual report United has 1.1 billion fans and followers. A couple of thousand people marching from a pub to the stadium (also known as walking to the game) is a tiny minority of the people who don’t protest.

Perhaps if you have to keep explaining why you are protesting then the message isn’t very clear. If you discount the normal run of the mill business stuff your basic complaint is the stadium is rubbish and you sign players who don’t play as well as you expected. This is football.Richard (Stretford, writing overly long emails with no hope of publication)

Actually, ball juggling is not okayLong time reader…finally cracked to submit a response to Gabe_”Richarlison the Victim”. You had me at this line…”It wasn’t disrespectful of Richarlison to juggle the ball in a game”…

Enough of these keyboard commentators who have never set foot on a field, PS2 and Football Manager does not count…you need to physically leave your crusty room, buy a pair of cleats and play on an actual pitch to understand how this comment infuriates all that have played and play the game – from kicking the ball on the street, Sunday Leagues and all the way to the professional leagues world wide.

As most readers and contributors are actual football people who have played the game know that Gabe represents the many who believe football is nothing but a highlight reel and clickbaits.

For those who have played the game, Richarlison knows the code of unwritten conduct that is passed on from generation to generation of players that first begin to kick the round ball.

No matter how much our game changes universally, whether it be sportswashing, VAR, the tighter and tighter that shirts are made each season, the fact no one tucks in their shirts anymore, or the mere fact no one wears black cleats anymore – some things will never change. Here is a small list of conduct that deserves a bollocking:

1. Never transfer to a rival club no matter how much money is being offered. i.e Figo from Barca to Real. Speaking of Figo;

2. No Spitting.

3. You throw an elbow, don’t dive and cry if you receive one back.

4. Protect your keeper at all costs – put your body on the line.

5. Don’t throw your water bottle or shirt on the ground, respect the kit people.

6. Do not juggle the ball in an attempt to humiliate your opponent. If so, accept the consequences.

Richarlison and many players like him know what they are doing and know why they do it…He crossed the line and the fact he is still able to walk off the pitch was the biggest disappointment there…Wish Roy Keane was playing against him..Gabe, you have never played the game, it’s obvious – or you did at some posh boarding school, but at the end of the day the only thing left is a code of conduct created by a generation of players – we must adhere to and must never be abolished for the sake of the game.

Play hard as f**k, play to win, respect your opponent, shake their hand at the last whistle and have a drink with them after the game. Rinse and repeat!Johnnie_Keep The Game Pure Until Last Man or Woman Standing!

Richarlison reacts Credit: PA Images

What skill?I’m not sure if this has been pointed out in the mailbox yet, but I keep reading so much about Richarlison using his ‘skill’ and his ‘showboating’ may have upset Forest players/fans/everyone.

He did about four kick-ups, which I’d suggest most 6 year olds who play football could manage, and then followed that by misplacing a 5 yard pass.

If this is him displaying his skill then I wouldn’t expect too much from him this season.Jbrusty

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