Well who was happier with that result then – I’d guess neither Antonio Conte or Daniel Farke really wanted a replay?
However, we acquitted ourselves pretty well against a Chelsea side that although it featured several non “first choices” still contained some rather famous names – the likes of Pedro, Willian and eventually Juan Morata.
A slightly thin crowd enjoyed the sound of the Chelsea fans venting their frustration, no injuries (at least that I could see) and a sound defensive performance featuring a back three, which worked. I get the feeling we might see more of this, at least against the more footballing sides in the Championship. That means it’s sure to be 4-2-3-1 against Ipswich!
In fairness we never really threatened to conjure a winner and I don’t see Stamford Bridge as a venue where we can reasonably expect a result, but it’ll be a fantastic night out for the hardy travellers and our London-based supporters.
The Maddison-Pritchard-Murphy triumvirate functioning as a top three is something I think we might see more of too. Especially if rumours surrounding possible departures for CamJam and Nelson have a vestige of truth in them. Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, that’s about as much as I can wring out of a 0-0 draw featuring two largely redundant goalkeepers, so I’ll just draw a line under it by saying this spat between Conte and Jose Mourinho is getting tedious, despite some of the tasty verbals floating about between them.
So, on to the love-hate thing that is the dreaded January transfer window. I am not a fan, but I don’t make the rules, obviously. I could accept it more readily if only the close-season window ended on the eve of the Big Kick-off. That would seem eminently sensible to me.
We have a raft of possibilities, but how much will actually happen?
As it stands, Russell Martin may be in line for a loan move, possibly to Rangers.
We may contrive a miraculous deal in which we can hive off Steven Naismith to Kilmarnock, maybe in return for the Boy Jones. I think Stuart Webber and Steve Stone would have to do a modern version of the loaves and fishes to make that one happen, but stranger things have occurred.
Apparently, there is interest in Jerome and Oliveira – if both went, surely at least one striker would have to come our way in recompense to Farke’s squad. It’s interesting that we have experimented in playing without either. To counter a Chelsea 3-4-3, or to prepare for February 1?
Timm Klose is an enigma – if somebody from the lower echelons of the Prem came in for him, surely he would leave to enhance his chances of playing for Switzerland- in the World Cup… but if not?
Paul Jones has gone to Exeter, Sean Raggett is back with us – for now.
Remi Matthews, Eboue Adams, Adam Phillips, Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris are all out on loan. I feel Matthews and Godfrey at least can expect first team football at Carrow Road next season. The imminent departures of Angus Gunn and Alex Tettey will see to that.
Marcel Franke is loaned to Dynamo Dresden and Louis Thompson may, I stress may, be back next season. Poor sod; what a terrible injury to sustain. As for Matt Jarvis, another one well and truly crocked. I wish some people would get off his back. No, we should not have signed him on a permanent, but the situation is hardly of his making.
We’ve heard nothing definitive about Tom Trybull signing a new contract. Fair enough – sort it out first, tell us afterwards. Fine by me.
Which brings me to the obvious ending: Pritchard and Maddison. They are absolutely bloody crucial to our medium-term future. Both of them. But what kind of offer will turn Webber’s head? And who will be whispering extremely loudly in his ear with a diktat?
It’s truly in the lap of the gods in both cases.
Anyway, plenty of time to see what transpires. We’ll all be theorising and talking about it for over three weeks yet
Finally, well done Madders. If you’re going to start a serious collection of swapped shirts, why not begin with Pedro!