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If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already have this spicy hot take.

Don’t get your hopes up because children on Twitter are making up lies about the return dates of players.

We’ll start with two that aren’t hard ‘NO WAYS’ but they’re not far off.

The next time you see Thomas Partey and Tomiyasu, they’ll most likely be wearing another team’s colors.

Not because they’ve been sold, but because they’ll be playing at Asia Cup and AFCON.

Could Partey be included for the Liverpool game? For sure. The player obviously wants to get out there and show the world he mugged Declan Rice off against West Ham last year… but, that would be quite risky for Arsenal. If he’s not sold, there’s no midfielder on the planet more useful to our title run-in. Thomas owes us big time. One last jaunt before he goes to Saudi or Italy.

Reminder: Thomas has dropped out of contention twice this season in training sessions. He is absolutely incredible when he’s fit. So the temptation might be to have him in the squad for Liverpool with Jorginho a doubt… but if he comes back early and re-ups his injury, the consequences would be dire for his season, and more importantly to him, his chances to rep his country one last time in AFCON.

Tomi is in a similar boat. We over-played him again, we lost him during an important part of the season, so the idea we’ll roll him out before he goes and plays an integral role for Japan (lots of games) seems nuts even for Arteta.

Don’t get your hopes up on either. Be worried if they make an appearance. It would not be a clever move.

The player I am 100% sure about is Jurrien Timber.

Some weird guy on the internet who gets everything wrong / all of the time / because he guesses is saying Timber will be back for Palace.

Categorially, this is a huge, huge no.

There are four basic stages to an ACL recovery.

  • Healing from the surgery
  • Building muscle around the injured area
  • Using the broken body part in high-intensity training
  • Trusting the body in an actual match

I have spoken to experts, at the highest level, from England, and they all say the same thing: 7 months best case, 9 months worst.

There is no horse placenta treatment – stem-cell science is science lab dream stuff – miracle recoveries are the outlier.

Work back from those dates and the miracle recovery would be the end of February, the most likely outcome is going to be the end of March for the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

Another part of this equation that mere mortals like you and I don’t fully compute is how hard these injuries are psychologically. The rehab is extremely tough and boring. You start to hate your PT. You hate your body for not doing what you know it can do. You worry every time you make a sharp turn the knee could blow out again. You worry you’ll never be the same again.

Even mentality monsters struggle.

A lot of people have been telling me Aron Rodgers, a 40-year-old quarterback, defied the odds and recovered from an Achilles injury in three months.


Firstly, no 22-year-old ‘soccer’ player will recover from that injury in 3 months in the next 5 years. They are vastly different sports, which is why you almost never see top-level 40-year-olds.

Secondly, if a miracle happens with a body… that body ain’t 40 years old. The Jets are done for the season, I would say there’s zero chance you’ll see them risking him this season because they know how bad the implications are if he fucks himself with the same injury again.

Also, remember which party those MIRACLE RECOVERY headlines suit the most. It’s the old player trying to justify their salary.

Back to the internet.

I do wish people would stop rewarding bad information. These idiots post fake stories – get 10,000 new followers – then when the story is proved incorrect, they don’t lose any.

I’ll get no followers for telling the truth because there is no value in reality on the internet.

Ok, that’s me done my darlings.

Check out the latest podcast below.

P.S. The emails have stopped. I’ll be looking at that in the New Year. I lose money on this website. I can’t put so much time into something when I have children if it’s costing me money. So I’m looking at better options.

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I thought Gabriel should have been a little more aware for the liverpool goal.
Salah is one of the best at one on ones and Gabriel should have edged over maybe 5 yards to close the space if salah cut inside ( which he did)


Sterling with the early entry for the most selfish play of the season.
Back in a day when football was played by real men they docked weeks wages for that.



All modern fullbacks help the team in forward areas. Zinchenko is not really an exception.

While I admire his ball playing ability I can’t help but think his defensive lapses more than nullify what he adds in attack.

As for last season and my supposed revisionism, it’s not a surprise Arteta signed Timber who can play left back and often started Tomi this season ahead of Zini. So even Arteta doesn’t rate hum much anymore.


I like Gallagher but for me paqueta is a game changer, his passing in offensive situations is second to none, and he’s not scared to work hard and put in a tackle


Considering the fact that we lack a tall striker, we actually to the list for headed goals this season.


Yes Paqueta is very good, we were linked with him in the summer weren’t we ?

Connor Gallagher looks easy on the eye but right now he doesn’t really offer much in terms of end product. Yes Chelsea are dysfunctional and all that but still we need someone who can contribute in terms of goals and assists.


TR7 It’s clearly revisionism if you fail to understand where our issues came from in our last 11 games last season, and instead choose to pick out 1 mistake. The reality is there’s games states that favour Zinchenko, and some that favour Tomi or Timber… But neither were available yesterday. Zinchenko has played most the games and were top, into the last 16 of the CL, and arguably the best defensive team in the world… That’s not because we sit back and defend our penalty box and defensive third for dear life…. It’s because we cut the opposition off at… Read more »


“That’s not because we sit back and defend our penalty box and defensive third for dear life…. It’s because we cut the opposition off at source, by playing on the front foot, and controlling the opposition in the right areas of the pitch both with and without the ball.” You are arguing something else altogether. What you are doing is rephrasing what Arteta means by dominating areas on the pitch and like everyone else Zinchenko also plays a role in the overall strategy. Irrespective of how much we dominate, the opponents will always get opportunity to attack us and Zinchenko… Read more »


This Palmer, Chelsea.

has a touch of the RVP about him.

(A. Wenger would have loved him.)
Thats who Arteta should have bought-Pep will be kicking himself letting him go.



But you’re failing to apply deduction…

How many times does Zinchenko play us into trouble across the season?.. vs how many times does he play us out of it?…

The fact that we starve the opposition of chances, suggests the risk overall is worth the reward.

It’s an unbelievably simple concept… Either we push the opposition back… Or they push us back.

If the opposition push us back?… Then they might create even more chances.

Of course some players carry risk… That’s because our game demands that we require them to take some risks.


Against all other full backs in the top 5 leagues over the last 365 days. Zinchenko: 98% for passes 97% passes completed 98% passes attempted 95% pass percentage completed 95% 99% progressive passes 82% shot creating actions 91% aerial duels won 99% pass completion long 94% medium pass completion 98% Passes into penalty area 99% passes into final third 93% percentage of dribblers tackled. 96% Carries 95% Progressive carries distance 96% Total carrying distance Like no shit….. Zinchenko’s game carries some risk… And there’s certainly some game states where Tomi + Timber should be preferred if available. But the idea… Read more »

Wicked Willy

Thanks Rich, I really think that’s helpful in balancing the narrative. We all knew this was not a game for Zinny beforehand, and so it proved. But across the season he is SO valuable


OptaJoe –

19 – No side have lost more Premier League matches in 2023 than Chelsea (19), while only three sides have lost more across the big five European leagues this calendar year.

Almería (24)
SV Werder Bremen (20)
Empoli (20)


Does anyone know how that female ref did yesterday, no one losing their minds about it so I assume she had good match.

Wicked Willy

Be lovely if Chelsea hit 20 before year end

Wicked Willy

Just looked up Jesus and osimhen’s stats – they have identical goal contributions per minute this season


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