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Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur – Match Reports and Robbie’s Reaction

Fifth

The match reports

The Observer, Daniel Taylor: “Chelsea are the flag-bearers for England in this season’s Champions League but there have to be grave doubts about their capacity to return to the competition next time out. This was a match that they sorely needed to win yet they fell short in insipid fashion.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “Since Roman Abramovich bought this piece of West London real estate in 2003, Chelsea have been in the Champions League every season. You cannot imagine he is thrilled at the prospect of mixing it with the also-rans in the continent’s second tier. Even taking into the context the intensity of Chelsea’s fixture schedule, this was insipid stuff, the players lulled into somnolence by the unseasonal sunshine.”

The Independent on Sunday, Ben Rumsby: “Spurs produced arguably their most disciplined away performance of the season to stay five points clear of the fifth-placed Blues, who now face an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Ultimately, it was a disappointing afternoon for the Blues. In a game we really needed to win in order to close the gap on Tottenham, clear-cut opportunities proved hard to come by due to the visitors’ intent on stifling the midfield area.”

Robbie’s reaction

“We were looking to win the game and close the gap on Spurs, that was our idea today, we have to give credit to Spurs, they defended well and played a good game.

“It’s going to be difficult [to finish in the top four], from the day I was appointed we all knew it would be a difficult task but there are still eight games to go and we will try to win as many as we can to try and gain fourth spot.

“To make the gap up we will have to win all of our games, you look at the fixture list and you just have to try to win the next game.

“In the first half we were a little bit too slow in possession, we didn’t move the ball quick enough or get into dangerous positions.

“They defended deep and it’s always difficult to break the opposition down, every team that comes to Stamford Bridge defends with a lot of men behind the ball so it’s never easy, and they defended well.

“He [Cech] made some very crucial saves for us. On the other hand, we hit the post and we created some chances. We had a penalty claim as well with Ramires, I think Assou-Ekotto just pulled him down because he wasn’t aware of him.”

(Image credit: cogdogblog via Flickr.)

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  • Fat Nakago

    I was up this morning a LOT earlier than THESE lads were to watch this here in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin…Troll Capitol of the World.

    I settled into my recliner with a cup of coffee close at hand…and was soon lulled off into a nap…an extra 2 hours of sleep ((counting stoppage and halftime)). I was woken a few times when the ball clanked off the woodwork. But for the most part, I might as well have slept in….slept the sleep of the just, as good ol’ Elvis Costello sang about back in the day before I became an aging balding punker with glasses and a job.

    I knew damn well that nothing good would come of this when I noticed that Torres was not in the lineup. He seems to be the only one on Chelsea that actually gives a shit. And what I new damn well turned out to home truth. For all the good it, they might as well have set out a luncheon table in the middle of Stamford Bridge, and all the lads could have trotted themselves out in white oxford cotton shirts with button down collars, club ties appropriate to their respective teams, navy blue blazers, focking Nantucket Red trousers, and Bass Weejuns with no socks. Award each a side a point a piece they could have tucked themselves into prawn sandwiches, smoked oysters, codfish cakes, eggs benedict, creme of tomato soup, welsh rarebit ((“Yummy!!’ says Gareth Bale)), beef stroganoff, and cheese whiz on Ritz crackers. Harry Rednapp could have gotten up and spoken about ANYTHING for an hour and 37 minutes give or take and it would have VASTLY more entertaining.

    But no….we had to watch the sort of football game that makes a lot of my local pals think that soccer focking sucks so why the hell waste time watching…..might as well watch Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr turn left all day at 187 miles per hour.

    Well after the final whistle peeped like whatever the fock the bird is on the Spurs shirt, assuming that it peeps ((and yes *I* know it’s a cockerel…and that it probably doesn’t peep….but try explaining THAT, or anything ELSE related to Tottenham Hotspur to the average Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart or Green Bay Packers fan)), I took off my Chelsea gear, folded it properly, and put it away.

    I then put my Norwich City shirt on, took the dogs out, and then drove to the local Kwik-Trip for a box half a dozen Glazers for $1.99 ((3 for me, 3 for the wife)). Someone today, stayed on the ball, and at last and least, I could finally enjoy my breakfast.

  • Dylbo Baggins

    Cunningplan, you’ll (hopefully) be happy to know i’m still about- though was nervy in the last minute or 2.

    It’s only 5 points…

    • Cunningplan

      Glad you made it Dylbo, although similar thoughts crossed my mind in the last few minutes as we seemed hellbent on handing them a winner.

  • Fat Nakago

    I was up this morning a LOT earlier than THESE lads were to watch this here in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin…Troll Capitol of the World.

    I settled into my recliner with a cup of coffee close at hand…and was soon lulled off into a nap…an extra 2 hours of sleep ((counting stoppage and halftime)). I was woken a few times when the ball clanked off the woodwork. But for the most part, I might as well have slept in….slept the sleep of the just, as good ol’ Elvis Costello sang about back in the day before I became an aging balding punker with glasses and a job.

    I knew damn well that nothing good would come of this when I noticed that Torres was not in the lineup. He seems to be the only one on Chelsea that actually gives a shit. And what I new damn well turned out to home truth. For all the good it, they might as well have set out a luncheon table in the middle of Stamford Bridge, and all the lads could have trotted themselves out in white oxford cotton shirts with button down collars, club ties appropriate to their respective teams, navy blue blazers, focking Nantucket Red trousers, and Bass Weejuns with no socks. Award each a side a point a piece they could have tucked themselves into prawn sandwiches, smoked oysters, codfish cakes, eggs benedict, creme of tomato soup, welsh rarebit ((“Yummy!!’ says Gareth Bale)), beef stroganoff, and cheese whiz on Ritz crackers. Harry Rednapp could have gotten up and spoken about ANYTHING for an hour and 37 minutes give or take and it would have VASTLY more entertaining.

    But no….we had to watch the sort of football game that makes a lot of my local pals think that soccer focking sucks so why the hell waste time watching…..might as well watch Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr turn left all day at 187 miles per hour.

    Well after the final whistle peeped like whatever the fock the bird is on the Spurs shirt, assuming that it peeps ((and yes *I* know it’s a cockerel…and that it probably doesn’t peep….but try explaining THAT, or anything ELSE related to Tottenham Hotspur to the average Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart or Green Bay Packers fan)), I took off my Chelsea gear, folded it properly, and put it away.

    I then put my Norwich City shirt on, took the dogs out, and then drove to the local Kwik-Trip for a box half a dozen Glazers for $1.99 ((3 for me, 3 for the wife)). Someone today, stayed on the ball, and at last and least, I could finally enjoy my breakfast.

  • Blueboydave

    Oh dear!

    My heart sank when Lamps set the tone for our entire performance by misplacing his first 2 passes inside 7 seconds straight from kick-off, conceding possession to the Spuds with a throw-in on the half way line.

    Even in the history of dull, lifeless Saturday lunchtime kick-off games this surely must belong in a special Top Ten Snooze-fests.

    I believe we conjured up precisely 0 attempts at goal of any type in the entire first half, and the second half wasn’t a lot better.

    I recall only the Mata free-kick which hit the post and a 35 yard speculative/desperate attempt from Lamps in the last 5 minutes. Either I nodded off at some point or questions need to be asked of the PA rep who provided stats to the Beeb website /MOTD claiming we had 5 attempts on target and 5 off in the entire game.

    And justifiably last on MOTD running order yet again.

    All of which suggests that despite Robbie’s press conference and JT ‘s programme notes both wittering on about how vital it was we win in our efforts to get 4th place, it would seem the collective will of the team has decided that CL and FA Cup games are the only ones worth trying to get it up for now.

    How low do we have to finish in the league to be spared the delights of the early qualifying round place next July/August in the Europa league?

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

    A couple of observations.

    Without completely writting 4th spot off, Europa League qualification should be achievable, but 5th. spot may not be so simple and we will need to keep working in PL fixtures until the last match.

    Benfica are the real test of our resolve and our ability to get going again. 

    We left ourselves lots to do against Napoli, and, exciting as it was, we can’t expect to be doing that too often.
     

  • Blue_MikeL

    I couldn’t watch MOTD, one must be true masochist in order to go through this torturing spectacle again. I have seen enough, really. WorkingClassPost right Napoli was our probably swans song, I personally don’t think we will be bale to replicate it. 5 place is not cemented either.    
    AVB must be laughing, actually the whole football world is laughing.

  • Abhishek Srinivasan

    Fairly comfortable with the draw; toothless and yet as good as ‘Arry’s boys!  We will know next season if players refuse to join clubs for Champions League football. Milan did not have a problem, and though we are not as big, would be surprised if people turn Chelsea down. Why are Malouda, Meireles and Bosingwa are part of the squad and where are Paulo Ferreira, Lukaku and Romeu?

    Celebrating 
    World Tuberculosis Day  with some random ratings for the folks: 

    Petr Cech(7.5) : Davidoff: Nice pack.
    Cahill (7.5) : Lucky Strike: He’s toasted.JT(6.5): Rothman’s: By special appointment.Cole(6.5) : Benson & Hedges: Paid for it but the smoking warning stared at me. Bosingwa (5.5) : Wills Navy Cut: Surely causes cancerLampard (5) : Kool: This Willie seems lostEssien(7) : Kent: Smooth transition  Ramires( 6.5) : Dunhill: Tongue-tiedMata(7) :  Camel: A love story that happens inside a pack of cigarettesSturridge (5.5) : Malboro: Greater chance of a Liverpool victory than you smoking an authentic non-Moldovan MalboroDrogba (4.5) : Cherokee: Last resort   

    • Abhishek Srinivasan

      Too much Bourbon. Pardon the many “are” s and the random formatting

    • Blue_MikeL

      Good question that I am asking myself as well. Anybody can do as good as Malouda, Meirelis, Bosingwa and Lampard in his current condition and yet they are still in the team. 

  • Simon

    The 0-0 draw is a decent result in a London derby. This is just the case of Chelsea pausing for breath under the new management. 
    And Spurs may lose more points while Harry is thinking of his dream job elsewhere. Good luck Harry!

    • Blue_MikeL

      very optimistic, unless it was sarcasm.  

      • Simon

        Just being positive and supportive.

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

    I have only one issue with yesterday’s match.

    It wasn’t the result, because when a draw was effectively worth 3 points to them, and a win still left us at -2, that result was about as nailed on as a hometown penalty at OT (+ an extra 5 mins if required).

    No, what bugs me most, is how when other teams play for a draw they’re just as likely to win, yet when we play for a draw, we’re almost guaranteed to lose.

  • Ryan

    Just a few brief points.

    * Chelsea will attract the players they want for the same reasons City attracted the players they wanted. Money, facilities and ambition. 

    * Abramovich must now be aware of where this squad is. Basically the last two results/performances should clarify things for him. We’re nowhere near as good as City or United. We’re not quite as good as Arsenal or Spurs. We are better than Liverpool and Newcastle (just). Considering the financial outlay so far I doubt he will be prepared to accept that. Champions League or not, there will be changes in the summer. 

    * I expect that Hiddink could return. His contract at Anzi can potentially end in June. Abramovich won’t take another AVB-type chance. Pep/Mourinho probably won’t happen. So it makes sense to get Hiddink in as a safe pair of hands for a year or so until Abramovich can get who he wants. He would then appoint Hiddink as Director of Football. Emenalo is technical director (recruitment, youth/reserve development and scouting). Hiddink would most likely be more of an advisor to Abramovich regarding footballing matters. 

    Anyway that’s all just my opinion. Chelsea being Chelsea though who knows what is going to happen next? 

    If we win all of our remaining games we could still finish fourth. 

    I’m not even considering the possibility of not being in the CL next year…. however if we are landed in the Europa  league then we should allow our young players (Bertrand, Chalobah, MacEachran, Lukaku etc) the opportunity to play the whole competition. The benefit of the Europa league being the number of games that they will get and the invaluable experience they will gain.

    We should allow the (hopefully) revamped first team and (presumably) new manager to focus 100% on winning the PL in order to re-establish ourselves. The main reason I feel fairly confident about this is that
    the reason we are fifth is not because Arsenal and Spurs are anything special. It’s because we have been shit. 

    Arsenal are still weaker than they were three years ago and frankly if RVP hadn’t scored twice a week since September they’d be slugging it out for sixteenth with Blackburn. There is no guarantee he’ll be there next year. Spurs have benefitted hugely from having Adebayor and hanging on to Modric. It’s highly likely neither will be lining up for Spurs next year. If they fail to make a CL place this year they will be affected far more than us. Financially Levy will never spend the sort of money on transfers or wages that City, United (if they have money to spend) and Chelsea are prepared to. City aren’t going anywhere but failing to win the league this year could be a big psychological blow for them. United have been pretty miraculous this season considering the relative paucity of their squad (compared to City anyway) and the fact that they have never looked like the best team in the league. Consistency and sheer force of will however makes them hard to beat both in individual games and, more importantly, over the course of a season but we have done it before. It’s a while since anyone else managed it. That could be a big plus for our squad next year. 

    Ok. Looking forward to my Monday lunchtime listen to the excellent Podding Shed. Would be interested to know what everyone else thinks is most likely to happen this summer. I’m excited anyway. Hopefully the rebuild that should have happened last time around will be achieved this year. 

    • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

      It’ll have to be Tuesday lunchtime – apologies; family lurgy at my end prevented recording last night – scheduled for this evening, though…

      • Ryan

        No worries. It’ll give me something to look forward to. Hope full health is restored ASAP!

      • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

         The dreaded lurgy!

        Just getting over a second bout of it myself, thoroughly nasty thing it is too.

        A word on the Podding Shed – really enjoy what’s become a highlight of the week. Very professional and entertaining. I guess that you’re not all in the same room together (though it’s hard to tell from the broadcast), so congrats on keeping such good order.

    • GrocerJack

      Dont get the obsession with Hiddink. Not specifically from you but from many. He did OK with us, won an FA Cup, rescued a season, but still LOST to Spurs :(

      My issue with him is what he’s done since which is to fail to qualify for 2 major competitions with what are semi decent teams in Russia and Turkey. Why is he seen as our saviour, at 66, with a heart condition?

      • Blue_MikeL

        He (Hiddink) is not our savior. Unfortunately we tend to crucify those who can really help us….   

      • Ryan

        Don’t particularly want Guus just seems that he is most likely candidate. Has strong links to the club/Roman, wouldn’t be bullied out, has enough experience to stabilize and would probably be more than happy to step aside if/when Roman can get the man he wants.

        Don’t get me wrong if we can get Pep/Mourinho great. I can’t see it though and I’d rather have Guus than another unknown quantity. Laurent Blanc being a prime example, Jurgen Klopp being another. It’s not so much that I feel that Hiddink is the answer to all of our problems. Just that some other potential candidates could cause more problems than they’re able to solve.

        The truth is that there just aren’t that many top-class managers laying around looking for a job. Fabio is available but I know how you feel about that Tony.

        I’d also say that I’m not too worried about success at International level. It doesn’t necessarily translate to domestic football (Scolari being a prime example).

        The biggest thing in Guus’ favour (in my opinion) is that he instantly gained the respect of the players last time and tactically he was pretty sound (0-0 at the Nou Camp and 1-1 at SB stand-out considering we were playing the Champions elect, nobody gave us a chance, the fact we were one of the only teams to keep a clean sheet at the Nou Camp that year and the manner in which Barcelona dispatched United in the final). I think it was those two performances that convinced many that Hiddink is capable of managing Chelsea successfully rather than the FA Cup win (although that certainly helped).

        As I said I’m interested to know what everyone else thinks will happen and I’ll be fascinated to see what actually happens this summer.

        P.S- I appreciate that comment wasn’t particularly aimed at me mate.

        Looking forward to the Podding Shed to find out (hopefully) how you all see things panning out.

        • GrocerJack

          I would just be against another stopgap coach which at his age he would b. I’m keen on the following, buy NOT Pep, he’d be a dismal failure outside of the system he works in. 

          Jose
          Louis Van Gaal
          Joachim Loew (?)
          Rafa Benitez (yes, I’m a very lonely person)
          David Moyes
          Roberto Martinez (Villa would be top 6 with him)
          Gus Poyet (might be a bit soon)

          • Ryan

            I guess we’re looking at it from different angles then as I’d rather have a quality stop-gap coach that will remain involved in the club long term than another potential horrorshow. I’m not sure I see the logic in approving of Rijkaard but not Guardiola!? I’m not aware of Rijkaard achieving anything outside of the cossetted environs of Barca, where he achieved less than Pep.

            Ultimately though it will be about recruiting the right players and in such a way that they still retain that togetherness that we witnessed against Napoli.

            I’d still probably just favour Hiddink for a year or two over most on that list. Jose and Loew being the exceptions. Poyet, whose work at Brighton I admire tremendously, would be subject to the same criticisms as AVB one-hundred fold.

          • Andy

            I’m actually coming round to the idea of Rafa – wouldnt have believed it 2 months ago myself. Out of everyone out there he ticks more boxes than anyone – experienced + prem/old enough to get some respect and be bold enough to stand by his own squad changes/not too old that he’ll keel over mid season.
            If RA hadn’t experimented with AVB I would have gone with a younger manager, but the next appointment is too crucial

  • SweetDairyAir

    Not that I think we’ll get him, but I think some people underestimate Guardiola slightly. There’s quite a bit more to Barcelona than just having great players, as this link goes into slightly:

    http://www.miostadium.com/opinions/simon-kuper/barcelonas-secret-soccer-success

    • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

       
      I though that the ‘five second rule’ was an urban myth?

      • Radicalevan

        I’d doubt it. Opposition, surely, has much to do with how strictly this is implemented, but I’ve watched a fair few BCN games in the last few years and when the opponent (cleanly and comfortably) controls the ball, Barcelona plays a compact, fairly high wall.

        As for the new manager, I’d back anyone on Tony’s list. But I wonder how much of the current team will be around next season, or at least as prominently positioned? Will Drogba be here? Malouda? What sort of player will Lampard be? Ditto for Essien?

        It seems that whoever takes over will inherit a team low on confidence and/or experience with success. Clearly it won’t be up to them to rebuild the team, thats for the high minded fellows sitting in the prime seats. 

        It might not be a bad idea to give the assistant manager position to Terry, no matter what.

        • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

           You don’t seem to be holding out much hope for this evening, or the remainder of the season, then?

          I’m still prepared to see how we perform before writing anyone off – sounds a bit like that film Another 24 hours.

          Or maybe the song What a difference a Day Makes.

  • Blue_MikeL

    Inter fired Claudio cleaning the way most probably for AVB to come.  

  • mark_25

    Having just seen the team this is either a stroke of genius or RDM is seeking early retirement.

    Still I’m happier to have Kalou than Sturridge.

  • mark_25

    Amazing, we’re actually passing to teammates!

  • Blue_MikeL

    What a chance missed by Kalou!!!!

  • Ryan

    Regardless of the final result tonight I’d still suggest we’ve been pretty poor. Giving possession back to Benfica constantly. I almost hope we get knocked out before we have to play Barcelona. They’ll destroy us like they did Leverkusen.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Great disciplined performance by Chelsea and good deserved result against team which always scores at home! 

    • mark_25

      On the contrary, I’d like to suggest we’ve been pretty good.

      Sure, one or two mistakes, but overall a disciplined hard working performance and a great result.  Yes, we could roll over like pussies and wave the white flag so we don’t have to face Barcelona but that’s not the spirit that built the Empire.

  • Ryan

    Yeah maybe we got what we came for. Our ability to give possession back to almost any opponents far too easily though really concerns me. Interesting to read the article in the link posted by Sweet Dairy Air (thanks for that by the way) and compare the way Barca value possession with the way we play at times. Cech kicking the ball directly out of play or straight back to opposition defenders infuriates me. I just think that if Guardiola was watching us play tonight or against City he would probably think we’re perfect opposition for them. And he’d probably be right. Maybe I’m being too hard on the lads but the way we invite pressure against any team (Wigan earlier in the season is a good example) doesn’t bode well for us playing the best possession team we’ve ever seen (assuming we don’t do anything stupid at SB).

  • GrocerJack

    Demanding lot that you are, a match report has been duly filed. Blimey, writing and talking (The Podding Shed)….who knew?

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