Everton 1-1 Chelsea – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report, Player Ratings

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Newspaper reports

The Observer, Paul Wilson: “Chelsea may be hoping to sharpen their front line with Fernando Torres but they have Petr Cech to thank for keeping them in the FA Cup. The goalkeeper produced a save from Seamus Coleman to prevent Everton going two in front that proved a turning point when Chelsea mounted a swift counterattack to equalise, then denied Jermaine Beckford with a fingertip save in the final minutes to earn a replay. A draw was a fair result in a game that only got going at half -time, yet Everton did enough to win and could reasonably claim that only Cech prevented them inflicting the first Cup defeat on Chelsea since March 2008.”

Sunday Telegraph, Rory Smith: “Chelsea returned to London from their first visit to Merseyside this weekend mired in stalemate, aware that they will be given a second chance at success early next month. Roman Abramovich will be aware that his second, rather more expensive, foray north-west in the next 48 hours will not come with a do-over.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea had to come from a goal down to earn an FA Cup replay at Everton on Saturday afternoon. Substitute Salomon Kalou did the trick 16 minutes from time when he slotted home into the bottom corner at a time when it looked for all the world like the holders would be heading out at the fourth round stage.”

The goals

62′ Saha 1-0
75′ Kalou 1-1

The preamble

So, Fernando Torres. Wouldn’t be a bad buy, would it? If it was up to me, I’d try to go for someone younger and less injury-prone, but that’s a bit like saying I’d prefer Jessica Alba to Cheryl Cole. I wouldn’t exactly be disappointed if we did sign him, put it that way. Initially I assumed it was just talk to shift a few papers but rumours of deal involving cash plus Sturridge was given a bit more credibility today as Danny wasn’t even on the bench. Signing Torres would give us another option tactically, a chance to move away from the Mourinho-esque 4-3-3. Just imagine, Drog and Nando up front… it could be beautiful.

Whilst on the subject of transfers I think letting Kakuta go on loan to Fulham is a smart move. I also think we could have let McEachren get a few games somewhere else too. I’d prefer him to be in the team but what with Ancelotti’s inability to pick anyone but the senior players I think if Josh went and impressed somewhere else then Carlo might grow a pair and start picking him next season.

Anyway, enough rambling, and to the small matter of an FA Cup fourth round tie away at Everton. Tradition dictates I should have written my prediction bit before the game, but I only received the call (i.e. checked my emails) from Our Dear Leader yesterday evening whilst at a cider festival, and I was in no state to write anything coherent before kick-off today. But based on signs of our recent improvement I was hoping for a closely fought two-nil victory.

The team

Team selection has got a tad predictable under Carlo. No youngsters, no Kalou and the usual suspects in the usual 4-3-3. The good news is Lampard is back.

Cech, Cole, Terry, Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Lamps, Essien, Ramires, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka.

The first half

The first twenty minutes saw rather average football from both sides. If Chelsea were top of the league and regularly scoring four or more goals you’d say we were looking solid defensively and just waiting for an opportunity to pounce on the counter attack. As we are gingerly coming out of the worst spell of results for ten years I’d say we looked complacent, a bit lazy and like none of the players wanted to take responsibility and make something happen. The first bright bit of play did come on the counter, Drogba driving forward with the ball before Malouda and Anelka played a beautiful one-two just inside the Everton box. Flo tried to square the ball back to Drogba who had continued his run, but Everton’s defence managed to block off the Drog and clear the ball.

The game gradually started warming up after that. Fellaini harassed Essien back towards his own goal and when Terry stepped up to stop Fellaini nicking the ball it broke to Saha. A first time ball put in Rodwell whose shot from 20 yards was saved by Cech with his legs. Half an hour in Chelsea started to look like the better team, with Ramires probably shining the most in a midfield packed with three players from each side. He is everywhere, winning tackles, moving the ball well and playing with a hint of Essien at his best. Two minutes after Anelka looks to be through on goal, only to be ruled offside, a smart Ramires one-two with Drogba around the centre spot gives him space to pick a pass to again release Anelka, who shoots straight at Tim Howard.

For the rest of the half a few of our big name players start looking more interested. Drogba is keen to get on the ball, dropping back into midfield occasionally and spraying passes about, Anelka is constantly on the shoulder of the last defender and Lampard tries to play a few probing passes. Nothing quite comes off though and possibly the closest we come to scoring is a 30 yard thunderbolt from Malouda which Howard tips round the post.

The second half

Chelsea start the second half slowly; a sloppy bit of play from JT five minutes in lets Everton cross the ball deep to the far post where Ramires manages to make a very good block to stop a goal bound volley from Saha. Instead of that chance waking us up we keep misplacing passes, and I got a bit more worried when the ref gives a ridiculously soft free kick to Everton which ends in Cech making a smart save from Fellaini’s header. Everton look to capitalise on the afro-haired giant’s aerial prowess whenever they can, and a couple of minutes later he nods down a long free kick to Arteta who thankfully volleys well wide.

We still haven’t kicked into life 15 minutes into the half. Everton win another corner and Saha scores from the edge of the six yard box after a little dart towards the front post sent JT out of position. Terry is definitely not having his best game and it’s a fairly easy header for Saha who seems to have a knack of scoring against us. It’s a completely deserved lead for Everton based on our performance this half. After the goal the players start trying a bit harder but still every time we win the ball after about five or six passes we just give it straight back.

Seventy minutes in Malouda is taken off for Kalou. We continue to play as if we’re hapless novices, perhaps with the exception of Ramires. After letting Everton piss around on the edge of our area for a while Baines gets a cross in to the far post and Coleman barges past Bosingwa to force a save from Cech. The ball spills back to Coleman again, but this time Terry and Essien dive in to deflect his shot wide.

After again inviting pressure from Everton we manage to get a completely undeserved equaliser. On the counter attack Anelka runs out on the left and switches the play across the pitch. Ramires lets the ball run past him to Kalou, who takes a couple of touches before shooting through Distin’s legs and into the far corner of the goal from the edge of the area. I think it’s probably his first touches of the game.

Ten minutes later we see the other side of Kalou. Cech hoofs a long ball up which he controls straight away, holding onto the ball well up the pitch while waiting for support. After a couple of players join the attack Kalou then inexplicably starts dribbling the wrong way before giving the ball back to Everton. At least we are looking slightly better at this point. Anelka had a shot saved by Howard a couple of minutes earlier and soon after Kalou’s mistake Ramires lets fly with a rocket from 25 yards which hits the outside of the post.

Everton’s last chance of the game comes from a long ball down the pitch which Ivanovic should deal with easily but unfortunately he slices his clearance and it drops behind him to Beckford, who smashes a half volley from a tight angle which Cech turns behind. Two minutes later Essien almost grabs a last gasp winner when he wins a header at the front post from Drogba’s corner but he only manages to glance it across goal.

The good

  • Defence – They played well considering how, for large passages of play, we invited Everton pressure. Terry didn’t have his best game though.
  • Ramires – It’s hard to evaluate someone after half a season but there are glimpses that he may be a future star for us. Still not convinced he is world class but at least I’m convinced he might be.
  • Everton’s pressure – In the first 15 minutes Phil Neville alone must have fouled half our team but they deserve some credit for making it difficult for us.

The bad

  • Malouda – I had to pick someone and I’ll choose him as a scapegoat. He wasn’t awful but for a player who has been here 3½ years only giving us 18 months of good football isn’t enough.

The ugly

  • Phil Neville.

Player ratings

It’s a tough one. I’m not sure if the moaning nature of my report is down to my hangover, Chelsea’s poor play, or my inherent bi-polarity. Based on the second half of the first half I’d give everyone a seven apart from Ramires, who gets an eight. Lampard, Essien and Bosingwa all looked like they were getting back to their best after their recent absences, and at one point in the game I felt it was only a matter of time before Anelka scored. But after an abject second half I’ve got to re-evaluate and everyone apart from Cech and Ramires gets a six. Ramires is Man of the Match.

Final thoughts

We played badly and didn’t lose. This competition is probably our best hope of silverware this season, but I can’t really get excited unless we start to look like the old Chelsea again. I’d rather win nothing this season and look like we can fight for everything in the next campaign rather than just stay still as a team. Even so I’ve got that sliver of hope that we can still catch United or put together a run in Europe. United have to play Arsenal, Liverpool, City and of course us (twice) before the end of the season. And Fernando Torres isn’t cup tied for the Champions League…

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  1. Aravind NG

    “After letting Everton piss around on the edge of our area for a while Baines get a cross in to the far post and Coleman barges past Bosingwa to force a save from Cech.”

    I think it was Cole and not Bosingwa.

  2. Jack

    Thought both Essien and Anelka were poor, the former again failing to pick a pass from even five yards and the later just clogging things up far too much. Lampard was anonymous; he was clearly not fit. Ramires was fantastic, as was Cech, who earned us an undeserved replay.

    Phil Neville, despicable. Howard Webb, useless.

  3. The SRG

    Ramires really shows the effort that we need from the entire squad. He’s still adapting and his passing isn’t perfect, but he is always flying in for tackles and was the key to a couple of our best moves. If we had more players showing his type of hunger and effort we wouldn’t have had nearly as bad of a run as we did over the last few months. Shows you what young players wanting to prove themselves can do for a club and why we have become so stagnant in attack.

  4. Anonymous

    Well, good writing, definitely good one. Really glad the author has mentioned Ramires in the good side. It’s been a long time since I have seen player in Chelsea shirt trying to establish himself in the team so hard!!! The effort he makes deserve a praise. The kid hasn’t got physics of PL, but since being bullied in every game, every time he has got the ball he grew up to a player who worries opposition. He struggled at first, but he is making his way, only half year, but he is already first choice. I remember that his first games were nightmare for him. He was shocked by the physicality of English game, but he learned to take the kicks and showed he can kick back. I strongly beloieve he will shine for us next year, he will shine!!!

  5. Anonymous

    No comment on the game as our highlights have still not been shown.

    I just want to return to the Torres non-story. Clearly it’s just a ploy by his agent to get a few more quid out of Liverpool. I hope it’s just paper-talk, but I can’t understand why we’d entertain letting Studge go. He’s not had anywhere near a proper chance to establish himself and he’s being hawked around as part of a move. There are far more ‘established’ players in the squad that would surely be worth more as part of a deal, and still not be missed.

    One of them scored today.

    • Jon

      Agreed that we can’t let Studge go. Although he has not “shined” in the few limited cameo’s he’s been given, he is clearly a good player (no worse then Kalou) and he’s English. Seeing as we already struggle to fill our 8 english/ HG player slots as per league rules (both Terry, Lamps and Ash are 30+) it seems stupid to let him leave.

      Josh will for sure take on those places in the future and we should keep Turnbull, but for how many more season will we have our core trio of Ash, JT and Lamps playing for us??

  6. Anonymous

    Probably a good idea to avoid tomorrow morning’s papers.

    Either Torres is a done deal or it’s off.
    We want him on the cheap or for £40m + Anelka or for £50m
    Roman is now willing to spend £100m in one day or may call off the transfers if the prices are too high.
    We also want James McCarthy from Wigan and Bolton want Studge.

    So basically, no-one knows anything. Absolute bullshit.

  7. Anonymous

    I think Liverpool were keen on the deal up until we offered Sturridge.

    Would you take £40m plus a sack of potatoes or £50m?

  8. Anonymous

    This is the club that bought Joe Cole.

    Let’s offer them £15m plus Winston Bogarde and Sheva. And SWP.

  9. Anonymous

    Oh dear, another worrying example of our inability to play tolerably well for both halves of one game. Can’t decide if I’m pleased that we at least showed enough fight to claw our way back to a barely deserved draw or irritated that we’ve clogged up another mid-week with an extra game we don’t seem to have the stamina to cope with currently.

    I remain sceptical about taking the risk of spending mega bucks on Torres only to find ourselves saddled with his injury-prone years but at least I’m cheered by my favourite column in The Observer, “Said and Done”, providing a tentative first entry in a rival to “Drogba: The Story So Far” with this gem from Torres on January 9th [yes, just a whole 3 weeks ago]:

    “My head is only with Liverpool, I have not considered leaving: I am professional and always fulfil my deals. Now more than ever , we need to stick together”

  10. Benjami

    I do feel sorry for Torres. He made a mistake in the summer by not leaving, and the above quote was also out of place. He should have just said nothing, and now looks silly.

    Convinced to stay, Liverpool collapse, in court over legal procedings, employ Roy (great manager, but not suited to the fanbase, given time would have got them to top 8), and now employ some manager who (I am young enough to have never known as a Liverpool manager) as far as I am aware was last sacked as manager of Newcastle (lol).

    If I was in his position right now I would also be pushing to leave.

    This is the biggest contract he will get of his career right now, if he leaves he gets more money. How many of us would stay in our current jobs, given the choice of increase our salary by 60/80%?

    You also want to look back on your career and see medals, he will get nothing at Liverpool who are rapidly in decline. We may also be in decline but we are still at least the current Premiership Champions and FA Cup holders. If RA spends wisely and we keep CA or get Pepe (Spanish!!) at the end of the season then there is nothing to stop us kicking off into a new 4/5 year cycle of winning ways.

    Unlike Liverpool who have just wasted £23m on a striker valued at £12m a few weeks ago, an ageing Captain and a Spanish GK who may also leave in the summer.

    Where can he go as well? Personally I think we waited to make this offer until Real Madrid had sorted out their striker situation. Additionally the fact it was Man City who gave them Adebayor, meant that exchange between Liverpool and CIty cannot happen. And City bought Dzeko. Win win for us.

    With Madrid and Barcelona almost certainly out the question, Italy still recovering from the scandals of a few years ago, Germany (aka Bayern) growing in strength but probably not good enough yet to challenge for Champs League. Leaves the Premiership and leaves us or Man Utd.

    He could go to Man Utd still in the summer, lets not kid ourselves. The rivalry between those two clubs is not as big as others in the game. Figo switched between Barce and Madrid.

    I think £40m + Sturridge is a good deal for them. £17m profit on Torres, and a player who is OK to play upfront for a top 8 side whilst they sort themselves out.

    We get a strike force of Drogba/Anelka/Torres and can look for 1/2 young signings in the summer to bolster it for the future.

    • Cunningplan

      I certainly think you provide some interesting points with regard Torres, and without sounding all conspiracy theorist.
      I’m beggining to think all this posturing by Liverpool with regard any possible transfer to us, is an attempt to make the Liverpool owners look a lot better to the fans if they let him go.

      Anyway can’t wait for this part of the silly season to firmly shut.

  11. Ososdeoro

    Ben – being fired from Newcastle is actually a sign that you know what you’re doing. I am thinking the Torres deal will happen given Sturridge’s absence yesterday. But if it doesn’t happen, can we see more of Daniel, Carlo???

  12. Ringo

    Still not sure Anelka’s pass was meant for Kalou.Not that it matters.
    Looks like the real Essien is back.
    He’s wearing the No.7 shirt.

  13. Ringo

    Didn’t know Jon Harley was playing for Notts Co.
    When he broke into the first team around the same time as JT I remember thinking he looked the better player.
    Wonder how that worked out.

    Reading at home? That’ll do nicely.
    The three-peat is on.

  14. Ringo

    Good ol Fulham!
    If by some freak of nature/act of god we don’t three-peat ,I’d love to see them win it.

    Micah Richards. Anyone?

    And remember. A Beatles box-set is for life.

  15. bluebayou

    Thanks for the report BIMV. I thought Malouda did OK first half and struggled when we allowed Everton to pin us back. He seems to flourish best when playing high up the pitch.

    Don’t know what to make of the Torres malarky. But it’s an interesting reflection of the ongoing lopsidedness of how we all view labour relations in this fair land that it is deemed appalling for an operative to request to leave because the promises made at the time of contract have not been fulfilled but no-one seems bothered that a useful, successful and settled operative (Anelka) can be shipped out not because he’s playing poorly (well no worse than the rest currently) but as a makewieght in a deal.

    • Der_Kaiser

      The player plus cash thing is always a bit strange; aside of the fact it actually happens quite rarely – often trailed in the gossip columns but I can’t think of that many notable deals which have been structured in such a manner – I suppose it is really just the life of a footballer. Agent calls and says “You’re off to XYZ…” and that’s about it – they aren’t compelled to sign, of course, but I suspect that Nic is smart enough to realise that it’s time to go (should he really be part of the deal).

      Interesting that the two clubs that appear to be most aggressively pursuing deals today are us and Spurs – nervous about that 4th place spot?

      And on the Spurs note, to reiterate a point previously made – where is the money coming from? £40m odd for Aguero? All very strange.

  16. PeteW

    Did Spurs really make a bid or are Atletico trying to stoke up our interest? A lot of people have asked why we’ve moved so late on Torres, but it’s been smart timing – City have Dzeko and Real have Adeboyer, giving Torres only one real option.

    After all the speculation, it would be a crashing disappointment if we signed NOBODY today, but I have the bipolar feeling that will be the case. (The other half of my brain says we’ll sign Luiz, Payet and Torres and suddenly our ageing squad in drastic need of rebuilding would actually look pretty damn impressive.)

    RE: cash and player deals – I recall only two: Cole for Gallas and £5m (which now looks like a splendid bit of business, even if it did probably cost us a title) and Le Saux for Livingston and £650k (which may go down as one of Chelsea’s worst ever transfers, amid some very stiff competition).

    Liverpool fans not covering themselves with glory over this Torres sale. I’m not as viruntly anti-Liverpool as many on here but their comments about our beloved club this weekend have tested my infamous good nature, and part of me thinks the whole thing has been worth it just to watch them flap.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Always a possibility re Aguero; does seem like Spurs are keen to lob money at a striker though – Keane out on loan and the rest looking rather abject at present.

      If (and it’s a big if) all the possibles do come off, then it will be mighty impressive and even if it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference to this campaign then we’ll look pretty tidy next season.

      Re Liverpool – the animosity seemed to have died down post Jose, Rafa and all those CL meetings. If Torres does pitch up here, it’ll stoke things up again rather nicely. And yes, whilst I’m 50/50 on the guy coming here for such serious cash, it’ll almost be worth it to see the clouds of acrid smoke rising above the L1 postal district as Fernando shirts are angrily burned by the chippy local masses.

  17. PeteW

    What I think it does show (all the bids, true or otherwise) is how little rebuilding we really need. A centre/right back, a wide right player and a striker would set us up nicely for a couple of years.We don’t have to spend 80m to do it, but Roman seems to want to.

    Been doing some work involving the super-rich lately and what’s clear is that through 2009/10 they mainly held on to their money even though they were personally barely touched by the recession. Now the worst is over, spending is going to explode in art, property and their other interests. These people like spending money. They don’t want a bargain, they want the best, whether it’s a blue period Picasso, a penthouse in Knightsbridge, or a No 9 from Liverpool. Most of us struggle to accept that psychology (especially us guilt-ridden Catholics).

    Back on rebuilding, I’ve been following the comments liverpool fans this week and they’ve been talking about players they’d like to get in exchange for Torres – names so far include: Drogba, Anelka, Ivanovic, Torres, Zhirkov, Essien, McEachran, Sturridge and Kakuta. Been trying to think of the players we might realistically want off them and can’t think beyond Torres. Think that shows exactly why he wants to leave.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Yes, squad just needs a little tweaking, mainly in the areas where no youngster is coming through (striker being most notable) but nothing major. Would have preferred a little more of a even-handed approach over the last couple of years, but Roman certainly fits into the bracket that you mention – i.e. get me the best and hang the price.

      It is something that the super-rich have always been able to do; all the talk of how Roman’s wealth had ‘plummeted’ in recent years is largely guff – the value of his assets and holdings might have, but that really only makes a difference if you’re selling up. Sit on them, ride out the storm and wait for the ‘recovery’ and for the most part you’ll be OK.

  18. Anonymous

    Hello. My names Fiftee and here’s your usual dose of my pessimIsm.

    We won’t sign anyone today.

    It’s not that I don’t think we need to (my God, we really need to) but, like the Benfica / Luiz deal, Liverpool will keep asking for more. I think Torres would be an amazing acquisition. £50m is a he’ll if a lot, but he’s got at least 5 years at the very top if we keep him fit, that’s a cost of just £10m a season. Get Studge out on loan and then perhaps listen to offers for the Drog in the summer. Anelka and Torres would do more damage than Drogs and Torres. But any combination of the two is enough to scare half the division before kick-off.

    And why are we being linked to Poyet? What is Brightons manager going to do for us?

  19. bluebayou

    In some ways it’s surprising that there aren’t more cash plus player deals around, although for practical reasons it’s more likely to work between PL clubs rather than with clubs in other countries.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see it increase with clubs supposedly trying to “balance” the books so that exchanging an asset is more attractive than hard cash.

  20. Anonymous

    Liverpool are trying to sign Andy Carroll for £30m with the funds from Torres.

    Should we forget Torres and go for Carrol instead?

  21. Cunningplan

    The cynic in me thinks this Torres deal has been agreed a while ago, Kakuta to Fulham, now talk of Sturridge to Bolton on loan.
    As I mentioned before it’s all a game to make the new owners at Poo look like the victims from big bad old Roman.

  22. bluebayou

    “Newcastle reject Carroll bid of 30m from Liverpool. Ireland to complete loan from Villa this afternoon.”

    You have to admire how the BBC manage to stay across football and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe at the same time

    • Anonymous

      Although manager Alan Pardew was due to hold his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Fulham at the club’s training headquarters at 1400 GMT. This has now been put back to 1530 GMT and will take place at St James’ Park.

      The plot thickens.

      Has anyone seen Torres down South?

  23. Austin Solari

    Of course, the sweet thing if the Torres/Anelka exchange goes through is next Sunday. Ferdy in blue and Nicky in red (again). Who cheers for whom??

  24. bluebayou

    A Torres Free post

    10 Reasons Why the FA Cup Draw has been kind to Spurs

    1. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game that’s one less Gooner that can go.

    2. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and it’s another chance to abuse your North London Rivals

    3. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and there’s a slim chance you might laugh your arse off as the O’s manage to win

    4. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and get a feel for what it might be like to be an East End club

    5. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and get a feel for what it might be like to watch the only team left in North London (Barnet is not really London) when you play them

    6. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and you get a feel for journeying in a Stratfordly direction

    7. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game high up in the stands and you might get a view of yer new ground

    8. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and take a look at the club you’ll wipe out when you move to Stratford

    9. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and take a look at the club who used to get 44,000 before they left their spiritual home, Clapton and moved East

    10. Buy a ticket for the Orient v Arsenal game and give yourself time to go and look at the fabulous Eurostar Engineering Depot, just down the road.

    http://steven-northcott.fotopic.net/p40283113.html

    • Anonymous

      Good stuff, but it brings back bad, if now vague memories, of 1978 when I trudged all the way back from Nottingham on the day to see our FA Cup 5th round replay against Orient and wished I hadn’t bothered [1-2, to save younger bloggers having to look it up].

      So, when should we expect to hear about Citeh’s massive gazumping bid for T*****?

  25. bluebayou

    Timed at 12.19 on the Guardian website

    “And this just in: Ian Dennis on Five live says that Torres has been sold to Chelsea. It may be just a rumour. He also might just have the goods ahead of everyone else. But there it is anyway. “

  26. FanSinceTheSixties

    Best part of the match was that we fought back from one down, but Everton made it easier for us by continuing to push forward. When teams sit back after taking the lead, we leave ourselves open far too often.

    Agree with Ramires as MOTM.

    If poo have got Suarez then surely FT’s on the move but why didn’t we just go for Suarez at £24m?

    Still not sure about FT.

    He’s almost 27 and seems injury prone, on his day he’s great, but even if he stays fit, would he gel with us? Given Carlo’s reluctance to make too many changes, it’s difficult to see what we would do if Torres came and didn’t click straight away.

    Anyway, just a few more hours to go and we’ll know if and who and when or not.

  27. Cunningplan

    Well I’ve come down off the fence as it’s giving my backside splinters, lets bloody sign him now and be done with it.
    We can view the fee as follows,£35 million for the player, £15 million to piss off the scouse fans.

  28. Anonymous

    Frank Leboeuf complained in the programme that he was embarrassed for his kids that the fans were singing

    “He’s here, he’s there, he’s every f&*^$ing where Frank Leboeuf, Frank Leboeuf”

    so the fans duly obliged by re-writing it to

    “He’s here, he’s there, we’re not allowed to swear Frank Leboeuf, Frank Leboeuf”

    So hopefully someone’s start re-writing the Torres song.

  29. bluebayou

    The burnt bits of my lunchtime toast have formed into a face.

    Blimey it’s Fernando Torres.

    Pity, I was hoping it was Jesus.

      • bluebayou

        No, but I inhabit the same house as someone who is………..(that sounds a bit like the “I only read playboy for the articles” kind of excuse)

        • Anonymous

          You might at least have pretended it was research for your forthcoming thesis on Post-modernist Irony in 21st Century Media or Sue Sylvester as Feminist Icon 😉

    • Der_Kaiser

      That has made me wonder what happened to those great 70’s-80’s banners that said ‘Jesus Saves – but [insert name of star striker] puts away the rebound’…?

      • bluebayou

        People like Melanie Philips and Tony Blair would say it is one of the many regretable consequences of the advancing secularisation of society.

        Others might say that maybe some of the humour has gone out of football.

  30. bluebayou

    From the Guardian

    “Sky’s man outside Chelsea’s training ground has just reported that Nicolas Anelka arrived for training this morning in a car, but has little else of interest to report. ”

    Surely it would only be of interest if Anelka had walked to training or taken a bus? I assume all players arrive in a car because being rich they would be able to afford the tube but it doesn’t go out that far.

    Just seen a figure of 175K quoted as FT’s weekly remuneration if/when he moves. If that were true, how many clauses does that trigger in current Chelsea contracts?

  31. Anonymous

    I can’t believe I’m actually following this — http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jan/31/transfer-window-deadline-day-live

    Though to be fair they do it well.

    If we pay the sums being mentioned for Torres, the ‘Poo lot will be entitled to laugh at us at least as much as we’ll be laughing at them. Both sides will be able to claim victory.

    However if you go to the above link and scroll down to 10:25 am you’ll get the sense that their laughter will be face-saving and hollow, whereas ours will be genuinely full of the spiteful glee we footy fans live to indulge.

    Pete’s comments above about the reactions in the ‘Poo forums are interesting. I imagine it’s quite hard for them to get their head around it — they seem so convinced that ‘Poo is just a “better” club, and that the “no history” thing actually matters, and that the fact that they were very good in the 70s and 80s has some bearing on the state of things today. Must be very confusing for them to lose a player (perhaps) to Chelsea.

  32. bluebayou

    From the Guardian

    “Outside Chelsea’s training ground, Craig Slater says “a reliable Sky source” has told him that Fernando Toirres will be arriving at Cobham in a helicopter in ther next 30 minutes.”

    Clive, I’d be getting cheesed off that the bloke who’s supposed to be putting up my dish is on the bleedin’ phone all the time.

    (Mind you are you allowed to have something as “downright common” as a satellite dish visible on your gaff in Cobham? Better get on to Planning)

  33. Austin Solari

    Just found this on a Poo website …………

    “Fernando Torres’ transfer to Chelsea is in the balance as John Terry can’t agree personal terms with Torres’ wife!”

  34. Anonymous

    How many times has Torres played centre-back?

    I only ask because before this all took off on Friday, we’d spent all of January pursuing a defender, with some of us suggesting a midfielder of sorts would also be of benefit.

    I’m not complaining, if it comes off it’ll be fantastic, but the need for a new centre-forward seems to have come from nowhere. And he can only really play down the middle, not drift out to the flanks ala Anelka. Unless we’re still in the hunt for Luiz as well.

    I do find it a bit laughable that one of the reasons for Torres moving is to win things. Not sure I can us lifting anybpots this season….

    • Anonymous

      Indeed. A point emphasised by Carlo several times at televised pre-match press conferences recently when he said that we didn’t need any more strikers given our current squad. That’s the trouble with trying to keep up with the latest thoughts of a whimsically-driven autocratic owner.

      @BB – not sure Casiraghi belongs in that list of “Bad Ideas from the Start”, unless you mean it as a reminder of the constant possibility of a career-ending injury within a few weeks of joining us?

      • bluebayou

        Yes I was merely pointing out that the fickle finger of fate has tended to poke us in the eye rather than tickle us gently in the ribs as they all seemed a good idea at the time, possibly with the exception of Sheva. Certainly Casiraghi was blamelss.

        The irony in all this blather is that the meeja will slag us if we buy and slag us if we don’t complete the deal.

        Mind you if Fernando stays it will be good for jobs in the area as there’ll be plenty of work mending fences

  35. Anonymous

    Seems like Carroll is going to Liverpool.

    It would be tempting to pull out of the Torres deal after Carroll has signed.

    • Anonymous

      It’s probably contingent on the Torres deal going through. So they wouldn’t be stuck with both, but it would be funny either way.

  36. Anonymous

    I’m Back.

    Not much to say about the Everton game.

    But this Torres thing… I thought it was never going to happen. I think Bluebayou has it right- we have had miserable form in buying strikers. So I’m worried. But I’m quietly excited.

    I’m particularly excited to have a Spanish striker on the team. So I hope this all works out. If it does, I’m definitely buying my Torres shirt this season.

  37. bluebayou

    We may not have much history when compared to Liverpool, but the little we do have is completely ignored by eejits like this wit on the Guardian (you would thought they might have paused before posting it…..).

    Chelsea and helicopters is not really comedy material is it?

    “Robert Marriott points out: “Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on helicopters. But if Torres has been up in the air for the past three and a half hours, isn’t he in danger of running out of fuel? Please, everyone, keep an eye out for whirligigs plummeting to earth somewhere between Liverpool and London.” It’s like Day of the Dead. We’re going down Flyboy! Shrewsbury have signed David Davis on loan from Wolves.”

  38. bluebayou

    From the BBC

    “1642: At long last, I can give you an update on Fernando Torres’ switch to Chelsea. Well, an explanation on why it hasn’t progressed for the last few hours. BBC Sport understands that the delay with the deal is down to a hitch in negotiations about the mechanics of his Stamford Bridge contract, concerning image rights etc.”

    It looks like he’s insisting on the right to go back to a fake blonde mullet and we’re not having it.

    Just a thought but we had a squad of 25. Benayoun, Zhirkov and Alex are long term injured. Borini has disappeared, Kakuta and PVA are loaned, Sturridge likely to be leaving on loan which leaves 18 of which 3 are goalkeepers. So allowing for 2 goalkeepers and no more injuries we have a squad of 17 to carry the season until the injured return.

  39. Anonymous

    I thought we needed a defender.

    My wife went out shopping for bread and came back with a handbag instead.

    P.S. She knows the offside rule.

    • bluebayou

      Is it the same lot that chose to feature Sturridge on Player Profile on the Home Page when we are being told he’s going out on loan.

      If we believe one section of the media then Fernando is so wracked with injuries he needs help to get from his bed to the toilet. In which case we’re not leaving much time for a proper medical are we?

      Call me cautious but if I was chucking £50m and £175K a week at someone I’d want more than a cursory gaze at the tonsils and a quick cough and drop

  40. Anonymous

    Sticking by my post from 11.30. We’re nit signing anyone.

    On the club financials front, that story is good news (so I assume. Lots of long words and terminology I don’t understand. That’s accountants for you). Isn’t it the current financial year that we also include the new sponsorship deals, thereby making the announcement in 12 months time even more positive, or have I made that up and they’re part of that story?

  41. Blue_MIkel

    1728: Andy Carroll is now on his way to Liverpool’s Melwood training ground for a medical.
    1726: BREAKING NEWS: LIVERPOOL ANNOUNCE THEY HAVE AGREED A FEE FOR NEWCASTLE STRIKER ANDY CARROLL

    Does it mean that Torres almost deal done ?

    • bluebayou

      Spare a though for the big losers in this, Mr and Mrs Kevin Nolan who wont be getting any more rent for the spare bedroom.

  42. Cunningplan

    £35 million for that ectomorph from Newcastle, it’s official, football should now be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

  43. BlueToo

    £35m for Andy Carroll is insane. I like Carroll and think he’s got a big future, but £35m?! Madness. Talk of a £45m deal being in place for Torres. Torres is a proven world class striker, albeit a somewhat delicate world class striker. Is he worth £10m more than Carroll at this stage of their careers? Damn right he is.

  44. Anonymous

    Torres is flying down to us in a helicopter.

    Carroll is being driven to Anfield in a Ford Granada. I know its got a vinyl roof but how can Liverpool still claim to be a big club!

    • Cunningplan

      I think that by buying big tall players, lets them qualify for that status.

      I’ll get my donkey jacket.

    • Cunningplan

      Yes I gather there’s a market for them by certain gentlmen types, who knows Rooney may be tempted to spend some money on him. 😉

  45. Benjami

    Today is officially mental!

    I think £50m for Torres is too much, £30m should be the fee based on his injury record etc etc. But still I think he could potentially be a great buy. The Torres of two years was world class.

    Now to the madness, what are Liverpool thinking. £35m For Carroll and £8m/£14m for Adam, two players 12 months ago were in the Championship. Carroll only scored 17 goals in 39 appearances in the league last season.

    This is simply a mid table squad, if Suarez fails in the Premiership, if Riena leaves in the summer then, well lol 😀

    • Anonymous

      Will Citeh let us borrow the Star Trek transporter they used in 2008 to get Robinho to England in time to have a medical for this one?

        • Anonymous

          http://www.record.xl.pt/Futebol/Nacional/1a_liga/Benfica/interior.aspx?content_id=681952

          The Guardian says we got Luiz for £21m, plus Matic.

          (Poorly) Translated from Portuguese:
          Chelsea have secured this Monday the hiring of David Luiz Benfica by a grant of 25 million, according to Record found.

          The international defender for Brazil is on its way to London, where he will arrive tonight.

          It was also combined a match between Benfica and Chelsea at the Stadium of Light, with revenue pouring in full for the eagles.

          Brazilian defender leaves so the red on the last day of January transfer after Benfica had suspended negotiations with the blues lately.

          However Benfica guarantees the tender medium Serbian Matic, Chelsea, who arrives just in 2011/12.

          David Luiz will join Fernando Torres in the blues, which also was secured on Monday.

  46. Anonymous

    This just in from Sky Sports News:

    “Unconfirmed reports that Fernando Torres … IS … heading in a southerly direction.”

    Perhaps his sofa is north of his fridge.

    This is brilliantly insane. Though it does seem like we’ve got Luiz, as always seemed likely. Nando is fun but probably a crazed whim; Luiz seems like a genuinely good signing.

    Still, the whole youth policy thing didn’t last long eh? Must be pretty discouraging for the kids to see everyone shunted out on loan.

  47. Anonymous

    Martin Samuel on Torres if you haven’t read it:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1352037/MARTIN-SAMUEL-Fernando-Torres-fears-hes-running-time-Liverpool.html
    (apologies if this has already been posted)

    My take is that if there is anyone who can quell Torres’ petulance, it is Ancelotti. You can’t say his cast of characters at AC Milan were somehow in a different league of attitude.

    I’m also hoping that he provides different attacking options and a spark for the team. The strikers currently don’t seem to care who is scoring goals, as long as we are banging in loads of them. I know this could be a disaster, but the upside on this could be amazing. One can hope…

  48. Cunningplan

    Liverpool fans haven’t failed to conform to our expectations. Sky Sports News showing Torres shirt burning ceremonies.

  49. Anonymous

    While we understand Fernando Torres and David Luiz are both their his way to London for medicals at Chelsea

    • Anonymous

      ESPN is saying that Torres is still in Liverpool because Pool want to secure Carroll and Suarez before letting Torres go. Makes sense.

      I sure hope those are contingent deals though. It would be hilarious if the Torres deal fell through for us and Liverpool just spent £50m that they don’t have.

      • Anonymous

        LOL that would be great!!! I am still up for Torres, but that might be really funny. However, Andy Carrol is already done deal.

        1726: BREAKING NEWS: LIVERPOOL ANNOUNCE THEY HAVE AGREED A FEE FOR NEWCASTLE STRIKER ANDY CARROLL

  50. Benjami

    It’s not done yet Blue_Mikel. Both Suarez and Carrol are yet to sign on the dotted line. I am still a bit worried that Suarez backs out of it and all the deals fall apart.

    Suarez must be feeling at least a little bit let down, I am sure part of the reason he said yes to Liverpool was to play along side Torres ;/

  51. Anonymous

    Rumours that Luiz deal is stalled by Benfica.

    Utter Cunts, suffering from Advanced Deluded Liverpoolitis, a condition where you firmly believe you still count as a big club.

  52. GrocerJack

    Harry Redknapp had to go to Spain to get mugged, Kenny Dalglish just sat at home and phoned Mike Ashley.

  53. Anonymous

    Well, two thoughts to set against the obvious craziness of all this —

    1) we definitely haven’t got worse. Knacked or not, the girlie is a fabulous player, and now one of him Drogs Anelka and Malouda will be omitted from every game, which can only be good;

    2) we haven’t had to give up anyone except poor Matic, who obviously did something very very wrong this past summer. No other makeweights. Our youngsters will be depressed as hell and thinking “Franco Di Santo” but at least they’re all still technically ours.

  54. bluebayou

    As the door has now closed and we still have no official word it is time to utter those immortal words…

    No FT. No Comment.

    Goodnight

  55. bluebayou

    But soft what light through yonder window breaks…….

    http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2281499,00.html

    Well well.

    With Suarez and Carroll is KK reverting to the old SAS of his Blackburn days? Plenty of long diagonal balls methinks. (I assume they’ll spot them in the medical)

    No word on Luiz yet….

  56. Anonymous

    Jim White on SSN to Ian Bolton outside Stamfird Bridge :

    “Does this post notice that Chelsea under Ancelotti, driven by Abramovich, are going for the title?”

    No you fuckwit. We’re spending £70m+ to fight oir forth. Utter Cuntery at it’s best.

    So I was wrong and we signed two players. Well done all involved. I particularly like Torres’ Chelsea TV interview. His time at Anfield obviously was spent mainly learning the cliche ‘at the end of the day’ which he must have used at the start of every sentence.

  57. Anonymous

    Who ever doubted Roman. Torres and Luiz in one day! Chelsea are well and truly back!

    What was it that Joe Cole said: “I’ve come to Liverpool to win trophies and create history.” How’s that going Joe? Torres has just said that he’s now joined a bigger club!

  58. Ososdeoro

    I think Poo and Chelsea are both winners today. Poo is set at striker for a decade it looks like. We have a real shot at the title this season.

  59. Anonymous

    The interview with Torres on Chelsea TV was worth a million quid alone.

    Torres stated it was time in his career to move to a big club! He’d better keep his head down next time he goes to Liverpool.

    Although we’re big enough for Torres and Luiz clearly we’re not big enough for Pienaar.

  60. Cunningplan

    I’m sure our brave fire fighters in Liverpool must have had a busy night last night, and I’m going to spend most of the day trolling, err I mean trawling Poo blogs. If I see any gems I shall report back in due course, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

  61. Austin Solari

    Oh my, don’t you just love this statement???

    “I felt from last summer that I need to do a step forward in my career and for my ambition as a footballer. I am joining a team that is at the top level, there is not another level after Chelsea. I am joining with players like Chelsea have. I am joining with big names like Terry, Lampard, Drogba and Anelka and I can be part of this great team”

    How must those scousers feel this morning??

  62. PeteW

    According to Twitter, many if them feel that a) Torres clearly looks unhappy in that interview and knows he has made a mistake; b) is giving a generic interview for generic fans in front of plastic flags, which he’d better get used to (they are OBSESSED with plastic flags); c) not bothered because it’s like when Rush left and they signed Beardsley, Barnes and Aldridge. Must admit, I’d completely forgotten that they were languising in mid-table rather than League champions when those transfers happened, but who am I to correct them on history.

    Now we’ve signed Torres, does anybody know where we are going to play him?

    • Anonymous

      History LOL 🙂 The best thing these bunch of idiots could produce is to burn Torres shirt. Is Liverpool turning into HAMAS?

    • Der_Kaiser

      I thought we just bought him to parade past them on Sunday for sheer annoyance value.

      Bumped into Spurs supporting neighbour on way to work this morning. He was less keen to rib me over their acquisition of Pienaar today than he had been previously.

  63. Anonymous

    Have to say I am quite excited by these two signings. Obviously that will all disappear later on with the inevitable shite performance at Sunderland.

    Unlike with Shevchenko, I promise to give Torres a fighting chance by not including him in any fantasy league team and not getting a shirt with his name on it. (It was the only time I’ve ever got a shirt with a name on it and I now realise that in hindsight, it was as lucky as 37 gypsies curses).

  64. Cunningplan

    Yes I’ve noticed that they do seem preoccupied with the term plastic, and flags, but some of the excuses they seem to be spouting are quite funny. Although I have seen a few posts hoping he breaks his leg on his debut, and it ends his playing career, nice bunch these scousers I must say. Not seen any gems to copy and paste yet, but I’m going back in soon for another tour of duty.

    As far as were we play him, haven’t we always needed cover at right back. 😉

  65. ChrisE

    ….arrived at work this morning and the faces on The Gooners – never seen so many lemon faces in one office!

  66. Der_Kaiser

    The Newcastle fan in here is still wandering around muttering “£35 million… Carroll… £35 million…” with the occasional burst of manic laughter. Reminds me a bit of Herbert Lom as Dreyfuss in the Pink Panther films.

    The most bizarre day. Was just like 2003 as has been commented upon – one minute we were talking about trying to get Joey Gudjohnsen (see Pienaar) and the next we’re breaking transfer records. Would prefer it if Roman were a little more even-handed in his funding of transfer dealings, but no complaints.

    I would like to add a small caveat to my “no-one decent is available in January anyway” assertions. That’s unless you’re prepared to throw a small third world debt at the market, obviously.

    Rather looking forward to Sunday…

    • Anonymous

      Jings crivens, what a day. I think I was doing the Herbert Lom laugh at various points too.

      Should I assume that the lack of the cliched pen poised photo of Luiz next to Ron Gourlay/Bruce Buck means that the Beeb is wrong to be still reporting he “arrived at Chelsea’s training base on Monday evening to complete his medical” and that some virtual “cough and drop” was completed in Portugal because no one trusted Ryanair to get him here in time?

      Perhaps Ron Gourlay can give us another upbeat message today too on what “amortising transfer fees” will do to our operating loss for the next however many years. Or could we be getting all our mega-spend out of the way before the UEFA Fair Play rules kick in?

      Oh, and though the above doesn’t sound like it, I am pleased with both signings even if the Torres one is almost as much about all the Scouse outrage it has evoked.

      • Der_Kaiser

        You do have to wonder how extensive the medicals are when it comes down to the wire on deadline day.

        “Number of legs – 2, check…”

        At least that’s what presumably happened with Sheva – hoping we’ve learned our lesson on that front. Are they on sale or return / 30 day approval?

        • Anonymous

          I heard that one medical (not Chelsea and I can’t remember which one) was undertaken at the players local hospital.

          I might wander in to the local A&E this evening and say I’ve arrived for my medical and the deadline is 11pm. No doubt the dialogue will go

          Nursey : Are you dying?

          Me : No

          Nursey : Go and lie down on that mattress in the corridor and someone will see you later. Here’s your ticket. You’re 347 in the queue.

  67. bluebayou

    Right, enough of this, we have a game tonight, a game that has to be won.

    So no more euphoria, just lots of nervous worrying, hopeful pleading and deperate imploring.

    In other words back to normal.

  68. Cunningplan

    I wonder if Torres will be on the bench tonight, I should imagine with our two recent loan deals, we would be rather short on attacking options if he wasn’t.

    • Anonymous

      You mean you’re not excited at the prospect of Kalou confounding his critics for two games in a row 😉

      Meanwhile, amidst all the flurry of Transfer Deadline Day Madness it seems that our fixture congestion is possibly even worse than I thought. According to this link from Reading’s website our 4th Round FA Cup replay looks like not happening till 5th Round weekend, with a consequent need, if we win, to squeeze in the Reading game as the serious end of the CL approaches:

      http://www.readingfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10306~2280196,00.html

      Our website is still just saying “tbc” on our fixture list. A bit like yesterday when confirmation of Torres and Luiz was on the ‘Poo and Benfica websites long before they were on ours.

    • bluebayou

      I believe both our new signings are inelligible for tonight, giving them 4 or 5 days to pick up injuries in training before Sunday.

      One wonders if FT will play Sunday. Perhaps there’s been some sort of agreement to avoid general nastiness?

      • Der_Kaiser

        Probably a good argument for leaving him out; be enough needle as it is and we all know what ‘honest’ Stevie G is like for a two-footed tackle when he’s got the hump.

        Wonder what he thinks about it all – i.e. could have done it 4 years ago and had some more medals in my collection…

        • Anonymous

          I was thinking similarly about the risks to Torres’ limbs if he plays on Sunday from “he’s not that kind of lad”.

          It’s a shame Real Madrid’s game this weekend is also on Sunday or we could just have invited TSO back as half-time guest to wind up the Scousers a bit more.

  69. FanSinceTheSixties

    Watched the whole thing unfold on SSN last night (with plenty of flicking around though), riveting stuff.

    Not sure about the business puberty, but wtf – if Roman wants to spend it, then…

  70. Anonymous

    I think he’ll be playing. I read another interview this morning (I think on the official site) where he was a bit more complimentary about his time up there, but he finished off along the lines of he’s a Chelsea player now and wants to score against them on Sunday.

    We pretty much need to win all our games from now on and so we’ll need our best players.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Aye, agreed. Might be from the bench but one way or another, it’s going to be a lively affair.

      I shall be on match report duties. Must remember to moderate pre-match drinking to just below ‘epic’ level.

  71. Cunningplan

    There may be organisations to prevent cruelty to children and animals, but you name me an organisation that affords the same protection to scousers?

  72. Ringo

    Does the fee include the rights to his song?
    And what’s he going to do about the tat?

    Am I the only one who will have a hard time cheering for him after wishing him ill for the last few years?
    And I have absolutely no idea about the other one.
    Never seen him play,and if it weren’t for the dodgy barnet I wouldn’t be able to pick him out in a lineup.

    • Anonymous

      Hard time cheering for him? God no. I hope he turns it on like gangbusters from the get go.

      I’m really hoping he’s been slaying the Liverpool back 4 in training, and he’s licking his lips to get at them in a real game.

  73. Anonymous

    Returning to matters medical it seems we definitely won’t get a chance to compare who spent their money most wisely on Sunday as Carroll, who hasn’t actually kicked a ball since December 27th and was due to see a tendon repair specialist, is still weeks away from being fit enough to give the Scousers something to cheer about:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/liverpool/9383908.stm

    I particularly appreciate King Kenny’s dour Scottish understatement – ” he’s got a bit of a knock, and is probably a few weeks away”

    • Cunningplan

      If I recall Liverpool bought the midfielder Aquillani a while back when he was injured, and he’s currently out on loan I think.
      They seem to have a bit of form buying crocked players, long may it continue.

    • bluebayou

      Yes indeed.

      The thought of a young, lamb faced Nando facing the seething mass of Scouser away fans hell bent on tearing him limb from limb and beating the stewards with the soggy ends, while a wild eyed unshaven Andy Carroll, kept in a darkened basement at Kevin Nolan’s Aunt’s house in Liverpool, fed on only raw meat and poked regularly with a sharp stick is simultaneously unleashed on our lovely boys like a Viking beserker on a monastary of Celtic monks was enough to give one an attack of the vapours.

      Praise be that fate has intervened.

  74. John

    Like others with a tendency towards bipolarity, I’m slightly fearful about Sunday. Looking forward to what the new announcer says though, as so far he’s been as good as that complete cock Barnett is bad. I liked his understated irony at half time against Ipswich….”next game is at home to Blackburn Rovers, on Saturday ko 3 pm….that’ll never catch on”.

  75. Anonymous

    As I understand it, both Torres and Luiz were signed too late to play tonight. But Sturridge is available for Bolton.

    So we’re £72m-odd lighter, and a player worse off tonight. Someones had a brain-wrong with that one, particularly as we were so far second best against them at the Bridge it was shameful. We’re guaranteed to struggle up top tonight.

    Still, at least Fernando has all that dynamic creativity from midfield to feed off come Sunday. Doesn’t he?

    • Cunningplan

      A bit unfair there Fiftee, just think of the recent one on ones Drogs and Anelka have had in the past few games, and due to poor finishing, failed to convert. There’s is one thing you can say with regard Torres, he rarely misses chances like that.

  76. Anonymous

    Blinding start. Absolutely amazing stuff.

    Mersin described Bardsley strolling past Mikel. Why him and not the infinitely preferrable Ramires?

  77. bluebayou

    Anelka – superb. Thank God the rumours of him going to Liverpool weren’t true.

    A bit too hairy at times but at least there was some pace and tempo.

    Some of the old fizz from the Blues

    Some of the same old shite refereeing from Halsey. How was that a free kick?

    Good game to watch

  78. Anonymous

    What a performance.

    The first half was hectic with some good football but Carlo’s decision to switch to a diamond in the second half was inspired. Lamps came alive and Nico as a #10 was a revelation. The football on show was blistering at times and if anyone was doubting why we signed Torres, just imagine him in that diamond!

    Oh and Kalou…who knew you could play like that. Crossing is still moronic but your combination play with Nico was amazing.

    As for Didier though…I’d be worried. Torres is a starter and Nico and Kalou completely outplayed you. Wake up or you’re out.

  79. bluebayou

    No doubt tonight’s performance could be seen as players playing for their places but I think it’s more subtle than that. Various reports indicate that there was alot of excitement in the Chelsea camp. It’s been a hard season with the squad reduced by injuries and then the Wilkins business, which did seem to affect the team.

    Perhaps there was a feeling that the team was under pressure and RA wasn’t helping.

    The recent purchases are perhaps seen as a vote of confidence and therefore a lift to the squad.

    I do wonder what it has done for people like Sturridge, PVA and Bruma but time is on their side.

  80. FanSinceTheSixties

    Great game.

    Who needs Torres? I guess we do.

    We played like Nov/Dec didn’t happen, much to be said for a kick up the old whatsit.

    Super duper.

    What a difference a multi-billionaire owner makes…

    [Might’ve been cheaper just to keep Ray though…]


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