More drama and another two points down the drain then. I’m bloody exhausted.
Terminally dull. Neither team showed much flair or passion. Oscar scored a header.
Daniel Sturridge tore us to shreds. So glad we got rid of him. Lazy, selfish… yawn… looked like Cristiano Ronaldo compared to Torres.
I didn’t see the build-up to yesterday’s game. I was at work. I have complete respect for the families that lost loved ones all those years ago at Hillsborough and have spent the years since fighting the FA, the media and successive governments for justice for those ordinary football supporters, like you and I, that were killed. Apparently Rafa Benitez shed a tear. I really don’t want to get into it. He isn’t a Chelsea FC manager, he doesn’t care about our club. We’re just a platform for him to get another job. The sooner the better hopefully. So the fact that he still identifies himself so strongly with Liverpool is not something that surprises me. Nor is it something I’m concerned with.
I just want the season to be over, to get Jose Mourinho back where he belongs and to somehow get into the top four. Not too much to ask, is it?
I don’t want to talk about refereeing, added time, biting, racism, court cases or the FA either. I’m tired of all that. Excuse after excuse for poor performances, decision making and management at the club. The bottom line is we aren’t good enough. We should’ve won yesterday in spite of any of those things. We didn’t. We weren’t good enough.
Weren’t good enough to create a single opportunity from open play, as far as I can remember.
Weren’t good enough to hold an undeserved lead against what was (for all their talk of history) essentially a mid-table side battling to finish above Everton and West Brom.
Weren’t good enough to not keep hoofing the ball back to Carragher and Agger like a League Two side praying for a replay in the Cup.
Benitez wasn’t good enough to recognise that Torres was an absolute embarrassment and offered nothing all afternoon, he wasn’t good enough not to substitute his best players.
So yes, we can distract ourselves with Suarez’s bite, the six minutes and 45 seconds added time, Sturridge’s red card tackle on Bertrand and all the other things that you can read about in the newspapers that annoyed me so much that I had to put off writing this report until today but having slept on it I realised what annoyed me most was the way we played. We can trot out all the same old stuff. Tiredness, weak squad, weak manager, no steel, no resilience and so on but the basic fact is this club and the people who are running it – coaches, directors, technical directors – are not getting it right. As far as I’m concerned the problems mostly stem from the owner and his yes-men who want to play fantasy football with real money. Buy all your favourite players and play them all at the same time even if the balance of the team is completely wrong and you have no top level football experience to base your ideas on and subsequently no coherent plan for what it is that you’re asking them to achieve tactically. Buy another washed-up striker and take three years and several managers to realise you were wrong, he’s just finished.
Most of our problems were quite apparent against City last week. None of us would salivate over the prospect of signing a James Milner or a Gareth Barry and I’m not suggesting that we should, what I’m trying to illustrate is that you need a few players in a team that can do the uninspiring jobs. It’s called balance. Blending different elements to make an effective squad. The players that don’t necessarily get fans off their seats but do seem to find their way into every manager’s strongest line-up. It’s not happening at Chelsea because the owner refuses to allow anyone who actually has a fucking clue to have a say. And that brings us to what happens next.
Will we get the greatest manager we’ve ever had back? The only man who can lay reasonable claim to being Sir Alex Ferguson’s equal? Because things would have to change for that to happen.
Does he want to come back? Yes, I reckon he would. It would appeal to his sense of theatre.
Do we want him back? I certainly do. Don’t you?
Do the board/owner want him back? Probably. Will they be big enough to admit that they’ve made huge mistakes and need input from someone who really understands managing a football team capable of achieving at the highest level? I really don’t know. I’m not sure if they know yet either. I really, really hope they put the club first this time though.
I apologise in advance if this hasn’t lived up to expectations as a “Match Report”, if you’re a masochist feel free to watch the game again and draw your own conclusions. You probably know as much or more than me anyway.
If you like a bit of soap opera and scandal check out the Monday morning rags’ reaction to Suarez.
If you’re fed up with refereeing mistakes best give up on the football altogether and give a sport that uses video replays a go instead.
If you are Roman Abramovich, get rid of Torres, Benayoun and Benitez and let a proper manager have a go and give him the players he wants and let him do his job.
The Guardian, Andy Hunter: “The only Luis Suarez bite that concerned Rafael Benítez at Anfield was the 97th‑minute equaliser that weakened Chelsea’s place in the top four. Branislav Ivanovic’s arm will recover from the Liverpool striker’s shocking act of savagery but the damage to Chelsea, and Benítez’s reputation, will be lasting should two dropped points on Merseyside ultimately derail their Champions League status.”
The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “It is difficult to see how Liverpool can continue to employ Luis Suarez after his latest assault on the fabric of the game, his latest trampling on the reputation of a world-renowned club. He held an opponent and then bit him. Such an outrageous offence would defy belief except Suarez has done it before. Enough is enough. Liverpool must consider selling him.”
The Independent, Ian Herbert: “The really dangerous part of all this is the Luis Suarez dependency around here. It was Graeme Souness who observed tonight that Liverpool are “not blessed with a lot of world class players at this time” and the game which kept Chelsea’s pursuit of a top four place in their own destiny, despite the concession of the late goal, bore that out.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues were denied consecutive away wins in the closing seconds of the game so remain fourth in the table.”