(with apologies to J. Keats)
Given that Genk is in the Limburg Province of Belgium, a region known until around the 14th century as Loon, the title is a fitting description of the rather hapless defensive performance from Chelsea’s opponents last night.
However in mitigation, it should be remembered that having been Juliper League Champions last season, they have seen players leave in the summer before suffering a rash of injuries to key personnel, particularly at the back. Sound familiar? Their manager is also new, their previous incumbent Franky Vercauteren, having headed to the Middle East. I remember Vercauteren playing back in the 80s when Belgium was still a good national side, with their top domestic teams providing decent opposition in club competition. Time and the skewed finances of European football have changed that. But it might be a comfort to the men of Flanders that in Philippe Gilbert, Belgium has the finest one day classics rider in world professional cycling (even though he’s a Walloon).
And what of the game, I hear you cry. Well having adulterated one of the best known lines from Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci, it should be said that there was little pity on display last night. Indeed taking the English homophone, there “wasn’t much mercy shown here” either. (See about 2:17 into this clip of the Goodies “Ecclesiastical Seven-a-Sides” sketch and the game between The Sisters of Mercy and the Greek Orthodox for that quote.)
The key to Chelsea’s performance last night was the tempo and commitment, which was maintained for 90 minutes. The quality of the opposition may have meant a relatively easy win, but there was no sign of players taking it easy or showboating. With the current rotation policy you might have expected a slow paced, disjointed performance with maybe one or two players showing a lack of enthusiasm because they are no longer a shoe-in on the team sheet. Well I saw little evidence of that, which says a lot for the team spirit and the effective management by AVB.
Meireles’s rifled effort was probably the pick of the goals, although the quality of Meireles’s cross and finish from Torres on his second goal was also impressive.
Speaking of Torres, he looked sharp and his form continues to improve, picking up where he left off before the red card. He certainly thrives on the sort of clever service provided by the likes of Meireles. Towards the end of the first half, there was a little change up over a couple of meters down the right side of the six yard area ending in a shot that was very much Torres.
The game was really all one way traffic. There were periods where Genk pressed hard and ensured we had little time on the ball but unfortunately for them, once it was worked to the final third, they were too porous. The swift transfer of the ball from back to front is a noticeable change this season and while against better defences more work may be needed, it really exposed Genk.
So of course we will be reminded not to read too much into the result. And we don’t. But I do take away the impression of a motivated professional outfit, getting the job done. I would also like to say that to their credit they didn’t subject a young, struggling team to any “keep ball”, “olé” style humiliation. Good to save that for when we’re five up against Barca.
I’m taking the three star system from the world of ice hockey.
- First Star – Fernando Torres. He scored two goals.
- Second Star – Jose Bosingwa. Little to do defensively but he really got into the game and continues to get back to the sort of player he used to be.
- Third Star – Oriel Romeu. Yes it was an armchair sort of night, but as with the League Cup game he looks well on the way to being a class act. He brings some real steel to the middle of the pitch.
Indeed no-one played badly so I’m sure you will have your views on who should be in the three stars.
Honourable mentions to “Eminem”, that’s Malouda and Meireles. (And if Mikel and Mata were playing, we’d have a midfield full of M’s. What are the chances of that?) Maybe Malouda’s playing for a contract but he was full of vim and vigour.
I was impressed by Luiz’s range of passing, though he’s still far too rash in the challenge for my taste.
And well done Kalou. Came on, got involved, got a goal. He just didn’t deserve the level of abuse he got over the Valencia debacle.
I’m not going to lay into Genk for the reasons stated earlier in the piece. I was looking forward to seeing De Bruyne, but apart from a couple of good whipped in crosses, it was not an evening where he could show much.
(I wasn’t there. Had a ticket. Couldn’t go. Won’t bore you with the details. Watched a stream.)
Was it me or did Fab Frankie seem the one player who was half a yard out of step? He didn’t play badly and I certainly didn’t sit down to watch his performance in particular, but it struck me that he didn’t seem as smooth as the others. Yes everyone gave the ball away or misplaced a pass, it was more just an impression. It was as though he was on the rivet while others had plenty in the tank. Maybe all that nonsense about him being finished has got in my head.
It’s just all going a little too smoothly at the moment, the Ramires injury aside. Man the poop deck and keep a lookout for icebergs! It’s getting to that time of year.
Of course off the pitch matters are a tad more fraught. The stats show a crowd of around 38,000 last night. I don’t know how true that is or whether the boycott had much effect. I understand the frustration with ticket prices but have concerns about that impacting on direct support for the team. Maybe buying less merchandise etc. would be a better way to protest. Then again the players are getting paid very well and should perhaps understand the limited influence the fan has on commercial matters, which would lead them to take such action.
And of course the “limited influence” goes to the heart of the CPO debate, which rumbles on.
I read this recently which goes to the nub of what people believe about being a fan of a team or club. Obviously it was written for the North American sports market, but the debate still applies. Not to be taken too seriously, but at a point where we’re debating what is the club and our relationship to it, this throws in a firecracker or two.
You can also look at the same journalist’s take on last weekend’s game. Be careful though, some of his views may be a little astringent for our taste. But well worth a read anyway.
The press reports
The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “The Champions League is not supposed to serve up mismatches as resounding as this. Chelsea juggled their first-team options and still strolled to their biggest ever home win in this competition, hardly breaking into a sweat in the process. Life among Europe’s elite is not normally this comfortable.”
The Independent, Sam Wallace: “They wore a fuchsia-coloured kit, their manager was called Mr Been and they capitulated to give Chelsea their biggest-ever home win in Champions League football: if only all Andre Villas-Boas’ European opponents were as easy to roll over as hapless Genk.”
The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Chelsea fans turned up but the opposition didn’t. For all the talk of a boycott over ticket prices, the Bridge was practically full to see Chelsea record their biggest home win in the Champions League, destroying Belgian visitors who resembled not so much minnows as plankton. The plaudits will be shared by Fernando Torres, who scored twice and looked his old, swaggering predatory self, and Raul Meireles, whose exceptional creative performance was rewarded with a goal, but another of Andre Villas-Boas’ players also caught the eye. Oriol Romeu looked a real force in central midfield, breaking up Genk’s few attacks. He can tackle and pass, another star from the fabled Barcelona production line.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “An impressive, ruthless performance from Chelsea saw us consolidate our position at the top of Group E, and register our best ever win in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge. Two goals in the opening 10 minutes, from Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres set the tone for what was to come, and some devastating finishing, particularly in the first half, made it as comfortable an evening as Andre Villas-Boas is likely to enjoy all season. Torres netted again and Branislav Ivanovic and substitute Salomon Kalou also made the scoresheet.”
8′ Meireles 1-0; 11′ Torres 2-0; 27′ Torres 3-0; 42′ Ivanovic 4-0; 72′ Kalou 5-0
I should point out that there is no mention of the referee and that was deliberate. To put this in the report when we’ve won 5-0 might seem churlish. However I’ll quietly mention here that there were 2 very good shouts for a pelanty (as Chris Waddle calls them). On one of them it looked like Lampard was fouled by 2 different players in quick succession.
The extarordinary refusal to cough even one spot kick goes on. (Puts on tinfoil hat, retires to understairs cupboard, comes back out gets flask and sandwiches, goes back in. And there’s no ham in the sandwiches as I haven’t got a decent ham stand at the moment.)
Still, best save them for when we’re losing to Barca….(the pelanties that is, not the sandwiches)
I was about to mention that you forgot the appeals, Ashley and Frank’s.
I’m just wondering do our lads have to wear whites and scream, HOWZAT! for about 30 secs for the fourth umpire to be involved.
Great review precisely depicting what happened there. Thanks BB! I personally had only one problem with the game. We were sitting on Matthew Harding Upper and were expecting more goals in the second half, when Genk switched sides, however there was only one goal in the second half 🙁 Apart from that great game and valuable three points. Regarding lampard I don’t know, if he is finished, I personally thought that AVB wants to keep him fresh for QPR encounter.
Good stuff BB. Think you hit the nail on the head in saying that the most impressive thing about the performance was the level of commitment and professionalism on display. Last season this might have been a disjointed 2-1 affair as it was at home to Zilina 11 months ago when we we got out of jail 5 minutes from the end. Goes to show what a transformation AVB has made with Ivan and Ramires both on record this week saying that the squad is much happier than it was last year.
Lamps might have been playing in a different way last night as it was Meireles who was getting forward more so his intention might have been to play further back (at least I hope so – he hasn’t played as well in the past two games as he did at Bolton).
Wasn’t it Meireles who crossed for Fernando’s second?
Pass me the pointy hat with the D on it please. (Nick cough err cough any chance of an edit cough?)
Of course you’re right. I should have consulted my notes. It was a bit rushed but no excuses.
I’m leaving him JB as 2nd star just for his overall contribution really. Though Meireles was good last night.
Nice one BB, summed up perfectly. I too thought a PELANTY should have been given for the tackle on frank, but it seems our past still echoes around Referee Mews.
Good stuff Bluebayou.
I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. Not happy with the Genk fans making abrupt noises. At 4-0 I was trying to catch up on some sleep.
Well, after 4:0 away fans were the only amusement around there.
A rare trip to the Bridge these days for me last night to celebrate my son’s 7th birthday. We were sat at the back of the West Upper and so it was hard for me to see regarding the 2 shouts for the penalties.
Overall I thought we looked pretty decent. I tend to agree with BB that Lampard didn’t look as good as the rest to me. There were lots of misplaced passes and some which were just to no one!. As others have probably said it may be best if he performs a Scholes/Giggs type role for us from now on.
I was absent from The Bridge last night, not as part of any half-cock protest v. ticket prices, but due to a prior commitment to some culture elsewhere.
Skipping through my recording of Sky’s coverage when I got home was a pleasant enough experience, though I thought UEFA had decided to encourage participation in the use of garish pink clothing like the current NFL Breast Cancer Awareness Month when I saw the Genk shirts.
Agree that it was good to see us so comfortably dispatch a team there for the taking, which has not always been our strong point in recent years.
I thought Frank was getting caught out sometimes again more than others, though one misplaced pass I cursed him for in longshot turned out to be Romeu when I looked more closely – well, it was getting late by then and the match was lacking a certain tension on the outcome by that point 😉
Turning to that other matter, in the immortal words of Mrs Merton are we going to have “A Heated Debate” [or in our case a highly civilised and erudite one] on the pros and cons of SayNoCPO counter-offer, etc?
Is that the one that’s already been rejected? I’m a bit behind at the moment and need to catch up.
I see Jody Morris has been appointed Caretaker at St Johnstone. He has no luck does he. A major step in his career and ol’ Gadaffi decides to part company from his cloggs. Would have been front page otherwise surely.
One wonders whether KJ has cleaned out McBookie or whatever they were, after a little flutter. Or does he have to be on a full contract for them to pay out?
Was talking to a CPO share-holder yesterday who intends to vote ‘No’ and I asked him why (my own previous view was that creating an opportunity for a stadium change can only be a good thing and that the No-Voters must be Luddites).
He says that he thinks the real problem is that the owners (most of whom tend to be season-ticket owners) are fed up with being taken for granted. Paying over the odds for tickets in order to provide ‘atmosphere’ at games while the club makes money from television rights and the attached overseas fan base. This is a bloke who lives in Wimbledon and has supported the club since the late 70s and going up to Stamford Bridge, for him, is a fortnightly ritual with his mates which he doesn’t want to give up unless he can see an urgent reason for it.
Got the impression that this issue has been seriously been mishandled by the Board even if theirs might still be the best argument. And that they have been taking far too much for granted.
I might think that Roman can be trusted but I have come to realise that there are serious territorial instincts at stake here.
I think there are a range of reasons why some CPO shareholders are tending towards a no vote from “The Bridge and Nowhere Else” romantics to cycnics hardened by past experience.
The “Open Letter” response by the board on Wednesday effectively says “the bad times have gone, CPO isn’t needed anymore and you can trust us”.
Some who recall the bad times of the 80s/early 90s can imagine their return more readily in a post-Abramovich era and are reluctant to give up their only negotiating tool without something a bit more substantial than that about the club’s future.
Am I weakening, or after the early “yah-boo-sucks” exchanges has the discussion on cfcnet actually become more thoughtful in the last few days?
The more I hear, the more I’m erring towards a ‘no’ as things stand. Difficult for the club to say much more about a possible move, but the concern is that any/all of the sub 3 mile options won’t be available and we could end up in the arse-end of nowhere come 2020.
Have to say that I’m not entirely comfortable with the premise of the article in the link that BlueMikel has posted from the club; pulling the “it’s what Matthew would have wanted” card is just, well – the poor guy is long dead, who knows what he’d be thinking about it now?
Yes, of course it is time to say “no”, why even bother about millions (if not billions) spent by Abramovich on Chelsea, why even think about it! We are the great club, who could always do without him, so if club, read Abramovich, asks us to help we have to stick with our £100 (£150) investment and say “no” we know better what is good for the club!!!
In the first instance, I’m not a shareholder so it’s just an opinion – calm down.
I’m in no doubt that we will need to move and I’m happy to do so, but the way the club is framing the debate concerns me, as does the possibility that we may get shifted some distance from the area that defines who we are as a football club. I’ve no doubt that Roman wants the best for us, but I’m behind those who want to know a little more before they hand away what could essentially be the future of the club.
To turn the club’s piece of propaganda about Harding on its head – he was a very shrewd businessman; had he been presented with what is essentially a proposal to turn a 199 year lease which stops anyone selling up and shifting us wherever into a 9 year lease with no guarantees about the future home of the club, I suspect that he’d have told them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine in no uncertain terms.
Everything is just an opinion in post modern society. However, this is the difference between love and cold rationale. I like what AVB said, when he described how Porto moved to another stadium. Nobody wanted to do so, but at the end everybody loved it. I believe the is imminent and we have to support it.
Depends on how it is done; goes back to the point that they way the club are pitching it is unclear. If they decide we are moving to somewhere 20 miles from SW6 out at the back end of some retail park off the M4, do we support that?
Great report and picture and spot on (erh-hem) with the Frank pelanty shout. And a terrific article about the “we” thing, which of course we’re all prey to…..
The officiating in these games continues buttock-clenchingly piss-poor, and although we continue to get the shitty end of the stick I think there was another example in one of the Tuesday games I saw on tele. The oppo fans are now the best thing about these games, and I have to second Mark’s comments on Genk, whose innovative alarm call entertained us through the second half.
Romeu the star for me, as was Mikel last Saturday. Some healthy competition for that position then.
Watched a bit of the Stoke match last night and seeing the normal touchlines over painted with green paint and then new white lines, to make the pitch bigger, reminded me of playing 5-a-side in the gym with lines for tennis, basketball and tiddlywinks overlaid in different colours.
I would of thought they could have found a better match for the green instead of the lurid fluorescent green (obviously a cheap job lot from Trotters Trading ~ London, Paris New York and now Stoke).
It made me question what the size of a pitch is meant to be. According to the official FIFA rules of the game http://ar.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/generic/81/42/36/lawsofthegame_2011_12e.pdf length is 90m – 120m and width 45m – 90m. That seems like an extraordinarily broad range, particularly the width.
However the FIFA rules are just a guide and dimensions are defined more specifically by regions, like UEFA, and more often by competitions. Hence the Champions League, Europa League and Premier League have their own sets of rules. Why can’t we all just standardise, as in one length of banana?
In the Premier League handbook http://www.premierleague.com/staticFiles/bc/8a/0,,12306~166588,00.pdf
In League Matches the length of the pitch shall be not more than 110 metres nor less than
100 metres and its breadth not more than 75 metres nor less than 64 metres.
22. For UEFA Club Competitions the pitch must measure 105 metres in length by 68 metres in
breadth exactly. If for technical reasons of a construction related nature it is impossible to
achieve the required dimensions a UEFA Club Licence may nevertheless be granted provided
that the pitch is minimum 100 metres to maximum 105 metres in length by minimum
64 metres to maximum 68 metres in breadth.
23. A Club shall register the dimensions of its pitch before the commencement of each Season by
giving written notice thereof in Form 12 to the Secretary.
In point 22 it states all UEFA pitches must be the same size. So how is it that Barcelona’s pitch always looks massive?
Very spiritual writing, liked it.
Implicit in Graham Bell’s story, as it is told on the website, is that Matthew Harding spoke of Chelsea moving from the Bridge when he was in possession of the freehold and therefore able to exercise his judgement about when to sell it and where to move. At some point he and Ken Bates would have had to sit down and do a deal, one assumes.
If Harding was still in possession of the freehold would he now be asked to make a simple act of faith in the current Ownership and Management and anything the future might bring with the same amount of information as us? And would he say yes?
I’m quite impressed that someone who has made a success in the business of re-insurance feels that a reworking of the badge (surely something anyone would have done to get away from Bates’ Millwall Lion) and the promise of some seats for families is sufficient grounds to trust the competence and intentions of the current regime. He trusts them and that’s fine for him.
But setting aside whether you trust Roman or take the Panglossian view that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds”, so the future can be trusted too, in the end the devil is in the detail.
The club has loans totalling something around £750 million from RA. The club is carrying a debt burden and to date could not have functioned as a top four team without these loans indeed might not exist at all. Therefore, how a move to another site or indeed a reworking of the existing site will be financed is key.
While to vote No is being portrayed as ingratitude to RA, for me it is a wish to make a decision on more than just nebulous proposals from the Board. The same Board, albeit with some personnel changes, who assured us we’d be a profitable entity well before now.
It’s worth noting that if that objective had been achieved then the value of Chelsea as a saleable business would have been greatly increased. As it stands the real value of the club is in the land it sits on.
What sort of loss is RA willing to absorb over the years? Once the club has the freehold, it’s a fair guess that the land value (based on what Chelsea Barracks went for) means that he can recoup most of his money, should he want to bail out. The way the club finances are currently structured it’s hard to see who would buy it as a business other than to get at the land. And if the club debt accelerates beyond the increase in land value then either Roman takes a hit when he sells or in order to remain at the top, we eventually implode or Roman continues to put money in but this time with no prospect of recovering it. And that’s even without considering FFP.
So no right thinking person sees the current situation as sustainable.
Keep that £750 million in mind. Will more debt be added to that figure as part of the move? Can the financial forecasts be relied upon? Do they intend for the development to be self financing? Do they expect a surplus given the expectedly high value of the site? Does the surplus go to pay the debt down or perhaps into the club for one off spending on players? We have to trust the Board to get all this right.
To sell now, or in the near future and move, is a one off benefit that we can’t afford to squander. While I believe that the FFP will be observed more in the breaching than the observance (ban Real Madrid my arse), the current economics of football will be changing.
Anyone who has bought financial products, like pensions and endowments in the last 25 years or invested in property at the fag end of the bubble will atest to the fact that what seems like sound advice and unassailable logic is often nothing more than a sophisticated play on emotion to seal a transaction.
Trust me I know what I’m doing? The car crash that was the Banking Crisis involved a lot of “experts” somehow getting it wrong.
To vote No is not to stick out the begging bowl and expect Roman to keep making more and more loans available to the club. Anyone with sense knows that the club cannot be endlessly financed by an individual loaning money year in year out. Even if the smoke and mirrors of the FFP had not been dreamt up it’s difficult not to feel we’re reaching a tipping point. Tough decisions have to be taken.
But an assumption that a 60,000 seater stadium in the next half a dozen years solves all the financial issues without risk should not be mistaken for incontrovertible fact.
We are where we are because of an individual prepared to loan the club large amounts of money that can never be paid back out of revenue, the way the club is currently structured. Perhaps we have to ask the hard question, is there any way of staying at the top and being to some extent self financing?
An acceptance that something must be done to stay at the top table in a rapidly changing world is inherent in the argument for moving. But the fact that we may not clearly see what the changes are going to do to the structure of football is ignored. How do you predict future income based on forecasts from a model you say is going to rapidly change in ways it is difficult to forecast? Why did the forecasts made by Kenyon for financial sustainability go wrong? What has changed to make the latest predictions more concrete and deliverable?
We may have to move to survive. I accept that is a possibility. But I am not entirely sure that the move to a new stadium (allied with TV money etc.) necessarily brings the sort of financial muscle desired by those who see leaving Stamford Bridge as a means to remaining at the top of the tree. One of the reasons for that uncertainty is we have no information about how the club will financially structure a move. They must have some idea.
I have no problem with those who implicitly trust the judgement of the board and the intentions of RA. They make that judgement based on the facts as they perceive them and we often make judgements on emotion or partial information.
But equally those who want to vote No at this juncture should not be portrayed as mindless ingrates. This is a one-off opportunity to be involved to a small extent in the future of the club.
Once that opportunity is gone we either take what we’re given or bow out. Perhaps it’s part of my make up to lack optimism and avoid risk. My life would certainly have been different if I took more risk and exuded a bit of over-confidence.
But it doesn’t take away from the fundamental fact that whatever Chelsea choses to do, without someone able to provide the club with unearned funds (something the FFP is supposed to try and stop), the future may not be as a top European team, irrespective of whether we stay or go.
Very good post, irrespective of whether I agree or disagree.
My inclination is to be lazy, so blind faith is so much simpler than studying the detail.
My rational is very simple
1. RA hasn’t done anything bad to club so far.
2. Club needs bigger stadium
Club needs my help in order to achieve it.
£16.5 million quid was what Matthew Harding paid to RBS for the freehold according to my researches. Not always remembered that it was he, and not Ken that put up the wonga. I wonder what the story behind that is? However it came about, it is a salutory reminder what an untroubled existence the lower reaches of Uncle Ken’s pockets had when it came to Chelsea’s finances.
£20,000 is now the valuation of the freehold with the lease attached according to Bruce Buck’s letter.
Have to admit my patchy memory had forgotten it was MH who funded the buy-out of the freehold of The Bridge, as indeed has whoever wrote today’s article marking the anniversary of his death on the official website:
@mark_25:twitter – isn’t the point that, because of the structure of holding companies, Roman or his successors could at some stage decide to ask for those squillions back as they are ultimately still a loan?
What we need is some mechanism to protect any new stadium from being sold off to speculative buyers not looking to continue with football there [and still protect Stamford Bridge in the interim].
Why can’t the club ask for a vote on an open-ended move within the radius, with a promise for club shares in exchange for the freehold if this particular move occurs?
Why should Roman offer shares when he’s already put up 900 squillion?
An interview on BBC 5 Live tomorrow morning with Carlo Ancelotti. I doubt we’ll learn much that’s new about last year’s carry on, but might be nice to hear the “Eyebrow” again.
Yay for the Canaries. Luis Suarez is becoming a deeply hateful figure. Can he stay on his feet for more than a few minutes?
Grant Holt is a proper footballer.
That is all.
So here’s the scenario Fiftee, last game of the season, Norwich v Chelsea. Norwich win would keep them up in the Premiership, Chelsea win secures the title, who do you shout for? 😉
By the way they did play well last night and deserved the point, and what a last minute save by Ruddy from that cheat Suarez, stunning.
Our attitude absolutely stinks!!!!!. If we can’t be bothered to match that we deserve to lose.
QPR’s out doing us by shear enthusiasm and effort.
Mikel’s shit. Drogba was shit but fortunately we wont have to see him again for 3 weeks. And if Luiz makes it through without being sent off it’ll be a minor miracle.
Still, it’s only 1-0.
If we’d put the same effort into the first half that we did in the second we’d have thrashed them.
QPR are a pile of shit in all aspects. The manager, the players and especially the fans who are a disgrace to the Premier League, intimidating our players and throwing the ball away.
You forgot to mention Chris Foy another pile of shit.
Yes but I don’t want the ref to take the blame. It was our shit first half attitude.
QPR are a shit club. They should turn it into a B&Q.
Totally agree, Mark. On the plus side, instead of saying “WE WON” we can more properly and easily say “THEY LOST.”
The team should actually take a lot of positives from this. They’ll realize how disastrous it can be to mail any contest in (Genk excepted).
Foy is shit.
But Bosingwa is shit too, as a defender …as I have said before.
I’d select Ivan for RB over him every time for now, and get a proper RB in in Jan.
With regard Luiz, he was one our worst, and one of our best players all in the same game.
Besides things could be worse, we could be Man Utd fans!
Yes, but all said and done, at the end of the day, his contract of employment has the heading “defender”
The penalty although naive on his part was rather soft, no doubting QPR had some favourable decisions go their way today.
So that still makes Foy shit!
Some thoughts that are not necessarily in any coherent form: the refereeing was so bad that I had the passing thought that something might have been up. After all QPR to win would have been long odds today. Even if it was ‘only’ incompetence, why were we the sole victims of it? Luiz was naive but some referees wouldn’t have given the penalty. But if you give the penalty, then you give penalties for all the wrestling that went on – of which Luiz was often the victim – in QPR’s box at corners. Bosingwa didn’t seem to be the last defender and he deserved the benefit of the doubt on that one. Drogba might have deserved his red card but there was a lunge at Sturridge early in the game that didn’t even bring about a yellow card.
Otherwise Luiz nearly redeemed himself with that overhead shot. How could Anelka have missed that header? I take a more sanguine view of our performance in the first half. Two very bad decisions went against us and the team were obviously seriously unsettled. They needed the break at half time to clear their heads. Then in the second half it was a very gallant attempt to get back in the game and they nearly did.
AVB although quite restrained in his remarks on the officiating, was spot on when he said Foy had a bad game. Compare that if it had been us benefitting from those decisions, to how Warnock would have reacted post match.
Did anyone notice how Kenny behaved with his playacting with JT late on, and who gets the yellow card?
I don’t often blame officiating for results when they go aganist us, but it played a big part today.
Some harsh comments here. We were poor in the first half with 11 for sure but Mikel was not part of the problem, in fact he was a reassuring cover for the daft/brilliant combo that is Luiz. Why the fuck anyone would make him a fall guy is beyond me? Some of you really need to look at how good Mikel has been this season. Drogba was a huge problem from kick off. Lazy, sullen, clumsy, slow and a real attitude problem, summed up with the stupidity of a tackle that made Torres one look like a feather duster tickle and then a petulant and arrogant gesture to a brave and rightfully miffed Mikel to shut up. Mikel went even further up in my estimations there and Drogba fell. It was arguably more stupid than the Moscow slap because this time we were already down to 10 men. I think AVB may have realised the future is not with Drogba or Kalou. I hope he rests Torres now until Arsenal and lets Lukaku and Kalou play against Everton.
AVB should have left Studge on and removed Drogba when Bosingwa went off. And on the subject of Bosingwa, I’ve read some tripe and no doubt written some in the heat of the moment BUT this season he has barely put a foot wrong so Machchan I think you’re very wrong on Bosingwa. Foy got that right with Drogba but 100% wrong on Bosingwa. SWP was not in a goalscoring chance. I’d argue SWP could be stood 6 inches from the line with the goalkeeper beat and still not be in a goalscoring position for him. It was a race to the ball with 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. At worst a yellow but never a red. Foy then got stupidly card happy with us and I hope the club grows some and challenges the FA for Brana, Lamps and one or two others who got undeserved yellows when QPR got off scot free in comparison.
However Mark is right, until the first red we were shit. After that we were in shock, but the second red meant all we could do was not concede another and wait for the AVB half time talk. And boy did that work. Would you have really thought we were 2 players down second half? It’s almost a trademark that w2e will be great one half and shit the other and has been the same since Ranieri held the reins.
Lastly, for now, we’ll murder them at SB if we play like we did with 9.
Pretty accurate summing up Tony, and I have no doubt that QPR will be heading straight back down where their shite football belongs. Just look at the stats on the BBC website…. 11 v 9 they should have crucified us.
Re SWP and Boss being six of one and half a dozen of the other, is SWP able to reach Boss’s shirt.
(from the Watford Colluseum watching Milton Jones)
I wasn’t judging Bosingwa purely on the SWP incident. I think Foy made another shitty decision there. It is just that too many times in the matches he has played, Bosingwa has required protection from another defender or covering midfielder and has been vulnerable when he is left to deal with attacks down his wing on his own. Sorry, just my opinion. I agree that when attacking he has been good.
Anyway I need to calm down, so off to watch Spooks, lets hope Harry gets the girl.
QPR are proper pony. Utterly awful. Don’t want to play football, merely kick lumps out of people. How over-rated is Taarabt?
Few complaints from me. Awful attitude. Looked clueless with 11, progressively worse with each man less. Bosingwa’s was never a red. Drogs was just horrible, but fully deserved.
I’m just glum after that. Can’t say I feel much pride. We dug ourselves a fucking big hole and almost got out of it. Luiz looks a liability more than ever, and I think this may be Drogs last season. He looks disinterested.
Ruined what started to be a decent Sunday afternoon…..
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