Racing Genk 1-1 Chelsea – Stellar Tweets

Racing Genk 0-0 Chelsea – Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

I followed tonight’s action from Belgium via Twitter while knocking back a few Stellas.

Here’s how the match unfolded in tweets…

The buildup

chelseaoffside: Chelsea XI v. Genk: Cech, Bosingwa, Bane, Luiz, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Meireles, Malouda, Anelka, Torres.

chelseaoffside: Chelsea subs v. Genk: Turnbull, Terry, Lampard, McEachran, Mata, Sturridge, Kalou.

AndrewTurmer: No JT, Lamps or Mata. Rotation is to be expected but Malouda doesn’t exactly scream excitement…

chelseaoffside: No Alex again. Any word on an injury? I haven’t heard anything. I reckon AVB just doesn’t rate him at all.

chelseaoffside: Genk XI v. Chelsea: Köteles, Vanden Borre, Ngongca, Nadson, Hyland, Tőzsér, De Bruyne, Camus, Vossen, Buffel, Nwanganga.

chelseaoffside: Genk subs v. Chelsea: Sandomierski, Sarr, Durwael, Ofori-Appiah, Ndabashinze, Limbombe, Barda.

devinanand: @chelseaoffside I go with the latter on this one. Atlas has fallen down the pecking order.

CFCTransfers: Looks like a good team tonight. There is creativity and legs in midfield but I’d still love to see McEachran in there.

AndrewTurmer: Always great to see Romeu starting though.

BluesChronicle: Traffic in Genk a nightmare. Took ages to get form town to stadium by cab. If you’re still in town now, you may not make KO.

chelseafc: The rain is pouring down here in eastern Belgium. We’re expecting a crowd of about 25,000 at tonight’s game.

tim_rolls: @BluesChronicle Our coach took wrong turning and no police escort, but got here ok. Away end still third empty.

TheChelseaBlog: No JT? Probably for the best.

bridgeviews: Ah, we get to watch Malouda this evening. How pleasant.

TheChelsOrg: Seems you all think we’ll win, and score a few. Good percentage accepting we’ll concede though.

chelseaoffside: Anxious to see Oriol pull the strings tonight.

chelseafc: There’s an impressive noise coming from the home fans, with a little over 10 minutes before kick-off.

BluesChronicle: In a strange glazed-in box up high to the right of the Chelsea section. Like being in a fish tank. Except with journalists.

BluesChronicle: A rainy night in Genk. Not for the first time in recent Euro aways, Depeche Mode the bizarre choice for pre-match choons.

OptaJoe: 3.5 – Years since Fernando Torres last scored away from home in the Champions League (March 08 at Inter). History.

chelseafc: Fantastic atmosphere. Are the home fans expecting a result tonight though, or just having their fun before the game starts?

Togaflex: Got 1-1 written all over this. Don’t see us winning tonight.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea and Genk teams lining up in the tunnel at the Cristal Arena. Euro disco still pumping. Rain still falling.

BluesChronicle: Genk and Chelsea teams stride out onto the slippery green pitch at the Cristal, led by an enormous posse of UEFA officials.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea in the black ‘Tron’ kit tonight; Genk is all blue, with white flashes.

BluesChronicle: Kick off at the Cristal Arena: Genk 0-0 Chelsea. COME ON CHELSEA!

The first half

TheChelsOrg: Genk with the early possession.

TheChelsOrg: Chelsea pressing from the front, causing the keeper to hoof it and we win possession.

BluesChronicle: 1,100 Chelsea fans can be heard loud and proud singing ‘Over Land and Sea… and Leicester’.

chelseayouth: Camus’ pass to Buffel there was atrocious. A better player plays a better pass and Chelsea would be 0-1 down.

TheChelsOrg: Close call in the Chelsea area, shot saved but it’s offside anyway.

chelseaoffside: Not exactly the ultra aggressive start we were expecting.

ChelseaAnalysis: Genk are not looking like the same side that conceded five at Stamford Bridge. Much more better possession and control for them early on.

BluesChronicle: Perhaps my imagination, but Torres seems to have switched back to brunette from recent blonde. Scored more goals during the blonde spell.

TheChelsOrg: Ramires with a shot saved low after a nice passage of play by Chelsea.

TheChelsOrg: Genk looking composed on the ball in the opening ten mins, Chelsea pressing & passing well but missing the final ball.

TheChelsOrg: Anelka with a nice showboat, good passing move there.

BluesChronicle: Positive move down the right for Chelsea: but Anelka’s cross hooked too far back to be of use to oncoming forwards.

TheChelsOrg: Chelsea slowly gaining control of this match, more purposeful possession. Starting to work out the Genk formation.

TheChelsOrg: Good run and cross into the box by Cole, ball is cleared but you sense a goal is coming.

chelseaoffside: Now we’re talking. Settling in, with Malouda, Ashley and Raul linking well down the left.

TheChelsOrg: Genk with a spell of possession in their own half, Chelsea steal and almost break through. Torres looking hungry.

ChelseaRumours: Ashley Cole working very hard down the left flank!

BluesChronicle: OK: update on the all-important Torres locks situation. Probably hasn’t hit the Just For Men; just the rain makes his hair look darker.

TheChelsOrg: Well covered and defended by Luiz.

BelgoFoot: Genk keeping thier 4-4-2 shape well. De Bruyne roaming into the centre occasionally. Not too much from Chelsea so far.

TheChelsOrg: Genk looking to get it out to De Bruyne wherever possible.

TheChelsOrg: Cracking pass by Meireles to Anelka, who puts a low ball into the box behind the attacking players.

TheChelsOrg: 20 mins in and it’s 0-0. Genk started brighter but Chelsea growing into it.

TheChelsOrg: Chelsea break and are closed out, Genk block and counter quickly then Chelsea win it back again!

TheChelsOrg: No one team is dominating possession, some sloppy passes seeing to that.

TheChelsOrg: Torres tries a run into the box with the ball but is crowded out, should have passed.

chelseaoffside: Bob showing his defensive class. He’s quite good when not losing the plot.

TheChelsOrg: Good challenge by Ramires, well tracked back.

paultwentworth: Torres just starting to show his assertiveness, irritating commentary talk of this ‘rut’ he’s stuck in.

AndrewTurmer: Bosingwa’s attitude stinks tonight. Back to his lazy worst.

Millhaven_Curse: This has got 0-0 written all over it!

BluesChronicle: Anelka with another chance from the right: this time unable to find Torres. Game a bit scrappy. Most chances going Chelsea’s way.

TheChelsOrg: Malouda puts a teasing cross into the box, no one on the end of it.

Racing Genk 0-1 Chelsea. 25′ Ramires.

MacAree: Ramires. Beauty. Lovely pass from Nando too.

TheChelsOrg: It was coming! Assist by Torres, lovely goal.

chelseaoffside: Fucking great goal from Ramires! Sublime work from Nando to set it up.

devinanand: Love that celebration with Bob.

TheChelsOrg: Mad celebration by Luiz and Ramires!

BluesChronicle: Torres strikes from the left-hand corner of the box, with a ball that goes just wide of the right post.

chelseafc: Chelsea in control in Belgium. It’s 1-1 in Valencia where they play Leverkusen. Results as they stand send us through.

TheChelsOrg: We don’t look as defensively suicidal today either, know it’s Genk but the defence does seem to be playing a little deeper.

chelseafc: Ramires heads a Cole cross just wide. Decent chance there.

TheChelsOrg: Ref has been pretty spot on so far tonight too.

chelseaoffside: Let’s talk about that reverse ball from Meireles. Wow.

TheChelsOrg: Malouda with ages and acres in the box, takes too long to make the pass. Corner.

TheChelsOrg: Again, may just be me but am noticing a reluctance by Malouda to pass to Torres.

AndrewTurmer: Meireles is such a classy player. Love watching him float about.

TheChelsOrg: Meireles off the bar!

BluesChronicle: PENALTY TO CHELSEA!

chelseaoffside: Bob taking the pen!

TheChelsOrg: Luiz penalty saved.

chelseaoffside: Blah. Telegraphed it.

AndrewTurmer: That was shocking from Luiz.

RickGlanvill: Not impressed.

ChelseaRumours: I’d probably have let Meireles or Malouda take that one.

TheChelsOrg: Passes: Genk 175-272 Chelsea.

TheChelsOrg: Ramires with a shot outside the area, wide.

ChelseaAnalysis: Should have let Cech take the penalty – just for the fun of it.

BluesChronicle: One minute added time.

ChelseaTony: Can’t believe Torres getting stick for not taking the pelanty and not missing – if he had and he’d missed you’d be caning him. Meireles!

TheChelsOrg: Late free kick outside the Chelsea area after a foul by Ramires.

BluesChronicle: HT: Genk 0-1 Chelsea. Ramires goal. But it should be double that: Luiz with a weak penalty that didn’t challenge the keeper.

BelgoFoot: At half time, Genk will be disappointed. Mario Been said his team showed Chelsea too much respect in London and they are doing it again.

The second half

BluesChronicle: Disturbing chant about Anton Ferdinand from large section of Chelsea following in first half. Sad to say, there will be fall-out from that.

BluesChronicle: Second half underway at the Cristal Arena: Genk 0-1 Chelsea.

BluesChronicle: Please: if you’re in the Cristal Arena, and someone stood next to you is singing about Ferdinand. Tell them to stop. Not big, not clever.

AndrewTurmer: Ridiculous criticism of Fernando from these commentators is pissing me off. Can’t do anything right in their eyes.

chelseaoffside: De Bruyne with a chance, but he scuffs his curler.

TheChelseaBlog: Fuck me Chelsea, wakey, wakey

TheChelsOrg: Vanden Borre with a storming run, Nwanganga shoots but Cech saves. Corner.

chelseaoffside: Oh my. Cech with a huge stop. Genk have started this half really well.

TheChelsOrg: Ball over the top causes concern, and Genk winning possession back too easily. That said, Chelsea corner.

Togaflex: I am worried about those chants. We’re going to get caned in the media tomorrow and they won’t stop until were chucked out of Europe.

ChelseaAnalysis: Under Ancelotti we were mostly asleep during the first half and aggressive in the second; looking the opposite under AVB. Come on Chelsea.

chelseaoffside: Torres gets on the end of a corner, but balloons his header. Should’ve flicked that on toward the back post.

TheChelsOrg: Genk crowd booing with vigour whenever we’re in possession.

AndrewTurmer: A lot tighter performance tonight. Looks like AVB has slowed the tempo and prioritised the clean sheet.

TheChelsOrg: Meireles with a good strike but it’s at the keeper.

TheChelsOrg: Well claimed Cech, another dangerous ball in by De Bruyne – like the look of him from what I’ve seen.

ChelseaAnalysis: De Bruyne must teach Malouda the ‘Art of Crosses’. Great crosses in by this young lad.

BluesChronicle: Some lovely moves by De Bruyne down the Genk left. Can see why Chelsea are so interested in the lad.

AndrewTurmer: Hmm looks like Bosingwa’s encouraging start to the season has well and truly ended. Awful.

Racing Genk 1-1 Chelsea. 61′ Vossen.

BluesChronicle: GOAL: Genk 1-1 Chelsea.

RickGlanvill: Dreadful.

chelseaoffside: That was coming. 1-1.

AndrewTurmer: Fuck. Clean sheet is gone. Pathetic.

chelseaoffside: We look bloody awful.

ChelseaTony: Made us look stupid.

TheChelsOrg: It’s that man; De Bruyne assist for a Vossen goal. 1-1.

TheChelsOrg: It was coming, and yet again we concede. Genk’s first goal in the group stages this season.

AndrewTurmer: Our defensive record is beyond embarrassing now.

tim_rolls: Perhaps some of our fans can stop singing about Anton Ferdinand and get behind the team. We need it.

paultwentworth: Forget the system, these defensive errors are so basic it is humiliating. Track your runner…

TheChelsOrg: Our defence is so shit, even Genk can score one…

ChelseaAnalysis: Valenica 2-1 Bayer currently. Things sure are getting worse.

chelseafc: Sturridge replacing the ineffective Anelka on 65 minutes.

chelseafc: Lampard also on for Ramires.

bridgeviews: Not sure why Torres deserves to stay on over Anelka. And will we miss Ramires’ running in midfield?

BluesChronicle: Genk sub: Ndabashinze on for Buffel.

TheChelsOrg: Meireles with a volley but it’s over the bar.

chelseayouth: God, will you please shut up Tony Gale. Analyse the sodding match instead of bleating on about what decisions you’d make. Prick.

TheChelsOrg: Looks like Mata will be coming in shortly. It needs to be for Malouda. Permanently.

chelseaoffside: Free header from Meireles straight at the keeper. What the hell.

devinanand: Here comes Mata. This game is frustrating to say the least. Why is Bob taking pens?

TheChelsOrg: Bosingwa taken out by De Bruyne, free kick on the byline right of the Genk area.

chelseaoffside: Romeu off for Mata? Odd.

TheChelsOrg: Shame, I think Romeu has played well and kept the defence tight. Hope it’s not costly…

grampyrabbit: Tony Gale has made me think the unthinkable. There is someone worse and more detestable as a pundit than Andy Townsend.

ChelseaChadder: Probably the best referee Chelsea have had this season.

chelseaoffside: Lampard. Sitter. Fuck me.

BluesChronicle: Diamond opportunity: Sturridge goal-line cross from right, which Lampard just gets an edge to in front of goal. Not QUITE enough though.

TheChelsOrg: Sturridge with a shot saved. We’ve upped it a gear. Nice effort!

chelseaoffside: Sorry but Bosingwa is a clown.

devinanand: Frank missing sitters. This is officially our ‘bad moment’ for the season.

chelseaoffside: De Bruyne is eating Bos alive.

BluesChronicle: Genk sub: Limbombe on for Nwanganga.

devinanand: Taxi for Bosingwa. Please.

reema80: Tony Gale. You’re an utter cock.

BluesChronicle: Tipping down in Genk. And the home side looking the more likely of the two to grab a winner.

AndrewTurmer: Bosingwa has had a shocker.

devinanand: Horrible stuff from Flo. Too selfish.

devinanand: Passing in the final third has been abysmal this half. Too much deliberating, not enough instinctive action. Penalty miss hurts.

devinanand: Flo’s passes are telegraphed so easily, I can’t understand why AVB rates him so high. Surely Kakuta would be better than this?

TheChelsOrg: Lampard with an effort from range over the bar.

chelseaoffside: Of course Frank would have a go. A waste.

RickGlanvill: @paultwentworth That’s happening all over the pitch. Simply not doing the basics.

chelseaoffside: Well, that’s just typical.

BluesChronicle: Keystone cops defending as two Genk players attempt to clear. It just about worked, but to comic effect.

devinanand: It begs the question – did it cross the line? By the way, lovely pass from Mata.

TheChelsOrg: Three mins added.

TheChelsOrg: Luiz with a cracking shot from distance, just wide.

KaiserJonny: It’s not just that Gale is a crap pundit. It’s the cliches, mixed metaphors and inability to string a sentence together that really grate.

devinanand: Hi, I’m Jose Bosingwa, and I’ve yet to learn how to cross a ball.

RickGlanvill: I hate football.

chelseafc: It’s all over. Genk 1-1 Chelsea.

chelseayouth: Let’s have a bit of perspective on this result, Genk held Valencia at home as well. Win your home games, points on the road a bonus.

chelseayouth: Obviously they’re a perceived weaker opponent and there were areas of concern but it’s no catastrophe.

ChelseaRumours: FT: Genk 1 Chelsea 1. That’s 3 without a win, and not a very good performance. Could and should’ve been won anyway.

TheChelsOrg: Fair play to Genk, they played well but we were poor at times, the final ball and cohesion was well off.

AndrewTurmer: Not sure AVB can avoid the questions about our defence for much longer. Bosingwa is a liability.

ChelseaTony: Luiz did one thing wrong – the penalty – but he is so much better when he’s allowed to run forward. Anyone else willing to give him credit?

AndrewTurmer And without Mata we look so dull and one dimensional.

AndrewTurmer: Oh well we’ve hit our bad patch. Fast approaching the point of one or two more defeats and the title is gone.

ChelseaAnalysis: Morale is low after two failures to keep a lead. Blackburn can be something on the weekend, expect surprises.

TheChelsOrg: This will of course all be John Terry’s fault in the daily rags tomorrow…

alrickbrown: Fernando Torres had an assist and created 5 chances for Chelsea. The rest of the team combined created 9. The criticism is a little harsh.

chelseayouth: Heck, people are already mentioning crisis and writing the season off. Any chance of some perspective?

Thanks to @chelseaoffside, @AndrewTurmer, @devinanand, @CFCTransfers, @BluesChronicle, @chelseafc, @tim_rolls, @TheChelseaBlog, @bridgeviews, @TheChelsOrg, @OptaJoe, @Togaflex, @chelseayouth, @ChelseaAnalysis, @ChelseaRumours, @BelgoFoot, @paultwentworth, @Milhaven_Curse, @MacAree, @RickGlanvill, @ChelseaTony, @ChelseaChadder, @reema80 and @KaiserJonny for their terrific in-running match tweets. Follow them!

The match reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea’s recent stutter has infected their European campaign. André Villas-Boas would contest that a draw secured away from home in this competition should ever constitute the prolongation of a blip but his side suffered the same lapses of concentration, and outbreak of sloppiness, in Belgium that have afflicted them domestically. There was to be no real respite in Genk after the “disastrous week” Chelsea had endured – the visitors’ principal consolation the reality that the home side were considerably less ruthless than Arsenal had been on Saturday.”

The Independent, Steve Tongue: “An entirely unexpected dimension was added to Chelsea’s recent problems here last night as they lost control of what had appeared a straightforward assignment that should have brought much desired relief. Ramires marked their domination of the first half with an opening goal but David Luiz had a penalty saved and Genk, beaten 5-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, gained new belief after the interval. Jelle Vossen equalised with his team’s first goal in four group matches and although Chelsea belatedly lifted their game again, they could not find a winner. The small consolation was that Valencia’s victory over Bayer Leverkusen meant the London side stayed top of the table, although even that had a downside, turning the section into a three-cornered fight again.”

The Daily Telegraph, Jason Burt: “Despite the travails of a “disastrous” week, Chelsea were not expected to struggle on their travels. Surely, in Flanders, they would not flounder? Instead their “castle”, to use Andre Villas-Boas’s term, remains under siege. It was far from impregnable last night. A draw away in the Champions League is acceptable but Chelsea simply cannot keep a clean sheet. They should have won last night but failed to do so and now need four points from their last two ties to ensure qualification from Group E.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea surrendered a first-half lead once more as we could only draw at Genk, missing a penalty as we let the hosts back into our Champions League Group E game. It had all looked so straightforward when Ramires had advanced through a static home defence to fire Chelsea into a 26th minute lead, an advantage that should have been doubled when David Luiz took responsibility before the break, the Brazilian’s spot kick saved by Genk goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles. The miss would come back to haunt the Blues on the hour mark when striker Jelle Vossen levelled from close range, Genk’s first goal in this competition, to earn his side an unlikely point.”

The goals

25′ Ramires 0-1
61′ Vossen 1-1




There are 72 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Marvellous, the world of the Twitterverse to your door – proof if it were needed that our bipolarity is stronger than ever. 

  2. bluebayou

    If the referee was decent that must mean this isn’t the knockout stages and we’re still in Europe!

    If we don’t play with a bit of pace and jump we always look vulnerable. We just got slower and more plodding ’til the goal and then just perked up again.

    Is Tony Gale making a bid for a snooker commentating spot? I’m sure he mentioned the term “pocket” more than they do on an average night at the Crucible.

  3. bluebayou

    That photo is superb. It reminds me of the yellow film that they wrapped Lucozade bottles in many years ago. We were always given Lucozade to help us recover from the flu and other fevers* and the sense of anticipation at the sound of that yellow wrapping being scrunched as the bottle was unwrapped will stay with me forever.

    https://wifflelevertofull.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/lucozade.jpg

    It presaged a recovery from weakness and debilitation. The passing from dark fevered nights to bright days.

    Could do with hearing it now actually.

    *Note to the Younger Viewer – This was in the interval when they no longer bled you with leeches but hadn’t invented proper drugs

    • Nick

      So it does. My grandmother used to bring a bottle of Lucozade wrapped in that squeaky yellow film when I was off school sick/skiving. That and a can or two of Heinz Cream of Tomato/Chicken soup. I can’t have either now without thinking back to those halcyon days.

      I might be a bit drunk… the nostalgia is strong tonight.

      Bonkers season, huh?

      • Anonymous

        Those of us from the Frozen North would say Lucozade is for wimps – “Irn Bru” is the stuff you want – “made in Scotland from girders” as they used to say in the days of slacker advertising standards – before production switched to England, too:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wQO0dQA5ww&feature=related

        A performance that was a bit of a throwback to that spell when we toiled to beat anyone away in CL games, but I can live with being unbeaten, 2 points clear in our group after 4 games with the last game at home.

        I hit the mute button in the 23rd minute when I couldn’t take any more of Rob Whatsisname and Tony Gale’s endless harping on about the QPR and Arsenal games [ignoring the Everton one of course which didn’t fit their agenda] and inevitably about how crap they thought Torres was.

        Therefore I have no idea what all these Ferdinand chanting stories are about? I thought our away fans were more clued up than to give the media that much of a gift?

  4. Anonymous

    After they scored there seemed to be a bit of that In The Middle Of A Bad Run feeling — everything slightly forced and desperate and unlikely-looking.

    On the other hand: missed a penalty, hit the bar, guided a free header from four yards straight into the keeper, Frank’s career-worst miss (one assumes) and Studge with one just cleared off the line.

    And the result looks a bit embarrassing but in this competition you win your home games and draw away, shouldn’t be a big problem. Still, it’s annoying to have to put up with “Chelsea in Crisis” vibes.

  5. Anonymous

    Where was I when we were shit?

    I honestly thought Torres was recovering his form but tonight he stank the place out. Not only toothless going forward but when we needed him to hold the ball for just a few seconds he lost it.

    Stadium was a bit crap but a fitting venue for the rubbish we served up.

    Transition is a painful process but it’s a leap of faith that we’re transitioning into something better.

  6. Harry

    This sort of tactics and play by Chlesea leave no room for success. AVB quickly  needs to listen & learn, otherwise Chelsea will end up  with no trophy and no manager in charge at the end of PL in May 2012.

  7. NorthernVA

    Disgraceful chants if true which it seems to be. Confirmed by some away supporters via twiiter. If your Drogba, Mikel, Anelka, Malouda, Kalou, Essien, Studge how does that make you fight for the shirt.

    If a mass transfer request was sent in who the fuck would blame them at this point. Really set the club back and did no favors to JT whatsoever. Did nothing but feed the masses who want his head on a stick.

    The silent majority has to slap these morons down.

  8. Machchan

    The Chanting: Childish and unhelpful given we are in the middle of a police investigation.  Stupid to draw attention to CFC like this, whatever may be said in mitigation that the words used in the chant are not themselves racist.

    Genk’s goal:  Honestly, I do try to be charitable towards Bosingwa, but frankly there can be no doubt about his shitty play.  He picks up Camus in the right defensive channel then as the ball is about to be played to De Bruyne, he has a sudden realisation that perhaps he ought to be picking up De Bruyne instead and gets caught in no-man’s-land between the two, thus giving De Bruyne plenty of space to find the now unmarked Camus to provide the assist.  UC at its worst.  The man is a serious liability.

    • bluebayou

      The move starts with the ball fairly central, so the back four are in a line with the full backs tucked in, which is how they always seem to play these days, leaving the wide man unmarked on the basis that you get out to them when they have possession. Cole is in a similar position on the left.

      Once the ball is played to De Bruyne, Bosingwa goes across to cover. Behind him Ramires hasn’t dropped back on Camus or Ivanovic shuffled over.

      If as the move develops originally Bosingwa had parked himself out on the touchline, then there would be an enormous gap between him and Ivanovic, which is a no-no as I understand it and would have left Camus with a free run.

      Is the goal not a failure of defensive rotation as opposed to being solely Bosingwa’s fault?

      • Der_Kaiser

        The right side of defence is a concern, and definitely not all to do with Bosingwa – he’s usually next to Ivan or Luiz, neither of whom are terribly solid in that position; Alex with Ivan at RB rarely let us down, and I think most would like to see a return to that but AVB isn’t keen for whatever reason.

  9. Cunningplan

    Forget the penalty miss, we should be celebrating the fact that we’ve had one awarded in this competition!

    None of the English teams are dominating their groups, and considering Utd and Arse have easier ones than us it’s no great shame. It’s still in our hands, if we fuck it up, then we fuck it up, and we can sit back and wait for the incriminations.

  10. Dylbo Baggins

    I don’t recall if it has been mentioned on here but it’s interesting timing for Drogba’s surgery. Anyone else get the impression that he might be sold in January? You’d get a much better price for a non CL cup tied beast of a man…

  11. Anonymous

    At Brussels station. Plenty of fans, journos and other people who claim to have connections with the club. Two points I’ve picked up so far are

    1. Alex doesn’t get picked because he’s lazy in training
    2. Someone high up in the Chelsea hierarchy thinks AVB spends too much time reading printouts of statistics and not enough time seeing what is actually going on

    • bluebayou

      With reference to point 2, is this the same person who has done for some of the previous tenants of the hot seat in an undermining sort of  a way? Do they know much about the game? Can you give us a clue whom it might be?

      I understand that you still have to get back in the country and these people may have influence. You will be on a train going to go through a long tunnel, with all the Hitchcock/Spy Thriller overtones that implies, are on a train without a corridor so escape is more difficult, therefore I can understand the need to be circumspect.

      We may have to organise a dead letter drop. This used to be easy until Tory Cabinet ministers started throwing all their correspondence into litter bins.

      • Anonymous

        Only replying because we’re 10km from the tunnel and I’ve for 9.2Mb of my data allowance to use up before entry.

  12. Anonymous

    I know that we will now be portrayed as the racist kings of England but let’s keep it in perspective and not get too apologetic. If JT said what is claimed he said it is no more than an expletive, such as “you fat bast…” or “you ginger ….”. JT has spent most of his working life day in day out in a team representing the united nations of football and I’m sure some of his best friends in the game are black.

    The chanting last night was from a group of drink lubricated

  13. Anonymous

    It’s ironic that at the start of the game the announcer reads the obligatory UEFA spiel about respect bla bla.

    As away fans we were locked into coaches, driven by police escort to and from the ground, held a in muddy compound outside the stadium with water canons aimed at us for good measure, kettled into a small section of the ground surrounded by steel fencing more suited to a prison and watched over by stewards smoking in front of the ‘no smoking’ signs.

    Fans to Stamford Bridge can freely come and go from the Fulham Road and surrounding areas and, in the ground, are separated by nothing more than a bit of fabric over a column of 3 seats.

    Let’s not get paranoid about being villains.

    • bluebayou

      Yes, the away fan experience is somewhat different at Chelsea. Can’t help but feel that you’re paying for the behaviour of other clubs and England fans in years gone by. Was it the same against Bruges some years back?

      On a lighter note, do you have an estimate for how many fans spent the night in Ghent, wondering why it was so quiet and unable to find the ground………

      • Anonymous

        I’d say 250 in Genk, 250 in Hasselt, because all the hotels sold out in Genk, 2 in Ghent who had a more enjoyable night and the remainder in Brussels as part of the Thomas Cook excursion.

  14. Ryan

    Interesting thought about AVB’s apparent, love of statistics. They can be extremely slippery. Whilst Di Matteo was a legend as a player I’ve been unsure about his ability to guide a young and inexperienced manager. His record at WBA wasn’t exactly something Chelsea want to aspire to. I think I would rather have seen an old hand whose experience could be allied with AVB’s precocious talent. Maybe I’m being out of order here but any tactical naivety, perceived or otherwise, could be avoided or at least discussed from a different perspective by a Joe Jordan, Steve Clarke, Carlos Quieroz figure. Maybe I’m doing the coaching staff a disservice here. Let me know what you think?

    • Marco

      Difficult to assess that question, I think.

      We don’t know for sure whether insiders are really saying that AVB is a bit of a geek with the stats or even whether it is just one opinion from an inebriated director the morning after another poor performance. Nor, even, whether the players would agree with that view. 

      AVB first made a name for himself as an opposition scout so I don’t believe he needs help from Di Matteo in that quarter. In earlier games AVB has made some useful shifts in tactics after half-time when we have shown signs of weakening and possibly Robbie has been contributing to those decisions. Last night we saw Lamps, Mata and Sturridge brought on in the last 25 minutes as the formation changed from a slightly defensive 4-3-3 to a more attacking version and if Lamps had been a bit more wide-awake and the posts a shave thinner we would have won.

      We have to be careful not to fall in with sound-bite yelps coming from armchair pundits like Alan Hansen who make a living out of spotting ‘tactical naivetes’ after analysing six or seven replays before getting on their Match of the Day thrones. 

      As people keep saying on here, AVB needs time and I think we should wait until after Xmas before concluding there is something wrong with the manager or his coaches.

      • Ryan

        Yeah. I d probably agree with most of that. Only concern being that DiMatteo got the bullet from West Brom basically for playing good football but not getting results. That said I d rather have him than somebody who is going to undermine AVB I suppose. Just to clarify I have no time for Hansen. If he was any sort of expert he wouldn’t be on MOTD he’d be managing Liverpool F.C.
        However creating lots of chances is one thing. Taking them is another. Conceding soft goals. Unacceptable at this level and I hope that is being made clear to the players. Regardless of who is saying it and whether or not they’re prepared to say it to the media.

        • Marco

          In that connection I recall that Hansen was once told by King Kenny that he had no chance of making it as a manager because he had no aptitude for it!

          But since when has the BBC ever employed talented people on Match of the Day? It’s preference has always been for telegenic crisp salesmen or ageing pundits with nothing better to do with their off-air time than extol the supermarket shopping experience.

          http://www.tellyads.com/show_movie.php?filename=TA5003

  15. Moffat

    Ideally the ongoing investigations should leave Terry with no armbands. That would the best Christmas present this club has ever got.

  16. Anonymous

    I just don’t have the expertise to make my opinion worth anything, but my amateurish impression is that the team’s still in the process of absorbing new instructions. It doesn’t look like they’re devoid of ideas or energy, it just looks a bit confused from time to time at the back, as if no one’s sure yet who was supposed to be filling space X or marking opposing player Y.

    It was extraordinary to read in the paper the other day the statistics from José’s first season. 15 goals conceded *all season long* (in the league). Unbelievable.

    Mind you, much as we all tend to focus on the manager when he’s A) new and B) having an iffy run, it’s worth remembering that José had both Riccy and Maka: two players who just get better as the seasons after their departure build up.

    Far too early, of course, to begin muttering about managers and assistant managers and such. Cling on to the undeniable fact that AVB is actually doing something visible and intentional and systematic (instead of tweaking a few things and hoping the class of the players will sort everything out for him), and embrace the bonkersness.

  17. Dylbo Baggins

    Agree that it’s far too early. Some very good signs with the likes of Mata. Given another transfer window or 2, i’m sure we’ll see some of the old fringe players leave ( note Drogba not CL cup tied yet) or play a lesser role.

    Obviously we need to sort something out at the back, but i’m confident that a signing or 2 of AVB’s choice will sort that out. Conceding these late set piece goals is killing my fantasy football scores. 

  18. WorkingClassPost

    I must be the only one who saw this as a half decent result.

    Genk are unbeaten at home, keeping a tidy 0-0 against Valencia and they ‘only’ conceded 2 against Bayer away. Our 5 looked easy, but they had to play a 2nd string defence by all accounts.

    We scored first, always an achievement in CL, and would not have been flattered by a 2 or 3 goal lead at the finish.

    It’s all about expectations and perceptions, and if we get so carried away by our own arrogance or optimism, or by the negativity of media snipers, then we’ll always be disappointed by anything less than perfection every time.

    Given the recent results, and press pressure, I had an uneasy feeling about this game even before it started. My guess is that AVB felt something similar, given the strength of the team and bench. The most positive aspect for me, was that he was prepared, and made a real effort, to pick-up all the points.

    And as for Luiz taking the penalty, why not? How on earth can you find out if the guy can take pens without giving him a go?

    The odds are that we’ll face a penalty shoot-out in one of the cup competitions, so if AVB is sorting out his first five, then that’s what I call proper preparation, and if we see a few more new faces standing at the spot, then good.

    And it’s no use saying that they should only be given the chance when we’re already two or three in front, because, as has already been pointed out, if there’s no pressure, there’s no test.

    Glass half full?

    • Der_Kaiser

      Not the disastrous result some seem to be suggesting, certainly.  Worry is the inability to keep a clean sheet, of course.  We can get by in the group stages to an extent, but in the KO phases a shutout away from home becomes far more important and we look ill prepared at present.  Still, plenty of time until the business end of the competition, including a transfer window.

      Luiz and penalties though – a brief scan of the web suggests he took one with Benfica and put the bugger into low orbit.  If he’s been sticking them away in training, the fair enough.  At least this one was on target, I suppose…!

    • Cunningplan

      I always remember what somebody once told me at a low point in my life…”cheer up things could be worse”
      So I cheered up, and they were right, things got worse!  😉

  19. Ososdeoro

    I suspect that AVB has a starting 11 he fancies, but that the team otherwise isn’t nearly as deep as other top European clubs. At least I think for what AVB wants to do. 

  20. Ryan

    So, I’ve been thinking about it (probably more than is healthy!) and I think what worries me is that AVB doesn’t seem worried about the defending. I’m starting to think that he is just protecting his players confidence by refusing to be publicly disparaging. I hope so anyway.
    I don’t want to give the impression of running the coaching staff down here. I’m excited that we’ve got (probably) the best young coach in Europe and I m fascinated to see the changes he’s making. He will make mistakes. Of course he will. Two years experience as a club manager before taking on one of the biggest jobs in Europe. He’s bound to. Ultimately though I reckon he’ll get it right in the end.

  21. Judge

    This blog seriously suffers from a bipolar syndrome that has segregationist principles entrenched within it ,hope you guys can change especially the administrators for better blogging to continue

    • Anonymous

      “Fluorescent yellow and purple” – sounds very tasteful, but perhaps we need to get opposition players to wear hi-vis shirts too, to give our defence more of a chance?

      Has our mysterious friend below wandered in from one of the other club forums where paranoia seems to be order of the day, still?

      The recent wild, unsubstantiated rumour about a “secret done deal to rent Twickenham rugby ground” seems to have been supplanted now by a “secret plan to float 49% of the club on a Far Eastern Stock Exchange”.

      Dear God, what’s it going to be like as we get closer to the, as yet, unpublished date for the CPO AGM?

      So come on Nick and you mysterious Moderators, admit it, what is your secret, devilish plan that some of us naive bloggers have missed so far?

      • bluebayou

        I read a couple of times both before and since the vote that had they waited until the AGM they would only have required 50% and not 75% for yes. Is that true?

        If that is the case, why not wait until December when the AGM is usually held to have the vote first time around?

        • Anonymous

          I too heard this theory being peddled recently [ after the vote] on a BBC Radio London sports bulletin no less – I blame the Delivering Quality First proposals, personally – with the suggestion that the club might just put forward the exact same proposal again.

          I’m no company law expert, but I believe an amendment to CPO’s Articles of Association, which resolution 1 was, requires a 75% vote regardless of what meeting it is presented to.

          Another classic mixture of wild, speculative rumour and clumsy, ill-thought out club action though, isn’t it?

          • bluebayou

            Thanks, the change to the articles bit makes sense and would explain why the Board didn’t wait for an AGM vote.

  22. bluebayou

    How do you entrench a principle in a syndrome?

    Imagine Judge sitting there. (I assume that’s a name not an official title indicating he sits on the Queens Bench, or we’re all lost for sure), He’s only got one comma and no other punctuation to hand. Where does he put it?

    There’s something quite touching and poignant about the way it’s tucked in there behind “hope” with just enough distance to suggest it’s not meant to associate with the “it”, which precedes it.

    Like when you’re a teenager and have to travel on the bus with your little sister or brother. Yes your on the same vehicle but you sit on a different seat.

  23. Anonymous

    Hi Nick, would you mind setting up an alternate thread for those of us that would like to be segregated? Think of it as the away end of this blog.

  24. bluebayou

    It’s clear to me we need a drumming circle.

    Time for some inclusive Shamanic Drumming to help us over our Segregationist tendencies.

     (Though I’m not clear if we’re talking Mendel’s Law of Segregation (Genetics) or something more akin to 1950’s Mississippi.)

    We can all join in.

    Maybe a few hours on Parsons Green before the next home game?

    You know it makes sense……..

    http://shamanicdrumming.com/global_drum_circles.html

  25. bluebayou

    On Radio 4 this morning I heard Omid Djalili (a Chelsea fan) interviewed about his love of playing the bongos and their importance in the music of north Africa and the Middle East.

    I kid you not.

  26. Anonymous

    An inauspicious start to the day chez Limetreebower.

    I go downstairs, put the kettle on, listen for the satisfying kerflump of the Saturday paper hitting the doormat, sort out and toss away the useless sections like Money and Cars (or whatever they’re called) and retreat happily back to bed with tea and the sports pages …

    … only to find that pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 are devoted to hagiographic journalistic licking of the Ferguson bum.

    Mrs Limetreebower suggested the shredder. It made me feel a bit better.

  27. Benjami

    Fair play to AVB other than the three points today we desperately need a clean sheet and that is our strongest line-up defensively available right now.

    All 11 players work hard when not on the ball. Last season I would have been concerned with a lack of creativity but thankfully we have Mata.

    Need maximum points here or we will essentially be in 7th 🙁

  28. Benjami

    Pretty pants first half, we seem to be suffering the same problems we have had for the last few years. Mata is playing some good balls but he is playing central and just getting swamped out.

    Blackburn just sat in front of their penalty area and we are just passing it in front of them from side to side, no final ball or beating a man.

    I hope we get Malouda off for Torres and Meireles on for Mikel to inject us with same pace and urgency. Move Mata to the left, Sturridge to the right and get attacking!!

    Xmas Malouda/Kalou out someone who can give us width, pace and the ability to beat a man in.
     

  29. Benjami

    Win, clean sheet and no injuries so there should be nothing to complain about 😛

    However, Blackburn were extremely unlucky not to get a draw and could have edged a win if they had put their chances away. Alex looked dodgy throughout and they seemed to be getting so many headed chances they could/should have done better with them.

    We need a new central defender at Xmas unfortunately 🙁 unless Luiz can calm down because he has the potential to be world class.

    Torres with another rofl miss at the end, should have 100% scored and made it an easier last few minutes. I recommend you do not watch MOTD tonight if you didn’t catch the game 😛

  30. Anonymous

    I left Final Score on long enough to hear Tim Gudgin say “Blackburn Rovers nil.”

    From what Benjami says it sounds like our luck has evened out from midweek’s game. We’ll take it.

  31. Cunningplan

    Yes good goal from Lamps, and bit of a glaring miss from Torres at the end, but we’ve done a Utd, a streaky 1-0 win. I’ll take thank you very much.


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