The Observer, Paul Doyle: "Chelsea began powerfully and seemed determined to impose their class on a side that had needed a replay to squeeze past non-League Telford in the first round. But they were thwarted by Southend’s diligent defending and their own wretched shooting."
Sunday Telegraph, Steve Thompson: "Chelsea may indeed be in second place in the Premier League and also in the last 16 of the Champions League, but their vulnerability at home, where they have mustered only four league victories, is an increasing cause for alarm, especially when they fail to dispose of opponents 55 places below them in football’s pyramid."
Sunday Times, Barry Flatman: "For a football traveller as worldly as Luiz Felipe Scolari, the romance of the FA Cup is an unknown quality. But the expression Chelsea’s coach wore, after Southend United first snatched a draw with what seemed a last-gasp header and then preserved it with a goalkeeping save worthy of eulogies around the Kursaal and Cockel Sheds, was that of a man being subjected to pained education."
Official Chelsea FC Website: "The Blues concede from a late set-piece again as a 90th minute Southend equaliser gives the League One side a replay, Salomon Kalou having opened the scoring."
When Roman met with Phil Scolari last summer and demanded “I want more entertainment” I doubt whether our current performances are exactly what he had in mind. However by appointing Bozo the Clown as manager it can hardly come as a surprise that slapstick is now the primary act, restoring our previous crown of a Music Hall joke.
On a freezing afternoon the Shed Upper and Lower was full of Southend escapees who don’t have many pastimes since their pier burnt down in 2005.
If you didn’t see it don’t bother with the highlights. Just replay in your mind Fulham away, Burnley at home or any of our recent matches, substitute yellow for the opposition strip and you’ve seen it.
For the last couple of months we’ve found it difficult to open up the opposition. Scolari has offered trite excuses after each match but surely today, playing a team in 14th position two leagues below us, we would create lots of chances, win comfortably and resurrect some confidence for our league campaign.
Unfortunately the team managed to serve up another turgid performance finished off with the standard capitulation from a set piece. I guess at £24.50 FA Cup prices we get what we pay for.
Roman thought he’d bought a Bentley. He’s spent Bentley prices to get all that wood veneer, leather and chrome strips. But in the cold light of day it transpires the wood veneer, leather and chrome strips belong to a 1987 Rover 820 with eight previous owners and well and truly on its last legs.
- Carlo Cudicini – Alfa Sud – Well passed its best and leaky from the wings.
- Paulo Ferreira – 1978 Lancia Beta – Rusty!
- Ricardo Carvalho – Honda – Top of the reliability league.
- Branislav Ivanovic – Skoda – Good product but lacks the image of other brands.
- Ashley Cole – Mazda – Good spec and reliable but ride can cause nausea.
- Juliano Belletti – Harley Davidson – Good for occasional thrills.
- Frank Lampard – BMW – Classy but the shock absorbers are faulty so can no longer take corners.
- John Obi Mikel – Mercedes – Good product with solid residuals.
- Joe Cole – Citroen Maserati SM – Complex and fragile.
- Salomon Kalou – Austin Allegro – Could go fast but only if driven off a cliff.
- Didier Drogba – Routemaster bus – We’ve all got romantic memories but now only scrap value.
- Scott Sinclair (sub) – C5.
- Di Santo (sub) – Unknown, still on the production line.
I don’t suppose Sir Alex is quaking in his boots with our impending visit. There’s as much chance of us winning the league as there is the next Dr. Who being a woman or England winning Eurovision.