Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Video, Match Report

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: “Surely it ought not cost so much to play in an impoverished match. Having just become the most expensive signing in the history of English football, Fernando Torres was derided by the fans of his old club when Chelsea took him off in the 66th minute. The centre-forward had certainly not flourished on his debut and the £50m fee is a weight he must learn to carry, but there were many around him whose cheaper stumblings went unnoticed.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “For Carlo Ancelotti, this numbing defeat reduces the champions’ chances of catching Manchester United, who remain 10 points clear. The last time Chelsea lost seven games in a league season the manager, Claudio Ranieri, was sacked. Ancelotti needs time to bed his new players in but a huge call has to be made on his attack, one that could define Chelsea’s season.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “An afternoon that heralded two Chelsea debuts fell flat as mistakes at the back allowed Liverpool a second-half winner. It was a match typical of many league games between these two sides in recent years – a tactical stalemate for much of the afternoon. Chelsea failed to function as an attacking unit, either with Fernando Torres on the pitch or without him.”

The goal

69′ Raul Meireles 0-1

What a difference a day / week makes…

For once, the usually over-hyped deadline day lived up to its billing. It was, as the spin merchants might say, certainly a good day to bury bad news. You could probably have made the odd prehistoric remark about the competence levels of female officials and got away with it. Maybe even some old guff about being ‘cash positive’ when you’ve just lost £70 million odd might go unnoticed.


But as pantomime buffoons Keys and Gray, now presumably discussing the possibility of a warm-up slot on Jim Davidson’s forthcoming “Keep ‘em in the Kitchen Where They Belong or They’ll Want the Bloody Vote Next” tour will tell you, timing is everything.

While the blue faithful mulled the indignity of being outdone by Spurs for a player as, well, available as Steven Pienaar (how’s that ‘club with ambition’ thing working out for you, Steve?) and the almost crushing inevitability of the club’s crack – I think that’s what it said – negotiators fouling up the much-mooted David Luiz deal, it seems that Roman had found a spare £75 million knocking about down the side of the sofa.

Don’t know about you, but I love it when that happens. I usually just pop out and buy a few cans with the sofa proceeds, but it’s all relative, obviously.

So with Sky’s deadline clock ticking down, our benefactor decided to hang out the back of Liverpool FC and didn’t stop smashing it until their prized asset, one currently disgruntled but rather decent striker by the name of Torres, made his way to Stamford Bridge.

(You will note that I am endeavouring to use the popular parlance of the day in order to remain down with the kids, like Mr. Keys, and to keep things reasonably topical.)

That’s £50 million to you, Mr. Abramovich, or a bit of change out of a couple of Shevas, to use local SW6 fiscal / striker related slang.

As huge piles of burning red number nine shirts lit up the night sky all over the Liverpool area, any worries about the nation being enveloped by a large cloud of acrid smoke and self-righteous indignation were quickly overtaken by subsequent events.

Namely, the huge clouds of excess vapour resulting from the rest of the nation crying and pissing itself laughing as King Kenny went out and blew £35 million of his windfall on a broken Jimmy Nail impersonator. It would be impolite to ask how much of the fee equated to medical bills and bail money.

Oh, and as Roman pushed his trolley around the European marketplace, he returned briefly to the strangely haired centre-halves aisle and popped that Luiz chap in for good measure.

All transactions completed quickly in the space of one day (a bit like using the self service ten items or less checkout at your local Waitrose, I suppose), world football shaken to its foundations again and even the most hardened cynics amongst us Chelsea fans giddy with excitement.

And as luck, fate and general alignment of the planets would have it, Big Fern’s first game just happened to be against his former employers. Against whom, he said, he was quite keen to score.

History against the future, as it were. This, we hoped, would be a cracker.

The game

But as we all know, it’s the hope that kills you. I shall shamelessly plagiarise my esteemed colleague Herr Glover’s summary of the game which he left on my voicemail earlier.

“Poor. Shite, shite and thrice shite.”

Liverpool were just the better side, and the argument for leaving Torres out grew stronger as the game wore on. Dalglish’s 3-7-0 team came to suffocate, restrict and generally frustrate which they did admirably well given the limited resources at their disposal. Had Maxi not been wearing Ronnie Rosenthal’s boots, the result would have been even less pleasant to think about.

As for us, a lacklustre midfield, a £50 million striker starved of service and partnering a lethargic looking Ivorian chap with our best player of recent weeks left out (Ramires – no idea whether he is injured or not), we looked more like the Chelsea of December than the one that ran riot at Sunderland a few days back. The odd penalty shout and half-decent blocked shot aside, we didn’t really do enough to warrant Carlo’s inevitable protestations that a draw would have been fair for all concerned.

Uh-huh. Sorry Carlo, but responsibility for this one lies with you (and Petr and Branners for their crossed wires, anyway). Plus points were Luiz’s cameo, and, erm, well that’s about it really. Oh, Sturridge, D. seems to be scoring, which is nice. After forty odd goals in the Premier League yesterday, today’s fare produced a couple of rather dull 1-0 wins for the away teams – I suppose it was probably written, somewhere.

The good

  • Had a very fine venison pie for lunch.
  • Arsenal. Yes, I have to agree with the sheep in the media that I do find them endlessly entertaining (at times, anyhow).

The bad

  • Really drank far too much for a Sunday afternoon.
  • The “He who betrays will always walk alone” banner. What a bunch of self-important bloody drama queens.

Player ratings


Man of the Match

Nope, struggling with that one too. Luiz, just for looking less mediocre than the rest.


Bragging rights for the weekend’s big game travel to Merseyside. Something of a triumph of graft over craft, Dalglish’s side won’t be pretty to watch but he’ll stand a good chance of taking them into the Europa League next season. We’re doing what United did last season – failing to capitalise on slip-ups and not offering anything like a substantial challenge.

But overall, I’d say the future is bright and whilst the Scousers leave civilisation with smug grins, I’d still rather be in our position than theirs right now. And in amongst the heady events of the last week, there is a lesson for our owner should he care to take heed of it.

Top class footballers, despite what you read in the media, are motivated by winning nice shiny silver things. They are well rewarded for their endeavours, undoubtedly, but make the mistake of thinking that a well-filled bank account is all that makes them tick and you may be surprised by the response.

Torres came here for many reasons, one of which appeared to be the promises about investment and the future that were made and subsequently broken by those in charge at Liverpool. Wayne Rooney was evidently convinced enough by his conversations with the United bigwigs about the future and his part in it during the summer, but our Spanish galactico had clearly heard enough from the ever-changing management team at Anfield.

Temperamental these superstar footballers may be, but as the few days have demonstrated they don’t come cheap either. Once you’ve got them, it’s wise to keep them a) happy and b) motivated. Fail to deliver on promises made, and you might find yourself minus the people that you need to keep challenging for the big pots. That way lies mid-table mediocrity which is a little too costly in itself these days.

And the big news item from the last seven days? Whilst it was arguably a debut to forget, Senor Torres is Chelsea’s number nine and I‘m sure that the future will hold many better days for him and Carlo’s boys.

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There are 64 comments

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  1. Thomas

    bollocks for the most of it. graft over craft? what game did u watch m8.lmao here.liverpool wont be pretty to watch?again what game.3-7-0 ? funny that we had more forward than at any other time in the last 5 yrs or so,pass and move,from defence to attack all game long,no long balls anymore , nice short passing game,maybe not as adventureous as we can be but none the less far from a defensive display as you would have believe.take it on the chin, you talked it for a week. thanks for the 50 mil hahahahahaha

    • Anonymous

      Our pleasure. Just don’t spunk £35 million away on an unproven Geordie twat who is injured due to a bar stool falling incident involving the consumption of too many Jaeger bombs………

      oh….wait a minute……

  2. Anonymous

    Well done sir, and as you credited me it’s not plagiarism, so there’s no need for my people to talk to your people etc etc.

    Even with time to calm down and rationalise that farce , I find myself still bloody livid frankly. Hindsight being what it is, yes I suppose starting Torres may not have been the wisest thing. Liverpool had 3 on him whenever he got within a yard of the ball, and as expected they seemed to know pretty well how to stop him today. That’s fine, top players like him learn new things and next time it will be very different.

    For me we had too many utter cunt performances there today. Lets start with Cech who has been very close to his former best this season. Quite simply he didn’t give Branners a shout on the incident leading to the early spat, and as a ‘keepr we have criticised him before for being too passive. Compare to Joe Hart who doesn’t stop yelling at his defence, similarly a rather fine keeper called Peter Schmeichel ruled his penalty box like Vlad the Impaler. His defence were shit scared of fucking up, and they never ever doubted when it was his ball. So, the goal was comedic, and I’m planting the blame again at Cech, with Branners complicit in a total communications fuck up. It couldn’t have been funnier if both had pointed at the ball as it sailed past them and said ‘After you dear chap”

    Michael Essien is missing! Call the cops…call Interpol….hell call the Caped Crusader, He’s locked away in a dungeon somewhere being fed scraps of fresh dog, whilst Professor Stepford sits in the stand controlling the clone version we have. I beleive Professor Stepford is a fan of Strictly, because that’s what this Essien looks like. A fucking ballroom dancer…one with the coordination skills of a dancing bear that’s drunk a gallon of bourbon.

    Lampard. Some are blaming the system, the tactics (admittedly this is on Twitter) but he’s a fucking professional with very high standards which make today’s Red Lion Second XI performance stand out even more. That’s the worst display ever in a Chelsea shirt. Couldn’t pass, head, tackle, I bet he had trouble wiping his own arse today.

    Drogba. Go on, someone defend him using the worn out fuckwit excuse of malaria…go on. Please. Because In have access to a shotgun with 35 cartridges free and I’m happy to chase someone down the road doing my best Elmer J Fudd impression. If he’ s still suffering the effects then fucking drop him until next season if necessary. But, controversially I’ll say this…Carlo is a bottler. He’s scared to drop Drogba because Scolari had the balls to do it and was dropped after the big Ivorian fell at Romans feet pleading ‘Please don’t drop me boss…..pleeeeassse’ much like Kevin Tonkinson did in the superbly accurate and always funny Mike Bassett – England manager. Carlo, grow a fucking pair man.

    Bosingwa. Just how fucking crap he is as a defender defies belief. Seriously the right back part of the field was so devoid of his presence me and the Good Lord Kaiser could have had a beer and sandwich picnic there and still had time for a cigar and to clear up before Bosingwa would have discovered us. Fucking hopeless at crossing as well. Away with you this summer.

    Branners was uncharacteristically shaky today until moved to right back, but he’s an untouchable in my view. Ashley Cole ran himself into the ground, and Anelka tried to be everywhere in midfield because of the Romulan cloaking devices adopted by Android Essien and MIA Lampard. We missed Ramires who seems to be the only midfielder capable and willing to put in the same amount of effort as their human dynamo, Dirk Kuyt. Say what you like about Kuyt, and I find him hateful, but boy does he bloody work for that team and we had no-one out there today willing to do the same, bar JT and possibly Ash and Anelka. Ramires is playing better than Essien week in and week out.

    Obi – a disastrous start and yellow card on 37 seconds did for him today – after that he couldn’t go in for many tackles and there’s no doubt he was shaken by that travesty of a card.

    Kalou and Malouda came on just to prove the point that they were equally capable of running into blind alleys, although Malouda hardly runs these days, unless a leisurely skip is now the new running. If they’re the anser then the question must be harder to answer than the meaning of Life, the Universe and everything.

    David Luiz, how long before those wigs are on sale? Fabulously confident, bossy and talented. Came on too late for me.

    And that’s also the issue. Carlo waited until 70 minutes and a goal down before making the changes, and even then they were shit until Luiz came on. After 10 minutes of the second half it was obvious to the most fuckwitted of fans that we were still playing like a group of toothless dogs fighting over a manky old bone. Yet he did nothing, just let the frustration build, the atmosphere die and along with it any hopes of a decent result. It’s days like this I miss Mourinho the most, his tactless substitutions may have annoyed the players but his message was always the same, this isn’t right, and now this will make it right. Carlo looks like Avrams less knowledgeable brother sometimes.

    And do, like you Lord Kaiser, I loo forward to a 4th place finish, some qualifying games against other unseeded teams in July/August, a possible FA Cup and a summer of more change with some ruthless surgery on the senior player culture stifling our club. Studge, Kakuta and Paddy can come back and stake their places in the squad, we can ditch Drogba for Real Madrid, buy Neymar or Pato, or even Tiotte, and try again next season. This title defence as I’ve said before is worse than any seen before.

    Rant over, and please don’t start with the ‘Bring on Fulham’ bollocks either – note this…we are 10 behind Utd, 3 places away from them and level on points with Spurs. Liverpool are now just 6 off of us and have played all their big away games. They might be shit, but today they were better motivated and organised shit than us, and that hurts.

    • Anonymous

      Like you mate I’m pissed but strangely not that surprised at that shocking performance. Let me quickly vent to let it all out:
      1. Torres – This defeat had nothing to do with him. He’s a world class finisher who feeds on service. If you don’t give him any good service then he’s useless. Just like Ronaldo (the proper Brazilian one) at his best, if you don’t give him the ball you might as well play with 10 men.
      2. Passing – It’s a very simple concept. We play in blue so you should pass to a blue shirt. Not too tough right? Well it was beyond our lot today. Frankly the inability to pass a 40 yard ball or even a 2 yard one was disgraceful. They train all week and probably look great but if you can’t do it against a competent, well drilled yet limited Liverpool side then you might as well piss off.
      3. Didier – Just fuck off. Right now. Just shut the fuck up with all your moaning, your diving, your fucking ego and your shit performances. You are not only a liability but your continued presence in the side is actually harming us right now. It’s clear that we shouldn’t play with two big men up front and if it’s a choice between you or Torres, then I’m sorry mate but I’ll finally call your bluff and ship you back off to Marseille. You were and are a legend for us but your time is up. Your pace and power left months ago but anyone watching that game saw that you don’t know how to pass a football, head a football, chase down defenders, control a football, link the play, hold up the ball or do anything positive. Thanks for 7 great years mate but enough is enough. Goodbye.
      4. The tactics did not cost us this game. And before I hear anyone say, “well we shouldn’t have played a diamond,” well you lot can piss off to the backtracking hole you crawled out of as one of our best performances this season came at Sunderland IN A DIAMOND. Yes he dropped Kalou but we were ALL calling for Torres so was any of us complaining at 3:30pm when we saw the teams? And it’s clear that he didn’t tell the side to walk around, playing at a glacial tempo, continually giving the ball away. His biggest failings were the same two I’ve been going on about for months: namely his lack of balls to square up to Didier and drop him and also his continued sidelining of Josh. Yes he’s young but he’s the best passer of a ball in our squad and after today’s dismal showing he must start a premier league game now. Carlo is a very good manager but he seems too concerned with egos at the moment and that his hurting us.
      5. Bosingwa – Fuck off you lazy, casual, weak twat. You don’t care about anything and it shows. The number of times you waved a lazy leg at the ball and simply walked back when you inevitably gave it away was infuriating. I would terminate your contract right now.
      6. Essien – That is you Michael right? You know, the Bison who terrorised teams for a few years. Because you’re an embarrassment at present.
      7. Cech – I’m glad you thought that you could win in a fight with Branner in the first half but that was obviously all for show as you chickened out of claiming a very easy cross for their goal and should have reached the follow up shot anyway. Wake up.
      8. Anelka – Hmm…only a number 10 against shit sides? Yep, that sums it up. Too many touches on the ball, too slow in the play and not enough linking of the play. We need a real playmaker.
      9. Title – It’s gone. Champions League or bust now.
      10. David Luiz – A very good sub from Carlo. Played the Pique role of attacking, ball playing central defender brilliantly. Your full debut on Monday will be a joy as that means Bosingwa will be dropped.
      11. Torres promises – He said that Roman’s plans to build a great side this summer helped to convince him to come and personally I can’t wait. The old guard are so frustrating sometimes and performances like these just make you want to chuck them out and bring back Studge, Kakuta and Pat.

      That’s it. Title gone. And what a way to lose it. It was a pathetic raising of the white flag and was frankly embarrassing.

      • Jon

        Have to disagree with you on Carlo’s tactics … playing sunderland is one thing in Diamond, playing the pool is something else. Kenny stuck with the formation he likes best … we normally play 4-3-3. Why change it for such a big game?? Kenny didn’t start suarez … did we need to start with torres?

        Personally I see it as carlo botteling it again. He wanted a formation that would fit in all the big names (drogs, anelka and torres) as he’s too scared to drop any of them. I’m not saying we shouldn’t play the diamond (our wingers suck in kalou and malouda) but give the team time to adapt. Remember we did conceed 2 against sunderland with that formation.

        Sure – the players did not perform either … but thats why you need a strong manager to rile them up and get good performances from them. If they don’t perform … drop them. So now we have a scared manager and under-performing players. Champions league this season … no way.

        However, still very bullish about next season. If carlo finds his balls and can handle a team like ours in a mourinho-esq way … and roman invests again in some quality young players then it should make for a cracking 2011/12 season.

        • Jon

          Also – please Carlo … can we stop with the long balls up to DD!! With the amount spent on our team we should not be Wimbledon mark II. It’s just embarrassing.

  3. Benjami

    Cheers Thomas, besos ;x

    Anyway, I think people are being far too negative. Liverpool came to play 1 set-up, the right one for the situation, and did it well. They then got the bit of luck they needed and we couldn’t break them down.

    Luiz looked excellent for his 10 mins of play, some utterly quality tackles 😀 if only that pass to Ashley had come off, but then again why was our centre back beating men and 5 yards from their penalty box. He looks absolute quality 😀 I hope he holds that level of performance vs the Manchester Uniteds of this World.

    It is a shame he is not registered in the Champions League for this season, but then like others have said this is a transition year.

    Personally I thought Torres did well, this is a major major change to how we will set-up for the next few years. It will be the final end to TSO era, and mark, hopefully, CA’s era truly beginning. I wanted him to start but in retrospect it was wrong, however I would have played him as Carlo did.

    We will only be able to judge this buy by the end of the season when the team has settled into the new structure.

    It was a perfect example of our recent issues with teams that sit against us, and us struggling to break them down. His scoring record per minute is great and you could see he was trying to actually step past and beat people which none of our players seem to want to do these days.

    I don’t think anyone on either side played particularly well, just one moment of hesitation lead to a silly goal. Game would have been 0-0 80% of the time, just unlucky that Liverpool got the lucky break. Just like Alonso’s deflected goal a few years ago :/

    We move on, 2nd place should be ours quite comfortably. The bison should be fit and ready to go next season with no injury worries. Cech – Essien Ramires – Torres. Even without the old guard that backbone is staggering 🙂

  4. Benjami

    Don’t turn this blog into rawk Grocerjack, we got 18/18 vs the top 4 last season. The double over every single big team in England. Karma comes back and bites you in the bottom sometimes 🙂

  5. snatch

    Liverpool were the far better side end of – Chelsea were out of ideas and just not good enough.
    They may improve and achieve something in the Champions League but you forget the prem – will struggle to hold onto 4th place at the moment.Torres is class and will improve if injury free but need to forget the 3 striker system.

  6. Thomas

    nice one greenlightinoz….i assume ur talking about the 50mil gift? we did need the cash for someone decent up front.

  7. Anonymous

    Fine report as always, and catches the perspective quite well.

    I’ll concede to the trolls that ‘Poo were the better side today, if only because it’s hard to imagine who could have been worse than the stumbling dawdling dross we served up.

    But I think of all the teams we’ve seen at the Bridge this season that ‘Poo team would rank in the bottom third. Even giving the classic away performance they were staggeringly constipated. Not a patch on what we saw from Sunderland or Bolton. Still, what matters to them now is points, so good luck to ’em.

    Like most others here I doubt we’ll be quite that bad again, though, and we all know which of Chelsea and the ‘Poo is going to finish this season higher in the table. (And next season too, I suspect, since the BoSoxers have already spent Abramovich’s largesse.)

    Interesting that Gerrard ended up injured. That might explain why he was so uselss he could almost have been playing in *our* midfield.

  8. MachchanHongKong

    GrocerJack put it succinctly in four words “Carlo is a bottler”. I think bottler mentality now permeates the whole team. What we see is every player doing endless repeats of the Bosingwa move of scampering forward a few steps only to stop at the first sight of an opposition player and to pass to the side or back. How can you expect any penetration with this mentality. I mentioned Carlo’s Italian defensive mentality being a liability before – now it is a cancer metastasised through the whole bloody team . Either he changes his mindset or buggers off.
    Agree Luiz was a breath of fresh air – hope he doesn’t get Ancelottised.

  9. Anonymous

    Torres never should have started, he’s not used to playing with this squad and the team needs more time to gel with him and having him make his debut against his old team is not smart.
    Carlo must go, the team is not playing very well with him, he makes too many tactical mistakes, fails to properly motivate the team and the defense is shit.

  10. Anonymous

    An item to add to Habs’s rant —

    12. Cashley. While we’re flinging poo at Bosingwa, can we not forget our other fullback? He’s been off form most of the season but yesterday he was more or less a heavy-legged lead-footed waste of space. If memory serves we actually did more wide attacking down the right than the left (Bosingwa 1 Cashley 0) and their goal came from our left, with Cashley miles out of position when the cross needed defending (Bosingwa 1 Cashley -1).

    Habs has it spot on: walking around, playing at quarter-speed, and giving the ball away every 30 seconds. Neither the manager or the opposition had anything to do with it. We were either embarrassingly exhausted or unforgivably unmotivated and lazy.

  11. Anonymous

    Drogs and Torres simply won’t work. We need to go old-school and wheel out a 4-4-2, with Anelka and one of Torres / Drogs partnering.

    But to do that we’d need two decent wingers. Which us two more than we have.

    On the talk of loanees returning, Jack Cork is on fire for Burnley. He needs to be given a chance.

  12. Anonymous

    I agree with pretty much all of the comments so far.

    Maybe it’s an Italian thing since Carlo and Fabio choose players on reputation (Essien / Mikel) rather than form. Or maybe it’s not an Italian thing but managers with names ending in ‘o’ because this was Roy Keane’s undoing at Ipswich?

  13. PeteW

    Should never start with 4-4-2 until we sign a playmaker. Torres had to start from the bench. But Carlo never has the wit/balls to sort it out when things start badly. I like the guy, but it was so obvious what would happen from the moment the team was named.

    Very disappointed, cos they came expecting to get pummelled (not even benitez was that defensive) and we played right into their hands. I mean, they were really dire but they deserved what they got, they didn’t need to be any better.

    Pretty sure we’ll bounce back okay if we go back to 4-3-3, start Luiz (a player who can bring the ball out of defensive makes such a difference), drop Drogba OR Torresm and bring in Ramires for Essien or Lampard, but very worried about how we approach the Man Utd and City games, cos we need the points if we’re going to stay in fourth and expect CA to go back to his big names for big games.

    If we stick with DD and Torres in a diamond, we won’t beat any side with tactical nous.

    Still, ‘Fuck your history, you burn your own shirts’. That’s worth a few million at least…

  14. Der_Kaiser

    Not generally given to singling out individuals, as the issues we face at the moment are far greater than any one person (Carlo included), but there are a number who should be fearing for the place in the team in the short term and their Chelsea future in the summer. I think (well, hope) we make fourth but either way, I can really see a serious clear out come June. Most of the players in question – Bos, Drogs and Malouda to name a few – won’t realise big money but will save on wages – maybe that has already entered the club’s thinking on the matter. If there is a decent fee on offer for Essien then personally, I’d find it difficult to turn down – looks a shadow of the player he was before the knee problems and whether he can pull it back is surely open to question.

    Tricky few months coming up for Carlo; given the investment Roman has just made, I’m working on the basis that he’s safe for next season and looks like he’ll be given further funds to rebuild.

    But then again, this is Chelsea so he could well be out on his arse before February is out. I suppose we can’t complain that this football club is ever dull, if nothing else…

  15. Cunningplan

    I have to agree starting Torres was wrong on so many levels.
    Considering he’s only trained with the team for a couple of days, must have developed a perfect understanding with his team mates, yeah right!
    As much as he wanted to play, it must have been difficult to debut with the first game against your old club.
    In the event of being substituted (which he was) that was only going to lift their fans and players, (it worked they scored) bringing him on with 25mins to go when the score was 0-0 would have been far more effective, and perhaps made Liverpool a bit more nervy.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it was so obvious to start with a formation and team that knew each others game. And Ramires would have been ideal to play yesterday, because he’s one of the very few in midfield that has a bit of pace and runs at players.
    No doubting Luiz looks sheer class, and his transfer may have been overshadowed by Torres, but this guy is going to give us some great options by bringing the ball out of defence, actually I think he could comfortably play in midfield.

  16. FanSinceTheSixties

    Got to admit I’m being surprised at the level-headedness on here. For me that was the most reprehensible piece of crap that I’ve seen for, oh, a month or so.

    We all make mistakes and if Carlo accepts that this was his bad moment, then ok. If not, then he/we are in deepshit and fourth place may be beyond us.

    Whether starting Torres was wrong is moot, but taking him off was disastrous.

    The overriding fear for poo was that he would score on his debut against them, and removing him removed that fear.

    I didn’t want to sign him (at that price) but he looked good and handled the attention really well and there was always the threat that he would score, which made poo very nervous. With two or three defenders around him, he made plenty of space for the others and we did get opportunities in a very close match, but when he left it all just fell apart.

    Their goal was almost a certainty from then, and after they scored we went from bad to worse.

    Not singling anyone out for critism – they’ve all been named and shamed enough already – but the real architct of our downfall was Carlo and he needs to take it on board and move on.

    After winning the double it’s tempting to assume that we were great last year, and we played well at times but we got lucky when it mattered (DD’s offside against Manu). We’ve also lost part of that winning team, so if Carlo thinks that he’s cracked the EPL he needs someone to tell him otherwise, and maybe that missing person is the real problem.

    Rant over.

    Ironically, this side is more than good enough do a poo and pick up the CL during a fairly rubbish season.

  17. Anonymous

    Distinctly depressing that we made such heavy weather of overcoming a truly mediocre ‘Poo side – have never seen them be dispossessed so often in their own half, only to see us fail miserably to capitalise on the chances.

    Indeed I don’t remember us having a single effort on target in the entire game, though I’ve looked at three reports which suggest we had 0, 1 or 3 [don’t you just love stats?].

    Classic moment – skipping through a recording of Sky’s coverage when I got home to catch Jamie Rednapp almost wetting himself at spotting the 1 moment in the entire first half when ‘Poo actually got more than 1 man in our box.

    Crumb of comfort – Luiz’s very encouragingly confident cameo in the last 20 minutes.

    Question of the Day – why was Ramires “unavailable” as mysteriously stated on the club website team news, given that Carlo said on Friday we had no new injuries?

  18. Der_Kaiser

    While we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from them, the old Guardian chalkboards make interesting reading for this one.

    Thing that stands out is the huge number of misplaced passes from both sides in midfield (and in defence to an extent); Frank, Ess (although he actually had far more of the ball than anyone else, surprisingly), Gerrard, both their full backs and Bosingwa had absolute shockers in terms of how much they gave the ball away. The much-maligned Lucas used the ball pretty well, as did Mikel after a jittery start.

  19. Anonymous


    Think you’ll find the level-headedness is down to acceptance on the part of most people that what we saw yesterday is simply the Chelsea of here and now. Doubt anyone was hugely surprised by result or performance.

    Everyone seems to be in agreement that Torres should have started on the bench. Wonder who really picked the te – Carlo or Roman. Once again, numerous shots of the bench and a range of emotions on display, save for Emenalo who still gives the impression he’s a fan who’s won a competition to spend the day with the management team.

    I don’t know him from Adam. But I know he has the sort of face I’d never tire of punching. I know it’s been asked many, many times, but what the fuck does he actually do?

    • Anonymous

      I remember at least one press conference when Carlo’s eyebrow was working overtime as he explained that Emenalo’s duties remained unchanged as he has no coaching qualifications – his old official title according to the Year Book was “Head Opposition Scout”, so that’s presumably what he still does, with the equivalent of the “chairman of the day” prize thrown in every game day.

      Has anyone noticed an increase in newspaper articles dropping in casual suggestions at the end that Carlo could be toast at the end of the season like this:

      I read something similar last week about supposed assurances to Torres that someone sympathetic to him was lined up to replace Carlo at the end of the season if necessary. Is someone in Pravda feeding the press for the next purge?

  20. PeteW

    Whisper it quietly, but I quite rate Lucas. Good unfussy clever hardworking midfielder, bit of a Fletcher. You wouldn’t want another ten like him, though.

    I don’t think yesterday was about the ‘Chelsea here and now’ as much as a really, really shit team selection, and as we know when Carlo picks a shit team, we’re stuck with it for 90 minutes.

    I am pretty confident that this team would have won quite comfortably.

    Ivan Luiz Terry Cole
    Lampard Ramires
    Kalou Drogba Anelka

    With Malouda, Torres, Boswinga and Essien to come off the bench if needed. I bet with Torres on the bench, Drogba would shake a bloody leg anyway. Kalou has beenb our best forward this season (suck it up, but it’s the truth) and Anelka should be given a freeish role but asked to stay wide as much as possible). Anything else cramps Lampard (who is obviously struggling, so why make things harder for him) and puts to much onus on the horribly out of sorts Boswinga and the so-so Cole.

    Also gets Ivanovic out of the centre of defence where – despite the univeral props he gets on here – he has not really been all that good.

    As for the future, Josh must be phased in soon because he could make a big transfer unneccesary in the summer. it’s criminal that he has been so underused given all our problems, as has been the use of Sturridge.

    Really can find little to praise Carlo about over the past few months, bar his general good humour and phlegmatic approach. I like the guy a lot, but with a No 2 to help him out, he’s made so many basic errors I really find it hard to comprehend.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Think Lucas fell into the ‘few dodgy performances – write him off as shite’ category that so many foreign imports get lumped into when they arrive. Another maligned foreign chap – dear old Rafa – deserves some credit here; remember a Merseyside derby a few seasons back when he replaced Gerrard with Lucas with the score at 1-1 with about 15 mins to go. Cries of ‘unbelievable’, ‘suicidal’ and ‘madness’ from the pundits, howls of disbelief and derision from the Liverpool support, but Lucas shored things up and actually made the winning goal. Rafa observed that ‘sometimes you need head as well as heart in games like this’, despite Gerrard’s vocal protests to his fans in the media.

      Must have done a kid with shaky confidence the world of good – a fair old gamble, no doubt, but smart and actually quite ballsy management in the circumstances.

      (Carlo, if you’re reading this…)

      • Cunningplan

        Lets be honest have we seen any ballsy management from Carlo since he arrived, perhaps there might have been, but I can’t recall. The frustration I have is that all his substitions are fairly predictable, even the timings of them.

        I reckon young Josh would have had more impact coming on yesterday.

    • Ososdeoro

      I agree with that far superior lineup, maybe going further and putting Josh in instead of Mikel. But IIRC, Branners gets universal acclaim for his right back play on this site, not for his center back play. Personally I’m always left wondering why he fancies himself a CB.

      Right on Josh, right on Carlo.

      BTW, since Shearer is for some reason playing ahead of Stockdale, and will forever apparently, maybe the younger one would rather be a backup for us than Fulham. Wouldn’t that enable us to get an additional foreigner if he replaced Hilario?

  21. PeteW

    Expect the JM rumours to start gathering pace.

    If it’s Rafa, I may genuinely have to step away from the club for a couple of seasons and start watching more of AFC Wimbledon.

  22. Austin Solari

    Having watched CA during games, I am starting to think of Avram G. We all know what a shit manager he is/was BUT we made the CL Final that season despite his non-efforts. I am starting to think we won the Double last season in the same way …. thanks to the players and CA had fukk all to do with really. As Cunning said, can any of us remember a game changing decision from CA since he has arrived ala JM making 2 subs 25 minutes into a game vs. Fulham and the FA Cup match against Spuds where we ended up with 6 forwards on the pitch as I recall.
    On paper, our beloved Blues are the muttz nuttz but they still need a man to steer them ala JM

  23. PeteW

    ‘I am starting to think we won the Double last season in the same way …. thanks to the players and CA had fukk all to do with really.’

    Think that is a very unfair reading of history. Carlo changed the way we play football, the whole style and philosophy of the team. This was a remarkable achievement. He has his faults, but last year he got the team consistenly playing some of the best football seen at the Bridge since Gullit and Vialli. That doesn’t happen by accident.

    • Anonymous

      Completely agree. Carlo’s appeasing of egos is a huge error but the players’ disgusting attitude and lack of desire should not be forgottenin all of this. Carlo does not set the team up to walk around for 90 minutes with a lazy attitude and even though his calm, laissez-faire character can grate sometimes, we shouldn’t forget that he is without doubt one of the world’s best managers. There’s only 3 others out there we could possibly get to improve/positively change this club (Pep, Jose and Andre Villas Boas) so we should really get behind Carlo.

      The most frustrating thing is that Carlo can sometimes find the balls to drop Didier (Spurs away). It scared Dider into a reaction and despite his penalty miss, that second half was one of Didier’s most impressive. Dismissing Carlo as Scolari mk.II is moronic and with a bit of support from Roman and the fans and some more bravery onCarlo’s part, we’ll be fine (although this season will end in failure if we don’t win the Champions League. Transitional season with a 3rd or 4th place finish, perhaps an FA Cup and the discovery of Josh does not count as success in anyone’s books).

    • Ausitn Solari

      Yes, I am sorry, Pete. I had forgotten that. Just such disappointment at yesterdays performance finds me trying to find excuses how we can play so well on Monday and such shit on Sunday

  24. Benjami

    Habs is right, the only 2 managers we should even consider replacing him with is Pep and Jose for the moment. Don’t forget we could still finish this season with the FA Cup and Champions League 😛

    We have a nice week for Torres to settle, calm himself down and get to know the rest of the team.

    That team played great vs Sunderland in the second half, and Sunderland are pretty similar to Liverpool these days. The difference was Sunderland tried to play football and give us the space to play our football = win.

    When teams close us out and flood the wings (i.e. block Ashley Cole) we really suffer, and it seems more than the teams around us. This has been true since Robben left us for me, therefore Torres’ role is simple, to try and do something extraordinarily special to bust open the defensive teams.

    If Torres had scored that chance Liverpool gave him in the first 5mins, Liverpool would have had to change tactics and the game would have opened up right into our hands. Fate is a fickle thing!

    Once we get that first goal, and break the deadlock the shape of the game changes!

  25. FanSinceTheSixties

    I’m very much pro Carlo too, but he needs the sort of support that’s just not forthcoming at this time.

    Managing a big club maybe too much for one person and all the best have solid help on hand. Arsewhinge might be an exception but then I did say the best, so he might not count.

    Saw a great photo of Clarke wagging the finger at KK but can’t find it now…that may not be the sort of assistant that Carlo would want, but there are enough yes men around already, so maybe try someone a bit more positive to push him in the right direction.

    Maybe it’s others in the duggout who need to grow theirs a bit sharpish.

    • Anonymous

      Arsewhinge has Pat Rice at his side, and he’s been a perennial fixture within the club for years, as has Liam Brady. King Kelly (sic) immediately got Steve Clarke in, Mancini has Kidd and Platt both well respected within the game, Ferguson had Kidd, McClaren, Quieroz and now Phelan, again all respected in the game. All very good right hand men and irrespective of whether they ever go on to solo success, as number 2 coaches they are undeniably good. Our very own beloved (and he is to me) Mourinho has his team of Brito, Lauro and Faria. So, one has to ask why Ancelotti seemingly refuses to insist on his own right hand man. Not Clement, who may be good but so far hasn’t shown anything and certainly not the fucking numpty Emenalo. – I’ve said it before, Zola would lift the club and the players he coaches, Robbie is now available and might welcome being the natural successor to Carlo, learning his trade with us. Where I work it’s called succession planning and is a pretty common concept throughout industry, so why not with us?

      • FanSinceTheSixties

        Where have I been for the last few days?

        Didn’t even know that Robbie had been released by the twits, could their loss be our gain? I really hope so but Ltb is probably right about it appearing to be a step down, plus the pay for Carlo’s no.2 could be much less than a PL manager (even WBA).

  26. Anonymous

    Branners plays beside Vidic in the centre for Serbia, doesn’t he? Or am I remembering wrong?

    He wasn’t good yesterday but as far as I’ve seen that’s his first below average game this season so compared to everyone else (bar Petr) he’s been holding up well.

    Really, as long as Essien and Nando aren’t both in terminal decline the signs for the future are pretty promising. Luiz, Branners, Ramires, Essien, Josh, Nando, should all be around for a few years and you can imagine a good team cohering around them (Van Aa, Bruma, Kalou, A N Otherwinger [Gokhan Tore/Jacoppo Sala], Cech).

  27. Anonymous

    My mistake on Branners, thanks Habs.

    Robbie is a fab idea. I suppose it’s a problem for him and Franco that they’ve both managed in the Prem, though? — makes it harder for them to take what would look like a step down.

    There was a surprisingly interesting article in the silly glossy mag that gets sent out to members about the Academy set-up. It made specific reference to the number of ex-Chelsea players on the staff at various youth and reserve levels (Andy Myers! — and Sam Hutchinson is already getting involved, hearteningly). Talk of “A Chelsea way” was a bit ludicrous but if there really is some such policy then you’d be hard pressed to think of a better candidate than Robbie.

    • Austin Solari

      I was about to post that link myslef, BM …………. but the horrible paragraph is halfway down the article ………. did you notice??

      West Ham manager Avram Grant has also been linked to the job because of his connections with the Russian owner, but Hiddink would be a popular appointment with the players and fans.

      Please Nooooooooooooooooo …………. anybody other than him again!!!! I would prefer Woy to him.

    • Anonymous

      If Carrol cost 35 mil we have to ask at least 40 Mr. Glover !!!!! By the way I am considering in charging them with illegal approach.

      • Der_Kaiser

        Rumours that he’s also highly susceptible to similar falling off barstool type injuries are unconfirmed and as such are of the scurrilous variety.


    • Anonymous

      OK people. It is true that I have been moonlighting at CFCNet. I would prefer to use the phrase we use at the mobile company I work for which is

      ‘ a collaborative mutually beneficial partnership’

      Others might call it asset sweating.

      But in essence time being the pain that it is, I thought it would be acceptable to produce an article per week with appropriate references changed for publishing on both sites. I’m a sort of franchise. Plus CFCNet does have a larger readership and they’re perfectly happy to cross reference to this fine organ which hopefully might see some more visitors here.

      My agent can confirm that all approaches were correctly observed under current football ranting regulations, no money changed hands (sadly) and all parties are in agreement that this will not harm either organ, other than by virtue of the complete bollocks I have been known to spout from time to time. .

      No animals were harmed during any barstool incident

  28. Anonymous

    One last thing – I did ask our Dear leader to wait a couple of days to ensure the Good Lord Kaiser’s fine piece got the primary exposure it so richly deserves., hence the BP Express version of the CFCNet article will be up in a day or two.

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