Chelsea 1-1 Everton – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report

Newspaper reports

The Observer, Anna Kessel: “If a victory over Everton would have “resolved everything” for Chelsea, then where exactly does yet another draw leave Carlo Ancelotti’s flagging side? “Disappointed” was the manager’s response. “Angry. Not just for the result, but we played a poor second half. We lost our idea to play our football. Just a long ball, we were scared. I didn’t like this.””

Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “The eyebrow has lost its energy. Carlo Ancelotti’s usually ironic good humour is finally beginning to fray as Chelsea’s slide continues. With speculation about his future, the sudden dismissal of Ray Wilkins lingering, Frank Arnesen’s resignation and now a fourth straight league game without a win, the Italian is firmly in his worst spell since taking over last season. Lucky the Russian World Cup success is there to distract Uncle Roman.”

Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “Having threatened to run away with the Premier League title, Chelsea are losing ground by the week. In the past six matches they have scored three goals and taken a mere five points, surrendering the leadership first to Manchester United and now to Arsenal, both of whom they face later this month, after an away game at Tottenham.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “A late Everton equaliser at Stamford Bridge on Saturday made it four league games without victory for Chelsea.”

The goals

42′ Drogba (pen) 1-0
86′ Beckford 1-1

The preamble

After the November shambles we have all endured I have been lying in a dark room for a couple of weeks. I could have gone on slumbering for a few weeks more but my mobile beeped and it was Nick asking if I would write today’s match report. Don’t think my nerves have recovered quite yet so this match has come a little too soon for me.

Musing over what has gone wrong it seems fairly clear to me that our injury list has been the main reason for our recent collapse. If we had been told in July that Lamps would be out for four months, Alex out for two, Benayoun out for six, with JT playing through injury for the whole season, and Drogba effectively unable to play properly for two months with malaria, I don’t think many of us would have developed high hopes.

Add to that the fact that Malouda, Anelka, Kalou and Sturridge have failed to carry the team while the others have been out and it is a minor miracle we are still second.

The thing that galls me the most, however, was the decision to carry a light-weight squad forward into the season from July. If all our senior players (except Essien and Ivan) are in their 30s then it was insane to let Carvalho, Ballack, Joe Cole, Deco and Belletti leave. And for Ancellotti to opine back then that we didn’t need any more players is just an insult to the intelligence of us supporters. I realize Carlo may not have been the decision-maker here but I dislike being strung along with empty phrases and wishful thinking. There was simply no chance whatever that our youngsters were ready to step in and maintain the standard of last season. Our one major signing – Ramires – has attracted a fair bit of obloquy for his starting performances but it was insane to think that he would be able to adapt to the Premiership in a few weeks. Although he did play quite well last week against Newcastle, I’m told.

I can see, quite clearly now, why we have been playing 45-minute matches. One reason is complacency, another is arrogance, but the third is possibly the most important: that 30-something players, some of them carrying injuries and illness, are in no fit state to compete for 90 minutes. And there are no ready replacements. And Carlo does not seem to have any idea at all how to manage the squad around this.

Therefore I have resigned myself to the fact that this is going to be a transitional (read: ‘unsuccessful’) season and trophies are going to be very hard to come by, if at all. Reaching the conclusion gives me a certain tranquillity but no doubt that will soon disappear if, today, we play like Dad’s Army, give away silly goals to Everton, and our title chances continue to drain away.

And right on cue another one of our bogey teams arrives at Stamford Bridge. Everton are adept at playing a containing game against us and nicking a result and it is fact that we have only beaten them once in our last five fixtures. But their recent history is almost identical to ours with key players like Hibbert, Osman, Neville and Jagielka injured and Fellaini and Arteta suspended. Result? Only three points taken from the last five games (compared to our four) and that 1-4 home defeat to West Brom last week mirroring ours to Sunderland.

Funny thing, though. I haven’t seen any negative press coverage at all about that. Shouldn’t the alsations who write for the tabloid sports pages be telling us that Everton’s owners are mismanaging the club, that Moyes is on his way out, and that their ageing squad isn’t up to it any more?

I will dispense with my usual pre-match quote from Carlo as his recent comments don’t seem to be worth the price of his English lessons at the moment.

The team

As expected, JT returns for a hobble around the pitch, even though we are told that he is by no means fit. Essien returns from suspension and replaces Ramires. Malouda continues to fill the left midfield slot as Zhirkov is also injured.

Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Obi Mikel, Essien, Malouda, Kalou, Anelka, Drogba

Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Bruma, Ramires, McEachran, Kakuta, Sturridge.

The first half

First three minutes and we start off like Dad’s Army, watching on in amazement as Saha tries to put them 2-0 up. Then we start to play. In fact I counted no less than 42 minutes continuous play for the rest of the half as Essien and Malouda drive us forward while JT is a colossus at the back.

We are camped in their half with 61% possession and some neat balls are going in through to Anelka, Kalou and Drogba, buy nothing to show for it. Chances they might have buried last year are fluffed and we only have one shot on target all half. It looks to me like a repeat of the Birmingham and Newcastle games with lots of good looking tippy-tappy play but no goals. What chances we have come from three good moments after 26 minutes, when Mikel’s goal-bound effort is diverted for a corner, from which JT’s first shot is blocked and then his return shot hits the bar.

But our weak point is Bosingwa, who is beaten time and time again by Cahill when Everton play on the counter.

Meanwhile, Probert is carefully watching while Phil Neville uses a combination of shoves and punches on Kalou, Malouda and Drogba without punishment. Neville then does Malouda twice from behind and goes down clutching his face when Malouda lunges at his groin. But we can be thankful Malouda wasn’t sent off for that. But, to be fair to Probert, Neville finally goes into the book following a rabbit-punch on Drogba a minute later.

The penalty on 40 minutes looks dodgy to me. Neville – in keeping with his low quality as a footballer compared to his obvious skill as a hacker – plays a poor back pass to the keeper. Anelka latches on to it but makes the wrong decision to go around Howard’s right and collides into him. But if Howard was adjudged to have prevented a goal-scoring opportunity, then why wasn’t he sent off?

Drogba duly slams the penalty home. His only contribution to this match, as far as I can tell.

We go in 1-0 up at half time. Let’s hope Ancellotti can get another 42 minutes play out of them with ‘intensita’ – an untranslatable Italian word he keeps using in his press conferences that seems to correspond to English phrases like ‘commitment’, ‘passion’, ‘hard graft’ and ‘the will to actually win a game’.

Half time: Chelsea 1 Everton 0.

The second half

10 minutes gone. No sign of any intensita yet. Everton are back on top and starting to pour forward.

15 minutes gone. Nope, still no intensita or, for that matter, anything that resembles skilful play. Fellaini is being made to look like a world-class playmaker while Essien, Mikel and Malouda look anonymous. And Everton almost level it as Rodwell beats Cech with a header, which rebounds out from the inside of the bar.

Rodwell looks like an excellent player to me, by the way, well worth buying once Roman gets his payoff from Putin for bribing FIFA to put the 2018 World Cup Russia’s way.

20 minutes gone. Nope. Still no worthwhile play to report. Everton have just gone close again with another header that beats Cech. I have said this before but our 4-3-3 looks very weak against a team playing 4-5-1. Especially against a side like Everton, who are playing with intensita. Maybe Carlo should send over Emenalo to ask David Moyes what it is and how it works?

But now Carlo has decided action of some kind is needed and brings off our worst player – Bosingwa – and replaces him with Ferreira. Presumably in an attempt to stop Leighton Baines rampaging forward up the left.

25 minutes gone. Still no signs that Chelsea want to come out and play. I have a quick look at the two benches, Moyes is standing in the technical area, fists clenched and yelling his players on. While Carlo looks like an overweight Clouseau. Meanwhile, our new Ladies team coach is hunched up in his wooly hat pretending to think up a cunning plan.

35 minutes gone. Nope. Still no intensita or any worthwhile moves to report. Everton are lining up to take pot-shots at our goal with 9 attempts on goal to our 8 now. Cahill has just done a Stephen ‘unt on Cech but doesn’t get a booking, despite dangerous play going for the ball which boots Cech in the face. Carlo snaps out of his lethargy for a moment and brings on Ramires for Anelka.

40 minutes gone. Hold on, we’ve just started playing for a few minutes on the counter-attack. But the play ends up on the feet of Drogba and Kalou and goes nowhere. Kalou surpasses himself on 84 when, with an open goal in front of him, he dribbles it sideways instead of shooting and is dispossessed. Our last chance to extend the lead before we get clobbered.

The only real surprise about Everton’s equalizer on the 85th minute is that it didn’t happen earlier. Ferreira fails to stop Baines getting up to the by-line again and, from the cross, Cahill has all the time and space he needs to nod it back for Beckford to score.

Still no intensita from Carlo or any of our players following the equaliser. Aren’t champions meant to be pouring forward to win the match at this point? You can bet that that is what Manchester United would be doing.

But, instead, it is Everton who pour forward looking for the winner, while Chelsea are like a harlot bent over on the couch with her legs open, hoping the customer gets it all over with quickly. But, despite, three more good chances, Everton don’t finish us off.

The good

  • Can’t think of anything to remark concerning our team really, apart from JT’s return. But even he faded badly as the match went on.
  • We didn’t lose 1-2 as we could so easily have done.

The bad

  • Ancelotti’s management. Seems quite happy to stand there and watch this dross for match after match, keeping the same tactics, watching the same mistakes, persevering with the same under-performing players, and tolerating 50% performances. Wake up Carlo!
  • Drogba. Really should not be playing right now. But who else have we got who could do a better job?
  • Kalou. Kalou-less.
  • Bosingwa. Is he a right-back? Doesn’t seem to have any defensive skills whatever.
  • Our title chances just took a further nose-dive. And they don’t look like reviving any time soon on this display. With Tottenham away up next and Manchester United after that, we could be a mid-table side by the end of the month.

Final thoughts

And, now, I really do want to go back and lie down in my dark room. And let nobody disturb me until Carlo finds his intensita, or mojo, or whatever he calls it.

Related links

There are 83 comments

Add yours
  1. DanaBlue

    I don’t wanna hear a single squeak, peep or bad excuses from neither Carlo nor any of the players in the news papers the next week or so. Just get to the training ground and start working your arses out of your trousers. Work work work. You are all paid plenty to start showing your fans some respect. Otherwise fuck off and let the young ones take over. I know we won’t win the league that way, but at least that indicates that the club wants to move forward.
    All clubs are at times missing key players and there might be rumblings going on in the Board room, but most clubs get the fuck on with it and deal with their situations. At the moment we seem to just moan and talk the game instead of playing the game. Pathetic.
    Conclusion: Carlo and players needs to show they are worthy of the Chelsea shirt, if that’s not possible, I suggest you find another employer.

  2. Anonymous

    First of all Marco, well done for getting the report done so quickly, especially with the darkened room beckoning.Where did you get 8 chances from? Must have been the first half because in the second half we had not one single shot on goal, on or off target. That’s how bad it was. I agree with every word, and as bad as Kalou was (and yes, he was bad) so was Essien, and Malouda, both equally abysmal. Drogba was average and started having his little hissy fits at the MHL, who quite rightly were getting on his back. The only players to get any real credit today, Ivan, JT and Cole, with Mikel a bit as well and Cech. Other points1.) Bosingwa is bad, very bad at the moment and doesn’t look interested. CA berated him from the bench and all he got back was similar pathetic arm waving. Bosingwa was off in minutes after that. 2.) If ever a game called out for some Command and Control in the form of Ballack, it was today. Our midfield was shite, shite and thrice shite. 3.) Carlo looks lost without Ray. Fact. He looked as clueless today as he did against Sunderland. Abramovich sacked Scolari for a run that was better than Ancelotti’s on now. I like him and want him to stay, but he needs a proper assistant. Emenalo, no. Clement is also not up to it. RA should call Maldini now!4.) Kalou. Has had his chances. Sell him, fuck his ‘impact’ player status, we have kids who can do that now (PVA). Just what did Carlo see in him to allow him the full 90 minutes? His first half chance where the goal opened upo and he decided to take yet one more body swerve so that a defender was in front of him instead of a shooting gap was bad, the second half non-shot was unforgivable. 5.) Drogba – if he isn’t fit then fucking bench him. Or sub him. 6.) Unfair of you to say Sturridge hasn’t carried the team – he hasn’t been given the chance.7.) Ramires for Anelka was a sick fucking joke, the message being we’re hanging on for the 1 goal win. At that momnet Anelka looked the only one capable of unlocking a rampant Everton. The lad did OK, but Anelka might be feeling aggrieved tonight8.) Ferreira looks a better right back. He’s a better defender and crosser than Bosingwa. He put that pass onto Ash’s toe and his miss was inexcusable, shirt tug or not. It was a fucking tap in. 9.) Essien was as bad today as he was against Fulham. It must be his shite twin Bobby Essien. 10.) Malouda – a shadow of the player we saw earlier this season. 11.) JT made a decent return.12.) Ivan was our best player by miles. 13.) Everton should have won that game today. 14.) I don’t like the booing of our players but understand the fans anger. A hard fought passionate defeat or drawer is just about bearable, bit today that was WORSE in the second half than the Sunderland debacle. 15.) PVA should be a winger like Robben, Zhirkhov can be the standby left back. We were cryin gout for a Robben ike figure today.16.) What dickhead decided to wash the floors of the MHU minutes before kick off. I’ve avoided falling over on snow and ice, I don’t expect to damn near break my neck for the sake of a clean floor. 17.) The new tables in the MHU club rooms are shite. Can we have our nice oval ones back please?18.) The Ashley incident may have been a penalty, but is that what we’re reduced to, hoping penalty calls go our way to win?19.) Howard should have gone for his block on Anelka. Anelka gets past him its a tap in. It was a deliberate block and a red card. Nailed on. 20.) Cech did nothing wrong today again.
    21.) I think that’s it for the PL for us. Do I get £5 for calling it first?

    • Anonymous

      Perfectly put.You’ve covered everything (I think) so early apologies if I double up on some your points but here’s my early thoughts:1. 5 points from the last 18 on offer and down to 3rd with Utd having a game in hand. Add to that City’s consistent rise up the table, our dismal form and the nightmarish December fixtures and where do you think we’ll be come 2011? Carlo has to watch out as despite most if not all of us liking him (and I believe that if he showed some more strength and demanded to be backed in the transfer window he would easily show everyone how great a manager he is), he’ll be out the door if we drop out of the top 4.2. Bosingwa must be sold. Can’t defend. Can’t attack. Can’t cross. Your point about Carlo screaming at him for his laziness just reinforces the feeling that this joker doesn’t care anymore. I especially liked Carlo’s mad, pissed off look after Bosingwa decided in the first half to shoot on his left foot from 35 yards after some great team play. He’s a lazy, casual twat.3. I said last week that it is unacceptable for any striker at Chelsea Football Club to miss two open goals in a week but now I’m simply left speechless after Kalou’s latest fuck up. Why did he want to control the ball, do a silly body swerve and try to beat Distin instead of kicking it into the empty net for 2-0 and 3 points? Dickhead.4. JT’s organisation and leadership nearly got us through but when you saw him screaming at Mikel and Essien for not tracking Everton’s midfield runners after only 10 minutes of the second half, you knew things weren’t going well.5. Malouda looks like the player of the Scolari era. No pace, no tracking back and no effort.6. Branner and Cech were great today. Why not hand Branner the captain’s armband when JT needs a rest? He’d do more than Didier.7. Talking of which. I was shouted down last week for suggesting that we need to start thinking of how to move on from Didier’s battering ram act but when you see a performance like that, can anyone really argue that he isn’t on the way down. It’s hardly a surprise that forming your side around a 33 year old can result in performances like these but there has to be a time when we say, “enough’s enough and I’m sorry Didier but it’s time we moved on.” His touch, technique and passing just isn’t good enough to make up for his lack of pace and power these days and it’s clear that if we had any other options he would be dropped. This doesn’t mean I’m saying he’s shit or that what he’s done in the past should be forgotten, but it is ridiculous that a club like ours should continue to ignore the obvious; our attack needs replacing and I’m shocked that Roman can’t see it. Carlo obviously can as he’s bid for Pato, Neymar and Torres since he’s arrived but Roman’s refusal to up the bids has meant that we’ve only bought Ramires, Yossi, Sturridge and Zhirkov since Carlo arrived. In terms of quality, that just isn’t good enough really.8. What’s happened to Josh and Sturridge? Why don’t we start them after they impressed against Zilina?9. Can you believe that we could have been 8 points clear a few weeks ago? We’re now going to be 4 points behind. Embarrassing.10. What does Emenalo do? Carlo ignoring this moron’s ideas pleases me but Roman seems to be harming our title bid with his insistence on cost cutting. If Carlo wanted Emenalo as his assistant he would have said so by now. The fact he hasn’t says it all really. Why don’t we just bring in Maldini, Zola or Leonardo?11. The lack of pace in this side is alarming. I don’t really know how many more shit performances are needed to persuade Roman that this side needs investment. A right-back, goal scoring midfielder, winger and striker would do nicely. It sounds a lot to ask but if we’d updated the squad regularly over the past few years then we wouldn’t need such drastic action.12. Two more defeats this season and the title is gone. We really are that close to the end.13. If we are prioritising the Champions League then we must be fucking crazy. The best side doesn’t always win a Cup competition and if we’re 5th but in the semi-finals come May and a ghost goal or dodgy ref knocks us out, then Carlo will get the sack. Why take that chance?14. Or perhaps Carlo was right when he accused the players of lacking passion and desire to retain the title. Our old stagers look so arrogant and lazy that you just want to scream at them.15. And next week is the first time this season that I’m predicting we’ll lose. I’ve always gone into the games thinking we will win them but our form and record against Spurs only tells me one thing…we’ll be 4th in a week’s time. Oh joy.

  3. Aravind NG

    Except Ivan and Anelka everyone was shite. Maybe JT can be excused as he started well and then maybe injury and lack of match practice took over. Unleashing Kakuta on Phil Neville, who was already on a yellow, would have been better then keeping Kalou and hoping that he would score “somehow”.It was always there to see where Everton’s goal was going to come from. Jagielka’s diagonal long ball to Baines and his cross to far post where Cahill would be. Moyes knew Saha was not fit enough for the end product and so brought on Beckford. Carlo should have made some tactical adjustment. Like maybe play Bosingwa in the right wing instead of Kalou and play Ferreira as RB. This way right side gets defensive stability and Baines is properly tracked.And why didn’t any of our midfielders track Beckford’s run? Ivan was dounbling up against Baines and JT was with Cahill. Somebody from midfield must have tracked their runner. Same happened against Birmingham when Lee Bowyer scored, although it was much more obvious then.

  4. Anonymous

    Yep, forget trophies, even in this season where Tottenham — Tottenham!! — may be serious contenders because everyone else is so pathetic. (Except Arsenal, who aren’t pathetic, merely callow — since we’re not going to win the league I sort of hope they do, if only to vindicate the idea that it’s worth keeping going with your kids until they finally discover how to win stuff.) We all know which team will win the Champions League this year; the FA Cup is a lottery and we don’t have the consistency to get through it, plus we’ll be playing reserve teams in it because the oldies are so knackered they’ll need saving for the league; and as for the league … after what we’ve seen this month, I just can’t believe there isn’t a better team in England, and the best team, by definition, wins the league.

    Echoing the plaudits for Marco. Spot on. (Except for the idea that Cashley did well — I can’t see where that came from, I’m afraid.)

    Poor old Branners. He plays with such commitment and professionalism every single game. I’ll never forget the way he was wandering around the pitch draped in his Serbia flag (“Need A New Hobby? Try Ethnic Cleansing!”) for the title celebrations last May, clearly unwilling to leave the field even when they were packing up the silly modular rostrum thing and tidying away the streamers: he looked like he couldn’t believe what was happening to him. Now he must be having the same experience in reverse. How can I be giving everything to the same team, he asks himself, and see at least seven if not more of the blokes in front of me playing like they’re a bit uncomfy in the cold and just can’t wait to ge inside again and pick up the paycheque?

    Carlo shouldn’t be ditched, and I hope he isn’t. We’ve got to stop changing managers every ten minutes and he’s proved he can do the job. But goodness me the players are unhappy about something — something Wilkins-related? — and there doesn’t seem to be much he can do about it at the moment.

    There was a stage last season, or was it two seasons ago, when a lot of us were worried about whether we’d squeeze into the top four. That’s pretty obviously the maximum target again now. I can’t believe we’ll be this shite all season, but it could be a bit scary truing to cling onto the last CL spot.

  5. Anonymous

    Great report Marco, loads of details for non-watchers like me.

    I’ve heard a few mentions of acceptance that this season may be a transitional one, but I don’t get what we’re transitioning to? We’re playing the same old faces as last season, save for Ramires in the absence of Lamps / Essien. The kids aren’t getting enough of a chance. To a degree, Carlo doesn’t have much of a chance when Drogs and others aren’t performing, but there’s always that chance he’d give you something out of the ordinary. Well, he used to. Not any more. Seems to me we are witnessing the slow death of our best squad for years. If he ever returns, Lamps is unlikely to be the same player he was last season. Ditto JT and Drogs with his malaria.

    How do these continual shit performances make the kids feel? I’m angry at suggestions Kakuta may leave in the summer ad his contracts up, but he and others (Studge, Borini) sit by on the bench week after week watching dismal and abject performances with little sign of getting a chance to prove their worth. We all agreed Bruma should have played instead of Ferreira the other week, but the kids continue to be overlooked. I’m sure one or two of them will put in a great shift on Tuesday, but because of the ‘calibre’ of our forthcoming rivals, they won’t get a sniff. And we’ll keep picking the likes of Kalou to the bemusement of the rest if the footballing world.

    Our club is broken. Seems like somethings always got to he happening fir Roman. Carlos probably on borrowed time as we speak….

  6. Anonymous


    Just seen MOTD. I’m sure it’s been edited to make us worse than we were (please tell me that’s the case) but I’ve just seen our right hand side destroyed by Leighton Baines who’s a left-back. That much space next week and Gareth Bale will look like Leo Messi. Baines made 4 of us in blue look like amateurs the way the dangled feet at the ball, not one attempt at a proper challenge. And Mikel let Beckford beat him to the ball – a League 1 clogger last season who seems about as suited to life in the Premiership as I would.

  7. MachchanHongKong

    Apart from the many examples of laziness (Bosingwa, Malouda) and mindlessness (Kalou) the stand-out example of crapness was the lack of trackback for the Everton goal, as pointed out by Aravind. If I remember right, they outnumbered us 4-2 in and around the box on that attack. And how clueless of CA to take off Anelka who seemed to be the only Chelsea player working his proverbials off at that time. I distinctly remember him covering for the joker-bosingwa at right back and just moments later show the passion, fight etc (that CA keeps bleating on about) with his diving tackle at the diametrically opposite end of the pitch… only to be taken off for his troubles. UC.

  8. Nebulla373

    Damn, you guys are all haters! and so quick to turn on the club. Yes we are in a bad run, but i cant see how you turn on the players so easily! We havent got any depth, and i think Carlo needs some new tactics. That is what i am putting this down to, not all of this player hate.

  9. Ringo

    Didn’t see the game ,bit of a cock up on the dvr front.
    But from what I’ve read on here ,and in the “papers” ,I’m glad I didn’t.

    Right now I’ll happily settle for three draws from the next three games.

    Wonder if Roman’s full attention will be on us ,or his homeland for the next eight years?

    And this aint no blip we’re definitely

  10. Anonymous

    I don’t think this is a crisis.


    However I don’t put it down to age as much as some. Ageing is a gradual process. You’re not middle aged on Tuesday and wake up old on Wednesday. Therefore the fact that we were brilliant at the beginning of the season and rubbish now is not down to age.

    It’s all in the mind. The players are scared and lack confidence and belief. I don’t know if this is because they’ve lost form and they’re in a downward spiral or because of the political environment in the club. We don’t need to put a cocoon in the swimming pool for eternal youth, we just need to fix their minds.

    If there’s one formation change that I could attribute our downfall to it’s the loss of Ivanovic at right back to cover for either Alex / Terry. Fereira and Boswinga are weaklings by comparison and yesterday I found Boswinga particularly irritating as he took 2-3 extra touches instead of crossing.

    • Der_Kaiser

      “… we just need to fix their minds”

      Absolutely 100% bang on the money. With all due respect to everyone concerned, screaming “sell X, he’s fucking useless, buy Y” like some demented Tourette’s afflicted commodities trader will not help one iota. Carlo has to sort the confidence issue out (if we were putting a very – and I mean very – positive spin on things, unbeaten in 3 after the awful run we had is not actually that bad in the grand scheme); what it is down to is a bit of a mystery but the internal upheaval can’t be helping. JT and Essien (albeit that the latter was fairly poor, by all accounts) returning can only be viewed as plus points too.

      My main concern is that Carlo just doesn’t have confidence in the players at his disposal. That is a worry if that’s the case.

      And the final point to try and brighten the day amidst all the gloom and self-loathing – Frank will be back soon. No other way to dress it up, we just do not function as well in midfield and thus as a team without him, end of. Hopefully a revitalised FL can make a big difference in the final months of a season which is so ridiculously open and frankly, rather mediocre it’s not true. The team at the top has been beaten 3 times at home, twice by promoted teams and the team just above us has drawn almost half their games. Whilst their current form is better, it’s still pretty piss poor overall, whichever way you look at it.

      • Anonymous

        I thought my response was very calm considering what I’d sat through. I’m sticking with my ‘sell Kalou’ because if Joe Cole wasn’t good enough then Kalou is nowhere near good enough. He’s an OK bench player but I think we have better options from the bench. He has had enough chances and the odd game saving go every now and then just isn’t enough. Yesterday he barely did anything right and I’ve given up on any route of redemption for him. I for one won’t be sad to see this lightweight scatterbrain playing elsewhere.

        Essien was as awful yesterday as he was against Fulham. He doesn’t look right…as if he’s looking elsewhere in my view.

        Malouda was equally bad, and lucky to stay on. Something has come loose here.

        Anelka was the only one really trying, as pointed out earlier he’s at right back one minute covering the inept Bosingwa’s arse, and then rather Drogba like he’s at the other end putting in a tackle Chopper would have been proud of. Then he gets subbed? A bad bad decision unless he was injured and that didn’t seem the case.

        Ancelotti may be Romans choice, but yesterday he looked lost and confused, not dissimilar to Avram Grant, and worryingly not for the first time this season. This is our worst run since the run that got Vialli sacked, which may mean we’ve been very lucky but may also indicate something seriously awry in the club. And yes, I’ll say this again, yesterday ws crying ut for some Ballack style command and control, which neither Essien or Mikel seem capable of applying.

        So, in one month we go from calm imperiousness to nervous twitching misfits and it’s a blip? The fall is so hard and so fast that it is sending the conspiracy theorists into overdrive, and frankly who can blame them?

        And m’lud…..really the FL thing seems a little overly optimistic. If as a club we are that dependent on one player then that is very worrying. But as he hasn’t played since August and it’s the last month where things have gone awry, coinciding almost exactly with Wilkinsgate, I don’t see that as the core reason for the tailspin.

        If we get anything over Christmas playing like we are then I’ll be amazed. Sadly, I’m wit Habs for Spurs, who are confident at WHL and might well deliver further humbling for us. United will be a 0-0 bore draw, which they will be happier with than us. Arsenal at The Emirates looks like a defeat as well irrespective of previous form there. Bolton won’t be any pushover either. So, whilst we may improve I just don’t see anything more than 4 points from the next 12 and with that we’ll be fighting Spuds or Citeh for 4th.

        Like I say, I won’t take the bullshit from the club PR, or Ancelotti’s half hearted ‘don’t worry, bad moment, good moments to come’ platitudes. It’s not age, but attitude and something has rocked the boat and rocked it hard.

        • Der_Kaiser

          Morning chief,Wasn’t specifically directed at you, more the general hoo-ha on here and elsewhere in the last 12 hours or so – as always, no offence meant; my point is that scapegoating individuals when there looks to be a collective problem within the ‘group dynamic’ (sounds a good phrase), team and management alike, is no use at all – again, I mean no disrespect to the individuals concerned (Habs in this case), but reading the “… unacceptable for any striker at Chelsea Football Club” type stuff just makes us sound like the bunch of whiny, spoilt cunts that people think we are when we’re not having our cake and eating as we have done for much of the last few years.I’ll state again my real concern in all of this and reiterate a point that Pete made last week; Carlo a) just doesn’t seem to have the confidence in his players (specifically the kids on the bench) that he should if he (we assume) has put them there and b) his ability to make a drastic change when it’s needed is frankly non-existent – that Mourinho-esque hauling a player off after 25 minutes because he’s having a ‘mare and changing things is a rare skill and our man in the hotseat, for whatever reason, just don’t have it to the extent required at present. a) is partly the culture that Roman has created – Carlo won’t get any ‘5 years with no trophy’ breathing space a la Arsene and b) may just be a symptom of the lack of confidence mentioned in a) anyway. And re Frank; optimistic, yes, but any side losing a player of his quality is going to suffer and as such, his return will hopefully help. He hasn’t been pretty much the best midfielder in the country for the last half decade or so for nothing.Your final sentence sums up roughly where I’m at – yes, something has shaken things down in SW6 but hopefully Carlo is on top of it; if he isn’t then yes, we do have a problem but it seems all too apparent that it is not a problem with the players themselves, more the structure around them and the way it has suddenly changed.I know it’s in the football fan DNA to shout when all is not well, but I do think there is a degree of overreaction about the current scenario.

          • Anonymous

            Yes I agree, Yes I know, yes, yes and more yes as well. We should have had a pint yesterday but then we wouldn’t have had the additional hindsight thing of the post match downbeat mood.

            I’m not panicking, my main point of bother is that the lack of investment, reduction in squad strength should be matched by temporary reduced ambition/leeway to blood new players. None of which seems to be the case.

            The Kalou point is my only un-retractable position, on anything else I will allow myself to be persuaded by logical, evidence based debate.

            Someone did tell me that the winner of I’m a Celebrity was in fact………….Russia!

            Presumably we can expect Louis to suddenly produce a Qatari beat combo at the last minute for X-Factor

          • Anonymous

            I know I overreacted but sitting through 6 weeks of this does test you. And whilst a little unbeaten run does help with the confidence levels, taking 5 points from a possible 18 doesn’t.

            But yesterday like Tony, it was Kalou that pushed me over the edge (and probably Bosingwa’s laziness). The rest of it was just general venting but seeing Kalou throw away points with easy open goal finishes against Birmingham, Newcastle and now Everton did leave me screaming at him. If he wanted to see how to finish an open goal from an angle, he should have watched Nasri last night and despite Kalou not being quite as good as Nasri, he has shown in the past a few flashes of quality. But surely he should have learnt by now how to finish more chances?

            The team’s and his chance completion ratio is dire at present and that is what is killing our title hopes at the moment. The return of Frank will certainly help but the December fixture list is what is probably responsible for this overreaction. If we’ve fallen to third playing the likes of Liverpool, Sunderland, Birmingham, Newcastle and Everton what happens against Spurs, Arsenal and Utd? That and the attitude of the players is what is looking scary at the moment.

          • Der_Kaiser

            Of course – combine Kalou’s often wayward finishing with a general lack of confidence affecting him (and the whole team) and you’re going to end up with frustration in abundance; he is, however, at present, almost the only player who is actually getting into scoring positions which is at least a vague positive. It’s when the bugger has time to think that it usually all goes horribly pear-shaped.

            Yes, it’s crap – and lord knows where they will come from right now – but two decent results could change it all again. One would hope that Danny is right about Saturday’s second half being a low point; I tend to take the view that it can’t actually get much worse!

  11. Cunningplan

    I certainly think it’s a confidence thing, and Carlo needs to get inside their heads and earn his money, psycholigist/psychatrist all part of man management, especially football.

    And also for the talk of Spurs being contenders, they threw away a win yesterday after a dominant first half against a poor team.

  12. Anonymous

    Have to say I’m with JD that there’s a bit too much of the “whiny spoilt cunts” attitude at the moment, as he so pithily put it.

    I don’t want to come over all boring old fart , but dig out your copy of “Celery, Representing Chelsea in the 80s” if you need reminding of what “bad runs” really means [what do you mean you don’t own a copy, what sort of Chelsea fan are you?].

    There’s often a fine line between winning and losing and games can turn on slices of luck and that mysteriously amorphous quality confidence which can come and go with bewildering speed. If Howard had been sent off as he deserved would the impetus in our favour have been sustained, or would Everton have fought twice as hard, inspired by their sense of grievance, etc. etc?

    Sorry to disappoint Marco, but according to a report I read today of the Russian press conference post-award on Thursday rather than Putin providing payback to Roman he’ll be looking to him to help finance the new stadiums required, so possibly even less money for new signings.

    Disappointed that MOTD cut out the Malouda v Neville contretemps as I was looking forward to seeing Nev get thumped in close-up. Any YouTube clips?

    And was that a subtle comment on the current squad by the bloke controlling the big screens during the reading of the teams just before kick-off when he briefly flashed up a picture of Joe Cole?

  13. Marco

    For me the Grocer and Habs are making all the additional points I would have liked to have made myself on further reflection.

    It’s time for Kalou to go and try his ‘promising’ talents on some other club.
    Bosingwa needs a longish spell on the side-lines watching Ivan show him how to do his job properly.
    Drogba also needs some time out in the malaria unit (or should that be with the sports psychologist?)
    Ditto Malouda and Essien. Let’s, also, just stop playing them together. Make sure they always have a minder like John Obi covering for them, or alongside another play-maker who can actually manage 90 minutes with some intensita.

    Carlo should try living up to his own bullshit and start playing in some of the other fucking squad players. Like Sturridge, Bruma, McEachran, Kakuta and Ramires. I also like the idea of trying out PvA in front of Ashley. How could they possibly be worse than some of the mental cripples we saw on the pitch yesterday?

    Am I alone in calling for us to ditch the 4-3-3? It hasn’t worked for over 2 months now and it’s time to try out another system. 4-2-3-1 appeals to me, with John Obi and Ramires as holding midfielders. That would reduce the risks attached to playing Josh or Kakuta in the forward midfield roles.

    I agree that something has seriously gone wrong inside our club. But that’s no excuse for the crap tactics, weak decisions and apathetic comments Carlo has been making recently.

  14. Anonymous

    Agree broadly with JD’s point about the likes of me sounding like spoilt kid, but it’s more a reaction to what we’re used to from CFC in the past than demanding we stump up £200m on Pato, Aguero etc.

    We’re being subjected to performances that we’re not used to from players who really should be ashamed. Pretty disgraceful from some of them. Malouda looking like his Scolari era self, Drogs more a passenger than anything else. And for some reason, a lot of people think the return if Lamps will fix everything. It won’t. He’ll be months getting into the sort of form a) we expect from him and b) need at this time. His absence merely proves how much we lack a ready-made replacement there. It may well be Josh in a few years, but he’s not going to get extended periods to prove that. Imagine what £8m on VDV would gave done in the window for us and not Spurs.

    So yeah. Lots of whinging from me. Not going to apologise for it, I am usually the first to overreact (see my infamous first half post at Wigan) but it’s warranted now. Things are properly broken and there seems no way it’ll improve in the short term.

    And (unsurprisingly) agree on Kalou. Absolutely has had more than enough chances and does nothing to warrant the time he plays. Toothless, clueless, brainless. Do one.

  15. Anonymous

    I’ve just discovered the final insult in the World Cup debacle reading the surprisingly uncritical profile of the ruler of Qatar by the liberal lefties in The Observer today – he attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the early 70s and became a life-long Gooners’ fan!

  16. danny broderick

    My fellow Bleus,

    Chins up. It is at times like these we need perspective. Indeed, a number of factors have come together to create a perfect storm of on-field under-performance of the like we thought we had seen the last of. Some of these factors are obvious, some are less known to us. What’s clear is that injuries and illness have robbed us of the goals we have relied on for several seasons from Frank and Didier, and denied us the authority and experience from our midfield general and his captain behind him. Unfortunately no other players have stepped forward to claim such roles – though fair play to Branners for his efforts. Obi has sadly failed to provide the leadership he ought to be able to, given his pivotal position on the field and his experience. We could go through the team and look at the lack of character of several others. Perhaps it is the monumental shadow cast by Frank and JT over this club that inhibits the rest so much. So used are they to their virtually permanent presence in the team.

    The less known factors can only be guessed at, but we can make educated guesses. It is now known that Roman has met with figures influential in the Barcelona set-up and has made it plain to them that he wants their help in establishing the same football playing ethos and style at Chelsea. This was reported by Sid Lowe, the Guardian’s Spanish correspondent, on a recent football Podcast for that paper, and is apparently openly reported in Spanish press. It is also plain that he is determined to breed his own players through the academy as the basis for future teams – with marquee signings to add to them when essential. This is true both os Chelsea and Russia, where his money bankrolls widespread youth development. Now here’s where it gets foggy. Under Arnesen the style bred into the players is based on the old Ajax academy system, using 433 as a basic formation. I’m not sure what they use in Russia, but given Gus Hiddink did so much to help set it up, I’d guess its similar. But, it is obvious Roman now considers this system less effective than Barcelona’s tiki taka for achieving his goals of building great teams able to both dominate competitions and play the sort of football that is remembered in history with awe. Remember he is a Roman by name and a Romantic by nature. His quest is for artistic excellence, not just results. One of his major projects outside of football has been the restoration of a huge art gallery in Moscow. He also has a growing collection of modernist masterpieces.
    All of which can be regarded as good news for Blues fans. Let’s face it, he tends to get what he wants. This is was a major winner of the post-communist Soviet Union resources wars, one of the last man standing after 100 + businessmen and officials lost their lives in a particularly brutal scrap to control valuable aluminium. He’s just played a major part in bringing the World Cup to Russia, among the first to his feet after Blatter’s announcement, his smile as wide as the Volga. He’s seen Chelsea win three out of the six Premiership title races he has presided over, along with FA and League Cups. We strongly suspect, however, (don’t we all) that he doesn’t regard domestic honours as being quite enough. Nor do we think he’d settle for being the new Manchester United, winning the English League year after year, but failing to make a memorable impact on Europe (two fluked Champs League wins in 18 seasons of dominance is a piss poor return). He clearly wants not just to win the Champions League, but to win it in historic style, and then dominate the competition. This may go some way to explaining what feels like a state of uncertainty at the club as the great machinery of change cranks into gear. It is also possibly why Ancelotti and the players feel a little undermined and unappreciated – another reason for the lack of leaders could be they don’t know what they are leading.

    So, is this season a write off? And do we care? Not really. But then again, we might just have reached the low point with that second half performance on Saturday. Maybe the challenge of playing better opposition is what the players need. The fear of the embarrassment of a thrashing may just focus the minds. Three points against Spurs might just set them up for the challenge of the Mancs. And three against them puts us back in control.

  17. Anonymous

    Typical of the Premier League. Newcastle being stuffed by the mighty West Brom. Really puts our performance into perspective.

  18. Cunningplan

    I don’t think anyone has to apologise for venting frustration, hell I’m beginning to feel more pessimistic about our current predicament than I usually do. But Danny has a good point about the team needing to play against better opponents to possibly focus their minds and raise their game

    If we can beat Spurs this week, then I think it may well set us up for the other two matches, win those as well, and things in the garden will look rosy again.
    Do I think that at the moment? no….. do I hope that will happen? then yes.

    Whatever happens we can all celebrate, or mourn our demise together, there’s comfort in numbers. 🙂

  19. BlueBrooklyn

    A bit of Symmetry (from Wiki) for perspective:

    Nasri age 23- 2008– Arsenal 69 apps (18) goals
    Kalou age 25- 2006– Chelsea 120 apps (33) goals

  20. BlueBrooklyn

    Just noticed these numbers are a bit dated (doesn’t include Novembrus horribilis):
    ‘Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 October 2010.’

  21. TrueBlue

    I’d still play Kalou instead of Sturridge and even Kakuta for important games.

    His best quality is that he WILL sit on the bench and be a 2nd string player for our team. So if we buy a good right winger Kalou will happily play 2nd fiddle. He is an “impact” player and a great squad member. He is NOT a first team player.

    I don’t think the return of FL will magically transform our performances – he will take time to get his sharpness back, he is over 30.

    We need to buy in Jan, whether we will or not is up to Roman. I think Russia hosting the WC will cost him personally, so I think his focus will be on that rather then funding another squad re-build.

    Oh well – at least the Prem is very open now and one of 5 teams (maybe 6?) can win it.

  22. wintermute000

    I agree with the call for perspective. Good analysis from above posters so I won’t bother repeating it all. Suffice to say that we are a long way away from going down 4-2 to Viking Stavanger and as I am a plastic post Gullit supporter I am sure those older than me have second division and electric fences stories. The only thing that gets to me is that if we’re gonna not get results then at least give the kids a proper crack, if we don’t win the title this season then at least 2 out of Van Arn, Bruma, Kakuta and Josh must become full first teamers. Still annoyed at letting Stoch go. And I don’t watch reserve games (being in Aus has a lot to do with it lol) but oh god that Ballack clone Matic would have been handy I reckon. He’s got that head-always-up calmness of der kaiser, and if we’re gonna build around yoof then Matic and Josh seem like as good a pair of young CMs as any.

  23. Cunningplan

    Would be good to field a virtual second string on Wednesday, and rest the key players for Sunday. I think Spuds have to win to ensure top spot, so hopefully a full strength team for them. Clutching at straws I may be, but any advantage would be good, I miss the days of a guaranteed three points at the lane.

  24. Aravind NG

    As a striker, when you have sight of the goal, instinctively you shoot. Kalou instead tries his aimless dribble and wastes the chance And this is not a one-off incident. And you can’t really say he’s short of confidence because he scored in the last match. I’m afraid Kalou will never become a top class striker. But as long as he’s in a Blue shirt – respect, and hope.

    I hope Carlo has better plans than Kalou-Bos/Ferreira against Bale-Assou ekotto. I believe Ramires should be given a start in this match, either as the right midfielder or right attacker of the 4-3-3. He has the pace to equal Bale and will also play the “carrier” role he plays for Brazil. Mikel and Essien can then mark VdV and Modric while Anelka and Zhirkov/Malouda should be on the left against Hutton, using their pace in Spuds’ weaker side.

  25. PeteW

    Some interesting points, good debate and many perspectives.

    I’m pissed off. We’re not playing well, we’re not getting many breaks and Carlo still isn’t doing enough to shake things up. But I’m not going to start throwing toys out the pram.

    Totally agree with Mark, this is 75% psychological. There’s fear in the team and that could take some time to work its way out. Sadly, that makes it a bad time to play kids and explains why Carlo should have stuck them in far earlier, v Sunderland, before the squad mentality started to go south. I like Carlo, but his faults are obvious and they are consistent. His obsession with putting experienced square pegs in round holes has contributed something to this poor run. But the bloke won the double in his debut season, so I’ll cut him some slack.

    TrueBlue spot on about Kalou. Still don’t understand how some people don’t grasp this simple point. He is a great squad player, the perfect one. He doesn’t deserve a ‘second chance’ or anything patronising like that, he is an established member of a title-winning squad who makes regular valuable contributions and never gets above his station. Said it before, will say it again, we’re lucky to have him.

    Drogba shouldn’t be playing. Nor should Malouda to be honest. Neither look fit. Lampard will take time, as will Boswinga (dude has been out a year and returns to a team in crisis).

    Good point also on Mikel not being a leader. He needs to be roused to perform at his best – whenever somebody clobbers him he rises to the occasion – and that’s not what we need right now.

    Might be worth thinking on this as well: it’s taken Nasri two years to start playing well for Arsenal. We’d have given him six games before starting to slag him off as a lightweight loser. There’s no shame in showing patience, you don’t get a medal for being the first to slag somebody off.

  26. Anonymous

    Completely agree with True Blue and PeteW…….. Whilst Kalou may not be perfect, he never gives less than 100% and never complains, regardless of the circumstances.

    Those slagging him off and clamouring for Sturridge to be included are fucking deluded in the extreme. Sturridge is second rate, at best, and will never make the grade at Chelsea, or any other top club.

    The second half performance was abysmal, but Carlo’s attitude and comments this week have been exactly what I wanted to hear…… Not sure why, but I actually feel quite upbeat about Sunday’s game….. I think this could be the turning point (!)

    • Anonymous

      Whereas Kalou has?

      Get a grip. Calling us deluded because we’ve finally run out of patience with a footballer who IN MY OPINION isn’t good enough seems a bit extreme. Sturridge did very well against Zilina and remmebering JT’s early days…well they were hardly setting the world alight. He was given time and that’s what I’m saying here. Kalou has had time, plenty of it. Having said that CA was equally culpable on Saturday for bizarre substitutions (well Ramires for Anelka) and for leaving Kalou on when it was obvious he was one of several weak links.

      Seriously, if Kalou is good enough then Joe Cole was good enough. It seems a lot were happy to see Joe go based on his recent shitness for us, but are happy with the footballing equivalent of the Oz Scarecrow. And I’m one of the deluded?

      I’ve said it before, I have a right to express an opinion on any player and for me, Kalou’s time has been and gone. I was there on Saturday and he was simply bloody awful. But in his defence he wasn’t alone, Essien and Malouda were equally, if not arguably worse.

      And I agree with PeteW, Malouda and Drogba shouldn’t be playing, but no doubt they will against Spurs, presumably on the belief that they’ll come good again soon. I really hope so because if they don’t then Spurs might well take us apart.

  27. PeteW

    Joe Cole was/is good enough to be a squad player, but he thought he was better than that so asked for a bloody great pay rise we didn’t want to give him. So we let him go.

    Kalou – whose record is better than Joe Cole’s over the past four seasons – has never done anything of the sort.

    That’s the difference.

  28. bluebayou

    Pure torture watching a blurry stream on Saturday afternoon and I don’t mean fishing. I was vaguely hopeful after the first half as Everton hadn’t offered much and despite looking ineffective in the final third we at least had control of the ball and to a great extent the game.

    But defensively we seem to be a half open door. The slightest push and we’re in trouble. Once Everton decided to lean in, we failed to close on the ball and as they have done for seasons now, we let them use the width, double up out wide and get dangerous balls into the box. The only game I can remember where we solved this was the Cup Final.

    There was a brief moment of hope with a fine move ending in Ferreira putting a ball in the six yard box, which Cole failed to connect with, possibly because he didn’t have a leg left to stand on or kick with. More of that would have kept Baines occupied, but we just didn’t keep control of the football. And after the goal, to watch us just hoofing the ball to no-one in particular was heartbreaking.

    The Anelka, Drogba, Kalou combo worked in a number of games last year and Malouda seemed happy playing with Lampard and Ballack in a midfield three behind them, although his form seemed to initially be sparked last year when he was in the front line of three. But the balance in midfield isn’t there this year and it’s killing us defensively.

    We have run with four attacking players (including Malouda) and although they do contribute defensively, we seem to be too open. Essien is still in need of game time and we have to see whether his knees hold up or if his game has been affected long term and while Mikel continues to improve I think we have to accept that he isn’t a natural leader and is perhaps getting exposed without people like Lampard or Ballack in there with him.

    It all breaks down to sub units and too many of them have been disrupted and the one that did work, the KDA line seems to be in a real slump, possibly due to Drogba’s malaria. Then again Carlo didn’t always use the three together. This season there are limited options for a change, perhaps only Sturridge. Without the likes of Cole J or even Benayoun on the right and Malouda on the left (‘cause he’s needed in the middle 3 due to a lack of available playing staff ) there aren’t many options for reverting to Drogba or Anelka in the middle of the three with 2 more midfield types flanking, which worked well on occasions last year.

    The Ivanovic, Terry, Cole set up will work but the right back slot is a problem, while Bosingwa struggles, leaving only Ferreira, who while steady, lacks pace. While the Ivanovic, Alex/Carvalho, Terry, Cole combo might not have been too productive down the right, we more than made up for that elsewhere and it was solid defensively.

    The real issue is midfield. We don’t have anything consistent going on there and options are really limited.

    That’s the nub really. Last season Carlo was able to change about, refresh the team and make adjustments to exploit the opposition or tighten the defence against difficult teams. He hasn’t been able to do that of late.

    The only other option is to start playing the youngsters regularly. But Josh M at 17 shouldn’t be exposed too heavily and without a stable, anchored midfield perhaps playing the others will expose them? Where would Kakuta fit in best when the team pattern is so disrupted?

    And we have to get over the Ramires price tag. Now certain individuals are back on the Gravy Express, we will be buying only certain players at inflated prices so as to guarantee maximum enrichment of those in the deal. I’m not against Ramires, it’s just that £18m was not a market value. We are constantly being linked with wunderkinds from South America. Yes there is undoubtedly a stream of talent there. But who are the middlemen? Who owns the rights to these players (which I thought was against the rules)? I wouldn’t be surprised if the same coterie is involved each time. We will overlook other proven talent because there’s no money in it. We’ve been there before.

  29. bluebayou

    Sorry Marco, should have opened with a thanks for the report and thoughts. Difficult not to feel angry and and down in the immediate aftermath. Luckily I wasn’t able to post until today, when most of the invective has already been poured out. I’ve sort of regained an inner calm. But that won’t survive the build up to the “Lane”.

  30. Anonymous

    I see Newcastle have once again ripped away our Basket Case Club Crown…….a club that employed Alan Shearer wants someone with ‘more managerial experience’ .

    Oh, stop please….my aching sides……

    Or as David Schneider put it……Newcastle commented ‘we were starting to worry people were taking us seriously as a football club’

    • Der_Kaiser

      The old ‘there’s always someone worse off’ adage seems appropriate in this instance!

      Quite incredible – they’ve been a little erratic, but for promoted team they have put in some decent performances and got a couple of good results; the number of far worse teams in the league will probably protect them from the drop, but to kick Hughton out at this stage is plain barking.

      I look forward to seeing the Geordie faithful interviewed on SSN tonight (replica shirts on, snow drifts in the background) and suggesting that they need Shearer back.

  31. Cunningplan

    I feel sorry for Hughton, anyone would think they’re lower in the table than West Ham, who appear to have total faith in their so called manager.

    So come on Miss Brady let Lord Sugar’s famous catchphrase rub off on you.

  32. Anonymous

    Has it got that bad that ‘only’ a draw at home against Chelsea is deemed a bad result now?

    Gutted for Hughton, was doing a great job and seemed a genuinely nice guy. We must be odds on to be the next to sack their manager – Roman won’t like us being out of the limelight for long.

  33. Vik Sohonie

    A Wikileaks on Chelsea FC would be damn helpful in explaining our recent.. wait for it. Crisis. Yes it is a crisis. I said I would not use that word until we dropped to second. Well we are now in third and I am incandescently dissatisfied.

    We literally went from the most powerful team in the country and possibly Europe to a team that is danger of languishing mid table if 9 points out 9 are not collected in three crucially decisive matches.

    I refuse to blame injuries for the fact that Birmingham City and Everton were able to score goals that could have been avoided by elementary defending. Something much larger is at play here. Someone has hit the self-destruct button.

    We were all sitting here praising the decisions to let Ballack, Deco and Belletti go. I for one think that Ballack would have been a welcome addition to a midfield that lacks the testicular fortitude to command a game. Deco’s creativity would have also helped.

    Chelsea’s 2nd half against Everton was pathetic. I have never seen a Chelsea side in recent years have no motivation to open up the match and win it. Everton were pushing us to the edge for Christ sakes looking for the win. Yes, we saw dour dour, and three times dour matches during the Mourinho-era, but guess what – we won those matches.

    This decline did not begin at Liverpool. I personally thought the way we accepted and almost played for away draws at places like Villa was a sign of a team in its last throes. Pardon my departure from the eloquence of the English language but FUCK the opinion of anyone who thinks we do not need to dig deep into Roman’s pockets. He has to buy and buy soon or he is sabotaging Ancelotti’s regime.

    Manchester United have not lost a match this season. If they do not concede against Valencia, they will be the first time in the history of the Champion’s League to go through the group stages without conceding a goal. They have chased down every single match to earn a result, even if they have thrown away matches. You tell me – who is playing with the attitude of champions? United & Arsenal or Chelsea? Even with our injuries our squad is stronger than Arsenals. But make no mistake, this is the weakest Abramovich-era Chelsea side ever assembled. Arnesen resigned because this season was suppose to be his hay day. His youth academy was suppose to take the reigns and serve as sufficient replacements for the big names.

    Do not even ask me what politricks went down for Ray Wilkins to get fired and Michael Emanelo, who was coaching kids at a youth soccer camp in Arizona before that imposter/crony Avram Grant picked him up, to get his position. Have you seen the man’s face on the bench? He doesn’t have a clue. Whatever opposition scouting he was doing must’ve solely related to the name of the team and stadium we were playing.

    I await your berating. But you know in your heart of hearts that whatever optimism you have is only being carried by the fact that we’ve pulled ourselves from worse before. But seriously, do you see that happening now?

    Good Day fellow fans.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’ll find the FUCK word is a most eloquent use of the English language. Welcome to you Vik (and the other relative newbies)…please spread the word about this lovely blog.

      If the Geordies want to stick with a Geordie for The Looney Toon, then maybe Cheryl Cole would be a good bet.

      I hear Gazza’s gone to St James with some lager, some chicken, a mobile phone, something to keep warm to stop the club committing suicide

  34. Der_Kaiser

    Eloquent stuff indeed; only quibble is the player departures you mention – they all went for good reason, primarily age / wages and the theory that replacements were coming through the ranks. That Carlo seems to have a lack of trust in them is another matter, but for the record, Ballack wanted a longer deal than we were prepared to offer and played 3 games in Germany before getting injured, and (I believe) isn’t due back until 2011 and Deco went home to be with his seriously ill child. Can’t see

  35. ososdeoro

    I thought back to last season and tried to remember why or when Kalou was effective. Usually it was on the break with Drogba. Yes, it seems like Drogba would assist Kalou on occasion and they had a decent give and go thing going. Drogba with his own ills apparently isn’t there to push Kalou along I guess.

    Still, Saturday was almost as if Kalou had been told NOT to shoot and to look for help instead. If so, horrible mistake. Kalou misses from point blank range on occasion, but when he gets that open he must try.

    I had to take acid reflux medicine after Bosingwa’s 40-yarder. WTF?

    I like Anelka’s effort, but even he had quite a few passes to opponents. Drogba was actually quite active in the first, even playing some nice defense at times.

    We need Ferreira in for crosses and corners. No one else seems to be able to execute a decent corner kick (other than Lampard, of course). Lampard may not be perfectly fit when he starts to play again, but he’ll be giving us that at least.

    Surprisingly, I’m starting to think Ramirez belongs in the starting lineup. Malouda should be out. Is Zhirkov hurt? He hasn’t been great but he puts in some effort.

    We sit there with our static, aging team. ManU is getting ready to bid for Milan.

    Prospects: Midfielders – I like a couple of them who play for Sporting, Vuksovic and Jaime Valdes. Vuksovic is kind of a big enforcer who gets an occasional goal and Valdes is more of an attacking type. Forwards: maybe we could grab Suarez from Ajax!?!? Their season is going nowhere.

    And I agree that while one does not “get old” overnight, certainly the effect of injuries is multiplied as one gets to his thirties. Probably the team was lucky last year in that regard (and even so there were quite a few injuries last year or EPL would have been easy to win).

  36. Anonymous

    Hi Tony,

    My memory of the Zilina game is slightly different….Wasn’t that the game where we were utterly dreadful until half time until Carlo brought on Kalou, and we actually began to look like a football team.

    Sorry mate, perhaps ‘fucking deluded’ was a bit strong……. Making the right decision has never been Kalou’s strong point, but as someone above pointed out, he is the only one actually getting into positions to score at the moment.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

    • Cunningplan

      Lets have a moments silence I think, for the demise of a treble winning team in Italy.
      Their fans must be more bi-polar than Chelsea fans at the moment, there’s always somebody worse off than us, I say.

  37. bluebayou

    If we win tonight we will be the only team to qualify with maximum points, six wins out of six.

    Is there not an obscure clause somewhere in the competition rules that says in those circumstances the team in question automatically gets the trophy or, at the very least, a bye to the final?

    It would mean we could concentrate on the relegation dogfight in which we now find ourselves.

    If Pardew is going to Newcastle, whither now Martin Jol? Is Pino Z his agent? “We fear change”

    • Anonymous

      Surely this Pardew for Newcastle stuff must be wrong as Uncle Ray is now hot favourite for the job according to “Keyes-ie” as Ray kept referring to him in the bits of their comedy double act that I saw on Sky’s CL coverage last night?

      Weirdly, I’ve just been listening to the singer, Paul Young, being interviewed on BBC Radio London and if I’d missed the introduction I would have sworn it was Uncle Ray again continuing his media blitz, so similar were their accents and modes of expression. Could they perhaps be related?

  38. Anonymous

    Just looked at the fixture list on the official site and noticed our next 5 games are all live on Sky. Normally this would excite someone like me living so far away from tge ground but, if our form doesnt pick up, I’ll be most annoyed.

  39. Nick Benfield

    Evening – I’m currently ensconced in deepest Cornwall, ignoring all things football and Chelsea for the sake of my sanity. If anyone wants to write a report on tonight’s dead rubber, drop me an email.

  40. Anonymous

    Ferreira at left back? Seriously? When PVA was probably our best youngster in the last CL game?

    Weird. Especially when we (somehow) need a 100% firing right back against Bale on Sunday. So let’s knacker both RBs in a pointless game tonight. Does not compute, to me at least.

    • Marco

      Yes, was thinking PvA would have been a more useful selection from at least 3 different points of view. Including the most important one about getting Ashley’s stand-by ready for action.

      You can take the man out of Milan but not Milan out of the man?

  41. Marco

    Is it just me clutching at straws or is the team selection tonight, and Carlo’s pre-match comments, a sign of better things?

    ‘It is not important, the result of the game, but the performance is important,’ says Ancelotti.

    ‘We want to do our best and put the best line-up possible because we consider the game important for our confidence, it is important to come back to play our football. The most important reason is we are not playing our football at this moment and we have to come back quickly to play our football.’

    ‘I spoke with my players, but it is not the right place to explain what I said to them. It is private and confidential. I hope that the reaction is good, the training was good yesterday and I hope tomorrow we can have a good reaction.’

    Meanwhile, the team selection suggests that he is using tonight’s match to prepare for Tottenham rather than ‘resting’ certain players who need a kick up the arse rather than a rest. He is also reintroducing Josh and Ramires.

    Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Ferreira, Essien, Ramires, Malouda, McEachran, Drogba, Kalou

    Let’s all watch carefully to see how Bosingwa, Essien, Malouda, Drogba and Kalou respond tonight.

  42. Anonymous

    Erm, that was a penalty. He gave the penalty. Then for some reason changed his mind.

    UEFA cheating us once again. Grumble grumble.

    We needed something like that to perk us up. Very sluggish so far. Both fullbacks looking flaky.

  43. Anonymous

    Drogs has got that ‘either I’m going to score a belter, puff out my chest giving it the big I am celeb to show what I’m all about or do fuck all and generally offer nothing’ swagger going on tonight.

    And Bosingwa is giving the general impression that a size 5 football is an alien object to him. He has no concept of ball retention, control or passing. So he’s nailed on to have a storming hour after I hit ‘post as Fiftee’…..

  44. Anonymous

    If the objective of picking a strong team is to re-build our confidence then unfortunately it’s not currently doing it for me.

  45. Anonymous

    Half time analysis to myself.

    Josh is the most composed and passing better than anyone else.

    Drogs needs to unfuck himself and stop trying to win the game on his own. We get it means a lot to you, Didier, but were getting into good positions as a team and you’re trying to be a hero when a pass is easier.

    Could (and maybe should) have had two pens. But equally could be one down

    Kalou and his fondness for head-down-into-a-cul-de-sac running shows no signs of letting up.

    Ramires has been to shooting school. The Michael Essien School of Finishing. But failed.

    I’ll be back in a bit…

  46. Cunningplan

    Well two penalty shouts, and Kalou’s was nailed on. The only question I have is…. what do the officials behind the goal actually do??

  47. Der_Kaiser

    Say what you like about Kalou, but he has a very well-formed arse on him. Showing it like that seemed a perfect comment on the officiating thus far, too.

  48. Anonymous

    Anyone else wondering if we worry about trivial things like passing at training? Some of what I watched tonight was fucking disgraceful. A 17 year old reserve showing them all how it’s done. We lookec utterly lifeless up front between the 4 who played up their. No fight in midfield and all Carlo really got tonight was a performance that tells him thongs are continuing to get worse before anything gets better.

    The space Paulo gave Taiwo for his deflected shot would have given Bale a hard on. He’ll crucify us given that space. I’m glad I’ve accepted an offer of lunch at my Nans on Sunday so I don’t have to endure the match. I have zero optimism if even a draw. A point would be amazing given how we’re playing at the moment but we just seem to be going backwards with every game.

    Carlo can’t have got anything from tonights game other than proof Josh can hold his own alongside his supposed seniors. Ramires flatters to deceive yet again and at least a choice is made about who faces Bale.

  49. Anonymous

    Pretty good night all round.

    Josh looked great in midfield and showed everyone how to complete a 10 yard pass to a player on your own side (Essien take note).

    Bosingwa got injured so we don’t have to watch his lazy, casual and frankly shit performances again this year.

    But the biggest plus of all was final confirmation that Didier has lost it. Not only has his pace and power gone but so has his touch, decision making and crucially fighting spirit. Tonight he just couldn’t give a fuck about trying to win the game for us and was more interested in the support he was getting from his favourite fans in Marseille. Whether it was refusing to pass the ball to a teammate and instead trying to beat two men before losing it, twice refusing to pass to the overlapping Bosingwa and instead shooting from 40 yards out, twice jumping out from a challenge with Heinze because he was scared of getting hurt or refusing to close down and put in any effort, tonight was just a sad Drogba performance. He didn’t seem interested and Carlo’s decision to hook him after an hour was the best part of the night. The fact that Sturridge put in a better performance than Didier says it all and at the moment, Didier has no right starting against Spurs, Arsenal or Utd. Nico must lead the line, not only for his mobility, touch and technique but also to show Didier that these types of performances will not be tolerated for much longer.

    And for those of you who thought that the second half against Everton was bad, you should watch tonight’s second 45. We again lost the ability to pass to a Chelsea player, create any chances whatsoever and dropped so deep that when the inevitable goal came, we were camped on our six yard line as if defending for our lives against Barca at the Nou Camp. It was depressing to see that the players hadn’t learnt anything from the weekend and it did confirm to me that the next few weeks won’t be fun.

    I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll lose at Spurs and I also have little doubt that after the next run of games, we’ll be out of the top 4. That will probably be followed by some disastrous crisis meeting, or worse Carlo’s sacking. This is beyond a blip now and looking at a side bereft of confidence, with absolutely no pace running through it, no attacking intent and an inability to keep a clean sheet, you wonder how things will get better. Mikel, Nico and Ash will help but the squad needs investment and perhaps a shift away from 4-3-3. It’s worked this far thanks to Lamps and Didier, but surely Carlo can see that it’s not working anymore. Didier is offering nothing to hold up the ball and as the ball keeps coming back at us, the defence drops deeper and deeper to withstand the pressure and in the end we concede. We need to try something different but even Carlo tonight looked a little lost, so I’m not sure how they’re going to turn it around.

    I’ll get in nice and early and predict a 2-0 on Sunday. Bale and Defoe for me.

  50. Jose_fan

    The awful team performances continue. Maybe malaria is infectious after all..

    Or perhaps Carlo should reconsider his tactics:

    “Forward” versus “collapsing” defenses
    Some teams use forward defending, aggressively challenging the ball when on the defensive in any part of the field. Others rely on a “collapsing” style, that falls back deep into its own half when the opponent is in possession of the ball. The “forward” policy can put immense physical and psychological pressure on opponents, and is aimed at slowing down or breaking up attacks early. It has more physical demands however, and may spread a defensive formation more thinly. The “collapsing” approach is more economical in physical demand, and provides a packed back zone to thwart attacks. However it sometimes creates large gaps in midfield, and invites the opposing team to dribble forward and to take shots from long range; if the opposing team is good at the two aforementioned skills then goals will be conceded freely.” []

  51. Anonymous

    What have learnt tonight?

    1.) Whatever the question is the answer is not Kalou.
    2.) Drogs is having a continuing mare and thinks he’s better than he actually is
    3.) Our best passer is 17 and very probably still a virgin
    4.) Ferreira is no left back
    5.) Bosingwa is way off our best right back, which sadly is Ivan or even Ferreira
    6.) Lampard is missed. So is Ballack
    7.) The impostor is back in place for Essien. Whoever is pretending to be him is utter shite
    8.) Carlo looks lost, bereft, confused and daft
    9.) He needs a decent assistant so if not Ray then fucking Leonardo, Maldini, Clarke, Zola, Hughton is a good ‘players’ man….anyone but Emenalo or even an out of his depth Clement
    10.) Anelka is the best ball player we have

    Lastly, CA said the result wasn’t important but the performance was. So why, why, fucking why risk the senior players on this game and why not start Kakuta, PvA, Studge, Josh, Sala, Turnbull and even Mellis? Why not? If the defeat was acceptable then why not gain some valuable top line game time for the kids. Why? Because he doesn’t trust them. I fear CA thinks he can do what he did at Milan and take a bunch of players into the mid-late 30’s, but we do have to look at the fucking crock of shite he left behind. If CA is the future then he needs to rapidly rethink his attitude towards the youngsters or make it clear they can all go. The logic of his team selection tonight was unfathomable.

    Spurs will be rubbing their hands with glee, especially with a days extra rest.

  52. TrueBlue

    We are so toothless upfront now, I can’t believe this is the same team that brushed teams aside 6 nil only a few months back!!

    I for one think we won’t challenge for the Prem, but my mate does and here’s why. He thinks that when fit, our first team is the strongest in the league. I can’t argue with his logic.

    Ok it would have been great to win this game but really it’s all about spurs this week. why he started both Bosingwa and Paulo is nuts as well.

    It’s make or break Dec for chelsea – can we summon our skill or will we crumble?

  53. Anonymous

    I remember when Buster Douglas knocked out the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson. Tyson sort of semi recovered but was never the same again and from that point onwards the decline started and once it set in there was no coming back. He didn’t change his style and his opponents lost their fear and worked out his game. Had he had the foresight to change from ‘fighter’ to ‘boxer’ then he could have gone on longer.

    Just saying like………

Comments are closed.