Chelsea 3-0 Bolton Wanderers – Trotting Out the Tweets, the Reports and the Goals

The buildup

BluesChronicle: Chelsea team for Bolton: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.

ChelseaChadder: Wow! AVB has actually dropped Meireles for once.

sidcelery: I’m not saying AVB is a bit slow, but he’s just picked a good team to play Napoli…

BluesChronicle: A team to please traditionalists, whether AVB intended it or not. Wonder if selection of Lamps & Ash means he considers this an ‘easy’ game?

OfficialCFCnet: London Calling booms out at the Bridge in the sunshine. Today is going to be a good day!

BluesChronicle: Stamford Bridge pre-match soundtrack: Elton John – I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues. Indeed.

BluesChronicle: Being dazzled by the unseasonal sunshine in the East Stand. Gorgeous day: coat off, considering going short-sleeves. Is it really February?

BluesChronicle: Chelsea players applauded as they head down the tunnel for their pre-match team-talk: none more so than Frank Lampard – captain today.

The first half

BluesChronicle: Kick off at Stamford Bridge: Chelsea 0-0 Bolton. COME ON YOU BLUES!

BluesChronicle: Owen Coyle, on the touchline in his slightly unseemly shorts, always reminds me a bit of Angus Young of AC/DC. Can we get him a blazer?

ChelseaAnalysis: Sturridge with a shot, saved by Bogdan.

BluesChronicle: Sturridge starts run on half way, cuts in on the edge of box, and shoots – but Bogdan parries. Left wondering why Drogba didn’t follow-up.

BluesChronicle: Frank Lampard slightly fortunate to find himself charging into the box with the ball, but the timing is all wrong and Bogdan has it covered.

ChelseaRumours: Are we awesome or are they crap? Either way we’re bossing this!

chelseafc: Both Lamps and Drogba have got into the box – sadly no goals though.

ChelseaAnalysis: Mata tries to send a ball through to Drogba but it’s intercepted.

BluesChronicle: Can’t escape fact we already look sharper today than we have for quite some time. Though bear in mind opposition isn’t exactly top-notch.

BluesChronicle: Big shout for a Chelsea penalty from the Shed End, but it was never really happening.

ChelseaRumours: Luiz’ long passes have been insanely accurate today!

ChelseaAnalysis: Great control by Drogba in the box, but poor decision by the referee to give a foul against him.

BluesChronicle: Lovely chance as Mata knocks a square ball into the box from the left, but it is deflected away. Resulting corner produces nothing.

AndrewTurmer: God we’re boring to watch. This is an appalling Bolton team and we’re still struggling.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea looking more like a team than in any of the last half dozen games. But still no goals: which, after all, is what this game is about.

BluesChronicle: Lovely shot pinged from Sturridge on the right – Bogdan punches it away on the dive. Need to make this pressure count.

chelseafc: Wave after wave of attack from the Blues but still 0-0.

ChelseaAnalysis: Yet another corner to Chelsea. Has to go in eventually.

chelseafc: Another race upfield ends with Ashley Cole firing wide.

BluesChronicle: Good start, but Chelsea’s dominance is ebbing away. Chances are turning into blind alleys. Did I mention that we need a goal?

BluesChronicle: Chelsea have had ten corners. Yes, ten. But nothing from any of them.

ChelseaAnalysis: Pratley receives a yellow card for a dive.

ChelseaAnalysis: One added minute, and Abramovich is looking as entertained as we all are, surely.

Half time

BluesChronicle: HT: Chelsea 0-0 Bolton. Frustrating half as Blues belt in shot after shot, but never quite make it pay. Possession without goals = nothing.

TheChelseaBlog: Mata is such a beautiful player, takes some of the pain out of the game.

3adool94: The play is so predictable, it’s ridiculous.

alrickbrown: Chelsea ranks 9th in PL shot success rate this season (1 goal every 10.3 shots), going 0 for 12 in the first half. The same story all year.

devinanand: If this was Football Manager, I’d select the ‘I need to see more from you!’ pep talk. Or maybe the ‘you I only need one goal’ zinger.

ChelseaRumours: Jesper Grønkjær is at the Bridge today – oh how I love him.

ChelseaAnalysis: All in all, a much better and improved performance in the first half but the problems are still there upfront. We need a goal soon.

The second half

chelseafc: 2nd half under way. Time to turn possession into goals now. Keep the faith.

ChelseaAnalysis: GOAL! DAVID LUIZ!

chelseaoffside: BOB.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea 1-0 Bolton: Luiz shoots with a peach of a move from the edge of the box. About time.

chelseafc: Two minutes into the 2nd half, David Luiz fires a sweet shot across goal and into the far corner to put us into the lead. 1-0.

ChelseaAnalysis: Reo-Coker, dangerous shot. Lucky not to concede.

ChelseaAnalysis: David Luiz has been driving the team to score in previous matches. Had enough and took matters into his own hands this time.

BluesChronicle: Mata corner at the Matthew Harding End, and Luiz leaps higher than all in an attempt to twist and head it in. Just misses.

BluesChronicle: Sweeping move across the pitch results in Mata laying off to Drogba, who chips the ball goal-ward: just clipping the top of the bar.

BluesChronicle: In other news the Stamford Bridge pigeon has returned. S/he is presently doing laps of the north half of the pitch. Like Ballack with wings.

ChelseaAnalysis: Great ball to Ivanovic. Sends it to Mata whose shot is deflected for another corner.

ChelseaAnalysis: GOAL! DROGBA! 2-0.

chelseaoffside: THE MIGHTY ONE.

ChelseaAnalysis: Chelsea finally taken advantage of a corner. Drogba heads it home!

BluesChronicle: Chelsea 2-0 Bolton: Lampard corner & Drogba leaps to head home. Only Tambling, Dixon & Lampard have now scored more for Chelsea than Drogs.

ChelseaAnalysis: Third almost gone in! Essien with one of his traditional rockets, players in Blue upfront fighting over who’s going to tap it in. Saved.

ChelseaAnalysis: Mata tries to chip it in over Bogdan. Lovely attempt, Bogdan not fooled by it.

chelseaoffside: Hey, now there’s the defense we’ve grown to love.

BluesChronicle: 2-0 up, and the opposition looking about to crumble. Time for Torres off the bench?

BluesChronicle: Fantastic reaction from crowd: Matt Harding End singing ‘when the Blues go steaming in’ for about 5mins solid now. A bit of pride returning.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Torres on for Drogba. Never had a better chance to break the gypsy’s curse.


TheChelsOrg: Get in Frankie! Moves ahead of Jimmy Greaves in the scoring charts!

OptaJoe: 12 – No player in Premier League history has scored more PL goals against Bolton than Frank Lampard (12, alongside R. Fowler). Expected.

TheChelseaBlog: Get in there Frank. Fuck me, we’re only 3-0 up here! Well giddy.

ChelseaAnalysis: Cahill sends Ramires through, but it’s cleared. Mata picks it off and delivers a wonderful cross to Lampard who puts it in.

sidcelery: Lampard still destructively obsessed with scoring, I note. Bastard. Ruining this club…

BluesChronicle: “Super Frankie Lampard” echoes around Stamford Bridge. Point made.

chelseaoffside: Hey, it’s Mikel. Glad to see him getting a run-out.

ChelseaAnalysis: Corner from Lampard finds Torres, headed over.

Full time

BluesChronicle: FT: Chelsea 3-0 Bolton. Return to old faces & winning ways thanks to goals from Luiz, Drogs & Lamps. Comfortable, if not always convincing.

chelseaoffside: We won a game? Weird.

TheChelseaBlog: We only went and fucking won a game! Well done Chelsea, well done AVB.

ChelseaAnalysis: AVB had it right from the starting line-up to the HT shake-up to the subsitutions today. Well done, Chelsea.

EastUpper3: Well played Frank. Top performance by a top player.

MacAree: David Luiz is amazing.

The press reports

The Observer, Amy Lawrence: “Cometh the hour, cometh the men. Could there be a more authentic flashback to the good old days than the sight of Frank Lampard delivering a teasing corner, and Didier Drogba dominating the scene to thump in a goal? After all the shenanigans, all the discontent, all the mediocrity, suddenly all was well in the world of Chelsea. There are times for talking about the project, for speculating about where certain players fit into the scheme of things for the future but this is not one of them. This was a time for Chelsea to do whatever was necessary to dig out a result. Coincidentally or not, that required some strong old heads. Whether or not Andre Villas-Boas had some bridges to mend after a torrid week, he picked a team with an entirely different flavour to the controversial selection in the Champions League.”

The Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “In front of Roman Abramovich, who had demanded to know the thinking behind team selection for the 3-1 defeat by Napoli in midweek, Villas-Boas restored Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien, and was rewarded by Lampard in particular. Whatever his motivation – bloody-mindedness or simply professional pride – Lampard took hold of the captain’s armband and then the game, making one goal before scoring his 150th in League football.”

The Sunday Telegraph, Gerry Cox: “Frank Lampard is either past it, marginalised or on his way out of Stamford Bridge, if you believe the rumours coming out of a troubled camp, but the England midfielder showed he is still central to any success Chelsea aspire to. Lampard scored one goal and set up one for Didier Drogba, another of the old guard, as Chelsea eventually overcame struggling Bolton to move back into the top four of the Premier League.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Ultimately, it was a comfortable and well deserved victory for the Blues that didn’t look likely after a frustrating first half. David Luiz expertly broke the deadlock with a sweet right-footed drive two minutes into the second half, before a Didier Drogba header doubled our advantage. A trademark Frank Lampard volley late on put the game out of Bolton’s sight to mark a return to winning ways and our first Barclays Premier League victory in over a month.”

The goals

48′ David Luiz 1-0
61′ Drogba 2-0
79′ Lampard 3-0

There are 45 comments

Add yours
  1. Blue_MikeL

    First here! Do I really have to say anything else? Let’s cherish the moment we didn’t have many of those so far. 

  2. Ryan

    The fact that we won today obviously isn’t playing too well with MoTD editorial policy. Does anyone think we would have been on after Newcastle v Wolves and WBA v Sunderland if we hadn’t won today? I highly doubt it.

  3. Fat Nakago

    Evidently AVB channeled the spirit of the recently deceased American
    NFL icon Al Davis today and told the lads, “Just win, baby!”

    It doesn’t matter how, just do it. And today they did. It wasn’t perfect
    or beautiful, and given that it was against Bolton, all that
    convincing. But it doesn’t matter. Scoreboard, baby. SCOREBOARD!

    That’s what counts, and that what’s been missing until today. “Just win,
    baby. Just win.” The “project” can progress, but meanwhile, the
    scoreboard is all that should matter. Whether that was the message
    actually conveyed by AVB to the lads, or whether this was just a
    fortunate happenstance remains to be seen. The next match and the next
    one after that, and so on, will tell the tale of today more vividly. If
    they play like they did today, regardless of the starting lineup, then
    we’ll know they’ve turned a corner and are on the right path.

    After all, soccer, like most other sports is 90% mental, with he other half being physical. ;P

    Mind over matter and all that.

    A few curious asides from the match:

    —–Did any of you who watched the match on TV see AVB’s reaction to Luiz’s goal?  It seemed to me that he was almost miffed that Luiz went loping up there and scored. He didn’t even crack a smile it seemed…almost as though he was thinking THIS is not the way I want them to play. I thought it was a bit odd.

    —–WHERE the HELL was Romeu??

    —–Thank God and William Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy and Percy Bysshe Shelley that Merieles was kept safely glued to to the bench.

    Let’s see if they can keep this up.

  4. WorkingClassPost

    Most impressed by DL.

    Probable MOTM even before he scored, and showed great maturity afterwards by slipping back into his defensive role and making sure that he didn’t spoil his day by conceding something stupid.

  5. WorkingClassPost

    Another thing.

    Apart from some crappy performances recently, AVB has actually done quite a good job transitioning the team.

    Lots of talk about the old guard saving us, but there were only three players over 30 out there, and the new guys all deserve their places.

    Whether it’s confidence, or belief, but we do look a bit fragile still, and if Bolton had kept it 0-0 for longer, or scored one of those ‘against the run of play’ goals, would we have recovered? 

    But results change seasons, and maybe a bit of ‘Appy ‘Arry’s “go out and enjoy yourselves” mentality, and who knows where this season will go?

  6. Blueboydave

    I was a bit concerned when I read one of those double-edged stats yesterday morning that Bolton had already very generously helped no fewer than 6 teams bring non-winning streaks to an end this season, including even Wigan.

    I couldn’t help notice most of these games were at Bolton and that they’ve actually won more games away from  home this season.

    After a bright start by us it all rather dissipated again as the first half wore on, though Bolton were offering very little threat.

    Indeed I thought their only bright spell was for 5 minutes after the Luiz goal, after which they pretty much resigned themselves to their fate.

    It was nice to see The Drog and Lamps cementing their goalscoring records again, but the media shit-strirring of the “Lampard controversy” is getting really tiresome.

    From a quick perusal of the programme I see he has not played in precisely 6 games all season, which were mostly when he was injured as I remember it. He’s come off the bench 8 times, and has played most of his best games after the boot up the bum/ much needed rest that the benching provided. Doesn’t seem that bad for a 33 year-old that time is starting to catch up with to me.

    Perhaps AVB is not such a disaster in the man-management stakes after all?

  7. Cunningplan

    So can I assume we’re all pretty happy after yesterday, or are we still miserable fucks?
    Right now I’m ready to cheer on Spurs and Arse for a 0-0 draw with lots of injuries and sendings off, for both teams.

    • Blueboydave

       I’m suffering from indigestion today.

      I started off with a few more spoonfuls of last week’s vintage Gooners’ crumble, only to have it snatched from my hands and be replaced by mashed Spuds…..

    • WorkingClassPost

      I was definitely a happy bunny, until BBD brought me the good news about Bolton’s utter shiteness at home, now I’m feeling slightly less so.

      If Luiz hadn’t decided to win the game on his own, would we have been one of the the few teams not to win up there?

      Oh, the misery.

      No, I won’t give in to it..

      I’m ‘H’A’P’P’Y’
      I’m ‘H’A’P’P’Y’
      I know I am.
      I’m sure I am
      I’m ‘H’A’P’P’Y’

      (That’s a song btw, for all you younger readers)

  8. PeteW

    Much improved, largely because we actually picked our best available team and went with it. Fingers crossed it kickstarts something, I really want the squad and AVB to put their differences behind them and push on from here, but still fear the worst. 

    Very interesting, honest, interview from Lampard afterwards, basically saying there have been problems between himself and the manager, he doesn’t expect to play every game, but wants the team to be winning (ie improved), when he isn’t. Seems fair. 

    • GrocerJack

      Agreed. But AVB was fulsome in his praise of Frank as well and yet the majority of the press decided to twist both sets of words into something else, which in light of tensions seems a shame. 

  9. limetreebower

    Agreed again. In fact I think this is one of the interesting things about the current “crisis”: it’s being played out by unusually articulate people.

    I don’t suppose it has any relevance (or much relevance) to his managerial skills, but I can’t help being impressed by AVB’s way of dealing with the situation. He’s very calm and clear about what’s going on, and what he says about the importance of results is obviously right. Neither he nor Frank is trying to put some kind of spin on the friction between them, with the odd result that they end up in implicit agreement: both of them think that Frank thinks he’s a better player than AVB thinks he is.

    Our Dear Leader kindly asked me to do a report on the game but I’m afraid I’m a bit overwhelmed by what passes for work round my gaff. So it’s my fault that there’s nothing detailed to read this week. Sorry all.

    For what it’s worth, I (like everyone else) was pleased to see Meireles dropped after at least a couple of months where he hasn’t looked anywhere near the form he was in at the start of the season, and (again like everyone else) I reckon that’s probably our best XI in the absence of JT. Bolton were not good, but even so I was impressed enough by Cahill and Crazy David to wonder whether that isn’t actually our best XI anyway. Crazy David had a superb game. He put in a real shift defensively — he was far busier fending off the long balls than Cahill was — and turned defence into attack enough times that he effectively acted as a third deep midfielder. I suspect in a couple of years we’ll be laughing at the thought that anyone ever doubted him.

    The only player who seemed a bit off colour to my eyes was, surprisingly, Mata. But the poor kid’s been thrown into a turbulent season, and he’s been carrying out attacking efforts (such as they’ve been) for months, so he’s allowed a dip if he needs one.

    It was quite nice to enjoy a home win again. It reminded me of when I first starting going to the Bridge (circa 1993), when any points at all felt like a cause of celebration.

  10. Blueboydave

    So, is AVB suffering from those pesky “Lost in Translation” problems that The Drog and others have had in the past talking to foreign-language media or is he less confident of his job than he’s claimed to English journos so far?

    Also, I was taken by Mark’s forecast  on the podcast of X-factor style crowd participation in years to come to liven up dull games. Have The Emirates already started on this, or was there another reason we got a close-up of rabid Gooners all waving red cards at Scott Parker when he headed for the early bath on Sunday?

  11. WorkingClassPost

    Given that Frank has obviously got the smarts to continue in football after he hangs up his boots, this could be a good start for him learning about management and the sort of situations that he’s certain to encounter if he takes that route.

    Though it’s probably more likely to put him off altogether.

  12. Dannybrod51

    Frank has stated quite categorically that he has no interest in coaching or managing after he finishes playing. He has built up a decent property portfolio and intends to go into developing when he retires in a few years time. A pity, as I think he’d have so much to contribute. On the few occasions he done the TV punditry he’s excelled, so I hope he at least pursues that, even as a part-time hobby. 

    • WorkingClassPost

      That might explain why Frank is so miffed about not playing. 

      If he sees these as his last years in the sport, then he’s bound to try and squeeze every last bit out of his playing career, rather than accepting the situation and getting on with his badges and such.

      Not sure that he’ll gain much satisfaction switching from football to life as an estate agent, or property tycoon, or whatever it’s called these days.

      • JONTY 1

        Maybe the reasons why Frank is so miffed at not playing are : 1) he is desperate to play in the Euros and if he is not playing regularily he maybe left out of the squad and 2) he clearly would love to break Bobby Tambling’s club goalscoring record and if it  seems to him that AVB is gradually edging him out of the team he may not  be able to achieve that milestone.

  13. Dannybrod51

    Incidentally, on the subject of AVB’s Portugese Radio interview. It’s the second time in recent weeks he’s hinted that he would like some public vocal support from upstairs. Not of the “manager has my full backing” type, that always means the knife is being sharpened. But of the type that clarifies that there is a medium and long term project of changing the team, not just in age and personnel, but in fundamental style of play. And that he, AVB, has been hired to effect the change. His derogatory comments about Man City and the Italian style, his insistence, in both this interview and other recent comments, that the basic change is from defensive, backfoot sit and wait for the transition to counter attack style, to the more modern, frontfoot possession press possession style, that draws opponents into mistakes in their own half, is made quite clear. He obviously doesn’t think Frank is a natural for that style, which relies on a quicker full team cohesion. It’s essentially the difference between Jose’s style and Barca’s. Roman had talks with Barca people last year according to Sid Lowe, the Guardian’s well-connected Spanish football correspondent, and clearly is smitten by them. He’s deliberately sought out AVB, a man with Jose’s winning mentality but also a determination to usurp his earlier master with the new style. I too despair at AVB’s handling of the older players in man management terms, but I think we have to get behind him, and need the lead from the top to give us the confidence that we’re not wasting our time. According to Dan Levene at the Fulham Chronicle, his inside connections are categorical that they are sticking with him and the whole Rafa thing is nonsense. If this is so, why don’t they support their young manager more vociferously. Or does Roman just prefer to leave him to it, thinking he pays him enough and should just get on with it.

    • Cunningplan

      But doesn’t the Barca style of football totally depend on players of exceptional quality, which Barca seem to have in abundance at the moment. I honestly think that once those players require replacing with ones who might not be so good, the team will become less effective.
      JM’s or the Italian style of playing will have more longevity in terms of success, because it doesn’t require players like Messi, Xavi, Iniesta etc etc.

      • Ryan

        You’re right. But RA had that and didn’t want it. He was bored of seeing us win that way. I suppose most football clubs are looking for financial success and opportunities to “grow” the business. The most effective way to do that is to win. Lots. Roman isn’t worried about making Chelsea a profitable business though. He’s got Sibneft or whatever it’s called for that. CFC is about entertainment as well as success for him. We are probably fairly unique in that sense. Having an owner that is both hugely wealthy and also a complete football fanatic. I know City have huge resources but I’m not sure Mansour is a football person in the same way RA is. I m not suggesting this is a better or worse situation than other clubs are in. Just that probably the same rules don’t necessarily apply to all clubs. Could be the reason why things never seem to follow the normal laws of reason and common-sense at CFC.

      • WorkingClassPost

        Yes, and it also relies, in no small part, on the willingness of refs to ‘protect and serve’, when their tippy tappying is not productive.
        There’s much to admire in their style and their achievements but I’d still, somehow, rather be part of the setup that finds the way to beat them.

        And I genuinely preferred our style of play in some of those double winning matches, and the early part of last season, before we zapped ourselves.

        The only good thing about last season, is that we never stayed that good for that long, so our guys never got to display the sort of arrogance, and self-love that other teams do. 

        Of course, the constant media slagging would probably have prevented that happening, anyway.

  14. bluebayou

    You could watch a lot of Masterchef and never see stewed trotters. Proper cooking that and a superb photo choice.

    There’s reams of stuff about this week on what AVB said or didn’t say, what he’s achieved and what he hasn’t achieved etc. etc.

    Well only time will tell I suppose.

    But what worries me is the feeling that he’s been hired to fulfill the owners vision. The owner has been down this road before. And I’m not sure that it is entirely possible if this is based on wanting to be Barcelona. Weren’t we trying to be Milan a few years back? By all means look to be entertaining and successful at the same time but copying another style? That’s not something that lends itself to the old switcheroo at the drop of a hat. And who’s to say that the game wont have moved on in the two to three years it takes to get there?

    We kind of had a formula and that wasn’t enough. It takes more than a season to change all that and stay at the top at the same time.

  15. Dannybrod51

    Personally I dislike Barcelona and their preening self-regard more than I dislike any other club in the world, and am not a great fan of tikki takka (or tippy tappy as WWP calls it above). I also think Roman is following a whim here that might be a year behind the curve. Barca are faltering in La Liga – 10 pts behind Jose’s lot with 12 games left – and as is rightly pointed out by Cunningplan, it relies entirely on the players they have grouped together in this team – many of whom are ageing and jaded. I enjoy Jose’s teams and would have been perfectly happy to have left him in place and simply backed him to build an empire at the Bridge. I’m sure eventually the style would have evolved into something like the style his current team play. I had a short city break in Madrid in January to meet up with a pal who teaches down in Granada and was up in the capital to watch his local team play Real. It was a fantastic occasion and seeing Jose on the touchline looking as cool as ever as his team slowly broke down their opponents with style and flair was emotional. But we are where we are, financed by a romantic who wants Chelsea to become a team that wins in a style people will talk about down through the decades. All our management-changing problems are down to this eternal search and nothing else. 

    • Cunningplan

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with regard RA and his romantic search for footballing perfection.
      I’ve watched a fair bit of Real this season, and the only flair player with licence to roam is Ronaldo, the rest of them are bloody minded, hard working you’re not going to beat us players. I’m not saying the rest of them don’t have fooballing skills, but it’s that mental toughness JM instills in all his teams, that stands out like a John Holmes penis in a porn film.
      They currently have scored more goals in La Liga than any other team, and require another 28 goals to beat the all time La Liga record for goals scored in a season. Sort of puts to bed the myth of JM teams just being functional and efficient with drab one or two nil wins.

      If RA is as fickle with his footballing needs as we think he is, and Spanish football is the template, then expect yet more change to follow.

  16. NorthernVA

    Let me preface this by saying I am of the opinion that we should stick it out for the rest of the season. Not because I am a believer in his principles or his philosophy because I am not. I hate his reverence for Barcelona and puppy love infatuation with Pep disturbs me. I don’t want to be Barcelona I want to beat them. Someone did however make a rather profound post which in essence made the point that at some point with all of these managerial changes we would get the results which we deserved. The proverbial come to Jesus moment. Welcome to said moment. Let’s all have a small nibble off that delicious pie called humility those who called for Carlo’s sacking please help yourself to seconds and realize that actions do have consequences.

    But I think the main reason that I have veered to the stay the course movement was the possibility of Rafa Benitez being appointed Chelsea manager. It would be a bit hypocritical for me to celebrate the man’s downfall then be boosted by his appointment to CFC. At times I can swerve into the erratic irrational supporter category however if we don’t have principles we have got nothing.
    Personally I find the entire way this has been handled to be a bit distasteful. If the board were serious about the “project”and “transition” they should have moved the so-called l’enfant terrible off in the summer. Does anyone believe that when one of the biggest contributors of recent campaigns ask the manager a question about playing time and he curtly responds by telling him that “he thinks he is a declining force and was not allowed to move him on by the club,” is a productive management strategy. If Mourinho would have done that to Zanetti upon his appointment I wonder if he would have been able to maximize all that he did out of that Inter squad in year two. If players are deemed as surplus to requirements as those comments indicated then the club should have moved them on last summer unless of course they were trying to place a hedge on their new investment. They board effectively made them highly paid fire extinguishers labeled crack in the case of emergency. 

    Players are highly trained athletes who have mastered a niche in which they are handsomely rewarded but at the end of the day let’s remember this is their occupation. I can’t understand why people find it so hard that some fans believe that players should be given a degree of respect by their employers. When Mourinho moved Raul and Guti from Madrid and Vieria from Inter the reason his objective was completely seamlessly is that he spoke to them man to man and explained to them his reasoning which when you consider the contributions they made to their respective clubs was more than deserved. If you can’t agree with that then I despair for your work environment. In business it’s an annual and mid-term review however to a professional footballer it’s the weekly squad sheet. How can you expect to lead when you don’t effectively communicate the guidelines. It’s called fucking respect and communication which many moons ago was a commonly held tenant in some organizations. 

    It is shocking how being diplomatic in society is frowned upon now however in certain sectors being ruthless is celebrated as positive character trait. The all iron fist strategy and tough talking bellicose rhetoric are key ingredients to any recipe for disaster. Believe me because I say this as a tax-payer in the US who over the foreseeable will be paying literally for the on-the-job-training exercise of our previous chief executive. Telling the media that you could care less if you have the backing of your players because you have Roman’s backing didn’t strike me as tough talk or particularly smart. I am certain that generations of generals will use AVB’s words their to inspire their troops into battle. Now honestly all I heard is you are either with me or against me. If the sirens weren’t going off prior to those belligerent comments with the suits upstairs it probably was then but much of this was their doing.

    The board set the parameters for the current pickle we are in. They are enablers. How they decided that AVB was the best man for a rebuilding job beggar’s belief. In a situation like this I believe you need that steady hand at the till. The fact that Ancelotti knew the players and vitally had earned their respect which made him much better equipped to deal with the non-homogenized mentalities of a locker room whilst actually implementing the changes Roman had decided upon which still to this day are shrouded under the guise of this non-defined “project.” Basically Carlo had what the youngsters call “street cred.” Haven’t the suits ever heard of the tale of the Trojan horse.

    Turning over the reigns of the “project” to a man with no playing career and only 18 months prior experience as a manager was always going to be a difficult proposition. It showed me that they really had learned nothing from the Wilkens fiasco. Nope they actually upped the ante. This was high risk with a potential high return which does care the chance of blowing up spectacularly. I watched Team America World Police and I thought the brilliant speech by Gary Johnston summed up or situation in a frighteningly too close to home way.

     “We’re dicks(Insert the Board)! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies (Insert Chelsea Manager). And Kim Jong Il is an asshole (Insert Chelsea Players). Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!”  

    • GrocerJack

      “Does anyone believe that when one of the biggest contributors of recent campaigns ask the manager a question about playing time and he curtly responds by telling him that “he thinks he is a declining force and was not allowed to move him on by the club,” is a productive management strategy.”

      Seriously, where did he say this? I’ve googled it, run through as much of the transcript as I could find and no mention of this. Or have you taken some hacks word on it? The same hacks who’ve deliberately twisted actual words into their own interpreted meaning because they think they’re clever. So…”i don’t like the standards of City’s football’ becomes ‘I hate what City stand for’ or ‘City’s football is rubbish’. 

      Honestly I give in if people are going to spin a straight-forward sentence into something very different. I mesan what he could have ACTUALLY said was ‘ Lets accept that you’re not the player you were so I’ll play you as when I think it’s right and we’ll see what happens in the summer’ 

      I’m pleasantly surprised at how many perfect man managers we have reading this blog 😉

      • NorthernVA

        The quote is from Duncan Castles who has close ties with Jorge Mendes who happens to be agent of AVB. It’s not a new quote by an means. Also didn’t your mate intimate that their was so harsh truths delivered by AVB player by player. So that quote is completely out of the realm of possibility. Next time I will be certain to use MLA format.

        Where did I mention anything pertaining to the City comments in my post. I specifically stayed away from that nonsense because I had read the full context of the interview which I actually thought was extremely measured and thoughtful. Guest thanks for posting both links.

        I do thank you for pointing out that quote because it is important. That quote was more a reflection upon the board than upon AVB. How does a statement like that which is delivered from the top (above AVB) create anything but confusion within the ranks. I was attempting to make a critique upon the decision making of the board rather than have a go at AVB. 

        I stated from the outset that I hope he stays in place for the rest of the season. But to be honest it be nothing more than a stay of execution in this current climate. It seems that the power struggle from above continues. Nothing  is certain but death taxes and our managers getting sacked. 

      • NorthernVA

        Alright Tony I re-read my post and I must say that the first paragraph was a bit OTT. Also I probably took some other cheap shot. If you perceived it as a shot across the bow for some of the comments you made towards Carlo last season it probably was. So for that I do apologize. Two wrongs don’t make it right. We all want the best and you were gracious enough to apologize a few weeks ago for those comments you made against Carlo so I just have to move on as well.

        I think I shifted paragraphs around last night. I took me about three hours to formulate just that post.So I was probably just got more angry as the night progressed. I really thought that when I hit send it was more a rubbishing of the board than AVB. Who in my opinion now must make it through the year. Too many influential groups upstairs holding on to power. They did the same to Mourniho on down. DC article coupled with the bullshit they tried to hit with yesterday had me livid. I’m all in at this point with AVB. 

        PS- apologies for spelling errors. Going on 3.5 hours last two nights!

        • GrocerJack

          Listen mate, you don’t need to apologise, like you I respect the passion and other peoples views. I just find it incredible that hacks put this stuff about and its all ‘from inside sources’. Which usually equates to ‘I’m guessing’ 

          The Gourlay/Buck/Tenenbaum triumvirate of dirty tricks, double dealing, whispering campaigns and political manoeuvring must make a day in Stamford Bridge look like a whole series of Spooks. 

    • ethanbanks

      @GrocerJack:disqus  Double yes. People (fans) make this manager business out to be tying a knot when I feel it’s probably a touch more complicated than that.
      And it’s all well and good comparing AVB to Mourinho, but you’re using the wrong version of Mourinho. The Mourinho involved with Zanetti is not the fresh-from-Portugal Mourinho, but the multi-title/silverware winning and freshly chucked from Chelsea Mourinho. Likewise with Guti/Raul. 

      You mention Carlo’s “street cred” but I’m not sure Mourinho had much more cred when he was hired than AVB did. At least as far as Roman’s so-called romantic search for footballing perfection goes. Sure he had the Champions League, but he hardly had the style. 

      Player power has been a huge factor for Chelsea over the years, arguably more than any other top club. They didn’t have a choice really, what with all the managers they’ve had. The only thing that stayed the same during that time were the players and the general tactics. Now that there seems to be a multi-year project starting, of course they’re upset, as any incumbent would be. Nobody wants to lose their job/power. But things change.

      The less said about Mourinho, the better. The less said about Hiddink, the better. The less said about Carlo’s first year, the better. Those Chelsea teams are dead. Time to build a new one.

      • NorthernVA

        People (fans) make this manager business out to be tying a knot when I feel it’s probably a touch more complicated than that.”

        Never made that statement but proceed with the straw man argument.

        “And it’s all well and good comparing AVB to Mourinho, but you’re using the wrong version of Mourinho. The Mourinho involved with Zanetti is not the fresh-from-Portugal Mourinho, but the multi-title/silverware winning and freshly chucked from Chelsea Mourinho. Likewise with Guti/Raul. ”

        So we are in complete agreement. Experience does help. Sorted.

        “You mention Carlo’s “street cred” but I’m not sure Mourinho had much more cred when he was hired than AVB did. At least as far as Roman’s so-called romantic search for footballing perfection goes. Sure he had the Champions League, but he hardly had the style. ”

        This is too ridiculous to address so all I can say is Mr. Wenger please step away from the computer. When Birmingham ripped that Carling Cup for the grasp of your kids I did cartwheels across my living room. Mr. Wenger can you please name what Mr. Ranieri, Mr. Grant, Mr. Scolari, and Mr. Ancelotti all had in common at the end of their tenure? Hint it was you have spent 7 long years in the wilderness on the hunt for. So in conclusion is it  a romantic style Mr. Abramovich seeks or some type of return on the his ever so generous investment?

        “Player power has been a huge factor for Chelsea over the years, arguably more than any other top club. ”

        With all due respect a completely facile argument that seems to be bandied about like a tablet from Mt. Sinai. How many managers have these players hired and fired? If they had so much power wouldn’t JM still be the manager. How did their last purchases in the transfer market turn-out since our players must been in control of that. Why is Yossi on loan at Arsenal helping them usurp us to the fourth spot. You have it all figured out the problem at Chelsea is player power. Keeps me up at night.

        “The only thing that stayed the same during that time were the players and the general tactics.” 

        So what our primary formation has been 4-3-3 but we have played 4-4-2 diamond well as the 4-3-2-1 Christmas tree, 4-1-4-1. I also read that the 1954-55 First Division winning squad used the 4-3-3. Yep it predates JM. What would you recommend?  

        “The less said about Mourinho, the better. The less said about Hiddink, the better. The less said about Carlo’s first year, the better. Those Chelsea teams are dead. Time to build a new one. ”

        They’re not dead silly look at the current roster. Still there and doing the business. Maybe the less said of some of their replacement the better. But I forgot player power the largest issue facing Chelsea.

  17. Guest

    I agree about incompetence of the boardroom, but I don’t think AVB is the wrong man, he just needs to grow a pair.

    His interview seems innocent enough if this is to be believed, ,and I think AVB’s assessment of the effects of confidence on performances is spot on. A quote: 

    About Team Tactics: – He stresses many times throughout the interview that there was a crucial moment in the season: The run of bad results that started in the end of October and in the QPR game, that resulted in a loss of faith in the way the team was playing and a panick return to the old ways.AVB says that at Chelsea this has been the usual through the last decade: in moments of bad results, the team always regressed to the old way of playing, as a mecanism of self defense, to feel secure, and that is one of the reasons why Chelsea’s game has stayed the same and did not evolve, even with other managers. When the things got ruff, the players lacked confidence, and got back to the usual and safe play of the old days.He says he has been trying to motivate and convince the team to continue the way of playing that was used in the start of the season, but that in the pitch sometimes the players aren’t confident enough to do it.Confidence in what? In the high line, in forward pressing, in possession football, so the team tends to play deeper (and slower) in her own half than intended.

    And if this is true: , it is the board who’s again failing the club. 

    • bluebayou

      While maintaining a healthy sceptisism about the many and varied reports in the press, I did find this part of Duncan Castle’s piece of interest:

      “The Russian billionaire is said to have informed Villas-Boas that he still liked the young coach and supported plans to radically overhaul a rebellious squad this summer, but other important figures at Chelsea do not want him at the club next season.”

      If it has even the vaguest scintilla of truth about it, this would seem to echo the feeling that I and many have had that no matter who walks in the door they are walking into a club where the top tier are constantly politicking over influence etc. The endless dissatisfaction with winning football. Doubts over who purchased certain players? Sudden changes in player aquisition policy? What agents are involved? Who controls the youth policy etc. etc. can all be marked down to constant in-fighting I think rather than purely capriciousness on the part of the owner.

      Like Kremlin watchers, it is almost possible to sense when those who persuaded him to go one way lose their influence to another party.

      It would also explain the often contradictory messages emanating from the club. No sooner does someone take over than the briefing starts. It has been a pattern throughout Roman’s tenure.

      It may be a style of management he wants. I don’t know. But it doesn’t help the football side of the club.

      And where is Emenalo in all this. We hear nothing from him with regards to football matters. On the one hand that is perhaps a good thing, as it doesn’t add another voice to a messy situation. But during Ancelotti’s second season we were being constantly fed the wit and wisdom of this, at times, ephemeral figure.

      While AVB probably does not want the “full support of the Director of Football” sort of garbage it would help to know if the DoF shares the vision of “the high line” “high press” etc.

      Who nows. It just seems a curious way to describe the situation even if it is just fantasy. Why when there is so much grist in the mill already would you introduce the idea that perhaps Roman would let others see off a coach he personally likes? And has that happened before?

      Funny old world.

  18. Gleb

    Thanks for the link! That’s why I still support the man. He’s still the only one at Chelsea who actually knows anything about football.

    The way some of you so blindly side with our senior players because “they’ve won waaay more and have carried us through many tough times” is understandable, but has nothing to do with football management. It’s funny how so many of you seem to forget that most footballers are actually very stupid in terms of their knowledge of football, of tactics and of the bigger picture. They can play football, very well so, they are mentally strong and are absolute legends – but don’t ever trust them with anything that has to do with football management. They haven’t got a clue, most of them. These are separate worlds.

    Think back for a second. All of us have played football on some level, in many teams and with many people. We have all seen some very skilled lads. But I bet very few of them skilled lads actually knew anything about football. They could play it well but not organize it. Not drive it forward. Most of them are left with schoolboy mentality, with primitive thinking about football. And most of the fans are this way.

    And it’s perfectly normal, because that’s how it’s supposed to be. But then please don’t be so quick to judge a man who clearly knows way more about football than all of us combined. And don’t be so quick to blame everything on him and defend the players. They need no defense. They’re fine, for fuck’s sake. Rich, handsome and answer to NO ONE. It’s AVB’s career that’s on the line and he’s literally ALL alone just for trying to do the right thing in such “wrong” circumstances.

    Some of you are like the people who vote for Chavez, Putin and the lot. The fucking majority who hasn’t got a clue. It’s double-sad for me as a Russian because we’ll probably never have a proper MANAGER, just like Chelsea. The people want “leaders”, not managers. Not people who KNOW how to manage a state or a football club (education and skills, no pathos and cheap publicity), but someone who’s easy to understand. Same with AVB. It’s TIME for a change, whether you like it or not. What’s happening instead is everyone’s scared shitless and is running away at the first sight of trouble. “We lost a game with the high line? Oh noooooo! Let’s go back to the old ways!!! Stability!”. It’s blindness. It’s a cancer that we’ll never get rid of.

    Everyone will fall. AVB is just “unlucky” to also be young and inexperienced so it’s more than easy for our arrogant prima donnas and the suits to justify his sacking. But Carlo, don’t forget Carlo. Same thing, last year. Not young, not inexperienced, plenty of trophies – SAME fucking result. EVERYONE will fall if this way of running the club and this kind of attitude from us – the fans – and the press continues.

    Hell, I bet Jose, if them crazy rumors are true, himself will fall just as quickly.

    The way it’s gonna end is simple: we’re gonna carry on this way, manager after manager, until the “transition” just sort of… happens, somewhere in the shadows, somewhere behind all the scandals and endless press speculation. It’s just gonna be Mr. Time that’s gonna implement this transition, not Mr. Manager. No one will notice, of course, until some lucky bloke who happened to get appointed at the right time just sort of starts upon the end of this transition. He’ll then get to stay as manager for a little while because he won’t have to do much (compared with what we have now). The problem is that we’re gonna end up with someone who’s a lot less talented than AVB and not even know it because the guy will seem to be doing fine (all thanks to the period from now till the end of transition).

    DISLAIMER: I meant absolutely no personal offense. Honestly. It’s just the way I write. I’m sorry if someone gets offended. I deeply respect every one of you and refresh the page a million times a day waiting for a new post (it’s kinda rare these days and especially in “winning” blogs; when we lose it’s WAAAY more comments).

  19. WorkingClassPost

    One benefit of this latest media kerfuffle, is that VB now has similar experiences to the rest of the team and can surely empathise with those who have had, and are still having, their words and motives questioned.

    He should also now have a real taste of what everyone at Chelsea feels when we read and listen to the crapfest that goes for modern mainstream reporting.

    So what next, fold and crumble, or dig in and get that fortress Stamford Bridge mentality working again?

    • NorthernVA

      Exactly no we all got some skin in the again. A true siege mentality can be formed. I really hope. Cause there is no way  Jose would even consider coming back if the conditions are the same as when he left. He and AVB also share the same agent so it’s even more convoluted.

  20. Dylbo Baggins

    Any news of how serious Sturridge is?

    From the BBC website live updates thing “It’s all got a bit lively at Wembley. Daniel Sturridge is named man of the match but then goes down injured and is replaced by Theo Walcott,  “

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