Chelsea 3-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Tweeting With the Pack

I followed the hunt for a win via Twitter. Here’s how the action unfolded…

The buildup

BluesChronicle: To the Bridge. Let’s get behind the team today: a bit of positive support may even provide the ’emotional stimulus’ AVB thinks is missing.

chelseafc: Ashley Cole returns to the side. Oriol Romeu comes in. Frank Lampard is on the bench.

ChelseaRumours: Oriol Romeu starts! Good call André!

daspecial_1: It’s moments like these, standing next to a Chelsea Pensioner on the tube hurtling through Putney that make me proud to be a Blue!

BluesChronicle: Chelsea team for Wolves: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Meireles, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea subs for Wolves: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Kalou, Torres.

ChelseaRumours: Surely this is to persuade Drogba to sign a new deal.

ChelseaRumours: Not looking like Anelka has a future with us beyond January. Not even on the bench.

BluesChronicle: Overcast skies at Stamford Bridge & a chill in the air. Chelsea & Wolves training on the pitch, with Take That playing (believe it or not).

markpougatch: Just spoken to Chelsea fans outside the Bridge who were unanimous in their views: Give AVB time, you can’t keep chopping & changing managers.

The first half

BluesChronicle: Chelsea v Wolves kicks off at Stamford Bridge. The home side in blue, the away team in gold. COME ON YOU BLUES!

ChelseaRumours: Meireles drills one juuuuust wide from outside the box. That was very close!

ChelseaRumours: Average age of 26 years and 260 days in today’s Chelsea line up – the youngest in 3 years.

BluesChronicle: GOOOAAALLLL! Chelsea 1-0 Wolves. JOHN TERRRRRRY!

Goal video: 7′ Chelsea 1-0 Wolves – John Terry

ChelseaRumours: The best start to a Premier League game we’ve had all season? Possibly.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea 1-0 Wolves. Ramires shot forces a corner from the keeper. Mata set-piece nodded in by the ascendant JT.

ChelseaRumours: We’re pressing really well so far – Wolves cannot keep possession!

ChelseaRumours: Romeu has lost possession a couple of times (through inaccurate passes) – trying to play the killer ball.

BluesChronicle: Yellow card for David Edwards, who slides into a racing Ramires sending him flying.

BluesChronicle: Villas-Boas crouching intently in the technical area. DiMatteo sat down behind him, chewing furiously at a piece of gum.

BluesChronicle: All Chelsea so far. Wolves appear to have come with the game-plan of ‘winning’ 0-0. Which has already gone out of the window.

ChelseaRumours: Almost a second goal – danger is still on after the clearance until JT commits a foul just outside Wolves’ box.

ChelseaRumours: Surely Torres would be a better choice for this game than Drogba?

chelseafc: Game’s gone a bit quiet, some good passing by the Blues but need to add more of a cutting edge.


Goal video: 29′ Chelsea 2-0 Wolves – Daniel Sturridge

ChelseaAnalysis: Zola-esque from Mata on the left after a beauty of a play by Chelsea. Mata crosses for Sturridge to tap it in! What a goal!

ChelseaRumours: Kudos to Lee Mason for letting play continue after Mata was fouled!

ChelseaRumours: Brilliant play by Drogba who outmuscles his marker to chest the ball down and win a foul, dead center, 35 yards out.

ChelseaRumours: That was one of the worst efforts of the season though. Drogba hits row Z.

BluesChronicle: Yellow for Karl Henry.

chelseafc: Ramires instrumental down the right hand side so far, proving a real threat to the Wolves defence.

AndrewTurmer: Surely Fernando deserves more than 10 minutes today?

BluesChronicle: Trying very hard to think of anyone who played for both Chelsea and Wolves. All minds here blank on that. Anyone help?

OptaJoe: 6 – Daniel Sturridge netted his sixth Premier League goal of the season with only his eighth shot on target. Clinical.

BluesChronicle: Wolves sub: Ebanks-Blake on for Milijas.

BluesChronicle: Cheers for all the answers. The following have all played for both Chelsea & Wolves: Carlton Cole, Michael Mancienne and Jim McCaliog.

chelseafc: Great long range effort by Sturridge well saved, the youngster looks very lively.

ChelseaRumours: Brilliant vision by Mata – Meireles with acres of space but heads it straight at the keeper.

chelseaoffside: At this rate, with the way Wolves are ‘defending’, you have to get Nando into the mix.


Goal video: 45′ Chelsea 3-0 Wolves – Juan Mata

ChelseaAnalysis: Lovely assist by Ashley Cole!

chelseaoffside: My goodness, that was a fucking peach of a cross from Ash.

TheChelseaBlog: We’re playing football. I fucking love it!

BluesChronicle: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves: Drogba muscling through lays off a deflected ball to Cole, who slots it in for Mata to side-foot home. Nice team goal.

BluesChronicle: HT: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves. JT with headed opener; Sturridge with a proper centre forward’s goal; and Mata, supplier of both, with a side-foot.

chelseaoffside: Cruise control. We needed this, badly.

Half time

BluesChronicle: Chelsea playing good football in bursts, rather than throughout. But Wolves seem to have given up a bit. Could be a thrashing on the cards.

Comment by Blue Bayou:

It’s 10 minutes to 4 and half time.

A drawer opens in Ron Gourlay’s desk and a P45 is quietly slipped back in.

But left on the top where it can be easily retrieved.

tim_rolls: Thoroughly enjoyable 1st 45 mins. Roll on the 2nd half. Torres at some point, hopefully.

chelseaoffside: I mean, I know it’s Wolves at home but I don’t care.

ChelseaAnalysis: Surely we need Torres on to grab some goals. The earlier, the better.

BluesChronicle: Someone mentioned to me at HT that Drogba seemed to take his shirt off at the break and hand it to someone. Could we see a swap for Torres?

The second half

BluesChronicle: After all that: no changes at HT. Both teams out on the pitch.

BluesChronicle: Lots of people asking about Romeu’s performance the first half of his full league debut. Looking very assured – quality young player.

chelseaoffside: Luiz is playing the ‘interceptor’ role to perfection today.

ChelseaRumours: Romeu does excellently to win the ball – and then plays a brilliant pass to Sturridge who then loses possession.

BluesChronicle: Another lovely moment from Ramires, who scoops a shot up from the edge of the box forcing a save from Hennessey.

ChelseaRumours: Great passage of play by Chelsea, Sturridge frustrated because of a misunderstanding between him and Ramires.

chelseafc: Ward should have scored for Wolves, drags his shot wide but should have at least tested Cech.

chelseafc: Wolves enjoying their best spell of pressure in the game so far.

ChelseaRumours: What a brilliant counter-attack! Mata, Ramires and Sturridge combining really well, and the ball is cleared off the line! Corner to Chelsea!

ChelseaRumours: I cannot understand why Torres isn’t on.

BluesChronicle: Villas-Boas has just sent Mikel out to warm up: noooooooooo!

ChelseaRumours: Drogba fires a shot at goal – but it goes just wide. Should hit the target from there but it wasn’t a bad effort.

BluesChronicle: Lampard taking his training top off. On for Meireles?

ChelseaAnalysis: Lampard on for Didier? 4-4-1-1 with Mata tucked in behind Sturridge?

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Lampard on for Meireles. Crowd applaud both players.

chelseafc: Lampard replacing Meireles; the Portuguese midfielder has had a good game, the crowd delighted to see Lampard introduced.

chelseafc: The crowd want to see Torres but the Spaniard is yet to start warming up.

BluesChronicle: A chant of ‘Torres, Torres’ echoes around Stamford Bridge. Not even warming up at the moment.

chelseafc: Great double save by Hennessy, first from Sturridge and then Mata.

BluesChronicle: And Fernando is duly sent out for a run up the touchline in a training bib. Standing ovation from Shed End, who again sing his name.

BluesChronicle: Not all Chelsea, as Cech makes a save with his feet. Wolves sub: Forde on for Zubar.

ChelseaRumours: Great double save by Cech!

chelseafc: Bosingwa and Torres on for Ivanovic and Drogba.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Torres on for Drogba. Both players again applauded warmly. Huge, confidence-boosting cheer for Torres.

AndrewTurmer: Finally Torres comes on for a 15 minute cameo. AVB giving him the rather humiliating Sheva treatment.

chelseaoffside: Come on Nando!

ChelseaRumours: Mata with a poor cross – but after 2 assists and a goal, I personally think it’s okay.

BluesChronicle: Nervous fraction of a second as Cech goes down holding his head after collision with Luiz. But he’s up again quickly.

ChelseaRumours: Romeu has been excellent today. Does his job really well.

BluesChronicle: Wolves sub: Guedioura on for Fletcher.

ChelseaRumours: Torres looks extremely alert and motivated!

BluesChronicle: Torres diagonal run, and a little chip. But the keeper collects. Probably needed a bit more ‘oomph’ behind it.

chelseafc: Chelsea have been excellent in winning the ball back today, great work ethic.

BluesChronicle: JT picks up a late yellow while wasting time on a thrown-in. And that makes five yellows, and he misses the Carling Cup match. Cynical, moi?

ChelseaRumours: Torres has been excellent since coming on!

Full time

BluesChronicle: FT: Chelsea 3-0 Wolves. Sublime play at times, though consideration should be given to who we were plying. Goals from JT, Sturridge, Mata.

chelseafc: Full time whistle goes, 3-0 to Chelsea, and that’s a performance that should restore some confidence following the recent dip.

AndrewTurmer: More movement, pace and desire…3 goals, clean sheet, Romeu looking superb…a rather lovely win.

Thanks to all the above Twitterers for their terrific in-running tweets. If you have a Twitter account, I recommend you follow them.

The match reports

The Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “Andre Villas-Boas can be many things: aloof, beguiling, gnomic but there was no question that on Saturday he was just plain relieved. This was exactly the sort of game he needed after losing against Liverpool and Leverkusen. Thanks to goals from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata, an uncharacteristically meek Wolverhampton Wanderers were done by half-time.”

The Observer, Jamie Jackson: “The match had been as close to a banker as any side who had last won at home a month ago can have. Wolverhampton Wanderers were supine and ended the first half 3-0 down, with the spectre of a real drubbing on the cards.”

The Independent on Sunday, Rory Smith: “The executioner has arrived. Not for the Chelsea manager, as Andre Villas-Boas might have feared, but for the old certainties, the old stalwarts. Revitalising victory over Wolves offered a fleeting glimpse into Stamford Bridge’s future. In it, the Portuguese’s head is not on the block. But other heads are. Previous managers would have found the concept of entering a game of this magnitude with their leading scorer on the bench inconceivable, particularly when that title is held by Frank Lampard. On this point, though, Villas-Boas has been very clear: the future will not be stopped.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “It took just six minutes for the captain to ease the tension with the opening goal and by half time Chelsea had the game won. Daniel Sturridge with his seventh goal of the season and Juan Mata with his fourth both scored from close range before the interval.”

The goals

7′ John Terry
29′ Daniel Sturridge
45′ Juan Mata

There are 72 comments

Add yours
  1. Anonymous

    Funny to see the demands for Torres echoing arround the Twittersphere as well as the Bridge. Made no sense to me — Nando surely will play 90 mins (plus) on Tuesday so why not give him the day off today, especially with Drogs playing very well? But I suppose the idea was just to give him and Bosingwa a bit of match action for sharpness.

    Good atmosphere all day today. the early goal helped of course but absolutely no sense even before kickoff that AVB was an issue. No chanting his name when we got ahead, no players running to him. Non-story, as it should be.

    Big pluses:

    — It looks like Drogs and Studge are getting some kind of understanding together. Definite sense of an attacking unit rather than two players separately trying to score.

    — Mata able to influence the game much more effectively. What a player he is.

    — Romeu. Strangely invisible for long stretches but watch him instead of the ball for a while and it’s suddenly strikingly like watching Makalele, who also had that knack of being invisibly effective.

    — Clean sheet. Though that utter f**k up at the end which drew Big Pete’s save kind of spoiled it; until then the defence had looked perfectly untroubled. Still, we’d stopped bothering long before then, which between midweek games is fine.

  2. Der_Kaiser

    Don’t get all the Torres conspiracies; 8 games between now and the end of the year (9 if you add the return to Wolves on Jan 2), 4 coming in just over a fortnight with the first on Tuesday – Drogs and Kalou off to Africa in January and Anelka potentially moving on; seems fair enough that FT is being used a little sparingly right now.

  3. SweetDairyAir

    The point about the upcoming African Nations is a good one. It has probably slipped most people’s minds, mine included to be honest. It therefore makes more sense why Torres is being rested, as he will have to play the majority of games during that period, especially if Anelka is moved on as well.

  4. NorthernVA

    I stated the prior to the game on the previous thread prior to kick-off:

    “Chelsea FC  Class of 2004-05: Drogba, Lampard, Terry, CechFC Barcelona Class of 2004-05 Barcelona: Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol,ValdesSome Chelsea FC Fans Circa 2011: Ingrates.”

    Drogba booed at the Bridge?!? Really….I thought he had a rather decent run out. Studge did set him up early in the second half for what should have been a tap in but I struggle to see what much more he’s done wrong. But I guess anything less than a goal for him these days puts him on par with another terrace whipping boy one Soloman Kalou. Embarrassing.

    No offense to the other three from the class of ’04-05 but when Drogba is healthy we do tend to win silverware. For all the talk of flair I don’t know a Chelsea player this side of Zola who was possessed it in such abundance. Can he be a prick of course he can but what francophone have you come across isn’t?!

    I understand the desire of supporters to want to look forward however we need to look at where we are. More importantly remember how we got here. We are one of the biggest clubs in the world and have enjoyed so much recent success because of the heroic contributions of Cech, Lamps who was actually derided as “Lampost” in another blog by a “supporter,” JT, and DD. To boo, write off, deride, and disrespect these greats speaks more about  the critics than these champions.

    Also cheers to Ashley Cole who I believe has been far from his best honestly since we won the double. I thought he very solid today. Great cross for the third goal.

    • Anonymous

      Er. so at what point are we allowed to criticise these players? Or aren’t we? Are they so ‘untouchable’ that they are above any criticism or observation that they might just have the best days behind them? I’m sure Ron Harris could still chuck a tackle in, but would we want him on the pitch? After all he was arguably our greatest ever Captain. 

      I think Drogba’s best is behind him. I think he’s contributed very little last season and less this season. I think we should be looking to how we gently phase him out and look forward to the next phase of Chelsea. I want competition for Cech so he knows he’s got to be top of his game. Is that disrespect, or sensible squad management?

      I thought Lampard was a passenger versus Leverkusen. Is that disrespect or observational fact? It’s all about opinions and for the most part, the opinions on here seem very well balanced, and very little knee-jerk bias shows very often. 

      Remember, some of ‘those supporters’ who actually think Torres would be the better option are long term fans like me, looking at things with as balanced a view as possible ( a chip on both shoulders you might say). BTW, I was there, Drogba wasn’t boo’d , at least not en masse. However, the rather large corps of fans singing Torres songs was a bit of a slap in the face. Drogba’s head head dropped visibly at this point.

      Do I feel sorry for him? No. He’s a highly paid professional footballer. If he wants the fans to stop singing for Torres and start singing his name again then he knows exactly what he needs to do. Pulling out his bottom lip and flouncing around like a sulky 5 year old is not the way to win the fans back. 

      • Anonymous

        Nothing else to say succinctly and precisely. Players for fans and not fans for players, if they (players) do not perform they are criticised and rightly so.   Regarding Drogba, well it is his problem, he hasn’t performed last year and this year he is a passenger. One has to know when to quit, or be ready to booed.  

      • Ziyad

        Totally agree with you GJ – Drogba a disapointment on Saturday though he started running after the Torres chants- wonder why?

    • Radicalevan

      I think calling Drogba a flair player is incredibly generous, especially in comparison to Zola. Drogba is a slightly more skillful, certainly more willful version of Kenwyne Jones. They are center forward archetypes, relying more on raw strength and speed rather than a deft touch, clever positioning, or a clever flick. There have been years when Drogba’s first touch was off the shin and somewhere useless and there have been years when his first touch was off his shin and into the net. Those years were great years; when you have the biggest, fastest, strongtest (etc.) ram around, it’s fun. When that ram falls apart, it’s not quite as much fun.

      I loved him, he was great, he will be remembered. But the key there is the use of the past tense.

      • NorthernVA

        Drogba a slightly more skillful Kenywne Jones? You could have saved Roman some coin last January. What did Stoke pay to bring him in from Sunderland. I’m sure we could have slotted him right in and resumed business as usual.

        No flair. I beg to differ. When Kenywne develops this skill en route to leading Stoke to a double and his second golden boot we can sit down and have a rational debate. 

        One more question how many assist did Mr. Jones have last year because a diseased and battered Drogba still managed to only be surpassed by Nani. Complete center-forward not many of that archetype.  

  5. NorthernVA

    Morning Tony!

    No mate criticism is healthy and is spot on at times. I respect your opinions even though I may not always agree because I feel you do have the best interest of the club at stake. No player is above criticism but there is criticism and out right disrespect. Which in fairness you don’t find on this blog which has been a welcome sanctuary from the normal Chelsea scream factory see VC or match day comments on other sites.

    There seemed to be an antagonistic feel to the Torres chants. Which you do acknowledge. There we other supporters who did tweet about some of the blatant disrespect shown to DD. Some who even prefaced that they were not his biggest fan and thought he was poor on the day however they felt the treatment was out of order.

    Cech, Drogs, Lamps, JT, Ashley are their “best days” behind them? Probably but they had some very heady days didn’t they. Does that mean that their contributions to the club are now null and void? Services no longer wanted?

    • Anonymous

      Evening, came back after a particularly hard game of golf to the Gary Speed news. just puts the utter triviality of football into perspective. Bill Shankly is often quoted as saying about football that it was more important than  life or death. Well, news like today just goes to show what a fucking load of old bollocks that was. 

      Anyway evening NorthernVA. No, I don’t think their contributions are null and void at all, far from it, but teams evolve and we need to acknowledge that for some they may be coming to an end. It happens to the very best, Cantona, Henry, Keegan, Klinsmann etc all knew when their time was up. I want dignified exits for Drogba and Kalou personally. I’d be happy to send Drogs back to Marseille, with a pay off and a grateful handshake, where he can be undisputed top dog until time takes its inevitable toll. JT needs more rest periods, as does Frank, and in Franks case there’s nothing undignified about less games and a more Giggs/Scholes type appearance ratio as time moves on. Didn’t do either of those players reputations any harm did it? And I’d argue with both it actually extended there useful careers at the very top. So, less games, more years from frank. If he loves the club as much  as he professes then surely he wouldn’t mind it. As for Ashely Cole, he played exponentially better yesterday than he did versus Liverpool and he has several good years in front of him. 

      Cech can go on until 40, but he’s slipped in my views from the heady early days. he doesn’t come close to Hart, Krul or even Friedel at the moment. The issue here is sheer lack of competition for places. When Cudicini was with us, he knew, and we knew that Carlo would be hard to shift if Cech got injured such was Carlo’s excellence. I’d argue we maybe displaced Carlo a little too soon with Cech anyway. Since Carlo went, seriously Cech has no competition. Turnbull is no more than adequate, Hilario is a decent shot stopper but really wouldn’t hold down a number 1 position in any team in the PL. I’d say that next summer we could let DD, Alex and Kalou go, in January bring in Perreira and/or Cahill to form part of the new defence unit in the future, alongside JT and or Luiz (I am convinced Luiz is the new Riccy). If we don’t sell DD or loan him bck toMarseille, why not get him mentoring young Lukaku then?

      Oh, and it seems Stamford Bridge had a group of fans in yesterday in full Toreador and Matador costume….and the Torres chants were allegedly emanating from them and spread.

      • NorthernVA

        Good to hear that the weather in England is still conducive for a couple rounds of golf in late November. I agree with the crux of your statement. The Old Guard could do with some more rest. Especially after what was forced on them last season. The board’s shipping out of  Ballack (we both concur at 35 he was the best player on the pitch on Wednesday), Deco (ran the show against the Mancs away and masterminded some of those late season thumpings), J. Cole, Ricky, and Belletti coupled with the fact that the only incoming first team player was Ramires and a bunch of kids who once the rubber hit the road obviously weren’t ready. We paid for it during the two to thee month long bad moment once the injuries started to mount. Our first choice striker was essentially forced to play with malaria, madness!

        In fairness to the Old Guard they have been asking for reinforcements over the years. JT especially has been vocal about strengthening the squad. My real gripe is with those out there who slate the players whose only sin was stepping up when their number was called upon. The board has to take some the responsibility for our predicament over the last season and a half. They don’t strike me as big picture thinkers. I’m weary about calling for people to get the chop unless I have an idea of who is coming in.

        As an aside, great shout on Friedel. As a yank goalkeeping is one of our sources of pride in football. It’s remarkable that he hasn’t missed a step since the 2002 World Cup to now at the age of 40. I think most of us would tell you if he would came out of international retirement for the last World Cup it would be him currently doing the AllState commercials not Tim Howard.

        One question though. It does seem as though there may be some legs to the Cahill transfer. As an English international I’m sure you’ve had more looks at him. Do you rate him? 

        • Anonymous

          He’s raw and playing in a poor team, but his international performances alongside JT have been good – personally I hear that JT has all but played a key part in persuading him to come to us. In reality I can see Arsenal or even MCFC coming in with spoiler bids. 

          • Ryan

            They might yeah. However I have heard we possibly have an agreement in place with Bolton. I know Coyle is friendly with AVB. Having had Studge and now having Kakuta it may be that Chelsea are prepared to help Bolton out. Maybe MacEachran on loan? Buy Cahill in January but let him stay until the summer? I do think this one may be on the cards. He would be a good long term replacement for JT.

            Other possible transfers DeBruyne, Krasic, Hazard, Cavani, Llorente, Perreira, Modric.

            DeBruyne and Perreira probably the most likely along with Cahill.

            Any other thoughts?

  6. Gleb

    Once again, it’s funny how our defeats tend to attract more than a hundred comments on here, while a comfortable and classy victory (even if it’s only Wolves) seems to warrant no more than five.

    Maybe some of us (myself included, I guess) have to admit that somewhere deep down inside we actually enjoy being in trouble, discussing it and so on, whereas when things go great, even for one match, there suddenly seems nothing to talk about, as if it was some freak accident.

    I personally would love to hear some proper match analysis from most of the regulars here who undoubtedly do it miles better than the so-called “pundits” on TV.

    As for my 2 cents, I thought Romeu was great, very assured and mature. Definitely a hint of Maka somewhere in him complemented by better technical skills. Sturridge was amazing as well.

    Though the opposition being only Wolves, I thought our defense was still shaky because every time the ball was near our penalty box, things looked worrying and there was a touch of panic in the air. We also didn’t do as good a job at pressing as we should have, given the opposition. Some teams are hard to press, but with Wolves the lads should have unleashed all their fury and promoted the new system. Otherwise the problems won’t go away when we face someone better. If we don’t press with the kind of system AVB wants to employ, then we’ll keep on leaving gaps between the lines and concede. I also think letting our centre-backs have so much of the ball is a bad idea, most of the passing they do is pointless and just attracts pressure. It seems they can’t quite grasp how to build from the back quickly, because our midfielders aren’t leaving providing any passing options. So in the end Terry and Luiz have to resort to lumping it up to Drogba, which defies the while point. We’re only ever dangerous with our new system when they’re a break, opposition players our of position or tracking back. Then we’re better than we used to be. But when we have to do “positional attacking”, we’re miles and miles behind Barcelona, cause no one has a clue on how to intelligently break the opposition down without just passing it back and forth between the defenders.

  7. Gleb

    As always, I apologize for so many typos. My computer is older than Abramovich’s reign so handling something as complex as Chelsea discussions is asking too much from it. 

    • Anonymous

      Nobody should criticise your old computer.  It’s contributions to this blog have been significant and, even though it’s now less reliable and making mistakes and requires resting every three games, it’s place in this blog is assured.

  8. Anonymous

    I was watching Gary Speed on Football Focus yesterday. Yesterday! Thinking, blimey, no wonder the Welsh national side has picked up a bit since the Toshack days. Terrible.

    To my ears the chants for Torres yesterday had a sort of end-on-term feel to them. The game was won, nothing was happening, this almost jokey mass hysteria seemed to spread around the ground. I assume it’s because people are so desperate not to think of him as a more colossal waste of money than Sheva that they want to see him come on and tap in a meaningless goal — as if that might somehow get him right.

    I think we’re all aware that Drogs has a rather unusual and, ahem, “sensitive” psychology. I doubt he’ll have taken it well. There was a standing ovation as he left the field but one could easily interpret that as applause for the substitution.

    I don’t think it did Nando any favours either. It felt like 40,000 people thinking “Come on mate, let’s throw you on in a situation that doesn’t matter and see if you can finally do something, and by the way, look how much we support you even though you’re crap.”

    On the plus side, I think if both of them know they’re effectively competing for one position — and I think that’s the one position where AVB’s first choice isn’t now totally clear (along with perhaps Obi vs. Romeu) — it might sharpen both up. They both looked very eager yesterday.

  9. Marco

    Intelligent comment on the Wolves game in relation to our recent poor displays and managerial problems is practically impossible given that Wolves were (possibly) the weakest team we have played so far this season, not excepting Bolton. The fact that we were 1-0 up after six minutes with Wolves chasing the game thereafter compounds the analytical problem.

    I thought the midfield combination of Romeu-Meireles-Ramires looked really good and I would like to see Villas-Boas continue with it. Ramires, in particular, was outstanding. I would like to think that this means AVB is finally starting to realise what his best team is but I am not optimistic about that,

    His (and the team’s) real tests will start coming at us hard and fast with matches away to Newcastle on the 3rd, Valencia on the 6th and Citeh on the 12th. We will know by the 13th whether Villas-Boas and the team are making any progress, or not.

  10. bluebayou

    Difficult to know what to think about the death of Gary Speed. Always seemed a wholehearted player and came across as composed and professional. Not a man who seemed beset by demons. Appearing on TV the morning before his death, with people who knew him well completely taken aback by the events, only adds to the unreal quality of today’s news.

    But we hear bad news every day. Terrible events occur all the time.Several Russians lost their lives in the Irish Sea last night. But somehow this is more shocking, more immediate. And the taking of his own life, to us on the outside, is inexplicable.

    The mental pain that would lead a young man to end his life, I can only guess at. It’s a reminder that for many people the ordinary, everyday can be an insurmountable struggle.

  11. Ryan

    I think Kakuta would have to come back for another player to go out on loan to Bolton. I believe the rule being you can only loan one player at a time to another team. But he hasn’t played much and they may prefer to have a player who is a bit further along seeing as they are struggling a bit more than perhaps they anticipated.

  12. NorthernVA

    Holy crap:

    “I understand the desire of supporters to want to look forward however we need to look at where we are. More importantly remember how we got here. We are one of the biggest clubs in the world and have enjoyed so much recent success because of the heroic contributions of Cech, Lamps who was actually derided as “Lampost” in another blog by a “supporter,” JT, and DD. To boo, write off, deride, and disrespect these greats speaks more about  the critics than these champions.”

    Whiskey….whiskey. Thanks Mark & Tony I knew I laid it on a bit thick but it is helpful getting a clearer set of eyes on my 80 proof statement. The funny thing is at some point I probably quite chuffed with myself after this proclamation.

  13. Anonymous

    Villas-Boas denies Terry card con

    I can’t remember anyone taking that long to take a throw in so I think it must have been deliberate.  It was right in front of me in the West Lower and I was getting a bit frustrated with JT, thinking he’s bound to get booked.  On hindsight, now I know he’s wiped his card slate clean, I’m impressed with his acting skills.  He could be the next Vinnie Jones.

  14. bluebayou

    I was pleased to see a run of the mill win against a Wolves team who were a shadow of what I expected. Perhaps the loss of a few key men dented their confidence but they seemed subdued. Perhaps Big Mick’s sympathetic words for AVB got to his squad and they just felt we needed the win more than them.

    Mata was the game breaker and it would be good to see him do that in the coming games against some tougher opposition. Drogba, while not at his best, looked interested. We all know the signs when he isn’t. Booing our players? Don’t understand it. Of course they’re not above criticism as debated above. But as fans are we at the first night of a crap musical or do we consider ourselves as the 12th man? Too many critics, not enough fans these days, if you want my view, whcih you probably don’t.

    As a whole the team rebounded well from the midweek heartbreak. But, I still worry about the defensive organisation. It’s not that Wolves had a few chances, it was the type of chance. Clear cut, a couple of them, and down to defensive failure as opposed to creative quality by the opposition.

    We still seem to be in a halfway house between an effective press and deeper lying zonal defence. One moment summed it up for me in the 2nd half. Wolves had worked the ball down their left towards the corner flag. It ended with a 3 on 3 and Chelsea dug the ball out and it cleared to one of the 3 Wolves men about 20 or so yards out at the apex of a triangle formed by the other 2 lower down.

    Instead of our 3 closely grouped players fanning out (Inavovic Ramires and Sturridge, I think), one to close the ball and the others to cover a player each, the 3 ran in a narrow phlanx towrds the ball. One pass to one of the free Wolves players and 3 Chlesea players were out of the game.

    Inexplicable. A simple lack of communication? Or confusion about defensive reponsibility?

    Still, I will take the positives and cross my fingers for the future. And Romeu is certainly looking the part. A good game in which to get his EPL start, it should build his confidence. Sturridge is showing that knack of popping up in the right place at the right time, which is invaluable for a team

  15. Anonymous

    Not much to add – welcome win against rubbish opponents, shorn of several of their better players, tougher games to come etc.

    Bit worried by some of our defence’s sterling efforts in the second half to get Wolves back into the game, until I watched the rest of the EPL games on MOTD, awash with comedy defending from Gooners, Sunderland, Blackburn etc. and realised the season of goodwill is kicking in already.

    On The Drog issue I didn’t hear any booing, just loud calls for Torres after he botched up and failed to get a decent shot in or make a telling pass at one point.

    I put it down to it being panto season and punters feeling frustrated at being denied our annual boo-hiss fest against Stephen Hunt who was suspended.

  16. bluebayou

    From the BBC Sportsday Live, breaking news, general non-story and “let’s get some heat under the pot and stir the shit stew with a big stick” column

    ‘Roberto Di Matteo insists he has no problems operating as Andre-Villas Boas’ assistant at Chelsea, but admits he will review his position with the club at the end of the season. Di Matteo said: “I’m very happy to be here. It’s my club. I feel at home and Andre and I have developed a very good working relationship, so it’s something we’ll discuss maybe at the end of the season.” ‘

    You have to love the way they say he “insists” he is (happy and has no problems), thereby engendering the assumption that he must be denying a widely held belief that he isn’t (and he has problems). Note also the use of “admits” suggesting it was the forensic questioning of the skilled journo that forced the statement out of him. As opposed to a bit of general chatter at a press conference or interview with gathered press persons aimed at batting away the sort of inanities that get thrown out by the fifth estate on a regular basis.

    This is how Dan Levene (@BluesChronicle on twitter) reports the same statement from, I assume, the same presser, in his column

    From the rolling news I also saw this,

    ‘QPR owner Tony Fernandes is now actively searching for a venue in west London to replace Loftus Road. Fernandes said: “It’s still premature at the moment. The key this season is to survive, but we would like a bigger ground, and we are looking. There are opportunities in west London we are looking at.” ‘

    I wasn’t aware there were any decent sized allotments going in the area.

  17. Nick

    If anyone fancies writing a few words after tonight’s game, drop me an email or leave a comment here. There’s illness in the ranks.

    I love Didier and think he’s been fantastic for Chelsea, but I don’t feel much sadness that he’s apparently decided to leave at the end of the season. We have to move on and AVB needs to start rebuilding the team.

    • Anonymous

      “I love Didier and think he’s been fantastic for Chelsea, but I don’t feel much sadness that he’s apparently decided to leave at the end of the season. We have to move on and AVB needs to start rebuilding the team.” 
      Indeed! Amen!

  18. Gleb

    Wow, I’ve never seen a footballer so honest about his intentions (or, rather, an agent so “honest” about his client)
    “At Didier’s age, he has nothing left to prove as a player. He will go where he is offered the most money.

    “It could be the United States, Russia, Qatar or somewhere else in Asia.

    “Once you are well into your thirties you have to go to a club where you can be certain you’ll be able to pay your bills.”

    • DayTripper

      It must be tough not knowing whether you’ll have enough money to pay the Gas Bill at the end of the month. What a ridiculous thing to say. Yes, it is honest at least to admit that that is all your interested in. Even John Terry and Frank Lampard, who are said to bleed blue blood, used overtures from other clubs – Man City and Inter Milan respectively – to negotiate bigger and longer contracts. Drogba at least gives a great deal of what he earns to charity. An honourable exception was Zola. Gave his word to Cagliari to move to them and would not go back on that even when a much improved offer from an Abramovich backed Chelsea came in at the last moment

  19. Anonymous

    Wow. We like collecting bookings, don’t we?

    May be a small miracle for us to finish the game with eleven men.

    Gutted for Josh. 3rd League Cup in a row he won’t finish, injured this time.

    Turnbull has saved penalties in consecutive games. Which is bloody surprising for us, we’re normally shit at taking and trying to stop spot kicks.

  20. SweetDairyAir

    We’ve left it incredibly late to rejuvenate our squad and it shows. Romeu looks the business, but Lukaku needs a lot of work. If he is one of our main strikers along with Torres next year, we are screwed. Mata is class as we all know, Ramires is fine, but Bertrand isn’t good enough (yet?) for this level. Luiz will be fine in the long term. And the usual suspects of Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Cech etc will be fine for a few years to come.

    However Lampard is losing his legs, Anelka is leaving either in January or in the summer. Alex has been poor today. Drogba’s contract mean he is probably leaving, Kalou, Malouda, possibly Bosingwa etc etc. are all on the chopping block. In a round-about way I’m saying the list of players we need is so long it is really quite worrying, and the players we thought would have filled the gap by next year probably need more time (Lukaku, Bertrand, possibly Kakuta etc). 

  21. Anonymous

    Definitely there is problem but we should just leave AVB to continue.

    Advice: we should just prepare our minds for nothing this season and try to just enjoy our remaining matches.


  22. Benjami

    Well I came home to us losing 2-0 to Liverpool again at SB. A Liverpool side I think are extremely poor and with a poor manager supported by Steve Clarke.

    What does that say about our team…

    Statistically we look to have beaten them, more possession, equal shots on target, 5 to 2 attempts off target and 5 corners compared to 1.

    Yet again we have lost!

    I would also say their team is closer to their first than ours but that is not an excuse.

    What was good about today:

    AVB played a young side!
    We no longer have to play in the Carling Cup!

    Everything else bollocks 😛

    I think a massive shuffle is needed at Christmas.

    Turnball and Hilario out come Xmas, with a new older experienced GK (maybe Cudicini if he still good enough?) brought in to at least challenge Cech and perform when needed. We have Courtois for the long term.

    Cost fairly cheap as we have take care of our long term GK

    Alex, Bosingwa, and Ferreira out at Xmas. We need 2 new CBs (Cahill?) and a new RB. Leaves us Cole Bertrand, Terry Luiz Cahill? New CB, Ivan New RB

    That is 8, 2 per position.

    Cost: Cahill £10m with Josh going the other way on loan, RB potentially expensive 🙁

    Mikel has failed to make it for me, I would give him and Essien the remaining part of this season to prove their worth. If nothing, then a new def mid is needed come summer. Essien hasn’t seemed right these last few seasons, too injury prone! With Romeu the player for the future

    Cost: Potentially expensive for a DM maybe if we lucky with our Sales (eg Alex to Italy) this could offset this purchase. However if in a few years Romeu returns to Spain we will have to invest again.

    Remaining midfielders: Ramires Lamps Malouda Meireles McEachran. Out Malouda and McEachran on loan. In Snjeider/Modric if either will come now?

    Cost: What £40m to fix this ;/

    Forwards: Torres, Drogba, Lukaku, Kalou, Sturridge, Anelka, Mata
    Out Xmas/Summer Drogba, Kalou, Anelka
    Torres to reserves till he gets some balls.

    Leaving Lukaku Mata and Sturridge and sigh Torres. So we need 2 more forwards upfront to reach the 6 quota. For me, we need an actual goal scorer which won’t be cheap and a left winger

    Cost: LW eg Hazard £20m and new striker £30m-£40m

    Total money in potentially: £20m if we insanely lucky?
    Money out: £125m ?

    So net spending in the region of £100m for me to fix the team 😛 We should have spent the Torres money on the above not wasted it completely.

  23. SweetDairyAir

    We can’t expect to win everything. And this year I agree that we should just assume we won’t win anything, but as long as we see some sort of progress towards a new style of football with at least some of the younger players integrated into the system, that should be fine. 

    Today though wasn’t good.

  24. SweetDairyAir

    Hopefully Abramovich wins his court case and comes out with a new sense of superiority, sweeping forth anything before him, all guns blazing, and tells the under-performers with big egos they’re out, and spends the money he didn’t lose in the court case on half a new team’s worth of players. One can only hope.

  25. Benjami

    Also I might add I feel we will finish 3rd in the table and AVB is our long term future 😛 Just we have a lot of poo in the team right now and are being a little unlucky!

  26. Blue Mikel

    After today Flo must be sidelined forever! He can go at any time, lazy arrogant twat! AVB must stay and continue work. I am gutted to see these underperforming millionaires damaging our season! This season is a payment for our failure to change.

  27. Anonymous

    3 defeats in 4; 5 in our last 9. Says more than enough to me.

    Carling Cup was the one thing we had a shot at.

    I know he’s young and needs time, but Lukaku looked utter pony. He and Torres make you think “All that money and aren’t our signings a bit, you know, shit?”

    No idea what this means overall. AVB was being sacked, then beat Wolves and all is well. Now he’s under pressure again. The poor performances just can’t continue. Man City (and probably Spurs and Newcastle) are licking their lips at the thought of plundering goal after goal against us.

    It’s enough to turn you to drink / more drink.

  28. Anonymous

    FFS its the Carling Cup. Didn’t we have some newbies out, so we’ll have learnt how far they have to go and they’ll have had some more game time (something a few here have been screaming for), plus AVB’s quote on this article about having faith in the talent must be surely getting tested and he can see the future a bit more clearly now.

    In all honesty this is no worse than last year under CA, but we have some new players. I agree there’s a malaise but the cries for Hiddink on twitter just smack of short termism again. Fuck me even Guardiola would have issues coaching us. Hiddink might fix this season, but a man mainly versed in international football, and therefore by definition not day to day hands on isn’t the long term answer.

    Sack AVB and become more of a laughing stock if such a thing is possible, or back him like MUFC backed Ferguson who was at a comparable club (Aberdeen) to Porto and was given time to dismantle the sins of fathers and build his dynasty. And if CA had started doing the same 10 minutes after us beating Pompey for the double  I’d have kept faith with him last season. But he didn’t. 

  29. Ryan

    I went tonight. I wish I hadn’t. This team didnt have a chance. A 4-1-2-1-2? What is that? This squad desperately lacks balance. No natural width or pace and too many players who will never be able to play the pressing and passing game the gaffer wants. I thought we might try a new formation. Luiz and Romeu are the only two able to play out from the back. Others lacking in technical ability. No one ever looks to take players on, beat a full back, get in behind. Consequently it’s all far too easy to defend against. We just passed the ball back and forth in front of Liverpool backline until we lost possession. I’m a little fed up with AVB’s “the philosophy will be the last thing to die” bollocks. If you don’t have the players to play a certain way it’s a fools errand to persist and persist. I really don’t want AVB to be the next Arsene Wenger. But he seems like another stubborn fucker who doesn’t like facing facts. This Chelsea team is not Barcelona. You can’t force it. We don’t have the players. And if he continues to insist we do and that the talent is in the squad etc. I think it’ll cost him his job. Frankly at the moment it’s making him look a bit of cunt and I m not sure how many more wake up calls are going to be needed. Draw at Newcastle?Go out of the CL? Pasting off of City? I think he’s got three games to keep his job. If he truly thinks this Chelsea squad can play football like Barcelona then I would suggest his judgement is fatally flawed. I think I just lost faith.

    • SweetDairyAir

      We can’t blame AVB for our lack of penetrating pace or technical ability. That was a problem last year, and it’s hardly been fixed this year with our additions. He is stubborn with his system sometimes, but Abramovich wants attractive football, and secondly when we were playing Drogba we didn’t even attempt to play attractive stuff. We knocked it long, played like we used to, except with less power and strength because our players are older. And it didn’t work that way either. 

      No coach in the world is going to make this bunch of players into the next Barcelona. You would have lost faith in Guardiola, Fergie, Wenger or anyone had they been coaching this lot. A lot of these players cannot be turned around, and if we get a load of new, exciting players in January and AVB still isn’t getting results, then I might have to agree with you, but until then I don’t put too much blame on him (not yet anyway). 

  30. SweetDairyAir

    There isn’t a coach out there that can rejuvenate this squad. It has to be overhauled. Some players are ready earlier than I thought they’d be (Romeu), some are quite close but need a bit more time (Bertrand), and some need a lot of work (Lukaku). At this point in time we need first team players to be bought though. Our current first team cannot hold it together long enough until our younger players mature. We need first team players (and younger ones with some technique and pace) to bridge that gap. 

    Oh and it’s only the Carling Cup, and we played an increasingly poor Alex, an injured McEachran, an unfinished article in Lukaku etc etc. The back up team / youth players got us quite far in the competition. We did alright. 

    • Ryan

      There really wasn’t THAT much youth in this team tonight. Turnbull, Bertrand, MacEachran (30 mins) and Lukaku. I m not including Romeu as I would suggest he is now our first choice DM.

      Alex, Bosingwa, Lamps, Malouda, Torres, Ramires, Luiz these are all senior players who got turned over by Liverpool at home for the second time in two weeks. I don’t care if it’s only the carling cup. It’s just not good enough. If they really weren’t bothered about going out they should have played Piazon, Rohan Ince, Lalkovic, Chalobah etc. It didn’t feel like an experimental/young side tonight. More like Ancelotti’s team when we had a few injuries. And it was the same old thing. Poor defending. Didn’t create any chances. Makes it very hard to win games (check out recent results if you’re not convinced).

      • SweetDairyAir

        Yes we didn’t play that many but a few of the youngish players we have actually come to rely on instead, so were rested for this competition (Mata and Sturridge mainly). Therefore Malouda and others have dropped down the pecking order and their squad status is such that they play in things like the Carling Cup now. The list of players you wrote there used to be first team players, but are either already dropped or in the process of being replaced (albeit very slowly, leading to very shitty results until hopefully we get replacements). Alex, Bosingwa (Ivanovic has apparently taken his place in the team), Malouda and arguably Lampard are in varying forms of decline. They are ‘senior’ players, but not long term first team players. Looking back at recent performances, with a team filled with those type of players, was it that much of a surprise we put in another performance lacking pace, precision and technique? 

      • SweetDairyAir

        Also I’d like to add I agree with most of what you say, but I put most of the blame on the players, and less on the coach. 

        • Ryan

          I don’t blame AVB for the players not being up to it but by failing to recognize what is so plain to everyone else he is damaging his reputation and credibility. Don’t forget he had a full preseason to look at this lot and decide who wasn’t up to it and he claimed to be happy with the squad and the ability in it. It doesn’t make him look very good when he’s proved very, very wrong before December. But I appreciate it’s not his fault that the squad has been allowed to stagnate for four years. I also agree with many of your points. But it’s getting to the stage where it’s unsettling that he doesn’t recognize that this system will not work with these players. I know Abramovich wants to play attractive football but what we played tonight was nothing to do with attractive football. It was just crap. I’m also not suggesting we sack AVB. I m just saying he isn’t doing himself any favours.
          I also think completely ruling out working with Hiddink in any capacity is painting yourself into a bit of a corner considering his current position isn’t exactly one of strength.

          • SweetDairyAir

            He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place really. If we go back to our old style of football with our senior players and maybe scrape a few 1-0 wins, we’ll probably just about be ok, but the changeover between the end of this season and the beginning of the next will be that much harder. The jolt of changing to an entirely new system we hadn’t been evolving into for a year would I fear make next year another pretty difficult year, even if we had more new players. 

            However if he tries to adapt our current players to newer systems, we get this. 

            Maybe he should just resort to a similar way that Ancelotti dealt with it and hope it gets us to the summer. However Ancelotti got us to this past summer and we see that they haven’t been able to cope with the new system foisted suddenly upon them. I don’t envy AVB and what he has to do. 

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