Chelsea 3-3 Aston Villa – The Bipolar Express Match Report

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: “This draw raised as many doubts about Chelsea as a defeat would have generated. Frank Lampard scored a penalty and Didier Drogba aided his side’s comeback from 2-1 down with a goal in the 84th minute. Chelsea then took the lead in the 89th minute as another effort from the Ivorian broke to John Terry. But Chelsea failed to protect the lead and Villa showed pride. In stoppage time, Ciaran Clark was free to head in a cross from Marc Albrighton.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “When Carlo Ancelotti had finished revelling in John Terry’s 89th-minute goal, cavorting on the pitch like a better dressed David Pleat, Villa simply stormed back. Chelsea’s defence had dozed off, seemingly still basking in the glow of Terry’s goal, allowing Ciaran Clark to steal in and prise a deserved point. Chelsea’s stop-start season was held up again in stoppage time.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea began 2011 with more disappoinment after an injury-time equaliser from Aston Villa denied us all three points at Stamford Bridge. In a game that went this way and that, both sides could lay claim to deserving all three points, and at different times both looked like they had it sewn up.”

The goals

23′ Lampard (pen) 1-0
41′ Young (pen) 1-1
47′ Heskey 1-2
84′ Drogba 2-2
89′ Terry 3-2
90′ Clark 3-3

The prologue

Well well well. What can I say about today? This morning I woke up feeling pretty good about the world. My heart was still beating despite a fair old booze hammering on New Year’s Eve, mixed with an unfortunate choice of nibbles. It’ll only be a couple more days of grazing and food abuse and then back to the cycle of cycling and daily rabbit food in order to reduce myself to a trimmer, healthier and consequently happier person.

A decent theory.

However, body weight or shape is not a true measurement of happiness, neither is health, nor is money, nor a nice house and car. They all help, of course they do. I’m not saying they’re not key factors. Of course they are. No, happiness is other choices for me. It would be meeting up for drinks with Jennifer Aniston, a young Agnetha Faltskog (anywhere between her 1970-88 stage is fine) and Susanna Reid, before going back to my riverside suite by the Thames with a doner kebab, some Rioja, some background Diana & Marvin before a night of unrequited group sex involving me, those three and no-one else (unless Konnie Huq decided to turn up). Yep, that would do.


Alternatively, a decent win for Chelsea against a struggling, out of form, confidence shot team would do it. Now, as luck would have it, guess who came to town today… Aston Villa, ticking all the right boxes and being a viable alternative to my other version of what could bring me happiness – it might need a few repeat sessions before I’m absolutely sure.

I have to say this now though, the first scenario looks the more likely to be happening in the near future. Hey ho, it’ll be a tough job, but I’ll try my best to do it without grumbling. Life’s too short to wait for the thumping win to tell us that the ‘blip’ (by which I mean crisis… by which I mean catastrophic run of form… by which I mean coach threatening owner trigger-happy desperation form) is finally over.

The game

No real surprises in either team announcements – we all knew Bruma was in and I suspected Paulo Ferreira would get the right-back nod after Bosingwa’s dismal Bolton showing. I am wondering if Bosingwa is the biggest waste of money since Roman bought his pet Shevchenkodoodle mongrel to the club. He seems a pretty shit defender, and he doesn’t appear to like tackling, he has an aversion to crossing and generally seems more Reading than Chelsea (offence to Reading FC fully intended). So we had the usual suspects on show today with The Scarecrow (Kalou) on the bench where he belongs. Villa had Ashley Young back and that clunking great donkey who couldn’t score in a brothel unless the ‘workers’ were deaf, blind and stupid, Emile Heskey, back as well.

Welcome to the Stamford Bridge Whorehouse, Emile, I think you’ll find our ‘workers’ are more than willing…

The first half was more of the same dull fayre dished up against Bolton, Villa filled the parts of pantomime villains with some tough uncompromising tackling and we were second into every tackle and loose ball. We seem to have developed some sort of creeping malaise which means we just can’t start games at any pace. Throughout the half we lacked any movement, players seemed intent on passing sideways or lumping a long ball down to an utterly misfiring and flouncing/mincing Drogba. It was pretty poor all round and any half chances were coming, as with Bolton, from the opposition team. We’ve gone a bit soft. On 22 minutes we put something in the box for Malouda to aim at and well… was he pulled?… did he fall?… did he slip over?… was he shot by a sniper?… whatever… he used his experience… *cough*… to get the penalty. Up stepped Frank Lampard, I turned to face the crowd (can’t watch penalties and not allowed to in my normal seat) and hey presto we were an undeserved goal up. Well done Frank, good to see you back. Surely now the confidence would return and we’d go on to crush Villa like the footballing ants they are (offence to Villa fans fully intended).

Errr… no. What we did do was carry on being static and slow and allowing Villa to rattle our cage. At around 40 minutes of huffing and puffing from both sides, the ball was by the corner flag towards the Matthew Harding and West Stands and after some pinging around fell to Ferreira, who despite two very good early tackles had lost his way completely and was looking Championship standard (offence to Championship team fans fully intended). Now, everyone in the vicinity knew the thing to do was hoof the ball to Row Z, even if it meant giving up possession. What we didn’t want was someone faffing about being indecisive and then deciding to clear when a Villa player was homing in on him. Yep, not hard to guess which outcome we got. The ball dropped into the area and The Bison decided to do a passable impression of himself in a PCP rage running through a China shop, fouling Reo-Coker and giving away a penalty. Essien is part of the problem at the moment. Anyway, Ashley Young stood up and lashed the ball past Cech. Chelsea had pissed away yet another lead.

Half time 1-1.

I wanted to go home. I’ve had enough of this suffering. I give up my time to be tortured and punished like this? Shouldn’t we all be on some sort of medication for this mass hysteria based illness?

Out for the second half then and yes, within minutes of the restart it was a case of…

“Why hello there Mr Heskey… the usual huh… you’d like our defence to lie down, open its legs and let you force your way in… ooohhh you want to rough our new girl up do you… well we don’t encourage that Mr Heskey, but as it’s you… well go on then.”

And he duly did, he climbed all over a very decent performance by Bruma to nod into the goal and give this piss poor team the lead. My day was falling apart. This is what we’ve come to. Unable to beat a team humiliated by Manchester City, a team even lower on confidence than us, a team allegedly torn by dressing room strife and player issues with the boss. What the hell, does that make us then?

The answer is a team that like the sleeping lion suddenly opens a sleepy eyelid after the mosquito has stung him and then in a fit of rage decides to go after his tormentor. First of all the rage is pretty random but then gradually it becomes more controlled. Then at last we started to put some pressure on and have a go, Brad Friedel was, of course, on top bloody form, saving superbly from Malouda and Frank, but we looked far more positive. After a punishing 20 minutes or so, we finally breached Villa through Drogba. This was about the only decent thing he did all day and even then it needed some help being rolled over the line. Whatever is bugging the big Ivorian he needs to get it sorted. I’m getting sick of his between match bollocks platitudes, along with the other players spouting their patronising bullshit about how they’re working so hard to put things right. Or stating the obvious. I’ll say it again, something is wrong in Chelsea Football Club. Anyway, before I divert away with yet another petulant rant, we were now back in the game and refreshingly looked like coming for more. Ramires was subbed for Kalou, an odd move because for me again Ramires was playing well, and doing the sorts of things I expect from Essien (Michael, not the fucking impostor body double we’ve got right now). I welcomed Kalou the Scarecrow on, but would rather he was replacing the mannequin that purported to be Malouda turning in yet another underwhelming smelly turd of a performance. Or for the way off beam Nicolas Anelka, who seems to have developed some sort of football desire wasting disease of late. Bosingwa replaced Ferreira, which for me was like replacing Audley Harrison with Louis Spence. Late on, Nico went off and on came Studge but he didn’t have time to make any real impact.

As the game entered the dying minutes were were still very much in the ascendency and Drogba managed a second decent contribution with a header to test Friedel again and the rebound fell to John Terry who finished fantastically to send us all into a state of delirium not far off the one when we beat Stoke a couple of years ago when all the players ran over to Scolari in a show of solidarity. Again the players charged to Carlo (signs anyone?) in a show of solidarity and pseudo male bonding. Game over surely?

Well… no… because unlike the Stoke game which happened literally in the dying seconds we all knew there’d be about five minutes of added time to go. That’s ‘we’ as in the crowd. You know, the ones who’ve paid to watch this. The players it seems forgot all about that and presumably were all mentally getting ready for nice warm houses, nice warm wives, girlfriends and kids and vintage wine. Two minutes after that and having failed to get the ball off of Villa we gave away a silly free kick, got an apparent offside trap all wrong, stood around like Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ statues and Ciaran Clark nodded home for 3-3.

And that my friends was that. Two points dropped. Out of the top four (5th) place. Out of form. Out of ideas. Out of luck. Out of hope.

The good

  • Ramires was good again today.
  • Bruma did a very good job so he can play next time and Ivan back at right-back… please.
  • JT was bloody immense at times.
  • Albrighton looks useful and will be wasted at Villa.
  • The comeback – at least we tried.
  • Ashley Cole – really deserves to be in a better team than this.

The bad

  • Drogba – flouncing around, wandering to the wings, taking the ball off players, shy in the tackle, wayward with the passing. Should be dropped, and should have been subbed, but we all know what happened to the last man to have the balls to do that.
  • Malouda – a mannequin for large parts of the game.
  • Anelka – what has happened here? Way too selfless and seems to think he’s a holding midfielder at times.
  • Inability to cross – anyone else sick of seeing our players overhit crosses or fail to beat the first man. Wouldn’t matter anyway as we’ve forgotten how to put anyone in the box to meet any fluked decent cross.
  • What about the way we always want to take a quick free kick and yet with throw-ins we stand around, no-one moves to help or runs into space. Awful, just awful, and when was the last time we EVER got anything good from a quick free kick? Henry’s goal against all those years back seems to have spooked us forever.
  • Paulo Ferreira – at the Carvalho stage of his career with only one good game in every two. (Copyright, PeteW.)
  • Michael Essien – this can’t be the real one surely, this has to be a bodysnatcher doppelganger.

The ugly

  • Emile Heskey – dirtier than Tevez, more of a moaner than Blanche in Coronation Street.

The Luke Chadwick extra ugly section

  • Ashley Young – chippy, cheating, diving, moaning, provocative little shit. Buy him Carlo.
  • Lee Mason – the ref – I find it hard to believe that another team can kick lumps from us and not see a red. And then he books Ramires for a nothing challenge. UC (copyright Kaiser Jonny).
  • The result – just what we didn’t need when everyone else won yesterday. The decline is now getting very scary.
  • We’re below Spurs… yes Spurs… fucking Spurs the horrible bastards (offence to Spurs FC and fans fully 100% intended).
  • Allegedly Carlo has ‘blamed’ Bruma for the second goal despite him being fouled by Heskey. If so that’s a bloody disgrace and will shatter that lad after a very good and very confident debut.
  • Carlo, grow some balls and sub Drogba if he’s playing rubbish. Really a lot of people will respect that.

The much loved player ratings

Cech, Cole, JT, Frank, Ramires, Bruma – all did decent jobs today with Cole being superb, JT being his usual self, Ramires showing us what we used to have with Essien and young Bruma doing a sterling job on his full debut. He deserves another chance, with the caveat of whether or not Ancelotti really did say that about him being at fault. Hot showers, foot massages, body lotion, a few beers for you lot.

Malouda, Anelka, Drogba, Ferreira, Essien – all were very poor today, with Essien just about being the best of the bunch. No showers, some wooden clogs to walk home in, some cold flannels to clean yourselves down and some used tea bags for you to make a drink with.

Kalou, blind alley syndrome again but at least he took his opponents on. Hardly his fault he’s the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz reincarnated. How long before we have a song for him… “If Only I Had a Brain“.

Studge and Bosingwa… Bosingwa still looks scared in defence and Studge had little or no time to make any impact.

The epilogue

Not much else to say here really other than we were mugged today. Not taken from behind in a dark alley by surprise, but mugged as if we were walking through a Rio suburb dripping in Rolex bling and Gucci clothes. We knew what to expect but didn’t have the wit or wherewithal to stop it happening.

Don’t give me any more crap about bad luck, we are making sloppy mistakes and maybe for one game you could say bad luck, but for… how many? Five… six games now we’ve dropped bollocks bigger than Jupiter’s moons to gift goals to others and that isn’t bad luck. It’s a mixture of fuckwit incompetence and utter cuntery arrogance and sloppiness. And the players are to blame. And so is Carlo. And to a lesser degree Abramovich… who after all has pumped about £500 million in, and is probably entitled to have expected some decent talent to have come through the academy instead of relentlessly opening his wallet to fund greatness. I like his proposed model, it’s down to Carlo to trust and make that transition happen. We are rapidly approaching a point where Carlo needs to show some balls and drop some big names. Would the new kids in the squad really be worse than Malouda, Anelka, Drogba or Essien at the moment?

So, we have a down and out and fighting for their lives Wolves on Wednesday. The best I can see is a draw. And far off into the distance… Europa League football.

Please, feel free to have nightmares of nights in Besiktas, Lech Posnan and Salonika.

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!

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There are 53 comments

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  1. Cunningplan

    I’m just poking my head above the parapet to see if things are ok.

    I think guys we just have to lower our expectations this season.

    • Anonymous

      Some of us have, but the club seem to think we’re contenders and that feeds the expectation lveles. I’d take transition for a bigger brighter future, but it’s taken Carlo months to try Bruma out at CB.

  2. Anonymous

    Anyone seen Josh around lately? When a team passes the ball as badly as us, it does seem strange that our most accomplished young player has been forgotten in this awful run.

    But great report Tony.

    I also thought that the defence was pretty impressive (despite the three goals against) and Ramires’ energy, pace and destructive abilities also shone through (passing or shooting does still seem beyond him though).

    But the negatives certainly outweighed any small signs of hope. Stuff such as retaining possession, crossing past the first man, having a right back that can defend, not volleying yourself in the face (Bosingwa), not tripping over your own feet, twice (Didier), dribbling with any control, creating clear cut chances, winning a header against the world class Heskey or bloody concentrating for a couple of minutes to gain 3 valuable points all seemed beyond us.

    There were a number of times in the first half when it looked like Villa had an extra man on the pitch and I was wondering why it was so difficult for us to shift the ball out of defence. A 4-3-3 formation is designed to create angles and options for those on the ball but as soon as JT or the impressive but weak Bruma got the ball, they looked up, saw nothing was on so played it back to Cech who would pump it long to nobody. The problem in the end was that none of our attacking players were showing enough movement (too old and slow for that) to create the space to start playing our football and with Malouda and Anelka both obsessed with collecting the ball off our back 4 in our own half, a formation meant to have three forwards on the pitch ended up with Didier getting lost amongst a forest of Villa bodies.

    But that shouldn’t excuse Didier who looks a completely different player to last season. Perhaps malaria really does ruin a player’s career because his pace, power and aggression have all disappeared and all we are left with is a rather selfish, old, slow and comically clumsy centre forward who looked like a poor man’s Heskey today. It wasn’t just his embarrassing attempts to dribble with the ball, or his awful passing but it was the fact that he was so ineffectual thoughout the game which is a rather big problem for a side who base all their football around him. His lucky finish may have brought us level but that doesn’t stop the alarm bells ringing whenever I see him on the pitch at the moment. His attitude stinks and as you said, he deserves to be dropped.

    And looking at the league table, you wonder how we got ourselves in this situation. We were 5 points clear but now we’re just 5th and chasing a very impressive Spurs side. And when you see the likes of Bale, Modric, Van der Vaart and Lennon running at teams, you have to ask why we turned down the likes of Sneijder and Van der Vaart in the past two seasons and left ourselves with this mess.

    At least Carlo has confirmed that he’ll buy a defender this month. And the rumours that he blamed Bruma for the goal are a bit harsh. I read that he simply said that we’ve lost some power and energy in the air without Alex and Branners and that he did praise Bruma’s performance.

  3. MachchanHongKong

    After 15 minutes I had to go back to checking the line-ups to see if Drogba was actually playing… so anonymous was he till then. But soon thereafter he makes his presence felt with awful passing and ineffectual dribbling etc. as mentioned by Haberdashers.
    Carlo has to take much of the blame for not giving the young ones a try. He lost his balls when he tried them and failed in inconsequential cup games. Hindsight, 20-20 etc… I know but we could hardly have done worse if we had four or five of the young ones playing every game since Oct.

  4. lamps

    great blog great report.didn see the match but looks like we bottled it. should play kakuta and josh. dont see how we would finish the season out of top four though. hoping for a revival asap.

  5. Prodicky7777

    Carlo(ITALIAN CLOWN)has just lost the plot. get it in your THICK SKULLS and stop being optimistic, he can`’t make it. he won’t make it and i don’t see him winning anything, be it now or the future,the first instance he was there is a whole load of brilliant managers(MANCINI’S & FERGUSON’S) who can run circles around him leaving his eyebrows raised in perplexity

    • Anonymous

      What do you mean by: “now there is whole load of brilliant managers (MANCINI’S & FERGUSON’S) “? Fergi was here for the last 24 years, if I am not mistaken.

  6. Anonymous

    Good report Tony, as usual nice reading. However, I would like to respond to your part where you expressed your opinion regarding the model RA is trying to install at Stamford Bridge. I do understand what he is doing, but the problem is that we are missing mid layer of players. Now, allow me please to explain what I mean by that. The problem is that we have brought too many youngsters. I believe the good model is to introduce 2-3 youngsters a season and getting rid of 2-3 old players (may be even 1-2 and not 2-3, but every season). This way we are working the tails and keep nice solid players around desired average. However, for the last 5 or 6 years we haven’t brought any youngsters, practically zero what has created skew in distribution. Right now we have either pensioners or youngsters, but very small amount of work horses. Practically only Essien and Braner all the rest are either too young and inexperienced, or too old. What it means is that we either going to shop, or we should expect 2-3 years of silverware drought. Technically we look like Arsenal 3-4 years ago. We just started to grow our youngsters. I just hope we are not going to drop below 4 place this season.

  7. Anonymous

    Well a new year, the title run over, Roman may well have a European Cup in the Cabinet next season, and if he still insists on the CL well a battle for forth.

    The board migrated, I have lurked quietly, reading week after week about our brilliant defensive efforts laid waste by our pitiful attacking options, umm wait.. we have a quality defense. I don’t know what might constitute a defense that lines up 7 players in a flat line across the box, lets a single player skip not once but twice past them without s single challenge be it good or bad or near, and said player has gone on to score. Since the departure of Hiddink, I think the club has been taking the proverbial piss on basic drills with regards to defense, set pieces and free kicks. We sure as hell can’t defend like a team. Its a glaring obvious fact covered up by the goal deluge we had last season. Add to which we have a DM and Bosignwa who don’t want to get a a caution for a foul they are forcing the CB’s to make. I mean look at Ivanovic’s yellow last week and his reaction to the ref after. Almost like I have to play with these clowns again.

    Add to that Drogba, Malouda and Essien. Well someone could check this cause I’m not sure, but we were scoring most with Anelka playing at top last season, not Drogs. And yes Anelka has languished badly this season. Drogs honestly still hasn’t recovered and I would prefer to see him come on as a sub other than against teams that he can bully. Drogs and Anelka just don’t work majority of the time. Simple fact 1st 45 mins we had 81% possession and Villa had more shots on goal then us.

    Agree whole heartedly with selling Malouda & Bosingwa. His gold scoring theatrics aside, he has done fuckall this season. Essien I’m going out on a limb here but sell him as well. I don’t know what he provides to the team as a whole. Sure his occasional run is breath taking marred by Mikel class finishing. Ramires well we all slagged him, but he atleast gets into a good 1-2 type play only to be ignored by the guy he passed the ball to. He’s learned how English football works and last few games has really come around.

    The youth. Well the fans have seen brilliant glimpses of what might be in the youth players. While they will not salvage this season. Let them have a fucking chance. However realistically I see us buying in the Jan transfer window for positions for which we have young players. Say goodbye to come next season.

    Note of appreciation and thanks to Lamps, guys been out for months still plays better than our entire attacking lineup. Terry bad knees, plays with the pain, started and ended the 3rd goal like a true leader. Ashely Cole, I don’t know where he was for the last goal, but bench the guy, he deserves a rest. He has to be mentally and physically exhausted with the runs he’s been making back and forth thanks to the quality of jackasses up top have seemingly forgotten what to do with the round orb at their feet.

  8. Anonymous

    OK, could somebody wake me up now as I’m getting a bit tired of this extended nightmare reminder of what watching Chelsea in the ’80s was like. I promise never to complain about mundane, easily-achieved, long sequences of wins ever again, honest.

    Things have come to a sorry state when we can’t even win at home against the one team in EPL who should have an even more fragile low morale than ourselves. Are we sure the players haven’t all got treacle on the soles of their boots making them move as slowly as they all do?

    And was that really Ashley doing the Tony Adams Hand-in-the-Air-Two-Step as Clark waltzed past for Villa’s 3rd goal?

    And to all you “Buy, Buy, Buy” addicts out there, clutching my “Kremlinology for Beginners” Guide I would suggest Carlo’s post-match comments are still only saying we might buy a central defender if it looks like Alex is going to take a while to recover and nothing else.

    Struggling for positives, the best I can manage is we finally scored more than 1 goal in an EPL game for the first time since October 30th 😉

  9. Prodicky7777

    On Fergie i don’t need to over-elaborate you figure it out ! being an optimist is a good virtue but letting it cloud your judgment is more horrifying, some bloggers have developed a soft spot for this Italian clown and are more contented with us returning back to the old Pre-Mourinho Italian circus days when Stamford wasn’t a fortress, and it was more okay being whipped to please the media.I don’t want to speculate but this Italian clown is as clueless as his raised eyebrow, he is the Benitez type but with a blue eye, before the shallow ones realize the quick sand may be too deep,nowadays Sunderland can come and shit at our backyard (come on)and everyone acts like nothing happened,am not in panic mode but the Benitez syndrome is slowly creeping in Chelsea and our clubs pride is no longer at stake .if investing in kids ,then let him be sure, early bloomer late bloomer mid bloomer fact is if they are not good enough currently then they just aren’t.even the likes of Barcelona bought Zlatan Villa Eto Dmitryo to supplement their proven Messis and Sergio.not unproven!!!.if its rocket science then we really have some loose heads starting from the coach

  10. FanSinceTheSixties

    Might be breaking ranks here, but I didn’t think we were that bad.

    Result was crap and maybe finished our title ambitions but there’s still almost half the season left so who knows?

    The penalty gave Villa something to fight about and their equalizer was always going to happen. Bruma looked very good, he moved well, read the game and was comfortable with the ball, but their second exposed the one area he needs to work on, regardless of that, we fought back and deserved to take the lead, but that celebration…

    Again it’s difficult to criticize.
    We complain when the team stroll around like they don’t care if we win or not, but when they demonstrate just how much victory means, it backfires. The management team should’ve been pushing them back onto the field and pointing at the spot to get on with it.

    At this stage it’s about results more than performances so dropping two points is my only real gripe.

    It may be tempting fate to say we don’t need to buy another defender, but our front line does need a boost. Our three main forwards are all 30 plus and I couldn’t see any great alternatives for Carlo yesterday.

  11. Anonymous


    I agree with where you’re coming from. With half a season to go, anything is still possible. None of the other supposed title challengers have had their ‘blip’ yet. I know we’ve departed the town of Blip, moved straight through Crisisville and are on a one way street to Oblivion, but if we remain on the coat-tails of Spurs, we might be able to sneak into the last CL spot and have one of those lovely qualifying matches despite being one of the best ranked teams in the whole competition.

    To me, it’s all about a top 4 finish. Title challenge is well over, we seem to be incapable of anything resembling a competent performance so we can’t win the CL either.

    As JD and the blog sages have mentioned before, noone of note moves in January, so whoever the CFC saviour is, he won’t be arriving this month. No, it’s a case of battening down the hatches and fighting tooth and nail for a CL spot. Anything else would resemble a rollover lottery jackpot win. Or Tonys foursome happening.

  12. Ososdeoro

    The team was hungriER today, but he who celebrates win with five minutes left not hungry enough. And for the manager to be participating: oy.

    I thought it were Dolce clothes we were strolling through Rio’s barrio in, but whatever.

    I know we’re not spending much if any money, but it sure would be nice to see Albrighton on our side….or Donovan….or Suarez. The midfield play with Lampard and an improving Ramires is stabilizing quite nicely, and while the defense is thin and inflicts some whoppingly bad plays at times, it isn’t nearly as bad as the mess up front).

    And getting back in the realm of reality, if buying a defender is a reality, I still like Simon Vuksevic. He’s a big ugly who sometimes scores.

    Ferreira (dude, you’re a good spot substitute, but in order to continue being so you’re sole job is to refrain from horrible mistakes — nothing else required)….Essien. And that 3rd goal. And I’m pretty sure we never won a ball from the goalies at midfield until 2/3 of the game was over. Sad, awful stuff. I guess the good thing is that we’re replacing 60 minute stretches of consistently poor play with longer stretches of good play punctuated by horrific “moments.” In my eyes, that’s better.

  13. FanSinceTheSixties

    Did anyone think that the AV tackling looked well rehearsed?

    As each one picked up his yellow he stood down and let another continue roughing us up until he got his, then on to the next so that no reds were incurred. Very cynical.

    • Anonymous

      To be honest I won’t be sorry to see the back of Sturridge since I don’t think he’ll make it. My spirits drop each time he comes on because he runs head down like a schoolboy and neither passes nor scores.

  14. FanSinceTheSixties

    That’s very interesting. If we buy a striker then loaning DS to Poo might be a brilliant move.

    He gets to play alongside FT and Gerhard with all those crazy scousers encouraging him to shoot, could be his make or break chance. Only problem if he did well and wanted to stay there.

    Reading that Dzeko is holding out for the sort of ‘personal terms’ that might explain why we didn’t go for him.

    This is a big month for us (aren’t they all, now). Games that will be tough and demanding, yet also the best opportunity to get back to winning ways.

  15. Anonymous

    So then, 9 points behind. Let’s have a quick count of the bloggers who thinks we can claw it back…

    *Fiftee scours the assembled bloggers, looking for raised hands*

    Grand total of 0.

    Don’t think Utd have played well once this season. We’ve played exceptionally at times, and exceptionally shit at others. And we’re out of it. Brilliant.

  16. Gleb

    The team we all loved and were proud of is no more. That is evident to everyone. Unfortunately, a very Russian trait of not doing anything to prevent a misfortune from happening until it actually happens, even if the fact that it will happen is blatantly obvious, seems to have cursed our “Russian” owner as well. At least that’s the positive thing in our crisis. Last season, God knows how, we managed to win the double but should have nevertheless foreseen the collapse of a very old, very one-sided team, led by a very inflexible manager who only knows his way around one style of play. Yet it will have taken us an utterly failed season by the time everyone realized something, a lot, needs to be done. That’s the price to pay.

    So I call upon everyone not get disappointed anymore and instead take solace in the fact that at least now, hopefully, the Club will take proper measures and we’ll finally make the transition into a new team. The kind of transition that other, prudent and wise, clubs go through seamlessly. Nope, Chelsea, just like the home country of its owner, knows only the language of revolutions.

  17. Anonymous

    Michelin stars?

    We’re not even turning out bilge that would be comparable to the processed crap you get from McDonalds or the like.

    A defeat to one of the teams on Sunday could realistically see one of the managers sacked. We can’t lose to Ipswich, can we?

    Hang on, yes. Yes we can. Oh bugger.

    • Anonymous

      ok MacDonalds comparison is actually more realistic than Micheline stars 🙂 Should Carlo start to worry that by the end of the season there will be no clients in his restaurant?

  18. Anonymous

    Actually, overlooking tonight, the FA Cup could very well be it for us this season. There was me hoping we might see Josh, Bruma, PVA, Kakuta and others playing and yet we might have to pick our strongest (if such a thing exists) side.

    • Cunningplan

      Well I’m quite partial to Chinese, and if I had to take one food with me to a desert island it would be crispy duck and pancakes. But if we serve up baked beans on burnt toast tonight, and win, then that’ll be my favourite.

  19. Anonymous

    Europa League? Doubt we’ll finish high enough for that.

    Yes, there’s a long way to go, but the minute by minute updates don’t sound too promising. Wolves all over us. And Kalou’s playing.

    Never rains, but it pours as they say. Or, in our case, never rains but it deluges a mother-fucking monsoon right in your face.

    • Joh

      Watching in the USA – so got it live. No creativity, no passing or retention ability. Bosingwa cannot cross a ball.

      It’s weird watching the game and thinking losing 1 nil is almost respectable. How the mighty have fallen.

  20. Ososdeoro

    Took my precious lunch hour to watch the first half. Easily the worst one-half display of the season. I can’t think of one positive contribution from anyone, except John Terry shoved Mike Hunt in the back while the latter was bitching about a call. Then Branners takes a yellow for, basically, nothing.

    There was one opportunity to score. Period.

  21. Anonymous

    I’m actually finding it funny now. We just seem so utterly clueless. Players and Carlo.

    Like someones removed all the football ability from the players. Or tactical nous from Carlo. It’s so bad, I’m half-wondering if it’s a bizarre protest of sorts. You took away Ray for no reason. We’re not even going to try any more.

    Gutted. Bosingwa is out for the second half. Wouldn’t we do better with 10 and no right back? What about that 15 year old wonder kid on the reserves – Chalobah. I know we don’t actually play the kids, but let’s start talking him up.

  22. Anonymous

    Kalou’s finishing is just hilarious now.

    And even when you leave aside Bosingwa’s own goal, his performance as a right back has been dire.

    It’s sad but strangely quite funny to see us turn into Liverpool. An old, tired side with no investment and reliant on two players to dig us out of a hole. All we need is Rafa to round it all off.

    • Ososdeoro

      Try as I might, I can’t figure out of which two players you speak!

      And yes, Bosingwa basically erased any notion in the first that he’ll ever deserve the start over Paolo. Wait. Reverse that. Bosingwa has just gone head shoulders above Paolo in the race for a comfy bench seat.

      • Anonymous

        JT and Cech are the only ones stopping us from losing 3 or 4-0 every week. At least these defeats are relatively respectable.

        • Ososdeoro

          Yeah, I’ll give you that, and Frank gets a pass for a few games. Although it seems like he could have kept that corner from getting into the box, and I’ll bet he got no more than 2 or 3 touches in the first half.

  23. Anonymous

    What else is there to say?

    Bosingwa, Essien, Kalou, Malouda and Didier should be ashamed of their performances tonight.

    It’s so awful that I’m just in shock.

  24. Anonymous

    WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Anonymous

    Ciao Carlo.

    Utter utter cuntery. Villa were awful, Wolves even worse. Bottom of the league FFS.

    On your way out Carlo, if you could round up about 8 of your first team selections and take them with you, most of us would be hugely grateful. Start with the front…..

  26. Anonymous

    Utterly bollocks.

    Bad news….. We were awful

    Good news….. We are still better than Liverpool!

    I’m with Fiftee….. It’s almost laughable now.

  27. Der_Kaiser

    Fuck-a-doodle do. Think he’s probably got until the Blackburn game by virtue of the Spurs result tonight, but Carlo looks like a dead man walking right now.

    The only way is up… *cough*

  28. Cunningplan

    I found a solution to cope with this crisis, I picked up a second hand DeLorean on E-Bay, and I’m thinking of taking a trip back to the 1980’s. Anyone want to join me?

  29. Anonymous

    I honestly have no idea how to react. Have so many ‘what ifs’ running through my head that would have had us out of this atrocious situation but, for me, the heart is just not there from the players. JT apart, no one seems to give a shit and I find that a huge disgrace.

    Carlo’s post match on Sky was the opportunity for him to admit his disappointment and admit it’s all over. He’s kidding no one pretending we’re still in the title race. All we have is a battle for forth, and it’ll be a huge battle. And we’re by no means guaranteed any European football next season. Would that signal the end of Roman?

  30. Alexis

    Too many flaky, soft players (Ashley, bosingwa, ferreira, sturridge, anelka, kalou)…but the bigger problem is the manager…he has not changed anythng in the way the team plays since the rot started…other teams have since seen through us yet he has not shown any sign of a plan B…once we have teams closing us down fast, we are out of the game…at least play Josh who can hold the ball and pick a clean pass under pressure…

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