Everton 2-0 Chelsea – Sticky Toffees in a Handful of Tweets

The buildup

ChelseaAnalysis: Chelsea line-up vs. Everton: Cech – Bosingwa, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Cole – Essien, Meireles, Lampard – Sturridge, Torres, Mata.

ChelseaAnalysis: Chelsea subs vs. Everton: Turnbull, Cahill, Ferreira, Bertrand, Mikel, Malouda, Lukaku.

chelseafc: Chelsea are one win shy of 2,000 in all competitions. Let’s hope it comes today.

CFC_Clive: Sheer madness dropping Cahill to accommodate Bosingwa. Shouldn’t expect anything else though, really.

BluesChronicle: The tin whistle of Z Cars pipes up as the Everton & Chelsea teams march out at Goodison. Kick off 2 mins.

BluesChronicle: Total disbelief in the press box at Goodison about Suarez’ actions today. Even Liverpool fans among the press slating him.

The first half

chelseafc: We’re underway. Chelsea set up as 4-3-3, Everton 4-4-1-1.

chelseafc: A moment’s panic in the Chelsea area from a throw-in, but the referee blows for an infringement.

BluesChronicle: GOAL: Everton 1-0 Chelsea. Pienaar.

chelseaoffside: A fucking joke.

BluesChronicle: Everton 1-0 Chelsea: Lampard gives the ball away, Pienaar runs on and muscles off Ivanovic. Rifles into the roof of the net from 6 yds.

ChelseaRumours: They’ve scored too early – It’ll be a better game because of this.

chelseaoffside: I think we just need to get used to not being a very good football team.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea having a terrible start: already a goal down, and looking vulnerable every time Everton take the ball forward.

ChelseaAnalysis: I’ll be the first to set the record straight before we start banging on about AVB; an individual mistake, again, came from Lampard.

chelseafc: Chelsea enjoying possession but Everton are sitting back, pressing, and the Londoners are playing in front of them.

chelseafc: 12 gone, still trailing 0-1. Travelling Chelsea fans in good voice backing the team.

TheChelseaBlog: AVB looking over his shoulder there to see if Roman’s taking aim.

chelseafc: Patient build-up play is starting to find ways through the Everton ranks. Final ball not quite there. Still 0-1.

bridgeviews: Last five minutes, I think all Meireles has done is give the ball away.

bridgeviews: And Cech’s kicking/passing has been awful for weeks.

BluesChronicle: Landon Donovan picks the ball up in absolutely acres of space and shoots – Cech is there. Can we have some marking in this game please?

ChelseaAnalysis: Free-kick to Chelsea after a challenge from Neville on Sturridge.

ChelseaAnalysis: Good pressing from Chelsea lately. Resulted in several blocks from Everton’s defenders.

chelseafc: Torres is man-handled in the Everton box at a corner but the foul goes against him.

BluesChronicle: Bosingwa, on the right, twists and turns before putting in a cross that is inch perfect – for a goalkeeper in an empty box.

chelseafc: Period of decent pressure from the Blues, but Everton are blocking every shot at he moment.

BluesChronicle: Sturridge unleashes a rocket from the edge of the box, but it deflects off Heitinga and goes for a corner. The corner yields nothing.

ChelseaAnalysis: Good vision from Mata. Mata’s frequently seen on the right with Sturridge in the centre. Front three rotating.

ChelseaAnalysis: Lampard misses a sitter.

chelseafc: Mata again finds space behind on the right, and feeds Lampard, but the left foot shot is wide of goal. Remains 0-1.

chelseafc: Everton too easily worm their way through the Chelsea right, but the action is halted by an offside flag.

chelseafc: On the positive side, Juan Mata is looking clever and inventive, and seeing a lot of the ball.

ChelseaAnalysis: Mata wins a free-kick for Chelsea on the right.

chelseafc: High Essien cross looks comfortable for Howard until he drops it, only to react quickly and pounce on the loose ball.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea’s build-up play laboured & over-cooked. When the ball comes in, there is often nobody there. Or it is just off-target. Very poor.

chelseafc: Five to go till half-time and Chelsea are just becoming a little sloppy in their passing.

chelseafc: Meireles is booked for hauling back after his failed flick fell kindly for Everton.

ChelseaRumours: What a horrible first-half of football.

bridgeviews: Chelsea giving the ball away constantly. Another very below par performance so far. Tiresome.

chelseafc: A floated Bosingwa cross is met by the head of Torres but it is an easy take for Howard.

bridgeviews: Torres drives at the box and then, predictably, decides to do nothing with the ball and is tackled.

BluesChronicle: HT: Everton 1-0 Chelsea. Early sucker-punch goal from Pienaar, and Chelsea have created very little at all since.

The break

ChelseaRumours: HT: Everton 1-0 Chelsea – Horrible game thus far, absolutely crap.

BluesChronicle: Torres races to remonstrate with the ref on the whistle, and is told to go away. He doesn’t so is led away by Fellaini (for his own good).

BluesChronicle: Replays of Everton goal going round & round, Each time it shows move starting with a Chelsea throw from Bosingwa. Each time less believable.

chelseafc: The Chelsea players run out for the second half. Who’s going to be our hero under the floodlights today?

3adool94: I’ve been disappointed so many times this season that when we concede I don’t even get mad anymore. It’s expected.

BluesChronicle: Call me picky: but when a defender gives away an ‘assist’ for an opposition goal from his own throw-in, it may be time to look elsewhere.

The second half

chelseafc: Chelsea kick off. No changes on either side.

ChelseaAnalysis: Alright, second half underway. If we don’t score prepare yourselves for Malouda (pretty sure something none of us would like to see).

ChelseaAnalysis: Bosingwa booked for a foul on Pienaar.

chelseaoffside: Our service from the flanks is pathetic.

BluesChronicle: Remember our old friend, the ‘high line’. It is back (presumably because Terry is out). We have a defence like Swiss cheese.

chelseaoffside: I am going to lose my mind watching this.

chelseafc: Scrappy game at present, with lots of fouls and offsides. Chelsea still trail 0-1.

ChelseaAnalysis: This is torture.

BluesChronicle: Yellow for Torres. Mainly out of frustration.

chelseaoffside: Lukaku. ASAP.

ChelseaAnalysis: Things will get ugly for us if Everton get their second and it’s all going in that direction so far.

bridgeviews: Chelsea have been awful this 2nd half – even worse than first. Not controlling possession, not creating chances.

chelseafc: Chelsea failing to string any meaningful passes together right now. Will the manager make a change soon?

chelseaoffside: I’ve been pretty calm throughout this season but this may be the breaking point.

3adool94: A goal isn’t coming, looks like Torres is going to get sent off if he continues like this, nothing is working.

BluesChronicle: Ivanovic escapes a booking by the skin of his teeth. Malouda about to come on. Hmm.

ChelseaAnalysis: Bringing on Malouda and putting Mata in the centre should do.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Malouda on for Essien. What?!

bridgeviews: Ah, Malouda will save us.

CFC_Clive: Villas Boas is having a laugh.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea fans singing: “You don’t know what you’re doing.” Difficult to disagree.

Togaflex: I almost don’t want to equalize. We’ve been that bad & Everton fully deserve it. We’ve got some lucky points of late. Papering over cracks.

chelseayouth: Oh dear, 0-2.

bridgeviews: 2-0 Everton. Deserved. We’re awful. 4th place? You’re joking, right?

devinanand: I’m done. This match has crystallized my worst fears.

chelseafc: 2-0 to Everton. Stracqualursi capitalises on chaos in the Chelsea defence, curling round Bosingwa into the net.

OptaJoe: 2 – Before today Chelsea had won only two of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Everton. Hoodoo.

bridgeviews: Sturridge makes a run, takes on too much. But was there a Chelsea player who bothered to make the effort to go with him? Was there fuck.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Bertrand on for the injured Cole.

BluesChronicle: Chelsea sub: Lukaku on for Mata.

bridgeviews: This half: no chances created. Not even pressuring the Everton box. Absolutely woeful.

bridgeviews: Mata off? Why on earth? Can’t think of a reason not to join the AVB out bandwagon…

ChelseaAnalysis: I know this is getting ridiculous but really it’s a disgrace with those chants and utterly classless. Get behind your manager and the team.

chelseayouth: Immediate half chance for Lukaku after Bertrand’s cross. Still not really threatening though.

BluesChronicle: I’ve seen some poor performances from Chelsea this season, but this is in pole position for the title of the poorest. Dreadful stuff.

BluesChronicle: No fight, no passion, no pressing, no challenging, no creation, no idea at all today. Just not at the races.

ChelseaChadder: What exactly did AVB learn from Jose Mourinho?!

chelseafc: Chelsea trying to force a way through the Everton back line but the Toffees are resilient and quick on the break.

chelseafc: Defender Hibbert is coming on for midfielder Gibson. Everton still lead 2-0 with 2 mins left.

chelseaoffside: AVB is on watch in my household for the first time this season. This is inexcusable.

3adool94: If we had 90 minutes of stoppage time we still wouldn’t score.

MrNickThompson: Before the start of the game I was wondering if we could afford to sack Villas-Boas. Now I’m wondering if we can afford not to…

BluesChronicle: FT: Everton 2-0 Chelsea. Pienaar & Stracqualursi goal. “You don’t know what you’re doing” sing the Chelsea fans at AVB. Terrible performance.

chelseaoffside: And Arsenal rally. Rad. We’ll be wildly fortunate to finish fourth on this evidence.

The fallout

bridgeviews: So we blame the players, right? So the manager has nothing to do with motivating, instructing, coaching and inspiring them?

ChelseaAnalysis: We at Chelsea have had this mentality installed of ‘sacking the manager’ when things go wrong by our revolving door policy. Inappropriate.

ChelseaAnalysis: AVB mainly got everything wrong today, but does it merit sacking? Down to zero again. Look at the shit Arsenal have gone through.

BluesChronicle: AVB: “I think today was one of our worst games of the season. The worst in every sense of the word.”

BluesChronicle: AVB on fans chanting ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’: “It’s part of the job.”

AndrewTurmer: AVB should start criticising a few of our players. Defending the side at all costs has to come to an end at some point…

EastUpper3: You’re getting sacked in the morning sung by our fans…says it all. Hopeless performance.

The press reports

The Sunday Telegraph, Chris Bascombe: “Disorganised, limp and passionless would be some of the more charitable observations of the performance. And that was during one of their more encouraging periods.”

The Independent on Sunday, Simon Hart: “The previous Chelsea manager to lose at Goodison Park did not get out of the ground with his job intact. That was Carlo Ancelotti on the final day of last season, and although Andre Villas-Boas, his successor, avoided the same fate last night, Chelsea’s limp surrender will have done nothing to ease the pressure on the Portuguese. His team have taken only three points from their past four League fixtures and slipped out of the top four with this defeat, behind Arsenal on goals scored.”

The Observer, Joe Lovejoy: “A leading London bookmaker refused a £20,000 bet on David Moyes to be the next Tottenham manager on Friday night, in the belief that it was a “done deal”. The disappointed punter could well turn his attention to the Chelsea succession after Saturday’s events at Goodison, which saw Andre Villas-Boas told by his own fans: “You don’t know what you’re doing,” and taunted with “You’re getting sacked in the morning” by the gleeful home crowd.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “A poor result that doesn’t help our hopes for a top-four finish, but in truth, our performance merited little else.”

The goals

5′ Pienaar 1-0
71′ Stracqualursi 2-0

The Podding Shed – new episode tomorrow!

Our toilers on the allotment of life are planning on building a new Podding Shed tomorrow evening. In it they will discuss the sticky situation AVB now finds himself in.

There are 133 comments

Add yours
    • Kcrisp

      But AVB has had TWO transfer windows to start to implement his vision on the team. He defended these players in the summer and now must take the blame. Dead wood is dead wood for a reason. Because it no longer has a use.

      • Fat Nakago

        Absolutely he did!! That’s what so disappointing about where we are right now…why I almost looking forward more to the Daytona 500 than our tilts with Birmingham and Napoli. AVB did nothing to solve a very obvious problem, and he’s doing nothing about it now.

        We have NO mid-fielders that are worth a shite right now….none of them could lead an attack if their hair was on fire. We almost need a whole new squad and gaffer to lead them it seems.

  1. Benjami

    I really hope AVB stays and gets the opportunity this summer to rebuild the team to how he wants it. However we potentially could be in 6th position at the end of this weekend and I guarantee that is unacceptable to the long term goals and strategy of Chelsea FC.

    If RA feels AVB is not going to achieve his objectives we all know what will happen 🙁

    I believe this would be a step backwards for the club and leave a bad taste in my mouth, the replacement could be Fabio in the next few days but I would feel very sorry for AVB.

    The players have underperformed for him and he needs to have the guts to drop those that are performing so badly.

    Defence next game must be: Bertrand Terry(Cahill if not fit) Luiz Ivan

    First objective: Clean sheets!

    5 goals conceded in 2 games. This is a joke…

    It is obvious we aren’t setup how he wants us to play, simply as we don’t have the players to do it. He needs a summer to re-analyse and buy right.

    He must then sell on the players who we no longer need, my fear now though is if we scrape 4th. Who will actually want to come to Chelsea? Or even worse, we finish 5/6?


  2. Anonymous

    Ok, in fairness to AVB, he’s come out and taken responsibility for today.

    Still unacceptable. Bosingwa is a fucking joke. A complete and utter joke. Seriously, what fucking planet is he on? That throw in gets worse every time you see it. Bin him now. Give him the Alex and Anelka treatment. Actually, don’t. The youth team don’t deserve that.

    Can anyone seriously tell me that Nat Chalobah would be any worse than him? Would Bertrand do worse than Ashley? It’s all well and good people saying AVB doesn’t have a choice, but he does. We’ve spent millions on the best young kids in World football. Invariably, they don’t make it but, fuck me, they need to be given a chance. I simply fail to see what we have to lose now. Torres can’t buy a goal, try Lukaku. The others I mentioned above. Give someone else a chance. Next Saturday is a prime opportunity. Weaker opposition. Winning the FA Cup needs a bit of passion and desire and that’s not possible with the current XI.

    Getting rid of AVB clearly won’t help. But he needs to take his blinkers off and have the balls to make the under-performing has-Brenda pay. Kids next week AVB. Has to be.

  3. Anonymous

    *That should say ‘has-beens’.

    Damn a combination of my fingers, my phone and the format of this blog on my phone…

  4. Anonymous

    Last week against Utd was an aberration because we scored 3 goals.  This week we returned to pre Utd form and never looked like scoring.  It’s like owning an empty house; it’s all very well having possession but you need to do something with it.

    All this talk of ‘Arry taking on England but he could come and join us.  I’m sure Roman is more adept at keeping offshore accounts secret.

  5. Guest

    I blame the fans, media and senior players. At the start of the season we played highly entertaining matches, albeit conceding lot of goals, but after arsenal defeat we ‘altered the position of the defensive block to something the players were more comfortable with’, and everything has gone south.

    • NorthernVA

      Please spare a word for AVB. Going into the game we have conceded 8 more goals and have scored eight less while accumulating 4 less points as opposed to last season. If by entertaining you mean we look like we could concede goals at any moment well then I guess you’re right brother. Schadenfreude is a form of entertainment. 

      I must have missed those entertaining early season matches. Last season yes this one no chance. Big difference between beating West Brom 6-0 at home last season as opposed to 2-1 this year.I don’t now why we continue to cover up ineptitude with this word transition. Transition? Look at our wage bill and tell me that what we have been witnessing is acceptable. I constantly read that AVB just needs until the summer to get his players in here. Can anyone tell me who his players are? To use the catch phrase du jour what exactly are we “transitioning” to?

      • Guest

        The early season games, or most of them, were fast paced, there was some cohesion in pressing, passing and movement and players seemed interested, we still struggled at times against stout defenses, but there was none of todays listlessness.  We scored 2.3 goals and conceded 1.5 on average in the first ten PL matches. In the last fifteen 1.4 for and 1.1 against. I haven’t calculated, but I think the same diminishing can be seen in chances created/allowed.  

        • NorthernVA

          Those stats on the first ten games are a bit skewed considering the 5 spot we hung upon a quite rubbish and compliant Bolton squad. Also the 3-1 scoreline against Norwich was extremely flattering on the balance of play. Our most impressive performances this season in my opinion were actually after the Arsenal match (Newcastle away, Valencia home, City home). 

          • Guest

            It is quite obvious that statistics aren’t going give accurate description of the flow of the games. I used them here to highlight my point which is that after the high line adjustment our game gradually slowed down, we stopped pressing early which helped the defensive organization but meant that we won the ball deeper in our own half. This combined with the visible inability counter attack fast (maybe because players just prefer build patently, like when Carlo was in charge, or because of poorly designed system) and the midfield’s poor passing and movement, and the impotence of our ‘star’ striker, means that we are shite at the moment.

            I had hoped that AVB would continue to implement his vision of the game despite few poor results, but instead he has let the team regress. He also should have integrated the youngsters no matter their age or state of readiness. Maybe the pressure to succeed is hindering his cognitive functions.

  6. Anonymous

    In some sort of deluded state, I keep refreshing the Beeb website, Guardian one and flicking on SSN. Each time, expecting to hear that Roman has wielded the axe. I’m expecting his sacking.

    I hope I’m way off the mark. He looks tactically inept and genuinely short of ideas and motivation, but he’s still got the majority of someone else’s squad. If he can’t stamp his mark on the club with this years summer transfer window to help him then he’s fair game. But right now, other managers players are just as much to blame.

    Gotta pick the kids on Saturday though…

    • Pacific Blue

       But AVB has had 2 transfer windows already. Are you really prepared to write off another season to see if this guy is the real deal, or can you not already see a small fish in a big pond drowning…?

  7. Desmond Bey

    Despite the slightly strange substitutions, the blame today must lay with a squad that looked as if it couldn’t care less. Thoroughly disgusted with the chants, made us seem like Blackburn but with less class.

  8. Anonymous

    Having watched the highlights from ESPN again, I have questions:

    What the fuck is Luiz doing on the first goal? Just meanders toward Donovan, side-steps and lets him through.

    What is Cech doing on the second? Flappy wrist man. Needs a serious challenge as our number one. Ropey all season.

  9. NorthernVA

    One last thing and it may just be homerism but if Torres and Meireles can start for CFC then certainly Dempsey and Donovan could.

  10. Ryan

    I didn’t see the game today. I suspect I don’t want to either. I am deeply concerned though. It’s been a long time since we actually played well. Wigan, Villa, Fulham, Wolves, QPR, Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea. All disappointing performances. Mostly disappointing results. We’ve been poor this season in a variety of ways. I don’t know what to say about it anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AVB sacked. I’m not saying I want him sacked. I just wouldn’t be surprised.

    Steve Bruce was a similar case. It was difficult to say exactly what he was doing wrong. It wasn’t his fault that some of the players were underperforming and he didn’t have as stronger squad as he would’ve liked. Of course Steve Bruce had a decent chance to get things right and failed to meet expectations but Martin O’Neill has turned things around despite having made pretty minimal changes. Is that just down to simple motivation, man-management, tactics or what?

    Torres is similar again. It’s not so much that he’s doing anything wrong, just that he doesn’t seem to be able to do anything right.

    Whatever they’re doing at the moment though it’s not working and I’m not seeing any improvement. It also concerns me that AVB is still prepared to pick Bosingwa at RB ahead of Iva. If I was Gary Cahill I’d be pretty miffed to be essentially being kept out of the team by a liability. AVB certainly has a choice in this case. There is no reason to keep playing Bosingwa unless he feels he is the best option. If he thinks that I would question his judgement. Just as I think you have to question his judgement every time he says how happy he is with the excellent quality in the squad. They’re making a mug of him. It’s looking more and more like they might cost him his job every week that they don’t perform. It’s either their fault or his and something has to give.

  11. Anonymous

    So, anyone watched MOTD and still able to believe Luiz is a defender? Is. He. Fuck.

    Garbage today. They’ve highlighted it well, and they may be the only occasions, but you can’t turn your back on the ball, and be scared of sticking your foot in as a centre back like they showed. Cahill wouldn’t have done that. What a disgrace. Pathetic, in fact.

    • Ryan

      Best thing I’ve seen on MOTD from a Chelsea player… McEachran’s pass to Danny Graham through Norwich’s defence. Didn’t exactly have a lot of competition.

    • Nightswatch84

      We were shocking but believe me Luiz is not one our problems at the moment.  I cannot believe the easy ride that Meireles has had this year.  All he does is repeatedly give the ball away with passes either too lazy or over ambitious, i.e. his back-heel to no-one in the first 30 seconds that perfectly set up Everton’s first surge through our defence.  

      I’m surprised that Chelsea fans have tolerated his performances in midfield, he, along with some others, Bosingwa and Malouda, have barely looked like professional footballers all season. Don’t forget that we are playing him(Meireles) at the expense of giving one of England’s brightest prospects an oppurtunity to develop in the first team.  If AVB continues his team selection suicide policy the fans have got to get on their backs in the hope of producing a response/fightback.  So far, their support of these individuals has produced no results.

      Next line-up if AVB grows a pair:

      Cech, Bran, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand; Romeu, Essien, Ramires, Mata, Sturridge, Lukaku.

  12. Anonymous

     You are calling Luiz shit as compared to Frank Lampard. I’ll grant you he is still very stupid in terms of his clearances, but yesterday the 2 bad ones he made were simply due to shit passes from Ashley and Cech. Also by far he was our best player going forward.

    Again could someone please explain to me why are we accommodating our  worst player this season – Lampard. His very presence in most games is akin to a huge black hole, slowing and sucking everything in its vicinity to new levels of mediocrity.

    Add to this lets play Torres alone in a 4-3-3 cause it has worked wonderfully all of this season.

    I would like to see something of this nature

                      Torres Sturridge
         ?                   Mata                 Bosingwa/Kalou
    Ashley/Bertrand  Terry Cahill       Ivan

    Justification – Torres to easily marked out. Sturridge looks increasingly likely to hand in a transfer request because yet again we refuse to play a striker where a striker should play and camera closeups showed us his opinion of Torres playing centre. Bosingwa – he is breathtakingly shit as a defender but has enough trickery to play in that position without causing catastrophic harm to the scoreline.

    Lastly lets play Kalou. Say what you want of his penchant for running down blind alleys he always was lucky enough to get or create a goal in such situations.

    • Anonymous


      You can’t compare Lamps and Luiz. Their objectives for the team are different (I don’t at all disagree that Lamps has been awful for too long).

      My point is that Luiz was (supposedly) bought as a defender, but is seemingly unable to defend. The occasions highlighted by MOTD last night show that he cannot do the job he is being paid for. I don’t buy all the “he’s a continental defender, much suited to playing DCM/ full back” theories. He didn’t play there yesterday. He was centre back, the pivotal role in our back line and he completely shirked the one responsibility bestowed on him – to prevent the opposition having chances on goal. Turning your back to the ball on the edge of the box, pulling your foot out of challenges and letting men wander past you is inexcusable. Cahill or JT may not have the ability on the ball that Luiz has, but there’s no way Everton would have been afforded the space they had yesterday with either of those two in the side.

      It’s basic stuff. Stuff that kids are taught. Yet we’re happy to dismiss the fundamentals as some sort of after-thought. He cannot defend, period.

      I thought I’d given up caring about CFC’s season long ago, but I’m angrier than ever this morning.

      • Ryan

        I know what you mean. Luiz looks better suited to playing alongside JT or even Cahill though. He is definitely still learning his trade. I thought one point was unfair on MOTD. Hansen criticized DL for being drawn into the ball for the second goal. I actually suspect that he moved out of the centre and went tight on Landon Donovan to cover Ashley Cole (who had given the ball away with a heavy touch and injured himself in the process). In a team where everybody knows what they are doing somebody should have dropped in and filled his position. DL looks like he has been affected by all the changes in the back-line of late. I don’t think Iva is particularly great at CB and it can’t help that he no longer plays there regularly. I’m not making excuses for Luiz but the whole defence was shit yesterday. Not just him. The whole team was shit actually from the little I’ve seen and heard.

  13. Anonymous


    I will grant you that yes at times Luiz would make u glad to be a bald man, but half his defenses lapses wouldn’t be as bad if we did not have Sideback A clearly knackered and the Sideback B vying with our gk for being the new face of Ritalin. Add to this tasty mix of the absolutely asinine backpasses from almost our entire midfield contingent. I’m surprised Branners simply stopped at a shoulder brush on Donavan. The flipside could have been GBH on one our own.
    The more I see AVB tactics the more I’m left to ponder where exactly did CA fail. We haven’t taken any progressive steps forward at all.
    People who should have been rested have done themselves injuries. Malouda, Lamps and Drogs remained untouchable for too long a period this season. The players waiting in the wings are still waiting. The team have gotten progressively worse in all the basic areas of the game. We persist with a lone striker and Drogs’ return will seal that. Every team in the PL can now effectively counter us. The Championship sides still haven’t figured out we are just basically a big bag of hot air. Sturridge is looking increasingly pissed about being marginalized. We bought another bench ornament. He hasn’t utilized Kalou, Ferreira or Bertrand effectively.  And if in the summer if we do sell Torres or Drogs or both, we have to put up with another 3 months of the same BS with a new striker. And he still hasn’t given Mata the authority to stamp his position as a number 10. Our best playmaker and we our rotating him to suit others. Basically I’m unsure of who the fuck we are building the team around.

    After we crash out of the FA and CL I would love to see how AVB will cope with the surplus senior players wanting to start. I am seriously hoping we finish out of the top 4 because the fucking CL has probably done more harm than any single player or manager could.

  14. DayTripper

    I managed to watch the whole game on Canal + (French TV) and go along with the others who were able to watch the game that this was a truly awful performance. AVB does not seem to be able to motivate the senior players but this cannot all be laid at his door. They are highly paid seasoned professionals who should at least find a large portion of their motivation from within themselves. I do not know what AVB is thinking but I would speculate that deep down he would really like to jettison most of these senior players but realises that the younger, keener players will not be either good enough, or experienced enough, to get the team through the next round of the Champions League, the front on which he is under most pressure to deliver. David Luiz, who has been much criticised, at least seemed to be trying (you can’t say the same of Bosingwa, Ashley Cole, Lampard and Malouda)

  15. DayTripper

    I believe Torres needs some serious help. Shevchenko was simply over the hill when we bought him but Torres is too young for that, I think. Some sophisticated psychological counselling might help. The practitioners of this kind of thing are often thought of as charlatans, but the situation with his confidence is now so desperate that anything is worth a try. Some say we should just sell him (eg back to At Madrid in part exchange for Falcao) but I don’t think he will agree to that. Aside from anything else (eg wages), I think he is a professional and he will not want to be seen to have failed.

  16. Musumba_anthony

    I think a section of us haven’t realized its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Torres to score and AVB to win anything, playing AVBs advocate at this juncture is more serious than defending Herr Goebbels for crimes against humanity, this type of deductive logic should be” loaned” out to progress in a reality check school of thought.
       AVB with all due respect has had 2 transfer windows to correct things I wonder what he will rebuild or attract if he ends up finishing 8th position, his failure to plan is his planned failure ,let’s be honest and stop building castles in the air, the emperor  has no clothes!! Just because we got stuck with a stripper doesn’t mean we have to make her the housewife, for better for worse I don’t think AVB has “it” in him.
    Clearly the ex chief opposition scout has not seen Torres has more yellow cards than goals for fifty million, and I don’t think he will.He substituted Mata for Lukaku I will not over emphasize!!!!My verdict is he should get the sack

    • Anonymous

      “playing AVBs advocate at this juncture is more serious than defending Herr Goebbels for crimes against humanity”
      Really? I mean really?

      Do fuck off there’s a good troll.  

      • Musumba_anthony

        clearly i cannot solve your thinking problems with the same kind of thinking you have used to create the very problems,be analytical broaden your thinking and take time to synthesize, don’t dwell too much on trivial issues,i respect your blogging pedigree make some football sense sir ,stop misusing the word troll and grow up,

  17. Anonymous

    Don’t think I can do better than the words of AVB afterwards to the media “one of our worst performances of the season..if not the worst”.

    Watching the 60-minute highlights on Sky was truly a dire experience. Would have been good though, if they’d trimmed some of the shots of Torres berating the referee at half-time about his turned-down penalty appeal and the slow motion replays of the tackle he finally got booked for, to actually give us a second look at the penalty incident from other than the real-time distant view we did get just to see if he had any case.

    MOTD, even though we were surprisingly high in the running order, omitted the matter entirely.

    There again like today’s papers they needed to make space for all the Handshake-gate guff and anointing of King ‘Arry.

    On ‘Onest ‘Arry’s straight-talking approach it was good to see The Observer’s “Said & Done” column get ahead of the curve on the backlash which will come generally eventually with a quick summary of some of his best efforts over the last decade:


    See the second item for the details.

  18. Ryan

    Anyone have an opinion on AVB’s “I take full responsibility for the defeat”/”I will reflect hard with my technical staff on my decision making”?

    Do we think he is talking about team selection, formation, tactics, his faith in the current squad, his ability to motivate certain players or all of the above?

    I hope when he reflects that he realises that we haven’t played well for some time. It seems that all the changes of manager/backroom staff over the last few years are finally coming home to roost. Not many clubs manage to have consistent success whilst continually chopping and changing the manager. We have had relative success despite all the “activity” at the club. I completely understand the anger and frustration towards the manager. He hasn’t had any really positive impact yet. As he admitted himself he hasn’t improved us. I ve seen lots of quotes about last season’s points tally and this season’s. It’s important to remember that last season saw the manager sacked. The season was considered a failure both in terms of performances and results. So AVB would hopefully be smart enough to realise that the standards of last season are not what he is supposed to be emulating.

    I suspect that AVB has 13 PL games (any extra FA Cup/CL games will be a bonus at this stage) to save his job. In those 13 we will face City (A), Spurs (H), Newcastle (H), Arsenal (A), Liverpool (A). He needs to achieve not just positive results but positive performances too.

    It occurred to me yesterday that RA and AVB’s “short and accurate” conversations may have included some ultimatums. The most obvious being “fail to finish in the top 4 and you are sacked”. I genuinely do not believe that RA will accept 5th, 6th or even 7th place. If somebody had said to him when he appointed AVB that the season would turn out to be so traumatic I think he would’ve given Hiddink the job. In other words I don’t think he was expecting such a bad season. His expectations may be unrealistic but they are the reality for any manager taking on the Chelsea job. To be fair I don’t believe that AVB thought this season would be so bad either. If he had known how poor we would be I think he would’ve made wholesale changes. He made an error of judgement before a ball had even been kicked in the PL. The question now is whether he will be given the opportunity to right those wrongs this summer. That opportunity rests on his ability to motivate the current squad. It will almost certainly be the last stand for many of them. If AVB is dismissed after we have played Blackburn at SB on May 13th he definitely won’t be the only one being shown the door.

    Prepare for Transition 2.0.

      • Ryan

        So would you say (and don’t take this wrong, it is meant genuinely) Porto and Academica’s success was achieved inspite of his ineptitude? Or is the PL level just a step too far too soon? Is he just a bad fit for us? How has he gone from being one of managements brightest prospects to apparently not having a clue? Do you really think it’s all his fault? I’m not saying I disagree with you. Something obviously hasn’t clicked this year.

        • PeteW

          I’d say managing Porto and managing Academica in a tinpot league are completely different to what he has to do at Chelsea. I’m sure he’s not a bad manager, but due to inexperience and arrogance he got off to a very bad start here and has never recovered. He may do so given time, but he could also drive us out of the Champions League places, which is outrageous given the money spent in the last year and the talent at his disposal.

          Tactically, he was quickly exposed as inept and then tried to blame the players for not understanding his ‘system’ even though his system was shit and unsuitable. He acted like a tough guy with Lampard and Kalou while letting Luiz and Bosingwa get away with consistent ineptitude, thus driving a division into the squad between the different groups that have hitherto got on very well no matter who is in charge. Be a tough guy, but be fair – basic rule of management. I called it straight away, anything else is bullying and nobody likes a bully.The players almost certainly would have sniffed this out very early as they have served under some of the best managers around, and his poor treatment of them (and also his clear favouritism towards Portuguese and Spanish speakers) would have not helped his cause. Inevitably, performances slackened. Basically, it all went wrong in the first couple of months- the rest has been a slow unravelling and I genuinely don’t see what he can do to get it back other than ship the whole lot out and start again – but given he’s been so crap at managing this lot, why on earth should we give him license to do that? ‘I broke this team, Roman, can I have another one please?’Perhaps the players should continue giving 100% in all situations, no matter how badly they are being managed, but if that was the case, what would be the point in being a good manager. It’s his job to get the best out of the players. If, for whatever reason, he isn’t doing that, then he is failing.What do we do next? Well, I wouldn’t start from here…

      • Anonymous

        Of course, the players, bless their cotton socks, are nothing to do with it. I mean who’d want any display of professionalism from people on £80k per week. 
        I mean just how unreasonable of us mere fans to expect players wearing the shirt to try and put a decent shift in and play for us. or for the club, the people who pay them this money. 

        I think we’re all utterly unreasonable for not understanding why these delicate flowers can’t put their differences with the manager to one side and maybe do what’s best for the …..errr….club. I just wish some of them had the approach and intelligence of Nico who sensed the change in the wind and left us professionally and maturely.

        Lets sack AVB and let the rest of the world know how great these players are and that ultimately they wield the real power within the club.  So great they actually have the power of employment over anyone bought in to try and help them win things. it’s just unreasonable for any of us to think maybe they’ve got a bit comfortable. And I’m not just referring to the ‘untouchables’ here. Meireles has fallen off a cliff in performance terms. Luiz is one of 5.5 players who look decent at the moment, along with Romeu, Ivan, Mata and Ramires. The 0.5 is Cahill based on his sturdy showing last week. Torres seems lost, frightened and maybe mentally shot (as referred to earlier). He was good in recent games but yesterday. Ashley Cole is in what seems terminal physical and mental decline. Studge seems afflicted by his own sense of grievance at not being the main striker (although with Torres in drought it’s hard to blame him. Bosingwa is where we thought, utter arse-gravy unless played out of position where he transforms into a half decent player. Malouda, an utter stinker and rotter to boot! Cech now unchallenged and sloppy. JT under increasing pressure from all corners which must or will have an effect. Lampard, lost yesterday and slowing dramatically and showing in excruciating detail why he is no Captain. Essien on the road to recovery but it’s questionable if he’ll get back to where he was. That’s the flippant rant over Pete. But the point is there. We cannot keep defending the players and absolving them of blame. Now to be honest AVB is stretching even my faith here, but sacking him says what to the world? Yet another managerial appointment cock up? Players decide who coaches them? It’s their way or the highway? What I suspect is that a few of them known their days are numbered, and as such they just can’t be arsed. And for AVB or anybody it’s next to impossible to motivate people who know they’re on their way out. It happens in any industry……just ask anyone on the compulsory 90 day redundancy notice……motivated? Of course not. Could anyone make any difference to players who know that? I doubt it, and certainly Carlo had problems motivating them last year. Of course they loved Carlo…but that’s because they could pull his strings and they knew it. However AVB is guilty as charged with one thing. Allowing the under-performers to carry on. We’ve had chances to blood some youngsters, Pompey springs to mind, yesterday as well. But instead we loaned some out, Kakuta, PVA and Josh notably. We buy Kevin the Brown but leave him in situ. We buy Cahill and bench him. Ryan Bertrand is given a Bruma like message when Ash is suspended, the same as Carlo did vs Sunderland at home last year by picking Ferreira instad of Bruma at centre back with disastrous results. That message is simple…no matter how shit the senior players are they will always get chosen ahead of you. But there is also the valid point that how do players so good 2 years ago suddenly become so bad last year and then decline further this year? I have another theory. A simple one. It’s a blend of old and new. And just as you find with drinks, certain foods, certain bands, certain acting ensembles, it just doesn’t work. There’s some merit to to the maxim Out with the old, in with the new as opposed to lets mix old and new and see how it goes, and if it’s bad let’s flounder about until we do get it right.A new broom could and maybe should have swept clean, but in this case we seem to have only changed the handle and not the brush.  

        • PeteW

          Sorry tony, started reading but zoned out. Tired of people blaming the players, who have won us so much, when they are so painfully clearly being mismanaged and demotivated by an overemployed, overpromoted bank clerk. 

          • Anonymous

            Shame, because had you read on you’d see that I don’t absolve AVB of blame. But the players do have some responsibility here and I’m amazed at what is looking like your utter blind faith in them, despite the inevitability of aging, comfort etc. 

            My analogy would be this…..when an airliner comes down history has shown that it’s never a single catastrophic failure, but a number of failures which may well lead to that final catastrophic moment. Otherwise it would all be pilot error. Sometimes the crew don’t play their part. Sometimes the maintenance teams don’t play their part. Sometimes the shareholders want costs cut and safety things get overlooked. Sometimes it’s sadly just malicious acts that were preventable under greater or even just normal vigilance. 

            The players are at fault, some old and some new. The manager is at fault for indecisiveness, naivety, and indulging under-performers. RA, Buck, Gourley et al are also in the fault mix due to their indulgence of a win at all costs, money can fix things, high pressure, short term thinking mentality. The press have an influence with lies and twisted meanings and stoking up non-stories to sell newsprint. And then us, the fans, with our ridiculously excessive culture of success expectation by right instyead of earning it. We use the twitterverse, the blogosphere, the podverse to chuck opinions around and lord our knowledge over others in an attempt to humilate them into submission, or to hurl abuse at honest opinion, or to insult and abuse players based on any criteria we see fit.Not only can we see the problems, we’re fucking part of it. 

            Listen to the podcast Pete, where I admit my fickle and hypocritical nature and issue an apology for being part of the bandwagon that wanted Ancelotti out. He deserved another year but in my view we’d be the same now as then. It’s inexcusable to say he didn’t play his part in thye decline. He stood by and meekly accepted the departure of his coach. He indulged the constant underperforming of certain ‘untouchable’ players. 

            It was his team that turned in the lousy and possibly worst ever performance I’ve seen from us at old Trafford. 

            This didn’t start under AVB or under Carlo. It started the minute Jose left. It held for a while under Avram (maybe through no input from him) until Spurs beat us in the final, and United mugged us in the CL. Scolari saw it first and incurred the wrath of the senior player group (don’t deny it, this is well documented). Player power won out there. 

            Hiddink was a good short term option  but not the long term solution (too old). As I said earlier on the post you decided to zone out of, perhaps this group, this blend of players doesn’t work. It’s an opera quartet trying to sing Led Zeppelin. It’s a rap segment in a Marvin Gaye classic. It’s Mint Chocolate. It’s oil and water. it just doesn’t mix.

            Perhaps it’s like the coalition view of the state of the economy. We all made hay whilst the sun shined with cheap loans and easy credit and the banks merely fulfilled our desires. But the truth is they were as irresponsible as the consumer and the government.

            It’s a huge shit sandwich and we’re all having to take a bite. 

          • PeteW

            There’s a lot of sense here, although disagree with some fundamentals regarding CA, obviously, but still not approaching my central question – why is AVB not getting anywhere near enough out of the players at his disposal, and what has he done to make you believe he can rebuild the team?

          • Anonymous

            Agree it’s a mystery after a bright start. It comes to my point about indulging the under-performance culture. 

            Interesting that today Frank and Petr have done a ‘mea culpa’ piece regarding the players. Oddly almost immediately after a visit yesterday to Cobham from RA after the players were rightfully hauled in on their day off. 

            I get the impression that RA might be a tad agitated across the whole environment, players, coach, board etc…..

            And as for CA, well I think we’ve agreed we disagree over that. On the podcast I mention the 3-0 win over Utd to clinch the second title – watching it on Youtube, and seeing the pace of our team makes me quite tearful. One thing we’ve agreed on across the board on The Podding Shed was the sheer ponderous and lumbering build up of our attack these days. And that’s been there since pre-CA as well. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes, my take on it is simple Ryan. It’s an admirable but mis-guided attempt to divert the flak from the players. 

      My faith in AVB is wavering but I think sacking would be wrong. 

      We will end up with Rafa, mark my words. And the fact that AVB’s floundering is making me think that’s a good thing is deeply worrying and a sign of my own decaying mental health perhaps. 

      • Ryan

        I actually don’t want AVB sacked. I would say none of us are in a particularly good position to judge his abilities as a manager. It worries me though when he persists with players that might end up costing him his job. Not when he has a choice (Bosingwa at RB yesterday for example). Same goes for giving the younger players a chance as you mentioned.

        In a sense I’m glad we’re getting the results we deserve. It means that (hopefully) AVB will have to make drastic changes this summer.

        I know what you’re saying about deflecting blame from the players but I think his disgust at the performance was pretty evident. That’s why I assumed the “reflect hard on my decision making” quote may have been directed at the players/team selection and his faith in his squad. I imagine he is having a bloody good think tonight about why we’re failing and what/who needs to change.

  19. bluebayou

    Don’t forget the crippling injury crisis that afflicted the team in late
    autumn last season. That’s a factor that seems too often forgotten when
    dismissing Carlo’s management last year and when comparing it to this season.


    • PeteW

      Carlo also  began the season with a weakened squad after Ballack, Cole, Deco and Carvalho (plus a load  of kids) were shipped  out AND had his assistant sacked from under him. Whole seas on was sabotage from above. I don’t believe he ever lost the players support, though. We totally cocked that one up, and it wasn’t the evil players to blame, it was Buck, Gourlay and Abramovich. 

  20. Cunningplan

    What do we want? yet another managerial merry go round, or do we stay patient and give the guy some time. It’s become quite evident that fans, and not just us, want instant gratification, look at at Steve Kean’s predicament at Blackburn, the fans don’t want him, but he appears to be turning their fortunes around, only time will tell if he succeeds.

    If AVB goes, who the hell do we get, or what will we get, any manager worth his salt won’t touch us with a barge pole, unless of course they want a huge salary, and generous compensation package.

    • Ryan

      RA can sack me any time he wants if the price is right!

      We’ll just have to suffer for another 13 PL games and see what AVB does in the summer.

      • Ryan

        Let us know when it’s up. Thoroughly enjoyed last week’s edition. Looking forward to this week’s installment!

      • Cunningplan

        “I think we cover this off quite nicely in this weeks edition of The Podding Shed!!!!”

        Yes you did, Tony, and I certainly agree with the reasons you all dicussed. The only thing that is now playing on my mind, and I may get shot down for even mentioning it, but it’s the situation that’s unfolding at Madrid.

        If the stories coming out of Spain are true, then we have someone who’s going to be available this summer. The way I feel with regards JM is this, if you want to use the analogy of the ex-girlfriend, you may have dumped her and moved on, but you don’t want anyone else to have her.

        If he does come back to England then I don’t want him going to any other PL team, certainly not in Manchester, or heaven forbid Spurs, because I think we all know what the probable outcome would be. His team are currently ten points clear in La Liga, and he look odds on to claim yet another title to his tally in  different countries. I know there are a few games to go, but I can’t see any JM team throwing away that sort of lead.

        So we have a situation where a man with a proven track record, with yet even more experience gained as a manager since leaving us, possibly available in the summer. I know we’ve touched on similar discussions a few years back about him returning, and the consensus was at the time was, we should move on and forget it, but has the situation now changed for us to consider it?

        A quick technical point/question on the podcast. I appreciate you are using Skype, but I found the volume levels between people vary, the only voice that appeared to be lower than everyone’s was Tony’s, as I had to adjust the volume level to hear him, can it be adjusted at source?

        I will add that I am an old git, and my hearing is not what it used to be.

        • Nick

          We’re on a steep learning curve, Clive. There is Gain Adjustment functionality in the software I use to process the audio file – I will have a play with it and see if I can improve the volume levels.

        • bluebayou

          “the only voice that appeared to be lower than everyone’s was Tony’s”

          That’s because, with him being from Hayes ‘n all, we quite naturally talk down to him…..;-)

  21. Anonymous

     @GrocerJack:disqus  Wholeheartedly concur.

    I agree it would be wrong to sack AVB and we must persist with him, but this result might just be the hammer to crack his delusions of the wonderful football we are playing. I did not see his post match interview but if he did say those things then I will admit he must have already taken firm root again in reality.

    @PeterWatts:disqus  I am referring to Lampard as our worst simply because he is occupying the most pivotal role for playmaking. If you look at our midfield, he is a waste of space where he currently gets slotted. He displaces Mata and subsequently cannot contribute or influence anything. I believe Branners would have been better off with the armband. Have you noticed in the recent games where he has started, we get off to a snail slow start in mid. There is no urgency, no leadership, nothing. It takes us 45 mins to get some sort of flow going . He suffers from the same malaise that has affected Torres, the only difference being while Torres is ultimately replaceable our playmaker has to be a constant. And still you rate Luiz, Cole and Torres as worse off than Lamps. Luiz seems to be the only one wanting to actually initiate something, Cole is fucked thanks to the brilliant way all of our recent managers never gave him a proper regiment of rest, and Torres I grant you is utter shit at the moment in front of goal, has still has contributed more in the last few games then Lamps. Sure Lamps scored a few goals and coasted after that but how long can u defend this guy who has played like shit since last season. Barring his intervention on Branners behalf in the Donovan incident and his awesome attempt that led to the first goal why are we defending him. Either start him as a sub or bench him. The negative impact he has far outweighs the benefits. The blame also lies with the manager. AVB should have moved him to a wing role or not played him and Mireles at the same time. They both offer little when played together. Still I would hate to be the manager. The permutations of utter cunterry our players are capable of would baffle even the most enlightened of minds, and they seem to get exponentially worse as our season progresses. Frankly its evident, partly as GJ says they know they will be sold. the other half banking on his getting the sack. If its the latter that figures in their thinking then please bench Lamps, Malouda and Drogs (if he persists in acting like a diva on his return) for the rest of the season. We will have to endure with Torres, Mireles (Liverpool might shafted us yet again 🙂 ), Bosingwa (I retch) and Cech till the next transfer window.

    Like to add that while I would have loved to see Josh and Bryune play, the former suffered a nasty knock in one game which is why I can see managers are cautious of blooding youngsters and latter was most likely sold with that condition in his contract. However as to why Bertrand is still being shafted remains an utter mystery. I firmly believe there is still more crap to come, and hopefully AVB gets a quick grasp else I fear RA may sack him. Still finishing out of the top 4 and not playing the CL does have a nice ring to it.

    • PeteW

      How many Premier League games did we win when Lampard was injured? How many winning goals had Lampard contributed in the games previous to that? Come back when you have done your workings.

    • Fuzzy Dunlop

      How can you say Lampard is contributing nothing?  Fair enough he, along with just about everyone else, was poor on Saturday, but that was his first game back from injury, and no doubt, due to poor results whilst he’s been injured, he’s been rushed back too soon, but in the previous 2 games before he got injured he scored the winning goal in both games and is our top scorer.  How that adds up to “cannot contribute or influence anything” I don’t know.  Winning goals tend to have quite a big influence on games in my book.

  22. Anonymous

    @PeterWatts:disqus Umm so AVB is the main reason Lamps got demotivated and is generally poor this year. Last year I think a majority of us cried out for his return, me included, and when he did he became anonymous after a few decent showings. I don’t think his performance last year was bad enough to warrant a benching, but this year its all together different. I’m curious as to how long you warrant Lamps needs to recover, so far he
    been given enough chances to be a driving force in the midfield but has
    failed to do it. Lets face it a majority of players are in decline, and
    to mollycoddle them at the expense of another few months then more for
    the next season is bloody stupid. We are up proverbial shit creek,
    unfortunately alot of good players have been found wanting.

    The winning goals statement is dubious at best. By that virtue Kalou should have been nominated man of the year when we won the double, cause I remember him scoring from nowhere in one game that we had no chance of winning.  I agree with you AVB has fucked up big time, but I am in favor of benching players over sacking another manager yet again. In all honesty had CA been given another year I’m curious as to who would have made it to the chopping block.

    • PeteW

      I’m, not going into detail cos we clearly disagree, but Lampard is in my view by no means our worst player and has contributed to the team at least in the form of some crucial winning goals, which is more than most of our other midfielders and strikers can claim. As scapegoats go, he’s a pretty poor choice.

      If we have a better replacement at hand, however, we should certainly play him. Any suggestions?But given the fact the entire team stinks – back to front, young and old, new and old guard, defensively and attackingly, in organisation and motivation – I’d suggest our problems do not hinge on the performance or otherwise of any single individual player, but rather the man who picks, trains and is supposed to inspire them.

    • Fuzzy Dunlop

      I think you’ll Lampard has scored the winning goal in 4 of our last 6 (league) victories, including all of the last 3. That cannot be dismissed as irrelevant.  He’s our top scorer.  We need him in the team.

  23. PeteW

    My argument here is pretty consistent  – if we have better players, we should pick them; if we don’t, we should get  the most out of the ones we have. 
    AVB has failed on both counts. 
    And what has he done for us to suggest he will get it right?

  24. Der_Kaiser

    I see the dictionary swallower has been let out again.  As dull as he was all those years ago.

    Didn’t see the game, but sounds like things are pretty desperate.  The major concern is that if Roman removes AVB, where we go from here is completely unclear.  I simply don’t trust anyone at the club to make decisions they will stick by – the current situation is mostly a mess of Roman’s making and another sacking and huge compensation deal will only exacerbate matters.  Any belief that hiring Hiddink for 5 months or Capello in the longer term is going to solve things is sadly misplaced.

    Dark days ahead, I fear.  Birmingham and Napoli will dictate whether our season ends in February, closely followed by AVB’s career.

  25. Anonymous

    @PeterWatts:disqus  My suggestion would be this – either build the team around Mata. Lamps or the striker. AVB has to be firm on one. We are playing a formation fashioned for Drogs screwing Torrres and Strurridge in the process. If Lamps is playing Mata gets displaced, and if Mireles is thrown in Lamps becomes downright anonymous. Seriously this a conundrum made worse if you throw in Ramires/Essien as well. My point being what is Lampard’s role and has the manger bothered to define it.

    @780aec393ed880fe2d1c56082d349299:disqus I’ll give you Wolves, Sunderland he was lucky but my point isn’t about him scoring, its about him taking command of the midfield and initiating anything. He stands out in the QPR game and after that I would love anyone to tell me what the hell happened. I mean compare Branners in that match and he was chewing out Cech at one point. Lamps just went with the flow. I may be biased cause being in India I can only comment on what is shown on my TV. And the only thing that kept going through my head is what is he doing.

  26. Ryan

    Couple of points on the blend of the team which Tony mentioned. I think more specifically the balance or blend of the midfield is wrong. This is a bit simplistic but breakdown our forwards/midfielders into two groups “providers” and “scorers” you’ll probably find that we have plenty of players whose primary game is based on scoring goals Malouda, Lampard, Ramires, Sturridge and just Mata that can create. I’d be fascinated to see how many assists some of those players actually have. As far as I know Torres and Mata are the only two that have a decent number. I’m not defending Torres’ inability to score but we’re hardly creating many clearcut chances for him. I mean we could ditch Nando in the summer and still be having the same problem with Falcao, Cavani, Llorente or whoever.

    I enjoyed the podcast again lads and am looking forward to next week’s considerably more than I’m looking forward to the Birmingham game.

  27. Ryan

    Also apparently AVB tore a strip off the players after getting them in on their day off. Abramovich let the players know that AVB has his full backing and that he was responsible for his appointment last summer and is determined to back his judgement. All this according to The Mirror’s John Cross. Fuck knows how he knows but if he is to be believed some of the players gave as good as they got regarding tactics, man management and team selection! So something for everyone there.

    Let’s hope this provides the “emotionally motivated stimuli” (as AVB calls it) to stop them playing like a “shower of cunts” (not sure AVB has learnt this one yet, unfortunately). It might even stop him picking some of the serial offenders. We’ll see soon enough anyway.

    Hazard claims he might be interested in joining Spurs. Presumably no one has told him about their wage structure! Eden Hazard has also claimed to be interested in joining just about every other half-decent PL club too, so no need to read too much into that.

  28. Benjami

    We need a very strong finish to the season to calm every ones nerves and remind people that we are still within the top 3, not struggling for a top 4/5 finish.

    This is a massive ask as things currently are right now… 🙁

    I hope this “John Cross” is right because I would love to see RA back AVB, however we will see if a few more results don’t start going our way very fast.

    The finger is twitching towards that button, and only a fool couldn’t see that right now.

    I hope we change to a 4-2-3-1 counter-attacking side for a few games, try it out this weekend and see what happens.

    Bertrand (Cole injured?) – Terry – Cahill – Ivan   [Changed my mind re defence from my first post]

    Essien – Luiz (lets just try him there at least once, or Romeu)

    Sturridge Mata Ramires


    Subs: Lamps, Malouda (Drogba?) Meireles, Bosingwa, Lukaku, Romeu/Luiz, Kalou

    At least the bench looks like it gives AVB the options to change things.

    If we concede goals at the same rate as we have been then we have serious issues with this setup.

    I would emphasise to Sturridge, Mata and Ramires there main aim should be to move the ball from defence to attacking as fast as possible.

  29. NorthernVA

    I reckon that most are coming around to how farcical the sacking of Ancelotti was…better late than never. It was ludicrous considering all the outside factors. It was incredible that Carlo and the players were even able to arrive in Manchester last season 3 points off the pace. Who knows how it turns out if Luiz hadn’t gifted them that goal in the first 36 seconds.

    Sacking Wilkins made no sense whatsoever. I guess the board felt things were going a little to swimmingly. Tony, Carlo has stated recently that he did consider walking out after Ray got axed. However, he felt he owed it to the players to stick around. He also pointed out that he had a responsibility to the other coaches on his staff. I don’t believe this defines the characteristics of a weak man. 

    Also he was not responsible for the transfer strategy or which players club decided to renew. He wanted Ballack to return but was overruled on that decision. Doubt that he felt the purchase of Torres was necessary. I remember when his was asked about the potential purchase months prior he made a point of saying Torres was a good player but he would rather have the club develop their own Torres i.e. Borini (has now scored as many goals for the Roma first team in 12 games as Torres has done in over 12 months). Who failed to settle the contract dispute with Borini, Carlo or the board. Judging by the way Borini thanked him for helping him grow up and his advice we can only guess.

    The Barcelona technical director said they would never have made the Torres deal. This coming from the club who acquired Ibrahimovic by sending 40 million euro and Samuel Eto’o to Milan. That deal has completely bogged down two successive managers. Imagine if they would have addressed the need at the time which was replacing the midfield players who left the previous summer. Especially since the problem which was screaming out at the time due to injuries. Who knows maybe it’s possible that money was being set aside for Carlo and AVB’s respective buyouts.

    No one can blame AVB for Torres’s inability to grab the bull by the horns. That is solely up to him. All I kept hearing is that this will be the month where he comes good. Drogba away in Africa so the pressure would be off since he would know that it is his team. He has left about as much an impression over these past weeks as a three inch pecker in Jenna Jameson’s twat. 

    Face facts when both managers decided to drop him they weren’t being mean but rather merciful. We have a marque purchase with the mental fragility of a valium addicted housewife. How are Buck and Gourlay still employed? There have been just a continued series of senseless decisions by the board. In the final chapter of their novel, “How to Destroy a Quality Side,” they hire Jose’s former audio visual geek to come in and manage the club after one successful season at Porto. Credit to AVB it was their seventh trophy in the past nine seasons how he managed to win the league last year when so few of his predecessor’s failed will really remain one of life’s mysteries.
    So now after these past few months he finds himself in a bit of a precarious position. It appears he may have alienated a rather large portion of the dressing room. I’m not sure if that was the plan. The board has been whacking everyone else however they appear to created quite the self-inflicted wound.  You have a group of players who have no confidence in the manager who would probably rather be anywhere else at the moment. However essentially AVB needs to draw out the best qualities of many of the players he was sent to phase out. You couldn’t make this sh*t up.  

  30. Musumba_anthony

     “Troll slurring fc” have not yet realized that AVB was part  of Jose’s management and he knows majority of the spine of our team, in fact technically his stay in the club is slightly longer than Carlo ancelottis,so no excuses!!!! he should be getting the results!!! he has worked with the same set of players previously,which is supposed to work to his advantage.
     I dont buy the deadwood hogwash, Sir Alex is getting the best from the likes of Scholes and Giggs their experience is turning out to be invaluable,  Jose won CL with an aging Inter, funny enough the incoming managers are unable to motivate the team simply because the managers themselves are of mediocre quality .
    lest we forget, initially, AVB said he does not need to sign, what project is he working on then?? 

  31. Anonymous

    Congratulations to the chaps on another interesting podcast discussion.

    I wonder if I’m the only Chelsea fan who has not clamoured for the sacking of any of our managers since the appointment of Hoddle in the early 90’s. Jeez, I was even willing to give Big Phil at least 1 whole season before chopping him on the basis that we surely thought he had significant qualities if we paid a shed load of money to get him and sacking managers was in danger of becoming an annual event – no change there, then.

    Of course, I exclude Uncle Avram from this. He was always just a jokey throw-back to Ken Bates’ habit of appointing chancer cronies as long as they were docile and I would happily have seen him sacked on day 1.

    BB’s jokey reference to the remnants of blood in a dark corridor under the Goodison stands marking Carlo’s demise reminded me that one of the TV commentators referred to this at the weekend too [without the blood bit].

    It strikes me that this is one of those stories that didn’t even need endless repetition to become accepted fact. The official club website’s denial at the time was generally rejected with the old Mandy Rice-Davies “well, they would say that wouldn’t they” attitude. Do we have any evidence to back the story, though? Now that Carlo has started talking about his Chelsea days, has he confirmed or denied this yet?

    P.S. I am concerned to note that at some points of the podcast JD’s voice sounds worryingly like Angus Deayton. Watch out for that sad decline into drugs & hookers scandals, followed by feebly, contrived radio panel shows and BBC3 comedies 😉

  32. Der_Kaiser

    The simple fact is that irrespective of whether previous managers should have been given more time, or whether this one needs to go, this club seems destined to keep repeating the mistakes of the past ad infinitum.  It’s becoming more tragic by the week – all I keep reading elsewhere is ‘Hiddink until the summer and then Jose / Guardiola / Moyes (yes, you read that right) or whichever other name that comes into their heads.  It’s so delusional as to be embarrassing – I’ve actually read a guy who is usually pretty sensible calling for Moyes because ‘a lot of league winning managers have come from Scotland’.  Sheer bloody genius.

    Of course, unless the next manager fills the team with sprightly 20 year olds, is 10 points clear in PL and storming all-comers in Europe (ha!) after 20 games, the moaning will start again.  We are well on the way to getting the club we deserve, I’m afraid.

  33. Anonymous

    I have listened to podcast and really liked a discussion. To add my tuppence to it: I sometimes think that AVB decisions made to show to club hierarchy how inadequate our team is, which is of course not true. Now regarding our players. Right now we haven’t got team we have got a blanket sawed from different pieces. 
    Some people say that AVB is not pragmatic enough. Hmmm was CA pragmatic enough last season? AVB has already compromised a lot in terms of style, if you compare what is going on right now to the starting games.  

    • PeteW

      When we comparing Carlo and AVB, let’s not forget Carlo actually finished second with a significantly weaker squad. He had to compromise after the fantastic football of his first season, but he got the results when the fish were down.

        • PeteW

          Well, it didn’t have Mata, Romeu, Luiz, Torres, Meireles or Lukaku. For half the season he only had three centre backs to choose from.
          Lampard was injured for the first significant time in his career, Drogba had malaria (but still played because we had no options), Sturridge was not ready – it was many, many times weaker in every position. Check out the bench for the games in December, full of ‘young talent’ that we have subsequently flogged for not being good enough. We’ve spent a fortune in the last 12 months rectifying the faults of the summer after we won the double, when Gourlay and Buck closed the purse. 

          Ludicrous to pretend last season’s squad was as good as this one – Mata alone makes it a massive improvement.

          • Anonymous

            I can accept your argument only in terms of Mata and marginally Romeu. Apart from it those were the problems which were created by CA him self; such as buying Torres and not using Sturridge. Drog this season on AFCN so it can be comparable with the last year malaria and even when he plays he still looks like malaria hasn’t left him. The differences are marginal PeteW, and one more thing Man City and Spurs didn’t peak last year, but they did this time and we are still in decline, partly because CA didn’t want (or couldn’t ) to reform.

          • PeteW

            Balderdash, obviously.

            City were always going to overtake us, but given the clear and big improvement in the squad (the introduction of young players, the increase in numbers, the vast sums expended), we should expect some improvement in the development, performance and progress of the squad. AVB inherited a squad that came second, had been improved to the tune of around 100m and is rapidly taking them out of the top four. 

            If you think that’s worth £30m, maybe there’s a bridge I can sell you.

          • Anonymous

            I think that purchase of Torres was not an improvement of squad, but just another liability and this alone worth 50 mil, if that is the bridge you are offering I prefer rope. I think that selling about 7 old players in CA days and not getting anything instead was CA’s stupidity in planning the squad and he didn’t have anyone to blame in it apart from himself. I think that purchase of Lukaku hasn’t got anything to do with AVB, simply because we were planning to buy him for the last two years at least. 
            It all sounds like old paraprosdokian: “I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.” 

          • bluebayou

            BM, you seemed to be overlooking a few salient facts in your haste to shovel the dirt into the hole where Ron “The Hitman” Gourlay dumped old Carlo.

            The distinct impression was given that Ancelotti was in charge of first team affairs only and that while he would indicate the players he wanted, Gourlay and co. would make the decisions. I think it’s quite widely accepted that Ron was very quick to play hard ball with Ballack and co. but omitted to get any replacements. Wasn’t the January purchase of Luiz and Torres caused by the lack of summer business? The story peddled at the time that Ancelotti was happy to see the squad trimmed with the emphasis on playing some youngsters was patently bollocks.

            Now as I understood it AVB was going to have a much wider role in the clubs affairs so to assign purchasing issues to Ancelotti and absolve AVB is clearly going against the roles they are supposed to have fulfilled.

            I’m quite willing to accept that AVB has not had the influence he wanted in player purchasing. But you then can’t lay the blame for Gourlay’s poor performance at Ancelotti’s door. If Ron had spent less time skulking in stairwells we might have had an opportunity to fill some of the gaps between the very young players and those getting to the latter part of their carreers.

            It is probably lost in the mists of time but the old “sources inside Chelsea” stories were undermining Carlo quite early during the first season in charge. The breakout in the second half of the season must have upset a few as the Double didn’t fit with the “story” some were trying to peddle. And the lack of purchasing, subsequent sacking of Butch and so-on could easily be spun into a campaign by certain parties to make sure he failed.

            I however, see it as more as a result of the in-fighting the patently infects the ranks below the owner as they all struggle to justify their positions. It is an infighting that means the club has to be in a constant state of flux in order for the lackeys to be seen to be doing something. Everything is short term so that immediate results can be used to justify your existence.

            It’s a management problem last seen destroying large parts of the western economy. It affects a lot more than football and is best summarised as “the gobby over-optimist who’s a borderline sociopath gets to the top while the people who can actually do the job wait below and try to ameliorate the worst of the damage”. There’s a whole literature on the subject in social sciences as I understand it.

            So it is no surprise to see AVB getting similar treatment that only exacerbates whatever shortcomings he has and whatever weaknesses there are in the footballing set-up.

            I’m not convinced by him at the moment, to be honest, but one things for sure, sticking with him, pulling together, toughing it out, taking short term pain for long term gain etc. etc is something completely alien to this club in recent years (yes Ken that includes you) and I wouldn’t bet on it changing any time soon.


          • Blue_MikeL

            I do agree with some of the points you make. 
            I believe that I wouldn’t say anything new and just repeat myself: CA didn’t try  to (or couldn’t)  reform anything. Was it due to luck of authority given to him, or luck of his abilities…. his reign at PSG will show. We had too many managers, hence players had to stick to something they know, something that works for them and it was TSO philosophy and TSO rules. This is why now they can’t accept even different training regime for too long they have seen different managers with different methods that don’t work. AVB came to this club to MAKE CHANGE, if anybody thinks that change will be made seamlessly he/she is living in different reality. Hence (this is my main point), to say that AVB has got better squad than CA and achieved less is blasphemy (or myopia). AVB is not pursuing immediate success he wants to reform and create right (in his view) process. CA wanted immediate success and didn’t change anything and that is the only thing I blame him for.       I completely agree with you in one thing HE (AVB) MUST STAY. As has been said in the podcast at least in order to finish the change and clear the place.

          • NorthernVA

            You had to bring up the magic beans! Now we’re talking of curses, Pandora’s box, and the Resurrection. I’m off to bathe in holy water. I will check you chaps next week…maybe!

  34. Anonymous

    Another excellent Podcast chaps. I particularly like the fact you used one of the old BBC sound effects LP during the first half!

    As far as AVB is concerned I’m not sure in my own head what the solution will be to all of this. I haven’t warmed to him but can’t be sure that the reason I don’t want him to be sacked is because we have sacked all the others and not because he is not good enough.

    As KJ pointed out, the seeds for all this were sown ages ago and we’d probably be in this situation whoever was in charge.

  35. Anonymous

    The expectation now must be (well, for me at least) that we’ll win nothing this season under AVB and the ‘names’ of previous managers legacies.

    So, let’s give him next season, and tell him there’s no expectation to do better than the current one as long as there’s a huge cull of the deadwood.

    I use the term, possibly not the best, but I’d wave a huge group of them goodbye and happily sit back and watch a CFC team / squad containing Josh, Lukaku, Kakuta, Bertrand, Bruma and others at least show a bit of desire and passion for the team, rather than another 90 minutes of lurching through the motions.

  36. Anonymous

    If we don’t qualify for the Champions League maybe we should go into administration, clear out all the financial dead wood, replace AVB and take another £30m hit, and get nice and clean for financial fair play.

  37. Anonymous

    I really enjoy the Good/Bad/Ugly segment of the podcast so I’ll do one myself.

    GOOD: Ryan Bertrand. The only good to come from the match, other than avoiding further embarrassment, was Ryan Bertrand finally finding time. Bertrand entered the match for the injured Ashley Cole and looked rather comfortable on the ball and in his distribution & delivery. He actually had the best cross into the box as it almost resulted in a goal. Though his defensive qualities were not truly tested, the “Young Ashley Cole” made an appearance which may see him in the match against Birmingham this weekend. This could give us some relief on the left side from Ashley Cole’s late tackles and questionable defending (match vs Liverpool mainly coming to mind) as we look to re-surge our current run of form.

    BAD: Jose Bosingwa. His form this season has been absolutely dreadful. The opposition has constantly found mounds of space behind him with ease, forcing the center halfs to basically play two roles. A fantastic example is our two matches at Loftus Road. When I think back to the first meeting, SWP was an absolute nuisance on the flank for Bos as he found space behind the defender which later resulted in a cheap tackle and red card for the Portuguese. In our second meeting, SWP was able to create little to nothing as Ivanovic shut down any play Wright-Phillips made on his side, ultimately resulting on Hughes switching SWP to Cole’s side. Bosingwa’s argument used to be that what he lacks defensively, he makes up going forward. Well unfortunately, the only “attacking” plays I see from Bos are terrible crosses straight to the center halves and a strange stutter over the ball that he then wastes and plays over the line for a goal kick. Something has to change (preferably put Ivanovic on the outside) because Lavezzi, Hamsik, and Cavani will tear up this “Swiss Cheese” defense next week.

    UGLY: Lack of Motivation? The Blues’ performance at Goodison Park was beyond anything I have ever witnessed. I don’t think the play was that poor when we were in danger of relegation to the Third Division. There was no energy, no passion, and just a general lack of motivation to even threaten Everton during entire 90 minutes. It just seemed slow.  Bosingwa’s marking goes without saying. Pienaar’s ability to dance over the ball and find his way around Bos just about sums up his season. Meireles has fallen off the grid. The only thing he offers Chelsea now is a high pass percentage. The only creativity (Mata) was subbed off when we needed him most. Even at two down, we had at least 3 players pushed back when we should have committed numbers forward to pull back a goal. Cech summed up the match best with his pass straight to a Toffees player in the second half. Lack of concentration, passion, and leadership.

  38. Anonymous

    @eaca4c2e31e2c54826bd5cae261d74d3:disqus If you had bothered to read what I was replying to, it would have been made clear I was not taking a potshot at Kalou, but making a sarcastic reply to Lamps match winning goals this season in the PL and it has been 3 matches in which it really mattered barring pens. I have always liked the guy and did not gleefully cheer when he was yanked. AVB’s treatment of him has been absolutely petty.

    I did however laugh myself silly in the Newcastle match when he scored by aiming the ball straight at Krul when everyone else did their level best to shoot around him and failed. Kalou has, no matter what you say of his football sense, the little luck that has eluded the entire team for most of this season when it comes to scoring goals.

     As for Lamps being a consummate professional let me also say my ass, in the same game when he was yanked for playing like utter shit he appeared utterly pissed when his number came up. In the recent podcast  I would agree if he is a professional he needs to man up and either tell the manager what is bothering him or step down and be content with a more reserved role.

  39. Cunningplan

    I detect a little mini bandwagon of AVB out from certain bloggers, but they haven’t suggested who should replace him. Personally I hope he’s given time, but if he does go, for me there’s only one guy I would have, and from my previous posts I think you know who that is.

    • PeteW

      No idea, who should replace him, and couldn’t give a fuck because even if the replacement wins the double he’ll be out in two years, and half 
      our fans won’t even bat an eyelid.

      • Cunningplan

        Can’t argue with that, and that’s why I mentioned previously, no manager worth his salt will touch us with a barge pole. On saying that, our insane get rid of them policy seems to have been reasonably successful trophy wise, certainly in comparison to Arsenal.

        So the general question is, would we tolerate 6 plus years without a trophy? no scrap that, some of us aren’t even prepared to go a season without one.

        We’re only slightly better run than Newcastle Utd, and the ghost of that madman Bates, still haunts the boardroom at the Bridge.

        Yes JD was right, we are certainly well on the way of getting the club we deserve.

      • Gleb

        Jose (and Roman’s initial cash injection) won us the double. And the CL final. Carlo, like all the other managers (sadly including – now – AVB), was just clever enough to realize there’s nothing to fix, YET. Carlo just did a very good job of milking everything that was left in Jose’s team. Then, when the “cow” was finally empty, he could do nothing and consequently lost his job. Then we found a young naive idealist and basically framed him. Now we’re laughing at him. All the while demanding change and transition but being utterly unable to bear the cost of it.

        I’m not saying CA is a bad manager or that AVB is not to blame. But surely you – die-hard Chelsea fans – of all obviously realize that whatever success this team has had over the past years is down to Jose and only him. It is his team. Those managers with enough experience and wit not to meddle with a winning formula achieved further success (CA, Hiddink, Avram :)) by doing a very good job indeed of “maintaining” the team and making very minor but clever adjustments. Those, on the other hand, who tried to change something – failed miserably.

        We’re cursed. Plain and simple. We’re cursed until every last one of Jose’s old (now literally) guard is gone (maybe including the chairman…). Until then there’s not a single living soul in the galaxy who is not doomed to failure as Chelsea manager.

        I admit, I was the one who wanted Carlo out the moment he got appointed and who wanted AVB in the moment… for ages. I still think there’s no one better than AVB to manage our club. It’s just that EVERYONE (including us, the fans, the board, the press) is doing EVERYTHING to sabotage his efforts.

        Let’s face it: our club needs to die completely to achieve resurrection and new heights. No one at Chelsea had enough brains to plan our future. They just assembled one of the best teams in the history of the game and sat on their asses, sacking people. We’re NOT Man United. We cannot – under any circumstances – do this seamlessly. Transition for Chelsea is going to be very very painful.

        If everyone at the club is so stupid, we – the fans – should be the only ones to realize how difficult it’s gonna be and get behind the best manager there is to oversee this transition, instead of laughing at him and savoring his every failure. He’s a “poor fool” who got the job at the worst possible time. Referring to the “curse”, he’s the fool who opened the box and let all the ghosts out. Carlo and Hiddink kept them in long enough. Scolari tried to smash the box with a hammer. Avram blissfully ignored the box. Only AVB was brave enough to accept this kind of challenge. But he – reasonably – hoped for everyone’s patience and support! Like it is in every other major European club. He couldn’t possibly expect to be left alone almost instantly in this endeavor. We are Chelsea’s only real hope now.

        I speak now of no allegiances and personal preferences. Love or hate AVB, Hiddink or Moyes, Lampard or Drogba, whatever you fancy and whatever you think – please get behind the manager. There’s simply no other way out if we wish to maintain our long-term success.

        P.S. Yet again let me remind you that the legendary Fergie made a shitload of mistakes during his first not one but THREE seasons. He’s still making them actually. Doesn’t matter now, though, does it? 😉

        • Blue_MikeL

          Amen, Gleb! 
          You couldn’t put it better!!! I really rest my case now, you said everything I was thinking about! 
          Players who still text to Jose; Lampard with ego size of the globe, Terry with his fucking out of the pitch bollocks, Malouda bloody lazy bum, Drogba, Bosingwa just name it!!! After that shame in Villa game Frank should shut up about his “brilliant” form! Wherever he is on the pitch we look like limping on four legs tortoise. Who is next? Malouda –  this guy should be placed in the reserve building in Cobham to stop his rotten influence on the first team.  
          They all have to be sold without any remorse, or placed to play for reserves for their sabotage antics!!!     

  40. bluebayou

    The relative squad strengths is an argument for a different day.

    What I have never understood with the Chelsea fanbase and the particular point you keep coming back to, is this insistence on perceiving Ancelotti as a failure on the basis of two seasons of football in which he won a Double in the first and secured Champions League football in a second while numerous factors (much discussed), some of which have carried over to this season, militated against him. And he did this while keeping the squad in a positive frame of mind.

    You accuse Ancelotti of wanting immediate success. Don’t you think the pressure to deliver was imposed on him as it is being imposed on the present incumbent? You don’t think CA changed anything? Or wasn’t capable of changing anything?  Don’t you think the style changed in his first season? Don’t you think that sacking a key member of his team might have had any effect on his plans for the team in the second season.

    Isn’t it the pressure to deliver results every season the reason the AVB seems to be sticking with the established players rather than risking youth? Isn’t this the same accusation levelled at Ancelotti, but justified by the perception that AC Milan had a permanently ageing squad?

    Do you seriously believe that he wasn’t hamstrung by the behaviour of those people in the club who clearly didn’t want him there? Or by the lack of player procurement.

    Of course he wasn’t perfect. But do you think the football they played towards the end of JM’s reign was particularly good? I don’t. Do I think he would have sorted it out? It is reasonable to assume so. All managers/coaches of some longevity have to change and reassess their tactics. They make mistakes. Even Fergie has. But it seems expectations for AVB shouldn’t involve seamless transition but somehow Ancelotti should have had it done and dusted by the time he left?

    In some way that has yet to emerge, CA may have been the architect of his own downfall by something he said or did, but to say he changed nothing when he basically had about a season and a half (maybe even less) before the knives were clearly in, and at the same time plead for AVB to be given time to bring change, is inconsistent to say the least.

    You want time to be given for the new man but are quite happy to dismiss the only Chelsea manager to win the domestic double in over 100 years as not deserving of additional time and support after one relatively “poor” season, suggests that like many it is a matter of personal like and dislike rather than proper footballing reasons. A case of who he wasn’t rather than who he was.

    You say Ancelotti might prove himself at PSG. Not entirely sure what the previous years have been about with him, if it isn’t proving himself as a capable coach at the top level.

    If you believe AVB is good for the club, that’s absolutely fine. While he’s the Chelsea manager he will have my support. I hope he can succeed. But I find it amazing the way you and other fans seem so comfortable with belittling a man who made a significant contribution to Chelsea while under the ridiculous pressure and politicking that are clearly causing AVB a lot of worry.


    As far as I’m concerned Carlo was doing fine. And if, as they also failed to do with JM, they’d stuck with a footballing man, worked with him and trusted his judgement and had some patience, who knows?

    By all means argue for keeping AVB but accentuate the positive rather than misrepresenting the record of his predecessor.

    Sorry to bang on but there’s been too much rubbishing of the man for my liking both when he was here and since he’s gone.

    • Blue_MikeL

      I am slightly puzzled were have you found in my comment that I say that CA is failure? Never said it and never will. Now regarding young players; AVB so far was the first manager who has got the balls to drop old guard and that is the change. Look how much antagonism from old guard he created by doing so.   

  41. Der_Kaiser

    Ancelotti was shafted, as is usually the case when Roman’s toadies see any kind of weakness in a manager.  He was treated dismally – we note a very conspicuous absence from this blog of late is an individual who slated him mercilessly the moment results started to turn and consequently hailed AVB as the second coming of Mourinho.

    How wrong you can be, eh?

    • Blue_MikeL

      Probably the last thing we need is the second arrival of TSO. AS I said in my post I don’t know why CA didn’t bring change: may be he was shafted and didn’t get enough power to do so, may be he was not able to do it. I want to see what he do in PSG. They brought him in order to change the things, so let’s see what he can do.

      • Der_Kaiser

        As has already been covered in many posts on here, whether you choose to acknowledge them or not, CA was hardly given the chance and the squad he had was considerably weakened which limited his options somewhat.  What he does at PSG or anywhere else is pretty much an irrelevance; the circumstances that faced him here last season were far from ideal.

  42. Blue_MikeL

    tonight papers are talking about senior Chelsea players demanding return of Guus Hiddink. I don’t know whether it is true or not, but if it is it is really bad. So, if Guus Hiddink comes back Lampard will not lose ball like he did against Aston Villa, for instance. Bosingwa will start to throw proper out balls and Maulouda all over sudden will find his form and stop being lazy fuck! 
    All those who are actually the reason for our current troubles trying to tell the manager what to do! 

  43. mark_25

    Following Arsenal’s capitulation the weight of responsibility to fly the flag now rests on our shoulders. 

    I’m undecided who will be first to get knocked out of Europe, us or Greece.

  44. Paulite

    A lot of pixels have been spent on this very interesting debate
    and I want to bring another perspective. Given this really good piece linked
    below –


    What would an AVB sacking mean? 
    What would it mean to not
    qualify for the champions league mean?

    in purely financial terms?
    items or the cost of sacking coaches: This past year exceptional items
    cost us 42mn and contributed extensively to the Chelsea loss. Most of this was coaching
    staff related. Assume AVB is on 5 mn a year and on a 3 year contract and we are
    looking at another 15mn expense if he is sacked. 
    League income: Champion’s league income contributed 42mn this past year.
    Not qualifying implies a massive revenue loss which is only slightly mitigated
    by an approx 6mn income from UEFA cup. So a net loss of 35-36mn if we do not
    qualify for the champions league. 
    revenue and merit payments: If Chelsea don’t finish in the top 4 we
    face a further revenue loss that we may not be broadcast as much and earn lower
    merit payments for finishing 5th. This could be a further 2-4 mn hit. 

    So here are some potential financial
    implications –

    – An AVB sacking would imply roughly
    15mn expense or so now + an additional 3 mn for a new manager’s 1 year contract
    (assume it’s a temporary fix).

    – If the club sticks with AVB and do
    not qualify for the champions league that means a 35-36 mn loss + 2-4 mn loss
    (domestic payments) or upto 40mn loss.

    – And of course, if the club sacks
    AVB after we fail to qualify for the champion’s league the figure becomes 55mn.

    Now of course if we were able to
    raise revenue to mitigate the above suddenly then it would not be a problem.
    But based on the ‘Swissramble’ post analysis a few things are clear – 

    4.      Player sales contributed 18mn and since most of
    our big players are on the final years it’s unlikely that we are going to
    garner much revenue here. Even if we were to flog a few players – revenue would
    not be more than 10mn (avg 13 mn in the past 4 years). This would of course go
    up to almost 30mn if Torres is let go off for what is the commonly estimated
    flog sale price of 20 mn on this blog. (BTW Torres was one of the top shirt
    sellers when he was at Liverpool globally and clearly his form has meant that
    Chelsea have not benefitted from that…evident through ‘no increase’ in commercial
    income). While we are likely to reinforce with new players – amortization will
    imply that in balance we probably will not be hit with too much of a loss in
    one year i.e. even if we were to spend 50mn on player purchases for 5 year
    contracts we would be looking at zero revenues (without a Torres flog). So
    assuming no Torres flog, we buy reasonably well and let go off the deadwood we
    may have minimal impact on finances i.e. zero income. 
    Player sales and end of contracts also of course
    imply a reduction in the wage bill and the Drogba, Kalou, Bosingwa, Ferriera,
    Anelka, Alex, Malouda removals would decrease wage bills by 20-24 mn a year and
    we don’t expect new arrivals to earn the same. Assuming Torres too goes that
    could go upto 30mn. Assuming new arrivals are on wages half of that we are
    looking at a 10-15mn revenue gain to mitigate a 40 mn loss of champion’s league
    New income: At this point I don’t see how the
    club is likely to raise more from any new source given that we would be at the
    lowest point in years (in football performance) and any stadium or other sponsor
    etc would drive a hard bargain. But let’s assume we increase commercial income
    by 5mn somehow.

    In summary at most we can make up
    about 10-15 mn in the summer that we do not have now.

    So what is the lowest risk here
    purely from the financial and FFP side? 

    Sack AVB now take a 15-18mn hit and get Guus to
    qualify you for the Champions league? 
    Fail to qualify for the champion’s league take a
    40mn revenue hit and give AVB time but risk meeting FFP goals? 
    Fail to qualify for the champion’s league and
    sack AVB and lose 55mn revenue and forget about meeting FFP goals 

    Of course there are non-financial
    implications – 
    Would we attract new players with no champion’s
    league to offer? 
    Would we sell as many shirts with no champion’s
    league to offer? 
    Would we get much for stadium naming rights?
    (Since this is a long term deal probably yes) 
    Who in his right mind would want to coach us with
    any sort of long term plan if we sack AVB now? 
    How on earth are you going to build a team if
    the new guy does not get time?

    Ok now I need to go and have a lie down…..

  45. ravenous1

    Gents, firstly, super job with the podcast and your effort is much appreciated. Long may it continue.
    In the future, you may consider taking questions from other bloggers and discuss it in your podcast.

  46. ravenous1

    @e48ad0b88ba38119b205a8ec5913f51c:disqus  Ian Mcgarry came out the other day and said that Chelsea FC have wised up in having the exit clause for AVB with 5mn upper limit. So, its not a major blow financially although it sends out all kinds of proof that the manager job here is indeed a poisoned chalice.
    Personally, I don’t think we will let him go and as rightly pointed out in the podcast, he’ll join Inter and smack us out of the CL league and win it for himself. He is a decent enough manager with a lot of theory in his pockets. Only a matter of time before he earns the players’ / fans’ trust.

    In other news, I hope you all at-least glanced at our superb win over West Ham in the yoof cup. In-case you didn’t, I’ll just say :
    Feruz, -definite first team material for the future. Feruz is very short but so was…;  I am also a little suspect of his composure while finishing but other aspects of the game considered – he needs to go out on Loan and start playing against more competitive teams. Either he goes the Kakuta way or becomes a live wire #10.

    Piazon – Good for a call up into the first team squad. Great link up play and technical ability. Good player.

    Amin Affane: I think this guy has the best left foot in Chelsea football club. Well, maybe Mata but this guy is pure class. How we don’t convert his set piece deliveries is beyond me, him and Adi Viveash.

    All others did OK. Props to the penalty takers & jamal blackman – Ice cool, every single time.

  47. Desmond

    Just out of curiosity, if Jose said he was definitely coming back to Chelsea at the start of next season, would everyone be happy?

    • Gbelov

      Tough question. No doubt it’ll be a massive boost, and that alone might win us something, but Jose’s “spine”/team core is all but gone, and Roman probably won’t spend as much as he did initially. Jose is used to coaching stars exclusively and will probably struggle with what looks like the future of Chelsea (I mean, the younger players we’ve got). And once his lucky charm is broken, what will we have then?

  48. Ryan

    Just watching Porto against City and cant helpthinking if AVB had a few of his lads from there at Chelsea we might not be listening to all this old shit about him not knowing what he is doing. Some of our players just aren’t able to play this style of football. No wonder they’re trying to blame the manager. RA is (apparently) stating that he still has his full support and I’m glad about that. Hopefully he’ll be given the time and money to build a squad that is truly dynamic.

    • NorthernVA

      Very tough stadium to play. We won there 1-0 back in 2009. They haven’t lost in the league their since 2008. I think it would be expensive to get all of “his” players. What’s Hulk’s buyout clause 84 million? Pound or euor?

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