Fulham 0-0 Chelsea – Newspaper Reaction, Match Report, Team Analysis

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea’s league defence has taken on a ragged look. This spluttering stalemate at local rivals has merely confirmed the impression that their pursuit of silverware this term must now now focus on the Champions League and FA Cup, with any hopes they had privately entertained that Fernando Torres’ £50m arrival would breathe life into their title pursuit long since dashed.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Chelsea dropped two points and Didier Drogba on Monday night and the fall-out from both will be felt for some time. Although Drogba eventually replaced an out-of-sorts Fernando Torres, the Ivorian still could not rescue the champions at a cackling Cottage. When Drogba fluffed a late chance, Fulham fans chanted “are you Torres in disguise?””

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea stay fifth in the Barclays Premier League table, but had penalty hero Petr Cech to thank after a goalless draw at Fulham on Monday night. The game looked all but over until the 93rd minute when the otherwise outstanding David Luiz brought down Fulham’s Clint Dempsey inside the Chelsea area, but Cech made amends for his error against Liverpool last week by keeping out the American’s penalty and ensuring what could be a valuable away point for his side.”

The preamble

Are you one of those people who believe that anything’s possible? If you believe, work hard and have a little bit of luck along the way you can achieve anything.

Personally I’m not one of those people. If someone says to me “Do you think Ann Widdicombe could play centre forward for Chelsea?” I wouldn’t be able to respond with the platitude “Anything’s possible”. Of course I think she could make a decent holding midfielder!

Similarly I now have no belief we can win the title and found it hard to muster great enthusiasm for tonight’s game although the prospect of our first eleven versus our reserves of Duff, Sidwell, Gudjohnsen, Kakuta, Hughes, Dempsey et al is intriguing.

Not too sure why Jose was in the stands?

The match


  • Slow tempo
  • Sloppy passing


  • Pedestrian
  • Good shot Ramires


  • Good shot from Duff – Cech parried but should have held it
  • Cech safe on corners
  • 27 minutes until first decent move and good effort from Frank
  • 29′ – best and worst of Luiz, played it out brilliantly but then over played it and lost the ball


  • Great shot Malouda
  • Is Torres out there?
  • Cross, shot from Branners – almost in
  • No width
  • Too many long aimless balls hoping Torres can run on to it


  • Anelka dropping far too deep
  • Chance for Torres but poor first touch and feeble shot
  • Brilliant long ball to Shevchenko, oops I meant Torres, again poor first touch and fumbled his one on one

Half time tea and Revels – at least I got a bit of excitement wondering if I’d get an orange centre.


  • Great run from Ramires, fine cross into the box and a tame header from Torres
  • More of the same. Everything’s too slow and we’ve forgotten how to open teams up
  • Good strike from Ramires
  • Another wayward pass from Essien. Get him off for fuck’s sake


  • Impressive the way Anelka can twist and turn and keep the ball around the half way line but I once knew a bloke who could throw a pen and catch it on his ear. I’m not sure either skill is useful
  • Anelka off for Kalou
  • Malouda could have been awarded a penalty
  • We are dominating. Is it like the tide or just a bit of swell?


  • Torres off for Drogba. It’s a bit like buying a car a few years back and Torres needs running in
  • I’m dreading voting for Player of the Year
  • Great chance for Essien with a diving header
  • We’re totally dominating but don’t really look like scoring. When you’re cottaging you’ve got to get in behind them


  • Fulham almost score – great save by Cech from Dempsey
  • Gudjohnsen’s coming on
  • Spectacular overhead kick by Luiz – show’s that fat bastard Rooney how to get off the ground

90′ + 3

  • PENALTY to Fulham
  • Cech SAVES IT
  • Another chance for Fulham, open goal but Dempsey misses it

Final whistle: 0-0.

Team analysis

Defence – no problems here. Best defence in the league and it’s just got better with the addition of Luiz who’s going to provide us with heart stopping moments at both ends of the field.

Midfield – big problems.

  • Frank can’t pass or shoot, firing on one cylinder
  • Malouda can’t pass or run, looks totally disinterested, firing on one cylinder
  • Essien can’t pass or do anything at speed, firing on one cylinder
  • Ramires – firing on eight cylinders but can’t make up for everyone else’s deficiencies

Attack – big problems.

  • Anelka wants to go in the opposite direction
  • Torres won’t get fed tidy little sliders so he can play off the shoulder. If we wanted to play it long we should have bought Andy Carroll or Kevin Davies
  • Drogba is losing his mojo
  • Kalou – to be fair he looked the most lively


I’m getting a little tired of Carlo interviews where he bemoans our lack of tempo. We can all see that. I thought he is being paid £5 million per annum to fix little issues like that. I’m seriously contemplating applying for the next managerial vacancy. I mean how hard can it be? Tell the board you need three or four players, get Scott Parker to give the team talk and defend crap performances by claiming “we’re going through a difficult moment”.

Sorry but I still don’t believe.

There are 96 comments

Add yours
  1. Ososdeoro

    Positives – they won many more headers at midfield than they had been in recent games. They were occasionally able to keep possession of the ball around 30 yards out, providing some opportunities that had been missing.

    Ramires. Luiz. Rest of defense.

    Negative: Hodgson got fired trying to fire long balls to Torres.

  2. Gleb

    Great report, Mark, and might fast, too! Our silver lining is Luiz and Ramires, and I still believe – Torres. We’ve got a decent squad, it’s a matter of, you know, pressing the reset button, having a rest and just starting over next season! That CL spot is still a must, mind you. Carlo is useless, unfortunately. Not sure about sacking him, though… Not sure about anything, but I’ve always said Carlo is no match winner and no master tactician. Even before Roman snapped him up. Now everyone’s saying the same thing, but back then I remember being the minority.

  3. Anonymous

    Shameless copying and pasting now:


    Luiz – World class already (apart from a dumb and tired challenge)
    Ramires – I take it all back


    Erm, where do you start?
    Carlo – Torres for Didier in a must win game! Really! Say it again and tell me if it makes sense. It was a fucking moronic decision which just humiliates Torres further. Yes Fernando looked a bit rusty but when you need a goal, he’s certainly more dangerous than keeping Essien on. I love the guy but Carlo’s subs are so bloody dumb sometimes that I just want him to leave in the summer. Seeing Jose in the stands only made my opinion of Carlo fall further.
    Malouda – Awful. Slow, lazy, can’t run, can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t tackle, can’t fucking do anything. Goodbye mate.
    Anelka – Slow, lazy and obsessed with taking 4 or 5 touches. His insistence on ruining a Ramires break away by slowing the play down and then giving the ball away was hilariously bad.
    Midfield – Any craft or creativity there? Thought not.
    Football – Could you believe the stuff you were watching out there. The tempo was glacial. The passing was abysmal at times and the final ball wasn’t that much better.
    League table – 5th! To Spurs! If we don’t get in the top 4, we’re fucked.

    There we go, venting over and I fear that we are seeing the end of Carlo’s reign. This summer is going to be massive for us.

  4. Anonymous

    Wow. Check out the originality on post number 1. Even registered a wonderful username to impart in-depth footballing knowledge to us. Almost

    Luiz is the only positive. Far too many negatives.

    Carlo’s a gonna. There’s no way Roman will accept the mundane nature of the past 2/3/4 matches/weeks/months* (*delete as far back as you can).

    I just have nothing of note to add. I can continue to whinge about the same old faces who continue to do fuck all to justify their existence as a professional footballer. I can bemoan Carlos lack of anything other than chucking 11 names on the team sheet and crossing his fingers. I can almost see why he overlooks hungry young players who would make a difference (odds on Josh getting a little disillusioned at the lack of chances despite our current shitness?).

  5. Gleb

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seydou_Doumbia – Drogba’s successor, according to some bloke from the Swiss team Young Boys (is it OK to make Michael Jackson jokes yet?), where Doumbia used to play before signing for CSKA. The bloke says Chelsea bought him and sent him to Russia for 2 – 2.5 years to mature into a player worthy of replacing Didier. He has been playing really well in Russia this season, might I add.

  6. Benjami

    Interesting game again, we suffered the exact same problem vs Liverpool but this time were “lucky” enough not to concede.

    Personally I think Torres showed a lot why he is world class tonight, he got himself into the right positions and really, really should have scored 1. With a £50m price tag and all the pressure on him he needs to calm down and stay on for a full 90mins (Carlo leave him on vs Everton!!). The goals will come.

    We all wanted CA to drop Drogba and he did, and it still didn’t work. I thought all the players worked hard again today and we again came face to face with a team playing 4-5-0-0-0-0-1. Making it extremely hard to play football vs.

    If we can get that 1 goal (eg a penalty refs hi?) teams will break against us and we will start scoring for fun again. Once we have the confidence back then, well 🙂

    Imagine a striker as prolific as Torres in our team when it starts scoring 7/8 goals a game. The papers will go crazy about it. Be a good game this weekend vs Everton they play tough but play football.

    Torres Anelka Drogba, Essien Lamps Ramires. I think we will win 2-0 / 3-1 with Torres scoring first 🙂

  7. The SRG

    Tempo is too slow and we are too narrow. We have 6 in the midfield playing in a tiny part of the pitch and so that’s where the defense goes, easy to defend us even with our better quality when you can just sit deep and narrow. It’s amazing to see a coach as good as Carlo unable to change his tactics to spread it out and move quicker. That’s kind of the point of being a coach, see what your team is doing poorly, adapt and change to be better. Not too hard of a concept and the fact that we have had the same problem for so long with no change is disheartening.

    Torres isn’t the problem, he’ll be fine. He’s getting SHIT for service and is still gelling with the team. He’s not Drogba, we can’t just launch the ball and hope he does something. Lampard and Essien look like shadows of themselves. Malouda just does nothing at all right, get him off.

    Ramires is putting in the effort we need, and his passing (which is the main part so many people were critical of when he first came in) is getting more consistent. He’ll never be Xavi, that’s not the type of player he is, he’s going to run all over the pitch making tackles and drive forward with the ball. Essien V2. He’s young and learning and had a better season than the majority of the squad in his first year, not that it’s saying much after this season.

    Luiz is going to be a star, easy to see now why Benfica wanted as much as they did. He’s brave, smart, strong, and looked better on the ball than the majority of our midfield. One of the best first starts for the club that I can remember. The ball over the top to Torres was a thing of beauty.

  8. Dylbo Baggins

    Jose in the stands to see Drogba?

    I believe (though i’ve not read much recently) that there is an option to make adebayor’s loan move permanent to Real madrid. Perhaps Jose is trying to decide between the 2 players?

  9. MachchanHongKong

    Nice report Mark. It takes some doing to get chuckles out of readers when the mood is so dire. Great, amusing 10′ by 10′ summary.

    Our dear Carlo continues to show his true colours. Nice bloke really …too nice. Unfortunately also too unidimensional. A confident Chelsea had enough creativity to overcome his straight-jacketing but not now. Either the old dog learns new tricks or we magically find our creative mojo in time for the CL. With a bit of luck maybe we qualify for next year by winning it this year? Seems like the only way for now. I continue to dream on (actually Carlo’s straight-jacketing is far less of a problem in Europe imho …so I keep telling myself).

  10. Anonymous

    I’m surprised none of you are pleased with the result. Its been a long time since I enjoyed a game so much. For once defensively we were comfortable, unhurried and composed. Luiz gave us a gem of performance for his debut. His tackles remind me of Ricci and his authority of Ballack. This wasn’t a game where most fans would have muttered well we barely deserved the draw thanks to the horrible lapses among the back 4. Cech was outstanding as well.

    The bad, well we were shit in the attack. This stems from well one Cech’s seemingly incomprehensible desire to hoof it to our new toy, and two everyone in the attacking lineup sans Ramires seems to be under the simple sickness of I won’t be dropped.

    As for Carlo well he is tactically inept, his substitutions horrid, but him getting fired, lol. The simplest solution would be a good number 2.

    Again its strange but if we draw parallels to last season the ACN might have been the best thing that happened to us. Nico was the centre of the attack for those games where our African contingent went mia. Plus the added fire under their collective asses to perform well on return led to something magical. I would like to see Nico at the helm of the attack for at least one game considering the title race is over, CL is a fucking magical unicorn and FA is the only trophy I think we can achieve. Its worth a punt. That or a 4-2-2-2 with Nico and Torres.

    Lastly ‘I shall pray nightly pray nightly to the God who killed Cain and squashed Samson that he comes out of retirement and gets back into practice with’ one Mike Dean, preferably something involving a libidinous rhino and the word bugger being chanted by all us fans.

  11. Jon

    It’s looking like qualifying for the CL is getting beyond us now. Spurs are able to grind out results this season and the pool have played all their hard games.

    In terms of the new Uefa regs and the lost 40 mill if we do not qualify, where does that leave us? If we do not qualify then surely we will have to sell players in order to break even? Don’t want to be a doom-sayer but it will truly be the end of us if we don’t qualify, financially I mean.

    Also agree about Ray Wilkins …. the guy is just class. understands the game, understands the players strengths and weaknesses. I really want to know what genius decide to fire him and why?

    anyway – truly shitting myself now that we will end up without a CL spot … how our expectations changed in 4 months.

  12. Cunningplan

    I think most people have covered things from last night so far, no doubting we’re getting very frustrated with our approach and attitude.

    Just a few observations, but Mike Dean is a twat, the booking of Branners was a joke, how he could determine who was fouling who when the shirt tugging was going on is beyond me. If he deemed that Luiz fouled Dempsey (minimal conatct if any) then why wasn’t Mauloda afforded the same reward when he was clattered into.

    I’m not making excuses for our lack of attacking prowess, poor Torres needs the ball to feet, there’s no point dropping Drogs if we going to play the same way with Torres in his place, it’s not going to work, never in a million years. The substitutions Carlo made were just like for like, no change in tactics or formation, as I mentioned before Luiz could play comfortably in midfield, and hopefully Carlo might utilise him there if needed, because Essien needs to be dropped along with Malouda and dare I say Frank if he doesn’t look a bit more lively.

    The players may have quietly accepted the title is out of reach, but they need to be informed sharpish, that they’re in a scrap to qualify for next years CL heaven forbid if Spuds and Citeh pip us.

    • Dubai Blue

      The reality is comparing the respected “run in” for us, Ceteh and Spurs I would say we are least favourites to make the top four!

  13. Anonymous

    I almost wish forth place was out if reach so we could see Carlo do something with the midfield. Josh simply has to get a start soon, Essien and Lampard are doing precisely nothing and have been for ages. Ancelotti has no bottle and no plan B. Like for like substitutions every time. No imagination.

    We’re pretty much dead if we don’t finish top 4, aren’t we? Players will be off all over the place. Though maybe that’s the sort of clean slate we need…

  14. DayTripper

    To my mind the 4-3-3 has now come to the end of its usefulness. A stale system to accommodate a stale squad. No real movement, no telling passes, Anelka looking like he wanted to play at right back. And it doesn’t help matters that our most in-form striker is currently playing for Bolton. When Mourinho took over in 2004 he started using a diamond system, which worked to a point, but he quickly realised that he needed a different system to accommodate all of his most dynamic players (especially Robben and Duff), so he changed it. Ancelotti seems not capable of making such a bold strategic decision. We were crying out for a playmaker last night (and a system to accommodate one). Has the time not come to allow young McEachran to step up to the plate, at least on occasions?

    Honourable mentions last night for Ramires, Luiz and Cech in particular, the defence overall was solid enough (though A Cole’s attacking forays no longer yield what they used to), the rest were rubbish.

  15. Cunningplan

    I think we need Yossi back sooner rather than later, because if anyone understands how Torres functions it’s him. But then will Carlo pick ahead of Lamps or Essien, only time will tell

  16. John

    That report, assessments and comments spot on thanks. Luiz and Ramires plus the Cech save apart, that was utter wank. Clearly we’re struggling and the key missing element seems to be that undefinable thing called team spirit/confidence. I think there’s something bubbling under at the club and amongst the players, with the Wilkins thing in the mix but not the reason. If you watch Terry he now gives the ball away far more than he used to and last night he turned to rant at the dug out at one point instead of getting involved in the play and supporting a team mate who was near him with the ball. Don’t know what the answer is but something is clearly fucked.
    But what about these fucking referees. Does anyone think that a Chelsea player would have stayed on the pitch, never mind got away without a free kick, if he’d made the challenge that Eidur did on Malouda?

  17. Der_Kaiser

    Morning all,

    Not the best performance – Fulham weren’t exactly overflowing with ambition and we’re always likely to struggle under the circumstances. Sort of with dustylancer above – didn’t think it was quite as horrendous as has been suggested and wasn’t a bad game to watch overall.

    Not sure what Essien did to deserve a place ahead of Mikel, but still. If Torres is forced to rely on service like that then we’ll be doing him no favours – Anelka, Frank and Malouda just ain’t supplying the bullets at the moment. That said, he made all the right moves and despite the almost indecent air of glee amongst the pundits and hacks that grows with every minute he doesn’t score, he should be fine in the long term.

    Very pleased to see Luiz and Ramires looking so confident; the former has a slight air of the unpredictable about him, which might not be the best thing in a defender but he’ll certainly be good to watch. The latter shows what can be achieved if the manager (and hey, the fans too) have a little faith and patience with new players.

    I think the key thing is to get through this season as best we can – CL place or not – and then get rebuilding over the summer; I think Carlo has earned enough leeway here to get a crack at that.

    • Anonymous

      So in the words of Sergeant Jones “Don’t Panic, Dont’t Panic”

      Who do you think you are kidding Mister Kaiser, when you think old Chelsea’s done …

      • Der_Kaiser

        Don’t panic indeed. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the wall we’ve hit this season, but I look at Cech, Branners, Luiz, Ramires, Mikel, Josh, some of the other kids and Torres and think there is actually a great side (squad) in there somewhere with a bit of careful management and some tweaking.

        Never going to be an easy transition from the side we have when we’re ultimately talking about gradually removing the likes of JT, Drogs and Frank from the equation but as long as Roman doesn’t go nuts and kick Carlo out (irrespective of whether we make 4th or not), has a little patience and supports the guy with time and money then I strongly believe that we could be looking at another great side in a year or two.

        • Jon

          If we don’t qualify for the CL next season then we need to cut 40 million in expenses right? Due to the new Uefa Regs? Clubs need to be break even right or at least be balanced on the books. Hope I’m wrong but I really think the club has factored in the CL money when they bought Torres and Luiz and considered the new regs for next season. 40 million is a shed load of money to miss out on and I can’t see how we can remain within the regs with out cutting a lot of expenses.

          • Der_Kaiser

            Not sure, to be honest. Always thought it was a given that we didn’t include CL income in the picture (seem to remember Kenyon saying that somewhere). Habs posted up an article on the previous thread re our finances – not read it so I don’t know whether CL money is a factor.

    • John

      I couldn’t agree more with the final point. Not getting CL will be a big ouch but let’s live with it and move on. Might be a relief not to participate in the fucking circus. Ancelotti has disappointed me sometimes with his Scolari-like inability or unwillingness to try and influence a game when it’s not going well but I’d like a bit of stability and he’s done enough to earn a crack at the rebuilding.

  18. Dannybrod51

    I’m with you Der_Kaiser on not panicking, but wonder how we will progress with the current set-up. It is clear that the team is essentially under the command of Roman and his advisers, with Carlo employed to shape them into Champions League contenders. This more than anything is what will shape the future when the ‘great’ basic team of the last 7/8 years is eventually superseded by the new. It is a huge overhaul that should have been handled gradually with recruitment and turnaround of players occurring while we were at out strongest. Something the likes of Sir Alex has always managed. There are certainly positive signs, with three good acquisitions made this season: Ramires (better than expected), Torres (who will come good) and Luiz (exceptional already), and a couple of academy graduates likely to become first team players over the next few years. But I wonder if that is enough. The intense focus required to gel the group into a single-minded purpose seems to missing, slowly dissipating with the waning of the old guard – through injuries, lack of motivation etc. Essentially the team that Jose built into a winning force is spent now and we are waiting for what comes next. It looks like it is being built on the old-style continental model at places like Real Madrid and AC Milan, where Head Coaches coach what is given to them by benevolent owners. Yet, the predominant team in world football at the moment, Barcelona (spit!), is a tightly-knit, well-drilled group, practising a style developed throughout the club from academy upwards, and in process over the past twenty years or so. All of which requires a collective coaching and player identity at all levels. I think Roman is trying to instil this – as opposed to the first-team focus short-term style of Jose – and has invested heavily to se it bear fruit. We are years behind the more established clubs, obviously, Roman only got here in 2003 (a fact overlooked in comments like this, which otherwise makes some pertinent points:http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/early-doors/article/312465/) and trying to catch up in the best way possible, through developing youth to go alongside the best acquisitions that fit with our overall playing style and ethic. My worries are that this is not a good fit given the uniquely intense nature of English football, and that we seem light on truly world-class coaches under Carlo. But what do I know? As always, I remain – after over 40 years of support – entirely enthralled by the fact we are any sort of contenders for top honours at all.

  19. Anonymous

    One benefit of our slow play was that I could type minute by minute updates into my laptop and not miss any of the “action”

    • Anonymous

      I like it! Were you anal enough to actually count our attempts on target?

      According to Sky, of our 20+ efforts only 4 were on target, while the Press Association live stats info on the Beeb website claims we had 9 on target. Personally, I don’t remember us troubling the Fulham goalkeeper once, and it kind of proves my point that I just had to check the team list to remind myself if it had been Schwarzer or not, as we saw so little of him on screen.

      As the good Lord Kaiser and others say there was the kernel of a renewed team on display there, but it could be a long painful process, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth to complete the process with revolving doors or not, on and off the pitch.

      @Benjani – Torres is cup-tied for the Everton game on Saturday and therefore not likely to feature significantly in our line-up or influence the result, unless Carlo is into psychic interventions.

  20. Anonymous

    An infuriating performance which, for me, showed little progress from the Liverpool debacle specifically in midfield and in attack. Fulham may be a tough nut to crack but when you see the recent displays from others who are our rivals we do look distinctly 5th or even 6th place. Liverpool have a better run in than us and we’d be downright bloody stupid to rule them out of finishing above us, especially based on this inconsistent form (yes, I’m being polite). I think its 17 pts from a possible 42 now stretching back 3 months.

    If we don’t get 4th then I think Carlo will go, and as much as I like him personally I think he has a touch of the Ranieri weakness about him . Nice guys rarely win – Wenger uses a mask of ‘niceness’ to hide a resolve of steel and a fanatical obsession that he is right. If we beat United twice then as the sage Ray Wilkins said, Chelsea could win the league for Arsenal……..and for once I’d be happier with that than seeing Man Utd win the trophy again. Why? because I admire anyone who fundamentally believes in their principles and sticks to them, which Wenger, as infuriating as he is, does with some aplomb. Anyway, back to Carlo. I see the point that he deserves a crack at rebuilding the team, but I also see someone with little more tactical nouse than Scolari. Or Ranieri. I don’t see someone who is remotely in the same league as Ferguson, Hiddink, Van Gaal, Mourinho, Guardiola…or even Villas Boas or whatever his name is. in the ability to think dynamically, to step out of a comfort zone or to be brave. or me his final seasons at AC Milan echo this as he presided over an ageing team which is still some way from being rebuilt. Last night and the last few months show me that Essien may not have his heart with us and maybe eyeing a move elsewhere, that Anelka can blow hot and cold, that Malouda has reverted to the fuckwit that we first saw and hated, that Kalou will NEVER be another great striker in blue, that Lamps may be in decline and JT is going to struggle when compared to the daring Luiz. As others have said, Josh has shown enough to be given more chances, Studge just seemed to need faith in him, Kakuta is merely a revenue stream for later when we let him go as CA doesn’t fancy him and Bruma much the same. Carlo is also still weak in my view, preferring to keep schtum for his £5m per year rather than confront Gourlay/Roman and demand a top notch number 2. Clement may be decent but in those months since Ray has left has not shown me that he is in the Clarke, Rice, Jordan, Phlelan league. Emenalo is a joke full stop. An embarassing unfunny one at that.

    4th is a struggle for us now, and frankly I can see it getting worse. All the points made on Cech continung the hoof mentality to Torres is true as well. Plus ca change Monsieur Lollichon!

    So, I can see the argumernts for keeping Carlo, and for the Double I’ll be ever grateful, but if he does go then I won’t be sorry with one caveat, his replacement is someone dynamic, energetic, forward thinking, strong and brave. Not many out there that meet that set of criteria.

    In fact only one springs to mind 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Now there’s a prospect to give us all nightmares, though ‘Boro fans would no doubt confirm that European nights were never dull under Shteve’s master tactics of gifting the opposition an early 2 or 3 goal lead to make winning more of a challenge.

      • Anonymous

        You can be so cruel Lord Kaiser! No, no and thrice no. Sadly no UK indigenous ones spring to mind, bar Sparky. And there lays the dilemma – if RA does ditch Carlo then who could take over, win the immediate respect of fans and players (well those not about to be jettisioned) and have the swashbuckling verve, courage and dynamism I demand? Yes me, I , Tony Glover demands we only employ better or my toys leave my pram at what could best described as a speed likely to cause severe damage to persons or property unfortunate enough to be in my way.

        • Cunningplan

          Well if it’s not going to be Shteve, why not think out of the box and go for Silvio Berlusconi, soon to be out out of a job, and he’s Italian, so must have some footballing knowledge.

        • Anonymous

          There are loads out there

          Owen Coyle
          Big Sam
          Chris Hughton
          Ian Holloway

          I’ve concluded that football management has been over-hyped. It’s not complicated.

          Simple things like don’t play 3 out of form midfielders simultaneously and a forward who wants to drop back to midfield to slow things down and create more confusion. There: how hard was that?

    • Ososdeoro

      Perhaps we should keep CA and hire Ian Holloway to suggest an attack as #2. Or any of the usual raft of ex-Chelsea players who’ve recently been managing in the league.

      And you’re right about the nice guys thing — except the CA has won enough and more than most.

      But I also favor the steely resolve guys like Wenger. And though he hasn’t won much, I’m kind of fascinated by McCarthy (not as a Chelsea manager, btw) and what he does with that crappy Wolves team. I have a feeling his halftime speeches aren’t particularly pleasant when they’re down.

  21. Anonymous

    I was condoled with the introduction of David Luiz when we were losing to pool. Especially watching him for 90 mins yesterday is a good thing for me. I am very pleased the way he handles ball. So seeing him alone as a chelsea player is a joy for me not minding a sort of rubbish the rest are playing.

  22. Cunningplan

    Is it my imagination, but I thought all CL games were meant to be played in the same weeks? Unless of course Uefa have changed that for this year and I missed it.

    • John

      Late reply but not one to pass up the chance of a rant against all things UEFA and CL: the cunts did this last season, staggering the “round of 16” games (and I’m not sure but maybe the subsequent rounds too) no doubt so they could maximise tv revenue – ie two games per night x 8 nights spread over 4 weeks.

      • Cunningplan

        Don’t worry about the late reply, I suppose we can rant even more at the Uefa cunts if they don’t give Gattuso double the length of ban that Drogs got for just swearing at that clown Overbo

        • Der_Kaiser

          Only just caught up with last night’s hoo-ha in the San Siro; I’d imagine Jordan was thinking “30 years ago son, they’d have been picking bits of you out of the turf…” Not a man I’d want to start a row with, even if he is nearly pensionable.

          Spurs looked well worth their win and Milan just looked utterly spiteful, snide and ripe for a tonking in the second leg.

          And then if someone can do the decent thing and knock Spurs out, that would be very nice indeed.

  23. Anonymous

    Can’t decide if I want AC Milan to win or not?

    I guess we want Spurs in the CL as long as possible to tire them out so we can sneak forth in the league.

  24. Gleb

    Sorry for the off topic comment and surely it isn’t this specific blog’s fault, but I can’t see any replies when reading this blog on an iPhone (iPod, actually). Specifically replies, regular posts are fine.

  25. Anonymous


    That’s a problem I have as well. Must be a combination of the phone and / or website.

    Gattuso’s a bit mental really isn’t he? A brave man to chokehold Joe Jordan.

  26. Anonymous

    Jesus, well done Spurs. Not the sort of performance I thought they had in them. Very Chelsea of old.

    And definitely not Chelsea of now. They’re a million miles ahead of us at the moment.

  27. MachchanHongKong

    And which idiot at Chelsea decided to pass on Van Der Vaart at a bargain basement price? Looking at his performances at spuds, it’s clear that this decision alone could bite us in the nether regions and cost us 4th place.

  28. Austin Solari

    This is becoming all very frustrating. Back in the late 70s and 80s, it was ok playing shit cos we had a shit side but jesus, why are we playing such shit now? I remember going to some obscure places back then like Hereford and Rotherham and not giving a shit how we played cos we still had a laugh. But this is nothing to laugh at.
    Look at that team on paper and it is the best in the PL. Our defence is superb ……. I particuarly liked the way Brannners and Luiz swapped positions Mon night so that Luiz could attack more down the right, that is something which will be an advantage in the future. We have some brilliant midfielders with a couple of crackers amon the youngsters and a strike force of Drogs, Nando, Anelka …… no one can match that.

    Very very frustrating

  29. Ringo

    How about a midfield of Luiz holding with Josh and Ramires in front?
    Of course that still leaves three positions to fill. Guess we’ll just keep shuffling the pack and hope something sticks.

    And if we do end up looking for a another manager in the Summer the one we’ll be up against on Saturday might be worth a go.

    • Anonymous

      Always liked Moyes, think he’s more than earned his spurs and deserves a shot at a big team. Of course there’s plenty about that only want someone with a track record of success, seemingly forgetting that all successful managers start from a basis of not having been successful. Like I say I do believe in stability, but with the right man, and I can’t help but question Ancelotti as all I see is a nice guy with a lack of any real spine, and certainly no ruthless streak that I believe is necessary to be a winner.

      Yes, I realise that is herecy to some, but I think I’ve seen enough now.

      • Austin Solari

        That’s what it is, GJ!! Just realised you have hit the nail on the head …………. the man, though a good coach etc, is not ruthless. A charge that could never be aimed at Sir Red Nose and look how successful he has been. I have only seen one ruthless manager at the Bridge and of course, that was TSO.
        If the manager was to change this summer, personally I would love to see Guus back. I think the players loved him and played like billy-o for him (hence they bought him a £50k Rolex as a leaving present).
        We played some great footie under Guus … remember the Final against Everon where we murdered them for eighty nine and a half minutes?
        I saw in the paper a few weeks back that Guus was being touted as a No2 and someone put a link to it on here but have seen nothing about it since.

  30. Anonymous

    No quandary tonight. The real Barca over Barca-lite for me please.

    And our missing ingredient of recent weeks is passion. It hit me today (the thought we had none, not passion itself finding me). We’re like emotionless robots on the pitch at the moment. There’s no togetherness.

  31. Anonymous

    So, the super amazing wonderful tappy tap kings of England have finally broken the hoodoo and beaten Barcelona in the CL.

    That’ll be how you read it tomorrow. Good result, yes. But murdered for half the game. And, you know, we’ve beaten Barca before.

    And all that shit about Fabregas being a Barca player? Bollox. Did fuck all compared to Wilshere who oozed class. Enjoy it Jack, we’ve got our own wonderkid who’ll (hopefully) eclipse you.

  32. Ososdeoro

    At this point it would be awesome to meet and beat Arsenal in CL this year. With the current form of this club I know it is only dreaming…..but maybe not dreaming so much to figure they won’t be in this form when it happens. So Arsenal over Barca? I’m just fine with it.

  33. Dylbo Baggins

    I must admit I am looking forward to the end of this season, with particular regard to who will and won’t be playing in Blue next season. Now i understand that you cannot (nor would you want to) completely change a team when a new manager comes in but a fair chunk of our squad is, in reality, Jose’s squad. I know some players were there before Jose but we have had a few managers come and go since then and the squad is still, in my mind, alarmingly similar.

    Cech, Lampard, Drogba, Bosingwa, Kalou,Alex, Essien, Mikel, A.Cole, Ferreira, Terry, Hilario, Malouda.

    I hope Ancelotti is given at least another season and we start to bring in some new players because if we still have the majority of the above names next season then we’re going to be very stale and predictable.

    I think it’s time for Ancelotti to put his stamp on things. Time to lose a couple of them (including Drogba) me thinks…

  34. Dylbo Baggins

    When i say new players i am more than happy for them to be young players currently in our squad. More of Ramires, Mceachran etc thanks very much.

  35. Der_Kaiser

    Just can’t buy that, I’m afraid. You simply don’t achieve what Ancelotti has in the game as both player and coach by lacking spine and/or a ruthless edge or whatever you choose to call the ‘it’ that separates the winners from also-rans.

    No doubt he’s made some mistakes – I also think circumstances have left him with far fewer options than he’d have liked in an ideal world – but starting the managerial merry-go-round again now with a team that needs to be renewed and developed gradually over the next 2-3 seasons and we really will be playing with fire. We’ve got away with the short-term hiring and firing culture under Roman and actually done pretty well considering, but to start screwing around with it all again now would be like sticking a gun to our own heads.

    Double winning managers don’t come along that often – the guy deserves a decent shot at building his own side.

    • Anonymous

      I can only lease that argument (sorry…needed something less than buying it) – as fans we can look at performance history and yes, the man has that track record, but it is littered with inconsistency. He could have been a 3 times CL winner but he allowed his AC team to sing victory songs at half time and get the cigars out on that ill fated Istanbul night, for which we then had to suffer 6 years of Liverpool and Benitez lunacy. Lets put that down to a simple case of early chicken counting which we’ve all been guilty of.

      He left behind an ageing AC team preferring to stick with the old hired hands instead of refreshing the team and despite his promises at the start of the season he has shown little or no faith in our youngsters other than cameo or token appearances of starts in dead rubbers.

      He then ‘allowed’ his faithful assistant, and second pair of eyes to be sacked underneath him without seemingly murmuring any discontent. Now we all know we don’t know what goes on inside Kremlin Bridge, but we would have had hints at his unhappiness and we saw none. Instead we saw passive acceptance of Clement (OK give him a chance) and the fuckwit Emenalo, a man barely qualified to be in the game at any professional level. Now if he really cared, then wouldn’t he at least be trying to get a top notch assistant in, as I’ve oft said, someone to offer alternatives, different perspectives, to spot what he misses. 4 eyes are better than 2. Instead he seems to be hell bent on doing everything and not even Lord Ferg or Professor Arse attempt that. I’ll say iot again, any of the other top coaches/managers would have made the sacking of their number 2 without their tacit agreement or unless the sacking was at their behest, a point of principle. Seriously Lord Ferg/Prof Arse/King Kelly/Old ‘Arry et al would never have put up with it.

      Add that to his track record of being Berlusconi’s doormat and being dead man walking for his last 2 seasons there, and that for me suggests someone willing to take the shit to get the money rather than do what’s best for the team and get out the door. Now this is something I might do, go to work, take crap, get crapped on because I NEED the money, but like most of us I suspect that’s the norm when jobs are scarce. BUT for him, he knew he’d walk into another job shortly after leaving Milan, but no he stuck it out for what seems to be nothing more than selfish pride and personal gain. Intransigence doesn’t equate to bravery or ‘spine in my books. What it smacks of to me is the desperate man who knows his partner is shagging elsewhere but he’s too scared to take the leap and free himself (watch this weeks Charlie Brooker for a better explanation) . Desperation and money seems to have been the marque of his last 2 AC seasons. In a nice, cheerful, unassuming way as you do.

      Now, as I say, I’m in favour of stability but have seen little to convince me that Ancelotti has the bravery or nous to dynamically change things within the existing squad, nor the ruthless streak required to drop big names in order to show them their rightful place in the pecking order. Lets not forget the utter ruthlessness shown by our own TSO, and Ferg when dealing with the Beckham ego, or Staam…or Van Nistelrooy….or Lee Sharpe.

      So, I have no wish to instigate a witch hunt here. I merely stated that if he was sacked in the summer than

      a.) I wouldn’t be surprised because maybe RA has learnt that puppet regimes rarely work
      b.) I wouldn’t be sad because 75% of the way through his second season of tenure we’re playing worse than we did since the darkest Scolari/Grant/Ranieri days, and whichever way you cut it even the Scolari reign was ever this bad. And when were Arsenal or United last 5th at this stage of a season , least of all the year after doing a Double?
      c.) I would welcome Moyes, Mourinho (always the best for me) , Guardiola (maybe) , Villa Boas, Hughes in much the same way I did Carlo

      Nothing personal, Lord Kaiser, merely the way I, as an unswerving fickle ‘real’ fan feel. If he has the summer to rebuild then fine, I’ll be there, supporting and chucking money down the SW6 drain on Megastore tat. And no, getting rid now makes no sense, the season in terms of the title is fucked anyway. But seriously if we’re not at least 4th, then be honest, Carlo is toast.

      • Der_Kaiser

        In order…(!)

        Istanbul – one of ‘those’ games that every manager, good, bad or indifferent suffers. He put it right 2 years later, which says a lot for me.

        Yes, stubborn in his selections, but re the kids – he sees them day in, day out and presumably knows what they are capable of. We forget, but Sturridge going to Bolton with little pressure as to expectation and sticking goals away is VERY different to being asked to step into Drogba’s shoes and rescue a failing title challenge. Same re Josh – yes, he looks terrific but is he really ready to replace someone like Frank or Essien, week in, week out? Nowhere near.

        This goes on to the point about Fergie being ruthless in removing the likes of Stam (a mistake, as he has admitted) and RVN – he was reasonably confident about the replacements they had or were targeting, presumably. Carlo doesn’t have the same confidence which could well be fair enough – like I said, he works with the kids day in, day out. Would Fergie or Wenger put up with backroom changes over their heads? Probably not, but you’re talking about probably the last couple of managers in the game who have pretty much total control over everything football related at the club. Once they go, that breed simply won’t exist any more – it certainly doesn’t at Chelsea and hasn’t for some time.

        Re Clement and Emenalo – look, I have no idea how good / bad or indifferent they are as assistants and let’s be honest, neither do the rest of us. And the same point applies to Carlo’s final years at Milan – be honest, neither you or I have the first clue as to what his motives for staying were, but I very much doubt that intransigence, selfish pride or personal gain really came into it. Especially given that he’d have easily walked into pretty much any job in world football (including this one). Very harsh on the guy to suggest that.

        And the final points, a) through c); no idea, but maybe he’s also realised that firing managers that win stuff when things get tough isn’t the answer either. Yes, we’re blowing hot and cold – Liverpool and Fulham weren’t great, but Sunderland and Bolton were pretty decent. We ain’t dead just yet. And it’s not so long ago that Arsenal were 5th at this stage of the season and only Spurs (literally) getting the shits got them 4th place. I didn’t see anyone calling for Wenger’s head back then.

        Possible replacements – who knows? But Moyes or Hughes over Carlo? Really? Sorry, but not in a million years – the former is decent but limited (ask any Everton fan) and having seen him crucified in Europe’s lower tier on the occasions they’ve made it there, no thanks. And Sparky – sorry, but he really ain’t that good. His track record – yes, it does count – tells me mid-table manager at best and neither watching his teams nor looking at anything he’s done suggests there is any more in the tank. Pep is going nowhere, Villas Boas – who knows; today’s hot ticket – might be another Jose, might not. And Jose hmself – well, I think we know the answer to that one. Personally, I’d have taken van Gaal like a shot before Carlo pitched up – he’s now struggling at Bayern. Happens to the best of them.

        It goes back to the point that sacking one successful manager is forgivable, but to dump another when the chips are down would be plain stupid.

        And nothing personal taken from it at all, and vice versa my comments above.

        However, if you don’t turn up at the pub and let me buy you a pre-match pint soon, I will take serious f**king umbrage…!

        • Anonymous

          Yes, a visit is planned the next time I’m not actually blackmailed/conned into driving!

          And the far less controllable London traffic doesn’t conspire to thwart our attempts to get there in reasonable time. Ever seen the Truman Show? That’s how every journey feels like lately…….

  36. Anonymous

    Fuck me the Gooners crowing is odious.

    They really need to get a grip. They were battered for periods, scored a lucky goal to level the tie (you can’t say RVP meant that).

    Barca looked bored more than anything at the end. Like they’d let Arsenal have their time in the spotlight. Then business as usual in a fortnight.

    Bizarrely, if Barca go through, I can still only see them winning it. If Arsenal go through, they open it up for everyone, except themselves. They’ll choke against a more physical side.

    And Alex Song really needs some image help. Seems to have run his appearance by Stevie Wonder and got the answer he wants.

  37. Anonymous

    Yes, the iPhone inability to see replies is annoying, as is the non-scrolling down the comments as you write. However the edit button redeems it all for me.

  38. PeteW

    So Ancellotti, a double winner and twice Champions League winner, who managed to produce some of the best football we’ve ever seen with this team last season and already proven to be a pretty good spot in the transfer market, is to be ditched on a whim and replaced by David Moyes, who is currently steering Everton towards relegation having won precisely zilch in his career while playing turgid football and allowing his best players to get sold underneath him every season bar none. Right.

    Or even worse, Mark Hughes, who is the manager everybody says Sam Allardye, producing ugly teams that defend and kick their way towards scrappy points.

    Or Guardialo, who will obviously drop everything at Barcelona and come running to Uncle Roman.

    You know what, Sir Alex Ferguson had the odd season when he didn’t win everything as well you know, it’s not the end of the world.

  39. PeteW

    As for Arsenal-Barcelona, an interesting game but nothing like the OH MY GOD THEY’VE REINVENTED FOOTBALL stuff we were expected to see.

    Barcelona destroyed them in the first half, and should have been three up. Second half was largely turgid as Barca – whisper it quietly – seemed entirely comfortable with a 1-0 win – but credit Arsenal for going at it. The first goal was jammy but the second was sublime. That was what was interesting, Arsenal showed unexpected resilience and Barcelona ludicrious complacency. By the end, Barca looked as ragged they did in the games against Hiddink’s Chelsea and Mourinho’s Inter. You can knock em out their rhythm, but it takes luck – Barca should have had two pens and one goal unfairly disallowed.

    If Arsenal score at the Nou Camp – which is very likely – they could do it. With no Barcelona in the CL, it’s open to anybody – except us, because we are crap.

  40. PeteW

    I wonder how long our fans would give Moyes or Hughes to make their indelible mark on the team… think it would be even less then the Scousers gave Hodgson. If a double isn’t enough to buy you some respect and patience, lord knows what’s expected.

    • Anonymous

      Listen, patience, yes. Respect less so. It”s my impression and really I’m not going to be persuaded otherwise. I haven’t taken to him, that’s all. I see someone I don’t think has ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ is. Scolari won a World Cup, didn’t matter a jot.

      I think, and always think Mourinho was our best coach ever. Don’t get me wrong Carlo is a decent chap as was Ranieri…and I never rated him either. And the arguments re Moyes etc cut no swathe here. What the fuck had Wenger ever won pre-Arsenal Or ferguson,other than a copuple of hopours with Aberdeen?

      Do I want Carlo out? No.

      If he goes will I be bothered? No

      Two different things.

  41. PeteW

    Regarding the sacking of Wilkins and Carlo sitting at taking it – that is a good point and he probably should have kicked up a fuss BUT THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS AT CHELSEA!

    EVERY Chelsea manager will have to put up with that sort of nonsense. That’s what history tells us. So either we appoint somebody who won’t stand for it and then quits/gets canned mid season when the inevitable meddling happens (or throws a season long strop like Jose) or we stick with somebody who does their best at dealing with it. I don’t see any other option.

    Saying Fergie or Wenger wouldn’t put up with it is irrelevent. If they were at Chelsea, they’d HAVE to and that’s why we’ll never have a manager like Fergie or Wenger.

    It’s Roman’s club and he can do what the fuck he wants with it. Carlo knows that, grins and bears it, and gets handed £70m in January whereas Jose kicked up a stink and got bubkes.

  42. PeteW

    All that said – and hope the venting is taken in the spirit with which it is intended(!) – I agree with many reservations about Carlo this season and think he’s had a bad time of it. The kids should have had more time, Drogba and Essien should have been dropped and he needs to develop more tactical flexibility.

    I think the appointment of a decent No 2 is absolutely imperitive because as Tony rightly points out, it is insane for one man to being the job of two people in the modern professional game.

    • FanSinceTheSixties

      Watched ArseBarce last night and one bit stood out, when Pat Rice jumped out of his seat to wave and shout encouragement to his players who were starting to wilt from their efforts at playing proper football for a whole half hour – i.e. pushing and pressing their oppos in the second half – and I just wondered when we last saw one of Carlo’s ‘assistants’ do anything similar.

      Sitting, talking tactics with the boss might feel good, but we need someone to kick ass and take names right now before the season really does implode.

      We’ve got a lifeline with the CL, but if this shit continues we may not be able to raise our game in time to prove what we’re capable of.

  43. PeteW

    Ferguson broke the Celtic-Ranger duopoly and won a European trophy with Aberdeen. That was an absolutely phenomenal achievement. He had also taken Scotland to a World Cup.

    Wenger won the league with Monaco and developed a reputation for a studious approach and unearthing raw talent. The same cannot be said for Hughes. Moyes is better, but I don’t see a winner there and ask most Evertonian and they’d agree.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Always remember the game at Goodison when we beat them 3-2 (late 35 yard screamer from Drogs) under Jose; he and Moyes had a bit of a spat on the touchline which made the headlines, but Moyes’ postmatch interview was very telling and mostly unreported. Basically said he was on plan C of the tactics manual trying to stop us getting the winner and Jose had about 4 answers to however he set up, and then had Drogs defending in the box at the other end about 20 seconds after scoring. Man against boy.

  44. FanSinceTheSixties

    More on the no. 2 debate (if there is one).

    Just heard that Gattuso’s been charged with putting the nod on Joe Jordan (ironic indeed) but it just shows how much some manager’s assistants get involved these days.

  45. Anonymous

    Christ Pete, feel better? Quality posting though.

    The posts now have times on, but they are way out for some reason…..

    I see Yuri is back in training. Outside chance for the last 10 mins on Saturday. Would be good for Slow Malouda (not Flo. See what I did there? No? Never mind…) to have a bit of competition.

  46. bluebayou

    Arriving somewhat late at the campsite I have to say I’m pitching my tent in the same row as JD and PW. I run the risk of getting dragged out of my sleeping bag and having my dangly bits exposed to the full heat of the campfire by Mr T but that’s the risk I have to take.

    Carlo and the team won the double last season. This season for a variety of reasons they have lacked consistency and both he and players have to take their share of responsibility.

    I like many others was hoping to see the younger players get a run but I suppose we saw that happening from a position of strength. I’m not second guessing CA here but the twin pressures of staying at the top and rebuilding the team probably mean that the effort to gain results (as dictated from the top) comes first, hence a bias to experience. To some extent that problem has been there for a few seasons now. And the key problem this season is not that younger players have failed to step up but rather that the experienced core has been injured and struggling for form.

    Personally I have to question the trend for lumping all Chelsea’s recent management into Jose and the rest with Hiddink given a small pedestal of his own. Let’s take Gus first. Marvellous job, rescued the season and it would certainly have been interesting to see how far he could have gone. But he wasn’t at the club long enough to judge how he would have coped with the problems of this season or indeed a full season at all.

    Ranieri had his limitations but he took the team forward. He took them forward before the money arrived and had assembled a competitive team in amongst all the mad comings and goings.

    I see his tenure separately from the Big Phil/Uncle Avram axis. Scolari lost the dressing room and did not seem to have what it took for club football in the PL. Grant, well who knows, but for the width of a post and a bit of loose turf, crikey?

    But they were following on from Jose an extremely hard act to follow.

    Now with Jose there are a few things we have to bear in mind. CA matched his achievement in his first season. It doesn’t look like that will happen this season. However, it should be noted that JM inherited our key players as they built to their zenith. There is no doubt he was tactically astute but there were times when he and the players came up short. There were times when he got it wrong. No-one is perfect and that is not a criticism.

    More significantly JM had hit bit of a wall for the first time shortly before his departure and because he left we were deprived of the chance to see how he solved the problems. Indeed we still await the chance to see him build a team and then break it down and refresh.

    So we’re on different ground now. I think we have to take Carlo on his own terms. He rocked up to the PL last season, got the team playing and we scored a phenomenal amount of goals. Yes we failed in the CL but went out to the winner. Surely we have to give him some time. The problem at Chelsea is we have to have it all now. Even United don’t win every season. Djemba Djemba anyone?

    It is so difficult to read what’s going on in the background. But in the current set up we all know that the manager who demands control of all affairs is not going to last. Whoever comes through the door will not operate on his own terms for very long, if ever. That much we know.

    Why has Carlo put up with the situation regarding his assistant? I don’t know. He brought in other members of his backup team so it does seem strange to soldier on without his own man. His position and future as far as the club is concerned is a major worry.

    Where is the politicking that seems to always be going on behind the scenes going to leave us? There is no-one out there who will do what Ferguson did for United. That’s a one off. And no-one would be allowed the time that Wenger has had without putting silverware in the cabinet.

    There is no evidence in recent times that any coach can look forward to a period of longevity at our club. And that is a problem.

    It depresses me that there are so many voices ready to show Ancelloti the door (and I’m not including you Tony, I see the distinction you’re making). The stock reaction in Chelsealand these days after every set back is to produce a list of players who have to be given the boot followed by a list of desirables and then a look around at what manager we can garner for next season.

    For those (males) with their head between their legs and looking at history through rose tinted testicles, football is never perfect. It wasn’t under Jose and I remember plenty of rows around the blogs between those who believed everything he did was right and those who wanted to criticise. Yes it’s part of the world of football and debate is enjoyable. But at some point we have to try and get away from the world of disposable football.

    If Ancelloti goes I for one will be sorry. Not because believe he is the perfect solution but because it will be further evidence that something is not right with the football club.

    We don’t seem to enjoy winning any more. It seems to have become an entitlement. Twenty comments on the Sunderland game. Says it all.

    • John

      What a great post, not just because I agree with it but because as ever on here it’s a typical capping of a very good debate between sensible, like-minded people who are so good at written expression. Carlo’s not been perfect but fuck me surely he’s entitled to a bigger chance than people seem willing to give him. As JD said, other managers who look good can fuck up – not only van Gaal, but even Gus proved he wasn’t infallible after leaving us. I think the trouble with many Chelsea supporters is not an entitlement to wining but a fear, after so many years of failure and defeat-from-jaws-of-victory-snatching, that each setback means we’re slipping back to obscurity or that the Roman bubble is about to burst. suspect that many people don’t so much think winning is an entitlement as, being long-suffering Chelsea fans, fear that all setbacks are signs it’ll all go tits up. I’d like a bit of stability, or at least the nearest we can expect to it with Roman and his money. I’d suffer not winning anything for a season or two if we stayed competitive and used the period to build. United went three years 2004-6 without winning the title and then got 3 on the spin, and the key was surely sticking with Ferguson and letting him rebuild.

  47. bluebayou

    For anyone still awake after that, may I say a hearty well done to JD , Mark and Tony for the quality contributions of late. I may have been off the radar but did enjoy the read.

    By the way my absence during political unrest in the Middle East is purely co-incidental although the lack of broadband connections in and around Tahir Square is a scandal

    • Anonymous

      I’m led to believe something called Twitter is the answer to scandalous suppression of broadband availability. I gather it rather makes a necessity of brevity rather than the extended considered exposition of views our colleague bloggers have treated us to today, though 😉

      I agree that surely we have now got to a point where we need some manager stability at the club above all else or we’ll never develop real long-term success. We must already be close to only ever attracting chancers out for a nice pay-off when they get the boot at the first sign of things going pear-shaped.

  48. bluebayou

    The Good News – The World Cup and Euros will stay on Poor Peoples Television

    The Bad News – That’s more Lineker, Hansen, Townsend, Tyldsley etc etc

    But you can’t have everything


    @bbd I got this off a tweet that I linked to from a Canadian blog about hockey – isn’t technology wonderful? But I fear the death of the scholarly disquisition is upon us. And I fear it ’cause my self-editing is so poor.

    • Cunningplan

      I don’t see it as good news, having abstained from watching the Euros and World Cup, I think anyone who watches the dross should pay through the nose for it. 😉

  49. bluebayou

    Just to contextualise those numbers.

    Imagine a pound equates to a second of time

    Average earnings in the UK are around £30,000 I believe.

    So that’s just over 8 hours

    A million of yer English pounds is just a tad under 12 days

    A professional footballer getting £5 million a year – that’s almost couple of months

    Torres cost us about a year and a seven months

    A billion quid is something approaching 31 and a half years

    £11 billion quid?

    Do the math.

    Nice to have time on your hands……and talking of time on your hands

    If we’re tiring of Roman I believe there’s an Egyptian knocking around with £60 billion in ill gotten gains stashed away and some time to spare. Time to move up to the big league I say.

    (I don’t know who dreamt up this method of comparing money and time up but I got it from John Lanchesters book “Whoops”)

  50. PeteW

    I used that Whoops! comparison recently. It’s an excellent way of getting your head round the figures and having some grasp of exactly what a billion pounds means.

    Great comments by Blue Bayou and John, think there is a massive amount of truth in this from John: ‘I think the trouble with many Chelsea supporters is not an entitlement to winning but a fear after so many years of failure and defeat-from-jaws-of-victory-snatching that each setback means we’re slipping back to obscurity.’

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