Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report, Player Ratings

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Kevin McCarra: “There is a cadre of veterans in Carlo Ancelotti’s team and while their wisdom looked a great asset when Spartak Moscow were beaten 4-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Wednesday, they had not saved anything like enough vigour to withstand Liverpool. Fernando Torres, scorer of the goals, gave a magnificent display and his clincher was superb.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “As well as lifting Liverpool spirits, a deserved triumph rooted in collective endeavour, the right game plan and the resharpened cutting edge that is Torres also carried a wider significance. No longer are the Premier League’s chasing pack choking on Chelsea’s vapour trails. No longer are the champions looking invincible. In stifling Carlo Ancelotti’s side, Liverpool matched Manchester City’s work-rate. Yuri Zhirkov and Ramires simply lacked the power to deal with Gerrard and Lucas. Didier Drogba, restricted to second-half action, was struggling with a fever.”

The Independent, Ian Herbert: “It is tempting to ascribe Chelsea’s defeat – a genuinely extraordinary one given how listless Liverpool have been of late – to the discomfiting effect of sides who press them hard away from home, though Ancelotti’s pragmatic – and impressive – response last night seemed a reasonable one. He had actually encountered a perfect Mersey storm. No side can enter a game minus Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and Drogba and be entirely unaffected.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea suffered a second league defeat of the season on Sunday as two first-half Fernando Torres goals proved our undoing. The result was a fair one as our hosts dominated the opening period before defending stoutly in the face of a much-improved Chelsea after the break.”

The goals

11′ Torres 1-0
44′ Torres 2-0

The preamble

Oh dear, do I really have to do this?

Not after that mess. Please, someone raise their hand and offer to take my place.

No takers I see. Well, screw this. After a performance like that, I just can’t take it anymore. I’m off…

…Ok, I’m back and I’ve manned up. Well, sort of. So let’s do this then.

You know, I’ve always hated trips to Anfield. Despite it being the location of some of my favourite Chelsea moments of all time – Branners’ double in the Champions League, the 4-1 battering we handed out to them in Jose’s second season after Jamie Carragher said that we “were scared of playing Liverpool” and the 2-0 win which all but secured the title last season, all come to mind – Anfield is one of those away days which kind of scares me.

I don’t know if it was just a strange day but my leg was particularly shaky this evening and my stomach was also rather jittery. But I guess that’s what trips to Anfield do to us Chelsea fans. Whether it’s Casiraghi pulverising his gentleman’s area against the post, the ghost goal, Eidur’s miss from a yard out in the 98th minute of that semi-final, the penalty shoot-out defeat or our nightmarish trip there under Scolari, these away-days up North have regularly proved to be extremely painful. And add to that our dismal away form in recent weeks (I thought that City performance would be hard to beat in terms of misery levels but I clearly underestimated this side’s ability to inflict despair on its fans) plus an ever growing injury list that now includes Essien’s dodgy toe, and you had the feeling that today just wouldn’t be our day.

But then I put my rational hat on and told myself to stop being so bloody pessimistic. We’re the fucking Champions, with a team full of world-class players like Ashley Cole, JT and Petr Cech and are being led by one of the best managers in the world. So why should we be scared of facing a bunch of rejects like Konchesky, Lucas and Carragher, rigidly cemented into the archaic, straight lines of Roy Hodgson’s 4-4-2? We are Chelsea Football Club for fuck’s sake and we were here to win. So “COME ON” I silently roared to myself whilst no-one was watching. A win today would be the perfect way to capitalise on Arsenal’s defeat and after the earlier wobble, my rousing speech was the perfect way to get ready for Super Sunday. I was hopeful. I was optimistic. And I was ready for a fucking master class as we easily swept past Liverpool.

Well, that was the plan anyway.

The team

Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Zhirkov, Kalou, Anelka, Malouda.

Subs: Turnbull, Drogba, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Sturridge, Kakuta, McEachran.

So no Lampard, Essien or Drogba then. Frank recently said that he always knew that this new tendon injury would “require a 10-12 week recovery” so why Carlo has been telling us that he would be “back for the weekend” for the past four weeks, I don’t know. Essien’s toe and Didier’s fever meant that our starting XI looked weak, rather negative and distinctly shot-shy. And when you need a goal away from home the thing you don’t need is a midfield three of Mikel, Zhirkov and Ramires who have mustered between them a grand total of zero league goals.

That earlier optimism was beginning to fade.

The match

I’d like to state at this point that this first half was one of the most dismal, embarrassing, shameful, shocking, shit, abysmal, appalling and inexcusable performances I’ve ever seen from a Chelsea side since the dark days of Scolari.

But you know what, we didn’t start that badly. The first 86 seconds saw us knock the ball around beautifully, if rather pointlessly as Liverpool immediately retreated from kick-off into their own half and we pushed forward positively. Andy Gray even commented that Chelsea had “started very confidently,” which was nice. But something wasn’t right. I think it was the fact that for all of our possession, we were going absolutely nowhere with the ball. Anelka was completely anonymous as Carragher and Skrtel dominated him, Kalou had little to no effect due to Liverpool’s deep defence and despite Malouda looking bright, the lack of support meant that his skilful play was often wasted as Gerrard and Lucas surrounded him in midfield. JT and Alex did look comfortable at the back and Ash was getting forward regularly but the inability of our midfield to impose themselves on the game meant that our good start quickly faded as Liverpool grew into the game.

Now, when I say “grew into the game”, I mean they stopped parking the bus in front of their own fans and took the drastic step of moving from eleven men inside their own half to nine. I suppose it’s the Woy way to make sure you stay compact but the fact that Liverpool were restricted to long balls to Torres and Kuyt simply made our glacial tempo and dismal passing all the more disappointing.

And in the end Liverpool got the goal this awful game barely deserved. Yet more poor passing from both sides led to the ball bouncing through to Skrtel and with the first real bit of quality in the match, his clever pass found Kuyt unmarked near the centre-circle. For some reason Alex decided it would be better to retreat to the edge of our own box instead of closing him down and that inexplicable bit of terrible defending cost us as Kuyt turned, looked up, strode forward and pitched a perfect pass to Torres who pushed JT aside and scuffed the ball beautifully into the far corner.

So 1-0 down and despite a few signs of life as Ash powered forward and sent over a couple of nice crosses, things barely improved for us. It wasn’t just that we had only tested Reina once – although I’m struggling to remember any sort of attack we put together in that terrible first half – but that we couldn’t even be bothered to do the basics. Things like crossing the ball past the first man seemed too much for Malouda and Zhirkov to handle, or passing to a blue shirt was definitely beyond Ramires’ capabilities (more on him later), but much of the side just looked lazy, timid and frankly pathetic. Carlo has said that he’s frustrated that we don’t play at 100% for 90 minutes and that the way Man City outfought us shocked him but today was something new. We looked uninterested with few of those in blue ever breaking into a sprint or charging into a 50-50 and this lack of passion or effort reached a pitiful nadir when at 2-0 down in the second half, Bosingwa actually jumped out of a challenge with Torres as he was defending a counter-attack, which nearly cost us a third on the break. It resulted in me shouting a load of abuse at him, which shouldn’t be repeated here but the lack of desire or appetite for the fight really did shock me.

Now, Liverpool’s poor display shouldn’t be overlooked as they were doing fuck all at this point but doesn’t that just make our showing all the more pathetic? Mikel was spraying the ball about well and JT and Ash were at least fighting for every ball but in terms of attacking threat, I think 1/10 would have been a fair assessment of our first-half efforts. And just to piss me off further, as I was screaming out for more passion, Ash’s determination to keep hold of the ball despite getting slapped in the face by Kuyt, cost us a second. He should have just gone down and got the free-kick but he wanted to push for an equaliser and as he lost the ball, Liverpool quickly spread it to Torres who stepped inside Branners and curled the ball into the top corner. And that was game over in my mind. I was tempted to throw in the towel and start watching the F1 I was recording but when our Dear Leader gives you a job to do, you have to show loyalty and finish the task at hand.

So I was back for the second half and stunned to see Zhirkov and Ramires still on the pitch. I haven’t mentioned them so far and I’ll leave a proper assessment of their awful displays until later, but when you need a goal, a midfield of Mikel, Ramires and Zhirkov is not what you want. Strangely, Mikel was the most offensive midfielder on show in blue and despite an obviously unfit Didier coming on, we really didn’t look like scoring for bloody ages.

Yes our tempo was a little higher and yes we were putting in a few tackles but giving an extremely defensive side a two goal lead meant our second half efforts were too little too late. Liverpool didn’t get into our half until stoppage time, which highlights their level of ambition but we just had too much to do to stop one of the worst Utd sides of all time creeping to within two points of us at the top.

Ramires did venture forward a couple of times but his inability to take a ball off JT, turn and pass the ball forwards was astounding. Zhirkov did draw a sharp stop from Reina at his near-post and Ash was storming forward at every occasion but this was the least you expect from a Chelsea side. We’re famous for using our full-backs and passing the ball quickly and attractively but the 2-0 deficit made us look anxious on the ball and when we did get a few crosses in, we had no-one in the middle to convert it. In the end Sturridge, Bosingwa and a marauding JT all had a go at trying to get a goal back but when you saw Anelka smash the ball against the bar from 20 yards out and Carragher knock the rebound into Reina’s arms instead of the net from a yard out, you knew it wouldn’t be our day.

The match ended quietly with Carlo telling everyone to calm down in interviews after the game as “you can’t win every week” but today was truly awful at times. We’ll probably win on Wednesday and Arsenal’s defeat plus the Manchester derby will come in handy for us, so we shouldn’t get too worried. But in the end a 0-0 at Villa Park, 1-0 defeat at City and now a 2-0 defeat at Anfield hardly look like the performances of Champions does it? We will win the title but these away-day blues are pissing me off now.

The good

  • JT – An immense performance from our captain as he looked around at the disastrous scenes, said “fuck it” and decided to try and sort things out on his own. We hardly got a decision out of Webb all day and in the end JT decided to just go around smashing people on his own to try and provoke a reaction from those in blue. His defending against Torres’ opening goal was a bit sloppy but for the rest of the match, he shut the door on every other Liverpool attack.
  • Torres – He’s not cup-tied and should be available in January. And when you look at our pathetic efforts up front on the road this season, which one of us would turn down this class act?
  • Newcastle – They win in London, again. And that’s why Arsenal will never again win the league under the leadership of Monsieur Wenger.

The bad

  • First half – Have you ever seen a performance like it from a Chelsea side? It was horrific at times and needs to be corrected quickly if we are to secure this title.
  • Zhirkov – He needs to learn how to pass the ball forwards as his lack of confidence or perhaps natural shyness, means our midfield is incredibly negative and defensive at present.
  • Away form – That Big Four mini-league from last season seems like a distant dream tonight. Carlo has said that we like to “keep the same philosophy whether we play home or away” but after yet another dismal away day, perhaps it’s time we changed our tactics on the road.
  • Lack of passion – The lack of effort on show was alarming at times as we looked slow, lazy, timid and strangely uninterested for much of the game. Not even a Carlo hairdryer was enough to salvage this game and some of these lads need to realise that walking for much of the game just isn’t good enough when you play for Chelsea.
  • Transfer policy – I know we were missing Lamps, Essien and Didier (he hardly affected the game did he?), but when you are left with a midfield with zero league goals between them, comprised of a left wing-back, holding player and a rookie, things aren’t looking good. Josh McEachran will be a Chelsea star and we are trying hard to break even but with a couple of injuries our squad looks old, slow and lacking in creativity.
  • Liverpool – Apart from two classy Torres finishes, what did they do exactly?

The horrific

  • Ramires – His first-half performance was an embarrassment. He couldn’t tackle, pass the ball to a blue shirt or run for 45 minutes and I lost count of the number of times he was bullied off the ball by Lucas of all people. Yes, Lucas! He requires three or four touches to control a ball and seems to specialise in the first time pass back to JT or Alex. When you replace Essien you are expected to at least get forward once or twice but he seemed unable to move beyond the centre-circle and today was a depressing low-point in his short Chelsea career.

Player ratings

  • Cech – 6/10 – Didn’t touch the ball apart from when he picked it out of the back of his net.
  • Ivanovic – 6/10 – Disappointing. Let Torres shoot on his right foot instead of showing him down the line and his attacking play was poor.
  • Alex – 5/10 – Why did he run away from Kuyt? That defending cost us the first goal and probably the match.
  • JT – 7/10 – Our best player today but that isn’t saying much. His defending was impeccable and he did show some passion, which was nice.
  • Ash – 7/10 – Our best attacking threat, which says it all really.
  • Mikel – 6/10 – Classy. He kept Gerrard quiet and did spray the ball around well but was let down by those around him.
  • Ramires – 1/10 – Dismal. He needs to adapt quickly as we need him with all our injuries but his inability to do anything positive or progressive is embarrassing for a Chelsea midfielder.
  • Zhirkov – 4/10 – A nice shot apart he was just too timid today. Where’s Frank when you need him?
  • Kalou – 5/10 – Anonymous. Liverpool defended too deep to give him the space to use his pace. Oh well. Back to the bench you go.
  • Anelka – 5/10 – A nothing performance from him. He was on the pitch wasn’t he?
  • Malouda – 6/10 – Looked bright at times but wasteful at others. An up and down game from him.
  • Didier (sub) – 4/10 – Unfit. Unwell. And uninspiring.
  • Bosingwa (sub) – 4/10 – Came on to add a greater attacking threat but his crossing was dismal and that jumping out of a 50-50 was unforgivable. Pathetic really.
  • Sturridge (sub) – 5/10 – Touched the ball twice but gets another point for at least running about instead of walking.

Man of the Match

You’re fucking joking aren’t you. JT deserves some praise but the overall team performance was so horrific that they all deserve a slap.

Final thoughts

I’m too pissed off to give this proper thought as in the end, every side experiences a blip, playing away from home is pretty tough and we will win the title but everyone watching has to admit that we were awful.

It was embarrassing at times and if this is what you get when two legends like Didier and Lamps aren’t there to rescue us then fuck me, we’re in trouble. Ramires needs to wake up if he’s to start another game for us and Carlo must work out how to win away from home if our annual Christmas blip isn’t going to return. Apart from the worrying away form isn’t it also alarming that when we’ve only got two or three days to recover, we always look shit? Perhaps we are too bloody old.

Nighty night. Don’t let our horrific performances bite.

Related links

There are 72 comments

Add yours
  1. Anonymous

    Before I read another “why didn’t that idiot Carlo pick Didier?”, I have to point out that he had a fever and was still ill when he came on at half-time.

  2. Ringo

    So that explains that.

    Well done Habs ,I would’ve just said fuck it myself.
    But that’s why you ,and the other writers ,earn the big bucks and I live in a soggy cardboard box underneath the freeway.

  3. Ringo

    Always look on the bright side of life
    do do ,do do
    Arsenal lost
    do do
    the gooner blogs will be amusing tomorow ,what with them having no sense of humour whatsoever
    do do
    still two points clear
    do do
    and the scousers creaming their pants just cos they beat us
    do do ,do do ,do do do do do do do…..

  4. Blueforlife

    u hv no idea wat ur talkin bout…. no team can win every game… i feel we played a brilliant second half…. we we’re just a bit unlucky, bad day rather, we’re still on top arent v…. n liverpools defense had a lotta luck…. I’d still back the team with even an ounce of attitude change n wud’nt dare to say shit like they deserve a slap… u deserve an asswooping for talkin like this…MORON..!!

    • Cunningplan

      Blueforlife, we certainly like to see new fans come onto the blog with their views, but just a few things.
      Please could you not write in text speak, it’s lazy and irritating. And to call the report writer a Moron, is just downright fucking rude and ignorant. The people that spend the time and effort to make this blog possible deserve credit, if you don’t agree with their views do so in a way that is a bit more constructive.

      As annoying as it is to lose to Liverpool, we just have to accept, that the lesser, and smaller teams will always raise their game against us. 😉

  5. Anonymous

    I see a lot of negativity about Drogba on our own blog… even after being, arguably the biggest factor for the Chelsea success of recent times, he still is not as loved or adored as Lampard, Terry, Ashley and everyone’s current blue eyed boy Anelka… we seem to judge him on a different level to the others… when he scores, it’s like, well that’s what we pay him for it… and if he has an average game, there are people on his back… we seem to demand superhuman things from our Drog… yesterday, he was ill and still did manage to make Chelsea look good when he came on… can anyone honestly say that Anelka and Kalou would have bothered the Looserpool defense so much as to open up spaces for others? It’s time for some respect. A rating of 4? On par with Zhirkov and worse than Anelka??? You don’t need to love him, just give him his due respect.

  6. Prodicky

    i would still prefer the old ballacks deco belleti and joey to ramires zhirkov kakuta sturridge josh etal at least they could win matches

  7. Anonymous

    Just get over it, sometimes we lose. Who cares if we beat the top sides as long as we win the league. If we lose it doesn’t mean the whole infrastructure of the club, transfer policy, squad et al is crap and if we win 8-0 it doesn’t make us the greatest ever.

    Ramires will turn out ok. I was one of the few supporting Malouda in his first season.

  8. joeyjoneswasmissing!

    apppssolute pants we did not turn up ! on the plus side did they give ? us three points end of last season to win the leauge and this season we give them three to help them out ? we will win the leauge as all around us are kak they will finish 8th ish no worries to us.

  9. bluebayou

    Morning (let’s not pretend it’s a good one).Difficult to write anything even vaguely coherent after that Habs, so well done.Yes, Torres was always going to do his Dawn of The Dead impression and rouse himself in a big game just to keep possible buyers interested. Your’re right Habs, Anfield always makes us nervous and this followed the old formula of starting slowly, giving them the early goal etc. etc.The worrying trend is going to City, Villa and now Anfield and not scoring a single goal and coming away one point in nine. Suggests our away from is a problem that the scrambled victory at Blackburn doesn’t disguise. We could after all have been two down up there. Would seem to suggest it’s not just a question of attitude or sloppiness but adjusting how we play at some of these places.I think we have to give Drogba more credit. He’s obviously not right but is still doing his bit. Ramires needs some time to adjust and while the midfield 3 yesterday should be good enough to hold their own, Liverpool flooded the midfield and denied space, so they got outnumbered too often. This will happen a lot in the coming months, teams going out to crowd us for 50 to 60 minutes ‘til they run out of legs. Some will get the goals and leave us chasing like yesterday.Sometimes when things ‘aint working I wonder whether we should be prepared to think about dumping it long and squeezing the space, rather than getting pinned in our own half. Then perhaps given a lack of pace at the back, maybe not. Live or die playing football………as they say at the Emirates.

  10. Marco

    Thanks for the report, Habs. Really glad I didn’t have to write it. I actually switched off at half time because I couldn’t stand watching us play any more. I thought the second half against Wolves was bad; then the first half against Blackburn was worse; but the first half at Anfield was another low.But it does help to read the report the day after, along with the other comments. Saves me getting too bipolar!Let’s all hope Lamps is back on Wednesday night.

  11. Anonymous

    I nearly moderated Blueforlife, not for being rude but because of the text speak. If we get a reply in text speak then I will step in. Insults I can take, as can Habs, but lazy text speak is a step too far for those of us living on Pedants Avenue.

    Great report Habs, full of post match passion and vitriol….I would urge all the writers to think carefully before sanitizing their reports….yes it might be safer and more considered, but it’s far less fun! Your comment “Liverpool – Apart from two classy Torres finishes, what did they do exactly?” ….isn’t that rather Wenger-esque? Didn’t the Professor himself once question what Drogba did, after he’d bagged another brace to dump the gooners on their skinny arses?

    Other than that I do agree, the first half was pitiful, lacking passion and desire…..I can take a defeat but ultimately I want to see fight and yet that never showed itself until the second half when in all reality the job had been done by Liverpool. I was in France when they played Arsenal, in a bar packed with different fans and everyone agreed that they hadn’t seen a Liverpool side fight like that since Istanbul (copyright ITV, Clive Tyldesley), so to paraphrase Mark Twain “The report of their death has been exaggerated” . Can anyone blame them for sitting back and defending the lead, and when we do it against Arsenal and restrict their chances to long shots …..aren’t we usually jumping up and down about how brilliant that makes us? I know there is a dislike to Liverpool, but now that con man and lunatic Mad Rafa has gone, and his nemesis TSO is out of our lives perhaps it’s time to step back from that – I’m not saying like them, their fans are generally detestable, but I’m happy with a impasse whereby I ignore them and they ignore me. One area I do disagree with you Habs is on Hodgson, who I do think is a very capable manager, with vast amounts of respect throughout the game at every level. You don’t get that by being a numpty. In fact, I would rather have liked to see him take over from Capello after the SA debacle as I think he could have reminded the players that being an Englishman is a privilege and put some passion and honour back into the side.

    The away form is a concern, as others have said the Citeh display was dismal, Blackburn arguably should have done a job on us and although the Villa game was a decent result, they could have won it at the end had Reo-Coker decided not to a Stevie Wonder impression. We have fresh blood, maybe its time for them and if Drogba wasn’t well he shouldn’t even have been there….young Sturridge has shown a lot of heart lately (look at the anger he showed with himself for the miss against Spartak…that’s what I want to see…not a thumbs up to his mates!) and I reckon he has the burning desire to show what he is capable of…surely better than a 50% Drogba….we were 2 down so had nothing to lose.

    So, a bad day at the office for us, and United continue to flatter to deceive and yet are just 2 points off us now and undefeated……what’s that about the mark of Champions again? Write off United at your peril, because we all know that they never get going until after Christmas. This is not over yet, but unlike Carlo I do think the squad would benefit from a Torres or a decent signing, and if not then start having a little more faith in the youngsters.

  12. FanSinceTheSixties

    Thanks for that report, Habs, in a roundabout way it cheered me up knowing that others took it worse than me.

    The first half was dismal with two very sloppy goals by our standards. Don’t agree with where you’re putting the the blame though, and it’s a bit pointless in any case when the whole team were struggling to make an impression.

    Second half was so much better, especially that we started to pressure them with more than 30 mins to go, rather than leaving it to the last 10 like we usually do in these situations. It’s hard not to think that we would have gone on to score three or four if we’d just got that first one.

    We clearly need a plan for teams who close us down well.

    Possession may be 9/10 of the law but it means sweet FA in a football match if we do nothing with it, just ask the Arse – continually passing the ball backwards when we’re 2-0 down just doesn’t make sense.
    If their midfield are pressing us, then surely the trick is to get into the space behind them before they can get back to support their own defence.

    I had thought that Essien wasn’t playing well recently, but we sure missed him yesterday and maybe his good play is too easy to overlook, a bit like Mikel’s.

    Would this have been the wrong time to put Josh in?
    Perhaps he looks too lightweight for this sort of game, but we desperately needed someone with skill and vision. Having said that, we did create some good chances second half and when they don’t go in there’s little can be done about it.

    Two important home games before we get a week to sort things out.

  13. PeteW

    Hmmm, bit of overkill here, given that we were playing Liverpool on the up and were without four key players.

    Would highly recommend a bit of understanding about Ramires and Zhirkov. One is at least four months away from being ready for this sort of game and the other is completely out of position. And that was always going to be the deciding factor in this game – and there was nothing we could do but keep our fingers crossed and hope Liverpool had an off day. But they were always going to be on a high after Thursday.
    Shit happens, there’s a long way to go and we’re comfortably the best side in the league. The only key games will be against United, and we can even afford to lose one of them I reckon.

  14. PeteW

    Though one of the reasons I am phlegmatic is that I don’t hate Liverpool in the slightest. They are a bigger club than us with no geographical relevance or historical friction and hating them seems completely pointless and has the danger of making us look a little like QPR.

  15. ChelseaFanSince1972, Hong Kong

    I value the reports you guys write here. However, in this instance, I cant agree with the 1/10 for Ramires and associated comments. Yes he was poor like much of the rest but he showed passion and effort in the second half, probably doing more running than any of our other players. We all agree it takes time to settle in the Premiership. He will be a star for us.

  16. Der_Kaiser

    Morning all,

    Bit of a curate’s egg, that one. I’m fully with Mark on his comment above – sh*t happens, and a look at the team sheet suggested it was always likely to. Sod’s law that Torres chose to awake from his slumber against us, but I’d like to see how Liverpool fare at the Bridge minus him, Gerrard and Kuyt which is basically what we were faced with yesterday. Credit to Drogs – did his best whilst clearly not quite the full ticket and on another day, we might have got lucky with one of the chances and made them a little more nervous towards the end.

    Away form is a slight concern, but it should be remembered that we do actually have the second best away record in the league right now.

    I’m sure a Statto can confirm, but I think we’re actually 8 points ‘up’ overall against last season on the trips to Blackburn (drew last, won this), Wigan (lost last, won this), West Ham (drew last, won this) and Villa (lost last, drew this), neutral on City and 3 down against the Scousers (who really aren’t quite the ‘competition’ they were last season), so overall things aren’t quite as bad as they seem when you look a little closer. Get Frank back into the equation and hopefully we’ll be a little less ‘travel sick’ than we have been on recent performances; concern is that it has been occurring post European games, but with little or no room for rotation, especially in midfield puts this in some kind of perspective. With only a point needed to win the group, the pressure is off to a degree until February which is great; no league cup to worry about either which is also a plus.

    Pattern emerging across the league overall seems to be that away games are just getting tougher for everyone – the number of mid-lower table teams know that home form is ultimately what will keep you in the division. Newcastle and maybe Blackpool are doing pretty well on the road, but without analysing individual records, I can’t think that anyone else is really setting the world alight away from their own patch. With a full strength side, I’d still back us to get results of some kind in North London and Salford.

    On results, the Mancs are probably happier this morning, but on overall performances (our second half showing, mainly), we have less to be concerned about overall, I’d say.

    Ramires will be just fine – we’ve seen much more of him than we would have done in Frank’s absence; Yuri not really geared up for the role he’s been playing. Realistically, we’re not going to have perfect Frank and Essien replacements lurking on the bench and if we did, they’d only be keeping the kids out which is not the best thing in the medium to long term.

    Two points clear in early November having been without Frank for most of the season thus far, I think we’d have all taken that back in August.

  17. Anonymous

    Respect to Habs for managing anything even approaching coherence so soon after a miserable ending to an afternoon that started so brightly watching the Gooners mess up at home again [best joke of the week is surely the rumour that Carlo sees Andy Carroll as replacement for The Drog].Maybe a tad harsh on Bosingwa, though. He’s still not played a full 90 minutes after over a year out with injury, so I’ll forgive him not yet being in full JT-like “up and at ’em” approach to tackling.Given our absentees and lack of luck on our rare efforts in front of goal, I think we write it off and move on.So, I’ll get in ahead of Fiftee in the potential doom and gloom prat falls stakes by pointing out our next 2 home games will no doubt see the match day programme highlighting another series of club records up for grabs and that in Fulham and Sunderland we are playing 2 mid-table sides yet to register an away league win this season.Oh dear!PS. Well said, TG, about the need to expunge any attempts to introduce text speak into the blog. Some things are just beyond the pale, speaking of which if you felt like booting Moffat into the ether for a spell until he stops writing such utter drivel I think I could square it with my normally liberal attitudes to censorship 😉

    • Cunningplan

      I’m not taking umbridge here BBD, but if you look at my post you’ll see that I initially brought up the text speak, and Tony being a very good moderator picked up on it. I’m not seeking validation for any ideas or thoughts on this blog, but praise where praise is due sir! 😉

  18. Ze German

    I really have to say that our 1st half performance was a shame, especially the midfield looked toothless. Ramires so far isn’t doing the trick for me, without a player besides him who reigns midfield like Lampard & Essien or last season Ballack we produce no dominance. I do like Zhirkov but can’t see him as something else than Ashley’s replacement. I think we lost the game in midfield and by some class from Torres. Liverpool was not better and with a bit more luck in 2nd half we could have gotten away with a point.

  19. Nick Benfield

    Nothing like a defeat to bring us all together.I had a hangover of epic proportions yesterday which made the loss that bit more painful. But these days I get over defeats quicker than I get over hangovers. So this morning I’ve been all “meh, it’s not the end of the world” while wondering why my breath still reeks of alcohol. We were crap in the first half but the performance after the break was pretty good, though I think we could’ve played for another four and half hours and not scored. Ramires’s performance didn’t strike me as being particularly bad, not 1/10 bad anyway.I read somewhere that United have made their best start to any Premier League campaign, in that it’s the first time they haven’t lost a game in the opening 10 of the season, yet we are two points above them at the top of the table. CFC FTW. 🙂

  20. FanSinceTheSixties

    Just took a spin round the clubsite and it seems the consensus is that we were beaten by a team who played better on the day and while I don’t necessarily agree, it makes a welcome change from all the whinging and histrionics that the opposition so enjoy.

    Also noted that Flo is another of our thirtysomethings, which goes some way to explain his lacklustre form since the last bout of Internationals.

    It was clear just how much more drive JT had than some of the other ‘mature’ players and while the benefit of being rested is obvious, it’s quite early in the season to be such an issue.

  21. Fifty

    Damn you BBD for getting your pessimism in, even if it may be in jest. I reckon Sparkys boys will give us a tough time on Wednesday. Still, I’m sure Lamps will only be a few days away from fitness 😉

    Hardly a crisis and you regulars on here know how much I love to overreact. We will undoubtedly recover in the next couple of games (preferably a routine and nothing else display on Sunday, I’m playing golf for charity all day and don’t want to miss a spectacle)

    Agreed with the sentiments on Sturridge and his recent performances, he looks hungry and interested which is good. If Drogs is still not right on Wednesday, I’d pick Sturridge over Kalou. He has a little bit of the unknown about him still. Either him or Katuka need more time to show what they can or can’t do. Kalou’s had long enough (IMO) to take the chances handed to him and has never really staked a claim to be a regular choice.

    Apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors, all postings from me on the iPhone now as works websense blocks the new site due to ‘adult content’ or something similar…

  22. Cunningplan

    The only danger we have on Wednesday is, that Sparky will send out his team to kick lumps out of us, with the potential risk of our lads picking up the odd injury before Sunderland on Sunday. Considering our midfield seems a tad light currently, that’s where we seemed to lose out yesterday, apart from allowing Liverpool to score early, and give them confidence.

    We’ve heard often enough from players in the past, that after a defeat, they just want to get the next game to come along quickly, so they can get it out of their system. I certainly don’t think we lack any sort of confidence issues, or belief that we can’t go out and win on Wednesday night.

  23. Ringo

    Just in case anyone had forgotten..,.

    1 Chelsea 25 pts +22 gd
    2 Man Utd 23 11
    3 Arsenal 20 11
    4 Man City 20 5

    …and I’ve seen nothing to say that won’t be the order they finish in.

  24. Der_Kaiser

    Adult content? Strewth, there is a considerable difference between the odd smattering of industrial language as occasionally appears on here and a PVC-clad 19 year old called Tiffany going at it with the plumber, the bloke who cleans the swimming pool and a small Cairn terrier called Albert.*

    * I think he was using an assumed name. I certainly would have done so if I was him.

    • Anonymous

      Could be this bit of their policy from the Wikipedia link:

      “blocking non-pornographic homosexual content, and certain categories relating to education, religion and health” – almost sounds like a list of our non-football favourite conversation topics 😉

      • Der_Kaiser

        This is of course very true…

        ‘certain categories relating to education…’

        Well, nobody wants to see unedited pictures of Michael Gove, do they…?

        And ‘non-pornographic homosexual content’? What’s that, transcripts of old Duncan Norvelle monologues?

  25. ososdeoro

    Sigh. To me the first half didn’t seem all that different from a majority of the play this year…with the exception that occasionally the boys would flip the switch in previous games and get a nice goal. In terms of effort and speed, how was the first half really that different from most of Spartak or Wolves? The real difference being, of course, that this time the opponent had a fully healthy Torres and some guys who got him the ball. And just about every Poo player managed to control the ball more quickly than just about everyone on Chelsea (which admittedly does get back to the problem of being down a Lamps, Didier and Essien). Okay, so this time the switch was flipped on in the second half, with more effort than any game I’ve seen all year (save a couple very early matches), but given the Poo determination wasn’t enough on the day.

    But let’s also put this in perspective. This team came up with effortless stinkers last year as well, tripping up now and then but winning when they had to (which was way too often). A draw at Hull City anyone? A loss at AV? Sure yesterday was frustrating and annoying, but nothing can really be made of this game until we see the response. Last season the response after games like this was terrific every time.

  26. Anonymous

    I know how the midfield feel mind, having spent the weekend laid up with gout!!! It’s not easy sitting on the sidelines you know…….

  27. Aravind NG

    Ramires – 37 passes attempted. 32 complete. 6 tackles attempted. 5 successful. Would’ve said Ramires did “ok” based on statistics but then I watched the game.

  28. Anonymous

    Didn’t see the game but it sounds much of a muchness with what we’ve been seeing for the past month or so. (Thanks Habs for a very evocative report — I agree with the idea that it’s best to have them a bit “raw”.)

    The point about all the so-called “top” teams losing more games is interesting. This was definitely a trend last season and surely in some larger sense we can all agree that it’s a good thing if it continues, provided of course that we lose a few less of them than the others … There was a stage a few seasons back when the Premiership was getting perilously close to being Spain or Scotland. It’s basically more fun for everyone if the Wolveses and Newcastles and West Broms can get some results when they’re not expected to.

    I’ve also never been a big ‘Poo hater, perhaps because of growing up in the 70s and 80s when they were The Big Show. The ridiculous self-importance of some of their fans is bloody irritating, and of course those CL encounters were a nightmare even when we won, but otherwise I can live with them.

    Or perhaps that’s just the Paracetamol talking. We’d better win the next two, that’s for sure.

  29. Cunningplan

    Interesting indeed, but just to gauge opinion here, are we in favour of a possible move or not? personally I’m quite excited by the thought of a new ground.
    I accept that not coming or living in London, that our spiritual home doesn’t quite have the same personal ties as it has for some of you, but surely the chance to let the club generate a bit more revenue to compete, has to be good?

    The only concern for me would be, what sort of crappy commercial name wouldl be thrust upon us. Perhaps the fans might, and should have a say in that.

    • Anonymous

      Well, I am a London exile, haaving lived away from the ‘the smoke’ for a frightening 25 years now. Like you the ‘ties’ to the original ground have weakened, especially when you consider that on my first vsist none of the existing buildings were in place. In one sense it’s about the club building for the future, and the likes of me, nearing the half century mark aren’t going to be part of that in 30 years or so. whereas the 8 year olds pestering parents for replica kits very much will be.

      Personally if I was taking a young kid there these days I’dd be petrified leaving the groundd during the winter that we might lose each others hand and a d of 5 or 6 is very likely to be lot in the mass of people, many of whom aren’t taking a lot of notice about whats happening around them. 41000 people aall leaving onto the Fulham Road, with many trying to get to one tube station which is woefully inadequate for matchdays (hence I suspect the continued closures) is a health and safety nightmare. H&F council have used this argument many times in refusing us permission to build even greater capacity.

      Earls Court gives that capacity, the tube station is already bigger and busier, but would probably be redeveoped as well. Lets face it, the alternative plan for 8000 homes is far more likely to generate consistently higher traffic levels than occasional home games, mostly at weekends. Plus the key part of EC is the fact that the ground could have exits theoretically onto more roads, including if necessary the capacity to build a new road for access. It’s actually in Kensington & Chelsea as well, and arguably it’s no further from the real Chelsea than we already are. One issue iss the Chelsea Pitch Owners right to the name Chelsea FC, afforded them by Uncle Ken so that the ground could never again be sold to developers. They would either have to agree to the sale (I imagine they’ll make a profit on their shares) or our new Uncle Roman would have to change the club name – not a big issue I suspect when it becomes officially Chelsea AFC or Chelsea 2010 FC (much as Charlton renamed in the 90’s….however evryone still just calls them Charlton) – I don’t see that as a serious issue, unlike the naming of the ground, which is far more emotive in my view.

      Overall, I’m in favour of the move, it’s about the future and not the past and as H&F have dragged their heels it’ time the club played some brinkmanship to resolve the sitation one way or another. It’s not like the current SB is some sort of ancient monument is it?. .

  30. Fifty

    I’m in favour of a ground move. Norfolk ( and most of East Anglia) is still an untapped market.

    Basing Chelsea a few miles down the A11 from Norwich would clearly be in the best interests of, ummm, just me.

  31. bluebayou

    Taken from the Telegraph article that Marco posted a link to:

    “and are working on a naming rights deal for the next 10 years at the Bridge to boost revenues.”

    The mind boggles, the spine shivers, the breath is held……………

    I fear the worst. It will not end well.

  32. Der_Kaiser

    Whether it’s staying at the Microsoft Hotmail Bridge or shifting to somewhere new, it makes little difference. TG has it on the point about the Bridge being somewhat different to what it was 20 odd years ago; my concern is the same as Mark’s – having sought out pre-match food and beverage perfection over the years, I’m very happy with my watering hole and would be most disoriented if we relocated…

    Be interesting to see what develops on the EC story; they were always adamant that it wasn’t for sale but the arrival of the O2 and subsequent exodus of key events, gigs etc. has clearly changed all that – if the offer is right, who knows? Issue was always the tube line underneath and how deep the under pitch infrastructure could go – Monaco and their underground carpark being the point here; most players don’t like it as the thing just ‘feels’ different to a standard pitch.

    Don’t doubt some will view it differently and should we shift, AFC Chelsea 2010 might well appear, but as long as it is somewhere in the vicinity of the Bridge, fine by me.

    • Anonymous

      The deeply unlovely East Stand is the last remnant of The Bridge from my earliest visits.

      Personally, I took best part of a season to get used to watching from the West Stand when I switched from the East Stand six or seven years ago and don’t contemplate attending games in a soulless Emirates-clone with much enthusiasm.

      Earls Court at least is geographically close and I could probably just about still walk on District-line cock-up days.

      Corporate brand-name stadium naming seems a sad but inevitable half-way house that we can all just ignore but as TG says the future is not the 50-something old farts like us.

      Do I need to try to find my CPO share certificate then?

      • Der_Kaiser

        Very true on the whole 50-something aspect. Because, you know, I believe the children are our future (and the sooner we get them shelling out £60 for a seat in the 60k capacity EC Enormodome, the better).

        I agree that there is something depressing about it all, but the catch-all header of ‘progress’ applies here, I suppose…

  33. bluebayou

    Tony is the philosopher amongst us, or perhaps it is a problem of historiography and I may have this wrong, but is it not perhaps a mistake to view societal development and with it human history as a gradual linear progression, of benefit to the majority and thereby “a good thing”? Just because something is a change forward in time from the status quo does not make it “progress” in the sense of an enhancement?

    It may be that the 8 year olds will curse us for playing fast and loose with their inheritance. Sitting in the cushioned luxury of the new “Burger Kingdome” they may pine for a place that was redolent with the club’s history.

    • Anonymous

      There is something in that argument. New doesn’t necessarily equate to better, but on the same level then surely a decent refurb of the Colliseum might have suited Roma some time back. I’m sure that would have been full of atmosphere. I think in this case it’s the fact that the majority of the stadium is very new and modern anyway and so to many people it doesn’t feel much like the old SB. I love the faciltities we have, but would agree that it can seema little ……70’s or 80’s in its build. However, there is no getting over the 42,000 spilling onto onto Fulham Road and one does wonder what it would take before both club and council decided that enough iss enough. So rather than look upon it as a soulless megadrome we might build, perhaaps RA has other more forward thinking ideas. Under his regime, the fan have been treated well, with frozen ticket prices etc.

      Interesting to see the Torygraph immediately publish a story that is almost the exact opposite. Read what they say and the option proposed…..a naming rights issue for 10 years as a way of increasing revenue stream. That is a far more incidious solution…the worst of all worlds. Welcome to the Adidas/Samsung/Singha/D&G Arena @ Stamford Bridge, same capaicity, same restrictions for tickets on remote/infrequent visitors, same creaking infrastructure (East Stand really is rather decrepit in parts, not least the entrances) and same H&S issues, access to public transport issues, parking isues and those fucking bollards which are impossible to see in th dark and haave sevral tims become perilously close to damaging the TG crown jewels! I’m far more opposed to that than a physical move to New Stamford Bridge to follow Chelsea AFC.

      Also with Habs here, a new stonking 60k seater does send a statement out on intention. Arguably Spurs are equally landlocked but have gone for the bigger stadium……if naming rights were the answer, why wouldn’t they go down that route? Why wouldn’t Liverpool just refurb Anfield and give ‘naming rights’ ?

      On the philosophical front – I se a new ground as a form of Utilitarianism, whereby the actions are decided by what gives the greater ‘utility’ for the greatest number of people (utility generally meant happiness in this sense). – 60k people can savour the joy instead of 42000 and the club gets more money, therefore the greater utility would be delivered by the new ground. In my humble opinion of course!

      And Lord Kaiser….enough with the Geroge Benson lyrics!

  34. Anonymous

    Personally, I would love a new stadium.

    I know the name and old ties to the Bridge are problems which will have to be overcome but on a very basic level, a new stadium would confirm our status as one of the biggest and best clubs in the world.

    I know he’s a little more careful with the pennies these days but since he’s arrived, Roman has pushed us towards the top of the game by buying some of the best players in the world, hiring three of the best managers in the world (Jose, Guus, Carlo) and building one of, if not the best training ground and youth complex in the world. For selfish reasons, just imagine how Arsenal would feel when we trample all over their boring Emirates Staduim when Roman uses his billions to build one of the best staduims in the world to boost revenues and raise our profile in the game. Roman’s track record on long term projects has been pretty good (trophies, players, managers and now we’re even seeing some youth) so I have no doubt that a new Chelsea Adidas Arena at Earls Court would go down pretty well.

    Personally, I can’t wait.

  35. Ringo

    What Tony the grocer said.

    As someone who stood in the old east stand enclosure as a nipper and who’s first game as a full-timer was the day the new east stand was opened (opening day 2-0 loss to Carlisle)the Bridge is completely different to what I knew.
    And having been away for over 24 years now,apart from a brief visit in ’96 (5-0 win Boro/2-1 loss West Ham)) when the Bridge was a building site with temporary seats in front of the Shed ,I’m not likely to make it back again unless my lottery numbers come up so it won’t afect me.

    As for a slight name change ,no supporters would use it anyway.(Hadn’t even realised Charlton had changed ,they’re always just Charlton).

  36. bluebayou

    It’s certainly difficult to look on the exterior of the current ground with any great affection. But a word of caution. While I appreciate that the club must position itself the best way it can for the future, the 2 great building phases of the modern era, “The East Stand” and “The Bates Motel” led to money problems. For sure, the sale of the prime land we currently sit on would surely finance part of the development, but in the current climate they would have to be careful.The greater worry is that long term, Chelsea are in an area of the city that has no great need of the football club. There are far greater drivers of wealth around. Given the demographic of the area it is probably seen as a nuisance. That is the big difference from Spurs and other London clubs and many of the provincial club sites as well. Therefore the pressure over time will be to move it right out of the area. It’s worth bearing in mind that the boroughs in that area are discussing ways of sharing services. While political decisions may remain separate, it suggests a common purpose and philosophy. So in one way, perhaps a long term deal for EC would allow a renegotiation with the local authorities and put the future on a firmer footing. But I think 8000 flats( and that wont be affordable housing), is far more attractive to the Royal Borough. The emergence of the story is probably just the freeholder trying to jack more money from the developer or some such.

  37. John

    Certainly not against change and I won’t be protesting if this does become a firm plan, but there are issues to consider. We’d have even less money for players and wages during development, which would also, despite any input from Roman, surely also give us debt. Ticket prices would go up. And, especially if the prices go up, we might not fill a 60,000 seater as regularly as we do the Bridge – I’m not sure we’ve got the same level as support in London/the south east as Arsenal. Although they’re great to look at and a good “watch”, neither Wembley nor the Emirates generates a great atmosphere. We’re not Old Trafford or Anfield, but on a good day/night our ground rocks in a way that a new one would be difficult to match. Finally, a journey to Earls Court would add about 15 minutes to my journey time.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Moneywise it might not be an issue – conservative estimate on the value of the land SB stands on is around £500m; stick a 10 year naming rights deal for any new ground on top of that and it should get close to self-financing*

      * I am of course using that most tried and tested of financial models – fag packet economics…

  38. Anonymous

    For what it’s worth [not much?] the PR flunkey who keeps an eye on Carlo at pre-match press conferences was sticking to the “we have no plans to move, currently” line today and the developers merely keep us up-to-date because we expressed an interest in the past.

    More interestingly, Carlo revealed that tests have shown The Drog had malaria, but is now clear, so perhaps we should all let him off his poor recent form.

    Essien is back tomorrow, but minor doubts over Alex and Anelka.

    • Cunningplan

      Drogs had malaria! I hope he didn’t catch it from liasing around a certain X-factor judge.

      But seriously not nice at all, and certainly explains his less than a 100% perfomances

    • Der_Kaiser

      Interesting about Drogs; rumour once was that Arsene offloaded Toure because a) silly money was on offer from Citeh but additionally b) that he’d contracted malaria on international duty and wasn’t physically quite the player he once was as a result.

      Hope DD regains his form a bit sharpish.

  39. Austin Solari

    So has Drogs been shagging the ex Mrs Cole?? I wondered seeing as they seem to have been throwing the keys in the pot recently.

  40. FanSinceTheSixties

    Hard to see how all the modern medical stuff didn’t pick that up.

    Also, if the issue with SB is people spilling onto the Fulham Road why can’t we build a match day platform on the trainline that runs to West Brompton? Think it’s the line from Clapham Junction which would add a new transport option and surely take a few thousand off the road.

    One of the race courses (Kempton Park I think) did this and you just walked off the train and into the ground on race days – rest of the year it was closed. It’s probably still in service but can’t say for sure.

    The biggest problem would be sorting out the regular ‘weekend engineering works’.

  41. Anonymous

    Dorgba has to be superhuman. I mean, he can be cut down on the pitch, writhing in agony and yet be fully recovered within about 3 milliseconds.

    Any now he’s diagnosed with malaria on the Monday and fully cured on Tuesday. Amazing!

  42. ososdeoro

    Looks like there won’t be a new stadium, but if there is, put some creativity in and make sure the game day atmosphere is as exciting and vibrant as currently. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it has to lack character. When major league baseball began to replace the old stadia in the 1970s with crap, teams ultimately paid the price with awful attendance if the teams weren’t any good. They got the message, and now most of those 1970s stadia have been replaced with some real gems —- places that people want to go to regardless of the quality of the team (though that still helps).

Comments are closed.