Are you scared of snakes? I am. Even the small ones. When I’m out walking my dog and a grass snake, about the diameter of my little finger and a foot long, slithers out the long grass and across our path, it sends shivers down my spine.
An interesting point about snakes is that they shed their skins. The frequency that this occurs depends on a number of factors but shedding will occur regularly.
A snake about to shed is referred to as being “in the blue”. The signs you will see indicating a shed is about to take place are consistent and include:
- Skin becomes dull.
- Eyes become cloudy or “bluish”.
- Increase in nervous behaviour (because they cannot see well).
As far as the snake is concerned this a perfectly natural phenomenon and an essential part of renewal and a healthy life. As the skin starts sliding off its back it’s never been recorded or witnessed for the snake to look over and advise the old skin of what’s happening. The old skin knows it’s had its day and is happy to slide away, relieved that it’s led a full life and grateful to have escaped being turned into a handbag or pair of shoes. Once the skin is off, marooned and abandoned, the snake doesn’t stop to wave goodbye or thank its old skin for services rendered, but weaves its way forward, seeking its next adventure.
With a starting eleven of Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Romeu, Lampard, Meireles, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata, with Luiz and Ramires likely starters if circumstances allowed, it appears the skin is at least half way down the body.
The first half (typed in real-time)
Very sloppy first nine minutes but then Sturridge made a very positive run and cut a decent ball across the six yard box. Sturridge does have the knack of beating a defender and it appears that passing is also now on the agenda. After 14 minutes Terry made a good run and has a fine effort from 25 yards with his right boot.
Great shot from Romeu as he picked up on a loose clearance and volleyed from outside the box.
After 25 minutes it’s all Chelsea, but we haven’t created much.
Drogba’s playing as if he’s concluded his contract negotiations but after 37 minutes has a decent diving header which slides just wide of the post.
Wigan have a penalty claim but, despite the protestations of the commentators who are desperately seeking excitement, it was never handball by Ivanovic.
Half-time: After the exciting trilogy of Newcastle, Valencia and Man City it’s all a bit dull and predictable. Thought Martin Keown summed it up stating that it’s alright performing when your backs are against the wall but you also need to do it on nights like this. We look complacent.
The second half (typed in real-time subject to battery)
Kalou on for Romeu. Bet PeteW is pleased!
Maybe we’re missing the pace and energy of Ramires?
You know how Drogba’s recently got back to his best? Well so far he’s back to his worst!
53′ – and a nice little run by Kalou to the byline but Drogba fails to convert the cross.
Lampard currently off the pitch with a bloodied mouth.
58′ – cross-field ball from Cole, beautifully controlled by Sturridge and finished magnificently – GOAL! Earlier in the season I was negative about Sturridge and didn’t think he’d make the grade. I’ve put on a fair bit of weight recently with the amount of humble pie I’ve eaten.
65′ – Mikel on for Mata – what, we’re shutting up shop already?
73′ – JT lands badly and injures his knee. Someone get a message to Alex to get out of Peter Jones (Sloane Square’s John Lewis) and do a few minutes training.
75′ – utter calamity in our box and we nearly give a goal away. Now Cech’s injured. All hands to the pump.
77′ – Sturridge gets whacked up the arse.
78′ – Malouda on for Sturridge. All three subs used so Torres stays on the bench again which must be quite uncomfortable with the size of his wallet in his back pocket.
Normally I don’t like distractions when I’m watching us play but to be honest writing these comments is a useful filler during a very dull match.
87′ – Crap indecisive defending followed by Cech dropping the ball and Wigan equalise 1-1.
Final score 1-1.
We started poorly. One bit of class from Sturridge followed by us slithering into oblivion. I picked the wrong reptile for my analogy, I should have chosen a tortoise instead. We were back to our worst of this season. Is it too simplistic to conclude this was because too many of the old guard were resurrected as we finished the game with Lampard, Mikel and Malouda? AVB is guilty too for going all defensive when we were 1-0 up. It was only Wigan for heaven’s sake.
Anyhow, Roman’s the head of the snake and as a body of fans we’ll follow wherever it takes us.
The match reports
The Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “Just when Chelsea had began to build momentum, they found it checked where they least expected it. In their last three games against Wigan Athletic Chelsea had won with a cumulative score of 15-0 and came up here expecting more generosity of the season. Roberto Martinez’s side had different ideas.”
The Observer, Paul Wilson: “A dramatic late equaliser by Jordi Gomez robbed Chelsea of all three points just when an efficient if uninspiring performance seemed to have preserved their winning habit. After a pulsating game on a cold night and a wet pitch neither side truly deserved to lose, but Wigan will undoubtedly be more pleased with their point than Chelsea. The visitors played well enough to put suggestions of disunity or unrest to bed but not well enough to close out the victory that Daniel Sturridge’s splendid opening goal seemed to have earned.”
The Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “Villas-Boas was forced to admit that they lacked creativity and penetration, which was why he took off Oriol Romeu at half-time and changed to a 4-2-3-1 formation. It appeared to have paid off with Sturridge’s goal, but the gamble to sit back thereafter was flawed, allowing Wigan to gain the initiative for the first time after an ineffective first half.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Daniel Sturridge’s ninth goal of the season, a quality strike in the second half, was not enough to maintain the winning run as the home side were allowed to equalise late on. A formation change for the second half looked to have paid dividends but once the hard work of breaking down the Wigan defence had been done, instead of closing out the game, the Blues allowed Roberto Martinez’s side some chances, one that required Branislav Ivanovic to clear close to the line before the lead was surrendered when Jordi Gomez scored.”