Monday, 24 September 2007

Weekend Reaction


Hi All,
It was unfortunate (not least for Chelsea) that yesterday's Man Utd match was overshadowed by referring errors, 4 major ones in total (sending off of Mikel, penalty given, penalty not given and Cole's snide tackle). Looking past this however and we can see that Chelsea have some big problems. United were far superior, even before the sending off, but this was exacerbated by the non-performance of some of their old reliables. Essien was practically non-existent, Sheva still looks disinterested and off-pace, despite many expecting him to have a new lease of life after being freed from Jose's tyranny. Roman clapped him off the pitch as he was substituted - perhaps he was hoping Kalou would be better, but there wasn't much chance of that!
Ben Haim was ordinary at the back, Ashley Cole was more interested in diving & winding up Rooney than in attacking, and Malouda has lost his form after a good start.
Inevitably there will be rumours of unrest in the camp in the coming weeks, but this will settle down as the players will realise that there is no point pouting over Jose's loss (or crying, as in Frank & Didier's case) and get their act together. I agree with JJ last week, no mass exodus, and a high profile manager to come at some stage in the coming year. Hell, if they bring Jamie Redknapp into the backroom staff, maybe they'll groom him to take over?
Liverpool's game against Birmingham offered more evidence of Rafa's madness, after the folly of leaving Gerrard, Torres and Babel on the bench versus Portsmouth. Leaving Torres on the bench was a masterstroke of insanity and the excuses began after the match that it was for tactical reasons, that he has four strikers and has to play them. This is rubbish and it looks like Rafa will rotate his way out of the title race, and possibly a job, before the end of the season. Benitez has done a lot for Liverpool, but a lot of fans I've been talking to are coming around to the opinion that maybe, despite his success, he won't deliver the league title.
Arsenal continue to play well, Adebayor has been revelation so far, and Fabregas would be a decent bet now for player of the season. After all the doom and gloom of the summer, there is now a lot of optimism and their first major test is 28th October vs Liverpool, followed the next weekend by United, so they have plenty of time to rack up points (West Ham, Sunderland and Bolton up next). If they can get to Christmas in a good position, add a centre back and goalie to the squad, they'll be in the battle for the title
Later,
Mark

8 comments:

Mark said...

scolari punching, in case anyone missed it: http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=G06MPrLadgQ

JJ said...

The Man City and Fulham game was the best I've seen this season - okay there were plenty of errors but it was entertaining and wasn't ruined by bad officiating. Elano and Petrov looked excellent... even though Fulham look even worse at the back than when Zat Knight was there. A great tonic to the pool shitfest on beforehand.

tyduffy said...

That Abramovich clap was the most emotion I think I have ever seen him show at a football match. Even then, he still had the same blank dumb expression. They look like shit, though. If there was a halfway decent fifth team, I would say that Chelsea might get knocked out of the CL spots.

Mark said...

I thought the same thing myself during the game, spurs must be kicking themselves. it is possible for a team like everton or newcastle to sneak in.
but there's still a good team there once drogba, lamps and carvalho come back they should be fine

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how the team mourinho leaves stacks up to the one he inherited(was stuck in USA until last year celebrating endless"world"?series)But it does seem that he prefers workmanlike players over flair which again raises the spectre of Ireland manager (sorry Stan ...you tell me!)

Mark said...

yea, not much flair, a centre midfield trio of Makelele, Essien and Mikel hardly sets the blood racing.

the team he inherited were really good, lots of flair, including duff, robben, gudjohnsen. They also had a few players which we though we were going to be good - veron and kezman, and then they had their old reliables - terry, lampard, makelele, gallas.
you could argue that it was a better squad, however, they hadn't won anything (in fact, thay had a spectacular meltdown against monaco in the champions league) but mourinho's squad are winners

JJ said...

As Andy Townsend would say… For me, there’s little doubt that Mourinho inherited a better squad than he has left. However, I think Mark’s point is valid enough about that side of 2004 not being winners. Chelsea under Vialli and Gullit as well as Ranieri had sides capable of winning the league if someone like Mourinho or Ferguson was in charge, yet each year they were happy with a good cup run and some decent league form.

They needed someone to raise their expectations and now they have someone to suck those expectations right back out again. Good times, good times.

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