As has happened before this season, following a fantastic result (albeit not a completely convincing performance) against one of our rivals we lose our next Premier League game away from home.
Chelsea played poorly last night and made uncharacteristic defensive lapses that lead to a deserved win for Everton.
Even though the Toffees are a decent side (I wish we had managed to play them 3 months ago when half their squad was injured – timing, eh?) this is not a club we should be losing to at this stage of the season… and there is only one thing to say – Ancelotti has to stop playing this lop-sided 4-3-3 formation especially away from home. What is even more annoying is that the fluidity we had in the team for the last month or so seems more down to the fact that the manager's hand was forced because of Drogba's absence for the African Cup of Nations rather than from any real lessons learnt about this side.
Despite a good result against Arsenal on Sunday the team never quite looked right and if the Gooners had Drogba up front instead of some 12 year-old boy the result would have been different.
It’s after results like last night that I really begin to pine for Mourinho… under him I feel more certain that we would be more than 1 point clear of Manchester United – and looking at an albeit weak Serie A you can see how he has instilled that winning mentality in his side. All those saying it would be a return to boring football should have a look at how many goals we scored under his tenor… and how many games he lost in his spell in charge of Chelsea… and how many major trophies we won. At this stage we will be lucky to win the FA Cup but I hope I am proved wrong.
Of course it is hard to criticise Ancelotti without sounding fickle when Chelsea have been on such a good run recently… but looking at the teams we have lost to this season in the league certainly does not bear the mark of champions – to lose to the likes of Wigan is simply unacceptable. But Chelsea have arguably the best squad in Europe so why can’t Carlo utilise them properly? We are still top but with these players we should be well clear of the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal who generally have inferior players to ours in almost every position!
Anelka and Drogba together up front will not work in the long run… only one of those can play and even though Joe Cole has been tepid at best this season, he has tended to thrive when playing in his natural position on the right wing with Malouda on the left and a lone striker. Anelka looked dreadfully unhappy last night but to replace him with the useless Kalou beggars belief.
We will probably win our next few games in the league… we have Wolves at Molyneux, Man City at home, Portsmouth away and West ham at home… these are not the games I am worried about – looking at the tail end of the fixture list we will really struggle if we don’t start beating the teams we should beat – or at the very least, not lose to them!