Sunday, 21 February 2010

Drogba saves Chelsea again

With injuries and illnesses in the squad ahead of the Inter game Ancelotti was forced into some changes before the match at Molineux. Looking at the team selection on a friend's mobile in one of the best pubs I have been to on an away trip, The Great Western (the bar staff actually remember who is next in the queue!) it seemed quite an obvious excuse to get the old 4-4-2 formation out. Joe Cole was obviously going to play on the right, Malouda on the left, Anelka and Drogba up front and Ballack shoring up the midfield with Mikel.
How wrong I was!
Yet again, the Chelsea manager turned tinkerman and played Malouda in some kind of defensive left midfield position, but obviously must have told Joe Cole to play in that area too! The result was that the team played with a disjointed formation that did not allow the play to flow.
One thing that Ancelotti has had more of than many of his predecessors is fortune: he is lucky to have such a world class squad that has a striker in Drogba who can score with the side's only two shots on goal in a game; he is lucky to have the likes of Petr Cech keeping us a clean sheet; he was lucky to have a referee yesterday who made many decisions in Chelsea's favour (Joe Cole's cross was so poor yesterday in the first half that the officials awarded us a corner because they couldn't believe it could not have come off a Wolves player!) Maybe it is this luck that might win us the league as well as having rivals who are not as strong as they used to be and are slipping up too.
So off to Inter this week... having never seen a Chelsea match in Italy it is something that I am very much looking forward to. I still rue the day that Abramovich decided he knew better than Mourinho and rid us of our greatest ever manager. I still wish he was at the club but being a Chelsea fan I am not particularly surprised at how we shoot ourselves in the foot every so often. You can see how Jose has instilled that fighting spirit in a team which is on paper quite average; yesterday they were down to 9 men at half time and still managed to scrape a draw that leaves them eight points clear in Serie A.
So come on Carlo, stop playing these lop-sided team formations or you will just become another Ranieri!

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