Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Title Slips Away

It has been a tough couple of weeks to be a Chelsea fan. Not only have we had to deal with the stupid off the field shenanigans of players who should know better, but we have also had the misfortune to lose some of our best performers to injury and be lumbered with a manager who as weeks go by appears to be slowly losing the plot.
After games like today I despair at where this club is going and how it is now paying for the wrong choices it has made in the past. The owner has to take some blame for this. It has also crossed my mind to not renew my season ticket but for every game like the one against Man City today I have the great pleasure to follow my beloved club to the likes of the San Siro so it is a very difficult decision to undertake.
It is easy to be critical of the side and there is many an argument that we should be happy with what we have - a club that (statistically at least) is consistently among the top 4 sides in European football... and solvent compared to poor Portsmouth - but I am not happy. I am selfish because I want us to annihilate all our bastard rivals and  be winning the league every season whether the style of football is pleasing to the eye or not. Where has acquiescing to the anti-Chelsea media lead us? I am sure today was a spectacular match for the neutral but as a Chelsea fan I don't care what non-Chelsea fans think about us as long as we are increasing our haul of trophies.
For a club like Chelsea with the wealth of talent it has to have already lost five games in the league this season is simply unacceptable. How far ahead in the league would we be if Jose Mourinho was in charge of this team?
Manchester City is not a bad side - but we conceded four goals against a team that didn't even play with a striker. Now, Carlo Ancelloti cannot be put to the sword for all our ills. He must be wondering who set fire to his lucky rabbit's foot when not only Ashley Cole, but his understudy Zhirkov suffered injury. This in addition to Essien being out and then losing Cech in the Champions' League! Not only that but we had 27 attempts on/off goal in the game and yet only scored twice. But then I have to ask why he does not want to play Ferreira who has been very successful in the left back slot? Then he could play his beloved 4-4-2 formation with players actually sitting in the positions they favour most... Cole (who was excellent today and incomprehensibly substituted) on the right, Malouda on the left... etc. Maybe this solution is too simple for Carlo? Mikel, having looked like a doppelganger for Gullit in midweek (apart from the scoring goals part!) against Inter made two errors in the game today that lead to both City's first goals. He was unlucky that he was caught against Bellamy (the bane of my life!) in a one-on-one situation as another Chelsea attack fell apart. Up until that point the visitors had only mustered one shot on goal! Hilario was simply woeful and Anelka looked nowhere near as confident as he did a month ago when he was lone striker. Drogba could not hit a barn door. But then Carlo came into his element - he put four strikers on the pitch! Who exactly was he expecting to supply these players with chances to score? With no wingers he left Chelsea horribly exposed at the back as Ivanovic and Malouda were forced to maraud upfield and suddenly Man City looked like the side who were looking to win the league!
I yearn for the days of Mourinho when we would have won a match against the likes of City 2-0, shut up shop and had a balanced side. The irony is that many sides have adopted Mourinho's tactics... the formation we play allows teams to suck Chelsea in and then kill them on the counter attack.
We have ten games left now and if we do win the league it will only be down to the failings of our rivals. I am not now confident of us even finishing in the top two... where did it all go wrong?

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