Normally I try to avoid writing during the heat of the moment and give it from sunset to sunrise after a match before being putting fingers to keyboard. This time the problem is that I feel little passion or heat at all and feel sober enough to give judgement only hours after leaving the Bridge.
Although I am not one of the many who booed our new manager today, here is a man who justified slagging off our fans and one who said he would never wish to coach our club now claiming he did so to because it was to provide support for his own team at the time. That for me is an odd way to spur your own team on. Luckily he is slotting into a position where he personally cannot lose. Two years out of the game and he can waltz (or Twist) in to manage my club!
Back to the bigger picture... what is this club's mandate? I see in today's programme notes (which I rarely read normally) that our board talks of our new manager being signed up to put Chelsea back on track for our "objectives". What are they exactly? If they are to bring young talent forward then this will take time and we have demonstrated that we lack that patience at boardroom level. If it is to build a club that will have to become less reliant on our owner's financial input while remaining successful then we have to get real... this will not happen! If it is to simply qualify for the Champions' League each season in order to build our "global brand" then that is a completely different story altogether.
One thing is for certain - to try and aim to play 'total football' will not be achieved on today's performance. The first half tactic appeared to be to hoof the ball up into the air towards Torres and look for flicks. And that was not the only part of the game which gave me flashbacks to games against City in the 80s and 90s - the stadium was deadly silent throughout with only the odd Manchester City chant placing a grin on my face (the only fans to usually do so - who can forget their "Alan Ball" song to the tune of "Wonderwall"?) Tributes to Di Matteo seemed to fall on deaf ears with Roman unmoved on camera zoom-ins which also always seemed to have Bobby Campbell's head popping up from just below.
We were poor in the first half with only a slight improvement in the second. It has been a terrible week for Chelsea with fans again ignored. Although I will always love my club it is at times like these where my romance for the Blues dwindles. The only positive note was to be able to shake Paulo Ferreira's hand after the game to thank him for his loyal service to our club and the solid performance of Azpilicueta at right-back. We generally kept their forwards silent but they blew a couple of clear-cut chances to score. Luiz had an excellent game for once but our attacking midfield was mute. It was nice to hear fans sing that they want Ashley Cole to stay despite Benitez seemingly happy for the contrary to occur.
We need three points against both Fulham and West Ham. Then we can forget who we have in charge and try to move forward. If our job as a club was to provide column inches for the tabloids then we should be already crowned Club World Cup Champions!