Saturday, 21 February 2015

Chelsea 1 Burnley 1

These days it is often an extremist view that is noticed. It is then regurgitated until it seems to become part of the norm. You do not wish for this to happen as it then legitimises views that, if part of the normal distribution would be otherwise seen as a black swan event. The problem lies where it stirs so much of an issue that it creates lasting damage taking too much time to repair.

In Chelsea's case we seem years, if not decades away from benefiting when it comes to decisions on the pitch going our way. Repeating our grievances would almost make my argument hypocritical. But there is one thing that will never seem to die - Chelsea does not get the rub of the green for important decisions during many games. Our side was disappointing in attack - especially during the first half - but should have still been awarded a penalty. 2-0 would have materially changed the complexion of the game. Instead, frustration grew to such an extent that the normally placid Matic was deservedly sent off for retaliating to a challenge that should have initially caused the tackling player (whoever he was) to receive a red card.

Issues with racism are paramount. You hear the odd fan here and there chant or converse about stupid things (especially en route to away games). Things they would be embarrassed to be seen doing in front of their families. So how to deal with it? By going to the root of the problem. Being proactive instead of reactive. Refereeing seems to have been at its worst this season with decisions best described as inconsistent. But hey, at least it makes the game exciting by providing some headlines, eh? An odd argument that is often thoughtlessly recycled. When a team attempting to 'play football' is fouled when trying to attack skilfully with no appropriate legal retribution incurred it disheartens players. Imagine being in a job where no matter how much effort you put in to doing things right, a pigeon defecates on your final piece as the regulator of your business refuses to build a roof above your place of work.

The FA needs to take a strong look at itself. If Costa was not fouled in the box, should he not have received a yellow card (even a retrospective one) considering he was in such an advantageous position? If it was not a foul, then should Chelsea Football Club ask Costa why he did not have the strength to stay on his feet? These days at home games I sometimes give up shouting my displeasure at the referee as it will never make a difference - but also because I have such confidence in our squad that I believe we shall easily beat our opposition no matter what goes against us at the Bridge - especially against such teams as Burnley where we are guessing how many goals we will score rather than whether or not we shall bag three points.

Chelsea's play in the first half was pretty average. Burnley played very well - pressing our players at the back and leaving little room to counter. The all guns blazing approach that we began the season with was not there against a side that may not have held any world class players - but still played as a team. The second half was much better but you have to question some of our tactics. Are we trying to score too perfect a goal? There were several times where we broke into their penalty area and yet had noone even close to the edge of the six-yard box. During an attack led by Cuadrado from the left hand side, he seemed to almost sarcastically play the ball beautifully into a danger area where we had no players. During another attack where we had three players zooming in on goal we had not one single other player join them. There was a huge gap between the centre circle to their eighteen-yard box where you would expect more blue-shirted teammates to appear.

It does feel demoralising when you have results like this. Even our manager is not the same guy he was and is afraid to speak his mind for fear of punishment. He is no longer just a tactician or psychologist - he now has to understand legal jargon. He seems to be the only one of us with fight left in him for there is noone left to back our cause. 69 might have related to 30, and the way Chelsea is treated in the media today may relate to the way our fans behaved in the 1980s and/or the way our chairman at the time fought for our club to the pro-red rags rage. Certainly you feel that our manager is on his own with few to back his cause apart from genuine Chelsea fans.

Let's learn from our peers - the next time Hazard is fouled? Roll around in agony like Ronaldo to earn the opposition player a yellow card but then magically recover and earn the world player of the year award. The next time there is no atmosphere at the Bridge? Let off some flares whilst being allowed to stand as away supporters do at our ground. Shove your selfie-sticks up your arses. Get behind our manager and side when noone else favours us. And breathe.