Have Chelsea Lost Their Fight?

Before our game against Arsenal, Scolari was singing John Terry’s praises, informing the world’s press he was “born as a captain”. Mind you, by the time the final whistle came, having previously already warned his team-mates the Gunners were still a threat irrespective of their apparent poor form, it sounds as if the players felt the full force of some of his leadership qualities.

Terry, like the rest of us, must be wondering what the hell is going on all of a sudden as the poor form that seemed to slowly creep into our game has now got a firm grip. Out of the Carling Cup, just about hanging on in the Champions League and totally unconvincing at home in the Premier League – this isn’t the Chelsea we’d got used to. This isn’t the side who never knew when they were beaten, the side who could go a goal up and refuse to give the opposition another sniff of the ball, or even the side who could go a goal down and throw everything but machetes at the opposition to turn it around.

No wonder John Terry is reported to have torn strips off everyone in the dressing room after their toothless response to conceding in the second half of a game for the first time this season. Not that he’d have helped matters if his two-footed lunge had been punished on the day, but at least he wasn’t hiding behind the nearest blade of grass I suppose.

I remember last season and how bitter I felt about some of the decisions the club were making. Sacking Mourinho was one thing, but when it came down to replacing him with Avram Grant, well that was a whole different ball game. Fair play though, by all accounts, the players totally ignored him and the Tom Jones sidekick they brought in to make up the numbers, and just got stuck in. It wasn’t pretty, and to be honest, I whinged like a bitch for the duration – and yet looking back, what they lacked in style, they made up for in determination. They might not have won anything, but they certainly didn’t wave any white flags the minute they went a goal down in a game either.

I’m not suggesting for a second that I want a return to digging out results game after game in a style about as pleasant to watch as Scolari’s predecessor  in the buff, god knows I prayed for something resembling a decent game of football for long enough. But on the other hand, whilst I get a buzz out of Scolari’s attack-minded ethos, I really can’t see what good racking up our goal difference will do if we can’t even play, never mind defend against our closest rivals.

So, as much as it pains me, I’m going to go along with the Chelsea captain’s sentiments and concede that Chelsea need to remember some of that mentality Mourinho instilled in them – and get back out there and fight.

 

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FA Accept The Linesman Got It Wrong Against Arsenal

When the FA decided Luiz Felipe Scolari’s comments about the level of officiating in our game against Arsenal weren’t anything to get their y-fronts twisted about, I wondered whether it was because they actually agreed with him.

And whilst they haven’t come out and admitted as much directly – because that would be way too honest for them – they’ve still more or less supported the criticism in a round about way by dropping the linesman in question from this weekend’s games. It might not get Chelsea any points back, but what it should do is make the rest of the flag-waving, whistle blowing inadequates sit up and take note.

Harsh words? Maybe, but the inconsistencies in the game, not just from week-to-week but from game-to-game drive most of us nuts. Of course they’re only human, but aren’t we all? That doesn’t excuse the rest of us from doing our jobs as outlined in our various job descriptions and neither should it the officials. If they can’t even get something as basic as an offside decision right then there’s no hope is there?

John Stokes had a clear view of Van Persie and yet whilst even the local nursing home residents without the aid of their bifocals could’ve called that one, his flag remained at his side – probably because he’d worn his arm out earlier waving Kalou offside when he wasn’t. Once, you might just about regard as a mistake, but twice? The man clearly needs to remind himself of what constitutes a decent offside decision.

Mind you, whilst the Professional Game Match Officials have excluded Stokes, Mike Dean – who refereed the game – still gets to take charge of Saturday’s game between Newcastle and Stoke City, which hardly seems fair given that he completely overlooked John Terry’s two-footed lunge.

Taking the whole ‘Respect The Ref’ thing a little too far maybe?

Arsenal Shocker: Wenger To Spend Money?!

Arsene Wenger might not be known for splashing the cash and yet if yesterday’s rumours are to be believed, he’s willing to throw £11million Chelsea’s way.

The Arsenal manager put in a sneaky bid for Salomon Kalou during the summer and with Peter Hill-Wood prepared to release the odd moth or two from the Arsenal coffers in January, the suggestion is that Wenger will try his luck again when the transfer window opens.

Mind you, whilst you couldn’t usually imagine Chelsea selling first team players to their rivals, with Scolari not being bankrolled for new players Wenger might well be in with a chance this time

Juventus Striker Rooting For Chelsea

Well, well. While the world and his wife are virtually breaking their fingers they’re crossing them so tight in the hope of seeing Chelsea exit the Champions League at home to Cluj, there’s at least one person outside the Chelsea ranks who wants us to go through.

Juve’s Vincenzo Iaquinta has got his heart set on playing Chelsea at some stage in this year’s competition apparently, assuming Claudio Ranieri lets him off the bench of course. The intermittent Juve sub says “All the teams are strong, especially in the later stages of the Champions League.  However, I would like to play Chelsea to be honest. They are a great team and are doing very well this season.  The season is tough but we have to continue on the right track as we are doing at the moment.”

Nice sentiments, but does anyone else get the feeling it’s only because he sees us as an easy touch after our performances so far?

 

Chelsea Told: Anelka Move ‘Wouldn’t Be A Question Of Money’

Paris Saint-German president Charles Villeneuve either likes to exaggerate a bit or he’s been smoking something he probably shouldn’t at his age.

You see, the 67 year old, who’s been a member of the PSG board since for just over a year believes things have gone so well in that time, that they’re now part of football’s elite in terms of finance and pulling power.

So who would he compare them to do you think? Well, why mess about with paupers like Chelsea when you’re clearly on level terms with the big boys – like Man City. Oh yes, they’re that big according to Villeneuve who says “PSG are worth more than Manchester City. Therefore it is worth more than 200m euros. We are speaking about Paris. A Paris which is working well and a Paris playing at Champions League level – believe me, that would be worth a lot.”

Er, what planet is he on? He might well value the club at 200million, but City could spend that much in a day without it even denting the Arab’s bank balance.

But why would I be writing about his delusions on a Chelsea blog? Well because with one of Chelsea’s most influential players signing for them already in the summer, Villeneuve has just added one of Chelsea’s current players to his wish list.

Makelele left Chelsea for the French club in the last transfer window, and for the other player he’s got his eye on, Villeneuve says “As for Anelka, the doors are always open to him. As he is the leading goalscorer in England, he is not making things easy for us. That said, if he returns to PSG one day, I don’t think it will be a question of money.”

Is it just me, or is there a flaw in that statement somewhere?