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Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

I was hoping that the presence of Jose Mourinho at Craven Cottage on Monday would have somehow inspired Carlo Ancelotti in the substitution department.

Alas telepathy obviously isn’t one of the Special One’s myriad of talents.

Fulham’s stubborn resistance could not be breached and that was down to the midfield as far as I am concerned.

Essien, Lampard and Malouda (in that order) are close to driving me to despair — they are even failing to get the very basics right — like passing to a team-mate.

I can’t even say we lacked effort as we did against Liverpool — it was confidence that was conspicuous by its absence. You could almost smell the desperation as we took shots from 30 yards only for them to dribble comfortably wide.

Ramires did his best to make up for the dreadful form of his colleagues, but he is but one man. He and Luiz can share the man of the match award with special mention to Petr Cech for the dramatic late penalty save.

It’s early days but Luiz has the makings of a star. He is so comfortable on the ball; tenacious in the tackle and obviously an athlete.

It is evident that John Terry trusts the young Brazilian — a basis for a good pairing at the back.

That’s the ridiculous thing — many have been talking of Terry being on the way out but he has had a good season — the defence has been quite steady despite the injuries. He doesn’t have the physical movement of his younger days, but his reading of the game can make up for such things — when that starts to go, then he should consider his position.

After seasons spent watching Terry nurse injuries it’s no great shock he’s been warned that he must be more selective in the games he plays. Perhaps he can begin with England where he gets little credit, least of all from Capello.

You’ve never seen Terry withdraw from an England team because of a broken fingernail or a strained eyelash like some United or Liverpool players I could mention.

But back to more pressing matters. How to get belief back into the squad Ancelotti seems unable to lift them out of this crisis of confidence. Of course, this is where someone like Ray Wilkins was worth his weight in gold; I don’t know what his value as a coach was, but time and again people highlight what a positive influence he was in the dressing room and about the training ground. This is especially important when you have a less than partisan press.

We forget that players are human beings and whether they admit to it or not, they must be aware of the media clichés that are reported daily. The squad is too old, this player or that is on their way out, the manager will be gone in the summer, player power causing unrest — the list is endless.

Add to that the fact Chelsea seem genuinely unable to generate any positive press no matter all the manner of good deeds going on behind the scenes, and is it any wonder that morale and confidence are low.

It was hard not to recall the Mourinho years knowing he was in town on Monday. The negative press was then just another tool that he used to create the siege mentality that we thrived on. He made sure we were the biggest show in town wherever we went and he countered every negative headline with another thumping win.

I appreciate that not all managers are the same, and last years double was testament to Ancelotti’s management technique, but part of the skill of a perpetually successful team is knowing when to change things and I get the impression that Ancelotti is simply waiting for those badly out of form to play themselves out of it. This is not happening and a new strategy is well overdue, some could say too late now, but the Champions League place is crucial and still worth fighting for – and not for financial reasons or bragging rights either.

You fall out of that bracket & suddenly your best players are look at other options. You find it difficult to attract the very best talent on the market. The loss in revenue puts you at a further disadvantage especially now that the new self financing rules are due to be introduced. This is a critical time for football and our position within its hierarchy and as things stand we are not in a favourable position. And just to really depress Chelsea fans, by pulling ourselves out of the mire we need to win the majority of the games we have left – and given that we have to play United twice, Tottenham & City, we may just possibly help Arsenal achieve the unpalatable – winning the league! As if I could be more depressed. Time for heroes – come on Chelsea

Discussion

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  1. Good article Trizia.
    Song for Saturday: All we are say…ing is give Josh a chance!

    Posted by Jason | February 16, 2011, 9:48 am
  2. Very good article my sentiments exactly.

    I would at least feel happier if Carlo would ditch the black coat and the miserable expression. He looks as if he’s been given a fifty million pound gift he didn’t want.

    Posted by Blue jay | February 16, 2011, 4:30 pm

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