Chelsea Blip-O-Meter reading: 4.9
71+1 = 72 points
A much brighter outlook than only 14 days ago.
Horror fortnight negotiated and we only lost the one that most of us would have traded for the other results, if we’d been asked at the start.
That pretty much guarantees third place
Beat Spurs and Wigan we go three points up.
After that we have: Villa (h) Wolves (a) and Sunderland (h)
We managed a solitary point from them last season and that probably cost Ancelotti his job:
Win them all (as we ought) and suddenly we are looking at over 80-points and are back in the hunt.
So, what did we learn from last night?
It appears that Villas-Boas has worked out his best run-on XI.
And after our “high-line” defensive system was torn apart for a quarter of an hour (let’s be honest, here, it was poor finishing rather than good defending that kept us in the game) AVB appeared to relent and allow our players to revert to type.
The transformation was immediate.
Sturridge gave Clichy a nightmare the whole game while Mata was gave the entire City team a headache. Robben on steroids indeed.
Despite his protestations Andre has become a pragmatist.
So, we won’t see your Chelsea playing long-ball, or counter-attacking football, eh, Andre? Yeah, right….
What remains unknown?
Torres: Goal desert or drought about to be broken by a flood?
Aside: Is it my imagination, but wasn’t there a striking similarity between Meireles’ goal tonight and the one he scored against us for Liverpool nearly a year ago? If only we could get Torres to do the same.
Still we assume that he will get to lead the line while Drogba is away at the ACN. Unless he opts to give Sturridge a run in the middle. Even then he could get a gig as one of the wider spikes of out forward trident.
Why has it take AVB a third of a season to alight on his best run-on XI, when the drover’s dog could see it almost from the outset?
Why persist with Kalou, Mikel and Malouda (and to be honest, Lampard – who showed how effective he could be as a substitute tonight), when you have Romeu, Sturridge, Meireles, Ramires and Mata (And McEachran off the bench)?
That has cost us a lot of points this season.
We can only assume it was dressing-room, or other internal club politics.
There must be pressure to get something out of 50-million-man Torres.
Lampard would not have liked becoming a super-sub (who likes acknowledging mortality?).
Luiz should start ahead of Bosingwa. (We can only assume Luiz was being encouraged to take the ball forward, because he doesn’t seem to do it for Brazil).
Who will we buy in January?
A quality right back remains our missing link. Ivanovic is the best we have, but he’s also probably our best centre half.
And the last great unknown, of course: Who’ll take the penalties if Frank’s on the bench?
Was it a penalty?
Possibly – but softer than a baby’s bottom were it given (Even live – with the sound muted – It looked as if Bosingwa was withdrawing his leg to avoid Silva deliberately running into it. He may have managed to still brush it.
Was it a penalty?
Undoubtedly. Sorry Mr Lescott, you just can’t do that sort of thing in the penalty area.
Was it a card?
Undoubtedly, and before there are any complaints, Kompany should have walked a few minutes earlier for a second caution and I’ve witnessed plenty see a red card for what Yaya Toure did to Ramires.
Now there are two schools of thought as to what you should do if you lose a player: hang on for a draw, or deny that you’ve lost a player and carry on as before.
Mancini chose the latter option (You can take the man out of Italy, but you can’t take Italy out of the man). His substitutions did as much as AVB’s to seal the result for us. By removing Aguero and Silva and putting all his eggs in the draw basket he only permitted one other possible outcome – defeat.
Shame about that.
|Norwich (Blackpool) (h)||3-1||5||2||3||4-0||11||1||10||=||=||-6||+1||-7|
|Man Utd (a)||3||1-3||8||6||2||1-2||16||5||11||=||=||-8||+1||-9|
|Swansea (West Ham) (h)||4-1||12||7||5||3-0||19||5||14||=||=||-7||+2||-9|
|QPR (Birmingham) (a)||3||0-1||20||10||10||0-1||24||7||17||=||+2||-4||+3||-7|
|Aston Villa (h)||2||3-3||44||14||30|
|Norwich (Blackpool) (a)||3-1||47||19||28|
|Swansea (West Ham) (a)||3-1||50||20||30|
|Man Utd (h)||2-1||52||21||31|
Posted by Steve Symmons