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Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

I have for some weeks now stated that I’m at a loss to understand what Villas Boas is attempting to do tactics wise – following the debacle at Goodison, I am further confused – even after listening to his post-match interview. Apparently we lack clarity – what exactly does that even mean? He said “clarity punished us”  – well there was I thinking that our lack of a game plan, dodgy defending, unforgiveable lack of effort and stupid substitutions were what actually did the damage – but then, what do I know?

The manager took full responsibility for the loss, and immediately cancelled the players’ day off – demonstrating clearly where he felt the blame actually lay. The players were said to be “furious” – good, but I bet they didn’t even come close to how angry the majority of the fans were at having to watch such garbage. The papers are claiming the old favourite “player power” is doing for AVB just as it has done for a number of his predecessors – sorry, but I don’t buy that.

Can there really be any players given our current form, injury list, and taking into account age etc, that could hold the club to ransom? I think not. While we tenuously held onto that 4th spot and within touching distance of 3rd many Chelsea fans refused to really acknowledge how deep rooted the problems were which have been evident for weeks now. But to find ourselves outside of those sacred Champions League places and TEN points behind Spurs has bought many round to how serious this situation is.

What’s more depressing is acknowledging that to get ourselves out of this mess is really going to take some doing. We did not take advantage of the transfer window. Our one foray yielded a defender who the manger seems un-enthused with – what’s even more worrying is that rumour has it that his actual choice would have been Ryan Shawcross!! If that is really where our manager is pitching for players than we are in deeper trouble than even I imagined.

We keep hearing that Chelsea are now putting long term plans in place but what happens with the here and now? Look at the goalkeeping situation. Forget sentiment and let’s tell it how it is – Cech is probably having his worst season for us ever – there have been warnings – he has never been the same keeper since Hunt kicked him in the head. Yet we have failed to address this.

We have failed to provide a keeper at the club who will put him under any sort of pressure – and complacency has had a further detrimental effect on his form. He knows, just as we do, that an off form Cech is still better than Turnbull.

We’ve put most of our decent prospects out on loan – those that we’ve kept we never play, we continue to play out of form players or evidently exhausted players and the immediate succession planning looks non-existent. Add to this the fact that we have allowed good experienced squad players such as Alex and Anelka leave the club and you seriously begin to wonder whether this long term plan that we keep hearing so much about actually even exists.

Traditionally Arsenal are better in the second half of the season than the first and now that they have their noses ahead of us, I’d wager that the only way we are going to be playing Champions League football next year is if we win it (stop laughing out there!). And with the owners recent numerous visits to the training ground, it may be the only way that Villas Boas manages to keep his job too.

And if he does go – what then? Or rather who? When will Abramovich finally clock onto the fact that those advising him have only the their bank balances in mind and not the good of Chelsea Football Club

There is too much centred around individuals these days, be they players, owners, managers, agents etc and the team almost takes second place. Look at Rednapp’s trial last week – found innocent of any wrong-doing, but what was evident was that he had so much money coming into him from football that there were hundreds of thousands of pounds that he had simply lost track of in accounts he had forgotten – yet Portsmouth is going into administration…

I’ve wandered off a bit…but forgive me this indulgence as actually thinking about what is going on at my club these days fills me with dread and depression so any excuse for a meander away from the subject is always welcome, even if it is to discuss an equally depressing state of affairs elsewhere.

I’m taking my five year old niece to the Bridge this weekend for her first game – I feel a bit guilty to be honest as I may be condemning her to a lifetime of misery watching a team who will never again reach the heights we witnessed under The Special One. Still – it builds character and what’s the alternative? Her other auntie taking her to Spurs? Shudder – not on my watch!! Come on Chelsea!

(You can see all of Trizia’s articles here)

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