Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

So since AVB’s sacking we have had two wins with no goals conceded. But this isn’t a vindication of anything, as these results were against a Championship side and a mid-table Premiership side reduced to 10 men. The performances could best be described as “average” although at the moment I expect that is the best we can hope for given the circumstances.

Di Matteo will have been given his orders and they will be to limp us over the finishing line as best we can with the one aim of somehow claiming one of those Champions League places. A task that seemed not so much daunting as impossible may now be in the temporary manager’s realms of possibility now that finally Spurs are beginning their annual implosion.

But this sacking I wager is not one that is simply racked up with the others – I imagine the whole tawdry affair has left an indelible mark on the club. There have been lots of anonymous accusations and counter accusations behind the scenes & we are led to believe that Abramovich will deal his brand of justice come the end of the season and I have no doubt that there will not be much mercy shown. There will be some that have won their battle but will find in the summer that they lost the war – closed season will be an interesting time. It’s just a shame that all will be suitably gagged with a confidentiality agreement as they pass through that revolving door at the Bridge.

Those that were there will know though and I imagine that it would have also had some effect on the dressing room. AVB may have been unpopular with some of the players but he was well thought of by others and yet others may have been generally indifferent, but I can’t imagine many would have liked the way things panned out. We have been taught by the best that a team ethic, i.e. a united dressing room, is the root to being successful.

For once the club have caught the general mood of the supporters and have sensibly frozen season ticket prices. Of course the prices are still so ridiculously high that we must lose a level of support purely due to affordability every season. Chelsea are hardly alone now in charging outrageous sums of money for tickets – over £50 a ticket is the norm now for those of us that follow Chelsea away. I remember when I assured myself that as soon as tickets hit that £50 level, I would cease away games, but instead I have carried on using every weak mitigating factor I can grasp. It’s an addiction. That said, I know that the day is coming where I will no longer be able to afford to go to every game and will have to pick and choose.

It’s the kind of crowd these clubs aspire too – the demographic of an ever changing match day support – no doubt forecasting a higher “yield” per supporter – they know the majority of us hard-core barely give them little more that we have to to get our tickets – we are no longer the cash cows they crave…we can’t afford to be!

I’ve done it again – wandered off on a rant/tangent as I am prone to do. Back to the team and the games at hand.

I have to say that I am pleased with what I have seen of Gary Cahill. I was one of those that doubted his quality when he was first linked with us. But having seen him play, he does have an air of John Terry in his more mobile days about him. For a new man to the squad he was also not averse to barking out orders when needed – which I like to see. Could be a contender for that armband one day….

Speaking of John Terry, if I had a seriously suspicious mind I would question his Lazarus stylee recovery from knee surgery following AVB’s sacking. Had the Portugueser still been at the helm would JT have needed the full six weeks rehabilitation as first reported? Another thing we will never know I suppose.

The past couple of weeks has seen shifting fortunes as far as the league is concerned with United fans crowing that you “can’t buy the league” as they over-take City at the top – does that mean they will finally be admitting that Chelsea won it on merit….thrice….thought not….

City’ squad has sufficient quality not to go into a full downward spin and I still fully expect them to get second which leaves Tottenham and Arsenal in our way. Arsenal have frustratingly got back on track and how in recent games. Van Persie has to be player of the season – as unpleasant an individual as he is, his scoring record this season is unbelievable. He seriously has been a one man team and should Arsenal lose him in the summer, the loss would be greater than that of Fabregas.

Tottenham and Harry have got twitchy. The usual jovial cockney geezer has been grouchy & distracted in interviews; the team have started showing the frailties that we always knew were there; the opposition have finally clicked on how to stop Bale who will only terrorise you if you let him – he is very one dimensional. It is their place I believe that is the most vulnerable and we should seek to snatch. We won’t even mention the job that King Kenny is doing at Liverpool as the general consensus is that we all have to ignore it and pretend his record isn’t worse than Roy Hodgson’s.

We have some big games coming up and I think that many in the Chelsea squad have points to prove and some pre-conceptions to alter. I think many will already be more than aware of what their fate is come the end of the season, but this is where they can make their mark on how it ends – on a high or with a whimper. As supporters we need to accept that what is done is done and we now grasp our duty whole heartedly and be that 12th man which they still so desperately need. Time for a bit of unity – come on Chelsea!

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

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