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Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

Gary Cahill described Juan Mata as the “little maestro” after the Tottenham win – a term of affection that was also used quite often to describe Gianfranco Zola.

It’s difficult not to make comparisons between the two of them – both small in stature but big on skill, technically brilliant, intelligent, hard-working & humble. Zola made a huge impact on the club when he was with us, despite being in the twilight of his career; I often find myself wondering what we could have achieved with him in his prime. If Mata’s performance this season and last is anything to go by, it looks as though we are lucky enough to have him just as he is hitting his top form.

He ran the game at White Hart Lane – not only that, but the passion was so evident – his abandonment when we scored, his obvious anger when they equalised and his unbridled joy at the final whistle demonstrated that he gets it – he understands what this game means to the supporters. The understanding he has of the players around him too is unparalleled – his connection with Hazard in particular looks to be the start of something very special indeed.

The two of them seem to play on instinct – they make everything look so natural. Funnily enough instinct was something I had always associated with Torres before he came to us – now he overthinks everything he does in front of goal – it’s painful to watch at times. The manager is persisting with him at the moment – he has little choice given our limited options in this area, but I do wonder if the player himself is thinking that he needs a fresh start somewhere else? Only time will tell (January perhaps).

The Tottenham game gave our players a timely reminder of what complacency can do. We dominated the first half so completely that I imagine they thought it was only a matter of time til we scored a couple more and effectively won the game. Even Tottenham’s equaliser seemed to do little to re-ignite us and in a way that goal that gave Spurs the lead was exactly what was needed. Let’s hope the lesson was learnt as comebacks like that are few and far between!

So the Terry Saga is well into its tenth month with seemingly no sign of being finally put to bed.

Let’s have a quick recap – John Terry was tried in a court of law and found not guilty; the FA then chose to break its own guidelines and have him up in front an FA disciplinary which then found him guilty – he was fined an eye-watering £220,000 and given a 4 match ban; then his club fined him again – the biggest fine they have ever meted out in their history. John Terry & Chelsea Football Club have also apologised. But apparently this is still not enough – remember, if John Terry had been found guilty in a court of law, the most he would have got is a £2,500 fine.

The long and short of this is simple – whatever punishment John Terry received would never have been sufficient for some people who seem hell-bent on ensuring that a line will never be drawn under this issue until Terry has been run out of the game all together. I would have a modicum of respect for them if I genuinely thought that their protestations were really about justice and racism in the game; however, I think it is becoming more evident by the day that what we are actually seeing is the issue used to exact revenge in one instance and further a media career in another. And that is the real injustice of this.

Players like John Barnes and Viv Anderson who encountered regular racism when they played seem to be the only ones talking sense during this issue – however, their comments aren’t being reported as widely as Jason Roberts and Rio Ferdinand’s refusal to wear Kick it Out T shirts. Two things here – what exactly do they expect Kick it Out to do? They have no power within the game – they can’t increase a ban, or impose a fine – they are an organisation/pressure group which promotes anti-racism within football. If Roberts wants to have a go at someone who actually has teeth – then he should write to the FA – but of course that probably wouldn’t generate as many column inches, nor have the need of a picture of Roberts looking solemn while not wearing said T-shirt.

Secondly, if Roberts was so committed to kicking racism out of football, why no comment on Frimpong’s anti-sematic tweet, or indeed the tweet where a certain Rio Ferdinand repeated, laughed at and agreed with calling Ashley Cole a “choc-ice” – or are racial slurs acceptable when made through social network?

Seemingly, we aren’t permitted to discuss the hypocrisy of Rio Ferdinand lamenting Terry’s punishment when he was fined just £40k for his disgraceful racial slur. I keep being told that it’s completely different but no one seems to be able to tell me why….

Of course, I imagine this will be yet another “hand-shake-gate” week with Ferdinand facing Cole – unless Ferguson does us all a favour and benches Rio for defying him over the T shirt issue – here’s hoping.

Sadly, I can only see this issue going on and on, factions forming, individuals using it for self-promotions, further players getting involved and choosing “sides” etc – and in amongst the melee the original message will be lost. Who’s the winner? Not anyone as far as I can see.

Perhaps Roberts and Ferdinand can tell us when we will be allowed to get back to the football….please?

Posted by Trizia

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

Discussion

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  1. Bang on. We all know that what JT said was wrong but he has been punished so let’s move on. Rio Ferdinand has been shown up & he will damage Kick It Out if he carries on with his personal vendetta

    Posted by SammyM | October 22, 2012, 9:40 am
  2. So excited about our new players this season – and of course Mata.

    He is such an intelligent footballer and his movement is really good – he seems everywhere on the pitch all at the same time.

    Posted by John Salter | October 22, 2012, 12:59 pm
  3. there is a vendetta against john terry in the media. everything he does is scrutinised and reported on . some of the print media are making careers out of it. two of the tabloids today in their match reports kept referring to the john terry saga detracting from chelseas fine football and start to the season. perhaps they would like jt hung drawn and quartered.lets get back to yhe football please

    Posted by james collins | October 22, 2012, 10:12 pm
  4. Do Rio Ferdinand & Jason Roberts think they rule the game? Because they don’t agree with the punishment meted out, they change the way the game is governed? The FA need to grow some balls

    Posted by ProudBlue64 | October 23, 2012, 12:07 am

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