There is nothing I can say about Clattenburg that any of you wouldn’t have already heard before. He spoilt a game which was winding itself up to be an absolute classic. We were absolutely appalling for the first 20 minutes – sleepwalking through a game against a poor United team (Rooney & Van Persie aside). Waking up for the last 10 minutes of the half probably saved us from going in at least 4 goals down.
Until the referee irrevocably changed that game, you saw the very worst and the very best of this Chelsea side. We can be pedestrian, with no width and a propensity to hoof the ball over our midfield – but then on the other hand we can play a dazzling, creative, close passing game where our myriad of talented midfielders interchange to cause consternation in the opposition.
We were absolutely in the ascendancy when Clattenburg decided once again to mete out his very unique brand of officialdom. Interestingly I believe that this was his first game refereeing United since he sent Evans off in the Manchester derby where United lost 6-1- make of that what you will…..
Clattenburg had one big decision and two huge decisions to make during that game – he got the two huge ones wrong – that said, his two assistants obviously offered him no assistance either (unless he over-ruled them). Referees will make mistakes – they are human after all; but what you will see less often is multiple mistakes made against just one of the teams in the same game.
A referee will sometimes make one big mistake a game – we have all seen the “trying to even it up” performance for the rest of the match. We have also seen referees have atrocious games where there are multiple wrong decisions against both teams. But it seems to me that United fare overall better than any other team and I honestly believe that this is down to Sir Alex Ferguson.
There is documented evidence that shows that referees who could be perceived as not acting in United’s best interests, are then shunned from officiating future games involving United for extensive lengths of time. As a referee one would imagine that to move up the ladder you need to be seen refereeing high profile games featuring the top sides so upsetting Sir Alex could seriously affect your prospects….this puts huge pressure on the officials – but then the FA seem to nurture United’s influence on the game rather than do anything about it.
I’m angrier that Clattenburg denied me seeing how we would continue the game after getting back to 2-2 than even the injustice of it all. Games like this are very telling – they give you a good indication of the spirit in the team – the willingness of all to fight for the shirt; as it was, I liked what I saw. United only managed to score one offside goal against 9 men – that in itself is something to take heart from as a Chelsea fan.
Ferguson of course was at his most graceless after the game, not that I expected anything else – I even respect it in a funny sort of a way – I think it’s part of what perpetuates the “sympathetic” treatment they get at the hands of officials and although decent men like Di Matteo get the plaudits for being a diplomat & a gentlemen, it effectively ensures that officials get away with performances like the one yesterday.
I suppose we should be grateful that it will, even if only temporarily, take the Terry issue off the back pages as that is fast descending into farce – the Ferdinands’ releasing a statement – seriously?
It read like something Kofi Annan would release on behalf of the United Nations – who do they think they are? They will be claiming to have the answer to world hunger and the Middle Eastern problem next. They need to realise that they are just footballers – and not very bright ones at that and allow the hysteria to work itself out so we can finally get back to some sort of normality.
How we react to the United injustice may shape our entire season. We must not allow it to infiltrate our psyche – Di Matteo must instead use it positively to create a siege mentality, just as Jose would have done. I think it may also be high time to look at this Torres as a lone striker business as it simply isn’t working. The striker himself seems to be getting frustrated too and as such I think his head is dropping and for the first time since his move to SW6, a small minority of the crowd are beginning to give less than their full and unquestionable support.
In a (VERY) strange way, it’s a shame that Torres is banned just from the one game as I’d like to see Sturridge given a few starts to see what he’s made of. He isn’t the most popular player at the Bridge but we need to decide whether he has a place with us or not – both for his sake and ours in terms of succession planning. I think he could do the business for us – he just he needs to matures a bit, realise he is part of a team and lose the attitude.
As I am writing this in the immediate aftermath of the game due to our new Monday slot, news is reaching me that Chelsea have reported Clattenburg to the Premier League for the use of “inappropriate language” to two of our players. My initial feeling is one of utter deflation – do we really have to do this – what do we think it’s actually going to achieve? The axis of evil (the FA, referees & United) will always win – a pointless waste of time which will no doubt generate more bad press. That said, if the rumours of the language used are true than the club have no option than to report the incident – but you will excuse me if I don’t have any faith in “the system”. I imagine the ranks closing even as I type…..
So a difficult week but lots of positives – if we can just dispel that slow start to games, and play what is quickly becoming our new style which goes a little something like “tippy tappy, tippy tappy goal, tippy tappy, tippy tappy goal” (i.e. like Arsenal used to play BUT actually with an end product) we will do well. It’s a shame that the Clattenburg mentalness will take away what was a good performance by Chelsea, first 20 minute apart. The anger will take a while to subside but as ever – onwards & upwards.
Posted by Trizia