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Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

AA040001After yet another insipid first half display my mate Diane turned to me as the team trotted out for the second half & said “what would you do oh wise one?”

“Well I’d haul that Schurrle off for a start” I replied – (us too – Ed!)

It’s just a gift.

Mourinho claims that he did not say one word to the players at half time – although I imagine that one of the Portugeezers stares could put across more than most could in a 1,000 words. Schurrle claimed that he did speak – but that it was was very short & not appropriate to be repeated on TV. Either way – the team were under no illusion that their first half display was not acceptable.

Jose said that he would have changed all 11 players at half time if he could have – it must be frustrating for the manager to see such a talented group of players produce such a sloppy almost disinterested first half. To the untrained eye it would have been difficult to tell which team was top of the league & which was bottom. A better team than Fulham would have punished us.

That first half against Fulham makes me seriously doubt our title credentials – but then I suppose the others also in contention have similarly inconsistent periods. Southampton looked to have the measure of Liverpool before the first goal – and Arsenal, well I’m not sure whether they are imploding or simply a self fulfilling prophecy – the gift that just keeps giving if you will. City look in the best position – and seem to be strong in every area of the pitch – it’s still theirs to lose – I’m just hoping that fighting on all fronts takes its toll.

Galatasaray too was a game of two halves – when we scored so early on, we were in such complete control that I thought we were going to return to the Bridge with at least three away goals tucked in our pocket. Instead we allowed them back into the game & allowed both Drogba & Schneider too whip the home support up into a frenzy – a clear example of how the crowd can become that 12th man. The Turks welcome the teams onto the pitch with a war chant which is accompanied by the fans bowing their scarves – all lit up by a dozen or so red flares in the upper tiers – it’s pretty impressive. The ear-piercing whistling when the opposition have the ball is also some racquet & when prompted by the players the whole ground to a man punches the air & chants aggressive encouragement – the contrast between them & our overly policed, health & safety obsessed, sterile Premier League has never been so evident. But I digress…..

It’s really difficult to predict what the Chelsea team will look like next season.

Given his lack of games, our continued interest in Luke Shaw & Jose’s continuing confidence in Azpilicuerta at left-back, I doubt Ashley Cole will still be with us. It’s a shame – our loss will certainly be someone’s gain. As much as I wouldn’t want him to strengthen any if our rivals, I believe that he definitely has a couple more years at the highest level – rather than going to the States or some other such second rate league. Another question splitting Chelsea fans at the moment – should Cech be number one next season or is it time to bring Courtois in? Will Mikel be at Inter Milan? Will any of our strikers survive? Doubtful in my view. What about our old war-horses – Terry & Lampard -have they done enough to earn yet another year or even two?

This many proposed changes may seem strange given that we are currently sat at the top of the Premier League but that has as much to do with the failings of others as it has with our wins this season. We cannot rely on such generosity next season – all will be looking to improve – including those with phenomenal squads like City.

I’m sure Mourinho has identified what areas he wants to improve & the players that he wants & I’m equally certain that Abramovich will go all out to get them. It is interesting that since Jose’s return we have heard or seen very little of Michael Emenalo. The “Technical Director” (giggle) seems to have taken very much a back seat since the second coming & that is as it should be. The manager takes the brunt of responsibility should the team fail & as such it is only right that he should decide who to bring in.

Big game this weekend against one of our fiercest rivals & Sherwood too is trying to make a case for the Tottenham job on a long-term basis. They have been quite unpredictable but have looked good in flashes & a slow start as we had against Fulham could be costly. Hopefully the team will know what is expected of them & if not I’m sure Mourinho will be able to communicate it one way or another.

Posted by Trizia

(You can see all the Terrace Talk articles here)

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