We were well beaten by Palace. In fact we were lucky we didn’t lose by a heavier score-line. I honestly don’t get how we could put in such a lack-lustre, lifeless, complacent performance – especially for both halves. This is exactly what I was afraid of – because this is so typical of us – the big Hollywood performance followed by a showing of…of I don’t know what exactly. How can we go for the throat against Arsenal from kick-off, yet be so pedestrian against Palace? Why could Matic & Luiz steam-roller Arteta & Cazorla one week yet be so ineffectual against a so-called “inferior” side the next? How could our passing be so fluid one week & so ridiculously comical the next?
I know Jose has been saying that this season we weren’t quite there yet but I think even he was believing last week & I think he seemed as bewildered as the rest of us by Saturdays display. It looks like we struggle against teams who come to put in a physical shift – and that’s worrying because for every team like Arsenal or City who come to play football, there are 4 sides who will come to fight, defend & battle for whatever they can get. What’s worse is that it’s mainly those sorts of sides that we have left to play in this campaign – didn’t I say that it would be our “easy” run in that will do for us in the end?
I didn’t even make the Palace game due to illness which some may think was a small mercy in view of the outcome but I would always rather be raging with fellow fans rather than stomping around the house arguing with inanimate objects – I’m sure the dining room table was sniggering behind my back – I have a horrible feeling it could be a Liverpool fan.
When I see the kind of game Torres had on Saturday – followed by the desperate introduction of Ba I can’t help but think of Daniel Sturridge once again. Regular readers of this column know that I was not happy when we sold him. I’ve had all the discussions with fellow Chelsea fans – yes he was greedy, yes, he was a moody SOB, yes, he didn’t come over as a particularly likeable human being – but I bet most would take him now. Because despite everything, if he was scoring even half of the goals he is scoring at Liverpool we would be walking this league. Rumour has it that the club sold him when they did to afford a financial return while they were still able as he had already decided to leave the club at the end of the season anyway – being a free agent Chelsea would have got nothing – bet the £12 million we got for him seems pretty paltry now in the grand scheme of things…..
Speaking of Torres, it’s looking more & more that he’ll be used as part of the deal to lure Costa to Stamford Bridge in the summer. He will leave as a bit of an enigma as far as I’m concerned. There are those that haven’t taken to him from the start – I can understand that but think it unfair – even now. Others – like me, gave him our full support throughout his time with the club through thick & thin – always believing (hoping) that the avalanche of goals were coming…..if we were just a little more patient. Of course that avalanche never came – although he gave us some moments of true bliss – that goal in Barcelona being the one that most readily comes to mind. It has been impossible to predict from one week to the next whether we would see selfless, hard-working, animated Torres or sullen, immobile disinterested Torres. The quote I have associated with him most since he joined us is “hope is tomorrow’s veneer over today’s disappointment”. But there have been too many false dawns & even I, one of his most dedicated cheer-leaders needs to admit defeat so a parting of the ways seems to be in everyone’s interests. Another goal-machine that Chelsea have “broken”.
I’m sorry it’s been such a down-beat column but I am beginning to doubt the strength of character of some of our players. That’s not something you can teach or drill into players – it’s certainly something you can nurture but it needs to be there initially. I’m worried that the players didn’t care enough to put a shift in against Palace – not even after a woeful first half – and if that’s the case then our problems lie deeper than a lack of performing strikers.
As I write this I see that Liverpool have already taken the lead against Tottenham – it was inevitable. As unpalatable as we Chelsea fans may find it, if they win this league they will have earned it. With the exception of their strike force they have a pretty average side but are destroying opposition week in week out – there’s seemingly nothing wrong with their mental strength.
I will be in Paris this week hopefully trying to put our Premier League woes aside in the hope of European glory – yeh, sounds pretty hollow to me too.
Posted by Trizia