Chelsea In Trouble

 Chelsea Disappointment

 Late Liverpool Halt Chelsea’s Faltering Challenge

It’s a cold Sunday afternoon and I’ve parked my backside on the sofa to watch Liverpool vs Chelsea, a clash of the title contenders. Man United’s ominous form coupled with their rivals inability to keep pace means we all know that the team that loses Sunday’s game is well and truly out of the title race…in January.

The game itself is perhaps no thriller, Chelsea apparently toothless in attack registering a meagre 2 attempts on target to Liverpool’s 9. The first half was far from an enthralling affair but from the first whistle a hungrier, more dyanimic Liverpool were the only side who could have saved the game from being labelled a bore-draw.

The London side’s supporters were clearly never going to leave Anfield happy. An indifferent performance by goalkeeper Petr Cech, who was twice nearly caught in possession and Didier Drogba again left on the bench as Chelsea lined up 4-3-3 with Anelka, Malouda and Kalour preferred, no doubt to the Ivorian’s frustration to lead the attack.  The Blues created nothing all afternoon, Pepe Reina a spectator in the Reds goalmouth for much of the game.

Just after the hour mark Chelsea’s midfield finally featured in one of the games major talking points but not in the way that manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari would have wanted. Frank Lampard lunging for 50/50 with Xabi Alonso catching his opponent in the follow through was bizarrely adjudged by trigger-happy official Mike Riley to be worthy of a red card, Lampard and Chelsea justifiably furious.

Enter the 88th minute and it’s still Liverpool on top as it had been from the first whistle and Liverpool finally deliver a telling blow in the shape of a Fernando Torres’ late double. First a fantastic glancing header at the near post from Riera’s cross, minutes before Ashley Cole’s poor judgement not to clear first time let the ball fall to Yossi Benayoun to nip in behind and although Cole did well to get a foot in the way the ball fell into the path of the £20 million Spaniard to slot in his second.

Moments later and cue the final whistle, Anfield in raptures and Rafa Benitez delighted with the pressure momentarily eased on their own faltering title challenge. Scolari and Chelsea fans have to wonder why they have only taken one point in any of the games against the so-called ‘big four’ in five games so far this season.

Scolari though in his first season in charge (with glistening C.V in his defence) can be the only man to rationalise why Anelka and Drogba have never been paired together for any significant amount of time as  a traditional front two and the lack of starting opportunities for the effervescent Joe Cole. The board at Stamford Bridge have certainly tightened the purse strings after previous years of free-flowing spending and this is no major surprise, no club could ever sustain this (I’m sure Man City fans may not agree for now!) but the budget transfer budget needs to be at least £30-£40 million in the current climate to stay with the pace. The Portuguese duo of Deco signed (free) and Bosingwa (16 Million) the only Major arrivals at the bridge this summer.

My personal opinion of why Chelsea don’t score enough goals, is the absence of Essien in the engine room coupled with a three -prong attack that often resembles a negative looking 4-5-1 leaving Anelka isolated. Kalou and Malouda simply do not look like players who belong in a title winning team.

Should Scolari still be at The Bridge this summer in what is current an uncomfortable climate to be a manager at a top club, then a major rebuilding job is needed to make the Blues currently feeble title ambitions realistic.

16 thoughts on “Chelsea In Trouble”

  1. Scolari should buy this guy. He's mad keen to play.

    's buy Finn Yogue
    “ PLAYER WANTS TO TRANSFER BETWEEN COUNTRIES AP- MONTSERRAT – A teenage footballer who plays for the world's worst international team is on the verge of launching a legal action to transfer his allegiance to a bigger country. The news that starlet Finntonio Yogue is anxious to ditch playing for Montserrat and look for another country has alerted a whole host of international associations keen to offer him a new club and citizenship. The matter is to be raised at FIFA's International Affiliation Committee next month when the player will be allowed to make a case which would allow him to change nationality. Finntonio Yogue has been attracting the attention of some of the world's top clubs after catching the eye at a training camp in Australia. Bradan Lifford, the coach who discovered Yogue said that the starlet is anxious to play football at a higher level and that Montserrat's international standing can not offer him the platform he needs. The Montserrat national football team represents the small Caribbean island of Montserrat in the CONCACAF football region. It was formed in 1991, and has twice entered the World Cup, both times being eliminated in the first qualifying round. On June 30, 2002, the day of the final match of the 2002 World Cup, Montserrat, then the lowest ranked team in the world, played against the second worst team Bhutan in a friendly match known jokingly as The Other Final, losing 4-0. Lifford feels that Yogue should be given the opportunity to develop his football in another country. “Finn has the ability to play soccer at the highest level, and this has been proven by the many clubs that have been enquiring after him. Top sides in Brazil, Argentina and Japan have already invited him for trials having seen him in action, but it hoped Yogue has already played twice for Montserrat but as both games were international friendlies, Due to the heavy volcanic activity on the island since 1995, the team has only played a handful of matches, and most of those have been away from home. Their only victories were against neighbouring Anguilla in the Caribbean Cup in 1991, Montserrat winning 3-2 at home and 1-0 away. Apart from one other draw against Anguilla, all their other matches have been lost. It is believed that South Korea, Japan and Croatia have already been in touch with Yogue's representatives to offer him a trial for club and country. However, the deal could be scuppered by FIFA when they sit down to discuss the matter on March 3. ? ”

  2. Of course, should he succeed and gain a work-premit, Youge would have to play for a country with a FIFA ranking of no lower than 70. He would also need to play 75% of that countires matches . I can't see him being allowed to play for another country if he has alread played for Monserrat at senior level in a world cup qualifier. Sounds like a loss to the bigger game though.

  3. Scolari isn't the right man for chelsea.It's the right time to sack him no need to wait until summer.For sure chelsea is falling down.Chelsea was one of the best team during jose mourinho era but now they are one of the rubbish team.Roman had made a mistake by letting mourinho one of the best manager in the world left.

  4. Chelsea was absolutely terrible against Liverpool. As they were against Manchester United a few weeks ago. It's amazing how poor the team looks under Scolari. Unless he can win the Champions League trophy, his days are numbered.

    The Gaffer

  5. Congratulations to Liverpool on an excellent performance. It's a shame that they can't play like this week in, week out as it was one of the gutsiest performances I've seen all season in the Premier League. Liverpool poured everything into this one and, based on this one game alone, looked more like champions do than Manchester United this season.

    Again, Liverpool's challenge is consistency. They need to keep that same level of performance against lesser opposition.

    The Gaffer

  6. Gaffer, cheers- agreed, Liverpool's challenge is consistency and not overly cautious tactical subs. Torres and Gerrard when playing together seem to be in a different level-ESP. But, we need to win more at home than giving away 2 points with draws.

  7. Liverpool will never overcome all the off-the-pitch distractions enough to mount a sustained title challenge. It's worse than a bad soap opera – Keane not even on the bench, likely to be sold back to Spurs, Rafa not signing a new contract, Rafa saying he didn't buy Keane – 'the club' did, Rafa's chafing at not having total control of the purse strings, the ongoing ownership drama, Rafa's brilliant rant about Sir Alex Ferguson during his press conference… this is not the stuff you would read about United during their two title winning seasons or about Chelsea during their two (yes, about Chelsea later, but not during the title seasons).

    btw, it's not January – it's February (re: paragraph #1)

    …I was impressed by the photo that accompanied the story, and it got me to thinking “where does a blog writer GO to find the perfect photo that expresses the 'Chelsea in Trouble' headline so perfectly…?” – it's not like epltalk sprang for a photographer at the game. Then I started looking at the pic, and I thought “who's that in the white jersey?” and “didn't Drogba have his hair pulled back today?” and “wait a minute – Lampard was red-carded about an hour before Drogba even took the field”. The I tilted the laptop enough to read the “Carling Cup” patch on Lampard's shoulder. You big cheater.

  8. Referee Riley sucks. Aweful work, needs sack. Referees like Riley doesn't deserve any Respect.

    Gerrard should have been booked on 3rd minute. Lampard decision should be a case study for future Referees. Bosingwa should have been Red Carded for that staright forward body assault.

    Extremely poor refereeing marred a potential good match. Chelsea should take this to EPL authorities.

  9. Indeed credit must go to Liverpool,. i don't think they were fantastic by any means but they plugged away, showed a correct, positve and attackign attitude. This only was enough to earn them the win. If Rafa stops tinkering maybe just maybe it will be a genuine title race, not that i can see past United right now. And accpet my apologies for the lack of tags guys.

  10. My apologies Dave, i don't think we have the budget for a photographer at every game, you can't deny its a fitting photo though

  11. IN repsonse to your post Dean, Both managers have over 20 years experience on their side. Scolari has a formidable C.V on his sided 17 titles to boast at numerous posts across nothing to be sniffed at. Grant on the other hand has won ten titles (All in Isreal). Grant also spent time at Portsmouth as sporting director learning the English of which Scolari has no previous experience of. I think Grant was not given time but given the choice i'd go with scolari.

    What does everyone else think?

  12. I think numbers under 10 should be spelled out. Also, you need some commas and more periods, because some of your sentences are hard to read.

  13. chelsea are effectively fighting for second place with 3rd more likely the lowest they have had since ranieri was fired for coming second and losing the CL.
    Scolari has had problems with the way the game has been played, the biggest issue i think is that the best assman in the league has left to westham and just look how much they improved. Scolari is struggling with the day to day things that really shouldnt be his job. I dont think scolari is the man for chelsea but thats why he is on only a 2 year contract and i can see chelsea giving him another 1/2 year after his 1st season to turn his fortunes around.
    The game scolari plays isnt exactly easy to grasp, the quick movement and passing game is much more difficult to get players playing right then the pass to drogba who either lays it off or shoots tactic.
    Chelsea is slowly transitioning to a true world class team, one's who are known for winning but also for their football in a positive light. Remember when arsenal used to be known for defensive football, look how long that took to change, now every1 wants to sucks wengers dick for playing so pretty

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