Why I Dislike Watching Chelsea Play At Stamford Bridge

It was 97 days ago since the last Premier League match when Chelsea ended up winning the 2009-2010 Premier League title after emphatically beating Wigan Athletic 8-0. On that same day, Manchester United tried to pip them to title but couldn’t do so even after defeating Stoke City 4-0. Now that the new season of the Premier League has kicked off, Chelsea delivered another thrashing, this time beating West Bromwich Albion by a score of six to nil.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is getting tiresome.

The difference between clubs near the top of the Premier League compared to the ones at the bottom is widening. Sure, to make that judgement on the first day of the season is premature, but I’m basing it more on the previous few seasons. The number of one-sided matches seems to be increasing. If you’re a supporter of the winning team or you like to see goals, it’s a beautiful thing. But for neutral observers such as myself, the object is to watch a game where both teams playing have a good chance to beat each other. Sure sometimes one-sided games, or a draw, but when teams like Chelsea monopolize matches so much, they become increasingly boring for viewers to watch. It’s like watching a film where you within the first few minutes of it starting, you can already guess what the plot is, you know what the ending is and there is very little suspense.

When Chelsea plays at home in the Premier League, the games are so predictable that it makes you wonder how teams can even beat the Blues. Other than Manchester City’s well-deserved 4-2 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this past February when Carlos Tevez was the inspiration, the last time that Chelsea lost at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League was 474 days earlier than that defeat against Manchester City when the Blues lost against Arsenal on November 11, 2008. Chelsea’s home record in the league is even more impressive when you consider how impenetrable Stamford Bridge was in the league when Jose Mourinho was in charge.

In fairness to Chelsea, I don’t believe they should change a thing. They’re an incredibly talented side that does what great teams do best. They play team football. It’s just that the teams that play against them seem incapable of defeating Chelsea. If Chelsea’s opposition plays defensive soccer with ten players behind the ball, that tactic is too one-dimensional and will only work for so long before Chelsea finds a way to open up the team. And once a side is losing against Chelsea, it’s very rare that they can come back against them. And if they try, they’re usually exposed at the back and the margin of defeat usually ends being worse.

Having said that, I’m not asking that Chelsea lose some of their home games at Stamford Bridge. I would just like to see an exciting match with end-to-end action where the opposition gives Chelsea a run for its money. Yes, it’s the first day of the season and West Bromwich Albion, a yo-yo club just promoted from the Championship, was unlikely to beat Chelsea, but Chelsea’s near-perfection at home is getting incredibly boring. No matter how many wonderful goals they score or how well they play, it would mean that much more if the opposition pushed them to their limits and Chelsea was still able to win.

The 2010-11 Premier League isn’t a day old yet but I hope that clubs find a way to challenge Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It’s not as if the stadium itself is a fortress. It’s not intimidating and the supporters are relatively sedate (it’s definitely not the intimidating atmosphere of Stamford Bridge in the late 70s when they were the most feared hooligans in the country). At Stamford Bridge, it’s what happens on the pitch that matters. Depending on what formation Ancelotti picks, there are weaknesses in the Chelsea side especially in the back where Paulo Ferreira is suspect at times and where Alex and John Terry are often susceptible to mistakes from set plays or dangerous crosses.

Chelsea are so good in the league at home that one of the few occasions each season when they’re tested at Stamford Bridge is against Manchester United. But even United has difficulty getting three points against Chelsea at the Bridge. The last time it happened was in 2002 when a much different Chelsea side were defeated 3-0 with goals by Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Congratulations to Chelsea on their emphatic and well-deserved 6-0 win against West Brom today. But looking at their upcoming home fixtures, it doesn’t look like they’ll be losing at home anytime soon. Their next home matches are against Stoke City and Blackpool, which is then followed by a tougher challenge on October 3rd when they play London rivals Arsenal. Maybe then it’ll be more competitive? Maybe.

127 thoughts on “Why I Dislike Watching Chelsea Play At Stamford Bridge”

  1. If you thought this game would be competitive and exciting with up and down action, you shouldn’t have even watched. These games are bound to happen in the EPL and we all know it.

    You might want to try and watch some other match ups or even some other leagues.

      1. i am an arsenal fan. but when chelsea beat wba its alright. it has to happen. there are big clubs and small clubs. but this is epl. there are top 8-10 teams. and when its crunch time at the end the lower teams also play quite well.

        unlike the la liga where there is only madrid and barca. and the whole season apart from that is boring as shit.!

        and lower teams in epl are better than most teams elsewhere. last year burnly beat man u? and blackpool won against wigan… the same wigan side who won against chelsea. rarely will you u ever see madrid , barca, intermillan and other big clubs loose as many games in the top. the margin of wins for the top teams.. [ 7-8 now ] .. is quite high. compititon is increasing. games are good. some games like this on the 1st day will happen… but the league is very long.. and epl is too good.

  2. It’s West Brom, they were awful definsively. Let’s not forget that United lost to Burnley last season, Chelsea drew with Hull.

    It’s easy to complain about it, but when teams like Barca do it they get hailed. When Chelsea does it they get called boring. Just enjoy the season.

      1. Ok, my mistake :-)
        Swansea beat Preston 4-0..was it not exciting?
        They´re also a very strong home team, are they no?
        Well, in any case, I like The Swans and I hope we will se them in the P.L. next year.

        1. Aage, Swansea’s 4-0 victory against Preston yesterday was their biggest win in 2.5 years. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game to tell whether it was one-sided or not, but Swansea don’t win by large margins all the time. Chelsea do.

          The Gaffer

          1. Under Mourinho, Chelsea often won by few goals. It was effective, but not so much creative and entertaining. Under Ancelotti, they play a more attacking and entertaining football.
            This is what the owner Roman A. wants. He wants to see many goals…well, I can not blame him. Nor can I see anything wrong with it. Its like getting all of the teams quality to arise. Is this bad or good? In my opinion very GOOD!


  3. Gaffer, I get it. But Chelsea are not the problem here. Your statement, “The difference between clubs near the top of the Premier League compared to the ones at the bottom is widening,” is true by exactly one match day, for West Brom weren’t even in the Prem last year. It seems obvious that the best team in the country could rout the 22nd best team.

    (Furthermore, Wigan were demolished by Blackpool 4-0 today–should that signify a growing gap between the 26th and 16th best teams in the country? And shouldn’t today’s Blackpool result render more easily explicable Chelsea’s destruction of Wigan 8-0 last season?)

    Please use statistics to verify your claim, “The number of one-sided matches seems to be increasing.”

    Instead of filling an article with equivocations: “In fairness to Chelsea, I don’t believe they should change a thing…Having said that, I’m not asking that Chelsea lose some of their home games at Stamford Bridge…Congratulations to Chelsea on their emphatic and well-deserved 6-0 win against West Brom today,” perhaps you could have gone one of two ways.

    One is to examine the differences in scouting and signing that “international” clubs like Chelsea use, as opposed to more the quintessentially (small) “English” clubs’ strategies. In light of the 8/25 rule, this seems ripe for analysis with a club led by African and French superstars.

    The other is to examine the historical differences in Chelsea matches, from their bevy of 1-0 and 2-0 victories under Jose, and those under the high-scoring Ancelotti regime. Is it that seemingly predetermined victories are boring in and of themselves, or is there something different about 8-0 or 6-0 thrashings?

    Complaining about a top-notch team winning at home against easily vanquished opponents is a waste of space.

      1. Yes, well done and well said, Robert. And, the same to you, Gaffer, for writing a piece that elicited so many comments. Keep up the good work on this fine site.

    1. And yet that the same Chelsea demolished on the opening day have since went from strength to strength.

      The PL is not competitive, and it is in decline.

      The sooner you English people get that through your heads the better.

    1. You seem to be jealous or having personality disorder that find it always boring to watch Chelsea play. Any other reason?

      1. I’m a different Patrick for the record… My first PL match was at the Bridge. They where playing in a lower division. It was near empty. It smelled. It was run down. That is Chelsea before the millions.

        That said I enjoy watching one CFC player. Essien. A few others don’t bother me, but the rest are a bunch of unlikeable pricks.

        The only reason I watch CFC play is to see if they break into a intersquad fight over a free kick.

    2. Dear lord so do i. I would rather watch blackburn or wolves to be completely honest. they play negative possessive football, and they wait for the other team to slip just once and they take the opening. It’s worse when they are playing at the Bridge, because their support at home has got to be the worst in the Prem. They reacted to goals 2 through 6 as if someone had just made a fine slide tackle. Mere applause and no other sign of passion. Might as well just give em vuvuzelas… okay, well, maybe not vuvuzelas.

      1. We’re gentlemen and ladies in the pride of london buddy. We know our boys will impress and score many goals so we only get really excited when its time to verse the big clubs, as when we play against pathetic teams like west brom and others its not a matter of ‘if we’ll win’ its a matter of ‘how many by’ hahahahaha. Every team in the prem is pathetic compared to us mighty blues except united arsenal and now city. Liverpool are the biggest joke in england. Shankly would be disgusted when he looks at the club now and how its turned out. Chelsea are superior and if the referees are not corrupted and we get some fair games in the champions league this season we will show that we should have been crowned 2 years in a row now. CHELSEA! UP THE MIGHTY BLUES!

  4. Wow, so you dislike Chelsea at home because they’re good? There were a number of games to watch today, so why did you choose to watch this one? Did you honestly expect West Brom to beat Chelsea?
    This article is a piece of garbage, and you sound like a 5 year old child.
    “Chelsea’s near perfection at home is incredibly boring”. Did you feel the same way about Man City last year? Or Inter Milan for the past two seasons? Or Barcelona for the past two?
    Do us a favor, and don’t type our club name on your cheap little computer again.

    1. Let them wear out Drogba and crew against the weaklings. The quicker they’ll get crushed by real competition come Champions League time.

  5. Wow Gaffer I have to agree with the people above me about how nothing is said when other clubs like Barca or Inter or ManU trash another team, but when Chelsea go from winning 1-0 or 2-1 to winning 5-1 or 8-0 it’s boring and predictable come on man.

    1. Chelsea simply can never do anything right. When they are the absolutely highest scoring team in the world they are boring. When they win with a goal or two they are boring. The fact still is that NO OTHER TEAM IN THE WORLD in a major league scores more goals than Chelsea and of course goalscoring is boring.

    2. Just another example of the media’s crusade against Chelsea. If Barca or Man U do this, the press are bowing down to them and calling them the “best team in the world”…

      1. C’mon UpTheBlues, you know me better than that. I’m not any crusade. I commend Chelsea. If anything, the article is more about how disappointed I am with the other teams in the Premier League who mount feeble challenges when playing at Stamford Bridge.

        The Gaffer

        1. Gaffer, I wasn’t trying to direct it at you. I know you aren’t biased in your opinions. It’s just that many news outlets seem to write negative stories about Chelsea, and it’s annoying.

      2. Totally agree with UpTheBlues above. I was watching Skysport News yesterday when the first goal from Malouda came. Can you imagine how the news was broken by the SkyNews? Jeoff said: “unfortunately there is an early goal at the Stomforbridge” as soon as he said that with very sad and low voice he then immediately realised what he said and added “if you are WestBrom.. supporter”.

        Imagine if instead of Chelsea the it was MU and instead of Drogba it was Rooney I’m sure the SkySport News team would be excited, happy and saying repeatedly on and on the how good the team was and how good the striker was.

        One another point, people talk about million and billions and the Russian link and making execuses for their dislike of Chelsea. When you compare the Ibrmawich of Chelsea with Americans owners of MU and Liverpool he shown more commitemnt to the club, spent more money of his own on the club while the Americans succking MU for their loan to the Club bank interestes and the other American fight betwen themselves and ruining Liver FC. Do people hate Man City as they do Chelsea?

        The conclusion is that Chelsea is no win situation whatever they do. The only answer I believe is the CFC continue on the good performance on the pitch and let those guys burn in jelousy who say they would always find Chelsea playing.

  6. Truely an amazing piece of CRAP! Dear oh Dear!!! To even consider you spending the time to write this rubbish…. Do something useful instead of berating a team who have come out of their shell over the past few years and stopped boring United winning three league title in a row!!! In the past 6 years its been a Chelsea team who can say were the only team who could and can stop Uniteds boring domination of the League! No one banged on about Uniteds domnation in the late and early 90’s or Arsenal’s Invincibles!!!!being boring, however Chelsea found a way to get in there with 1-0’s to 8-0’s and if you find that boring…I’ve booked you an appointment at your local shrink to have your head read, for any team coming out on the first day of a new season like Blackpool, Chelsea and Villa did with such empahtic score lines can only mean one thing..their intent! If you find Chelsea boring…as suggested before then your free to stop watching Chelsea play and watch something else not so boring…tiddlywinks!

    Please stand up if your top of the LEAGUE!

  7. Chelsea bashing is getting a bit tiresome, we can’t seem to do nothing right. Goal difference counts. Would it make for a more exciting game if chels go 1-0 up and defend the result till the end? And btw I was at the game today and the atmosphere was amazing from start to finish

    1. Jacob, I’d like you to name some champions who AREN’T douches. I’m pretty sure it can’t be done. Athletes who can play at the highest level consistently enough to win championships are, in my experience, some of the most awful, selfish human beings on the face of the earth.

      I think if these “douches” wore red, they’d have a lot of people coming to their defense.

  8. The one thing missed from the debate of these types of games is the fact that every game is a must win now in the Premier League. Yes, it’s always been but now more than ever 6-0 trashings of lower quality sides is a necessary evil. We’re getting very close to do the day when goal difference will determine who will win the league or get that precious Champions League spot or possibly who gets relegated. You can’t just field a B or C team anymore since 1-0 wins can hurt you 37 games from now.

  9. What a terrible article, chelsea played such good football as to beat another team 6-0 and its tiresome to watch ?, youd much rather a boring 0-0 draw because its close and better football. This is nothing but barely cloaked Chelsea bashing and poorly written.

  10. Its really hard not to bash them. I’ll be honest….they really are a bunch of douches…..sorry but it’s a fact…..I don’t make the rules…..its like gravity..you cant argue with gravity.

  11. Firstly. let’s not judge the season on one day, nothing could be more naive!
    The gap between the top and bottom is increasing, it’s evident, it’s positive feedback in a sense that top clubs do well because of good players, down to good investment, good investment comes fromm good money, from good income, from good position in the league (unfortunateky encouraging better ‘support’) with the tv moneys associated. I really hope city, arsenal spurs and the likes do well this season, I’d hate to have a rangers-celtic style SPL, imagine how dull it would be!
    For those who actually watched the game, they know that today, without Carson making a mistake and the ability of the Albion wall to stay strong it would have been 3-0 (a result overlooked and expected). Likewise, if they still made these mistakes and Chelsea played to their full potential it would have been 9-0!
    As for Chelsea fans, Stamford Bridge was dead today despite such a margin! Too busy eating prawn sandwiches I presume? £50 a ticket is a little extortiante, c’mon.

    1. 50 pounds is like what $77 that isn’t too bad. It costs $120 to go to a Jets or Giants NFL game if you are a season ticket holder you also have to buy the rights to buy that $120 ticket which is $2500. I would say baseball would have comparable prices here in the states for teams like the Yankees, Redsox, Cubs, and Cardinals.

  12. The gap widening? Then why did Blackpool destroy Wigan today? One day of football, and now there is a widening gap?


      1. Ah… Blackpool wasn’t even in the Premier League last year, yet, first game out with their manure on paper squad they wipe their ass with Wigan Athletic.

        Wigan is a team of Premier League players. Blackpool is a team with almost no Premier League players. There’s a difference between the two. I don’t want to even learn the Blackpool player’s names they’re so out of their depth. Yet, the tadpoles somehow ate the guppies.

        If you want equality, i.e. football socialism… you need to advocate for franchised football in England, or better franchised football in a Europa wide football powerhouse league with teams only from the big towns.

        If you want to just pooh pooh Chelsea for being big, bad, and the manure, you might as well not write anything about it. Cause it is what it is and his been this way for awhile now. Remember Mourinho? Where’d he manage?

      2. Don’t you rmmbr that wigan got the better of chelsea at dw??? “interesting and exciting” enough ??? at home chelsea have been cut-throat. i feel that there is too much of anti-chelsea propaganda being thrown about in the media that even if you do have a point you might not be taken seriously

  13. Wanh, wanh, wanh… Chelsea put six past the Albion. Who cares? Goals happen in football. Little Blackpool put 4 away today. Did that bore you Gaffer? Did watching the Tiny Tim of the 2010-2011 football season score 4 goals today bore you?

    Don’t watch Chelsea play if you don’t want to see that stuff! The English Premier League ain’t socialism… it’s social Darwinism, i.e. survival of the fittest. Like in the Ocean big fish eat the little fish. Won’t ever be any different.

    Inequality… celebrate it!

  14. I agree with the Gaff 110%. and not just cause I hate Chelsea. Its bad for football when one team knows they have the other beat, and the vultures start preying to get on the goal sheet. I don’t that need be explained to a CFC fan.

    When up 4-nil sit on the ball… pass it. You don’t see other big clubs go for the jugular like CFC. I wrote about this last year and got ripped by CFC fans. Maybe there is something to being a front running fan that makes you have goal lust. Then again I doubt many of the CFC support on here, knows the cliche of being a Chelsea fan.

    1. Have you ever heard of goal difference?

      West Ham supporter, right? …Like you would know anything about scoring goals 😉 😛

      1. You got ripped for suggesting a team sit on a lead in a league where goal differential is a tie-breaker. It’s a professional football club, and a very long season. It would be idiotic to NOT run up the score when the opportunity presents itself.

        If it offends you that much, get the rules changed. Until then, it was smart of Chelsea to build up some differential that may mean a hell of a lot come next Spring.

        1. I’m actually watching the replay right now on FSC… Here’s the problem. Its the 85th minutes and Chelsea are pushing forward and tight marking… Its 5 nil. West Brom has all 11 back They try and poke the ball forward. and then they scored a 6th.

          So as an outsider, it looks like the vanity of the CFC players is what is driving them. We all remember Drogba pushing Lampard a side on a spot kick so he could win the golden boot. Chelsea had them beaten and buried at 60 mins. Then went on to tag on 4 more goals.

          You don’t see European Champions do that. Sorry.

          and yes I am aware of goal difference, and if that satisfies your rationalization of running up scores so be it.

          1. Patrick –
            “Here’s the problem: Its the 85th minutes and Chelsea are pushing forward and tight marking… Its 5 nil. West Brom has all 11 back They try and poke the ball forward. and then they scored a 6th”

            So the problem is that Chelsea are playing well right until the end of the game?? How is that a problem? Are they supposed to stop marking, and stop looking for goals, so that WBA can get a couple of goals to make things interesting/respectable?

            “You don’t see European Champions do that. Sorry.”

            If you mean Inter Milan…well you’re right, they don’t win by big scores very often. But then, they were almost univerally branded as boring, because they were happy to get 1-0 leads and then pack everyone in their own half for the rest of the game. If you think that’s more interesting, then fair enough, but I don’t think you can criticise Chelsea for preferring to play attacking football. Inter also play in a more defensively-minded league, so even the weaker teams generally won’t offer up so many chances of goals as WBA did. But I’m sure if Inter ever got the chance to get a huge score to boost their goal difference, they wouldn’t say no.

            Or if you mean the prior European Champs, Barca…they get plenty of big scores in La Liga. Is that boring too?

            “yes I am aware of goal difference, and if that satisfies your rationalization of running up scores so be it.”

            I think this is the problem – nobody needs to “rationalize” scoring a lot of goals. I assume you’re American, and you might not realize this, but the concept of “running up the scores” being somehow unsportmanlike or impolite is (as far as I know) unique to American sporting culture. Elsewhere, it’s unheard of – you go out to play your best for the whole game.

    2. Patrick –
      “When up 4-nil sit on the ball… pass it. You don’t see other big clubs go for the jugular like CFC.”

      That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard. I mean it’s even more crazy than the Gaffer’s original complaint that when a good team thrashes a weak team it’s boring (even though people also complain that 1-0 wins are boring too).

      As other people have already pointed out, goal difference can be vital – why the heck would Chelsea sit back on a 4-0 lead when they could push on and get more. No club in the world is going to sit back when there are more goals on offer. This isn’t some American kids’ league where games get terminated early if one team is winning too much.

      Also, if a team winning 8-0 is “boring” how can it be less boring for a team to get a 4-0 lead and then just pass around for 40 minutes??

  15. Nice try on the commentary, Gaffer, but the people are correct in their responses. Give Chelsea credit for not missing a beat after the departure of some major stars, though. Go, Blackpool!

      1. I’m not saying you didn’t make a lot of good points–you did–I just meant that I found it pretty amazing that the Chelsea machine is still firing on all cylinders minus Deco, Ballack, Carvalho, J. Cole (did I miss any?). And your fairly nuanced analysis was sure to enrage Chelsea supporters anyway. But keep firing away! Always fun to read.

  16. Unfortunately, EPL is turning into SPL, La Liga, and the NBA from the perspective of neutrals.

    Too many matches now feature “men vs boys” with the result decided in 30 minutes or less, resulting in the entire 2nd half being “garbage time”.

    How many EPL clubs have a realistic chance of winning the Premier League this season? 2? (Sorry Liverpool, Arsenal, and Spurs.)

    I would not have sat through all 90+ minutes of Chelsea vs West Brom if the match weren’t played on opening weekend. The entire 2nd half was NBA-style “garbage time”.

  17. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is getting tiresome.” I agree, another Chelsea thrashing and another lame article complaining about it. Here’s a tip when you see a game on TV and it’s a Chelsea home game, find something else to do.

  18. Gaffer, you are right. The teams going to Stamford Bridge nowadays don’t even try and get a point let alone a win, although it’s not Chelsea’s fault. Although Chelsea “seem” unbeatable at home, I don’t think they will win the league this season simply because Drogba cannot carry them to the title like he did last season (don’t give me this Lampard BS all he does is score penalties and deflected shots). Anelka isn’t fit to fill Didier’s boots nor is Kalou. I believe this year United will be crowned champions because their top goalscorer is young and fit enough to start/finish every game simple as.

    1. George, while I too have concerns about my Chelsea men staying healthy this season, you didn’t use any evidence to back up your claims of, “Drogba cannot carry them to the title like he did last season,” and “[Manchester United’s] top goalscorer is young and fit enough to start/finish every game simple as.”

      Rooney, younger last season (because that’s how chronology works) missed 6 Prem matches with various injuries, including the Chelsea match at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Drogba missed 7, an entire month of which were due to the African Cup of Nations. Unquestionably, Drogba was the “healthier” player, even though he played through a groin injury through much of the season. Rooney, on the other hand, had a groin injury and sat out.

      If we look at their respective results from the summer, it’s evident that Drogba had the more successful end to the Prem season, World Cup, and beginning to his season. Drogba scored 3 in the EPL final match, the deciding free kick in the FA Cup final, a goal in the ACN, one in the World Cup (and several shots that became rebounded goals for teammates), and 3 in the first match of the 2010 season. If past is prologue, Drogba hasn’t lost a step at all, while Rooney has failed to score in 5 months. (His assist in the Community Shield was splendid, no doubt about it.)

      Like I said, your concerns about health and age are legitimate. But please be more careful when you claim that Rooney, by virtue of his age, is fit to start and finish every match. He failed his team in the Champions League and the EPL title race by being injured last season, and has not scored in 13 matches.

      Finally, your claim about Lampard is untrue. Remind me how many of his 4 goals against Villa last season were deflected shots, for one example. A player doesn’t get to 150 goals as a Chelsea player with cheap scores. I understand, though. A goal or two that you watched last season became emblematic of your antipathy toward him, so you can repeat the claim about deflected shots with a clear conscience.

      It’s kind of how when I close my eyes, all I do is see Wayne Rooney rolling on the ground in pain against Bayern Munich, or sulking in a luxury box as Chelsea beat United 2-1.

      1. Robert..I have to agree with you re. George’s remarks. In themselves, they supply no hard evidence that Rooney can “outfire” Drogba over the course of a season nor necessarily remain as fit though one would expect a player of the age and stature of Rooney to be less susceptible to time off the pitch. Only time will tell but I do believe his “recovery” from the disasterous WC campaign appears to be on track.

        Looking at the wider perspective which George alluded to, namely who will lift the Premiership Trophy in 2011, it’s clear from Ferguson’s recent purchases that there will be a reorganisation of attacking strategy, thus relieving Rooney as sole leader of the line. Perhaps reverting to the role of supporting striker will benefit not only him but provide a much needed assist to the fledgling midfield.

        Point taken re contribution of Lampard. Mourinho wants him..need we say more?

        1. Good points, Advocate. Hernandez is a great signing, and I’m terrified that he’s going to combine well with Rooney. I’m not as well-versed in United’s tactics though–if Rooney drops into the hole, what place does that leave for Berbatov? Or will United play a 4-4-2 with Rooney and Hernandez up top?

          1. Robert..I look at the squad and my conclusions are that United can go 4-4-2, probably for most of the easier home ties and some away (excluding later CL fixtures) where you can pick 2 from 3, i.e. Hernandez/Rooney, Hernandez/Berbatov, Berbatov/Rooney (Macheda/Bebe plus 1 on the subs bench)

            I can see 4-5-1 or 4-1-3-2 being used in more competitive games, i.e. top 6, with Hernandez spearheading and Berbatov or Rooney playing supporting roles. Hernandez has shown lightning pace and deft touch which gives the team greater versatility. United need to improve on goal difference in addition to points taken. In this scenario, Rooney is pefectly capable of playing an attacking midfielder (aka Scholes).

            But I do believe that United’s strength will come from midfield in time to come. As Giggs and Scholes bow out, they are adequately compensated for by Valencia, Fletcher, Obertan, Gibson and now Cleverly, who had a great tour in the US. What intrigues me most is that many of the new players can combine close control with creativity and goal scoring, and do this at speed. Personally, I have to say that the jury is still out with respect to Nani and Anderson albeit the former is coming to the fore again and has a great right foot.

            As in great United teams from the past, the goal threat will once again come from numerous individuals, not solely Rooney/Berbatov.

  19. This is one of the reasons I still relish Man City’s win there last year – particularly after losing by similar margins, (I think 6-0) in 07/08, and many other years past.

  20. Gaffer, it’s OK to come out of the closet and say you’re a Manure fan at heart. Yes, the gulf between the top teams and bottom teams is widening because there is no salary cap in soccer. These scorelines happen in every league in the world. Why or why are so so upset by it. It’s no different to someone being upset that the score was 0-0 becuase no goals were scored or 1-0 that not enough goals were scored. It’s soccer! Sorry, but this is your worst article I’ve read.

    1. Andrew, I’m not upset. All I want to see is a match that isn’t so one-sided. If you’re a Chelsea supporter, a 6-0 victory is a wonderful thing to watch. If you’re a neutral observer (as I am in my case, my club team is Swansea City), a 6-0 victory becomes too one-sided and thus can be boring.

      The Gaffer

      1. Dont bloody watch then. So what would you have Chelsea do, maybe we should give “lesser” teams a 3 goal start as im sure that would be great fun for the neutral. This is one of the most ridiculous rants ive ever seen.

  21. It does seem like on this site had this been Man Utd, the headline would have read – Man Utd comes full speed out of the blocks, or some positive spin on it… Instead it is Why I dislike Chelsea…. sure there are some positive statements made, but it doesn’t over come the headline…

    Chelsea scores 6 goals… its boring…

    Few years ago when Mourinho was here, they win 1-0, and after that first goal, park a bus in front of the goal… its boring…

    Move along… nothing new to see here….

    I think Chelsea dominated the game, and did so in an impressive way. Malouda and Drogba both seem to be starting in the same form they ended last year… looking forward to a good season as a Chelsea fan!

    1. Smitty, in the league, last season Chelsea clobbered Blackburn 5-0, Bolton 4-0, Wolves 4-0, Sunderland 7-2, West Ham 4-1, Portsmouth 5-0, Aston Villa 7-1, Stoke 7-0 and Wigan 8-0. Man United won just as many games, but they didn’t win by such one-sided scorelines.

      The Gaffer

  22. If you want parity, then you should watch the NFL. Or any sport with a salary cap. To make a baseball comparison, Chelsea are like the Yankees, and Man U are the Red Sox (or vice versa). Without a cap, the teams with the most money will win. And Chelsea has a long history, a big following, and thus a lot of money.

    Meanwhile in the NFL, any team can win on any given day. There’s some semblance of competitive balance, and teams can go from worst to first in a relatively quick time. In the EPL, this just doesn’t happen. But I guess that’s why individual teams like Man U and Chelsea are such international brands, while the NFL as a whole is a brand, not its individual franchises.

  23. Well, Didier will take care of Arsenal, I’m not worried. :)

    If we can stay fit, keep players like Ess, Lamps, Didi, JT, Cech fit for the entire season, I’ll bet we are in for another glorious season. Problem is, that’s walking on a tightrope. I’m just going to shut my eyes and pray that Bruno can pull some tricks out of his Milan briefcase!

  24. In short,
    “Haters keep on Hating”

    they’re just getting scared, thats all… 6-0 and its boring? hahaha
    that is much worse than a biased American football/soccer haters

    saying that, i have to agree with JT_Dan..we kind of lacking in depth at the moment, compared to other top 4 teams of course (bar Liverpool)
    I would go on and say that our squad depth is same as Arsenal if not worse..

  25. i understand where the author is coming from as a chelsea supporter. Before against weaker opposition chelsea used to go up 2-0 or so and then coast, instead of going for goals they would do a spain and keep possession till the last minute. it worked wonderfully but the terms boring boring chelsea was annoying.

    when ancelotti came in, his first task was to introduce an attacking vigor to the chelsea line up. this resulted in normally 2-0 keep away to become 7-0 thrashings.

    that said chelsea usually get those goals when they get in front early and and force the other team to attack, opening space for midfield and attackers to exploit massively. against entrenched teams they have struggled because the teams are looking for a draw or a counter attack. WBA in all fairness didnt stand a chance, the level of ability was too different. when essien, drogba and mikel are on your team and are faster and stronger then every player you have on the pitch that they can essentially push their way through a team it becomes less about technical ability and more about boys vs men.

    i dont mind the free scoring chelsea because it makes the more mundane games like liverpool and manU where its defense first a little more fun. chelsea look to not only counter but also control, something that they rarely did under mourinho. preferring to sit deep and counter, against defensive teams like manU and liverpool it became a snore fest.

      1. definitely, manU is playing a formation and style very similar to mourinho’s chelsea. They have great attackers its true but first and foremost they rely on a very strong defense and then counter with speed and accuracy. Much like dunga’s brazil can ship 5 past teams and be defensive because they use the counter as their main tool. by minimizing the transition from defense to attack they can cause alot of teams strife because its nearly impossible to stop unless you play defensive as well. Look at how fast the interplay between the front 3 is at times, it takes supremely gifted players to play like that of course which is why you dont see newcastle or some shit team do it and the speed at which manU can do it is breath taking at times. especially when ronaldo was there.
        liverpool is a bit more possession based with the impetus on stretching play to make the most of gerrard and torres in the middle but are still defensive in that they possession isnt a form of attack for them like it is lets say arsenal or barcelona. liverpool are probably similar to chelsea in that they are quite even, liverpools main problem is their wide players are just not the same level as chelseas. especially the left side which is trash.

  26. ” but Chelsea’s near-perfection at home is getting incredibly boring
    When Chelsea plays at home in the Premier League, the games are so predictable – I’m not asking that Chelsea lose some of their home games at Stamford Bridge.
    when teams like Chelsea monopolize matches so much, they become increasingly boring”

    You are contradicting yourself loser!!!

  27. What a total load of rubbish…..it was a one sided half (the 2nd half), the first half we played quite well, only the final ball let us down but we had something like 64% of the possession first half…..

    Fair enough 2nd half we was just plain crap but too come out saying that it was such a one sided game without actually commenting on the entirety of the game and just making sweeping statements shows you up for the bad journalist you obviously are!!

    2 mistakes in the first half caused our downfall…..the second half we didnt comeback out I dont think…..

    Carsosn howler in the first 5 mins killed the game for me……always an uphill struggle then….

  28. Wat a article. Futbal fans wil neva apreciate chelsea. Thats wy we always raise the bar evry season. Watch chelsea score 150 goals and win champions league!!!

  29. I’m trying to figure out what this article is about other than a long-winded wish that Chelsea wasn’t a lot better than their competition.

    In a league where goal differential is the FIRST tie-breaker after your point total (while in say the NFL it’s like the 4th tie-breaker) you should not just get 2 up on a tomato-can of an opponent and sit on your lead. In that game yesterday in the second-half if Chelsea gave up trying to score, nobody would have been trying to do anything.

    I don’t have a lot of patience for those who say football is boring because there’s so little scoring, but if a team is just keeping the ball in midfield, holding on to a lead and not trying to do anything but run out the clock for 45 minutes, THAT truly is boring no matter what sport it is.

  30. I think this article fails to notice the goal differential. Two years ago (maybe 3, they run together these days) if chelsea had equalized United on points the last day they wouldn’t of won the league because of GD. You can not point fingers on a club that wins by large numbers and say its boring when in reality they have to or else. Are they going to look back in may and say, “well mate, if we had only gotten 4 more against west brom”.

    The concept of the game for smaller clubs has not changed against the big clubs, and CFC had looked horrid through pre-season. Attack JT with a ball over, he ball watches and forgets the player attacking with his old age and you have a chance. If it were the Scolari days, I’d say throw a ball in from cross and with his zonal marking, you’d be bound to get a free header at the far post. Every team has weaknesses, Chelsea has shown their back line is horrible many times, marking back is very weak (everyone wants to play up) and recent years their keeping is getting worse. WBA did not try to exploit these weaknesses enough and played a defense game and it cost them.

  31. shut up you sour grapes mank wanker…. the premier league is the most competitive it has been in a long time, the emergance of tottenham, man city and even everton challenging for champions league football is a breath of fresh air, and provides a much needed competitive edge! even fulham reached the europa cup final. next time you pick up your keyboard think twice, and prepare to write a load of one sided drivel…. get your car keys, find the nearest cliff edge, and drive your sorry mank ass over the edge of it! KTBFFH!

  32. Patrick…. and you would have been the same pratt complaining about Chelsea’s 1-0’s under Mourinho!…now we bang heaps in your still compaining in the Chelsea go for the JUGULAR un like other EPL teams…. So Portsmouths 7-2 or Manure’s 8-1 aren’t the same…what a crock! Chelsea have transformed from the tight and clinical under Mourinho to now being devestating under Carlo…. P.S since it hasn’t been mentioned….Chelsea now holds another record!!!! Biggest opening day score in the Premiere league! TRUELY A CLUB WITH NO HISTORY, BUT WE SURELY ARE MAKING IT NOW!

    Top of the league…havin a laugh!

  33. It’s one game from a very long season. Blowouts happen, and like many have said in this thread there are games when teams lower in the table pull an upset.

    That being said I hope Arsenal beat Liverpool 6-0 today.

  34. Gaffer…. When next ur abt to write any article on My Beloved CHELSEA try not to be prevocative. What u just wrote is not acceptable it shows u up as a bad journalist or writer u are u are not using ur I.Q to the best of ur ability with articles like this I were God I wouldve taken it from you

  35. Gaffer — you probably should have written about why Chelsea have opened at home for the past 5 straight years and have played a cupcake each time.

    1. Why does that matter? You have to play each team twice, home and away. I’d argue that there’s more of a chance for a promoted club to spring a shocker on opening day, especially considering the way Chelsea had played in pre-season.

  36. This chelsea team are just a bunch of flat track bullies, hoping to mask their obvious weaknesses by trying to run up big scores at home against teams who concede a couple of early goals and give up.

    1. Greener, last season, Chelsea went 6-1 against Manchester United (counting the Community Shield), Spurs and Arsenal–the rest of the top 4. Chelsea went 9-4 against the rest of the top 7 teams in the Prem.

      They had obvious weaknesses last year (I’m being serious), but they masked them by playing great football and winning the Double.

  37. Gaffer I thought you were an American the way you present this story. As a Chelsea fan I too found the game slightly dull as West Brom are an awful team, I agree with some of your sentiments but I feel that Chelsea have to beat what is put in front of them and they did with style. I think it is more fashionable for Manure , Barca or Real to win 6-0 and take the plaudits but under Ancelotti Chelsea have played with style and if that wins them another title, scoring over 103 goals then who’s to complain..

  38. As a Chelsea fan for 16+ years now, I am thankful that we’ve started scoring freely. Before Mourinho, this team could blow you away with goals – the 5-0 victory over United in 99 comes to mind. I’m also thankful that we’re a lot stronger as a team, and are unlikely to repeat the next result that year, 2-1 loss vs Coventry. When Mourinho was coach, you could bet your life it’d be 2-0 every match, THAT was boring! At least now, you can’t predict the score, you just know we’re going to dominate and be ruthless in front of goal. It is refreshing, whether apposing fans like it or not.

  39. Gaffer has the right to express his frustration as a viewer. But I agree with the negative responses: writing about how annoying a good side is doesn’t go anywhere, as it’s plain rhetoric. During the World Cup I heard a number of die-hard fans complaining about Spain and how “slow” they were. Football is all about perspective: diverse people = diverse understanding.

  40. Lay off Mourinho
    For all the faults some of you can lay on him – He won us our first title in years and the football was not as boring as you say with Robben & Duff on the wings we were taking teams apart check the stats ! Yes there was some tight games but some of it was to enable us to rest or go easy on players carrying knocks and to allow us to save energy for other games. Mourinho is a master at this sort of thing and his contribution to Chelsea should never be trashed by our own.

  41. @Ian
    I love Mourinho, he had his reasons for everything he did, the guy was a genius!

    You say “check the stats” though, with basically the same squad as Mourinho had, we scored 103 goals! In both years Mourinho finished with us, we scored 72, the season he left, we scored 64. With the same players, let me reiterate. You can’t tell me Robben and Duff amounted to 31 goals less than Malouda and Anelka, so it was clearly part of his strategy.

    That strategy consisted of controlling the game, and winning comfortably, but he’d tell you himself “it is about winning, not entertaining”, and it certainly wasn’t entertaining. I remember one game in particular where it just seemed like Mourinho said “destroy them”, when we were 1-0 down at half time to Bolton and won 5-1. That was the potential of the team back then, but he rarely gave them freedom to express themselves offensively.

    For Jose, it was more important to keep a low GA and he’d never have settled for the 32 goals we conceded last year.

  42. What is this British culture of being opposed to success?!!

    I swear we are the only country to entertain such a backwards point of view towards winning. Anyone who denies wanting to see their side batter & humiliate the opposition week in, week out is lying. That’s the dream, isn’t it? To live to see your club at the top of the league, playing unstoppable football??

    We have 3 or 4 of the most popular, entertaining, successful sides on the planet at the moment, and yet some people just hate to see English teams win convincingly.

    No wonder British teams can’t perform internationally at major tournaments, when they’re supported by people who DONT WANT THEM TO WIN BY A CLEAR MARGIN.

    mental. just mental.

  43. wake up you silly kook. Dont be jealous that now the mighty men in blue have a great manager and play stunning football. Now after many years the team has begun to gel together under the management of ancelotti. Smaller teams like west brom and others wont be able to handle it and thats just the way it is.. its more entertaining to watch a team play amazing football and beat another side by 6 or seven then watch a close game but only end up with a 0-0 draw or one goal early in the game. You are obviously clueless and need to stop posting such crap. UP THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BLUES!!

  44. While the article is controversial and directed at Chelsea in this case, I do see what the Gaffer is trying to say. There’s no way to say as a neutral fan that you’re disappointed when blowouts occur, because the team that provides it is doing it for the good of the team and potentially helping decide a close title race.

    But yes, as a NEUTRAL (Chelsea fans, that’s not you), it is frustrating and upsetting to watch a clearly superior team mop the floor with a newly promoted one.

    What this article should focus on is what can be done to level the playing field if that’s what you so desire.

    But here’s a question for Chelsea fans… Do you really find it hard being a fan these days? Probably one topic I would love to write about and would surely be grilled for, but coming into this season, all you worry about is Man Utd, Arsenal (for first half of season) and maybe City or something.

    The point I get from all of this is that many of your comments in this article belittle smaller teams for not being as good. And it’s clear as to why, yet you bask in it. This is why so many hate you.

  45. ManU was trying to score the whole game vs Newcastle and only scored 3, but if Berbatov actually knew how to finish it would have been 5-0 to 6-0. So I ask this would that be a boring game or unsportsmanlike in your books Gaffer?

  46. So somehow we’ve gone from “Boring Boring Chelsea” for playing Italian style football six years ago (1-0 up and play out the match) to now being “Boring Boring Chelsea” who broke the league scoring record last year? How many people say “Boring Boring Barca?” or “Boring Boring Real Madrid?” Both of those teams score lots of goals and have a close but two sided competition in Spain. Very similar to Chelsea and Man Utd in the prem over the last few seasons.
    So we’re scoring more. Playing more aggreessive footy. Showing flair adn enjoyment in our game but a supporter who follows Swansea isn’t happy to watch us play at the Bridge? Please mate do us a favour, don’t watch. Even if you do watch please don’t bother writing this rubbish that takes up a news-story place on the RSS feeds.
    If you’re a proper Swans fan then I’d have thought you’d appreciate the new direction that Carlo is taking Chelsea. With the signing of Ramires and possibly Neymar we will have as close a team to total football that there is in the premiership. A solid defensive core, attack minded full-backs, a mid-field and fringe attack force that can rotate and flow into endless positions and finally one of the WORLDs best strikers upfront when in form. How can a team like that possibly be boring to watch?

    Finally (although this isn’t meant as an insult), I find it a touch of irony that we get called boring for scoring lots of goals by a supporter of team that struggled to score any in the latter part of the season last year. Shameful, uninformed article no matter how much you try to justify in the comments section!

  47. @ David

    Is it hard being a Chelsea fan? Nigh on impossible! First you get told that your team can only buy trophies by people who have no concept of how the team performed BEFORE Roman invested. Then you get told that you’re a glory supporter no matter how long you’ve supported for. Then you get the usual tripe about being boring despite breaking the scoring record last year and moving closer to total football than ever before. Yes it is difficult to deal with the un-informed stupidity that exists out there.

    No to your next question: Do we worry about only the big boys? Definitely not! “Little” teams is insulting as there are no “little” teams in the premiership. All teams no matter how successful cause a different type of problem. The more successful teams (Man U, Arsenal, Spurs, Man City, Everton, Villa, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Fulham) each on the day can sneak a result against any other team. But the rest of the teams can either go flat out and cause a problem by nicking a few goals, or they can go for the aggressive option and kick your players off the ball (just ask Wenger!!), or as more likely happens, they park the bus and hope to hold out for a draw. The OP wants to know why games at the Bridge often end large scorelines or boring matches? Just how difficult do you think it is to score against a team with 11 men behind the ball? Arsenal struggled to score on Sunday when Liverpool only kept 10 (9 at one point) men behind the ball. Very difficult to play against. Meh! THis has started my day off on a low point…. I’m off to get a coffee and chill out!

  48. They score too many goals why cant they just get 3 or 2 and then lay off a bit. Its not fun to watch them score 7 or 8 nearlyevery gameat stamford bridge. The only good thing is that it gives me more points on my fantasy game.

    dojer99 on xbox live


  49. ..F**** U Gaffer..for starting this post..! u even ve no idea wat ur talking abt…u think Epl is nt competitive enuf ..? thn u cn go and watch a cock fight..but i reckon even there u’ll find a way to butch abt it..! so the bottom line is theres no pacifying ur kinda guys..! ur biggest problem is..u dnt have a team to support and cant feel the competetion thts goin on..! so jst shut the hell up..and play some checkers or somthing..!

  50. When chelsea won many game 1-0 woth Mourinho, you keep saying Chelsea is a boring team.
    Now Chelsea win 6-0 or even 8-0 and you still saying Chelse is a boring team.
    Nice …..

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