Steaua Wed 11th Dec 2013 Kick Off: 7:45pm UK Venue: Stamford Bridge Comp: Champions League
Arsenal host Spurs/FA Cup draw
The FA Cup third-round draw has handed Arsenal a north London derby with neighbours Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium.
Hughes happy with response
Stoke boss Mark Hughes was delighted after goal hero Oussama Assaidi showed exactly the right response to being dropped.
Defence concerns Mourinho
Jose Mourinho admitted Chelsea's porous defence is "a big concern" after his side lost 3-2 at Stoke on Saturday.
Premier League round-up
David Moyes and Manchester United endured more home misery against Newcastle United, as their crown slipped a little further, while Chelsea and Manchester City squandered the opportunity to move within touching distance of the leaders as they dropped points on the road.
Looking back at our 09/10 Double winning season, every Chelsea fan was happy and we got used to winning easily and trashing our opponents. Sky was the limit and ever since we got onto that bad moment under Carlo I was following our play, players, manager talk and results very closely.
I found it very surprising how a team that won a Double, scoring 103 goals and running over everyone simply transformed into an underperforming bunch of highly payed superstars. Just like that *pff* we were struggling. Our play was gone and the media couldn't wait to fill their lovely newspapers with headlines of our failures.
What was the cause of it? Couple of things, but for me, the biggest one was the lack of leadership. Yes, leadership. Drogba with his malarya and Lampard with his "2 weeks" of the field. These 2 players scored 64 goals and assisted 32 times in the season that will be remembered in our history as the season where Chelsea football club has won the first Double in its history. Do you really think we we wouldn't have won the title last season if those 2 had a season like 09/10 one? Thing is that when you have a couple of players playing as amazing as that, it lifts the whole team. Kalou suddenly starts scoring regularly, Mikel becomes an unpassable boulder, Malouda becomes the most useful player statistically and our defense is the best in the league.
Even when we bounced back last season, I wasn't convinced. It wasn't simply that anymore. Someone pulled away a couple of very important cards out of our tower.
It has shown us that our squad is simply not good enough anymore. What do I mean by not good enough?
They can't produce the magic, sparks and performances week and week out.
Look at our recent run, and most accurately Drogba. He started showing his old self. Had a decent run against Wolves. Did well at Newcastle...then exploded against Valencia...then a slight drop of form against City...and then his bad performance against Wigan where he should've helped the team to an easy victory.
This clearly shows you, he can't keep up the level required. He is 33 after all. Same goes with Lampard. Same age, and these 2 players are not the players you place on the bench as the media have rubbed in our faces quite a bit.
Who are our main players besides Mata and Sturridge now?
Terry, Lampard, Torres, Drogba. Is anyone of them playing like Sturridge and Mata week and week out?
No. Sometimes there's a flash or a run of games, but no true rhythm and form. That's what impacts us that much. They are simply not at the level they could reach before.
Just look at Sturridge. Man City game. 1 small dribble, sends Clichy for a beer and assists Meireles to equalize at an vital moment that changed the game. Recent Wigan game. Team was terrible, but he managed to receive a difficult ball and score with his weaker foot. Not only this, he didn't have 2 or 3 good performances, he was good from the beginning of the season. He made the likes of Drogba, Torres and Anelka look like clowns and look cool while doing it.
Let's take a closer look at our squad.
Mata. Sturridge. Ramires. Luiz. Meireles. Romeu. Our best performers this season. They haven't even been at the club for a full year except for Ramires, but for a midfielder from a foreign league, it's understandable to take some time to adjust.
Look at the rest of our squad. Drogba. Lampard. Malouda. Kalou. Anelka. Bosingwa. Mikel.
Either old, out of form or not good enough.
Now let's compare our side against Man United. I chose them as a team on a similar level as us atm.
Rooney and Hernandez vs Torres and Drogba. United wins. Hernandez scores without problems and he's very young. Rooney is not on top of his game, but he is still 7 years younger then Drogba. Torres...eh I'll leave him out of this article. Nani, Valencia and Young vs Malouda, Kalou and Sturridge. United wins with not explanation needed. I left out Mata as he is a different kind of player.
Just take a look at United when they are playing bad. It's usually Nani, Young and Rooney not having their day. When they are having their day then Jones, Smalling and Evans can replace Vidic and Ferdinand, Anderson, Carrick and Fletcher (who I doubt a single Chelsea fan would wish in our team) boss the midfield and Hernandez turns into a world class striker.
The difference between United and Chelsea is that that happens much more often.
I won't even bother comparing us to the likes of City, Real and Barca. Messi, Ronaldo, Silva, Ozil, Aguero, Balotelli, Dzeko, Sanchez, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Villa, Tevez, Benzema, Higuain, Di Maria, Kompany, Pepe, Ramos, Pique, Alves...almost all of them beat our players on their positions. Suarez at Liverpool. Van Persie at Arsenal. They save their butts.
Add to this then a number of smaller issues
Bad ref decisions
Short on luck
Motivation of our opponents
Atmosphere at SB
and you end up with as situation we are in.
That's what I want the fans to realize and accept a draw at DW stadium instead of going out and unleashing their fury on AVB, Kalou, Torres and Mikel as usual scrapegoats.
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