Monday, 26 November 2012

Chelsea 0 - 0 Manchester City: Goalless Debut for Rafa

26 November 2012 19.54 GMT+8

Fernando Torres,Vincent Kompany

          Another manager comes in, this time it's the man who made a bitter rivalry against Chelsea, during his time at Liverpool FC. But now here he is, hopefully for the best of the Blues. His first game ended a scoreless draw, but to be honest it wasn't that bad considering we are in a bad period of time, and against Manchester City, earning a draw, and especially a clean sheet as well, is not bad at all. However, he will need to do more to prove his worth to the fans, and to the owner as well.

          As with RDM, the line-up was pretty much typical, only seeing Ivanovic pair Luiz as Cahill was ill previously, which means Azpilicueta started again (he has been performing well so far), while the remaining starters pretty much pick themselves, for now.

          There's not much to say about the game really, especially in terms of football. The goalless draw pretty much says it all, both teams had chances, but both defenses were pretty resilient, and the strikers from both sides aren't producing much either. Most of the battle are in the midfield area.

          However, there is this one thing I would like to address. The fans there seemed to be in the same frame of mind as me and perhaps all other Chelsea fan's around the world. Roberto Di Matteo just mean so much to us, I noticed the applause by the fans on the 16th minute (16 was Robbie's jersey number as a Chelsea player), which I found very touching really. Not to mention the fans brought posters and banners stating, "There is only one Di Matteo", etc, which really shows how much he means to the club and the fans, and as he stated he was honored to manage this club he has always loved, JT was even more privileged to have worked under the club legend, and the fans will be the most gratified to have him during his short spell. If he watched the game, and the fans, then he will know he walked out of the club with his pride in the highest, and he will always earn the respect, honor, and privilege by the club and players, and especially the fans. That part of him can never be taken away.

          But then there's this other thing to address, and it concerns our new manager. Beside banners of Di Matteo, I noticed even more banners saying, "Rafa Out" and all sorts of that. And I understand why the Chelsea fans did that, and I do not blame them. But I believe that this is not the right way to move on. I think we should all support our manager (whoever he is), for the best of the club. Even by bringing those banners and shouting and booing the manager, it won't change a thing, and it may even unsettle the situation. So, for the best of the club, I think it's best to just put the past behind, and give full support to the manager, and who knows, he might just bring us the victories we long for. Petr Cech himself have also wished for the fans to give the new manager a chance, and I agree with out interim-captain, to give more support for the whole club and the manager, for the best to come.

          With that said, we now sit fourth and the BPL table, but not that far away. We didn't look menacing in the game against City, but we looked solid defensively. Hopefully we can bring that positive to the game against Fulham, and hopefully have some extra cutting edge in our offensive efforts, and maybe we can win the next game! #CFC


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Farewell RDM...

Wednesday 21-11-2012 18.32 GMT+8

Roberto Di Matteo

          Yes, it's my birthday, and yes, we have probably just heard the most shocking statement we could have possibly expected. Not the birthday gift I wanted, but then again, I have had my best friends come to my room in the middle of the night and gave a hell of a surprise. I would like to take some time to thank them for their time and efforts to celebrate my birthday even in the midst of upcoming examinations. Thanks guys :)

          Okay, back to the news, well, maybe it's not totally surprising, but seriously considering the situation and position we have been, not to mention the feats we have achieved. I think we just felt the blow of how impatient our big boss really is, and certainly I very much disagree with the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

          I was just in the midst of studying when I took a break and decided to open FB for a while, and there it was, "Chelsea FC has parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo this morning." And my initial expression was, "WTF?!?!?" Seriously??"

          And I guess that should sum up the whole article. I also looked into the comments on that very status, and what I see, was a whole bunch of Chelsea fans also feeling the same way I did. What I saw, among others, are "Is this the way to treat managers?", "Shame on CFC", "Impatient owner", "He didn't deserve this", "Too early", "Can't believe this", "Robbie's done a good job", "Best Manager after Mou", "RDM only had 5 bad games", "Wrong Decision", "RDM the heart of Chelsea fans."

          In fact, nearly all the comments I read are all like those you saw above. And that practically sums up the feeling of Chelsea fans around the world, including me. He has won the UCL and FA Cup, and this season we are playing a brand new style of football, sitting at third in the BPL. And the season hasn't even been defined, much less, ended.

          I believe that this is much too early. Given what he had achieved, and the number of bad games and our current condition, and apparently, this is when we are having significant injuries. So, honestly, there just isn't enough justification for the board to sack RDM, but unfortunately the big boss is too impatient to see this, and it's so unfortunate for Robbie to get the axe.

          Now I don't know who will be manager (maybe victim) next. It could be Pep, could be Rafa, could be anybody. But I'm a Chelsea fan in and out, so I will definitely support the next man to take the hot seat, but I stand strong with my statement that this is a big mistake, sacking RDM, and most certainly, unethical. The club's image in front of football fans around the world is certainly not a good one.

          All in all, and I believe I will be speaking for all CFC fans for this one, we would like to thank RDM for what he has done for the club. The change he has brought, the historical trophy he has won, and yes he will remain in the hearts of Chelsea fans, and he will come down as one of the most memorable managers in the history of the club (And CFC will probably go down as the most controversial club in the world). Thank you Robbie!! All the best for your future!! #CFC


Sunday, 18 November 2012

West Brom 2 - 1 Chelsea: "November" all over??

Sunday 18-11-2012 00.58 GMT+8

EPL - West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea, Shane Long and Gary Cahill

          It looks like we are heading towards that "Month of November" all over again, which caused Ancelloti's and AVB's Chelsea side stumble in the past. I can see some justification from tonight's game, but it certainly shouldn't be that way, and I got frustrated throughout the game, and frustrated that we weren't getting any wins recently, and now I doubt Chelsea's chance in Juventus in the coming midweek. And my exams are coming up so you can imagine how hellish I am feeling right now.

          The side that started was one that looked interesting, a very young side indeed. Cech, Luiz, Cahill, Mikel, Hazard, and Torres are the regular starters. Bertrand came in for Cole, who is perhaps being prepared for the Juventus game, after a hamstring injury. Ivanovic had a tough game in midweek, and so did Oscar & Mata (both whom travelled far) who needed to be rested, replaced by Azpilicueta, Sturridge & Moses respectively. Same goes for Ramires, replaced by Romeu. It was an interesting side, and though it looked weaker, the talents and potentials are there for them to show it.

          Throughout both halves, we dominated possession. We had nearly 3 times the number of shots of West Brom, yet only able to find one goal (which is one of the most unlikeliest of goals, a header by the smallest player on the side), while the home side were able to find two. I must admit that overall, West Brom looked confident in defending, and they were apparently very dangerous in counter attacks. Credit to them, I always felt nervous when they had the ball.

          I can say that we played well overall, but we weren't clinical enough in front of goal, and we just lacked that special touch in the final third. We still looked like playing the football we used to, but just not finding the net, and apparently also conceding goals we should not have.

          I apparently shouldn't have stated the blame to whom explicitly, but after tonight I thoroughly felt disappointed by one Daniel Sturridge, and another in David Luiz. Daniel Sturridge was unbelievably wasteful. He perhaps made some excellent touches when playing behind Torres, but when given the chance up front, he was wasteful and selfish. Counting the number of times Mata supplied and excellent ball to him, and he didn't deliver, and then when he could have given the ball to Mata to tap the ball in, he didn't. I was so frustrated I wished Torres was back on in the game, although Torres didn't have the best of games either. And then there's Luiz who I think is at fault for our goals conceded. He needed to have that extra composure and positioning, and he just isn't the centre back I expected him to be.

          Looking at this game, I think we really needed JT back there, not just as the leader, but also to bolster our leaking defense. If you check the statistics, you can see we kept more clean sheets and conceded less goals with JT there. And then I think we may actually need Falcao after all. I preferred not, if only Torres can perform, and Lukaku returns to support him. But if it goes on like this, I am happy to see Falcao in the blue shirt. Credit to the Azpilicueta and Bertrand who proved that they can be relied on in the future, just needed more game time and experience I think. Same goes for Romeu, and Moses did well tonight. And I think the problem is in the final third, and that somehow, we are still leaking in defense.

          I don't know if this "Month of November" curse is coming back to haunt us (certainly hope not), but I certainly don't feel confident about the upcoming game in Turin. I'll be supporting us all the way, but I'm not expecting much, at least until we start winning games again. Now we dropped another 3 points, and potentially losing six points to the leaders (after leading 4 just weeks ago), and only 1 point ahead of West Brom in fourth. Hopefully the situation will change soon, starting with a win in Juventus.

          Before we end, I wanted to thank all you readers, as my blog page views just reached 1000 last weekend. I wanted to thank you all for your constant support, and I am just glad that there are people like you guys appreciating my imperfect piece of writings, and hopefully, share the same thoughts and support towards our blue heroes, Chelsea FC. #CFC


Monday, 12 November 2012

Chelsea 1 - 1 Liverpool: Classic Encounter, Different Game, Another Draw

Monday, 12-11-2012, 01.58 GMT+8

Luis Suarez

           It's been another encounter with the opponent we have faced 33 times in the last 8 seasons. The tie is no longer new, but the players, are mostly new. The blues are with new boys Hazard, Oscar, Azpilicueta, Moses, Bertrand whom Liverpool never faced before. While boss RDM were required to think about the likes of Sterling, Allen, Sahin, etc. So it's a seemingly classic show, but with new actors to play. However, the results are a tight one, as always. However, judging by the game overall, and the statistics as well, it may well seem to be 2 points dropped for us.

          With Cole out, it's not a surprise that Bertrand took over at left back, while Azpilicueta was a surprise start, with Ivanovic moving to centre half pairing Captain JT, while Cahill starts on the bench. Cech and the remaining six pretty much picked themselves. Liverpool seemed a weaker side, especially in defense, with no Reina and Skrtel.

          The first half began pretty slow, in fact Liverpool had more possession in about the first 15 minutes, and we didn't seem to be able to pick ourselves up. Torres seemed up for it though, and he earned us a first corner of the game, in which JT rose up to receive a Juan Mata corner and hit the net, giving us the lead. Soon after, we started to come to live, and the likes of Oscar and Hazard are starting to show some tricks of their own. However we are unable to extend our lead, and an incident occured, and our captain had to be stretchered off, to be replaced by Cahill. The first half ended 1-0.

          For most of the second half, we dominated the game, and Liverpool were only playing with counter attacks. We had more possession, more chances, however that second goal just didn't come. Torres had a chance of his own, and it took goalkeeper Brad Jones a spectacular save. When you can't find a second goal like this, things just didn't seem to go our way, and it didn't. On the 72nd minute Suarez (who else?) scored an equalising goal, also from a corner. From that point on, we tried to recover and find a winning goal, but it never came. Throughout the second half, we just weren't sharp enough in front of goal, and perhaps unlucky as well. The game ended 1-1.

          Overall the team performed well, but just couldn't find that second goal. Azpilicueta was excellent defensively,however can still improve in helping the team offensively. The triumvirate (I don't need to mention who) weren't as lively as they used to be, perhaps due to fatigue (concerning the number and minutes and intensity of football they played recently), and it took them time to come to life themselves. So more and more it becomes apparent our dependence on those three. Torres was performing okay, perhaps unlucky not to find the net. Cech was excellent as always, without him we might have lost. 

          But one to note is the presence of our captain JT. He seemed so significant to the team. Not only he scored the goal, but with his presence in the team, we looked more solid defensively. I don't know if it's just me, but I felt we needed his presence badly. He is a great leader, and he is able to organize the team well, especially in defending. Let's just hope that his injury is not that bad, and that we shall see him back on the field soon.

          As of now, we have only earned 2 points in the last three games, which is not good, and now we have dropped to third. I can sometimes think of superstitious situations, but I certainly hope the curse of November is not coming back to haunt us. Especially as this month is the month of my birthday. With this, we really have to bounce back in the next game against West Brom, although honestly it will be difficult. They are the in form team at the moment, and we will have to be at our best to beat them, and get back to winning ways! #CFC


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Swansea 1 - 1 Chelsea: Not the Result We Wanted

Sunday 04-11-2012 01.15 GMT+8

EPL; Victor Moses; Wayne Routledge; Swansea City Vs Chelsea

          It was not the result we expected, neither was it the game we would have expected either. Swansea have a similar playing style with Chelsea, a creative attacking play that when these 2 teams clash, should have resulted in an open, full-of-goals game. However it was not the case, and so was not the win that the club have expected. Now we're sitting a point behind United on the BPL table.

          As Mata & Luiz were not fit to play, I was happy to see some excellent replacements in line in Azpilicueta & Moses. I was happy to see them finally start a BPL match. The surprising omission was Ramires, his place taken by Romeu (although he did enter the fray after the interval). It actually seemed interesting to see, without our two leaders, and our top creative maestro, how the team will actually cope.

          The first half was a bit slow. Both sides have chances, but it was not the high-tempo game many would have expected. No goals produced in the first half, leading to the away team making a change during the interval. The second half was slightly better, but still not the fast paced game it should have been. Goals came, and it was Chelsea who scored the opening, with Moses scoring his first BPL goal with a header that bounced off the post and went in (for a second there I thought it was going out, thankfully not). However after that goal, we were getting slow, and the home side started to take the game to us, and they were pushing on for an equalizer. At fault for not killing off the game, we were punished as the home side equalised in the 88th minute. The game ended 1 - 1.

          I was very interested to see Azpilicueta & Moses play. Although it was not a a very good performance, but they did perform their duties well. Moses scored our only goal. Azpilicueta defended well for the whole 90 minutes. Hazard & Oscar this time were a bit restricted, and perhaps due to the number of opposition defenders arriving when these 2 have the ball. Torres then became isolated with no support, although sometimes he did well in flicking the balls to the other attackers. Overall, the team defended well, but could not produce the performance we did few weeks ago.

          Somehow, the offensive efforts weren't as fluent compared to when Mata played. Of course, Juan Mata have been such a key player for us, receiving the Man of The Match award several times now. However I didn't expect his unavailability would be this significant. Our performance certainly looked much slower, much less creative, and we tried more direct passes instead. I certainly can't wait to see Mata back in the squad. And JT as well. This draw leaves us a point behind United in the league, meaning that we will now have to play catch-up, and perform a much better & consistent performance in the league. Our next match is at Stamford Bridge against Shakhtar Donetsk for a mouth-watering UCL clash, and maybe it's time for some payback. With JT back in the squad, and hopefully several other key players too, maybe it's time to show the Ukrainians what this London Club is made of! #CFC