Chelsea FC vs. Everton: The Lessons Learnt from the Humiliating Loss
Villas-Boas took the blame for the dismal loss upon himself, blaming his failure to properly train the squad ahead of their fixture this weekend.
Chelsea arrived at Goodison Park looking to keep their hopes for fourth place alive. But it never looked to be easy after the Blues conceded a early goal.
Chelsea continued to keep pressure on Everton, but lacked the creativity or edge to break through their defense. Their poor showing was brought to an end with a late goal by the Toffees to deal the Blues a 2-0 loss.
The poor performance from the team saw Chelsea lose out on their fourth place after Arsenal came back from a goal down to win against the Black Cats.
Chelsea seemed a team without any passion, motivation or zeal to win. They created waves of attack, but always lacked the sharpness to finish the chances. The loss dealt a big blow to the Blues' hopes for a fourth-place qualification and could well be the precursor to Villas-Boas's end at West London.
Now, while Chelsea confirmed owner Abramovich held showdown talks with the the squad and AVB, let us a take a look into the lessons learnt from the dismal loss.
Villas-Boas Really Needs to Go, as "He Knows Not What He's Doing"
As the Chelsea fans sang, "You don't know what you're doing," every Blues fan watching the game on TV would have agreed to their angst.
It has now become a common thing to watch our manager make some extremely silly decisions that have no logic whatsoever. His horrendous decisions have not only led Chelsea to lose points, but have also brought out his inability to take good decisions.
The murmurs have been growing over the past few months, and now they are turning into loud noises, as the fans are losing patience over their manager. Villas-Boas at times has looked like a man who has no real understanding of the game and often as an inexperienced bloke who is finding it difficult to cope with life in a top club in a competitive league.
Now, with Chelsea confirming that Abramovich held talks with Villas-Boas after the loss, speculations are growing that failure to get a Champions' League spot could pave the way for another exit in the summer. The fans are also losing their patience, as the half-hearted display from the squad was simply disheartening for any Chelsea follower. With Jose Mourinho looking to leave Spain in the summer, many fans are already asking for the self-styled Special One to comeback and make do with his wannabe.
Though, in Villas-Boas's defense, a squad well past their expiry dates and a lack of funds to rebuild can be granted to be a handicap. But his dubious decisions cannot be overlooked. Against Everton, his decision to replace Mata was not a very clever one. His substitution of Essien in the second half led to widespread booing from the visiting supporters, as it was seen as a stupid move if anything.
Moreover, his acceptance for failing to train the team properly and getting his decisions wrong may just have paved the way for his early exit.
Torres Has His Days Numbered at Stamford Bridge
It has now been more than 1200 minutes since our $50 million man has scored a goal, and no matter what ever-optimistic Chelsea fans may state, it has been proven beyond doubt that it was the worst deal in our history.
At least without him, Chelsea could have cut back their losses manifold this season, which would have been better than watching our pathetic striker run around hullabaloo. Every possible logic explaining the million-dollar garbage's dismal performance have been proved wrong. From lack of creativity to inability to forge into a new team, every excuse for his failure has been proven wrong. Torres has no doubt lost his magical touch, and it's no better than Kevin Doyle (at least he regularly scores goals for his team).
With Chelsea's talismanic Ivorian striker Drogba returning this weekend from his African Nations Cup duty, this week could well be Torres' last first-team start this season. He failed to capitalise on the Ivorian's absence whilst leading the Blues out of the top four with his poor form in front of goal. Dalgish must be smiling at having been able to see off such a garbage for 50 million and Roman must be grimacing at his folly.
Torres was given the centre-forward role ahead of the impressive Sturridge, who has made known his frustration at being denied the chance to start as a centre-forward while Torres went about on his dismal run. With Drogba returning and Chelsea seriously in line for losing out on fourth spot, Villas-Boas is likely to give Drogba a start in an effort to bring back the team's falling fortunes.
With Chelsea looking to spend big in summer as they look to overhaul the team completely, Torres is likely to be the first to be sent packing to whoever gives the highest amount for his poor services. That would do Chelsea a world of good and is something AVB needs to understand pretty fast.
Chelsea Are Likely to Fall out from the Top Four
If the Blues' last few matches are taken into consideration, it is a worrying trend. Chelsea have scored only eight goals in their last nine matches, leaving aside the United match.
Moreover, it has not only been the Blues defense which is to be blamed. The midfield has failed to create chances in the absence of Ramires, while our attack has been in pathetic form, of which some of the blame goes to Fernando Torres' abysmal goal-scoring form.
In the last few months, Villas-Boas's squad has fallen 17 points behind from the top of the table, and with only 13 games till the end of season, third place too looks out of bounds. Chelsea were expected to keep hold of the fourth position until they slumped out last weekend, as Arsenal leaped past them on goal difference. Though the manager has been trying to divert all the attention to Chelsea's FA Cup and European ambitions, the fact cannot be denied that Chelsea are looking likely to miss out on Champions League next season. If they do fail, it will not only hamper their team aspirations but throw their efforts to comply with the FFP at bay.
It might not yet be time to ring the crisis bell, but if such dismal form continues, then Abramovich could taste his first season without Champions League football in his reign. That too would be an irony, as Villas-Boas was brought in to deliver that elusive European glory at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal have unlike other seasons got over their season-end blues and are looking to fight till the end for fourth place finish.
Villas-Boas needs to act quickly and efficiently if Chelsea are to qualify for Champions League football next season, though the looks do not suggest a bright end.
Napoli Are Going to Wipe out Chelsea from the Champions League
The pathetic display of football that the Chelsea team delivered against Everton has not only thrown their fight for a fourth place finish in doubt, it has also cast a severe cloud on their future in the Champions League this season.
Villas-Boas' under-performing and demotivated men will be taking on Brimingham in the FA Cup this weekend. Given the quality of both teams, it can be expected that Chelsea will be able to scrape past them, though no surety can be provided for the result.
Thereafter, they take on high-flying Italian side Napoli, who have been very impressive all season and look like favourites to make it to the next rounds of this season's Champions League.
Chelsea, in highlight of their latest misadventure, are presently seeded as rank outsiders to progress further in the European contest. Napoli, boasting of the likes of Vargas, Cavani, Lavezzi and Hamsik, will surely torment the Blues defense—which is worrying for every Chelsea fan. Moreover, Chelsea's inability to convert their chances might cost them hard against the Italian side, who have a pretty solid and disciplined defense. Villas-Boas can only hope his talismanic striker Didier Drogba gets firing and helps them squeeze past a team that is likely to come all guns blazing.
Chelsea are rank outsiders to overcome Napoli and progress further in the competition. As per the popular phrase, Chelsea need the "luck of an Irish" to dream of going further this season. With the West London club looking unlikely to be able to get a fourth place finish, it could well turn out to be their last outing in Europe's top club competition for at least two years.