If looks could kill
AVB must stop looking for excuses.
Ok, he was right to point out that Terry slipped after receiving an appallingly wayward pass from Malouda. And yes, the Arsenal fifth goal came from Chelsea bursting forward in search of the equalizer.
But the fact is that our defense has been horrendous this season, giving up 15 goals in 10 Premiership games.
And had Van Persie and Gervinho taken early chances, we would have been dead and buried after 40 minutes!
Van Persie hits three
In the past, Chelsea has enjoyed a reputation of being hard to score against—but not this season.
I was personally happy to see Carlo Ancelotti move on. Despite some success, he slowly introduced a ponderous mode of play that left many fans frustrated.
In come AVB, and with youthful exuberance advocated a gung-ho attacking style, with wing-backs bombing forward at every opportunity.
Exciting to watch? Absolutely.
Happy to see our Back Four become a Back Two + Two? Maybe not!
One area where Chelsea might find some improvement is in the holding midfield position. Sadly, Essien is out for most of the season, and the truth is that John Obi Mikel—a nice young man, by the way—is not up to the task against the Premiership’s top teams.
AVB must now make one of two moves—either give Oriol Romeu his chance or look for an alternative player.
Romeu has played two full games for Chelsea—both in the Carling Cup—and in both he looked the part.
If you are good enough, you are old enough to have served Chelsea well over time, way back to Jimmy Greaves! Give the lad his chance.
Is there any alternative?
Well actually, yes! Not Meirelles, but the Samba man—David Luiz. Many Chelsea fans would relish the chance to see Luiz play ahead of JT and Alex/Ivanovich (with instructions to keep out of our penalty area perhaps!).
Luiz is a footballer in the true sense: a goal-scorer and a better defender than Mikel. In short, ideal!
What do you think?
Malouda comes to apologise
Sadly, that stumble may give AVB pause for thought.
Am I alone in asking whether the great John Terry, icon and legend in blue, is losing a yard of pace? Terry has always needed a few strides to get into galloping mode. That first five yards are so important to any player, and in Terry’s case, I fear he is not quite as quick—a relative term, in his case—as he once was.
Seeing the ball from Malouda—a hospital pass if ever there was one—Terry was too slow to react and stumbled in the effort to get back into position.
Should AVB ponder on that? Be making plans to bring in another, younger defender in the summer who can, over a season or so, become the next rock in blue?
And who might that be?
Yes, we must all holler: “Sturridge—wake up and defend!”
But Jose Bosingwa, were you not picked to play right back? So where were you when Santos equalized?
For those who cannot press the remote and wind back, the answer is: Floating somewhere in the middle of the park!
The great debate about Bosingwa continues, with many of us hankering for Ivanovich to again play at right back, especially in the material games. Bosingwa looks the part bombing forward, but he leaves many a fan close to heart attack at the back.
Horses for courses, they say. So I say play Ivanovich at right back when we visit Manchester or North London… or be damned.
No doubt you have a view?
Why is Alex so overlooked?
Am I alone in thinking that Alex is a superb centre back with loads of pace for a big man? Personally, I think that he should be a regular starter for Chelsea—and my guess is that he would have been, had Ancelotti remained in position.
What is it that AVB sees that I am missing?
Can you shed some light on that?