Another heartbreaking loss for Chelsea. Another poor defensive performance by Chelsea defense. Another step away from the title race for Villas Boas' Blues. Another frustrating day for Torres.
Yesterday's loss to Liverpool has already cast doubts on Chelsea's top four ambitions, let alone their title hopes. The team looked disoriented with no coordination. The players seemed out-of-focus and lacked concentration. The loss also meant Chelsea are now 12 points adrift from league leaders Manchester City and given their present form the Blues are moving away from the title.
In the following slides we take a look into the five lessons learnt from Chelsea's loss to Liverpool, their second of the back-to-back losses at home.
Chelsea this season have been bad in their attack but worse in their defense. They have failed to keep clean sheets even against lower placed opponents.
The likes of Terry, Alex and Ivanovic have looked dull and their performances are a matter of worry. If Chelsea cannot tighten up their defense it will get tough for them to keep their top-four spot. With every other club slowly gaining pace and the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United drifting apart, it might become a disaster for Chelsea.
Youngster Luiz has shown plenty of promise but he needs much more experience. His harsh tackles are causing Chelsea troubles. Terry is no longer looking like the player he once was. Alex and Ivanovic has been dull. Except Ashley Cole, Chelsea's defense has looked like a disoriented bunch of players.
With the January transfer window approaching, AVB needs to reinforce his defense or it might end up another barren season for the club.
Chelsea's attack too looked blunt in the last two matches. The Blues' forwards are lacking motivation or one good dressing down.
Drogba has been a shadow of his former self looking like a man lost in the opponent's defense. Torres can now be officially named a flop transfer for Chelsea and one of Chelsea's most expensive flops of all time. Anelka has not got much playing time but he too looks to be losing his shine.
It is high time AVB either gives his strikers a dressing down or splashes the cash and brings in new players whilst discarding his present players. The attack needs a player who can score goals consistently and not once-in-a-blue moon. If Chelsea are to keep their hopes of silverware alive this season they will need to splash some cash again and bring a top quality striker who is among goals. To finance the moves, they can sell some of their forwards of the likes of Anelka and Torres.
Being 12 points adrift from the top of the table with just 12 games in the new season is not a good sign.
While numerous critics might have written-off Chelsea from the title race, personally I think they still have a good chance if they can recover quickly. But with the form that Manchester City and Manchester United have shown so far it might be too tough for the Blues to recover and make up their deficit at the top.
With the likes of Newcastle, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal all playing well at the moment, it is only Chelsea who are looking downtrodden. With so much competition, if Chelsea fail further they risk losing out on a top-four spot. But it is too early to predict such things, though it can be said that to cover the 12 points deficit Chelsea will have to work wonders overnight. In their present situation that does not seem quite easy.
It can be officially said now: "Torres has been Chelsea's most expensive flop of all time."
These losses can only be blamed on our owner's fetish for Liverpool's out-of-luck and form player. Torres' arrival was seen as a precursor to the Premier League's most dangerous attacking combination of all time. His partnering up with Drogba was the cause of much joy for Chelsea faithful but that has now turned into a nightmare for the club.
Over the past 10 months it has been evident that Torres has no more of that world-class flavour about him. He is just another footballer on the wane still basking in the warmth of his previous achievements. Torres does not look all that threatening in front of the goal and his bluntness is getting evident with each passing day. Even youngster Daniel Sturridge looks like a world class player beside him. It is also seemingly evident that the rest of the players have lost their faith in Torres given the stark improvement in their performances when Torres is left on the bench instead of when he is playing.
Chelsea cannot afford to carry him further as it will only lower the price as well as drain them of cash. They should let go of their owner's expensive fetish in the January window and use the funds to bring in a player who is among goals presently. This time Roman Abramovich needs to learn from his lessons and allow his manager to decide which players to buy.
Youngster Daniel Sturridge has been the only ray of light in Chelsea's dark times this season.
The former Manchester City player has been a revelation since his loan move to Bolton last season. He has been Chelsea's only consistent goal scorer this season. With five goals scored from an impressive seven shots on target Sturridge should be rewarded with more playing time ahead of Chelsea's aged and flop players.
Chelsea's younger generation has plenty of promise in the likes of Josh McEachran, Kakuta and Lukaku. AVB should start giving his younger players more time to gain experience if he seeks to stay at Chelsea for a few more seasons and leave a mark. These youngsters are the ones who can help Chelsea overcome the transition phase easily and it is high time that the phase is activated in full throttle.
These youngsters makes the Chelsea faithful confident that they can deliver more than their predecessors but it can only be achieved with them being given more playing time instead of being just mere bench warmers.