And here I go again with my daily dose of analysis of the match which at the end of the day, makes me scratch my head and think about why the Blues did not show this spirited display of effort when they clashed with Manchester United two Saturdays ago?
Chelsea manager Luis Felipe Scolari must have sighed in relief when Frank Lampard scored the winning goal during stoppage time that had almost ran out. But it was the way he celebrated his goal scoring feat that caught my attention. He ran directly to his manager and hugged him, and later on it snowballed in this group hug of grown up men wearing blue kits which to me signified one assumption; that they were refuting claims written by the press that the players were questioning Scolari’s method of coaching and that were turning their backs against him. One can just sense the collective feeling of relief in that scene.
Chelsea may be suffering from a poor stretch of form but so are Liverpool. If the present trends of performances were analyzed, among the Big four, Manchester United and Arsenal are the teams making great surges and have great form at the moment. United, with its convincing win over the Blues and their numerous 1-0 victories and Arsenal, who are on a seven game unbeaten streak. One can say that Chelsea are fortunate enough that some of their slips did not come from EPL games that could be costly for them in the long run. At the moment, the club just has to improve their defense with attention to defending set pieces in the next football games. It shall be interesting to witness how they shall perform as their next game this coming Saturday will be an FA Cup match against Ipswich at Stamford Bridge.
It can be considered bad timing that some of Scolari’s men have picked up injuries at the most crucial time. Joe Cole is gone for the rest of the season with a rupture cruciate knee ligament, Deco has a calf strain which may take a few days for a recovery. John Terry’s injury is still unknown to me. And Didier Drogba? He may have no injury at this point but I am uncertain why he doesn’t seem to be interested in playing football at the moment.
His strike partnership with Nicolas Anelka is not quite effective because Scolari says he doesn’t have a left winger. Then why did he sell Wayne Bridge when the guy can play as a winger and is a fantastic crosser of the ball? Rumors have it that the Ivorian striker is not happy with his coach and that his previous boss who now manages Inter Milan is keen to sign up the striker and ultimately let go of striker Adriano, who has a history of attitude problems in all the teams he has played in. Scolari says that nothing is going on between him and Drogba. And that whenever Drogba is dropped from the team, it is only because he decided to do so and not because of any underlying reason.
I hope that Scolari is saying the truth, for the sake of Chelsea Football Club and its avid supporters.
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