What Chelsea learnt against Manchester United that they should know
What an absolutely stunning game it was on Sunday. It was the kind of match that revives my hope in Chelsea and what we can achieve. I was unable to watch it live unfortunately, but I taped it and watched it that evening, and boy was it worth it! There were, though, a lot of things that the game showed us what we should already know, but are worth pointing out, especially since some of them rarely get a mention.
First, a few things we already know from the game itself, that are not directly Chelsea issues.
1. Hernandez has and will always score against Chelsea. If he starts in the replay, I’m going to stick a £10 any time bet for him to score!
2. Chelsea seem to have a magical relationship with the FA Cup.
3. Ferdinand is still a bit of a moron.
Moving onto what we already know but we learnt again about ourselves… Ramires and Lampard do not work as a centre midfield pair. They never have and they never will, yet we see it all too often. May it not happen too frequently in the future. Personally, I prefer the combination of Mikel and Ramires, but when you throw Luiz into the mix there are a few potential partnerships.
We also learnt why Mikel is good for the team. He is good for the team because he is the ONLY player in our midfield (including Luiz when he plays there) with no attacking mentality and desires that lead him to neglect all defensive responsibilities. He is quite happy to chill behind everyone else (I say chill because he does almost seem to be chilling out with a cup of tea sometimes; he could certainly be a little more urgent) and allow people like Lampard and Ramires to get forward and do what they do best, mentally unimpeded by deciding who must stay back and who must go forwards.
We witnessed once more what many seem unable to accept, that Lampard and Cole are not what they were. It’s a shame to say, but they hold us back now, and whilst they put in a good individual performance from time to time, they are nowhere near consistent enough. I am not ‘hating on them’, just saying it how it is. With all respect to them, I believe that Lampard should be allowed to go, and that giving Cole a new contract was a mistake. I can see why they start so much at the moment though, because there is not a great deal of depth in their positions at the club.
This game also proved to the fans what we are frustrated about most, that Manchester United are not 19 points better than us! Really, this match goes to show that there is no excuse for being where we are. I do not necessarily believe that we should be the favourites for winning the league, but we should at least be competitive. May the blame for this fall wherever you choose.
David Luiz is awesome. I don’t understand why there are some who blame every woe on him. A strong leader, the only one I can say that gives 100% in every game, the ambassador to our youth and a player we must keep hold of.
I think we saw it quite a bit in this match, certainly early on, that Demba Ba is a selfish player. This is something I was aware of before he came to Chelsea, and there hasn’t been a lot to change my mind. He is not completely out of order of course, but he does disappoint me too often with some of decisions to shoot or run with the ball. I haven’t seen one person say this since he arrived, so perhaps it’s just me who believes this for the moment. But next time he is playing just think about his decision making. He’s not as selfish as Sturridge was, but still…
Finally, I was quite proud to hear the outstanding away support given to the team. Even when we were 2-0 down, we heavily out-sang the home support. Our support has always been good of course, but our away fans have certainly stepped up this year. If anyone reading this was at the match, keep it up! One day when I have the time and resources, I shall join you!