I’ve not been feeling well. But I can’t leave the blog unupdated for more than one match, can I? So, this is not going to be a long post. In what was a supposedly tricky away game, Chelsea came out with full honours thanks to three men whose place in the first team was under doubt – Daniel Sturridge, Frank Lampard and David Luiz. This is a very good result for a game just before the international break. Most of us would have taken a 1-0 (okay, 2-1 as we can’t keep a cleansheet) but 5-1 is totally unexpected and helps a little with the goal difference that we need to catch up on. Oh by the way, we seem to have coped up well with the absence of the in-form El Nino.
Being busy and unwell – when they happen together, it’s not good times. Didn’t manage to see the champions league games (other than ours) in the mid-week. Didn’t even check what happened in the other games. Same about yesterday’s premier league matches. Learnt from Twitter that Everton beat Liverpool, a match I’d have loved to see. Missed a few blogs on BlueChampions. Terribly busy at work and sick at home.
Amidst all this, my copy of PES 2012 also arrived. The best thing to happen this week. Used to have a blog called ‘JustPES’ for my PES-related thoughts. Got that changed to ProEvo Nights (www.proevonights.com). Do check that out. PES 2012, in one word – brillexcellabulous! Okay, let’s get back to our match today!
Lampard: Hattrick! The man has found his scoring boots. A goal at Mestalla and a hattrick at Reebok should most definitely mean that he’s not only back but also on a song. As he always used to do, arrived at the box at the right time. It’s not easy. He’s not stationed in the box, he arrives with great timing and wraps with a clean finish. He still did not run the game or organise our midfield but he delivered the goods that got us the three points. I’m not picky. As long as Frank contributes to the team’s success – through goals/assists or through playmaking – I’m happy. Great performance from the man. Thanks for coming back with a bang.
Andre Villas Boas: You can say all that you want to say about Lampard silencing his critics but I’m totally confident that what made him find his form was the uncertainty around his automatic selection for the starting line-up. As soon as Boas dropped, subbed and didn’t play him off the bench, he’s form has suddenly picked up. You can say it’s a great coincidence but I’d say good management from Andre Villas Boas.
Sturridge: Two important goals in the context of the match. He was the route of all our attacks in the goal-filled first half. He was too hot to handle for the Bolton defence. Towards the end, it was clear that he desparately wanted the hattrick. For all that he can do, his decision making is still a bit suspect – like a Nani or a Pedro. Right wing is not his natural position so let’s not expect him to do a similar job against quality left backs.
David Luiz: With a central defender like David Luiz, it’s like having an extra man on the pitch, especially when he puts in a decent shift on the defence side. He was doing his Lucio-esque runs more frequently than I’ve seen him do and was always dangerous when he was on the ball. His ability to unleash the forwards with precision through passes was also an ‘undefenderly’ quality.
Uncleansheet: Por que? Por que? Why can’t we keep a cleansheet? To be fair, I can’t even call us unlukcy to be conceding these goals. The fact that we can’t stop conceding goals is a true reflection of how well our defence has performed so far this season. We’ve not had one match where I felt comfortable that we won’t concede. Don’t know what’s wrong – could it be that the back four combination keeps changing? I really don’t know. AVB should figure this out and sort this out soon.
Ashley Cole: No, he wasn’t poor. Neither was he good. For more than half a dozen matches now, his performances have been too quiet that it’s worrying. Has Mata’s arrival taken his space and time in the attacks? With Mata having been given pretty much a free role and not as useful in defence as Malouda, has Ashley Cole’s role been slightly subdued? Could be bad memory but I can’t seem to remember a goal that involved Ashley Cole while there could be many involving Bosingwa v2.0. If it’s a tactical thing, that’s fine but shouldn’t be a waste of talent.
As mentioned before, three contenders in Sturridge, Lampard and David Luiz. In an away game which has seen a brace and a hattrick, it’s gonna be tough for David Luiz to walk away with the prize. The popular choice could be Lampard for his penalty-less hattrick. But I’d give it to Sturridge for the early goal which is always a valuable one in a tough away game. Even when the game was at 2-0, Bolton could have had some hope, since they were playing at home. Sturridge’s second goal which was Chelsea’s third killed the game. MOTM to Sturridge. Hugs and kisses to Lampard.
Strangely, I didn’t think we played too well or anything. Yeah, we were good but you know, not really 5-goal good. We were helped by poor goalkeeping and bad defending which kind of made it all look too good. We weren’t fluent as such at least to my liking. I missed Fernando Torres. We look lot more dangerous when our attack is led by Torres. May be an exaggeration but I think Torres completes us now.
In a period where the Manchester teams are unwilling to let their lead and goal difference dip, the best we could do is to win big and that’s what we’ve done. International break is upon us. Relax folks! Get PES 2012 or FIFA 12 – whatever floats your boat – and stay in touch with football! If that happens to be PES 2012, drop in at ProEvoNights.Com. Cheers!