I know it’s been a couple of weeks. Much has happened during this time. We’ve won, we’ve drawn and we’ve lost games too. Most importantly, we are making progress in the champions league and the FA Cup while the premier league fourth spot looks lot more challenging than it looked. Here’s my quick roundup on all things Chelsea FC at the moment.
Roberto Di Matteo: Has had a dream run so far. What a turnaround to beat Napoli! And a great win over Leicester City too. His team selections have been good. His substitutions have been good. He’s saying the right things. But I don’t want to listen to the euphoria around giving him a long term contract. It’s pretty obvious that AVB and the players had a problem. After AVB went, the players had to give their best otherwise it would have turned everyone against the players while the sympthy for AVB would have grown. The players had to turn things around. They had no other option. And they did.
I’d be cruel enough to say that even if we had someone else as the caretaker manager instead of RDM, we’d still have got these results after AVB’s dismissal. No disrespect to RDM. It’s just that we need to see him deliver consistently before talks of permanent contract can begin. RDM is a Chelsea legend but as a manager I don’t think he represents what Chelsea FC is all about. See, we are a ‘devil-may-care’ club. Like it or not, that’s our personality now. We need a manager who is as ruthless as our owner. That’s the only way things are going to work out. And at the moment, I don’t think RDM is that man.
Player Power: Much was made about JT shouting tactical instructions from the bench. JT also clarified saying that he’s the captain and he would continue to do that. It’s just that we don’t see him do that too often. In fact, I don’t remember seeing him do that. It was clear that JT badly wanted to win. He badly wanted to win like much more than he did under AVB. Did you see how Drogba played that night? He played like his life depended on that match. You can say none of the players wanted to get eliminated but surely I didn’t see this fight even when we were beaten by Inter Milan at home. There was a strong really really uniting reason and only that could have made them play like that. Anyway, I’ve moved on. AVB is history now.
I strongly believe that John Terry wants to be the Chelsea manager sooner than later. He’s 32 years and he’s more injury prone than before. He sees the manager situation in Chelsea. If there’s going to be another serious injury in a year or two, I wouldn’t be suprised if he retires and makes a claim for the manager’s job. Will the job be vacant by then? Why not? It becomes vacant in every 18 months on average.
Fernando Torres: I’m quite pleased to see that he’s able to make a case for his place in the starting eleven even without scoring goals like he used to. His value for the team is immense and he continues to demonstrate that. His performance against Leicester City was brilliant too. He had a role to play in all the five goals. And consider this. Chelsea were 4-2 up and it was the 93rd minute. Fernando Torres was on a brace already. He gets the ball and moves to be able to take a chance to complete his hattrick. In the 93rd minute, while we are 4-2 up, and in a goal drought like he’s in, you’d have expected him to go for his hattrick. You wouldn’t even called you selfish or something. But, even in that situation, Fernando finds a player who’s in a better positiont to score and lays it off to him. Splendid!
Champions League: We are lucky to have drawn Benfica in the quarterfinals. Just imagine, we could have Barcelona or Real Madrid. And a 1-0 win away from home puts us in a great position to progress to the semifinals. I saw Milan vs Barca game ending in a goalless draw. That raises the hopes for me! Milan are a fantastic team and they have been playing superbly this season. But if you’re gonna offer me Barca or Milan, I’d take Milan surely. As much as I want to take revenge on Barca for ‘The Ovrebo Incident’, I’d like give ourselves a better chance to progress to the finals over anything else. On the other side, Real Madrid vs Bayern semifinal looks certain. For how this season has turned out to be, a semi final place in the champions league is a good return.
Premier League: This is what matters for me. If you give me a fourth spot, I’d take it over anything else – winning the champions league is an exception! But if you look at the fact that we need to beat two of Barca, Milan, Bayern and Real Madrid, you know the odds. We’ve got 8 games to overcome the 5 points. Truth be told, our games are tougher than that of Spurs. But the last few weeks have shown us that Spurs can collapse and also that Chelsea can recover from the collapse. I’m happy to see us exit the champions league and the FA Cup today, if we can finish top four in the premier league.
This weekend will be interesting. If we get a win at Villa Park, a place where we don’t have great memories of recently, we can wait and watch if Swansea can topple Spurs at While Hart Lane. Swansea can do it. I’m not hoping but actually I’m expecting them to beat or draw at White Hart Lane.
Finally, before I go, I’ve not been blogging enough recently. It’s been quite busy of late. With my son growing up and some tragic events in the family, I haven’t managed to get enough time to write. I’ve been watching and following the games but writing a few paragraphs has been quite difficult. We’ve had such phases in BlueChampions Blog. And you’ve been fairly kind on me everytime this happened. I need to figure out a new model to keep the blog alive and flourishing. And I will.