As recently as 2007, UEFA described Liverpool fans as the worst in Europe. Who are we to argue with William Gaillard, UEFA’s Director of Communications? As Gaillard said, “What other teams’ fans steal tickets from fellow fans or from the hands of children?”
Well, William, you tell us but you seem to have a clue.
So it’s with gritted teeth that Chelsea fans face the prospect of having to see the team win at Liverpool in order to keep our Championship dreams alive. It’s a daunting prospect simply because there is nothing our Liverpool friends would like more than to take a Stanley knife to our Championship hopes and twist it for good measure.
It’s not a pleasant thought but, thankfully, there is saving grace – Liverpool know that if they beat us, Man Utd will win the league and take their mantle of the most successful English side with 19 league victories as opposed to the Scousers’ 18. So for Liverpool it’s a Catch 22 – they’re damned if they win, damned if they lose. That’s the sort of odds I like.
The big question for me is what team and formation will we put out at Anfield? This year CFCnet has gone on like a broken record about how, when in a 4-5-1 formation with Drogba leading the line, we’ve often put in shocking displays – the most recent being Spurs away. On the other hand, when we’ve put out an attacking 4-3-3 formation we’ve often slaughtered the opposition as the seven goals against Sunderland, Villa and Stoke testify.
Eternally bored with our tactical witterings, the Club recently contacted CFCnet to point out that Chelsea’s formation perhaps looks like a 4-3-3 formation when we play well and a 4-5-1 formation when we lose. A sort of chicken and egg, which comes first?
Whatever the answer, CFCnet would like Ancelotti to play an attacking formation and plough into Liverpool from the off. No waiting game, no tactical tinkering, no possession football hoping to nick a goal. This is THE time to take the game by the scruff of the neck from the start. No schizophrenic displays like against Inter, Spurs or City, just a dynamic team effort as we saw against United away.
CFCnet would therefore prefer Carlo to play 4-3-3 with Ballack and Lampard behind Malouda, Anelka, Drogba and Cole. A combination of pace, strength, guile and mental toughness.
Liverpool were defeated in Thursday night’s extra-time Europa League semi final and will be tired and mentally drained. The last thing they’ll want is Drogba terrorising them with Malouda, Cole, Anelka and Frank bearing down behind him.
As far as we’re concerned, this will be the game that Carlo Ancelotti either underlines his credentials as a Chelsea great, or simply joins the ranks of perennial underachievers, Hiddink aside, who have sadly withered in Jose’s wake. This is Carlo’s Agincourt. The big one.
We remember that Ancelotti has ‘previous’ with Rafa Benitez, single handedly overseeing the biggest capitulation in world football when AC Milan lost a 3 goal lead to Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League Final. Two years later Ancelotti got his revenge with a straight 2-1 victory over Liverpool in Athens to win the 2007 Champions League. Carlo, you redeemed yourself then……
Just don’t let us down on Sunday.