It’s been a strange few weeks across the Chelsea estate. Let’s be honest it all started with that ill fated trip to Anfield and a defeat against a team that couldn’t buy a win before our arrival. Then we had Wilkinsgate and then the unedifying appointment of Emenalo to deal with. Our leader, JT gets injured, Alex has a knee operation, Lampard still out and Essien getting a silly red card for a silly un-necessary challenge which to most sane people wasn’t worthy of a red card anyway. During all this we lost to Sunderland, Birmingham and Marseilles, beat Fulham and drew with Newcastle, Everton and the hideous Spurs. Only one performance from that little lot was universally accepted as being good, the defeat by Birmingham and the exceptional performance of United reject Ben Foster.
All of which contributed to the whittling away of our vastly superior goal difference and 5 point advantage.
A very bleak November indeed.
I suspect most fans were split between those with blind unswerving faith believing it would all come good again, and those like me, who by default have a deep rooted pessimism stance within our Chelsea souls caused by years of pre-Abramovich disappointment. So the game against Spurs was not something I was particularly relishing. Spurs used to be to us what we were to Arsenal, perennial 7 stone weaklings with us kicking the sand into their faces. Since the departure of Mourinho we’ve struggled a bit more often against them, including a Carling Cup final display of apathy and fear. Redknapp’s arrival has fashioned Spurs into a semi-threat for honours with some good acquisitions and some long lost fighting spirit.
What a pleasant surprise to see aspects of the Abramovich era Chelsea being reanimated. The Spurs game was like seeing the flames of life being re-lit, like seeing seeing someone come round after being knocked unconscious, slowly rediscovering their environment as the mists of concussion slowly evaporate. We saw a hugely impressive performance from John Terry, we saw Paolo Ferreira do an impression of Johnny Morris (Animal Magic for the youngsters) leading his pet chimp round the zoo on a lead such was his effectiveness in negating the Gareth Bale threat. Ivanovic dispossessing Bale was even funnier, you could see the bemused look on Bales face as he protested time after time in a big headed newly found celeb status kind of way. We saw Ramires run his proverbials off impressively in his best display to date. We saw a rampaging Essien back to his snarling competitive best and Ashley Cole being every bit the chippy so and so he can be. We saw Drogba back to about 80% with his immediate bullying of defenders. We saw Kalou be….Kalou and Malouda skin Hutton more times than Grizzly Adams made fresh rabbit stew. But most of all we saw the iconic Frank Lampard finally run onto a pitch wearing the best blue of all. Spirits duly lifted and a fighting performance where we were first to every ball and didn’t back off of Spurs made for some relief in these turbulent few weeks.
Some stats bear the improvement out especially the possession and passing success rates…..
Shots on target – Spurs 1 / CFC 8
Shots off target – Spurs 7 / CFC 6
Corners – Spurs 1 / CFC 7
Possession – Spurs 38.20% / CFC 61.80%
Pass success rate – Spurs 75% / CFC 82%
And just for once I’m rather looking forward to Manchester United coming to town so we can bloody their noses for the first time this season.
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