What is it with Chelsea and high drama? With the possible exception of Real, it just doesn’t happen anywhere else does it? Yet another comedy sacking of the coach and the rest of the league has a chuckle to itself. We have a bit of history with these now, Gullit infamously losing the plot at half time against Arsenal, Vialli and then Mourinho, having won more trophies than every other Chelsea manager, promptly given their P45s. It’s been well documented Scolari was on something of a sticky wicket but to be all out for less than forty matches seems pretty farcical.
Early in the season he brought some Samba magic to our play but ever since Liverpool smashed our home record the glamour and style seems to have dried up. There’s plenty of talk (once again) of dressing room unrest, players unhappy with training, tactics and formations. From the outside Scolari seemed a genuinely nice bloke but, perhaps unlike similar gentleman Ranieri, he didn’t leave a happy camp. It could be the calls for his exit were premature and we’ll never know now what could be achieved with the Brazilian at the helm. Or it could be the move that gets our season back on track. The next week or so should tell us more.
Being a bit of an optimist I always try to see the glass as half full. What’s the point in being so negative when it’s so much more fun to believe that some good stuff will happen instead? Like you might win the lottery. Think of how much fun that would be? If you ever did win it you’d have had the last pound spent in your brain calculations long before the cheque rolled in. Of course this goes hand in hand with watching footy, I’ll often think we’ll win a game when it’s in the face of all form, logic, history and blatant fact. Some people like to moan, I like to look on the bright side.
For me if you don’t have that hope then you might as well not bother. But given that the glass now appears bone dry it’s getting a lot trickier to be chirpy about the season. Judging by the Hull performance some of the players have all but given up, yet another lacklustre performance that dragged towards it’s inevitable conclusion. From the opening minute when JT missed from two yards you had that sneaking feeling it was going to be another one of those afternoons. Why? Probably as we’ve failed to score in too many home games, that we haven’t played brilliantly since Liverpool halted the home record and that all innovation and confidence has long dried up.
If the league table wasn’t depressing enough this morning then our competitors performances added to the gloom. Despite dominating possession once again a lack of desire, clinical finishing and football cohesion stifled our result to another bore draw. United and Liverpool were outfought and outplayed for much of their matches but still managed to get the precious three points. Villa continue to play with verve and energy that took them deservedly above us. The stuff of potential Champions from all three, whereas we were left hollow and frustrated again. What now then for the rest of the season?
February was always going to be a decisive month and yet already we’re behind where we want to be, with one point from two must-win games. The Cup and Champs League soon follow and our performances will have to be considerably upped if we’re to progress. At the moment the club has two options. We either pull together, get the football back to the swashbuckling style of two months previous and try win some good stuff or we right off the season now. It depends, if you like, whether we’re being optimistic or pessimistic.
If, and this is the preferred option, we get a collective grip and back the new coach then we can still savage something. However if the season is a right off then they need to start making plans for the long term future of the club. If Roman’s kind enough to spend any money ever again then let’s do some team surgery and cut out the players that aren’t good enough and buy in some top attacking talent. If there’s no money, fine, but let’s start getting the kids coming through. We should be giving Stoch, Sinclair, Di Santo and Mancienne some minutes rather than players who either aren’t hungry enough for the shirt or simply not good enough.
All the fans are asking, where do we go from here?