So it appears I’m currently supporting a one of the hardest teams to beat in the world, having only lost three games all season. It sounds great on paper right?
My issue with this is although we’re setup to see out and grind out victories, lately we are simply offering nothing going forward. We have no cut throat finesse, no imagination in attacks and have lost the ability to control games when we come up against a team with a bit of quality.
Wednesday evening was yet another perfect recent example of this. I’m not about to write a match report, we all know what happened and the disappointment surrounding crashing out. But we didn’t actually lose to PSG, we went out on away goals. You see the pattern emerging here?
For me, last night was the pinnacle of our recent form, our defensive and negative tactics meant we went out of the Champions League, that’s totally unacceptable and hard to digest. Mourinho has got it totally wrong here. We were playing at home in front of paying supporters who wanted to see us at least flex our muscles some more and use the quality we all know we have to control possession some more and avoid a repeat of the first leg. I was happy with the draw over there and defending to take that back to The Bridge, for me that was job done at half time, but to then do the same again at home was quite frankly hideously embarrassing.
I’d say for the last 6 or 7 matches, we’ve been fairly lucky to get wins in many games and although we’ve had refereeing decisions go against us, don’t let that take away the fact of how poor we are in attack right now and dominating games. We used to do this well at the beginning of the season but for some reason we’ve changed tactically and that’s down to Mourinho. It’s almost as if we were fearing PSG, expecting them to dominate, allowing that and hoping we could defend our away goal and nick it. That backfired tremendously.
We are far too caught up in attempting to get involved in arguments, sway refereeing decisions, claim free kicks and get players sent off. If we put that same energy in to our attacks and keeping the ball, we’d be a joy to watch once again. When the players surrounded the referee to get Zlatan sent off, it was all in vain. It made no difference to the outcome of the game, the possession or to who dominated, because PSG continued to press us and attack and look the more dangerous. There was simply no point trying to get the player sent off if you’re not going to step up and utilise the extra man, which we did not.
Teams come to Stamford Bridge right now knowing there is a real chance of getting results, teams are not scared of Chelsea right now. We are not the force we were earlier this season. Mourinho now needs to do what he is qualified and experienced in doing, and make this team a force once more, an attacking force not just one that is hard to beat.
At the moment I fear the Premier League title, even though we’re five points clear with a game in hand. We have some really tough games and we’ll need a lot of luck to win them if we keep setting up like last night. My only saving grace is that fact that Manchester City are also not looking a force and will probably drop more points.
Simon Phillips – News Editor – @cfcneteditor