Frustration. (transitive verb) prevented from achieving something or from being achieved.
So says my dictionary. It’s also an overlong board game that gets wheeled out on Christmas Day. After the turkey and wine has worked it’s drowsy magic what better way is there to spend the night than getting wound up by not getting a six? Might have to leave that one in the cupboard this year before it gets hurled into the air with any mince pie bystanders.
It’s still hard not to feel frustrated now. It looked a golden opportunity to go back to the top and take a tasty looking, moral-denting lead over our rivals. It was a chance to send out a message and to reclaim our home form. And we kind of blew it really. Once more there was a lot of possession, a lot of huff and puff, but not enough chances were created. But there is time this week to get things back on track.
The plan B of introducing Drogba and punting the ball to him also looked ropey at times. The goal was wonderfully worked on Sunday but too many times our midfield completely emptied and we were left worrying open on the counter. All that was needed was a simple pass to the front two but, too many times, we were in too much of a hurry and messed up. Or the ball fell to Scott Parker, the old boy doing good on familiar turf, but strangely immune to yellow cards.
It looks like it’ll be back to the drawing board for Big Phil and let’s hope they can get the home solution sorted for West Brom. Luckily he was as pleased as the rest of us and had some good things to say post match. Mainly that the front two needs a lot work in training, that passing must be quicker, sharper and players have to attack and dribble more to commit opposition to open spaces. There’s been over a week until Everton away so hopefully that’s given the squad some time to get focused on their game. If they can turn that frustration into goals then someone will be due a thumping sooner rather than later.
There was a lot of talk on the back pages about the booing at the end of the game but let’s have some perspective. It wasn’t up to the impressive standards of Anfield and Emirates where misplaced passes get greeted with massive groans, boos and, unbelievably, substitutions. I thought the atmosphere was great at the Bridge throughout the match, the fans behind the team, in good voice and the only reason they booed was out of frustration. We could have been top and it was a kick in the balls. Simple. The crowd will be as vocal and fully behind the team on Boxing Day, as ever.
With the games coming thick and fast over the next two weeks, it could be make or break time. Three or four wins on the bounce could see us reclaim top and build a nice cushion over a Man U having to play catch up. On the other hand, any more home draws and we’ll be crying, never mind booing. As ever, the Christmas period is vital for the title race and it’d be nice to be leading the pack at the turn of the year.
Finally, wasn’t it great to see him back? The wee man’s lack of celebration for Bellamy’s goal summed up the respect every Chelsea fan holds him in. A gentleman and a legend. If his team keeps fighting and playing like that then we’ll hopefully see him and Clarkey back at the Bridge one day in the right dugout.