Whilst fans might have short memories, the ones belonging to journalists are even shorter. James Olley, The Standard’s Chief Football Correspondent, delighted in telling everyone after the Liverpool defeat that in 19 Premiership visits to Merseyside we’ve lost 12. Moreover, ‘our miserable record at Liverpool is extended’. But hold on. Wasn’t it just six short months ago that we beat Liverpool at Anfield to win The Double?
Everyone at CFCnet knows that whilst we actually won the league against Wigan it was our away victories at Man Utd and, crucially, Liverpool that won us the title. In layman’s terms what we’re saying is that out of 19 Premiership games against the Reds we won the game that was most important – May 2010. That’ll do us.
Yes, we’re disappointed with the weekend’s game. Of course we are. We can’t bear to be beaten by the Scousers. Listening to them sing you’d have thought they’d invented football but on closer inspection their claims to ‘history’ disintegrate into dust. A mediocre second division team before Shankly arrived, Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Worcester City in 1959. A nice nugget of history that’s been conveniently forgotten.
In fact Liverpool’s ‘glorious’ history spans just 17 years between 1973 and 1990. Either side of that they’ve either been lucky (Istanbul) or poor (no Premiership trophy to their name). If you’re 19 years old now you’ll have never been alive when Liverpool last won the league. Ouch.
It’s not just the Standard’s James Olley who is economical with the truth either. On the day of the game, journalist Stewart Robson was telling anyone who’d listen on Talksport that Chelsea have lost their aura of ‘invincibility’. Whilst he’s correct, what he failed to add is that as an ‘invincible’ team from 2004-2007 we’d average 69 goals a season compared to Ancelotti’s record breaking 103. That’s 50% more goals under Carlo.
It’s generally believed Abramovich appointed Ancelotti on the basis that he wanted a more swashbuckling style and for Chelsea to create an ‘identity’ that was more attack minded. Ancelotti’s delivered that already and whilst it makes for more defeats and nerve-shredding matches, it also ensures excitement by the bucket load. Whether fellow fans agree with us is another thing, especially as Jose is such an iconic figure for all Chelsea fans (us included), but we can’t help remember the half empty stadium against Rosenborg telling its own story.
To wrap up Sunday’s game, CFCnet feels the latest additions to the Chelsea squad lack ‘physicality’. With Drogba, Lampard and Essien (and Ballack) missing (or having left), our midfield felt lightweight. Ramires and Zhirkov need a few man hours in the gym – the two of them combined weigh as much as Jamie Carragher’s left thigh. Given our physical presence was missing at Merseyside, surely it would have been better for Chelsea to play 4-5-1? We’ll leave it for Ancelotti to work that out but he’d better be aware that nothing less than Chelsea battering Liverpool at the Bridge in February will satisfy us. We’re looking forward to it already.