Before anything else, CFCnet has to congratulate the Blues for last night’s performance against Spartak. Despite Terry and Lampard both being absent, the team played exactly like that – as a team. This bodes well for the future because we’re increasingly going to see either Frank or JT on the sidelines, either alone or both at the same time.
To be honest, we found it strange and a little disconcerting to see neither of them on the pitch. They are, after all, the heartbeat of Chelsea. Hopefully some of our younger stars like McEachran can take their place over time. They’re big shirts to fill though, a runner up World Player of the Year and a 3 times UEFA Best Defender. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have both players in our side for such a prolonged length of time.
Despite that, it was really heartening to see such a professional performance against Spartak. There’s real unity in the squad and the fans in the MHU could clearly see everyone in the team pulling together. Add in 100% effort and there is not much more we can ask for. Well, CFCnet can’t anyway.
Talking about team unity, CFCnet this week came across a great interview on FIFA’s official website with Luiz Felipe Scolari. You can read the article by clicking here. There are some very insightful comments about his time at Chelsea and we felt a little sad ourselves when he said, “I was sad because I was enjoying the job and I wanted to stay on. I think English football’s great, but I had to go and I did.”
Perhaps the most interesting part of the interview was his comment that he refused to let Drogba play “when he was injured” and that “I had problems with him because of that.” In the same vein he adds, “in 20 or 30 years’ time, there’ll be two or three of them who’ll still be walking absolutely fine. They’ll remember me then, for sure.” Hmm, we’ve never heard anything like that before…Scolari the doctor. Sod the results.
All we’d add is that during Christmas 2008 word reached CFCnet that the main problem was Scolari’s antiquated training methods. Certainly our performances suffered under his stewardship and whilst we were sad to see him go, it’s fairly safe to say his time was up in January 2009. Still, we wish him all the best in his new position as coach of Palmeiras. Certainly we hold Scolari in high regard as a human being and we won’t forget that, in Brazil, he’s an absolute legend and rightly so.
By the way, there are some really interesting responses to Scolari’s comments by a number of CFCnet readers and they’re worth a read in their own right. You can view them by visiting our Forum.
Finally, one part of Scolari’s interview that made us laugh was his admission that all Kalou could do “was run fast. He couldn’t dribble very well, so we taught him to dribble round poles. OK, I know they were only poles in the ground but it helped him to start dribbling round opponents, which is something he does now without any problem.” That anecdote sort of sums up Kalou’s career.
To be fair, Kalou is now probably our most improved player. His display against Spartak was excellent and he’s starting to link up play better than he’s ever done – just look at his reverse pass to Anelka. The gripes and doubts that have plagued CFCnet’s view of the striker are now starting to disappear. Well, at least until we next re-play last season’s FA Cup Final DVD.