I don’t usually write match reports, unless specifically requested to do so by Mr Sampson who runs this site. So the fact I am writing a report on tonight’s super cup (bad) game must mean something major. Ok, so I’m not really going to write an actual report, more of a gathering of my own thoughts on the game, what went wrong, what we need to improve on, and the positives (yes, there were positives, I mean, nobody died right? That’s a positive).
I will actually start with the good points. New signing Oscar Dos Santos came on at half time for Ramires, he was outstanding, a real class act. Eden Hazard once again looked like our shining light, always trying to make something good out of the play. Torres and Mata both looked fairly lively tracking back all the time, chasing loose balls etc. Ashley Cole did his thing, Cahill scored a great goal and nobody died..
We also held the ball a lot better tonight, especially in the second half, great possession there….. and nobody died. But Unfortunately that is where my praise ends for tonight.
Now, the negatives, get yourselves a cup of tea, make it nice and strong, this could take a while. I’ll start with the worst part, our defence. In a nutshell, they were shocking. Dis-organised, lackluster, no pace, played flat footed and generally just not in to the game at all as a whole.
David Luiz is NOT a defender. I’ve said that all along, many agree with me too. He is far too liable and lacks positioning sense, he gets caught flat footed far too often and doesn’t have the pace to recover. He miss-times tackles, gives away silly free kicks and has a poor attitude. The worst thing is he bombs forward far too often leaving us exposed at the back. Not a defender, in my opinion he is a much better midfielder. Look at his finishing last season, that’s not the goal scoring finesse of a centre back. Anyone can see that.
My next point, Branislav Ivanoivic. Yes he has been a great player for us, a hero, a real solider. But tonight he wasn’t into it at all. But that wasn’t the problem here. The issue was as anyone who knows football can see, He is NOT a right back, he offers nothing at all going forward apart from in the air. He has no wide threat at all. So many times time tonight he was the only man free, Madrid did not even mark him because they knew he has no wide threat going forward. Every single time he got the ball he either made a bad pass, a lame cross or hit the long ball to nobody. A tragic waste of play on so many occasions. He cannot play as a right back and we must integrate Azpilicueta as soon as possible. Ivanovic is a centre back only, or a fill in right back, nothing more.
Ramires probably played the worst game I’ve seen him have for us. Again, he has scored some important goals and played some great games for us, but we have to look at what we are trying to build here. Ramires is NOT a winger, that is a wasted position when he is out there. Constantly losing the ball, lacking imagination, making bad crosses or generally playing poor. Rami must play in the centre to make the most out of his match engine, but in all honesty, what we have there now, I’m not sure if he’ll get a starting place.
Lampard had a bad game, so did Mikel. I was one of those supporters who had faith in Lampard playing a deeper role, but seeing tonight, he constantly drifted forward naturally and wasn’t quick enough getting back. Mikel was also off picture. I think these positions need to be looked at but I’m not losing the faith in these two just yet.
As for the performance on the whole, it was lame, there was no passion and no heart. It seemed like we gave up from 2-0 down. Yes we were ruined by a world class striker in the shape of Falcao and we were not prepared for counter attacking football, but you could tell that many of the players didn’t seem ‘up for it’.
We were bossed by a quality Madrid side tonight, they attacked fast and furious and we simply could not deal with it. Its a new system that is very attacking, it proved tonight that the system will not stand up against class opposition, unless you have two better disciplined central midfielders and a defence that plays on their toes expecting the counter. We defended as a unit to win the Champions League just over 100 days ago, all of a sudden, that has disappeared. We’ve forgotten how to defend as a team.
Tactically we looked non-existent, it became apparent that Robbie Di Matteo did not do his research on Madrid’s style of play and we were very complacent. We did not have any kind of shape or system and relied far too much on Hazard and Mata to create everything. We need creativity all over the park, not just from those two.
All in all there will be a lot to work on at training, preparation is the main thing, studying opposition and generating a tactical match up to contest them, that is the key. RDM surprised me tonight with his ignorance coming into this match, the players hearts were not into it and it looked like a totally different team to the one that easily beat Newcastle at the weekend.
And at 4-0 down, why the hell were the new boys not introduced? Nothing to lose, give Moses and Azpi a run out, seriously. Anyway, the games done now, I’ve been a Chelsea fan for long enough now to know that we will bounce back bigger and better.
Onwards and upwards COYB!
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Simon Phillips – News Editor