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Sky Reduces Football To Controversy Obsession
25th February 2007
I'll start with the shocking injury to John Terry and you'll note in the below I don't refer to it or speculate. At the time he went off he looked a weakness even in a Chelsea team without any other real centre half - Khalid Boulahrouz not sure he would count if he was fit.... It does not bode well for Chelsea is all one can say even if he misses no more games.
The first half as Chelsea were once again witless and widthless showed why it is a head shaker for me that Chelsea have so many points in the premiership. The power of Lampard and Drogba aside the problems were on full display.
John Terry is either carrying lots of injuries or has a crisis of confidence as the Chelsea defense drops deeper and deeper. Caught on the edge of the box for Walcott's goal they went even deeper almost standing on Cech in open play. Terry should not play in Israel for me and if I was a Chelsea fan I'd have rather seen him rested than trying to win the Coca Cola cup frankly.
Chelsea's midfield cannot create or move forward or retain the ball constructed as it is. They inhabit a narrow middle channel whereas in their pomp they had people wide attacking and pushing teams back. Wide players may not be great at keeping possession and tracking back but with them you get the ball further up the field and force full backs to stay back. Their pace means teams cannot over commit at their own corners. Indeed width has a 100 by products that as I say Chelsea lack yet amazingly they have been over the piece so much better than Arsenal and Liverpool according to a table that does not lie, too much at any rate.
Indeed first half Chelsea look like every England team I have seen play 442 for the Sven years without width - too deep at the back, strikers isolated, midfield shapeless, disorganised and unable to retain the ball. Then again even Sven's nonsense did not have to carry Ballack and Shevchenko. Say what you like about ther ageing Beckham but at least he tried and cared.
It was nice to see Theo's nonchalent finish, oh for Rooney to finish like that with a stroke of the ball. However I just hope this one off game does not promote this kid beyond the Arsenal reserves and U21's till we get far more evidence he can play consistently well and has not modelled himself on the all time king of lightweight players Defoe.
Despite the pathetic controversy obsession of Andy Gray the real talking point of the Chelsea goal was how little of the goal Almunia covered. Indeed the ball went through the small part he appeared to be covering.
Finally Chelsea opted for Robben and a sort of contrived 433 with 2 centre forwards - actually think more teams could try this as there is no universal law that says formations have to be symmetrical. Nonetheless Arsenal started with momentum and looked the better team - although Chelsea with the power of a few players have beaten many teams in similar circumstances this season.
The longer the game went on the more one could not help wondering if the players who have carried pointless passengers like Ballack and Shevchenko were wearing out. Sheva once more looked like the bloke who does a bit jogging dragged out to make up the numbers in the Accounts v Delivery Boys game.
In the end if not Frank then the Drog gets them. Chelsea have ridden their luck and then the big Drog settles it. Indeed it would have been a classic Arsenal goal turning the ball over in your oppenents half - albeit the cross and header would have been unusual. So in the end it was Arsenal who got tired whilst Chelsea found just enough. This was a game that could have gone either way.
I'll avoid a blow by blow account of the cuntery that finally soiled the game that was better than one expected - no doubt this will be shown by Sky all week.....
In terms of the premiership the red card for Toure is hardest for Arsenal who still have to secure 4th losing their best defender for 3 games. Adebayor's is not good either given Henry is seemingly not a 90mins twice a week player anymore. Chelsea will not miss Mikel which is ironic given Chelsea started their 'best side'* and Arsenal not.
* or the preferred 11 to call it a best 11 is to stretch even that pointless sobriquet for a side with Sheva and Ballack.
The sad hand bags at the end meant the result scarcely mattered except to the faithful and record book compilers - Terry's injury being one of those things that happen. Mourinho will leave Chelsea, surely nothing else makes sense, with another trophy but as usual with him, although with less fault than usual, football was the loser despite the brightness of much of the game. If this is what it takes to be successful at football the game's future is not that bright.