What a week. A narrow home victory against Fulham sandwiched between two comprehensive defeats, both as unwelcome as Joe Cole in a Liverpool shirt. It’s not like the game against Sunderland hasn’t been coming – our performances have been steadily dropping for the last five or six weeks.
The evidence for our ongoing decline is overwhelming. We scored 21 goals in our first five Premiership games yet in our last six games we’ve totalled just five, an average of less than one a game. In these same recent games we’ve conceded six and, bluntly put, conceding more than you score is a sure fire way of descending the table.
That we’re still top of the league despite losing three games is a reflection of the most open, topsy turvy Premiership since its inception in 1992. Every team, from top to bottom is experiencing the most unlikely set of results whether it’s Villa conceding six at Newcastle, United consistently letting leads slip, Arsenal getting beat by Newcastle and the Baggies at home…..wherever you look each team in the Premiership is inflicting surprise results on the teams around them.
Sunderland are a case in point. Smacked 5-1 in the Tyne Wear derby just two weeks ago, they promptly rolled up at the Bridge and played a blistering game of attacking football, as good as anything seen at our ground since Man City rolled up and trounced us 4-2 earlier this year.
The game showed us nothing we don’t already know. Without our world class spine of Terry, Essien and Lampard we look a soft touch. Add in our lack of intensity – something we harped on about last year – and you’ve got a mix of players and performances that’s just asking to be beaten.
Frank Lampard in particular is a glaring loss with his ability to link midfield and attack. What other team wouldn’t notice the absence of the Premiership Player of the Decade? We’re missing his goals and we’re missing them badly. Not only that, we’re missing his presence as a leader particularly when Terry’s injured.
On the subject of ‘presence’, all the staff at CFCnet were choked to see Ray Wilkins no longer sitting beside Ancelotti in the dugout. Whilst the official statement put out by the Club shed no real light on his absence, our message boards have been inundated with conspiracy theories as to why the fans favourite has gone missing. Given we’re writing on the Club’s official website, we feel a little bit hampered as to what we can say.
Still, I’m sure the Club don’t mind us relaying our dismay at Wilkins’s absence as well as our frustration as to the reasons (or lack of them) why he’s gone. Our youngest ever captain at just 18, Wilkins was a reassuring figure around the Club not only because of his genial professionalism but also the fact he represented our traditions and history. He was a true link with our past. We’d like to thank Ray for representing our Club so magnificently over the years.
As for Ancelotti and the first team….we’ll be OK. We’re champions, Double winners and top of the League. We’ll settle for that.
Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club