Jump to content

Echoes of Inter, City and a Toon-tastic rollercoaster ride


Dorset

Recommended Posts

There were enough warning signs before Sunday’s rail crash of a match, indeed more than enough to prevent what turned into a complete derailment of our Premiership season. Hindsight is a wonderful thing when you fail to spot leaves on the line or there is a rail-related-type points failure, but football’s different, because unforeseen circumstances are rare and rarefied events, such as the one we’ve just witnessed, are not only planned for, but sometimes even stage-managed.

Take our game against Inter last season, for example, and you’ll recall the hype surrounding Jose’s much-heralded return, the perception that he knew us inside out, followed by the almost ritualistic succumbing of our players under the pressure. Then take the Man City game and the Media’s farcical portrayal of the JT/Bridge handshake as a main event, the build-up to which sapped our confidence and emboldened the likes of Tevez and Bellamy to deliver scandalous blows on behalf of the moral majority, whereupon the team duly caved in under the weight of mass opprobrium.

Now, just as an aside, fast-forward to Newcastle at the weekend and see what a halftime shaming can do to galvanise a side, even when it’s 4-0 adrift. Man down or not, Wenger failed to see that runaway train as it came hurtling down the passion track, blew away their lead, and was seemingly powerless to prevent the catastrophe that followed. Not so in our game against Liverpool which was, if not entirely preventable, at least avoidable due to [what should have been] an appreciation of foreseeable events. What’s more, try as I might, there is no denying that Carlo has been the driver in all the crashes over recent months, let alone those two ’big’ games from last season mentioned above.

These days the facts speak for themselves with regard to our ability to withstand pressure against the top teams, but there really was no need to extenuate circumstances by gift-wrapping a formation for a vengeful opposition’s benefit, let alone have it hamstrung by selecting a midfield that chugged along rather than fire on all cylinders. Firstly, we had a euphemistically-named dummy run [of Anelka playing behind Didier and Kalou] at Sunderland that was so obvious in execution as to be far from beyond their Ken to eagerly pick up and run with during his pre-match tactical preparation. This was almost tantamount to a security firm altering the route for a bullion run to the bank only days before the event, only to issue an updated bulletin to every known robber in town. Little wonder we were ambushed and how appropriate was it that Steve Clarke could easily be ’fingered’ for the job done on our golden strikers throughout the ninety minutes?

Secondly, we need [yet again] to reconsider the deployment of a midfield diamond containing both Mikel and Essien, especially in the light of Ramires current form and his direct, as opposed to lateral, movement. Our one in-form midfielder was reported late-on as being ’not available’ yesterday whilst Liverpool had the good sense to keep their in-form player [Raul Meireles] in situ and put Suarez on the bench, almost as if to accentuate the uncertain newness and accommodating nature of our attack compared with their own risk-free, horses-for-courses approach. Dear me, when you look at this sluggish midfield performance, together with Ramires sudden non-availability, we might just as well have handed Josh the beginnings of an extended Premiership run, especially when you bear in mind the growing need to use Ramires dynamism in the Champions League and also to avoid the midfield coming to a complete standstill in the latter stages of that competition.

So, in the light of what has gone on (both on and off the pitch) for Chelsea in the important games of late, I’m finding it had not to be critical of Carlo and his apparent acceptance of situations. He is the appeaser in our camp, no doubt in Roman’s presence too, but my concern is that performing this role may easily cloud his judgement on team matters to the extent that we are failing to take the sting out of matches anymore, being unduly affected by the turmoil of its expectation and during the game itself. He may also be guilty of accommodating certain players for the wrong reasons and whilst I may not have had the nerve to drop Didier yesterday, I’d like to think that Carlo seriously considered it, even though the evidence suggests otherwise. That’s why Fernando came off, David Luiz jumped in ahead of the midfield queue, and why it will soon be time for some serious, long term decision-making to be made on the selection front.

Edited by Dorset
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Looking on the bright side, I thought Luiz was very good when he came on. Now Ivan can go to right back.

Mikel and Essien should be fighting for the holding midfielder spot & if they can't perform they can keep the bench warm, neither has the ability to create anything these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Needless to say, a good peice Dorset, and yes, Carlo has some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks.

I suppose the main question for me; Is Carlo more than just a yes man? If so, when has he proved otherwise? He was happy to endure alot of ''direction'' at Milan under their directorship (or is that dictatorship?) and I have to say, as much as I believe the likes of Yossi and Luiz were players that he'd earmarked, the same cannot be said of the others. Torres was almost certainly not his pursuit, just as Ramires wasn't (Carlo was looking at Bastian Schweinsteiger?) and as a result, I wonder how much control he really has? Do the players have any respect left for him? Or is he now just a push-over in their eyes?

I have to admit, I also thought yesterdays game was very, very similar to the City game at home last season. The hype was overwhelming, and once again, our players froze.

As others have pointed out, Dalglish & Clarke outwitted them with the setup, yet he didn't even instigate changes. There was no plan B.

I cannot criticise Carlo's achievements with us so far, the man has been a breath of fresh air and a gentleman to boot, but why are our players not ''getting up'' for these games? Why are we taking at least 45 mins in each game before we play at the right tempo and to start closing down opposition high up the pitch? (as they do to us!!!!)

It's a worrying sign. Barca, for example (being that they probably set the bar) work harder to win the ball back than any other team we have seen in recent times. More often than not, our players seem content to watch games pass us by.

It's a testing moment for him and we haven't even touched on how we are supposed to integrate Torres.

If he makes it through to the end of the season and the team finish strongly, then he will have done exceedingly well, but even then, who's to say he won't consider leaving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of sense as usual in your post Dorset, just a couple of contentious issues for me.

One would be in the light of the Sunderland game when we so obviously used Kalou and Drogba ahead of Anelka to work out if it would be a way to shoehorn Torres into the team why didn't you come on and voice your critisisms of the possibility of employing the same tactics against Liverpool?

and Two would be with Carlo the driver on all our Train Wrecks I really think you should acknowledge the fact that the passengers were the same, in yesterdays case and in a few of those wrecks some have been more akin to passengers than than they should be.

Yesterdays approach was obviously well countered and credit to Liverpool for sticking to their gameplan but it is very hard for this team to get width in any formation with the players we have, even the wide players like to drift inside and once the wingbacks are pegged back we rarely whatever formation we try get anyone out to the lines enough to open up a team that has a goal to sit on and a capable defence and plan.

Nice analogies as usual and I'm not disagreeing with a lot of it, just think you may be being a bit hard on the Manager and once you're seen to do that it opens the door for a lot more doom and gloom on here.

We lost a game to a well organised team with their tales up, we played a striker with a huge weight on his shoulders in a cauldron created by the media and had he scored one of his early chances that would have been hailed as the right thing to do, we had some key players looking off form and lost one of our hardest working players (still not sure why).

The Train Driver managed to do ok last season and will likely get us back on track (see what I did there) this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



The Train Driver managed to do ok last season and will likely get us back on track (see what I did there) this.

I think he will be driving a train in Rome next season, its just who is going to be driving the train in London I want to know about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think he will be driving a train in Rome next season, its just who is going to be driving the train in London I want to know about.

I hope you're wrong...or we'll be having another season derailed, wouldn't be a bad idea to let a manger have a summer to with some signings instead of just cutbacks then with the additions we already have maybe we could get a team starting to look like the Managers vision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



As others have pointed out, Dalglish & Clarke outwitted them with the setup, yet he didn't even instigate changes. There was no plan B.

I don't disagree that Carlo was outwitted, but to say he had no Plan B isn't true considering we started the game like this:

------------------------Cech

Bosingwa-----Ivan---------JT---------Cole

------------------------Mikel

---------------Essien--------Lampard

-----------------------Anelka

--------------Torres----------Drogba

And finished it [roughly] like this (essentially our 4-3-3 with an emergency extra forward thrown in for last-minute impact):

----------------------Cech

Ivan---------Luiz------------JT-------Cole

---------------------Essien

-------------Lampard

--------------------------Anelka

--Kalou------------Drogba--------Malouda

Completely different formations and systems. The diamond can work (and very effectively too), and we have the players for it, but we can't just throw them in and hope for the best, each role in the lineup must be defined very specifically and alterations must be made to adapt for its various weaknesses, which is why I feel (assuming Ancelotti is going to persist with the diamond) Malouda should start as the left-sided shuttler with a view to drifting out wide left.

Edited by PloKoon13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would also like to echo Chippy's sentiments by stating that this isn't the time to be calling for Carlo's head, and it's not the end of the world for us (far from it), but he certainly has some questions left to answer.

I for one would like to know how Carlo obviously fails, and fails again to motivate the team....

FFS, all that was needed yesterday was to look at Utd's result...

Edited by WV2 Blue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The really depressing thing about yesterday was the predictability of both the performance and the outcome. We knew Liverpool would pack the midfield and defence to try and stifle us. It was all very well playing 3 strikers - albeit a withdrawn one who'd had his first good game in months a few days earlier - but as Dorset said, we picked a midfield that was painfully sluggish and - in the case of Essien and Mikel - totally out of form (and let's be honest, Frank is at about 20% of his best these days).

There was no zip or confidence to our play whatsoever, and there seemed to be no ideas about how to break down their very hard-working defence and midfield. It must now be time to give Josh a run as a starter, as he has looked superb in every game: intelligent, skilful and composed. We can now kiss goodbye to any hopes of retaining the title and have to focus 100% on finishing in the top four.

As we showed at Sunderland, we can still play good football, but it's ridiculous - and deeply worrying - the way we have been repeatedly outfought and out-thought by inferior sides this season. A hell of a lot of that has to be down to the coaches, although it's not entirely their fault that so many of the squad just cannot perform to their potential at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



A lot of sense as usual in your post Dorset, just a couple of contentious issues for me.

One would be in the light of the Sunderland game when we so obviously used Kalou and Drogba ahead of Anelka to work out if it would be a way to shoehorn Torres into the team why didn't you come on and voice your critisisms of the possibility of employing the same tactics against Liverpool?

and Two would be with Carlo the driver on all our Train Wrecks I really think you should acknowledge the fact that the passengers were the same, in yesterdays case and in a few of those wrecks some have been more akin to passengers than than they should be.

Yesterdays approach was obviously well countered and credit to Liverpool for sticking to their gameplan but it is very hard for this team to get width in any formation with the players we have, even the wide players like to drift inside and once the wingbacks are pegged back we rarely whatever formation we try get anyone out to the lines enough to open up a team that has a goal to sit on and a capable defence and plan.

Nice analogies as usual and I'm not disagreeing with a lot of it, just think you may be being a bit hard on the Manager and once you're seen to do that it opens the door for a lot more doom and gloom on here.

We lost a game to a well organised team with their tales up, we played a striker with a huge weight on his shoulders in a cauldron created by the media and had he scored one of his early chances that would have been hailed as the right thing to do, we had some key players looking off form and lost one of our hardest working players (still not sure why).

The Train Driver managed to do ok last season and will likely get us back on track (see what I did there) this.

Chippy - I’m only too pleased to hold my hands up regarding the Kalou/Drogba/Anelka tryout and I’d be the first to say how impressive the system proved to be in the last 45 minutes against Sunderland. Therefore, to argue against its use prior to kick-off was way beyond my remit as a critic and the best I could have offered at the time would have been the merest hint of caution. That said, on Sunday I’m not sure I could have gone to the 71st minute without some sort of midfield change [a Ranieri tinker at the very least] and no matter how long it took for my particular penny to drop [not that it matters one jot] I would have expected Carlo to have cottoned-on sooner. I also agree that players can be passengers on the pitch, but you cant blame them if they are not allowed to influence proceedings and to my mind Malouda’s arrival, or a statement made by shoving Josh on, was way overdue.

Looking on the bright side for a moment, Dalglish isn’t without his formation problems too, once Carroll is fit and Suarez is trusted to work as hard as Kuyt - except in Kenny’s case he knows he has a valid excuse to wait, whereas Carlo was almost honour-bound to get Torres involved straightaway. He’ll argue, however, that he did bench the Uruguayan for tactical benefit, despite popular demand to include him, and consequently would have a justifiably claim for credit for so doing. Hopefully, Carlo is now over the worst, having blooded both new arrivals, and he can knuckle down to the serious business of getting the midfield and striker balance right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chippy - I’m only too pleased to hold my hands up regarding the Kalou/Drogba/Anelka tryout and I’d be the first to say how impressive the system proved to be in the last 45 minutes against Sunderland. Therefore, to argue against its use prior to kick-off was way beyond my remit as a critic and the best I could have offered at the time would have been the merest hint of caution. That said, on Sunday I’m not sure I could have gone to the 71st minute without some sort of midfield change [a Ranieri tinker at the very least] and no matter how long it took for my particular penny to drop [not that it matters one jot] I would have expected Carlo to have cottoned-on sooner. I also agree that players can be passengers on the pitch, but you cant blame them if they are not allowed to influence proceedings and to my mind Malouda’s arrival, or a statement made by shoving Josh on, was way overdue.

Looking on the bright side for a moment, Dalglish isn’t without his formation problems too, once Carroll is fit and Suarez is trusted to work as hard as Kuyt - except in Kenny’s case he knows he has a valid excuse to wait, whereas Carlo was almost honour-bound to get Torres involved straightaway. He’ll argue, however, that he did bench the Uruguayan for tactical benefit, despite popular demand to include him, and consequently would have a justifiably claim for credit for so doing. Hopefully, Carlo is now over the worst, having blooded both new arrivals, and he can knuckle down to the serious business of getting the midfield and striker balance right.

Refreshing to read that Dorset as blessed with hindsight some would have argued they were going to post how it would be a mistake and they would never have used the system.

Agreed the Malouda substitution should have came sooner although I wouldn't hang the Manager out to dry because he left Mikel on for so long, if they had scored again with our wingbacks trying to get forward with less cover to come in behind them again he would have been found at fault.

I think we are reading a lot into this defeat as we all know form has been poor and the turning the corner phrase so often used is easier said than put into action, it is gradually happening but this game and the Torres introduction coupled with the change of formation had a detrimental effect, I still feel that we played better than people are giving us credit for and 15 shots to their 7 does go a way to showing that they cme to shut us down and hit us on the break, once they scored it was always going to be an uphill battle.

In hindsight the Torres debut went wrong and with the Pool defenders doubling up on him at every opportunity they made sure the headlines were not going our way.

As you say lets hope Carlo can get the balance right sooner rather than later.

Cheers for the reply.

Edited by Chippy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thoughtfull post Dorset,but for me, if strikers score the goals at one end & defenders keep them out at the other,then it is the midfield that glues them togther.We missed the drive of Ramires against Liverpool,because for the most part,its been missing from Essien,(god knows why),Mikel and Lamps,(who has been injured).We let experianced players go last year and in Ballack we lost some of that drive, because no matter what striker/formation you have, chances still have to be created.There can be no excuse for a lack of grit however,we were pitifull once again like in those matches you mentioned, but a midfield that can fight for the right to play is the area i belive must be addresed asap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



There was no reason to believe, after Sunderland, that the 4-3-3 wasnt going to work against pool, so he had to give it another go however, I can't justify why Carlo had to leave it so late for a change. It was plain to see from all that we looked disjointed, unbalanced, & generally like we had been 'thrown together' yet nothing changes for 70 mins.

This isn't the first time that I have thought ''I hope he learns from this''.

The trip to Fulham can't come soon enough and I hope the team come out of the traps from the start this time.

What a sh*t time to have another pointless England game....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that I don't know nearly as much about football as you blokes. But I do know a lot about teaching. When a whole class consistently underachieves, a wise teacher has to ask himself if it is not the class but the teacher who is underachieving. A new approach, a different attitude is needed, and it is only the teacher who can provide it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Don't think the formation or the team selection was the problem. if players aren't prepared to work hard and show some fighting spirit on the pitch we'l get rolled over. we played the game like it was a friendly, no drive, slow inaccurate, indiscisive passing and movement.

Worst performance i've seen under carlo, we started off quite good against city, this was bad from kick off. How a team can't get fired up for this game. I'd have loved dennis wise to have chopped someone down early on to fire things up. Didn't anyone show our players what phil Thompson had to say this week.

If we lose to a better team in the day and we've put up a fight, that's acceptable. To roll over to the worst Liverpool side in decades after the week of insults we've had of them is an absolute disgrace. They we no better than us on Sunday.

I'm not sure where carlo should go from here, luiz looked good so at least bosingwa can be pushed out the team. His crossing is now abysmal. I agree that essien and mikel shouldn't play in the same midfield at the moment because neither offer anything going forward.

Lampard needs games after his injury so to some extent is absolved from blame at the moment. drogba shouldnt be an automatic choice, kalou looked like our best forward in the last couple of weeks. Why not give him a run and see if drogba can motivate himself to raise his game.

4th spot is going to be difficult if results and performances don't pick up fast.

Edited by big blue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that I don't know nearly as much about football as you blokes. But I do know a lot about teaching. When a whole class consistently underachieves, a wise teacher has to ask himself if it is not the class but the teacher who is underachieving. A new approach, a different attitude is needed, and it is only the teacher who can provide it.

I see where your coming from but I'd say because of last years success, the players are underachieving more so than the manager. There has to be a point where an underachieving pupil has to take a long hard look in the mirror, and realize they have to work harder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that I don't know nearly as much about football as you blokes. But I do know a lot about teaching. When a whole class consistently underachieves, a wise teacher has to ask himself if it is not the class but the teacher who is underachieving. A new approach, a different attitude is needed, and it is only the teacher who can provide it.

Or a new, improved, faster, sleeker, teacher methinks

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I see where your coming from but I'd say because of last years success, the players are underachieving more so than the manager. There has to be a point where an underachieving pupil has to take a long hard look in the mirror, and realize they have to work harder.

True, but when it's the whole class/team, you have to think maybe they're not getting the motivation they need.

Or a new, improved, faster, sleeker, teacher methinks

Indeed. Someone who can galvanise thgem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


some thought provoking posts................but maybe couple of additional points -

1. agree wiv wee pat, in game like sunday we needed player to unlock the defence with some clever play - the way joey used to do, and josh may do - so for me Josh wouldve been good option top of the diamond

2. our shooting is terrible................all season apart from 1 games - Sun nearly as ad as birmingham away

3. scous set up 3511 very defensive system and got away wiv it cos they stuck to the pattern and everyone did their job, they sat very deep and we walked right into it

4. we don't mix it up enuf, we play odd long ball up to the striker (which we lose) but never long into the space in the channels and the corners - why not?

5. ramires not playing is a complete mystery to me

very bad day

still haven't got over it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet again fantastic article (too good to be labelled a post) Dorest. I read it yesterday but I feel somewhat reluctant to post on your articles immediately.....when I do I feel left with a sense that I just scribbled a stick man underneath the Mona Lisa.

There was no reason to believe, after Sunderland, that the 4-3-3 wasnt going to work against pool, so he had to give it another go however, I can't justify why Carlo had to leave it so late for a change. It was plain to see from all that we looked disjointed, unbalanced, & generally like we had been 'thrown together' yet nothing changes for 70 mins.

This isn't the first time that I have thought ''I hope he learns from this''.

The trip to Fulham can't come soon enough and I hope the team come out of the traps from the start this time.

What a sh*t time to have another pointless England game....

Well heres the thing....he did switch it up via the personenl. What works with a front 3 of Drogba Anelka Kalou, will not necessarily work for a front 3 of Drogba Anelka and Torres....Kalou gets out wider and is faster, he can spread/split the defence better when they are focused in the center as Liverpool was.

I agree with Carlo taking too long,..... and far too frequently.

I know that I don't know nearly as much about football as you blokes. But I do know a lot about teaching. When a whole class consistently underachieves, a wise teacher has to ask himself if it is not the class but the teacher who is underachieving. A new approach, a different attitude is needed, and it is only the teacher who can provide it.

Exactly. For the most part, this is the team that won the double,,, and was walking to another BPL crown at the start of the season.....It doesnt make sense for that whole team to fall apart months later for a long period....a handfull of players sure, but not the whole team.

In work I always say you need to look at the manager first when results are not good. They are responsible for the outfit, thats their job. Either the manager is not motivating the troops/getting them to put out their best efforts or the troops are not up to the job....and then the manager needs to address that situation asap, motivate/punish reaarange/release...do what it takes to effect change and if they cant do that, they are not the person you want as a manager.

You can not allow unacceptable results long term because of good performances in the past. We do not accept it for players, we can not with a manager. I am not saying fire Carlo, but review what is going on and let him know the writing is on the wall if improvement does not follow soon.

Personally I think we are seeing to much "Italian tactics" and not enough "English bravado, blood and soul" from this team.

I wonder if Carlo ever gets the boys fired up with some pep-talk before these games, my guess is that he never does and its up to JT.

Ive wondered this for some time in regard to Wilkins. I can believe it is purely coincidence that a long decline followed his exit, especially when the decline appears to be mainly psychological. We know they players skill levels havent declined as much as the performance has.....its quite clear these boys are not all up for it when they get on the pitch, and Ive yet to see anything about Carlo that makes me think he does this....perhaps he is too calm...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have that worry about carlo not firing up the players and I think we should bring in an expierienced number 2. Although i find it hard to beleive that terry doesn't give the pep talks and try to fire up the team. Something is definately not right though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up