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Oh, Get A Grip!


Kenn

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I?m not surprised that normal services have resumed in the press over Chelsea as Roman Abramovich?s public show of disaffection with the Villa Park result has seemingly given the rowdy rotters something to bleat about. The muted whispers that greeted the match-day Observer report that there?s trouble at the club (because Roman reportedly chased after Ronaldinho without Jos? Mourinho?s consent) have now ballooned into loud celebratory guffaws. And the bookmakers, no slouches in reading the telltale signs, have shortened the odds against Mourinho facing the chops.

While I do not begrudge the frothing commentariat what is after all their usual dose of fleeting happiness over Chelsea?s momentary misfortune, I really sometimes wonder about the quality of some of our fans who joyfully hitchhike on their bandwagon each time they ride through town. Time was when we as Chelsea fans used to take defeat with the equanimity of the rejected stone. But two league titles, three Champions League semi-final finishes, two Carling Cups and one FA Cup later, any sign of defeat is now a signal for mass suicide. Everywhere you look now, the overreaction is suffocating - an angry nation of knee-jerkers, fickle fans and fantasists falling over themselves to pick the team for the next Chelsea game while calling for the manager?s head! The pessimists have won the bragging rights, but I just wonder for how long.

Frankly, there is no use telling anyone foolish enough to think Chelsea are out of the title race in the first week of September that they wouldn?t have long to wait to wolf down their wacky words, but it?s important to let them know that Abramovich is no fool. The man has a right, like every lover of his team and hater of defeat, to feel bad about the result; but to begin to read into his demeanour at the time a brooding cloud over Chelsea must be just plain silly. Abramovich did not storm out of the ground as some would have us believe. He actually went down to the away dressing room to console Mourinho and his men! Oh yes, he wasn?t happy; but he didn?t blank Mourinho or the players because they lost a game they dominated and should have won on another day. He was just being a fan ? he was sitting there and watching his beloved team being beaten and he, like every true blue, found defeat hard to take!

Of course, we can come up with all sorts of excuses for this loss - Lampard?s near-sudden absence disrupting our original gameplan; the clear penalty against Shaun Wright-Phillips, which, if it had been given, would have most possibly changed the direction and outcome of the game; two new defenders coming into the side in such a historically difficult away tie; Mourinho?s new hairstyle and mellow mood being harbingers of bad luck. But when all is said and done, games like this where the underdogs perform as if on pills and the favourites unproductively batter their heads against the wall is standard fare every season. That?s why it?s football - essentially unpredictable and once in a while to be enjoyed by neutrals and those who root for the underdogs. Liverpool, Arsenal and any other team dreaming of the title know they will come up against their Villas sometime before the end of the campaign; but their prayers would be for such stumbles not to be at a decisive point during the season.

I think our own prayer has been answered, because our stumble (like that of Manchester United at Manchester City) has come early. Thus, we need not adorn our sackcloth. Rather, the coaching crew and players should be as clear-eyed and unsparing as possible in dissecting what went wrong. I believe this defeat has its benefits, not least the fact that it brings the team down to earth and makes everyone concentrate hard on the task at hand, instead of assuming they just have to turn up on a pitch anywhere and claim the points. But while I do not underrate the threat posed by Liverpool and Arsenal, I still cannot see beyond Chelsea and Manchester United for the title. So, as far as we?re still above United after five games, I don?t think we should be calling in the undertakers.

It?s Blackburn next at the Bridge. I look forward to seeing a proper reaction from the boys to this defeat.

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Some random thoughts...

  • I support Chelsea and I thougt we were sh*te on Sunday.

I support Chelsea and I think that we've consistently played some of the direst football imagineable over the last 3 years.

I went to CFC vs Portsmouth last week and was bored out of my skull - and frankly, they were bloody unlucky not to get at least a point out of us.

I love my team but don't want to bleat about penalties we didn't get because frankly with the resources at our disposal we should be ripping teams like Villa apart in open play

I love Mourinho but have come to realise that he is tactically clueless in the top third of the pitch. I reached that conclusion quite some time ago as have many others. Throwing all your attacking players onto the pitch when you go one-nil down is admirable. Telling them all to play through the middle of the park and sticking your centre halves up there as well to help out is daft.

Now if I'd been the one to stick however many bloody millions of my hard-nicked roubles into the team, I'd be feeling a little hacked off by now. I'd want just a smidgeon of a return in entertainment terms for my money. Not clueless dullsville football, reliant as much on over-theatrical diving and protesting as it is on seriously crap play through the middle of the park.

I personally predict a riot and I'm not surprised if the papers are doing the same. I'm not being influenced by the papers, it just seems to be inevitable at the moment.

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But when all is said and done, games like this where the underdogs perform as if on pills and the favourites unproductively batter their heads against the wall is standard fare every season. That?s why it?s football - essentially unpredictable and once in a while to be enjoyed by neutrals and those who root for the underdogs. Liverpool, Arsenal and any other team dreaming of the title know they will come up against their Villas sometime before the end of the campaign; but their prayers would be for such stumbles not to be at a decisive point during the season.

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Great post Kenn. I for one am, looking forward to seeing how our boys react to this defeat and it really couldn't come at a better time for us. I'd rather score a goal in the last minute giving the opposition no time to come back than score in the first minute and sweat it out for the next 89. This defeat is similar in that we have a long way to go yet in what could be one of the closest and interesting sdeasons for ages. Enjoy the ride my friends.

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Some random thoughts...

  • I support Chelsea and I thougt we were sh*t on Sunday.

I support Chelsea and I think that we've consistently played some of the direst football imagineable over the last 3 years.

I went to CFC vs Portsmouth last week and was bored out of my skull - and frankly, they were bloody unlucky not to get at least a point out of us.

I love my team but don't want to bleat about penalties we didn't get because frankly with the resources at our disposal we should be ripping teams like Villa apart in open play

I love Mourinho but have come to realise that he is tactically clueless in the top third of the pitch. I reached that conclusion quite some time ago as have many others. Throwing all your attacking players onto the pitch when you go one-nil down is admirable. Telling them all to play through the middle of the park and sticking your centre halves up there as well to help out is daft.

Now if I'd been the one to stick however many bloody millions of my hard-nicked roubles into the team, I'd be feeling a little hacked off by now. I'd want just a smidgeon of a return in entertainment terms for my money. Not clueless dullsville football, reliant as much on over-theatrical diving and protesting as it is on seriously crap play through the middle of the park.

I personally predict a riot and I'm not surprised if the papers are doing the same. I'm not being influenced by the papers, it just seems to be inevitable at the moment.

Very random thoughts, I'd say.

If you haven't been able find anything good from the last three years then you really have missed out.

Direst football imaginable?

Mourinho tactically clueless in the top 3rd?

No entertainment?

You and I must be on a different planet.

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there really have been some ott posts following our defeat...yes goals mean everything when it comes to matches, but I honestly don't think some people watched the game judging by their comments...no we didn't create enough in the final third against a team with 11 men behind the ball throwing their bodies on the line defending a fortunate lead...but some of the football we played was great...good passing from the back, to midfield and on to the flanks...it was not too dissimilar to the way we played against brum, a performance which had press, fans, csr posters, all enjoying the way we played...it was just the goals were missing this time, but that shouldn't mean people are blinded by the way we actually played...I can't remember any team in the mourinho years who have ever dominated possession against us that way...for villa it was a cup game, not a league game...on your day it comes off for you but more often than not they will fall behind and then their defensive tactics have to stop and the win is easy...get a grip

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Even without all the media hype, we haven't bought well and we're not playing well. While our main rivals would appear to have moved forward, we seem to have stood still or even taken a step or two backwards.

After only five games it's too early to panic - leave the hysteria to the media - but things do need to improve, and fast.

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there really have been some ott posts following our defeat...yes goals mean everything when it comes to matches, but I honestly don't think some people watched the game judging by their comments...no we didn't create enough in the final third against a team with 11 men behind the ball throwing their bodies on the line defending a fortunate lead...but some of the football we played was great...good passing from the back, to midfield and on to the flanks...it was not too dissimilar to the way we played against brum, a performance which had press, fans, csr posters, all enjoying the way we played...it was just the goals were missing this time, but that shouldn't mean people are blinded by the way we actually played...I can't remember any team in the mourinho years who have ever dominated possession against us that way...for villa it was a cup game, not a league game...on your day it comes off for you but more often than not they will fall behind and then their defensive tactics have to stop and the win is easy...get a grip

I have absolutely no bloody truck with the argument of 'it's very difficult to play when the opposition have got ten men behind the ball'.

We've had to endure that tactic week in, week out for about 5 years now and we still haven't figured out how to deal with it. Other teams who have been in our position in the past have dealt with it really quite effectively. I'm talking about Arsenal of 3 years ago and United in the 90s. They dealt with it through using width and breaking quickly out of defence with Giggs / Henry et al. We used to bloody do it with the likes of Duff, Gronkjaer, Petrescu and going back a to a classic here - Johnny Spencer.

Villa were there for the taking because they actually came out of defence to attack us on more than several occasions on Sunday. Each time they did, they were robbed of possession and our breaking was then so mind-numbingly slow that by the time we'd crossed the half way line all five of their attacking players were back in their box.

It's about using width and speed, together with the ability to get past a man with the ball. Our only proponent of this is in the current team is SWP who was subbed off. We've got a lot of players who used to do it (Ashley, where were you?) but have had it drummed out of them by Jose. I personally thought Belletti looked exciting on Sunday but would expect him to have had all that 'crossig the half-way line' lark knocked out of him by October.

This is not an over reaction to Sunday, it's a reasoned reaction to the way we play week in week out. Our last few matches really underline this from the worst FA Cup final in living memory, to a rubbish Community shield to unimaginative tosh at Anfield to crap against Portsmouth and now at Villa. Only the Birmingham match can be described as being remotely exciting because we got caught with our pants down and it was too early in the season to forget that we're not supposed to move the ball quickly.

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Johnny Spencer with a strained hamstring if you please!! I was waiting for it to snap at any second and willing it not to.

I do find it a little surprising that we are sacrificing pace in the areas wehere we need it most. Teams are going to shut up shop against us and we do need to acknowledge that and adjust our game accordingly. Yet we have little or no pace in the centre of the park and arguably only one wide player with any real pace.

I am in no way going to over reacting to the Villa game as, like Brit, I actually thought we played some very good football against Villa and we certainly had a lot of possession however as a game it did emphaise the fact that when do have possession we, more often that not, give the opposition all the time in the world to reset themselves.

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I'm with Mike O too.

I was at the Portsmouth game with my boys - cost us ?200 for the day ( a LOT of money for me!) which lasted from 7am to 11pm and a round-trip of about 400 miles and for that we were royally bored. I can see exactly where Mike is coming from - winning isn't everything, unless the result is intrinsically linked to your ego. I can't stand the type of mechanical, one-paced stuff we have become renowned for - much as I like winning, there needs to be a balance. The means justify the ends but we've now shifted from the immoveable machine that bulldozed everyone and earned the right to play football, to a one-dimensional one-paced unimaginative bore-fest!

Yes the papers and tv go over the top - even my postman has taken to theatrical yawns when we talk Chelsea! - but the truth is that Jose has his 'methodology', it's functional, it wins football matches, produces trophies.....and bores the pants off people who want to see football played with flair and imagination. I don't feel I have the right to be entertained when I pay a small fortune to see my team play, but I do feel that it should be mildly more entertaining than teletext, and at the moment it ain't! A lot of people shouted myself and others down because we dared to criticise the teams pre-season efforts, but I can't see anything different during the season so far - for Villa substitute Rangers and you'll see where I'm coming from. The more expansive 4-4-2 hasn't worked and we now seem to be lumping the ball more than ever.

Roman was right to get up and walk out when the 2nd goal went in on Sunday and I fear Jose's days are numbered if we continue to shuffle the ball sideways and back and then lump it to Drogba.

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The fallout from the Villa game is as predictable as Mike?s riot of colourful comments and symptomatic of the priorities the Shed End contributors hold dear. In the case of the Grumpy One, it?s all about playing entertaining football, is cost related (his ticket or Roman?s outlay) and, ultimately, the translation of both into winning games and trophies. I?m guessing that?s the order he sees Chelsea in and no doubt you will respond in double quick time, Mike, if my comments are in any way out of order.

My point is that other posters have different priorities and, for a start, many would reverse the three given above. Hence Kenn?s rallying call, dismissal of defeat, and emphasis on a long term game-winning mentality - that is, after all, is his Number One priority and mentions of entertaining football are there none. The more pragmatic, perhaps materialistic, amongst us turn immediately to what we?ve won under Jose and either see no need to panic yet, or ever, under his management - the victories are only just around the corner and ?winning ugly? isn?t a problem.

Others will cite individuals within the team as useless, merely useful or scandalously unused and attach blame where they see fit - players are the priority for them and performance rests with individuals rather than the team. If Brian was around he?d have already given us his list of players to be bought in the January transfer window - ?shop till you drop? being a major priority, if not a religion, for the Gay Pirate. Then there is the Big Picture courtesy of the Media and we all know the order of priority there, as far as Chelsea is concerned - promote derogatory comment when and wherever possible, talk money at every opportunity and give praise sparingly.

So when a result like Sunday?s follows hard on the heels of others perceived to be borne of embarrassment, luck or a bedding in of a 4-4-2 with wingers, we all react predictably and bang on about those things we hold dear. Me? Well, I can?t say that I was happy with the result, but control freakery leading to a win is in my sporting DNA, so the Mourinho style of play will always be more appealing to me than it ever will be to Old Grumpy. Incidentally, if my memory serves me correctly, Mike, you always wanted a closer, more exciting Premiership race, so, now that we have won the title a couple of times, can I ask where that wish comes on any list of priorities you might have at the moment?

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The fallout from the Villa game is as predictable as Mike?s riot of colourful comments and symptomatic of the priorities the Shed End contributors hold dear. In the case of the Grumpy One, it?s all about playing entertaining football, is cost related (his ticket or Roman?s outlay) and, ultimately, the translation of both into winning games and trophies. I?m guessing that?s the order he sees Chelsea in and no doubt you will respond in double quick time, Mike, if my comments are in any way out of order.

My point is that other posters have different priorities and, for a start, many would reverse the three given above. Hence Kenn?s rallying call, dismissal of defeat, and emphasis on a long term game-winning mentality - that is, after all, is his Number One priority and mentions of entertaining football are there none. The more pragmatic, perhaps materialistic, amongst us turn immediately to what we?ve won under Jose and either see no need to panic yet, or ever, under his management - the victories are only just around the corner and ?winning ugly? isn?t a problem.

Others will cite individuals within the team as useless, merely useful or scandalously unused and attach blame where they see fit - players are the priority for them and performance rests with individuals rather than the team. If Brian was around he?d have already given us his list of players to be bought in the January transfer window - ?shop till you drop? being a major priority, if not a religion, for the Gay Pirate. Then there is the Big Picture courtesy of the Media and we all know the order of priority there, as far as Chelsea is concerned - promote derogatory comment when and wherever possible, talk money at every opportunity and give praise sparingly.

So when a result like Sunday?s follows hard on the heels of others perceived to be borne of embarrassment, luck or a bedding in of a 4-4-2 with wingers, we all react predictably and bang on about those things we hold dear. Me? Well, I can?t say that I was happy with the result, but control freakery leading to a win is in my sporting DNA, so the Mourinho style of play will always be more appealing to me than it ever will be to Old Grumpy. Incidentally, if my memory serves me correctly, Mike, you always wanted a closer, more exciting Premiership race, so, now that we have won the title a couple of times, can I ask where that wish comes on any list of priorities you might have at the moment?

Aha me old mucker! Thought that would get you out of bed.

Yup, you've got me bang to rights. As a poster who (now only occasionally) goes to matches - and I still feel there is a massive difference between the goers and the non-goers - yes, I want to be entertained. Like Jack, for the dosh you shell out, and for the players you watch, I want to be entertained by what happens on the pitch, not just by the pre and post match ritual (great to see TBB and Fester btw!). I don't care if that sounds crap. Football is the world's best game because it's amazing to play and fantastic to watch...alledgedly. It's supposed to be excting, it's supposed to be emotional, it's supposed to be vital.

It's not supposed to be like taking Prozac. Not every bloody week.

And yes, I do want a more exciting Premiership. I just don't want it ultimately to be won by anyone other than Chelsea playing the greatest football in the world.

Great to hear from you.

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The trouble with the winning ugly philosophy is it doesn't leave much when you don't win. I don't think our play is that ugly anyway, its just become inefficient. Its inefficient in the two most basic ways possible we aren't scoring enough goals and we are letting too many in. The only game we haven't conceded in this year was Portsmouth and we all know Portsmouth should have scored.

And again you can say what you like but our effective investment over the last two seasons is not bringing enough return. As the stats show around 500 m is the transfer spending this year and we were way less than average, let alone keeping up with the big boys. Last season's investment spending in Ballack and Shevchenko is bringing a present return of zero. Shevchenko can't make the squad and Ballack is out for half the season.

Because SWP can be relied on not to score, maka, essien and mikel are good for maybe two goals a season, malouda and jc maybe 3 each an incredible and unsustainable load falls on Drogba and Lampard, plus some set piece goals from Terry and Carvalho.

Of course its easy to say all this and another thing to fix it. For me the answer is in two parts. We first of all need someone like Kalou but who actually is going to score 10 goals a season. Maybe that person is Kalou maybe its Sheva, maybe its someone new. Then we need one of the midfielders besides Lampard to become a real goal threat. Ballack is the most obvious if he wasn't injured.

In addition if Mikel is going to really prove useful he has to be come more aggressive with his play, at the moment he is fantastic on the ball but doesn't penetrate enough.

I don't get bored with the way Chelsea play, particularly when we play through the midfield. Its just a traditional italian style and can work well. Even the long balls are good when Drogba is fully fit, which he isn't.

At this early stage our season can go two ways, we can get players back from injury and start playing like we own the game, or we can fall into more of the same as we have seen in the last two weeks, average defence, pretty midfield and no cutting edge.

Mourinho is a great coach but I feel the team is suffering a little bit from the weight of expectations. This manifests itself either as the players being too ambitious and trying impossible things or alternatively being too scared to try anything.

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...As a poster who (now only occasionally) goes to matches .... I want to be entertained.....It's not supposed to be like taking Prozac. Not every bloody week.

I go to all the home games and i don't recognise this team of whom you speak. To me they resemble a lot of other teams - sometimes they are great, sometimes they stink (although not often at home) and sometimes they are somewhere in between. I've experienced some fantastic matches in the Mourinho era. I certainly don't come away bored stiff very often - if ever!

Do you think the Villa game was boring? or are you just unhappy that we lost? I can tell you that I've seen us play worse and win.

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My 1,5 cents :

I disagree with this "Italian" style comparaison.

Italian teams of the 80's and 90's were organized and cynical. I hated them. Juventus could go a entire match with 30 % possession and in one single move end the oponnents ambitions.

However, the f**kers were efficient. 100%. Gotta give them credit.

Now, In Mourinho's first season, we were very efficient, yes, but it wasn't at all what I would call an "Italian" performance. Sometime ago I read an article wich summarized what we did then. The author called it something along the lines of "Modern football". The so called counter-attack style or pretending to be fancy..."quick transitions".

Most top teams play like that. Except perhaps Bar?a, ManUtd...Real ?

Even Milan isn't an all atacking team.

However, I'm diverting from my point.

We played in "quick transitions". Duff, Robben were key. With results.

Next season things started to deteriorate.

Last season, it was decided that we should have more possession. We should impose our own style instead of just waiting for the opponents mistakes/holes.

It was awfull. We did have possession, we did mantain the ball and make 1000 passes p/game. But we started lacking creativity. Getting rid of the creative players in order of a more muscled midfield. Chelsea Athletics Club as a poster calls it (and rightly so).

Now, this season, again the boring boring issue. Someone "up there" informed Mourinho we should play with more flair, the possession is mighty fine and all, but with Ballack, Essien and Lampard making a wall, someone else is expected to create something. It was (last season) like asking a bricklayer (with all due respect) to produce a Rodin sculpture. I suspect the conversation went along the lines of "I'd rather we win 5-3 then we win 1-0"

So now, we have a brilliant flat 442, and we're getting caught up in our own game.

What de we need ? In my humble opinion, players AND manager. Mourinho will never EVER allow an adventurous all out attack Bar?a. (Unless he bangs his head somewhere), and he will never allow a player like Shevchenko, Joe Cole, Robben...hell, even Joe Cole to express himself totally ont he pitch. It's all about team spirit and motivation, (wich is ok) but we lack that creative spark, wich is - in my view - getting smaller and smaller. Besides, we have some players with decent flair, but as I have been saying, we don't have that special player.

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Yes I do think we lack 'entertainment.

Yes it is an important issue for me now (after seasons of defending it 259.gif )

Yes we do lack good final balls into the danger area and finishing in that area.

Yes we do play too much long ball.

Yes the right side of our defence Belletti & Alex were exposed.

Yes most of Villa's (successful) attacks came down our right.

Yes we deserved to be beaten against Villa. They were good, we were bad.

Yes 'it happens'

Yes I hated losing to Villa.

Yes I do worry that so many of our fans seem to be ready for ritual suicide over it.

No there is no need to panic.

Yes we will bounce back.

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...As a poster who (now only occasionally) goes to matches .... I want to be entertained.....It's not supposed to be like taking Prozac. Not every bloody week.

I go to all the home games and i don't recognise this team of whom you speak. To me they resemble a lot of other teams - sometimes they are great, sometimes they stink (although not often at home) and sometimes they are somewhere in between. I've experienced some fantastic matches in the Mourinho era. I certainly don't come away bored stiff very often - if ever!

Do you think the Villa game was boring? or are you just unhappy that we lost? I can tell you that I've seen us play worse and win.

A couple of points,

1. Fair do's, I don't go to every home game any more but all the ones I have been to over the last 2 years have been dull and predictable. The Chelsea I bought into donkey years ago were about flair and style. Now we're about not making any mistakes and moaning a lot. When I think back to the Gullit / Vialli era (and I know the argument you'll have here) I think you must have a very, very high boredom threshold

2. The Villa game was frustrating, not boring - although they're linked.

3. I think that the original point was prompted by the notion that Roman is pissed off with the lack of excitement he's getting for his bucks. If, ?500m (or whatever) later, Chelsea still resemble a lot of other teams - sometimes they are great, sometimes they stink (although not often at home) and sometimes they are somewhere in between, then I think he has every right to be narked orff.

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An interesting discussion. Results vs. performance and style has been a subject of discussion for the last couple of seasons. I think that has also been one of the factors in the reported clashes of interest between Jose and Roman. I do think that Jose is trying to play with a more attacking and watchable style this season but it takes time to convert a new footballing ethic and we may have to sacrifice winning things this season to achieve that. Just as a new manager takes time to change things it takes a while to introduce a new playing style. As some have pointed out our performance on Sunday was similar in some ways to that against Birmingham but without the goals from our point of view. Unfortunately in trying to play a more attacking game we are also leaking goals at the back and that is going to cost us in some games. But you can't have it both ways.

It is way too early to judge the new-look team and once again we have been unfortunate with key injuries so far (Carvs, Drogs, JT and Lamps). I think we will come good as the season progresses. I believe in Jose's ability to get the best out of his players and I think he will eventually get it right. The fact that other teams (e.g. Villa, City, Blackburn, Spurs, Newcastle, Everton) have much better squads this season may help us to stay in contention this season too. It is hard to imagine a runaway leader this season if the overall standard has indeed improved. Liverpool have got off to a great start but they just played 2 of the weakest teams in the division. They won at Villa but were very lucky to get 3 points there. A more realistic view of how things will go can be taken from Arsenal's draw at Blackburn and United's defeat at City.

Patience is the key here. We have a tough game next time around against Blackburn but at least it is at home. Lets hope we can get back to winning ways.

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I think an attempt at better football is being made. but it will take time. towards the back end of last season I often was talking about the quality of our football. because I feel an attempt is being made, I am happy to give it a couple of months.

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I seem to be living on the "Mike O" planet

Me too I am afraid !!

I do not consider myself to be OTT in my views on Chelsea, nor do I wear blue tinted glasses.

For most of last season and a good part of 05-06 I was bored out of my skull watching by beloved blues. I attended EVERY home game, several away and three away in Europe and I could count on one hand literally, the number of games that I had actually enjoyed. I must admit that I came very close to not renewing my 2 season tickets before deciding that with RA demanding a more entertaining style of play, things had to get better icon_rolleyes.gif

This season it is getting WORSE NOT BETTER

Birmingham at home, very entertaining admittedly, we played well for 20 mins and were lucky to nick 3 points with abject defending.

Reading away, about as exciting as watching paint dry, we again got the points but no plaudits for style.

Scousers away, we were played off the park for long periods and gifted a point by Styles

Pompey at home, again got played off the park (am I really writing this??) got one goal and 3 points and most fans there would admit that we were seriously lucky on the day.

Villa was a result waiting to happen.

Is this the form of Champions?

I am not so sure our fabled team spirit is there at present.

And I definitely do not think that RA will allow the situation to slip any further.

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