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Stating the bleeding obvious - we miss Frank


ethicalstrategy

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Sadly, we have had to wait for him to be injured to demonstrate how much we rely on him.

I know it's been fashionable for a surprisingly large number of Chelsea fans to question his contribution but you only need to watch the last two matches to understand that we are not the same team without him.

Let's take corners and set pieces - apparently Frank is shocking at them. Well if he is, he is still a lot less shocking than SWP/Joe Cole and the others who had a go on saturday.

Essien/Sidwell/Mikel - none of these provide anything like the goal threat that Frank does. Essien had a good shot saved but that was from long range. Until the last few minutes nobody from midfield arrived late in the box to pick up any bits and pieces. I think people underestimate exactly how difficult an art it is to get that timing right and be able to execute when you get there.

Mikel provides excellent control in midfield and his short passing and awareness is brilliant. Essien possesses drive but didn't bring a a lot to the ball distribution party. In fact I have been disappointed in him a bit in the last two matches. I expected him to pick up the slack and take his chance to really control things and I really don't think he did.

We also missed Frank's longer range passing, especially the diagonal balls out to SWP/Joe.

The sooner he is back the better otherwise it's going to be a long season.

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I'm not sure that's our problem. The thing is that I've got this feeling that we don't have a Plan B for when Plan A (Frank fit) isn't working. We saw the same thing last season. I'm sure that players like Ballack or Essien (perhaps Mikel even) is good enough to step into Franks shoes.

Ballack should really be able to do it. But somehow it doesn't work. Maybe I'm wrong and the players just isn't good enough for me in which case I think JM has done a bad job at not getting a backup for Frank. If he's such a vital player for the team then we surely need someone to step into his shoes.

Or else I'm right and JM just hasn't gathered the team and said "okay, if, God forbid, Frankie is out then we need to...".

Maybe both ideas are wrong and I'm completely off my rocker (wouldn't be the first time) icon_rolleyes.gif

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Had Lamps not played against Pompey or Reading we would have been in the bottom half of the table make no mistake.

I believe we have lost 4 out of 5 without him in the side and it's got to be a worry.

Saying that we had sh*tloads of cash and Europe fearing us, then we pushed the boat out with Shevchenko and Ballack and have paid the penalty and had the Premiership laughing at us and them.

Typical Chelsea in my opinion, we have shot ourself in the foot.

What we need to do now is accept as fans (and those of us who have been through the rough times will be able to take it easier than the johnny come lately gloryhunting muppets) that the rest of the premiership have caught up with us and are not scared of us as they were a couple of years back. When the opposition see Drogba and Lampard out of our side and say Ballack and Shevchenko in the line up they are going to be lifted.

We have to be realistic here, Kenyon and Buck were harping on about what a deal Robben was ... yet the Crespo, Veron, Shevchenko deals were high profile yet disasters in terms of money and only Crespo proved his worth.

Lets be honest, we should have taken the warning. Yes Roman wants the Champions League and only LIVERPOOL have stood in our way. IT'S TACTICS that have cost us both games not players.

What we need now is to play players like Scott Sinclair who will bring another dimension to our game, bring the kids Arneson has bought into the first team squad in FA and Carling Cup matches as both Luca and Ruud did ans see how things go.

I'm convinced the free transfers were just made to please Jose in terms of squad cover and next season a new manager will arrive to play sexy football that Roman craves - all the prima donnas will go and maybe we will win the title again in the new decade.

I can handle a couple of seasons without winning anything, f@ck me I waited 26 without us winning a thing!

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Star, you talk a lot of sense.

To be honest I've never been a huge Lamps fan but I have to eat my words and agree that we're a shadow of ourselves without his goal threat and passing. It was my hope that Mikel would step into his shoes and run the show but it was obviously asking too much of one so young and inexperienced.

Essien, too, isn't a playmaker as such. He's sometimes like a ram-raider who goes charging into the fray, without looking to see where he's going, and smashing into a lingerie shop, when he intended to grab a flat-screen TV from Comet! (then looking suitably embarrassed)

We look predictable and show poor movement off the ball, and certainly need the spark and goal threat that someone like Sinclair might provide.

A young, fresh Sidwell is meant to be a box-to-box player but he ended up doing impressions of the Ray Wilkins crab. He played in fear, probably because Jose terrified him into acting like a programmed automaton..."Keep possession at all costs, even if that means passing the ball back 80 yards to your keeper".

I'm grateful for the two titles and happy for this to be a season of rebuilding, as long as promising fringe players get blooded and we start to play a bit.

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To be honest, if people don't see it now then they never will.

'Lampard's past it' 'best years behind him' 'shouldn't be untouchable' ... blah blah blah f**king-blah... Bullsh*t basically. He (along with JT and Drogba) are vital. I wouldn't put Essien in there... Although extremely important, we've won manier matches where he's been injured or suspended. Cech.. Well, we have a pretty darn decent back up in Carlo so.. Possibly not.

Anyway, I don't often make 'oh I've said it all along' statements, but this is an exception - I have always said Frank is VITAL to any chances we have of winning (or heck - being in contention) anything. I like Mikel, but he's got an awful long way (which is fair enough, considering he's only 20/21) to go before he's anywhere near Frank's standard.

We need him fit for the Mancs, otherwise I'm afraid we could be in for a thumping.

PS, we need Drogba back too 128.gif

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Jose on our injured players:

[web]http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/17092007/1/mourinho-injuries-beyond-yolk.html[/web]

He makes some good points about how key the injured players are to the way we play. Interesting how he puts Ballack in the list of vital players - but in reality he is probably just adding him to the lsit to stress the extent of our current problems.

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this is his squad- IF it has weaknesses after all the money spent then perhaps that is his fault. getting a little annoying, hearing about our injuries. we have 20 plus international players, all bought for a reason- we're hardly throwing out raw 17 year olds.

also, not sure what to say or do when makelele isn't getting into the team/ squad and sidwell is starting.

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So we miss Frank. Last season we missed Cech. And JT. And Joe Cole and Robben etc etc.

I am not saying Lamps isn't a hugely important player for us but I think some people are getting a bit carried away. So the only reason we haven't won the last couple of games is because Frank wasn't playing? What about last season when there were plenty of games we didn't win when Frank was playing? What was the reason then? At the weekend, if Sheva had have done better with 1 or 2 of the good chances he had and if the perfectly good goal had stood we would be talking about a pretty comfortable 2-0 or 3-0 win. I would say we missed Drogba's finishing (and I never though I would hear myself say that going back a couple of seasons) just as much as we missed Frank.

It is worrying that we seem to be relying so heavily on the goals of two players. That's why I've never been in favour of having the 30 + goals a season striker. It's always so much better when the goals are shared throughout the team. Unfortunately we do appear to have a number of players who just don't score that many goals. But far more worrying for me than Lamps missing is the complete lack of threat up front when Drogba isn't available. Sheva, Pizarro, Kalou. They just don't instill me with any sort of confidence at all.

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