Post Match View – Chelsea F.C.

On 8 and on 23, Didier Drogba has done what he does best against Arsenal – score goals. When the curse of Senderos was allowed to leave for Everton, I thought perhaps we’d turned the corner where Drogba is concerned. Not to be. He still has our number.

The usual suspects were at it again, aiding and abetting the opposition in making us look bad. Manuel Almunia can be forgiven for the first goal I suppose, but if I saw him today my first question would be why he didn’t make sure there was a player on both posts. Clichy was originally on the far post when Malouda placed the ball in the arc for the corner. Ivanovic stood alone near the top of the box, to the left of the Arsenal goal. Almunia, near his line, and Clichy from the far post, both pointed to him in a plea for someone to get close to the Chelsea fullback. By the time the corner was taken, Clichy had ventured away from the post, leaving a gaping hole for Drogba to exploit.

Why did he leave the post? Why does Almunia allow such things to happen? How much longer do we have to watch those two clowns drag our club down with them?

The second goal came as a result of a Chelsea counter-attack. Clichy ran back with indecision – he didn’t know whether to go wide to pick up Drogba or to stay tucked inside. Anelka’s run was always going to be dealt with by Gallas or Sagna so Drogba was in a far more dangerous position because of the amount of space he had to work with. Vermaelen made matters worse by not (I presume) instructing Gael on what the best option was. After all, Vermaelen was facing the play, Clichy’s view was peripheral at first and then he became spectator when Lampard changed direction to feed Drogba out wide. The Chelsea striker collected and once again an opponent was allowed to enter our penalty area far, far too easily. Drogba went around Clichy and Vermaelen to shoot past Almunia.

The ball was struck with a fair amount of pace from maybe ten meters but it was not unstoppable. It looked as though Almunia ducked underneath it. I’ve reached my end with that man. He and Clichy may go home now.

Losing to United and Chelsea the way we have in the span of seven days says that we are not on par with either team. It hurts me to admit it, but I have no choice but to accept that as fact. If we were going to beat them, it was always going to be from their mistakes. We may have had more possession than Chelsea but nothing came from it. And when we did manage to go close, they had a real keeper minding their net. I was also impressed by the way they got numbers back without sacrificing much in attack.

We’ve dug a very big hole for ourselves. We have played three must win matches in less than two weeks. We’ve got one point and one goal to show for it. That is just not good enough. Liverpool on Wednesday will be another must win but for an entirely different reason than what we would have wanted.

There have been lessons to learn from this rapid decline. I hope the right people have learned them. We will fight until the end but what good is fighting if you don’t get better from battle?

Let’s be clear. Giving up is not an option. Today however is a very grim day.

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