It was my niece’s first game on Saturday – she’s five years old and she knows as much about football as I do about quantum physics yet after watching intently for the first ten minutes, she turned to me and asked in a puzzled voice “Why don’t the team in blue run a bit faster?”
Mr. Angry who sits behind me advocated there and then that she go and take the manager’s position with immediate effect and that AVB could stick his “project” where the sun don’t shine.
As much as I have maligned the manager in recent weeks, the players are really doing him no favours whatsoever. Take the Birmingham goal for instance. The corner came in and the ball initially fell exactly in the middle of four Chelsea players – who all proceeded to simply stare at it before Murphy put it in the back of the net. Now however dubious you are of AVB’s “project”, you can’t blame the manager for that.
Nor can you blame him for the lethargy demonstrated by so many of our players – or the fact that they seem to struggle to pick out a fellow team mate when making a pass.
What is less certain is what goes on at training tactics wise. Take Torres for instance – now I cannot imagine he spends all that time out on the wing because he wants to – it makes no sense does it – why would he – he would be castigated by the manager if he was going against an agreed game plan? He does it for such large parts of every game he plays that it must be at the manager’s instruction. Yet anyone can see that he is completely wasted there. no matter how hard he tries. But when he was substituted at half time for Drogba – the Ivorian went straight into the box and stayed there in the middle for the majority of the rest of the game. It simply makes no sense to me.
I have no idea how much credence we should give to the story of Villas Boas favouring the Portuguese speaking players in the squad – I can’t think that any professional manager would benefit from such a stunt – yet I am struggling to think of a more plausible explanation for the continued inclusion of Bosingwa for the majority of our games this season given his performances.
All of that said I am beginning to feel a lot of sympathy for him as he cuts a lonely figure on the touch line – not even his assistant coach Di Matteo stands and discusses potential changes or ideas – perhaps that is how Villas Boas likes/wants it but the impression it gives to the outside world is one of man struggling alone.
It is also disappointing to constantly read of dressing room show downs in the papers – sadly these leaks are almost certainly coming from one player or more. I would like to believe that our players have a little more pride than to wash our dirty laundry in public but they evidently feel that getting it out into the world at large may benefit them –no thought for the team and the club though it seems.
It actually doesn’t bother me that all the players don’t back the manger – so what? You would find that in most clubs; and THEY do not need to back him – only one person needs to back him and that is Abramovich– and seemingly – for the moment he does!
I think it was a little naïve of Villas Boas to come out and publicly state that fact – the headlines were nothing if not predictable, but other than that a new regime will always upset a faction of the last.
For me there are two potential turning points for the season. When (if) we get knocked out of the Champions League, and more telling – should we not qualify for next season’s Champions’ League – then let’s see how much Abramovich believes in the “project”.
Oh – and just for the sake of accuracy – it wasn’t the Chelsea fans chanting Jose Mourinho’s name last Saturday – that was humour Brummie style – hilarious….
Sadly there was some booing – I understand it, I do not agree with it but I do understand why people boo. The thing is I think that AVB has demonstrated that he is not going to change his philosophy – and we may not like it, we may not understand it but we as fans need to do our bit to lift the team otherwise we are as culpable as anyone. Rant in the pub after the game all you like – or get yourself a gig like mine where you are lucky enough to spew your thoughts onto a laptop, ring the talk shows and vent your spleens to your heart’s content – but for those 90 minutes and even when the whistle goes, show the team your unconditional support. It’s tough out there and there are enough people taking pot shots at the team without the fans turning on them too. AVB needs to make a rallying call – fight for your place, your reputation and the team and with the support doing their job we may salvage something yet. Come on Chelsea!