A Dark Cold Monday Night at Craven Cottage

February 14, 2011 — by Cunning Linguist

[Editor’s note: We’ve been soliciting commentary from our resident Chelsea fan via back-channel communications over the course of the season–here is his writeup of the scoreless draw between the Blues and Fulham.]

Watching the Monday game in the EPL. On a dark cold night, very little shine on offer to dispel the gloom. 45 mins in, this is dreadful stuff. The only bright point is that Duff, Sidwell and Sparky are former blues.

Dempey the Tex vs. Čech the Czech

The second half saw Chelsea establish complete and utter domination in the midfield and dictate ball movement with relative ease. By my count Fulham had less than 4 credible attacking forays; in fact, the second half was mostly played in Fulham’s half with about 8 men in the box. Chelsea attacked from all angles but found it extremely difficult to break Fulham down. If Fulham’s resolute defending weren’t sufficient, Chelsea contrived to muck up every opportunity that came their way, and there were quite a few opportunities for Chelsea.

Chelsea were too much for Fulham in the second. In one of two errors for Luiz, Tex was able to win a very soft penalty. Tex then missed his gift-penalty to hand Chelsea a point when they should’ve gone home to face Everton in the FA Cup replay and ManU in the EPL fresh from another loss. Chelsea really should’ve won this game; the ease and abundance of goals from early on in the season have completely disappeared. I do believe the rot is in at the Bridge.


Fernando Torres, (Previously) “Hero of Anfield” (+ Anelka as Trequartista?)

February 6, 2011 — by Suman1

YouTube is littered with overdramatic Liverpudlian tributes to Torres.  To add to the buildup for today’s Chelsea-Liverpool match (kicking off at Stamford Bridge at the top of the hour), here’s one that is a highlight reel of El Niño when he was at the top of his game, in 2008-09–primarily Liverpool highlights, followed by a coda of Spain national team clips (set to an Akon soundtrack):

Meanwhile, the teams are in, according to the Guardian’s liveblog:

The teams are in:

The Team With Torres: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Mikel; Essien, Lampard; Torres, Drogba, Anelka. Subs: Turnbull, Paulo Ferreira, David Luiz, McEachran, Sala, Malouda, Kalou.
The Team Without Torres: Reina; Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Kelly; Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi; Meireles; Kuyt. Subs: Gulacsi, Aurelio, Suarez, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Poulsen.

So Suárez isn’t considered ready to start despite impressing in midweek. Torres, as expected, starts for the Team With Torres. Very, very interesting to see how those two line-ups dovetail.

Worth reading in preparation for the game is ZonalMarking’s note on “Nicolas Anelka as a trequartista?” (trequartista, which means “three-quarters” in Italian, refers to a withdrawn forward/attacking midfielder–a player who drops deep to receive the ball from his defenders and defending midfielders and serves as a playmaker in attack):


Chelsea Power Through, Defeat Arsenal

October 4, 2010 — by Sean2

Thanks to our very own Blues supporter Sumit Sasidharan for this surprisingly fair & balanced evaluation of Chelsea’s latest victory, over London rivals Arsenal (with video highlights of the match embedded below Sumit’s comments):

No bogarting, it's puff puff pass, Jon.

That was the best match all week. Tempo, width, muscle and touch on display–exciting.

Drogba’s touch seems better than ever. I was more surprised by Gunner lack of possession by their big men; Diaby and Song failed to exert the kind of muscle that could’ve been the edge.

After reading the beebs’ and guardian reports on the game and listening to Wenger, must’ve been a different game than I was watching. It really felt pretty even. Both sides had chances and possession seemed pretty even. A. Cole’s goal should’ve made the margin 3 and Anelka’s 4.

Instead of the past two beatings, Arsenal seemed to have clawed their way to an even showing but the reality is goals decide the difference. Wenger’s been the best coach in the EPL for a long while but he’s got to stop putting kids out there. I love his approach to the game and the way his team plays but that place looks like an ER.

Blues in front by 4 points seven games in.

What does everyone think of Obi Jon Mikelobi for the newest line of Michelob?

Video highlights courtesty of Fox Soccer Video Central:


Sunday’s News

June 20, 2010 — by Sean

A big day for the two teams who were in last tournament’s final. France refused to train in solidarity of Anelka’s sending home (after calling Domenech a “son-of-a-bitch” when taken off during the 2-0 loss to Mexico). Italy looked lifeless today against the All-Whites, until they were scored upon and need to level. They dove, wow did they dive, their way back to a 1-1 scoreline, then sat back and relaxed again, never really threatening for the whole 3 points.

What can you say other than, WTF? We’ve all seen the players on both these teams at club level, and they are fantastic week after week. They play beautiful team ball and are punished if they don’t. Then they throw on the national team jersey and everything goes to hell.