Shevchenko, Chelsea, and Troubles at Stamford Bridge
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Shevchenko, Chelsea, and Troubles at Stamford Bridge

chelsea-soccer-ball.jpgWatching Chelsea's poor display against Liverpool on Saturday was rather sad, while being quite odd as well.

The once unbeatable Chelsea defense was again a mere shell of its former self, as Mourinho and Abramovich look set to gift the Premier League title to Manchester United.

Not that the Red Devils aren't worthy winners. But it would certainly have been much more impressive had United won it with the Blues at full strength.

Under the odd category; to see Petr Cech wearing a rugby-like helmet while Ferreira and Essien hacked away at central defense in front of him was nearly surreal. If Cech needs a helmet, he shouldn't be playing. It's just a game for God's sake. Hilario can watch the ball into the net every bit as well at Cech.

But as Chelsea lose their grip on the trophy, their offense should shoulder some of the blame as well.

Didier Drogba has been brilliant, but he is alone.

The 4-0 scoreline against Wigan was riddled with goals of chance including an own goal. And the Macclesfield scoresheet isn't worthy of discussion.

In the Premiership since Christmas, Chelsea did not score against Liverpool and Aston Villa. They scored twice against Fulham, one of those an own goal. And they scored twice versus Reading. Drogba scored all of those goals.

Ballack, Robben, Shevchenko; none of them are getting it done. Lampard has had his moments, but his shining performance from last season seems a faint memory. As will Chelsea's lifting of the trophy soon be.

So the autopsy starts early:
Why was Damien Duff considered so expendable?
If a 4-4-2 was a consideration, why was the brilliant Hernan Crespo not played with Drogba?
What major football club doesn't have at least one reserve, true, central defender?
What other owner and manager would be allowed to avoid discussing a rift that is obviously crippling the club?
And lastly, is it possible that Mourinho figured out bagging the Premiership and the League and FA Cups is the key to European glory?

I don't believe the latter is the case, but since it appears no signings are forthcoming, congrats to Sir Alex and company.

It's only late January, but Manchester United are far too good, and Chelsea are in disarray.

Truth be told, without Arsenal's stunning comeback over United on Sunday, the trophy was all but on its way back to Old Trafford.

BBC Stories (in a new window):
Shevchenko set for Chelsea recall
Cech brushes off health risk fear

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