We missed our chance. But why?
I have to admit that Chelsea played us well. You will remember that when we were without Arteta/Pienaar earlier in the season we didn't have that source of invention to open teams up. So, with Pienaar missing, Chelsea focussed on stopping Arteta - and did so successfully. Every time he got the ball wide he was closed down immediately by the full back, with the winger steaming back to double up on him. As a result, Mikel was forced to crossing balls into players that just aren't going to beat the likes of Carvalho & Alex in the air.
I'm a Leon Osman fan, but I do think he's similar to Tim Cahill... not in his style of play, but more that he is a central midfielder that is only at his most effective playing in a 5 man midfield. He certainly isn't a winger, which is where he is being deployed in Pienaar's absence. He doesn't have the pace or ingenuity to beat a man in the way that Schillo or Arteta do.
So where to go from here? We needn't overreact. We still have the makings of a good side. But Moyes needs to find an effective replacement for Pienaar and Arteta when one of them is out. Fernandes will help in the creativity stakes, but I maintain we need another player capable of getting the ball out wide, beating a player and looking to play a killer ball.
Additionally, people on this site have commented on how Neville is a better right-back than Hibbert because of his distribution. I'm not convinced. For me, they're very similar in that position. Good defensively, but far too much hoofball. Hibbert's been a great servant for the club, but I'm not convinced signing him until 2012 is the kind of forward-thinking we need.
Onwards and upwards though fellow blues - we're still in the Uefa Cup, above Liverpool in the league and on course for a CL spot at present! COYB!
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1 Posted 24/01/2008 at 01:16:55
2 Posted 24/01/2008 at 01:22:37
3 Posted 24/01/2008 at 01:21:51
4 Posted 24/01/2008 at 01:00:55
5 Posted 24/01/2008 at 02:33:52
6 Posted 24/01/2008 at 04:08:53
We weren’t ! (at our very best) and while nobody can question our endeavour and heart we just weren’t quite good enough to beat them, ...but there’s no shame in that.
We’ve come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Are we disappointed? of course we are. Should we be totally downhearted and dissillusoned? No way.
Chelsea are one of three teams (and three teams only) in the Premiership who are better than us...being able to make that statement and not be laughed off the site is real progress and something I, for one, feel well pleased with, and it makes the defeat just that little bit easier to handle.
7 Posted 24/01/2008 at 08:43:21
As for Hibbert being better than Neville - I never said that. The point was that neither is good enough at retaining the ball. We gave Chelsea the ball far too often from lumping the ball long, and Hibbert and Neville are both culprits from right-back.
8 Posted 24/01/2008 at 09:02:07
Everton are the last non big 4 side to win the FA cup and with the exception of Boro they have reasonable monopoly on the League cup as well. When the likes or Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and sometimes Liverpool want to take it seriously, the invariably win it!
Chelsea’s squad allows them to field a weakened team but still with 5 or 6 players (at least) that would fit into most premiership eams without any trouble.
It was an under strength Chelsea side but I bet you could take almost any one of their players last night, swap it for one of ours and it would make us a better team.
9 Posted 24/01/2008 at 11:46:59
So let?s not get too downhearted, and let?s make it another cracking atmosphere against Spurs next week.
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