This has gone on long enough. Yet again Chelsea won a game that they should have easily won, especially considering they had a 2 goal lead with just 3 minutes remaining. Now usually a manager at this point would look to see out the game by maybe bringing on another defender, to shore things up at the back, but not Benitez. When it got to 2-1, every Chelsea fan was screaming for Terry to brought on, and yet he brings on Demba Ba for Torres? This of course leads to Chelsea conceding again and drawing the game 2-2. Unbelievable.
This was a game that Chelsea should have had wrapped up, and would have given them a 6 point lead over Spurs & a 10 point gap with Arsenal. But once again, as Chelsea have so famously done in the past, they didn’t take advantage of results around them. It is just classic Chelsea and has happened for many seasons, only this season it’s been happening a lot more than usual. The reason for these recent collapses and the teams inability to see out a lead of course sits at interim manager Benitez’s very big feet, and the negative tactics he's employed.
Galatasaray yesterday announced that they had signed Didier Drogba to an 18 month deal, which means that Drogba’s China adventure at Shanghai Shenhua is over just 8 months after he joined the club in June. At Shenhua he scored 8 goals in 11 games, in what is a relatively uncompetitive league. Drogba went there on a big contract which payed him about £200,000 a week, where he teamed up with ex-Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka, who’s also departing to Juventus.
There were many questions over how Shenhua could afford these giant wages, and there were rumors that players weren’t being payed on time. But if we’re honest, this has turned out best for Drogba as he’s far too good a player to be playing in the Chinese league. This is a player who on his day is the best striker in the world, and is simply unplayable.
By moving to Galatasaray it means that Drogba will be playing Champions League football once again, where his side will face Schalke in the last 16. This will come 10 months after Drogba won the big eared trophy for Chelsea with the last kick of his boot in a blue shirt on May 19th, in a day that will never be forgotten for any Chelsea fan.
On Wednesday night, Chelsea went out of the League Cup with a whimper after a very poor performance which didn’t repay the 2,000 fans who trekked to South Wales in bad conditions. Chelsea were poor and Swansea deserved to go through, simple as that. But there was that moment of controversy which was talked about so much today by pundits and players alike throughout the country. That of course was the Hazard red card for apparently ‘kicking’ the ball boy, when really he was just trying to get the ball. In the 80th minute, with Swansea seemingly looking very comfortable, and Chelsea hadn’t caused much problems for Swansea, and yet still one of their ball boys decided to start time wasting. Straight away, that is wrong.
Today it was announced that Ashley Cole had signed a new one year contract extension, which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2013/14 season. There’s been much talk this season about Chelsea not willing to offer Cole a new contract due to the fact he was over 30, and with Abramovich looking to mould a young side, with little place for Chelsea’s veterans. The same issue has come around with Frank Lampard, with the club seemingly unwilling to offer Lampard a new deal despite his experience and quality that he still provides the team.
At Chelsea, I think in the past month there must have been some sort of reality check from the board that Ashley Cole is still arguably the best left back in the world. The fact that Cole would be allowed to leave for free was a stupid decision by the board, for a player who has been so consistent since he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2006. Cole brings valuable experience of the big stage that will be useful in teaching all of the young players who have recently been signed by the club.
Before the game on Sunday night, people were talking about how Joe Flacco had fluked his way to the AFC Championship Game, and how this guy bottled it when it came to pressure situations. There’ve been doubts about Flacco’s ability for quite a while from the press, who question whether he can get it done when it matters. But on Sunday night, we saw that this guy is the real deal when it comes to the play-offs, and he may well have earned himself the title of ‘elite’ after the way he’s perfomed in the post season this year.