A look back on the defeat at Chelsea


It’s easy to feel hard done by after this defeat. Superficially we were undone by a couple of incompetent assistant referees and a complicit Andre Marriner. There remains though the feeling that we could’ve done more to help ourselves. Our performance featured several spells of better than average possession football, a marvellous display from Modric and an excellent one from Sandro that featured a cracker of a goal. Gomes made a couple of decent early saves, and at the back the centre pairing were solid once a tactical rearrangement was made once we’d taken the lead.

Unfortunately also in evidence were the familiar powder puff forward line, a completely anonymous display from Lennon (who used to be able to terrorise Cole but now barely gets a kick when he plays against him), a distracted one from Bale, two very uncertain fullbacks and another effort from Gomes that were he a cricketer would have had him suspended whilst betting patterns were analysed. He is a goalkeeper very dependent on confidence so whilst Redknapp is right to say that this is no time to crucify him, it is also time to recognise that having a man this erratic between the sticks is causing more harm than good. To many he was our player of the season last year, this time out though from White Hart Lane to the Bernabeu, from Old Trafford to Stamford Bridge, he’s cost us too many goals.

Before the Brazilian’s latest cock-up from Lampard’s speculative effort, which the lino was of course also largely to blame for, we were defending our lead well. We had though spent the five minutes up to Chelsea’s equaliser defending deeper and deeper as we anticipated half time. By inviting the home team on to us we were beckoning trouble. In the second half we were heading for the draw when again we made our intentions clear by swapping VdV for Jenas and camping in our own third. Drogba’s lucky slice to the offside Kalou didn’t come as a total surprise, what did raise an eyebrow was the fact that Pienaar was the closest white shirt to the scorer as he stabbed home.

The BBC stats show that we had 7 attempts on target and 5 off which surprised me as it’s difficult to recall much meaningful around the home team’s penalty area especially in the second half. We looked largely impotent and feeble up front. The flurry of goals from Defoe or Pav that we needed from about ten games ago just hasn’t happened. One win from eight games means that even if Man City were to spectacularly implode, Liverpool are now in a better position to take advantage than we are. A position in the Europa League also looks in doubt, which in truth will disappoint those who enjoy travelling to the away legs but will remove an unwelcome distraction as we put together another stab at a top four finish four next season.

The decisive influences in this game were dressed in black and that adds to the frustration at how a decisive blow was dealt to our season’s ambitions. That doesn’t though lessen the disappointment.


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  1. I take the point of this whole debate…but…..had we won games instead of drawing a few in recent months then these questions and this naval gazing would be largely irrelevant

  2. I can understand the pints made by this article,we did suffer from two bad referreeing decisions however did we really do enough to get anything from this game?? As for Gomes,I agree totally,when he first came he was disatrous and showed enormous character to get through that slump,and at times is a great shot stopper but it’s the basics that let’s him down and is not great at handling crosses either..I think the time is up for him..I feel sorry for the fans who paid the sum to go to the Bridge to see the usual spanking we get..

  3. There is no doubt that Gomes is a weakness in the team plus the fact that our strikers have generally under performed.

  4. Camisetas de Futbol Tailandia http://www.camisetadefutbol.org título Arsenal espera casi discontinua el líder dirigirá el partido en casa contra el Manchester United. Después de 90 minutos de combates, el último partido en casa del Arsenal, el Manchester United por 1-0 Lectra, un genio de la pierna rota Ramsey marcó el único gol de la audiencia. La campaña más, para reducir la brecha con el Manchester United Arsenal 6 puntos, para mantener las esperanzas de título, pero la diferencia entre el Chelsea y el Manchester United está a sólo 3 puntos, Camisetas de Futbol Final será más intenso.

  5. It is very easy to crucify Gomes, but lets be clear, he did his job. He stope the ball going over the line. Like with Clattenburg against United, his mistake was expecting the officials to correctly apply the rules of the game. On these acounts (I know there have been others), he is unlucky. Would his confidence be higher, and subsequently be less error prone had these atrocious decisions not gone against him and us? There is one thing making an error, outfield players do it all the time, and another thing it costing your team.

    I thought with the very little that Defoe got, which was next to nothing, he looked sharp. He turned Luiz very well and ran very direcly and confidently at the Chelsea defence only to be brought down by Terry when he was about to shoot. I would have put money on him hitting the target.

    Why no cards for Terry. He had that terrible late lunge on Corluka (poor guy's been on the receiving end a bit), and then when he took Defoe out in the just described dangerous position. Cards influence games whether they add up to reds or not.

  6. Lets also have a bit of perspective. This is a full strength and in form Chelsea side against an understrength and out of form Spurs side, AND I count 0-1 on the legitimate goals front!

  7. All of the talk about buying strikers seems to be a way of redirecting the blame for our lack of goals at the strikers, but im sure that if painstaking analysis was done, the real source of the problem would become clear – they are not getting quality service. Our tactics around the opposition box is indirect and more often than not looses us possesion. We get the ball their quickly then seem to run out of ideas which is why speculative shots such as Sandros are realy our only source of scoring at present.

  8. in 25 years we havent beat chelsea away, thats the fault of people like levy not anyone else, a once top london team reduced to a pathetic mess, thats the real story, the rot started if you go way back with david pleat then we went steadily downhill

  9. I don't know how you can say avoid defeat to Chelsea and its ours. Blackburn and Blackpool are not a given, especially with our atrocious away form and the fact they are in a relegation scrap.


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