It’s hard to know where to start really there were so many talking points. A balls up from the ref of extraordinary proportions was the main influence in this game though so let’s begin there.
Everything that happened after that second ‘goal’ was as a result of the change in attitude we were forced to adopt. We were the better side in the first half and were very unlucky to go in behind. We were jittery and nervous, especially in defence, at the start and took a while to get going but when we did the running of Adebayor, the tenacity of Parker and the speed of Lennon and Bale pushed Chelsea back. Our formation and recent impotence in front of goal meant that we needed to take advantage whilst we were on top but instead the woodwork and Terry’s knees thwarted us.
Spanning half time Drogba got on the end of a hoof over the top from Lampard and smacked one past the Cudicini at his near post then Martin Atkinson made his decisive intervention. For two seasons in a row now Chelsea have been awarded goals against us without putting the ball in the net.
The discussions in the car after the game did not just centre on the induction of Atkinson into the Clattenburg-Webb-Foy Academy of Incompetence. The make up and character of the side that two months ago seemed to have everything before them but now looks like it’s ripe for ripping apart and starting again was the main topic. Harry’s decision to switch from the formation that did so well at Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago didn’t pay off. Why Cudicini played I still don’t know but if Friedel wasn’t injured then this too was an error of judgment to match Atkinson’s. A good manager gets the most from his players and makes them more than the sum of their parts; this just isn’t happening at the moment.
As fans we are once again left frustrated, looking for excuses that will help us come to terms with what’s happened. Do Redknapp and the coaching staff have the ability to raise the players for the remainder of the season? Do those players have the desire to prove those of us losing faith and with doubts wrong? We’ll see. I certainly hope so.
So the FA’s showpiece to the season will see Chelsea’s charmless fans once more at Wembley along with Suarez and Terry. That lot probably deserve each other. Ourselves, we’ve got five more finals to play starting with Loftus Road on Saturday evening. COYS.
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