Before we discuss today’s walk at the Park against the Hammers, We need to make a certain point about a Belgian striker sent on loan to the Toffees.
The press is rife about the Blues getting the checkbook out for a striker in January’s transfer window. Roman’s history of buying big money centre forwards in haste is not great. Shevchneko, who was a catalyst in the demise of the previous Mourinho empire and Torres to name but two. Also Demba Ba has hardly had a look in since we decided to pounce a short while ago after another rash decision. If Chelsea’s hierarchy had any sense they would have built a clause into the loan agreement with Everton that could bring him back in the window. This is exactly what they should do.
Lukaku’s display in the game of the season so far, today’s Merseyside Derby, showed that he is exactly the kind of striker we currently need. He scored with both head and foot, while putting in an off-the-ball work rate that Jose demands from his players. (hence poor old Juan is stuck on the bench).
Meanwhile, even though we won easily today, none of our goals came from the top of the formation. Samuel E’eto certainly appears to be a good signing but he won’t be getting 20 goals this season, and El Torro having had a strong revival in early season still appears cursed with injury or suspension every time he gets into 2nd gear.
Lukaku’s second goal today had a “Drogbaesque” Champions League Final look about it that I’m sure will not be lost on Mourinho when he watches on MOTD. Apparently it was Romelu’s wish to be sent out to ensure his World Cup selection with required match sharpness. Sometimes children have to be told what to do, his concerns could be calmed by Jose guaranteeing him a start each week, without worrying about the consequences of other larger egos. After all we are only discussing this matter because there is talk of bringing in another superstar. If they do that, Torres etc will have as much to think about and would Lukaku ever be a regular!
As a final word on Today’s Merseyside Derby, it was as good an advert for the Premier League as you will see. The man of the match was Phil Dowd who’s superb refereeing performance in a cauldron of testosterone made it all possible.(Thankfully he missed sending off Mirallas early doors.)
Anyway onto the game that mattered. Chelsea dispatched a spineless West Ham side with ease this evening. Frank Lampard banged a couple of nails into his old club’s coffin with goals in the 21st and 82nd minutes. His first, a penalty was beautifully dispatched into the top right corner. Awarded when Jääskeläinen’s late effort at grabbing the ball from Oscar’s feet resulted in the Chelsea number 11 doing a sommersault worthy of gold in an Olympic diving event.
Lampard’s second was reminiscent of the Super Frank of old. That may sound a little harsh, considering “of old” refers to about 18 months ago but we will not be seeing him scoring with shots driven in from the edge of the box many more times in his career. He does look a little worn, Jose and I differ in our opinion of him being such a first team regular. Although I hasten to add it is not a slur on our hero, it’s just nothing more than age appropriate.
Oscar scored either side of Lampard brace ending a neatly worked move by slotting into the right bottom corner past a hapless Jääskeläinen.
We needed an easy 3 points to regain some away-day confidence and stay on Arsenal’s heels, West Ham provided perfect chumps. I think the only efforts on target they had, came in the warm up….. actually they tested Cech in dying embers of the game but lets not deny some artistic license.
The home side’s first half performance was so poor that Fat Sam was justified in making a drastic double substitution in the 42nd minute to make the point.
Unfortunately, Joe Cole was one of those players who had to suffer the embarrassing indignity of leaving the pitch at that time, spoiling his dreams of reminding the travelling fans of his past glories in a Chelsea shirt. In fact when the hook came he stormed down the tunnel with no shirt at all, having ripped it from his torso in a manner usually associated with scoring a World Cup winning goal!
This season continues to feel that nothing will be resolved till May, giving all the new managers some more time to experiment. Jose still appears to be unsure of his first choice 11, as today’s line up displayed. The added complication of midweek World Cup friendly travel and injuries did not help but hopefully he soon settles on the “chosen ones”so we can start to create consistent partnerships within the team.
I feel that a Midfield pairing of Mikel and Lampard is just not mobile enough to give Chelsea the springboard required to get our attacking force into the game early enough. This may be part of the reason that he favors Azpilicueta over Cole at the moment. The Spaniard is certainly no match defensively for Ashley’s place but does provide pace on the outside flanks to get near the goal quicker.
The back line marshalled by a rejuvenated and scandal free John Terry seems to need no tweaking whatsoever. This may mean that David Luis is Barca bound come Chinese New Year.
So while we are at it , here is my choice for our current first team.
Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Schürrle, Torres (but really should be Lukaku).
Back to winning ways was a good feeling today and we don’t have too long to wait before we inflict a painful defeat on the Gooners at the Emirates pre-Christmas.(got my ticket this week!).