No change in Chelsea’s fortunes, as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool became the latest visitors to take 3 points home with them from Stamford Bridge.
The former Fortress, especially under Jose’s distant and recent past, is becoming a shoe-in for away sides at the moment.
The only real change was off the pitch, in that Mourinho finally has decided to keep his trap shut and say nothing to the press after this game. Even if the way he said “nothing” had a certain sarcastic presentation to it.
Hopefully these are the first signs of our manager acknowledging he needs to try to change, by adjusting his behavior to the situation he is in.
Today saw our beleaguered manager try a Ramires/Mikel combination in midfield, with the trusted Hazard/Oscar/Willian triumvirate ahead of them. Normally the 3 amigos are fluid in their positioning but today Hazard was rooted firmly to the central role. It did not have the desired effect and Eden was taken out the game on 60 minutes.
Costa was his usual “busy” self, lucky to avoid another brush with authority after a post tackle kick out into Skrtel’s ribcage. Also he is hardly getting a look in, in front of goal. Jose bought on Falcao late in the game to join him, to little or no effect. I’m sure the Uruguayan’s loan spell ends in January.
Our luck certainly hasn’t turned the corner. After scoring early through a superb Ramires header, we managed to let Liverpool back into the game with the last kick of the first half. Deep into injury time, in fact well over the suggested allotted 2 mins, instead of just keeping possession we handed Phillipe Coutinho the chance to show how good he is, as he perfectly curled a left foot shot past Begovic.
Yet again the worst possible thing that could happen , did happen.
Many fans and pundits, had grounds to wonder, why when we took the early lead on home turf, we didn’t put on a full court press for a second goal. Instead we retreated into our shell and for some reason thought we would be able to withstand a Merseyside barrage for the best part of ninety minutes.
Jose must take the blame for this poor strategy. We have one of the leakiest defences in the EPL so far this season, not to mention, how uplifting it would be to confidence if we could have put a few past one of the bigger teams!! A wasted opportunity and further indications of Jose’s limited alternatives to his usual MO.
Once Coutinho scored his second after the break, we never looked like replying.
Benteke put the Reds out of sight. I seems that when the opposition is anywhere near our goal, its odd on they score. My feeling of angst and nervousness watching Chelsea is certainly at all time high, one can only imagine how the players are feeling.
Also it was almost embarrassing when Fabregas entered the fray late on, it was almost as if Jose said its got that bad, I’ll even try you again!
Our aspirations for this season should be to get back to some sort of decent form foregetting any likelihood of a top 4 finish. We hopefully have better luck in the Champions League, maybe progressing to the knockout stages. That may sound unambitious, but in my opinion if we are to let Jose try to work his way out of this slump, then we need to be prepared for it to take longer than we think.
The rest of this season is a fair time span for this to play out. We need to adjust our expectations accordingly. We are the Manchester United of a couple of seasons ago….patience is required.
The alternative, is a quicker fix, which involves a change of manager immediately, and the normal shot of adrenalin that a new person at the helm provides for the ones that remain behind. The Chelsea of old, not the new dynasty builders we spoke of on Mourinho’s return.
This is the conundrum that faces Roman and the board. Should they sacrifice the undoubted longer term benefits that riding out a period like this brings or by backing the existing management team start to really build the club into the force in world football they truly crave.
The fact that Jose remained silent after again being humiliated at home makes me begin to want them to choose the latter option. It’s the first time this season that our manger has displayed any humility whatsoever.
We also heard some stronger statements from the players in support of Mourinho. While acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, giving some clue as to the state of the dressing room, both Ramires and Oscar back him to the hilt.
Now that Jose has gone quiet, let’s get behind the players to see if they can turn this around without the dog and pony show in the background.
I’m predicting the team’s performance of the season in next weeks Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev. Purely based on the fact that our manger has finally twigged the best thing for all concerned is to stay in the shadows for a while.
It may also be the only action he could have taken to save his job. Roman like the rest of us, has already forgiven Jose Mourinho this poor run of results after what he has done for the Club. Having said that, it not about the results at this stage. No good owner can be expected to stand by while one of his employees decides to single-handedly destroy all the goodwill that has been built up over a 10 year period by acting so poorly in representing our great club.
Anyone, including all honest Chelsea fans, who knows anything about football or brand building for that matter, has lost a lot of respect for Jose this season….fact.
Here’s to a change of luck next week.
“Champions of England we know who we are.”