Sometimes they have to retreat and fight another day.
But on the way to ultimate victory, they might face crushing defeat or even death…..the death of Lockon Stratos in Gundam 00 for example.
The same can be said about Chelsea I guess. Because what else can I say about today’s trek up to St. James Park? On paper, they had the better team on the day, but the match was not played on paper. It was played on the rain-soaked pitch up in Newcastle and good, bad, or indifferent….it’s all about scoreboard. Scoreboard. Newcastle 2, Chelsea NIL.
Newcastle parked the bus in the 1st half…they played Chelsea persistently and tough. But I thought it was only a matter of time before Chelsea would break the crush, knock one past Tim Krul, and then run out of St. James Park 0-1 winners as fast as they possibly could. That was what I figured the setup would be. Mourinho would bark up the their asses at halftime, and then Oscar would set up Torres for a winner and all would be well.
Instead, it was Newcastle who got fired up and while they didn’t blow the doors off of Chelsea, they played like it if that makes any sense. No clown college mistakes….although Ivan was slightly out of position covering Gouffran on a Newcastle free-kick and Gouffran’s diving header was back of the net. Remy’s blast at 89th minute was bitter frosting on a miserable cake.
Every great team finds it tough playing on the road. And they can lose despite their greatness. But great teams keep their mind in the game and their heart in the game. If they lose then, there’s not a much shame in that.
But today Chelsea did not play up to their greatness. And while their heart seemed to be there, they didn’t keep their mind in the game…a mind that should have capitalized on their heart with cunning and sharpness. That was missing today, the elusive something in the collective mind of the team. It’s as confounding to us fans as it was confounding to José Mourinho coaching from the touchline….and as confounding to the players as they slouched back to London knowing in their hearts that they could have and should have played a little better.
Meanwhile, fairplay to Newcastle and Alan Pardew. They needed a win badly after losing the Tyne-Wear Derby 1-2 to Sunderland, and losing to Man City in the Capitol One Cup. With only 39% possession and with (en papier) lesser talent, they played to their strengths and kept their minds in the game and ran out winners at home.
Chelsea went to mow a meadow, and instead, like 4 and 20 blackbirds, got baked in a pie.