Well….I was merely/only going to write about the Europa League again, but then THIS ugly mess reared it’s ugly focking head and I simply have to choice but pen some sort of take on it.
I suppose I should just say CONGRATS Alan Pardew for becoming the ONLY Premier League to gaffer to EVER beat JOse Mourinho 3 times. Not even Lord Ferg was able to accomplish that.
But no. That just will not suffice.
There were way times during the match that Chelsea looked like 500 little schoolboys in Palace’s penalty box kicking furiously at the tyres of the schoolbus, hoping to deflate them so the bus wouldn’t take them to school. I could say that, but….it would not be quite as accurate a take as it appears.
Palace did not come up to The Bridge and play Park The Bus football. So…I guess I’ll have to try another.
Maybe Jose is using tactics/strategy again to send a message to his boss that a few crucial pieces need to be added to the puzzle by this Tuesday, September 1st at High Noon CDT here in Mineral Point WI? But that’s not bloody likely I would think, or rather, hope.
Now I will say I was intrigued and delighted by his substitutions once we got behind. He pulled Willian for Falcao 1 which made sense as I really think Chelsea should always play two strikers….plus, Falcao got the equalizer off a cross from Pedro at the 79th. But then Jose brought in some young talent. Kenedy came on for Azpilicueta. And Matic was hauled off to make way for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Perhaps Jose was making some sort of point after all. But to what avail?
Kenedy and Loftus-Cheek played well and despite a wee mistake or two, I would like to see them play more.
But anyway. The match. The result. THAT was utter shit really. Too much patience, and not enough confidence.
I had figured, like many and most everyone who are not Gooners, or ManU(re) fans figured Chelsea would still be odds on favourites to repeat as Champions. The thought being that Chelsea would just pick where they left off and race off to the title again with City and Arsenal giving them a closer fight with Manu(re) pulling their thumbs out of their asses occasionally to grasp at grace.
But now, for the moment, my figuring, like most everyone else’s figuring appears to be wrong.
Maybe Chelsea has picked up where they left off last season in the sense that their scintillating and overpowering play tapered off last January and they had to hang on the win the title, albeit by a decent margin. But here’s the problem.
Chelsea held off the chasers and hopers in the final half of last season with tough and inspired defense. John Terry was a rock that played last season like he could anchor that defense forever.
This season, that defensive power is conspicuous by it’s absence. John Terry is suddenly2 older and slower. Ivan has also been several steps off the pace this season. Even Matic is making little niggling errors. So bit by bit, it’s all suddenly adding up to a disturbing conclusion.
Based on the evidence so far, Chelsea is not what we thought they were. They are not mighty juggernaut, the dynasty that could rule the Premier League for years to come.
It’s only 4 games into the season, or as the English like to say, for some reason I totally fathom, early days.3 But I’m not liking the look and feel of this at all. There really ARE no excuses, only explanations that seem harder to come to grips with and expound upon without writing a Henry Jamesesque novel on the subject.
So I’ll spare both you AND me that terrible task.
My speculation now turns to a thought that was brewing in my mind as I watched this morning’s4 match.
I’m wondering if Chelsea will be this season’s EPL version of last season’s Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund spent most of last season flirting with relegation, before finally hauling their asses up to a mid-table finish. Everything about Dortmund was off last season…everything was not quite right. Despite Klopp’s retirement, they should never have been in the predicament they were last year.Weidenfeller sucked, Hummel’s sucked, Mkhitarian sucked, and so on. They did VERY well in the Champions League last until they finally bowed out in the 8th finals to eventual finalist Juventus, but in the Bundesliga….my word were they were 5bloody awful.
So I wonder if Chelsea is heading toward a similar predicament this season.
Given the way they’ve played so far, there’s nothing odd about it at all.
Meanwhile Dortmund marches on. Their drubbing of Odd puts into the Europa League group stage where they’ll lead the charge in Group C against Kuban Krasnodar, PAOK Thessakloniki, and the Azerbaijani mighty mites, Qabala. And regardless of whatever turds or ManU(re) who drop down to Europa from the Champions League,6 Dortmund is pretty odds on favourite to win the Europa League.
With 3 matches in, they top the Bundesliga….undefeated on 9 points and leading Bayern München on goal differential. Quite a change from last year. <–insert some commentary in German here–>
And now, it’s beer time. Unfortunately, I don’t have a DAB close at hand, but a Genesee Cream Ale will have to do. I suppose I should apologize for writing less about Dortmund than I planned, but I’m not sure…. <–insertr more commentary in German here– > There.
It’s 1000 words exactly. Almost. Close enough. Count them if you dare. Echte Liebe!! KTBFFH!
- Admittedly, ANYONE could have seen that coming from a mile away regardless of he score
- When talent or ability wanes, it SEEMS to go quickly even when it was tapering off all along
- Take a drink.
- Afternoon’s for y’all cheering fans over at The Clifton Arms in South Norwood, London UK
- The thirds place finishers in the Champions League group stage drop down to the Europa League final stages