I wondered all through the Champions League opening tilt where in hell Jose Mourinho got his starting lineup and subs bench from. From the look of it, he must have rounded up a bunch of shit-lookalikes from pubs and such all over London and England, and perhaps Scotland and maybe even the USA. Yup, that’s what Jose must have done. That’s the only explanation for it.
He dragged an Eden Hazard lookalike and an Oscar lookalike out of some seedy East End pub where they were smoking cigarets and throwing darts; and found a Petr Cech lookalike (complete with hat) wandering along the Chelsea Embankment minding his own business. And just as a Samuel Eto’o and a Willian lookalike stepped off an overnight flight from Detroit, they were bundled off into Roman’s limousine and taken straight to The Bridge.
Lampard lookalike — Waiting to hail a bus at Pease Pottage on the Old Brighton Road South—-Jose was driving the bus, with no intention of parking it.
Cahill lookalike — No sooner did he sit down at a table out front of The Bounty Inn in Basingstoke, about to take a first refreshing sip of his pint of SHARPS Doom Bar, he was press-ganged into the squad;
Ashley Cole lookalike — Since Ashley was actually taking a tour of Hollyrood House in Edinburgh at the time, he took care of arranging for a doppelganger in advance;
David Luiz lookalike — They pulled a lanky tourist from Serbia off the London Eye, slapped a wig on his head, and you know the rest.
And so on. And so on.
After the match, Jose saved face for his squad by praising them with faint damnation while taking the blame on himself. But at the end of the day, his “young eggs” (average age of 28 during the Basel match) are not, and have not, hatched into the sort of bird he fancies them to be.
As Jose himself put it:
Beautiful young eggs. Eggs that need a mum, in this case a dad, to take care of them, to keep them warm during the winter, to bring the blanket and to work and improve them. One day they will arrive in the moment where the weather changes, the sun rises, you break the eggs and the eggs are ready to go to the top level.
I mean, really now Jose. Really?? I can see the egg with them lately. But mostly it’s egg on their face. Or it’s scrambled eggs….dry ones at that, left out on the buffet table way too long.
If you want to get metaphorical about this, Jose, then how’s about trying THIS one:
“If it cannot break out of it’s shell, the chick will die without ever being born. We are the chick, the World is our egg. If we do not crack the World’s shell, we will die without truly being born. Smash the World’s shell…
Now THAT would be FAR more inspirational. If you want to use the egg motif, of course.
The main problem with the egg motif is that most people think about chickens. And whether you’re trying to deal with and motivate a sales organization, or a football team, there’s a problem always always always with chickens. You can throw them up in the air and say to them, “Fly eagle, FLY!!”
But you keep forgetting that they’re chickens. And instead of flying, they’ll just shit all over you.
Not that Chelsea are either eggs or chickens, mind you…..I find that notion a bit facile, and perhaps Jose was alluding to some old obscure Portuguese folk-tale metaphor or something when he referred to the lads as eggs. So not eggs in my view. Not chickens. Not eagles.
But not what we know (and/or wish) they can be.
Here are 6 things, give or take, that Chelsea needs to do before they tee it up against Fulham at 11:45 AM CDT at Craven Cottage this Saturday. Granted, some of these won’t be accomplished in time for kickoff. But you actually have to kick the ball AT the net before it goes into the net……yes, some of the stuff is as banal and simple as that.
I mentioned mental toughness. And that’s got to be priority #1. Against Basel, Chelsea had no focus or toughness, and when Basel equalized, the game was done. It was only a matter of time before the less talented, but for more determined team won. There was no sense of urgency, no consistent will to win, just a lot of flailing around. Same against Everton. When things got tough, our lads were more like a bunch of little schoolgirls, except that a bunch of little schoolgirls could probably have beaten them.
Our speed and pace is far too turgid. Our ball movement is not as sharp as it could be, and should be. We aren’t threatening when we go forward. Everybody knows what’s coming—even a pub team of drunken louts can figure out and know what’s coming from us. We have too many players that are almost exactly the same. Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Schürrle, DeBruyne, Willian, Lampard, Ramires, are pretty much interchangeable. And that’s the problem. There’s no variety, and despite all their talent and knowledge, very little inventiveness lately when the going get’s tough. Also, as for toughness, none of them are all that physically intimidating…they’re too easily knocked around and knocked off the ball.
With all the talent we have, there is little in the way of team play. You would think by now that Hazard, Mata and Oscar would have this figured out. But they don’t. DeBruyne has shown some flashes, but essential, everyone sees to be standing around waiting for someone to do something or watching someone else try to do something, or they trying to do it all themselves as Hazard, for example, was doing against Basel, dribbling the ball and drawing three defenders, and then losing the ball since there was no was no one in a position to pass to even if he wanted to pass to someone.
It’s been popular support to blame Torres for not scoring his £50 million worth of goals, but honestly, it won’t matter who we have up front with the way the midfield has been playing. Van Persie would have a hard go with it. So would Suarez. And now I’m thinking that even if we’d gotten ROONEY, we’d still be sinking in the same boat. But that being said, we have had chances. And we haven’t finished those chances off. Even when our opponents leave the cash register open, we can’t seem to steal a bloody quid out of the till. Our talent is pissing in the wind. As it stands right now, I’m glad we didn’t waste much money of Eto’o.
So anyway, I’ve suggested 5 or 6 things, I think. Correct if I’m wrong. A rather broad brush stroke, I’m afraid. But all valid points on some level of reality. And I haven’t even dealt with the defense.
And short of me getting my fat white ass kitted up and out on the pitch, I won’t deal with the defense. Not now anyway.
When they kick off later today as I finish this off, I’m more concerned about the attack, the offense, and the mentality and demeanor of the lads. They need to be sharp, quick and tough.
Enough about focking eggs. They have plenty of focking experience that they’d better start utilizing. The only eggs I want to see and hear about are the “eggs” that the lads pepper Fulham’s goalie David Stockdale with; and the scrambled eggs I’ll have on my plate for breakfast. No more about eggs, Chef Jose, unless you’re whippin’ up a pre-training meal.
So as drubbed as I was about losing to Basel, it’s not the end of the world. But it IS the end of this post. I’m about 800+ words over the limit that I assured my buddy Mark that this would clock in at. So I’ll stop writing if you promise you’ll go and grab a beer right now. Bring me one too while you’re at it. And now…some music that seems like it was beamed in from 1993….