It seems this season that we don’t get an up with Chelsea without getting a down to go with it. After a good win away at MK Dons, I thought we may finally be getting away from a stage where every step forward brings two steps back, but no. I must say the decision to not offer John Terry a new contract is one of the worst this club has made in a long time.
Despite such a terrible season, we don’t need to make wholesale changes. The last thing we need is to be getting rid of players of players with the passion for the club that John Terry has. I haven’t said this before, but I am totally against Michael Emenalo being technical director of the club. Quite frankly, we have a man in one of the highest ranking positions at one of Europe’s top clubs who simply does not understand the English game. He is only at the club because he was Avram Grant’s mate from at Maccabi Tel Aviv, and came to Chelsea when he became manager in 2007. It’s like employing your mate Dave from the chippy in your billion pound business and then giving him a higher ranking position because it’s easier than finding someone who actually knows what they’re doing.
This isn’t the first instance of Emenalo making a massive error. He has given Branislav Ivanovic a new contract despite the Serbian playing like a Sunday league player for most of the season, and let John Terry leave despite the fact he has shown so much commitment and drive for the club since before the turn of the century. In the summer he signed only replacements for players we lost, despite Jose Mourinho making it very clear that the club needed reinforcements if we were challenge for the title. Mourinho wanted John Stones, another top centre forward, and I reckon, Paul Pogba. Instead we ended up with Falcao, and now a 20-year-old American centre back no one has ever heard of. He has wheedled himself in as technical director, and now he is not welcome.
In terms of the match, we actually played pretty well. The early goal obviously settled the nerves, and it again highlighted the recent improvement in Diego Costa’s game. He seized well on a defensive error, and it was an unselfish decision to set up Oscar who was in a much better position than him. The equaliser was a bit of a blow, but we really should have cleared the ball before that, even though we were unlucky when Darren Potter’s shot looped in off Nemanja Matic.
That was really the last instance of any competition in the game, and it was only 10 minutes later when a brilliant finish from Oscar restored the lead. I was glad to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek start, and he put in a good performance, and he did well to set up the Brazilian. If his first two goals came from good work from team mates, Oscar’s third was just a moment of individual brilliance. Having picked up the ball wide on the left, he cut inside and curled into the corner a wonderful goal, even if the ‘keeper should have done a little better. This is a crucial season for him as he needs to finally begin to get the goals that his talents merit, so it was good to see him get a hat-trick.
I’m happy we kept the foot on the pedal at the start of the second half, and it finally bought about a goal for Eden Hazard, even if it was a penalty. On first view I thought it looked a bit soft, but the replays clearly showed that Potter gave him a bit of a kick on the calf. Given his struggles from the spot this season, he took it well, and hopefully it will kick start his season.
There was a little more of the old Hazard for the fifth goal, as he made a good run in behind, and it was easy enough for him to set up Bertrand Traore to score his first goal for Chelsea. I have high hopes for this lad, and I really think he has the ability to be a top player. He’s got good pace, is really good on the ball, and showed today that he knows how to finish as well. If he gets the first team chances that he deserves, he could be a top player in the future. After that, it was very much an exhibition and it ended up with us just keeping the ball and not taking any risks.
Given that we’ve got Manchester City in the next round of the FA Cup, a win will probably remove the biggest obstacle that is stopping us from winning the cup. We haven’t really taken the competition that seriously in recent years, but given the fact we’re struggling in the league, and it would take a miracle for us to win the Champions League, we may as well try to win it this time out.
I hope we can keep this good form going against Watford in the league, and keep our decent run going. I also hope the club’s hierarchy revisit the John Terry situation as I think we are making a massive mistake in letting him go. But like I said, we have a man in Michael Emenalo who is making these big decisions despite knowing nothing about running top clubs.