I think I represent the views of every Chelsea fan when I say I’m simply fed up with this season. There was so much hope at the end of last season, that with the consistent problems at Arsenal and Manchester United we could rule English football for years to come, and make further inroads in Europe. Now, we are in our worst position as a club for nearly 20 years, and there is a hell of a lot of work needed to be put in to change this in the future.
At Everton on Saturday we were quite frankly hopeless. There was a lack of creativity, and there just wasn’t any desire from way too many players. Considering the FA Cup was our best chance of having any sort of success this season, you would have expected the players to go out there and show that they have got what it takes to still win a major trophy, especially given that we went out of the Champions League the week before. In the end it was just a simply embarrassing display.
On the ball we were too slow, we never got in to enough positions to make chances and the less said about the defence, the better. The first goal, although it was excellent play from Romelu Lukaku, sums up everything that we have done wrong defensively this season. He walks past Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta way too easily, and then John Obi Mikel steps out of his way. There is no challenge from the Nigerian, he just can’t be bothered to make one. I had a go at Eden Hazard after the PSG defeat, and Mikel is just as welcome to leave.
The second goal shows why we should play a left back, at left back. However simple this sounds, we repeatedly fail to do it. Kenedy is a winger, not a left back. You can’t expect to put a 20-year-old winger at left back and expect to see him have the ability to get himself in the right positions and make the right choices in the big games. This was the second time in a week that he has been caught out of position and it has cost us a goal. I can’t put all the blame on him because I doubt he has ever been taught the position. Baba Rahman should be playing there, but instead he has been punished for making just one mistake, which is incredibly harsh.
It seems that every week, without fail, I have to talk about Diego Costa. I am not going to deny that he should have been sent off, but a number of other things went totally against him in this match. Firstly, the coming together between him and Phil Jagielka is a penalty. I don’t care whether he is a “big, strong centre forward” in the words of Martin Keown, but when someone pushes you with two hands in the penalty area, you have a right to go down, and it is a foul. There is also the matter of Everton players consistently taking cheap shots at Costa to try and get him to react, the sort of thing that Toffees players would have been surrounding the referee for if it was Costa on one of them. The worst of these was certainly Gareth Barry, who was consistently leaving his leg in and sticking an elbow in to try and get the Spaniard sent off. If Barry wasn’t English, he would be making the headlines as well, but because he is, he would have been able to take his boot off and throw it at the linesman (shout out to Arda Turan) and Martin Keown would have said something like “he had the right intentions”.
In the end, Costa does react to yet another one of Barry’s cheap shots, for which in all fairness he should have been picking up his second yellow card for and not his first. It is a red card like I said, but there is no need for the FA to stick an improper conduct charge on him. For the last time, there is no bite on Barry. I have seen players react so much worse to red cards than Costa, in particular Santi Cazorla who appeared to tell the fourth official his life story after being sent off against Chelsea in September. He was let off with a warning, Costa won’t be.
I think that’s enough of a rant for today, I imagine there will be one or two more by the end of the season, because we are not good enough to go unbeaten for the rest of the season.