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Posted by David Kyle on 03/08/2011

It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't battling for the most of the game, but the outcome was a very important three points to keep the heat on Man City and leave Spurs a bit behind in the dust.

But it showed that the introduction of new faces in the transfer window meant that once again a player could come off the bench and influence a result.

A picture of Luiz, just because!
©Getty Images

My biggest criticism of Kalou is that he has so much to give until the end product is required, his runs can be dangerous but his crosses and shots the majority of the time are feeble.

On Monday his pass for Lampard’s second was exquisite, so it was nice to see that he had something else to offer than incomplete crosses and mis-hits. A compliment, but certainly a barbed one. I still opine that he is not of significant quality to cut it at Chelsea.

On Sky they commented that Kalou was part of a very strong bench, something we hadn’t been previously able to offer. The return of Zhirkov from injury and the additions of Torres and Luiz have added so much scope to our squad, unfortunately January’s signings appear to be five months too late.

Torres appears to be struggling to shake off the jinx that is signing for Chelsea, so often we sign a player then see them labour to adapt. This for me is more the weakness of the team than the weakness of the player.

His touch is off, but the service up to the attack was once again poor. This isn’t a blind defence of Torres, he isn’t looking like the player he was – this will come without doubt – but sincerely you look at the attack we present with him and Drogba and there must be a cause to their lack of goalscoring.

I cannot really think of many occasions where Drogba and Torres found themselves in good goalscoring positions thanks to either good passes or good crossing from the midfielders/wing-backs. Malouda frustrated when he came on with shots from the most absurd angles rather than a simple pass across goal.

This is why we are finding goals from different positions. Lampard’s goals at the moment are proving invaluable once again, now if only he can work on his service we will have a much wider goal threat.

Essien deserves some credit for his form in the last two matches, he is finally showing semblances of old form - and also for coming out and saying that Luiz is filling the Carvalho void, perhaps he has been reading this blog!

Which leads on to the prospects for the next ten league games. We have a difficult run in, but have a squad with few players missing and still have attackers whose game will surely be raised soon. We are a potential menace for what is becoming a close title race.

Whether or not Chelsea are still part of this race remains to be seen, but stranger things have happened. If United carry on this blip in their form, and Arsenal continue to show signs of renewed inconsistency we can seriously cause some squeaky bum moments for Fergie and Wenger.

Before we start pondering too much on the prospects of plundering the league from under our opponents noses we have to think short term and ensure we progress to the next stages of the Champions League (thus ensuring we are one stage ahead of last season!) and the tasty match up against fellow moneybags Man City.

The City match will be the telling time to see if we can finally ditch the pretenders and maintain our position as one of the big three. It isn’t worth getting excited about the title just yet, it still remains a distant dream. Just not as distant as it was last Tuesday morning. It could be even closer in a couple of week’s time!

As a footnote, in response to all the previous comments post match against Man United alluding to a partisan authoring of this blog, please remember this is a blog opinion piece on Chelsea. For an opinion more suited to your blinkered Man United only opinions please head to that section!

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High (in an unbiased manner of course!).

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Posted by Robert on 03/08/2011

I like so mnay other supporters envisage at least 3 - 5 new top quality signings with the likes of
Kalou, Ferriera, Boswinga, maybe Mikel, maybe Zhirkov, Malouda, Hilario and either Drogba or Anelka all departing come end of season. Sanchez is a must buy - not sure who the others will or should be.

Posted by Dale Kerrigan on 03/08/2011

Torres has been a huge (£50m) mistake. His obligatory inclusion in the starting lineup has caused a big disruption to the flow of team play and it was noticable he was not provided the "obvious" ball by a couple of the players, this does not bode well and is looking startingly like Shevchenko mark II.

Posted by Mike Edwards on 03/08/2011

I agree we must be patient with Torres and I am, BUT the last record breaking signing who came with a prolific goal scoring record never repeated the successes of his past. I really hope Torres will prove otherwise.

Posted by jimmy on 03/08/2011

Good article as usual as i have mentioned i believe this is our best 11 playing 4 3 3 formation. We should play Cech Ivanovic Luiz Terry Cole Ramires Essien Lampard Anelka Torres Malouda. Kalou is always a super sub in my opinion look at how he changed the game last night. We can try the diamond when Benayoun is fit he can do well behind the two strikers and gives us another option on the right side of our midfield. Zhirkov should stop saying things in the papers and play football. He was very disapointing last night. As for bosingwa we all know he is another glen johnson if not worse. However we need him in some games where the opposition defends very tight. Drogba Can make impact from the bench as well like the manu game. Its a straight forward decision i dont know y the managers cant fig it out. As for Alex he can replace luiz in the champions league games coz luiz is ineligable.

Posted by George on 03/08/2011

I am seeing constant griping about Torres not having scored yet but it seems to me that opposing defenses are so concerned about him that they're leaving themselves open elsewhere and we're scoring more, so who cares:WE ARE WINNING.
If we can keep this up, who knows, do I dare dream?

Posted by Miguel on 03/08/2011

I think mid season is a tricky time for a striker to come in - when Anelka signed mid season didn't he score something like 2 in 15? the following season he won the golden boot. Things will improve with work and time.

Posted by Chris on 03/08/2011

Our best formation is: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Zhirkov, Drogba, Torres. We need to be patient with the Drogba and Torres partnership and we will surely be rewarded with the prolific tandem that we know they can be. Anelka and Malouda are both too selfish and I see them both departing in the summer transfer window. The amazing part of this is that no one seems to remember the world cup when Anelka and Malouda were part of a France club that sulked through the group stage and was sent home early. They clearly cannot handle the introduction of another high profile attacker and they need to either put their egos to bed or leave the club this summer. Malouda has already stated his intent to play in Brazil before he retires, Anelka could be shopped as part of a trade, and Kalou can leave to go to Turkey. For the immediate future though, Ancelotti needs to ignore the French internationals if their egos are going to supersede the team.

Posted by MrO on 03/09/2011

Nice article David.
As what you mention, it is not a top performance by the lads, but most importantly we got the 3 points that in time will help our team to gain more confidence. Next week will be another crucial week for us. They must stay focus and never underestimate Copenhagen and on weekend against Man City, we must be at our best against the like of Tevez,Silva and Balotelli. It's a very big game to make sure next season Champ Lge spot is in our hand. If we can get a win against them, then maybe we can start planning on making comeback for PL crown.

About Torres, he is a bit similar to Drogba in term of emotional. When things doesn't go the way he expect, he simply lose interest. And against Blackpool, he doesn't get to much service from our midfield. He is a finisher, so he need support. I didn't expect him to do very well this season, since current team isn't build around him. Just hope he's not going to be the next Sheva, that will be a huge disappointment.

Posted by udemba ifeanyi on 03/09/2011

Blues 4 life..pls lets be patience with Torres..we can see how Ramires is improving in his game day by day not withstanding his criticism.pls tell Drogba 2 untie Torres leg pls.bcos he is d first player D.D has done that spiritually.thanks

Posted by Justin on 03/09/2011

I think the Drogba / Torres partnership won't make it. Drogba's age is starting to catch up with him, and he'll probably get sold in the off-season. Maybe Sturridge could be that new striker instead of buying someone. I think Malouda, Mikel, and Bosingwa are all gone. I think Zhirkov can produce once he gets used the speed of the game again, and Benayoun will be a good sub once he's healthy. I'm seriously worried about our age catching up with us in the next two years (Lampard, Cole, Terry, Anelka, Malouda, Drogba... they aren't getting any younger).

Posted by nice ekuje on 03/09/2011

i tink torres needs a little more time 2 adapt stamford football. i also believe drogba torres combination has d power 2 unlock any defence so they shd be given more time 2 blend nd nw dat our midfielders r doing better i tink we'l soon start smiling

Posted by Ian on 03/09/2011

I'm not worried about Torres; as the writer suggests, the problem in our attack lies largely with the service from midfield and existed prior to Torres' arrival. As another commenter observed, the attack has actually improved lately; the 5 goals scored in the last two league matches eclipses the total from the prior 5 or 6 combined, if I'm not mistaken. The improvement of Lampard and Essien has helped.

I'm not entirely sure that Malouda is being selfish (although Anelka looks like it). To me he just looks tired; the spark from the beginning of the season is gone. He's not a young man anymore (in footballer terms), and maybe the World Cup year combined with a lack of substitution opportunities earlier in the year due to a thin bench is taking its toll. I hope he can turn it around. I think that Drogba and Torres are having similar issues with injuries and lack of rest. Iirc, Tevez is the only top-5 Prem scorer who played in the World Cup, and he's known as indefatigable.

Posted by Ridzwan on 03/10/2011

Chelsea needs to concentrate on the Man City match. I think its one of the most important games this season and if we win, then we can think of the title again. For Torres, I really hope that he will start to score. He just need that little spark and he will explode. Ramires is doing very well for Chelsea right now. But Chelsea do need an overhaul next season.. we need a new winger, someone like Robben, who can run through the defence. Malouda just not good enough. Neymar would be the best buy. Sturridge is actually apretty good player too. He can run at the defence, and given time, he can be a fearful striker. My Chelsea team for the rest of the season: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Zhirkov, Drogba, Torres. Mr Ancelotti should bring in Kakuta too. All the best for the Blues!!

Posted by Ridzwan on 03/10/2011

Chelsea needs to concentrate on the Man City match. I think its one of the most important games this season and if we win, then we can think of the title again. For Torres, I really hope that he will start to score. He just need that little spark and he will explode. Ramires is doing very well for Chelsea right now. But Chelsea do need an overhaul next season.. we need a new winger, someone like Robben, who can run through the defence. Malouda just not good enough. Neymar would be the best buy. Sturridge is actually apretty good player too. He can run at the defence, and given time, he can be a fearful striker. My Chelsea team for the rest of the season: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Zhirkov, Drogba, Torres. Mr Ancelotti should bring in Kakuta too. All the best for the Blues!!

Posted by Daniel Ajayi on 03/10/2011

hopefully Chelsea is zipping up to the top 2 of the game. football is a game of chance.

Posted by Jason on 03/10/2011

Good piece! I agree with your opinion on the service afforded Torres and Drogba, and I believe that this is an even bigger problem than you say. Our attacking play just does not seem very progressive. There is no risk in runs or movement. But I think that this is still due to a widespread lack of confidence in the team. The nice thing about Kalou is that he never seems to lack for self-belief (in a positive sense, not in the Bendtner sense), which makes him an excellent super-sub. Luiz also seems to be extraordinarily sure of himself, and Ramires is steadily progressing as well on this front. I think belief, confidence, and flair can spread through the team from our two Brazilians, we will soon see the audacious, powerful football that characterizes us when we are at our best.

Posted by Tony L on 03/10/2011

Like the other Chelsea fans said....I think that Torres will be scoring lots goals soon enough!He is world class player and he has to get use to Chelsea's system,and he is big part of why we won does game,because they have to keep a close eye on him at all Thats how good he is.....Blues till I die!

Posted by josh on 03/10/2011

Torres is playing very unselfish I believe. Watch how he supports Lamps when he scores. He is starting to mesh, but the guy who said earlier that defenses are paying more attention to him is spot on. Ancelotti is doing the right thing in my opinion with spreading apart the defenses so our mids can make runs in. If Zhirkov could get going legitmately, we would be alright but he turned it over too much for my liking. Luiz seemed to be holding back this game, and that's just not good for him. His electric style brings in passion, even if it is wreckless right now. He will grow but we can't be expecting him to play without passion like he seemingly did last game. He is going to be our rock.

Posted by Rob Amos on 03/11/2011

I believe Chelsea are in a good position for both the EPL and the CL. Ok their form over the last 4 months in the EPL has been ordinary however I believe they are starting to play a more flowing brand of football. Torres will score soon and then the shackles be off. Ancelotti will need to find something out of this reshuffle and I believe this starting to happen.
All good players return to good form sooner or later.

Posted by Lucky on 03/11/2011

Signing Torres was not a mistake at all. I believe he will adjust and fit in. We just need to give him time. However, there seems to be a conspiracy against him by Anelka, Malouda, Kalou. They simply do not feed him obvious killer passes. This is not good for us. Drogba is less selfish than this bunch. Ancelotti should please manage this. They can't stop us from reaping from this huge investment. They should leave if they think they can't fit in and not frustrate the young man. They are equally good, but in trying to make the young man look bad (which they are obviously doing) they really look filthy and we will not hesitate to offload them, if they don't change.

Long live Blues! Blues for life!
We're solidly behind you! Drogba The Executioner! Torres the Tempest! We are a great team!

Posted by Dempsey on 03/11/2011

Well for the match against Man. City on Sunday, the result is clear already, 3-1 in favour of chelsea, not with the performance i saw from city last night. they were just owful, the selection was rubbish. I can belt with you that Chelsea is back in the title race. Torres is set for his second goal against city after the Copenhagen one. watch out.

Posted by Barrie Collins on 03/12/2011

I'm getting a little tired of people slagging off Kalou. I am willing to bet that he has the best Goals to Minutes Played record of any current Chelsea striker. He is the perfect supersub. I can understand that he wants to start every game, but there are more experienced strikers ahead of him in Chelsea's pecking order, and they have served their apprenticeships over many years, and deserve their right to start. Kalou is still earning his way into the starting line up, and is showing every evidence of cracking that esteemed group in fairly short order. Patience, son! Your time will surely come!

Posted by ali on 03/12/2011

Congrats for all the CA & Chelsea team. Good jobs and keep maintain the winning momentum.
I really enjoys the performance of our team. But, I really glad if we can improve our target accuracy.
For all chelsea team, please provide more ball to Torres. I can see nobody like to send ball to Torres.
For midfielder, I can see a good sign of improvement from ramires and mceachran. But, both of them need to buildup their body to control the ball and compate with oppenent diffenders.
Lastly, if someone can talk to CA or Abramovich, please convince tham to purchase new back up GK for Cech's assistance. When I watch every Chelsea game, I always pray nothing happen with Cech. From my view, all the listed GK in our team,I don't have any confidence through them. Sorry for saying that.

Posted by oni Taiye on 03/12/2011

Torres and Drogba has no problem,but Lampard is chelsea's problem,because some passes and the distribution of ball from the midfied needed by the two strikerare not really in supply.

Posted by Kingsley CA on 03/12/2011

I think our major headache is Ancheloti. why cry over players? Torres is an excellent player and so are the rest of our players. The gaffer relies on aged players just like he did while at AC Milan. If he remains there, we may be loucky to win trophies just like last season but our future is definitely at risk. Most of our players are selfish including Lampard. It is not his duty to score goals. what good is it if he scores 20goals in a season and misses 60 when he could have placed passes that would result to 40 goals. For Torres to replicate the form he is known for, he needs Mikel in the midfield and a partnership in attack with Drogba.

Posted by Puru Jain on 03/12/2011

Well, I believe the 50mn price tag will pay off. The playing style of Liverpool and Chelsea is very different. Torres had enjoyed the privilage of being a lone striker, but here there are more waiting if he does not get goal scoring form back.
Ancelloti, I think, must continue with 4-3-3, it is a success. The CL spot is ours clearly as Tottenham have more tough fixtures compared to ours. If the lads perform like they did against Blackpool, it will be hard. But as stated above, we got what he had come for, the 3 vital points.
And nice article David.

Posted by finfan on 03/12/2011

I am a bit worried about the drogba-torres partnership. It was expected that the start could be somewhat slow, but what worries me still is the similarities of their playing styles. Yes, drogba is more of a target, however neither of them is known for creating chances. They are both strikers who hunt scoring opportunities. I´m not sure they are optimal for the same starting 11.

Posted by Robert Leisk on 03/13/2011

I think we are all forgetting one person who should be playing and playing and playing. He is young, but so what. How young was Wayne Roony when he started playing.
The younger the better.Josh should be introduced and played, he is not afraid to run at the opponent and has great vision for one so young. Lets get him in the team now.

Posted by GEORGE O ALABS on 03/13/2011

well,it was a very good starting but,suddenly things went wrong for my dear heart was painful then.but now things is moving the way i am expected. but mr CA u sometimes made a wrong sub and if u can recalled whenever u made change of mikel we do lost the match so try to introduce mikel in some tough match.thanx.GEORGE.aka BARLOW.

Posted by GEORGE O ALABS on 03/13/2011

well,it was a very good starting but,suddenly things went wrong for my dear heart was painful then.but now things is moving the way i am expected. but mr CA u sometimes made a wrong sub and if u can recalled whenever u made change of mikel we do lost the match so try to introduce mikel in some tough match.thanx.GEORGE.aka BARLOW.

Posted by Holuphemmy on 03/13/2011

It tym 4 chelsea 2 start tinkin abt hw 2 hijack the premier league 4rm dere arch-rivals man utd.

Posted by Enoch Thompson on 03/13/2011

I hope and have zeal and previllage in me that Chelsea win this match between FC KOPERAHEGAN and foward to the next stage of the compition.In the champions league.About the premier the formation of the chelsea is not favour them at all,so they he should change the style of playing.Ilove chelsea team and i always pray for them to work hard and score more goals.BIG UP ALL THE TIME.From Enoch Thompson GHANA-Central Region

Posted by Karnwie, George on 03/13/2011

Hey critics, and i kno u're not a true Blue, pls leave Torres and Dorgba alone. they are definitely going to produce what we're use to. and lisen, Idemba; Drogba is a professional footballer and does everything to improve himself. he has no spiritual powers to tie a teammate.....Torres will score as many goals he want to at Chelsea if he works hard

Posted by kefo crawfs on 03/14/2011

agree with all articles
was sad to see lampard not letting torres take the penalty wud hav been nice gesture
also he was selfish for his second goal when he didnt pass to torres again!!
I wud move ramires to a winger he is fast and good passer of the ball, i belive torres was a rush buy and dey shud be building the team around him think some players are getting greedy and selfish after all it is a team game!



Posted by arka on 03/14/2011

i thnk our best formati0n until benayoun is fit shld b cech,ivanovic,luiz,jt,cole(gunner),lampard,essien,zirkh0v/ramires(b0th r equally useless) maybe malouda.fwd anelka,torres,dr0gba

Posted by david on 03/14/2011

Ancelloti should release malouda, ferriera, mikel,bosingwa and maybe Anelka at the end of the season. The first two are tired and old and the last three are very inconsistent. We need consistent players. Drogba has had a bad season, but let's see how next season will be for him. We need mobile midfielders or wingers that can help these strikers,that is our main problem. Sturridge should be brought back too.kalou is ok so he should stay.The most important point I want to make is, why not Ancelloti push Josh up to lampard's position in a diamond formation.he is a good ball distributor and dats what we usually lack in our game. He should be tried there and told to just feed the strikers.

Posted by romenn on 03/14/2011

Sanchez is a must buy..........n sell kalou pliz......malouda is too selfish.....y he hs 2 go 4 gaol 4rm zero angle wen he can simply cross...

Posted by charles on 03/14/2011

Well my candid opinion is that since the arrival of Torres there has been a selfish displays among the the players like Kalou, Anelka and malouda. they 're all good players no doubt about that. But what borders me is why should they do so, knowing fully that Torres is an end finisher. For Drogba and Torres partnership to work effectively the midfield suppliers should be up and doing. For Torres let him stop playing too deep in search of ball. I think that is the reason why he hasn't scored, then when he has establish well in Chelsea style of play he can do that just like D.D. Our best formation will be..cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Terry, Essien, Lampard Ramires on the right behind, Malouda on the left behind Torres and Drogba while mikle, Anelka , Kalou, Bosingwa and Zhirkov will make super-sub

Posted by Joseph Tan on 03/14/2011

I never thought I would place any comments on any blogs but here I go: I just saw the video of an interview with Torres about his career in the UEFA website and he said the coaches who motivated him the most were those who demanded the most from him(eg. Luis Aragones and Benitez) and then i cross-referenced this with the fact that Ancelotti said he doesn't require his strikers to score!
So is it a match-made in hell??? I don't like to be negative but it's an observation.

Posted by chadu ibru on 03/15/2011

I dont know the reason behind Drogba and Torres not flowing together. Drogba can actually play from the left and So Kalou should fill the right flank. Time will bring the best out.

Posted by Segun Adeyemi on 03/15/2011

First and Fore Most, let me state clearly that Signing Torres in My Opinion was a Great Idea. However We need to take into Cognisance the Time( Mid- Season) He's coming into the Bridge. I personally think Too Much Demand is being placed on him not only from the Management,the Manager and the Fans as a whole. I think the Consciousness of His worth Financially(#50 M) is actually putting him under undue Pressure to perform and If U notice he hasn't been himself lately. I think He'll do much better If He comes in as a Substitute for now and let the Old Strikers Fight for their Shirts knowing fully well that the worse(t) Playing one of them wld Inevitably be Sub-ed for Torres. Luiz has been electrifying from the word 'go' probably cos he had less attention from the press.
Needless to say the Mid Field Had not been too helpful,L'pool esp Gerard built his Game around looking out for Torres Up Front but Who's doing that now?Imagine seeing Toress dropping deep into midfield in search of ball!

Posted by fred on 03/15/2011

good observations from all of u. i also think some Chelsea players are selfish. Torres will cum good soon. but only we buy a midfielder in the mold of syneider, modric, or schwanistiger excuse my sp. malouda has no biz scoring he's supposed to cross the ball 4 da strikers to do the job. we crosses to come in since Torresand drogba are good headers of the ball. carlo pliz play yossi as soon as is ready if you want to see torres scoring.

Posted by levi Gates on 03/16/2011

Our attack has no problem,I wonder why all of you are shying away from telling the truth. We need an another attacking midfielder to add 2 lampard cos he now lacks the creativity he once had bcos his passes are not reaching the attack,even when he's up there he dosent pass the ball but want to score y'all tell me,how would an attack work or score when its been starved? Let's tink abt it. Thanks

Posted by Michael Amobi on 03/16/2011

nice article,getting sanchez and romelo lukaku should be top priority,releasing ferrera,malouda and hilario is also top priority.Mikel is very reliable and has got age on his side,so we should not sell him or kalou.i love chelsea!!!

Posted by Amos Ngeda on 03/17/2011

Our problem is Bosingwa and Malouda but as for Torres he is the guy we need and another sharp striker like Pato to partner with him (torres).Man city is my strong opponent as a fan,imagine for 2 season we've been bitten by these team.I remain faithfull 4life.

Posted by Stephan on 03/20/2011

If the rumors we are hearing here in the States have any foundation then Anelka will move across the pond to join the MLS next season... so the acquisition of Torres will finally bear fruit. What do you think?

Posted by Boaze on 04/09/2011

I'm the fan of chelsea since i was a opinion is carlito should play in the midfield lampard essien ramires and on the attack torres,anelka and drogba

Posted by Austyn on 05/04/2011

Offload bosingwa,ferreira,kalou,Anelka 2 give sturidge,kakuta,josh a place in d squad.Torres needs time 2 adapt he is a great player 4 next season so lets be patient wit him

Posted by richard adedeme on 05/13/2011

well chelsea better luck next season. but keep one thing in mind manchester united would always be around to spoil your party.

Posted by Jacklynn on 05/24/2011

Now that’s sutlbe! Great to hear from you.

Posted by Richard on 05/26/2011

it isn't rather a bad season, but it have been better if not for the distraction that crips in due to the purchase and featuring Torres immediately. I hope with a good manager Chelsea will do well next season. just have to bring in fresh legs. one thing I observed in the chelsea, technically; sometimes tactical discipline is lacking. At times Chelsea do all the running without studying the opponent to change their game plan; that is one thing man utd has that worked for them. so chelsea needs a manager that read the game in progress and issued right instructions

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Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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