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Posted by David Kyle on 02/26/2012

Loyal readers of this blog may have noticed that in the past few months my posts have been less and less frequent, sadly as the team is in transition and little has changed I feel that my voice has become the same.

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Some may decide that I have become one of the rats to jump the sinking ship, but in all honesty writing the same sort of feedback week-after-week has become tiresome for myself - and as with the team, this blog is in need of some freshening up of itself.


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I have repeated myself for quite some posts now, but for the sake of parting opinions I will go through a summary of what I think has been wrong this season, and what will need to change.

Since my last post it has been terribly difficult to maintain the support for AVB that was there initially, whilst the majority of my judgement has been reserved for the players there have been some things that AVB has done in the interim that have tested that support.

His team selection against Napoli was one stinking of chip on his shoulder, something that is bound to come with somebody who at the age of 34 managing a team of peers who are close in age and more abundant in playing talent.

The omission of Lampard, the reluctance to play Torres at any point and the decision to bring on Essien when we were chasing a goal. All things that didn't particularly make any sense.

Earlier in the season he was very good at picking the team based around performance, however later on has been reluctant to ditch Meireles - who hasn't performed well for quite a while, and has been assuring Sturridge of a starting berth when he hasn't actually warranted one.

Also the man management is also lacking, apparent with the comments made by Frank Lampard this weekend, and to be honest with the willingness to drop Torres as soon as Drogba is anywhere near fitness.

I have been staunch in the backing of Torres, simply put you do not lose that talent. Confidence is the driving force behind his talent, and even though it may not be at the level that it has been in the past he needs playing time to get that confidence - not 15 minutes against Bolton when the team have adapted their play to sit on a 3-0 win.

Torres has a job to do for us, give him the chance he deserves and works his socks off for. Drogba scored a great goal yesterday, but his performance wasn't one of the past Didier Drogba - it was one of a player whose talent is on the wane.

As for the game against Napoli, had Torres put in the shift that DD did, the press would've mauled him. Didier has a foundation of fantastic memories to shield a season that hasn't been great for him.

Torres though needs to make things easier for himself, he needs to get in the right positions and he needs to score. Easier said than done, but he needs to stop the selfless play and adopt some of Daniel Sturridge's attitude - greediness.

I seem a bit critical of Sturridge, but he was a shining star at the start of the season and it seems that since he has cemented his place in the team he no longer has something to prove. His goal return, though, is based largely on the fact that he gets himself in the right positions and he takes a massive amount of shots - Torres could do with doing this himself.

Sturridge could be a massive part of the "Project" that AVB professes so much about, but before he does this he needs to learn that there are players other than him who can score, and needs to put in some tackles. He basically needs to become more of a team player, and then he can receive the accolades that are on offer.

The project is something that I have hugely bought into, I wrote a post a few months back dismissed as filler for this blog space. A part where I stated that we simply have to re-evaluate our season goals, we were never going to win it, so fight for fourth and flesh in some new players and hopefully some new blood.

Sadly the new blood hasn't been fleshed in, again. McEachran has been shipped out on loan, Bertrand has been left out in the cold even when our only other left back has been out of the game, and Lukaku has been a waste of £18m.

Not because of his talents, but to be honest when you are a team who needed some new players why do you go and spend £18m on a player for the future. We are spending silly amounts of money on squad members where other competitors aren't even spending that on their first XI.

Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Cortois are also frustrating purchases of this variety, if you don't want to fit them into your team yet what really is the point in paying first team prices.

De Bruyne is one of those players who could come in and probably do a better job than players like Malouda and that ilk, yet he has been loaned back to his current club and potentially loaned out for another year beyond that.

It's all well and good having a three-year plan, but come the summer there will be some large gaps to fill in the squad.

For us to succeed in the future we surely need some managerial stability too. Whilst AVB has his faults, were we to get rid of him this season it would seem like a kick in the teeth to the project.

I would suggest that most fans weren't expecting great things of this team considering the summer that only saw Mata and Meireles as our first team purchases.

We need to develop some patience and allow our manager to do the job he has been assigned with, there may be hiccups along the way but we should allow them.

In the past we have been too ready to jump on our managers and fully throw our weight behind the players. For once we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, he clearly has been told that this is a long term aim to get us back to challenging - and unlike the previous appointments, quick fixes.

There are changes he needs to make to his personality and his management, but that can happen if handed a chance.

It has gotten to the stage now where we hear of the old guard, I think to truly move on this spine needs to be broken up a bit.

Didier Drogba no longer holds the key to everything, our tactics however still play to his talents. And whilst he has been our best striker ever, and on his day absolutely fantastic to watch - you have to know when to let go.

Frank Lampard could be another to leave, this one is a bit of a bigger wrench for me. I would out and out state that there has never been a better player at Chelsea than Frank Lampard.

Him and JT are the faces of the Mourinho era. He is such an influence on our play, when he is in the centre of the park we are more assured. His reading of the game, and his work rate is exceptional, but if (and this is a big if) he is having a negative influence on the project, then at 33/34 years old you have to know when to let go.

Ferguson and Wenger have had to rebuild squads after the loss of players in their prime, we will have to rebuild around losses of players we didn't really know when to let go.

This isn't to say that we shouldn't keep some experienced heads in the team, you always need somebody who has been there and done it, just not too many who have been there, done it and think they know more than the manager.

This blog has been an absolute pleasure to write, I have enjoyed each and every one. Even the ones after a disappointing loss!

I now hand over to somebody who can hopefully provide you guys with some refreshing ,and more positive, opinions.

I have always enjoyed your feedback and am happy that you have taken the time to read, and in some cases enjoy, my blogs. So thanks for that, hopefully the new writer updates more than I do!

Whilst I have been writing this blog (not this single one!) there have been epic highs - the double, disappointments - last season, and realisation that we aren't the force we once were - this season.

But, we have a project in place to get us there again.

And if that fails we have Roman's Roubles!

Even more importantly, even though this is my last time writing it, but not my last time doing it: KEEP THE BLUE FLAG FLYING HIGH!

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Comments

Posted by chukwuka charles ikechukwu on 03/02/2012

it hurts me when chelsea is going down, they are too big for this, pls all the player should try and make things to work out, it going to be very bad if we cant make the first 4, GOD bless chelsea and the players, one love

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About
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 ShoutyandSpitty.com, 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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