Chelsea embarrassed a nation

by Martin

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Premier League is not that great

I remember the first time the ball was put in to touch to allow treatment to an injured player, it wasn’t that long ago, a world cup game if I recall correctly. I had a lump in my throat when the ball was given back to the team that put it out, at this display of sportsmanship gracing the beautiful game. It heralded a new era of respect in football, regardless of which side a player was on. A wonderful moment.

Which made watching the Chelsea game on Tuesday night all the more galling. To see professionals like Ballack and Drogba, exploiting what has become a standard pat of the game to their team’s ends was disgraceful. I know other sides do it now, but in a game where Chelsea had no intention of playing football, where they ‘parked the bus’ in front to a great side’s goal, their behaviour showed how cynical the game has become.

A team is putting strong pressure on you, so what do you do? Defend for your lives with match saving tackles? Why bother! Just go half heartedly into a challenge, fall over then stay down until someone kicks the ball out of play and momentum is lost. Sportsmanship is exploited by gamesmanship and the spirit of that World Cup is lost. That wonderful moment where Ballack stayed down, realised that he was being ignored so jumped up and ran to make a tackle showed how pathetic he is. I know Alves was at it too, but that was habitual, he is a twat. But barcelona were chasing the game , Chelsea were using this as a tactic to break it up.

To see one of the best sides in the premiership having to employ such tactics against Barca just showed how far they are behind the Catalan giants. The day we get the likes of Iniesta and Xavi in the Premiership is the day we become the best league in the world. Right now Chelsea embarrassed a nation. Lets all hope that Barca murder them when they have to try and play football at home on Wednesday…

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  • Matt Quinn

    I agree. Although, in effect, Chelsea admitted with their performance that Barca were the better side… and probably the best in the world.

    Chelsea wouldnt play like that away to United, Arsenal or Liverpool.

    It was like watching a team like Sunderland away to United. They know they are playing the superior team so sit back, defend for their lives and hope for a point.

    Chelsea. The European Sunderland.

  • Darren

    I don’t understand why everyone is slating them. Barca score an average of 4 goals per home game, Chelsea went there with a game plan and it worked. It’s all about tactics! In an idea world the Harlam Glo Trotters would win the Champions League, but in reality it’s all about results, Chelsea got one so deal with it.

    To be fair, Arsenal were no better. We went to Old Trafford with 5 across the midfield including a totally pointless Diaby. I would have taken a 0-0 draw all day long, who cares how you play, getting to the final is what it’s about.

    If England were to win the world cup playing like Greece (2004) would you take it now? Of course you would!

  • Tef1on

    Players who fake injuries should be carded. If a player has to leave the field for treatment they should stay off for a minimum of 2 minutes, You would soon see a clamp down on fake injuries. Referee’s need to be stricter and stop them! It is pathetic and its cheating! Rio Ferdinand last night was another prime example, Drogba in the FA cup semi final where he was injured OFF the pitch then rolled on so the ref would stop the game… They need to be stopped!

  • Darren

    the ref last night was class, he didn’t once fall for Ronaldo’s play acting, to see him waving his arms in the air like a spoilt teenager was the best moment in a dull match for the Gunners!

  • Sam

    “Dull match” eh Darren?? Ha, that the way you call it when your team were totally outclassed! If i was in your shoes I would have been the most relieved man in the world that it was only 1-0. Think the cross bar is still reverberating from when that sulky ronaldo whacked it from 30 yards. And in terms of Chelsea, I agree with you this time Darren, they had a game plan to stop Barca scoring for the first time in the tournament. At home they will try and bully their way through them – which is the classic Chelsea way – but fair play. Tactics are what win you these big european clashes. I cant wait til the return legs.

  • Russell Drury

    I’m a Chelsea supporter and agree with the point of the article about gamesmanship. It is everywhere but to single out Chelsea here is wrong as Iniesta and Xavi would do just the same in the Premier. In fact a couple of seasons ago Collina booked Xavi for a blatant dive against Chelsea.
    As for our negative tactics, if a team like Bayern Munich can go there and get trounced, do you think Guus Hiddink would be a good manager if he went there and tried to play openly and got stuffed as well? He would be criticised from all angles. Chelsea had to go there and do a tactical job and did it well. It is a two legged tie remember, and I predict a lot of goals in the second leg, when both teams will need to go for it.

  • dexylongshot

    Gotta agree with with Darren, it wasn’t pretty but pretty doesn’t always win you the game, look at Greece in 2004. Tactical Guus is a master at taking on better teams and coming out on top, even if it means winning ugly. They kept a clean sheet against the best frontline in world football in donkeys years. Can anyone think of a better front 3???
    A different game is in prospect at Chelsea, yes Barcelona will try to get that away goal but will leave more space at the back, no Marquez or Puyol now. They will probably play Toure at the back to keep Drog quite but will free up the midfield a bit and might actually get The Blues playing up the park a bit (Where was fat Frank on Tuesday?).
    Teflon, agree with you too about the punishment. I’ve said before about when a ref stops play for an injury, he stops his clock while the 4th ref sets a 2 minute rule for the player to receive treatment on the pitch.
    If he’s still rolling around after that, he’s off for a minimum of 3 minutes to receive proper treatment while play continues. A sort of sin bin for the slackers. If the player is truly injured, he won’t be jumping up like a gazelle to get back on anyway and the manager can sub him. It would put a stop to the play-acting overnight. I can’t believe it hasn’t been tried already, or at least some sort of variation of it.

  • Martin Tibbetts

    Problem with what ballack and co were doing was it wasn’t about time wasting, it was about trying to stop the momentum Barca built up, get a breather and start again. Instant card would help, but players showing some responsibility to a sport would help more. Yes they did a job, but my god it was a cowardly one…

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