Weekly Report: Chelsea’s soft spine and Theo’s stacked sister

by Luke Bradshaw

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
 

I am worried for my team. Chelsea were ripped to pieces as Sunderland produced the performance of their season, and credit must go to the Black Cats because they were irresistible. But how do you defend a title with no defence?

While Branislav Ivanovic is a rampaging thoroughbred of a full-back, he is far nervier and uncertain, almost clumsy, when moved to the centre. Paulo Ferreira has neither the strength, size nor authority to even be considered in that position. And with both Terry and Alex out for a matter of months, concern is an apt emotion.

Chelsea’s spine suddenly resembles that of a geriatric nun. So much is written about their strength and bullying qualities, but with Alex, Terry, Essien and Lampard all missing, and with Drogba still dealing with tropical diseases, there is a real sense of fragility.

Tricky trips to Birmingham and Newcastle are next up for the Champions, followed by Everton, Spurs, Man United and Arsenal. Hmmmm, the likes of Tim Cahill, Gareth Bale and Marouane Chamakh will be salivating at coming up against such indecision. It would be much better if we faced this guy.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa looked vibrant, slick and clinical until they remembered that they don’t win against United, thus surrendering what would have been an emphatic statement for Houllier’s men. It’s a shame youth brings naivety.

Arsenal are quietly going about their business, Spurs do theirs as loudly as possible, and City don’t go about any business at all, simply walking onto a pitch and trying to work out what it is they’re supposed to be doing. It can’t have gone down well that Mario Balotelli also expressed a desire to play with Zlatlan Ibrahimovic. Yeah, because that’s what Milan need to add to their books; a sulking enigma, with a mouth to match their feet. Where Berlusconi is concerned, an ego is something to groom and develop, not hide away in the shadows.

Stoke pissed all over any flickering flames of Liverpool recovery, and West Ham still can’t win, even in the most exciting goalless draw you will ever see (33 attempts in all). As fun as Blackpool have been this season, if you can’t beat them at home, the Championship beckons. Incidentally, is Scott Parker’s hand/arm permanently broken?

Last night England were totally outclassed by the only side more embarrassing than them in the World Cup. France never looked like losing and the only real bright spot was Andy Carroll and my ever-blossoming love for the beautifully grotesque goal-machine.

Anyone that hasn’t yet seen it, Fifa’s Puskas Award for the goal of the year has been selected – it is definitely worth a look.

Favourite thing this week: Maybe I am a little late to see this, but this must surely be the reason for Theo Walcott’s searing pace: the fact that he had to constantly run away from his sister, so that she wouldn’t beat him up. Maybe Chelsea’s spine could get back to full-strength with Hollie in their ranks.

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  • Marc Sibbons

    Good article mate; seems that the decision to let Carvalho join Jose at Real is proving to be a problematic one. With Alex and Terry out, there isn’t a stand out centre half that can fill the blanks which is worrying from a team competing for trophies domestically and in Europe. Seems Ancelotti will definitely have to dip into the market come january in order too re-stablilise the defence or it could go all tits-up as seen in the defeat to Sunderland.

  • Ralph

    ESPN LatAm called England vs France the game between the two biggest disappointments at the World Cup as well – as for West Ham vs Blackpool I laid the 0-0 draw, still having nightmares as I eat my budget lunches.

    Ferreira is a liability at full-back so was always obvious that he would flop in the centre; but didn’t Ivanovic start out as a centre-back? Maybe I’m wrong?

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