What's going right?
Well, we’re still in the running for the two domestic Cups, that’s something, right? Er… the fact that my players get all cute in goal celebrations? You can tell I’m clutching at the straws here.
Where to start? Being the first Champions League Winners to be unable to get out of the group stages was a record alright, but certainly not one Chelsea should take any kind pride in. Losing all three friendlies we’ve been in contention for – the Community Shield, the Super Cup and the Club World Cup certainly does nothing to quell doubts of our legitimacy as Champions of Europe. Missing our captain and vice-captain Terry and Lampard was extremely costly, and Cole being out for a while as well created further instability in our back-four. With those three, when Chelsea went behind, they never let their heads down and are able to rouse their teammates into a comeback. Without them, the younger players seem to lack this emotional fortitude, and that worries me a lot. Torres couldn’t score in a goddamn brothel – he missed two gilt-edged opportunities to win the Club World Cup for Chelsea on Sunday and fluffed them both; embarrassing. And I am still depressed about the way we disposed of Roberto Di Matteo. I love Roman Abramovich for a lot and am under no illusions that Chelsea wouldn’t be the club it currently is without his endlessly pouring in of oil money, but the crisis we’re undoubtedly seeing right now is entirely of the Russian’s making. Miss you like mad, Robbie.
Got the right manager?
Without escalating into four-letter-obscenities, I’m going to have to say NO. I recognise that Benitez is trying – in Japan he took the lads out for a bowling game that resulted in an amusing forfeit of Ashley Cole having to play waiter for coming last – but his history with us is far too chequered to be salvaged by a cheesy little team-bonding exercise. Those who said he was getting Chelsea back on track with three wins in a row against Nordsjaelland, Sunderland and Monterrey got exactly the reality check we all knew was due when Chelsea got humbled in the Club World Cup final on Sunday. That players like Oscar and Lucas Piazon were rumoured to be mouthing off about the gaffer after the loss says it all. And I was at Upton Park when we were a goal up at half-time to go on to lose 3-1 under him. An angry, hormonal Chinese girl does not make for a happy fan, and that day, I reckon I was every mad Chelsea fan in a microcosm. To paraphrase Catwoman, “a storm is coming, Mr Benitez.” The worst at Stamford Bridge is still yet to come.
Juan Mata has been the beacon of light in what has otherwise been a very deadbeat season. He looked a little ring-rusty at the start of the season following stamina-slaking shifts in Euro 2012 as well as the Olympics, but once he got back into it, he was on fire, racking up goals, assists and Man of the Match performances. When Eden Hazard’s good, no one’s better, but he has a worrying knack of drifting into the periphery on big-matches that makes me somewhat hesitant to invest too much affection in the Belgian just yet. And Petr Cech is a huge cause for why we’re still third (albeit by the skin of our teeth on goal difference to Spurs); without his crucial saves, Chelsea would be languishing somewhere around mid-table. Special shout-out to David Luiz, who, whilst has had some hair-rising performances, is nowhere near as bad as the Media would have you believe, and his eagerness to play in any position asked of him shows his dedication to the Chelsea shirt.
Who would you like to sell in January?
Fernando Torres. Sulky and spoilt, Abramovich has poured a mini-fortune into building the team around him, yet the Spaniard still struts around the place with a pout that just screams “don’t you know who I am?” Comparisons with another expensive Chelsea striking dud from a few years’ back, Andriy Shevchenko, are hugely unfair – Shevchenko actually tried.
Who do you want to sign?
I’m conflicted. I want Falcao, because he is a natural finisher and a fantastic team player (watching him against Barcelona on the weekend, he created a goal out of nowhere, amazing), but part of me feels that if we signed him, just by putting on the Chelsea jersey, he wouldn’t be able to hit a barn door with a banjo.
Best chant so far?
“He tweets what he wants” at home against Norwich was an amusing one following Ashley Cole’s foul-mouthed hashtag-led tirade at the FA. My personal favourite, however, is one about Rio Ferdinand that simply can’t be posted on a respectable website like this. It’s cruel, crass, and in very poor taste, but, as I am all three of those things, I’m ashamed to say I laughed. A lot.
Best opposition player / team you've seen this season?
Radamel Falcao tore our defence a new one in the Super Cup; scoring a hat-trick in the first half and creating many more chances. Pablo Zabaleta was probably the most solid defender I’ve seen playing against us this season; he created a couple of chances for City in attack to boot and is my pick for City’s most consistent defender so far in a season when the rest of their defence has looked shaky.
Biggest **** of the season:
Alex Ferguson needs to STFU because I am sick and tired of him sticking his ugly red nose in where it’s not wanted. I’m perfectly aware that the club acted rashly in the Mark Clattenburg affair, and we could well have ended the referee’s career, and none of this makes me proud. But it’s not like Chelsea plucked the allegation out of thin air – they made it in good faith following Ramires’ testimony. Simply put, Chelsea had no option but to report it; just imagine the furore if we hadn’t. Ferguson’s sh*t-stirring is not welcome in the least and only goes to cement my hatred of him.
End of season prediction:
I’m going to be optimistic for once, and predict third, with the FA Cup under our belt, as well as – touch wood – the Europa League. Anything less and I won’t be best pleased.