Chelsea: Yes Jose, The Ref Was Poor, But Not As Poor As The Players
A visit from Arsenal, a trip to Selhurst Park and a trip to Paris.
For most clubs and their fans, that run of fixtures would certainly strike impending doom into their hearts. Well, the first and last would. The middle one not so much. In fact a game against relegation threatened Crystal Palace should hold nothing less than three points and a good chance at increasing that goal difference which could become all the more important come the end of the season.
For Chelsea fans however, the game against Arsenal is a standard fixture to look forward to, especially under Jose Mourinho. 'The Special One' has made a habit of showing just how Special he is against the man he dubs a ‘specialist in failure’ - and you can’t really blame him given that Arsene Wenger has now failed to beat him in 11 attempts.
The trip to Paris to play mega-rich Paris Saint Germain – or indeed 'Ibra FC' – is certainly a game to look forward to as well. Historically, Chelsea relish playing sides like PSG, and their manager loves nothing more than a big game with all eyes on him (sorry - his side).
Coming up against a man with an ego as big as his own, and one that loves him nearly as much as Didier Drogba does (clue: not a lot), ensures that. Not to mention the interesting Cavani, Lavezzi, Thiago Silva element, and the reunion between Chelsea and Carlo Ancelotti.
Meanwhile, any Chelsea fan who has seen even half of their side’s games this season would have only felt doom at seeing the banana skin trip to Selhurst Park on their fixture calendar. Jose would like to tell you that should Chelsea fail to win the title, Chris Foy will be partly to blame.
Yes, he was God awful and clearly has an issue with Chelsea, but, for all his faults, Foy was not the referee against West Ham, West Brom (twice), Newcastle, Stoke or Palace.
Chelsea simply cannot beat the ‘lesser sides’. In fact, they seem to be hell bent on throwing the title away against them.
Mourinho and his men have taken 13 points from a possible 15 against their title rivals this term. If the league was determined on that alone, Jose would have secured his third title by Christmas. The Blues have done the double over City, taking six points from them. But they have secured just one – yes, one – point from West Brom, both home and away - and that was somewhat lucky, with a Ramires ‘trip’ and a converted Hazard penalty.
The loss to Palace showed Torres up for what he is – a fraud – with the Spaniard having one of his most inept games in a Chelsea shirt, and as we know, that is saying something. If Paddy Power suggested he work in a burger van before that, God only knows what they would mock up now.
Torres aside, because let us not forget that Chelsea has a wealth of talent up top, the rest of the forward line were poor. The midfield offered little and the fact that the players were looking to right back Branislav Ivanovic to provide crosses as an outball speaks volumes.
In the aftermath, Mourinho rightly praised his back four, who have been superb all season, and despite a John Terry own goal (oh, how the haters loved that one), a lucky escape for Gary Cahill when it came to a penalty claim, and a torrid time for Cesar Azpilicueta at left back, the defenders were the only players who actually emerged from the game with any real credit.
It is an all too familiar slip up for Chelsea, and a result that will make the City draw even more frustrating. The Blues are now 6/1 to win the league – astonishing odds to say that the Blues are just two points behind Liverpool – and definitely worth a bet.
Will Chelsea go to Anfield and win? Yes, without a doubt. But they will probably lose to Norwich the week after.