On Saturday I had the delightful choice between shopping or spending most my day staring at my laptop screen watching my beloved Chelsea face Everton. As much as the shopping sounded tempting – just as much as watching next door’s painted fence dry – I chose the footy.
Everton and Goodison Park has never really been an easy team or place for Chelsea in the past couple of seasons, but the 3-1 Premier League win and the 2-1 away win in the FA Cup gave me confidence that the Blues would make it 3/3.
Well, I was wrong. Instead, I witnessed long, hopeless balls, two goal-drought players typically scoring soft goals and worryingly, a lack of chances. The display was probably the same as my internet connection: rubbish (to put it politely).
I was pretty shocked to see new signing Gary Cahill on the bench, especially when Andre Villas-Boas once again relied on Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz as a centre-back pairing with Jose Bosingwa on the right. Yes Cahill conceded three against Manchester United last weekend, but the other defenders mentioned have all had a dodgy season so far – give him a chance.
Raul Meireles was also disappointing in Merseyside. I don’t really recall him having a brilliant match since his arrival from Liverpool last summer and yesterday was no exception. Many passes went astray and the Portuguese kept giving away needless fouls; not to mention receiving a yellow card.
Fernando Torres tried to work a few openings but a handful of tame headers were never enough to beat Tim Howard, whilst Juan Mata lacked his usual spark and Daniel Sturridge tried but failed on many accounts.
So what does Villas-Boas do in a situation when he’s 2-0 down with about 15 minutes to go? Rightly, he throws on young striker Romelu Lukaku. Wrongly, he takes off Juan Mata. Cue “you don’t know what you’re doing” chants from the away fans. Surely you’d have sacrificed a central midfielder and dropped Mata in the hole?
As I furiously ate my crisps and had the usual ten minute quiet session, yesterday loss came down to poor decisions from AVB. Or maybe it was the lack of Ramires, John Terry or even Didier Drogba?