Monday, 9 February 2009

Chelsea fans left reeling after goalless draw

Chelsea fans were no doubt reluctant to flick through the sports pages of the newspapers on Sunday morning after another disappointing result in the Premier League left the club in fourth position behind Aston Villa, who managed to overcome a difficult test in the form of Blackburn. The test facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon came in the form of Hull, a club which had not managed a single win in eight League matches. Sadly for fans of the Blues, the team played out a dull goalless draw, with the best chances falling to Hull in the second half.

Fans, several of whom had brought damning banners to the game, perhaps in anticipation of this unacceptable result, made their voices heard after the final whistle, with many individuals calling for Scolari to leave the club. This reaction is entirely understandable, particularly after the crushing defeat at the hands of Liverpool. Earlier today, Ralph Ellis wrote an article for Betfair about the importance of randomness in football. To be fair to the Chelsea manager, nobody could have accounted for the random nature of John Terry’s woeful miss during the game’s opening stages or the influence the woodwork had on Michael Ballack’s sublime free-kick but Ellis is far too lenient in his affirmation that Chelsea fans were harsh in their treatment of Scolari.

Some of his decisions this season have been baffling to say the least and Chelsea fans have been left feeling particularly disenchanted after the manager’s appalling treatment of Didier Drogba, a player viewed as a hero by the Stamford Bridge faithful. The Chelsea side is currently playing with no heart or desire to win and, although he is not entirely to blame for this malaise, the manager must take some responsibility for this damaging trend.

If Chelsea had traipsed back to the dressing room at half-time under the control of Jose Mourinho, with all the signs pointing to a goalless draw against the likes of Hull, you could bet your bottom dollar that the side would emerge with renewed focus and determination for the last 45 minutes. There seems to be none of this inspiration flowing from Scolari and, whilst Chelsea are obviously missing key players such as Michael Essien and Joe Cole, the real problems seem to be with the man in charge.

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