Often Partisan

Circumspection on Chelsea

So here we are, back at the top of the week. Our next opponents lost at the weekend, sacked their manager and now have his number two in as an interim cover until the end of the season. I’ve seen some excited Blues fans thinking that this could be good for us; a team in apparent disarray against a fervently backed underdog playing at home. Surely this is our chance?

I can see why people think we’re in with a good shout of downing Chelsea. I saw Chris Lepkowski (the Birmingham Mail reporter for the Albion) comment that Chelsea looked like a team of individuals rather than a cohesive unit; that things weren’t right at all and even with AVB gone, his replacement Roberto di Matteo might have been part of the problem in the first place. If things aren’t right in the dressing room then it’s fairly obvious that they won’t be right on the pitch.

However, whilst I don’t think Chelsea’s internal problems will magically disappear with the sacking of Villas-Boas, I honestly can see nothing but a Chelsea victory on Tuesday. It’s not that I’m trying to use reverse psychology, or I’m trying “not to put the mockers on it” – it’s just that they have a vastly superior side to us; and the momentum we had from our brilliant unbeaten run has now dissipated. Furthermore, we’re vastly down on numbers for this one due to injury and ineligibility and thus our side is going to be weaker than the one that drew with Derby County.

Why do I have such a downer on things? I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the last couple of games at St Andrews there has been an air of expectancy about the place; that we would just have to turn up and win. It’s almost as if we the fans have become a bit complacent and thus the atmosphere has been even flatter when we’ve struggled to put away poor teams. I think people need to give themselves a reality check before this one; it’s most likely we’ll get beaten, possibly badly so and thus we have to be prepared for that. That way if Blues do pull something out of the bag, it’ll be the surprise it should be and not merely confirmation of something expected.

Likewise, I won’t be too concerned if there are changes a-plenty in the team and we end up fielding a 4-5-1 with Rooney up front and Elliott and Pablo getting places in the first eleven. With the amount of games in the time we have left Blues really have to utilise the full depths of their squad and that means keeping everyone sharp and match-fit. I really do believe for instance that the way the squad was changed for the European fixtures allowed Chris Hughton to try a few different ideas and gave players who might not necessarily have had a run – especially with just five subs on the bench for Championship games – a match or two to show what they can do. It also meant that when injuries happened Hughton had  no qualms about putting another player in because he already knew that they could do a job.

In short, let’s enjoy tomorrow for what it is – a break from the normal grind against some fancy Dans who are currently on hard times. If we lose, so be it – it’s no biggie and it’s not much to get upset over. However, should we win – well, then I’ll join you in raising a celebratory glass to the wonderful work that Chris Hughton has done.

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15 Responses to “Circumspection on Chelsea”

  • mickey07 says:

    Mayor your looking at it far too in depth,like you say “However, whilst I don’t think Chelsea’s internal problems will magically disappear with the sacking of Villas-Boas”……..mate they couldn’t even beat us at the bridge,st andrews under the lights is a different matter altogether chelsea will be in for a tough night plus there defence aint what it used to be and you will always get a few chances against them at the moment…they dont put fear into any team at present….blues win….

    • NooBloo says:

      Well said

      But you cant play the match on paper either. It will all be down to who performs on the night

      I dont really like looking at ‘Omens’ but for those who do

      The managerial head to head is now Chris hughton v Roberto Di Matteo, which was the dual when both Newcastle and WBA were going for the Championship title and we know who ended up winning that by the proverbial mile OR should I say, the proverbial 101 points total.

      Lets hope history repeats itself eh :-)

  • viperblue says:

    I actually think the team will be almost unchanged from the one that performed so well at
    the bridge I hope for the best,but i do expect Chelsea to play better so think we will be gallant losers

  • DoctorD says:

    I hate to say it but you can be sure that Chelsea’s old guard will be back, with “Lamps” and co getting three or four. I don’t feel sorry for AVB, but it must be hard with all those egos in the dressing room. I just hope we put up a decent display.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I am actually split in two,!!. One side of me wants to continue the cup run, in the forlorn hope of actually winning the thing for the 1st time ever,!!.– The other wants to conserve ou energys to hope fully make the play-offs, [ as I cannot see us overhauling the top 2, or even Reading,!!.

    • NooBloo says:

      Ive seen Reading play twice in their recent run of form. They are nothing to write home about and the way that Leeds united pummelled southampton on Saturday, suggests they are not that far away from bottling it either.

      West Ham I would agree are grinding out results even when playing with 10 men so they might be the most out of reach of the 3.

      Birmingham do their job and the opportunities to catch up will come our way

  • skareggae72 says:

    I think a top 2 place is now beyond us & Reading are looking useful,which is a dissapointment,as i would have liked them in the play offs(their record is awful).

    I think we can & will beat Chelsea & i hope we can get a decent gate in & avoid the `empty seat syndrome`(due to TV) which sometimes gives the place a desolate feel. KRO

  • andy says:

    Pablo had an exceptional game at Chelsea and was a little unlucky to lose his place, and since then Blues have conceded sloppy goals and just about cling onto a play-off place. So im hoping Pablo gets his chance again and gives the regular defence some food for thought. Im going for a Blues win with Zigic to do the damage!

  • AuldBertie says:

    I agree with you Almajir and expect a comfortable Chelsea win. It would be good to see the team who played so well at the bridge given another chance, well those who are fit anyway. If we do somehow progress, the erstwhile ‘foregone conclusion’ of a home victory against Leicester is now far less certain given our last two home displays against far inferior (to Leicester) championship sides.

  • pedantic_pete says:

    You may be right Almajir. However, I wonder if recent results are another case in point of Blues being over-confident in games they should easily win and not bothering to turn up, whereas we do have a history of putting in a real effort when we’re under-dogs. I thought Hughton had cured us of the former malaise. If anyone can get us to lift our game for this one it’s the mighty CH.

    For me a worse result than losing on Tuesday would be to sustain yet more injuries which could weaken our currently floundering promotion push.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    Expecting us to lose as well. I love it when we win but the big prize is promotion and maybe we can do without this distraction. However as proven time and again this season we’ve carried the cup form into the league so a win and we may go on another good run. Whatever the result win or lose I hope we give them a game and do ourselves proud.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    Like everyone else I would have preferred AVB to have got sacked on Wednesday morning after we had played Chelsea so I fear we may now get a bit of a backlash tomorrow. Whereas we seemed almost impenetrable at home up to the Forest game we are currently going through a leak silly goals syndrome. You usually only get one bite of the cherry against the top Prem sides and the chance that young Redmond had at Stamford Bridge late on may have been it. I truly hope not though and that somehow we can pull off what would be a major shock.

    I also agree with the comments that we have become too expectant about winning when in reality what we have achieved to date this season is beyond my own wildest expectations. This is evident with the atmosphere at St Andrews which is undoubtedly flat of late. Some of these guys have played so many games they must be running on empty now so every bit of encouragement we can give them from the stand we should.

  • Bluehobba says:

    What will the back 4 be. Carr out injured, Caldwell a doubt with rib injury, Davies a doubt with illness, Ramage inelligible, Murphy injured.

  • ScudMuffin says:

    Probably it’ll be filled with kids.

    As for the back 4, maybe we’ll see a back 3 with the old 3-6-1 because we haven’t got the players to make a solid back four.

  • BowThai says:

    Im sure you are right on all fronts.4-5-1 is almost a certainty!The cheski mafia(both players and other hanger ons)have won the day.AVB gone and a game too early.We have few ,if any options for Tues game.I just hope we put up a fight but i cant see anything other than a bad defeat with the mafia playing thier hearts out against us.whatever well done lads.KRO


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