Chelsea: a massacre Observed

OK, I try to be a generous soul. I let people in ahead of me in traffic, help around the house and give to good causes even when feeling skint. Even so, there are limits. No explanation is needed for all the marks of four or five out of 10 I gave Sunderland players, in today’s Observer, after the debacle of Stamford Bridge. They were for men who are not yet/not currently or never will be good enough. But how one earth did I conjure a couple of sixes? …

Click here to see my match report – Chelsea 7 Sunderland 2: an appreciation

But first let us allow a Chelsea fan to speak::

Trizia Fiorellino, Chelsea Supporters Club –

We could have had ten or twelve goals – they were absolutely awful. Anelka was outstanding and it seems Carlo now knows that the diamond is not the only system to play. We played more free-flowing football in the style of when Hiddink was manager, with Ashley Cole coming down the wing and putting in crosses in the first half and Zhirkov in the second half. The players passed better and all seem to be of the same mindset. Zhirkov, Ashley Cole and Belletti were standouts.

The fan’s player ratings:

Cech 7; Ivanovic 8, Carvalho 8, Terry 8 (Alex ht 7), A Cole 9 (Zhirkov ht 9); Ballack 7, Belletti 9, Lampard 8; J Cole 7, Anelka 10, Malouda 8

And now mine:

Colin Randall,

In case Steve Bruce didn’t catch it, the chant from the away end at 6-1 was “we want our money back”. I’ve known embarrassment as a Sunderland supporter, but barring the consolation goals this was utter humiliation. If Bruce doesn’t learn from it, we are back in a relegation scrap. Our midfield and back four were feeble. Chelsea did everything they wanted on every inch of the pitch. The only reason we got two and they didn’t get nine was that Chelsea probably got bored.

The fan’s player ratings:

Fulop 5; Bardsley 5, Cana 5, Da Silva 5, McCartney 5; Malbranque 6 (Zenden ht 6), Henderson 5, Meyler 5, Murphy 4 (Campbell 72 5); Bent 5, Jones 4

“Oh dear,” said The Observer’s sports editor, knowing i had not done the fan’s verdict for him before. “What a debut.”

Six out of 10 for Cana, Zenden Malbranque? I just felt their disgrace was less complete:

Cana lacked leadership and is not a natural centre-back. But he was there in extremis and made at least four heroic lunges that stopped the score reaching double figures – which would scarcely have flattered Chelsea.

Malbranque was, as another Sunderland fan has observed elsewhere, AWOL from the defensive duties that should have been part of his role and played only for the first half. But he also produced the only pieces of Premier-standard skill that we saw from the team. And Zenden came on and somehow produced a goal.

That’s it. And that, as Pete Sixsmith has said in a gentle rebuke this morning, is altogether too kind.

Colin Randall

7 thoughts on “Chelsea: a massacre Observed”

  1. Changing managers in mid-season isn’t the answer. Bruce has to be allowed to keep working to stabilize the team. He’s had a hell of an injury list to contend with. Yes, he has to do some intelligent buying this month and, yes, he has to get the side pulled together. Slumps happen and have to be dealt with creatively. Yelling for the manager’s head doesn’t help anyone or achieve anything. And who would you replace him with, anyway? Who’s out there looking for a job who could do a better job that SB?

  2. Yiannis: Yes, I was too generous. I realised it as soon as I’d stopped speaking to The Observer. Malbranque’s absences as Cole steamed forward make him a 5 – and 5 always used to equal “stinker” – and Meyler was a 4. But my total, subs included, came to 66, only one more than the only newspaper ratings I have seen. That’s out of 130!

  3. Although i have a soft spot for captain Cana, he was at fault for the first 2 goals. He’s not a natural centre back so just let him be a 5.
    As far as Malbranque is concerned, I don’t really care about his “glimpses of quality”, have you ever heard of a headless chicken… running around with no certain cause or direction? That’s Steed against chelsea – definately a 4! Give Bolo a chance to start the next match, he is an experienced central midfielder, probably not as combative as Cana or Cattermole, but we have been begging for service and goals from midfield.
    Jones 4, that’s generous… but since we conceded 7, you’re not going to crow on the strikers.
    Last comment. Get of Bruce’s back, he hasn’t actually spent that much.. the Keano probably spent more in the championsip and nobody said a word for 2 years. If he gets backed well enough to actually have a squad that doesn’t consist of Murphy and co we can then comment, need I remind you WHO renewed the contracts last yearputting players like that on such high wages?
    Really though… why was danny collins shipped out on the last day of the transfer window?


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