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Big Phil's Big Chelsea Chill

Robbo Robson | 09:55 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

What's the biggest surprise of the season so far? Difficult to say. Perhaps it's the fact that the Britannia Stadium touchlines are still more than a foot away from the edges of the penalty areas. Soon it'll be like one of them kiddy pitches where you go to take a corner and you're virtually in the box.

Probably it's Hull City, but you fear for them now Phil Brown's giving them all-weather dressing-downs at half-time. (Can't imagine McClaren doing that, can you? - 'I'm ever so cross with you after that first 45 minutes! Now all of you have a lie-down on the comfy sofas while I get you a banana smoothie each - and I give the ego masseur a call.')

Actually, Big Phil Scolari is turning into the big story. Chelsea were brilliant at the start of the season, but one bobbly deflection from Xabi Alonso (straight out of the Lampard collection 2005-6) and the wheels are looking distinctly wobbly.

Last season began with the Man from Milk Tray swanning off into the sunset cos he'd had way too much of the whole system. Jose must have felt like a man trying to decorate a new house while the live-in mother-in-law constantly insisted on using her own curtains and cushions.

Anyone who still thinks Shevchenko was his idea is living in a world where a fat beardy man brings you pressies down a chimney and money grows on trees (or the Stock Exchange as we grown-ups call it).

Mourinho was replaced by what looked like the grimmest seat-warmer in history. Avram Grant gave dourness a bad name. He was about as cheering to listen to as one of them financial forecasts from Robert Peston. (I like that Peston fella but why does he have to sound like the engine of a 15-year-old motor trying to churn into action on a frosty morning?)

Yet Avram did everything but win the Double and would have bagged one gong were it not for his skipper's slippers.

So Chelsea dumped Grant for his apparent failure and had a vacancy they needed to fill. So why not fill it with the biggest Phil of all? Jovial Brazilian multi-medal winning Felipe Scolari! The direct opposite of the man who preceded him! An overtaker to Grant's undertaker.

He even has a cocktail named after him - the Scolari made from dark rum and exotic fruit juices, apparently. (I've not drunk an Avram but it's not a bad name for that manky cup of tea that you forgot to take the bag out of.)

Now you can't knock Scolari for his post-match contributions. If you have to wait for explanations for your team's failings from the likes of Gareth Southgate you'll realise just how exciting Big Phil is. Here is a man's man who's not afraid to say that his players love him (does he know where he's working exactly?)

Here is a bloke who reviews the game with the same confusion as the rest of us - 'I don't understand, we have 15 chances, we score only one goal, they have one chance - is goal!' and then the shoulders do that big rise and fall like the whole matter was in the hands of supernatural forces. It's good entertainment, but it's time he wondered whether this hard luck (van Persie's first goal at the Bridge aside) wasn't summat to do with him.

Fact is, Scolari's Portugal never scored a shedload against well-organised teams. It's easy to defend Chelsea by pushing up against the two full-backs and the midfield too easily falls into that trap of tip-tapping it about to no great effect in front of a massed defence. The greatest faffer of them all is Deco (who to my mind should be at Anfield if only 'cos the name fits the Scouse accent perfectly).

By hell he could do with a kick up the rear or a seat on the bench and preferably both. His work-rate makes Dimitar Berbatov look like a soldier ant. Deco looked a busted flush at Barca so why does Scolari stick with him when Ballack, Lampard and Mikel look way better fits?

Of course Drogba makes a big difference but he's not exactly tactful is he? He can't understand why managers are afraid to play him and Anelka together?! Errm, well, it's 'cos if one of you is not the out and out centre-forward you get a right strop on, son. It'd be easier to keep a couple of teenage daughters happy.

Scolari needs to flog Malouda and Kalou and bring in some proper forwards. Judging by the amount of missed chances on Saturday, Robbie Keane would fit in perfect - the lad couldn't stab a beached whale with a toothpick, bless him.

Still Chelsea fans'll point out that their team is second in the league, in the Champs League, and they might still get past Southend and this is after a poor run of results. And they'll point out that I'm just a tad jealous of the bottomless vat of dosh - which is of course true. It's always nice to see billionaire's playthings come up short (special mention for Notts Forest here!)

But here's me big prediction - the one I left out over the festivities. Chelsea will win nowt this year. It'll be slightly worse than Avram's year and then they'll have, by Roman standards, another dud on their hands.

'Cos every time I see the smiling, shrugging, simply-can't-believe-it post-match conferences from Scolari I am reminded of one man. And just cos he's now manager of Juventus doesn't mean he wasn't and possibly isn't a bit of a clown. And you really don't want to become known as Ranieri Mk II.

Comments

  • 1. At 11:42am on 06 Jan 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    Id love it if Chelsea won nowt, but I think they will come good in the new year. They are not playing well but neither are Man Utd or Liverpool really, but there all still up there.

    I think Chelsea will start doing well if Carvalho stays fit and Essien comes back. they are both big misses, particularly Carvalho who I think carries John Terry.

    I hope im wrong, but I can see Chelsea putting a meaningful challenge for the title right up to the last day.

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  • 2. At 11:44am on 06 Jan 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    Before putting the knife into Scolari, it is important to remember that he had correctly identified Robinho as the player he needed in this Chelsea team to break down sides who come to Stamford Bridge and park the bus. No-one could have predicted Robinho going to Man City at the last minute and then to top it all, Roman saying "no more money mate sorry!". We won't win the premiership this year, but with Essien back in Feb, despite our struggles in the group stage, I think we will get to another Champions League final and as long as the other finalists are not Barcelona then we will win it!

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  • 3. At 11:46am on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Carvalho has been a big loss and if Essien replaces Deco they'll be better. But although Big Phil says all his players love him the lad Deco must love him the most.

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  • 4. At 11:56am on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:

    I ve been a Chelsea fan for 11years, and in all that tym, nothing has astounded or angered me more than the extension of lampards deal, and the continued retention od drogba. in every sense of the word, these guys make us look cheap and desperate.

    personally i wouldnt mind going trophyless for 2seasons, but the hick remains that for Fulham road to bring back the smile (and am not tlaking of money-bought smirks) we sincerely need a change of idealogy- meaning, scolari should sell 30yrs+ players including Cudicini(4 Akinfeev) Ballack(4Diego) Deco(4Arshavin), Drogba(4anyone, including my mom), Lampard (4Hamsik)

    let us return the guile of zola, the finess of Flo, the grit of poyet, zeal of wise, enthusiasm of Petrescu, and with essein, cech, joe/ash cole and the rest, the smile will return with the trophies

    back to u, u re definately wrong, big phil is going nowhere!!!

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  • 5. At 11:59am on 06 Jan 2009, dogboyuk wrote:

    firstly can the BBC please stop calling us Notts Forest, Notts is short for Nottinghamshire and they play in Black and White. We are Nottingham Forest.

    Secondly our Chairman has a few bob as well: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/rich_list/article3788857.ece

    otherwise a good blog post, looking forward to the FA Cup 5th round once we dispose of rudderless Derby

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  • 6. At 12:03pm on 06 Jan 2009, poppyAstonvanilla wrote:

    I think that Chelsea will pick up pace in the new year and start applying pressure on Liverpool. I don't think that Man Utd will be pushing them too hard, They are only just grinding out results and they are struggling to score in the league.
    Ultimately, I think that it will be between Liverpool and Chelsea this season with Liverpool edging it. They seem to want it more.

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  • 7. At 12:07pm on 06 Jan 2009, wulfran wrote:

    It seems to me that there are too many egos at war at the Bridge. A player gets subbed or left on the bench and it's reported he wants clear the air talks. Fans talk about new players being needed, but who gets left out without another big sulk.

    The squad seem to be trying to run the selection process and it can only undermine them and the manger in the long run. All this is music to the ears of those who like me don't like or support Chelsea so long may it continue!!

    I also think that they'll 'win nowt this year', so expect it to be bye bye Big Phil at the end of the season.

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  • 8. At 12:09pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #1

    Your comment regarding Terry and Carvalho is just wrong.

    Terry, prior to his suspension, was present in all 18 games in the league thus far. End product? Best defensive record in the league.

    He gets suspended and we start leaking goals in the air.

    Terry and Carvalho compliment each other. Perhaps one without the other (whichever one that is) just doesn't work as well.

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  • 9. At 12:10pm on 06 Jan 2009, Ali_Don wrote:

    Robbo, why can’t Anelka and Drogba play together? Anelka likes to drop deep and take part of the interplay and build up play whilst Drogba plays further up field and bullies the two centre backs.

    Scolari should go four four two, with a midfield consisting of Mikel, Lampard, Ballack and Joe Cole. Obviously this then means they have no width whatsoever but they never had that anyway.

    Kalou should be used as a super sub and Malouda, in my opinion, is completely out of his depth.

    Chelsea need to purchase a winger though, someone like Robben, but just less injury prone.

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  • 10. At 12:13pm on 06 Jan 2009, biffa00 wrote:

    Robbo I'm worried, are you a mind reader ??

    Spooky that you've put down all my thoughts in your blog, I used to call Ranieri Coco the Clown and I've started calling Scloari Bozo the Clown.

    Nice friendly, funny guys that win nothing.
    Angry managers Jose and Sir Alex win things.

    I'm a Chelsea Fan and not too upset where we are now, cause I remember where we were, you can take the money away from us now but you can never take those 2 titles or the fun memories we had away.

    Great Blog !! Never thought I'd see someone else list my thoughts on the BBC Website.

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  • 11. At 12:13pm on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Not sure that Anelka likes to drop deep at all, mate. He's more your on-the-shoulder of the last man type. The reason the two of them can't play together though is cos they both have a track record of being the one nad only striker and behave accordingly. Where egos, they go too.

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  • 12. At 12:14pm on 06 Jan 2009, bunton_89 wrote:

    I think it is obvious that Chelsea are unable to break down defensive tactics, and it is more obvious (or concerning) that Scolari has no solution to this. Ballack and Deco are unable to play in the same side and when Essien is back, he needs to be played further forward, not in the defensive role that Scolari first played him in at the start of the season.

    I don't think it's possible to predict who is going to win what at this stage, the only team you would put money on is Man Utd because they are most likely to win anything. Robbo - I would like to know who you think will win the title and champions league if Chelsea aren't going to feature?

    As a Chelsea fan I feel we are entering worrying times, if Scolari does fail to win any silverware, and we also fail to replace Ballack, Deco, then I can see Chelsea losing ground on Man Utd and even Liverpool!


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  • 13. At 12:17pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Yeah #10, Scolari is a nice friendly guy that doesn't win anything. Well, apart from the World Cup that is.

    #12 - Why are you talking about replacing Ballack?

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  • 14. At 12:19pm on 06 Jan 2009, need4skillz wrote:

    I think Scolari should stop making excuses and do his best to win with the team he has at his disposal.

    He has been unlucky to lose out on Robinho and to be given no money to spend whatsoever this January but if he stays focused on picking up as many 3 pointers as possible the future could like bright for Chelsea when Carvalho, Drogba and Essien get back to their peak level.

    Avram Grant failed to pick up silverware last season but he did a great job. If he had started the season earlier and if Terry had been a bit more composed we wouldn't have such a negative perception of him.

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  • 15. At 12:25pm on 06 Jan 2009, bunton_89 wrote:

    #13 - Because he lacks pace and the incisive passes Chelsea so desperately need at the moment. Yes, he did provide that in previous years with Germany and towards the end of last season, but I'm not sure he is really up for the fight anymore.

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  • 16. At 12:25pm on 06 Jan 2009, upsidedown wrote:

    At the beginning of the season Sir Alex said he thought it would be hard for Chelsea to exceed last season's performance with an aging squad. The way Chelsea flew out of the traps he looked right off the mark, but as the season has worn on he is yet again being shown as amazingly canny.

    I live in Melbourne but am conspiring to be at OT for the Chelsea game next Sunday. Should be a telling game.

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  • 17. At 12:31pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #15

    Fair enough. I've not noticed Ballack tearing around a pitch anyway. If he doesn't look quite as good this season I think that is as a result of a midfield that just isn't functioning properly. Time will tell though.

    #16

    Chelsea have spent most of the first half of the season with Carvalho, Essien and Drogba missing. They are injuries and not Fergie being amazingly canny.

    Oh, and we're still above Man U.

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  • 18. At 12:31pm on 06 Jan 2009, Ant1979 wrote:

    Scolari isn't a clown, I'm sure if the post match interviews were in Portugese he'd be incisive and articulate about his team's performances.
    It's also hard to inherit someone else's team and there have been a few key injuries.

    Can't believe I'm sticking up for Chelsea but I think it's a bit early to brand Scolari a failure

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  • 19. At 12:32pm on 06 Jan 2009, biffa00 wrote:

    #13 - Apologies I meant European Club football. (which Chelsea play in)

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  • 20. At 12:35pm on 06 Jan 2009, damianconnolly wrote:

    Love this:

    "I ve been a Chelsea fan for 11years"

    Says it all.

    Despite my own team (Arsenal) having a crap season, it's been more than made up for by Abramovich's "exit strategy" (there's more chance of Ukraine letting Roman's gas flow through untouched than Chelsea splurging another half billion on journeyman footballers), and of course the relegation epic of Tottenham.

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  • 21. At 12:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #19

    Grant was a nice guy and he was but inches away from winning the biggest of them all. The failure was nothing to do with him being nice or otherwise.

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  • 22. At 12:37pm on 06 Jan 2009, capetownbhoy wrote:

    Decent Blog, Not a fan of anyone in particular in England but I know who I don't like! I would love that...trophyless Chelsea- absolute bliss. Would be great to see Liverpool win the PL for a change. I thought portugal, for all the quality they had, were horrible to watch when Scolari was at the helm- and we all know what a more horrible but superbly organised Greece team did to them(twice) on their own patch in what was probably the best chance the porchies had of ever winning a major. Mourinho was class at Chelsea, Scolari is unconvincing for me. man U to push Liverpool all the way and Chelsea 3rd- very Nice!

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  • 23. At 12:39pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #20

    Journeyman footballers? Most of the senior members of the squad have been there for 4+ years! They are not journeymen they are among the best in their field and have done largely a good job.

    I think it is fair to say that Chelsea have more chance of winning a trophy this year than Arsenal. Miss out of the Champions League my friend and you will have problems closer to home much greater than any we may or may not have at Chelsea!

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  • 24. At 12:46pm on 06 Jan 2009, Matt wrote:

    Robbie Keane would fit in perfect - the lad couldn't stab a beached whale with a toothpick?

    ------------------------

    Are you saying he is a poor striker, or that he has better morals and principles than you Robbo?

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  • 25. At 12:47pm on 06 Jan 2009, cov1985 wrote:

    I think Avram Grant did a good job. Don't forget, Chelsea only just lost the title to United. They had a terrible start in the league under Jose Mourinho in his last month or so as manager, had Grant been in charge from the beginning of the season they may well have won it.

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  • 26. At 12:55pm on 06 Jan 2009, damianconnolly wrote:

    #23

    We'll conveniently forget about Shevchenko, Veron, Duff, Bridge, Johnson, Parker, SWP, Crespo, Mutu and the many other collosal financial wastes signed since Abramovich's cheque book arrived in SW london. Yes, unbelievably not all players have been as loyal as Lampard and Terry (on their combined annual salaries of £15m)

    "I think it is fair to say that Chelsea have more chance of winning a trophy this year than Arsenal."

    Agree, but both clubs look firmly in the "slim to none" category when it comes to dishing out silverware.

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  • 27. At 12:57pm on 06 Jan 2009, jo19met wrote:

    In response to #17

    Fair enough we are in front of Man U, even with our injury problems, but I think you're forgetting that they have 2 games in hand on us. Which if they win they will go ahead of us.

    Also that we have played all the "big 4" teams at home and they have played them all away.

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  • 28. At 12:58pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #26

    The players you mentioned weren't journeymen. They were players that just weren't good enough. Bellamy is an example of a journeyman in my eyes.

    Shevchenko - legs gone and couldn't adapt
    Veron - poor judgement to sign him
    Duff - not the same player after his shoulder injuries
    Bridge - good left back. How are you defining journeyman given his 5 1/2 years at Chelsea?
    Johnson - not good enough
    Parker - tried but not good enough
    SWP - see Parker
    Crespo - never settled for personal reasons
    Mutu - sacked for drugs abuse

    Come on, be realistic.

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  • 29. At 12:59pm on 06 Jan 2009, napierblue wrote:

    Why oh why must you insist on use 'me' instead of 'my' it's not proper english and doesn't save time, it's as bad as when teenage kids start writing boi gr8 in texts it's not smart or cool or in your case keeping in touch with your northern roots, it's just childish and doesn't impress anyone.

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  • 30. At 1:03pm on 06 Jan 2009, damianconnolly wrote:

    #28 Good argument, but you can't seriously think those players really harbored ambitions of getting into the first team. A lot of them (Shev, SWP, Bridge especially) seemed happy to sit on the bench and take the roubles.

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  • 31. At 1:07pm on 06 Jan 2009, leightonaddick wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 1:12pm on 06 Jan 2009, SugarDunkerton wrote:

    Imagine Manchester United going for the length of time that Chelsea have without Essien and Carvalho.. compare that to possibly Vidic and Carrick... I personally think they are Chelsea's best players on their game so this has been a great loss for a lengthy period.

    I also think that when fit Essien is the most complete player playing in the Premier League and Chelsea dont even play him in his most natural position which he does when playing for Ghana..

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  • 33. At 1:13pm on 06 Jan 2009, cupofteafather wrote:

    Ohhhhhhhh
    The weather outside is frightfull

    So if Scolari gets the Roman walk who is out there to fill his boots (or Loakes) or whatever he wears on the end of his pins?

    #29 Your English doesn't impress either or were that a deliberate mistake (Why oh why must you insist on use 'me' instead of 'my' it's not proper english ) Using not use


    Spot the were which is of course a Northern way of yackin proper all reet!

    Again Robbo the gift of the gab in print. Quality if not just a bit biased to a couple of clubs.

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  • 34. At 1:19pm on 06 Jan 2009, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    when will those beloved chelsea fans who think football began in 2001 or therabouts begin chanting "you don’t know what youre doing" to scolari like they did to grant. Grant seemed to know what he was doing far more than that Gene hackman lookalike.

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  • 35. At 1:21pm on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:

    #20
    The last time i checked, Arsenal is busy scrapping for a UCL spot.
    Now i love soccer, infact, i admire the ideals of Wenger, but truth be told, Arsenal is just a neccesary noise this season

    my gooner friends back home here are assuming that arsenal is not palying this season, maybe its just Arsene's Boys FC in 5th

    hogwash!!!!!!!!

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  • 36. At 1:22pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    #30

    I think Sheva would have had ambitions of playing the first 11 surely! It's possible that his stay was only as long as it was because of Ambramovich persuading him to stay. (Which is my guess rather than a fact.) Once it became obvious that it just wasn't working I don't think money came into it compared to being treated like royalty in Milan.

    SWP and Bridge are different to Sheva. SWP perhaps had his head turned and thought he could make it at Chelsea. If you ask me, he is nothing more than an average player (sometimes explosive I'll grant you) and he bottled it at Chelsea.

    As for Bridge, well, it depends what spin you put on it. If a player doesn't go to a 'big' club you could accuse them of lacking ambition. If they do, you could accuse them of taking the cash! Either way, he is a good player (better than SWP in his position I think) and from Southampton to Chelsea was an obvious decision.

    I shall watch with interest how he fares at Man City. I wish him well.

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  • 37. At 1:23pm on 06 Jan 2009, Super_Frank wrote:

    There is one thing i have been thinking about that really baffles me. Chelsea during the summer had £30 million or there about ready to spend on Robinho. They were pipped by Man City. So does anyone else not understand where the "Chelsea are not giving Scolari any money to spend" Surely if he can see another player of the same build or really any player he would still be allowed to use the £30 million he was told he could use.

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  • 38. At 1:24pm on 06 Jan 2009, yajustdonsavethose wrote:

    #35
    the sport is football.

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  • 39. At 1:25pm on 06 Jan 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    With vultures circling overhead Scolari is on the verge of finding out the cuthroatism of club football.

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  • 40. At 1:27pm on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    cuthroatism?

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  • 41. At 1:27pm on 06 Jan 2009, Dennis wrote:

    Hi Robbo,
    Enough about Chelsea what about the Boro? They are the ones who need a shake up, IF only we could bring back Hardwick, Mannion and Cloughie!! If Downing wants to leave let him (use the money to buy a goal scorer) anyway we have a better winger in Adam Johnson. The old saying is we are too good to go down (Ha)

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  • 42. At 1:30pm on 06 Jan 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    at number 37...I wondered that too, not to mention the (over the top) transfer fund they have just received for Bridge. Im sure if Big Phil asked nicely he could get a few million.

    But Chelsea fans....Who (or what type of player) would be the target, a realistic target that is.

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  • 43. At 1:31pm on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:

    # 26

    do u have a club u support in the EPL? me think not, cos if u did, u wil realise that even arsenal had countless flops like Reyes,that ghaninan boy, jeremy Aladiere, julio baptista and the likes, at united?? geezzz u had veron, the atlethico madrid striker from uruguay, that black cameroonian, even the hefty Angolan there right now, karel poborsky, , dimitar sluggishtov and the likes.

    for pool, we all know them, they never suceed except torres, Garcia, the tough german, robbie, arbeloa etc

    so look within, cos we all ve our nightmares

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  • 44. At 1:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    41
    Oh I never wash our linen in public sunshine. Suffice to say if he wants to go, let him as long as we get more than the paltry 6 million from Harry.
    (I wonder if Harry's in a consortium that's got shares in Jermain Defoe - nudge, wink - just joking, lawyers.)
    It's going to be survival by a hair's breadth this season (or as I've seen written on a messageboard somewhere - a 'hare's breath')

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  • 45. At 1:38pm on 06 Jan 2009, shmeichelknight wrote:

    Robbo,

    Cheers for taking the time to reply to my comment last week. Don't worry, if you do ever make me laugh, i'll be asking for more of the same.


    Ps A little pedantic picking me up on spelling, wasn't it? Just so you know, mate, the username doesn't fit unless you leave a letter out (hence the missing c).

    I'm sure you meant well, though....

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  • 46. At 1:38pm on 06 Jan 2009, cov1985 wrote:

    number 37.

    I heard that Abrahmovic has been hit a bit by the credit crunch. Don't know if that's true but might explain why there's not £30m lying around.

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  • 47. At 1:39pm on 06 Jan 2009, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    i think one of the main reason why chelsea won nothing last season was petr cech's injury, he is one of, if not the best goalkeeper prior to this season.

    the champions league finale was a tad unlucky as terry's slip gave man utd the cup. if the ball had gone two inches to the left, it would have probably bounced off the post and in. game still on.

    deco's been miserable this last couple of months, and i agree that its time for ballack, lampard and mikel to run the midfield.

    http://wedontknowfootball.com/

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  • 48. At 1:40pm on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:

    to # 42

    u re right, there is some 30million whatever in the bank for scolari, the issues is that chelsea wants to rebrand, and not be seen as a club that throws money aound. the ultimate question is who best fits the bill

    i heard vanederlei luxemborgo said there "..is no tactical formation that a dribble cannot dismantle"

    who is the right player for chesea rigght now, the player that will connect that aging midfeild with a grossly misfiring attack

    who can resurrect chelsea right now???

    SOMEBODY, HELP US OUT!!!

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  • 49. At 1:40pm on 06 Jan 2009, damianconnolly wrote:

    #35

    Do you care to translate into English? All I saw was a reference to an American translation of FOOTBALL, Harry Potter reference at the end (with exclamation points following), and a load of gibberish in the middle.


    #36

    Bridge is an interesting one. At the time he signed for Chelsea, he was vying with (sorry, can't repeat his name) for a place in the England team, but was never a regular as Del Horno and then (unmentionable) kept him out of the team. Surely someone with a little more ambition would have complained and left sooner? There's no doubting his talent, but to not play regular football between the ages of 23-28 is a real lack of ambition. I wonder if he was sold because he realised it was time to move, or because of Chelsea's financial situation?

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  • 50. At 1:41pm on 06 Jan 2009, mape_ventura wrote:

    "Scolari needs to flog Malouda and Kalou"

    I'm not for corporal punishment, but you should pitch that idea to Setanta Robbo...

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  • 51. At 1:45pm on 06 Jan 2009, damianconnolly wrote:

    #43: I've already said I'm an Arsenal fan. And yes, we've signed some lemons, who hasn't.

    But, in Chelsea's case, Scott Parker was doomed to fail - wasn't he snapped holding a flag saying "I hate Chelsea" a week before he was signed? Everyone was surprised when Shevchenko was signed for £30m, weeks before his 30th birthday. And as for Veron, surely Chelsea would have learned the mistakes United made shortly before?

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  • 52. At 1:48pm on 06 Jan 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Good stuff Robbo

    Personally I dislike the players and teams who just take the cash and play one in three games. Go to clubs like Spurs, Everton, Villa and be stars not supporting cast.
    Its the beginning of the end for Chelsea, Roman is starting to blink about pouring his cash into an open sewer....
    I like Scolari but his lack of variety when it comes to breaking teams down just fuels the oppositions optimism that they can get some thing against Chelsea.
    Everytime I see a chelsea flavoured blog people forget the one player that has kept them in so many matches; Petr Cech. He has until very recently been flawless. In the two title years he was immense especially away from home. Chelsea could take chances further up the pitch because the whole team had massive confidence in him.
    It's no co-incidence his downturn in form has affected the team
    Chelsea should be called the White elephants........Bye bye Roman

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  • 53. At 1:51pm on 06 Jan 2009, roine74 wrote:

    #32 Neville & Hargreaves been injured just as much. Instead of complaining about injuries, how about accepting the fact that you neither have the solid squad players nor the promising youngsters that United have.

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  • 54. At 1:53pm on 06 Jan 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    "Deco should be at Anfield - because the name fits the Scouse accent perfectly!"

    Absolutely loved that, Robbo!
    Like he was to the manor born!

    Scolari must be feeling the pinch now Abramovich is not chucking money around anymore.... no more free passes indeed.
    He's a jerk with money and definitely one without. I wish Scolari the best but know this is Liverpool's year....WITH Gerrard.

    Cheers, Robbo!

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  • 55. At 2:21pm on 06 Jan 2009, madeiraman57 wrote:

    Good blog Robbo, thanks for supplying some fun and Teeside humour and occasionally some common sense in 2008.

    As this is about Chelsea - not the team I support ( Man United ) I am not really qualified to say much , but they are a bit like my team not yet firing on all cylinders, but there or there about's - at half time....
    If / when they return to top form, watch out even if Phil 'tinkers'.
    I think the player Chelsea are missing most is Essien, who I would buy for my team, he is a superb athlete and can play anywhere.

    I still see a United - Chelsea 1 / 2 , Liverpool to be above Arsenal , who might just hold off Villa.

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  • 56. At 2:25pm on 06 Jan 2009, dyrewolfe wrote:

    Cheers Robbo!

    Another hilarious blog thats given me a good laugh during a boring afternoon at work.

    I feel the subject of Stevie Mac's coaching abilities needs to be redressed though.

    While they may have been questionable during his time at Boro and downright incomprehensible at times during his tenure as England manager, he's obviously doing something right over in Holland.

    FC Twente (as of December 28) were third in the Eredivisie, unbeaten in their last 6 games (won 5, drawn 1).

    http://www.skysports.com/football/league/0,19540,11905,00.html

    ...makesh you shick, doeshn't it?

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  • 57. At 2:25pm on 06 Jan 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    "I've not drunk an Avram but it's not a bad name for that manky cup of tea that you forgot to take the bag out of."

    Seriously funny.

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  • 58. At 2:33pm on 06 Jan 2009, mk89don wrote:

    I can see Scolari going if trophyless and behind both Liverpool and United!
    All I can say is...... Di Matteo!!!!

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  • 59. At 2:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, stufool wrote:

    When will everyone wake up? Chelsea were good at the start of the season. Yes, right up until Stevie Clarke left then things turned downhill.

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  • 60. At 2:38pm on 06 Jan 2009, Mike Martin wrote:

    Carvalho has been poor without Terry by his side in the last two matches. Terry, Essien and Lampard have been carrying inferior players for eighteen months now.

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  • 61. At 2:41pm on 06 Jan 2009, madeiraman57 wrote:

    # 56.
    Mac was very bad as # 1 at Boro and in the England job, but did very well at OT.
    Perhaps he is better working through others, he obviously needs an interpreter in Holland and his tactics - coaching skills etc. are probably conveyed to the players better via this channel.
    OR - in the UK / Premiership / England squad he was dealing with some very ' thick ... overpaid dimwits' ???

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  • 62. At 2:41pm on 06 Jan 2009, AmericanEnglishMark wrote:

    I have a friend who works for Portuguese Sport Radio, he predicted Scolscari's downfall in the summer... He said that by Christmas things would start to go wrong.

    Re #13 I think Steve Maclaren could have won the world cup with that Brazilian Team...


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  • 63. At 2:41pm on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Good point re Steve Clarke. Old-fashioned number two. Could do with one of them meself after all this Yuletide overindulgence.

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  • 64. At 2:44pm on 06 Jan 2009, 49 and thats a wrap wrote:

    >> At 11:59am on 06 Jan 2009, dogboyuk wrote: ... Nottingham Forest. Secondly our Chairman has a few bob as well...

    Is language skill so deficient these days? Robbo's comment was: "It's always nice to see billionaire's playthings come up short (special mention for Notts Forest here!)"

    Makes me laugh.

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  • 65. At 2:49pm on 06 Jan 2009, panchopuskas wrote:

    Can't understand why Chelsea let Robben go. He's playing like a man on fire for Madrid and a poll in today's Marca asked who was better Messi or Robben? Robben got around 35%.

    So, you want a dribbler? You sold the best one in the EPL.

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  • 66. At 2:55pm on 06 Jan 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    At 65. Robben was good, but very ineffective when people sussed out he only had 1 foot. In England he got less and less time on the ball and wasnt as effective.

    Havnt seen him in Spain so couldnt comment, but I would guess he gets a lot more time on his good foot in attacking areas.

    Oh and not to mention he was injured every other week.

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  • 67. At 2:58pm on 06 Jan 2009, Super_Frank wrote:

    i believe Robben's agent is also his father or at least his father had a large part in when he moved to Madrid. Still i think chelsea shluld have held on to him because Kalou and Malouda just dont cut it for me. In an example there should be a pole. Which of these wingers would you most enjoy playing against in the EPL. Take the top 4 and you get :

    a) Kalou
    b) Ronaldo
    c) Riera
    d) Walcot
    and if you like
    e) Young

    Im pretty certain that kalou would win though his only competition would be from Riera.

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  • 68. At 3:02pm on 06 Jan 2009, Chelsea logic wrote:

    4. At 11:56am on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:
    I ve been a Chelsea fan for 11years, and in all that tym, nothing has astounded or angered me more than the extension of lampards deal,


    --------


    Are you having a laugh? Take away Lampard's goals and assists and Chelsea will be sitting just above the relegation zone and over the last few seasons we wouldn't have won the league without Lampard's goals and productivity. Why are you having a pop at one of our better and more consistent players? Lampard is without a shadow of doubt our most influential player in midfield.

    Where we are breaking down is in wide areas at present. Teams have cotton on that if they stop the supply from our full backs we have no other threat coming from wide areas. Malouda and Kalou are creating nothing between them, Kalou gets the odd goal but Malouda is ineffective. J.Cole is blowing hot and cold lately but needs to feel loved by Scolari like he loves Deco. Both Ballack and Deco can simply do one if they do not want to contribute much to the cause. When they decide to play they look uninterested. They either pull their socks up or we look for replacements.

    What concerns me is how we are letting hard working players leave the club and keep hold of dead wood. SWP is a better player than Malouda yet we let Wrighty go and sold Robben who is 10 times the player of Malouda. We let Bridge go and kept Ferreira. Why are we letting experienced prem players leave the club and keeping unproven or not up for the job type of players? The club is taking huge steps backwards for me. When Jose was here we were signing players like Essien, Carvalho, Drogba and A.Cole, before Jose we signed J.Cole, Cech, Robben and Makelele. Now we are targeting players like Belahrouz, Pizzaro, Sidwell, Ben Haim, Malouda and Kalou. Isn't that dropping the standards? Or are we just losing the edge on spotting the correct player for our team?

    Lampard is not the problem but far from it. If we hadn't had sorted out his contract in the summer and he had left us god knows what situation we would be in now......A darn sight worst one suspects!!!!!

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  • 69. At 3:08pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    every team has a rough spot, and we're just riding ours, and yes the draws have been bad, but we've been beaten less than liverpool? liverpool lost to lower table teams, man utd kept drawing, arsenal, well that's just a joke. granted we've had a few knock backs, but being beaten by the top four teams seems less problematic than being beaten by stoke like arsenal did, or the lesser teams that held or beat liverpool... you mention liverpool winning and us waning since? erm, 3-0 the week following, that's hardly waning is it?

    as a chelsea fan, i'm more content that they're dominating nearly every game even if they're not winning them all, and you can't say that of liverpool, their 1-0 wins have hardly shone the light for the great game, and they'll stumble soon as the wuss with kidney stones over rotates his team again...

    chelsea will get it back in time, half the squad were injured so you can't expect instant recovery, otherwise ronaldo would be leading man utd to glory every game? and phil is a new manager to a new system, personally i'd like to know who else has had the same successes when joining the premiership for the first season? we'll strengthen our squad, get rid of the drift wood, and get back on form in time for champions league, fa cup and premiership; people keep talking of man utd sneaking up, but the truth is they'd hit their top form 1-2 months before now this time last year, and they're nowhere near it, and liverpool, well are liverpool, they'll capitulate to screw up their own season soon...

    though i will agree about malouda being gotten rid of, i still can't see what mourinho-scolari saw in him, surely he's squandered more chances than shevchenko ever did?

    and if we don't win anything this season, i'll at least be happy that we've played some truly awe inspiring games, and apart from liverpool vs newcastle where the geordies just lay back and thought of england, you can't say the same of liverpool, or even man utd this season... so quit the whinging eh?

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  • 70. At 3:14pm on 06 Jan 2009, fillerywhereru wrote:

    Not a bad article Robbo -pretty amusing and some quite close to being accurate-one thing we still have is a sense of humour!

    As said Scolari managed a world cup winning side (which with ten men were streets better than england) so should be given more respect. Personally I think he has inherited a side which played a certain way and won trophies doing it. He is slowly changing the style to be more pleasing on the eye but in doing so is leaving us open to counter attacks/ set pieces. When the team is playing well they are good to watch but have no wingers who are quick which slows down our attacks and is easier to snuff out. The addition of a decent quick winger like Arjen robben (who on his day was the best attacking player in the premiership ) would go some way to solving this. Either way the we will be there as always some of us remembering when it was us and not the team that wiped the smiles of faces of the childish taunters ;-)

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  • 71. At 3:18pm on 06 Jan 2009, marrakoosh wrote:

    #8 Then Chelsea won't win through lack of defensive depth. Whichever way you spin it. They ain't winning squat.

    Man Utd still have a very good chance. We all know Liverpool's ability to draw and even lose to the arguably "lesser" opposition in the league. Man Utd still also have two games in hand. Not to mention Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool all to visit Old Trafford.

    I'm most gutted about Arsenal this season. And it's ashame that Walcott, Fabregas and Rosicky are all out. They may have had a chance at something. Now though, I think Villa can break the top four.

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  • 72. At 3:20pm on 06 Jan 2009, fillerywhereru wrote:

    By the way i don't think that people did work Robben out most of the time he had a below average match he was recovering from his frequent injuries and even then the very threat of him pushed back the defences and opened up the field for others to create/finish! Even his last game (Cup final v man utd) he came on with Man utd slightly on top and ruined Wes Brown so much he had to try and crock him. It tipped the balance of the game and chelsea went on to win despite him going off due to a typical English defenders lunge from a bewildered Brown!

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  • 73. At 3:22pm on 06 Jan 2009, gunnerslover2007 wrote:

    Thanks Robbo, I never had a name for tea the way I like it before, but now I can announce proudly that I want an Avram and if they leave in a Schevchenko instead of a tea bag I'll be off quicker then you can say "not one of the bottle".

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  • 74. At 3:27pm on 06 Jan 2009, Scousejay23 wrote:

    #69

    Liverpool have only lost once to tottenham, Chelsea have been beaten twice by Liverpool and arsenal.

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  • 75. At 3:30pm on 06 Jan 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    also at 69...most of that I couldnt understand, but what I could understand was pretty rubbish. As the chap above has pointed out, Liverpool have lost less than Chelsea. Man Utd have lost as many as Chelsea, but away to Arsenal & Liverpool are quite respectable defeats.

    You also say who else can get instant success in a first season as a manager. As a chelsea fan have you forgot about Mr Mourinho already?

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  • 76. At 3:33pm on 06 Jan 2009, C Payne wrote:

    Damian Connolly, Wayne Bridge when he signed for Chelsea was their 1st choice and pretty much only senior left back.

    Del Horno signed a season after Bridge and started the season injured & couldn't displace Del Horno or subsequently A Cole on a regular basis.

    The move at the time was in the best interests of both parties, just like his move to Man City is in the interests of both parties.

    #61, I very much doubt McClaren has a translator - the Dutch speak English almost fluently (only if you go to the very rural areas does the level of English deteriate significantly).

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  • 77. At 3:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:

    to no 68
    now this is what i mean about lampard, he is just so direct, that these day, players like him are getting increasingly ineffective. his goals mean alot, but he is getting paid to make them not take them. and as u can see, our strikers are getting the wrong passes
    about the quality of players we re signing, every one u mentioned were signed by jose. benhaim, malouda, sidwell, bouhlaruz, pizzaro and the likes, so u see, jose is not much a saint afterall
    the gud news is that, this cant last forever, lampard did his bit wen chelsea were trophy starved, now we need something else, someone esle to consolidate
    we need skill, guile, intelligence and not just brute force.
    as u can see, spain has set the pace, it pays play rather than just fight, cos afterall, football aint rugby

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  • 78. At 3:49pm on 06 Jan 2009, nate_dogg89 wrote:

    Great blog Robbo, and i feel the same as you that Chelsea will end the season trophyless, for a number of reasons, Manchester United have already been to Villa Park, The Emirates, Anfield and Stanford Bridge, whereas none of those four teams have been to old trafford which leaves United in a great position, also Chelsea have forgotten how to win ugly..... Although Mourinho's team played great football they won a lot of points by the odd goal ( Usually as you mentioned with a Lampard shinner) but this is what makes champions. And for that reason i beleive it will be between United and Liverpool, as long as Stevie G stays out of jail!

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  • 79. At 3:54pm on 06 Jan 2009, Stevieleg wrote:

    Re comment 69

    Just check again on the fact that you have been beaten less times than Liverpool.

    You have been beaten twice at home and Liverpool have been beaten once away!

    The number of draws are identical both at home and away.

    Hence the 3 point gap

    And with regards to everyone who says Liverpool will drop out towards the end of the season, I wonder if they are the same ones who said ?Liverpool will have dropped down by the New Year?

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  • 80. At 4:03pm on 06 Jan 2009, fillerywhereru wrote:

    I don't remember many people saying that Liverpool will drop down by New Year. most people said by March when it can rightly be described as a 'title race'. At the moment Liverpool are merely pacesetters a la Arsenal of last season-if they are still in the top 2 in March then they can say they are in a title race for once.....could hapen!

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  • 81. At 4:03pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    ...apologies, i stand corrected, chelsea have lost more (tho i try not to count the arsenal win as that's gotto be the worst offside goal allowed this decade), but as you say, to top 4 teams, whereas teams like tottenham have beaten you who are bottom of the league (they beat you twice in fact, don't forget the lesser cups)-With alonso, keane and gerrard's futures in the balance, torres still recovering; i just think it's a bit premature to say that chelsea wont win anything this season???

    75. as we're not using user names; surely mourinho is the exception that proves the rule???

    also to whichever idiot keeps making comments on peoples writing or grammatical errors, do you really have nothing better to do with your time? this is a blog and hardly warrants our full attention, also this is not school and it's a sign of inferiority to be so petty and point it out, so if you're going to do it, at least do it in red ink underneath like a teacher would...

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  • 82. At 4:09pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    great point 80.

    surely this column would've been better served talking about man city who are suffering the most right now?

    either way, i think chelsea have been amazing this season, and i could watch most of their games again and again, can you really say the same for liverpool who for half of the season have just been waking up with 5 mins to go and banging a late game winner in?

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  • 83. At 4:22pm on 06 Jan 2009, ginge wrote:

    i could not agree more with the comments of the original writer.
    My prediction is that Chelsea and Arsenal will win nothing.
    Its going to be a fight between Man U and Liverpool for prem. Man u could do the slam but i believe Barcelona are the best team in Europe at the mo.
    Its great that the richest are not necessarily the best i.e man city and chelsea.
    As a villa fan i think you did not give us a fair shout as i believe we have done the best out of all the teams and can break the top four or top three if we can beat chelsea at villa park.

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  • 84. At 4:22pm on 06 Jan 2009, Reds69 wrote:

    #80

    Then you conveniently missed all the "out of the race by christmas" tosh that was thrown about until...oh...christmas. When we were still top. As a Liverpool supporter, I'm more than happy for people to discount our threat. See you at the end of the season!

    #69

    1-0 and rotation. Sounds like you're just regurgitating last season's press nonsense and not actually watching matches. No surprise.

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  • 85. At 4:27pm on 06 Jan 2009, Reds69 wrote:

    #81

    I'd rather take points of Chelsea and lose to Tottenham than vice versa!

    Keane, Gerrard and Alonso's future in the balance? Now you're really grasping at straws.

    I would never say that Chelsea are out of the race for anything at this point. Nobody with a brain would say that--just look at the table. But your ridiculous arguments about why Liverpool are supposedly struggling more than Chelsea don't make sense either. Makes you look scared!

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  • 86. At 4:30pm on 06 Jan 2009, Celts_R_Here wrote:

    *68 Chelsea Logic.

    I think comment No.4 was making a point that no matter how good lampard is he is not worth £150k a week. If he loved Chelsea he would not have held out for that kind of ridiculous salary. When Chelsea's money run out and Abramovic takes off you will wish that you still had the Lamps salary money in the bank.

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  • 87. At 4:33pm on 06 Jan 2009, U8157443 wrote:

    "I ve been a Chelsea fan for 11years"

    Says it all.

    ****

    You two know each other??

    You realize the other fella could be 20 years old or something don't you?

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  • 88. At 4:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, Kubali wrote:

    'No-one could have predicted Robinho going to Man City at the last minute and then to top it all, Roman saying "no more money mate sorry!".'

    Oh how my heart bleeds for you! For once Chelsea have to live in the real world and can't spend ridiculous amounts and get any player they want. Boo hoo.

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  • 89. At 4:38pm on 06 Jan 2009, Ian Shuter wrote:

    Re 5

    You are quite right the BBC should stop referring to you as Notts F*%#@*.

    We Leicester fans are not allowed to use the word F*%#@* for fear of being contaminated by "Red Trent Fever", a nasty virus which causes delusion and high fever which is turn leads to ramblings about the 80's.

    Therefore I suggest the BBC use the same description as Leicester fans do, very simple:

    F*%#@*

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  • 90. At 4:40pm on 06 Jan 2009, ginge wrote:

    just wanted to make an independant comment of the feud between Liverpool and Chelsea bloggers.
    I would say that their is a greater chance that Chelsea will fall away than Liverpool.
    Liverpool have a much better team spirit than Chelsea.
    I think big rom is getting fed up with football and will not waste his hard earned cash any longer.
    Big Phil could walk out ,he has the temperament to do so because he is not good enough. The players are always whining and complaining of this and that!
    Football is a simple game up to the point of Benitez whom always surprises me and i bet alot of other managers with his tactics and selection.
    For me Mourinihio wins things and his teams will never play attractive football like Barcelona and Man U. Benitez is the best manager out there at the mo and only fergie the master can get one over on him.

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  • 91. At 4:43pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    86: what so if you love a team you should cut your salary??? what nonsense... sorry but sport is a relatively short career for most, so good on him, it's not as if they can't afford it?

    85. last i heard alonso could be injured and out for the season? keane rumoured to be sold, and gerrard has a court date which could lead to a 5 yr sentence... they're quite meaty straws, perhaps you're being a little naive? but yeah, i'd hate to lose to liverpool, same as i'd hate to lose to arsenal and man utd...

    84. i have been watching the matches, unfortunately setanta has been showing more liverpool games than chelsea, and i live with a scouser who forces me to the pub when they're on sky-last year was rotation city, i can;t believe all the press remarks were totally unfounded, think you're being a lil defensive there...

    not sure about "richest not the best" comment from 83. from most neutrals i speak to they say we've been playing better than both teams, just some unlucky losses in games where we've dominated for 70-80 percent of the game? maybe you don't agree with that, and there is truth in the idea that it's all about winning, but at this point of the season where it's all in the air, it feels alot less embarrassing when we're still playing really well, just not scoring-but that;ll change?

    the thing is, we've played better away from home, and all our top 4 games are away, so i have to admit i'm feeling quietly confident...

    ok, boss has just spotted my screen-so carry on the bitching and i'll catch up later ;op

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  • 92. At 4:45pm on 06 Jan 2009, No way José wrote:

    The amount of fickle football fans that post on here and on 606 is ASTOUNDING =|

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  • 93. At 4:47pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    92: the joys of working jobs you don't like with internet access... it's either this or go mad on facebook...

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  • 94. At 4:49pm on 06 Jan 2009, Celts_R_Here wrote:

    91. They clearly can't afford it now if they have no money to buy anyone.

    Also, it may be a short career but for playing football £150k a week is nonsense and i think Lampard has plenty for his pension fund (prob about £30m).

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  • 95. At 4:54pm on 06 Jan 2009, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Frankly, what Lampard and/or any other player is paid is nothing much to do with us.

    If you feel that strongly about money and the Premier League then cancel your Sky subscription and paying for tickets and merchandise and put the money into your local club.

    Lampard paid £150k a week or £100k per week. Doesn't matter.

    All that matters is that is he deserving of his place in the starting 11? The answer to that question is clearly yes.

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  • 96. At 4:58pm on 06 Jan 2009, jay842 wrote:

    Good blog, would have been more intersting if Robbo would have predicted that at start of the season.

    All he has done is blogged, is what is blatantly obvious. A team that cannot overcome Fulham, Burnley, Southend, Newcastle, Cluj (away) wouldn't really be odds on to win anything.

    Like someone said earlier, if these are crisis times at Chelsea then I can't wait to see what the good times are like!

    Going Chelsea home & away games will always be a good crack for me!

    Season Ticket holder, Shed Upper!

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  • 97. At 5:00pm on 06 Jan 2009, robdem wrote:

    Basamta - regarding your comment in Post 4:

    I would have agreed with every single word you wrote until you said we should sell Frank Lampard, as you're right, our squad is generally too old.

    However, despite his age, Lampard continues to perform consistently at a very high level, and has been our best player this season, along with Mikel, Bosingwa and Anelka.

    You suggested Hamsik as Lampard's replacement, and I think I speak for all of us when I say, WHO?! Are you honestly telling me that this unheard-of player would be better than Lampard, the only midfielder in the world who guarantees you 20 goals a season?

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  • 98. At 5:00pm on 06 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    When Chelsea beat Man Utd on their own pitch at the weekend, can we assume that the BBC Football website will be closed down until everyone forgets about it, allowing 'comedians' like the article writer to then return to their usual tongue-down-the-trousers treatment of Ferguson and his distasteful gang as if nothing ever happened?

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  • 99. At 5:02pm on 06 Jan 2009, FLJTJC wrote:

    #82 - Very true, Liverpool have been playing boring football for many years, they were over shadowed by Chelsea under Mourinho for a year or two.

    Chelsea are playing very attractive football at the moment, but not getting the results.

    Liverpool on the other hand are about as much fun as watching an over 90's 10,000 metre zimmer frame race, however they are getting the results (which is what counts)

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  • 100. At 5:10pm on 06 Jan 2009, Reds69 wrote:

    #91

    Xabi out for the season? LOL! How do you get this from "he needed 7 stitches and will be sore"? The extent is not yet know, but NOWHERE has there been any indication of him being out long term. The rest of your drivel isn't worth comment.

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  • 101. At 5:12pm on 06 Jan 2009, BigOhGee wrote:

    perhaps Steve Clarke leaving did make a big impact?

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  • 102. At 5:13pm on 06 Jan 2009, BigOhGee wrote:

    and at #99, to be fair, Liverpool can play some boring football but recently have been passing the ball about pretty tastily

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  • 103. At 5:45pm on 06 Jan 2009, Kubali wrote:

    Anybody else find it amusing having Chelsea fans whinge about not being able to spend gazillions on any player they like? Their spending in the initial years under Roman was ridiculous. Maybe he has overspent like the rest of us and is now in huge debt! ha.

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  • 104. At 5:48pm on 06 Jan 2009, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    United shall beat Chelsea on Sunday, and the Blues shall finish Trophyless again this season. UNITED!!!

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  • 105. At 6:17pm on 06 Jan 2009, ARSHENAL wrote:

    I do not mean to be picky but technically money does grow on trees. Oh wait thats being picky. Ah well Arsenal to surprise everyone and surge back up the table. Im not saying we will win it (no chance) but we will finish just a few points off the eventual winners (likely to be man utd). Leaves us to choose between the FA cup or CL.

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  • 106. At 6:50pm on 06 Jan 2009, leeboy20 wrote:

    Big Phil has been in management for nearly 30 years right? He has won numerous trophies including what most consider to be the biggest one of all. So why at the age of 60 did he decide to take on a job in a country where has no experience, on a continent where he is unproven, when after a disappointing Euro 2008 campaign retirement would of been better suited? More than likely for the money, being one of the highest paid jobs in football it would be to good to turn down, true.

    So I can't blame the man for taking the job and don't doubt that he wants to test his abilities in arguably the best league in the world. But Chelsea doesn't need a manager who is approaching his sell by date but fancies a nice send off pay package, or who doesn't understand how having more shots and possesion doesn't always equal a win. Scolari doesn't have time to learn the way of the English game, I could be wrong but it's more than likely that he has only one season to win the Prem' and/or the Champions League and at this rate he won't succeed.

    It's not that he isn't a great coach, but that he isn't a great manager. The squad was low on morale when he arrived and it was down to him to get the team together again, but that wasn't made any easier when the romours of some key players wanting away from the club starting spreading. Even now after 5 months there is still much unrest amongst the players and no matter how much Phil thinks the players love him, he will struggle to steady the ship throughout the month of January.

    As a Chelsea fan I want to believe that we can still win the league, on paper it doesn't look as impossible as I make out but for me we aren't currently having a poor spell of form, this is what I would call a bad season. Similiar to when Liverpool finished 5th in 2005, I just hope we are as lucky as them and can reach the Champions League final.

    3 Tips for Chelsea.....

    1. Stop buying everybody else's dead weight e.g. Shevchenko, Deco. Bring in young players with potential that have a point to prove e.g. Joe Cole, Lampard who both arrived with little international experience, now look at them.

    2. Get rid of our dead weight (players and staff). From the players that want to go and the the one's that simply can't cut it, to the Cheif Executives that need to go (Mrs Peter Kenyon-Abramovich).

    3. Have a manager, not a First team coach! Somebody who looks for the players he wants and gets to pick who plays. That concept could actually work. Saddly Scolari doesn't suit this role, hopefully the next one will be given this luxury and then hopefully players will truely respect him...

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  • 107. At 6:59pm on 06 Jan 2009, stavorano wrote:

    Right now lads, enough's enough. Here's the first XI Chelsea team that's gonna win the 2008/9 season. Cech, A. Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Bosingwa, Essien, Ballack, Lampard, J. Cole, Anelka, Drogba. Yes they CAN play together, and there'll be no more talk of money, egos or mutiny! Up the Blues!

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  • 108. At 7:01pm on 06 Jan 2009, Chelsea logic wrote:

    77. At 3:36pm on 06 Jan 2009, basamta wrote:
    to no 68
    now this is what i mean about lampard, he is just so direct, that these day, players like him are getting increasingly ineffective. his goals mean alot, but he is getting paid to make them not take them. and as u can see, our strikers are getting the wrong passes
    about the quality of players we re signing, every one u mentioned were signed by jose. benhaim, malouda, sidwell, bouhlaruz, pizzaro and the likes, so u see, jose is not much a saint afterall
    the gud news is that, this cant last forever, lampard did his bit wen chelsea were trophy starved, now we need something else, someone esle to consolidate
    we need skill, guile, intelligence and not just brute force.
    as u can see, spain has set the pace, it pays play rather than just fight, cos afterall, football aint rugby


    ------------------------


    You obviously don't watch Lampard play that much then. His game isn't just about directness. He times his runs in and around the box but most of his territory presence is in the middle of the pitch. Why are you mentioning just his goals? Why are you dismissing his assist tally? Isn't that creating goals? Many are from
    open play and he is the best set piece taker in the team. He lacks pace but that's not his game. His game is vision of the pass and the ability to score goals from anywhere. No matter who comes into this midfield, Veron, Petit, Ballack, Deco who are some massive players both by name and ability but neither have claimed the creativity role from midfield from Lampard. That's why he is worth his place in the team. On the money issue it's irrelevant to his inclusion in the team. He is in the team on merit, nothing more. There is no other player for me who can replace him. 20 goals every season with countless assists in double figures for others tells me there is nobody better in his position as a central midfielder who can control the flow of the creative side of our game. He is central to almost every passing move and you want to take that out of our starting 11? without Lampard we would be lucky to make top 4 or progress that far in Europe. Lampard has been pivotal to any success we have had in the past and will be pivotal for any future success too. One player isn't enough that's for sure, but there are too many players who are not producing the goods, and that is anyone other than what I consider the core of the team which consists of Cech, Carvalho, Terry, Essien, Lampard and Drogba. Anelka, Boswinga, A.Cole and J.Cole have all added some contribution, but anyone else is not doing much for the cause. Lampard is not the problem and will never be the problem either. You hate him for whatever reason but the majority of Chelsea fans respect him and acknowledge his worth in the team. That's how it is......

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  • 109. At 7:18pm on 06 Jan 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    Chelsea will win nowt this year. It'll be slightly worse than Avram's year and then they'll have, by Roman standards, another dud on their hands.
    __________________________________

    A brave prediction Robbo. Only 3 months ago people were tipping them for the historic Quad!

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  • 110. At 7:20pm on 06 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    good blog again Robbo!some of the comments are pityful-especially me instead of my(napierblue)-bloke has no sense of humour!!keep it up Robbo.Chelski gorra bit of stick but what the heck-all the misfits were only bought to spite other teams buying them.Been a bit critical meself to Lamps,but he pulls his weight well and is back on the scoring track!being an ex-pat get plenty live games,so I get to see more matches than my wife weekends!!too early for predictions,top 3 scaping thru game after game.Relegation zone is huge and my beloved NUFC with miser Ashley at the helm are deep in it.JK keen on selling Xisco(who´s he?-the invisible man?) and Enrique to gather funds-hello who the f--- do you get for that?Smith could be sold-who to?Blythe Spartans?by the way¤10 Ameobi is the original Coco the clown!!

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  • 111. At 7:22pm on 06 Jan 2009, Chelsea logic wrote:

    about the quality of players we re signing, every one u mentioned were signed by jose. benhaim, malouda, sidwell, bouhlaruz, pizzaro and the likes, so u see, jose is not much a saint afterall


    ------------------------------------------


    Did Jose have any say in these signings? Are they really players he would have set his sights on? There is a big eye raiser on whether Jose wanted Shevchenko. I think this was a major factor why Jose wanted out. Other people have been meddling with the transfer policy of ins and outs at the club. Kenyon and Arnesen are two people that strike me as interfering and totally disruptive, and then there is Roman himself on any input he has. Shevchenko was so obviously Roman's purchase and not Jose's. So can Jose be held responsible for some of those lame transfers? It was well documented that Arne sen had his hands in the pot. He was earmarked as bringing in players like Pizzaro, Belahrouz, Kalou, Kezman and Ben Haim. If any of that is true, no wonder Jose couldn't wait to get out. Arnesen is very good friends with Roman by certain sources. There is more than meets the eye here. How long before Scolari gets itchy feet when he cannot have the players he wants or have much say in who's coming and going. What stroke me was how SWP was sold over Malouda. In preseason Scolari showed great faith in SWP by playing him almost every game. Then all of a sudden he was sold. Did Scolari have any say in it? Then he saw his target Robinho given up on the last hour because Kenyon failed all summer to wrap up a deal for a player he needed and most probably have gave us that extra dimension in wide areas since the selling of Robben. That's another strange one as well. Did Jose really have any say in the selling of Robben? He always spoke highly of Arjen yet was reluctant to comment on his departure. Very strange.

    There is a pattern forming here. Lampard and now Jose, 2 of the greatest things that has happened to Chelsea in recent years are shedding your blame and disrespect. 2 great legends for me now at this club. Are you sure you're a Chelsea fan? I suppose Terry is your next victim of criticism.

    What I see lately is the club taking several steps backwards instead of forwards. Our transfers are getting fewer and the quality is getting desperate.

    Jose took just 2 seasons to build Stamford Bridge into a fortress and put together a bunch of winners with a never surrender attitude on the pitch. In less than 2 seasons since his departure we have moved in full circle and are now looking the complete opposite. So YES, I say Jose was a gallant saint if you ask me.

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  • 112. At 7:42pm on 06 Jan 2009, rob wrote:

    Good discussion. Just a clarification though: Scolari has won far more than the world cup; google him and see for yourself; the list of titles is vast and meaningful, which led him to the National team. He was one of the very few consensus as coach for Brazil then.

    He is one of (if not the) most victorious coach of Brazil (yes more than Luxemburgo who has lost to Scolari many times even when Lux had superior squads).

    He has won everywhere with the exception of Portugal. And quite frankly, I don't think it was possible to win anything with that squad (not that bad a squad but with Key deficiencies - GK/ST/DM). So, Portugal is incidentally the only place, you are going to hear bad things about him since supporters always blame the coach (tm).

    Whether he succeeds or not will depend on several factors, including how the club does in the transfer window. Anyway, I just wanted to point out that he's not a one trick pony or a clown. Though he can and does play a part when talking to the press (even in Portuguese). Well, all do.

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  • 113. At 8:09pm on 06 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    98...
    God if there's one thing that pishes me off more than owt else it's some pillock insisting I'm a closet Man U fan cos I'm tipping them to win summat. Do you know I was going to write summat about Fergie's tedious announcements around fixture lists being biased against his precious babies but you know what? I thought of the trillions of United fans who barrage this column with suggestions that I want to pelt the first team bus with the worst vegetables available in Teesside allotments and I thought 'Nah! I'll give 'em a break.' Judging by the name, Red Sam This Year Honest!, I'd guess you support ermmmm... Liverpool? That'll be the Beeb then with Lawro and Hansen draped across the couch every Saturday. But at least when they're a bit partisan they admit it - and they have the nous to reckon on United still winning the whole shebang - a bit like me. The next person who comes on here and even remotely suggests I'm up Fergie's alley is going to get a right bloody mouthful probably in the style of that Derby manager's Dad.

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  • 114. At 8:38pm on 06 Jan 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    Yoman Avramsmebich has got the baliffs in the Ukraine sorting out some unpaid gas bill, it could turn out to be a lot of hot air !
    No super stadium, Bernie and Mittal will outdo him with a 100,000 seater next to the Beeb in W12 ! Poor Avramwazmebich,
    what's next ? Waitrose have a sale of Claret on a saturday, the car parks full and the Bridge will be empty ! At least he's got rid of Wayne Bridge for a few roubles, didn't take enough yellow cards the poor chap. Harry at the Lane has got money troubles, is having to pay over the odds, he would sing love songs about the Spurs from the North Bank at Highbury as a child, he could be about to fulfill those dreams, taking the Spurs to Wembley, via the play offs !!

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  • 115. At 8:54pm on 06 Jan 2009, ayodeh wrote:

    I don't see Chelsea winning any silverware this season and Phil will be the biggest disaster that ever happen to the club. A man that will analyse the problems of his team so well at a post match conference but couldn't do anything about it while in the field of play is a failure in every respect. Chelsea is still second in the league not because of what Phil has to offer but because of the character of the players. I think the club needs to look out for someone else if is to make impact next season otherwise the club will loose most of the players

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  • 116. At 8:57pm on 06 Jan 2009, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Robbo predicting Chelsea will win nothing this season?

    Great!

    This surely means Chelsea will win something this season, as Robbo likes to get his predictions spectacularily wrong.

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  • 117. At 9:29pm on 06 Jan 2009, subbacultcha123 wrote:

    112, very well said-though whether he's upto the job at this time of life, or in this current climate given the time and freedom to truly create a team in his vision is to be seen? i personally think he's another manager who gives the game some much needed personality (and some laugh-worthy mixing of metaphors) and if we don't win anything it'll have been a more enjoyable season than the avram era-but i really do think we'll win something, a team with those players, that manager, i mean, we're not newcastle for christsakes, this is a dip (and hardly a catastrophic one at that), something man utd have suffered this season, and something liverpool will innevitably stumble into? yes they are passing it better, and i hope they do when i have to endure another match on setanta this wkend with friends-is it me or are the later matches generally a bit dull?

    also it's good to notice that after each of the losses, draws or unconvincing games is usually a 3-0, 5-0 etc. result following...


    personally, i hope we strengthen the squad (coughs; apologies for spelling; ashavin would be nice in my eyes), shed some deadwood (malouda, kalou, , and get back to early season performances-but writing us off seems more ridiculous than the idea of arsenal dropping out of the top 4 (especially if villa buy a 20 a season striker, ahem)-it'll definitely be another great season, and all the better for chelsea, well, being chelsea...

    i find it a little disheartening about how deco has been lambasted, he has made a great addition at times, and after a tricky injury he's at least getting back to form - with essien back it could be a tasty partnership on the horizon...

    gets on soap box...
    criticising people's desire, or commitment, or how long they've been a fan of a team seems stupid also, if you love a club who is anyone else to decide your worthiness of supporting them, or having an opinion, don't agree by all means, but there is always someone smarter than you, better looking, fitter, more popular... splitting hairs over their validity to be a fan is a bit childish really...

    also whinging about a club having too much money seems redundant in this modern game, there were rich clubs before chelsea, and richer clubs since-the fans can't do much about it, and i think if most people were honest, if it happened to their club, they'd soon get behind it, and if not, i doubt they'd change teams? man utd fans complaining seems even more ludicrous, the game is inevitably going to get larger, more money involved, and whilst there are negative effects which can be addressed when this sudden insurge has been acclimatised by the fa, surely bringing in world talent for everyone to marvel at or even laugh at is good for the game-it seems silly for it to even be a point these days? it's funny when it goes tits up, but even man utd had seasons in the last 20 yrs where they won nothing, whereas in the last 10 years we've surely become second to them when it comes to silverware in the premiership? even some pre mourinho, which seems to escape manys minds...

    also this is a blog, they wouldn't make them if people didn't want to use them, so again, don't insult people for using them whilst using it yourself, it makes you look like a hypocrite...

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  • 118. At 9:41pm on 06 Jan 2009, lfc_ftw wrote:

    #35

    Its NOT SOCCER

    its FOOTBALL!!!!

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  • 119. At 9:50pm on 06 Jan 2009, tarquin wrote:

    re 118

    except when 'sky sports soccer saturday' is on - merely for alliterative purposes

    anyway

    so by worse than Avram, Robbo, you mean champions' league semi final and 3rd in the league - I can see that

    United are the biggest threat I feel, a draw on sunday would be very good

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  • 120. At 9:58pm on 06 Jan 2009, ayodeh wrote:

    man utd 2 chelsea1

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  • 121. At 10:37pm on 06 Jan 2009, stevevieg wrote:

    correct. get rid of kalou and malouda and get in tevez and downing. put in lamps and obi put ballack and deco on the bench.
    but supposed 'money bags' chelsea wont spend the money so we'll have to ride another season and not win anything then hope we at least qualify for the champions league but i doubt that more like the uefa cup i think ! hurry back essien

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  • 122. At 10:45pm on 06 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    113,

    Get off your high horse you dreary prat, stop hiding behind your ridiculous persona and try writing something worthwhile.

    Just because you've been rumbled YET AGAIN there's no need to spit the dummy out.

    And enough of the fictitious Middlesbrough rubbish - it's tedious.

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  • 123. At 10:58pm on 06 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    And as for your assertion that "they have the nous to reckon on United still winning the whole shebang", even the the most basic bit of research will show that the pair of them have moved right into the middle of the fence vis a vis their 'predictions' of late.

    But never mind, you stick slavishly to the BBC corporate line if you want to.

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  • 124. At 11:07pm on 06 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    For instance:

    Lawrenson: "following the end of Spain's long wait (Torres will) be determined to bring to an end Liverpool's search for the Premier League title too, which I think he will do"

    Hansen: "'I have been tipping Chelsea for the championship all along [so much for them both tipping Man Utd!], but the longer the season goes on the better chance that I think Liverpool have got"

    No wonder the BBC is in a mess with the likes of you spouting your wholly inaccurate rubbish.

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  • 125. At 11:19pm on 06 Jan 2009, boolot wrote:

    18. At 12:31pm on 06 Jan 2009, King_Eric_Cantona wrote:
    Scolari isn't a clown, I'm sure if the post match interviews were in Portugese he'd be incisive and articulate about his team's performances.
    It's also hard to inherit someone else's team and there have been a few key injuries

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Totaly agree mate!! Lets see Robbo write his blog in Portugese and see how "confusing" his words are!! That said, those from his neck of the woods don't speak english so well either do they, so maybe thats why i'm confused by his blogs!!

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  • 126. At 11:55pm on 06 Jan 2009, Riggadon wrote:

    At 11:59am on 06 Jan 2009, dogboyuk wrote:

    firstly can the BBC please stop calling us Notts Forest, Notts is short for Nottinghamshire and they play in Black and White. We are Nottingham Forest.

    Secondly our Chairman has a few bob as well: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/rich_list/article3788857.ece

    ------------------------------------------------------

    As a fellow forest fan, I feel it is my duty to point out that Robbo is taking the urine out of us......and it appears to have gone way over your head.

    Good aim Robbo. A little lower next time! You might get him in the face and then he'll be left in no certain doubt!!!!

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  • 127. At 00:35am on 07 Jan 2009, GazUtd wrote:

    So just who's teenage daughters are you trying to keep happy then?

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  • 128. At 00:39am on 07 Jan 2009, BlueTGH wrote:

    I agree that Chelsea will find it tough to win something this season, but when has it been easy?

    I am worried about the fact we have not been able to get the right results of late, but would like to reiterate what others have said, including Big Phil, in that we have been dominating games and conceded very late goals. Had we not conceded so late then the picture would be a lot rosier, obviously.

    Scoring goals has been a problem yes, but only by a matter of inches, and I do agree that Kalou and Malouda need replacing.

    It goes without saying (in my opinion) that had Robinho come to the bridge, we would be sitting well clear at the top of that table, but hey, the final day of the summer transfer window was a shock I think Chelsea needed.

    Big Phil needs to be given time. Everyone bangs on about the fact managers are not given enough of the stuff and there is the argument that Jose winning the Prem in his debut season was a trojan horse.

    I think it is a 3 horse race between Utd, Pool and Chelsea for the prem. I'd rather the FAC & CC be won by a team outside the prem to be honest and in my eyes there is only one winner of the CL this season - Barca.

    Anyway, for everyone taking this blog as an opportunity to rip into Chelsea, concentrate on your own team's problems, Chelsea are still only 3 points of the top after all...

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  • 129. At 03:24am on 07 Jan 2009, Rob Smiley wrote:

    Chelski aren't missing Terry... they're missing his elbows.

    If you're a striker, and you know you're going to get a mouthful of his arm judiciously applied to your snot-box every time you go up for a cross, you're going to pause and check he's not in the vicinity before jumping into a world of potentially expensive dentistry.

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  • 130. At 03:51am on 07 Jan 2009, ikolton wrote:

    at last someone who can see what most of chelsea fans cant admit,avram grant did good job for chelsea,can you imagin what would have happen if grant was the mannager of chelsea today,he would have to go hide some were from angry fans and writers.chelsea had a chance to realy make some changes and still stay at the top,something sir alex knew to do,they shoud have hired one of this :rikard,ziko.ladurop,or mancini.and let him be a mannager.sell drogba lempard maluda,while they can get good money for them and bring new young and exciting players.insted they hired old renieri,they will not win anything this year,you eat what you cook.

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  • 131. At 03:55am on 07 Jan 2009, Crumbs wrote:

    I can see Chelsea picking up some speed in the second half of the season, but I wouldn't go as far to say that Liverpool will stop knowing how to win. Liverpool are grinding out the results while everyone else around them seems to be just not cutting it.

    We talk about Shevchenko being a waste of time, well look at Owen going to Real. Prolific goal scorer - 1 every 2 games - but injury and lack of experience in the Spanish game let him down. Sometimes you're just too well suited to a certain style of football you can't change a league like that. Shevchenko clearly isn't as bad as everyone makes him out to be: the guy's scored the most goals in recent European Competition history...

    Scolari won the World Cup with Brazil - not the greatest achievement - but clearly didn't impress when at Portugal. When you have Ronaldo in your team and you fail to even let the guy play his stuff, you really have to ask yourself questions. Mourinho was a showman and knew how to handle the media. He was funny, passionate and mixed it up. But he won. Scolari comes across as a bit of a joke, and whereas we were laughing with Mourinho, or at least thinking "What a crafty so and so" (or something to that extent) we just laugh at Scolari.

    Avram wasn't exactly the most characteristic managers around, but he'll do more good than Scolari I bet.

    Get rid of Ballack, Lampard and Drogba? I'd say another season or two before thinking that. Good point about not being able to play Drog and Anelka though, and clearly Anelka is proving his worth. Ship Drogba off to AC not Inter, and let him battle it out with Jose on the pitch. I'd like that!

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  • 132. At 05:53am on 07 Jan 2009, sheeptest wrote:

    Have to agree with Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! on this one, typical cutthroatism from Robbo yet again. I'm getting sick of his Man U bias on these blogs.

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  • 133. At 08:10am on 07 Jan 2009, zyder wrote:

    Let's all have a go at Chelsea seems to be out of jealousy. Remember when Man U won everything, they got just as much if not more stick than the blues. A team of world class players not performing to world class standard week in week out? Surely not? A world class manager bought in from national coaching not getting it right in the first year? Scandalous.
    Just about every single comment from the BBC about Chelsea seems to be lacking common sense or football sense for that matter. Anything to get something.

    Probably makes me a hypocryte if i could spell it

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  • 134. At 09:17am on 07 Jan 2009, FreddoFreddo wrote:

    Thanks phil, i dont know what Scolari is doing with Deco. Deco needs to be on the bench. I guess Scolari is missing it gradually and he wont vwin any shield this season. I'm a chelsea fan but if Scolari does not look properlly he will FALL.

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  • 135. At 09:24am on 07 Jan 2009, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Happy New Year Robbo,

    the festive break has done you wonders, ur back on top form, keep up the good stuff, more of the same in '09!!!

    "His work-rate makes Dimitar Berbatov look like a soldier ant." - nice to see that im not the only one who thinks Deco is naff, a few fancy flicks and a bicycle kick goal dont cut the mustard wiv me?!

    I definately agree that Scolari needs to get rid of Malouda and Kalou, if they wanna challenge, cz thay arent forwards and they are both very poor excuses for wingers!

    "the lad couldn't stab a beached whale with a toothpick, bless him." - Quality Stuff, Brilliant

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  • 136. At 09:28am on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Red Sam BlahBlahBlah....
    Now you must be dipping your flies in the nearest ditch in the hope of getting a bite. There is no corporate line being expressed here - just an opinion - and the idea that whatever I've got to say about owt has got owt to do with whether the Beeb's in a mess is plain ridiculous.
    The use of the word 'slavishly' is a bit bloody insulting too, given that your stance on what I might or might not think seems to be based not on what I say but who you support.
    Fair dues over Lawro and Hansen, mind. Most pundits 'adjust' their positions according to circumstances and the fact that Liverpool beat a set of mannequins in Newcastle colours 5-1 seems to have got a lot of people believing this year.
    And it's not like I'd mind if Liverpool won the whole thing this year. It'd make a nice change and might hasten Fergie out to pasture.
    (See how I've managed to avoid the 'dreary prat' kind of remarks...)

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  • 137. At 09:50am on 07 Jan 2009, whatbill wrote:

    Great blog Robbo, some good points made alongside the usual humour.

    Sounds like Red Sam is getting a bit hot under the colllar about United gradually closing in on the top of the table. If they play close to their potential in the second half of the season then Liverpool will not be able to stop them and I think most pundits are realising that.

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  • 138. At 09:53am on 07 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    That'll be the same "set of mannequins in Newcastle colours" who managed a draw with your beloved Utd on their own pitch, I take it, yet you still tip them for the top - seemingly the only one at the BBC to now do so, following your embarrassingly hasty backtracking.

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  • 139. At 10:06am on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    All right son. Congratulations on the most successful Robbo-baiting thus far achieved on this messageboard. The 'beloved' United comment was a masterstroke of needling. You might say the same about Liverpool's failure to beat Stoke at home meaning something. It doesn't. I haven't backtracked. I thought United would win the Premiership and I still do. Unless you are, once again, confusing an occasional old blogger with the BBC.
    Now go and pester some other poor codger and let me get back to me Glory Glory Man United songbook.

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  • 140. At 10:14am on 07 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    Thanks.

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  • 141. At 10:19am on 07 Jan 2009, karl_C wrote:

    The transfer policies of Chelsea over the last few years are coming home to roost; irrsponsible buying, with pressure from the owner has created a disjointed team with no balance or structure.

    Duff, SWP, Sidwell, Boulharouz, Alex, Belletti, and Ben Haim were bought to stop the opposition having them.

    Shevchenko failed to make an impact, and once his confidence went he was as much use as a chocolate teapot (apart from one end-of-season goalline clearance).

    Sacking Avram Grant was in keeping with an owner who wanted a team who play flamboyant football; unfortunately for them, his replacement doesn't seem able to combine this with winning consistently.

    Mourinho's rotation policy also naffed off a lot of the players, although this is part of the game now at most top clubs in the Premiership.

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  • 142. At 10:38am on 07 Jan 2009, "And Solskjaer has won it!" wrote:

    Alright people, big Manchester United fan here. Enjoyable blog. Ok, lets start. Chelsea aren't as scary as they were. When the Chels come to Old Trafford on Sunday I will be happy if Ballack Deco and Anelka are playing. Ballack huffs and puffs, while Deco goes missing for most of the matches lately. I know that people will pull me up now and say that Anelka is top scorer, I don't see much of a threat in him. He's not as quick as he was and I think he needs 3-4 chances to score 1 goal.

    And then Scolari...i dont know about Scolari. I think his limited English gives us the idea he doesn't know what he's doing, but I think he's a good manager. Chelsea obviously thought he was the man for the job, but i think Scolari has come to realise that the premiership is bloody hard. A year ago I wouldnt dream of imagining a team will win at the bridge, and this year I quietly fancied Southend. To be fair, I think Essien and Carvalho are Chelsea's best players and they have been missed.

    I don't feel that Chelsea's form will fluctuate much from now until may. I dont feel they can just snap out of it and go up another gear. Liverpool worry me, but I think when Torres comes back their results will start to differ as they'll be trying to win in a different fashion.l.....which leaves the way for my beloved Man United to steamroll through and take it all!

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  • 143. At 10:54am on 07 Jan 2009, clearcheesecake wrote:

    Chelsea should stop worrying about man united, there biggest threat is villa taking there place in the top three, villa are the most exciting team in the world at the moment with their speed and skill every team fears them. Villa also show strong and robust performances, 80-1 to win the league isn't far off they can do it, yes it would take laots of luck but they make their own luck.

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  • 144. At 11:12am on 07 Jan 2009, blizeH wrote:

    What the hell are the Avram Grant comments about? You're just making ridiculous generalisations based on his looks.

    If you bothered to actually listen to him in his interviews you'd realise he was actually a very witty, charming and jovial fellow - far more so than either Jose or Scolari, and more so than most managers in the league to be honest.

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  • 145. At 11:22am on 07 Jan 2009, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! -

    Come off it mate, the Beeb are well known for their love of Liverpool and all their ex players on the pay roll and pundit seats! Your just upset and miffed that he is one of the very few that doesnt keep banging on about Liverpool and doesnt keep blowing smoke up their posteriors and banging on about how great Liverpool players are, i.e Roy of the Rovers, Xabi a-Long-Ball etc.
    If uve actually read his previous blogs there aint really any team, especially the top four, that he hasnt berrated or abused, all equally in my recogning?!

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  • 146. At 11:28am on 07 Jan 2009, TaffyBlue wrote:

    Chelsea will come good .

    I dont think they need to buy anyone . I'd play Gael Kakuta on the left wing . Hes 17 and a class about Malouda already .

    See for yourself

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ajS0jYO_ANo

    This kid could take the prem by storm and reminds me of Robben at his best.

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  • 147. At 11:29am on 07 Jan 2009, TaffyBlue wrote:

    class about Malouda sorry lol

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  • 148. At 11:30am on 07 Jan 2009, TaffyBlue wrote:

    damn it lol . CLASS ABOVE .

    typing with a hangover is great .

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  • 149. At 11:31am on 07 Jan 2009, Ant1979 wrote:

    #143...

    Villa are doing well and building a good team. They don't really have any cover for their key players though and to say they're the most exciting team in the world is a little optimistic I think :)

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  • 150. At 11:38am on 07 Jan 2009, ripley11 wrote:

    Great blog as normal Robbo

    Good to see you give some attention to us southern mambies!

    Well 2nd place in the league (given Man U could sneak in between if they win their games in hand) & only 3 points off the top with a massive goal difference advantage over the rest and you can see why Big Phil ain't losing too much sleep on things yet.

    Deco started the season like a man with a point to prove - but having seemed to have proved his point (can cut it in the premiership) has slackened off. Joe Cole has obviously been a bit miffed as has been clearly been playing better than Deco but is always the one to get pulled off for substitutions!!

    Good point whoever brought this up first - since Steve Clarke left the results / performances have not been as good. It has been well documented that the club did not want him to leave but also didn't want to stand in his way.

    Glad to see some true Chelsea fans on here - a team that can't beat Burnley, Southend, Newcastle won't win anything! and that playing good football and playing teams off the park even if not winning... So not all glory hunters then!!

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  • 151. At 12:01pm on 07 Jan 2009, I dont want a display name wrote:

    From one who thinks that they know so much it's a little poor that youi think that there's a team called Notts Forest.
    Did you mean Notts County or Nottingham Forest (and no, Notts is not short for Nottingham).

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  • 152. At 12:17pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    I'd be proper gutted to see Scolari leave, his post match interviews are the best thing on tv.

    'So Phil, do you think you can pick your team up and get them back on track following this defeat?'

    Phil: ' eeeerr (shoulder shrug), we need to kill these team. But ze player understand we need win (shoulder shrug and incredulous raised eyebrows). And if win we need point!'

    Surely he uses an interpreter in his teamtalks? If not maybe this is why things aren't going to plan?

    I don't think Chelsea will win anything, and long may that trend continue. To sack a manager so soon after back to back league titles (Mourinho) is absolutely crackers, and underlines what will continue to be Chelsea's downfall (and Real Madrid's) - Having an owner with the unrealistic view that just because loads of money has been spent you have to win everything every year! There are far too many world class players for that to happen. Even if Chelsea had the 25 best players in the world, Man Utd or Barcelona would have a similar number too. Abramovic should beg Mourinho to come back to the bridge, and let him remain there for as long as he wants.

    The title is between Man Utd and Liverpool, and as a Liverpool fan I hate to say it but I think utd will edge it. Come on Fernando!

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  • 153. At 12:18pm on 07 Jan 2009, plin68 wrote:

    Hilarious, Robbo.

    #87 - He could be 11.

    #89 - Get it right. It's F*r**t, not F*%#@* - like L**c*s**r. (Actually it's not but the auto-moderation on here won't let me have more than two **s in a row!)

    #97 - You can't have agreed with every word. Unless you are the new agree-er in chief of made up words.

    #105 - technically money doesn't grow on trees. It's made out of trees. And ink. And stuff.

    #139 - Robbo don't lower yourself! If you must, where are your white highlights like the other blogs?

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  • 154. At 12:22pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    and I forgot to mention, if it aint broke don't fix it! Why did Chelsea make any changes after winning the league with 94 points in 2006!??!!?!? Madness!!! They absolutely spanked the competition. They had Robben, Cole and Duff playing some of the best football I've ever seen on the wing! That squad should have remained unchanged for several years!

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  • 155. At 12:35pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    91 - subbacultcha123

    gerrard facing 5 years? Gary Glitter was only behind bars for two months mate! Longer in Vietnam, but for his original charge in the UK he got out in two months!

    5 years for a man with a previously unblemished character (apart from one or two nasty red cards when he was twenty), 70ish England caps, an MBE? Not going to happen mate.

    I work in Newcastle at a college providing learning support. The other day I met a 19 year old lad with a tracksuit and an attitude. He has several previous petty convictions. He told me he recently had the same charges as Gerrard, was convicted and got a 3 month suspended sentence. So no jail for a young troublesome scallywag in Newcastle, yet you expect jail for Gerrard? Occassionally footballers get sent to jail for death by dangerous driving, but the only one that I can recall going to jail for anything less was Joey Barton, and he has a track record of violence. Gerrard has always stayed out of trouble, and he can afford the best lawyer in the country!

    Come on Liverpool!

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  • 156. At 12:38pm on 07 Jan 2009, Myleftslipper wrote:

    Chelsea have fallen prey to the paradox of keeping the same team for too long.

    Teams generally do not stay at the top for too long without changes the pieces. Eg. Man Utd's treble team was overtaken by the invincibles at Arsenal, who in turn were surpassed by Chelsea, who now have been relegated behind Man Utd again.

    Carvalho, Terry, Lampard, Essien and Drogba have been the backbone of this team, but, as odd it as may seem, Chelsea could benefit from dumping a couple of them.

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  • 157. At 12:44pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    I always seem to see posts saying liverpool have played boring football for many years.

    Does anyone else think that this is nonsense? Of course we have our off days like anyone else, and we were exceptionally boring under Houllier, but under Benitez the biggest problem we've had is not converting the chances. People think we're boring when we have a nil nil or a one one, but the truth is we've consistently ripped teams apart (granted, we did have a dreadful patch at the start of 2008) and have failed to find the net at times. Stoke at home this season was nil nil, yet we must have had 25 chances. Likewise at home to Athletico Madrid in the CL. I know we do play boring at times, but to say we're always really boring is the sort of comment made by people who haven't actually paid us any attention since Houllier, when we would always play safe and pass the ball back even if there was a forward pass on, and were dreadful. Under Benitez we've played some fantastic football.

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  • 158. At 12:45pm on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    ah 143.

    One of this season's most startling developments - the upbeat Villa fan. Here's hoping they do pip Chelsea to third but i won't hold me breath. And the 'world class' comment is as overstated as O'Neill's description of Ashley Young.

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  • 159. At 12:50pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    Hey myleftslipper,

    You say you need to make changes to maintain dominance? Occassionally this is true if your team is lacking, but after a season with 94 points and a fairly young squad you don't need changes! Chelsea made changes and then failed to win the league in 2007! Does this not prove my point? You say utd's treble team was overtaken by the invincibles of Arsenal - this was 5 years apart 99-04! Man utd went on to win the league again in 2000, 2001 and 2003. I don't remember any major changes apart from Beckham leaving, in fact he may not have left until 2004 though I'm not sure. Of course you may make changes over 5 years but when you already have a fantastic squad who have just broken the record for the number of points in the top flight like chelsea did they should keep the same squad!

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  • 160. At 1:09pm on 07 Jan 2009, GretnaPat wrote:

    Chelsea cannot play Anelka and Drogba up front together. It just doesn't work. Anelka was bought as cover for Drogba when he was injured. If I was Big Phil I;d play a midfield of Essien (holding) Lampard and Ballack. With Joe Cole on the left and someone (probably a new signing!) wide right. In a sort of 4-3-2-1 formation. Either Anleka or Drogba up front.

    Sorted.

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  • 161. At 1:18pm on 07 Jan 2009, Myleftslipper wrote:

    davy,

    Of course it's easy to pick holes in my theory and there are many exceptions. I was making a very general statement.

    I take your point about Utd's treble team but i actually meant Arsenal won the league in 2002 and probably at that point overtook United's place as England's best team.

    Chelsea's first title was coming up to 4 years ago and many of the same key players remain. Chelsea have to ask whether or not the likes of Drogba and Lampard are as effective and hungry as 4 years ago and not just keep them in the team because of their earlier success.

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  • 162. At 1:52pm on 07 Jan 2009, Bring_back_Gus wrote:

    Dear Robbo

    You have some valid points here mixed in with that usual north east based claptrap. You know, the kind that say Stewed (sic) Downing might be worth more than 14.5m (infact he could have gone for around £6m) and Mike Ashley is a cockney....

    Scolari seems to have hit the buffers tactically right now. He needs a serious re-think and it has to involve the experience of Terry, Lampard etc who played many systems under Mourinho. All of this is possible but it needs to start next week - he will get away with against Man U simply because they allow you to play football.

    It's also correct to point at Deco and say he is washed up - why else would Barcelona sell him ? His reputation is further diminished by the purchase of Mineiro - another washed up Brazlian and completed by Fabio Paim... who? Exactly


    However what you can't say is that Chelsea will win nothing. It's entirely possible that luck could give us a route through to the FA Cup final and get rid of potential threats - despite the poor buy issue Chelsea do have quaility players that can, on their day, match anyone in the PL.

    Equally we still have a reasonable shot at the Champs league - it's an outsiders one, but Porto proved that can happen.

    If Avram, with no tactical nous at all can almost get us there, so can Scolari.

    All of that said, Big Phil is not the manager that Abramovich envisioned. To have been that he would need to have had European experience at club level - ala Rijkaard. I still don't understand why Chelsea did not look more seriously at big Frank.

    The above has now been made worse by Roman's reported losses as a result of the credit crunch and the possibility that he's going to veto any transfer activity. Personally, I think that's a ruse to drive any fees down - but it would not surprise me to know that Roman has said no to anymore £25m plus purchases. And that will rule out a lot of the established top players - Kaka etc.

    As for Jose - yes it was a big mistake to sack him, but Abramovich was waiting for Chelsea's fortunes to dip and they clearly had when he unloaded him.

    One final point - Chelsea's pressing needs are for a winger and holding midfield player. Once they do that, then push Mikel foward to where Deco is, dump out Ballack and Malouda and put the winger in. Then we'll have flexibility to change system. The PL will then be a more realistic possibility. But still watch out for Chelsea in the Cups.

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  • 163. At 1:57pm on 07 Jan 2009, LondonsFinestClub wrote:

    To be honest, I hope it's United who win Nowt as you so elequently put it. Chelsea have looked fractured in their build up play and Deco is without doubt a reason for this. Another, is the inability to change tactics when we score. Chelsea seem to continually plough into a brick wall and hope something will work, So much effort and possession and so little direction or focus. As for our concentration it has been deteriorating of late as it was last season. How many times have Chelsea conceded in the dying moments in the past twelve months, Villa, Wigan, Everton, Bolton last season, Fulham and Southend this season. Essentially this cost us the title last season and may do so again. Chelsea need to lose Zonal marking, man for man from set pieces except the players on the posts. Scolari to his credit has more goals and least conceded from his team than any other, but home form has cost him first place and put United in with a better shot. Injuries can be blamed as can Chelsea's adaptation to a new system, but perhaps Chelsea need to revise some of their defensive strategies ala Mourinho to see games through. Team morale is low and the media are as usua hunting for blood, let us remembeer Ferguson was at United Three seasons before he even won an Fa Cup never mind the league. I am disappointed but Chelsea are easily good enough to beat any of the top three or four others, it will take focus, concentration, determination, discipline, and a little creativity. Perhaps Scolari has the right ingredients but he is using them incorrectly or in the wrong order. Chelsea need to go back to basics as we gift opportunities to the opposition at present especially through Deco and Malouda, please learn from your errors Phil, use Ballack and Anelka instead. They at least have strength and can tackle.

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  • 164. At 2:06pm on 07 Jan 2009, whatbill wrote:

    #159 - Bringing in new ageing superstars against the managers wishes is clearly not the way to go but you do need to make a few changes even to a winning team - otherwise players get complacent and teams get found out. The key is to do it with a couple of carefully considered signings per season.

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  • 165. At 2:07pm on 07 Jan 2009, BillyDaviesHasRabies wrote:

    NOTTINGHAM Forest.

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  • 166. At 2:16pm on 07 Jan 2009, codchiller wrote:

    Robbo, hmmm, the little dig at Lawro and Hansen confirms my worst suspicions. You are in fact Gary Lineker's huffy side, right?! Knew it.

    Avram as the name for a manky cup of tea, that was good. He was fairly shoddily treated, though, by Chelsea given his near successes. Scolari needs more time to adjust to the EPL and the shape his best team. As a Man United fan, dumping Scolari would be great as they're unlikely to get a better manager.

    As for Liverpool, I don't see it happening either. But why would you want Fergie to go? Pure fear, I guess. He's produced some of the best teams English football has seen over the past two decades. Don't want to see anymore?!

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  • 167. At 2:41pm on 07 Jan 2009, Granadaland wrote:

    It's NOTTINGHAM Forest and NOTTS County, dimwit.

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  • 168. At 3:10pm on 07 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    boo hoo 162 (forever_blue737),what about the £600m+ already spent on players by 3 different managers?give me strength!!!!!!!
    read Abromovitch is down to 3rd richist in the PL,boo hoo!!grow up will you!!

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  • 169. At 3:10pm on 07 Jan 2009, Crumbs wrote:

    I love the NOTTS vs. NOTTINGHAM row on this forum, it really is amusing.

    And Robbo, you're telling me you don't think Ashley Young is possibly one of the greatest young English talents to emerge from homesoil in recent years? Or do you mean to say he has to look elsewhere for a better chance of becoming an England international? If Aston Villa make a few quality signings and keep investing in the youth system along with keeping the same managerial staff in place, there's little reason to think they couldn't be a threat to the top 4.

    Ashley Young should be Liverpool's top transfer priority. If they had an emerging star like him - someone with potential to be utter world class - then there's not much else they need.

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  • 170. At 3:13pm on 07 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    well done Robbo,you´ve certainly got some feedback on this blog-liked your patter with
    Red_Sam-certainly stroked him up the wrong way!!

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  • 171. At 3:18pm on 07 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    Stroked me up the wrong way?

    Really?

    If you check, I think you'll find that I wasn't the one who was so flustered that I had to resort to blatant lies.

    Check your facts before pressing the 'Post Comment' button, little boy.

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  • 172. At 3:45pm on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Oh dear, Red Sam's back... hallelujah.

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  • 173. At 3:50pm on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    169

    Ashley Young's been very very good this season. I'd pick him for England, for sure. I think O'Neill called him a genius, though. He's not. Let him solve the economic downturn or entirely debunk the theory of evolution and then we might be ready to hurl around them sorts of descriptions.

    In the meantime Forest fans... rest assured I will stop calling your team Notts Forest. How about Not County?

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  • 174. At 4:09pm on 07 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    hiya Red_Sam-what makes U fink am a little boy?based on what?suvvern instinkt?youre first comment¤98 is what if not ruffled feathers!!!
    grow up!!
    sorry Robbo-had to get back on this!!great stuff eh?

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  • 175. At 4:24pm on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Be my guest, sunshine.

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  • 176. At 4:28pm on 07 Jan 2009, jimmynick53 wrote:

    I can't see Chelsea winning the league anyway - they looked brilliant at the start of the season especially away from home when they had space, but it does look as though PL teams worked out a way to frustrate them at the Bridge and that is starting to happen away from home as well now .... and they don;t seem to have any plan B when it does not go well in any particular game. Liverpool have played some good stuff and may keep up the pace, but I worry about the depth of their squad - especially if Gerrard is affected by this court case (and who knows how long that will drag on) and if Torres has more problems with hamstrings - since he relies on that fantastic pace it will be hard to protect them if there is a weakness. I can't see Arsenal making up the ground, but none of the top teams should expect to get anything below a wonderful display of football when they meet the Gunners - so I think Arsene's boys may have a huge say in where the PL goes this year.
    Man U seem pretty well placed - and have a squad which seems to me bigger and stronger than the other top teams but perhaps the most important thing is that they can change their personnel without changing the style, and they can change their style without having to change their personnel - they seem to have much more flexibility than the other teams have. Certainly they have not been converting enough of their chances but they have been creating so many that once they start going in someone is going to be on the wrong end of a thumping.
    Champions League is much harder to predict .... Any of the 4 English sides could win it, but any of them could go out in the next round - looks like 4 cracking ties with all sorts of spicy subplots ...

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  • 177. At 4:58pm on 07 Jan 2009, Davestargalactica wrote:

    #174 - No wonder he thinks your a little boy, learn to spell, muppet.

    Besides the point, always enjoy the blog, or at least the debate it creates.

    However (although this may seem like sitting on the fence), i think its far too early still to be making predictions, never know whats round the corner in terms of results, players coming in during the january window, or even injuries.

    All bodes well for a gripping second half to the season though at both ends of the table.

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  • 178. At 5:15pm on 07 Jan 2009, Crumbs wrote:

    Why so much aggression on this forum? I never understand it.

    In response to your reply, Robbo, I wasn't aware of him calling him a genius. That is a tad far fetched I'll have to admit.

    Not County? Class.


    You've definitely posted a decent blog here - starting out with talk about Chelsea and big Phil and sparking a huge debate about other footballing matters along with the Nottingham Forest fans having something to say!

    Good job.

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  • 179. At 5:42pm on 07 Jan 2009, stavorano wrote:

    #146 is right- Gael Kakuta really is a sensational player, I think all Chelsea fans need to check this kid out and get behind him getting into the first team. Here's that link again

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ajS0jYO_ANo

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  • 180. At 6:12pm on 07 Jan 2009, BigShifty wrote:

    Red Sam Red Sam with your head full of spam

    You remind me of a little girl

    "I DIDNT START IT *GASP* *STOMP* (insert derogatory remark here)!!"

    amusing

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  • 181. At 7:14pm on 07 Jan 2009, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    Sigh.

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  • 182. At 7:51pm on 07 Jan 2009, tarquin wrote:

    Being a good blogger and rising to it I see, Robbo

    however your closet Birmingham support has shone through - of course ashley young is world class!

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  • 183. At 9:17pm on 07 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    yo Daveoftherwood-what a load of bu--sh--!
    guys like you really p--- me off-arent allowed to extract the michael??muppet-I know who the muppet is!!!you got it right pal-Robbo as you mentioned creates quite a debate from his blog and oh! by the way - January is spelled with a capital J !!!!!!at least it was when I went to school way back in the 50/60s-little boy eh! OK granddad I give in!!

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  • 184. At 9:46pm on 07 Jan 2009, davy_p_82 wrote:

    I'm with Daveofthewood here like. Lets have proper English. So what if he missed the 'J' from January. Why bother going to school if you're going to write like Vicky Pollard?

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  • 185. At 07:07am on 08 Jan 2009, Cameron wrote:

    Good blog Robbo, at least we didn't have to read about your pub team or Middlesboring for a change.

    I agree that Chelsea will win "nowt" this season hopefully.

    Firstly I must say for the record, I am a Gooner and I think we will also win "nowt" this season unless some serious signings are made.

    I think that Abramovich is now starting to see the wheels come off the Chelsea cart which he has bankrolled so lavishly.

    It's a bit like watching an artist paint a masterpiece and then ruining it with too many extra brush strokes.

    In Mourinho he had possibly the best available manager in the world. He can never have Sir Alex so he is out, He would probably like to have Arsene Wenger but even he has a similar UCL record to one Avram Grant.

    He should have kept Mourinho, and maybe should even eat humble pie and ask him back. Or....he should never have sacked Grant. I know he is the Anti-Ranieri but he did do an exceptional job in running Man Utd right to the finish only to suffer a painfully agonising finish thanks to slipsy JT.

    So if 2nd in the league and UCL runner up gets you sacked after 3/4 of a season then what hope does any manager have of lasting more than a season at the Bridge. Maybe they should re-name it Stamford Plank.

    But it is a comedy for all to see the wheels falling off. When Chelsea bought SWP it really was just to stop him from going to Arsenal.

    And at 3.3 million pounds a goal or 638 thousand pounds a game, Andriy Shevchenko really was a great bit of business for Chelsea.

    Lets hope they continue this wonderful transfer policy of big money for big names with big wages that stroke the big ego's of the players that just "love" big Phil.

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  • 186. At 09:44am on 08 Jan 2009, blues_dream wrote:

    This is a very good article, i really think Scolary has had enough, he is just not dynamic, any good team can easily mark out chelsea with scolary having no option or a way out or totally confused. Only to tell Deco to start knocking the ball to Bosingwa and all in futility.

    To be frank chelsea will win nowt at the end of the season

    We don't need to spend money if the money is not available

    Solution:
    Lets go back to morinho pattern, we need pace

    Consider some of the guys in the youth team, some of them are better than Deco and Malouda, someone like Gael Kakuta

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ajS0jYO_ANo

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  • 187. At 09:45am on 08 Jan 2009, FinnTheLurcher wrote:

    Deco may be full of languid brilliance and his apparent laziness may be a way to beguile the opposition. However, the jury is deffo out. Joe Cole is always substituted, never seemingly able to cement a starting spot, but one of the very few players who really can change the game. Drogba is a busted flush, but Joe works well with Malouda in providing opportunities for Nic Anelka. It's vital central midfield floods forward - so, Essien alongside Frank. Ballack (too slow) and Deco (too lazy?) benched. Carvalho and Mikel will help JT shut the back door, Bosingwa and Ash can also provide wide overlap support. Be a bit more direct and we're there!

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  • 188. At 12:54pm on 08 Jan 2009, Y-I-1892man wrote:

    Yo Robbo,I´m back for more!!great blog-loads of comments-still think Phil is maybe out of his depth in the PL-our way doesn´t suit his Brasilian way of thinking?too naive perhaps?Jose (love or hate him) adapted well to English footy(possibly a bit too arrogant)-Grant would have still been in charge(Abra´s own choice)if JT hadn´t found that slippery bit of Beck´s turf!?still don´t feel sorry for Phil or Chelski though-so much dosh thrown down the drain on mediocre football players!!what a mouthful from a "little boy"cya mate-keep em coming!

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  • 189. At 1:28pm on 08 Jan 2009, timmyjimmy wrote:

    At 3:50pm on 07 Jan 2009, Robbo Robson wrote:

    In the meantime Forest fans... rest assured I will stop calling your team Notts Forest. How about Not County?

    Ha-ha, good response Robbo, I like it!

    Nottm Forest is the preferred abbreviation though... ;)

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  • 190. At 1:52pm on 08 Jan 2009, yaksemaj wrote:

    The biggest problem that Chelsea faced this season, in my opinion, was plugging the gap left by Claude Makalele. Whilst he was undoubtedly a long way the wrong side of 30 he has so far proved irreplaceable. Madrid have struggled for a long time to do so, and possibly still haven't. When he was missing over the last couple of years for Chelsea, the replacements were all found wanting; Geremi (poor quality and weak), Mikel (rash, naive and mistake prone), Essien (totally wasted in this position) and Diarra (rarely given a run but probably the best replacement - now at Madrid for £20M!!)

    The understanding he shared with JT and Carvalho appeared telepathic and his positional brilliance allowed the likes of Lampard, Ballack and Cole to roam and attack often without a thought for defence.

    Regardless of the over-sized ego of Drogba - who is not worth the trouble he causes at the club or on the field, the weakness and ineffectiveness of Deco, the tiring legs of Ballack and the absence of the monster that is Essien, its the stability of Makalele that the team has been missing.

    As a life-long Blue, I sadly agree that we will probably be trophyless this year!

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  • 191. At 5:16pm on 08 Jan 2009, goleooo wrote:

    You know what I find amusing among all this comments.
    People who talk about ballack's tiring legs.

    why don't you check the stats and see that Ballack runs more miles per game than any other chelsea player. you confuse movement for speed boys. time to take a physics course.

    I agree with many of you on deco, who indeed makes berbatov look like an ant soldier, but ballack.

    Come on the guy is german, but he is one fine german who has done more than all of our english chelsea boys together. Of course our english pride stands a little on the way of realism, as we just like, actually really love to hail our own heroes and gods of football, who can't even qualify for the world cup let alone take their teams to finals.

    so enough of using Ballack as a scapegoat. The failure of Chelsea is that they cannot use Ballack's mind in midfield thus they force him to play more defensive positions, Ballack's air superiority because not one player in our team, including Lampard cannot cross for the love of god. Yes if you try 12 times you are bound to get one right,, but that's still a very poor rate which you don't get against top teams, and lastly his power which they undermine by again keeping him far from the goal area.

    and now scolari....i am sure scolari watches that ballack goal against portugal every night, hence he would rather play deco. BY THE WAY, ANYONE WANTS MY HOME GAME TICKET? I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD PAY TO WATCH DECO PLAY. WANT MY MONEY BACK.

    But it is time for the fans to blame each other too. We have allowed this to get to this point in much the same way by worshipping what we consider our players due to their name: terry, lampard, a cole.
    get real....lampard anywhere else would be a mediocre player, terry appart from being a heavy defender is too foolish, and any intelligent forward can dance around him if it wasn't for carvalho most of the time.

    but i just felt like saying it, because it is not fair for us to make ballack a target. Mourinho knew exactly what he wanted to do with Ballack, but sadly for him, he had created a sort of chelsea team that favored muscle more than intellect, which backfired.

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  • 192. At 10:59pm on 13 Jan 2009, jimmynick53 wrote:

    Having said before Sunday that I can't see Chelsea winning the league, but Champions League was possible because of the format, I have to say I can see them winning nowt ... they were abject on Sunday - all the arguements about how far Ballack runs etc. are of no consequence - he is not providing any control or any penetration, Deco's confidence looks shot altogether, Lampard is struggling to make anything happen either so they don't look like scoring many goals and then the anxiety of some poor defending recently seems to be haunting them. Man Utd seem to have enough players who have different strengths to be able to put out different personnel and adapt their style of play subtly without losing their fluency. They are going to have to do without Ferdinand for a month altogether now as well losing Evra for a month just after coming back from suspension (as well as Hargreaves, Scholes and Brown long term injuries this season) which is why they have a big squad but the astonishing thing with all the success they have had is someone like Giggs running the show on Sunday as though he had never won anything.

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  • 193. At 11:14am on 14 Jan 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    Getting back to the crucial question of how far up Fergies ally is Mr Robson, I must submit the concerned opinion that he is very much at home in the place.

    His respect for the man is clear, and his criticisms are forced, intended to create an outwardly neutral position.

    But so what?

    So what if he thinks ferguson will win the title because he has more of what it takes?

    Why does he have to lie about loving the great man?

    All these angry ManU haters are achieving is to muddy the water, and to spread the London losers creed.

    I think it is time for Robbo to come out. He should declare his love for Fergie because there is nothing wrong with it. He should eb proud.

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