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Chelsea scramble shows worrying signs

European Football Chelsea
by philmcnultybbcsport (U1816352) 18 September 2007
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Jose Mourinho set the scene for Chelsea's Champions League campaign by comparing his expensive stars to eggs - so maybe it was no surprise they scrambled a draw against Rosenborg.

Indeed Mourinho almost ended with said product all over his face on an undistinguished night, on and off the pitch, at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's lack of potency without Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, and a worrying indication of tactical bankruptcy from Mourinho, was bad enough.

But what of a hugely worrying statistic to exercise the minds of demanding owner Roman Abramovich and the rest of the Chelsea hierarchy?

Namely, a desperate attendance of only 24,973 to watch what is supposed to be the Blue Riband tournament on Chelsea's calendar.

Rosenborg are not glamourous opponents, but what a truly wretched turn-out under any circumstances.

It is an attendance that will be hugely enjoyed by rival supporters who love to brand much of Chelsea's newer fan base as tourist supporters only interested in following guaranteed success.

Is the first sign of apathy with the Mourinho regime setting in, as demonstrated by 20,000 empty seats at The Bridge?

Disturbing. And an embarrassment to see vast swathes of empty seats around the stadium on what is a big night for any Premiership side.

As for events on the pitch, Chelsea did little to make the missing thousands wish they had filled the yawning gaps.

Chelsea were laboured and, robbed of the goal threat of Lampard and Drogba, never rose above the ordinary.

Bonuses came in the shape of Andriy Shevchenko hitting the target and an outstanding display from Florent Malouda, but little else warmed the heart.

Yes, they were unlucky to hit the woodword and miss several chances, but Rosenborg will probably be the worst opponents they will meet in Champions League combat and left with a point.

And whether or not Mourinho had some of his best eggs missing from his basket, the one-dimensional nature of some their approach left serious doubts as to whether their Champions League drought will end this season.

Mourinho's squad may be stretched, but are resources so thin that England captain and pivotal defender John Terry has to be launched into attack for the last 17 minutes?

It was a grim reminder of Robert Huth's ill-fated deployment as an auxiliary forward in the 2005 Champions League semi-final second leg at Liverpool.

Terry's presence invited a succession of unimaginative long balls punted towards the penalty area, playing into Rosenborg's hands with inevitable results.

Surely Mourinho can do better than that?

He has proved he can be tactically brilliant, but that brilliance should not extend the poor coach's default option of the giant defender attempting to cause havoc in the opposition box.

Chelsea will have to be cuter than that as the campaign unfolds.

A draw is not a devastating result, but Valencia away is a hazardous next hurdle and Chelsea must improve massively if they are to repeat last season's win at the Mestalla.

Latest 10 comments

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posted Sep 19, 2007

Eduardo u are a joker, when we won the league back to back were your so called Legend there?
The times you even cliam to have won the league at least you had some big names player then, maybe u are the one who is bankrupt.The great henry,beckamp pires gave you the league then,how many of them did he make they were ready made cos they didnt start as gunners.
We are the first team to win at the wembly, there can never be another first team as it can be once,thats history also.If Jose stays much as wenger we will beat your record.since jose came what u have gained??

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posted Sep 19, 2007

jose career as a gourmet chef has started on a rather terrible note.last night omellette was really horrible.but then again there was hardly any one there to see this fluffy creation.i could go on but i wont

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comment by Lucky_C (U2032801)

posted Sep 19, 2007

Why was there such a small attendance yesterday? Because to spend 36 (and that's the reduced price!) on a midweek match against a team who should amount to whipping boys is an act of lunacy.

Ticket prices are borderline criminal - it appears that as usual, it's the fans who pay for the chairmans excesses.

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posted Sep 19, 2007

an outstanding display from Florent Malouda what game were u watching he is a poor mans robben. Sheva needs to go very quickly. Kalou is also hopeless. i was their last nite and was also at the villa and blackburns games and this team has no idea without out 2 players it is worrying.

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posted Sep 21, 2007

jose is my man,and he will continue to be my man even bcos of him i switch my support from Leeds 2 chelsea,now am following morinhno 2 wherever he goes,also what a pity he left premiership.

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comment by Bourne (U3020163)

posted Sep 16, 2008

Eggsactly !

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posted Apr 14, 2009

well guess wat, i think hell get sackwed 2morrow and avram grant will take over.

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posted Feb 24, 2010

hahahahahahaha. <laugh> The return of the 'Mourinho'.

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posted Feb 26, 2010

Mourinho is a classless prat!

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