Whoever coined that phrase “glorious unpredictability” needs a swift kick in the unmentionables. It’s not glorious, it’s maddening.
It all started so well for us on Saturday, we looked in control, at ease even. But then we weren’t pressing home our advantage, we weren’t doing enough to kill the game off, which has sadly become the story of our season.
If you want to win the league, then you need at least one prolific striker. Sadly we haven’t got any.
Torres is working hard but is not scoring while Ba along with an old and past his best Eto’o don’t inspire confidence, do they?
Even Jose doesn’t know how he can get his strikers to start scoring. But then how would you go about getting a Brighton beach-front donkey to win the Grand National? Jose’s special but he’s not a miracle worker.
Speaking of Jose, he looks disillusioned in recent weeks. Even in his darkest days at Madrid he looked defiant, which makes me worry about his current demeanour.
Perhaps he underestimated the size of task he faced on returning.
Perhaps he thought he could squeeze out another couple of years at the top level from some of the old stalwarts while he rebuilt the team.
And now he realises that may not be the case.
The one glimmer of light from Saturday’s performance was Schurrle, who seemed full of urgency, spirit and vigour. Had the crossbar not denied him a hat-trick, the game could have ended very differently. The German’s attitude was excellent as he seemed to be involved in everything — many of our team could learn a thing or two from him about making space, not waiting for the ball and doing simple things well.
But one man can’t carry an entire team, although he tried his best on Saturday. Of course we don’t help ourselves by committing basic errors.
Another Cech error did not surprise me. Regular readers of this column know my concerns on that front. That said, he used to be able to totally rely on his defence — I can’t imagine he can say that now.
I think that we will have no choice but to dip into the transfer market in January but its seldom that top players are available during this window. We don’t want another “make-do” striker — we need one of the world’s best — probably two if we want to finish in the top four. Given the recent tax rulings in Monaco, we have been linked with Falcao again which would be amazing, but I imagine every billionaire football club owner will have him in their sights too. Given that Lukaku effectively tried to hold the club to ransom, it will be interestingly if we see him play for Chelsea again. I hope issues can be resolved by all parties for the sake of the club.
We all knew that this was going to be a year of flux and as much as it’s difficult watching games like Saturday, hopefully it will give Mourinho more of an insight for what’s needed. Luckily we are not alone in finding ourselves in this predicament — and there is still over half a season to go. Still it is worrying that in many of the losses we have suffered this season, we were the better team for the majority of the game. Now we need to concentrate on maintaining the upper hand when we have it, cut out the small mistakes and put a bit of urgency back in our game.
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