Drogba played poorly but taking him off was bad move

LAST season’s exit from the Carling Cup was also followed by a loss away at Eastlands – a phase which saw only one win in seven games – I hope there are no Groundhogs around this season.

Ancelotti’s substitutions sometimes confuse me. It was evident to anyone watching the game on Saturday that City’s tactics were negating Ramires and his style of play – he looked exposed and lightweight and most of us thought he would be replaced quickly.

So Mikel’s exit was met with mass shaking of heads in the Chelsea stand.

The only thing I could think of was that perhaps Ancelotti thought that he was in danger of being sent off.

To take Drogba off when you are in need of a goal was stupid – especially replacing him with Sturridge, who had looked pretty poor earlier in the week against Newcastle. The match couldn’t be described as the beautiful game, but I thought that the criticism City got in the media was uncalled for. Far be it for me to defend another team, but City did what they needed to do to win.

We looked like a team with more than one eye on the Champions League, although Drogba of course didn’t even have that excuse as he was suspended for Marseille last night. He was just having one of those ‘bad’ Drogba days.

But we can’t get too carried away just yet as we managed to lose convincingly to City both home and away last season and still did the Double.

The Carling Cup exit was annoying – just for the fact that it allowed the papers to dismiss our youth players.

It was a good game where the majority of the kids played well – their skill and talent was evident – if anything it was their strength of character that needs a bit of work and that will come from experience.

Their heads went down when we initially conceded and the cohesion of the team was temporarily lost. It took the introduction of new crowd favourite Josh McEachran to rally the troops; he bossed midfield, and almost single-handedly dragged us back into the game.

It is a mark of how well he played that all the talk in the pub after the game was about his performance – despite us losing the game in time added on.

So we enter this weekend’s game with both ourselves and Arsenal having lost – so no psychological edge for either team. This is a serious bragging rights game these days.

Chelsea went too long as the also-rans in London for us not to take great delight in beating the team that is heralded as being all that is good in the game today. We need Drogba to get over whatever it was that was affecting him at Eastlands and put in the kind of performance that has scared the Gooners half to death in recent years.

By the way, if you happen to be in north London today, make your way down to Islington Town Hall. I hear Arsenal have an open top bus parade where the team will be showing off their last financial year accounts.

Contact Trizia on Trizia_f@hotmail.com


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