Overdramatic press conference reports and face scratching are some of the biggest talking points this week on the 3rd edition of TFTT. Wins in Romania, and a draw in Tottenham cap off a decent week of results for the Blues, but as always with Chelsea and Mourinho, it isn’t the results taking the headlines this week.
Jose Mourinho left his press conference after the being asked the last question in the conference, prompting headlines saying he “stormed out” and Neil Ashton deciding that Mourinho needed a sabbatical and was feeling the strain. A good deal of overreaction as is a regular feature in the English media, and something I think Mourinho loves, probably because he’s normally a feature of it, a nice little boost for his ego there. What this press conference did show though is that in our expansive squad where we have excellent array of depth in each position and only 11 can play, it will always be those that don’t play that grab the attention. Inclusions of Schürrle and Willian back into the fold went unnoticed as de Bruyne stayed in England.
I don’t know about you guys, but the majority of Mourinho press conferences so far haven’t been overly informative. Questions range from those men not playing and questions about Jose. Questions are never really asked about who might play, how we approach games and all that interesting stuff, the media care more about the fact that Jose calls Eden Hazard “Eddie”. Also, I don’t quite understand the use of “storming out”. To me, that implies a great loss of temper, a few chairs flying and swear words shouted towards the Daily Mail. None of which happened which was disappointing.
The Spurs game was something we can’t fail to acknowledge though. A game billed here in England as the true test of Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham squad for this season, a game in which many thought we’d see the birth of a Spurs side that would sweep aside Chelsea on their way to a title challenge. Tottenham had the first half, Chelsea had the second. A half each, so that’s a ratio of 1:1. 1-1 now makes mathematical sense. Hooray.
The improvements at the weekend were down to a “tactical masterstroke” by which our manager decided that because we weren’t playing well we should sub on our best player. Tactical genius like that wins you two Champions League trophies. All joking aside, the introduction of Mata and movement of Ramires to centre midfield were the changes which swung the game in our favour. A fired up Torres nearly inspired us to victory, but as normally happens with a fired up Torres, he saw red. Perhaps not for the incident he should’ve seen red for but oh well, it wasn’t quite ball boy kicking.
Vertonghen nearly had his face savaged off by the shear monstrosity of Fernando’s right hand. Rumour has it that the scratch was so powerful that it took Vertonghen about 15 minutes for him to feel the head injury, which is why after the aerial challenge with Torres he went down clutching his head. I might have made that up though.
The facts remain simple, Torres has been sent off 3 times in his Chelsea career, level with Ramires in a similar time period. Usually these red cards come after periods of promise and good play, therefore undoing all of the hard work taking him back to square one. Also, sustaining an injury in Romania can’t have done him much good. The promise shown vs Bayern in the Super Cup and against Spurs maybe undone by a sudden rush to the head, and then further hampered by a problem in Torres’ knee. His first injury since being signed as an “injury-prone striker”. He’s shown himself to be a big game player in recent times, its just a shame that good form tends to occur when he’s flooded with rage and prone to mauling peoples faces.
I hope the injury isn’t in the Wulfert Cornelius van Ginkel league (yes, that’s his actual name) and we have Fernando back soon. Samuel Eto’o hasn’t proved enough yet, and Demba Ba is a fantastic human being but for all his syrup and giraffe legs, he doesn’t really have the technical talent to attempt our cute little tippy-tappy football style. Torres is the best option we have upfront, with our replacement banging in the goals out on loan (and no, I don’t mean Patrick Bamford), if the injury is long term we may struggle.
As for the Bucharest fixture part of my weekly round-up of things, well. Schürrle had a blinder up against possibly the worst right back in world football, Willian of the Great Afro bagged an assist on his cameo appearance, Mata ran the show as Oscar faded back into Juan’s footballing shadow and Azpilacueta has suddenly become a defensive RW option. Whilst I doubt the Lord of Sass – King Cesar – will be a regular feature on the right for us, getting him game time in one form or another is bound to be beneficial for him. I hope he plays more, but maybe, like Kevin, he hasn’t shown the Special Happy One enough in training. Must be noted though, Ivanovic is doing well enough as it is, and the extra aerial threat he offers can’t be ignored.
A trip to Norwich is the excitement this weekend, before a probably dreary international break. Hopefully the next week will have plenty of stuff for me to discuss, analyse and make light humour of. Have an excellent week ladies and gentlemen, see you back here on Wednesday. Come on you Blues!
p.s. Ramires is slowly becoming one of my favourite Chelsea players, anyone else feel the same? Absolutely essential to the way we play.