Monday, October 24, 2011

Churlish Chelsea bleat but no-one else is to blame

Chelsea could quite easily have been reading newspaper headlines today complimenting them on their wonderful commitment in coming back to beat QPR 3-1 despite playing with only 9 men on Sunday.
Instead, we are faced with the unedifying spectacle of a new manager who is playing the crass mindgames used by Jose Mourinho, a team captain harassing the referee throughout the game and even possibly getting involved in highly inappropriate arguments with a black QPR defender. Added to this are a vicious - and I use that term guardedly - foul by Drogba on a QPR player.
Chris Foy endured this game, doling out 9 yellow cards and 2 reds, most of them to Chelsea. Hats off to Foy; he refereed this snarling, spitting game as well as, if not better, than any referee could have.
The only thing I could have advised Foy to do would have been to hand out more cards to Chelsea to clamp down on its bullying and dissenting players. It would have been the ultimate humiliation for Chelsea to see the match abandoned for not having enough players on the pitch.
If Chelsea want any chance of winning trophies this year, they have to show discipline. AVB, as their new manager is known, seems to be falling into the trap of developing an "us versus them" mentality, promoting a siege mentality by convincing the players that everyone - referees, media etc - is against them. Ferguson has worked on this at Man Utd but it's an extreme path to tread and probably not one that will be tolerated by the FA. As it is, AVB will now find himself in hot water for criticising Foy for giving decisions that were correct and totally justified.
The irony is that Chelsea played superbly for a team with 9 men and really should have won the match. But instead of leaving spectators aghast at their class and skill, Chelsea's name was dragged through the mud.
And I'm a Chelsea supporter.

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