Over the past month, Chelsea have seen themselves slip from first in the Premier League to third with only one win in the last 5 matches, a spell that included defeats to Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham. Chelsea could fall 5 points behind the leaders if Manchester United win their game in hand. What can be made of Chelsea’s bad run as Chelsea fans have to be asking what’s going wrong? Who is to blame?
The first major incident occurred just over a month ago when longtime Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins was relieved of his duties. Ray Wilkins was a well-liked coach and had a great influence on the players and still to this point no real explanation has been given for the dismissal of Wilkins from his post. Chelsea have been suffering from some injuries recently, with most of the defense missing for the past few games and talisman Frank Lampard barely even able to make it onto the training pitch yet this season. Although Chelsea have one of the youngest squads in the Premier League they are getting old where it is important. These factors could have a lot to do with Chelsea’s bad run but ultimately it is simple football – they have stopped scoring goals after starting the season with back to back 6-0 victories; the players that were scoring goals have gone off the boil. Drogba got his first goal in 6 games, Anelka has not scored in 7 games and Malouda has slowed down his scoring pace. This has led to Chelsea failing to score against Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham and only managing 1 against Newcastle and Fulham. Chelsea fans will make it through this little period of panic and they will turn things around, but it certainly doesn’t get any easier from this point as their next three games are against Spurs (A), Man Utd (H) and Arsenal (A). Chelsea could now conceivably go 8 games with only 1 win and fall further behind the leaders and that might just prove too much to overcome and we could see Roman Abramovich get himself a new manager for Christmas.
Speaking of new managers for Christmas, Newcastle hope to have their new manager in place by this weekend after “parting company” with Chris Hughton earlier this week. Newcastle sit in 12th place with 19 points after earning promotion from the Championship last season. Recent results have not been great losing 3-1 to West Brom and 5-1 to Bolton, but they did pick up a point against Chelsea and we are only 5 and 6 games removed from massive wins over Sunderland and Arsenal. Even as a Sunderland fan I have to ask the question, “what on earth is Mike Ashley thinking”? Hughton had, for the most part, stabilized Newcastle, spent very little money and it certainly didn’t look like they would get relegated this season and then in a flash he is out the door with calls for a manager with more experience in the Premier League. This is typical Newcastle being predictably unpredictable. Some of the names being thrown around to take over at Newcastle may have experience in the Premier League but there are reasons why most of them are not coaching right now and, to be honest, which manager would seriously want to go to Newcastle right now? It has, over the past 15 years, became a torrid place for managers. Go back and look at Keegan, Daglish, Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson was fired, Kinnear almost died whilst in the position. Finally, whoever does come in (Newcastle say it could be by this weekend), will not have it easy with three of the next four games against Liverpool, Spurs and Man City. If Mike Ashley was sent to destroy Newcastle, I think he should give up now, because after all this time, they are still in the Premier League, the fans are still there and the team is still half decent. Mission not accomplished Mr. Ashley!
About the Author
Written by Mark Adamson
Growing up in the North-East of England soccer is our religion, it was, is and always will be the main topic of conversation, I can’t think of much else that gets people so passionate. As a Sunderland fan you get used to the ups and downs the joy of playing in the Premier League as opposed to the horror of Championship away games. Now in the US I get to watch more soccer than I ever did at home, we get analysis in ways you would never expect, the only thing missing is some of that little insight that only comes from eating, drinking and breathing the game your entire life, so here it is…….