I was going to just throw a quick comment or two about this game into the Newcastle preview, but I’m actually watching the Barcodes’ FA cup time now and a couple of thoughts have entered my head.
See how much research I do, watching games just like Emery, but without the wages? Ahem.
My very brief thoughts. First half rubbish and you’ve never have thought Chelsea had played midweek. They looked a lot sharper, which got me wondering if you can actually lose sharpness by having a few days off? I’m sure most of you know I’ve never subscribed to young, fit men not being able to play two games a week, although I’m admittedly slowly coming round to the idea.
But if I have been wrong about that, maybe you can have too much rest too?
It’s all far too confusing for a simple bloke like me.
And then, after I’ve wondered at half time if Chelsea would tire after their efforts, it’s fair to say, it was a different game, which we mostly dominated. While I thought the first half made for a poor game, so the second was much better and it made it much more interesting, in me now wondering how the replay, which we could definitely have done without, will go.
Chelsea created a fair few chances in the first half, but fortunately, they reverted to type and their finishing lacked the same cutting edge we’ve seen all season. I need to mention that Martinez was excellent again and definitely kept us in the game once again.
That said, we also created a few chances of our own and if we’d got our shooting boots on, we could easily have had two or three goals of our own. Luiz’s goal was handball and not even debateable for me. It matters not now.
What got me thinking was the defence. I’ve previously said more than once, that I hate the way we mess around at the back. It looks like we’re panicking all the time when we’re being pressed, which Chelsea did very well.
But have seen a re-run, I have to admit that while I still slightly think we look panicked, so it’s also the case of me thinking it’s nowhere near as bad when I’m not watching it live.
A bit of an aside;
As much as I don’t like to admit it, I just know that when I’m driving, my reactions and ability to see in a million places at once are diminished because of my age. I’m nowhere near decrepit yet and make up for in other ways. My being able to anticipate better, appreciate more what might happen and well, to keep the football thing going, just “read the game” better, actually make me a better and certainly safer driver.
I would hope many of you would understand what I mean there. I hate admitting to my failings, particularly in print, but have always thought what Dirty Harry did. “A good man knows his limitations”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about there, just strike this whole paragraph.
What I mean is, what might seem incredibly uncomfortable to me is probably quite easy when you’re a footballer’s age. It might give me a corona occasionally, but it is what it is and I probably need to stop worrying about it as it’s probably no good for my blood pressure.
So overall, my point is that I thought that the defence were, on reflection pretty solid.
Which all led me to wondering about how our defence will cope with Newcastle on Tuesday.
And that then led to me looking up my thoughts before and after the St James park tonking.
Which was interesting.
They used a lot of pace. Yet they haven’t really tonight.
It was also the game where Mings got injured. I suggested that we’d learn to play without Mings and Pau would be okay. Given our league position, I don’t think that was too bad a call.
And no, it’s not about me blowing my own trumpet. I still feel Mings has a lot to offer, although I wonder about his ability to get back to where he was.
I’m not going to comment about the Newcastle game yet, as I prefer to leave it closer to the event.
So I’ll just sum up last night’s game; intriguing and probably the correct, albeit unwanted result. Still, we go into the hat tomorrow. When was the last time we did that for the quarters?