I’d guess a few of you have been wondering where I’ve been.
The absolute truth is that after the Liverpool game I found myself utterly despondent. Not at the result, you understand, but merely the manner of it. It actually affected me so hard, I’ve barely even looked at any news articles or even comments on here. Which is not like me at all.
It’s my firm opinion that Emery got his tactics totally wrong, meaning the game was pretty much an exact copy of how we lost to Newcastle.
Losing away to Liverpool is nothing new and we’ve witnessed it for years, so it wasn’t that that got to me. It was the fact that we played a high line against a side that murdered us for pace in our half.
There was a plus side in my taking a bit of a break from Aston Villa and it was the confirmation of my thoughts about Mings and why we miss him so much and it’s a point I’ve made before. While I don’t believe Mings is a good defender, his big plus point is his speed when he needs to make up for his poor positioning or reading of the game and it’s exactly that which has been missed.
Anyway, it was the fact that we were being murdered for pace, something that I’m sure wasn’t obvious to just me, yet Emery totally failed to change it. Yes, he changed a couple of players, but he still kept the high line. To my mind, it was totally naive and actually pretty similar to what I thought in the Newcastle game.
“It’s madness to keep trying the same thing while expecting a different outcome” is what has been nagging at the back of my mind
Basically, it’s led to me seriously questioning how tactically good the manager really is and it’s caused a massive conflict within me.
Don’t worry, I’m still appreciative of what happened last season. There’s no doubt that Emery has improved us (or should that be that he made the players play as we expected them too, after the previous clown had obviosly ruined them?) and I’m nowhere near asking for him to leave.
I just don’t think he’s quite the messiah I was hoping he was.
So I steeled myself into watching the Legia game, where I was hoping a good victory against a team we really ought to be beating, would cheer me up and bring me back to my usual self.
Only for us to, in my opinion, get it totally wrong again and again fail to change course.
I wonder when it will become apparent to Emery that while we can score goals, it’s all wasted if we’re so poor at the back and simply concede even more goals.
Don’t get me wrong, the players are not blameless and at least a couple of them were frankly pathetic performers. We know who they are and I just don’t want to drag it out talking about it.
Suffice to say, if we’re equally as naive in our tactics today, I’d fully expect us to lose a game that I fully believe we’re capable of winning.
Then again, I thought that in our last two games.
Squad news then and it’s better, but still not good for Chelsea.
Noni Madueke and Marc Cucurella are both fit and Moises Caicedo and Armando Broja are back in contention, but Benoit Badiashile, Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka and Trevoh Chalobah are all still out.
As for us, nothing has changed, except we may well see Moreno pressed into service a bit earlier than is ideal after Digne’s disaster on Thursday.
I’ve just been reminded that we won 2-0 at the Bridge in April, so we know we are definitely capable of beating Chelsea. Their injuries have seriously affected them, as is seen by their poor start to the season.
So am I predicting a win today then?
Well, it depends on how we play.
If we play the same high line and our midfield fail to dominate it’s going to be deja vu, I feel, as much as Chelsea have found scoring more difficult (they’ve scored 5 in 5) than Pool and Newcastle and we’ll be prone to the long ball around the outside.
But then again while Chelsea don’t score many, they don’t conced many either and have only had five put past them.
We generally score goals, but I don’t see many in this game and it has 1-1 written all over it.
I do think we’re very capable of winning this and I live in hope. But my confidence is massively shaken and needs reviving.