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Carlo Ancelotti Has Run Out Of Ideas To Save Chelsea's Season


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By James Daly

They say the best ideas are the most obvious and football is no different; score more goals than the opposition, play your best players, don't wear a black blazer with a blue jumper. But there seems to be a shocking lack of creativity emanating from the manager's office at Stamford Bridge at the moment as Chelsea suffer their worst slump since Roman Abramovich dropped anchor in west London, leaving serious questions marks around Carlo Ancelotti's decision making.

The call to leave Didier Drogba on the bench at White Hart Lane raised more than a few eyebrows, especially when the Italian claimed it was for tactical reasons. As far as ideas go, omitting your best player from a top of the table clash is hardly up there with the invention of penicillin. But it had been preceded by a handful of others.

Playing Paulo Ferreira in an unfamiliar centre-back position during the absence of John Terry and Alex was spectacularly exposed by Sunderland's Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck. Replacing Ramires with Nicolas Anelka while trying to cling onto a 1-0 lead at home to Everton (which was ultimately unsuccessful) was jeered by the home faithful. And getting rid of the much loved Ray Wilkins has received no little condemnation from Blues quarters.

Yet the decision to consign Drogba to the subs bench on Sunday ranks up there with the bizarrest. Especially as his side were taking on a team who have kept just one clean sheet all season, had a centre back returning from injury and a goalkeeper who is fond of a clanger or two.

He may have had a stinker in the meaningless Champions League game at Marseille in midweek but the big Ivorian has proved in the past that he can deliver the goods in the important clashes - and did it again at White Hart Lane, only this time in just the 45 minutes he was given. Granted, he had some fortune as Heurelho Gomes generously spilled his left-foot volley into the net to bring Chelsea level, but the Blues looked considerably brighter, more confident and bullish once the No. 11 had been introduced.

And Drogba's penalty miss can't be ignored as the Chelsea forward spurned the chance to earn the Blues an undeserved victory in the final minutes of the match, breaking his usual form of going to the goalkeeper's right by giving Gomes a comfortable chance of palming away a poor kick to his left. But it can perhaps be forgiven after the Ivorian had dragged his side back into it almost single handedly.

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Got the Blues | Sunderland take advantage of unsettled Chelsea

For anyone wondering if the 1-1 draw hinted at any serious title challenge from Spurs, it didn't. The encounter was classic Tottenham; piling forward with gusto, looking like world beaters in spurts, but regarding their defensive duties with the sort of reluctance Sir Alex Ferguson pays to post-match interviews. If it wasn't for the excellent display by the returning Michael Dawson, this match would have surely ended in an away win.

Reaction from the Spurs camp that the north Londoners are still in with a shout of the league title was less than convincing after the match and was more a case of Harry Redknapp's side trying to convince themselves that was the case, rather than anyone else.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti needs to have proper brainstorm or he is going to find his side losing grip on the title race. Leaving Ramires and Essien in the middle of a 4-4-2 with Kalou lost out on the right wing is not the reaction of a title-winning manager, and choosing Anelka over Drogba for your biggest game of the season is not the brightest move in the world.

With other teams starting to suss out Chelsea, the Italian needs to come up with some answers, and quick.

http://www.goal.com/en/news/9/england/2010/12/13/2258756/english-comment-carlo-ancelotti-has-run-out-of-ideas-to-save

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I don't understand Carlo being criticised for leaving Drogba on the bench. Everyone (including me) was saying after Marseille that he needs to change things a bit, there's too much predictability atm. Well guess what, he did. Yet people criticise him. It's like they've made up their minds to have a go at him regardless of what he does.

And yet, would anyone be complaining right now had that penalty been converted? Instead Carlo would have been hailed as a genius for turning the game around with a 'tactical masterstroke'.

Didn't he do the same thing last year in the most important game of the season at OT? Why does nobody talk about that? Because we won, that's why. Cut him some slack, or just come out and say you're going to be bitter towards him no matter what he does.

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I don't understand Carlo being criticised for leaving Drogba on the bench. Everyone (including me) was saying after Marseille that he needs to change things a bit, there's too much predictability atm. Well guess what, he did. Yet people criticise him. It's like they've made up their minds to have a go at him regardless of what he does.

And yet, would anyone be complaining right now had that penalty been converted? Instead Carlo would have been hailed as a genius for turning the game around with a 'tactical masterstroke'.

Didn't he do the same thing last year in the most important game of the season at OT? Why does nobody talk about that? Because we won, that's why. Cut him some slack, or just come out and say you're going to be bitter towards him no matter what he does.

You know why? Simple... this is how humans work.

People commend you when things are going right, but people also talk you down and criticises you when you are making mistakes.

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Stupid article. Yesterday was probably the best Carlo´s match in this season. He made right decisions, and really good subs, like Drogba replacing Mikel and not another striker. He showed, that at least for now, he deserve a little bit of faith.

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You know why? Simple... this is how humans work

People commend you when things are going right, but people also talk you down and criticises you when you are making mistakes.

If you read my post again, you'll realise I'm talking about him being criticised all the time. rolleyes.gif

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