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Time to reconsider our priorities


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At the start of the season, it is safe to say that Chelsea's priorities were as normal – win everything.

That includes the Premier League, Champions League, the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and even the Community Shield. Come early January, and three of those pieces of potential silverware are out of our reach.

The Community Shield defeat to Manchester United highlighted the fact that Chelsea's squad is simply not good enough to compete with the other big boys any more. Whilst a run of eight wins in the first ten Premier League matches suggested otherwise, a woeful run of form has shown that early season promise merely disguised our shortcomings.

A 4-3 loss at home to Newcastle in the Carling Cup then pointed out that squad depth is another area where we simply are not strong enough. Though Patrick van Aanholt enjoyed a fabulous game at left back and a star was born in Joshua McEachran, injuries suffered in that game decimated our already-small squad and showed our second string is not quite ready yet.

Various injuries and suspensions may have cost us, but similarly, wastefulness and mistakes are equally to blame for Chelsea's slump. But I categorically refute any claim that the coach is at fault.

I am a keen defender of Carlo Ancelotti; our double-winning manager. Winning the Premier League is incredibly difficult and to do it a second time (or even third) is even harder. José Mourinho will give testament to that after a gruelling campaign in 2006/07 to emulate the Blues' title triumph of the previous campaigns. Ancelotti is doing the best he can with this team. For those claiming he lacks the tactical nous, simply look at today's game with Villa. 2-1 down and spitting blood, Ancelotti made a telling double change on the right-hand side to bring on Kalou and Bosingwa and finally give us some potency. It was a tactic that should have won us the game, but for further defensive woes.

You simply cannot blame the manager for our shortcomings this season – on and off the pitch. Our performances rely on effort and commitment on the player's part, and besides the last ten minutes today, that has been lacking for weeks. Similarly, it is impossible to maintain consistency and competition for places when you are working with a minuscule squad that is at this moment full largely of players battling for full fitness, such as Lampard, Drogba, Malouda, Essien and Bosingwa, and then a quota of unproven youngsters.

More funds please, Mr Abramovich.

You may disagree with how or why we have ended up in this position – which I believe is a lack of competition and tiredness. The likes of Malouda, Anelka, Cole and Mikel have barely missed a game this term – for the two reasons suggested above. Because of a lack of quality replacements in the squad, players are taking their places for granted and playing within themselves. The lung-bursting runs have long since stopped and the intensity has dropped. Similarly, the desire has dissipated altogether. With no replacements for out-of-form and lethargic individuals, players are playing game after game without rest. You can be one of the fittest athletes around, but that does not allow tiredness to pass without consequence.

As stated beforehand, the way in which we have come to this point can be argued, but at this stage it is pretty much irrelevant. The truth of the matter is we're fifth in the Premier League table. That not only means that winning the title is improbable, but that we must also act soon or we won't be in next season's Champions League either. The emergence of the resurgent Tottenham and Arsenal puts us in danger of making the Europa League a little more exciting next season. Cold Thursday night trips to Ukraine or Belgium aren't exactly what the fans had in mind at the start of the campaign, I imagine.

We have come to a point where we have to reconsider our priorities.

We will not win the Premier League title this season, and judging on our recent performances and the ominous thought of playing Barcelona or Real Madrid in the knock-out rounds of the Champions League suggests that any ambitious thoughts of winning that particular competition may be nothing more than a comforting thought of solace during these difficult times.

The FA Cup represents our only realistic chance of silverware at this stage, and a third successive victory would be only the third time in FA Cup history a team has won three-in-a-row, and the first since 1886 when Blackburn completed a hat-trick of FA Cup triumphs.

The Champions League is a possibility, however. You may be forgiven for thinking that Barcelona and Real Madrid will turn over all in front of them – but nothing is stopping them being drawn against one-another. Similarly, when the kn0ck-out rounds resume in February, what's to say Chelsea won't be back at their imperious best? And by the same line of argument, how do we know the Spanish giants will be able to continue their remarkable consistency considering the extent of pressure put on them to succeed?

It seems Chelsea have a squad purpose-built to take on the European Cup this year. Arguably one of the strongest starting elevens in world football seems designed to playing big European matches fortnights apart of each other, as opposed to the gruelling and hectic schedule of the Premier League.

It may be a little premature to write off the champions just yet – players are back from injury and the Blues now face a run of fixtures comparatively much easier than those they have had to endure through late 2010. Thankfully, the only way is up. But right now, with the players we have the form we're showing, we're a long way from silverware right now. Roman needs to dip into his wallet his January if we're going to scrape even an inch of respectability this term.

http://www.talkchelsea.net/priorities-reconsidered.html

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Exactly.And much as Carlo doesnt want to add.He needs to.We need a fair few back up for every postion and god knows how we didnt loose several players today with the tackles.Least that way when we get injuries wont be a case of 'crap who do we have?!' Ones we can rely on etc.

Winning the league defintly really isnt a priority cause we have little hope.Man U look to good at the moment found their form and cant see them fucking up.Havent lost yet and cant see them loosing as many as we have when they do.Aiming for a top 4 finish and hope we get at least third.Be an achivement really after messing up so bad

Champs League...can dream! We have no luck at moment and that can help in that comp..well as having a decent ref which we dont seem to ever get.In wishful world..we'd win it sod the prem but cant see it.Espically as you say when we come up the likes of Barca and co.We'l be lucky to reach the next stage really if we play as we have been

I'd be happy with second place and FA Cup.Bad as it sounds and from Chelsea you think should do better but sometimes teams fuck up..randomly as we have and can be seen as an achivement at the end

And Roman no more Yachts!! Help us out a bit

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It seems Chelsea have a squad purpose-built to take on the European Cup this year. Arguably one of the strongest starting elevens in world football seems designed to playing big European matches fortnights apart of each other, as opposed to the gruelling and hectic schedule of the Premier League.

I should hardly think so. The way they're playing at the moment, Copenhagen could beat us.

Some of us said, after the Arsenal game, that securing 4th should be Ancelotti's priority now. We must qualify for next season's Champions League and forsake our Premier League title hopes. We can still go for the FA Cup, to try and end the season without silver but I'll be happy to secure that final Champions League position. Because then in the summer, If Carlo's still here, he'll be able to build a squad he wants with the funds from Mr Abramovich. All Carlo needs to say is "If you want the European Cup, buy these players". It is something he failed to do coming into this season, but it's something that can be fixed in time for next.

This season was always going to be hard because of lack of cover, mixed with an ageing squad. It wasn't a problem last season, we had adequate cover for missing players, now we only have the youth graduates, which Carlo seems fragile in using. We have many players on the decline, Anelka, Ferreira & Cole to name some. While it's not a sharp decline, it's still evident to see.

By the way, it should be noted, we did go for some players last season. Most notably, Neymar & Lukaku, and if you believe it, Luiz last week. These are encouraging signs but also bad ones, since we've failed to land them. The person who is in charge of handling transfers (Arnesen, I think) will need to be replaced by someone who has an art in negotiations, someone who will land the players we bid for, perhaps that Tixi guy at Barcelona would be idea for this..

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Alex is a very optimistic guy. He is a 17 years old man, so hes full of hope. Saying that it might be a little too early to write off the champions, or even thinking about winning the CL...I wish I had such kind of hope and faith.

We are fighting for the 4th place, and right now, nothing suggest that we will achieve that goal. We are more likely to end up in 5th place. Lets prepare for next Europa League.

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:fainthv9:

Alex is a very optimistic guy. He is a 17 years old man, so hes full of hope. Saying that it might be a little too early to write off the champions, or even thinking about winning the CL...I wish I had such kind of hope and faith.

We are fighting for the 4th place, and right now, nothing suggest that we will achieve that goal. We are more likely to end up in 5th place. Lets prepare for next Europa League.

sure //lets just give up completely

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It seems the board including Abramovich are content, or at least complacent about a dramatic slide.

My own view is that its cost driven -it coincided with the economuc downturn when Abramovichs paper value in shares dropped. Then the cost cutting started, resulting in depletion of the squad and ridulous penny pinching, masked by the ' bringing on of youth '. Abramovich has got to start spending soon with some of the aged squad unable to keep up with Premiership pace soon

Today it also became apparent that a lot of the players arent 'hungry'. Multimillionaires who've done it and got the T Shirt.

Another thing -Emanalo- our ..er...Assistant Team Coach - brought on board by Avram Grant who he knew at Maccabi Tel Aviv. He sits there the whole game doing fuck all. Brilliant replacemnt for Wilkins. :clown:

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Another thing -Emanalo- our ..er...Assistant Team Coach - brought on board by Avram Grant who he knew at Maccabi Tel Aviv. He sits there the whole game doing fuck all. Brilliant replacemnt for Wilkins. :clown:

:lol: I noticed it too. Carlo doesn't even talk to him, Paul Celement is more used. Carlo will use the excuse that Elemano hasn't got his coaching badges yet, and that's why.. But it's rubbish, you can just tell Carlo has no interest in talking to him. Let him try and bring in Maldini as an assistant if he wants, at least he'll contribute something bloody useful :lol:

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It seems the board including Abramovich are content, or at least complacent about a dramatic slide.

My own view is that its cost driven -it coincided with the economuc downturn when Abramovichs paper value in shares dropped. Then the cost cutting started, resulting in depletion of the squad and ridulous penny pinching, masked by the ' bringing on of youth '. Abramovich has got to start spending soon with some of the aged squad unable to keep up with Premiership pace soon

Today it also became apparent that a lot of the players arent 'hungry'. Multimillionaires who've done it and got the T Shirt.

The truth. How i was fooled.

Another thing -Emanalo- our ..er...Assistant Team Coach - brought on board by Avram Grant who he knew at Maccabi Tel Aviv. He sits there the whole game doing fuck all. Brilliant replacemnt for Wilkins. :clown:

laugh.giflaugh.gif

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None of the trophies apart from the Community Shield are lost.We got a easy draw for the UCL,we are still in the Fa Cup,and the Premiership is getting unlikely but still not lost.One of these trophies and i am a very happy bunny.

Haha, me too pal! I'm just saying we should abandon thoughts we had at the start of the season of a European double should be abandoned. We need to be realistic here. The season is far from finished and things can turn around very quickly, but I'm just being frank when I say we are not going to win the league. Everyone except Chelsea fans can see that, it would appear. Optimism is blinding us.

We can still win it. Not on this current form obviously,but it's not impossible.

I'd settle for a top 4 spot and a CL and FA cup double.

You and me both mate :lol:

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With our actual form, I would be happy even with the FA cup and a place in CL lol

Well at least with the FA Cup we're guaranteed a Europa League place, which in turn would lead to a Champions League place if won :whistling: LOL

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FA Cup win, and fight for either fourth or third position. To win the CL is kind of hopeful, but then again could be a possiblity if the lads get their heads from the ground and concentrate!

If we have to play Europa League next year then so be it! At least when we would win it we won SOMETHING in Europe and then have the oppertunity with the Super Cup.

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