I went into this match full of confidence, convinced that it would not be a matter of whether we won but by how much. Playing a team that had been beaten 4-0 at home in the League Cup (albeit with a weakened side) to the MK Dons this should have been a match where Chelsea’s superiority showed – nay, glistened.
Fans were left disappointed and with some sloppy defending we were extremely lucky to get away with a win. MotD pointed out that our high defending allowed the opposition to attack with ease. The defence did not seem to feel comfortable only having Hilario between them and the goal – woeful kicking from our usually reliable ‘keeper didn’t help either.
Norwich lack quality up front and that is the difference between a team that will fight relegation and one that will look for a top three finish – the latter will scrape a draw or a win when playing badly; the former will not get results even when they play well.
Torres again disappointed and he seems to be behind the play on many occasions. He has to gamble on runs into the box more and not keep trying to score the perfect goal.
There was no disputing the penalty following a brilliant run from the up-until-then anonymous Ramires although the sending off was a tad harsh on Norwich. Lampard, who looks a shadow of his former self (but because I laud him I keep imagining up excuses for him such as “the formation doesn’t suit his style of play”) buried the penalty right in front of me. Worryingly, even with Norwich down to ten men we could have easily conceded an equaliser.
It is always a dangerous game to overly praise new players – especially when they are attackers. It is easy to get more excited because the fruits of their labour are more obvious. Nevertheless, the workrate Lukaku and Mata put in was in stark contrast to our lack of urgency in play before their appearance… I hope that they both start in our next game and at this stage Torres looks like he will be (or perhaps should be) a benchwarmer this season. Lukaku looks the size of Chewbacca and I pray he injects some “force” into the side.
On paper Chelsea has a decent squad now – it is about time that we injected some youth and pace into the side. At present, however I can’t help feel that a finish in third place would be a decent show.
How Ferguson does it I do not know – he makes players who I thought were no more than mediocre shine – that is the sign of a quality manager. Ours seemed to resort to petty squabbling after the game when the Norwich manager tried to ridiculously claim that our penalty was unjust. There are ways of coming across professionally and AVB didn’t do that – by all means back the club when decisions go against us but don’t try to sound like a 6 year-old who has lost her doll – Fergie and Wenger manage to do the moaning much better! Onwards and upwards hopefully when our new signings bed in.