0 users online

Chelsea 0-0 Fulham Premiership Matchday 14 1213 Daily Mail

last updated Thursday 29th November 2012, 12:00 PM


Daily Mail Logo
Neil Ashton at Daily Mail


Chelsea (0) 0 Fulham (0) 0


Rafa Benitez addresses the English-speaking players in their native tongue in the dressing room and communicates in Spanish with the rest of Chelsea's team.

Last night Chelsea's players created a language all of their own and no-one inside the home of the European champions can understand a word of it.

They are speaking gibberish and so is Chelsea's interim manager after his opening two fixtures, both at home, ended in depressing goalless draws.

There is another way to describe it and that was the four-lettered verdict offered by Chelsea supporters at the final whistle.

No-one can understand what they're seeing, particularly after the club's interim manager left out the creative juices of Juan Mata.

The thing is, Chelsea didn't even play like they wanted to win this match.

Not really.

Chelsea fans, the real diehards sat in the Matthew Harding and Shed End, knew that too.

They're no mugs; they've been watching John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba dig in to win games like this for years.

They sang 'We want our Chelsea back' in the dying minutes.

Two wins in 10 suggests that won't happen any time soon; two successive 0-0 draws, the first time since September 2004, confirms it.

In the past, a home game against Fulham was a routine win, another three points as Chelsea packed off their annoying little neighbours back to Putney.

Not any longer.

There are lost souls in this Chelsea team, searching for a common goal and a sense of purpose after yet another traumatic managerial change.

A team who have won three Barclays Premier League titles and four FA Cups in the Abramovich era are not only being broken up but destroyed.

Chelsea are lacking direction and even the club's own official Twitter feed is giving up on them.

Chelsea's timeline read: 'Corner.

I don't need to tell you that nothing comes of it' midway through the first half.

It must have been tempting for the author to say so much more.

This team are looking for leadership, turning to each other in a time of crisis and wondering when the wheel of fortune will turn in their favour again.

The hostility for Benitez continues and judging by the tribute to Roberto Di Matteo in the 16th minute, when Chelsea fans stood as one to salute their sacked, Champions League-winning manager, it won't be stopping any time soon.

No-one can move on just yet.

And no-one can blame them.

Chelsea fans are watching a team racked with nerves and indecision, uncertain about the future after the appointment of a manager for six months.

Just like their owner, who was sat high up in the stands with his Champions League bench-warming jacket on again, they want Chelsea to play at breakneck speed.

They long for the days when they scored 20 goals in five games against Wolves, Arsenal, Nordsjaelland, Norwich and Tottenham earlier in the season.

Chelsea were ripping teams to bits back then, pushing the ball across the pitch with pace and purpose.

Even Fernando Torres was among the goals, finding the back of the net four times in the opening phase of the Premier League season.

Look at him now, a desperate figure looking to rediscover his love of the game again under Chelsea's latest manager.

Torres has gone more than 10 hours without a goal in the Premier League and even his strike against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on October 7 was a fluke.

It's almost heartbreaking to watch.

On Sunday he touched the ball 27 times and had just one shot.

Last night he showed signs of improvement, but not by much; 34 touches, three shots.

The most important statistic is the big fat zero alongside Torres's name after yet another blank.

The supply line into the Spain striker has been stopped and Chelsea are struggling to fix the problem.

Benitez tried to address it, exchanging John Mikel Obi and Mata for the fresh legs of Oriel Romeu and Ryan Bertrand.

The Spain striker managed a shot on target against Fulham in the first half, a half-decent effort straight into the arms of Mark Schwarzer.

Perhaps, in times gone by, he might have picked his spot and put his team ahead from that kind of position.

Sadly those days are in the past, all saved for the highlights reel at the end of his career.

That's what it is coming to for Torres, unable to function whatever the formation or whatever the first XI.

Instead the moments of class were left to Dimitar Berbatov, captaining his team in the absence of the suspended Brede Hangeland.

At times he was in the mood, wrapping his right foot around the ball and teasing it into the path of his team-mates.

He has always been flaky, but remains one of the game's most charismatic forwards.

His awareness and anticipation is the mark of a Champions League player, creating space and time in the tightest positions.

Martin Jol played Berbatov up front alone for Fulham and by the final whistle he had almost twice the number of touches on the ball as Torres.

Fulham could have nicked this, particularly when Giorgos Karagounis's wonderful cross-field ball fell into the path of John Arne Riise.

The left back is usually so reliable from these positions, but he miscued an effort 10 minutes after the break.

He had another chance 15 minutes from time when his spectacular left-foot shot was beaten away by Petr Cech.

Chelsea barely functioned.

Branislav Ivanovic had a penalty appeal turned down 20 minutes from time when his run was halted by Hangeland's deputy, Philippe Senderos.

That was about it.

At the final whistle, Abramovich made his way across the pitch for his traditional post-match visit to the dressing room.

This time, words will have failed him.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Hazard (Marin 82), Oscar, Bertrand (Mata 63), Torres.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Mikel, Moses, Ferreira, Cahill.

Booked: Ivanovic, Romeu, Luiz

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Diarra (Baird 64), Sidwell, Karagounis (Frei 73), Rodallega (Petric 83), Berbatov.
Subs not used: Etheridge, Kelly, Kasami, Dejagah.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 41,707






















Source .

Share this article

 

Views

829

Comments

Article Tags

Since 1998
"It's been updated!"
 

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!