Monday, December 13, 2010
Drogba: The Hero and the Goat
The unwise Chelsea coach, Ancelotti, started the crucial game against Tottenham without his big time striker, Didier Drogba. Ancelotti chose to start up front Anelka and Kalou. Both were ineffective for the first half.
Tottenham came out sprinting like Usain Bolt with Lenon running at the Chelsea defense on the right side and Bale running at the Blues from the left side. With Modric, the Tottenham playmaker, back in form in the early going Chelsea seemed unable to cope with Tottenham’s speed merchants. Tottenham’s attacking deftness paid dividends when a Defoe pass to his strike partner, Pavlyuchenko whose first touch eluded John Terry and his kick to Cech beat the Chelsea goalkeeper.
A soccer match is two halves and Chelsea played more spirited in the second half. Drogba was called back to action and immediately had an impact on the game. Drogba picking up a pass turned on Dawson, the Chelsea central defender and powered the ball pass the Chelsea keeper.
The game kept going back and forth and must be regarded as one of the more exciting games of the English Premier League for this season. Drogba had the chance to win the game when Chelsea was awarded a penalty kick as Gomes “fouled” Ramires in the box. Drogba’s penalty was saved by Gomes and befittingly the game ended in a draw.
A.C. Milan did not face much of a challenge from Bologna, a club that finds itself unable to pay its players and is on the verge of bankruptcy or a takeover.
Milan’s attack is potent and Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Boateng were the goal scorers for Milan. One could not say that Bologna did not put out an effort but with rare exceptions, Bologna never threatened to score. Allegri played his runners in mid-field, a strategy that has paid dividends for Milan. Allegri has sent Ronaldinho an unmistakable message, there is no room at the Inn. It looks likely at this stage that Ronaldinho will seek a transfer when the market opens up in January.
Mancini’s not-so-merrymen rolled over West Ham. Yaya Toure has shown that he has great offensive capabilities and scored two of Manchester City’s three goals.
But all is not well in the Manchester mansion. Despite Mancini’s courting of Tevez, the Argentinean has requested a transfer in January. It seems the relationship between Coach Mancini and Captain Tevez will further deteriorate as the season progresses. Mancini also has to deal with Balotelli who received yet another yellow card in the game against West Ham. Balotelli has a self-destructive streak and needs a shrink to navigate him through youthful indiscretions.
Arsenal and Manchester United play Monday evening. With the return of Ferninand, United’s defense has been fortified. The opposite has occurred in Arsenal as the absence of Vermalean has put Squillaci and Koscielny as the standing central defenders and they have shown in previous games that they are not ready for prime time. It is a truism in football that you will not win big games unless you can produce men larger than life in defense. Presently Arsenal is disarmed with two dwarfs. Wenger in January needs to cast a wider net, beyond the French league. There are numerous top Brazilian central defenders who can be brought in to fill that gaping hole in Arsenal’s defense. Nonetheless, like Tottenham vs. Chelsea, Arsenal vs. Manchester United should produce sterling 90 minutes of artistry.