Not good enough Wolves.
There shouldn’t be any shame in going down by four goals to a top side, but 25 minutes in yesterday, I felt humiliated. Say what you like about the brilliance of Chelsea (they were very good), but Wolves made it far, far too easy for them.
Mick has to take a large chunk of the blame. The odd 3-5-2 system he tried play, left us chasing shadows for the first half hour, with players not able to adapt to the unorthodox shape. We were carved open time and time again down the flanks, with Anelka and Kalou drifting out wide and enjoying acres of space.
When the starting XI came through, I was actually pleased because I made the assumption he’d opted for the 4-5-1 I’d long been calling for. Silly me. When we eventually switched to this shape, the carnage lessened somewhat, but the game was long over.
Blame doesn’t lie completely at the feet of the manager though.
When you visit Stamford Bridge, you simply can’t afford for your keeper to have a bad game and it’s safe to say, Hennessy had a shocker. He could nothing about Malouda’s thunderous opener or Essien’s close-range, unmarked, header, but the two shots that squirmed under his body should have been bread and butter saves.
As a team, we defended woefully and didn’t show nearly enough fight to stop Chelsea ripping us apart. Whoever was supposed to be marking Essien for their second goal wants shooting. It was a great delivery but the powerful midfielder did nothing special to make the space. Not good enough.
The few times we ventured forward, we didn’t look half bad. Jarvis in particular was a thorn in their side and can count himself unlucky not to have set up a goal or bagged one himself. There was also the odd break, which we failed to capitalise on, mainly due to poor final balls. The closest we came was SEB’s far-post header, which Cech superbly turned round the post to maintain his long-running cleansheet record.
In truth though, had Wolves had the audacity to score, you just got the impression Chelsea could easily have gone up the other end and scored a couple more. They took their foot off the gas in the second half and at times it seemed like nothing more than an exercise in shooting practice, with Essien, Cole, Mikel and Alex all taking aim from range.
Undoubtedly, the biggest plus from yesterday’s match was the support. Even at 4-0, the loudest section of Stamford Bridge was the gold and black corner of the Shed End. Having paid the best part of fifty quid for a ticket and navigated the complicated journey through the capital, they deserved better.
We’ve got a week now to prepare for a giant game against Blues. From the terror of the Arsenal match and the chaos of Chelsea, we somehow have to find a winning formula to quickly turn things around.
Our season depends it.