Monday, March 21, 2011

£650 Million Worth of Nothing Much

photo by a.drianvia PhotoRee

So, Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour spent a combined £650 million on the two teams that met Sunday at the Bridge. Value for the money?  I'll let you decide. Chelsea's 2-nil victory was hardly the convinving home effort I expected to see. And City?  I'm not sure the word offense is even in Roberto Mancini's vocabulary.

The dapper Italian got what he deserved yesterday when David Luiz scored a late winner before Ramires confirmed the victory in stoppage time. Once again Scarved-One  played for a nil-nil draw on the road -- something we've seen way too many times this season -- and this time he paid the price. Mancini kept the ineffective Milner and Toure on far too long, and waited until it was much too late to bring on Adam Johnson and add some attacking flair to his flaccid offense.

A few other observations on the game, while they're still hot out of the oven:

  • It's O'fer eight for Fernando's Chelsea career. Looked a bit more lively yesterday, but really?  Is that what £50 million buys these days?
  • It was interesting to see that both coaches chose (more or less) to bench their first choice strike forces for the match. No Tevez (groin) or Balotelli (brain) for City, and both Didier Drogba and Nickolas Anelka rode pine for the beginning of  Sunday afternoon's contest, making weight for Fernand(zer)o Torres and Solomon Kalou.
  • Is it too early to write Edin Dzeko off as a legitimate EPL striker?  He's well off the pace of the league at this point, and looked completely lost out there yesterday. I don't want to say I told you so (okay, I actually do want to say it), but I told you so. Here.
  • Maybe it's just me, but Roberto Mancini seems to have quite the way of grinding down his players' skills down to a nub.  James Milner is a shadow of the player he was last season -- he's awful, actually, almost delightfully bad to watch these days --  and Yaya Toure is looking like half the player he was only a few short weeks ago. If Edin Dzeko has started off his EPL career this poorly, he'll be playing Championship-level football by season's end under Bobby M's tutelage
  • In parting, i think it's fair to note that I hate David Luiz more each time I see him play. He carries himself with the same sort of cocky arrogance that John Terry does, and it's grating on me. Maybe it's his Sideshow Bob-like hairdo, but I'm beginning to really detest the guy, and never more so than when he scored the late winner yesterday.
This is farlieonfootie for March 21.

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