So wonderful Zola - but not the game

The most happy event today was when Zola finally signed a new contract with us! Wonderful! I guess we all feel the same way. Four years! It's another important sign that we are doing something new and exciting things here.

The performance (Chelski 0-1) today then?
Soso. We could and should have had another point, but at the same time - if you don't score with those chances do you deserve anything?? So this loss destroyed my prediction of the rest of the season (see further down or
HERE) as I had one point for us against the Abramovich kids. And all is Noble's fault! ;-). No, the penalty was quite good, but Cech was better. Still I remember that Noble whould only take our penalties as long as he didn't miss - and he missed against Hull, so why did he take this??
Once again I was very impressed by Lucas Neill, and quite impressed by Boa Morte as well. It's fun that those two are the least faith in the stands. Never judge a player until Zola has been with him in training for at least 6 months! Well, thinking of Di Michele and Tristan - maybe not.
So: where are you
Carlton Cole?!?! Please come back NOW! He and Parker had made the difference today.

Green 6 - Had two great saves when he got out in the right moment. Still he totally missed the cross when Kalou scored. Well, despite that a good game.
Lucas Neill 7 -
Another great perfomance in defence. Kept Malouda quite well in his pocket. And filled in at other parts of the defence when he had too. Mediocre goin forward though and spread his passes.
James Tomkins 7,5 - Another very mature performance!!
Matthew Upson 6 - A bit pale and sold himself easy at two times which is two times two much.
Herita Ilunga 7 - Good game. Delt quite well with Kalou and still had times to go forward. Forced Kalou (?) to give Ilunga the penalty and was there other times as well. Oh, if the pass from the midfield had been better in the end, Ilunga had been there to take it.
Junior Stanislas 6 - His first 15-20 minutes was absolutely awful when he spread dangerous passes all wrong. (Only Di Michele was worse). But he grew during the game and his last 20 was as impressing as his start was bad. This is a guy who actually can handle a ball. One of few in our team a day like this!
Kieron Dyer 5
- Had no affect on the game but when he missed the golden opportunity free with Cech. And just managed a "fluffy" "shot". Are not ready yet - which we also could see in his non-existent defense work - but I can see why Zola chose to play him. I'd rather see him on a flank. Or as a striker. Well, maybe not after today...
Mark Noble 6 - Takes responsibility. But your passing have to be soo much better if you want a point from Chelski. And you got to act much faster! Missed the penalty, but it was quite well taken. I am more pissed the way he handled the midfield.
Luis Boa Morte 7 - Another really good performance today. Even if he missed a few more passes - than against Villa - he was our best man in midfield and stood up well when the russian squad came to put pressure on us. I'm happy to see that he is improving a lot. Guess it's much the way Zola handle him as well.
Tristan 4,5 - I do wonder when he will be able to learn the second touch. And first. Well, some moves was OK. He may just look like a ruined castle, but there might be something to dig out from those ruins. I doubt it will be beore the season ends though.
Di Michele 2 - I do not understand why he was on the field for so long. Missed every pass, missed every dribble, missed every shot. Was allowed to do it over and over again. Did it when the whole team had moved up to put pressure on Chelski, did it in midfield which created dangerous counter-attacks.

Savio 4,5 - One thing is good to know: He will be much better than he showed today. Tried at least!
Kovac 3 - I'm not a good player and haven't played for a couple of decades now, but I promise I would have made better passes than Kovac did today. Should I call Dux?
Sears 4 - Fresh legs, runs, runs, runs, but was not able to create much. Anyway should start next game as Di Michele from now on is forbidden on English soil....

Well, Tottenham lost as well, but played so much better than us today. Fulham won again. And to everybodys surprise Man City won. This will be a interesting spurt towards 15th of May. And that 7th spot. I am very impressed by our season in full, so I'll be pleased anyway, but I doubt that we will be able to take that Euro league place. Then Parker and Cole has to be with us from next week! Not a day later.


Joppe - said...

To me your prediction was more accurate than the actual result so I'm still impressed with your call.

Completely agree about Neill and LBM. I think you are a bit harsh on Noble, its not any midfield he has to handle.

When you call Dux, present yourself as a italian prtdigy, that may work! :)

Allan said...

Agree with most of what you say except Green did get his hand to the ball and the contact made pushed it away from Upsons waiting head and it went straight to Kalo and goal. (Check out WHTV highlights)

We should have used our wingers more going right to the byline instead of cutting in and lossing the ball.

I'm looking forward to next season with Zola & Clarke doing enen more with Uus. Long may they stay.

Prince H said...

Allan: You're right about Green, but the result was not much better was it ;-S

Joppe: Yes, maybe a bit harsh as Dyer was weaker than he should and Noble had to work more than he should have to. But still, we were never able to hod up the ball for more than five seconds. Mainly becuase of poor passing rate. And even if he was no near Di Michele's horrendous mispasses, Noble missed far to many, far to easy.

Joppe - said...

The famous Chalkboard gives Noble 44 passes of which 8 were "unsuccessful". Six of those are into the box and those are always very hard to complete, not bad stats actually (Lampard wastes 11 of 50).
I don't think one should read too much into those stats but it's an indication it wasn't all that bad. Also to keep up the pace in the passing game is extremely dependent on what the people around you do and how good the opposition is to minimize your passing alternatives. With Di Michele in the team the attacking passing alternatives are effectively diminished by one...

Note: I'm not saying Noble had a very good game, but he was way better than he was a few months back - and I'm enjoying the argument! :)