Spyin' kop Chelsea V Liverpool Sunday 20 Nov 11

Posted by BSBW on November 12, 2011, 11:43:48 PM

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Here we go again, I’m actually quite glad I’m not home for this one as I don’t have too many good memories from ‘The Bridge’, plus you need a mortgage to get in. We all know everyone will be up for this, the Reds in the Shed will be bouncing, half the Libpool fans’ll be bladdered and smelling of rat piss from either an overnighter in some seedy back street den, or having slept on the floor of a mates of a mates cousin who moved “Down to the Smoke a few years ago” or from a very early Happy Al’s or day train breakfast consisting of a few cans of wife beater, a bit of beak and some two day old egg and onion sarnies.

Moving on to the footy, there will be a bit of tension out there today, both teams having a lot to prove, this is one of those matches that the pundits love to call a six pointer, they’ll be comparing like for like, putting two and two together and coming up with five and talking all kinds of crap like Liverpool now being a Chelsea feeder club (Anelka, Benayoun – Benny boy not being too popular amongst some of the blue faithful at the moment, that Spanish lad and Meireles).

Our last visit to the Bridge was a one nil victory, ironically the only goal scorer that day (Meireles) now wears the blue shirt. Both teams have dropped too many points so far this season; I wonder what fate’s got in store this time?

The answers to the questions are provided courtesy of The Shed End, an unofficial Chelsea FC website. I’ve been on their website for just over a week now and must admit I was slightly surprised with their acceptance of me and lack of abuse. I would like to thank them for their welcome, support and honest answers. They also have another thread based on our future battle, which is quite interesting when you read it from their perspective. I still never got my banner back though!


Well then, the season’s almost a quarter through and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for both of us, how do you reckon it’s shaping up for your lot and are you happy with your current form?

Davey Baby - Not happy with the current form, obviously, but we have to keep it in perspective. Two consecutive losses in the Prem and a draw away to Genk, mixed in with a win away at Goodison and away at Blackburn. It could be worse. A lot worse. I think the defensive woes we suffered against Arsenal had been coming, and I think it served as a neccessary reality check. We are not going to win the league in all probability and I think most of us have reconciled that. We will settle for top four but that is by no means a certainty either. Having said that, there are very positive signs, we are undergoing a transformation, and the fact that there will be a few hiccups is fine for most of us. Perhaps less so for those only accustomed to success.

- In a word... nope. The lack of clean sheets is a worry. Lack of clean sheets combined with profligacy in front of goal doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Carefree - I think that we have had a difficult time so far under AVB. He has brought a whole new way of playing football to the club which we are learning to adapt to. The new way is less conservative to what fans are used to and it can get quite frustrating to see the team conceding at home week in week out. Right now Im slightly worried that City are going to run away with it but hopefully they will drop some points somewhere.

Nibs - Hard to be happy with defeats against two London rivals but I am happy with what AVB is trying to do. Gradually replace the old guard AND get us playing better and more attacking football.

Being realistic, what do you expect to get from this season? The Carling Cup’s not looking too good for you, so that aside, would victory in Europe sufficiently compensate and become your next main priority?
Davey Baby - The Champions League would be a dream but again, I can't see it happening. We are not at the same level as Real Madrid, Barcelona, City and Utd, to name but four. Our squad lacks depth as we have too many players past their sell-by date as far as their Chelsea careers are concerned: Mikel, Malouda, Kalou, Anelka, and most critically of all, Drogba. Add to that the fact Lampard is 33, Ashley and Terry are getting on, Essien is permanently injured, and you can see we are not as strong as we once were. Not by a long chalk. Drogba, Essien, Ashley, Terry and Lampard have all been great players for us. Incredible players, and while some of them still have much to offer, we cannot entirely rely upon them to be available every week and at their optimum, as was the case a few years ago.

Hutch - In such a transitional season, I'll be content with Champions League qualification. A trophy (realistically the League Cup or FA Cup) would be a bonus.

Carefree – I think that we should be aiming for at least one trophy. I think that we will have the edge of liverpool in the carling cup and possibly go on to win it. If we are going to win the champions league, our defence has got to have a complete turn around. Also torres has got to hit form. My main priority is always to win the league though.

Nibs - Before the QPR and Arsenal defeats I honestly thought we had a good chance of winning the PL. Perhaps we still have, but the reality check means I'll be happy with top four + one cup would be a real bonus.

I see you’re looking at the possibilities of locating to a new ground. I must admit that price aside, I quite like your current location, there’s a bit of tradition there, plus there are loads of ale houses around Earls Court and Fulham Broadway where you can have a bit of a laugh. Any idea whereabouts the suits are looking at and would you be happy to move away from the SW?

Davey Baby - Location-wise, you can't beat where we're at, and we all realise that. It will be a wrench to leave the Bridge but leave we must in my opinion. Trouble is, it's very difficult for us to re-locate anywhere nearby, but we must try. Earl's Court, Imperial Wharf, Battersea would all be fine, but I can't see it happening, it is way too problematic. White City and Old Oak Common are far more viable but would meet with much more opposition from fans, and rightly so. Our identity is wrapped up in our location probably more so than any other club. Though we're in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, we really are in Chelsea, and that holds a lot of symbolism for a lot of people. Even Battersea, which is staunch Chelsea territory, in terms of fans, is south of the river, and that would be controversial in itself, though not for me. Postcodes and the river divide are of great importance to many London folk. It's not as straightforward as just moving to another part of West London. Stamford Bridge is way too dear, it's prohibitive for many, and prices are only going to get steeper if we stay. We need to add 20,000 to the gate, which would be easy with a different pricing strategy, the club could cash in on hospitality, and everyone would be happy, except a certain section who are dead against a move at any cost. I understand their position but I disagree.

Hutch - Even though the current stadium is unrecognisable from the one I grew up with, staying at Stamford Bridge would still be the preferred outcome. For various reasons, this is unfortunately unlikely to prove possible. Favoured locations would therefore either be Earls Court (just down the road) or Battersea, not too far, traditional Chelsea area.

Carefree - Earls court, Battersea power station (ridiculous suggestion), and possibly white city. I would be really saddened if we left the bridge as it is a brilliant stadium. Its in a good location in terms of being near the tube. But most of all, the auror of the place. In terms of pubs, I think we could easily relocate if we moved stadiums.

Nibs - No. We have to stay in SW London. Think most of us accept a move from The Bridge is probable but Earls Court or Battersea are acceptable.

On the transfer front, where are the roubles going next? Surely now you’ve got Anelka, Benny, that Spanish lad and Meirelles you don’t want anyone else off us, or do you?

Davy Baby - Liverpool have some good players, and anything other than top four would be a let-down in my opinion, though clearly you are competing against us, Arsenal and Spurs for 3rd and 4th. I think Dalglish has bought well. I rate Enrique and Adam. My opinion has always differed with most over Downing. I have seen him at the Bridge a few times and he has always impressed me. Henderson will come good I think. Carroll is a good player though some of you will disagree. Not sure it will work out for him at your club but I have always liked him. Suarez has surprised me, I didn't think he's as good as he is, though I don't think his body language is always great. I think he has the potential to piss off a few of his teammates in future, but perhaps I'm clutching at straws.
Who should we buy? A winger, more than anything. Pace, trickery, flair. Width. That's what we need. Out-and-out width. Apart from that a central midfielder who can control the tempo of the game, ala Modric, but I'm convinced we have that department covered in future, in the guise of Josh McEachran, whom in my view is the real deal. I would gladly pay money to watch that kid play. Inexplicably he hardly gets any game-time.

Hutch - Yossi is busy making himself unpopular with Chelsea fans over at the New Library. How's Joe Cole doing nowadays?

Carefree - We need a right back, a winger and a centre forward. Im not completely confident in Boswingwa's defensive capability. He's too much of a liability in big matches. Sturridge isn't a big game player. And Malouda is neither fast, nor skilful and has little impact on the team.

Nibs - Suarez would look good in blue I reckon and you're more than welcome to Anelka and Benny back!

Getting on to the subject of the precious Spanish lad, has he been accepted yet or is the jury still out on him?

Davy Baby - He's accepted, he's just not very good. That's my view. I understand that he was good, but I'll judge him on what he does in a blue shirt, and up to now, not much to write home about, sadly. There have been signs this season but that is all. Two goals against Genk is not evidence that he's back, despite what some may believe. I couldn't care less how many shirts he sells in Thailand, though I guess the club feel otherwise.

Hutch - He didn't exactly get off to the best start, did he? I said at the time Ancelotti made a mistake starting him against your lot in his first game. As you know yourself, he's very much a confidence player. I genuinely believe he didn't expect the level of abuse he'd take from the media and Liverpool fans alike simply for leaving Liverpool. This has thankfully died off a little of late, with notable exceptions such as that old scroat Aldridge.

Carefree - He's got my full support. Hopefully he will find some kind of form soon.

Nibs - That changes from week to week. Has looked great in a couple of games - distincly average in others. We all want him to do well but he still has a lot to do. Hopefully he'll come good on the 20/11.

Who is your best player so far this season?[/b

Davy Baby - Ramires. Definitely.

Hutch - Probably Juan Mata.

Carefree – Ramires hands down.

Nibs - That's a hard one as no-one has been that consistent. I guess Mata. It would be Josh McEachran if he had played some game.

Which Chelsea player would you like to see being pointed towards the back door or at least provided with a full length mirror so he can go and have a chat with himself?

Davy Baby - There are quite a few. Top of my list would be Anelka.

Hutch - There are a couple of players I was surprised not to see moved on in the last transfer window, or even the one before. The usual suspects.

Carefree – Anelka-lazy, no ambition and cannot finish.

Nibs - Kalou, Malouda, Mikel, Drogba & Anelka (is 5 enough?!)

We’ve both experienced a bit of a revolving door on the managerial front over the past few seasons. Are you now as happy with AVB as we are with the King?

Davy Baby - Very happy with him and I hope he's given time. He needs to learn on the job and Chelsea is a difficult place to do that, because of the expectations and the pressure. He has impressed me.

Hutch - To state the obvious, AVB is very young, very inexperienced, and is still learning his trade. As such the club need to give him time to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes.

Carefree – I am perfectly happy with AVB remaining at the club for a long time. Its time we had a bit of continuity.

Nibs - Yes. Hopefully he'll be around for a long time too.

I see from your forums that there is concern regarding AVB’s attacking attitude and his philosophy that the team who scores the most goals wins. Although perceived by some as a risky kind of philosophy, surely it makes for an exciting ride for the fans. What are your concerns regarding AVB?

Davy Baby - My only concern is his inexperience, not his ability. Sure, we play a different game and there are a few teething issues and he doesn't neccessarily have the squad he wants, but that's fine. Give him time. The job at Chelsea is a complicated one, on so many levels, and you either have to be a genius (Jose) or experienced and highly able (Hiddink). A lot of knowhow is needed and a lot of nous, and at 34, he just hasn't picked up as many tools as he will need. We need to support him. As the age gap between him and the players becomes bigger it will become easier I suspect.

Hutch - That the club won't give him time to learn from his mistakes

Carefree – I think that his attacking attitude is exciting but too risky. The line we hold is too high and doesn't work when we have JT who was slow even in his early 20s, ash who has lot a yard, bosingwa who hasn't a defensive brain cell in his head, and luiz who is prone to moments of madness. I think that AVB will realise that we have to adopt a slightly more conservative approach, but a fast flowing game is what I would like to see.

Nibs - Too gung ho at times (a la Kevin Keegan). No real problem with that but letting in 5 goals at SB against a very average Arsenal side takes a bit of getting over so he has to learn from things like that.

What formation do you see AVB setting out against us?

Davy Baby - The usual.

Hutch - The one that enables us be the team that scores the most goals.

Carefree – 4-3-3

Nibs - A winning one!!

Are there any Liverpool players you feel will require close monitoring/attention next Sunday?

Davy Baby - Suarez is obviously the danger man, but I think you have many players we should be concerned about. Adam is a lovely passer.

Hutch - Suarez. Knowing our luck, Andy Carroll will have the best game (past, present or future) of his career against us.

Carefree – Suarez and carroll. Suarez because he's got good movement and can beat defenders. Carroll because he's huge and can barge through.

Nibs - Suarez and maybe Bellamy.

What are your predictions for the end of the season for both of our clubs?

Dave Baby - We'll finish fourth I reckon. I think you'll be fifth.

Hutch - One of my superstitions is that I never, ever predict the outcome of a Chelsea match. Or the season.

Carefree – Realistically 3rd for us, but I always believe that we have a chance to win the league. Liverpool will finish 6th.

Nibs - Think we will finish 3rd and you lot will probably be 6th.

Care to predict the score?

Dave Baby - No.

Hutch - Nope. See above

Carefree – 2-1 to the Chels!

Nibs - My brain says a draw, maybe 1-1 but my heart says a 3-1 win with a hat-trick for our no. 9!

I’ve never quite understood your ‘One man went to mow’ song, so apart from that, what special songs can we expect next week?

Davy Baby - One about Torres I suspect.

Hutch - Dustbins and dead rats may well feature. Mick Greenaway started "One man went to mow" while on tour, in Sweden I think. It started as a bit of a laugh but caught on and took off big time. The one I don't understand is Man U's "nick nack paddy-whack bollocks".

Carefree - Usuals: Carefree, O when the blues go steaming in, super chelsea, in your liverpool slums, sign on etc.

Nibs - You mean we're meant to sing?!!! Guess there will be plenty of anti-Liverpool songs. I can remeber singing the Liverpool slums one back in the late '70's and it still goes down well these days. I do apologise in advance for the "other one". Have never agreed with it.

As a bit of an arl arse, I was fortunate to experience the seventies and often travelled about a bit, whatever happened to the infamous one armed Babs from the Shed?

Dave Baby - Goalkeeping coach.

Hutch - Unconfirmed, but I heard he was still about, and made an appearance at the game vs Cardiff last season. Whenever we played West Ham, the f**kers would sing: "Babbsey, Babbsey clap your hands"

Carefree – Have no clue!

Pass. Probably long gone just like the Paper Man.

By the way, can I have my Jose the Special One banner back, it got confiscated at your place in the first leg in 2005?

Dave Baby - Sure. Pop along to the Matthew Harding at about quarter to four on matchday. Be sure to be dressed in red.

Hutch - Can't help you there. Approach one of the stewards from behind. Tap him on the shoulder: "Oi Mister, can we have our banner back?" That'll work.

Nibs - Smiley

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