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All Things Footie | Tuesday, December 6 | Jordan

On Chelsea

As this season is clearly about just one team, I thought I’d offer some thoughts.

Shaun Wright-Phillips with wither if he doesn’t start playing regularly. He’s not the kind of player that can sit on the bench and do the business when called on, he needs a proverbial run-up to get the best out of him. Moving to Chelsea may well have been the worst move he’s ever made (footballing wise, not financially).

Frank Lampard must be a robot. How on earth can he go nearly two years without a single injury—particularly when you’re playing in his position? I was thinking last night that were Chelsea to lose him, there’s a good chance they’d fall apart. The defence is unequivocally solid, but not as spectacular as is often made out, nor is their oft-lauded wide attack (as I’m coming too). Drogba is Chris Sutton in disguise, and Gudjonsen will never deliver the goods; Crespo is a different matter but it seems he and Jose aren’t each other’s biggest fans.

Arjen Robben is shit. He arrived in a flurry of wonderful goals, he had a superb couple of months … eighteen months ago. Since then he’s looked no more than average, and that’s being generous. He can’t beat players, his crossing is poor, and his finishing has been weak.

Along with Lampard, Terry is the heartbeat. I can’t really say anything about Terry that hasn’t been said. He’s Chelsea’s Roy Keane, but at the back. I’ve only said anything about him because this can’t be all negative.

Essien is horrible. He’s a decent player, yes, but no better, and he’s put in at least two challenges this season that could finish a player’s career. He’s a disgrace and the fact that he always seems to get away with it makes it worse. How is it that some players always seem to avoid punishment when they’re continually hacking at the opposition, when others get pulled up for doing far less. Essien’s not subtle about it, so it’s not hidden as such, I just can’t work it out.

This Chelsea side tick through one man. Frank Lampard will eclipse both Vieira and Keane if he plays another five years at this level of performance. He’s a wonderful asset to have, but Chelsea are more fragile than they look. They may have tens of millions of pounds on the bench every game, but most of them were ripoffs, and I don’t buy Wenger/Ferguson/Benitez’s excuses that it’s the bench’s that make the difference. It’s not, it’s Frank Lampard.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to say that Chelsea are a one-man team. Man for man, as a squad, they have the best team in the league. But the reason they’re flying ahead of everyone else, is Frank Lampard. His consistency, his goalscoring, his drive.

On a non-Chelsea related note, I’m really liking the look of Liverpool’s Momo Sissoko. He’s tenacious, his distribution is efficient and he’s a quick thinker—perhaps the most important part of being a central midfielder in the Premiership. And finally, Peter Crouch is the worst forward that’s ever worn a Liverpool shirt, he has no redeeming footballing features. His movement is awful, his finishing worse, he’s no pace, his distribution is average at best, he’s awful in the air (both the actual heading and judging where to be). My God, he’s just awful. Seems like a nice bloke though.

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