Albion - Chelski 0-3(0-3) 08/09

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Date: Saturday 15th November 2008 Live on Satellite TV
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Carson 4.8, Zuiverloon 5.5, Meite 5.8 (Donk, 69 5.6), Olsson 6.5, Robinson 5.3, Morrison 6.6 (Filipe Teixeira, 59 7.3), Greening 5.2, Valero 7.0, Koren 5.8, Miller 6.7, Bednar 4.7 (Kim, 46 5.5)
Unused subs: Kiely, Brunt, Cech, Moore
Manager: Tony Mowbray 5.8
Cudicini, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry (Ferreira, 85), Bridge, Deco, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka (Drogba, 74), Kalou (Ballack, 67)
Unused subs: Hilario, Cole, Sinclair, Mineiro
Scorers: Bosingwa (33), Anelka (37, 45)
Referee: Steve Bennett (Orpington) 5.8
Attendance: 26,322   Home Fans 7.4   Away Fans 6.0
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 46


Thirteen unlucky minutes at the end of the first half saw Chelsea score the three goals that gave them a tenth successive away win in the Premiership. Until then, Albion had played some nice football and created a few chances, but the mountain they had to climb in the second half allowed the visitors to ease off somewhat.

Abdoulaye Meite made a welcome return from injury, and Filipe Teixeira appeared at the Hawthorns for the first time this season, coming on as a second half substitute for James Morrison. But despite hard work from the whole Albion team, and some neat passing moves of their own, yet again the result was down purely to the difference in finishing ability.

At least Albion have now played the last of a difficult run of games, including three of the top four away from home and hardly any sides outside the top half of the table. Let's hope their neat play can translate into a good tally of points over the next few games.

Funky Fudge:

A couple of thoughts on today’s game:

  1. Although I haven’t seen any replays yet, I would have thought Carson should have done better with (up to) all 3 goals – a longer range effort to your near post, two other efforts to your near post. Positioning seemed to be a problem.
  2. We certainly seemed to be able to match for or frustrate Chelsea apart from that 15 minutes of madness at the end of the first half.
  3. Chelsea may have lots of £20m+ stars but I was very disappointed at some of the cynical challenges by Chelsea in the second half. FFS – you are 3-0 up, many of the challenges are near the half way line. Man for man you are way better than every member of our team yet you have to resort to thuggery. Very disappointed. Terry is a hooligan. If I were their manager I would take them to task aver the unnecessary yellow cards that they picked up.

Having just sent that in, I turn over to watch the highlights on BBC – 1st goal – Carson should have had it covered. 2nd goal – he had a 50-50 choice – stay up or go to ground. Probably should have stood up. 3rd goal – should have had it covered.

Unfortunately, the first goal really did knock our confidence for six, hence the 2nd and 3rd goal. We really need a good win to get their confidence back on track.


I shall post a longer msg a bit later today. (groans all round!) :-), but I think Carson was unsighted, and bamboozled like the rest of us, for the 1st. It was a speculative strike that went in. And he got his hand to it. The 2nd, I think Anaelka's chip would have had the beating of any goalie in the world. His reactions are so fast, Anelka's, that he decided to chip when he saw Scott start to go down, otherwise he'd have blasted it thro' his legs. What do most goalies do in situations like that, tho', striker approaching fast from an angle, go down? BUT positioning was wrong on 3rd. (but, as we say in golf after losing a couple of holes to fluky putts or chips, his brain was scrambled by then). Would he chip, would he blast, would he place?

I don't think that goalkeeping is our main problem in the team, IMHO!

Chris (Hadley Wood):

I thought we played Ok today and looked to be holding our own until the first goal went in. From my view in the East Stand it looked a great shot from way out on a difficult angle but Carson could have done much better. Goals 2 and 3 were all about Anelka's pace and our defence switching off after the disappointment of letting in goal 1.

At half time everyome must have feared we were about to get an absolute hiding - but thankfully that didn't materialise. Mainly because the team stuck to there task and showed a bit of fight and spirit.


  • Miller looked a threat all game and got the better of Terry (or their other centre half who was sh***e) on numerous occasions only to be hacked down. Weak refereeing meant this went on until well into the 2nd half.
  • Tex coming back was a revelation - at last we had someone with a bit of pace and devil to cause Chelski problems. It was a pity his first effort when he skinned the full back, cut in from the left then skimmed the bar with a curler didn't go in. If I were Mowbray I would look to start him next week.
  • Valero looked quite good as well - and lasted the pace for the full 90 (unlike against Blackburn when he dropped in the second half). Lots of lovely touches and some decent runs.


  • Our midfield has too many similar players - Greening, Koren, Kim and even Valero and Morrsion. We lack a real midfield grafter - someone who can get stuck in with tackles and then just lay the ball off. Someone like a McInnes, dare I say it a Wallwork or even an AJ (on a good day) - Chelski had Mikel sitting in front of the back four all game and very effective he was too. Probably the only player who can play this role in the current squad is Pele but not sure he is up to it at this level. Greening aint nasty enough for the role. New signing in January needed - is it only the fans who see this yawning chasm in our team's make-up?

We need some pace out wide on one of the wings - at the moment we seem to rely too much on Robbo and Loon to provide the width. Morrsion and Koren are not true wingers IMO - maybe Tex will provide the answer now he's back. Brunt is too slow at this level although he has a great left foot.

My team for the Cloggers match next weekend:

Carson, Loon, Meite, Olson, Robbo, Pele, Koren, Greening, Valero, Tex, Miller. (admit we do look lightweight in midfield and may get kicked off the park).

Finally, the crowd (esp. the Smethwick) were great second half - kept up "When the Stripes ...." for a full 20 minutes continuous. Also the crowd kept positive at the end - applauding the players off even though we got beat 0-3. Chant of the day "A... to the Russians, you sold your A... to the Russians etc".

smethwick batman:

I think you're being very harsh on Carson here, Funky, I'm with Yammess on this one, especially that goalkeeper is hardly our biggest problem at the moment. We all thought at the time that the first goal was simply world class, outrageous. The boy had no right to shoot from there off his wrong foot and with such wicked power - you might just as easily blame Jonno for turning his back in the tackle though again I would argue he was as bamboozled as Carson and everybody else in the ground. The second and third were almost carbon copies other than where the through balls came from and while it is a bonus if your keeper gets something out of a one on one it is is not something you can crticise, surely, when he doesn't against a truly world class operator like Anelka with a whole goal to aim at and a speed of legs and brain that gets him there in the first place. 12 already so far this season and if I criticise his goals at all it is the defenders and midfielders who had three chances each for the first and second to get a foot in but failed to do so.

I do agree totally with your other two points though. It was Jim also who wrote last week that he was "proud" of the team against Liverpool and he got a bit of a panning. But I was immensley proud of the lads yesterday and I doubt anyone is going to give me the same panning but that is surely the emotion all of us felt.

The game was a microcosm of the the adage, which I believe to be true, that officials treat big clubs and big name players differently from the rest of us and I would challenge Keith Hackett to watch the 90 minutes and deny it. Because Terry is the England captain he gets away with blue murder, if you'll pardon the pun, and there were three occasions first half yesterday, let alone second, when his behaviour was nothing short of thuggery (twice on Bednar, once on Miller). Not a chance of a card because he's, er, the England captain. I also think the referee would have given a straight red for the tackle on Morrison if we'd have been playing Barnsley or even Bolton. That is not to deny Chelsea would have won the game fair and square anyway but rather to support your point that when you can pass and control a ball like that against a side who are trying to do the same thing why do you have to resort to such behaviour. A back-handed compliment to us in one way I suppose but it would rather explain to me if I was a Chelsea fan, Russian money apart and accepted, why their club is not generally liked or praised for its performances.

Other thoughts on the game: I thought Miller was man of the match though his ability to trap a bag of cement was again called into question in a carbon copy of the Liverpool fluff the previous week. That's what you get for £1.5 million, he's still only 20 and I am encouraged that he improves in energy and commitment each week and while he may simply be making a bloody nuisance of himself compared to the Anelkas and Toressss (what's the plural of a Torres?) it will bear fruit against most other teams in the division if he can keep it up.

I also question for the umpteenth time why Mogga insists on playing him and Roman (who looked seriously out of his depth) off the wrong foot with Miller also as the more forward target man when I would have thought that's where Roman"s (admittedly limited) strengths lie and Miller should be trying to pick up the pieces. Anyone got a theory? Mailman Chris Lepowski do you still check the board? Any chance of asking Mogga at your press briefings (and say some fans asked, not yourself, in case he does an Alex Ferguson on you! - I'll happily eat humble pie if I'm missing something.)

I thought Morrison before he was hurt did an excellent job on the right and Greening, Valero and Koren battled well though the latter's shooting has become powder puff for some reason.

Kim did ok but he must be blind in his left eye, missing three opportunities to put a ball to the left which might finally have reaped reward opting as ever to pass to the right.

One conundrum is the weakness for conceding goals on our right, the oppositions left, to people running into simple space - Anelka and Keane's braces the latest examples.

This yesterday despite Morrison appearing to me (I stress appearing) to hold his side up pretty well in front of Zuiverloon, the inclusion of Meitie instead of the shaky and confidence lacking Donk and the Loon himself seeming to do a reasonable job in the right channel itself. Is it because Loon stays too right and doesn't cover his defender? Is Morrison too slow chasing back (and others in same position previous games?) Is it the fault of the inner midfeilders Greening and Valero? Is it just coincidence because the class forwards we keep facing enjoy running that channel? Anybody out there with an FA coaching badge who can analyse where this is going wrong for us?

One last observation - we were doing fine first half until Ollssen chested a ball out for a corner under absolutely no pressure at all. This changed the mood of the game and confirmed that the players were secretly paddling like mad with nerves under the water while trying to look like elegant swans above it. I'm sure from that point (though I'm not blaming Ollssen particularly) that Chelsea knew they had the game won as opposed to merely taking us for granted as three more points.

Oops, forgot to mention Tex. Thought he did great against Liverpool considering how long he's been out and was even better yesterday. The shooting boots are also back on. He looks to be carrying about a stone of extra weight yet paradoxically is less "tippy tappy" looking than he was at Coca Cola level. Perhaps they should keep stuffing the pies down his cakehole!

Paul Gainham:

First let me say that of course, being realistic, there was little chance if any of us beating Chelsea last night, it was more a case of how many would we be beaten by - we simply cannot compete with the big 4 which is in itself depressing, but reality.

BUT what I saw last night was one of the most inept, gutless and embarrassingly one-sided games of football I have had the displeasure to witness at the Hawthorns over many a year - a complete lack of fight, passion and determination by too many of our players, certainly not helped by Mowbray's comments in the press, virtually surrendering before a ball was kicked.

I am a big fan of Mowbray's and we need to persist with his style and approach on the whole, but if he does not adapt that approach quickly and move away from a purist style to a more pragmatic approach - yes keep the good football but bring in the players in January who add some bite, certainly in Midfield as well as defence, we are doomed. Hansen and Lawrenson on MOD were spot on with their summary - unless we adapt, we are down.

Why did so many think that the performance was worthy of applauding them off the pitch at the end?????

I was so bloody angry walking along the Bham road last night, I can accept defeat against a much better team, but I cannot accept capitulation. The club were taking the p*** out of all that were there last night.

And don't even mention Stoke - they will hammer us next week, not because they are a better team, far from it, but they will fight for everything and beat us because they have the mental and physical strength to easily overcome our weak purist style.

Frustrated and angry.