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Have They Got the Balls?

As the season approaches a conclusion we`re faced, unless Chelsea can throw a spanner in their works, with the possibility of Liverpool controlling the destiny of the Premier League title.

Brendan Rodgers side has four games left (including one against us) and if they win all four the end of the world as we know it will happen.

Already the press are greeting this Liverpool side as the best thing since sliced bread and you get the feeling they`re willing them to cross the line first.

However, as we approach the business end of the season Petr Cech has, quite rightly, questioned whether Liverpool have the balls to finish off the job they`ve started, remarking,

"Sometimes when you have a young team they don`t feel any pressure."

"They just play and that is what Liverpool have done as no one expected anything from them."

"That is why they have played without pressure so far, but let`s see how they are going to cope when it comes to the last hurdle."

"They will still have to jump over it."

"We have players who played big matches and that is going to be a help. Things are still in our hands."

Indeed they are, that is if Manchester City can be persuaded to drop a couple of points in one of their remaining fixtures.

Reflecting on the narrow win at the Liberty Stadium, a win that has kept us in the mix, Petr added,

"The Swansea game was a must win after Liverpool`s victory. It is a great to put ourselves in a situation where we know we have a chance if we keep on winning."

Grinding out results is the phrase that comes to mind rather than playing with any real flamboyancy. But, unlike our rivals for the title, Manchester City and Liverpool, we have more than one egg in our basket with the Champions League very much on our horizon.

Previously, the authorities have done nothing to assist us in our quest for honours when it comes to rescheduling fixtures, something else Petr found time to comment on, with the Czech keeper remarking,

"In the last few years we have been saving the English coefficient in the Champions League. But we never get any help in terms of the schedule from the FA."

How very true, but don`t you get the feeling that if it were our friends from Anfield chasing multiple silverware the assistance, from the authorities, would be there in abundance!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 15 2014

Time: 7:33AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Well they help us a little by giving us a Saturday game instead of a Sunday which was the original plan. So we play Sunderland at home on Saturday then we go to Madrid to play Atletico. After that it is off to Anfield to play Liverpool which sounds bad but still closer than playing in Spain before we end it off with a home game against Atletico. 3 wins a must although a score draw away to Atletico would be nice with wins against Sunderland, Liverpool and then finally Atletico at the Bridge.
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15/04/2014 08:42:00

It goes without saying that we need to beat Sunderland and much as I want us to win at Liverpool I have this awful feeling it is written in the stars for Liverpool - a bit like our Champions League win in 2012. I have never seen a team get so many lucky breaks in one season. It starts with Stoke missing an injury time penalty in the first game, to no European football or long Cup runs, penalties whenever they need them to win a game, Kompany having the worst game of his career, to playing Chelsea at home slap bang in the middle of our Champions League SF. Throw in the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough and the first year of Ferguson's retirement and it all looks inevitable to me. I hope I am wrong.
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15/04/2014 08:49:00

Oh shut it Cech. The only reason the red hatters are even in contention is cause we mucked up big time. Palace and Villa were epic screw ups. This is our mess and it is up to us to clear it up. Get cracking.
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15/04/2014 10:22:00

For the sake of **** I don't want Loserfool to win the title. It is already unbearable how the English media licking their ass. Imagine if Loserfool indeed wins the league it will be worst thing for English football. We have to get a win at Anfield. I can even stand Manure win the title (whom I hate with passion) but not these Loserfool. It is in our hand...come on lads.
Keyser Soze
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15/04/2014 12:36:00

Petr cech's comment was exactly what i said in a thread few days ago. It is no denying that there many among the top brass in english football who continually glance jealous eyes over what Abramovich and chelsea are achieving. And for liverpool, it really will be a mystery if they win this league (though my stance remain they will not) because this is a team which last season was a billion points away from the team in fourth position talkess of first position. They have enjoyed not being under great pressure and next season will be a good platform for them to prove that what they are doing now isn't a fluke. Liverpool squad is not as good as ours. they are miles behind us from midfield to goal keeper. Mou task will be to drive the spirit of our players and fans stronger than he has had to because it is only the 'pools fan spirit that his driving them on at this stage.
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15/04/2014 12:57:00

very interesting point you raise @cobhamblue. I just hope they screw it up somewhere.
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15/04/2014 13:01:00

One story the media love to portray about Liverpool is how they have come from 28 points behind last season to be top of the league. Now while that is factually true you really need to dig a bit deeper to discover why their form this season is not the total shock it appears. Firstly, they were 28 points behind Man Utd who have obviously dropped like a stone, but they were only 14 points behind Chelsea. The second thing to remember is that the bulk, if not all, of the 14 points behind were dropped in the first half of last season when they were appalling. Liverpool were one of the best performing teams in the league from January onwards - after, ironically of course, we sold them Sturridge to partner Suarez. Another lucky break they got was Swansea & Wigan winning the Cups freed them from around 12+ Thursday night European games. I don't believe anyone who says Liverpool would not have dropped points after overseas trips to Ukraine and the likes. Even 4 points dropped after European games could mean the difference between us winning the EPL and them. For me Liverpool will be regular top 4 finisher from now on but this is their one shot at the title. I think after this year for the next 2 or 3 years it will be between us and Man City. In 2010 we went up to Man Utd with about 6 or 7 games to go and won a must win game but the atmosphere wasn't anything like it will be at Anfield. Unless Liverpool implode at Norwich - highly unlikely - it is going to be by far our hardest league match in years.
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15/04/2014 13:40:00

Well said AD_blue. Too many casual players at our club, along with negative tactics, which has resulted in us losing points to teams in the bottom half of the table.
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15/04/2014 13:50:00

@blueheart, your folly won't even allow you to know you are supporting a 'pool fan even when both of you are spouting utter garbage.
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15/04/2014 14:29:00

@blueheart, your folly won't even allow you to know you are supporting a 'pool fan even when both of you are spouting utter garbage.
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15/04/2014 14:31:00

It wasn't negative tactics that caused us to lose to Crystal Palace. We were so open at times we could have lost 5-0. It was our inability to take any of the few chance we managed to create through the Palace brick wall. As for the Swansea game we created numerous "golden" chances and some of the misses - especially Salah & Eto'o - were staggering. Does Eto'o have a bet on that he won't score an away goal all season? With decent finishing we could easily have beaten Swansea 3-0 at least. We certainly created the chances.
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15/04/2014 14:31:00

@Blueheart9 Doesn't matter how negative the tactics were,it can be straight out of the medieval ages for all I care but to not score ONE goal! NOT ONE FECKING GOAL!Both at Palace and vs Villa. 6 points dropped right there against cannon fodder. Disgraceful. Not only have we given Liverpool the chance to waltz back in the race,we have also given the media a reason to suck Liverpool off. Paying these players millions and they cannot put the ball in the back of the net. Now Hazard wants a pay raise,Ivanovic is getting one,Oscar and Azpi are apparently being paid too little as per our supporters and should be given more,much more. What in yonks for?
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15/04/2014 15:26:00

@kolagold if you don`t think that we have been too casual this season against the lesser sides, why have we dropped too many points against them ? I have been to every game, home and away, I`ve seen it for myself. For too many games we have just gone through the motions for 45 minutes, then tried to up the tempo in the second half and as much as I love Jose, against the teams near the bottom of the table, that really is not necessary, its negative. In certain games we have hardly had a shot on target.
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15/04/2014 15:35:00

One of the reasons that we can`t break teams down, is that we sold our most creative player in Mata, who was the only player in the squad that was capable of changing the direction of the game and picking out a crucial pass when needed. Stupid decision.
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15/04/2014 15:54:00

One of the reasons that we can`t break teams down, is that we sold our most creative player in Mata, who was the only player in the squad that was capable of changing the direction of the game and picking out a crucial pass when needed. Stupid decision.
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15/04/2014 15:54:00

I must say i agree to some extent with blue heart on this..Just think if we came out as gangbusters with the same gusto and drive we did against the gunners at Stamford Bridge against these lower table sides in the first 30 minutes of matches the vast majority of them will buckle is very dangerous to give an underdog team the chance to hope they can get a result against you..sometimes like in the Swansea game we have been able to get away with it but there will be times when you will get burnt for that sort of lackadesical attitude and if Liverpool end up winning the title as i said somewhere else before it will be an indictment on us and will be not because we have done poorly against the top 7 teams..we probably have the best record against the top 7 of all the top 7 teams. If Liverpool win this title we gifted it to them by dropping points against sides we had no business dropping points to and teams against which to a large extent both City and Liverpool claimed full points. If City win the title the team with the best squad won the title and i can live with that knowing that we will get better next season but Liverpool..that will sting badly!!!
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15/04/2014 16:02:00

We`ve got enough good players in our squad, to not have to approach every game s if it`s a game of chess, especially against the lesser teams. Unfortunately this season that is exactly what we have done, which has simply given them hope and belief and as a consequence, we have dropped silly points because of it. Which might well just give the scoucers the title this year, who have just attacked at all times and scored more goals than hey have conceded, as opposed to being bogged down with cautious tactics. We have only got ourselves to blame.
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15/04/2014 16:20:00

AD_blue, I don't know about Hazard getting a pay rise but you talk about the Ivanovic, Oscar & Azpi like they've achieved nothing. Last season Brana scored the winning goal in the Europa League Final and this year Azpi & Brana are half of the best defense in the league. We are sitting 2nd in the Premier League still with a realistic chance of winning it with 4 games to go & in the UCL SF. You are talking about Chelsea like they are Man Utd. As for Villa & Crystal Palace. The Villa game was an unmitigated disaster all round and there really is no excuse. Crystal Palace is a completely different story. Since Tony Pulis took over they are a nightmare to play against. Only Chelsea have a better defense and they hardly concede any goals. They don't score much so obviously the own goal was bad but they rarely lose a game more than 1-0. Most teams struggle against a brick wall and we all know because none of our strikers can create goals out of nothing we struggle more than most. That is why Jose wants a superstar striker.
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15/04/2014 16:47:00

I have to agree with pretty much everything @blueheart9 and @Gabeu commented so far. The media are going nuts about the impending Liverpool title win. What's past is past. What we can do now is give everything in remaining 4 games and against Atletico and finish with a bang. We'll see where we are at the end. #upthechels @COYB
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15/04/2014 16:56:00

Well said CobhamBlue, you sound as if you actually go to the games like myself, who sees things as they really are.
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15/04/2014 16:57:00

Blueheart9. Liverpool have blown many teams out of the park but they have also had incredible luck when they have been struggling. The couldn't break West Ham down but somehow managed to get 2 penalties. The were blown away by Aston Villa but somehow get a dodgy penalty to get a draw. They are struggling badly to beat Fulham and up pops a penalty in injury time. They were struggling the beat Stoke and BOOM a dodgy penalty appears and they win. They beat Man Utd 3-0 and everyone talks about how easy it was but they got 3 penalties - almost unheard of. Skrtel punches the ball out the penalty area against Man City in injury time - NO PENALTY. I might be wrong but the only critical penalty I can remember Chelsea getting this season was against WBA when we equalized in injury time. We have had numerous penalties but we always seem to be winning when we get them. Our penalties have gained us 1 extra point. Liverpool's have gained them 10 extra points.
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15/04/2014 16:58:00

@CobhamBlue I agree totally, if John Terry had punched the ball clear as Skrtel did on Sunday, the whole football world would be calling him a cheat, not to mention Suarez dramatically diving which should have been a 2nd booking offence. Imagine if Ramires or Hazard had dived like that. When Jose went on to the pitch at Villa, look how many others were on it at the same time, but not a word said. While it was fine for Fergie to waltz on and off the pitch over the years, whenever he pleased and not an official dared say a word. The whole thing is a joke. If we can`t manage a win at Anfield, I really hope we draw and open it up for City if we don`t have enough points to win it. Then we can watch the bitter scoucers go back to where they belong, abusing and threatening anyone that has a negative thing to say about them. Always the victims, it`s never their fault.
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15/04/2014 17:16:00

Blueheart9, Couldn't agree more. The handball incident has been completely passed off as nothing. If John Terry had done it in injury time and we beat Liverpool 3-2 the media would be camped outside his house, the FA would have him up on an unsportsmanlike charge, the Scousers would be demanding an independent inquiry, David Cameron would probably be forced to issue a statement denouncing Terry and before we know where we are the Premier League would probably have passed judgement that the game needed to be replayed. And I'm being serious!!! Nobody is going to be allowed to stop Liverpool winning the title this year.
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15/04/2014 17:42:00

Any Mata a*s licker could f off. I keep saying he is gone for ye and we have better players in the squad than him. Dont come here screaming mata at every opportunity as if he is the next big thing after ice-cream.
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15/04/2014 18:09:00

@blueheart, if you say casual yea i could see some sense in that but negative tactics? Heck NO! And its so absurd you are putting it down to mata's sale as he didn't really stop us from still being casual when he was with us
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15/04/2014 18:17:00

I certainly do not want Loserpool winning this title, we will never hear the end of it. 'We' being the rest of England, not just Chelsea. If we don't win at Anfield. at least draw and open it back up for Citeh. Just one other point, both Citeh and Pool have to play Palace (away I think), I hope Palace make it as hard for them as they have for others recently. May be forlorn hope, because they are relatively safe now, and losing to Southampton, maybe they are not defending like their PL lives depend on it as they were in the last few weeks.
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15/04/2014 18:29:00

I`m not putting it down to Mata`s sale, but he was the only player that we had who could open up a stubborn defence with one pass, all our other midfield players run with the ball and want to beat players, as opposed to being able to pick out a player with a great pass. Hence the teams who stick 10 players behind the ball, who we now find impossible to break down. But playing for 45 minutes at a very slow place, being over cautious against relatively weaker sides is a negative approach and has cost us points. we have the players to go out and take the game to other teams from the beginning, then slow it down and take the sting out of it, as opposed to always trying to win the game in the last 20 minutes, it`s boring and it`s negative. @elemzy you need to put your playstation down and try and understand the game of football. Mata was a great player for us and getting rid of him could well cost us the title.
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15/04/2014 18:33:00

The casual attitude i must agree has everything to do with the kind of players we have now, age, mentality and how chelsea play its game naturally. During jose first stint with us, we had deadly wingers and determined individual that can grind out results and matured at that. This chelsea now has dropped in determination levels, can be nonchalant and like to build its game from defense unlike 'pool whose play has always been fast attack and rugged football. Jose is changing this things gradually that's why a player like matic has been brought in to phase out mikel, Azpi putting cole on bench cos he is so determined. If only we had started this season with a brilliant striker all our woes would have been covered for adequately.
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15/04/2014 18:36:00

I have to agree, if we started every game as we did against Pool, Arsenal and Citeh, we would be miles ahead, it would be laughable. Of course every game, every opponent is different, but our tempo especially in the first 45 mins has been terrible at the great majority of games this season.
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15/04/2014 18:40:00

blueheart one thing we missed this season from the sale of mata more than his ability to open up defenses you are emphasizing on, is the amount of goals he was able to chip in the two seasons he spent with us especially last season. Only hazard has tried to come close to the amount of goals mata got for us. even super frankie's number have dropped significantly this season and oscar who started brightly dipped in the middle of the campaign.
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15/04/2014 18:47:00

we should forget about the past and concentrate on the up coming matches please
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15/04/2014 20:38:00

West Ham is bloody awful
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15/04/2014 21:20:00

good result for us .. it keeps Everton having to fight for the 4th spot
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15/04/2014 21:47:00

People talk too much. Last season at this time Chelsea was fighting for a top four and in europa with Mata. Some of you have forgetting that this crop of play past through three different managers. The philosophy of is changing and it will take time before it can work properly. Be petient guys.
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15/04/2014 22:03:00

Cobham Blue i could not agree more ,Liverpool have been totally gifted with penalties ,knowing the got 10 points with dubious spot kicks is really going to rankle while the press are having an orgasm over them .
Michael Reid
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15/04/2014 22:56:00

It seems Diego Costa to Chelsea is happening.
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15/04/2014 23:58:00

No surprise that Liverpool have got so many penalties this season, with Suarez diving around like a performing seal an not getting booked for it. When Ramires got a dubious late penalty for us against WBA, the whole world was on our backs for a month. Just wait for the outcry prior to our game at Anfield, when Jose insists on a strong referee and points out the amount of penalties and suspect decisions that they have received this season. Once again there will be a public outcry, insisting that Jose is the enemy of football and bad for the game, when all he will be doing is stating the facts. Sky and the red media will do everything to ensure the title ends up in Liverpool.
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16/04/2014 08:22:00

Its getting right up my nose the way everyone one is getting so caught up in all this Liverpool hype!! I hate them more than any other team and I hope that they NEVER win the EPL. We have to beat them and end this fecking Liverpool love in, they are nasty arrogant scum that think they are better than they are. I hope they finish 3rd and don't get reach the CL proper next season, then finish mid table where they belong!!!!!
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16/04/2014 12:48:00

Sunderland have done us a favour, i hope we win them on Saturday ..liverpool might yet drop points @Norwich this weekend
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16/04/2014 22:56:00


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