Hello uncle Chidge, Mr. Kydd, and esteemed guest(s). I hope you all are doing well and staying as safe as possible. My name is Jalal, and I have been listening to your show for the better part of 5 years and have loved and appreciated every episode you all put out. I started out listening to the show when I was making hour long commutes to my college on a daily basis. Having your dulcet tones prevent me from road rage was the best part of my mornings most weeks. The show also allowed me to make a connection to what real Chelsea fandom is like in England. While it does make me jealous being unable to watch a game live, surrounded by thousands of maniacs, I am proud to say that I have only missed a handful of games over the last 12 years. Needless to say, I bleed blue. Always have, always will.
All of this is a preamble however as I am writing this after our team put out a lifeless performance against Sheffield United (disclaimer, this is being written after Bournemouth did us a massive favor by beating the foxes 4-1). I have zero tactical knowledge as I don’t have my coaching badges unlike the thousands of world class coaches on twitter. Therefore, I won’t go into tactics and such. However, the lack of urgency, desire, fight, and cojones we showed against sheffield was an absolute disgrace. The play was uninspired and lethargic. But, my complaint is not with the attackers. It’s hard to attack against a team who defend as well as sheffield, and that certainly doesn’t completely excuse our attacking players. However, when our defense loses concentration and hands Sheffield United simple goals, I can’t help but feel bad for our attack. Sheffield taking the lead was the last thing we wanted as it allowed them to sit even deeper and pull us out further and hit harder and faster on the counter (case in point the third goal). Watching that first goal back is so infuriating. Both Zouma and Christensen can be see just ball watching as kepa makes a save. They are so slow to react and leave kepa and the rest of the team out to dry. This is the second time since restart that our defense, specifically Andreas, has failed to react to a ricocheted ball in the box. What are they doing? Why are they just standing there? Surely they must have some instincts to rely on? It is these kinds of lapses in concentration that make it hard for me to blame lampard for our defensive woes. Yes he definitely needs to take some blame for our set piece set up, but for open play, I can’t see how he is to blame for these mistakes. The second goal. What in the world is Reece doing? Why is he not communicating to willian to change marks or do anything? We heard from Lampard post match that his team was not talking enough. Maybe this was one example in which someone needed to shout out directions or anything at all. The first step to preventing this goal is to prevent the cross. Next comes the marking in the box. What is Christensen marking? What about Zouma? They are both marking empty space. Neither of them aretight enough to the Sheffield striker and it is another free shot on target. They make it far too easy for the opponents. Also, I know it was a pinpoint header into the corner, but I would love to see Kepa at least try and dive for it. The number of times I have seen him watch a ball go past him into the net is staggering. He may not have gotten to it, maybe no goalie gets to that I don’t know, but at least try man. I may be being harsh on him, but show some effort. And lastly, the third goal. I have very little to say except just fucking clear the ball man. I don’t understand what rudiger is doing there. I feel a bit bad for Lampard. One week our center backs are amazing (Man city) and the next week they play like this. He can’t trust any of our center backs at the moment. We all want Fikayo back at this point. Hope to god he can do better and be consistent.
I’m sorry for the long jumble of frustration but I felt I had to write this out after seeing the amount of toxicity heading the way of Tammy post match. Yes Tammy was not great. Yes he should have scored at least once, maybe twice. But how much of this game was actually down to him and the attack being at fault? Was Tammy really the reason we lost? I seriously don’t think so. I’ll leave the conversation about the attack to people who know far more than I, but I do not think this was down to our striker.
Sorry for the long email boys but I had to get all of that out of my system as the hate and toxicity online was getting too much for me to handle. Maybe I should ignore it, but being overseas and having no friends who support Chelsea, the internet is the only place left to get any Chelsea connection and conversation. I appreciate all the work that all of you do to get this show up and running and out to fans like me. My fandom to this beautiful club is only enhanced by this show. It has become a big reason as to why I am so invested in Chelsea. When I eventually pass down my fandom, a large part of it will be because of you all. Thanks again boys (and girls if Alex is on) and stay safe.