Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Defeat to Arsenal means Luiz Felipe Scolari is facing his first big test as Chelsea manager and there are plenty of people waiting to see how the volatile Brazilian handles it.
Until a few weeks ago everything was sweetness and light at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea set the pace in the Premier League title race. They were scoring goals for fun and Scolari was seen as a breath of fresh air with his jovial manner.
The cracks are now starting to appear, however, as results turn sour. Last week he said he would have to go back to Brazil if Chelsea failed to make the last 16 of the Champions League.
The 1-1 draw with Bordeaux, in which they were dreadful, means they still have work to do on that front when CFR Cluj come to London next week.
Real Madrid were knocked out of the King’s Cup by third-tier Real Union this week and Chelsea lost to second division Burnley in the Carling Cup, but which sides were really celebrating?
Chelsea would much rather concentrate on the Premier League while Real need to focus on the Champions League after two defeats.
In September, Mitch Phillips argued here that the League Cup should be shuffled off into retirement. Who could argue for prolonging the life of this tired, unwanted “third competition”? Well, actually, after this week’s action, I would.
Arsenal and Tottenham, who together served up such a thrilling 4-4 draw when they met in the league at the end of October, were at it again separately this week, playing the same direct, fearless, attacking football despite featuring much changed line-ups.
In my mind, the rumour about Inter boss Jose Mourinho one day replacing Alex Ferguson at Man United is 2+2 = 4.5…ie. closer to the truth than the usual tittle-tattle but without concrete foundations.
The idea, which has been around ever since he left Chelsea, was given fresh impetus by Mourinho himself last week when he said he would like to return to England once he is finished at the San Siro.
As we all know, this Liverpool team have perfected the art of winning when playing badly, coping without their best players and taking points of their biggest rivals.
When Jose Mourinho first arrived at Inter Milan, I was expecting fireworks.
His sharp wit and tongue while at Chelsea won him fans and enemies in equal measure but no one could say the ’Special One’ was dull.
However, in his first couple of months at the Italian champions, the Portuguese seemed somewhat withdrawn. Was this a new, more measured Mourinho? Would he just do the day job and then hide away in his new surroundings?
Check out the latest Vlog on the Pitch as Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley try to work out why the Brazilian was so underwhelmed.
Something is either DEFINITELY right or ABSOLUTELY wrong. This player is rubbish, no question, this player is fantastic, no debate.
I suspect most people would agree with him but here are some reasons why it might not be as simple as that: