Drogba 42 pen
For most other teams in the Premier League, a fourth game without a win would have far less serious ramifications. However, for Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea, who’s winless streak was extended by a frustrating draw with struggling Everton, the implication of another two points dropped are historically severe.
Didier Drogba’s fierce strike from the penalty spot seemed to have gifted his Italian manager a vital win that would have lifted them back to the summit of English football, but a late Jermaine Beckford goal after some lax defending gave David Moyes a valuable point of his own.
Chelsea, by their own impeccable standards, are in free-fall. Perhaps anxious to finally chalk-up a domestic victory, Chelsea’s stranglehold on the first-half was shattered by a resurgent Everton after the break. Ancelotti admitted after the game that his reigning champions looked scared to see out a win that would see them leapfrog Manchester United and Arsenal in the table.
With successive games against city rivals Tottenham and Manchester United before Christmas, The Blues have failed to offer themselves any sort of cushion over their title challengers and the next two fixtures have become must-wins.
“The result was not good, we wanted to win but we are still living in a difficult moment,”said Ancelotti of Saturday’s match.
“We have to stay focused and use our next game to move on from this period. I am disappointed because we did not play our football. The spirit was good in the first half, we did not have a lot of chances but we worked hard and had good tactical discipline.
“I am worried yes, because we haven’t won a lot of games. The second half was totally wrong. We have to do better.”
With so many backroom staff leaving the club in such a short space of time, a downturn of form on the pitch was always a possibility. Roman Abramovich must resist the urge to panic in a crisis and start wielding a very unnecessary axe that has tainted the clubs growing reputation in world football. His manager on the other hand must be brave enough to play an inexperienced youngster in his natural position rather than disrupt the balance by forcing a senior pro to adopt a role he is not accustomed to.
Josh McEachran was already proved himself more than capable at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield and now it is time for Ancelotti to prove himself capable of making the correct managerial decision.
19 Ferreira – 2 Ivanovic – 33 Alex- 3 Cole
5 Essien – 12 Mikel – 15 Malouda
39 Anelka – 11 Drogba – 21 Kalou
65 – 19 Ferreira on for 17 Bosingwa
78 – 7 Ramires on for 39 Anelka
88 – 23 Sturridge on for 12 Mikel