December 13th, 2011

Chelsea FC: Super Sub Snub?

Does celebrating with the opposition goalkeeper and not your manager indicate problems in the dressing room. We wouldn’t like to speculate. Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe.

Once upon a time, taking a team to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners and beating the league leaders would be sufficient to cement a manager’s credibility. At least until the end of the season.

Request declined, Andre. Would a hug from several thousand Kickettes take the edge off your pain?Image: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images.

But not anymore. Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas has done both of these things in the last week, and yet this morning his ability to lead the club has been questioned by the very player who scored the winning goal in last night’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City.

To compound speculation which arose after AVB’s touchy riposte to Gary Neville’s criticism (plus his request to be included in goal celebration hugs) Frank Lampard started last night’s match on the bench. He was on the pitch for approximately ten minutes before converting the penalty that won Chelsea the points, and also failed to cuddle his gaffer.

We’re experts on pointed snubs and that was a doozy. But it clearly wasn’t enough for Frankie, who in a post-match interview, stated he hadn’t spoken to AVB about his continuing omission from the starting line-up and therefore didn’t know the reasoning behind it.

Has AVB bitten off a little more than he can chew by messing with a Chelsea hero like Lampsy, Kickettes? Or do you feel it’s about time players learned that in big squads, rotation is the name of the game, regardless of who you are?

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31 Responses to “Chelsea FC: Super Sub Snub?”

  1. littlegreenpea says:

    OMG!! The commentators in the game mentioned AVB on dancing with the stars!! If that actually happened….
    I MIGHT DIE. It's a possibility.

  2. FloraJane says:

    I've been liking and supporting AVB- I even 'appreciate' his Mourinho-style rants- but if it ever comes down to picking sides, I'll be choosing Frank. It bothers me to see Frank on the bench, knowing how much that man loves to play, and I do my own victory celebration when he does play and does something really wonderful, like scoring that penalty yesterday. Frank has to be one of the bravest men in football. He's stepped up to the penalty spot on numerous occasions when lesser men might have passed on the challenge (think about his performance in the match right after his mother died). And I'm sure he has a point when he says he's fitter when he's playing regularly. Having said that, I do think that eventually Frank will need to take on a Giggs-type role in the team, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. But I don't think Frank is quite at that stage just yet. That man is known for being one of the fittest- and works the hardest at it- in the game, so I think it's a waste for him to spend too much time on the bench. I'm not saying he needs to start every match- we have a changing, evolving team right now- but I do hope AVB doesn't lose sight of one of the reasons Chelsea is a great team now. And as for Frank's comments, I heard his interview and he didn't say anything disrespectful. He spoke in his usual straightforward manner. He is not a dissembler in any way. That's one of the things I love about him.

  3. mata says:

    Disappointing game for the neutrals, I thought. ManC outplayed Chelsea throughout and still lost. Ramires' diving (as usual) a disgrace, and I'm starting to lose the love for AVB. I hate that he's leaving Lampard and Torres to warm the bench, it must be just so shattering for Torres' confidence, and his rants are getting just plain weird.

    • Kat22 says:

      I can see Torres being off in the new year or certainly by the end of the season.

      Chelsea were up by a goal last night (not to mention a player up as well) and yet he didn't even get his usual ten or so minutes.

      I wonder if he has fallen out with AVB, because it really is getting rather bizarre now. Drogba has definitely been the better choice so far, but he'll be off to the ANC in January, and then what? How is Torres supposed to supply the goods if he has virtually no match fitness?

      Unless of course AVB doesn't plan on using him at all. Maybe he'll use Sturridge and buy another striker in the transfer window.

      • April says:

        He did start warm ups on the side twice… early because Drogba got injured, later around the 10 minute mark, but they put Malouda in as the last sub. Not sure if the situation just didn't call for him or if he was an emergency case only, but not sure if it would be a falling out. Time will tell, I guess. I'm expecting a start for Wigan, and if not, then I'll be sort of shocked. I know they want the best of Drogba before ACN, but Torres is gonna get even rustier if he sits too long.

      • Caitlin says:

        The internet and various message boards are rife with rumours and speculation about Nando coming back to Liverpool. I refuse to be sucked into it, but part of me can't help hoping.

        Come back home Nando – all is forgiven! We'll help you rediscover your form and feel loved again!

        One thing that would be interesting to see (if it ever were to happen) is how all the fangirls would react if Nando really comes back to Anfield. Supporting LFC again instead of Chelsea?

        @April: not calling you a fangirl, because you do seem to know a thing or two about football, but you clearly didn't support Chelsea before Nando, so IF he were to come back to Liverpool which team would you be rooting for when they play each other next May?

        • April says:

          It would be weird, but I don't hate Liverpool by any means. I watched as a neutral up until the arrival of AVB and Mata (wasn't a fan of Chelsea's footballing style much before that- too slow). I felt what he talked about earlier on was the kind of team I wanted to see, and I thought they stood a chance of making a new style of football that really succeeds and could beat ManU (didn't happen just yet, but I still think it can). So Chelsea, as far as team goes, would be who I would root for, but I would root for Nando to do well too since I think he brings something special to the EPL when on form.

          Sort of like how I rooted for the USMNT when they played Spain, but I wanted Nando to score because he needed it. He did… but my team clearly didnt win! Ideally, Liverpool ends up in the top four for me… would like Chelsea to win the league, but Liverpool also beating the Manchesters would be sweet, and it would get them back in the CL (that might miff Nando if he wasnt there, haha). I like them being in the top of the mix somewhere because they make great competition for the other top teams. So far they have faired the best against the top, I think.

        • April says:

          Side benefit of all these rumors? Tons of hot pics of the man are surfacing in all the articles about it.

          • Caitlin says:

            Very true!

            I know I'm probably in the minority, but I like that he's gone blonde again because it reminds of when he was playing the best football ever.

      • mata says:

        It's hard to imagine paying 50 million for a striker and then just selling him off, since I don't think they'd recoup their money. It's possible, though. But it's a shame, because he was excellent in the ManU game despite that missed shot, he looked really sharp, and I thought finally things were going to happen for him.

        And I find that whole business of bringing him on for the last 10 minutes frankly to be insulting. It's like AVB is saying "o.k, it's only for a few minutes, so you can't screw things up too much". How is that supposed to build a person's confidence? Torres seems a sensitive sort, I think he would do better under a manager like Kenny or Harry.

        • Caitlin says:

          I totally agree with you.

          Even though he missed that sitter during the Utd game he looked like he was getting back to his best. Then he got that red card against Swansea and everything went downhill from there.

          I think Nando definitely is a confidence player and right now his confidence must be shattered to pieces.

          And even if AVB does start him against Wigan on Saturday, he will surely do that so that Drogba can start again against Tottenham the following week. So what message would that send to Fernando? That he's only good enough to play in the less important games? ( no offence to Wigan supporters)

    • IrishBlue says:

      Man City outplayed Chelsea throughout? Was I watching a different game? Maybe for the first half an hour-ish we were under the cosh and maybe if David Silva had been awarded that penalty shout (yes yes it was a penalty) then maybe Man City would have walked away as winners of maybe a hefty scoreline against us. Outplayed throughout though? Don't think so.

      Oh and I hope Yaya Toure knows how lucky he was not to even get a yellow card during that match, not cool. At least Juan Mata didn't fall dramatically to the ground clutching himself ala other players……

      Sorry, rant over :-)

      • April says:

        Toure was unusually petulant. I couldn't gather why. And to the Silva penalty shout, had he not started to jump out of the way as Bosingwa was moving out of his way, he'd have had it. The way it happened made it debatable as to whether there was contact, for the refs. All he had to do was let his leg move a little further forward and it would be all his.

        I'm surprised to hear some people found the game disappointing, as I didn't… granted my team won, but even as a neutral I would think the game had some excitement about it, and ManCity held pretty well while a man down. Chelsea started terribly and then improved, ManCity started strong and then defended (even with their 2983493298 attacking options). Seemed an interesting match to me, for that alone.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      I was a neutral, I honestly tuned off this game to watch Roma vs Juv which was more exicting to be honest..

    • Doug says:

      Really? ManC outplayed Chelsea? Check stats like through-balls, shots on goal, chances created, etc and get back to me. And it had to be thrilling for anyone in the top 7 not Man City…..

  4. Kat22 says:

    Congrats to Chelsea, but…I'm a little bit embarrassed about this, but I have a bit of a soft spot for Mancini, and the side of him standing on the touchline like a drowned rat made me want to give him a big hug.

    You girls can have AVB and I have Roberto! :-D

  5. April says:

    I like Lampard and all, but I don't think that sitting out a few games is the worst for him. And his performances have generally been bettered with a little time on the bench. That may be more correlation than causation, but every so often he isn't the ingredient missing in the recipe and someone else might be. Chelsea's squad has a lot of depth, and a lot of stars, and sometimes you get rotated. Good form isn't just equated to goal scoring… it has to do with team contribution, and Lampard can certainly be counted on for a goal, but his other contributions have been a little up and down this season. That isn't a slight to him… it is just the truth, and he shouldn't get ruffled over getting rested in a game every so often. If he wants to cope with life on the bench, he need only turn to Fernando for advice. There's a person that probably has as much to gripe about as Lampard (which considering the recent form of others on the team, isn't all that much for either of them at the moment).

    If he did make those comments, I'm a little disappointed with just the item about being on the bench. Not because he spoke up and answered the question posed to him, but more that he did so when he hadn't even consulted with AVB about why. AVB has defended him a lot in the press, so it is just unfortunate to see Lampard give the media the satisfaction of making up more crap about the mood of the team. Otherwise, I commend him for asking Mata that he take the penalty to shrug off all those people who doubted him because his last one didn't go in. He certainly isn't past it.

    And YAY CHELSEA!!!

  6. IrishBlue says:

    I really, really really love Frank (he is and always will be a Chelsea legend after all) but I think that yeah, maybe it is right for him not to start every game, as this is really a team which is and needs to be building and looking towards the future. If I'm honest, Frank is not going to be the massive part of this club as he once was. You see with other player (Giggs, Scholes etc), they were in a similar position, not playing every week. It's just a natural progression. I want him to continue to play some part in the team as of course as he's still got the talent, but if leaving him out sometimes results in a better outcome I can't argue with that.

    P.S. AVB if you need cuddles, I'm right here. Come get me.

  7. FiGGy says:

    I just couldnt stop giggling when Eva (the female medic for chelsea) was on the pitch taking care of Ramires..
    I remembered the post Kickette put up & how some players poke fun at each other ;)
    But ahh it was an exciting game, great result in the end for neutrals, chelsea fans & yupp united fans :)

  8. Miss Lampard says:

    Chelsea has won, really and not only with my Fifa 12 this time (Also Irish Blue said that was a sign yesterday, and it was in fact)..It's something magic and more marvellous and fantastic if I think about who scored yesterday. I can't speak about Frankie, because sometimes I'm not objective at all when I speak about him, but for sure he his a fantastic player, even if he's getting old, even if someone doesn't consider him in a great shape, even if someone leaves him on the bench, he will always be a huge player, a legend and a brave man. He has always saved Chelsea, please let him do this and I will take everything of this fantastic moments.
    So, sorry if I have expressed my feelings too deeply, but I'm a Chelsea fan and above all a Lampsy fan.

  9. mimi says:

    I love the passion of AVB!