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The Pressure Is On Chelsea

They say the pressure is usually on the top team in a league but this time it is vastly different. This time all the pressure is on Chelsea as the two other contenders for the title were never expected to compete for gold.

Chelsea brought in a new, experienced manager, they kept their squad together and signed Yuri Zhirkov, a player with undoubted talent so they were regarded as favourites by many before the season started (although I'm still chuckling that some deluded writers and fans really thought this would be Liverpool's year) while Arsenal sold Adebayor and Toure and United sold Cristiano Ronaldo and let Tevez leave.

They were supposed to run away with it once it became clear that Liverpool would not challenge for anything more than third place and yet they just could not. But Abramovich is surely impatient and he has a tendency to pull the trigger and fire the manager if things go wrong. This is nothing new, of course, we all know this.

But it means that there is a huge amount of pressure on Ancelotti and his players because a fourth successive year without a league title is unthinkable, especially considering that United never had their first choice back five available this season (NEVER, I say, even the Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra quintet played together in only one game) in addition to selling Cristiano Ronaldo and replacing him with an Ecuador winger from Wigan.

It's no disaster and neither a huge shame if we miss out on a fourth consecutive title. It would be a pity, yes, but no major setback. For Chelsea and their ageing squad and impatient owner though - that is a different story. And their performances in the last few weeks suggest that they are not enjoying the pressure...




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 22 2010

Time: 10:48AM

Your Comments

Nice little article Zae, i understand what you mean about injuries to the back 5, at least your back 5 have played together. Where has Bosingwa been this season? Oh and Carvalho/Alex having niggling injuries, Cech and then Hilario out, A.Cole now out as well as Iva from our last game. Essien, widely recognised as a game-changer (or carrier if you talk to Gerrard), ACoN. I'm not making excuses for our performances because there are players playing who i would prefer us to start games with. You shouldn't make it an excuse either come the end of the season. If you've won the title its because of some great performances from FLetcher, Valencia, Rooney, Evra. Love him or hate him but SAF is a genius. If we end up winning the title it'll be through teamwork and spirit, something i don't think we've got enough of though.
LifeLongBlue
I think with Chelsea coming up at Old Trafford I would be slightly worried about the threat from Arsenal, not us, if Chelsea are to win the league they must not lose to United and if you do drop points, let's say it's a draw and you drop two, Arsenal could well be in?! I still think United are looking the stronger of the three but you do have us at home and a tough away game against Citeh! Arsenals run in, as most have already pointed out, is extremely favourable!
TOPDROG11
We win all our games and we're champions, it's the same with you lot. It's still in our hands.
daspecial1
I never buy injury excuses from any team competing for the title anymore. Each of the last three years United have had crazy amounts of injuries and each year I've thought it couldnt get any worse - it did.

But this year has been beyond anything I've seen before. To put our injuries into perspective - we'd kill for our defenders to have played as many minutes as Carvalho, A.Cole or Cech. In fact most of our defenders have only just surpassed Michael Essiens playing time in their last 3 games.
tuscan3000
Comes down to squad and experience, SAF by now knows who he can count on and what works with each player. That said, I am as surprised as anyone else that Chelsea haven't taken advantage of our player injuries and sales!!
elvido
tuscan3000 and other sensible manu fans,u all must be aware of the debate abt whts lacking in our side and how to improve them thts raging in our site...So my question is as an oppsition fan wht do u guyz see as our gratest strenght and weakness..who all r the dead woods in our side as per u guyz
kishaloy_nag_blue
You definitely have to give it to SAF the man knows what to do,how he gets performances outta park I dunno.so when hargreaves coming back?
Chelsea24/7
Lets start with ballack,ferreira,belleti,deco,these surely have to be dumped out,plus lampard,cech and even terry after that incident hasn't looked that good,anelka after a brilliant start has lost his form.Plus drogba is 32 if I'm not wrong and Joe Cole is not the same player,Ancelloti will never try to change anything until its too late,and he won't give any youngster a chance to bring that surprise element,so unless money is invested in youth,its going to be very tuff for your club.
Antriksh (abmtd)
For me Chelsea is an AC Milan on the field and a Real Madrid off the field and Abramovich has to change his mind set that although he can spend a lot of money quickly,he has to wait for success.Patience is the key and one last thing let the manager buy the players he wants,so that he can work properly with them and get the best out of them.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Malouda has been one of your best players along with A.Cole till he got injured.Drogba has been great for u guys but an understudy for him wouldn't be a bad idea.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Its in our hands - we know this, and we always have been strong in the run in to the end of the season.
At Xmas I really thought no way can we win this, Chelski are too strong and will not drop points, but drop points they have.
niteworlok
wellas much as d have liked to see chelsea with a significant lead by now one positive is that win or lose this will make for a very memorable clash at OT
hangovrebo
Cant believe they trounced Villa today - was 1-1 when I first checked, and then within a minute they were infront - tracked match on Sky Sports and was gutted to see them win 7-1, could have done with Villa taking a point from this match today!
We will do them at OT though!
niteworlok
not likely!
BluesBrother
 

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