It’s a case of back to square one, or the bottom 18, as this performance was palpably worse than the last home one – when Rene Meulensteen was in charge – and we narrowly lost to Liverpool. Bizarrely, Felix Magath dropped Lewis Holtby, who appeared to be his lieutenant on the pitch and our most effective player these past few weeks, for Clint Dempsey who conforms to that old adage they are as never as good second time around. Also our expensive Greek God Mitroglou has yet to start and one wonders why £11m was splashed out on an unfit player. Magath is both relying on experience and stamina, which looks to be impossible.
After a first half when we held Chelsea but crucially lost Hangeland to injury, we all rather hoped that Chelsea would be tired after Istanbul and the now super fit athletes of Fulham would dominate the second half. The opposite proved the case as we were lifeless and Chelsea went up several gears to win comfortably with a chronic failure by us to track runners. We still play 3 teams in the mire, starting with Cardiff next Saturday, and then Norwich and Crystal Palace and another 3 who have little to play for – Hull, Villa and Stoke – but what we have yet to see is a significant raising of performance. In his programme notes, Chairman Khan spoke of his unconventional and unpopular decisions. Its not those we mind, we just want effective ones, preferably informed by those who understand our club.