Would you start John Terry and Frank Lampard tomorrow?
Tomorrow at Wembley is the 35th semi-final Chelsea have been involved in ever since Roman Abram...
Tomorrow at Wembley is the 35th semi-final Chelsea have been involved in ever since Roman Abramovich took over the club! Around 3pm, an hour before kick off tomorrow, Rafa Benitez could name Chelsea team to take part in the semi-final without John Terry and Frank Lampard for the first time when they have been fully fit and available.
It's a remarkable fact isn't it and one that had passed me by. It sounds arrogant saying it but we have been involved in so many competitions in the latter stages I never realised it had been that many!
As for Terry and Lampard, it is almost expected after both played the full 90 minutes in Russia on Thursday evening based on the way Rafa Benitez has continued to rotate the squad. The thing is, there are other players such as Luiz, Azpilicueta and Ramires who were also heavily involved and will almost certainly start tomorrow. So why not Terry and Lampard?
People talk about their age and their legs and it makes sense for players to come in who are fresh. You would imagine Ivanovic would come in for John Terry and Mikel would come in for Lampard.
Times are a changing at Chelsea whether we like to admit it and that's the way it is and has to be in football but in saying that, it will still feel strange seeing a Chelsea side take to the pitch at Wembley without these two in the line up!
It's my view that Chelsea without John Terry in the side lack leadership on the pitch. In games like tomorrow, there will be moments when you need your Captain to give someone a rollicking or encouragement, someone to be the voice and I don't see anyone else doing it. If both JT and Frank Lampard aren't playing, Petr Cech will be the Captain and how on earth can he do the same from within his penalty box??
This game has the potential for things to go wrong, for Chelsea to have their backs to the wall and to be up against it. This is the time you need your experienced players, this is the time you need your big players and at times like these you need to turn to your Captain for inspiration!
We have seen at times this season when things have gone against us, players arguing or losing their heads and getting caught out of position. Perfect example was City's second goal at Eastlands. David Luiz had lost his head, tried to beat a man right out on the touchline on half way, lost the ball and City counter attacked us and scored. We cannot afford the same thing to happen tomorrow.
I would start John Terry ALL DAY tomorrow without question because of everything I have just said and to organise the back four as it's important that we keep our shape. We need calm heads out there, we need to ensure we remain focused and do our job defensively and I'm sorry but a back four with Terry in it is far better organised that one without him.
As for Frank Lampard, what more can you say about the man? Someone who is always ready to play, someone who always wants to play, someone who can give you goals from midfield and someone with a proven record.
Frank Lampard has been there and done it literally when it comes to Chelsea in the big games and it's important that people realise his contribution to the side in defensive areas.
It's with the ball at his feet that Frank Lampard is different class. Whether it's long or short, his range of passing is superior in my view to that of Mikel and Ramires and when Chelsea are up against it tomorrow, it will give us an option to move the ball forward into a counter attack such as the ball played up to Torres on Thursday against Kazan. Another example is the turn and ball through to Didier Drogba back in the FA Cup final against Liverpool last season.
I know they are getting on at the club and I know they played on Thursday but I would still play them both tomorrow.
What about you?
Carefree & KTBFFH!
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