Fulham 0-0 Chelsea. Enough of the doom and gloom!!!.

Last night Chelsea dropped another two points drawing 0-0 with a hard working Fulham side and it could have been worse as Petr Cech saved a...

Last night Chelsea dropped another two points drawing 0-0 with a hard working Fulham side and it could have been worse as Petr Cech saved a Clint Dempsey penalty in the last minute of injury time. That's football and especially the Premier League this season.

Now I could be one of those Chelsea "voices" out there that jumps on the Carlo Ancelotti band wagon or could sit here being all doom and gloom this morning but I refuse to do that. Don't get me wrong, I am as frustrated as the next person about what has happened to our season but I simply refuse to blame Carlo Ancelotti at this stage.

For all those people who are worried that we will not qualify for the Champions League this season need to get a grip and a dose of reality pretty quickly. We are certain to qualify it's just where in the top four.

I am not surprised that I am reading, seeing and hearing all doom and gloom because let's face it we are 12 points behind United now so it seems to be over for us in the Premier League this season. We still have to play United, City and Spurs at home and United away and based on yesterday I am focusing on the positives and point out once again that I refuse to be drawn into all the negatives about Chelsea right now.

Tell me what was wrong about our defence last night?. Luiz was sensational, OK he made the error for the penalty but showed the class he has and also provided Chelsea will options across the back line. Ivanovic featured at right back and centre half as he rotated with Luiz. Luiz isn't afraid to come forward with the ball. JT and Ash looked solid down their side so I see nothing wrong with our back four.

Fulham created 2 or 3 chances last night. Johnson's shot at the near post was covered and blocked by Luiz. Duff and Calcido's long range efforts were easily dealt with, Dempsey's shot towards the end of the game from a tight angle was easily saved by Cech and Simon Davies' header over the bar was covered. Chelsea look like we have established a solid base to build on.

Someone also tell me what was wrong with Essien, Lampard and Ramires in our midfield last night?. Ramires was also fantastic and as the season moves on he is finding his feet. He was everywhere and came a close second to Luiz for man of the match. With options of Mikel to come in and Josh McEachran if Carlo wanted to use them we look good in that department.

Ramires snatched at a couple of chances, Lampard had one chance and put it over the bar in the first half and Essien should have scored his header from Lampard's cross from a half cleared corner deep into the second half but it did look like he expected a whack at the same time which would explain why he never made a proper connection with the ball.

Overall, we dominated the ball in that area. The only thing I would say, is our passing needed to be better at certain times. Maybe it was the pitch, but you do have to hand it to Fulham. They were under so much pressure in the second half but defended in numbers, and worked so hard so you have to give them a lot of credit also.

So in defence and midfield we look sorted and let's be honest here, anyone we play are going to have to work hard to dominate the ball against us or to break us down. Yes, Luiz gave away the penalty, but it was the last minute of the game, Chelsea had pushed virtually everyone forward and it was just one of those things.

For me up front is the issue however, it only needs a tweak or two here and there and we will be firing and scoring goals for fun once more. I will admit to being surprised at Drogba being on the bench but if you think about it, you can see why Carlo did what he did. He has tried the Drogba and Torres with Anelka in behind against Liverpool and last night he tried Torres with Anelka and Malouda just in behind. That's how we lined up in the first half and the three of them struggled to get a foot hold in the game. When we switched to 4-3-3 in the second half it looked better and we had much more width to our play.

Everything was good until we got into the final third. That's when our passing let us down, our movement became stagnant and players seemed to be playing in the same areas and we became too overcrowded in the middle of the pitch. I think there was one instance when Ivanovic got in down the right hand side and as he looked up to cross the ball, there were five blue shirts strung out in space in the box (Lampard pulled back and struck the ball over the bar) so that was encouraging to see.

Malouda seemed too laboured for me last night. He had one attempt that flew just over the bar in the first half and should have had a stonewall penalty when Hangeland barged into the back of him in the box in the second half. I was surprised that Carlo kept him on to be honest. Whether he has been upset at being left out last week or what I don't know. I wrote an article about Malouda the other week and to be honest not alot has changed with his performances and attitude for me anyway.

Anelka couldn't influence the game at all last night. By playing inside he should be playing in between the line of their defence and midfield. Last whenever he picked up the ball it was always facing up to the Fulham midfield. He became stifled in possession and spent more time playing the ball square or backwards than moving fowards.

People will disagree with me but I thought Torres' performance and especially his movement off the ball was really encouraging. It's difficult to learn how your new team plays and with Chelsea flooding the central areas of the pitch the ball has to be worked hard to force an opening for you to run on into.

When Chelsea's midfield came forward with the ball, especially in the first half, the pass of choice became the ball out wide rather than the killer pass in between defenders. If you have a chance to watch the game back, then have a look how many times Torres pulls onto the shoulder of the defender but his movement is ignored as we pass sideways. Again though, credit Fulham for closing down the space.

Torres had a half chance he sort of toe poked at goal towards the end of the first half and then the main chance from a fabulous ball over the top from Luiz that got caught under his feet, and rolled into the hands of Schwarzer. His frustration at the time was obvious but it can happen to anyone.

It was great to hear the fans sing the Torres song in the stands for about 10 minutes non stop. He would have heard that and it would give him a lift and encouragement and I promise you it will only be a matter of time for him. He got up well to head over the bar in the second half, featured in linking up the play more and as I say, his movement was much much better.

Again, I was surprised to see Torres come off and Drogba on as I thought Malouda should have come off. Once again though, I can understand it. The point I am making here is think of Drogba's run past Baird and across the byline when he slid that ball across the box and the reach of Schwarzer. Salomon Kalou stood still outside the six yard box, whereas you just know Torres instinct would have been to make a move towards goal in front of the defender to smack the ball into the net. I know it's hindsight but it's an important point.

All I am saying here is that Carlo just needs to find the balance up front for us to convert our chances. I believe he will and in time for the Champions League and the remaining big games we have in our season. I really am happy with our defensive solidity and our midfield. I have already said it, but it will take whoever we are faced with, hard work to break us down now and that's encouraging, especially in Europe.

If we can find that balance we really could hit the ground running. Form is temporary, class is permanent is an important saying to remember right now. Drogba and Torres are too good to not make things work. Anelka is a class act, he just needs to work on his position to get it right. Malouda just needs to lift himself from the doldrums he seems to be in, get his head up and enjoy his football again. If we can get these players to click then we will look strong again.

As for Fulham you really do have to hand it to them. They worked really hard, created the odd few chances but made life difficult for Chelsea. Everytime they lost the ball then got ten men back behind the ball and frustrated Chelsea. They work hard for each other in all areas of the pitch and Aaron Hughes and Hangeland played well last night and snuffed out any Chelsea danger.

I know they are only four points above the relegation zone but I can honestly say they will have nothing to worry about. Sidwell is a great signing for them, Eidur will be too and with Johnson back and Zamora on the way, they will push up the league rather than be sucked downwards.

It's just typical of our season that although we are frustrated to come away with just a point last night, we also realise that if it wasn't for Cech it could have been nothing. Fulham have exactly the same frustrations but for the fact that from just twelve yards with 92 minutes out of 93 on the clock it could have been all three.

Good luck to Fulham, keep working hard and playing hard and I have no doubt you can finish in the top half of the league. As for Chelsea, it a realisation that the league has gone now, but we have a solid foundation to build on for getting as many wins as possible between now and the end of the season and seeing where that takes us, with all our focus switching to the Champions League and FA Cup.

I know after winning the double last season it is disappointing. However, we have to be realistic. There have been too many factors that have happened with the players and staff that have affected our season. So it's important that we let go of our frustrations, move on and focus on the rebuild that has started at the club.

I for one am really looking forward to the remainder of the season as you all should too. We have David Luiz who has already shown he is going to be world class and we have a world class striker in Fernando Torres added to our ranks and longterm along with Ramires, they can only help improve Chelsea.

Carlo Ancelotti and the players feel the same frustrations as we do and will want to get out there sooner rather than later to make their mark on the big sides around us ahead of next season. For now the first Torres goal, big win and fantastic performance is only around the corner as soon as we find that balance.

After dominating the game last night it was just a shame we couldn't create enough clear cut opportunities for us to do so. Credit to Fulham.


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