Stamford Bridge isn’t the fortress it once was.
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Florent Malouda admits teams are no longer scared of playing Chelsea and says the squad are starting to feel the strain of the club’s lengthy injury list.
The winger said: “Have we lost the fear factor? Yes. Maybe teams have more confidence when they come here. Right now we have so many injuries and it’s more difficult for us physically and mentally.
“It’s a period of the season where the games are more difficult. You can recover better after you win which is why I’m so happy we beat Zilina. This is the moment when players have to come in and show their quality.” (London Evening Standard)
Clearly Florent Malouda isn’t reading from the same hymnsheet as most people at Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti made a point of very casually dismissing talk of dressing room unrest in a press conference, while Daniel Sturridge and Didier Drogba were both quick to laugh off the same suggestions in their post match interview.
Even so, Chelsea did win the match, and they did so despite playing a less-than-full-strength team.
MSK Zilina’s goal coming from a failure to track runners through midfield, and aside from that Jeffrey Bruma looked largely solid in central defence.
Chelsea have had two losses this season when they have played poorly.
Liverpool began their match at Anfield against the champions differently to all their previous games – they pressed from the off, and Chelsea weren’t prepared for it.
Carlo Ancelotti was equally surprised by Sunderland fielding two strikers against them at Stamford Bridge – despite them doing well with a slight alteration against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the previous game.
Although Chelsea lost to Birmingham at St Andrews, the Blues had 70% of possession and 25 of the 27 shots in the whole match – and still lost.
That was more the result of an opposition goalkeeper in magnificent form than the loss of their fear factor.
Ben Foster made a series of incredible saves to keep Chelsea at bay.
On any other day, Chelsea would have won comfortably, and no one would be talking about the loss of a fear factor then, would they, Florent?
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