Shearer Says: “Savage would have loved Terry’s comments”
Chelsea’s struggling season impossible to predict
I don’t think anyone could have predicted how bad Chelsea have been this season. I haven’t seen anything like it in all my time in football. The way they have gone from being so good to being so poor this year is incredible. John Terry came out this week and defended the manager, as have the board, which is important. There are not many managers in the game that have a CV like Mourinho’s so he should be given time. This is undoubtedly his biggest test of career, particularly when your chairman is Roman Abramovich. The result in Europe will give them a little bit of confidence and togetherness. It might just be the start of their run but we have said that a couple of times already this season and it hasn’t happened!
Stoke is not an easy place to go to. They came to Newcastle last week and Jack Butland played really well to save his side a point at St. James. Mark Hughes being a former Chelsea player, will have his players fired up for this one, and they will think they have a chance to get something against a struggling Chelsea side.
Robbie will be loving Terry savaging
I totally understood John Terry’s comments this week where he rejected a certain pundits’ criticism of him. When I was playing I felt the same. There were some former players whose opinions I would listen to and others I didn’t. Robbie Savage knows what his role is in the media. I don’t think he would have had a problem with John’s comments either, in fact, Robbie would probably have loved it.
In reality, you don’t need anyone to tell you that you are playing poorly. John has been a top quality professional for many years and he will be the first to know when he has not performed to the levels he should be playing at. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, you just dont have to listen to them or agree with them and John Terry was just as entitiled to make his point back.
Having been on both sides now, I understand that it is not nice when someone publicly criticises you, but you can’t keep everyone happy.
Euro exit could help Gunners’ title bid
What Arsenal have shown this season is that their Champions League form does not necessarily carry over into their league form. As a matter of fact, it might actually help them being out of the League Cup and being on the verge of exiting Europe, as their squad in not actually strong enough to fight on all fronts so they can then concentrate on the Premier League.
Arsenal go into the North London derby this weekend with injury concerns – once again – so I am actually going for the draw. Spurs have been in good form so I think they can get something from the game.
Arsene Wenger was criticised for not bringing in a top class striker in the summer but Theo Walcott has stepped into that positon and scored goals. Olivier Giroud has been in good scoring form, particularly coming off the bench and taken his chance in the side with both hands. Saying all that I still feel that if they are to fight on all fronts, they need a world-class striker in their ranks.
Likeable Kane back on goalscoring trail
Harry Kane started the season quietly; people were questioning him and labelling him as a one-season wonder. I think he is actually going to be around for a long time and he will score goals for a long period. I like the look of him, his movement is great and from meeting him a few times as a person, I admire his attitude. He’s back on the goals trail, with a hat-trick last week and a good strike in the Europa League, so he should be full of confidence. He scored against Arsenal last season and he will fancy his chances of doing the same again.
Magic of the FA Cup as strong as ever
The FA Cup is back this weekend and although I am biased, I do think that having the competition back on the BBC has bought back the mass audiences and helped restore some of its magic.
The identity of our game and league has changed over the years but even the majority of foreign players know the history of the FA Cup. There were some brilliant ties last year and it is a great platform for the smaller clubs, players getting the chance to shine on TV and the appearance money can help a club survive financially for an entire season.
It’s also been great that clubs like Aston Villa, Hull and Wigan, have all reached the final in recent years rather than the same top four clubs dominating the competition.
I was part of two Newcastle sides that got beaten in successive finals at Wembley in the 90s. People say that the final is great occasion, but its only great when you get to Wembley and win.
City finally getting to grips with Champions League
Manchester City had a great win in Europe earlier this week. What you have to remember is that it took Manchester United a few years of trying before they got the hang of the Champions League. It’s very different from playing in the PL each week and requires a different mentality but hopefully this is the year they may finally got to grips with what is required to make it through to the latter stages of the competition. When you consider they were missing David Silva and Sergio Aguero on Tuesday and they still went to Sevilla and put in a performance like they did, it’s a good sign of the progress they are making.
Up to now it’s been a very good season for City. They stuck by Pellegrini in the summer when a lot of people expected him to go. At the minute that looks like a very good decision. They are going well in the league and have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.
But Euro elite are still ahead of the Premier pack
Despite the impressive results for the England clubs this week in the Champions League (Arsenal aside) I still think there are 4-5 clubs who are better than them. Bayern Munich showed that against Arsenal.
They are an exceptional side that are well oiled, are very strong in all departments and their front 6 and goalkeeper are world class. They were miles better than Arsenal who just couldn’t compete. They have so much depth too as Vidal and Robben both came off the bench. That is the standard the likes of Arsenal should be aiming for.
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