Saturday, 24 November 2007

Derby 0 - 2 Chelsea

Off to Derby for the late Saturday game with a chance to close the gap on Man U having lost 0-1 to Bolton earlier and Man City who scrapped a late 2-1 win. JT and Ash are back after injury but Drogba now joins Rickey C on the treatment table with a knee injury. Sheva, Kalou and SWP make up the attacking options whilst Carlo is still in goal. Jedi, Sidwell (in for a rested Essien) and Lamps in the middle.

Very sluggish start and nothing much happening until 17mins when a beautiful end to end move is finished off with Sidwell sliding in Kalou for one nil. Plenty of movement between SWP and Kalou and on 29mins SWP skins Griffin and snakes into the box but fires straight at the keeper.

The boos ring out anytime JT, Lamps, SWP or Ash touch the ball and frankly, even though we're all pi**'d by the England result earlier in the week, this is a bit pathetic - Derby are sitting deep, hoping to avoid a drubbing and that's just making their supporters even more restless. They're nearly punished on 38mins when a cross from SWP is headed straight back to Kalou by Derby's Claude Davis but Kalou skys it high over the bar from 10 yards out when it would have been easier to score. That's the end of a scrappy firts half and it really should all be over by now - let's hope this is not another Everton.

No changes for the mighty Blues in the second half but its Derby who start the brighter with a good chance for Fagan after just 5mins. Suddenly the Derby fans are singing rather than booing and Chelsea are rocking a little. On 64mins, JT gets caught napping and Kenny Miller loops the ball over Carlo but its (wrongly) ruled offise - we're extremely lucky to get away with that one and need to get a grip !! With 20mins to go it looks like the grip's gonna be coming from Essien, but Sheva goes down heavily (yes he is still playing - though you might not have noticed) so the change is delayed. In the intervening 5mins, Sheva chases back, wins a dodgy tackle and then releases Lamps who takes an age to get a shot away which hits the post only for SWP to slot in the rebound.... and now Essien comes on for Sidwell for the last 15mins.

Lamps comes off (for Pizarro on 89mins to predictable boos from the Derby fans only to be replaced with a loud chorus of "super frank" from the travelling Blues fans. But there's a final twist as Essien gets a straight red in the 92nd minute as he fended off Kenny Miller while attempting to shield the ball by the touchline. Its a sour end to an otherwise workmanlike away win.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Is green the new black ?? .... I hope not !!

Having just come back from a week of discussing 'green IT' with folks in Silicon Valley, I have to admit to being a little worried and frustrated. Two things bother me.

Firstly, whilst there seems to be a fair level of activity and some well intentioned chest beating and lobbying, there is a distinct lack of agreed process and structure to many initiatives - which is surprising from IT folks. If there is one thing we're supposedly good at, it’s all the 'metrics, process and standards' stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not diminishing the commitment or intent, but from what I saw, there seems to be only aspiration targets being set and no common method for measuring or comparing progress.

As you would expect, the most successful initiatives have a positive business case but most of these reached their tipping point as a result of the available subsidies and not from an underlying commercial commitment.

Secondly, and perhaps more worrying, is the spin around the IT industry about being "seen to be green", which extends to the shameless re-branding of existing solutions as "Green technologies". The most blatant is the current spin around virtualization. This is great technology, be it VMware, Solaris Containers, SWsofts cross platform solution or whatever flavour you like, but its hardly new and was only recently classed as 'green'. If I recall correctly, it was originally about improving utilisation and speed to market.

Now as an industry, IT is an easy target - hell we still have Y2K and he dot com bomb to live down so the last thing we need is being seen to be jumping on a green bandwagon. So let’s be sensible here. The technology community has a huge responsibility here to both reduce our current consumption (by our, I mean our organisation - IT footprint might go up to deliver overall corporate savings) and drive innovation to find new power sources and processing options/methods. Let’s make sure however as technology and business leaders we measure effectively and realistically, take justifiable credit for the right things, avoid the seductive voices of a 're-branding quick fix' and accept the challenges of this inconvenient truth.


Sunday, 11 November 2007

Chelsea 1 - 1 Everton

Back to the Bridge and this time with no Terry or Cech, Malouda doesn't even make a bench that has Sheva, Kalou and Pizzao but no Ashley Cole. The wide two are Joe Cole and SWP with Carlo in goal..

Chelsea start the brighter but its a scrappy first 15mins. Stephen Pienaar misses his kick to waste a great chance for Everton and at the other end Drogba has a neat free kick move with Lamps charged down. Rickey goes down heavily on 20mins and then spends the next 10 minutes hobbling around as a midfield passenger whilst the bench work out what to do - eventually he makes way for Tal Ben Haim. Everton are hanging on now as first SWP then Lamps have two great chances - the second bringing an equally great save from Tim Howard. Right on 45mins, Bridgey and SWP break from no-where down the left and the ball finds Drogba 5 yards out from an open goal which amazingly he misses.

Out for the 2nd half, no changes for the Blues, but Everton bring on Anicheb and McFadden for Neville and Yakubu - Everton are going with two up top but again its Chelsea who start the brighter of the two. SWPs having a mare - good positions but his crossing has been woeful and its no surprise when he's replaced by Kalou on 63mins. Lamps chips Howard from 25yrds and brings another amazing save from the Everton keeper and from the resulting corner the ball is cleared off the line - it looks like one of those days - its all Chelsea but the ball just wont go.

And then, just wen you though it would never come, Drogba comes to the near post on 70mins from a Kalou corner and he buries the header past Howard and its 1-0 to the Blues !!!

This is the new Chelsea, so no sitting back, on we press, looking for more, Lamps goes close from a mazey Joe Cole run and then Drogba does likewise but hits his shot tamely at Howard ... but yet you're always worried that the old Chelsea will return and throw this away. And then it happens. To be fair, an amazing overhead from Tim Cahill beats Carlo with two minutes to go. That's the price you pay for not taking your chances. The home record stays intact but it feels like a defeat.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Schalker 0 - 0 Chelsea

A very lackluster performance from the Blues (.. in day glow yellow). Schalker came out firing on all cylinders - fighting for their CL future and the future of their manager - and frankly Chelsea never got going. Belletti was run ragged for most of the night until he was replaced by Essien when the Jedi came on Midway through the second half. Cech had to leave the fray at half time with a calf injury that makes him doubtful for Saturdays visit of Everton.

All in all a tough night in Germany, far from impressive, very lucky at times (save twice by the woodwork) but Chelsea scrape through with a vital away point.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Wigan 0 - 2 Chelsea

Still travelling but at least this time I've got the BBC 5 live commentary online to keep me updataed on the progress of the mighty Blues.
Here are the text flashes from BBC online

1450: TEAM NEWS Chelsea make three changes from the side that beat Man City 6-0 last week. Shaun Wright-Phillips comes in for Joe Cole, left-back Wayne Bridge replaces the injured Paulo Ferreira and Florent Malouda starts ahead of Salomon Kalou. Wigan drop striker Antoine Sibierski and bring in midfielder Michael Brown in their one change.
1511: GOAL Wigan 0-1 ChelseaDidier Drogba finds Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right flank and he crosses for Frank Lampard to finish into the bottom corner.
1517: GOAL Wigan 0-2 ChelseaJuliano Belletti runs from well inside his own half and is allowed to advance to the edge of the Wigan box where he unleashes a glorious 25-yard shot which flies past Chris Kirkland.
1541: The Chelsea fans are happily singing the Great Escape as half-time approaches at the JJB Stadium. Victory will leave Chelsea three points off the top.
1546: HALF-TIME Wigan 0-2 ChelseaEasy for Chelsea.
1600: Chelsea's players are already out at the JJB Stadium. Bit keen but the games underway at 16:03
(ed) Second half under way and Wigan are pressing hard to get back into this game. Chelsea are not making much of a fist of the second half and its all Wigan
16:32 Kalou on for Drogba (who's carrying a yellow and is flirting with a red given his antics) and Sidwell also comes on for Essien
(ed) Looks like Wigan have run out of steam and Chelsea are happy to see this one out as it stands.

Chelsea move within 3 point of the top two (Man U and Arsenal) with their 7th consecutive win - Come on you Blues !!

It's goning to be a bit quiet here for a while - I'm travelling on business

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Chelsea 4 - 3 Leicester

As I was travelling on the west coast, had to make do with the BBC text service to keep up to date with Wednesdays Carling Cup tie which by all accounts was a bit of a thriller. Obviously the carling cup is a bit of a mistery to our US cousins so couldn't find a live broadcast feed. Here's the BBC report in case you missed it as well

Chelsea 4-3 Leicester

Before Wednesday Lampard had not scored since AugustCarling Cup holders Chelsea needed two late goals to reach the last eight as Frank Lampard grabbed a hat-trick.

Gareth McAuley's header gave Leicester an early lead, but the home side went in at the break in front, thanks to two calm finishes from captain Lampard. Keeper Marton Fulop kept Leicester in the game and DJ Campbell's header set up a tense finale at Stamford Bridge.
Carl Cort's tap-in put the Foxes ahead, but Shevchenko with a rasping shot and a Lampard header turned the tie. Leicester gave an early taste that they had not arrived as sacrificial lambs when their captain McAuley rose unchallenged to head home a free-kick.

Before Wednesday Lampard had not scored since August, but the England midfielder got back in the goalscoring groove when he finished off a three-man move to equalise. Scott Sinclair played a key role in that goal and the youngster set up Chelsea's second when his cross bobbled loose to Lampard, who volleyed home. Fulop made three crucial saves, twice denying Claudio Pizarro and pushing an effort from Sinclair on to the post. But the home side lost Paulo Ferreira just after half-time. The right-back was stretchered off with an injury to his right ankle. Campbell punished Chelsea's profligacy in the 69th minute when he headed Levi Porter's chip over the advancing Cudicini and into the net. Five minutes later Alan Sheehan's free-kick was missed by everyone except Cort at the far post and the former Wimbledon striker swept the ball home. But Shevchenko levelled for Chelsea in the 87th minute and in the dying seconds Lampard's header squeezed over the line to provide a dramatic winner.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Belletti, Alex, Ben-Haim (Essien 80), Ferreira (Malouda 52), Wright-Phillips, Sidwell, Lampard, Sinclair (Kalou 78), Shevchenko, Pizarro.Subs Not Used: Hilario, Obi.
Booked: Sidwell, Ben-Haim.
Goals: Lampard 20, 29, Shevchenko 87, Lampard 90.
Leicester: Fulop, Stearman, McAuley, N'Gotty, Kisnorbo, Sheehan, Newton (Porter 60), Chambers, Kenton, Cort, Fryatt (Campbell 62), Porter (Maybury 80).Subs Not Used: Henderson, Hellings.
Booked: Newton, Sheehan.
Goals: McAuley 6, Campbell 69, Cort 74.
Att: 40,037.
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).