Wednesday Morning Attack: Quick Champions League Thoughts, Holloway, Attwell, and More

29 September 2010

JOHN TERRY (R) celebrates with GAEL KAKUTA after scoring the first goal for Chelsea against Olympique Marseille. (Credit Image: © Action Images/ZUMApress.com
Thoughts on Premier League and Bundesliga sides in the Champions League on Tuesday
* I was impressed with how Chelsea rode Marseille's early storm, and in the end finished off the French side with ease. It didn't hurt Chelsea that John Terry's flick on goal from an awful corner kick had the benefit of an open near post. When will managers and players alike learn that until the danger is completely cleared, the player needs to still be glued on the crossbar.

* Bayern Munich were very lucky in my mind to escape Basel with three points. Frei's opener for Basel was such a thing of beauty. Van Gaal has to figure out how to get more creativity from the players he has available to him. Right now, they are proving too much they are a two man show. There's only one problem with that: those two men are injured.

* Arsenal had an easier time than I expected them to have in Belgrade. It didn't hurt that Partizan stupidly had a man sent off. After that, it was curtains. This was a much needed boost in the arm heading to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Other Thoughts
* John Terry admitted after Chelsea's Champions League tie that the team took their foot off the gas in the second half. It only confirms to me what I've been thinking of their performances since week three of the season: once they get up by a comfortable enough margin, they mentally check out of games. One of these days, it will bite them in the backside.

* Ian Holloway was charged by the FA on Tuesday with improper conduct. At least he admitted he knew he was going to be in trouble in his post match press conference on Saturday. The sad thing is, you would think he'd know better. Even with a guilty plea, something tells me he's going to be sitting three matches out for his moment of stupidity.

* I knew it wouldn't be too long before we'd got an official stance on Stuart Attwell's assignment as a fourth official this weekend. Their claims that he was always assigned to fourth official duties this weekend just reeks of convenience. While I understand not wanting to make the man in the middle known until a few days before, how difficult would it be for the FA to think 'well the fourth official doesn't do much to influence the outcome of a match...why not announce them a few weeks in advance'? I know, I'll break out my pipe and smoke it. That's not happening any time soon.

* A couple of injury updates to close. We know Wayne Rooney will miss three weeks with his ankle injury. Hopefully he can also get his head straight in the meanwhile and find his form as well. And in what could be a boost for Manchester City, Mario Balotelli could be back by December.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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