Chelsea, having wrapped up their Tour of the Colonies for 2012, have now flown back to England. Their performance was nothing even approaching great, but they survived with no apparent injuries (minus an ominously taped left knee for David Luiz on the plane) and a few extra bits of emotion generated amongst the fans.
Many of these fans are angry; angry because they care, presumably, and/or they're not going to take this anymore! (I'm not going to say anything about "preseason"; as much as it bears repeating, I'm already tired of repeating it.) But what about the manager - does he care? Is he raking the under-performers over some hot coals yet in the cargo hold?
The official Chelsea website caught up with Roberto Di Matteo just before the team's departure. Did they ask about the hot coals? Let's find out...
NB: The official site regularly leaves out less-than-showpiece-y quotes from their interview subjects, even in non-fluff pieces. Unfortunately, I did not find a second source for these quotes.
It is always better to win, it gives you a good feeling, so we are disappointed with the result but I thought there was a big improvement from Wednesday's game.
Deep thoughts, with RDM: win the game; enjoy the life. I do not think many would disagree that the team looked much better (at least for 15-20 minutes at the beginning of each half) than midweek versus the MLS All-Stars.
The squad is not together yet and it is just pre-season so you have the opportunity to try different solutions and options to see how that works. It has given me a good opportunity to have a look at some of our players and see what role they can play immediately or in the near future. That is what pre-season games are for, you give some youngsters a chance and see how well they have developed and what kind of future they can for us.
Oh god; killing me softly with all this cookie-cutter reasonableness. I guess this sort of does mean that the youngsters didn't quite cut it, but where are the AVB-esque golden nuggets, Robbie? Shouldn't we be thinking about exiling a player or two from training yet?
And how about that Hazard kid? He's not half bad...
I thought Hazard was interesting on the left and he looked a big threat...
Well, as long as you don't insist on "supporting" him with Raul Meireles through the middle!
...we had a lot of good possession and good combinations. The final pass was a little bit missing today and in front of the goal we need to be a bit more clinical at times.
I guess we're all looking at you, Mr. Golden Boot winner. Let's get those "bit more" clinical displays going as soon* as possible**...and hope that we all end up in a happy place, rather than the looney bin.
**PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!