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Ivanovic: I must do better

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Branislav Ivanovic has come in for a great deal of flack this season, and while I don't agree with much of it -- Jose Mourinho is obviously fielding him in an extremely aggressive wingback role on purpose -- he can obviously be playing better.

You wouldn't think that'd be the take-away message after the defender had grabbed the club two big winners in the space of a fortnight, but hey, we're just following Ivanovic's lead here:

It was an important goal for the team, a great half-volley and I'm happy with the goal, but not so happy with my performance and I know what I have to do better.

Source: ChelseaFC.com.

So much for basking in his own glory. As mentioned above, Ivanovic has been a reasonably common scapegoat for the fans this season, and not all the complaints are completely ill-founded. His one-on-one defending should be better considering his strength (and considering Cesar Azpilicueta's vulnerability to crosses coming from the Chelsea right), he's making poor decisions in the defence to possession transition and his mistakes in basic ball retention can be extremely annoying.

At the same time, he's a vital part of the way this team functions, and nobody could possibly question his attitude. The reaction to the goal is exactly what I want to see from someone whose performance might improve -- it's great he scored it, great we won it ... now let's get better.