Date: 15th November 2010 at 1:13pm
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Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League table was cut to just two points at the weekend as the Blues were thumped 3-0 at home by Steve Bruce’s Sunderland side.

It has been a less than happy week or so for the Stamford Bridge faithful, who saw their team lose to Liverpool at Anfield the previous Sunday. Carlo Ancelotti also learned in the week that he would be without the services of Michael Essien, who received a red card in the game against Fulham on Wednesday, for three weeks and Frank Lampard will be missing through injury for around the same period after another setback.

Then came Thursday which eventually developed into a bizarre series of events at the club as the much respected Ray Wilkins’ was told that his contract would not be renewed by chief executive Ron Gourlay, who told gave Wilkins the news during the half time of a reserves fixture that he was watching with Ancelotti.

As if the shoddy treatment of the club’s now former assistant manager and unavailability of Lampard and Essien was not enough, the club was dealt one further blow. First choice centre back pairing John Terry and Alex joined the list of those who were not available for the fixture against Sunderland.

None of these events are great preparation for the game, but is it fair to question some of Ancelotti’s decision making and are we wrong to rule out any buys during the January transfer window?

My heart sank a little when I saw the starting line-up to play against Sunderland. Paulo Ferreira has been a good servant to the club and will do his best wherever you play him, but he is no centre half and it makes you wonder just how many players have to be out of action before Jeffrey Bruma, supposedly our fourth choice centre back, can get a game.

Although the young Dutch defender lacks experience you feel as though he may have dealt better with the likes of Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck than Ferreira did. Ancelotti has previously said that he has no wish to buy in January because he has faith in his youngsters, but why have one of your only fit centre backs sitting next to you on the bench?

There were also many problems in the midfield that was severely lacking two of its main components. Ancelotti’s hands were tied to an extent as he lacked options there too, but he eventually caved in and brought on Josh McEachran for Ramires after the Brazilian had given the ball to the opposition (and in particular Lee Cattermole) for the 1,000,000,000 time.

Now, Bruma, McEachran and Gael Kakuta are all good young players, but it’s a lot to ask youngsters like that to save you a game and doesn’t represent great strength in depth that the Blues have boasted in previous seasons. I’m not saying we should be going out and buying any £30m-rated players, but there may be a bargain or two to be had out there, like Spurs got with Rafael van der Vaart and Real Madrid with the likes of Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil.

Can we afford not to bring in fresh faces considering Lampard’s continual injury woes, Terry’s niggling back trouble and our over reliance on Drogba at times?

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