If managers don't blame referees, then the next option is to blame their players. Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari had harsh words for his own team's defense after it let slip a 2-1 lead at Fulham Sunday and allowed Clint Dempsey a late headed equalizer.
Scolari held goalkeeper and captain Petr Cech chiefly responsible for the error, and was seen having strong words with the player as the teams left the field. "I asked Petr because he's the captain for marking in this area," said Scolari. "I give him the power to say this and that in that area. There was one player in the middle of the area free in the last minute, which is incredible."
"We made two mistakes and they scored twice," he went on. "Every player knows who to mark when we start a game. It's my job now to ask what happened in this situation. We spoke at halftime, who was supposed to be marking who and who was supposed to be covering. After every goal, we try to make sure that doesn't happen again. But, at the corner, we made another mistake."
That just leaves the field conditions, the weather, schedule congestion and a long injury list as possible excuses before the manager starts to look at his own tactics and team selection as reasons for Chelsea's failure to convince this season.