Thursday, December 13, 2012

Filling in the Drogba void

Despite the rejuvenated efforts of Fernando Torres under the wing of Rafael Benitez, Chelsea continue to pursue the world class striker, Radamel Falcao.
The full name Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate, the name uses Spanish naming customs, the first and paternal name is Garcia and the second and maternal family name is Zarate. He is, however, simply known as Falcao, a name given to him by his father as a tribute to the Brazilian coach Paulo Roberto Falcao, a Columbian striker, who still continues to play for Athletico Madrid in La Liga and represents the national team as well. He is at times nick named El Tigre and King of the Europa League.
Falcao’s most distinct trait aside from his ability to play well with both feet and prominent header skills despite his size would be his impressive goal ratio and astonishingly the goal by minute ratio that exceeds that of the ubiquitous Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo. On 9 December 2012, he performed the amazing feat of scoring 5 goals in one game in a 6-0 drubbing against Deportivo de la Coruna.
A senior representative of Chelsea has reportedly flown to Madrid to hold further talks regarding the acquisition of Radamel Falcao or a possible Gonzalo Higuain in the January transfer window. Marina Granovskaia’s presence in Madrid has also raised speculation that Chelsea might attempt to retrieve the services of Jose Mourinho as the next manager.
Hulk has also been reported to be dissatisfied in Russia and could seek an exit route with Chelsea if interest still exists. Arsenal’s Theo Walcott’s contract will soon expire and Chelsea could possibly be his new home. This could unfortunately mean a probable end of the Sturridge era, however, he has attracted plenty of interest from Liverpool.
If everything else fails Torres will indubitably need to reach his best under Benitez’s reign, with or without any replacement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zola dreams of leading Chelsea!

Gianfranco Zola revealed that he is keen to return to the club where he spent seven years during his playing career. In a statement to France Football he said that, “I have been dreaming of becoming a good manager, one who can lead a team like Chelsea.”
“It is only my second coaching experience in a club after West Ham. I still have a lot to do.”
Furthermore, he is really pleased by the plans at Watford and knows how serious the Pozzo family is. It is the ideal place to develop as a coach.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More chances needed for Torres

The double by Torres had been his first goals in the Premier League for two months. Benitez told Sky Sports that, “Torres was always around but we need to create more chances for him because he will always score goals.”
Benitez will now take the European Champions to Japan where they will meet Mexicans Monterray or Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea in Thursday’s World Cup semi-finals. A challenging assignment for the new manager who needs to create a system that is consistent and achieves the agreed lofty heights of this ambitious club.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Why Mikel was banned for abusing Clattenburg

Obi Mikel had been given a three-match ban and a hefty 60 000 pounds fine after admitting a charge of using threatening or abusive language towards referee Mark Clattenburg after the forgettable home defeat by Manchester United in October.
The FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission had found Mikel guilty of the charges relating to an off-the-pitch incident in the official’s changing room. The subsequent riposte was due to the Club’s complaints immediately after the controversial defeat of Clattenburg using “inappropriate language” to two of their players, one of whom was the usually stolid Mikel.
After the FA launched their investigation regarding these allegations Clattenburg was relieved of his official duties in the interim before a decision was to be reached. In fact, Mikel’s ban would have been longer, had it not been for the player’s convictions of legitimate racial abuse suffered on the pitch.
The FA thus stated that:
“The breach of FA Rule E3 was in relation to an incident which occurred in the match official’s changing room at the end of the fixture against Manchester United on 28 October 2012”
“The Regulatory Commission’s independent chairman Christopher Quinlan emphasized that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did the FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused.
“But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer.”
The evidence for the accusation against Clattenburg had come from team mate Ramires.
The FA then stated that:
“The details of the allegation were that following one or the other of the red cards issued during the second half of the game, Ramires heard Mark Clattenburg say to John Obi Mikel, “shut up you monkey.” John Obi Mikel did not hear the alleged comment.
The added:
“Ramires, whose first language is not English, explained that his instinctive reaction was to seek confirmation from John Obi Mikel as to what the referee had said.”
“John Obi Mikel, who was being spoken to by the referee, was much closer to the referee than Ramires and did not hear what it is suggested was said to him.”
The club had recently issued a statement expressing regret over their inappropriate handling of the allegations. Mikel will be missing the next three games but will be participating in the Club World Cup in Japan. Was this football travesty a consequence of sour grapes perhaps?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ready for some change?

Could Benitez prove to be the ultimate tactician and make Chelsea a formidable team from front to back?  Could he perhaps re-energise and reinvigorate the hapless Fernando Torres?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Torres needs width

Torres may only thrive in a team that can offer patient, passing play and also offer genuine width. Di Matteo had taken him from the bench and given him more minutes on the pitch and was fully comrmitted to getting the best out of him. The fresh injection of youth and talent without any of the baggage and ego of the current squad should have restored his confidence. Torres is obtaining the services of one of the best young playmakers in the game and should have felt more comfortable with his fellow countryman. Mata also moved from the left to play behind him. He has also been too eager to show he can still contribute to the team even when he is not scoring goals, he is often seen dropping deep in search of the ball or drifting wide in order to feed teammates the ball. In these positions he will find it harder to score and should have focused on scoring goals instead of distribution. What was the club’s responsibility to revive his goal scoring prowess – regular sessions with sport psychologists or team building exercises perhaps?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reaction to the November slump

In order to halt Chelsea’s slump in form means a probable dropping of Fernando Torres would pursue. Yesterday’s loss at the Hawthorns mean that the Blues have just won two league points out of the last twelve.
Di Matteo should firstly ensure that we do not concede and stated that the changes in team selection will follow accordingly. He hinted at possibly sacrificing the attacking options to be more defensive.
Chelsea’s attack had a one dimensional quality as too many balls were crossed from wide areas. This is obviously not an option in the post Drogba era.
Will this slump continue against Juventus and Man City in the week ahead? Or will Di Matteo ultimately face the wrath of the wanton Abramovich?

Man Utd fall for Chelsea trap: Chicharito for Torres

Man Utd fall for Chelsea trap: Chicharito for Torres

Mourinho for Man Utd, Pep to Chelsea

Mourinho for Man Utd, Pep to Chelsea

Chelsea favourites to land Falcao as Torres flops again

Chelsea favourites to land Falcao as Torres flops again

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The importance of returning to winning ways against West Brom

It has certainly been a harrowing and disappointing period for Blues fans especially after the controversial Manchester United defeat and the often unbearable slog thereafter. Three games without victory have seen Chelsea lose top spot in the Barclays Premiership League. The outing to The Hawthorns could prove difficult whose home record in this campaign is second only to champions Manchester City. Having been defeated there last season we should improve if we are to return to form.
It is now eight games in all competitions since the Blues kept a clean sheet and restoring our defense to its impenetrable best becomes imperative without losing our attacking flair.
Roberto Di Matteo, believes his experience in charge at the Hawthorns had enhanced his abilities as a manager. He took charge at West Brom ahead of the 2009/10 campaign, in which he took them back up to the top flight from the Championship, before being relieved of his duties the following season when a team suffered a hapless spell of poor results. Di Matteo feel it is all about making the most out of the opportunities presented in the game.
The game ahead should provide an interesting challenge as both managers have been players at their teams at their peak and it could prove to be physically demanding for the senior players who have returned from the friendlies in the week. My prediction 2-1 to the Blues – a late goal will probably be scored by the midfield.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

America is an important market for Chelsea

"In America we have to continue our work. It is an important market for us and we need to keep building awareness of the club. The US and South America are huge for us, and you may see us venture into Canada next time we visit. It's a market we need to get the team into, and we'd like to get Canada and perhaps a South American leg on our next visit, so we could be looking at three countries rather than four cities next time around." - Ron Gourlay, Chief Executive

Friday, June 22, 2012

Interest in Guardiola persists!

Roman Abramovich is still keen to lure Guardila to Stamford Bridge. Roberto Di Matteo was recently appointed as permanent manager on a two year deal but his contract may contain a break clause which can be activated after a year allowing the club to make a move for Guardiola next summer. Not much of a progressive gesture at all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Probable replacements for Bonsingwa

Roberto Di Matteo has compiled his list of candidates to replace Bosingwa. On top of that short list is Dortmund right-back, Piszczek, followed by Ajax full-back Gregory van der Wiel. And even Manchester United's Rafael da Silva.
Piszczek completed the league and cup final with Dortmund and Chelsea scouts were evidently impressed by his performances in a Poland shirt this summer.
Definitely, makes more sense to rebuild this team from the back four instead of buying big names upfront.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Personnel changes could be reckless spending

Abramovich has tried and failed to persuade Pep Guardiola to take charge at the start of the season. On the other hand, Brighton boss, Gus Poyet suggested that the Chelsea favourite, Di Matteo, should be handed over the permanent reins at the Bridge. He is after all a candidate from their legendary generation and it could prove to be the natural choice.
Abramovich also seems blatantly keen to make significantly expensive additions to the squad while currently working with technical director, Michael Emenalo. They have already sealed the £32 million signing of the Belgium play maker Eden Harzard.
Will this new front line combination of Torres, Hazard and a probable Hulk even pay off? Torres owes the club at least 20 plus goals for the season and could the other two fail to adjust and soon prove to be difficult to manage. Could this only be an expensive shortcut to affirm our global brand?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New place, same scenario!

Chelsea's recent successes have indeed elevated the team and Abramovich's empire as a true global brand. Although Di Matteo has done the job last season by achieving the impossible the coach (and players) remain vulnerable to the whims of the owner. This was what we effectively pretended would not happen after becoming European Champions. Our sentiments suggested that he should be given the opportunity to manage the squad with its new, scintillating personnel changes. Truth be told, Di Matteo could meet the same fate as his predecessors once Abramovich's "Nero-esque traits" manifest itself when pressures build up in the boardroom. There is, of course, the tendency, as those attributes would suggest, to go "big". Chelsea officials are said to have offered the ex-Barcelona boss, Guadiola, £11m-a-year and an assurance that there will be no pressure on him to win major trophies in his first two years in charge. I think all the ex-coaching personnel heard that one before.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chelsea FC: A brief history

From the early days as the butt of a music hall joke for the lack of success, to being 1954 - 55 champions following a revamp. From the glamorous, talented and flamboyant team which emerged in swinging London in the mid- 1960's to put the club on the footballing map for the first time, to the financial and on-pitch woes that almost forced its extinction in the early 1980's. From the rejuvenated side of the mid-1980's that returned it to stability, to the cosmopolitan renaissance of the late 1990's, which saw it challenge for honours again, to a takeover in June 2003 under the leadership of the enigmatic Jose Mourinho which contributed to its current status as one of the dominant teams in the country.

Di Matteo's strategic objectives

We tend to forget what the role of a caretaker coach is which generally entails performing a prescribed level of damage control. It becomes quite evident in the build-up for next Saturday's showpiece event against four-times winners Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. His statement, "We'll practice different solutions, just in case", further hints at this approach.
His role also expects him to constantly make alternative plans. John Terry and Branislav Ivanovich are both suspended and Luiz and Cahill will remain in a race against time to recover from their hamstring injuries. Right back Bosingwa will be likely to replace one of them with one midfielder possibly having to drop back into defence, such as John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien or even Orial Romeu. This line-up will likely to have a run with the already relegated Blackburn. Defender Sam Hutchinson, who only made one substitute appearance as yet is also expected to start.
The good news, however, is that Di Matteo will jet out to the German Cup Final on Saturday to watch Jupp Heynckes Bayern against Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund in Berlin. He will be analyzing their pattern of play and have seen them play before in the semi-finals.
With Chelsea's resolute spirit, we hope to see the same turnaround against Barcelona. Or did that win come at too high a price?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Focus should be on player management and chemistry

If AVB rejects the notion of tweaking Chelsea’s style to suit Torres and return on investment remains abysmal collective efforts should ignite a belief in any title hopes.  Player management obviously entails identifying “out of form” players and using  those minimal performance levels to create a more effective unit.
Needless to say, less pressure would be on the hapless Torres who continues to blunder sitters in the box. Mid-field movement and quality possession should improve and create the right spaces for Torres to manipulate and exploit.  Besides Ferguson mastered the art of making an average looking team seem invincible.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More than two points dropped

Yet another emotionally charged contest took place between these two football enmities and the dust is yet to settle.  Should this be viewed as a fair result?  That obviously depends on how objective this spectacle between these leviathans can possibly be examined.  Personally, we simply cannot be reduced to blaming alleged biased refereeing as this encounter should be considered at all costs a battle between two capable strategists, although AVB appears more cavalier than the seasoned Ferguson.  It would be suggesting that the game’s result and probably the fate of all matches of this prestige will be affected by the whims of a careless referee.  In all honesty, a series of awarded penalties should be attributed to quality ball possession by Man United.  The attack obviously reached enough momentum to breach the penalty box area.  Irrespective of whether those penalties were worthy to be awarded or not, AVB’s abilities remain questionable and poor player management remains detrimental to all title hopes.  The result seems like a victory to Ferguson I’m afraid.