Getting a statue is a symbol that you have made an impact in the footballing world. The recently unveiled Michael Essien statue in his homeland was designed to honour one of the best Ghanain footballers of all time and a Chelsea legend.
Essien was a monster for Chelsea who made more than 50 appearances for Ghana.
The statue in Kumasi near a busy road has split opinions. Whilst it has him in his pomp in a Chelsea shirt, the sculpture has raised eyebrows for its likeness (or lack of likeness) to the midfielder.
Hello @MichaelEssien, I’m not sure you’re aware of this your huge honour in Kumasi at that popular Boadi Road. Yesterday the sculpture opened the fence around it was and I saw kids & adults take turns to take pictures. I was humbled. Ghana still loves you. It’s Beautiful gift pic.twitter.com/y1CItDP9qW
Whilst it is not as tasteful as the statue of Peter Osgood outside Stamford Bridge it is not a bad effort for an unofficial sculpture. We know who it is and I am sure that Essien is proud that he is being honoured.
Michael Essien Statue Due?
The Bison was one of my favourite players when he was in his pomp at Stamford Bridge, he put his mark on games and seemed to have the energy of ten men. After injury his game suffered but he was still an iconic part of our decade of success after the arrival of Roman Abramovich.
A statue at Stamford Bridge for the Bison may be a step too far, maybe we should just play this goal on repeat before every home game.
Surprisingly Essien is still playing professionally, having decided to see out the last embers of his career in Indonesia.
What do you think of the Essien statue? Would you be flattered if you had a statue in your honour on the M25?
It has taken a while but there is now a Marcus Alonso Chelsea song that captures the cult status that his goals and assists are generating.
We are not sure exactly when it was first heard during a game, but it has been around for at least the Christmas period.
The Arsenal game was the loudest I have heard it, because we were away from home where the atmosphere is always better and because he scored a crucial goal. It is now also common any time we have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
This video was taken just after Alonso scored against Arsenal at the Emirates to give us the lead. Unfortunately, a Hector Bellerin stunner denied us what would have been a hard-fought win.
Marcus Alonso Runs Down The Wing For Me (and scores)
Alonso has now scored more goals than any other defender in the Premier League since and has made the left wing-back position his own. He has scored 12 goals from all over the place and established himself as a free kick specialist.
Marcus Alonso Chant Lyrics
The Marcus Alonso chant is set to the Heartbeat theme tune (a defunct UK soap opera) and is a real favourite of mine.
The lyrics are simple and go like this
Marcus, Marcus Alonso runs down the wing for me
DA dA dA dA, dA dA dA dA dA
Marcus, Marcus Alonso runs down the wing for me
DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA DA
Marcus, Marcus Alonso runs down the wing for me
DA DA DA DA, DA DA DA DA DA
Repeat to fade
This is no the first attempt at a song for Marcus, but it is certainly the best. The ooooooooooooh Marcus Alonso one is not too bad, but its not got the energy or fun of the one in the video.
It’s been a mixed start to life at Stamford Bridge for summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko, but there are signs that the former Monaco man is starting to find his feet in the Premier League. Can the 23-year-old become the dependable box-to-box midfielder that the Blues are crying out for?
Makelele Monaco mentorship
Monaco remain one the powerhouses of French football and have a stellar reputation for developing talent and offering their academy graduates plenty of game time. Bertrand Reuzeau is the academy director and has brought through players such as Valere Germain and Kylian Mbappe in recent seasons. They also have a knack of picking up players at a young age from their fellow Ligue 1 sides and Bakayoko was spotted at Rennes before being snapped up by Leonardo Jardim’s side. After an inauspicious start to life at Monaco, it was the appointment of former Chelsea midfield general Claude Makelele that brought the best out of the floundering Bakayoko. After encouraging the midfielder to knuckle down, switch off his naturally fiery temperament and focus on numerous areas of improvement, a noticeable upturn in performance could clearly be witnessed by the Monaco supporters. He was a regular starter during their 2016-17 title-winning campaign, with 2220 minutes on the pitch where he managed to find the net on two occasions. Importantly, he finished the season with an 87% pass accuracy and created 15 chances for his teammates. Makelele worked extensively with the midfielder and his increased maturity was evident throughout his three seasons in the principality.
Move to Chelsea
His consistent performances domestically and in the UEFA Champions League persuaded Chelsea to take a chance on the midfielder, with the West London club shelling out £40 million for his services. It can often take time for players to adapt to life in the English top flight and it has proved to be a stuttering start for Tiemoue Bakayoko, although his recent performance against Huddersfield suggested that there could be plenty more to come. Against the Terriers, he won every single tackle, successfully placed 55 of his 59 passes and scored the opening goal of the game. He also made a number of key interceptions to help his side bounce back from a disappointing defeat against West Ham. Despite his performances dividing Chelsea fans, a song has been created for Bakayoko that has been heard on the terraces in recent weeks, proving that he is beginning to win over a number of initially sceptical Blues supporters. Antonio Conte’s side sit third going into the busy festive period and Bakayoko is likely to play an integral part in their tussle at the top. Manchester City have looked unstoppable during the first half of the campaign but as of December 15, Chelsea are 9/4 with Betway to finish best of the rest. Nemanja Matic was a key part of the 2016-17 squad that secured the Premier League title and Bakayoko is hoping he can adequately replace the Serbian, who opted to join former boss Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Chelsea also recruited Danny Drinkwater from Leicester as they bolstered their central midfield positions in the summer, but he has barely featured for his new employers due to injury.
Slow burner in the Premier League?
Being thrown straight into the Premier League is a hugely daunting prospect for any player and there is no shying away from inadequate performances. Pundits such as Ian Wright have suggested that Bakayoko doesn’t offer Chelsea anything new, but a number of Ligue 1 recruits have required at least six months to adapt to the fast pace of the top flight. Antonio Conte appears pleased with the progress shown by the 23-year-old, suggesting that: “He is starting to understand that he is at a club like Chelsea… and I am very happy because he has shown me the right desire.”
The midfielder’s languid style probably doesn’t help his cause but he is slowly becoming more effective and influencing games particularly against sides in the bottom half of the table. He has claimed two assists and netted two goals in 1079 minutes of Premier League football, but with an average of just 0.4 key passes per game, that is an area of much-needed improvement for the former Monaco man. Conte has used him in an attacking capacity but questions remain over whether Kante, Fabregas and Bakayoko can all feature in the same starting 11. Claude Makelele admitted he had to talk to the midfielder every day at Monaco and the pair are still in touch but on a far more infrequent basis. He appears to require an arm around the shoulder and is the archetypal confidence player. Bakayoko must kick on from his performance at Huddersfield and justify his hefty price tag but the signs are positive and his partnership with fellow Frenchman N’Golo Kante certainly has the potential to flourish this season.
In theory, Chelsea fans should give Rafael Benitez a heroes welcome when Chelsea play Newcastle today. After all, he is a manager who in less than a year got the club into the Champions League positions and won a European trophy.
Not bad going right?
Why Was Benitez Destined For Disdain?
Unfortunately, the history of Chelsea and Liverpool during his time at Anfield, the comments he made, meant his appointment even as an interim option was met with anger, shock and disbelief by Chelsea fans.
Things never really got above lukewarm, he joined the club on a hiding to nothing, we really do not understand why he took the job.
Despite his time being a managerial success in terms of achievement, Chelsea fans could not warm to Benitez and celebrated his departure. FamousCFC.com were not sad to see him go.
Even in Amsterdam a day after Chelsea had won the Europa League it was hard to find a Chelsea fan with more than a lukewarm response to the interim manager.
Why Chelsea Fans Hate Benitez?
In reality, he should never have been Chelsea manager. he had no respect for the club, our fans or our culture. Refusing to apologise for his comments as manager of Liverpool or consign them to the past he enraged fans.
I have never seen such vitriol for a serving manager as during that time. The FA Cup game at Brentford saw open hostility become all out rebellion to the manager as Chelsea drew 2-2 against the Bees.
Time To Move On?
Four years have passed since he left. Maybe it is time to let bygones be bygones. Whilst no-one is suggesting a standing ovation but maybe he has done enough and enough time has passed to allow him to be given at least a neutral reaction.
The game against Swansea was one of the weirdest I have seen for a while, neither team seemed that interested in the game. This meant that the match was played at a low tempo.
The Chelsea match stats for the game will tell a story of possession dominance in the first half. Whenever Swansea did have the ball they would just pass it along their back line as Chelsea were not pressing the ball when it was in the Swansea half.
At one point Swansea put together 20-30 passes in a move that did not get closer than 40 yards away from the Chelsea goal.
The second half started the same until Rudiger scored, Chelsea then turned from the controlling force in the game to trying to contain a Swansea side that started to press the ball. Suddenly there was less space and the defenders started giving the ball away.
Swansea did not create much and it was more than 70 minutes until they had their first shot which ballooned high over the bar. This buoyed the Swansea fans that sang “we’ve had a shot” which entertained everyone and was greeted with ironic cheers.
Swansea though chased the game as time ticked on and Chelsea let him.
In the last ten minutes Swansea bombed forward and gave Chelsea fans a nervous end to the game. Finally, though the end did come and only have the ground was left to clap off a team that had failed to inspire, despite getting the points.
After the game: Our thoughts are with the Chelsea fan who collapsed at Fulham Broadway station on his way home. When we were boarding our train he was being given CPR by medics and a doctor who had also been to the game.
Things did not look good, if anyone knows what happened to him please let us know.
The dedication of our away supporters is phenomenal.
Rather than give a Chelsea match report after the Qarabag game, we thought our longest away game of the season was a moment to focus on the sacrifices our fans make on a weekly basis and in particular those willing to go halfway across the world.
Nearly 1,000 fans made the 6,000-mile round trip to Baku to watch Chelsea qualify for the next round of the Champions League. It is an incredible thing to do and another case of fans putting their lives on hold for an adventure to foreign lands, to support their team.
Eastern Europe/Asia during midweek involves time off work, long flights and often some questionable local cuisine, however if the beer is cheap and local friendly that helps.
As does Getting a win!
A Good Win In Baku
A far-flung trip across Europe to the borders of Asia is hardly ideal for a game against Liverpool coming up. Yet the Blues sailed through with flying colours, helped by a penalty and red card that ended the game as a contest.
It was a bit of a cruise from there and its a relief to be safely through a group that looked a bit tough when the draw was made earlier in the season.
Willian got a couple of goals to remind us of the contribution he can make and we were able to get back on the plane and focus on a much tougher task at Anfield at the weekend.
Watching Chelsea away is not the easiest thing in the world, tickets are getting harder to get, schedules change to inconvenient times far too often and over a season it can cost a fortune.
So if any of the 1,000 that went to Baku read this, we salute you all!
The international break is nearly over and it seems like Chelsea may have survived an international break without any major hiccups.
We thought we would do a quick Chelsea roundup of how the players on international duty got on. Chelsea players old and new crisscrossed the world. Some looking to keep a World Cup dream alive and others engaged in meaningless friendlies.
The first piece of good news was that Danny Drinkwater rejected a call up by Gareth Southgate as he recovers from an injury.
One player that did go and had a successful time was rising star Andreas Christensen who was in the Denmark team that qualified for the World Cup.
A surprise international call-up was Ethan Ampadu who has only just reached the periphery of the Chelsea squad. At just 17 it appears that Wales are doing there best to tie down their new generation by blooding dual nationality players early.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham made their international debuts as well, it seems odd that it is easier to play for England than Chelsea these days.
Ola Aina played for Nigeria, whilst eternal loanees Matt Miazga and Marco Van Ginkel were also in action.
Next Action For Chelsea
Next up for Chelsea is a trip to West Bromwich Albion on the horizon as Antonio Conte tries to build on the momentum of three consecutive Premier League wins.
The international break as always has been full of rumours and exaggerated media claims so I am sure that Chelsea fans and Antonio Conte will be happy to get back to Premier League action.
West Bromwich Albion is one that makes Chelsea fans nervous though as it is a ground linked to the demise of managers. Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas-Boas met their end after a trip to the Hawthorns.
Chelsea fans rejoiced when Michael Emenalo left Stamford Bridge. With few knowing what value he truly added he was seen as a disruptive force that stopped successive managers getting the tools they wanted for the job.
Lampard — who is currently working for BT Sport and studying his coaching badges since announcing his retirement in February — has been mentioned as a possible candidate.
When it comes to replacements the idea of Frank Lampard Technical Director as even an outlandish international break rumour has gotten fans excited.
It would be replacing one of the club’s most hated figures with one of the Premier League and Chelsea’s favourite players.
Lampard did not leave Stamford Bridge the way we would have wanted, there was no fanfare, fond farewell or testimonial just a flight to America.
Then he came back in a different shade of Blue and I am sure that he and Blues fans want him back at the club and involved.
Frank Lampard Technical Director At Chelsea – Could It Happen?
As the rumour is just that, a rumour it is hard to know where it has come from and how likely it is to come to pass. Chelsea fans want Emenalo replaced with someone knowledgeable with a connection to the club.
Lampard is one of the greatest players in our history so would fit the bill.
Michael Emenalo was not qualified for any of the jobs he held, with his experience and silverware Lampard has an immediate head start, add his badges and his study of the game he already seems like a better fit.
There would be a learning curve, but if Emenalo can do it anyone can. Given his connection to the club it would be like a homecoming and he would get bags more patience and respect from the fans.
Ultimately it seems like a pipe dream, but given the way the club operates anything is possible.