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Even In Pre-Season We Can Laugh at Liverpool FC – Video

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Liverpool chelsea fans

Yesterday Chelsea took on Liverpool as part of their pre-season tour recording a 1-0 victory courtesy of a header from Gary Cahill.

Pre-season results mean nothing in the long term, just ask multi Emirates Cup winning manager Arsene Wenger. However, when your B team has the opportunity to upset Liverpool fans half-way across the world it is always enough to bring a smile to your face.

Add in the fact that the Blues played more than 20 minutes with 10 men and getting to see Liverpool fans cry half way across the world and it becomes hilarious. There were more than 50,000 US football fans to bear witness to the build up to a season that undoubtedly Liverpool fans think will be their year.

For those of you who enjoy watching highlights of friendlies, here are some we found.

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The Magic Of The Chelsea US Pre-Season Tour

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Chelsea US Tour

The Chelsea US pre-season tour is underway and from what our friends across the pond tell us the Chelsea fans they are having a whale of a time.

As a UK based Chelsea fan blog of a certain age we can remember a time before the razzmatazz of an overseas pre-season tour. A magical time which may start in Scandanavia or the low countries before playing a mix of lower league sides. Culminating in a glamour friendly or pre-season tournament like the Makita Cup.

In those days we were a bit like Arsenal, these fake competitions were the best chance we had of winning a trophy. Things have changed a little bit since then.

The Commercial Aspect

Slowly but surely we have come to accept the new reality. One where the success of the club and the Premier League in general means there are millions of fans across the world that love English football. For one small window each year, the club brings their idols to them to boost the club’s reputation and keep the club commercially competitive.

US Pre-Season Tour

The USA is a huge market for football.

A large number of fans in the USA have taken Chelsea to their hearts. They have swapped weekend lie-ins and following sports that their friends understand. For a game that is played early on weekend mornings. One could say there is nothing more British than using football as an excuse to be at the pub for 8am on a Saturday.

It is this passion that has endeared this blog to our US supporters, we have met many of them at the Bridge over the years as they make a footballing pilgrimage. These are not the stereotypical overseas fans you read about in the press. These fans may be thousands of miles away but they share the passion, they may never have been to Liverpool but they are smart enough to know it’s a shithole.

The next week or so sees fans that may watch alone or at local bars all come together and share their love of our club, I don’t care who you are that sounds quite cool. I must admit I am jealous of how much the club does to welcome them and put events on that we just don’t get in the UK.

To put it into context the tours we spoke to Chelsea In America member Brian Wolff to talk about what it means to the US fans

The summer tours in America are completely unlike any matches Chelsea will play anywhere else. No other club has the level of organization in the United States, at local and national levels, that Chelsea supporters have. And without the anxiety of results weighing upon those in attendance, the focus is on what makes football great – songs, pints, friends and atmosphere. What happens when you get season ticket holders and grizzled away day veteran flying over to meet with those who wake up at 6am every morning to head to the pub to watch a match? Throw in a dose of celebrity within the supporter community, a few club legends and a bar? Chaos in the best sense of the word. It’s English tradition with a dose of American spectacle – we hope all can enjoy.

In the US and want to join the fun visit – Chelsea In America 

 

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Kurt Zouma Injury Update – Conte In No Rush

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Kurt Zouma Injury

The latest on the Kurt Zouma injury is that he has been back in training for a couple of months. Yet Antonio Conte has  made it clear that he will not be rushed back into the team.

Zouma was ruled out for the season in February with an ankle injury, but progress has been cautious during his recovery. He is back training with the first team squad in Austria but is not expected to be in contention for the start of the season. Due to his age and the career he has ahead of him, it is good to know

Kurt Zouma Injury Setback

The Kurt Zouma injury was a bitter blow.

The French defender had just established himself as a first-team regular. With a reputation as a quality centre-back with his pace and committed physical approach.

Last season Kurt Zouma injury free had started 21 Premier League games and had pushed Gary Cahill down the pecking order.

Zouma’s size and presence also made him a formidable threat at set pieces allowing him to add the odd goal to his defensive contribution. A favourite with Chelsea fans, who boom out  ‘Zouma!’ every time he makes a key tackle, header or interception.

Once Zouma is fit again, his focus should be on regaining his place in the Chelsea squad.

Although there is reported interest from other clubs, including Arsenal, fans will be hoping this talk does not come to fruition, and he returns to his best at Stamford Bridge as soon as possible.

If Zouma stays at Stamford Bridge, it is likely the French defender will have a big part to play in rebuilding the Chelsea squad.

With John Terry likely to have a smaller role than in previous seasons, Zouma has the potential to assert himself as Chelsea’s first choice central defender.

If he can do that, then the future for Chelsea and Zouma is bright.

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Costa Wants To Go – Is He Worth Keeping?

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There have been rumours that Diego Costa wants to go and has handed in a transfer request. The aim being to manufacture a move back to Athletico Madrid. Whilst it is unsettling to hear that our top scorer last season may want to leave it is not surprising.

The question is given his baggage, is he worth keeping?

Diego Costa is a controversial character on and off the pitch. On the pitch, he can start an argument with his shadow. Off the pitch he shunned his country of birth and represent Spain. A move that led to uproar.

Whether Costa wants to stay or not is he worth keeping?

Passion and fire is a great thing but a player that cannot maintain some level of consistency in behaviour can be an issue. Combined with his injury record a player that you may lose for a quarter of the average season quickly becomes a liability.

The problem is that when he is fit and in the right mindset he scores goals, lots of them. Despite his troubles last season he recovered to become the Blues top scorer and should he stay and be focused, he has proven that he can get it done in the Premier League.

Replacement Options If Costa Wants To Go

The problem with systems Chelsea have played in the past is that they only allow one striker.  This limits the amount of back-up you can have available. Chelsea have already bought a striker so maybe they have seen this coming and planned for any outcome.

Chelsea have signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille. At 22 he is an eye to the future, but if Costa wants to go, then we have a high profile backup.

FamousCFC.com opinion

Costa is always a divider of opinion and despite the goals the latest round of speculation does it for us.  We only want players who want to be here to wear the shirt. If Costa leaves then he will command a monster fee.

After all he is a proven goal-scorer in Europe’s top leagues, that drives opposition fans crazy.

 

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Worst Loan Signings In History – Pato & Falcao

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Pato & Falcao have left Chelsea Football Club, and the online soccer odds suggest it may go down as two of the worst loans in Premier League history.

When we first suggested that they were truly awful people argued we were wrong and there must be a worst pairing, but with two starts and two goals for millions and millions spent it is hard to disagree.

Falcao arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer and Pato joined him in January, but neither made an impact on a terrible season for the Blues.

Expensive Flops

Despite spending millions on their salaries, the Blues got a return of just two Premier League starts and two Premier League goals between the pair.

They spent most of their time on the treatment table or warming the bench.

Pato Signed Injured

Bizarrely Chelsea decided to sign Pato when he was injured. For the first two months of his loan, earning over a million pounds in wages without making his debut.

He finally did this against Aston Villa in April with his introduction met with ironic cheers from Chelsea fans who chanted “give the ball to Pato” at every opportunity in a desperate attempt to get some value for money.

Despite scoring a penalty in that game, he looked a yard off the pace of the game, a performance that sums up the form of both during the entirety of his loan and that of Falcao.

Pato & Falcao Avoidable Mistake

Pato and Falcao have been world beaters in the past, but injuries and poor form meant that their arrival at Stamford Bridge was met with surprise. It was clear they were just a shadow of the players that became household names across the footballing world, but Chelsea signed them anyway.

Chelsea have not had much luck in the transfer market for strikers during the Premier League era, but the signings of Falcao and Pato were always going to fail. Fans will see millions of pounds wasted for two goals at the expensive of youth players that could have taken their place in the squad and had the opportunity to build for the future.

Fans will be hoping that the decision makers at Stamford Bridge learn from their lessons, but they will not be holding their breath. They will be left rueing the decisions that allow the club to claim the crown of the worst pair of loans in Premier League history based on cost and performance.

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Antonio Conte Tactics – 3 Things Chelsea Fans Want

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Antonio Conte Tactics

Antonio Conte tactics are legendary.  Last season Chelsea were awful and will be relying on the tactical mastery of the Italian to turn things around and the Online Soccer Sportsbetting suggests he could do just that.

Despite defeat in France, Conte impressed during Euro 2016 with his tactical awareness and mannerisms. They showcased intelligence and passion two things fans crave in their managers.

Chelsea fans will be expecting him to turn things around quickly, and there are three areas they will want to see him make an impact.

Antonio Conte Tactics In Action

Chelsea were continuously out thought last season by managers that had worked out how to counter Chelsea’s predictable style of play.

To improve on next season, Antonio Conte will need to make Chelsea less predictable and have more options when plan A is not working. Conte showed his tactical skills during the European Championships. His ability to out think the opposition is one of the qualities that excites fans. They will be hoping to see Chelsea tactically dominate their opponents next season.

Tactics may seem a shallow argument but get it right and the Blues can dictate the games at their pace and have more success in games where we are evenly matched with our opposition.

A Faster Paced Attack

Chelsea lost the majority of their games last season despite dominating the play and possession. Chelsea failed to create chances as the Blues would slow the game down allowing opposition defences to get organised.

Chelsea fans will be looking for a more exciting and direct style of play, getting the ball into the box faster and taking shots earlier in attacking moves. Rather than trying to walk the ball into the net.

This may see Chelsea buy a fleet of new players, or they could just stick with those that they already have. They could even look to keep some of the players on the ongoing Chelsea loan treadmill. The likes of Victor Moses and Juan Cuadrado could come back and make a real impact if played in the right system by the right manager who gives them confidence to perform.

A Tighter Defence

Successful Chelsea teams have been built on defence, but last year things fell apart. Chelsea conceded 53 goals last season more than any season in the last decade. Conte will be expected to bring a defensive discipline to the side and stem the flow of goals.

Success will rely on managing the fitness and performances of captain John Terry after he was given a contract extension and bringing Kurt Zouma back into the slide slowly following a serious injury. Zouma will not be rushed back but he should be in the mind of Antonio Conte. He could also look at some of the youth or newer players such as Matt Miazga or Jake Clarke-Salter. A chase for John Stones should not be ruled out but with Everton looking to build it is unlikely that Chelsea will be able to invest the sum needed to draw him away.

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Demba Ba Leg Break – Get Well Soon From Chelsea Fans

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This weekend saw a horrific Demba Ba leg break that will leave fans from all over the world wincing in pain and could end the career of a much loved former Chelsea player.

Demba Ba suffered a leg break during a Chinese league game for Shanghai Shenua where he had recently moved to from Turkey. Demba Ba had been in great form for his new side and was top scorer with 14 goals from 18 games before the injury.

Demba Ba Leg Break

Unfortunately, it looks like he will be battling to save his career.

We have looked at the incident a few times and the collision looks accidental but Demba Ba’s leg twists and goes off at an unnatural angle, it was sure to have been painful and will take a lot of time to heal. At 31 he could be facing an extended amount of time on the sidelines and it will be touch and go to see if he can recover to a fitness level that will allow him to continue playing.

Chelsea fans will be hoping that he can. Although he was not the most successful striker at the club, his patience and ability to get goals with limited playing time made him popular with Chelsea fans. He is a cult hero with Chelsea fans and any non-Liverpool Premier League fans for his calm finish after Steven Gerrards slip at Anfield that played a key role in denying Liverpool and denying Gerrard the title.

Although he has moved on and was entering the twilight of his career he was still popular and the official Chelsea twitter account shared the sentiment that we all have in wishing him the speediest recovery possible.

Get well soon Demba Ba, from Chelsea fans all over the world.

P.s below is a video of the incident, it is not for the squeamish.

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Chelsea Pre-Season – Conte Getting It Right

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Pre-season

A good Chelsea pre-season can be the launchpad to an excellent season, but a lack of preparation can give teams a hangover that can take month’s to clear. Chelsea will be looking to learn the lessons of last season and use pre-season as a base to create a positive start to the season.

Last season, one of the contributory factors to Chelsea’s horrific start was a disjointed pre-season. They arrived at Cobham for the start of pre-season already into mid-July and jetted off for a North American tour the next day. The team never really got time to settle in before the treadmill of a high publicity tour kicked off, and the lack of cohesion was clear on the pitch.

The result was a slow start that fuelled tensions that bubbled to the surface creating a vicious circle of negativity. Key players were not at peak fitness and resulted suffered.

Chelsea pre-season schedule – http://www.chelseafc.com/matches/fixtures—results.html

Chelsea Pre-Season

This season Chelsea have a new manager in Antonio Conte, one that is renowned for his tactical prowess and commitment to training. The players arrived back slightly earlier than last season despite the Euros and will have a few days to get acclimatised to the new working dynamic before setting off on another North American tour.

Ideally, the Blues would stay in the United Kingdom to focus on building for the season ahead. There is a commercial pressure that necessitates these tours to drive a new wave of overseas support.Chelsea are well supported in the United States and have active supporters groups across the country that proudly display their flags at Stamford Bridge.

The team will play three matches in the United States before heading back to the UK, ten days before the new season starts. Blues fans will be hoping they continue the tradition of a low-key friendly at Stamford Bridge before the season starts.

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Kante In, Fabregas Out at Chelsea?

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With a new manager at the helm, there is pressure for Chelsea to start rebuilding and this could include some tough decisions. With N’Golo Kante looking likely to make the journey to Stamford Bridge, one decision could be to decide that Cesc Fabregas is a luxury that they do not need and look to sell the Spanish midfielder.

In the last 18 months, the Premier League has become more competitive. Teams moving the ball forward faster having more success than those employing a more methodical build up ith possession less important than in previous years. Creative midfielders like Fabregas are finding themselves bypassed during fast paced counter attacks that expose slow defensive units.

Time and time again last season the Blues midfield was bypassed with ease by quick counter attacking play, whilst Chelsea were unable to penetrate defences with slow measured build up play that created few clear cut chances.

Selling Fabregas would give Antonio Conte the money and space in the squad to adapt. Bringing in talent focused on moving the ball faster and providing support in attack and defence.

Fabregas A Chelsea Success?

Selling Fabregas would split Chelsea fans as the Spaniard is still extremely popular in some parts for his role in the 2014/2015 title win.

That season he contributed 18 Premier League assists and was so popular the song Chelsea fans sang about him and his magic hat rang around Stamford Bridge every time he touched the ball.

Last season things changed, Chelsea’s form dropped off a cliff and Fabregas became the scapegoat for a lack of attacking chances being created and Jose Mourinho leaving. Whilst his form improved slightly towards the end of the season he was unable to make a dent on the Blues league position.

The Premier League Future Of Cesc

Antonio Conte has yet to comment on his player recruitment and retention strategy for next season, yet there is a large group of Chelsea fans that feel in the modern Premier League Cesc Fabregas is an unnecessary luxury. With the midfield under pressure due to tactics used by teams like Leicester, there is a need for a more versatile player that can balance the need for defensive steel and attacking flair.

This gives Chelsea the option of either moving Fabregas further forward or replacing him with more powerful and mobile options like Kante. This could also include Chelsea starlet Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is being held back due to Fabregas’ presence in the side.

If Chelsea change their way of playing then Fabregas becoming a squad player or impact substitute, that would not be an effective use of his talents. Making his departure during the transfer window the best option for the player and the club.

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Pre-Season Can Begin For Antonio Conte & Chelsea!

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Antonio Conte Chelsea Manager
Fan von Italien ist enttäuscht und traurig

They say that football is a game where 22 men run around for up to 120 minutes and then the Germans win on penalties. The defeat of Italy means that Antonio Conte will say goodbye to the Azzurri and the real business of the summer begins as he looks to make his mark at Chelsea.

Antonio Conte comes with a pedigree but so have countless other managers before him like Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas Boas, to succeed he will need to make an impact and make it quickly.

Plenty of Work For Antonio Conte

He has plenty of work to do, there are problems to solve up and down the pitch to make the Blues competitive in a league where the standard has bumped up a notch in the last 18 months. During his time in charge of Italy our new coach has impressed with his tactical knowledge and passion, two things that Chelsea need in spades to turn things around.

The Blues need to close the leaks defensively whilst adding a more direct and attacking style of play that does not rely on making 100 passes before finally thinking about shooting on goal. In midfield the Blues need to add some solidity far too often last season teams would simply blast through the middle in one or two passes and create a chance that would take endless build up for Chelsea to create.

We are likely to see some changes in personnel and players that have been evergreen during the last 2-5 years may suddenly find their positions under threat unless they can step up to the plate.

It sounds simple doesn’t it concede less and score more, maybe this is why our level of tactical knowledge is restricted to posts on a fan site rather than managing the team ourselves.

We look forward to seeing what the first steps he takes are to move Chelsea forwards

 

 

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