Blog Page 2

Hull A Return To Normality Ahead Of Tough October

0

The best part of this weekend’s result against Hull was that it was unremarkable, the kind of result we need to be grinding out if we want to finish anywhere near the top four.

Two stunning second half finishes put the gloss on a controlled performance from the Blues and put two consecutive defeats behind us. With six games gone we sit in 6th place and within touching distance of the top four.

Failures against Arsenal and Liverpool are painful to take and show that there is some improvement needed, but we are not far from where we need to be.

Win the games against the teams expected to finish in the bottom half and build a rhythm as we face tougher challenges is a good way to look at the first couple of months of the season.

Antonio Conte has been experimenting technically with the line up, playing three at the back against Hull. As we get more options at the back as players come back from injury we should see this more often. It is definitely reassuring to know we have a manager with more than one club in his bag.

As we get more options at the back as players come back from injury we should see this more often. It is definitely reassuring to know we have a manager with more than one club in his bag.

Looking To October

October is going to be a tough month, there is a game against the unpredictable Champions, the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge and then tough trips to Olympic Stadium and St Mary’s.

How we come out of October will give us a real indicator of what our expectations for the season should be. If we can get 7 or more points from these games then we really will be in a good position to push for the top four.

There is very little patience in the Premier League these days and it is hard to avoid the mood and positivity changing game by game. We are not far from where we need to be and let’s see how Conte navigates October.

 

 

Cahill To Leave Chelsea On Cards Once Everyone Fit

1
Cahill To Leave Chelsea

After his howler against Arsenal, there has been a lot of negativity towards Gary Cahill in the media and fan-based social media. The call for Cahill to leave Chelsea would feel like an overreaction if not for his form over the last 12 months being consistently below his best.

Despite taking the armband in midweek, he has been more of a negative influence on results than a positive one so far this season.

Cahill To Leave Chelsea – Remember His Commitment

Criticism against Cahill is not done lightly by this blog. He is a respected Blue warrior, not a mercenary that has been at the club for five minutes.

He is a European Champion who joined the club for a song and has repaid his transfer fee over and over again. Even when performing badly you can see that he is working his socks off and was genuinely distraught when his error gifted Arsenal a goal.

Unfortunately, this error was not an isolated incident and his form has been waning for some time now. He is not the player he was when we signed him and it appears that his time at the club is coming towards an end.

The Natural Replacement Kurt Zouma

Cahill’s performances have been below his best for at least 12 months. If it was not for an injury to Kurt Zouma he would have lost his place last season. A move that could have seen Cahill leave Chelsea last January in a bid to keep his place in the England squad.

Looking to the future, once Antonio Conte, has David Luiz, John Terry and Kurt Zouma fit it is difficult to see how Gary Cahill will make the team.

Should it be the day for Cahill to leave Chelsea comes quickly then we must remember the contribution he has made to the team rather than recent mistakes. Change is part of football but that does not change the fact that he has been a key part of our recent history.

Arsenal Defeat Painful and Humiliating

0

Yesterday the Arsenal defeat was just embarrassing, after a good few years of having Arsene Wenger’s side in their place we capitulated. At this blog we learnt our lesson for running our mouths, getting ahead of ourselves and are eating humble pie.

The last few years we have had Arsene Wenger’s number, with the Gunners failing to score in three years, however this season it took just minutes for that to change.

There are going to be lots of posts analysing the defeat and what Antonio Conte can do to turn things around so we won’t go into too many details. The main problem yesterday seemed to be desire, Arsenal had plenty and we had next to none.

Arsenal Defeat Terrible From Start To Finish

From the moment Gary Cahill decided to gift Arsenal the lead the game look finished, the way we capitulated made us think that we were watching a re-run of the Liverpool game.

We lacked any potency going forwards and had our arses handed to us by our North London rivals and the game was over as a contest by half-time. It will be up to Conte and the Chelsea players to decide if two consecutive Premier League defeats are blots on the landscape or the new normal.

A Tough Monday For Chelsea Fans

Tomorrow morning will be tough for Chelsea fans after the Arsenal defeat. At offices across the country as casual Arsenal fans come out of the woodwork to casually ask “did you see the score at the weekend”

To any Arsenal fans reading, congratulations on victory, there can be no doubt that you deserved it. I am sure it is a relief to be talking positively after a Chelsea game and this blog in particular deserves some stick.

Look forward to trying to get our revenge at the Bridge later in the season. We do however look forward to trying to get our revenge at the Bridge later in the season.

Courtois Transfer Moan – Belgian Needs To Cech Himself

0
Chelsea Courtois Transfer rumour

It seems that not a week goes by without a Thibaut Courtois transfer rumour and its getting a little bit boring.

This week the Independent published the latest Courtois transfer rumour 

Courtois Transfer Rumours Make Cech Departure Tragedy

Watching club legend Petr Cech leave the club with some of his best years still ahead of him was painful. Sacrificed for the bright young talent at the top of the European game Courtois it is frustrating to see the low regard Courtois seems to hold Stamford Bridge.

The problem is that years on loan in Spain and a wandering eye have given Courtois a sense that he owes the club nothing and he should catch the first plane back to Spain should one of the two giants of La Liga come calling.

Combined with a dip in form the decision to cast aside Cech and embrace the young Belgian are looking like a mistake.

It seems to be a trait with the Belgians we buy but they have ideas above their station and are always looking for a move or saying something to upset the applecart. This uusually when on national duty-free from the constraints of the Chelsea PR machine.

If Courtois wants to leave then fine, but he should stop being such a pussy about it, make a decision and take the gamble of throwing a public hissy fit. See what happens and hope that one of the Spanish clubs actually wants to buy you.

His form has been ropey for the last 18 months and there is not guarantee that he will be on the shopping list of Real Madrid of Barcelona, especially as we are going to want a king’s ransom for him.

His place in the Chelsea line-up is far from guaranteed, Asmir Begovic is a top quality goalkeeper and could quite easily step into the breach should Courtois continue to cost us points.

As for Cech, it is still painful to see him at the Emirates, it would never happen but I would have him back at Stamford Bridge in a heartbeat.

Until then Courtois transfer rumours need to stop and the boy needs to Cech himself and find some form rather than wrecking himself by fuelling pointless transfer speculation.

David Luiz Shows Why He Is A Cult Hero

0

David Luiz may have made a defensively questionable start to his second spell at Stamford Bridge, but on Tuesday night he reinforced why his eccentric personality makes him a cult hero to Chelsea fans.

We overcame Leicester in 120 minutes so it may be understandable why the majority of exhausted players only made a token effort to show their appreciation to the travelling Chelsea fans.

The atmosphere against Leicester was brilliant throughout the game and deserving of more than a token gesture the only one to acknowledge this was David Luiz.

At the end of the game he came jogging over to the Chelsea end picked out a fan and gave his search to the joy of the travelling Chelsea fans. Whilst Chelsea fans will want more from him in the long term, his passion and connection with the fans will go a long way.

Let’s hope the rest of the squad follow his example in the coming weeks.

Calm Down Chelsea Fans The World Is Not Ending Despite Liverpool Defeat

0

After hearing of crisis meetings at Chelsea late into the night after defeat by Liverpool and the reaction of some Chelsea fans, you would think we have been transported back 10 months when Mourinho’s second era was in its death throes.

A draw against Swansea and defeat to Liverpool at home are not ideal results but they are hardly apocalyptic considering where we are in the season.

We absolutely murdered Swansea but gave away the game with two individual areas. Against Liverpool, we got what our play deserved. We allowed Liverpool to execute their game plan and have a weak argument that we deserved much more than we got.

Avoid Endemic Short Term Thinking

Short term thinking is a disease within top-level football. Clubs sack managers after a slight hiccup and fans of all teams seem to turn on their team after just a result or two. Just look at the pressure on Mourinho after one bad week at Manchester United, two weeks ago he was a god now there is talk that he is past it.

Just look at the pressure on Mourinho after one bad week at Manchester United, two weeks ago he was a god now there is talk that he is past it.

We should be two points ahead of where we currently and that ignores the late shows against West Ham and Watford, that added points to the total despite struggling.

We are five games into the season and we are in the mix at the top of the table, Antonio Conte has barely had time to get his feet under the table so give him time. This does not mean that we were not shouting our throats horse when he refused to make any changes as things disintegrated against Liverpool, but we need to take a more rational view after the passion of game day subsides.

Are we a better team than we were last season? Ask me in other 5-10 Premier League games as things start to become clearer.

 

 

 

Some Videos To Prepare for Liverpool Game – FA Cup, Gerrard, Riise and Kalou

0

Tonight we play Liverpool, but rather than give you a dry preview looking at the importance of the first real test of Antonio Conte as manager.

Instead we are going to look at some of the overwhelming success we have had against Liverpool in the last decade.

First we go back to 2012 when Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to a cup double starting with the FA Cup

How about a little bit of Phil Thompson stropping as Soloman Kalou crosses the ball from the left

Then of course there is this magic moment

Defence Not Referee To Blame For Dropped Swansea Points

1
Chelsea goal celebration after WIllian scores against Burnley
Image courtesy of @J_D_Fletcher_ on Twitter

Despite only getting a point there is very little that Antonio Conte could have done tactically to extend his 100% record.

Conte’s Chelsea dominated Swansea at the Liberty Stadium and despite only leading by one goal at half-time looked like the only team on the pitch.

The team pushed forwards after the break but the failure to score a second cost Chelsea and it was poor decision making by Courtois that gifted Swansea a way back into the game via the penalty spot.

More defensive slackness and a foul put Swansea in dreamland just minutes later and we had to battle back just to get a point.

Why The Referee Cannot Be Blamed

The referee made a mistake for the second Swansea goal, there is no doubt about that Gary Cahill was fouled. However, that close to his own goal with his back to the defender Cahill should not have been given the ball.

A sharper defence would have anticipated the oncoming danger, although it should not have been a goal Chelsea created their own problems. We should have put the game beyond doubt before the made 3 minutes that changed the game and kept calmer heads.

Swansea supporters should be thanking us for the gift of a point they barely deserved.

Still Unbeaten

Last season Chelsea would have lost that game but were able to find a equaliser. Dropping points like that is not the way that potential top 4 teams go about their business. Yet after creeping past Watford and Crystal Palace this was bound to catch up with us at some point.

In order to move forward, there will need to be a continued focus on improving our defensive mindset and removing the risks that cost us points in Wales.

There were plenty of positives to take from the game and hopefully we will play Liverpool on Friday taking the vibes from the performance and not the result back to Stamford Bridge.

The Best Chelsea Starting XI For 2016/2017?

0
Transfer deadline best chelsea starting XI

After transfer deadline day manager Antonio Conte will be trying to figure out the best Chelsea starting XI for 2016/2017.

Having already brought in one guaranteed starter in N’Golo Kante, a second striker in Michy Batshuayi and a backup goalkeeper. There were two late defensive additions that will affect the Chelsea starting XI.

On deadline day Chelsea confirmed the signings of left-back Marcus Alonso and cult hero, occasional defender and full-time maverick David Luiz.

Chelsea Starting XI After Transfer Deadline

The arrival of Luiz and Alonso could seriously shake up the defence. Most at threat from the new arrivals are Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill.

Defensive Reorganisation

If Marcus Alonso cements his place at left-back then Cesar Azpilicueta will shift to the right-hand side. This means that Ivanovic is no longer a guaranteed starter in Chelsea’s best XI and is instead competing as a rotational full-back and back up central defender.

This combined with the arrival of David Luiz who has been reportedly signed as a central defender puts Ivanovic and Cahill at risk of being dropped. Therefore, if we assume that Terry will start when fit there is a choice of Cahill, Ivanovic and Luiz to partner him.

I think Luiz should be given a chance to partner Terry, giving a back 5 of; Courtois, Alonso, Terry, Luiz and Azpilicueta.

Midfield & Attack

There were no late arrivals for Chelsea in midfield.

Based on Conte sticking with the 4-1-4-1 formation used for the first 3 games. The best Chelsea starting XI in midfield looks set to be Kante Matic, Oscar, Hazard and Willian.

Up front Diego Costa will lead the line with Batshuayi his backup, however the midfield and attack could be dynamic depending on tweaks to the formation by Conte.

This means our best Chelsea starting XI 2016/2017 is as below do you agree with our choice?

Transfer deadline best chelsea starting XI

 

 

Eng U21’s – Rashford Grabs Headlines But Three Blues Score

0

Marcus Rashford rightfully grabbed the headlines as England’s young lions destroyed Norway. His demotion from the senior squad saw him blast a hat-trick that will keep the focus on why he has only had 19 minutes of senior football so far this season for United.

However hidden by this headline is the contribution from Chelsea’s academy normally Chelsea’s youth team is more of a gamble than if you play free slot machines at Royal Vegas casino. But for England’s youth team’s they really come up trumps.

Chelsea had three players in the starting XI for the game played in Colchester. The trio were Lewis Baker, Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The stand out was Loftus-Cheek, who showed the influence he can have.

The stand out was Loftus-Cheek, who showed the influence he can have on a game when given the freedom to express himself. Around the 65 minute mark he took a royal vegas casino style gamble from the edge of the area to score a well-deserved goal.

Chalobah who now has more than 80 England youth caps and Baker were also on the scoresheet but with the game over the focus will be on if they will ever make it to the national squad.

Joining the Chelsea academy is a bit like playing royal vegas online casino and hoping for the best, there are no guarantees of success. Hopefully this English trio can buck the trend.

Much of this will rest on whether they break into the Chelsea first team or are forced to move away on loan or permanently to get the game time they will need to develop.

Lack of First Team Experience

Playing youth internationals is great but despite having made their senior debuts it is unlikely that any of these players will make more than 10 league appearances for the Blues between them.

This is a reflection of the strength of the Chelsea squad, but also how hard it is to break into the team. The pressure on a Chelsea manager for instant results is so huge that Conte will not have the chance to bring them into the team for a run of games regardless of performances.

 

So whilst it is great that three Chelsea players score for England it is sad that it highlights the challenge of developing youth players and meeting performance expectations.

We do however live in eternal hope that John Terry will not be the last academy player to play for England whilst still on Chelsea’s books.