Chelsea News
Blog Page 21

Celery, Celery! – Following Chelsea Over Land And Sea

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As you know football now is all about prawn sandwiches, champagne and meeting celebrities in your corporate box, this is what every football fan wants and eventually UEFA will have its way and make this a reality. There are however people out there who remember a simpler time where the football was diabolical but supporting the club was a bit more rough and ready.

Therefore I thought I would tell you about one written by Chelsea legend Kelvin Barker.

Celery! Representing Chelsea in the 1980s

barkerKelvin Barker was just five years old when he stood on Stamford Bridge’s famous Shed End terrace for the first time in December 1970. Chelsea beat Newcastle United 1-0 that day, although Kelvin, standing just two foot tall, was able to see precious little of the action. Nevertheless, it heralded the beginning of a love affair which lasts to this very day.

By the time the Eighties arrived, Kelvin was a fully paid-up member of the blue army, and had already witnessed more ups and downs than an average adult movie as a result, and it got a whole lot worse before it got better. But it did get better, and in Celery! – Representing Chelsea in the 1980s, Kelvin has gathered together the thoughts and recollections of twelve star performers of the time, to add to his own memories of an incredible decade for the Blues.

From his own amusing tales of hugging skipper Colin Pates on the hallowed Stamford Bridge turf and serenading Bob Geldof in the King’s Road, through to the incredible behind-the-scenes stories as told by the players themselves – the mysterious case of Mickey Thomas’ disappearing gold chain, how a kick in the head made Joey Jones a fans’ favourite, the role physio Norman Medhurst’s hair played in David Speedie’s departure from the club, and many more – this book lays bare the facts of representing Chelsea in the 1980s, as recalled by those who were there.

Come along, come along, come along and sing this song. We’re the boys in blue in Division Two and we won’t be here for long

Note: FamousCFC.com received no payment for this article we just love the book.

Thoughts & Analysis Of West Brom Defeat

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As I didn’t watch this game live, I’ve dispensed with the full match analysis which, by now, others will have put on their blogs.
 
Instead, I’ve picked out some observations on the game, positive and negative, based on what television allows (never quite as good as “being there’ but better than nothing).
 
Regular readers will notice some recurring themes carrying forward from recent games.
 
The starting XI appeared to be based on pragmatism, following the midweek Internationals and with an eye towards Juventus in Turin.
 
6,000 air miles alone pointed to Ivanovic starting at Centre Back ahead of David Luiz. More so in view of starts for Azpilicueta and Bertrand. Shane Long’s pace may have been a mitigating factor.
 
Victor Moses played out of position on the left to accommodate Daniel Sturridge. Marin and Sturridge or Marin and Moses would have been a more natural combination either side of Hazard.
 
All the more strange as most of Chelsea’s offensive success came down the West Brom left, with Hazard ending up on the left after half an hour, with Sturridge in behind Torres and Moses moving to the right, where he looked more at home.
 
This was an Ideal game to start Daniel Sturridge at Centre Forward (not that he is for me), whilst sending Lukaku out on loan looks like folly given the lack of alternatives. 7 shots in the game (4 in the last 28 minutes at Centre Forward) but no goals shows Sturridge is not shy of shooting but lacks a killer finish and too often misses the target. One of his better games though and least he gets shots away.
 
In contrast, Fernando Torres had no shots in 63 minutes in another below par performance. Its increasingly difficult not to conclude that he’s a busted flush. The system we’re playing and the players we have this year give him a much improved supply line and far fewer excuses to hide. I know this won’t meet with universal agreement but I’m saying what I see and would love him to bang in 8 goals in the next 5 games to prove me wrong.
 
Another game, another early first goal conceded. We do not chase games well and cannot afford that luxury, regardless of the opposition, home or away.
 
Defensive howlers all round for the first West Brom goal. Azpilicueta, Romeu and Sturridge were all drawn to the ball but when it broke to Morrison he had time to pick his cross. Luiz went to sleep, allowing Long to peel off his shoulder and negate his height advantage to slot his header from point blank range.
 
Another goal conceded through deficiencies at Left Back. Odemwingie found it all too easy to brush aside Bertrand to head home Long’s cross for Albion’s winner. Ryan needs to compete much better physically if he’s going to make the position his own, long term.
 
Our lack of an incisive final ball when Mata doesn’t start is alarming with Azpilicueta’s crosses from wide the best examples on show before Mata came on.
 
Within seconds of coming on, Mata twice picked out Sturridge (now at Centre Forward) who could not convert. Another combination of the 2 with 13 minutes to go met with the same result but Sturridge’s movement at least was encouraging.
 
Eden Hazard did superbly for his goal. After spraying the ball out to Azpilicueta, he did superbly to pull off the back of Jones and head home the equaliser. If only he could beat the first defender with his inswinging corners.
 
Victor Moses’ lack of composure in front of goal continues. He blazed over from well inside the box at an angle when a low ball into an unmarked Sturridge would have given him a tap in at the back post. He should however have had a blatant penalty when Yacob’s shoulder charge went unpunished.
 
This defeat and draws with Swansea and Liverpool should temper fans’ expectations to a realistic level. 22 points from the first 24 available for our young side was a little flattering whilst 2 from the last 12 has brought us back down to earth. A top 4 finish remains the objective, anything more is a bonus.
 
For me, Robbie Di Matteo is a better manager in Cup competitions than over the course of a Premier League season. He nevertheless deserves the time to put his stamp on an evolving squad. Calls for his head after a defeat to a side who started the day in fifth are frankly absurd.
 
Carefree.
 
Follow Chris Davies on Twitter: @chrisdaviescfc