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Can Tiemoue Bakayoko Fulfil His Potential at Chelsea?


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.

Chelsea Bakayoko Song – Never Gives The Ball Away


Tiémoué Bakayoko has had a mixed start to his Chelsea career however, it has not stopped a Chelsea Bakayoko song being created and sung by the Blues

Given his recent mistakes this may be a bit of a bold statement, but let’s hope once he finds his feet in the Premier League the chant comes true!

Oi y Oi Tiemoue Bakayoko, Oi y Oi

Oi y Oi together with N’Golo

Oi y Oi he never gives the ball away



Time To Let Chelsea Fans Benitez Hatred Go?


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. 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.


Chelsea v Swansea – A Weird and Fairly Boring Win


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.

Salute To The Chelsea Fans Who Travelled to Baku!


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!


Chelsea Roundup – International Break and WBA Away


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.

Chelsea Roundup

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.

Frank Lampard Technical Director Role To Replace Emenalo Like Replacing Drunk Toddler With Steven Hawking


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.

Emenalo Sacked Chelsea Fans Are Imploding


Implode with happiness that is!

Finally, Michael Emenalo or the Technical Director of managerial death is leaving Stamford Bridge and it could not come a day too soon!

The shock is that it appears that Emenalo has left the job of his own free will. He has long been a figure that Chelsea fans have disliked for his background sniping and role in shaping transfer policy.

Emenalo has been responsible for undermining managers, bringing in players that have flopped and let players go that have gone on to have huge careers elsewhere.

Chelsea fans are ecstatic.

So Who Was Michael Emenalo?

He joined the club in 2007 when Avram Grant was in charge and worked his way from opposition scout to Technical Director.

He was an undistinguished playing career but managed to be a key man in Roman Abramovich’s power base within the club.

Despite his inexperience, he gained the confidence of Roman Abramovich and outlasted 10 managers with greater experience and knowledge than him.

Why Has He Left

The rumour has it that over the summer Antonio Conte (who Emenalo supported during his time at the club) was having a difficult time dealing with Marina Gravoskaia who has a key role in player recruitment and contracts.

It is said that Emenalo did not want to become embroiled in this battle that still rages and this has led to his demise.

The Legacy Of Emenalo

The media will point to the fact that during his time at the club Chelsea have won everything imaginable, however, that does not tell the whole story.

Fans will probably never understand how Emenalo came to be one of the most powerful men at Chelsea Football Club or the role he did or did not play in the club’s success.

They will be hoping to know a little bit more about the next Technical Director the club appoints, hopefully, a fan favourite.

Emenalo in many ways was a scapegoat for when things did not go right at the club, particularly if he was feuding with a manager that got the sack whilst he survived.

Here is a flavour of how fans are celebrating his departure.



The Quarter Mark: Chelsea vs. Expectations So Far


Chelsea wrapped up its ninth match of the season with a 4-2 win over Watford this past weekend, and that means we’re now about at the quarter mark of the Premier League campaign. Even this stage feels like a slightly premature one at which to make judgments on top clubs. But with a quarter of the action already behind us, we can take a look at how the Blues have measured up to preseason expectations so far.

League Standing

We’ll start with this most important category, and the only one many Chelsea supporters truly care about from one season to the next. Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, analysts and bookmakers alike had Chelsea and Man United listed as favourites, which in a general sense still looks like a reasonable projection. Both clubs are in the top four in the table as of this writing, which this early in the season would still qualify both as favourites. However, Chelsea is flirting with underperforming with regard to this outlook, already nine points behind league-leading Manchester City. Such a gap can be made up quickly however, even if Man City have started to look the part of a fairly dominant side.

Champions League Standing

The wide presumption among football pundits is that neither Chelsea nor any other English side currently has much of a chance to win a Champions League. That said, the Blues are expected to make a run of it at least. The stat-based sports analytics site FiveThirtyEight compiled data for each team to advance to each stage and gave Chelsea a 56 percent chance of finishing Group C in first, and an 89 percent chance to advance to the Round of 16. As supporters are well aware, Chelsea currently sit atop the group, and appear to be in a good position for matching or possibly exceeding Champions League expectations. FiveThirtyEight only gave the Blues a 40 percent chance to reach the Quarters.

Individual Performers

Aside from team performance, the area in which it’s perhaps most interesting to watch how the action matches the expectations is in individual goal scoring. Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, most bookmakers tabbed the likes of Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Aguero as the likeliest players to secure the Golden Boot. Alvaro Morata was typically placed around fourth or fifth in the odds, with Diego Costa just a few spots lower. Of course, Costa has since moved to Atlético Madrid, but it’s worth noting that Morata is performing much as expected. He’s currently tied for third among Premier League top scorers, behind only Aguero and Lukaku – and it could be that as the team continues to adjust without Costa, he’ll see even more opportunity.


At the quarter mark (or as close to it as you can get in a 38-match schedule), it’s fair to say that Chelsea has overall performed close to exactly as expected. This team is just where many thought t would be in its two biggest competitions, and with regard to the work of its top players. That’s not a bad place to be nine matches into the domestic slate, and gives the Blues every chance to exceed expectations moving forward.