Chelsea Analysis

Routine Win Boosts Morale For Ziyech, Havertz and Werner

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Beating Morecambe met minimum expectations, the main positive of the result was goals for Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. Hopefully, be the catalyst for better individual performances and team performances.

League Two Morecambe gave a good account of themselves, but anything but a comfortable win would have heaped further pressure on Frank Lampard.

The result was comfortable, Chelsea had not lost in the third round since 1999 and the result was never really in doubt.

There was at least one piece of drama, even if a standard piece of Kepa drama almost gave the Shrimps the lead from a misdirected cross.

The biggest moment of the game was a cushioned header by Kai Havertz that game Timo Werner the biggest gift an out of form striker could hope for. Werner was able to smash home from just two yards out.

This was the first time Werner has scored in at least a dozen games and whilst an incredibly simple finish, hopefully, it will give him the confidence to get back to the level he was at in the Bundesliga last season.

Another enjoyable moment was from the also struggling Ziyech who placed a beautiful ball through for Callum Hudson Odoi to convert.

Finally, Havertz got a reward for a decent performance to put a bow on the scoreline. He connected with a Cesar Azpilicueta cross to finish an impressive header past the keeper.

Overall Thoughts

The Morecambe game will not have a significant impact on the future of Frank Lampard or be particularly well remembered. However, anytime fringe players get a run-out and out of form players get a chance to build confidence and get on the scoresheet is positive.

The test will be against Fulham. A good result and performance is vital as it really feels we only have a game or two to save our season and keep the Lampard project viable.


Chelsea Fans Stop Complaining & Enjoy The Ride

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

This season continues to bend the mind of football fans used to the top six teams being consistent winning machines. It is time to re-align expectations and enjoy the ride rather than speculating on how long Lampard might last as manager. 

Let’s start by acknowledging that pandemic football is an odd beast.

A wide range of factors including an increase in quality from teams newly promoted or looking to move up has led to goals and inconsistency.

Teams like Leeds have come into the league with no fear and every team with the exception of Sheffield United seem capable of beating anybody else on their day.

This combined with some poor performances has made following the Blues frustrating of late.

However, all is not lost as the entire league is an inconsistent mess, making it exciting to watch and giving us plenty to debate and moan about.

We Are Still In The Mix (For Now)

The impact has been that there quite narrow points spread from 1st to 15th compared to previous seasons.

Meaning that even after 16 games a team that can put a run of 3 or 4 victories together will can storm up the table and suddenly start being feted as a contender.

We have seen this happen to Chelsea early in the season and now Manchester United over the Christmas period.

Chelsea are now seeing the reverse of this at the moment.

A poor December has seen the Blues sink from top of the table to sixth in just a few games. Despite this Frank Lampard’s team are still only seven points from league leaders Liverpool.

Fans on Twitter and Facebook have been posting and complaining about the poor run of form and comparing performances now to previous seasons.

This is fair as poor performances make us all mad, but this season more than others it will drive you crazy

Chelsea do need to refind our rhythm, get our expensive striker scoring and recapture the energy of earlier in the campaign. Frank Lampard has made what look like poor tactical decisions over the last few weeks that have cost points.

Werner has not scored in 11 games and been played out of position on multiple occasions much to fans frustration

The pressure will always be on a Chelsea manager to get results, but judging Lampard and suggesting he cannot get the job done so early in a rollercoaster campaign where others are dropping points with equal regularity is premature.

Things Can Turn Around Fast

These struggles are not unique to the Blues and we have faith that over the course of a topsy turvy season things will turn out ok.

I recommend we embrace the fact that for this season at least the pandemic means the usual hierarchies and expectations are out the window.

We will lose more, but so will others.

Things can turn around fast so lets try and focus on that rather than overanalyse the future of Frankie Lampard as the gaffer.

Beating Man City on Sunday would certainly help.

Can Sarri drop Loftus-Cheek?

Can Sarri drop Loftus-Cheek after hat-trick heroics

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Ruben Loftus-Cheek kick-started his season with a hat-trick against Bate Borisov to make life difficult for Sarri in Chelsea’s overcrowded midfield.

With Burnley up next will he be dropped for the trip north?

Thursday’s performance was dominating with Loftus-Cheek looking like he would score every time he touched the ball and he could have had more.

It was a huge relief to Chelsea fans who are desperate to see home grown talent established into the first team. The nation is watching as well after England’s inspiring World Cup run.

In the squad instead of being sent out on-loan expecations have been high, but so far he has been almost anonymous as Sarri has had a wealth of midfield riches to choose from.

For the national team his team mate Ross Barkley has come back to form and kept Loftus-Cheek out of England and Chelsea contention. He is also competing with Kovacic, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley and Drinkwater competing for the midfield slots.

Bate Borisov Hat-Trick

Selection in the Europa League was expected and it was clear he needed to do something to convince Sarri he should be in the midfield mix.

He grabbed this opportunity with both hands and has now left Sarri with somewhat of a quandary. How can Sarri drop the English youngster after he has scored a hat-trick it would surely be some kind of horrific record.

Can Sarri Drop Loftus-Cheek

The obvious answer is of course, Sarri has started the season well and has free reign with the squad. From a confidence level though, it sends a horrific message to Chelsea’s youth and squad players that even performances will not get you more first team game time.

Potential fixes would be to play Kante, Jorginho and Loftus-Cheek with an end to the experiment of playing N’Golo further forward.

This would add more balance to the side and get Kante back into the engine room whilst Hazard is supported by a more natural attacking midfielder.

We really hope Loftus-Cheek starts against Burnley.

Can Sarri drop Loftus-Cheek?

The Odds of It Being Chelsea’s Year

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Sarriball Shed Upper Stamford Bridge

It may be early in the season still, but the Blues have come out with something special this year — an attacking mindset, a cohesive team, and a star player in possibly the form of his life in Eden Hazard.

All that adds up to create something that should be capable of beating any club they come up against. And, though it may not mean much yet, Chelsea now find themselves at the top of the league with favourites Manchester City, and last year’s winner Liverpool, after those teams met in a drab match last weekend that culminated in a draw.

Chelsea, on the other hand, put three unanswered goals past Southampton with a fantastic performance, and they just seem to be getting better and better as each match goes by. It’s surprising looking at premiership predictions from Betfair in light of all this.

While Chelsea’s odds to win outright aren’t bad (15/2), Man City and Liverpool have both been given much shorter odds, with 4/6 and 5/2, respectively.

But of course, odds aren’t everything and Chelsea will be looking back at their performance against Southampton with a lot of confidence and much to be happy about.

Perhaps the thing they can be most pleased about was the performance of Ross Barkley in the midfield, which won him high praise from the head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Not only did he set up The Blues’ first goal, beautifully put away by danger man Hazard, he also went on to score himself, becoming the first English Chelsea player to do so in the Premier League since a certain Frank Lampard did the same way back in December 2013.

Barkley’s performance prompted Sarri to say that the player will be an extremely significant asset to the England side. Hopefully, he’s right.

But in the meantime, Chelsea have so much more to be happy about. They’ll look forward to hosting the out of form Manchester United on October 20 and will be looking to repeat their performance against Southampton.

The only thing they may not want to emulate from that performance was a few defensive errors. There were times where they did not look as solid at the back as they should have been and they were lucky to watch a poor Danny Ings effort sail over the crossbar.

Equally, goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga showed some real promise, picking up the pieces and seems like the kind of player Chelsea will be able to rely on to get them out of sticky situations in the future.

Ultimately, it probably is too early to speculate as to whether Chelsea can win the league this year. What we can say though, is that they’ve shown great promise at the start of the season and their attacking play is both exciting and clinical.

Judging by their start, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to expect the boys in blue to fetch a top-four finish. Either way, what a season we have in store with three undefeated teams at the top of the table and a lot of talent on display at Stamford Bridge.

Video of Loanee Mason Mount’s Goal In Lampard’s Managerial Debut Win

By Chelsea Youth Development, Former Chelsea PlayersNo Comments

Frank Lampard’s Derby kicked off the start of the Championship season against Derby and it was Chelsea loanee, Mason Mount who struck the first blow for the Rams who scored a late, late winner.

Mount played the whole 90 minutes of his Derby debut and looked solid throughout, his strike got the Rams up and running after they fell behind to a Bodvarsson goal.

This helped set up a stunning stoppage-time winner, to give Lampard a winning start to his managerial career.

Lampard’s first competitive game as a manager was against a manager he will know well from his playing day’s. Former Chelsea assistant manager Paul Clement was in the dugout falling victim to a bit of a smash and grab raid from the Rams.

Derby loanee Mount is a talented member of the Chelsea academy. It is no surprise that Lampard wanted to take the attacking midfielder who has been likened to the Blues legend with him to Pride Park (or whatever they call it now).

He had this to say about his debut

Yeah, the manager has put a lot of faith in, we got our rewards for keeping going. It is unbelievable to score on debut, this (Derby) is a great club.

Mount has yet to play for the Chelsea first team, however, he has been part of the all-conquering FA Youth Cup teams over the years. A year in the Championship could be a good building block for a future career at Stamford Bridge or somewhere else at the top of the game.

The season has literally only just started, but it is an exciting highlight of the opening weekend.

With his time at Chelsea and Gianfranco Zola the new assistant manager, I think we can look forward to more than a few Blues youngsters getting the opportunity to shine in the Championship at Derby.

Best of luck to Mason Mount, Frank Lampard and Paul Clement for the season ahead.

Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea Future – How Worried Should Fans Be

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Despite 17 years of supporting Chelsea Football Club outside influences seem to have put the future of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea future in doubt.

Escalating political tensions have put Russian billionaires in the crosshairs of British politicians who have increased the pressure on them threatening their ability to live, work and invest in the UK.

This has affected Chelsea as Roman Abramovich withdrew his investor application after months of delays which are being attributed to mounting tensions with Russia.

This is despite Abramovich contributing millions if not billions to the UK economy and being about to pull the trigger on a huge stadium project that would have created thousands of jobs.

The issue became visible to the media when Abramovich was absent from our FA Cup triumph earlier in the month.

Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea Future – How Worried Should We Be

I think Chelsea fans should be incredibly concerned about the impact of Abramovich being unable to get into the country he has invested so much money into.

Already we have seen new stadium plans halted, plans that have been years in the works and put an incredible strain on the club and its fans. The delay of this long-term club goal is confusing and can only be explained by the actions of the UK Home Office.

Is this the end of Roman’s investment in the club, will he be looking to sell or are there other factors in play that could yield a new twist.

In the short-term, the club is trying to sell the delay as an opportunity to invest in the playing squad. In the long-term, we will need to see how the situation plays out before we know whether we are coming to the end of an era.

I hate uncertainty, so as Roman Abramovich claims Israeli citizenship and plots his next move I will be hyperventilating and hoping everything works out.

FA Cup or Champions League

FA Cup Or Champions League Qualification Biggest 2018 Priority?

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Following a poor run in February Chelsea are battling for their lives to reach the Champions League. Still, in the cup, it is interesting to see fan reactions about whether the FA Cup or Champions League qualification is the 2018 priority.

The FA Cup sees a return to Wembley, an experience cheapened slightly by Spurs tenure at the ground. It is also an opportunity for glory and silverware, a potential final being the focal point and highlight of the season.

The Champions League qualification places are more about the club’s place in the European footballing hierarchy. Qualification is financially more rewarding and a bigger draw for the players we are trying to recruit and even retain within the squad.

FA Cup or Champions League Qualification?

Emotions make the admin side with the idea of winning the FA Cup, we can just about remember a time when Chelsea had been in a drought of more than 25 years since winning a significant trophy.

Little can beat the feeling of winning a trophy, a Fourth place finish is not a trophy. Despite what Arsene Wenger may have told the Arsenal faithful

The idea of prioritising 4th place over an FA Cup win seems bizarre. It is ultimately through a reflection in the changes that modern football has brought.

Since 1997 Chelsea fans have not had to go significant periods without a trophy, fit can be easy to understand why performance in Europe has dominated the focus. The win in Munich in 2012 was a magical moment and we all want to see Chelsea playing on the biggest stage.

The Practical Element

Practicality means that Champions League qualification should be the priority.

From a practical perspective qualification for the Champions League is vital, not only to retain Antonio Conte but also a number of vital stars. If we fail then the futures of Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and N’Golo Kante will come into focus.

This will be compounded by the financial implications of fourth place, money that will allow us to attract more talent to refresh the squad and compete in an ever challenging Premier League table.

Surrender To Manchester City Embarrassing For Current Champions

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

The Manchester City game last weekend was one of the most boring and embarrassing games of football I have seen Chelsea play in twenty-five years of following the team.

Antonio Conte’s men lined up with Eden Hazard playing in a false nine position and lacked any attacking intent for 90 of the 94 minutes that the ball was in play.

It is disgraceful to see us surrender our title to champions-elect so meakley without any ambition from trying to win the game.

We did not just try to park the bus but also took out the wheels and removed the fuel from the tank so that no-one could be tempted to move the ball upfield.

It was not the heaviest, most significant or most painful in the history of the club, but that is exactly why it is so frustrating. Chelsea has played this defensively before but there was something on the line, something to defend.

Like the 2012 games against Barcelona where a position in a major final was up for grabs or even 2014 where a draw or victory would deny Liverpool the league.

This time was different though, we are battling for the Champions League and a draw or narrow loss would not cut it in the race.

The loss is not that hard to take in isolation, it is the way in which we kissed the Pep Guardiola ring and meekly surrendered that bites.

Tactically Annilihated

This year’s Manchester City side are one of the best to have graced the Premier League and will win the league at a canter. Respect and care were sensible when taking them on at the Etihad, but Chelsea laid down and surrendered.

The play out from the back necessitated by the pressing of Manchester City and the style of play was haphazard and misguided. Too often the ball would be lumped forward far away from the isolated and ineffective Hazard.

Some would argue that the tactic almost worked, defensively we were solid for all but a handful of moments and went in at half-time level. Had it not been for a lapse of concentration at the re-start we may have gotten away with a point.

Yet going behind did not bring the Blues out of our shell, instead, we played 11 men behind the ball and even when we had it was unable to get past the Manchester City press and impact on upon the game.

It was 76 minutes before a recognised striker was deployed and this had little impact upon the game.

Record Breakers

Manchester City breezed past our embarrassing performance and look set to smash records we currently hold such as most points, best goal difference and goals scored.

Chelsea broke a record of our own during the snoozefest at the Etihad failing to register a single shot on goal in the first half. The first time this has happened since Opta started collecting data in 2003/2004.

We now need an excellent run to stand any chance of finishing in the top four this season, which is crumbling fast.

Olivier Giroud Offers Options After Impressive Full Debut

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

It was a relief to finally taste victory after a disappointing run of games that have seen Chelsea pitched into a battle to secure a place in the Champions League spots. One of the bright spots was Oliver Giroud who had an impressive full debut.

Giroud had a solid performance one that would make odds of 2.00 @ William Hill for him to keep his place against Hull overly generous should they be offered.

Background on Giroud

Every Chelsea fan was aware of Giroud before he became a Blue, his years at Arsenal mean that opinions on the Frenchman were well formed before he signed on the dotted line.

He was not really on Blues fans transfer radars before mid-January but quickly became part of a transfer triangle with Patrick Aubameyang.

The response to his signing was cautious optimism, he had a decent goals to game ratio at Arsenal but could not get into the team on a regular basis.

Signed as back up, it looks like he could have a decent shot at competing with Alvaro Morata for the sole striker role within the starting XI.

At £18m his signature seems like great value and he should play a big role in our fortunes between now and the end of the season.

Giroud Full Debut Review

After a debut from the bench, Giroud got his chance to start in a Chelsea shirt against West Bromwich Albion on Monday. The Metro reported Giroud’s approach to his arrival at Chelsea , departure from Arsenal and getting to make his debut.

Yeah it’s true, I needed a new challenge. Chelsea gave me this opportunity and I really want to make my debut tonight. I’m looking forward to it.


Giroud looked sharp from the moment of kick off, holding up the ball well, pressurising defenders and using fancy touches to play others into the game at will.

West Brom were in no mood to let him play though, with Giroud the target of a series of crunching tackles and challenges that saw him bandaged up before half time. His most important contribution was his interplay with Eden Hazard.

This came to fruition with a fancy one to that saw Hazard plant the ball in the bottom corner to give Chelsea the all important opening goal against a defensive and combative opponent.

Looking Forward

Signing for Chelsea sees Giroud back in the FA Cup and Champions League competitions. He is eligible as Arsenal only qualified for the UEFA Cup this year and in the FA Cup he missed Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The FA Cup game against Hull is an opportunity for Morata or Giroud to keep their journey towards fitness and confidence going ahead of tough selection decisions.

Giroud comes into the team during a crucial few weeks that see Chelsea play Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United in quick succession.

The Champions League task against Barcelona seems an extremely difficult one but if any team can beat Barcelona then it is Chelsea. Nobody will want to lose to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United or to give Manchester City an earlier opportunity to take our title.


The Conte Sack Race – Chelsea Fans Feel We Have Been Here Before

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

The life of a Chelsea manager is always a charmed one, balancing a demanding management structure that limits manager control and demands superhuman results.

If you were to look at the odds and get a Betfair review of the year’s annual sack race, even the most successful Chelsea manager is not far from the top of the betting.

Something that has challenged some of the world’s top managers. Jose Mourinho, Roberto Di Matteo and Carlo Ancelotti all got the sack despite winning a major trophy the year before.

Although this time around Chelsea fans will not be able to blame Michael Emenalo for the demise of a manager and will instead have to look at the overall decision-making structure at the club.

The Antonio Conte Sack Race

Over the last six months, there has been a familiar pattern playing out at Stamford Bridge. A popular manager who has delivered trophies complaining about a lack of support and rumours starting that the exit looms.

It is difficult to fathom how despite sitting third in the table and having punched above our weight last season that Antonio Conte is under pressure. I am not talking about the wannabe fans that call for a managers head on Twitter after one bad result, but rather the stream of reports and his demeanour.

There seems to be a feeling of unease from the board, who are pushing back at claims that Conte has not been give the tools to do his job.

It has never been wise to question upper management at Chelsea and whether it is during the current season or the summer it feels that Conte’s time at Chelsea is reaching its expiration point.

It feels we are at the same phase we were with Ancelotti in 2011, we are going through the motions and change is coming.

Conte Has Made A Huge Positive Impact

This is a crying shame, Conte delivered a title to the Bridge after Chelsea had finished 10th in the Premier League the season before. Conte has the passion and tactical nouse that we crave.

There is a reason his name is sung at every Chelsea game and it is more than where we are in the table.

Realistically, it is unclear where the club will go from here. A title-winning manager that delivers despite not having the financial clout of Manchester United and Manchester City it would take a madman to follow Conte.

Here is an interesting perspective on if Chelsea will sack Conte.