Skip to main content

Chelsea Analysis

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.



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

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

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.

Who Is Ethan Ampadu – Profile and Video Showreel Of Chelsea Youngster

By Chelsea Youth DevelopmentNo Comments

Chelsea gave a debut to a seventeen-year-old against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, so who is Ethan Ampadu and what do Chelsea fans need to know?

Firstly we know that he is very young. It is scary to start seeing players in Blue who were born in this millennium, it makes us feel very old.

Who is Ethan Ampadu?

Apart from looking similar to Nathan Ake and David Luiz, Ampadu is a highly rated midfielder who has come from a League Two academy to the Chelsea first team squad in just over a year.


Ampadu is a product of the club’s talent scouting network, rather than the club’s academy. Having just turned 17, Ampadu joined Chelsea from Exeter this summer for an undisclosed compensation fee from League Two side Exeter.

He made his debut in League Two at just 15 last season featuring 13 times before he was prised away by Chelsea. Ampadu had during that time got the attention of a number of clubs including Manchester United so it is good to see the club won at least some transfer tug-of-wars in pre-season.

Conte described him before the game as

“Ampadu is a young player, but I think he has good quality,” the Italian said. “He has good prospects to become a Chelsea player. He’s strong physically, with good technique and personality.


Personal Life And Facts

Ampadu’s father was a professional footballer who started at Arsenal and played hundreds of football league games for Swansea and Exeter. His background means Ampadu also has a lot of choice internationally. He is eligible internationally for England, Ghana, Ireland and Wales. 

Having been called up to the Welsh national side in May though, he could be about to pin his future to the Welsh flag.

Now let’s finish the profile of this defensive midfielder with the all-important who is Ethan Ampadu videos.



Moses v Zappacosta – New Signing May Become First Choice Wing Back

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

One of the building selection headaches that Antonio Conte may face iin the coming months is Moses v Zappacosta in a battle to be Chelsea’s first choice right wing back.

To succeed at home and abroad squad depth is important and the signing of Davies Zappacosta gives Conte two solid choices on the right hand side of defence.

The Case For Moses

After a lifetime on loan Victor Moses was plucked from squad periphery to take on a key role at wing back.

It was like we signed a new player and was important in giving Chelsea the edge in the title race.

The incumbent Moses had a great title winning season but as a natural winger he is still not the whole defensive package which may leave the door open.

Zappacosta has both attacking and defensive attributes that could see him become first choice.

Introducing Zappacosta

Davide Zappacosta was signed on deadline day with few Blues fans having him on their radar. Fortunately Conte did having called him into the national team. Zappacosta made his full Chelsea debut against minnows FK Qarabag, but his performance and cameo against Leicester should have Victor Moses worried from the outset.

He has looked solid in attack and defence and an early goal in his career will help him build his reputation amongst the fans.

Moses v Zappacosta

Ignoring his wondergoal/fluke against Qarabag, Zappacosta looks more mobile and controlled than Moses. I think once he has time he could show himself able to outperform Moses in both areas.

With a busy schedule both players will get game time but it will be interest to see what happens in key games once Zappacosta has fully acclimatised to the Premier League.

Either way it looks like we have two competent and popular players and whoever wins the battle this gives the club a good chance of winning the war.


Chelsea Homegrown Players 2017-2018 Champions League

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Due to the sale or loan of English squad players, the Chelsea homegrown players 2017/2018 Champions League list features less well-known players than it would have done last season.

The Blues have lost Nathan Ake, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah all would have been likely to feature if they had stayed at the club. Then there are the likes of Tammy Abraham who is out on loan for the second season in a row who we really wish was available given our lack of options up front.

What Is The Homegrown Players Rule?

UEFA homegrown player rules mean that Antonio Conte has to name 8 homegrown players within his 25 man squad.

Homegrown Player Definition – UEFA defines locally-trained or ‘homegrown’ players as those who, regardless of their nationality, have been trained by their club or by another club in the same national association for at least three years between the age of 15 and 21.Four of the locally-trained players must be from the club itself, with the others being either from the club itself or from other clubs in the same association.

A quirk of this is that Spainaird Cesc Fabregas is considered Association homegrown a significant bonus for Conte. He is joined on that list be new signing Danny Drinkwater who will be taking part in his second Champions League campaign.

Chelsea Homegrown Players 2017-2018 Champions League

B Squad (qualified at Chelsea)

  • Kyle Scott (Midfield)
  • Andreas Christensen (Defence)
  • Charly Musonda (Midfield)
  • Jake Clarke Salter

Association Homegrown

  • Danny Drinkwater
  • Gary Cahill
  • Victor Moses
  • Cesc Fabregas

Although these players are in the squad Conte has full autonomy in who he picks for each game from the list of 25.

Here are some videos that may help introduce you to our B list players and show you what they might bring to the table in the Champions League



Is The 2017/2018 Chelsea Squad Good Enough?

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

So the transfer window is closed and a defender and a midfielder have been squeezed into the 2017/2018 Chelsea squad.

The media, pundits and even fans are questioning whether Morata, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Rudiger and Zappacosta add anything to a team that won the title last season. They have replaced Costa, Terry and Matic which on the face of it seems like a good trade.

Here is a breakdown of the different positions to consider when asking if this 2017/2018 Chelsea squad is good enough after the transfer window.

 2017/2018 Chelsea Squad Goalkeeper

Despite selling Asmir Begovic, the addition of Willy Caballero means we have a quality no.1 and two respected back up goalkeepers. This is the one position that Chelsea have had no drama with this transfer window.

Strength Rating – 9/10



Chelsea stacked up in defence with Zappacosta and Rudiger arriving with Andreas Christensen integrated back in after several loan spells.  The squad looks light on back ups for Victor Moses and Marcus Alonso in the wing back positions despite the arrival of Zappacosta. With Azpilicueta capable of playing on either side the this may be enough providing we are lucky with injuries.

Strength and Depth Rating – 6/10


The arrival of Drinkwater and Bakayoko means that Chelsea have in theory strengthened the depth in midfield. The sale of Matic is still confusing but with Kenedy staying we are doubled up for wide players and Charly Musonda may get a chance to make his mark.

Strength and Depth Rating – 8/10


Ignoring Diego Costa Chelsea have just two specialist strikers.

Morata has started well in the Premier League but it will take time to be sure he can keep the pace in the Premier League. As his back up questions remain as to whether Batshuayi is currently at the level to provide consistent support.

Strength and Depth Rating – 5/10

Is The 2017/2018 Chelsea Squad Good Enough?

Despite the doom and gloom of the window, we still have a talented squad that can compete with anyone on their day. If key players such as Morata, Hazard and Alonso stay fit for the majority of the season then anything is possible.

We have a lot of games this season due to European involvement and it would great to see youth on the fringes such as Charly Musonda rotated into the team.

If any of these players are injured we may see cracks start to appear, let’s hope this can be another great season for the Blues.

Overall Strength and Depth Rating – 6.5/10

Why Chelsea Fans Should Be Pleased By Bayern Defeat Today

By Chelsea AnalysisNo Comments

Chelsea lost their first game of pre-season and fans should be pleased by the challenge Bayern posed and the lessons that can be learned.

Chelsea were quickly on the back foot against Bayern Munich and went three goals down quickly to a possession and pressing focused Carlo Ancelotti side. Although Alonso scored in injury time of the first half it took Conte’s half time team talk to improve the performance.

Batman scored in the second half, but Chelsea were unable to get the equaliser.

Overall it was a tough performance but one that will have got the rust out of the player’s legs and is better preparation than a comfortable defeat to lesser opposition.

I am always wary when Chelsea go through pre-season undefeated it feels like it has the opposite effect than you would expect.

So I am choosing to take this defeat as a positive rather than a negative and think other Blues fans should too.