Chelsea-Blue days

 It’s that time of the year again, is’nt it ? When one club is ahead of everyone else by a mile , one club is going through a slump another club , after a horrible start to the season , is making amends and is crawling up the table and then the others are , well, they’re just there as usual . Last year it was united ahead of everyone , today it’s city . Last year chelsea was going through a hopeless patch , today , well it’s chelsea again . Last year liverpool looked good for relegation till a certain king kenny turned it around for them , today arsenal are in that position with RVP single-handedly carrying them through !

Arsenal’s fate is in RVP’s hands , clearly . THAT is a story no one needs to tell . It’s going to play itself out in a rather bland way . RVP’s going to ,at some point, lose that lovely form to a certain extent and Arsenal will book a hotel in london and probably help with preparations for the olympics . I mean , what else will they have to do next year if they don’t make it through to a champion’s league spot ? And the premier league . Well they seem to like turning up late for that too so they might as well finish with the olympics and comeback !

Chelsea , on the other hand , don’t look like they’ll have such a simple storyline . The twists and turns hardly look like they are finished . Hopefully the twists remaining are good ones and we’ll all have a happy ending .
Frankly , Chelsea can turn around their fortunes pretty easily . You just need the attackers in sync with the midfielders and scoring lots of goals and the defenders supporting the midfielders and at the same time blocking off opposition strikers and Cech keeping cleansheets and carrying on the batman act  (complete with an intimidating ,yet good looking face mask ! ) !

Yes . I have mastered the art of stating the obvious !

The reason for chelsea’s slump last year was tired legs . Most players returning from the worldcup with injuries and the rest who survived that were too tired to hold the ship steady . That chelsea finished a very close second last year was no surprise for once the players were back to full fitness , there was hardly any opposition good enough to stop them .
This year’s “excuse” is somewhat mysterious . The Age factor keeps popping up but I don’t really feel that chelsea , with it’s current squad , is being held back by the seniors . The overall pace of passing is slow and that has been a trait that has crept in in recent years not neccessarily because of the seniors.
AVB’s tactics have not been at fault either . The one thing you could blame has been , in AVB’s words , the finer details . Composure in both the penalty boxes , concentration in the last 5-6 minutes of either half , communication gaps and stuff like that .
The number of penalties and red cards we have conceded this year is shocking to say the least . And the number of occassions when possession has been lost on the edge of the penalty area at the other end has been equally shocking .
In the last 5 games , goals conceded in the last 5 minutes of the game has cost us dearly . Keeping a cool head , standing your ground for those last 5 minutes , things that the chelsea defence has done so well ,so effortlessly in recent times , suddenly seems to be a herculean task .

This premiership race is only 12 games old so don’t make the mistake of writing anyone off . Not even arsenal and specifically not chelsea . Should the transfer window make useful additions , that’ll just be great but even without that , this is a race that chelsea can still win without breaking sweat . But that , only if AVB drills those small details into everyone’s heads . Only if the crowd keeps the support going and gives the team confidence ( which they are lacking severely now ) .

Talk of RA firing AVB this early in the season is absurd . The man might change managers more often than they raise petrol prices here in India , but he has given every manager atleast one season to prove their worth. I doubt if he’ll change that policy here . The man’s strict but he’s not dumb .

The chelsea vs Wolves game is about to begin and hopefully , this will be the begining of the turnaround !
I’ll take your leave now and go settle in front of the TV for the next hour and a half ! Ciao !


Let the Games Begin !!

It’s a new season and as always the expectations are huge ! Andre Villas Boas working with a team identical to the one under Carlo Ancelotti , has made clear that he intends to win and win big . Oriol Romeu and Romelu Lukaku will be great additions to the squad and if Modric makes the move chelsea will definitely be right up among the top three on paper . But , games , seasons and trophies are not won on paper ( Real Madrid , the biggest examples of that statement ) .

The season opener against Stoke city has just ended 0-0 but that’s hardly any cause for worry for AVB . On the contrary ,
he’ll find a lot of positives emerging out of this one. The largest of which being the return to form of Fernando Torres . Yes . He is at chelsea , incase you forgot ! Looking focused , having fun , dementing the stoke defenders and coming close to scoring on a number of occassions. Ramires too looked sharp and the little we saw of Drogba indicated he was hungry for goals and ready to go for the season ahead . The other positive came  in the last 15 minutes or so when we saw what many pundits and experts said would not happen , actually happened . That strike trio of chelsea Anelka , Torres and Drogba playing in the same squad and blending in seamlessly !

A poor first half was followed by a spirited second . AVB’s half time talk clearly worked and the final score justified the game not because Stoke played exceedingly well but because chelsea had two very contrasting halves . That being said , Stoke did put in a good first half performance but chelsea were just too good for them in the second .

20th August , Saturday , Stamford Bridge will come to life again when we host West Brom !

AVB , just to make a point to the other teams , put out the most attacking team he can !

Mr AVB , If you are reading this , Here’s what I would love to see !

Starting 11 : Torres,Anelka,Drogba,Benayoun,Lampard,Ramires,Ashley,Terry,Ivanovic,Luiz ( if fit , else Bosingwa ) ,Cech(GK)
Subs : Hilario(GK), Bosingwa ( If luiz is fit ) , Sturridge, Mikel ,Mceachran

In search of finer chocolate cake !

Roman Abromovich bought chelsea football club 8 years ago. Since then , we have had 8 different managers . 6 managers in the last four years . The lastest of them being Andre Villas-Boas . Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti  have been the most successful of them all.Meanwhile mr RA , like a rich kid adamant for the finest chocolate cake , has been behind the Champions league trophy all these years.And like the child would do if he did not
get it , he fired his chef and brought in a new one .
Why has this not worked with chelsea? The reason is simple .
Chelsea’s has been one of those squads that has had a constant solid core , comprising Frank Lampard,John Terry , Didier Drogba and Petr Cech . Everyone else formed the rest of the team around them . This has not been particularly unhelpful . Just that it always left us “that close” to the top spot but never got us there. It worked beautifully in the first few years when Jose was incharge. We won the Premier league twice and many other titles but the champions league did not come. That led to an understanding that this team is good enough to get there but it just needs two or three big names to boost it’s chances .  And RA opened up his purse from time to time for that . The shevchenkos and the Torres’ and others of the kind are examples of that .

But what RA and the managers coming in have to understand is that the core is not as strong as it was earlier . No disrespect to Lampard ( who is my all time favourite player ! ) or any of the others but powering the team for 8 years is a big task that they have done very well and it is very obvious that it’s not going to be that way forever . It’s about time we recreated that core with younger players whilst lampard and terry and the likes are still around to give them a helping hand .
But with a change in manager comes a change in thinking and when you think too much , the problem becomes bigger. It’s simple case of new managers being unprepared to change a system that has worked pretty well .
But the arrival of Andre Villas Boas gives me hope . He is not new to English Football having worked right here at chelsea as head scout under jose mourinho , but has little experience as a full time coach and if he is anything like his mentor( Jose Mourinho ) , could’nt care less about the historical value of players at the club and (the various ) playing styles of the club .
No sarcasm there . It is time someone like that came to Stamford Bridge . Someone who is not bogged down by clich├ęs and old school thought . Carlo was great . But even he , in his second season did not make the radical changes that ought to have been made especially after we lost the likes of Ballack and Joe cole . If we had seen CA around for another season , he probably would have made those changes but there is no point crying over spilt milk !
A 33 year old enthusiastic manager can make the difference if you ask me. If he is anything like what I have heard of him , we will see a dramatic shift from the traditional chelsea teams to a more sophisticated chelsea team with a lot of young blood and a hell lot of importance to the attack .
We have to adapt to life without Drogba and Lampard some time in the future .  Now is a good time to start the process of building a team that is not dependent on the seniors ,that can be carried forward by the youngsters and yet will be more lethal than previous teams . I certainly hope AVB can bring that . It’s a ray of hope that comes with every new manager but ,at the cost of putting more pressure on the new manager , I feel that ray is brighter than ever today !

With the hope that Andre Villas-Boas heralds the coming of a long, successful , title-winning period in chelsea’s history , I shall sign off and go in search of more chocolate cakes myself ! Untill next time , ciao , stay safe !!

Roman desires

Post the manchester united loss at old trafford , Chelsea’s title quest was all but finished. From that moment on Carlo Ancelotti would have known his job was on the line. And then a draw against Newcastle United and a loss to Everton in the season finale meant C.A was going to join a line of 8 Chelsea managers in the Abramovic era , fired for not being up to the mark.

He won the domestic double in his first term as chelsea boss , and ended up empty handed in the next . Ancelotti was a fan and player favourite , still is . Was Abramovic justified in sacking this man ?

When I come to think of it from a purely business oriented perspective , he was ! Mr Abramovic owns the club . His biggest dream for the club is to win the champions league  . It’s what every fan wants too ! He has spent a lot of money on the club and he expects returns and when that fails to happen , the cheque book turns into an axe . No title , no job . simple as that !

But , from a footballing perspective , what he did was unexplainable . You need to give time to a manager to build a squad , infuse young talent and get them to adapt to the first team’s system . When managers change , so does the system . And therefore the process of infusing youngsters into a system is slowed down because noone is sure about if the new system is working even for the regular first team !

Having said that , noone can question Abramovic for making that decision . Frankly,noone should . After all Chelsea is his toy and he can do what he deems fit for it ! If Roman desires a change in manager so be it ! If Roman desires the inclusion of a certain striker ( read Fernando Torres or Andriy Schevchenko ) in the squad against the will of the manager (read Ancelotti or Mourinho) then so be it !

It’s a strategy that’s worked pretty well because it’s yielded 3 premier league titles , 3 FA cups , 2 community shields and 2 league cups in 7 years ! The one thing missing from there is the champions league and I am fairly confident that it’ll come soon  !

But thats all the story of the seasons gone by ! For now, the hottest debate  is about who will be chelsea’s next manager ! That is for Roman to decide, so why bother speculating !( By the way , apparently Abramovic has patched up with Mourinho by gifting him a Special edition , meant-for-races Ferrari . I wonder if that means something ! ) . Anyway , The arrival of  new managers is always a fun prospect ! We’ve seen quite a lot of that over the years , Trust us we know !!