Review of "Chelsea"
Chelsea Football Club, my religion, my first my last my everything - Thanks Barry White. Growing up watching dire football now witnessing the team's successes is a joy to watch. I will endeavour to bring you a review of the clubs squad, set up and prospects for the 09/10 season without delving too much into the past as im sure you wouldnt want to spend your whole day reading about the ups and multiple downs of the famous CFC.Where do you start when choosing to write about something that you love? Probably at the beginning id say! Well first of all id like to point out that the Chelsea badge you see here on Ciao is about 4 years out of date, nice one Ciao. Anyway, lets begin with the players, probably the most important part of a football club.
FIRST TEAM SQUAD -Petr Cech - many people see Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech as on of the worlds better keepers, regularly watching him, i can see something not right. He is still by far our best keeper but he has recently been prone to errors in judgement. Cech is a thoughful and intelligent goalkeeper and someone who studies his performance to an obsessive degree but his heights of record breaking keeper in 2004 and 2005 have not been met recently. Since fracturing his skull, he wears a protective cap for every game which he has stated does not effect his game but his recent need to wear glasses might. Top keeper anyway, Chelsea fans would just like to see the no fear Petr that we loved in 04/05. Signed by Claudio Ranieri for £4 miilion, he is an absolute bargain.
Hilario - arrived while Jose Mourinho was in charge and has settled for his place as understudy, he is reliable if somewhat error prone also. Recently played against Liverpool and was named man of the match, only to be benched the next game.Ross Turnbull - arrived this season on a free transfer from Middlesbrough and will look to compete with Hilario for Cechs understudy. A young english keeper who can be developed at Chelsea - potentially to be sold on for a profit.
John Terry - the club captain and inspirational leader of men. His determination to be the best he can be flows through him like a super hero. He is worshiped by all Chelsea fans and disliked by the opposition. He understands where his weaknesses are, most notably pace and compensates by fine tuning other areas. Recently named defender of the year by UEFA, he is committed, stong and capable on both feet. He has been with Chelsea since the age of 14 and i had no doubt he would say no to Manchester City in the summer, he is here for life (probably) and is well known to help the younger players just like he was when Marcel Desailly and Gianfranco Zola were here. Used to be a bit of a bovva boy when he was in his younger years but experienced players at the time helped him overcome that and become the man he is today. An example of someone he used to knock about with going the other way - Jody Morris.Jose Bosingwa - just to let you know its pronounced Bos-ing-wa not bos-winger like Andy Gray and Redknapp like to call him! Arrived last season for £17 million and is first choice right back, he is good going forward, has lots of pace and capable of scoring spectacular goals. His weakness mainly falls on his crossing in advanced areas and concentration in defending, not the perfect right back but pretty damn close. In his youth he was involved in a car crash that ruined the career of another youth player in Portugal
Ashley Cole - Englands best left back and has been for many years. Also famous for being Mr Cheryl Cole! The last few months of last season he was awesome and has started in the same vein this. Main attributes would be his pace and determination. When he does make a mistake his recovery is exceptional. Strong tackling and good technically. Going forward he is very good and already provided 2 goals for the team, at times can get caught by being wound up.Ricardo Carvalho - One of the most under rated defenders around but dirty as hell. He is in some terms, the opposite to JT, he is not the tallest but has the required pace to get back in and is a sneaky little sod! He will pull your shirt and grab hold of you to defend his goal but is just as determined to keep the opposition forwards out. Was linked with a transfer away from Chelsea in the summer due to Alex's form and injuries from last year.
Alex - The rock from Brazil, originally owned by Chelsea a few years back, we were unable to play him due to work permit reasons so loaned him out to PSV for 3 years. He is sturdy and reliable with a strong shot and a frame like a boxer, a big one. His main attributes would be his heading ability and powerful shot from freekicks. Currently coming back from injuryBranislav Ivanovic - Serbian defenders seem to be made in the art of thou shalt not pass rule of defending. This boy is a bit old school, loves a bit of rough and tumble and always looks safety first. Not the most elegant of defenders but gets the job done with a minimum of fuss. Can play right back and centre back and will forever be held in Chelsea folklore for scoring two headers in the champions league quarter final last season against Liverpool at Anfield.
Paulo Ferreira - A composed right back who reads the game very well and is just returning from a serious knee injury. Has won 2 championships with Chelsea and someone who just gets on with the job without moaningJuliano Belletti - A Brazilian champions league winner who can play in many positions. A good squad player who can provide cover in many areas with quality. Not as quick as he used to be but he has Brazilian flair and is always encouraged to shoooooot by the fans.
John Obi Mikel - Wrangled from Manchester United a few years ago, he has improved massively in the past few seasons. main position now as a holding midfield player, good in the tackle but is known for having a bit of a hot streak. Can get wound up and mistime tackles, however only young, he can be a starter for many yearsMichael Essien - The Bison, the machine, this man is immense. He is the complete athlete, strong, quick and nimble with an eye for a pass and good shot. Has scored some memorable goals recently but can sometimes go over the top in tackles just through clumsiness. One of the best midfield players in the world
Deco - Portugese playmaker who is still looking to win over the fans. Mainly injured last season after a good start, he can pick the lock in tight defenses but his willingness to play the perfect pass can lead him to give the ball away. Also on a par tackling wise with Paul Scholes but has the ability.Michael Ballack - The German captain is not spectacular but he gives you the simple things you need in a midfield, win your tackles and keep the ball moving. He is a strong player with a good header, shot and dangerous from freekicks. his German like machine mind is good in pressure situations
Frank Lampard - Chelsea vice captain and hero with the fans. Over 200 goals and always a threat from midfield. He guarantees you a number of goals every season and provides good assists for the strikers. He knows his strengths and utilises them well. One of the fittest players in the league and will rarely get injured allowing him to perform at a high standard for prolonged periodsJoe Cole - Just back from a long knee injury, Joe has the skills and ability to play in any team. He can sometimes try too many tricks but he has desire to do well and make defenders look silly at the same time. Usually a wide player but not through choice, he could provide a spark in any game from an advanced position
Yuri Zhirkov - Russian left winger arrived in the summer for £17 million. Can also play left back. Due to injuries has not shown too much as yet but he is highly rated at international level and has the pace to play as an authordox winger.Florent Malouda - Struggled initially at Chelsea but recent seasons have been good and has meritted his place in the team. He has a willingness to work hard and provide for his team mates but final ball can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. Recent good form has coincided with interesting hair cuts
Saloman Kalou - Ivory Coast forward who can play up front on on the wing. Can be infuriating at times but has good dribbling skills and gets in the right areas to score goals. Recent managers have struggled to get the best from him as his concentration may not be right but he has ability to win a game on his ownDidier Drogba - One of the most dangerous strikers in the world, when he wants to be. This season he has started very strong and with the help of Guus Hiddink last season was given a chance to prove himself after losing his place in the team. Stong up front and in defence, he bullys other players around him. Weaknesses may be his first touch and ability to see the bigger picture but i would not trade him in for any other striker in the world.
Daniel Sturridge - Recent arrival from Manchester City he is one for the future. Allowed to develop with the Chelsea forwards he has the potential to be a star. All left footed i saw him play in the youth cup against chelsea and he completely stood out fmo the crowd. Will need to develop his game slightly if he is to be a successNicolas Anelka - Technically brilliant forward with an abundance of pace. In the past he has not had the desire to perform but he is happy at Chelsea and works well with Drogba. One of the best finishers ive seen and is highly composed in pressure situations and one on ones
THE BACKROOM STAFF -New manager Carlo Ancelotti has come in and not changed anything major within the club. He is aware that the team and club structure is pretty good already so only small tinkering needs to be done. He has bought one of his staff with him from Milan but kept everyone else in place. Not sure if he had much choice in this as when Jose arrived he bought his whole crew with him. Ray Wilkins and Paul Clement assist the manager with tactics and training and both have progressed from inside the club, most notably Clement who has risen from youth team manager. Chelsea are a club that attempt to promote within and this is clear to see at boardroom level as well with the appointment of Ron Gurlay as chief executive to replace the departing Peter Kenyon. Physio Brian English has been around for a number of years as has Masseure and part time comedian BIlly McCulloch aka Bill Blood. His jokes and all round comedic behaviour give comic relief to a highlu professional bunch of players, some of his antics can be seen on youtube and i highly recommend viewing. Frank Arnesen was poached from rivals Tottenham to head up the youth development side of it and Dermot Drummy has been promoted from youth team manager to reserve manager.
OUT ON LOAN PLAYERS -Michael Mancienne - Currently at Wolves for the season but highly thought of. Has made appearances last season for Chelsea
Franco Di Santo - On loan at Blackburn to gain experience in the premier league. Only there until januaryOther players are out on loan from the reserves including Jack Cork and Patrick Van Aanholt
THE SET UP -Chelsea financial set up is mainly because of Roman Abramovich. The billionaire bankrolled the club in 2004 and the plan was for Chelsea to be self sufficient by 2009. This plan will not happen in the same time frame but will happen. Chelsea do not owe any money to external sources and have almost paid back the interest free loan to Roman. The continued success of the club is generating the money needed to pay for the best players although the focus is on the youth and a lot of money has been put in to produce the best team from our own academy.
THE STADIUM -Stamford Bridge is located in West London in Fulham near the Fulham Broadway tube station. Current attendance is just over 42000 and includes private boxes in the east and west stands. Roman Abramovich's box has bullet proof glass but he always sits outside anyway!! Tickets are not cheap and range from around £42 - £60 for a league game. Champions league group games are £25. The best atmosphere is usually in the Matthew Harding lower and Shed end behind both goals. This is where i usually try to sit. The entrance system is now done by machine instead of steward, now you have to put your ticket into a barcode reader to authorise your entry which can delay people getting into the ground especially just before kick off. The megastore is located behind the shed end and has two floors of Chelsea goodies, quite regularly you will see players there signing autographs on set dates. Again though, things in there arent cheap and you will look to pay nearly £50 for a shirt, more if you want numbers and names. Outside the stadium is the 5 star Chelsea hotel where it is rumoured Ken Bates owns the top penthouse, this is the only room with a window over looking the pitch! After matchdays you may find some of the older chelsea players mingling with the fans in the hospitality area, which i try to sneak into. Also outside is a Marco Pierre White restuarant and a museum which can make a good day out. Chelsea also provide monthly tours around and inside the ground with an ex pro. You get a chance to go into the dressing rooms and press boxes before walking through the tunnel onto the pitch.
AFRICAN NATIONS CUPThe African Cup of Nations is held in Angola from 8 Jan - 8 Feb and four of our players will be playing in that tournament, Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel for Nigeria, Kalou and Michael Essien will all be missing for almost a month causing Chelsea to reshuffle their team to accomodate. Drogba and Essien will be the most missed but there should be enough in the squad to cover for their absence. During this period Chelsea play four league games against Hull, Burnley, Birmingham and Sunderland and some cup games including the semi final of the carling cup if they get there. It will be during this moment that people like Daniel Sturridge will need to perform. Some players currently on loan may be recalled to cover for their absence.
CURRENT FORMATION AND PROSPECT ON SUCCESSThe current formation that Chelsea are playing is a 4-4-2 but incorporating a diamond shape in midfield using one player in front of the defence and one player advanced behind the forwards, thus leaving two central midfield players. The formation is fluid and requires width to be provided by the full backs. The potent threat of two forwards and one coming from deep has upset other teams and Chelsea have had a total of 10 outfield players score so far this season. Some slight tinkering has taken place with regards to the tip of the diamond where Lampard started there and Deco and now Joe Cole have played there. The role suits Cole because of his dribbling skills leaving Lampard to return to his usual position and arriving late in the box. Success will continue to be reviewed on how the system works away from home when a slight change is made to make the midfield more solid and one of the two forwards dropping onto the right side to stem any attacks from out wide. Chelsea have so far lost two games away from home where they have been undone by set pieces and corners especially which was an issue around the same time last year. The professionalism of the team will allow them to understand their weaknesses and work on it in training. As we speak Chelsea are top of the premier league, top of the champions league group of 4 and in the quarter finals of the carling cup, success looks bright but will depend on good continued progress and a bit of luck. The teams in and around Chelsea have all lost players and look slightly weaker than in previous seasons whereby the squad has remained the same throughout and the nucleaus of the side in place for many years. Chelsea are current favourites to win the league despite having one of the older average team ages in the league.
TRANSFER BANChelsea have been accussed of coersing a young french player to join their youth system. Gael Kakuta has been involved in what i hope to be a misunderstanding with his former French team officials. Chelsea took Kakuta from France as he had not signed any contract with another club, or so his mother said only for her to later find documentation in her house! Kakuta has been banned from playing for 4 months and given a significant fine and Chelsea FC has been banned from registering any new players for 2 transfer windows, making the next available time we could potentially sign someone January 2011. Chelsea have appealed this ban and will look to take the decision to the Arbitration of Sport which it has been speculated that the ban will be reduced to 1 window meaning we cannot sign any players until July. I believe this could be a good thing and allow the team to gel as a unit. No further decision will be made on this until December.
CONCLUSION -By tempting fate here i believe Chelsea will win the league this season and potentially another cup. Most of the players target the champions league as the holy grail due to the majority of them winning everything else in England and the continued bad luck we get in this tournament. Chelsea are a well oiled machine who know how to get the job done and have had this instilled in them from Mourinho's era. With the appointment of Ancelotti and change in system, the flair has been added to a great defence and goals are the order of the day for the team. Important players like Lampard, Terry and Drogba know that there arent too many season left at the top flight and in this team so time is running out to win more trophies and when they look around and see the quality in every position and on the bench, its hard for a side like this not to win anything and i will be very suprised if we dont. Apologies if the lenght of this was a little too much but i was on a bit of a roll so just carried on! Blue is the Colour
Product Information : Chelsea
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Listed on Ciao since: 08/07/2000