Super Chelsea

A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

Super Chelsea - A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

LAMPARD: 99 CAPS, 100% COMMITTED.

Frank Lampard vs Moldova Sep 2013.

Not the long-range belters nor the perfectly-timed runs into the 18/6-yard box nor the goal records. None of these are what are I admire most about Sir Frank Lampard (as he is called by many nowadays, Chelsea fans and otherwise) – rather, It’s the constant defiance of critics. Doing what they say he can’t do and going beyond the limits they set.

Without trying to dish out a history lesson, this unending criticism has existed since he was playing under his uncle and dad at West Ham.

A behavior I noticed during/after the 2006 world cup and have often pondered the reasons for, it seems to edge him on and has contributed hugely to the player he is today. From West Ham fans saying he wasn’t good enough and only made the team because his uncle was manager, to English fans saying he wasn’t good enough (despite voting him player of the year back to back), to rival club fans claiming he will be shown up for the terrible midfielder he is with arrivals of Ballack, Deco and the likes (quality midfielders/managers have come, gone and he still remains first choice), and finally to Chelsea fans saying he’s “too old and past it” as far back as 3 seasons ago (still starts and performs for both club and country today).

The inspiration for this post is Lampard earning his 99th England cap on Friday in a qualifier vs. Moldova at the ripe age of 35. With 29 goals, 2 Player of the year awards, 1 ghost world cup goal and thousands of boos/jeers it is definitely a career of ups and downs. While he is set to join fellow teammate Cole as a centurion, a moment that should erase some of his mixed-feelings about playing for his country without getting due respect for the most part – it baffles me that people could write off a footballer who broke the record for outfield appearances with 164 as being too old to play top-flight football at 32.

A player who went on to do this at 34…

… and also this.

A goal that would’ve had over-the-top media festivity had it been scored by a certain Manchester United ‘incestor’. I’ve seen a lot more respect accorded recently with the man becoming Chelsea’s top scorer ever in astounding fashion, a feat not many could ignore and forces you to look back on an illustrious career with slight or much more admiration.

Before you think I have a stick in my eye and still consider Frank to be peak footballer, I would like to state that I’m well aware of the fact that he’s past his best – but still I know he’s not past top-level football. He put in performances last season that shocked me at times (only because he is/was playing in a deeper position than used to). His strongest traits don’t require so much physical effort and he still has the stamina to play forty 90-minute games in a season. To be frank (excuse my pun) he could go on till he’s 40-42 if he would accept playing in the MLS or a lower English league but until then let’s enjoy what a great footballer has left to offer (a lot, clearly).

In the end, all we’d have is adulation and accolade for a great career and a great gentleman. Congrats, Sir Frank.

Cheers
Toye

UPDATE: This article just published by Henry Winter of the telegraph rhymes with my thoughts http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/10295103/Frank-Lampard-so-proud-to-play-for-England-as-he-prepares-to-reach-100-cap-milestone-in-Ukraine.html

NO APOLOGIES IN SAN PAOLO

Prelim
Here we go again. We’ve been here before, not too long ago. Sometime in December, after losing to the red scousers twice in 2 weeks, and capitulating to an away loss at Leverkusen. Despite handing 3-0 drubbings to both Wolves and Newcastle, (a lucky result according to the media who ignored five Studge one-on-ones and focused on the fact that they managed to hit the woodwork about 3 times compared to us doing that once, 4-3 win for us, no? I digress) we were the underdogs, in a Champions League ‘win or go home’ home tie. The outcome? Another 3-0 drubbing. This time there was no doubt we deserved the win. But what did the media do? They said it was vintage Chelsea, AVB had ditched the high-line and gone back to Mou’s framework with his job on the line. Bollocks. Anyone can decide to play counter attacking football, and it worked – on the day.
That was a different Chelsea. You could identify the strengths (possession, control, chance creation, attacking gung-ho football, energy), and the weaknesses (the ‘mythical’ high-line, Torres issues, Drogba’s fitness, conceding late goals etc). This Chelsea, facing Napoli tomorrow – I don’t get them. I can’t see their style of play, cause there’s no clear style of play! They hardly create any clear chances and just appear so dour every time. They don’t even have any recent 3-0 drubbings, plus it’s an away game. I still feel as deeply confident as I did before Valencia. To quote Walter Mazzarri:

but their team is one of champions, who are all used to the atmosphere of great international events. I’m sure that they will regroup for the occasion

I expect no less from this team.

Naples

The one link we have with this team is the legenda that is Zola who came as close  as anyone ever did to recreating his mentor, El Diego’s exploits in the great Italian city.

So I did some quick research and I could hardly find any trends. They seem to do well in big games in the league, but their form is too mixed. Home or away, big team or small fry, no streaks. Is that a good or a bad thing, considering they’ve won their last 2 games without conceding? I wouldn’t know because a team can always continue in form, but I certainly do hope some of that inconsistency kicks in today.
Its all about the Hamsik, Lavezzi and Cavani trinity. Also worth noting that Lavezzi and Pandev have the same no of league goals (5), so the latter could be dangerous off the bench. They defend pretty well at home and will be solid at the back despite Campagnaro being out. Can his replacement, Grava, handle the Drog?
They shouldn’t change much in shape, expect to see a similar lineup to what we’ve seen recently

Chels
JT is doubtful. Ash is back. Lamps is back. Drogs is back? ‘Spine minus John Terry’, is back. Add Ramires to that.
Formation
4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1?
Need all 3 midfielders to match Napoli’s hard midfield and cut off supply to the attacking 3.
With Mata drifting in, and Sturridge naturally running into the box, it might look like a 4-4-2 diamond in some attacking transitions, but by default a 4-3-3 would match itself, if that’s what they go with.
Another alternative is a 4-5-1 with either Ramires on the right, or Malouda on the left. That would surprise signor Mazzarri, and give us more control of the midfield, possibly leaving Edinson et al lost upfront.

Drogba or Torres?
Didier. Why? Because we’re better off playing to his strengths in an away Champions League knockout game. Meaning: Targetman, Studge and Rami counter attacks, Mata drifting into middle occasionally but primarily creating from the left. And also because we are not playing any crisp football nowadays and nino has nothing to feed on.
But we all know there are 2 Didiers. The up-for-it-unplayable one(a la Valencia) and the give-fuck-all one. Doesn’t take you 10mins to spot which one is playing. If the latter turns up I won’t mind him being taken off early cause its all about the team.
Defence
I would say the strongest back four we have available is Brana-Luiz-Cahill-Ash. AVB would go with either that or Bosingwa in for Cahill with Brana at center back. Doesn’t really matter to me that Cahill has never played in the Champions league, I’m not ready to see ‘How Ezequiel raped Jose part 1’.
If JT passes a late fitness test, then I’d like to see him play where I put Cahill. We’re just so much better in games like these with JT in defence, even when he’s 70% fit. You can’t recreate the leadership and organization he brings to the defence, and the team as a whole.

Midfield
Remember one thing those 3-0 drubbings had in common? Oriol. Naturally I should go for Romeu-Lamps/Raul-Ramires. But I haven’t seen him perform recently and would like to see Essien-Lamps-Ramires in the mix of things.

The rest of the team picks itself: Cech, Sturridge and Mata.

We have no excuses not to turn up for this game. The boys need to stand up and be counted, not underestimate our opponents, and play for that shirt. Great nights in Italy like ‘Dennis Wise at the San Siro’ spring to mind, hoping we can add to that.

Prediction

2-2. Cavani(1-0), Drogba(1-1), Lampard(1-2), Cavani(2-2).

I’d take a score draw, but if i know my Chelsea – which I certainly do – It’s not farfetched for them to follow up a loss at Everton plus a draw at home to Birmingham with a resounding, critic-bashing drubbing.

WOLUTB and KTBFFH

‘Toye
(Twitter page)

188BET offers Chelsea FC fans the chance to quiz Ramires.

Hello Blues,

The club’s official betting partner, 188BET, is offering all Chels the chance to chat live with Ramires.

Ramires will be taking over 188BET’s Twitter account to answer fans’ questions during a special live interview on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

Ramires joined Chelsea FC in 2010 from Benfica and has already clocked up almost 50 appearances for our club, forming a strong midfield partnership with the likes of Meireles and Lampard. He has scored six goals for Chelsea, including the club’s goal of the season award last year for his beautiful strike against Manchester City at Stamford bridge, and also has 27 international caps with his native Brazil to his name.

He will be online at 1:30pm on Thursday 2nd February and will answer a selection of fans’ questions live via 188BET’s Twitter feed. To take part, all Blues fans have to do is log on to Twitter, follow ‘@188BET’ and submit their questions by tweeting ‘@188BET’ along with the hashtag: #askRamires.

So whether you want to know how Ramires occupies himself outside football, who the best dancer in the squad is or perhaps even if he has any quirks, get online on Thursday and ask him your questions!

KTBFFH

Twitter: @super_chelsea

Facebook: fb.me/superchelsea

 

Santos Saves Chelsea from Potential Quagmire

Last night, Santos issued a statement ruling out the sale of Neymar on their website. In the statement, Santos’ president Luiz Álvaro made it very clear that the club was not ready to listen to any offers for Neymar. In the same statement, Neymar’s agent declared that it was not in his client’s best interest to leave Santos now. In short, Santos told all bidding clubs to bug off.

Neymar is a young talented striker with an impressive goal record. We tried signing him when he turned 18 but we failed in our bid. After our failed bid, Neymar got a new contract with a higher release clause. Given that we did not want to meet his release clause of €35m, I found it surprising Álvaro told the press last week that we were one of the clubs to meet his new release clause of €45m. I guess winning the Copa Libertadores changes the value of a player.

To be frank, I do not want to see Neymar at Stamford Bridge anytime soon. The kid has a bad attitude. In September 2010, he threw up a tantrum and yelled at his manager for not making him take a penalty kick. The manager punished him by making him sit out two matches. Santos sacked the manager for making Neymar unhappy. Neymar dives often to earn free kicks and penalties. After waiting for 48 years, Santos won their third Copa Libertadores title. Neymar celebrates this fantastic achievement by joining a fight that broke out at the end of the match.

Neymar Kicks Penarol Player

Neymar is a fantastic player but it until he matures; I do not want him near our club. Given Santos sacked a manager because he punished Neymar, I do not believe it will be anytime soon. Santos has saved us from a potential quagmire.

KTBFFH

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Villas-Boas Does Not Need Time, He Needs Cash



Hello Blues. Unless you returned from Kiribati or Tuvalu this morning, you know that Andres Villas-Boas is the new Chelsea manager. Given that, the media has a serious hard-on on our new manager; it’s likely you have been informed of his impressive managerial record at Porto.

Since Villas-Boas appointment, I have read several articles and tweets advising Chelsea to give Villas-Boas time to prove his worth. I found that a bit strange because our club has given most managers at least one season to prove their worth. The managers that didn’t have a complete season at Chelsea are Scolari, Grant and Hiddink. Hiddink did well by bringing us the FA Cup; he was not sacked from Chelsea. Hiddink had a contract with Russia that he had to honour, we were lucky to have him for that short time.

Scolari did not last more than 7 months because the players had lost faith in his ability. The players questioned his training methods. Scolari didn’t want to play Drogba who had returned to full fitness, he argued that Anelka and Drogba couldn’t play together. He wanted to swap Drogba with Adriano. Adriano’s career had already taken a serious nosedive at that point. He couldn’t change things tactically and we became predictable on the pitch. In Scolari 25 games, we won 14, drew 7 and lost 4. The future looked bleak; the club had no choice but to sack him. When Hiddink replaced Scolari, our season improved astronomically and we won the FA Cup.

Avram Grant was sacked from Chelsea because we came second in three competitions. We lost League Cup final to Spurs. That alone should have gotten him sacked but we still gave him the chance to chase after the premier league and the champions league. We ended runners-up in the premier league and the champions league final. Grant was poor as a tactician and motivator. He stuck to Mourinho formation and played Mourinho’s favoured starting 11. He couldn’t change things tactically and as a result, we became predictable under him. If you think what Grant did at Portsmouth and West Ham, you will be glad we did not offer him more time.

Last season, Ancelotti could have been sacked by December but because the players still had faith in him, he was given until the end of the season. We made a strong comeback from fifth position to second position in the league. If we had won against Manchester and luck was on our side, we could have retained our premier league trophy. Ancelotti failed to inspire to his men to achieve what would have been the greatest comeback to a league trophy. If you think relegation specialist Grant got us second in three competitions, you will understand why Ancelotti was sacked.

Be glad our club holds our managers to a high standard. Mourinho came in, he wasn’t given time, he bought his time by winning trophies. Guus brought a trophy, if he did not have a contract with Russia; he would have remained at the club longer. Carlo got another season because he won trophies in his first season. At Chelsea, it’s simple, you win a trophy or you bug off. That’s the reality and we mustn’t hide from it. Take a look at Arsenal, seven years no trophy one manager. It tells you more time is not necessarily a good thing.

Villas-Boas doesn’t have seasons to prove himself. He needs to bring at least one trophy to keep at his job for another season. He has worked under Mourinho and he understands the challenge. He has accepted the challenge and I hope he succeeds at it.

What Villas-Boas needs now is cash to buy some quality players. If we don’t do this, he is going to struggle to achieve his objectives. I don’t believe Chelsea needs much change. I don’t believe in getting rid of some of our current players (especially when there is no replacement in sight). Our opponents are strengthening their squads; we will need all the depth we can get if we are going to win trophies next season.

I think the priority signings should be a right-winger and a creative midfielder. A right-winger will balance our attack because most of our attack came from the left side of the pitch last season. Malouda created and scored our most goals in the league because the ball was always given to him. We had nobody on the right wing to receive the ball. Towards the end of last season, Carlo played Ramires on the right wing to balance our attack but it yielded little result as the players were too used to crossing the ball to Malouda. Chelsea also needs at least one creative player. Last season Anelka and Malouda provided the creativity. This coming season, if Benayoun remains fit, he will also inject some creativity. If we add one more creative player, our midfield problems will be solved. It’s time to give Andre enough cash to help him achieve the vision he has for Chelsea. Till next time, Up the Chels!

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