Super Chelsea

A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

Super Chelsea - A Chelsea Blog For All Chels

THE VIEW FROM THE WINDOW SILL.

So the summer transfer window was shut last night and for the first time in quite a while we weren’t involved in the deadline rush. Something I usually enjoy but don’t necessarily believe in. I like the seat I sat on, watching from afar as our rivals struggled to hustle in their targets at hiked prices. A seat that’s not squeaky when you feel your team has improved where needed (if you’re not bothered by the loans out). Being the glamorous club that we are I enjoy the spotlight but stealing Willian from the spu*s was more than enough fun for me. And yet myself I ask, “was it worth it?” to which I unconsciously reply “time will tell”. Before I evaluate our rivals’ dealings a look at our team is key.Chelsea Squad 2013/2014

In

  • Eto’o
  • Willian
  • Kevin De Bruyne
  • Essien
  • Van Ginkel
  • Schurrle

Out

  • Lukaku
  • Moses
  • Marin
  • And everyone else that left early.

 

 

 

Where did we need improvement?

  •  Midfield – Numbers

Signed a young energetic box-to-box  man in Van Ginkel. He’s very balanced and I like such players at the base of the 4-2-3-1.  Essien returned and I see that as merely cover and won’t complain at all. Looks much fitter than last season when he departed from Madrid. Its nice to still have Mikel (look no further than his presence vs Bayern last Friday) as he, Ramires and Lampard would easily be the mainstays in those positions. I also like that the 2 cover players are a mix of young and old (mvg and ess). 5 players. 2 positions.

Rating: ***’

  • Attacking Midfield – Numbers

Why numbers? Last season:

Player 2012/2013 Starts (Subs) – Club + International
Mata 60 (15)
Oscar 71 (21)
Hazard 61 (15)

A few cameos for Marin/Bertrand and Ramires/Moses’ several  appearances on the right wing didn’t stop our brilliant three creators from being overworked. We did play in 8 competitions but the ones that weren’t our usual didn’t amount to a total of 10 games and so shouldn’t be a factor. These positions were our strength and we relied on these players over and over but they are only humans(duh) and we really needed to acquire cover over the summer to bring out the best in them

10 goals + 10 assists makes kevin de bruyne an easy recall and he is definitely not in want of quality as a creative midfielder. It also helps that he’s at home on the right side of the pitch, an area we’e struggled with.

Willian is a brilliant footballer  and it’s great to have him after missing out on him a few years ago. He’s comfortable across all 3 positions (not unlike de bruyne, both excel even in deeper roles) and always wanted to play for us. There isn’t much more could you ask for.

Schurrle. I can be cliché with the pace, width and hardwork he offers because that’s about it. And yes, that football intelligence expected of a German.

Marin and Moses? Two signings proposed/supposed to offer more natural width than the brilliant 3 being replaced by players more similar to those 3. Bad decision? No. Neither seemed like cutting it (yes I know Moses had a few decent games/important Europa league goals but doesn’t compare to the quality of WILLIAN?).

Quality wingers are a rarity in our current football world. And while everyone is raising/chasing attacking midfielders across Europe, we have six of such who are QUALITY competing for 3 positions and you have to love it.

Rating: *****

  • Center Forward – Quality.

From Torres-Ba to Torres-Ba-Lukaku (who everyone was hoping would be our main striker after a solid stint at WEST BROM – an opinion I quite loudly never shared) to Torres-Ba-Eto’o. Do I like this forward line? Yes. Do I love it? No. With strikers, you aim to have diversity in style (skillful, target man, poacher) and age/experience. At the mention of target man Lukaku’s frame lights up immediately but is it worth keeping him just to have a strong player to bring on when you can’t break down tough defences? Is he better off at Everton where he would most certainly start 30+ games? Lots of questions I can ask, but if Mourinho felt that a strong target man was integral to his season plans he would’ve kept him.

Why don’t I love it?

Simple. The striker problem is still there. We merely added a 32 yr old on a 1-year contract.

If Samuel can hit full fitness, I trust his killer instinct to put him in the 20’s by the seasons end. Why? Diverse finishing (something Niño lacks).

Of all our forwards Torres understand our players best and we generally play better when he’s on the pitch. The conundrum for me is why this hasn’t been reciprocal for the most part (topic for a different day).

Ba? I think he’s lucky to still be here. Not a bad 3rd option to have and I hope he improves and seizes his opportunities.

Rating: ***’

PS: I think Schwarzer for Hilario and Turnbull was perfect.
The Rivals

Ozil to Arsenal takes the cupcake. Why will a player who is one of the best in the world by any standard in his position move to a team with far less ambition/ quality? Not playing time cause barely any footballers should start ahead of him. Potential? Certainly not THIS Arsenal squad. I have to believe he didn’t realize how unsure his position at the club was until late and at the end he made a decision. I don’t see why Madrid will reject a 42m with the amount of talent they’ve brought in (looking from their perspective because footballing-wise the transition makes little football sense). Let’s talk about 42m. Why will a team with Giroud and Podolski as strikers, Flamini, Diaby as defensive midfielders, a maximum of 3 decent centre backs and Wilshere,Ramsey, Arteta* and Cazorla as creative options choose to spend practically all of their transfer kitty on a position they seem to be doing best at? If we see more of such in the near future it’ll make sense. Yet, I still don’t see them as realistic title challengers. Yet.

Why Ozil left?

Arsenal midfield problems, will he solve them?

Rating: ***** (My mind screams 4 (fee + position) but just because its Mesut I gave a 5. He’s THAT good)

Fellaini to United. I really don’t know what Manchester United is looking for in midfield. Creativity? Grit? Balance? The bilbao lad whose clause they almost released was set to be one of the worst knee-jerk buys in recent history and luckily or unluckily they dodged that peel. It bothers me (not really) that with all the midfielders across Europe they’ve gone for Marouane. Tottenham Hotspur can sign Christian Eriksen for 10m* but UNITED have to settle with Fellaini. Is it because Moyes wants be reunited with his boy or they actually need him in the team? Questions.

Rating: ***

Worthy Mentions
Moses and Sahko to Liverpool. Moses will offer little by way of improvment. Sahko, is a good defender and will certainly do no harm to an already great defence. IF Livepool can keep either Sturridge or Suarez firing they won’t find it hard to gain points.

(I know nothing about the other guy.)

Rating: *****
Eriksen and Lamela to Spurs. Eriksen, all things being normal, is set to be a huge star in this league. He has and is surrounded by all it’ll take him and I can’t overemphasize how big a deal this is barring the dutch injury plague. I may be very wrong but, Madrid in 2-3 years? Lamela, on the other hand, is another decent technical wide player and would be more of a difference maker than Chadli on the other flank. Quailty dealings potentially, but I’m not worried at the moment.

Rating: *****

In conclusion I ask 2 questions. Does any other team in the league possess an outright better team/squad on paper? Does any other team posses a better manager than Mourinho? If the answers are no, what then could stop us from winning the league? I hope I never find out.

 

PS: The ratings evaluate the transfer dealings based on my opinion of the players’ worth vs fee, potential and tactical fit into the team.

Post Match: Chelsea vs. Wigan

The Wigan game felt like two points lost than a point gained. Our Blues surrendered our one goal lead in the 88th minute of the game. It was disappointing. The only change AVB made to the team that defeated Manchester City at the Bridge was Lampard for Ramires. Given we had won against Manchester City and Valencia, the Wigan game was supposed to be an easy one but tactical and defensive errors cost us the win.

I hate criticizing our gaffer but I believe the draw was largely his fault; AVB made the same mistake Mancini made against us the previous week by taking off Aguero and Silva. Mata and Sturridge kept pressure on Wigan’s defense and Wigan’s midfield had to support their defense. By taking Mata and Sturridge off, he gave the Wigan players the freedom to be adventurous up front.

Once again Sturridge proved he is class, he made impressive runs down the flanks, and he crossed better this week. He also scored his 9th goal of the season; the goal came from a wonderful long pass from Ashley Cole. I will be expecting more of such passes from Cole now.

Didier was wearing his invisibility cloak throughout the game; the cloak slipped off for a few seconds when he had the chance to head a goal in; Didier missed that chance. Although Didier was invisible during our last game, I still believe he has much to offer the club. The club should give him the two year contract he wants. Didier has earned the right to retire at our club. I hope Torres proves his worth in January when Didier is in Africa. For now, let’s hope Drogba is motivated to bang in some more goals to help us challenge for the Premier League.

Mata is still our best player on the pitch, I love his movement in the final third; Mata’s passes are simply fantastic. Given Mata’s positive influence in our games, I hope he can remain physically and mentality fit throughout the season.

Is Frankie Lampard is still ‘Super’? This is the question many fans ponder. I believe the reason why AVB made Lampard start the Wigan game is Ramires’ injury.  The Lampard that was on the pitch was certainly not the one we all know. There were no defense splitting passes, no well timed runs into the box and no unstoppable shots on target. Age seems to be catching up with Lampard. I will never advocate for Lampard to be sold, I believe he still has some ‘Super’ hidden in him somewhere. He has a lot of experience that still needed at the club. Lampard should be coming off the bench more often now.

We need to add reinforcements in January; a centre-back and a midfielder. A centre-back will allow us to play Ivanovic at right back. We need a midfielder who can run at defenders like Ramires. On Saturday, we passed the ball around hoping to find space; Wigan closed their spaces to leave us ineffective.  We tried crosses; we were a bit successful with it because Sturridge scored after receiving Cole’s cross. All the crosses that Drogba didn’t waste were hoofed away by the Wigan defense. Are we going to keep crossing when our target man Didier leaves for AFCON?

Romeu: A lot has been said about the lad, he has the confidence on the ball and the ability to make important interceptions. Romeu has incredible vision and he maintains his passing accuracy even under pressure. The lad must be admired. Does Mikel still have a future at our club?

Our next game is a must win one; we will be heading to North London to face Spurs. Let’s hope AVB rectifies some of our challenges before we face them.

KTBFFH

Twitter: @Tooyib

Pre-Match: Chelsea vs Manchester City

It will be the battle of the “Blues” this Monday as our Blue Army takes on Europa League side Manchester City. Just two games ago, many bookmakers and pundits were predicting that Andre Villas-Boas will be sacked. The future looked bleak but I knew if we got the games against Newcastle and Valencia right, hope would return. The win against Newcastle was a huge morale booster ahead of our champions league show-down against Valencia.

We have now won our last three games with 3-0 which is fantastic. Currently, Man City top the premier league table, a win against them will leave us seven points behind them. I believe a loss will put the premier league title beyond our reach, though AVB believes it will only make it difficult.
We have won five of six home games against City at the Bridge; let’s hope this stat improves on Monday night.
City’s attack has been impressive this season, having scored 48 goals in 14 league games. Our defense has been shaky this season but I believe AVB must have found a solution because we haven’t conceded in our last three games. Manchester City will be without a certain Argentine who has been our nemesis in the previous meetings but they have quality replacements that only require a moment of brilliance to breakdown any defense. Our defense will have to play their best on the day.
Unfortunately, David Luiz will be missing against Man City due to suspension (5 yellow cards), I expect Ivanovic to move to centre-back and fit-again Bosingwa to play his right back role. I expect Didier to start ahead of Torres, Drogba is gradually gaining his best form. I hope Drogba’s power will see us through against City.

City is most likely going to win the midfield battle because of quality players like Yaya Toure and Silva. We can give City majority of the possession and hit them with counter attacks. With the speed of Sturridge and the creativity of Juan Mata, I believe we can seize the day. (JPWZDXEURBPP)

My Chelsea Team: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Oriol, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Drogba and Sturridge

Chelsea Player to Watch: Juan Mata; the Spaniard is the player Chelsea needed terribly last season. Juan Mata’s creativity and pace has brought a new dimension to Chelsea’s game. He has scored 3 goals this season with 7 assists. He is one assist behind another diminutive Spaniard – Silva who he will be facing in Monday’s game.

Probable Man City Team: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta; Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva Milner; Aguero, Balotelli.

Manchester City Player to Watch: Mario Balotelli; when he is not busy fighting bibs, Mario can be a handful for defenders to handle. Attitude aside, I believe he is a very good striker who is not afraid to take on any defender one-one. I hope we frustrate him on Monday; hopefully he might react stupidly out of anger and get himself sent off.

Prediction: Owing to our present form, I believe we can win this game if all our players are on top form. Given the quality Mancini has at his disposal, I believe the most likely outcome will be a draw.

KTBFFH