Friday, January 3, 2014

A Critical look at Chelsea's youth signings and The future: Enter Bertrand Traore and Out he goes!

Bertrand Traore is a good player. His signing for Chelsea is a good sign and a great move for Chelsea with its African support. Out went Babayaro, in came Drogba, Kalou, Geremi. Then there was Mikel and Essien. Out went Drogba and in came Victor Moses and later Etoo. Now, Bertrand Traore is in and (as alleged Essien may be going in January).

Because of the difficulty in getting first team action, I would rather he goes out on loan. But sadly, F.A rules (I dont know if it has changed) do not allow players signed to be loaned out within the same season. (That's why Lukaku had to stay at Chelsea first season even though Bolton were interested) and that's why most Chelsea players end up in other leagues, eg the Dutch league which is not as strict.

Problem however, is that those leagues do not develop players as much as one would have wished, compared to premier league clubs. In fact, only premier league loanees end up developing as required. Look at Sturridge at Bolton, Cleverly at Wigan, Wilshere at Bolton, Welbeck at Sunderland, Lukaku at Westbrom and now Everton and many others.

I have tried to compare those to the development of McEachran at Boro, Piazon, Atsu, Van Aanolt, Hutchison, Ulises Da Vilas, at Vitesse etc. Thorgan Hazard seems to be doing well in Belgium and so is Marin at Seville.

Kenneth Omeruo, has already won African Cup of nations but has not made his debut for Chelsea yet. Very few of us know just how well he played at ADO Den Haag or just how well he was able to outplay Didier Drogba during the semi finals of Africa Cup of Nations. The Premier League is however a different environment all together. You would imagine, an African Champion should easily fit in, but that is never the case.

My take is, its one thing to loan out players. The club needs to check and look at their development. If the Football Association still has its strict policies regarding loaning out players signed within the same season, then I would rather loan them out first season but on the second season get them premier league clubs. This will ensure players like Ulises Da Villas, Thibaurt Curtois, Kevin De Bryun, Van Aanolt are loaned to Premier League clubs the following season, to get accustomed to the premier league life. This has been Chelsea's main undoing.

Kevin De Bryun performed superbly for Werder Bremen and he was ranked highest in terms of assists and goals compared to Chelsea's MAZACAR trio. But he has been unable to stamp his authority at Chelsea. This is one talented player who from the look of things may leave Chelsea. What if he had been loaned to a mid table club, then the club would have made judgment at the end of the season. At Chelsea, the pressure is high, no room for errors and that means there's little room to learn, the stakes are high, every game is important.

Stephen Keshi the Nigerian coach has been very vocal advising Omeruo to leave Chelsea. His reason and I agree with Keshi, that this is a world Cup year and Omeruo needs to play regularly if he wants to get an opportunity to represent Nigeria in Brazil. Keshi is saying what the Belgian coach may have already told KDB.
Are we going to lose out on another young star? Nemanja Matic who is now rumored alongside Guarrin to join Chelsea is a former young player, who although identified early, his development was not well structured and as of last year, his buyout clause was 40million Euros.

Now, look at Romeu's loan at Valencia. He has done well both in La Liga and Europe League. But wouldn't have made all the difference if he was loaned to Southampton or Swansea? I mean look at what Liverpool did with Njonjo Shelvey to Swansea and look at how crucial player he is turning out to be?

I think Chelsea should look at how they structure their youth system with major focus being loaning players to EPL Clubs rather than foreign clubs.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


By George Oginga,
Guest Columist.

Congratulations Chelsea fc for winning the much anticipated big game of the weekend however there are so many areas to improve on. Goals from Eden Hazard and Samuel Etoo kept Chelsea two points from the top of the table at the halfway stage of the season, as Chelsea fc side came from behind to win at Stamford bridge. It was a game bringing together formers old foes in Brendan Rogers and Jose Mourinho who worked together as manager and assistant during their glory days at the Bridge. But the game had this faults, Chelsea don’t have sharp strikers, and I do agree with Jose when he says that the strikers we have are killing him after every game, imagine three strikers in 32 games yet they only have six goals, Etoo according to me should go for weight lose to be fit to play as a sharp striker, he wastes so many open chances.we would have killed that game in early times of the game.

Eden Hazard too should learn that goals can not be scored when he goes like lone ranger, there is no need to dribble too much yet Chelsea has 10 players who should assist him in getting the goals. He will only pass the ball for support after the opponents have taken cover, and it is time Jose stops personal grudge and gave De Bryune chance a head of This person called Hazard. Oscar is an amazing talent but he should learn to keep his temper ahahahahahahahahaha that moment when he wanted to fight Lucas, it was like mosquito fighting butterfly, Andre Schurle plays as false 9 for Germany national team, Mou should try him in that position and let this flop strikers go out for holiday in Portugal or Miami.

When you compare Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba to the rest of the top strikers in the Premier League they are way down the list. Edin Dzeko has got an unbelievable strike rate but is third choice at Manchester City.


For the first time I saw Arsenal out played in the so called sexy football, this is during the last 20minutes of play though they got 3points, if that is the play they are going to opt for then let them bid bye to EPL title. The outstanding player was Rosicky very composed on ball and passes, but Newcastle team was amazing only that not all days in office are success. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was never really called upon to make a telling save during the late barrage and that said much for the work of those in front of him( Koscilny and Per) and for the fact that the ball never really bounced Newcastle’s way. Ben Arfa too is another Hazard In Newcastle shirt, over dribbling and want to go lone ranger.


All these teams struggled until that moment that Welbeck was introduced, With pace, agility and just enough balance, super-sub Danny Welbeck punished the one major defensive error Norwich made — and in doing so maintained United’s charge into genuine title contenders which be dream come true. It was a massive disappointment, certainly a game Norwich didn’t deserve to lose but when you are having your best period you have to capitalize on that, which they never did. Norwich can now feel the pressure of letting Grant Holt leave, for they would have killed Man United in the First half of the game.


It seems like without Aguero goal drought is being felt by Pellegrini or let me put it that Eagles were too strong for the citizens at Etihad. In a game most people thought that City would hit five goals plus,Crystal Palace frustrated and almost ambushed the title favourites and that can be used by other teams as a blueprint to counter City’s irresistible form at the Etihad. Eagle’s organization made it an uncomfortable afternoon for the Citizens until Edin Dzeko scored midway through the second half with his 10th goal of the season.What a talent on Dzeko.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Chelsea Vs Arsenal: Do this and Chelsea will easily win at Emirates, again!

I am looking forward to watching a beautiful match on Monday night and I confidently say so since I regard Mou highly when it comes to big matches. Chelsea has beaten City, drew at United, drew at Tottenham and its now facing Epls inform team.
He has also beaten Arsenal before. I know he can do it again. Thirdly, he has never lost a match to Wenger or Arsenal and that gives our team a psychological advantage.
However, Arsenal is finding hope in Chelsea’s inconsistency this season, something that is giving them belief that for the first time in many years, they may cause an upset. Yes, I am calling it upset since Emirates is one of Chelsea’s favourite stadiums. We rarely lose there!

(a) The Juan of Mata Matters

Some of us have called Mata, the new Drogba when it comes to facing Arsenal. The lad has four in four starts. If you give him a fifth start against Arsenal, I see a fifth goal. I would wish for him to start.

(b) Ramires rhymes with Ramsey, or does it?

Arsenal’s box to box player Ramsey has been their player of the season so far. He needs to be checked, not that someone famous will die when he scores, but it has now been confirmed, that no one scores after Ramsey. If you score a goal after Ramsey, he will score a second one. Just ask Flamini at Cardif. The boy is equally good in providing crucial assists for his team mates. Against a faster more energetic Ramires, life wont be as easy. Operation stop Ramsey from scoring!

(c) Obi Mikel or Arteta Mikel? Someone shout Obiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!

Against City, when Chelsea’s midfield couldn’t cope because of Yaya Toure and company, Mikel came in for Lampard to tidy things up, thereby shifting the balance of play in Chelsea’s favour. Now, Chelsea have a huge task of stopping one of the most dreaded midfield combination, that is not only creative but equally speedy. On his day, Mikel’s calmness on the ball is useful to break and frustrate opposition attacks.
Besides, if Mata starts then Chelsea needs a more consistent holding midfielder who sits back unlike both Ramires and Lampard who like surging forward, leaving a gap in midfield. This is what cost Chelsea at Stoke by the way......

(d) Ashley Cole but they call him Cashley Cole, and he cashes on that!

I have watched several Chelsea goals against Arsenal. 73% of them have come from the left wing and either Cole had a hand in them or assisted. Emirates Stadium has been very hostile to Cole since he moved to their London rivals. They boo him loudest, but quite frankly, that has never bothered him.
And against a midfielder like Walcott, I would rather Ashley Cole starts on the left at the expense of Cesar who has been good too but not as good as Cole. In his press briefing last evening, Mourihno indicated that Cole would not start. Am not buying that for now.
(e) Central pairing of JT26,GC24

Well, there has been no clean sheet in the last 11 matches. I am not sure but was the last clean sheet against Arsenal in the Carling Cup? Or was it Shalke 04 in the Champions League? Its one of those. In as much as Chelsea has been leaking in goals carelessly, I would still fancy a central pairing of Terry and Cahil.

(f) Forward line
With Etoo missing open chances against Sunderland in midweek, with BA falling down carelessly at every opportunity, with Torres playing like he did last time out, why don’t you play Islam Feruz?  Oh wait, Torres scored in his last match against Crystal palace and also against Arsenal in the Epl last year at Emirates. He is the best among the worst. Against tougher opponents, he has been really good. As usual, he may score, provide an assist, miss an open chance or get sent off. What a complete striker we have here!
Anyway, I expect an explosive entertaining match.

Until Tuesday 1am, pass the salt!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oh Okay, the season has started…Here is what to Expect:

Its been awhile since we had something to write home about. Nothing can explain this better than the fact that this season has seen plenty of surprises, shocks and in some cases tears. Tears like the ones witnessed four days ago at Newcastle when Chelsea lost or when Manchester United lost to Westbrom, scrapped through a win against Stoke and beat Fulham in the first twenty minutes, with 70minutes to go. The season has seen our very own Wanyama settling easily at Southamptom and making history as the first East African to play in England. Such an interesting season this will be.

My feeling is however, that the top four positions will remain as they have always been for the last three seasons with United, Chelsea and Manchester City taking the first three and Arsenal finishing fourth. Liverpool and Tottenham are equally good and would comfortably challenge for top four, but finishing within top four is a totally whole thing. Total ball game, requires consistency and a lot more than just a good squad. Sometimes you have to win from losing positions, know how to respond to pressure, how to react when you concede with the result being, three points in the bag!

Several teams have strengthened their weaknesses from last seasons performance and analysising each team, I am convinced Totenham and Arsenal did the most job by addressing the problems they had last season. For instance, Tottenham having relied heavily on Bale for the past seasons made a kill for his sale and have been very busy in the transfer market. Whereas its hard to single out who their key player will be this season, I believe they have a big squad good enough to compete both in Europa league as well as offer challenge domestically. Christian Eriksen and Townsend are my favorite buys by AVB and they will make a difference to a team who relied heavily on Gareth Bale last season.

Whereas as much of the talk at Arsenal has been about Ozil, I have been convinced creativity was not Arsenal’s problem last season. They had an issue in the holding midfield position, a role that has been well taken up by the returning Flamini. His leadership, tireless running and attitude has seen Wenger’s side transformed into a formidable side, capable of beating any team on their day. They same has freed up Ramsey who is now in the form of his life and is banging in goals. If Arsenal can keep Flamini fit for the entire season, then they have work cut out for them. Their next match against United however, they will lose. These are sort of matches which are never dictated by the current form of the respective players.

Manchester United are a great side. They have a group of talented players who can beat anyone any day. However, United never addressed last season’s challenges, and they too had a problem with the holding midfield position. Michael Carrick is a player I like and so often, I regard him as one of the greatest passers in football. But he is not the best tackler. Statistics may show others but I am convinced United need a ball winner, a tackler, a Gattuso-Tiote-Song-Makele like sort of midfielder. One who would break opposition attacks and then release the ball to Carrick who would then dictate the play going forwad. Carrick is a good passer. He is great on the ball, but not off the ball. I just don’t see this in their biggest acquisition in the summer, Fellaini. I am sure, Moyes will have to address his holding midfield position in the summer since Anderson is not only injury prone but in my opinion, not good enough. And then theres the Moyes problem who has in some cases been clueless. He can make substitutions which would leave a fan wondering, "What was our manager trying to achieve?"
In their next match against Arsenal, I fancy them beating Arsenal and that could just be what they need to turn their season around. Yes, maybe.

Chelsea seems to have the same problem as United, but perhaps in different departments. The defense only requires one hundred percent concentration from David Luiz and it will be perfect, will an equally competitive bench. Terry and Cahill partnership has conceded less goals compared to when Luiz is involved. However, on his day David Luiz is unplayable. The holding midfield position has either Mikel or Ramires, the later is preferred, perhaps because of his work rate or just is equally important surging runs forward, compared to an equally efficient Mikel who sadly, is slower. The weakness however is clear when Lampard, gets involved. He is 35years old and in all fairness should not be played 90+minutes in every game. As to whether the coach is trying to win him another contract is something I can’t tell, but in all honesty he is the weak link in Chelsea’s midfield. Earlier this week, it was reported that DAVID LUIZ is set to be axed by Jose Mourinho after senior Chelsea players bawled him out for his attitude. The question I wish to ask, who are these senior players? Well, your guess of Lampard being one of them is as good as mine. The dressing room wars have started all over again.
Oscar has not played well the last two matches. Could it be that Mourinho’s public declaration that he is Chelsea’s preferred number 10 this season has gotten into him? Does he feel his place is guaranteed regardless of how he performs?
The Chelsea’s forward line is equally weak, with only two EPl goals among the three strikers. Inconsistency of Fernando Torres is playing a role too much as we know he is working hard in training. The striker problem sadly, has not been addressed by Chelsea and could cost the team this season.

Manchester City addressed their midfield position and it’s the only team whose midfield looks good. The back up players in central defence is however really weak. Anytime Vincent Company is not playing, they have struggled. The inclusion of Fernandinho, has stabilized a midfield that boasts of great players like Yaya, Milner and Silva. Their strike force is filled with great talents. Aguero is in great form and his partnership with Negredo is a joy to watch. Then also have great powerful back up in the form of Dzeko and Jovetic.
I don’t know what usually happens to England goalkeepers but this season Joe Hart has once again proved that England goal keepers don’t last. He has been error prone, lacks confident and to be honest not the same goalkeeper who was dreaded just two seasons ago. I will not be fair to say City ought to have addressed this issue in the summer, but should he regain his form then City without a doubt will either be runner up or win this seasons’ title.

Liverpool have a young ambitious manager who has a unique style of play. Releasing Pepe Reina and the acquisition of Mignolet was some good, focused business. They also addressed their Central defense with the acquition of Sakho, a player I have watched several times in Ligue 1. Luis Suarez has always been a great player, since his days in Amsterdam and its no wonder his partnership with Sturridge is bearing fruits for the Merseyside outfit. However, consistency lacks for this team and this will cost them dearly. I see them finishing 5th. After all, according to Brendar Rodgers, their main aim is to finish in the top four and qualify for next seasons Champions League. Clearly, if they don’t, then keeping Suarez from the likes of Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona will be an uphill task. But you will know he means business when Daily Mail reports “Liverpool will continue to search for 'brave' players with the right character as he looks to bolster his squad in January”

But then again, this is football. Anything can happen. Arsenal could as well win the league. In any case, Gor Mahia won theirs after 18 years of wait and Arsenal are 5 points clear with only 28 matches to go, why not?
Until then, please pass the salt!

Friday, July 26, 2013

It’s a New Season, New Players, And a New Coach: Let’s now kill the old habits

The new season is obviously taking shape and all fans are excited, whether your team has performed well in preseason or not. Everyone is optimistic, in any case preseason is meant to give the manager an opportunity to access his players, try different formations and at the same time identify areas of weakness.
The same is an opportunity for new players to show the manager and fans what they can do and so far, the new signings have shown us a glimpse of what to expect. Chelsea has made three signings, Mark Schwarzer, Schurrle and Van Ginkel. We have also had KDB, Lukaku, Essien and a host of young players coming back from loan.
As we wait for the new season, we all have expectations and having watched Chelsea for over 15years now I sincerely hope this time, Mou will address some challenges the team has been facing over the last couple of seasons.

1. First team

It was difficult to know Chelsea’s first team, especially during Raphael Benitez time. We all know he is a master of team rotation policy, but that whereas it may have an advantage to your team, its effect s are sometimes detrimental. It is true, the opposing team may not know which players to expect and that, tactically is a plus but then again, it may not give you the desired results as your team also needs to play together consistently, so that can understand each other well. During Jose Mourinho’s first reign, we all knew the central pairing was JT, Carvalho and sometimes Gallas or Huth depending on injuries or suspensions. But even then, anytime JT would partner Huth, at the back of our minds we would know Huth was not our first team player, but had stepped in for either an injured Gallas or a suspended Carvalho.
I am not saying Huth or Gallas weren’t good, no. I am only saying that defense was consistent and perhaps that’s why we kept a record number of clean sheets or conceded fewer goals.
This time and based on performances I would like to see a first team, especially in defense.

2. Formation

One big advantage of having young players is that they can play in a number of positions. Jose Mourinho prefers the 4-3-3 formation. However, if a team is unable to unlock the opponent’s defense, then I would want to see a change in formation. I wish to see the manager change his squad, perhaps from 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2.
I want us to avoid the “AVB syndrome” where one sticks to a formation regardless of whether the tea m is leading, drawing, playing away from home or has one player suspended.
The same “AVB syndrome” affected Carlo Ancelloti in his second season. Having won a double in our first season, Ancelloti didn’t make any major signings except Ramires. Our goals during this season came mostly from our left side, where both Malouda and Ashley Cole were excellent. The following season, its like the other nineteen teams in EPL figured this out. We stuck to the same formation and in the end; we experienced another trophy less season.
Change of formation is not as same as change of personality. You can’t achieve so much if you sub Hazard and bring in Moses. Or sub Cesar (his second name is a nightmare folks) and bring in Ivanovic. That, to a large extend is a mere change of personality. But when we are trailing a team and then you sub Cole and bring in Lukaku, as risky as this may seem It will get the opposition worried and perhaps will track back.
3. Squad Depth
Last season, we had close to 30players on loan and at some point it was reported that Chelsea were suffering from squad depth. Now, this was unfortunate considering we were playing in over seven competitions. We needed a huge squad. At some point, we had Benayoun warming the Chelsea bench, while at the same time we had KDB playing so well for Bremen. Up until January, we only had one recognized striker in Torres while Lukaku was outscoring him at Westbrom. We decided to sell Sturridge to Liverpool at a time when our squad was lean and needed additions.
We were humiliated at Newcastle simply because of the physical imposition of Cissoko, aman who we all know Essien would have easily dealt with, and yet he was busy dealing with Messi and co.
I would wish to see Mou ensure we have a bigger squad, capable to not only compete well but also reduce the effects of suspensions and injuries.

4. Young players

If there’s anything preseason has made us aware, is the fact that we have an exciting young squad and in the near future, with the financial fair play rules taking effect, the team is well covered. Its no secret that some young players haven’t developed at the rate initially thought they would. Josh McEachran, Gael Kakuta and Todd Kane are among players who should be given an opportunity, preferably away on loan to prove themselves. As this is done, Traore, Piazon, Chalobah, KDB, Lukaku , Omeruo are obviously ready for first team action and should be loaned, with the worst case scenario being loaning them to premier league clubs.
We have carling cup matches, FA Cup qualifying matches that these young players can take an advantage of. We have had some terrible experiences, where our young players end up making headlines elsewhere. The ten million Liverpool spent on Borini should have come to Chelsea, the 7 million City spend on Scot Sinclair should have been paid to Chelsea, if only we werea alittle patient and gave them an opportunity. Jack Cork last season was the Southampton’s key man in midfield, a time when we had to bring DL4 to midfield since we didn’t have numbers. And don’t even get me started on Nemanja Matic’s buyout clause at Benfica
Its important to loan out players for them to develop, but its important to try and fast track the same where possible, but either allowing them to play in lesser competitions or sending them to the right clubs.
5. Power Struggle
It has been well documented just how players have so much power at Chelsea. Some even more than the manager! It’s said that AndrĂ© Shevchenko, a close friend of Abramovich had a hand in Jose Mourinho’s sacking. I would like to see Mou take charge from the word go, especially in the sensitive issues of squad management and team selection.
I would wish to have Mou this time given a free role on who should start where and no interference from the senior players, the club owner or even the fans.
That free role is very necessary for our success.

6. Patience

What happens if (God forbid) Chelsea do not win a trophy this coming season? What happens if Chelsea loses the first 5games? Will the club, the board, the fans and the players be patient with Mourinho’s? Well, I have never had doubt in my mind that Mourinho is the best coach for Chelsea and in my opinion, the best coach in the world. We have a young squad which we all must be patient with. Well, its his second time in charge but I can confirm to you, in the eyes of many, he is our new manager. We all must give him time. The squad has changed, Rooney has hair now, the competition is tougher and the noisy neighbors are now busy in the transfer market. A lot has surely changed!!

I wish to have these issues addressed or taken care of. Should this happen, ladies and gentlemen prepare yourselves for a treble!! Until then, KTBFFH!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Falcao Situation at CFC: This is why I am Against it!

There has been talk of Falcao joining Chelsea in the summer and Thirbaut Curtois will be used in the deal.
I therefore took it upon myself to keenly understand why we need this player and why on earth we need to use a young promising goalkeeper as part of this deal. I am against this deal and here is why:

1. Price Tag

Whereas Fernando Torres failed to ignite his Liverpool career at Chelsea, a lot has been attributed to the price tag on his head, which was a British record and which to many put a lot of pressure on him. As if we did not learn our lesson with Shevshenko deal, some football analysts have argued that a highly priced player does not necessarily live up to the expectations, especially in England. They point out Robinho, Alfonso Alves, Shevshenko and many others who have flopped. There’s a difference when one says “Torres is Chelsea’s flop” and when the same person says “Torres is Chelsea’s 50million pound flop” That “50million” part really hurts!

2. Fans Expectations

When Torres arrived at Liverpool, he was still fresh, not such a big star. When Drogba arrived at Chelsea, he was not a big star, and with the right coaching, dedication and teamwork these two players became World beaters at their respective clubs. When Torres left Liverpool for Chelsea, he was already an accomplished striker, goals were expected to flow by the fans, but they didn’t. The goals haven’t flown to date. It’s the same case with Falcao, he scores so many goals and Chelsea fans will want the same. Should he not score on his debut, they will leave with it. Should he miss a couple of open chances in the next three matches and there will talk of “Torres was better after all”! We need to be careful with this Falcao deal.
And the unwritten rule of love hate relationship suggests that if we loved you so much and you let us down, we will hate you so much!

3. Formation

Chelsea’s preferred formation is 4-2-3-1. Falcao has excelled both at Porto and Atletico Madrid. Porto played 4-3-3, with both Hulk and Varela on the flanks. Please note that the in as much as they may be similar, the 4-2-3-1 formation is different from 4-3-3. At Atletico, the preffered formation is 4-4-2 with Diego Costa partnering Falcao in attack. The question therefore is, will Falcao excel in the 4-2-3-1 formation? Football pundits argue that this formation, which requires one striker upfront mostly suits physical players, as they are able to hold the ball, redirect aerial balls onto the path of midfielders and even from their positions, they can use their bodies to muscle their way into the box. This could explain why Drogba was so successful at Chelsea and in rare occasions where Mourinho would pair him with Crespo, Kezman and later Shevshenko, he would still be the one making headlines and eventually the manager would resort to the “one man” striker formation.

4. La-Liga Verses Premier League

If Messi played in EPL would he score +50goals every season? There was aplayer called Freddie Kanoute who played for Tottenham at one time and then moved to Sevilla in 2006. Prior to Tottenham he played for Westham. Many people still think while in England, Kanoute was just but an average player. However, when he moved to Spain, he started scoring goals and winning titles. To this date, Kanoute remains Sevilla’s highest foreign goal scorer. I will also give you and example of Ruud Van Nestleroy from United as a damaged goods joins Real Madrid and somehow revives his career. Jose Antonio Reyes, Michael Essien, Adebayor average at Manchester City but then a Champions League semifinalist with Madrid. Diego Forlan, Gerald Pique, Jerzy Dudek, useless in EPL but very very influential in Spanish La Liga. Roc Santa Cruz couldn’t get into first team at Manchester City, but he is now scoring goals for Malaga in the Champions League.

Lets now look at reverse examples, Robinho good at Madrid, but terrible at Manchester City, Albert Ferrer good for Barca, not so good at Chelsea. Asier Del Horno, disastrous at Chelsea etcOf course there are a few players in La Liga who have excelled in the EPL. Carzolla, Mata, Silva, Aguerro etc.
Buying Falcao is therefore a gamble. Simply because a player is scoring goals in La Liga doesn’t mean he will score goals in EPL, and at 55 million, that’s a gamble I wouldn’t wish to take.

5. Options

With a crowded midfield that boasts of some of the world’s best creativity and in as much as Chelsea fans wish to see a world class finisher at Chelsea, the same fans do not wish to be associated with another possible flop.
I have said before, that we can easily forgive Demba BA or Victor Moses for missing clear chances. If Torres does the same, then its an issue. Fans clearly remember his cost. The press will keep on reminding you the same and the result is lack of motivation, lack of morale and lack of commitment. We all know class, unlike form is permanent and for a once feared striker on the planet to suddenly plunge into a state of oblivion is something that doesn’t have an easy explanation. Perhaps it’s the price tag, perhaps it’s the press or perhaps its you and me!

(a) Recall Lukaku

In late December, Lukaku had a goal per minute ratio that was similar to that of Robin Van Persie. Now, compare the players behind Van Persie and those behind Lukaku. Picture the same situation, with players like Oscar, Mata and Hazard behind him, he might just be the answer. His physical and would fit automatically into a 4-2-3-1 formation. When we played a gainst Brentford a week ago, I remember mentioning to a guy who was sitted next to me, that Brentford may not be the best team out there but they have a n amazing striker. He was tall, physicall and he caused a few problems down the right flank on a couple of occasions by the way he was holding the ball and waiting for his midfielders to make runs. He was amazing. Too bad I don’t recall his name.

(b) Demba BA and Victor Moses

Demba Ba has a conversation rate of 0.5 goals per game and this applies to all the clubs. He is an accomplished striker. I am not sure how the 4-2-3-1 formation suits him but I have seen him make good runs onto the box and has shown a great eye for goal the few moments he has come on, either as a substitute or starting a match all together. Chelsea fans still haven’t seen the last of him and they have confidence in his abilities (Chelsea fans reaction at Newcastle proves it)
Victor Moses is another option that Chelsea can utilize in attack and while theres still plenty expected of him, his pace, physical strength and versatility are traits admired by many.

(c ) Islam Feruz

Anyone who has watched the youth team, the Scotland under 21 will admit Chelsea have an amazing young star who in my opinion should have been promoted into the first team, to play in the Cup competitions. His speed, positioning and finishing are extra ordinary for his age. Should Chelsea fail to promote this lad into first team, he will probably be sent out on loan and may end up like Borini, Ben Sahar, Di Santo, Bruma and and many other good talents we have gotten rid of before.

Having said that, we will have four strikers who, with proper coaching can become the World’s best. Drogba was not a world beater prior to joining Chelsea. We have learnt our past mistakes, I wish for us not to repeat the same and as such, Atletico Madrid should bring back our Curtois!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What is Ailing Chelsea; Or is it just bad luck?

This is my first article for this New Year 2013. Alot of bad things are happening at Chelsea Football Club, making it extremely difficult for anyone to point out amazing statistics and events, like Frank Lampard’s amazing goal haul or Juan Mata’s excellent curl against Newcastle United. It has become so frustrating to watch Chelsea play, throw away a lead in matches and eventually lose matches all together.

When interviewed, in the aftermath of Chelsea’s draw with Reading Benitez said Chelsea paid the price for not killing off the game. That could make sense, but considering Manchester United have earned 6points from 2 matches, against Southampton and Fulham, matches they have won by a margin of one goal, I disagree with Rafael Benitez and I think the whole idea, is due to tactical inefficiencies and poor decision making, both by the board, sporting director and in most cases, the coach.
Picture this for instance, and I saw a friend post this on a social page and I found it hilarious. Well, we are away to Swansea, we are badly in need of a goal and as usual time is clicking. It’s tough out there, a tough place to play, even their ball boys know it too well, but then Benitez thinks, yeah we need a goal. Two actually, so as we can take this to extra time. Let me now make a change. Let me bring in a right back!!! “Cesar, Por favor, calendar” That’s Spanish for “please warm up’!
We are playing Reading away. A two goal lead is good enough. Then Reading brings in Le Forndre, and he scores. With a few minutes to go, added time actually Benitez thinks, we are two goals to one up, I think we need to defend this. I have to make another change. Time to bring in a striker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, at the moment Bertrand is playing in midfield. He is not a winger, but “we lack squad depth” and as such he has played more matches for Chelsea than Marko Marin. Why do we lack squad depth when 23 of our players are playing elsewhere? If anyone watched El Classico on Wednesday then you will realize that Essien played so well. We have Romeu out injured for the whole season, we knew Mikel would be away for AFCON and still saw the need to let Essien go out on loan, even when Chelsea had the opportunity to recall him in January. Against Newcastle, if we had Essien, then he would have taken care of the physically threatening Moussa Sissoko by simply slotting him in the holding role position, then push Ramires to the right and Oscar to the left and ensure Bertrand sits on the bench, to do what he was meant to do, the role of having to deputize for Ashley Cole. I am still wondering.

That brings me to the next question; did Rafael Benitez know we would lose both Mikel and Moses for up to a month? Did he know Romeu would never play again for CFC again this season?
In 2006, when Jose Mourihno realized he would lose both Mikel and Essien he did two things. One of them was to introduce Eidur Gudjohnsen to a more unfamiliar role of midfield and the other move was to bring Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro on loan from Dynamo Moscow. If recalling Essien was such a big deal, why couldn’t Benitez get someone on loan temporarily like Mourinho did?

Now, we are from being serious title contenders, we are now targeting top four, and are only a point ahead of Tottenham with Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool both in the horizon. And with some tough matches, like away to Manchester City, away to Liverpool and away to United still coming, I think even our top four target is under threat. What am I saying, Benitez is in charge and that means all matches are tough matches! Come on Brentford!!!!!!!!!!!!
All in all, KeepHopeAlive and KTBFFH!!

Ps. If none of you saw Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro play for Chelsea, please note he wore shirt number 7 and the name printed on it was Maniche