Chelsea have had their ups and downs in the last 2 years. The unmitigated joy of Champions League success, tempered by poor performances and the sacking of club legend Roberto Di Matteo. Frank Lampard’s record breaking goalscoring antics against Fernando Torres’ continued shyness in front of goal in the league. Eden Hazard dominating a game…Eden Hazard kicking a ball-boy. It’s been a bit up and down, and any level of normality can only be achieved by the installation of a new manager.
Jose Mourinho has something of a reputation as a short term manager. He spent 2 years at Porto, just over 3 with us, 2 at Inter and finally 3 with Real Madrid. While on the surface that looks poor, we all know just how successful he has been at each of those clubs, including Chelsea. However, if Mourinho’s return to Chelsea this year is to be a successful move, there has to be a change of directive. Historically, Roman Abramovich has sacked managers for their perceived failures, but if Chelsea are to become a truly dominant force then Roman is going to have to accept that not every year will be a runaway success.
While it hasn’t been announced that Mourinho will be the next manager of Chelsea, there seems to be increasingly little doubt that the switch is already well under way. Interestingly, some of the most certain signs have come not from Abramovich, nor from any of the senior players, but from the young Belgian attacker Kevin De Bruyne. KDB spent the last season on loan at Werder Bremen, and he had a superb season. With 10 goals and 10 assists in 33 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit, De Bruyne has only served to further add to his already tremendous reputation. De Bruyne is seen as one of the best young European prospects in the world today, and it’s only a matter of time before he establishes himself at a big club.
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company by mutual consent. Real president Florentino Perez made the announcement this evening at a press conference to hordes of completely unsurprised journalists in Madrid. Contrary to reports that he would be officially sacked, Perez has confirmed that the split was a mutual decision.
“We’ve decided to bring our relationship to an end, nobody’s been sacked, it’s a mutual agreement”
Mauricio Pochettino has responded to speculation surrounding Luke Shaw’s potential transfer to West London, by claiming Chelsea should be more concerned with keeping their players from his clutches.
The 17 year-old defender has been an outstanding performer for the Saints this season, encouraging praise from many potential suitors and reporters alike.
The teenager made his Premier League debut in November and never looked back, making 25 league appearances in his first season in the Southampton senior squad.
Chelsea have been earmarked as his most likely destination, but the Saints boss responded to the speculation by claiming: “Perhaps we will go and get some Chelsea players ourselves.
We may not have announced who our new manager is going to be yet, but Chelsea have not been waiting around for that appointment to be made before putting together their summer shopping wish list. Jose Mourinho should be announced in the very near future, and it looks like he will have a ready-made list of targets waiting on his desk when arrives.
Whether Mourinho already has his own ideas about who he might like to sign is unknown just yet, but Jose is not exactly known for being shy with the chequebook, so you can be sure there will be a few surprises this summer.
There are two different stories doing the rounds about the future look of the Chelsea strike force and both cannot be true. It seems to boil down to whether Fernando Torres is still at the club next season. If he is, then it seems as if Radamel Falcao will not be coming to Stamford Bridge, because the Colombian striker does not want to share his duties with Torres.
This season, Chelsea have primarily used the single striker, supported by the creative attacking skills of Juan Mata, Oscar, Hazard and others, so it would be Falcao or Torres or Demba Ba. This might not be the case with the new manager, however, so whoever it is (Jose Mourinho) needs to talk to Falcao.
Lampard signs on the dotted line……Finally!
It’s been a very good couple of weeks for Chelsea, and the season is really ending on a high. It stated with victory over Aston Villa which secured our top four spot in the league. That match included a brace from Frank Lampard, pushing him to 203 Chelsea goals and overtaking Bobby Tambling as the club’s record goalscorer. Wednesday brought us further joy and European success with a hard fought win over Benfica in the Europa League final, making it two European victories on the trot. And now, we can all celebrate the end to this year’s on-going Frank Lampard contact situation.
While there may be a sense that our season is over, there is still something to play for. Everton visit the Bridge this Sunday hungry for a final farewell victory for David Moyes. In the aftermath of our fantastic Europa League win in Amsterdam on Wednesday, it would be easy to get complacent and lose focus, but there is still some work to do. Arsenal could yet still pip us to 3rd spot, and quite aside from the bragging rights, we’ve seen how draining an extra-long season like the one we’ve just had can be. Qualification games for the Champions League pope would be an unnecessary annoyance and the team must focus to avoid that eventuality.
For the next ten days, Chelsea will officially be the reigning holders of both the Champions League and the Europa League trophies after a stunning 2-1 win over the impressive Benfica. Fittingly, it was one of the heroes of last year’s Champions League campaign that scored the dramatic 93rd minute winner – Branislav Ivanovic.