Shark ENG (1)
Oct 292014

Didier Drogba is beginning to hit fine form for Chelsea after netting again for the Blues in their 2-1 win over Shrewsbury making it his third goal in three games for the club since he came on as a substitute for Loic Remy who picked a groin injury in the champions league match against NK Maribor.

There were fears in many quarters how Chelsea are going to cope when it emerged that first choice strikers Diego Costa and Loic Remy would be sidelined for a lengthy time, but Drogba have quelled those fears by making sure he gets the needed goals for the club to thrive without Costa and Remy. His performances might not have matched the younger Drogba’s  but he has done a decent job for the club.

With Drogba’s recent display for the club, many are now requesting Diego Costa should be given well enough time to recover from his injury knowing full well that Drogba can stand in for the Spaniard while he get his injury woes is sorted out once and for all. Chelsea’s super striker has had his fine early season scoring form hampered by a series of hamstring injuries. The striker has struggled with his hamstring since making his £32m move to Chelsea from La Liga champion Athletico Madrid.

The player is currently sidelined for three weeks after returning from international duty with Spain nursing the same injury. He already missed the game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, the Maribor game at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United match as well as the Capital One Cup game against Shrewsbury.

It emerged earlier this week that the 26-year-old will need to undergo surgery to get his hamstring niggles sorted and could be out for six week if the surgery takes place.

Though the surgery is not seen as immediate and there are reports the club could delay the surgery till the summer so that Costa could take part in most club’s games. This, I think is not the best for both player and club. There is no point managing a player through injury when the player can go for surgery and be up and running for the club in six weeks.

More so, Chelsea have adequate cover for Costa in Remy and Drogba. Though Remy is currently injured but he is expected to be back in less than a week from now. Drogba too has shown that he is still capable of leading the line for the club. Chelsea simply have a decent option in Drogba and should give Costa time to sort his injury problems. Hamstring injuries are injuries that require time as a natural healing process.

When Loic Remy do make his return he will give Chelsea a greater option and will help ease the burden off Drogba’s shoulder. There is no point therefore, rushing Diego Costa back as the club is relatively faring well without him thanks to Didier Drogba who has stepped up his game despite he himself not being fully fit.

Costa will return after his surgery a fitter player and putting his injury woes behind him, can help the club title push through the Christmas hectic period into the run-ins of the season. Chelsea have already played most of the top teams in the league and can take on upcoming opponents with relative ease while Costa goes for surgery and makes his return.

 Posted by at 2:20 pm
Oct 242014

Chelsea’s super striker has had his fine early season scoring form hampered by a series of hamstring injuries. The striker has struggle with his hamstring since making his £32m move to Chelsea from La Liga champion Atletico Madrid.

The player is currently sidelined for three weeks after returning from international duty with Spain nursing the same injury. He already missed the game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and the Maribor game at Stamford Bridge but there are speculations he could be rushed back from injury to face Manchester United on Sunday after Loic Remy(his back-up) also pulled out of the Maribor game with a groin injury.

The decision to rush Diego Costa back could be one that will be too costly for the club to make. It is time Diego Costa be given the adequate time he requires to rest his muscles. Hamstring injuries are basically a result of tightening of muscles around the thigh and the best known natural cure is to give the muscle enough time to relax. Rushing the player back is to put more load on an already “tired muscle”.

Diego Costa has not been given the necessary rest his muscles requires to heal properly right from his days at Atletico Madrid.   Costa sustained this hamstring injury during his days at Atletico Madrid in the run-in to the La Liga title and the Champions league final. Costa was rushed back from the injury by manager Diego Simeone for the Atletico vs Barcelona game and the Champions league final against city rival Real Madrid.

He was however, substituted on both occasions with the injury growing worse. His participation with the Spanish national team at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil meant that he did not have enough time to recover from the injury before making his £32m move to Chelsea.

Coming to Chelsea, Costa has kick off in a flying start scoring goals after goals thus making it difficult for the manager to rest him in games. He has played virtually in all of Chelsea’s games before the international break.

Mourinho at one point has expressed fear that Costa cannot train with the rest of the squad after every match just to relax his muscle. His inability to train after games means he can’t play matches in quick succession. It is therefore, high time Chelsea gave Costa the rest he requires to get his muscles relaxed and properly healed.

It will be a hard decision to take but one that will be in the best interest of both the player and the club. If given the necessary time off, Costa will come back fit and better for the club while the reverse could be the case if rushed back from injury as has been done in past months.

Chelsea have really looked impressive and scoring goals in the two matches they’ve played in his absence. The players that have come in have put in their best and the team have shown that goals can come from any department of the team.

Aside the United game, Chelsea’s next three fixtures against ShrewBury Town(A), QPR(H) and Maribor(A) are ones the club can win without him. Chelsea and Costa will be safe if Jose Mourinho does not rush the 26-year-old back to action against Manchester United.

Costa can take enough time to rest his troubling muscles and make his return to action against Liverpool on November 8 as rest is simply what the striker needs to get back to his devastating best.

 Posted by at 2:46 pm
Sep 132014

Reports emanating from England after the Chelsea front-man flew back home injured from international duty, was that he might be sidelined for up to 3 weeks with a hamstring tear. However in his press conference on Friday afternoon, the Chelsea boss stated that the situation was being assessed, and that a final training session would give the Chelsea medical team an idea of whether the former Atletico man would be fit to take part in the game on Saturday.

“…He has a chance to play tomorrow. We have a final training session now to confirm his condition and make a final decision…” – Jose Mourinho 12.45pm yesterday

This particular scenario seems identical to the injury situation of the centre forward before the game against Everton where he was rumoured by the British press, to be out for up to 6 months. However following a press conference by the Chelsea boss, the rumour was refuted and the Chelsea forward was available for the match at Goodison Park, in which he scored two well taken goals.

Chelsea fans will be hoping this particular injury rumour will end with the star man leading the line against Swansea today. As he’s tally of 4 goals so far, has been instrumental in the blues currently topping the Premier League table.

Diego Costa niggling injury worries will be a source of constant concern for the London side, as the 32million pounds man, has been on and off the injury table consistently for the past 5 months. Chelsea will hoping the Augusts’ Barclays player of the month recovers his fitness long enough to lead the club’s title campaign.

In the event of Costa’s absence from proceedings at Stamford Bridge today, Chelsea don’t look in good shape to adequately replace his fire power as Loic Remy has only just got into the club, and will need to familiarize himself with the style, tactic and pattern of play in other gel properly with his team mates upfront. Mourinho is also not the type of manager to start a player that he hasn’t worked with before, without allowing him time with his teammates. This note withstanding the player’s quality (the case of Filipe Luis, the best leftback in Spain last season, a prime example)

Every lover of competitive football and the Premier League will be hoping Costa overcomes his injury worries and gets back to the action soon.

 Posted by at 10:14 am
Sep 122014

When Loic Remy signed for Chelsea in the final days of the transfer window, there was no doubt he was signed to be a back up to the in form Diego Costa. A couple of substitute appearances and a chance to win silverware was probably all he might have hoped for. Then the international break came along and Costa picked up another hamstring strain, while Remy came on to score a well taken goal for France in a friendly. These events although not necessarily connected, put things in perspective.

Costa’s history of picking up tears and strains was a concern for Chelsea fans before he completed his transfer to Stamford Bridge.

In light of the departures of some of Atletico’s top scorers like Sergio Arguero and the Colombian Falcao, the clubs reliance on Diego Costa tripled. He played almost every match from then on and was rarely ever given a rest. And even when injured, was rushed back before he was fully fit. The most notable example, being how he was picked to play a week  after sustaining an hamstring  injury and had to limp off after 9 minutes due to a recurrence of the injury. This in turn led to the Spanish striker picking up so many muscle injuries in a short space of time.

These niggling fitness problems have now become a much more serious factor affecting his football and it seems like injuries such as, thigh muscle strains and Hamstring strains have come to stay for the 25year old Spaniard.  As with most injury problems, it most probably will get worse with age.

It seems Loic Remy may get his chance sooner than anticipated, with the international break over and the club engagements coming thick and fast, one good performance may turn out to be the turning point for the Frenchman. He’s explosive pace, quick feet and eye for goal has seen the former Olympic Marseille forward compared to French strikers like Nicolas Anelka and the legendary Thierry Henry.

The Rillieux- la- pape born striker has before him, the first test of his readiness this weekend against Swansea, with the first choice striker supposedly out and the other available striker in his late thirties, not what he used to be. The former QPR man has the chance to come into the team and save the day.

With reports of a drunken driving charge and an attempted rape levelled against him, Remy has had to overcome a lot to focus on his football. His failed medicals at Liverpool earlier this season was yet another reason for speculation concerning his ability to play.

Despite all this, Loic Remy has shown that he’s nothing if not a fighter.  When the time comes for him to put his head down and walk hard, the 27year old has shown he will do just that.

One thing’s clear though, when the chance to prove he can be a top striker presents itself, Remy will rise to the challenge.

 Posted by at 4:54 pm
Mar 282014

With a potential ‘striker clear out’ looming at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, Inter Milan have been caught snooping about one Fernando Torres. Torres relationship with Chelsea fans has been a tempestuous one. Arriving for 50 million pounds in 2011, there were high expectations on the Spanish born forward. At Liverpool he had been a regular goal scorer, and was renowned for his lightning pace and lethal finishing.

Despite a rocky start, fans (and the various Chelsea managers) were patient with Torres. Scoring just 1 goal in 18 appearances throughout the 2010/11 season, admirers of the World Cup winner simply refused to believe that he wouldn’t soon come well. 3 years on, and much of the footballing world has simply come to accept that the Torres that once was, is now no longer. While he will occasionally put in a fighting performance, or beat a defender or two, few people are now foolish enough to utter the now cliché  suggestion, “Is Torres back?!”

While he is not what he was, he has come to carve out something of a new identity in the current Chelsea squad. Often utilised as a power forward that works the channels and breaks up defences, he has been integral in a number of great Chelsea performances, helping his team mates find the back of the net. However, with a wealth of fresh talent now playing behind and around him, and having just celebrated his 30th birthday, it might be time for Torres to begin the slow stepping down process that every great player must endure.

Inter Milan’s interest comes as part of a more general rebuilding plan, after the Italian Serie A club has suffered a relative fall from grace since winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2010. Currently sitting 5th in Serie A, the 3 time champions of Europe are set to build a new team to regain something of their glory days. It’s interesting to speculate as to the role Torres will take on at Inter, should the move materialise. More than likely, whether or not he is an impact player or a talisman will largely depend on his ability to find his form in front of goal, and fans of I Nerazzurri will be hoping for just that.

 Posted by at 2:54 pm
Mar 282014

The tangibility of Diego Costa’s transfer to Chelsea has now been further strengthened by the presence of Blues’ scouts at Atletico Madrid’s La Liga match with Granada last night. The potential buyers watched on as Costa scored the only goal of the match in the 63rd minute, gifting Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory.

The goal only serves to prove what they surely already know: Diego Costa is in incredibly goal scoring form. While his finishing often lacks the eloquence of other world class strikers, no-one can deny his sensational record this season. With 29 league appearances, 24 goals, and 3 assists, he is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga’s top scorers’ charts. These stats are further strengthened by his European performances. Having netted 5 times so far in Atletico’s Champions League campaign, the Brazilian born Spaniard is sure to demand a hefty fee.

Rumours suggest that Chelsea will be made to pay around 40 million pounds to bring Costa to Stamford Bridge, where he will join a Mourinho side who currently sit at the top of the English Premier League. Should Chelsea fail to lure him out of Diego Simeone’s, Chelsea might look to France, and reach out to the seemingly unsettled Edison Cavani.

The other variable in the ever present transfer speculation is the 2014 World Cup. A stage such as this has always been an occasion which has made, and broken, superstars. Domestic leagues from around the world will be glued to the sets, to see how their transfer targets handle the biggest games in football. Costa, having acquired Spanish citizenship, will travel with Spain’s world cup squad, and will have an opportunity to extend his incredible run of form against the likes of Australia, Holland, and Chile, as the reigning European and World Champions will face tough competition to win their group.

 Posted by at 2:37 pm
Mar 262014

Speaking recently in an interview about Chelsea, former Blues manager Ruud Gillet has offered high praise for Mourinho and the London Club. Speaking specifically about their Champions League chances, Gillet suggested that Bayern Munich and Barcelona are afraid of Chelsea, and their managers’ ability to prepare his sides for big European clashes.

“I think, at the moment, the team that frightens everybody is Chelsea. Their strength, their depth, the way they anticipate the game.’

“I think Chelsea is the only team that can beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich, in the way they play, and I think everybody wants to avoid Chelsea.”

Gullit’s statements refer to the dynamism that Chelsea are capable of, when at they’re at their best. All Mourinho sides are known for their defensive solidity, and this year’s team in no exception. With the best defence in the league, and a formidable record in the Champions League, he has succeeded once more in creating a side that is very hard to beat. When this defensive acumen is coupled with the creative talents of Chelsea’s world class midfield, it is easy to see why Gullit is confident in his prediction that they will be able to maintain their first place in the Premier League.

Mourinho himself has consistent pedalled the underdog angle when it comes to discussing his sides chances of winning silverware this season. Despite this, with a series of impressive victories of Manchester City and Arsenal, it’s hard to deny that Chelsea is among the favourites to win both the Premier League, and challenge for the Champions League.

Before any chance of such European honours, Chelsea will have to overcome Paris Saint-Germain in a two legged quarter final tie. While Mourinho’s side will be favourites in the encounter, there will be no room for complacent against the reigning French champions.

 Posted by at 9:20 pm
Mar 242014

Early reports are suggesting that Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o will be out for at least a fortnight as he recovers from a hamstring injury sustained in this weekend’s match with Arsenal. With glimpses of form in his recent games, the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 33 year old Cameroon international.

Eto’o opened the scoring in the 6-0 demolition of Chelsea’s London rivals, with a composed curling effort on his left foot. Leaving the pitch almost immediately after, Jose Mourinho must have suspected the worse. Having scored 3 goals in his last 3 Chelsea appearances, his absence will be regrettable for Blues fans, at a time when winning every match is crucial to their title dream.

Inconsistent performer Fernando Torres replaced Eto’o on the weekend, and played well, despite failing to find the back of the net.

“Fernando, without scoring a goal, had a very good performance with great movement for the team,” Mourinho said.

Chelsea fans might be thinking, ‘We’ve heard this all before’. They’d be forgiven for such exclamations, given the utterly indifferent form of the once world class Spanish striker. Torres’ has scored just 4 league goals this season in 22 appearances. His off the ball work rate and link up play may be ignored by these statistics, but with a wealth of creative midfield talent at Jose Mourinho’s disposal, its goals that Chelsea need from their number 9 at this stage of the season.

The early prognosis on Eto’o is that he will certainly be missing for Chelsea’s clash with Crystal Palace this season, and further absences will depend on ongoing scans and the uncertain recovery time of his injury.

 Posted by at 7:22 pm
Nov 292013

In a move that is uncharacteristic of Chelsea throughout the Abramovich era, manager Jose Mourinho has stated that the Blues will not look to strengthen their squad by bringing in another striker this January. Many suspect that the upcoming transfer window was the perfect opportunity for Chelsea to solve their striking woes with yet another splash of the cash.

Mourhino was quoted as saying;

“It’s not true what I read a couple of days ago, that his [Martinez’s] agent was in London meeting with me.

In the January market we are not going to buy any strikers.

We are going to the end of the season with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba. No one is coming in, no one is going out.”

The Blues forward trio of Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba, and Fernando Torres, have all struggled to perform this season, and fears have been raised among Chelsea faithful that this weakness may limit their chances of claiming a fifth Premier League crown. Trying to understand Mourinho’s reluctance to do business, one may point to logistics and timing. With Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku also out on loan, an incoming purchase would probably necessitate at least some sort of clear out, and finding a buyer for Torres or Eto’o, both of whom demand substantial wages, might not be easy at this time of the year.

Instead, the Portuguese manager will be hoping that a misfiring forward line can be supplemented by the immense creative talents of his midfield. With Eden Hazard finding the form of his life, new signing Willian, and the ever consistent Oscar continuing to impress, goals from the centre of the park may allow Chelsea to get by without a world class centre forward.

Obviously it is by no means unheard of for a manager to be deceptive with the media regarding potential transfers, and there’s every chance Mourinho’s words will be proven false. Speculation suggests that potential targets for a January poach may include Porto striker Jackson Martinez who according to many reports has a release clause of 30 million pounds or there about.

However, should Mourinho be serious and end the winter window with no striker signing, it will remain to be seen how Mourinho intends to solve Chelsea’s striker problem.

 Posted by at 5:21 pm
Jun 052013

Jose Mourinho may only be a day in the Chelsea job, but he doesn’t have much time to waste as he goes about organising his summer schedule. Chelsea have a good squad of players, but there is still a lot of work to do in preparation for the coming season. One of Mourinho’s first jobs will be to assess the squad and decide who stays and who goes. Identifying the needs of the team comes before any big moves in the transfer market, and while some decisions are easier than others, one of the biggest decisions he will have to make is what to do with Michael Essien.

Essien was signed by Mourinho in 2005 for nearly £25 million pounds and quickly became one of the most dominating all-round midfielders in the Premier League. The pressure that comes with such a big price tag seemed to have no effect on the Ghana international, and he became a mainstay in the Blues’ team, but several injuries restricted his appearances. After only 19 appearances in 11/12, Jose came calling once again and signed him on a season long loan at Real Madrid. Essien made 34 appearances for Real last season-many of them in defence. He has since spoken of his love and admiration for Mourinho, and will be desperate to fight for his place at Chelsea this season

Essien has a contract up to 2015, but it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will look to keep him on the books. At Real, Essien was not part of a long term plan – he was merely filling a season long hole in the squad. As Jose looks to build his very own long-term project at The Bridge, he will have no choice but to be ruthless. The needs of the club come ahead of sentiment. That being said, there were times last season where we were desperately short of options in midfield. While we have an excellent first team, our squad options are limited by number, if not ability. Michael Essien has been a great servant to the club, and he could still perform a role for us, but I doubt whether he fits in with our long term plan. Whether he stays to give us a short-term option will come down to one man. Welcome back Jose – it’s time to start working