Dec 032014
 

Jose Mourinho has played down the impact Diego Costa’s absence will have on Chelsea when they take on London rival Tottenham Hotspur in the week 14 midweek league match on Wednesday night.

Chelsea will be without their goal talisman when Spurs come visiting due to suspension. Costa will be suspended after picking up his fifth league booking against Sunderland when it appeared his arm caught Wes Brown in the face during the barren draw against the Black Cats on Saturday.

After the game ended, attention quickly turned to the midweek game against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs with the media hinting that the prolific hit man will be greatly missed for the midweek game.

Mourinho has however, come out to state that there will be no problem for his side with Diego Costa sitting out the game.

No, Mourinho replied when asked if Chelsea will encounter difficulties with Costa suspension.

Well play Loic Remy or Didier Drogba. We dont cry about injured players or about suspended players.

If hes suspended, hes suspended. He can rest, he can be fresh against Newcastle and against Tottenham, Drogba and Remy will have their opportunity to start the game. No problem, lets go.

Diego Costa has been a big hit at Chelsea since joining in the summer but Chelsea have shown in previous games that they can still play and win without the powerful striker. Chelsea have played a couple of league games this season while Costa was side-lined with injury and the team did look impressive in those games as when the 26-year-old striker was in the line-up.

Back-ups- Didier Drogba and Loic Remy have shown that they can ably stand in for Costa when called upon. Drogba has scored vital goals for Chelsea this season especially in the Champions league. Remy also has been good in the few games he has played so far for the club. He has also shown he can get goals for the club when called upon.

Every manager would want a Diego Costa in their team starting every of their league game and Mourinho won’t be an exception. As much as his abilities and instinct in front of goal cannot be downplayed, Chelsea still have well enough fire-power in their ranks to be able to cope adequately well without Diego Costa on Wednesday.

Costa has been in scintillating form for Chelsea since making his 32million move to the West London outfit in the summer. He has score 11 premier league goals in 11 league appearances for the club this season.

He has slotted in into Jose Mourinho side effortlessly and has struck a perfect understanding with the rest of the team. The media has however, tried to raise dust over the players discipline with many labelling him as aggressive. He has become a target for most defenders who try to get under his skin during games.

His fifth yellow card, the most by any striker in the league this season will see him miss the Spur game but the club will look to get on without their goal machine. Costa will however be eligible to return to action when Chelsea travels to Tyneside to face Newcastle United on Saturday.

In his absence, Mourinho has hinted that Loic Remy or Didier Drogba will start upfront for the club. Whoever among the two gets to start should be able to give the team the attacking impetus needed upfront to get a good result against Spurs.

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 Posted by at 12:43 pm
Oct 302014
 

Chelsea are set to welcome Diego Costa and Ramires back into the fold after Jose Mourinho confirmed that both players could be in line for action against London rival QPR this Saturday.

“Without any further complications, Diego Costa and Ramires will be fit to face QPR at the weekend” Mourinho Said.

Both players have been out injured in recent weeks and it will be a huge boost having them back and fit. Diego Costa returned from international duties with Spain aggravating the hamstring injury that has plagued his early Chelsea career. The Spanish striker has nursed the same hamstring problem from his days at Atletico Madrid and has struggled with it since moving to Chelsea.

That has however, not hindered his form as the 26-year-old has been in excellent form for Chelsea. He is currently joint top scorer in the EPL with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero after scoring nine goals in seven league appearances for Chelsea. His form has also seen him win the first PFA player of the month for the season and also Fan’s player of the month in the month of September.

His latest injury has seen him miss four games in all competition for Chelsea including the crucial Manchester United game last weekend. Ramires on his part has not tasted action since limping off in the game against Manchester City on 21st of September with a muscle injury. He has missed 8games for Chelsea and also pulled out Brazil squad for their international friendlies against Argentina and Japan in October.

The return of the pair will be a huge boost to Jose Mourinho’s team especially Diego Costa. The Brazilian born striker has been in scintillating goal scoring form for Chelsea this season.

Loic Remy, the man seen as Diego Costa’s back-up also got injured when his service was needed most leaving Didier Drogba as the only true striker for the club. There were fears over the striker’s ability to lead the line bearing in mind he is 36 already. But the Ivorian showed that he is capable of standing in for Diego Costa. He has scored three goals in three consecutive games for Chelsea despite him himself not being fully fit.

But it is evident that Chelsea has not carried the same attacking threat as when Costa was on the pitch. Costa brings a lot of attacking threat into the team. His speed, skills and ability to run in behind defenders have coursed opposition a lot of troubles and that is what Chelsea have lacked in the few games he has not being around.

Against Manchester United, Chelsea did not really trouble a naive Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo partnership. Drogba, because of his age doesn’t possess that speed and power to run behind the defenders and he couldn’t be picked with a pass from midfielders like Oscar and Fabregas.

Though he will score Chelsea’s only goal from a set pieces but a Diego Costa would have ran that Manchester United’s defence ragged. It will be a straight walk into the starting XI for Diego Costa as he is Mourinho’s first-choice striker.

Ramires will also be important to the team but it won’t be a walk in the park for him into the first team as the partnership between Cesc Fabregas and Matic in his central midfield position has been a marvel to watch.

His coming back will however give the team a good option on the bench especially going into the hectic period of the season. Jose Mourinho would hope all his players remain fit even as they mount assault on the league title.

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 Posted by at 6:35 pm
Oct 302014
 

Chelsea has had its own share of injury troubles this season but there could be some good news for the club from the injury front. A week ago, the injury situation was looking a bit scary with players like Diego Costa, Loic Remy, Ramires, Andre Schurrle  and John Mikel Obi all carrying one degree of injury or the other.

Mikel and Andre Schurrle have however returned to action against Manchester United and Shrewsbury town to the relief of the manager. There could be more good news for the fans as regarding injury situation at the club and here is the latest injury report from the Chelsea camp.

Loic Remy:

The French striker who picked up a groin injury after scoring Chelsea’s first goal against NK Maribor in the Uefa Champions League is still side lined.

Initially it was thought that his injury was a minor groin but after further diagnoses it was discovered that the player will need to spend up to three weeks on the side line to get his groin properly healed. It was expected the player will not be ready for action for the club until after the November International break with the player likely to make his return in the home game against West Bromwich Albion on November 22.

Diego Costa and Ramires:

There is however good news for Diego Costa and Ramires as both players could be set for action this weekend against QPR if there is no replace in their rehabilitation.

Manager Jose Mourinho earlier confirmed the pair will be in line for actions this weekend if they continue to make the right progress.

“Without any further complications, Diego Costa and Ramires will be fit to face QPR at the weekend” Mourinho Said.

Both players have returned to training this week and have shown signs of improvement in their fitness level.

Diego Costa has missed Chelsea’s last four matches after returning from international duty with an aggravated hamstring injury. His long standing hamstring injury has plagued his early Chelsea career and the club will hope he is able to put that behind him and continue in his scintillating form which has seen him net 9goals in 7 league appearances for the club.

Ramires also has missed eight matches since limping off against Manchester City at the Etihad on September 21st. The return of both players will be a huge boost for Jose Mourinho side.

Wallace:

Another Chelsea player got on the injury list. This time, it is loaned Wallace Oliveira Dos Santos who is on loan at Dutch side Vitesse. The youngster is said to have broken his left hand during the 2-2 draw with NAC Breda in the Dutch Eredivisie over the weekend.

The player was taken to hospital after the game and a scan has shown that the 20-year-old has fractured his hand. The player is expected to be able to continue to play with the club looking for some sort of special cast the Brazilian can wear over the hand in order to continue to play.

Wallace is however, expected to be fit to play in his side’s visit to FC Utrecht this weekend.

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 Posted by at 6:17 pm
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 side lined 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 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 Atletico Madrid.

The player is currently side lined 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 has 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 has 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 Posted by at 9:20 pm