Jul 032013

Sky Sports are reporting that Chelsea are fighting with PSG for the signature of Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. Cavani scored 38 goals in all competitions last season for Napoli, and his record of 104 goals in 138 games is staggeringly good. However, Napoli are so far refusing to budge on their release clause figure of €63 million Euro, the equivalent of almost £54 million pounds.

PSG have reportedly lodged a bid of £43 million, but it is unlikely to be enough. Napoli don’t need to sell, and they will hold out for as close to that release clause as possible. It would be most surprising to see Cavani go in to the new season at Napoli, and while he would be a fantastic addition to any team, the question is whether he is worth such a staggering amount of money?

Cavani’s record is beyond reproach. He is a remarkable player, but does he justify the remarkable price-tag? Unfortunately, it depends which way you look at it. When Andy Carroll and Fernandinho are £35 million pound players, Cavani’s price seems reasonable. However, compare it to the £2 million Swansea paid for Michu or the £10 million United paid for Hernandez and it seems grossly inflated. That is the problem with these astronomical fees being considered – the amount any club is willing to pay is directly influenced by how much they require the player. So do we need Cavani?

Honestly, any team needs Cavani. He is one of the best in the world, and he would score bucket-loads at Stamford Bridge. Do I think we should pay it? Not necessarily. Signing Cavani means limited time for Lukaku, Torres and Ba. While it might not surprise me to see Ba move somewhere else this summer, Lukaku’s development is not best served by Cavani’s arrival. Similarly, it acknowledges that we have given up on Torres becoming the player we know he should be.

Replacing one £50 million pound striker with another is very exciting as a fan, but being completely honest, I’d rather we didn’t sign him right now. £54 million on the Uruguayan is the kind of transfer we’ve got used to making, but the point of Mourinho’s return is to build a dynasty – a legacy. That is far better accomplished by developing the players we have. Cavani could well guarantee instant success, but is it the right move for the club? I’m not so sure. He would improve us, but at what cost?

Tell us, would you sign Cavani for £54 million pounds?

Jun 162013

Amid reports suggesting that Barcelona may be interested in signing Fernando Torres, the Spaniard has come out to deny such a move would tempt him. Despite scoring 22 goals last season, Torres has failed to live up to his own world class standards set during his time at Liverpool. Many considered Torres to be one of, if not the best striker in the world during that time, but things haven’t gone as smoothly for Nando since his £50 million move to Chelsea. Demba Ba was brought in as competition this January, but he failed to cement a place and Torres since rediscovered some form.

Speaking of his future at Chelsea and a potential move to Barcelona, Torres stated: “I want to continue, I want to complete the contract I signed and continue winning trophies and I would like to be the best in the world in my position again. It’s always nice to hear about interest from clubs like Barcelona, but my plan is to stay at Chelsea. There’s no better place than to be than at Chelsea with Mourinho, he has won a lot more than many of us. It’s a new challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

It’s refreshing to hear that Torres hasn’t lost his desire and his willingness to fight for his place. A fully firing Torres is a terrifying prospect, and if there is any chance that he can rediscover the kind of form he’s capable of, we should look to keep him at The Bridge. Torres, Lukaku and one new signing up front is an extremely well rounded set of options, especially with Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Schurrle playing behind.

There are some fans who would much rather we cut our losses on Torres, but I am no one of them. Demba Ba is a very good forward, but I don’t see him as the kind of striker that will lead a team to trophies. Torres has previously proven that he has that ability, and who better than Mourinho to bring it out of him. At 29, Torres should still have his best years ahead of him, and it would be a terrible shame to see him performing at the highest level elsewhere.
I truly believe we should give Torres one more season do you?

Jun 072013

It’s no secret that new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will be given money to spend by Roman Abramovich, as the club looks to wrestle the Premier League back from the two Manchester clubs. Bayer Leverkusen have already admitted that they are in talks with Chelsea over the German attacker Andre Schurrle, and the Brazilian Hulk could be next.

News of that particular transfer should be forthcoming in the next 24 hours, but one potential transfer that not many people have been talking about is the possible signing of Brazilian striker and wonderfully named Hulk. The striker, 27 this summer, has revealed that Mourinho is definitely interested in bringing him to Stamford Bridge.

Hulk signed for Russian moneybags Zenit St. Petersburg in September 2012, in a deal rumoured to be worth more than 40 million euros. Hulk had previously scored 78 goals in 169 appearances for Porto, and a big move to a Champions League club looked likely before Zenit made their move. Rumours of Mourinho’s interest are not coming from the usual sources, but from the player himself.

When asked about any interest from Chelsea, he responded, “If I said there wasn’t anything in it, I would be lying. But that is not for now. At the moment, I am 100 percent focused on Brazil and I hope to be a Confederations Cup winner with my country. Other matters will have to wait until afterwards.”

While the news will delight fans (yours truly included), it is perhaps not what Torres, Ba or Lukaku wanted to hear in Mourinho’s first week at the club. Mourinho likes to play with one main striker, and a move that would bring Hulk to Stamford Bridge could have the Brazilian as first choice, although he could also be used in a wide role.

While Lukaku may be happy to go out on loan for another season as he looks to stay fit and in contention for the Belgian national team, it would mean Torres and Ba accepting supporting roles in the team, and that is something that we already know doesn’t sit well with either player. It would not be surprising to see either player move on this summer and Lukaku stepping up in the pecking order. That, however, is nothing more than speculation, and I expect it will be some time before we have any clear idea of how our squad will look at the start of the season. What we do know is that Jose is looking to strengthen, and with a full summer ahead, the future is bright.

May 292013

It seems incredible, but it really appears that Radamel Falcao will snub Chelsea in favour of a team that has just been promoted to the top tier of French football. AS Monaco have been successful in the past, winning seven league titles and five French cups, but have had all sorts or problems and were relegated in 2011. They have a new owner in the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and are throwing his money around lavishly.

It can surely only be the money that has attracted Falcao to Monaco, where lots of rich people live because it is a tax haven. Monaco will pay Atletico Madrid the release clause of over £50 million for the Colombian striker, but there were a number of clubs willing to do so. Earlier in the season it was thought that Chelsea had almost sealed the deal for Falcao, while Jose Mourinho is known to be a big fan, so his decision to choose Monaco is clearly not motivated by dreams of football success.

The former Chelsea player Ricardo Carvalho has also joined Monaco this summer, along with the highly rated Moutinho and Rodriguez from Porto. With the French champions PSG also bankrolled with mega money, you have to feel sorry for the other French Ligue 1 sides. The way these two clubs have been spending money makes a mockery of the new proposed FFP rules, because there is not much TV or matchday revenue in France.

One thing is for sure, Mourinho will need to act quickly to secure the services of a top class striker, because Demba Ba and Fernando Torres are not enough to fight for the Premier League title. Hopefully, Romelu Lukaku will get his chance, but who else should we sign?

May 092013

The back page headlines in many a tabloid newspaper today will tell you in no uncertain terms that Wayne Rooney is going to follow Sir Alex Ferguson out the door at Man Utd. Reports suggest that Rooney has been unhappy with losing his place up front in the Utd team, and a request to be transfer listed 2 weeks ago was rejected by the club. With our own strikers continuing to contribute their miserly returns in front of goals, an out and out goalscorer is priority number one for most Chelsea fans. Could Wayne Rooney really be the answer?

If the rumours are true, it will be a remarkable turn of events. When Rooney first handed in a transfer request in Oct 2010, he cited the lack of desire shown by the club as his main reason for wishing to leave. With Utd capturing the signatures of Dortmund player of the year Shinji Kagawa and Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie during last summer’s transfer window, Rooney certainly can’t use a lack of desire to excuse his desire to leave. No, Rooney’s main issue in this instance is that he is no longer the leading man at Man Utd. Rooney plays second fiddle to Van Persie, and he’s visibly unhappy about it.

Whether Man Utd would sell a player of Rooney’s status to us is one thing, but the question of should we buy him is another issue entirely. Fernando Torres has played well in recent months, but his goal return is simply unacceptable. Similarly, Demba Ba was an absolute steal from Newcastle and excellent value for money. What he is not is the main striker in a team looking to challenge domestically and in Europe. Chelsea are crying out for proven goalscorer. We could do worse.

With Mata, Oscar and Hazard playing behind Rooney as the focal point of our attacks, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the goals would be far more free-flowing. Wayne Rooney is a 25 goal a season striker, given the right team. It might not be pretty, and it might not be what we want. There’s certainly every chance that this could never happen.

None of that means it doesn’t make sense…

May 012013

Chelsea to Revamp Forward Line This Summer

Chelsea have had a strange relationship with their strikers in the last few seasons. Last season Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were dropped in favour of struggling Fernando Torres who is the only striker of the three still left at the club. Halfway through the season Nicolas Anelka was released and moved to China where he did not stay for long. Through the rest of the season Daniel Sturridge took Anelka’s place and Fernando Torres remained the front man until the knockout stages of the Champions League when he was dropped in favour of the big Ivorian Drogba.

Drogba famously led Chelsea to their first Champions League trophy with the winning penalty in an incredible match against Bayern Munich on their home ground. Drogba was then released from the club leaving just Sturridge and Torres of the strikers and Torres was Number One again. As we know this season Sturridge was sold to Liverpool and Demba Ba was brought in and now Torres and Ba are rotated but it seems Torres has reached the end of his Chelsea career.

Torres will likely be sold to Atletico Madrid for a fraction of the fee Chelsea paid for him while Atletico’s Radamel Falcao looks to be heading the other way as long as Chelsea can put forward a huge sum similar to what they paid for Torres. If the deal for Falcao falls through, Chelsea will perhaps look at Napoli striker Edison Cavani who is also going to attract high bids from the top clubs in Europe.

If Chelsea do get one of these players they will still only have two strikers available so will look for a younger backup player. Wilfried Bony has scored 31 goals this season in the Dutch Eredivisie for his club Vitesse Arnhem. He is a player who resembles the now Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and would prefer a move to Chelsea if the opportunity came and would fit right in with the rest of the squad. Or perhaps Romelu Lukaku could come back to the fold?

Apr 282013

Chelsea have a massive game against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge today. It is a game that the Blues must win as we fight Arsenal and Tottenham for a top four finish, and it is one that we are expected to win. The Welsh club are sitting safely in mid-table and seem to have taken their foot off the gas since winning the Capital One cup against Bradford City in February.

Michael Laudrup’s team have won just once since that Wembley final, but the Danish manager will surely be trying to get his players to shake off the cobwebs and finish the season strongly. Remember also that Swansea knocked Chelsea out of that competition at the semi-final stage, so we should be ready for a tough game.

Rafa Benitez has called on his Chelsea players to be more clinical in front of goal. Despite winning away against Basel on Thursday, Chelsea should have put the tie out of reach but wasted a number of good chances to do so. That means that the Spaniard will be forced to field a stronger side than he would have wanted in the return leg next week. Having let the lead slip against Liverpool last weekend, Chelsea absolutely must take all three points today to make us favourites to qualify for next season’s Champion’s League.

“Always when you have lots of chances you want to be more clinical,” said Benitez.

“It’s something we have seen during the season, a lot of games where we were doing well in attack and still we didn’t take our chances.

“We had some good chances (at Basel). We scored one, and after we had two or three chances to score a second goal and a lot of counter attacks we couldn’t finish, so I think it could have been even better.”

Chelsea should have Demba Ba leading the line today and Juan Mata should start after being rested on Thursday, so we should have no problem making and taking chances, hopefully.

Chelsea v Swansea will be shown on Justlivestreaming.com

Apr 012013

Chelsea are still on course for a Europa League and FA cup double, after an absolutely outstanding piece of magic from Demba Ba produced the only goal of the game against Manchester United. The Blues will now fave Manchester City on Sunday April 14th at Wembley for a place in the final.

We know that Rafa Benitez has had selection issues with the number of games recently and throughout the season, so it was not that surprising that Chelsea were controlled and organised rather than all guns blazing. Juan Mata seemed to be having a rare off day, but you can’t keep a good man down. Early in the second half he received the ball in the United half and produced a fantastic ball that got Ba behind the United defence. Ba took it above waist height over his shoulder and guided it past the hapless De Gea.

Petr Cech produced a fantastic reaction save to stop Hernandez leveling with his head soon afterwards, but Chelsea were fairly comfortable from then on. Van Persie blazed a chance over the bar, but we fully deserved the win. The only downside was an injury to Ashley Cole that will keep him out for around two weeks. Hopefully he will be back for that semi-final.

Apr 012013

Rafa Benitez is not exactly the most popular Chelsea manager ever, but the fans have relented a little on him recently. His comments and statement that he would definitely be leaving the club at the end of the season have drawn an uneasy truce, but if Chelsea go out of the FA cup against Manchester United today after resting key players and losing to Southampton, he will get dog’s abuse.

Some good news for Chelsea is that Ferguson has dropped Wayne Rooney from the side, he is not even on the bench. After being dropped for the Real Madrid game, it seems clear that the England striker’s days are numbered at United. Hernandez and van Persie are good players, but the Dutchman is ion a scoring drought and Rooney is much harder to play against than the Mexican.

Demba Ba will lead the line for Chelsea, with Juan Mata back from illness alongside Eden Hazard and Oscar in a very attacking and creative line up. Lampard and Terry are on the bench, and will be great to bring on to steady the ship if needed. It is vital that we start well and don’t let United get too comfortable, making the most of home advantage in this crucial game that could define the season.

Mar 092013

It is the news that Chelsea fans have been waiting for and, in my opinion, it is long overdue. Fernando Torres will be released by the club for as little as £15 million in the summer, apparently. Roman Abramovich has stubbornly stuck to his guns where the Spanish striker is concerned, but it seems as if the Russian owner has finally seen sense.

The report in the Express claims that the two clubs most likely to sign him are the Russians Anzhi Makhachkala and his former team Atletico Madrid. Torres would prefer a move back to Spain, while Chelsea would prefer it also if it helped us to get the Colombian striker Radamel Falcao in part exchange.

Earlier in the season it seemed as if Torres was recovering his form, but that was just a flash in the pan and he is now worse than ever. The £50 million transfer is sure to go down as one of the worst ever. Perhaps that is why Abramovich has been so reluctant to abandon it, but we have to cut our losses sooner rather than later. Hopefully Demba Ba can stay fit for the rest of the Premier League games, because we must finish in the top four, but with Torres the only option in the Europa League, we have little chance of winning that.