It’s the time of year that Homer Simpson loves more than any other – the cut. Chelsea have announced the release of 8 players – and there aren’t too many surprises. While some of the names on the list are relatively unknown, there are several players that once showed promise and potential. Of the youth players, Amin Affane, Aziz Deen-Conteh and Archange Nkumu are the unfortunate leavers, and they leave with the club’s best wishes for the future. Joining them are Ross Turnbull, Hilario, Florent Malouda, Paulo Ferreira and Yossi Benayoun.
There is no getting around the fact that Chelsea were well below par against Steaua Bucharest in Romania last night. Having said that, the home team needed the help of a generous refereeing decision to give them the win. The result was disappointing, but it was only 1-0, and Chelsea should easily be able to turn the tie around at Stamford Bridge next week.
Fernando Torres again did his impression of a man suffering from amnesia, because he looked like he had never seen a game of football before. With Demba Ba cup tied in Europe, the Spaniard is our only striking option, so it is a good thing that the players behind him are able to find the back of the net, although they also had a bad night.
Fernando Torres has not exactly been the player that Chelsea were hoping for when they signed him from Liverpool for a British record of £50 million in January 2011. It took him over 900 minutes on the pitch to score his first goal for Chelsea which was his only goal from 18 games in that campaign. He did a little better the next year, scoring 11 goals including the crucial late goal against Barcelona that sent us to the Champions league final. His figures have improved again this year, with 15 so far, but he has never rediscovered the sparkling form he showed at Liverpool and Athletico Madrid.
The Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard won’t be risked by Carlo Ancelotti so soon after having an operation on his hernia, so the Chelsea coach will choose between Yossi Benayoun and new-signing Ramires to face Blackpool in Lampards absence.
Ancelotti said: “Benayoun played very well in the first half against Zilina, taking the right positions and making two assists,”
“It is a new position for him but he can play that position because he is intelligent and we need to have intelligent players in midfield because then we can rotate places there. Yossi will take up the right positions.
Chelsea have only managed to rustle up four homegrown players (over 21) in their squad, which means they have lost four senior places in the declared team.
John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Ross Turnbull are the only ‘home-grown’ English players, available, but the Blues can have an unlimited number of Under 21s coming through from the youth teams.
Full squad: Ashley Cole, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ross Turnbull, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, Michael Essien, Ramires, Yossi Benayoun, Didier Drogba, John Mikel Obi, Florent Malouda, Jose Bosingwa, Yury Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Salomon Kalou, Alex, Henrique Hilario, Nicolas Anelka.
The new Chelsea midfielder Yoss Benayoun has given his first interview since leaving Liverpool, and he has serious issues with the way that Rafael Benitez managed the players, including himself of course.
I don’t really need to make much comment, just read it yourself and see what you think…
“Everyone asks me why I left Liverpool,” said Benayoun. “There is only one reason; Rafa Benitez! I agreed to join Chelsea before Roy Hodgson was appointed Liverpool’s new manager. It’s a dream for me such a fantastic club have given me this opportunity.”
The Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti may have won the Premier League and FA Cup double last season, but he is already preparing to defend both titles, despite being six weeks away from the start of the 2010/11 season. He has already started giving off positive vibes ahead of the new challenge.
“We started on Monday, last year we started at the same time and we need maybe five weeks to prepare the team, to do the best physical preparation,” he said. “We will have the other players on July 22 and 26, but for the first games of pre-season they will not be involved.”
Chelsea brought in the Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun last week, and now it seems that he is very good friends with Fernando Torres, who Chelsea are also trying to persuade to move to Stamford Bridge this summer.
Torres and Benayoun are former team-mates, and the young Spaniard believes that the Israeli international fits in perfectly with his style of play.
He said last season: “Yes, for me Benayoun should always play because I need a player like him with quality in the pass and always looking forward, looking for the striker. I always say to him that if I was the manager he’d always play with me.”
The Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun has been reportedly close to signing for Chelsea for the last month, and at last the deal has finally been confirmed.
The Telegraph has reported tonight that Benayoun has signed a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge worth £75,000 a week to the Israeli international.
The 30 year-old was extremely pleased to finally be moving to a club that could win him some trophies. He said: “I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player,”
The papers are full of Liverpool transfer rumours this morning, and they all concern players leaving the club! The main man is Steven Gerrard, and the new England captain is reported by AS to be ready to join Real Madrid after the World Cup.
Jose Mourinho tried extremely hard to sign Gerrard when he was Chelsea manager, and believes that he would be a perfect alternative to Frank Lampard who he expects to stay at Chelsea. With Liverpool in turmoil he feels certain that the Scouser will be sure to win another few trophies before he retires, and Mourinho is certain he can deliver them.