The 2012/13 season was an exceptionally long and demanding experience for the Chelsea squad, and the players are only now preparing to come back for pre-season training and to begin life under Jose Mourinho. There is still huge uncertainty over which players Mourinho is likely to favour, and in what way will he choose to set up the team for the start of the new season. There have been some indications that Mourinho wishes to give younger players a chance to feature and develop during the course of the season, but one thing that won’t be changing is club captain. Mourinho has been firm on that subject – John Terry will remain our captain. The question that springs to my mind when I hear that is – what’s going to happen to Gary Cahill?
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.
It has been a long time since Gary Cahill got injured and had to undergo a knee surgery which gave him an extended visit to the treatment table. Although he tried to make his return earlier, he couldn’t, since his knee would keep breaking down in training and obviously there was a serious problem.
Gary expressed his delight on his return to the squad and played for full 90 minutes. The good news is that Chelsea was able to grab all three points against Swansea City with the score being 2-0.
Chelsea have still got eight games to play this season. That includes the Europa League final at the Amsterdam Arena in Holland on May 15th. To get there, the Blues have got to get past the Swiss side Basel that knocked Tottenham Hotspur out in the last round. They are a good side, but Chelsea are better and have got the added bonus of Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole returning from injury.
The 27-year old central defender Gary Cahill seems to have been out of the Chelsea team for ages following a minor knee operation, but he is on the verge of returning. That is great news for Chelsea, as there could still be nine games to play if we reach the Europa League final by beating Basel in the semi.
There is an outside chance of Cahill making the match at Liverpool on Sunday, but if not then he will ready for the first leg against the team from Switzerland. He has already won the FA cup and the Champions League in his short career at Stamford Bridge and does not hide the fact that the group stage exit as holders of the European cup, along with exits from the English cup competitions were disappointing.
There was just one thing that put a negative on yesterday’s win over Manchester United. With the mammoth fixture list facing the club, the sight of Ashley Cole limping off holding his hamstring was the last thing we needed. The injury is not as bad as first feared, however, and the England left back should return in a couple of weeks.
It seems unlikely, though, that Cole be able to take part in the next FA cup game, against Manchester City at Wembley stadium on Sunday April 14th for a place in the final. Gary Cahill is also likely to miss that match, but both players should be back around that time or soon after.
John Terry sat on the bench last night as Chelsea beat Sparta Prague 1-0 in the away leg of the Europa league tie. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the captain to get a run out, because Gary Cahill had been booked and seemed to be on his last waring with 30 minutes to go, but Rafa Benitez left Cahill on, and has explained that Terry suffered another setback to his recovery this week.
The direct translation of Juan Mata from Spanish to English is John Kills, leading to his nickname with his Chelsea team mates, Johnny Kills. He certainly put Tottenham to the sword with a fantastic two goal display at White Hart Lane yesterday. Another tough fixture negotiated by Chelsea who are still unbeaten and have only dropped two points.
Roberto Di Matteo is very pleased with his new look Chelsea who retained their four point gap at the top of the Premier league table. We also have the best goal difference, having scored 19 and let in just six goals. Even if Manchester United win at Stamford Bridge next weekend, Chelsea will stay top, but the way we are playing it is Alex Ferguson who has more to worry about.
There is some good news and bad news for Chelsea fans today. Two players who were doubtful for the start of the new season should be available to Roberto Di Matteo. Daniel Sturridge should be joining Stuart Pearce for the Olympics and Gary Cahill has returned to training after missing Euro 2012 with a broken jaw picked up against Belgium in an international friendly.
“Gary is fine and we are expecting him to be back in good form.” said Di Matteo.
Sturridge only had a mild form of Meningitis and has recovered well and will, hopefully, have a good run out at the Olympics and be raring to go for Chelsea.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill will miss out on Euro 2012, due to a fractured jaw. Cahill suffered the injury during England’s friendly against Belgium and Saturday, after Dries Mertens pushed the 26-years-old defender into Joe Hart.
After the match, Chelsea’s centre back underwent a scan which revealed that he has a double fracture of his jaw, one on each side. Gary Cahill joins Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in being forced out of the Euros, so England manager Roy Hodgson called up Liverpool’s Martin Kelly to complete the squad.