May 182013

Lampard signs on the dotted line……Finally!

It’s been a very good couple of weeks for Chelsea, and the season is really ending on a high. It stated with victory over Aston Villa which secured our top four spot in the league. That match included a brace from Frank Lampard, pushing him to 203 Chelsea goals and overtaking Bobby Tambling as the club’s record goalscorer. Wednesday brought us further joy and European success with a hard fought win over Benfica in the Europa League final, making it two European victories on the trot. And now, we can all celebrate the end to this year’s on-going Frank Lampard contact situation.

After many months of rumours, gossip and idle speculation, Lampard has signed on for a new 1 year deal. It is a satisfactory end to a long saga in a long season, and no one could be happier with the outcome than Frank himself. Speaking on the Chelsea website, Lampard said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Everybody knows I always maintained the dream was to stay at Chelsea. I love this club, the staff, the players and especially the supporters who have treated me fantastically since the day I arrived…The thought of helping the club to more success in the forthcoming years is all I ever wanted. I couldn’t be happier”

Early suggestions that Lampard refused to sign a new contract before he knew who the next manager was going to be have been rubbished by the club, and while Jose Mourinho is still the red hot favourite to return, anything could happen in the coming weeks.

While there is a distinct mood of celebration around Stamford Bridge, no one will be more aware than Frank of the danger in feeling too comfortable. There is still a tough game against Everton to come, and a win is vital to ensure we don’t lose 3rd place. With Terry still out, Lampard will be hoping to once again lead the team out as captain on Sunday. Although Benitez may have wanted to give Lampard a rest after his exertions midweek, the absence of Ramires and Hazard may mean the 34 year old veteran will have to postpone his well-earned holiday for a few more days.

Apr 292013

Chelsea and Lampard – The End of an Era?

Sunday’s match with Swansea City saw legendary Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard score yet another goal to edge him closer to the record held by Bobby Tambling who was in attendance for the match himself.

There have been doubts over Lampard’s future all season with the club refusing to offer him a new contract or make any official statement on the matter. He has said himself that he would of course love to stay for as long as his body enables him and pretty much 100% of the club’s fans have voiced their desire for him to stay, so what is the problem?

Why are the club so intent on offloading an extraordinary midfielder who has shown his credentials over the years with 200 goals for the club and countless games where has shown commitment and loyalty as the vice-captain and midfield maestro.

The board may justify not offering him a new contract by purchasing a replacement but there are very few, if any, players in the world that can perform as a 20 goal a season central midfielder who can do any job you ask of him. It is going to take a huge sum of money and faith to be able to properly replace Lampard and take the club back to the top of English football.

Chelsea will also be getting a new manager this summer with Jose Mourinho being tipped to return in the press. It would be a great day for Chelsea fans if Mourinho was to return and he would surely want to keep Lampard playing at Stamford Bridge for at least another season.

The next few seasons could be difficult for the club as old faces such as Lampard, Terry, Cole and Cech begin to move on and the younger stars such as Lukaku, De Bruyne, Courtois and Hazard aim to bring a Belgian core to the team and drive Chelsea to European and domestic success.

Apr 272013

John Terry confirms he will not be leaving Chelsea at the end the season, despite only having 12 months left on his current contract. He has made it clear that he won’t be going anywhere else this year, and if he leaves next summer it won’t be to a rival Premiership club.

“I’ve got another year on my contract and definitely will be here next year,” said Terry.

“Where I would go after that it certainly wouldn’t be in England. I couldn’t do that to Chelsea or the fans. That’s just not me.”

The Blues captain is still hopeful that Chelsea will give him another contract extension, but he is not unduly worried about it right now: “It would be nice to get some silverware, get the season out of the way and maybe talk contracts in the summer,” Terry continued.

“It depends on my fitness and me staying in a good enough condition to impress the guys who make those decisions.

“I have got another year left which I will honour and respect, regardless if it’s a yes or a no.”

Spoken like a true Chelsea legend, and personally I can’t see why Abramovich can’t keep him on if only to teach the new upcoming young stars what it really means to wear the famous shirt of Champions.

Feb 192013

The Chelsea captain John Terry is the only current player to have been at Stamford Bridge longer than the 34-year old midfielder Frank Lampard, and he is keen to continue playing with his team mate longer than the end of the season. Terry has joined in the debate about whether the club should offer Lampard a new contract despite his age, and the 32-year old defender is in no doubt whatsoever.

“Frank has so much more to give and he has been an inspiration to everyone at the club.

“He has got years ahead of him and we all hope they will be spent here at Chelsea.

“I am not even going to entertain the idea of him playing for another club.

“Even at his age, he is still the best trainer by a million miles. He works so hard, and for him to get that many goals, kids can look at him and think `he is just in the right position`.

“But believe me it is a lot of hard work before and after training, working on his strengths and weaknesses.

“I think you can see he has always been very fit naturally anyway.”

Hopefully, Terry’s words will reach the ears of Roman Abramovich and the owner will change his mind and keep Frank at the Bridge. Not only is he a fantastic player and great role model for the younger Chelsea players, it would show the fans that there is some loyalty at the club following the Di Matteo and Benitez fiasco.

Feb 122013

The ex-France international Florent Malouda has been an excellent squad player at Stamford Bridge for five years now, but this season has been totally excluded from the Chelsea team (and forced to train with the U21s) amid rumours of refusing to allow the club to buy out his contract and make him a free agent this summer.

The Frenchman revealed that he is under a confidentiality agreement and not allowed to tell the world the truth about this saga, but he intends to make sure we all know when his contract finally finishes.

But he did tell France-Guyane: “The details I’ll explain when I’m free, but the strategy they use is to make me look like a player seeking substantial compensation,”

“It’s petty but more than anything else it makes me smile because it shows how these people regard me.

“If you are excluded for one year, it is very, very long. You must be armed mentally.

“All this is done to break me mentally, but in reality it motivates me enormously.”

The Frenchman is now 32, but at least he had the pleasure of playing his last game for the club in the Champions League Final and walking away with a winners medal, but it seems strange that players like Drogba and Anelka were allowed to depart for fortunes in China while Malouda is stranded in the wilderness…..

Oct 152012

It seems ridiculous, but the Chelsea board are standing firm to their policy of offering no more than a year at a time to any player over 30-years old. England international left back Ashley Cole is not happy with this and so is set to leave the club in the summer for nothing.

Cole is one of the best left backs in the world and is in peak physical condition, so there will be a queue of top European clubs vying for his signature. He could rejoin his old manager from Chelsea, Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Even worse, he could go to Premier league rivals Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson has been keen to get cover, or a replacement, for his French international Patrice Evra. Evra is just a year older than Cole but his form has dropped alarmingly. Fergie was looking at Leighton Baines from Everton, but David Moyes was demanding around £20 million. If United get Cole for nothing, Ferguson will not believe his luck.

Frank Lampard is in the same situation at 34-years old and so it looks like they will join another of the Champion’s league winning team, Didier Drogba, to be cast aside. The players feel that they deserve more loyalty from Abramovich and Chelsea but it does not look like they will get it.

Sep 252012

The Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is confident that Ashley Cole will sign a new contract with The Blues before January. The 31 year old’s current contract runs out in the summer and Chelsea aren’t willing to lose one of their best players on the cheap, or even worse on a Bosman Transfer if he cannot agree on a contract by 30th June. In January, if no new contract had been agreed, Cole would be free to talk with other clubs, about making a switch to their club in the summer. But Di Matteo is very confident that this will not be the scenario and we will still see Cole in a Chelsea shirt next season.

Di Matteo said: “I’m very optimistic that it will be dealt with before that (January), he has become a legend – he is now Chelsea through and through, but I wouldn’t say it’s just happened recently. He’s been here many years and has contributed a lot to this club.”

Although Di Matteo didn’t confirm nor deny if Cole was currently in talks with the Chelsea Board, its understood that it is in Cole’s best wishes to stay with the club. The left-back scored his first goal in 28 months on Saturday to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over Stoke City and afterwards Di Matteo congratulated the Englishman on his efforts.

“He’s a fantastic pro, which I’m not sure whether you know. Somebody that’s the first one out in training, one of the first into the building with JT [John Terry], trains every day like a professional, reliable, somebody that you could go to war with. And he’s a very quiet guy as well. He’s very private at his own stuff. He’s one of the best left-backs in the world.”

The Chelsea man joined from Premier league and London rivals Arsenal back in 2006, in a deal that involved William Gallas (now at Tottenham Hotspur) moving the other way plus £5 million at the time. Probably one of the best bits of business Chelsea has done in the Abramovich era!

Sep 232012

Chelsea defender David Luiz has signed a new contract with the European Champions, stating on Chelsea’s official website;

“I am very happy to sign a new contract with Chelsea, It is a great club and I look forward to winning more trophies here. I want to play for a long time at the top level – which is what playing for Chelsea means. I love everything about the club and especially the fans, who have made me very welcome and given me great support”

Luiz moved to Chelsea from Portuguese side Benfica in a £21 million deal. He was criticised by many at the start of last season, however as the season progressed so did Luiz’s performances as he impressed for the club. He was then linked with a move to Barcelona for most of the summer transfer window but he stayed with The Blues and he has continued to impress.

The tough tackling Portuguese national will be hoping to cement a place in the Chelsea starting XI, but it will be difficult to displace a strong English defensive pairing of John Terry and Gary Cahill.

The new deal is a 5 year contract on a reported £75,000 per week wages.

Aug 152012

The Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard may be 34 years old but he sincerely believes that he can carry on playing for a few more years, and is hoping that Chelsea will give him a chance to carry on past this season, when his contract ends.

Lampard said: ‘We spoke once last season and it was a case of coming back – and it hasn’t come back from their end. I don’t know (what will happen).

‘At the minute I’m just playing. I’d like to sit down and speak with them. But at the minute I’m playing and it’s up to the club to do that.

‘I would like to end my career there. I feel I can play at the top level for a good few more years, but it’s whether the club feels the same.’

‘I know there are a lot of changes at Chelsea. I’d love to be involved, and the youth coming into the squad this year has really freshened up our team.

‘I’d love to carry on but it’s a club decision to come and sit down with me.

‘They used to sit down with me three years before the end of my contract. Now I’m waiting.’

We all know that Chelsea are trying hard to build a new young team at the Bridge, but even if Lampard doesn’t get picked very often, then surely its worth keeping him on as an inspiration to all the young players coming through into the team.

It’s a shame we couldn’t have kept Drogba too…..

Jun 142012

“Roberto’s quality was clear for all to see when he galvanized the squad last season and helped the club make history, and the owner and the board are very pleased he will be continuing his good work.”

These words from Ron Gourlay, Chelsea chief executive, finally put to rest the speculation as to whether Roman Abramovich would be able to persuade Pep Guardiola to curtail his break from football. Many Chelsea fans and players thought it would be unfair to the 42-year old Italian if he was replaced after last season, and for the young Italian manager it means that he can now consider looking for a more permanent property in Chelsea!

Di Matteo replaced Villas-Boas with the team in turmoil. Their form was awful and the dressing room was demoralized. He made the players into a team again and lost just three of his 21 games. His tactics against Barcelona and Bayern Munich were perfect and Chelsea enjoyed a historic Champion’s league triumph to add to another FA cup.

He will have a much stronger squad this season after Abramovich has decided to invest heavily again, and we will be challenging for the Premier league title again. It was thought that he may be offered just one year, while Abramovich waited for Guardiola, but Chelsea have shown more confidence in his abilities. Rivals beware!