The return of Jose Mourinho has prompted an awful lot of reflection and review amongst many Chelsea fans; yours truly included. Interestingly, I’ve found myself reviewing our seasons starting in 04/05 when we won the league. That was the start of something glorious for this club, and although we won the league double under Mourinho, it is probably fair to say that he got more out of his squads than successive managers have managed to get out of theirs. For example, we managed to accumulate an incredible 95 points in 04/05 with players like Thiago and Smertin getting 33 starts between them. When you compare it to the title winning squad of 09/10, you see a huge difference in supposed quality, and yet which team was more feared?
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.
When Chelsea agreed to loan Michael Essien to Real Madrid for the season, there was not too much complaining from Chelsea fans, probably due to the fact that the 30-year old had made just 14 Premier League appearances the previous season and did not look the same player he once was. His form has got better since joining Madrid, however, and he has become an important player for the Spanish champions.
Watching him play against Galatasaray, who had another former Chelsea player Didier Drogba in the side, in the Champions League quarter-finals made me think that he should be back at Stamford Bridge. It’s a shame we can’t bring him now, with the Chelsea squad groaning under the weight of the fixture pile up.
John Terry is a Chelsea legend, there are no two ways about it. He may not be a saint, and he has got into plenty of trouble both on and off the pitch, but you could not ask for a more passionate and determined player in you team. He has not had the greatest of seasons, though, with injuries and managerial decisions meaning he has just 19 appearances.
Terry always looked like he would be a one club man throughout his career, apart from a brief loan spell with Nottingham Forest when he was young. There are reports out today that he may not be at Chelsea next season, however, amid interest from Fenerbahce.
It is fair to say that Chelsea have been missing Didier Drogba this season. Fernando Torres has been better for the Blues this year, scoring 15 goals in all competitions so far, and Demba Ba has added some physical presence up front since signing from Newcastle in January, but has only scored once in his six league games so far. There is a player on Chelsea’s books who has the strength and pace to replace Drogba, and he has scored 12 league goals this season. The problem is that 19-year old Romelu Lukaku has been scoring them for West Brom.
With the strikers to be named on Friday, Chelsea currently have 7 players shortlisted for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI 2012 after the midfield list was released.
Ex-Chelsea star Didier Drogba is firmly expected to be on the shortlist of strikers for his part in winning the Champions League, along with Chelsea target Radamel Falcao.
Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard have been selected as possibilities for the midfield positions. Eden Hazard is interestingly the only new addition to this year’s shortlist, for his part in Lille qualifying for the Champions League and his exploits so far in this seasons campaign at Chelsea.
If reports of a January move to China are true for Chelsea’s Frank Lampard, at least he will have former team mate Didier Drogba to show him around. The 34-year old has been offered a year extension at Chelsea, apparently, but the club will not fight too hard to keep him as they continue with the rebuilding job and restyling under Roberto Di Matteo.
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.
Fernando Torres is well aware that he has not shown anywhere near his best form to Chelsea fans since moving form Liverpool last January. The 28-year old Spanish striker is determined to change that in the coming season.
“We know we have big expectations this season. There are a lot of trophies to win and we are ready for the challenge. I am sure it is going to be a good season.”
In a move that differs from Chelsea’s transfer dealings so far this summer, Roberto Di Matteo is going for experience over youth in his quest for a new right back. 30-year old Brazilian international Maicon could soon be on his way to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are in dire need of a player to replace Jose Bosingwa after the Blues decided to let his contract expire. They have been considering various options such as Debuchy, van der Weil and the Polish defender Lukasz Piszczek. Inter Milan’s seasoned campaigner has got the nod, however.