Shark ENG (1)
May 182013
 

While there may be a sense that our season is over, there is still something to play for. Everton visit the Bridge this Sunday hungry for a final farewell victory for David Moyes. In the aftermath of our fantastic Europa League win in Amsterdam on Wednesday, it would be easy to get complacent and lose focus, but there is still some work to do especially as the race for the top 4 finish is still very much on. Arsenal could yet still pip us to 3rd spot, and quite aside from the bragging rights, we’ve seen how draining an extra-long season like the one we’ve just had can be. Qualification games for the Champions League proper would be an unnecessary annoyance and the team must focus to avoid that eventuality.

Annoyingly, we are also in a position where a draw might not even be enough. Should we draw 0-0 with The Toffees on Sunday, and Arsenal were to win 2-1, we would end up with identical points, goals scored and goal difference. In this situation, premier league rules state that a play-off on neutral ground would be played to decide 3rd place. The absolute last thing we need at the end of such an extended and exhausting season is a play-off game against an in-form and fresh Arsenal team. We have a new manager coming in and some potential high profile targets that will need a proper pre-season to gel with the squad. The team will need as much time as possible to wind down, relax, and prepare for the coming season.

Everton have never won at Stamford Bridge under David Moyes, but while history is in our favour, he will be desperate to sign off with a win. Say what you want about Rafa Benitez but he has managed to successfully juggle a hectic schedule, keeping us competitive with most of our players fresh. It looks like both Eden Hazard and John Terry will miss out with respective injuries once again, and with Ramires suspended it’s likely Victor Moses will take his place. Demba Ba will also be eager to impress, and we may see him return to the starting line.

Everton are no pushovers, but we are European champions. As long as the team approach the game in the right mindset, I have no doubt we can secure 3rd spot and enjoy our summer holidays.

Feb 162013
 

It seems clear that nothing short of a miracle will stop Rafa Benitez from losing his job as the manager of Chelsea come the end of the season. To win the Europa league would be nice, but after last year it would still be a comedown after a Champions league trophy. The stuttering performance against Sparta Prague this week did nothing to make mo too optimistic about the Blues going all the way, however. The Premier league is certainly gone, and we are now in a battle for second but also in danger of missing a top four spot.

Benitez has failed to improve Chelsea’s fortunes and seems to have had no effect on the form of Fernando Torres, which was one of the main reasons that Abramovich gave him the job in the first team. It is obvious that the fans will never warm to him, so the only question is who will replace him in the summer.

David Moyes from Everton has made his way on to the list, according to the Independent. Abramovich is encouraged by Moyes’ decision not to renew his contract with Everton until it is due to expire at the end of the season. Maybe his decision will depend on whether Everton, who are currently in sixth position and six points behind fourth placed Tottenham, manage to qualify for the Champions league. Maybe it will depend on what other offers he receives.

Moyes has been with the Toffees almost 11 years and has worked wonders on a shoestring budget, but he has never had the chance to prove himself at a really big club. There have been suggestions that he may be lined up as the successor to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, but there is no clear sign that the old Scot is close to retiring.

Chelsea would certainly offer Moyes the chance to operate at a higher level, with a better budget and better players, but is he the man we want?

Jan 092013
 

Arsenal are set to challenge Chelsea in their bid to buy Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, who is reported to be available for a fee of around £22Million.

It has emerged this week that Marouane has a clause in his contract that states if a team playing Champions League football bids £22Million or more than Everton must accept the bid. Chelsea having been eliminated from this season’s competition may have to get the lawyers involved.

Arsene Wenger is reported to be keen on the midfielder, with Arsenal set to make the 25 year-old their record signing. The Gunners are keen to bolster their team having failed to challenge for the Premier League in recent years.

Arsenal have become increasingly frustrated at Aaron Ramsey’s poor performances, and are keen to add the Belgian to help them qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Chelsea on the contrast are very happy with their current crop of midfielders, but are seeking to add depth to the squad in the wake of losing John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses to the African Cup of Nations this month. They are also actively seeking a long-term replacement for Frank Lampard, who has apparently been told he will not be given an extension to his contract.

Chelsea will no doubt be favourites to sign the Everton stalwart, despite the legal complications that may arise should the Merseyside club reject their bid. The Blues are much more willing to offer larger salaries for the better players, whereas Arsenal refuse to spend much at all. This has lead many of the Gunners better to play elsewhere at so called ‘bigger clubs’. I see Fellaini as a better fit to Chelsea than other players such as Modric, and believe he would dominate in our first team for years to come.

Jan 082013
 

Chelsea have been alerted to a £22Million buy-out clause in Marouane Fellaini’s contract, and look set to fight it out with Manchester United for his signature.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with Fellaini for most of the season, with the 25 year-old having been in incredible form from week one this season.

The Belgian started the season with a match winning performance against Manchester United, and is currently Everton’s top goalscorer this season with 8 Premier League goals, plus one FA Cup goal scored in last night’s 5-1 win over Cheltenham.

The buy-out clause states that Everton must accept a bid of £22million or more from a team playing Champions League football, a term which Chelsea’s lawyers may have to debate. However if Man United were to bid the full amount, the Merseysiders may allow the midfielder to talk to both potential suitors.

Frank Lampard is widely expected to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, and the Blues have been on the look-out for his long-term replacement, and Fellaini would certainly go some way to replacing the legend.

Sir Alex’s club also have similar needs, with the ageing Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes still playing their part for the Premier League leaders. Their midfield has been somewhat lacking this season, with United’s attack predominantly keeping them on the top of the PL.

I sincerely hope Chelsea can sign Fellaini in the January window, as I have been impressed with him consistently throughout this season. He bullies defences with his strength and ability, and has a keen eye for goal. We currently possess some of the best attacking flair, and this Belgian would add strength and aerial ability to our slick attack. Can you name a better midfielder than Fellaini in the Premier League this season (excluding Juan Mata…)?

Dec 312012
 

Petr Cech was substituted at half-time in yesterday’s 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park because of injury, and the Chelsea no.1 is expected to miss the Chelsea versus QPR tie on Wednesday.

Petr Cech is undergoing tests today to understand the full extent of his injury, with a short spell on the sidelines expected.

Cech was forced off at half-time, being replaced by Ross Turnball, after feeling pain caused by a “strained adductor muscle at the top of his leg”.

Yesterday, Cech explained: “I think it was in the 40th minute when I was punching the ball away and when I jumped, I felt pain in my right groin.

“I finished the half knowing I would not be able to continue after the break. We will see how serious it is. We will know more after the medical check that I undergo tomorrow.”

The Czech goalkeeper will be joining John Terry on the sidelines. The club captain has been out since the Liverpool clash in November 11, when a coming together with Luis Suarez caused the centre-back’s knee to give way. Terry was initailly expected back before the World Club Cup, but has suffered various set-backs. JT is expected back soon, but will not risk rushing him back.

Dec 292012
 

Chelsea are rumoured to be lining up Leighton Baines to take over the Chelsea left-back position, with the expected loss of Ashley Cole at the end of the season.

Ashley Cole’s current contract is due to expire next summer and it is said that Chelsea are only willing to offer a one-year extension to his current contract.

Ashley turned 32 last week and is thought to be holding out for a two-year extension, but would be willing to leave the West London club for free in the summer should they fail to agree terms.

Ashley has been linked with various big clubs over Europe and would not be shy of offers should Chelsea not value the player enough to give in to his demands.

Leighton Baines is reported however to be a January transfer target, leading me to suggest that Chelsea have given up on Cole staying into next season.

Baines has been an outstanding consistent performer for Everton at left-back, and is also Everton’s first-choice penalty taker. He was picked for the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year in 2012, and was also picked to receive Everton’s Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, and Goal of the Season awards for the 2010-2011 season.

I believe Leighton to be one of the best left-backs in the world, behind Ashley Cole and Philip Lahm, but ahead of leading Premier League left-backs Assou-Ekotto, Patrice Evra and Jose Enrique. Chelsea could not be faulted for attempting to sign the Evertonian to take over from Cole, but the Blues may receive some bad press for over-looking current squad member Ryan Bertrand.

Bertrand played his part in Chelsea’s Champions League triumphs last season, but has been over-looked so far this season. He was played in midfield for most of his appearances last season but is widely regarded as a left-back. He had been waiting for his chance and will not be happy with Chelsea signing a further experienced left-back for him to play understudy to.

The 23 year-old has been at Chelsea since 2005, and has since played for England at every level from U17 up to his senior debut in 2012. He has been subject to praise from various managers but Chelsea seem unwilling to give the youngster a chance. If we don’t give him his chance to fight for his place when Ashley leaves he might just have to leave in the summer as well. Do you rate Bertrand?

Dec 192012
 

Roman Abramovich is expected to confirm the £100million budget for January targets, according to the Daily Star.

Chelsea are widely tipped to persue in a contract breaking £48M bid for Radamel Falcao. Roman is expected to try to make him the highest earner in Chelsea’s history, with a £200K a week offer.

The Columbian has attracted plaudits from all across the globe with his amazing ability to score goals, including his goal against Barcelona on Sunday which you can see below.

The striker is firmly expected to be named alongside Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the World XI team of the year to be named in the coming month.

Chelsea are also expected to make a £20M+ bid for Marouane Fellaini, who is currently in the spot-light for the wrong reasons. He has just received a 3 match ban for headbutting Ryan Shawcross in the weekend’s Everton V Stoke game, a ban which is thought to be rather lenient. David Moyes spoke out publicly about his anger at the player’s actions, fuelling speculation the player could leave in January.

Roman is also expected to sanction the signing of Joao Moutinho, who has a £29million minimum fee release clause in his contract. Moutinho played alongside Falcao two seasons ago at Porto, and is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur are also rumoured to be eyeing up a bid for the Portuguese midfielder, but may not be willing to bid much more than £20M.

Chelsea will be without Oriol Romeu for most of the remaining season due to an injury he picked up in Chelsea’s last Premier League game against Sunderland, and will also be without John Obi Mikel, who will be travelling to play in the African Cup of Nations next month. This leaves Chelsea lacking in depth in their central midfield positions.

Chelsea are also set to buy another striker, but that will depend on the sale of Daniel Sturridge, who expected to move to Liverpool in a £15million deal.

Chelsea need to add to their squad in January, so I hope these reports are true. We would be silly not to pursue our interest in Falcao, who is the best no. 9 in the world. I refuse to believe he will be available for £48million beyond January. As for Fellaini, he has been in amazing form since the beginning of the season, and is also Everton’s leading scorer this term. Who would you wish to see arrive in January that could better the three mentioned?

Dec 072012
 

Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg have confirmed they are ready to go head-to-head with Chelsea over a deal for Everton’s Marouane Fellaini in January.

Fellaini is seen as one of the hottest properties in English football ahead of the opening of the transfer window in the new year, having enjoyed a remarkable start to the season.

The Belgian star has scored eight goals in 13 matches for the Toffees, including key strikes against Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City.

It’s form that has not gone unnoticed around the Premier League, with Chelsea said to be seriously considering launching a bid for Fellaini, who would command a fee in excess of £20million.

However, the Blues are not the only side considering an offer, with Russian champions Zenit confirming they are chasing Fellaini ahead of the opening of the transfer market.

‘The management team expect to strengthen the midfield during the winter transfer window,’ a spokesperson for Zenit told The Liverpool Echo.

‘The signings will be players of very high quality. For example, the Belgium international Marouane Fellaini is on the list. He has proved himself in his games for Everton.’

Fellaini has previously rejected suggestions that he would be interested in quitting Everton, but he has maintained his desire to play in a team battling for league titles and participating in the Champions League.

I would love to see Fellaini join our beloved Chelsea. His strength and aerial ability is something our current crop seem to lack in and could add an extra dimension to our squad. Fellaini can also double as an extra striker should Chelsea fail in their bids for top forwards such as Falcao, Cavani or Gomez. Who else would you like to replace Frank Lampard should he leave?

Nov 232012
 

Everton’s Marouane Fellaini claims he wants to play Champions League football, and if Everton were to have any chance to convince the Belgian star to stay, they would have to break into the top four this season.

This season, Everton have been in great form, with 20 points in their first 12 games, leaving them currently in fifth place, three points behind West Brom in fourth.

Fellaini said: “I want to play in the Champions League, and if Everton finish in the top four then I’m happy to stay here – I’d love to do that with Everton,” he said.

“I want to do that. I want to improve as a player, and I want to give everything for Everton. They brought me here from Standard Liege and gave me my chance to play in the Premier League, and I always want to repay them for that.

“I had two big injuries and they stuck by me and I worked very hard to come back from them. I feel good now in terms of my fitness, and I want to go to the next level, in the Champions League.”

This will look like bad news for all Chelsea fans who had hoped Fellaini would join us come January, but this doesn’t say he would turn down an early year move to us should Everton accept a bid. The player is loyal to his club, but he has his own ambitions that his current club may not be able to fulfill. I hope we do sign the versatile midfielder whether he’s available in January or in the Summer.

Nov 112012
 

Reports surrounding Stamford Bridge are that Chelsea´s RDM has asked Roman Abramovich to open his cheque book once more, this time for another Belgian in Everton’s Marouane Fellaini.

Chelsea appear ready to open negotiations with a bid of around £30 Million for the strong Everton goalscorer, who plays off the striker, in midfield or as a forward.

The Everton player has been in great form this season, bullying Manchester United out of 3 points in the opening game of the sesaon, up to scoring and setting up the winner in yesterdays game against sunderland, coming from 1-0 down to win 2-1.

The Everton player, who turns 25 this month, would be used as an alternative to Fernando Torres, as well as being played in midfield and may go some way to filling the hole that Frank Lampard, who is linked with a move away to China, may leave us with.

The 6 ft 4″ star said this summer: “They talked about me in Chelsea?”

“If I had to go there, I would have several friends – Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois – there are many Belgians!

“If I have got to go, I will go. I am ambitious; I want to play in the Champions League or in the Europa League.”

“Every year they say I’ll be transferred to the left or right but I’m still at Everton. If it comes, I take, if it does not come, I stay at Everton, where I am happy, and where I still have a four-year contract.

“Everything goes fast in football. You can be transferred tomorrow, as you can be in one or two years.”

Sign him up RDM!