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Jun 242013
 

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?

During the course of last season, Cesar Azpilicueta forced his way in to the first team at right back. This meant that Ivanovic was moved to central defence, while David Luiz and Gary Cahill were his most common partners when the former wasn’t playing defensive mid. We saw John Terry struggle for fitness, but even when he became available for selection he was frequently overlooked. The fact that he will be club captain next season implies that Mourinho will be inclined to see Terry as a starting player – and that means one of Ivanovic, Azpilicueta and Cahill will be downgraded.

Azpilicueta is a Mourinho player through and through – his fitness and work rate are exactly what Jose has always liked to see in his full backs. With David Luiz almost guaranteed to be a Mourinho favourite, Ivanovic and Cahill could well be fighting over 3rd and 4th choice. Every top club needs a squad of 1st team centre-halves to compete across a season, but if Cahill was relegated to the bench for much of the season we may struggle to keep him happy. As much as Gary wanted his big move to a big club, he didn’t do it simply to collect his salary every week. He’s in it for the football, and he can’t nail down a position in the national side when he’s not playing.

Cahill could very well start the season as first choice, but with John Terry continuing as club captain, it seems unlikely. If that is the case, we must ensure that Cahill gets enough game time for him to feel valued and motivated. Terry is Chelsea through and through, but for how long can he continue at the top? We must not let young talent slip away simply to appease a legend. If Jose wants to build a dynasty at Chelsea, he must avoid short-sighted sentimentality.

Tell us, what would you do with Gary Cahill next season?

Jun 122013
 

Any new manager brings with him a wind of uncertainty and upheaval, and despite protestations to the contrary, rumours are rife that the futures of both David Luiz and Juan Mata may lie away from Stamford Bridge. Both players gained massive plaudits this season from players and press alike, and it is being suggested that Chelsea would be willing to cash in on their stars as they don’t fit in with Mourinho’s vision for the team. Mata would be a massive signing for almost any top European side, while Barcelona are known to have been very interested in bring Luiz to Spain. I believe in Mourinho, but neither of these players can be allowed to leave.

Mata has been a revelation for Chelsea since signing two years ago. A €28 million Euro buy from Valencia, Mata has dominated since his first day at the club. In two years, he has featured in an astonishing 118 games, contributing 32 goals and a staggering 59 assists during that period. He is integral to how this team plays. Eden Hazard has the potential to create something out of nothing, but unlike Mata, he is not yet mature enough to take on the responsibility of controlling the game. He cannot orchestrate the Chelsea team from a central position in the way that Mata has done time and time again. I would be blown away if we were to even entertain the idea of selling Mata – he is far too good to let go.

While I’m reasonably confident there’s absolutely no truth in the rumours about Mata’s departure, I’m far less sure about the future of David Luiz. Luiz took some time to settle in at Chelsea, but he has played his way in to the team and last season became one of our most important players. His ability to play with the ball at his feet and initiate attacks with a quick change of pace is something very few strong centre-halves have, and it’s no surprise to see that his performances have caught the eye of Barcelona. Mourinho way well decide to offload Luiz if he feels the defender wants a move to Spain, but it would be of far greater benefit to convince the player that he should stay. Luiz has the potential to be a world class defender for many years to come, and we cannot rely on John Terry during another potential 60 game season. We must do everything we can to keep Luiz – he represents the defensive future of our club.

May 042013
 

David Luiz is having a fantastic season for Chelsea. He scored yet another stunning goal against Basel on Thursday and is becoming increasingly influential to the team and the club, being mentioned as the man who will take the captain’s armband from John Terry one day. So we certainly don’t want to sell the 26-year old, but it appears that Barcelona have targeted Luiz as one of the signings they want to make this summer.

The Catalan club are planning big changes at the end of the season after they struggled in the Champions League this season. The defence is really creaking at the Nou Camp, as was highlighted by a 7-0 aggregate thrashing at the hands of the German champions Bayern Munich. That followed struggles against PSG and AC Milan, so they have compiled a wish list of top class players they would like and, according to the Mail, Luiz is near the top because of his versatility and talent.

Luiz will still have four years left on his Chelsea contract when the season ends, so Chelsea are under no pressure to sell. The Mail reports that his price is likely to be around £40 million, but that may not discourage the Catalan club, as they are planning to offload a number of their own stars to shake things up a bit. The one thing that could make things difficult for Chelsea is if Luiz really wants to go, but he is apparently happy at the club and in London, so hopefully he will stay.

Apr 302013
 

The fantastic and versatile Brazilian international David Luiz is a popular choice to become the next captain od Chelsea, and the change could happen sooner than expected, apparently. The 26-year old has been putting in captains’ performances for the Blues lately and more than once his drive, skill and determination have rescued Chelsea, most recently with a last gasp winner at Basel.

According to the Daily Star, the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants Luiz to replace Terry as club captain this summer, although it is unclear whether this would mean an end to Terry’s career at the club or simply a demotion. This could be speculation on the paper’s part, but Luiz has been receiving lots of plaudits from everyone at the club recently.

Of course, if Jose Mourinho takes the reigns at Stamford Bridge again at the end of the season, he may want to do things his own way and might think it is a bad move to drop Terry from the role after all he has done for the club. Luiz is the sort of no holds barred player that the Special One loves to have in his team and I am sure that Luiz will be captain one day, but have my doubts it will be this summer.

Apr 262013
 

It was an excellent finish to last night’s game when David Luiz scored with that brilliant free-kick in the dying seconds. Luiz was an absolute star all the way through the game and I was extremely impressed with his midfield strength and his through passing was excellent.

But one of the best things i liked was when he went in hard on the dirtiest Basel player, David Degen. This animal was fouling Chelsea players all over the park and the referee was letting him get away with it which only made him worse.
When he cynically took Luiz down with about 20 minutes to go (without punishment again) you could see on the Brazilians face that he had finally had enough of Degen’s antics.

Five minutes later Luiz gave him back some of his own medicine and racvked his studs down his leg, which left him limping for the rest of the game. I don’t condone random violence from anyone, but Degen got exactly what he deserved for the treatment he gave out to our players.

All in all, an excellent performance from the boys without straining themselves too much, but a suoperstar performance from Luiz. On that display I vote for him to be our next captain (from midfield) once JT finally hangs up his boots.

Who agrees?

Apr 242013
 

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.

With those eight games being squeezed into the next three weeks, Rafa Benitez is having to manage the squad very carefully. The Spaniard is well aware that the fans and the club see finishing in the top four of the Premier League as the most important objective, with the Europa trophy being a nice cherry on top. The manager may feel differently, though, as he knows he will be moving on at the end of the season.

We have a game against Swansea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, so Cahill and Cole will be unlikely to play in both. The centre of defense is not such a problem, with John Terry, Ivanovic and David Luiz doing well. The left back situation is more tricky, although Ryan Bertrand has filled in admirable for Cole. I would prefer to keep Cole for the league games, at least as he is just coming back but expect Cahill to play tomorrow as we try to keep a clean sheet and set up the home leg nicely. That game next Thursday comes just three days before a trip to Manchester United, a game that could have a massive say on the top four, so we do not want to have too hard a game and certainly not extra time.

Apr 182013
 

Because Chelsea were playing their third big game in six days and the fact that it was a local derby against Fulham, it was expected to be a tough test for Rafa Benitez and the Blues at Craven Cottage last night. It turned out to be anything but, as we eased to a 3-0 win with John Terry marking his 21st start of the season with his first brace of goals in eight years.

Fulham started okay, but had no real cutting edge and Petr Cech was alert to save well from a deflected shot. Chelsea shook off the tiredness quickly to come back into the match, but nobody was expecting David Luiz to score one of the goals of the season out of the blue. The Brazilian was more than 30 yards from goal, but his piledriver with swerve and dip gave Schwarzer no chance. See highlights below.

The captain stepped up with two headers to seal the points, giving the Premier League table a healthy look for Chelsea fans. We are back in third spot, a point above Arsenal and still with a game in hand and three points above Tottenham. We also have better goal difference than both of them, so things are looking good.

Despite the workload, Chelsea keep getting the job done and a win away at Liverpool on Sunday would almost seal us a top 4 spot and probably automatically Champions League spot for next season.

Mar 102013
 

There is no doubt that this season has been a disappointment for Chelsea fans. It all started with such optimism, with some exciting new players and the Champions League trophy taking pride of place at Stamford Bridge. It looked for a while as if the Blues would add the Premier League title to the European cup as we won seven a drew one of the first eight league games. The next game saw defeat by Manchester United thanks to some terrible refereeing and the season has gone off the rails ever since.

Now Chelsea are in a battle with Arsenal and Tottenham to qualify for next season’s Champions League, while the FA cup and Europa League are the last hopes for a trophy. With a 1-0 deficit to overturn against Steaua Bucharest and an FA cup to Old Trafford today, David Luiz knows that this week could be the most important in the season, and he is hoping that Chelsea can capitalise on United’s disappointment at being dumped out of Europe by Real Madrid.

“Sometimes when you get knocked out you can be a little bit sad,” said Luiz.

“I hope their guys stay sad until this game so Chelsea win.

“I thought we were unlucky on Thursday. It was a difficult game on a bad pitch, so we could not play like Chelsea love to play, with the ball on the floor and trying some combinations. But now we have the second leg and we can reverse the score.”

His defensive colleague Ivanovic has called on Chelsea to treat today’s game against United as a cup final, because he knows that a poor performance and defeat could have a negative effect on the rest of the season, in the same way that United could be suffering today.

Mar 072013
 

Chelsea are in no mood to feel sympathy for Manchester United and Alex Ferguson. The league leaders are obviously in a dark place at the moment and they feel cheated out of a place in the next round of the Champions League.

The only thing on the mind of Chelsea’s defender David Luiz is piling on the misery this weekend when the Blues travel to Old Trafford in the FA cup. If you think Chelsea can take advantage of United’s Champions League hangover then look at this site some betting bonus information. The 25-year old Brazilian says that Chelsea are hoping to take full advantage of United’s frame of mind.

Luiz said yersterday: “It’s difficult when you have been knocked out of an amazing competition like the Champions League because your confidence is not the same.

“The happiness in Manchester United’s hearts will not be there and Chelsea can use this to win our game on Sunday. Maybe this will give us an advantage.

“United will be playing at home but some players and supporters will be thinking `it’s not the Champions League` and it will be difficult for them to come in with the sane form.”

United may be burning with indignation about a red card, but I doubt that the Chelsea players have forgotten that red cards were at the centre of our league defeat to United at the end of October. Torres got one when it should have been Evans and United stole the points, so Chelsea will be hoping that United do not get all the decisions again on Sunday, although Howard Webb will be the referee and there are some who feel that United tend to do well when he is in charge.

All we ask is for a level playing field, no Fergie time or dodgy cards and penalties.

Feb 182013
 

The Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez would have asked his players to show commitment against Brentford yesterday, but David Luiz must have realised that his late challenge on the 19-year old substitute Jake Reeves was taking things too far. The Brazilian defender left Reeves concussed after shoulder charging him late in the match, but he went to the away team’s dressing room afterwards to apologise.

Chelsea had already made the game safe before the incident, having showed much more purpose in the second half. The first 45 minutes were uninspiring and goalless and probably drew some harsh words from the Spanish manager. Whatever the reason, Chelsea were a different side after the break, although Luiz was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card.

The Brentford manager Uwe Rosler seems to have accepted the challenge as part of football, especially after Luiz was big enough to say sorry to the young player.

“Jake is fine. He wanted to continue but our medical staff thought it was better if he didn’t. They said `safety first`.

“I have not seen the situation clearly enough to make a statement now, but the player came into our dressing room and spoke to Jake, which is a fantastic gesture. He apologised.”

Chelsea will now travel to Middlesborough next week, knowing that a win there will probably see them facing Manchester United after that, as long as they do not slip up against Reading tonight.