Jan 312013

Chelsea are trying to reach an agreement with Stoke City for goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, with the deal appearing to be reliant on Stoke’s capture of Jack Butland.

Chelsea had a bid accepted for the young England keeper yesterday, only for Butland to refuse talks with the club. The 19 year-old now appears key to the Blues latest goalkeeping target.

Stoke City have apparently had a £4Million bid accepted by Birmingham City, and are set to hold talks with the highly-rated keeper on a permanent move.

Butland refused to talk to Chelsea as he did not see the possibility of playing first-team football at the club, and rightly so.

Petr Cech has been outstanding for Chelsea since he arrived for £7Million from Rennes back in 2004, and signed a new 4 year deal at the end of last season.

The Blues however are not impressed with second-choice Ross Turnball, who has held only two clean-sheets in his 19 appearances for the club.

The West-Londoners do however have Thibaut Courtois on his second season-long loan at Athletico Madrid, who has been receiving plaudits in the press. He has also been subject to interest from Barcelona who are keen on signing the Belgian in the summer to replace Victor Valdes.

In the mean time, Chelsea are looking to sign a more able back-up to Cech, who is currently sidelined through injury.

The Stamford Bridge outfit have been keeping a close eye on Asmir Begovic, who is currently Stoke’s no.1. Manchester United have also been linked with the Bosnian goalkeeper, but never made their interest concrete.

Begovic would be a much more suitable back-up for Cech, who has missed quite a few games this season through injury. His signing could allow Courtois to spend another season out on loan, with the goalkeeper more than happy to gain first-team experience.

Jan 132013

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez has claimed his team has improved under his guidance, despite the hostile reception he continues to receive at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been in better form away from home of late, and one reason for this could be the Benitez effect, with many Chelsea fans opposed to the current manager in charge.

Rafa was hired in November despite Chelsea’s Supporters Group warning Roman Abramovich that Benitez would not be welcome at Stamford Bridge. The Spanish manager made some enemies at the Bridge whilst managing Liverpool and the Blues fans have not forgiven or forgotten.

Benitez’s side won 4-0 away at Stoke yesterday, following 2 losses in their previous 3 games, prompting the Spaniard to speak out bout the clubs current form.

“The team is doing well, the players are happy,” said the interim boss. “The players are training really well and you can see that they’re trying to perform. All the staff are doing a great job so the atmosphere in the side is really good.”

He added: “When we play the games we cannot control what’s going on outside the pitch but we’ll try to do our best on the pitch and hopefully it will be easier.

“We cannot every week be thinking crisis, not crisis. We’re scoring more goals than in the past, we’re conceding half of the goals that the team has conceded in the past. That means we have more balance and that is the way to sustain the performance of the team at this level.”

Our Chelsea team has not been consistent under Benitez, and have lacked fluency against teams we should be rolling over. Rafa is clearly struggling to keep our side concentrated on the job, with losses in the World Club Cup final, as well as our most recent losses to QPR and Swansea City.

Fernando Torres has continued to be a burden on our side, having failed to score since Eden Hazard gifted Torres a late tap-in against Aston Villa before Christmas.

Roman’s main reason for hiring the Spaniard was to bring the best out of the £50Million striker, and has so far failed in that respect.

Rumours sounding out from Stamford Bridge suggest Jose Mourinho is currently the most likely option to replace Benitez at the end of the season, with reports from Spain suggesting Benitez is a front-runner to take Jose’s job.

Real Madrid fans are said to be unhappy with the current management, as are Chelsea fans, so how about an early swap? Pretty please…

Jan 122013

Chelsea scored 4 goals in their 4-0 demolition of Stoke City today, giving the hosts their first home loss since February of last year.

Chelsea have to thank Stoke’s Jonathan Walters for their first two goals, with two defensive headers beating Begovic in the hosts goal on the stroke of half time, and then again just after the hour mark.

Juan Mata was tackled in the box by Robert Huth, and went down quite easily (it has to be said) to earn the penalty on 65. Frank Lampard steps up, and pounds the ball into the roof of the net, with the keeper having no chance.

Eden Hazard scored a spectacular fourth, from just outside the box. He turns with the ball on his left, and lashes it into the top-left hand corner in the 71st minute.

John Terry made his first appearance under Rafa Benitez today, coming off the bench for Juan Mata with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, pushing Luiz up into midfield.

The Chelsea captain had very little to do, but still managed to concede a penalty to the Chelsea match-winner, Walters. The Stoke striker stepped up to ease his torrid day, only to sky the penalty way over the crossbar. A day he will try to forget for weeks…

Frank Lampard again played well, further confusing players and fans alike as to why Roman Abramovich should wish to let him go. He is a part of Chelsea, and is showing he still has plenty to offer the club.

You would have to say that 4-0 was slightly more than we deserved, but compared to Chelsea’s dominant display on Wednesday, we will take it.

This win puts us back into third in the Premier League, above Spurs who played out a 0-0 stalemate away at QPR. We sit 11 points of League leaders Manchester United having played the same amount of games. Tomorrow will be a rare day when I will actually be hoping for a hat full of Suarez goals. Come on Liverpool, beat United for us…

Jan 122013

Chelsea take on Stoke City at the Britannia today, which in my opinion should be called ‘Fort Britannia’.

Stoke are one of the most organised units in the Premier League, and are yet to lose at home so far this season. We will be hoping to change that.

Chelsea are likely to be boosted by a return of their captain John Terry today, and are expected to give Demba Ba his Premier League debut for the club today.

Ba is expected to make the starting line-up with Fernando Torres apparently nursing an injury. The Senegalese striker has scored 4 goals in 4 matches against Stoke, and the Britannia will not be happy to see him line-up against them again.

Petr Cech is to be assessed today in hope he could play a part, with the Czech goalkeeper’s influenced dearly missed in the midweek loss to Swansea.

Possible starting line-up:

Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam, Walters, Kightly, Jones

Chelsea FC: Petr Cech(doubtful), Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Hazard, Lampard, Mata, Ba

Jan 112013

John Terry this week made his return to action, in the Chelsea U21’s match against Fulham, and is set to make the squad for Saturday’s tough Premier League tie against Stoke City.

Terry has been sidelined since Chelsea played Liverpool on November 11, when he clashed with Luis Suarez, with a knee injury. JT had originally expected to be out for 2-3 weeks but has found complications in recovery, and has taken two months to near recovery.

The Chelsea captain played 45 minutes of last nights U21’s 2-0 win over Fulham, but has yet to make his debut under interim boss Rafa Benitez. Team manager Dermot Drummy said: “He looked in good shape.”

Benitez watched last nights match, and is keen to see the club captain back in action in the Premier League. Rafa claimed earlier this week that Terry was in contention to make Saturday’s PL tie, and that is still the case after coming through his warm-up game unscathed.

I expect John Terry to make the bench for Saturday’s away match at the Britannia, and think next Wednesday’s home match against Southampton would hopefully see his return to the starting line-up. Terry was making his return from a 4-match ban when he picked up his injury, and I’m sure we all hope he can make it through to the season’s end without any more injuries. Welcome back JT.

Jan 092013

Rafa Benitez has declared that John Terry could make his long-awaited return in Saturday’s Premier League tie with Stoke City.

The Chelsea captain has resumed full training following a lengthy injury received in the Chelsea-Liverpool Premier League match on November 11.

Benitez said: “The good news is John Terry is back in training and we’re considering playing him on Thursday to give him some minutes with the under-21 team against Fulham.

“At least it is a positive thing because before he was just doing the warm-up and now he has been training, and if he can play he’ll be closer.”

When asked on his chances of a return on Saturday, Rafa responded: “It depends on his reaction.

“Obviously Thursday will be a different kind of game, but we’ll see how he feels and if he can feel okay and train the day after then at least we can start considering it as an option.”

I hope Terry makes it through the U21’s match unscathed, as he has been struggling with this injury for too long now. Our captain was originally expected to be out for 2-3 weeks, and 2 months later we are still waiting. I think Saturday’s trip to Stoke will come to soon for the centre-back to return, and I hope Rafa isn’t going to rush him.

Nov 232011

Romelu Lukaku’s lack of playing time for Chelsea has not been ignored by other Premier League teams, and now the interest for a possible loan move on the player became a top priority for some. Everton’s boss David Moyes wants to snatch the 19-year-old in January for a short-term loan until the end of the season according to The Sun.

Rumours have it that Everton will have to fight Stoke City for the player and that Moyes wants to submit the offer quickly to make sure they get a fair chance.

Although Lukaku played in 3 Chelsea games since he joined the Stanford Bridge club, he didn’t yet manage to make his official first minute debut and with Chelsea in such a big crisis it’s improbable that will happen soon.

A loan move to a team like Everton could be exactly what Lukaku needs in order to make the change from Anderlech to Chelsea a smooth one. The Belgian should take example from Chelsea’s other young talented striker Sturridge who managed to impose his skill at the club after several loan moves.

Oct 252010

Stoke City haven’t beaten Manchester United for 26 years, but they must have had high hopes of changing that record yesterday with the Wayne Rooney saga seemingly affecting Alex Ferguson’s team.

But Man United returned to their usual tactic of scoring the winner in the dying minutes of the game, and the new young Mexican star Chicharito Hernandes was the hero of the day.

He scored the first with an absolutely brilliant twisting header, but when Tuncay Sanli got the equaliser with just nine minutes remaining it looked like United had thrown away another two points until Hernandes popped up with the winner four minutes from the end.

It looks like Stoke will have to wait a little longer before getting that win over Man Utd!

May 102010

Man Utd knew that they could only win against Stoke City, and desperately hope that Wigan could get a result at Stamford Bridge (as if!). It was a forlorn hope of course, as Chelsea were already 2-0 up before Fletcher got the first goal for United.

Giggs made it two before half-time, but celebrations were muted as the news came through from Stamford Bridge.

Wayne Rooney limped off in the second half and lost all chance of winning the Golden Boot as Didier Drogba was scoring a hat-trick for Chelsea in their 8-0 massacre over Wigan.

Watch out for Berbatov’s face as he still can’t get the ball in the back of the net. Was this his last game for Man Utd?

***Abbi Clancy and other sexy WAGs in Umbro World Cup photoshoot!***

***The Biggest Boobs in the World just got smaller!***

The Irish are top of Binge-Drinking League!

Apr 242010

Carlo Ancelotti is a bit short of defenders for tomorrows game against Stoke City, and he will pick his first Chelsea team that hasn’t got his captain John Terry on the teamsheet, for the first time since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, but he thinks that he has got an able deputy in Branislav Ivanovich.

“John Terry is an important absence for us but now we have Ivanovic fit we can substitute him into the centre position very well because Ivanovic is a centre-back,” Ancelotti said.

“He played a lot of games as a right-back but he has the quality to be a centre-back, so for this we will not have a problem.”

The Italian coach also revealed that Ashley Cole is also available to help out Chelsea’s decimated defence if needed. “Ashley has a realistic chance to start because he is fit and he wants to play,” he said.

“He has the desire to play, because he was out for a long time and he has the will to play.”

Ashley Cole’s return is great news for England, but he will only have a few games to convince Fabio Capello of his match fitness. Let’s hope that Ancelotti will give him some time on the pitch tomorrow.

***The strange rumours about Steven Gerrard….***

The Irish are top of Binge-Drinking League!