Nov 162013

I think it is safe to say that Chelsea Football Club, and especially the manager Jose Mourinho, are not too well liked by West Brom and their fans at the minute. Denied a historic win at Stamford Bridge by an admittedly fortunate penalty decision by the referee last week, the Baggies were already fuming when Jose added a little spice to the row.

Describing the West midlands club and their defender Jonas Olsson as `Mickey Mouse` ensured that the English media made a real meal of the situation, but it was really a storm in a teacup. West Brom have sinced calmed down and the former Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke has done well to laugh it off.

He might not be laughing in January, though, as the Mirror has reported that Chelsea are ready to battle it out with other clubs, including Arsenal, for the services of the talented young striker Saido Berahino. The 20-year old starlet has really burst onto the scene this season and the Baggies must be kicking themselves for leaving him on a poor contract earning just £850 a week.

The club are trying to give him a new contract and have apparently offered £7,000 a week, but according to the paper, the talks have stalled. Berahino must be aware of the interest from the bigger clubs and may be waiting to see what happens in January. Should Mourinho and Chelsea really get under the Baggies’ skin and take their young striker off their hands for them?

Jun 212013

There is a reason why players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba are rightly considered Chelsea legends, and it’s not solely because of their performances on the pitch. During their time at the club, these players have always expressed their love for the club and their absolute desire to succeed and prosper at Chelsea. That kind of dedication means everything to the fans, and it often shows on the pitch. Players who are desperate to succeed become players that do succeed. That drive and determination turns players into winners, and it very much looks like in Romelu Lukaku, we have just that kind of player.

Lukaku posted a picture of himself relaxing in front of the television ahead of his return to training, but it is the caption that he attached to the photo that has caught my attention. He said: “My last night of being lazy like this…From 2morrow on my pre-season upcoming season will start. I will train every single part of my body to be twice as good as last year. Stronger, faster, bring more quality into my game just to be as deadly as the great masters of the game. It will be hard but when you work hard you play hard. Season 13-14 is the season when I stop playing like a boy and will play as a MAN!! #ambition”

This is the kind of thing every fan loves to hear – a player who doesn’t just want to succeed, but wants to succeed at Chelsea. Lukaku scored 17 goals for West Brom last season, and many young players may see that as a successful season, but for Lukaku it’s not enough – he needs to be playing at Stamford Bridge. It’s refreshing to see a player who hasn’t forgotten that he is a fan first and foremost, and it’s an attitude and willingness to improve that we could do with more of.

As we’ve mentioned her recently, this season does provide Lukaku with a huge opportunity. Mourinho chooses players on merit alone, and Lukaku could make a very strong case for himself being a one of our better striking options. One thing is for sure – he will be afforded opportunities this season. It is up to him to make the most of them, but if his attitude is anything to go by, that isn’t going to be a problem. Lukaku has everything needed to be a future club captain, and we can’t wait to see him given his opportunity.

Tell us, do you think Lukaku should be given the chance to prove he can lead the line for Chelsea?

May 212013

Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company by mutual consent. Real president Florentino Perez made the announcement this evening at a press conference to hordes of completely unsurprised journalists in Madrid. Contrary to reports that he would be officially sacked, Perez has confirmed that the split was a mutual decision.
“We’ve decided to bring our relationship to an end, nobody’s been sacked, it’s a mutual agreement”

Mourinho was contracted to the Spanish giants until 2016, but he’s made no secret of his desire to leave this season, going so far as to alienate some of his team, including club legend Iker Casillas. Real’s loss, however, looks like it will be Chelsea’s gain. In a move that quite simply makes sense, Mourinho is expected to be confirmed as the new Chelsea boss in the next couple of weeks. Mourinho still has two last Real games to take charge of, but with his side already out of contention in the league, you imagine his mind will be elsewhere.

One man who will be desperately hoping that Mourinho has been watching his Premier League football this season is Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku had a tremendous season with West Brom at The Hawthorns, scoring 17 times including a final day hat-trick against Manchester United. With neither Demba Ba nor Fernando Torres setting the world alight up front this season, Lukaku is hoping that he might be considered as a leading man in the new look Chelsea attack. However, Lukaku himself admits that much depends on the new manager. “Chelsea are still my dream club and I want to be successful there.” he said. “If the new manager has plans for me, I will go there and take my chance.”

While Lukaku has looked excellent at West Brom, he is still extremely young, and this season has proven what regular football can do. With Torres and Ba on the books, it’s unlikely that Lukaku can be guaranteed enough playing time to convince him to stay at Stamford Bridge. Truth be told, one more year at West Brom to finish his development could be just what the doctor ordered..and I have no doubt every West Brom fan across the country would agree!

Apr 232013

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke is confident of capturing Romelu Lukaku on a second season-long loan.

Lukaku has been in stand-out form for West Brom this season, finding the back of the net 13 times so far this campaign, and has recently come into interest from Swansea City, who are rumoured to be looking into his temporary capture for the whole of next season.

On the Welsh side’s interest, Clarke said: ‘I don’t there is anything in it – it’s idle gossip. I would be very surprised if he ended up there.’

The Belgian was signed for €22M back in 2011 from Anderlecht, but failed to earn a permenent spot in the first team. He was only 18 at the time, and at 20, Chelsea are still confident he will become the star warranted by such a high fee.

Many Blues fans believe he could play a part in our challenge for the Premier League title next season, with many fans praying to see the back of Fernando Torres. His inconsistencies this season have been the main fault in our bid to challenge newly crowned Manchester United in the Premier League.

Should Chelsea decide not to sign a high profile striker, Lukaku should be kept and played ahead of the Spaniard in my opinion. I do expect to see a big striker arrive, with the likes of Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao both expected to move clubs this summer. There could also be the opportunity to sign Mario Gomes from Bayern Munich, having fallen behind Mario Mandzukic in the pecking order. What’s do you think?

Mar 032013

After Chelsea beat Middlesborough in midweek, and Rafa Benitez launched into his tirade about the Chelsea fans’ continuing protests about his management, the media turned up at Stamford Bridge yesterday like vultures hoping for a corpse to feed on, but you could sense their disappointment, especially as the soccer betting was predicting that the Spaniard would be sacked!

There were still some banners, and it is clear that the fans will never warm to the ex-Liverpool manager, but his words do seem to have had a calming effect on the Blues’ faithful.

The most important reason for this was not his impassioned rant about his managerial experience and skills, or the ownership of the club, hut his statement that he would be staying until the end of the season and then moving on. With that promise, we can relax a little and concentrate on the team’s success for the rest of the season, without worrying about having Benitez in charge next year.

Despite only beating West Brom 1-0 yesterday, with another goal from Demba Ba, we were always in control, and it should have been by more. The win takes us back above Spurs and five points clear of Arsenal who play each other today, so we will have pulled away from one or both of the clubs challenging us for a Champions League spot. If Rafa can manage that, and a trophy, I will not become his biggest fan, but I might not boo him as loudly!

Feb 272013

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.

It is no surprise to hear that the West Brom manager Steve Clarke would love to keep the young striker at the Hawthorns for another season, especially after one of his other forwards, Peter Odemwingie, showed zero loyalty during the January transfer window farce with QPR. Clarke would love to take the Dutchman permanently but would need to win a jackpot at to afford to pay what the Dutchman is worth!

Clarke said yesterday: “If Chelsea want to leave him out for another season somewhere, I think we would have a strong chance of getting him back here, but it is a discussion for the summer.

“It’s a package that has been good for all three parties. For such a young player, the sky is the limit.

“He has all the attributes to be a really top player. He is very level-headed and he understands why he came here and what he has got to do in the future to be a big player at a really big club.”

A lot will depend on who is in charge of Chelsea for next season, almost certainly not Rafa Benitez, and what Abramovich decides to do about Torres and any new signings. We have been linked with Falcao and Cavani, but we are also short on strikers. Lukaku has come on in leaps and bounds at West Brom and is still very young, so maybe it would be better if he has another season there.

Feb 252013

It was the worst possible result for Chelsea against Manchester City yesterday, as it put Roberto Mancini’s men seven points ahead in second place. The worry now for Chelsea is that Arsenal are just two points behind in fifth place, while Tottenham are just one point behind and play their game in hand away to West Ham tonight. If Spurs win tonight they will feel like they have won the jackpot at an online casino and move into Third Place.

I have never wanted the Hammers to win so much in all my life, but Spurs are in a really good spell of form at the minute. The most disappointing thing about yesterday’s game was the lack of passion and drive to get back into it. After Hart saved Lampard’s penalty it seemed to drain some of the resolution from the players and we made it too easy for City to play their game.

There was maybe a case for Hart seeing red after bundling into Demba Ba to give away the spot kick, but the striker was heading away from goal so it was no surprise to see just a yellow. Lampard struck it well, but Hart guessed right and made a fantastic save. That was the closest we came, and Toure was allowed way too much room in the box to pick his spot for the opener, as was Tevez for the second.

We are in a real fight now, and Benitez needs to get the players over that result quickly, with an awayday at Middlesborough in the FA cup on Wednesday, followed by a vital home game against West Brom in the Premier league. Any more slip ups and we risk missing out on the Champions league next season.

Dec 042012

Rafa Benitez has all but confirmed Romelu Lukaku will stay at the Hawthorns until the end of the season.

Romelu Lukaku has been in fine form for West Brom, scoring 5 goals in his 12 Premier League appearances this season, most of which he started on the bench. That is one more goal than Torres has scored in his 15 Premier League starts this season.

Despite the lack of goals at Stamford Bridge, interim chief Benitez believes the 19-year-old will be better served by staying at the Hawthorns, with regular first-team football imperative to his continued development.

“We know Romelu has been doing very well for West Brom,” Benitez said

“But it’s maybe best for him to stay there where he is playing games for now, as it will be better for his future development.”

Lukaku has already made it clear that he hopes for a prolonged stay in the Midlands, after helping Steve Clark’s side push towards the Champions League places.

Competition is fierce for a starting spot at West Brom, with Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie also in good form, and it appears to have brought the best out of the former Anderlecht starlet.

Lukaku said: “I don’t think about the option. I am very happy to be here for one year. Hopefully, this season will end very well and we will see what happens in the future.”

Lukaku was bought as an investment for the future, but we could use his strength and ability back at Chelsea now. Lukaku cost £18million and if Chelsea we’re to be eliminated from this seasons Champions League this week, I think we should take a slight risk on the striker. Lukaku has shown his ability for West Brom and there is no reason why he couldn’t continue his form in a blue shirt. Why shouldn’t we take a risk in our £18million investment?

Aug 152012

Romelu Lukaku arrived at Chelsea last summer with a big reputation as a prolific goalscorer with Anderlecht at just 18 years of age, but since his arrival for a massive £18 million he has languished in the reserves.

With Drogba, Torres, Anelka and Stuuridge at the club last season, Lukaku was hardly going to get many chances and really he should have been left with Anderlecht for another season or perhaps should have been sent out on loan to another Premier League club, like Sturridge had been during the previous season.

Lukaku was upset most of the year, and he has revealed exactly how frustrated he was in a statement yesterday after his arrival at West Brom to start a season long loan. He said: ‘I decided in March I wanted to go out on loan, and told my agent to find me a club. I am relieved to have found a solution.

‘On the first day of pre-season I told the manager I wanted to leave.

‘Roberto Di Matteo told me I ought to think about Chelsea as there weren’t going to be many other strikers this season, but this is the time for me to think about myself.

‘I got sick of watching the others from the bench. I just played 12 games and when I was playing well, they would take me off.

‘I lost my hunger for the game over the past year. I won’t beat about the bush – my season at Chelsea went very badly.

‘As regards getting minutes on the pitch, I wasted my time.

‘Last season I was in the reserves alongside a young lad who’d barely turned 15 and I asked myself what I was doing there.’

Well as Chelsea fans we can only hope that he becomes a resounding success at West Brom this season and can be integrated into the Chelsea team next season, but if he doesn’t find his scoring boots very quickly it may mean that Chelsea have wased a large amount of money on a precocious big-headed youngster.

What do you think?

Jun 262011

After his fantastic loan period at Bolton at the end of last season, Daniel Sturridge is certainly in demand this summer. Stoke City made a (useless) £6m bid for the 21 year-old hitman and Newcastle have been linked as well, but I would have thought that a return to Bolton would have been the best bet for Sturridge next season.

But now it is being revealed that the West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has also made an approach for the youngster. The previous Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo tried to take Sturridge to the Hawthorns in January but lost out to Bolton, and now Hodgson has decided to follow in his footsteps.

Chelsea are believed to have put a £20m price on his head to deter prospective buyers as they consider Sturridge to be a certain future starter for Chelsea, but right now he is very unlikely to get in the team, especially if Radamel Falcao joins Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba in the star-studded squad.

So it looks like Sturridge will be loaned out again next season, and I suspect that Hodgson would be a good man for Sturridge to work under next season if he doesn’t rejoin Owen Coyle at Bolton….

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