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Chelsea FC: The Four Stages

Since I started supporting Chelsea when I was four, I have witnessed different movements in the Chelsea squad; almost like generations changing.



Since I started supporting Chelsea when I was four, I have witnessed different movements in the Chelsea squad; almost like generations changing. It is undoubtedly obvious that the Stamford Bridge outlet has grown as a club over nearly two decades and this boils down to their shuffling and reformation which I call it ‘the four stages’.                                                                                                                                                                               
The first stage is the late 90’s; to be precise 1997-2001. The crowds would gather at Stamford Bridge and cheer the Chelsea squad, a team consisting of players like: Gianfranco Zola and Gustavo Poyet providing attacking flair with Tore Andre Flo as the super sub, with the midfield trio of Roberto Di Matteo, Dennis Wise, Didier Deschamps. Then there was the defensive stars of Dan Petrescu, Celestine Babayaro, Frank Lebouef, Graham Le Saux, Albert Ferrer and the rock Marcel Desailly. This was all under the influence of player-manager Italian star Gianluca Vialli.                                                                                                  
During this era, the Blues finished an average position of fifth in the Premier League, which guaranteed them a place in the Uefa Cup. During this four year stage, Chelsea collected a lot of silverware which included the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Super Cup and two FA Cups, including a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough thanks to a very early Roberto Di Matteo goal – a game that lives long in my memory.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
The next stage is a three-year period from 2001-04 after the millennium when the club was managed by Italian Claudio Ranieri. He had some excellent players as his disposal such as forwards Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Mikael Forssell, then in midfield Jesper Gronkjaer, Emmanuel Petit and Mario Stanic with William Gallas and Mario Melchiot at the back with Carlo Cudicini in goal. Although they didn’t win any honours, a Russian billionaire named Roman Abramovich saw promise and bought the club in 2003; a time when Chelsea had an average league finish of third.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The third stage (2004-07) is arguably their most successful, under the influence of former FC Porto manager Jose Mourinho. With his introduction be brought his former players Ricardo Carvalho and Renato Paulo Ferreira with him, plus had star players Arjen Robben, Hernan Crespo and Claude Makelele as well as Njitap Geremi, Mateja Kezman, Juan Sebastian Veron, Adrian Mutu and the ever improving Joe Cole. Under Mourinho’s fantastic management, Chelsea won their first Premier League title in 50 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
This honour was then repeated a season after, along with winning the FA Cup and two Carling Cups which included a memorable 3-2 win over Liverpool with Mateja ‘flop’ Kezman grabbing the winner.
Chelsea was deemed the best team in England, with an average finish of first for three years.                                                                                                    
The final stage is from 2007 to the present, Chelsea have struggled for consistency, and their progression has been affected by various managers coming and going. The likes of Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink have both covered the number one job in London. As well as various managerial changes famous faces of Michael Ballack, Anderson Deco and a certain record signing Andriy Shevchenko, who was once Europe’s best striker have all played for the Blues and now moved on.                                                                                                        
However, at the moment, another Champions League winning in charge at the Bridge, it is  former AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti. He is has a host of stars which includes Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Fernando Torres. After winning their first ever double (Premier League and FA Cup) double last season meant Chelsea have finished an average of second in the last four seasons.
So what next for the Blues?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Their number one priority is to win the UEFA Champions League and the managerial appointments are arguably made to do that. Moving forward, will the club build the side around record signing of £50m rated Fernando Torres, or will more star players leave to make way for others?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Aaron Aquilina
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A View From The Bridge

“First of many” – Some Chelsea fans on cloud nine as record signing scores an impressive hat-trick



Twitter reacts as Kai Havertz scores a hat-trick for Chelsea

Chelsea broke their transfer record to bring in German sensation Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.

While the 21-year-old may have struggled to make an impact in his first two games against Brighton and Liverpool.

However, he lit up Stamford Bridge against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup third-round tie yesterday.

Kai Havertz scored a hattrick for Chelsea
Kai Havertz was the hat-trick hero for Chelsea

Havertz not only scored his first goals for Chelsea but bagged himself a hat-trick in a dominant display.

He eventually came off in the 66th minute for fellow summer recruit Ben Chilwell. The left-back too made it a night to remember as he set up Olivier Giroud for our sixth goal of the night.

It was a promising display by two key signings who could go on to play a key role for us this season.

A number of fans took to Twitter to react to Havertz’s performance. We take a look at a few of them below.

Fans react as Chelsea star scores first goals for club

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A View From The Bridge

Out-of-favour Chelsea star could be on his way out after being dropped once again



The Blues have struggled to keep clean sheets

Antonio Rudiger set to leave Chelsea this summer

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger looks set to leave the club this summer.

He was not selected in the Chelsea squad for the Carabao Cup third round fixture against Barnsley. The defender has now been left out of the matchday squad for two consecutive games.

Rudiger is now expected to leave the club initially on loan before the window closes on October 5.

Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger looks set to leave Chelsea this summer.
Antonio Rudiger looks set to leave Chelsea

The Blues have enjoyed an excellent summer that saw them address a number of key weaknesses. The arrival of Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva has pushed Rudiger to be the fifth-choice central defender at the club.

According to the report, the player and his agent will now attempt to find the right club for him to move to. Among those mentioned are Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

However, it remains to be seen if either side will pursue the German ace.

Thiago Silva joined on a free transfer
Thiago Silva joined Chelsea on a free transfer

The 27-year-old is unhappy with the demotion he has undergone at the club. While he has been unhappy whenever he was dropped, his performances last season did little to argue his case.

Chelsea also have to make a decision on Fikayo Tomori, who is still wanted on a season-long loan by Premier League rivals Everton.

The German joined the Blues in the summer of 2017. He has made 115 appearances for the club, scoring six goals and two assists. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori could be loaned out this summer
Fikayo Tomori could be loaned out this summer

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Rudiger played a key role as Chelsea signed Timo Werner and Kai Havertz this summer. While he is yet to play a role on the pitch, he has done his bit for us off the field.

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A View From The Bridge

Lampard opens the door for talented young Chelsea star’s exit this summer



Frank Lampard admits Callum Hudson-Odoi could leave Chelsea this summer

According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has refused to rule out loaning out Callum Hudson-Odoi this summer.

The youngster is coming off the back of an injury-hit season that saw him make just seven appearances in the Premier League.

He has since fallen down the pecking order since. With the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner at the club, he could find it difficult to gain more game time.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has refused to rule out loaning out Callum Hudson-Odoi this summer
Callum Hudson-Odoi struggled for game time at Chelsea in 2019/20

Hudson-Odoi is not keen to leave the club just yet but could consider a loan switch if the opportunity presents itself.

With a bloated squad at his disposal, Lampard is now ready to loan the youngster out for the season.

“It remains to be seen”

The Blues boss confirms that he is now looking to fine-tune his squad with just 12 days left in the transfer market. It remains to be seen if Hudson-Odoi will be a part of that conversation.

Frank lampard must now deliver at Chelsea
Frank Lampard has called for more focus from Callum Hudson-Odoi

Lampard has also asked for the youngster to step up and impress when given the opportunity.

The Blues boss had earlier asked the youngster to work harder and stay focused in order to earn a place in the team’s starting XI.

Hakim Ziyech made a name for himself at Ajax
Hakim Ziyech joined Chelsea this summer

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Hudson-Odoi showed great promise when he burst onto the scenes. However, his development has stalled in recent times.

A player who once garnered interest from Bayern Munich, he now needs reinvent himself.

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Chelsea could sell French star to fund a move for £73m PL star



Chelsea could part with N’Golo Kante to bring in Declan Rice

Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast (h/t The Express), Ian McGarry believes Chelsea are ready to sell N’Golo Kante to fund a move for Declan Rice.

The Blues have enjoyed an excellent summer window that has seen them sign a number of first-team stars.

“Selling Kante, or at least getting him off the wage bill, would allow Lampard some scope and wiggle room on wages with regards to bringing in Declan Rice.”

The defence was a major concern for Frank Lampard last season. While the likes of Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell have been brought in, Chelsea are ready to bring in another player.

Ian McGarry believes Chelsea are ready to sell N'Golo Kante to fund a move for Declan Rice.
N’Golo Kante could make way at Chelsea for Declan Rice (Getty Images)

West Ham United value Rice at a massive £73m. Should the deal go through, it will make him the club’s second-biggest purchase.

The Blues had broken their record earlier this summer when they brought in Kai Havertz for a fee that could rise to £90m.

Given our extravagant summer, some players will have to make way to balance the books. In this case, Kante looks to be the man who will have to make way for Rice.

“N’Golo Kante, the French World Cup winner and someone who has been instrumental in Chelsea’s defensive and central midfield area, is absolutely on the market.”

Declan Rice will add much to the Chelsea backline
Declan Rice is a target for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen to reunite with Kante at Inter Milan. The Italian was the one in charge at the Bridge when Kante joined Chelsea in 2016. He arrived from then champions Leicester City in a deal worth £32million.

According to the report, the Italians have made a loan offer for the Frenchman but Chelsea would prefer to sell him on a permanent basis.

“We understand that there is a loan offer for him to go to Inter Milan. Chelsea would prefer to sell.”

Lampard plans to use Rice in a three-man defensive setup. With just 12 more days to go before the window closes, it remains to be seen if the Blues manage to get their man.

Former Chelsea boss Conte wants to reunite with Emerson at Inter
Former Chelsea boss Conte wants to reunite with Kante at Inter

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Signing Rice would cap off what has been a transfer window of dreams for Chelsea.

Despite the setback against Liverpool, the Blues have strength in numbers to make a dash for the top. Whether we can achieve that or not remains to be seen.

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